Clutter-Free Moms: Progress

How nice would it be to have a table with nothing on it but your cup of tea to enjoy? 

Instead there may be papers reminding you of all you should be doing while you’re drinking your tea. Or maybe there’s honey or jelly stuck to the table that you should have wiped off earlier. If only there weren’t so many dishes and boxes of snacks piled up, then it would be easier to wipe the table.

The clutter won’t magically disappear, but over these 100 days it’ll slowly begin to shrink if you put in the work. And it’ll be so worth it!

Simplicity Clutter-Free by Thanksgiving

Tip of the Week: Make a simple chart to record your 100 days. You could put a small box to check off your calendar each day, write the numbers 1 through 100 on a dry erase board and circle each one you complete, or put a post it on your mirror that you can add a tally mark to every day that you do a little decluttering.

Most importantly, find something to get rid of today (not your kids) and mark off day one!

 

It’s not too late to help a friend get in on the challenge so they can declutter their lives as well.

Next time we’ll talk a little bit about how to go about this process of decluttering without feeling overwhelmed.

Clutter-Free Moms: 100 Day Challenge

 

It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to establish a habit.

It all depends on the difficulty level of the habit as well as the individual’s resistance to forming habits.

But the average time to make a habit second-nature is 66 days. (All of the above is according to this study).

 

Maybe before you had kids, you didn’t really have to make decluttering a habit. Even if you aren’t a parent, taking this challenge can prepare you for when you are someday, or it can help you stop being a packrat like I was! I have since learned that decluttering is a great life skill.

So let’s start by making it a habit.

Clutter-Free Moms Challenge

Why 100 Days?

Just in case decluttering is one of those complex habits, or in case you’re resistant to habits, 100 days sounds like a good number to start with. It isn’t quite as intimidating as 254, but it’s a solid start.

I’m even building in some wiggle room for you because the challenge will actually take place over 123 days (May 1-August 31). You can skip nearly a month and still complete the challenge!

 

Details of the Challenge

Over the next four months, I’ll send an email every other week with a short “Tip of the Week.” Each one will likely be 1-3 paragraphs long. Just enough to serve as a reminder and provide some inspiration, but not so much that it takes up all the time you had for decluttering.

You will be in charge of remembering to declutter even on the days in between so that you can form it as a habit.

You get to check your decluttering off for the day whether you declutter for one hour or one minute.

My recommendation is that you do it for 15-45 minutes a day depending on your schedule. But even if you just do one minute a day, that would end up being over an hour and a half total. If that’s more than you would’ve done otherwise, it sounds like a win to me!

If you feel like there’s no way you could even find 15 minutes a day, that’s ok. We’ll discuss that during the challenge, too. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 5 minutes if that’s as much time as you can afford to focus on decluttering.

The topics for the posts include:

  • How to keep from being overwhelmed as you get started
  • Having kids help declutter
  • How to adjust the KonMari Method for those who have kids (or only short chunks of time to work on decluttering)
  • Combating daily paper clutter (mail and kids school work)
  • Tricks for decluttering the kitchen

 

What you get for Participating

At the end of the challenge, each participant will receive the first chapter of my upcoming book, From Packrat to Clutter-Free. 

For those who actually complete the challenge by decluttering for 100 out of the 123 days, they will receive a digital copy of my entire book. (They just have to send me a copy of their chart or tag me in a social media post of it.)

 

How to enter the Challenge

1. Simply enter your email address into the bar at the top of this page or in the pop-up box.

2. Make sure you check your junk mail in case your confirmation email ends up there.

Once you’ve subscribed, you’ll get each post sent to your email. If you’re like me, you wouldn’t remember to check the blog every other week for the latest post.

Plus, if you don’t sign-up, then you won’t get the first chapter of my book at the end of the challenge since I won’t be posting that to the blog.

 

And don’t forget to share this with your friends so they can take the challenge with you!

The first post will help you get started by making a simple chart to track your 100 days.

I’m so excited to help you become a little more clutter-free by establishing this habit!

 

What it’s like to Attend the Masters (for someone who never watches golf)

Dreaming Big

 

As more of a football/baseball girl, tickets to the SuperBowl or World Series would’ve been more exciting for me. But I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Mon-Sun of last year and this year at the Masters. After Day One, I was hooked.

 

My Top 10 Things about the Masters

  • It’s really well run. Even though there are long lines, they move quickly whether it’s at the golf shop, concessions, or the bathrooms. If you want to learn how to host a large event, learn from the Masters! Even their parking is free and organized (just don’t forget to actually look at the letter & number of the section you park in).
  • Uhh, the bathrooms! They have helpful staff everywhere including the restrooms. They are constantly greeting you, mopping, wiping off counters, and answering any questions you have. Who knew public restrooms could be so pleasant at a sporting event?
  • It’s outside. I work as an outdoor educator, so I love nature. Where I imagine the SuperBowl would be a lot of sitting in a loud place, the Masters involves walking beside beautiful ponds. And it’s so big that you can find an empty patch of grass to read away from the crowds if you so desire. Even though the azaleas bloomed before tournament both years, it’s still beautiful to see all the grass, dogwoods, and old magnolias.
  • Photography. Patrons aren’t allowed to bring cameras on tournament day, but we can during the practice rounds. However, the Masters provides a photographer to take your picture at the clubhouse while you get a chance to look down Magnolia Lane. I did take my own pictures this year, but I’ll have to post them later since I need to upload them to a computer first. The picture they provide is free. They give you a card with a code and tell you it will be online the next day, but mine was up the day I took it.
  • No cell phones. This is probably my favorite thing of all. In all the time I’ve spent at the Masters, I saw one phone, and it was a golfer’s. While it is slightly inconvenient (if, for example, you’re trying to meet up with someone), it’s a great experience. I don’t know of anywhere else that has so many people who aren’t on their cell phones. I look forward to spending the day with my mom there because I know we won’t be distracted by our phones. It helps you really enjoy the game and connect with all the cool strangers around you.
  • I learned so much about golf! I gained a new appreciation for how much walking golfers do (as well as their caddies who are carrying so much). Before I went to the Masters, I didn’t even know what a green was. It was only about a year before I attended that I learned that they move the cups every day. Doesn’t that make golf sound way more interesting?
  • Food prices. They just have regular sandwich bread, but the sandwiches are only $1.50-2.50, I think. The point is, it isn’t outrageous like a theme park. Drinks are 1 or 2 dollars and come in a cup that says Masters that a lot of people keep as souvenirs. They also have fruit and baby carrots as some healthy options.
  • Skipping golf balls over the pond. Hole 16 is my favorite because during the practice rounds, the golfers skip the golf balls. It’s just really cool and fun. I didn’t know about this until I attended. Plus, if you watched Sunday’s game last year, there were three hole-in-ones. It was crazy! The downside is that if you aren’t where the excitement is happening, you can hear the crowds go wild. You know you missed something good, but you can’t check your phone to find out what it is. Also, there are turtles in the pond that sometimes pop up to watch the golfers.
  • The crowds. For the most part, the patrons are polite and fun and friendly. On Sunday last year, there was one person getting a little obnoxious, but people know they can get kicked out and never be allowed back. So it doesn’t get too out of hand.
  • Seating. Chairs can’t have arms on them. There may be other reasons for this, but I think it also just lets more people fit into a row. They have a few grand stands, but patrons can bring their chairs to whichever hole they want and then leave. While a chair is empty, anyone can sit in them. They have a card on the back where the owner can write their name. When that person comes back, if someone’s in their chair then they have to get out. It’s great for both people. When I don’t feel like bringing my chair, it’s nice to be able to use someone else’s. When I do bring mine, it’s nice not to have to worry about someone moving it or taking it while I go to the bathroom or to get snacks.

 

 

Advice if You get to Attend

First of all, if you get the chance to go and have never been, don’t pass it up! 

 

Second, check the weather before you go. (Remember you have to leave your phone in your car.) Wear or take sunscreen. I got sunburnt Tuesday this year because I didn’t put sunscreen on my arms. And as I said, I work outside. I’m used to being in the sun, and I don’t normally burn easily. If you wear sunscreen at the beach, wear it to the Masters.

 

Third, it can be really disappointing if you’re only attending one day and that’s the day there’s a thunderstorm. They will have you leave the golf course. There are lots of great things to do in Augusta, so maybe make a backup plan with that in mind so it doesn’t seem like a complete waste. If you don’t get to buy stuff in the golf shop, check out some consignment shops like Uptown Cheapskate. They only sell used items that are still fairly new and in really good shape.

 

Fourth, since you don’t have your phone to keep up with the time, it’s good to bring a watch if you have one. That makes meeting up with people easier. Plus, you can keep track of which hours to stay out of the sun!

 

Places to Visit while in Augusta

I may need to do another blog post on this, but I’ll give a brief list here.

The New Moon cafe on Broad St. The hot chai tea is delicious, and their grits bowl is a favorite (it comes with avocado!). It’s also located right next door to the Book Tavern which sells new and used book. And I’m sure they have some about the Masters. The Riverwalk is also nearby. All of that is downtown.

A few things I love about the Evans area are the Lady Antebellum amphitheater and park (located near a nice library and not too far from a post office if you’re wanting to mail postcards or something) especially nice if you have kids with you (and there’s free wifi) and Uptown Cheapskate as I mentioned before (which also has a location in Augusta).

Those are just some of my favorite places since I live in the area, but there’s tons more stuff. I’m just not much of a mall person or anything.

 

If you have questions, I’d like to answer them if I can. I’d love to help you have a better time during your trip to the Masters! (Or so you can kinda live vicariously through me.) You can email me at mcstarbuck{at}gmail{dot}com.

 

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to learn simple ways to make dreams come true, whether it’s attending the Masters, traveling, or overcoming fear.