Here’s 200 things to keep me busy for the rest of this year

One of my 2016 New Year resolutions has been daily decluttering. Nothing too intensive on any one day, just picking a corner/box/drawer/cupboard/shelf and committing a Neatness Of The Day. Some Daily Neatnesses will no doubt be more impressive undertakings than others.

This post seems like a decent way to prepare for systematising that: 200 Things To Throw Away. This house is full of stuff lurking in corners that we will never use again, so time to get rid of it. There are of course several gazillion other decluttering sites/apps/books out there, so I’m actively seeking other resources, but nothing that takes up physical space other than pixels on my screen, thankyouverymuch.

My other resolutions will probably be easier to keep in a less cluttered house, whaddayareckon? One can of course go too far (Diogenes (see below) was a proper mope and self-righteous about it to boot), but in general having a house where one doesn’t trip over boxes and everyone pretty much knows where to find things is preferable in a multitude of ways to me being the only person who has the vaguest idea where some things might be and having to wade through several layers of boxes to unearth those things.

The Greek philosopher Diogenes (404-323 BC) is seated in his abode, the earthenware tub, in the Metroon, Athens, lighting the lamp in daylight with which he was to search for an honest man. His companions were dogs that also served as emblems of his "Cynic" (Greek: "kynikos," dog-like) philosophy, which emphasized an austere existence.

Diogenes, by Jean-Léon Gérôme [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Any non-weight-related* resolutions you’ve made that you’d like to share? Any useful resources you’ve found to help with organisation/motivation for making some of the changes you’d like to see?

Moderator note: it's been a while since we've written about it, but this remains a HAES blog where building healthy behaviours (that are achievable within our personal circumstances) is considered far more important and life-affirming than simplistic numbers on a scale. Please keep that in mind when sharing your own resolutions/resources.

Categories: Culture, health, Life

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11 replies

  1. I tend not to bother with New Years resolutions, after bitter experience taught me I tended to lapse on most of them within the first week of January, and certainly by the end of the month most of them had fallen by the wayside. So instead, if I’m going to indulge in a behavioural change, I’ll pick it up whenever the idea occurs, and work at it methodically (I find Habitica is a great help with building new habits – it’s a way of turning the process into a role playing game and earning points for progress). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    On the decluttering front, I read through the “200 Things to Throw Away” article, and I could feel my hackles going up at some of the items (no, I’m not going to throw away all the leftover Chux cloths I have saved as general cleaning cloths – because they’re also useful as packaging material for things like glasses, mugs, plates, cups and bowls when we next move… and we probably will be moving at some point in the next five years; ditto the bubble wrap). It’s very much geared toward someone who is in permanent accommodation, and who doesn’t have to worry about the joys of packing and unpacking and repacking everything on a regular basis. It’s also very much geared toward someone who is living in a major city on a reasonable disposable income, where “getting another one” doesn’t mean either having to trek long distances to obtain things, or decide what you’re going to be giving up this week in order to acquire the replacement item. Decluttering does tend to be contextual, rather than one-size-fits-all.

    • Good points, megpie. My own approach to all these lists is contextual, definitely. I work on seeing them as an invitation to re-examine what I have or what I’m doing, not to necessarily march in total lockstep with every recommendation.

    • I hear you on the contextuality. Having a reasonable amount of space here, I hang on to certain old product boxes – because they enhance resale, and I very rarely throw away electronics. I do however, endorse the love for good glass nail files! And for passing on paper books that aren’t precious or difficult to borrow from the library.

      Where I do have major issues is with getting rid of scissors! What household with one pair of scissors ever has that pair of scissors findable? I’ve had to buy six pairs in order to be able to put my hands on one when I want it. I can also confirm that a family really does need many flash drives, spare shoelaces, and pencil sharpeners. And that that stash of old towels that you never took to the vet comes in very handy when the kitchen floods.

  2. I resolve to sing more!

    • That was my resolution for last year, and I stuck to it, and it’s been marvellous, one of the best things I could have done for myself.

      Making sure I had a more reliable instrument that would allow me to sing hour after hour for night after night did involve rather a lot of repetitively structured scale/interval/ornamentation work and diaphragm training, but it’s all been worth it (and I’ve still got so much more to learn!). I’ve also managed to smooth the transition between my vocal registers rather than having a lower, middle and higher voice that sound like they belong to three different people, although I’ve still got work to do there before it moves from the consciously competent stage of skill acquisition to the unconsciously competent stage.

      • That’s great that you managed your resolution tigtog! Unfortunately, inhaled steroids mess with my transition register, which is something I’ve been working on. I’ve been surprised to find that it’s those lower registers that it messes about with, while I retain most of my soprano range. Working on it.

  3. I am definitely a bit of a hoarder by nature, but we had a big clean out a couple of years ago when we moved house, so I feel justified in not doing any decluttering for a while. I am also completely incapable of letting go of any paper book once it has entered my possession. My sister lost all of hers in the Brisbane flood and I think I am more upset about it than her (even now!).

    I am also not one given to New Year’s resolutions, but Mr a and I have decided to try and rein in our discretionary spending a bit and see if we can actually save some money.

  4. I finished one room today. The kids decided to do a clean out of their books and clothes. I was very careful not to get upset if they didn’t want to keep something I liked, although I might have sighed quietly once or twice and kept my opinions to myself about some of the things they decided to keep. But since watching too many hoarding programs while on holidays I am concerned about throwing stuff out that I consider junk but which is still important to them. Plus, I realise, I have a whole house to store all my stuff in and I did keep a lot of crap which I have only just gone through and sorted. There is probably plenty more to do, but I plan to recycle and donate what I have so far so I feel like I have achieved something then I can start again.

  5. Like megpie, I don’t tend to go in for me year’s resolutions as such – but both this year and last year, I’ve had time off work, certain stimuli (social and mental, I mean, not chemical, if you’re wondering!) and so been in the right frame of mind to do some reflecting.

    Last year, I wanted to be cooking more – and I have been, so I’m happy about both the fact of that and the level of cooking in currently at.

    This year, I want to play more music, which really means joining some kind of group and committing the time to it. The first step is finding something appropriate so I’m investigating those options 🙂

  6. I am now doing something that I never thought I’d do – cleaning out my crime novels. Most of them I won’t read again, and there are a few authors whom I’ve gone off. So off to Lifeline they will go. It feels surprisingly good. I hope future Mindy still agrees.

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