How Clutter Affects Us

Clutter Affects Us

Clutter Can Be Bringing You Down, And You May Not Even Know It

Clutter is more than having a little too much “stuff” in your home. It is not about having too little space or not enough time to keep your belongings organized.

Being surrounded by clutter usually originates from an inability to throw things away. Over time, if left unchecked, what started as “a few too many things” can grow into compulsive hoarding.

Living surrounded by clutter is very different to being a collector of something. Scientific evidence shows that clutter or hoarding can be a symptom of a specific internal mental disorganization. It is a subtle form of procrastination and usually comes at the expense of a functional living space.

Home Clutter

You may think that the messy piles of papers gathering dust on your desk, and your kitchen filled with unused knick-knacks, are worlds apart from hoarders who cannot access rooms in their house due to stacks of newspapers going back to 1972. However, studies indicate that all of these traits derive from the same place.

Because de-cluttering is a cognitive process, hoarders are usually good at justifying why something should be kept. Perhaps it’s by putting additional nostalgic or emotional value upon items, making them harder to part with. Or maybe it’s due to the practical reasons why something may come in useful someday.  From mementos, to clothing, to gadgets, hoarders are very good at not throwing anything away.

Many times it’s unintentional. The classic example of this is when you use your garage for  a storage area. After a while, you can end up with a hoarders paradise: two old fridges, that old sectional, mattress and kitchen table you didn’t want to put on the curb. It’s time to let go!

What’s the Big Deal Anyways?

So, it may be messy, but is there really any harm? Well, yes. Clutter can be very bad for both your physical and mental health.

Clutter

Firstly, clutter can be a real safety concern. Excessive amounts of clutter can harbor mold, mildew, and accumulate dust, causing respiratory issues. A home filled with flammable stacks of magazines, or cardboard boxes of documents, or old electrical devices, is more of a fire hazard. Narrowing passageways become more difficult to traverse and can cause injury. All of this leads to an unhealthy living space.

An uncluttered environment is not only very important for your physical wellbeing, it can have a drastic impact on your mental state too. Living with clutter has been found to raise levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, leading to heightened anxiety, fatigue, and depression.

Living in a home filled with clutter with inevitably lead to disorganization. Time will be wasted looking for lost things. Frantic searches for keys can become a daily occurrence. In addition, costs can mount up as lost items need to be replaced. If bills are mislaid, late fees on overdue payments can arise. All of this causes more stress unnecessarily.

Clutter can also be distracting

Clutter can also be distracting. You may not realize it, but constantly being surrounded by excessive clutter can get in the way of your ability to focus. Piles of laundry, stacks of papers, junk drawers crammed to excess, all of this may be over-stimulating your visual cortex causing you to be more distracted.

Donate to a charity shop. Throw out old newspapers. Go through those storage boxes. Call up a hauling company who can haul away all your stuff. Buy a Bagster from your local Home Depot. Or contact a company like AZ Junk who will do both: haul away unwanted items, or pickup your Bagster. Not only will your home be a more pleasant place to spend time, your physical and mental health with greatly benefit from removing the clutter from your life.

Slight setback in the training

I think I may have done too much. Running on a broken toe may not have been such a grand idea, but I was too stubborn to stop right after I started. I am still running, but doing the AdvoCare Can You 24 Level 2 videos was killing my toe because of the pushups and lunges.

When running, you can easily manipulate your stride and the placement of your foot when it hits the ground…when doing a pushup, the only way to not “hit the ground” is to have your toes just right…and it wasn’t working.

So, back to the drawing board. I am still running…in fact, doing the C25k program with the ladies in town has made me realize just how ready I am to start running again. I even had a wedding to set up for on Saturday morning and still went and ran beforehand which definitely proved to me that I was serious. If I can squeeze it in, I am going to. It feels so good.

I will register this week for the half in Vegas. So excited to see my long lost friends out there that I have missed so much since we moved. It is going to be amazing to see them all again as well as achieve this goal.

I will say, I am super blessed that my daughter is active and enjoys being active. Each time we go to run, she goes with. She doesn’t always last the whole time, but it is just nice that she is out there with me and keeping me motivated.

This coming holiday weekend is a busy one. A ton of graduation parties to go to, one to decorate for, and then a cake to bake for another. Cant wait to show those off. Meanwhile, I have a few hats to make for newborn twin girls, and of course, a few shirts.

It doesn’t get much better than that:) A busy week yet again. A small setback, but not the end. Having to slow down only makes me want it more. I am definitely going to fulfill this dream and going to tackle it one mile at a time.

Where have I been?

Where have I been? I feel super guilty that I have been so busy and not been able to blog much at all lately. I know that the reasons are good, but I also miss it. Like….a lot! I miss the relationships that I was building. I miss the excitement of finding out something I created was featured. I miss getting excited about all the new people I was interacting with. I miss it all. But… I have been so busy.

Let me back up a bit. Last September, (yeah, that long ago), I was back in Illinois for a friend’s wedding. While helping her with all the planning, I had to go to this little place called Kreative Rentals to meet with her decorators. I walked into the showroom and literally said “Oh my…this is my heaven!” There are vases, floral, linens, and more…it’s a crafty girls’ dream! Well, the owners at the time were apparently looking to sell and mentioned it to me. So of course, I told the hubs! I was giddy, I was pumped, and I was freaking out! If I bought this business, that would mean that the hubs would go back to Germany, and I would stay here in my little hometown in Illinois with Miss M….alone. Lots of decisions to think about. I already wanted to stay here because Germany and I didn’t get along very well. It was either rainy or thinking about being rainy the entire time I was living there…and well…that wears on a person. I was going to miss my hubs like crazy. I already knew that. But it is temporary.

So the planning (and panicking) began. I was getting things ready to own the business, already meeting with new clients, and getting very excited about this new adventure. All the while, I was still crocheting for friends, family and others, making wedding gifts with and for friends, and of course, spending time with the little one as she ventured into her new school.

I ended up buying the business on December 14, 2012 and it has been great. Doing Bridal Fairs in the local area, and meeting with some amazing clients has been a dream!

There are times where I get really scared that I messed up and made the wrong decision and that maybe it will hurt our marriage…but then I remember that the majority of our relationship has been apart. Either him working crazy stupid hours, or deployed…so it’s not much different…except now I have my family around to help out when needed. Which thankfully they are here because I have needed them a lot.

Back to the blogging. I continued doing the Fantabulous Friday’s so that I could still see what everyone was doing. But, then I ran out of time. I didn’t want my blog to ever just be a linky party blog and so I stopped because that was all I had time for. I currently have 33 brides/events that I am decorating for 2013 and a few for 2014 already lined up. It is very exciting, but also very time-consuming. No two weddings are the same so it’s not like you can just pick a package and walk away from it. You have to plan and re-plan and organize each individual one. I FREAKING LOVE IT THOUGH!

I just got done making hair pieces for a bride and her bridal party and I love the way they turned out. I am hoping to share them with you soon after I get them to her.

The hubs is going to be looking soon (I hope) for a job back here and then we can all be together again…including the cat. I can’t believe I actually miss that little cat.:) But I definitely do.

I hope you all will still check back in from time to time and see what I have been up to and hopefully there will be lots to share with you once wedding season starts! I miss you all and thank you for the continued support.

Knock Off Striped Hat

I have been in hiding lately…not for any other reason other than the fact that I have been super busy! I made this about a month ago but still wanted to share it with you all! I am kind of in love with it!

A friend showed me this picture from the Kate Spade website and asked me if I could make it. I hadn’t ever done a striped hat before to this level, but was definitely up for the challenge. I headed out to the store, picture in hand, and picked out the yarn colors. I told her that I wasn’t going to knit it because I don’t have the patience for that right now, but I would crochet it.

The first time I was doing it, I was cutting off some of the tails and I clipped right through the hat….MAJOR FAIL! I was so upset! But, back at it I went! The final product is exactly what she wanted and she loved it so I was super happy.

The one major thing I learned after many tries (and I mean MANY) was how to fix the bottom rim of the hat so that when it is folded up it doesn’t look like a different stitch. Instead of crocheting in the round (meaning switching the colors and continuing working counter-clockwise), I would switch colors and turn. This made it so that the stitches looked the same both on the outside and inside of the hat. It worked perfectly!!

Let me know what you think!:) I would love to hear your thoughts.

Wedding Purses

Hi there!! You may remember that I made some purses for the bridesmaids of my friends upcoming wedding. Well… since those turned out so well, the mothers decided that they would like to have some as well. When I got back to the states, we went and picked out the fabric for each of the mothers/step-mothers. I am so happy with the way they look. Each one goes with the ladies’ dresses so well and it is perfect!

This first one is just brown fabric with a sheer brown/gold overlay with two peacock feathers under the sheer fabric. Love it!!

 

Loving this one!! Silver fabric to go with the mother’s dress and a simple brooch on a fabric yo-yo flower:) Super easy!

 

This one is the same concept as the first but with different feathers and different fabric. It matches the dress perfectly and I love it!!

 

This last one is adorable! I love the ribbon lace on it that makes it look old fashioned!

I would love to hear what you think! The mother’s were very happy so that makes it all worth it!

Crochet Hook Organizer

As part of the Hookin’…the legal way series!! that I had in June (which you can find on the sidebar over there ——->) I got the opportunity to work with Living in Amethyst on Etsy. Her shop has such amazing patterns! I love them all. I purchased this Lily Crochet Hook Organizer from her and I am so happy! I have made two so far! One for myself, and one as part of the Hookin’…the legal way!! Part 5, a giveaway and link party!!** Now closed**

The first one I made was in grey and mustard colored yarn and I love it!! I made this one with the 18 slots for the crochet hooks. I am always losing my crochet hooks, but now they are all in one place and I don’t have to worry about it. Plus, what’s better than having something made using crochet, to hold all your crochet hooks! I am so happy I got this pattern!

The pattern was really easy to follow. Just basic stitches and each pattern I have purchased from her has been amazing. Very detailed and thorough. I like that. It’s hard when you find a pattern that is hard to follow after you spent money on it;). This one was well worth the money!

This is the second one I made. It holds 12 crochet hooks. I love these colors because they are very summer-y. Yes, that’s totally a word! This one is made from Lion Brand yarns in Lullaby Pink and Peachy. They are super soft and very easy to work with!

You also have a chance to win this one that I made if you stop by the giveaway here!

Let me know what you think? How do you keep your crochet hooks organized?

Pretty Pink Pettiskirt

Miss M’s birthday is just around the corner and she will be turning 6. This year, we are having a princess themed party as you may already know if you saw the invitations. I have already looked on Pinterest for some inspiration for her party and I almost have everything done that can be done;). It is taking up a lot of time!! But, that’s okay…because she’s a princess:) Or so she seems to think.

I knew that I wanted her to have a full skirt like a pettiskirt, but I really didn’t want to have to make one:). I went online and ordered a dress for her to wear at her party that had a pettiskirt like bottom to it. I was so excited about it, but then when it got here, it was too small. Story of my life. Luckily, the same day I ordered the dress, I ordered some fabric to make a  pettiskirt as a backup incase it didn’t work out. I am so glad I did!!

I have been wanting to make a pettiskirt ever since I saw the tutorial at Make It Love It. Her tutorial is absolutely amazing and so easy to follow. I do not have a ruffling foot on my sewing machine, so I did the tension/stitch length technique and it worked perfectly! While there is a lot of fabric that has to be ruffled, it really did go fast for that part. Keeping the ruffles untwisted was where I wanted to pull my hair out, so if anyone has any tips that would be AMAZING! I am not going to lie and say it was a quick project because it literally took forever and was a mess with all the fabric that was used, but the end result is totally worth it. I also love that the waistband is adjustable with the tie ribbon so that as long as her duddies are not showing, she will be wearing this for a while:) It took all I had not to try it on because it is so soft and cute! Maybe another day;)

I could not be happier. She got to see it yesterday and was so pumped that it was so full and pretty! I will still have to make a shirt for her to wear, and probably a headband, but that’s easy stuff.

I cannot wait to see it all together with the headband and shirt on the day of her party! She is so excited to be dressed for the part of the princess!!

Do you have any tips for making a pettiskirt or things that worked for you while making one

Princess Crown Birthday Banner

This little Princess Crown bunting banner was displayed at Miss M’s Princess Birthday Party that I shared here. I was pretty limited as far as what I could hang at the party because the location that we rented would not allow things to be hung or taped to the walls. It was very frustrating. But, I made this bunting banner for the main food table in order to be able to display the words “Happy Birthday” as necessary!!:)

I had originally wanted to do the triangular bunting like normal, but when I saw this shape at the Silhouette store, I absolutely had to try it out.

I cut out every other letter in “Happy Birthday” in purple or pink. Then the opposite was used as the color for the crown. Using double-sided scrapbooking tape, I attached the letters to the crowns. Super easy!

The last part to do was to add the holes in the crowns to string it onto the yarn to hang in front of the table. This was just done with a hole puncher. I suppose I could have done it with the Silhouette while I was cutting everything out, but this worked just as well. Using one strand that was 7 feet for the word “Happy” and another 8 foot long strand for the word “Birthday”, white yarn was used to string it in the front of the table which was 6 ft long. Because the holes from the hole puncher were quite a bit bigger than the yarn, it was rather easy to move the crowns around in order to center them properly on the table. It worked out perfectly.

My little princess had a beautiful and matching princess crown bunting banner that she just loved to wish her a special happy birthday. Thanks for stopping by!

Victorian Inspired Clutch

I made this clutch for my “secret swap” person through the Handmade Gift Exchange going on at Craftaholics Anonymous. Not going to lie, I am pretty nervous. I have never made something for someone who didn’t flat-out request what they wanted. This time, I was given a wish list to show me her tastes, and I am hoping she is going to like this.
The person that was selected for me in the swap liked Victorian things. What the heck does Victorian mean? Yeah, good ol’ Pinterest got me through that one;) I had no idea! Everything I found was lacy and ornate. I knew I had some lace to use (well an old lace shirt that I don’t wear anymore), so I started to brainstorm. Then I finally decided on making a clutch. Everyone likes clutches right? Ok…well I do! 🙂 In fact, I love them! So, I made this cute little clutch for her using a fat quarter piece of fabric I had lying around.

 

I really do like how it turned out so I am hoping she does!! We shall see! Fingers crossed!!!

DIY Burp Cloths

This week I made some DIY Burp cloths for a friend that is having a baby boy soon! The fabric was purchased on Etsy from Cuddles & More. I absolutely love these fabrics! It’s a very soft flannel and the colors are so cute! I ordered a fat quarter bundle as was able to get two pattern pieces out of each fat quarter. It worked out perfectly! I ordered some girl flannel as well and I cannot wait to use it!

I used a pattern from Cloud9fabrics in order to make the burp cloths. I really like the contoured shape of them as they lay nicely over your shoulder. The pattern pieces are available for free and to print directly from her site. I will definitely be making more in the future. I think I just might need a little boy…or one that I can dress up from afar;) Don’t get me wrong, I love pinks and purples, but after awhile, you need a break from the same colors!
What do you think? Do you have any other burp cloth patterns that I could try
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