The Fledgling Journey

Navigating a Good Life One New Experience at a Time

Month: November 2017

How Identifying Different Kinds of Clutter Can Help You Banish it For Good

In one of Gretchen Rubin’s books (I forget which one, but go read them all, each is sprinkled with pearls of wisdom), she describes how identifying the kinds of clutter can help you sort out your things and decide whether to keep them. I’ve outlined a few that she identifies below, but you should definitely read her books because she goes into much more detail.


This is the kind of clutter that reminds you of something positive.  Many times gifts I’ve received fall in this category. I might not use it but it reminds me of someone I care about and the thought they put into giving me a gift. If I ever give someone a gift and they don’t find it useful, I would want them to give it up to make room for something they do find useful. I think people who have given me gifts feel the same way, so this is how I reason through separating with these items.

Conservation Clutter

These are things that are useful, though not to you. For example, I have a slow cooker that I use about twice per year. I also have a cake stand that is rarely used. They are useful things, but if I’m only using them a couple of times per year, they’re probably not useful enough for me to keep.


Crutch Clutter

This group includes worn out things you still hold on to. My favorite pair of sweatpants fall in this category, They have holes and frayed edges but I just keep wearing them.

Aspirational Clutter

These are things you aspire to use. For me it’s a set of barre workout DVDs. I’ve probably only used them once, but my ideal self uses them all the time.

Buyers Remorse Clutter

This includes things that you’ve bought and not used but can’t seem to part with yet. I do this a lot with clothes. I’ve spent money on it, so I feel obligated to keep it, but if I’m not wearing it, it needs to go!

How to Get Rid of It

1. Make sure it’s going to a good home

It helps me to know that my things are going to a good place. If I know someone who can use it, I love giving it to them. I have a neighborhood Buy Nothing group on Facebook where we trade items and I’ve given away a lot of things on there. Otherwise finding an organization you know will benefit from your item is helpful. I also like selling things and using the money toward something I want or need. Ebay or Offer Up are great places to sell.

2. Give yourself a Deadline

Sometimes I try to give myself a deadline on using an item I’m thinking about parting with.  l’ll tell myself that if I haven’t used it by the end of the month, it has to go. Setting a phone reminder is a good way to keep track of that.

3. Hide it

Using the out of sight, out of mind method,  you take the things you’re thinking of getting rid of and hide them in a box or under your bed. If you haven’t used the hidden items within a certain amount of time, you get rid of them. The trick is, you can’t resort through those items once that allotted amount of time has passed. You have to take that closed box or bag and give the items away without looking at them a second time.

4. Keep track of what you use

Another method is the “keep what I use” method. This works well for clothes. You can turn all your hangers and hang all the items hooked toward you at the beginning of a season. Then when you use an item and put it back, you put the hanger back on the rod hooked away from you. At the end of the season you look at the items still hooked toward you and give them away since they haven’t been used.

Friday Favorites

Hello and happy Friday! I’m a little behind today, but better to post late than never, right? As I look outside it’s actually snowing here in Seattle. It isn’t sticking, but people here will probably talk about it for a couple of weeks. We rarely get snow, so it’s cause for celebration. Or at least a conversation starter 🙂 Onto Friday favorites


Cardboard safari makes cardboard animal heads, tables, and a slew of other things. One artist took a cardboard piece and worked it into something really creative! I love it.



I just learned about these and they look like a lot of fun. Apparently they are very popular in Europe and my goal is to basically be European. Bougie I know. There are definitely a few for sale on ebay. Hmmm…


Number 2 is Boise. Boise is practically Seattle’s next-door neighbor, but I’ve never been. I’m tying to decide if i agree with the rest of the list. Number 7 shocked me.


Her fourth rule is true for me “Write what you know: your own interests, feelings, beliefs, friends, family and even pets will be your raw materials when you start writing.” People I know will find little pieces of themselves in my work but an entire character is NEVER a complete replica of someone I know. Fictionalizing my experiences and relationships is a cathartic experience. Even if the only person that ever reads it is me. But hey, maybe it will be published someday. Only time will tell.


And You Tube. She is definitely in the same season of life as me and speaking my language! I am enjoying all the books she recommends and her advice for traveling solo, establishing a morning routine, and much more.

That’s all for now. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Working on it Wednesday

This is a day late, but I guess it’s better late than never, right? I have a 30×30 31×31 goal/bucket/project list that I’m chipping away at – 31+ things to do by the time I turn 31. I previously ignored this list for months and finally realized I need to plan ahead if these are truly things I want to do. I’m checking in on Wednesdays, which is helping me keep track of my progress and keeping me accountable.

October Projects

Things I Worked on or Finished:

  1. Continue reading Lord of the Rings — I’ve only read a few more pages. Still plugging away. I took it to work so I can read it on breaks.
  2. Update blog travel — uploaded a lot of photos, working on descriptions
  3. Work on podcast ideas  — made a lot of progress. Need to do some recording, get some music, and finish the art
  4. Bought a new DSLR camera — so excited to use it!
  5. Promote blog on Pinterest – made a few pins, but need to do more
  6. Complete 5 year journal entries for month of October
  7. Create a Seattle food & drink spots to try list – still a work in progress, but you can find it here. Let me know if you have any suggestions
  8. Watch an AFI Top 100 Movie — I watched Lawrence of Arabia and am working on Dr. Strangelove
  9. Finish up retirement account rollover — Mostly done. Just a few last pieces to check on.
  10. Work on dad’s birthday present — Talked to my mom about it. I need to make a to do list with some deadlines.
  11. Make 3 items for Etsy shop — Sewed one scarf, working on another

Things I didn’t do:

  1. Learn to make another classic cocktail — I’m not drinking much these days but still want to try this
  2. Reading Mansfield Park — I have about 200 pages left
  3. Try a new Skillshare class
  4. Don’t complain for 1 day — going to skip this for now

Next month I am going to keep working on these things. I have enough going on that I don’t think taking on something new will be helpful. What worked this month was really focusing on what I want to do. For these kinds of goals, if I really don’t want to do it, what’s the point? Even if there isn’t much to report, it’s nice to have these Working on it Wednesday checkins as reminders.

That’s it for now. Warm wishes to you on this Wednesday 🙂

What fires you up or slows you down?

I stumbled across Katelin’s blog on Pinterest and found this link really useful.

How to BEAT Procrastination & SPARK Motivation

Definitely watch her video. One piece of advice she gave is to look at your tasks under the lens of what slows you down and what fires you up. Figure out how can you do more of what fires you up and less of what slows you down. It might include outsourcing things other people can do or setting time limits on  slow tasks.

Katelin also advises looking at tasks under the lens of what’s maintenance and what’s growth. For example, if something can help you further your goals, then it’s a priority. Maintaining tasks need management, but can probably get less of your attention. She describes the example of answering emails vs reaching out to prospective clients or studying a new language…whatever that task is that will move you forward.

I need to give those “firing up” and “growth” tasks my best time of day. For me, that’s night time. After 7 pm is usually when I come alive and feel most alert and creative. For you it might mean doing your firing up tasks in the morning. Just don’t do your growth tasks after lunch. I know zero people whose most productive time is after lunch. Seriously.

I also heard advice (I can’t remember where)that you should put a check mark next to things only you can do and circle things you can do easily and are good at. Put those circled and checked tasks at the top of your list and make them your priority.  See if the rest can be outsourced or bumped down to the bottom of your list.

I want to share these ideas today because they are helping me a lot as I try to work on different projects and ideas I have. It’s really hard for me to choose one to focus on.

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween and happy November 1st!