The Welcome to Now Project: Update Week 1

So an update after almost a week on The Welcome to Now Project (my 4 week project to declutter, find focus, be healthy and have fun). My aim in this project was to be accountable to you in order to maintain my focus, be honest and to learn from the experience. I've had some success but it's not been the easiest week for finding spare time for major decluttering. I will definitely have more time for decluttering in week 2 as I'm on holiday. And boy do I need it as I've discovered more clutter than I'd anticipated! Emptying cupboards and opening boxes has revealed items that I thought were lost, had already been donated (I think I must declutter in my dreams) and are broken beyond repair. Plus I found 2 pairs of first toddler shoes in the loft which sent me into meltdown. However, I'm pleased with how I've stuck to my plans in general and the healthy habits are making me feel good.

Here's a little more on my progress in each area.

The-once-and-for-all-declutter. Teaching for 3½ days didn't leave me much energy for decluttering in the evenings but on my full day off I did make good progress in the loft. Several boxes were emptied, 'maybe' clothes boxed up many months ago have been donated to charity and moving house boxes have been reduced. I've assessed that the loft contains unidentified wires, surplus decorating materials and too many photos that need editing. On Saturday I had a useful session with my husband streamlining our kitchen crockery, pans and glassware. We had lots of 'Have we used this in the last year/don't keep it just in case/does it bring us joy' conversations. Hubs is well versed in minimalism mantras. Together was definitely better. I could see what had attracted me to buying things originally but found it easy to cut my attachment because reduction was more important than any lingering sentiment. 

Be Fabulous.  I found starting my mornings with a drink of hot water and lemon an easy habit to maintain this week. I meditated sometimes in the morning or sometimes straight after work but I kept this habit up daily which is an achievement for me. I didn't use any music or apps just followed a similar routine to the one on Headspace. My daily walks were my favourite part of the week and a part of my day that I looked forward to. The only day I didn't walk was on Saturday but this was a running day so I was OK with that. I ran 3 times but my longest run was only 30 minutes as I didn't want to overtire myself as it was a busy week with work and other commitments. 

Finding Focus. I was definitely more focused this week and more aware of time wasting. The 4 areas of the project took priority over other activities so I spent less time on ironing and cleaning than usual. Yay! I began to focus on building a relaxing bedtime routine and usually was offline by 9pm. 

Try Something New. Some of you have read Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn the book about mindfulness meditation and you're right it's good. I found it pulled together many of the ideas I've been discovering over recent years from Walden to Zen Habits. It's helped me to be mindful of my reactions to decluttering (which can be difficult at times) to be realistic and to just let myself be when I've felt tired or under pressure. On Saturday we had planned to go to Birmingham Botanical Gardens as a treat but as the sun wasn't shining we went to a garden centre instead to buy plants for a vertical planter made from an old palette that we're creating. Our tiny garden is shaping up nicely and we've made a few changes. I'll post on this soon. We also had cake at a canalside cafe, visited a farm shop and cooked a Sunday roast for Mum and the boys today. Pulled pork followed by rhubarb crumble. Life doesn't get much better. 

How's your week been? Success? And treats? I loved hearing your plans. Please share.




  1. Gosh when I read the quote above I thought you were going to say you had decluttered people in your life! but it's a good quote to make us think about whether our friends are actually having a positive influence on us and whether we are realistic of our expectations from them. On the decluttering Hubby let go of 2 suits and 5 shorts as he has lost loads of weight and I managed to discard lots of silly junk in my sewing box. we have a garage full of stuff to do and keep putting it off!

  2. I spent Sunday helping my sister in law pack up all her mother's fine china. What a long & tedious job! I kept thinking about my own things & what I could declutter when I got home. I don't need/want that much china or anything else.

  3. Well my first week hasn't been anything like I thought it would be. I have been having my lemon and hot water regularly - a winter must! I have been enjoying my new CD, I was very focused on getting my photos organised and have got 3/4 of 2013 done in one week! But very little decluttering, and not really feeling fabulous. I had a virus a few weeks ago which has caused eye irritation (now the added infection has gone at least!) so I certainly don't look fabulous! And to add insult to injury, now I have tonsillitis as well! Another week at home for me with, but I'm adding ice cream into my feeling fabulous routine - it makes my sore throat feel fabulous ;) Acutally, I have been having fun with scarves, all collected for $2 each at my local op shop. I wear a lot of black and love being able to jazz things up with a bright scarf. I'm hoping to have a healthier 2nd week! My husband, while not officially playing along, has got a new computer for school (he's also a music teacher) and has been setting up his i-tunes. As he's been going through our very un-minimalist CD collection (mostly his :)) he has been weeding out things he can't imagine listening to again, and 'status CD's, the one's young cool people keep just incase the CD police come and check their collections. We're neither young nor cool anymore! There are around 40 CD's and DVD's sitting in my hallway waiting to go to our favourite music shop, who do trade-ins and store credit :) Right, enough from me! Have a good week :)

  4. Hi Claire, I've made a bit of a start and am feeling quite pleased with it, though for me much of my focus has been on thinking and reflecting rather than doing - for me the Finding Focus bit is a biggie, what to focus on in the next part of my life (post retirement). I have what could be a Big Idea, but don't want to jump into it without careful thought and planning. So am both thinking, and also talking about it to other people and hearing their ideas and responses.
    I've managed with the help of both my sons to go through quite a bit of 'stuff' we've been keeping in case it was useful for them when they have their own homes - much of it isn't, so it's gone onto Freegle and into other people's spaces to be used - so much better than just sitting around cluttering up our space.
    Still not started running, but I have been very active in other ways, so not going to beat myself up on that one. Time enough to get ready for the 5K that's coming up in July.
    Try something new - well, I kind of adopted that as a way of life this year, and I'm loving it.
    Good luck with your challenges, and I hope you enjoy your week off - let's hope the sun keeps on shining!

  5. i hope to get some decluttering and some sewing done this summer...good to read about your progress


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