In this episode, we share Bethany’s recent trip to San Diego to organize photos, how we did with our Nothing New Challenge, and how to stay sane when life is really, really busy.
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Today we jump right in and share Bethany’s recent trip down to visit me in San Diego. We touch on
- Going through Bethany’s boxes of photos which she has been dreading and avoiding for years.
- How she had a strange reaction to throwing her photos in the trash and why I think she sounds a little crazy.
The photo purge was originally inspired by my own photo organization (from Ep 19) during our 30-Day Minimalism Challenge. I have a system for my current photos which involves creating a photobook with our favorites at the end of year with Mixbook. So now it feels great to have all my past physical photos are organized too!
Nothing New Challenge Wrap Up
Our focus this month is pushing us one step ahead of the decluttering process by questioning items before they even make it into our home!
For the month of August, and one week of September, we are not bringing anything new or used into our homes, except consumables of course. Items like clothes, decor and unneeded supplies are off limits for our Nothing New Challenge!
We both struggled with this challenge and many times forgot we were even participating! Although we both bought new things (like a skirt and bugspray) the challenge was successful in bringing more intentionally into our purchases. Our goal was never to deprive ourselves.
Even though we did cheat, there were items I put back on the shelves as well as items I made a note to purchase later. Even though I now have a list of items to purchase when the challenge is over the simple act of writing things down allows me to pause and question whether it is something I will bring into my home. Because less stuff means more time to devote to the fun parts of life!
It is not too late for you join in the Nothing New Challenge! You can share your progress with us below in the comments or on social media. Use the hashtags #AtoBpodcast.
When Life Gets in the Way
There are times when you are so busy you just don’t have time to stay on top of the daily and weekly home tasks that don’t seem to care how busy we are! Where’s life’s pause button?!
Since we know those hectic times will come, no matter how “in balance” we try to remain, the solution is to have a plan of what to do when you can’t do it all. This is not forever but for a time, prioritize your tasks at home and forget the rest.
Choose those top 3 tasks you have to continue to do during your busy time but the rest can be neglected, for now.
I originally discussed this idea in a post How to Clean when Life gets in the Way. To me vacuuming and dusting are not high on the priority list when my life feels crazy.
Having my mail pile up, however would be a sign that I am really behind with things at home since mail takes only minutes to go through. But as Bethany and I discovered, your “have to” tasks may be specific to you.
When Bethany is mentally fried she sets her mail to the side, handling urgent letters, but leaving the rest to go through at a later date.
However, grocery shopping is a “have to” task for Bethany. It is so important for her to have the essentials stocked so she doesn’t have to grab food on the go which takes up precious time not to mention money.
Laundry is another “have to” for Bethany. If you have ever been in a rush in the morning only to find all the clothes you need are dirty, you know exactly why this task in on the list of tasks to take care of even when life is busy.
It doesn’t have to be only the large tasks that keeps a semblance of your home in order. It can be something simple, like making the bed.
This small, quick task sets a tone for me. If my bed is unmade my whole house can feel like it is falling apart. So this task goes to the top of my list.
Things like clean mirrors or toilets can wait but a quick wipe down of the bathroom counter can make an impact. The most important thing is to not let your delayed task turn into a bad habit.
The Most Important task to plan for
With those “have to” tasks in place, don’t forget to list out the outside demands that are eating up so much of your time and mental energy.
When we are busy, many times sitting down and writing a list is the last thing we want to do let alone have time for! But this simple task can focus your mind and help you be productive with the limited amount of time you do have.
When you get your tasks down on paper, hopefully you find obligations that can be postponed and possibly even items that you can cross off all together, like we discussed in Episode 7, Making a Better To Do List.
With your top 3 tasks done and some chores ignored, you can feel like everything is partially in order until you catch back up with life. When you do catch your breath, your home will be back in tip top shape in no time!
What are your top tasks? When you’re feeling overwhelmed, which chores do you let slip by the wayside? Do you still feel guilty if can’t get to your weekly responsibilities?
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