the happiness project

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happiness Project

I mentioned in my last post that I've been inspired by this book to work on my happiness.  I'd like to think I'm generally a pretty happy person, but I'd like to recognize the joy in my life more instead of getting caught up in the details and daily stresses.

I've decided to devote January to Clearing the Clutter.  It is definitely something that causes me the most stress.  The site of my kitchen counter covered in paper literally makes my body tense up.

Every year around this time I feel the need to purge all the excess stuff in our life.  Perhaps it is about packing up all the Christmas decor, or the inspiration to start the year with a clean slate.  Now that we have Logan, my need to make room for all his new stuff (birthday and Christmas) upon our return from the holidays only emphasizes this desire.  So it only seems natural that I devote this month to clearing all that excess clutter that stresses me out.  Ridding myself of these stresses will allow me to more easily recognize the joy around me, as I know I am very blessed with a wonderful life.

Here are my action items for January:

1. Get rid of the junk.  Clear the drawers, closets, cabinets and the basement.  Even my computer hard drive.  I have far too many digital scrapbooking supplies!
2. Establish a maintanable paper management system.  The plan is to prevent the clutter before it accumulates.
3. Adopt a "one in, two out" lifestyle.  For every non-consumable I purchase, two must be discarded/donated/given away.  For example, every new article of clothing I buy means two need to be removed from my closet.  Every new toy for Logan means two need to be donated or packed away.  I'm hoping to adopt this approach on more than just physical things.  For example, every new blog on my google reader means two I need to unsubscribe (I get a little stressed when I open the reader and see 400 unread posts).  Every digital scrapbooking kit/template I purchase means two need to be deleted.  This might also result in less shopping. :) 
4. Complete two nagging crafty projects.  You may be wondering how this is clutter?  I have 40 unfinished projects laying around, and they take up space and cause me stress.  I have half sewn throw pillows, two quilts in need of binding, an unfinished Christmas gift (sad I know), an incomplete piece of art for Logan's room, 9 blank canvases (literally) planned for various projects, two incomplete mini albums, one incomplete wedding album (yep, married 5 years now), one incomplete project 365 album (2010), two other unfinished decor projects, 4 toddler shirts awaiting applique - I could go on.  Are you stressed yet? :)

So far I am tracking well.  I've cleaned out our junk drawers and most drawers in our our foyer (we have a little dresser there to hold things like batteries, electronics, etc.).  I've discarded unidentifiable chargers and random items (who needs 3 calculators?).  I've cleaned out Logan's closet and all his toys (although that was technically December 30, but who is counting?).

I'll post a roundup/update at the end of the month and every beginning of the month will bring a new target and set of associated resolutions.

Hope you'll start your own Happiness Project!


  1. Your "one in, two out" was a great idea, and I started thinking that is exactly what I would start doing too, until I was horrified to think it would apply to my books! I CAN'T do that with my books!!! Then I got to thinking if I can't do it to my books, can I really do it to anything else? It's causing me great stress right now:)

  2. You'll note I said non-consumables. You go through books like they are consumables. :)


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