PART TWO: STUFF and THINGS

If you haven’t read part one, check it out here: Part One: STUFF and THINGS

So today I want to talk about HOW I made such a dramatic shift in my relationship with stuff and things. I highly highly HIGHLY recommend starting here:

First of all, I read this book by Dana White: Decluttering at the Speed of Life: https://amzn.to/3GsXivT

She also has another book, How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3Fotz61

These fundamentally helped change my relationship with my stuff and how my stuff effects my home. If she could pull this borderline hoarder out of the depths of despair, she can help you too.

Second of all, we started budgeting. I get my “fun” money, Craig gets his. When there’s only so much of it to go around, $150 / month to be exact, you start to think about how to spend it and get intentional. One Target run could wipe that entire fund out for a month.

Third of all, it took TIME. A long time. I read Dana’s book in 2018 and just this year I feel like I finally have a good handle on my house (with the help of our amazing housekeeper as well).

Fourth is that I started saying no and not feeling bad about it. How many times do friends and family try to give you something for free and you really don’t want it but you don’t want to make them feel bad? Even when they don’t take no for an answer, I can get pretty creative. If I can’t dodge it completely, I’ll take it home, thank the item for serving its purpose, and without regret, place it in the donation box. Dana covers this in her book, it’s a little bit of what Marie Kondo talks about in her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up which I’ve also read and can recommend. You can find it here: https://amzn.to/3qsec8q

Numero cinco: I have an easily accessible and large donation box. It makes it easier when you have a designated area for donation items instead of thinking: “Oh, I’ll just take that with next time I head into town.” You won’t remember it. I promise.

Next up: The items that need to be stored in the container, must fit in the container. For example: I have a tee shirt drawer in our dresser. If I have too many tee shirts and the drawer is overflowing, I can only keep what fits in the tee shirt drawer. It’s pretty simple but took some unwiring to make it happen.

Honestly, these are all concepts that Dana and Marie cover in their books. I didn’t do all of them at once but over time I’m proud to say I’ve healed my relationship with stuff and I’m truly happier with the less things that I have!

If you have any other tips for mental decluttering and actual decluttering, please leave them in the comments!

I’ll leave you with this – have you ever totally cleaned your house, everything would be in the right spot, for about 30 minutes all of the laundry is folded and put away, all vacuumed and dusted, you sit on your couch, light a candle and just take a deep breath? It feels AMAZING. I used to think that was just a once a year feeling after Spring cleaning but believe it or not, it can feel that good all the time.

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Part One: STUFF and THINGS

My relationship with STUFF has changed a lot in the past few years. My mom even referred to me as “kind of a minimalist” the other day – something I never thought would ever come out of her mouth but in reflecting, I have to agree. I wanted to do a post highlighting the “then and now” of my relationship with stuff – shoes, clothes, jewelry, home decor, furniture, hand me downs, and all that.

I don’t like stuff.

THEN: I used to be a borderline hoarder. I would go to auctions and buy and buy. I had so much STUFF. I had so many pieces of furniture that I might maybe someday sell or paint or fix up. We had two garages FULL of just STUFF and things. It gives me anxiety now just thinking of our garages and basement bursting at the seams with STUFF and JUNK. The clutter was so suffocating.

NOW: I am not afraid to get rid of anything. If it doesn’t have a place to go in our home, it’s gone. I don’t shop at thrift stores unless I’m looking for something specific because I’ve noticed I usually don’t use it/wear it and end up donating it back. I’m aware of everything that’s in our home, there’s no closets full of mysterious junk that needs sorting, there’s not a tote full of clothes I might wear again someday, everything we own has a purpose and a place.

I don’t buy stuff.

THEN: I used to be able to walk around Target and fill up a cart of stuff in an hour and call it “me time.” I would stroll the dollar aisle, find yet another planner/journal I wouldn’t write in, I would get a new piece of clothing for everyone, I’d pick out a perfume, I honestly just bought so much stuff for no good reason other than to buy something.

NOW: That’s no longer appealing to me. Honestly, I don’t even shop like that anymore. I only do pick up orders at the “big box” stores like Target and Walmart so I’m really intentional about what I buy and I can see my entire cart before I make the purchase. I can’t remember the last time I just went to Target to kill time.

When I buy stuff, I buy nice stuff.

THEN: I would buy anything for cheap! I’d go to thrift stores and not even try clothes on because “hey, it’s only $2.00, who cares if it doesn’t fit when I get home?” I would be content with buying a cheap shirt that I knew wouldn’t last through the washing machine because hey! it’s cheap! I was for sure a quantity over quality girl.

NOW: I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a brand snob. At the beginning of the school year, I bought Carver a pair of Wal-Mart tennis shoes. In weeks, they were falling apart. Every once and awhile I’ll try to buy a lower quality item for a bargain and I’ve usually ended up regretting it or it doesn’t last. I am officially a quality over quantity. It’s served me well thus far, especially when I’m buying name brand like Carhartt, Nike, Sorel, Columbia, etc. You can find my FAVORITE Columbia Omni Heat Vest here. I wear the XL for reference – I like it a little loose.

When I buy stuff, I wait for it.

THEN: Impulsive was my middle name. Auctions were the WORST for me. The sense of urgency and scarcity is bad for me. I’d spend way too much money just to make sure I could get it and buy it.

NOW: Long gone are the days of impulse purchases. I recently bought a North Face jacket – I’ve researched and decided on the style, I’ve saved the money, I’ve watched for deals, and by the time I make the purchase, I’m confident in my decision and have no problem handing over the extra money.

When I buy stuff, I’m intentional.

THEN: I remember I would find a shirt I liked at the store and I’d have this need to buy three of the same shirt in a different color. There was a scarcity mindset of “this is the only shirt that will ever look good on me I need them all!”

NOW: I no longer operate on a scarcity mindset. There’s always going to be something for me to wear. Instead of buying 3 dresses to possibly wear someday, I find so much more joy in going and shopping for a dress for a specific occasion. That’s fun for me. Stopping and shopping “just because” isn’t appealing for me. I enter the store with a goal in mind (like buying a dress for so and so’s wedding or going shopping for a long cozy cardigan or a pair of shorts). The exception is one of my favorite gift stores in Decorah – Rendered Unique – I totally only go there to just browse without any intention.

When I buy stuff, I take care of it.

THEN: My carpet used to be made up of layers upon layers of clothes. It was embarrassing. I had the messiest room all through growing up and into my early years of adult hood. I’d throw clothes on the floor and then walk all over them without any thought.

NOW: I was wearing an outfit the other day and every single piece I had on, bra and underwear and shoes included, I’ve had for over two years. I take good care of my things. My room is tidy. My boys’ room is tidy. Each piece of clothing has a place. If it doesn’t fit, it’s time to get rid of some clothes. Containers are made to CONTAIN items. If it doesn’t fit in the CONTAINER it’s gotta go – like our dresser is a container and our closet is a container. I sleep so much better when my room is clean.

Tune into PART 2 tomorrow – I’ll tell you how I changed my relationship with STUFF and THINGS over time.

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Wacky Wednesday

Did I mention my bank account got hacked?

If you’re following along with my wild week – it’s been a while week. check out these posts here to read about Weekend/Monday: A Wild Weekend and a Manic Monday and here to read about Tuesday

I went to pay an invoice for my business and it wouldn’t accept my card. I quadruple checked the numbers and I was certain it was correct so I called my bank. They had suspended my card for a suspicious transaction of $1,020 to a company called Spectrum. They gave me the phone number associated with the transaction. I eventually made it to a customer service rep who confirmed they had no one by my name as a customer and that people can hack transactions and make it look like it came from their company when it didn’t. They were an internet and cable provider who don’t even have service coverage in our area, nor do they sell anything that would cost that price.

Thankfully the card was changed and all is well again. I keep an extremely close eye on my accounts but I didn’t used to and I could’ve easily miss transactions like that. Very thankful for my bank’s security!

Next up on the list of drama began right away at 8 am when I was changing the laundry – I looked up and saw this:

I knew what it was, I knew this day was coming. Our upstairs shower has one teeny tiny corner that doesn’t have any water proof sheeting over it – I don’t ever think much about it because it is usually covered up by the shower curtain. Our shower was leaking into our ceiling.

All in all, this isn’t a huge deal because we have a downstairs shower that we can use in the mean time but what I was hoping would wait until we are out of debt can no longer wait and we will need to replace our shower. Carver and I have been discussing the difference between renting a house and owning a house – this was a great example of a time I would have loved to call the land lord and let them deal with it.

And finally, I was upstairs when I heard a commotion going on down stairs. Carver races to me, out of breath and says “MOM! Gannon threw a wrench at the TV!” Sure enough, Gannon busted our TV. There goes another $350 down the drain. It’s not all bad, we had one corner of the TV going dim anyway but something we weren’t prioritizing to replace at this time (very similar to our shower).

I’m hoping for an extremely uneventful Thursday but now that I put that into the universe, I’m sure it will be anything but uneventful. Pray for me ya’ll.

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“If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”

As much as Sunday and Monday were blog worthy, Tuesday was WILD.

For some context, Gannon has been having some weird/wild blood sugars. He’s been super thirsty lately and I thought “Huh, I wonder if he has high blood sugar!” So I checked his blood sugar on Sunday night and it was 224. Which is super high. I was instantly very concerned, mom tried to chill me out, I texted some of my ER nurse friends and decided I’d just wait and message our doctor in the morning. Later that night, he was 184 which is again, really high for a little tot.

Monday we woke up and I checked it throughout the day. It was considered high all day, up to 164 and back up to 200 at bedtime. Our doctor ordered some blood work and we got an appointment for Tuesday.

So, woke up, got Carver on the school bus. Gannon was hungry for breakfast and I thought, “Well, hey, they are going to check his blood sugar then I’ll let him eat what he wants.” He had PB&J, a leftover piece of pizza and a glass of milk.Then we dashed off to get Gannon’s blood drawn before his appointment. I dropped off some donations at the thrift store, I got my glasses fixed, and we were out of town.

My phone dinged with Gannon’s blood test results as I got home – his blood sugar was 57!!! After all that food, his blood sugar was very low! What the heck? His hemoglobin a1c (measures average blood sugar over the past 3 months) was normal.

As soon as I had the results in my hand, my phone rang – the school nurse. Carver had thrown up at school and needed to be picked up. Poor guy! He was totally normal at home (aside from that darn tooth ache that had him in tears again last night!) We picked him up, complained about a sore throat and boy did his tonsils look nasty!

Gannon had an appointment to go over his blood work and they fit Carver in too. The boys were AWFUL at the appointment – loud, naughty, climbing on everything.

Carver has tonsilitis (again) that hasn’t cleared up since he was seen in late December – another round of antibiotics for him. His ear infection has cleared which is good.

Gannon – we aren’t so sure about. It’s pretty weird to have that high of sugars. Then it’s really weird that it got so low after breakfast this morning. The most important thing, he is asymptomatic. If he was sick and vomiting and had a high blood sugar, we would take him to the ER. If his sugar was low and he was shaky we would be much more concerned but he’s just plain old Gan. We will continue to monitor and track and meet again if things change before his well child check in February. Craig and I are totally cool with this plan.

I got back out to the car after wrangling the kids in the office, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror – I have no idea how long this sticker was stuck to my hat like that. Probably the entire time I was in the office. Oh well.

Then, because the boys were so naughty, I went to our FAVORITE ice cream place and got ice cream for myself and ate it right in front of the boys. I wasn’t naughty at the doctor. I was quiet and polite and did not climb on the exam table and jump off of it. I didn’t interrupt the doctor. I kept my mask on the whole time. Therefore, I got ice cream. The boys did NOT!

After we got Carver’s meds and my grocery pickup order, we were home and I’m here now writing this post. Tomorrow I’ll upload and restock my Etsy shop (yes, with sweatshirts! I know some of you are waiting) but that’s plenty of action for today.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/kalissageorgia

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A Wild Weekend and a Manic Monday

I’ve got a weekend recap for ya’ll. I worked Saturday and Sunday night and my in laws had the boys over the weekend. Yesterday I took a big nap and we woke up and found out my mom had been discharged from the hospital! I gave this update on my instagram – @kalissageorgia

Just a quick update on my mom – she received a large dose of radioactive iodine and she was discharged from the hospital today and finally HOME – ready to take on her third chance at life! She’s done with chemo and she has a whole 6 months off from traveling to Mayo! I snapped this picture just a few minutes after she found out her cancer IS TREATABLE. This has been the big question and main concern since September so we are all feeling extremely relieved! She’s got some crazy weird protocols now that she’s radioactive but as soon as we are able, we’ve got some celebrating to do!! 🥂🎉

Craig and I were hungry so we got take out from our favorite pizza/wings joint and dropped some off for mom. I got a social distanced (we are supposed to stay 6 feet away from her) selfie with her. It was a good night. Carver wasn’t feeling very well, he had his cavities filled last week and was still having some discomfort from that, enough he laid on the couch and cried. It hurt my mama heart.

We had to hurry home and get to bed, I knew I’d have a big day today because I was watching my twin nephews – (9 months) and my niece Georgia (same age as my almost three year old son Gannon). Carver ended up waking up in the night again and crying because his tooth hurts. He woke us up a couple of times in the night about his tooth, I gave him some Tylenol and Ibuprofen. I realized it was one of the first nights in a LONG TIME that the boys woke us up. They are very good at going to bed and usually sleep through the night just fine.

Needless to say, I was exhausted this morning but ready to jump into chaos! The boys came and got a bath! I feel like babies just love baths, these two did! Eli kept sticking his face in the water trying to drink and Emmett dove into Eli’s sink a few times!

Georgia and Gannon got along well (about as well as those two do) and built a rainbow tower! I got a message from Carver’s preschool teacher that he was still bothered by his tooth. I was able to get him in for a quick follow up at the dentist after school.

Kelli came to get her kiddos and stayed long enough so Gannon could keep napping while I ran Carver in. They really can’t find anything wrong with Carver’s tooth. They adjusted his bite after the filling but no reason why it’s still so sensitive. He seemed okay so we headed home.

At supper, Carver was eating some cantaloupe and started crying and crying again in so much pain over his tooth! I just don’t get it! So lots of extra snuggles and some more NSAIDs tonight to try and make his tooth feel better. Craig has a meeting tonight so we are lowing low and going to bed early!

That’s a summary of the Hanken/Friedman happenings, tomorrow is another big day!

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