Sunday Self Reflections: Life Spring cleaning!


If you've been reading my self reflection series, you'll know that 2014 continues to be a year of self improvement for me.

Some of the biggest things I've been tackling are confidence to pursue my passions, motivation to keep going, and becoming more active in improving the quality of my life.

To date things have been going pretty well.

I started freelancing so I knew it was going to be a bit of an unpredictable year but I'm pleased to report I've already completed a number of short term contracts, I've got a new teaching project starting in a few weeks, and I've got two more courses lined up to design and teach from September too so things are looking good.

I've also finished my MPhil, completed my TEFL qualification (today!), read some great books on self improvement including "refuse to choose" which has really improved my outlook and my organization, I've been travelling, cooking, eating healthy and enjoying as many music concerts I can fit in!

So all in all not a bad start to the year. Still, although it may look good I still feel like I'm living in the slow lane. My motivation remains pretty low, even for the things I love, and my expertise in procrastination continues to over rule my ability to 'get up and go' - so until it's done that's my main focus for the coming weeks.

I've come to notice in recent times that the clarity of my thinking has a strong correlation with the organization or should I more accurately say the disorganization of my environment.

cluttered house = cluttered mind

As I work from home a good deal of the time, my house is really my office and the nature of my environment has a real impact on my productivity and the quality of my work.

Sadly, being the collector that I am, I'm sure you can imagine that on the whole my environment isn't as minimal or tidy as I would like it to be.

I dream of a life where my house is modern, minimal, clutter free and my attachment to random bric-o-brac is not so out of control!

But being the person I am, for now I'm going to have to make do with what I've got and at least try and give my life some more order.

Step 1. Throw away, give away and charity as much as I can that I've not needed or used for years! I can promise you this was harder than it would seem. My longing to keep everything I've ever owned is completely illogical but absolute engrained so this was a pretty big deal to me.

Step 2. Find a permanent place for the things I love. Luckily for me a lot of those are books so finding a home should be fairly straight forward. For now, I want to concentrate on my bedroom as it is both my sleeping space and office so I spend a good deal of my time up there. The trouble is the shape of the room is far from ideal for storage so I needed to get creative.

Someone once told me, if you're short of floor space look up - so that's what I did, and here's how I got on.

WARNING: You are about to see my ex-clutter. These scenes are not for the faint hearted.

No this is not the clutter, but I want to give you something to hold on to before you despair over the mess that was my bedroom! (Excuse the lighting it was dark by the time I'd tidied up).

 My ever mounting piles of books

 I know I know I'm sorry! But I promise you it was worse, once upon a time this was all on the floor, so be thankful you're not seeing that!

Cleared out and just measuring up...

Our DIY shelf unit (It was a DIY day OK, you're allowed to not look your best).

Turned out that pile was mostly bags, shoes, clothes, a giant dog and a couple of wetsuits so it wasn't such a challenge...

...and those books found a perfect home!

I love getting creative so when my Father offered to help me make some shelves and get things in order I was super excited to give it a go and I'm more than pleased with the results.

Since I took these photos there's been more progress with the painting of that side wall, the filling of many cracks (my house is very VERY old), and all that purple is about to be a basswood brown colour to finish it all off.

I know I should probably be embarassed to have shown you my ex-mess but, the reason I've done it is to show my progress! I never want to pretend to anyone I live a perfect life, but hopefully the little steps I make to improve my life will encourage someone else to do the same for theirs.

I'm still living in the slow lane, but things are on the up. No longer do I wake up to neatly arranged (ha!) piles, but to a clear and calm space where I can relax, and focus on my work for the rest of the day. I also showed off my new little work station in a previous post which you can find here for a full idea of the room.

I'm really pleased with the results and look forward to continuing my declutter.

Maybe one day I'll finally have that dream life I hope for!

Bye for now

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  1. Seriously my mess looks like how you're did, but with renting we're not allowed to build stuff so it kind of sucks and I have to climb over stuff. I love what you did though, that looks an awesome way of storing, especially books. Nothing beats a good sort out, i'm doing the same with packing out belongs for moving (whenever that'll be) it's refreshing, both for the sake of trying to make space and for throwing/donating things.

    1. I know exactly how you feel. I've rented plenty of times before and it's frustrating when there's limits on the home improvements you can make. I'm lucky I've had some landlords in the past that were OK with it because it improved the quality of their property too so it's always worth checking, but sometimes making do can definitely be frustrating.

      It might be worth asking your landlord about these kinds of things. Believe it or not this is only attached to the wall at the two points either end so it really is minimal "damage" to the house, but if you can't, clear outs and sorting are always good (well done) :D . Don't you find it really motivating? It seems silly but it gives me such a sense of achievement. x


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