Day 72: Staying Motivated To Declutter: A Speed Purge, A Nap, And A Box Of Chocolates

7,200 things gone, only 2,800 to go

On day 1, I wrote a post called Minimalism On Bad Days. It was all about finding a way to carry on decluttering when you don’t feel like carrying on at all.

For the past few days, I’ve been feeling like I’m swimming upstream underwater. While it’s no fun living in slow motion, the worst part by far is trying to figure out why I’m feeling so rotten.

Is it my thyroid? Am I low on iron? Seasonal depression? Allergies? Is living with a Squirrel the problem? I can go on like this for hours and I’ve found that if you search the internet for long enough you will always find an answer. Hypothyroidism, anemia, low serotonin, rodent co-dependence. Over the years I’ve self-diagnosed every one of them.

The trouble is that googling “mould poisoning” just doesn’t get the decluttering done, so I decided that the next logical step to internet self diagnosing is diagnosing straight from the imagination.

I put my computer away and decided that finding mould in Vancouver in the month of September has got to be its own kind of sickness. Then I invented the cure –  a short daily nap and one or two Thomas Haas chocolates.

With the time I saved diagnosing, I tried a speed purge.

I started in the basement.




Then moved up to the bathroom and my bedroom.




And ended at the laundry room.


I’m heading for a kip now clutching my box of chocolates. I hope I get my strength back soon, but not too soon, I wouldn’t want to rush my recovery.

Am I alone in this, or do you sometimes, inexplicably, feel rotten?


14 thoughts on “Day 72: Staying Motivated To Declutter: A Speed Purge, A Nap, And A Box Of Chocolates

  1. Um, YES! I’m SO glad I’m not the only Google self-diagnoser out there! The Hubs always tells me that he needs to block WebMD and Mayo Clinic haha! I hope you get a good,long rest and get back to it when you’re good and ready 🙂

  2. Hi, I have to say Thank you for writing this blog I LOVE IT!. I have been de-cluttering since 06th Jan 2011 – my target was 100 things a week but I exceed that EVERY week (Just where does all the stuff come from?). I found your blog several months ago and it has kept me going though those difficult decluttering days, here in the UK.
    Now, instead of using Google to diagnose stuff like ‘How do I stay motivated to keep decluttering?’ and ‘why does decluttering make me feel bad / sad / despairing etc? I now read your blog. I’m so relieved that I’m not the only person who feels like I’m wading though treacle when trying to declutter my home.
    I’ve got 3 boys and I’m married to a ‘pack-a-rat’ who insists on keeping all kinds of stuff, including the cardboard boxes of everything we buy -‘just incase’ Incase what? Cardboard becomes a rare commodity and outprices gold? He’s learning. Slowly. But we no longer have an attic full of cardboard and that has surely got to be a good thing. He even donated 27 items from his wardrobe yesterday – and that’s unheard of!
    Keep up the good work and enjoy your chocolates. You deserve them!

    • ’just incase’ Incase what? Cardboard becomes a rare commodity and outprices gold?
      I’m glad to know I’m not the only one using humour to conquer clutter! I swear stuff must ride in on the backs of my two boys. I can only imagine how much worse that must be with three. Having a husband who doesn’t throw anything out doesn’t help either. Sometimes I have to laugh to keep myself from crying! Glad your husband is learning. Good for you for setting a target and exceeding it. I’m rooting for you!

  3. YES! More often than not! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the fact that most of us can start something…I don’t believe it’s the starting that is the hard part but rather the “finishing”…and I’ve come to the conclusion that, for me anyway, the “not finishing” is a way of self-sabotaging myself…and many times, even if I know what’s going on, I can’t seem to reverse it!

    One of the things I love about your blog is that it has built in motivators…such as being able to do your de-clutter in “30 minutes with one eye closed”…quick purges and the like…so impressed that you were still able to do your 100 things while feeling totally crappy!

    I’ve had a pile of clothes to donate in our bedroom for several months…it started small and I keep adding to it…yesterday DH asked me if it was ready to go the Re-Use-It Centre…I give him tons of credit for not asking that question many times before…I actually went through the pile and helped him bag most of the stuff of which some was his..sure feels better not to have all that crap piled up beside my side of the bed! Keep on keepin’ on and so will I! :o)

    • Not finishing is the perfect way to self-sabotage. If it weren’t for this blog I’d be dead in the water. It’s tricky trying to outwit your own resistance. Ahhh, the bedside pile is my weakness. I never get around to it because visitors never see it. Good for you for carting it out of there. Good for DH for knowing when to ask about it!

    • After my promise to just make things up about why I feel rotten, I realized I’ve been getting little cracks at the corner of my mouth lately. It can be a symptom of iron or vitamin B deficiency so I’m adding them to my nap and chocolate prescription.
      If I were you, I’d be feeling pretty rotten about someone stealing my image. That’s the kind of thing that would really suck the life out of me. I’m personally offended for you but remember, they can steal your image but they can’t steal your “jaunty.” Good writing and laughter is always the best revenge.

  4. “Rodent co-dependence”?!? Oh my!

    OK… I fear I also suffer from saving cardboard boxes “just in case”. Everything you buy these days breaks, so I always feel like I should keep the boxes until the warranty expires so I can return it if need be. How do you tidy types get around that?

    • That’s such a good question. I guess I just return it without the packaging. Having worked in retail, I’ve seen a lot of things come back without packaging. However, I guess it’s easier to have the original package if you are returning it by mail. I think it comes down to figuring out how many things you return in any given year. I know from your blog that you’re not a big consumer so if you have the space to keep the boxes until the warranty expires that is probably the best thing to do. My problem is that I lose the box anyway so I may as well recycle it immediately.

  5. Okay, is it wrong that I laughed a little when I read “rodent co-dependence”?

    If there is anyone that deserves a little good chocolate in their life right now, I think it’s you! As hard of a time as you are having, I can’t imagine that you won’t feel great when you hit the 10k mark.

    ps. Is that an Escents Aromatherapy roll-on in your bathroom decluttering photo? Before my decluttering days, I did enjoy hoarding spa / bath stuff, which of course included baskets full of Escents goodies… 🙂

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