Follow the Decluttering:
I know I keep saying you don’t need more bookshelves but I absolutely had to do something with my daughter’s bedroom. She has a tiny bedroom compared to everyone else in our house but reads more than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s not uncommon for her to have bookmarks in 4 or 5 books at any given time. When she’s in trouble, the only threat that she cares about is the threat of locking all her books in a trunk. The only thing that has prevented me from doing it at times is the sheer volume of them.
To finally wrangle some of the piles of books, I found some shelves that worked out pretty well. I love these "invisible" shelves. I ordered a three pack of these Umbra Conceal floating bookshelves. They come in two sizes and you can order either a three-pack or individual shelves. I love their simplicity and that fact that when you stack a few books on them, you can't see them. They’re also fairly inexpensive yet seem really sturdy. They allow you to basically make art out of your book collection while keeping them easily accessible.
If you’re wondering how they hold the cover closed on the bottom book, there are small hooks that hold the cover. This means also that the bottom book must be large enough for the shelf to slide into so the cover can go into those hooks. That’s why they come in two sizes. It wasn’t a problem for us. Additionally, I used a stud finder and longer screws to mount each one directly to a stud. They’re not going anywhere even with several hardcover books on them. If I wasn't attaching them directly to a stud, I think I would still use longer screws with drywall anchors.
I still suggest you pare down your book collection as much as possible before buying more shelves, but books are something that I’m OK with having around. Maybe it has something to do with the years I worked for Borders book stores. If you’re interested in buying some, below are affiliate links to get them on Amazon. Thanks for reading.
It's a little ironic that right after I published my last post, I found out I would be leaving my hectic job for a different position within my company. I thought for sure that a less stressful job, closer to home would mean more time to write. After 5 months at my new job though, I'm just now writing again.
I have however, been spending more time with my family. I actually get to see my wife and most of my kids in the morning before leaving for work. I also haven't been taking out my laptop in the evenings and weekends to get prepared for the next meeting. It's been nice. The busy times help you appreciate the less busy periods of life even more.
One thing I've found regardless of where I go, I end up having a conversation with someone who is struggling with the same clutter problems that I am. Right after coming to my new job, I had nearly the same conversation I've had many times with other people. We usually agree on a few things that happen at home.
I wish I had the ultimate solution to all of it, but I don't. We can read another book on decluttering or watch another episode of Marie Kondo, but unless we act on the lessons from those resources, we're just wasting time. So I want you to know two important things. First, you're not alone. Second, it's only going to get worse if we just keep buying things we don't need.
You aren't the only with too much clutter
Like I said earlier, I've had the same conversation over and over. People everywhere are struggling with the amount of clutter in their homes. Have you ever had someone over who saw your basement for the first time. I always apologize to people for the way mine looks. The usual response I get is something like "this is nothing, mine is a lot worse".
Here's an idea. The next time you're thinking of taking some items to donate somewhere, you call up a friend and see if they have some stuff to get rid of too. In my case, there's a brewery near the local Salvation Army store. I like to drop off a car load at the Salvation Army and then celebrate with a pint.
Stop buying things you don't need
Clutter is like calories when you're trying to lose weight. If you burn 500 calories by working out but then eat 1000 calories at the pizza buffet every day for lunch, you're not going to make any progress. We have to resist the bargains at our favorite discount store and we have to resist the mindset that because we got rid of something in our home that we just made space for something else. Fight that urge and enjoy the extra breathing room instead.
I'll leave it at that and keep this post short. I've been neglecting my website and my Facebook page lately but I'm going to change that. Expect to see more posts but probably short ones and more content being shared on Facebook even if it's not my own. Thanks for reading.
You blink and over 4 months goes by. I can't believe I haven't posted anything since last September. In that time, I've started a new, much busier job, taken on the titles of Cub Scout Den Leader and Church Youth Group Leader, and the baby just turned a year old. I've been busy.
I thought I was already busy since the baby came along, but the new job has been insane. I didn't like sitting at a desk waiting for the workday to end, but now my day flies by and I'm rarely at my desk. The problem is when it's time to go home, I suddenly feel like there is a lot left to do. I end up staying a few minutes longer.
A few minutes extra quickly turns into an hour until I decide to just pack up my laptop and go home. I pick up the baby at daycare, go home and cook a quick dinner for everyone before we need to head out to whatever activities the kids have that evening. Later, I often end up pulling out my laptop for a few minutes to prepare for the next day.
This has turned into a bad habit that I'm trying to break. I know that my family has been affected by my new schedule and it's not fair. I started reminding myself that the company has been running for a long time without me and it will continue do so when I'm gone. Whatever is not done will still be there tomorrow.
As it also turns out, only in the last couple of years have I learned to appreciate certain music. Some of my friends would call it blasphemy, but I just couldn't listen to Pink Floyd. At some point, one of their songs caught me in just the right mood and I really listened. I don't know why but suddenly I realized how good some of their lyrics are. Now one of my favorite songs is Time. (lyrics from https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/pinkfloyd/time.html)
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
I am constantly reminding myself that when I'm older I will never wish I had spent more time at work. I will wish that I had spent more time at home with my family before my kids are grown and become busy with their own lives. I'm declaring a late New Year's resolution to slow down and spend more time with my family before it's too late.
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
My family uses Cozi for our calendar, shopping, and to-do lists. The best part is that it's free.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2018
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