Posts tagged ‘cleaning’

Start Fresh


Hello, everyone!  This is Teri Karl, Life Mastery Consultant, and today I’d like to talk about “starting fresh.”  This is a great time of year for starting fresh.  We just had the Spring Equinox, we just had Easter, and it is spring.  So, it’s a time of new beginnings.  And you know the term “spring cleaning.”  So, that’s what I would like to focus on today — is spring cleaning — in all terms of the word.

So, for example, this is a good time to detox your body.  Clean out your body.  Eat lots of good food, lots of good fluids, clean out what’s not needed.  Make some room for the good stuff, the good nutrients to come into your body.  This is a good time to clean out your house — again, spring cleaning, going through your things, deciding what you’d love to keep, what can go.  Cleaning out your garage, when it’s warm enough, depending on where you live.  This is a good time to clear out old finances.  In the U.S. it’s tax season, taxes are due, so get those in, if you haven’t already.  It’s a good time to clear out 2015.  I’m going to be finishing that tonight and getting 2016 welcomed in.  It’s also a good time to clear out your schedule.  Reevaluate.  We talked a little bit about this recently.  Look at the events that are in your calendar and decide what’s adding to you and what needs to go.  Pinpoint. Focus.  That applies to activities.  What are the activities in your life that are adding to you and giving you joy?  And what are the activities that maybe can go?  And finally — and possibly most importantly — is cleaning out your mind, taking a look at what thoughts you’ve been hanging onto this past year, and which ones, again, are giving something to you and helping you grow, and which need to go out the window, out with all the stale air . . . to let in . . . because that’s what you’re doing for yourself when you’re clearing out your body, you’re clearing out your house, you’re clearing out your finances, you’re clearing out your calendar and your mind — you’re making space to receive something better.  And this is a good time.  This is going to be a great year this year.  Big things are coming, and I welcome you to open up that space for yourself.

Have a wonderful rest of your day.  Much love. Many blessings.  See you soon. ❤

Winter Cleansing

"Image courtesy of Iamnee/".

“Image courtesy of Iamnee/”.

Last night, instead of reading or blogging or researching expressive arts (homework) I went on a reorganizing frenzy.  I put dishes away, washed the sink dishes, wiped counters, and cleaned off and reorganized the counter space, moving kitchen equipment that we never use away and out of sight.  I moved the dog cage to the garage — since we haven’t been using it.  I cleaned off and wiped down the divider between the kitchen and living room space. (Originally the objects were there to discourage the cats from entering the kitchen, but we decided that hasn’t been an issue.)   I did a load of towels.  I pulled the metal shelves (not too heavy, but a little difficult to maneuver) from the basement and put them in the garage.  (Brian moved his car before I could scratch it up.  I think I did pretty well with my own, though I don’t really care if it gets scratched.)  I took the gardening odds-and-ends (planters, pots, hoses, soil, fencing, stakes, etc) and put them on the shelves.  I took the recyclables that we are unable to/have not gone to recycle (styrofoam, water bottles and cans that could be worth something, old medicine, old cleaners, light bulbs, batteries, etc) and put those on shelves.  I put the windshield washer fluid and some other car fluid and put those on a shelf.  I put the baseball bats and a rowing oar that Brian found between our house and our neighbor’s on the day of the flood — I hope nobody had to use it! — and put those things on a shelf.  I took our Christmas tree that we moved to the garage after our basement flooded and recycled the old, ruined box — the soaked thing had broken open — and then filled up a whole set of shelves with all of the branches and the plastic interlocking pieces.  I don’t even know what the rest of the stuff in the garage was (I don’t know if Brian even knows), but I put that on shelves, too.  When I was done the garage floor was clean, and I didn’t feel too cold at all, not once throughout a half hour or more of organizing in the cold garage.  (My fingers complained a bit, though.  No gloves on, of course.)  I was so energized and wanting to stay on the freight train of the “Teri cleaning machine” that I continued, organizing a bit of the bedroom, packing up a few things to give away, and then quickly finishing up the kitchen table (i.e. my work space — Brian gets the living room coffee table), as Brian was going up to bed.  I’m a bit tired this morning, but all-in-all, I did a great job, and I feel fantastic! 

Where Do You Spend Your Time?

"Just Awake" courtesy of luigi diamanti/

“Just Awake” courtesy of luigi diamanti/

Time has been on my mind a lot this past month.  It’s something that I want desperately and also something that stresses me out immeasurably.  I know I’ve come to this Earth with many, many lessons to learn.  I have a feeling I’m not even aware of at least half of them.  Today I woke up with the intention to prioritize my time.

How do I spend the majority of my time?  By my estimation, these are the top areas:

1) Sleep  2) Metaphysics  3) Work  4) Worry  5) Facebook/E-mail/Other Internet  6) Castle/Other relaxation.  7) Cleaning

1) The greatest chunk of my day is spent on sleeping (1/3 or more), and I’m still struggling to get up early.  I’m beginning to think that I should just let myself sleep and get things done later in the day.  Since I don’t have an early morning job, my mind and body see no reason to leave happy-subconscious-land.  And so I continue to berate myself — later, having to forgive myself — for not getting up on time.  So, for this week, I’m allowing myself the extra sleep.  I still need to figure out why I don’t want to leave the bed — I know there is something that needs to be addressed there — but for this week I’m not going to fight it, and I’m going to see what happens.

2) I don’t spent tons of time on Metaphysics per say, but I know I’m getting in at least an hour every day between writing down my dreams, doing my exercises, sometimes reading a book for class, and making connections to metaphysics in my daily life.  It is a solid part of me now, and I’m glad for that consistency.

3 and 4)  These two need to go together because most of my worry is about work.  So, I’m either working or worrying about work.  This is something that I’ve been struggling with for a long time.  I thought it would go away when I left teaching full-time, and then teaching part-time.  Alas, the worries still hound me.  So, I’ve finally figured out that it’s not the job.  It’s me. I think staying in the moment could be a big help here.  Also, more time management.

5) I don’t spend as much time on the Internet as I have in the past.  I’m not on it as long.  But now I’m just checking it more frequently.  And now that I’m waiting to hear about a very exciting job opportunity, I feel I have even more of an excuse to come running back to my laptop every hour. (More on that in a future post.)  This is an area where I can definitely start looking at how I spend my time. (*I checked Facebook at least once while writing this blog.)

6) Something that Brian and I like to do together is watch a show together.  Though the shows are enjoyable, they are generally 45 minutes long, and one episode can turn into 2, or sometimes 3.  That’s 1.5 or 2ish hours gone from each day that I could be spending on creative outlets. So, this is another area I would like to explore.

7) Cleaning.  Ugh.  I do like cleaning sometimes.  In fact, I become an overly-zealous cleaner when I’m avoiding #3.  However, overall it seems to take so much time and effort, and neither Brian or I are neat-freaks, so preparing for company can be quite an ordeal.  We keep things pretty picked up for the most part, but the actual de-furring, dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing are a struggle.  Mostly we are weekend warriors (or at least, I am) who spend half the day cleaning before a big event at our place.  This gets the job done, but, again, it’s a struggle and pretty unpleasant.  My latest cleaning project has been our new fish tank (new for us, but we got it off of Craigslist, so quite a bit of cleaning and prep has been required) that I plan on finishing after this post.  (Mind is beginning to worry about it as I type this.)

8) Yes, I know there’s no number 8.  This is the number that should be up there at the top.  It’s my creativity time.  Thankfully, I’m off to a good start today.  My tutoring lessons were cancelled for today, so I took the opportunity to write this blog, and I already feel much better for having done it.  I’m still struggling with resisting play time/creative time.  You’d think it would be easy to have fun, but I think creativity has seemed like another job/chore that I’m supposed to do each day, and that’s the mentality I’ve got to change.  Clearly playing around on the Internet and Castle are a lot easier for me to fall into, so I need to make sure my play time doesn’t resemble work time so much.

That’s my current status.  I’d like to see where I am in a week.  Also, I need to blog every day again.  I’m going to add that consistency to my daily metaphysics exercises.  I’m already in that habit, so I’m just going to pretend they go together.  So, you will be hearing from me again tomorrow. 🙂

I’m At THAT Point

"Young Asian Boy With Hand Sign" courtesy of arztsamui/

“Young Asian Boy With Hand Sign” courtesy of arztsamui/

You know when you haven’t done something in a while, and it keeps looking bigger and harder to you until you question if you could/should do it at all?  I’m at that point.  With quite a few things in my life actually.  And blogging is one of them.  And I know perfectionism is creeping in again, preventing me from getting anything done.  So, my goal for this week is to be “sloppy.”  Just do a sloppy job on everything, so it gets done.  Now, will it really be “sloppy”?  Probably not.  It will be just fine.  But my perfectionistic side will think it’s sloppy, and it will be satisfied that I’m labeling it as such.  Is this healthy?  I don’t know.  But at least I know it will get things done!

Things that I intend to do a satisfactory job on this week:

1. Blogging every day again.

2. Cleaning up the house. (every day)

3. Finishing up grading for report cards.

4. Updating my vlog profile on letsvlog and making another video

5. Writing (non-blog) every day.

6. Doing something job-search related/life purpose related every day.

7. Exercising every day.

Potential future posts:

1. Welcome to the School of Metaphysics

2. More Numerology!

3. Transcribing Intuitive Reports

4. Car to the Doc

5. The End of An Era

6. Dream Attack

This Week’s Accomplishments — Top 10

"Stars Abstract" courtesy of digitalart/

“Stars Abstract” courtesy of digitalart/ 

(“You’ve earned a gold star!”)

For some reason I tend to get bogged down and low when the toughest part of the week is over.  (Why? I ask myself: “Why???”)  In my effort to combat this trend and lift my spirits, I present here my accomplishments for the week:

1. Clearing out my living space. Most of my teaching books were moved out of the office and into the basement, and then out of the basement and out to the tutoring center.  Yay for clearing!  Then, I moved most of my Spanish teaching books from the office back to school.  (Soon I won’t be able to recognize that office room anymore!)

2. Taxes = Completed.  Inevitably attempting taxes will result in extreme agitation, a pain matched only by my intense grading sessions.  Thankfully, I managed to complete my taxes in one evening over the course of 3.5 hours, so the experience was contained and short-lived.

3. The hardest part of my week is over. The teaching and the majority of my tutoring is done for the week.  (I have one student on Sunday, and then I pick up again with more tutoring on Monday.)

4. The majority of my grading is done. I had open conferences on Thursday and was able to knock out a majority of my grading AND get a few needed odds-and-ends done.

5. I’ve been blogging every day. I think I’ve missed a day or two over the last few weeks, but I think I’ve made every day of this week.  Sometimes I don’t want to post because I think my blog is dumb and no one will be interested, but I’ve been able to push through that self-criticism and just get done what I’ve set out to do, knowing you win some, and you lose some.

6. I’ve been exercising at least every other day. This week has been tough, but with the mindset that I should be doing some sort of exercise every day, I’ve at least got that habit in place, even if I miss some.  Sunday was housecleaning.  Monday was Zumba.  Tuesday was walking around the school hallways.  Wednesday was dancing around the house.  Thursday I missed one.  Friday was yoga.  Today will be Zumba again.

7. Student successes.  I’m sure I have many small successes that I may not even be aware of.  But more recently I had a mom of one of my more reluctant tutoring students tell me that she had asked her daughter if she wanted to skip today, and the girl had said no, that she wanted to come in. (Yay!)  Also, another tutoring student who has had trouble getting anything done at all during our sessions has been much more focused the last few weeks.

8. I’m still vegetarian. I’m half-way through my 4th month of being a vegetarian, and I’m still hanging in there.  Almost cheated a bit Thursday out of necessity, but I couldn’t even do it.  (I may post more about that later.)

9. I’m limiting added sugars and salty snacks. I’ve been limiting myself to chocolate (mostly dark) and Shaklee salty snacks, and I’m still going pretty strong.  I had trouble turning down some round, sweet snacks on Pi Day at the school (out of politeness, believe it or not), but I limited myself to small pieces and bites and did just fine.  I wasn’t even upset about missing out on having more of the treats.  The only time I really struggled was when I hadn’t had enough to eat in general and then everything looked absolutely fabulous to eat during those times.

10. Following up with my life coach homework. I’ve been doing fairly well with my assignments from my life coach, already done with the major part of my assignment for this week (jotting down a list of interesting job titles).  The next step is to look more deeply into the healing professions, something I’ve already begun but need to look into a little more closely.

Well done, Teri!  I’m looking forward to another great week!

Time’s Up

I am determined to create a new habit that I’ve never been able to form:  time limits.  When I was in Honors 5th grade, my parents had a conference with my teacher about the hours and hours I was spending every night on homework.  My teacher couldn’t believe I was spending so much time and suggested that I put a time limit on my work.  I was to give myself a specific amount of time for an activity, and when the time was up, I had to stop.  This never worked for me.  As a semi-perfectionist, I found the thought of not finishing an assignment completely appalling.

Unfortunately, this is why I procrastinate.  They say that perfectionism and procrastination go hand-in-hand, and I can attest that it is certainly true for me.  And knowing myself and that I want my work to be completely perfect, and knowing I could take forever on it, I put it off.  Thus, procrastination is my survival form of time management.  If I put something off until the night before, I know that I will have only that night to work on it.  I will have to get it done during that time, or it will not get done.

Though this system has worked for me, it is clearly not ideal.  The deadline looms in front of me, and it’s all I can think about, even as I’m working on other things.  Stress and worry are not worth the time I save by procrastinating.

So, my new plan is 1/2 hour chunks.  And to get myself to do what that fifth grade teacher attempted, so long ago.  When my 1/2 hour is finished, I am done. (with 5 minutes lee-way!)

How has this worked so far?  Well, it’s worked a little.  I have been able to keep my writing to a half hour.  It’s fairly easy to keep exercise to a half hour, too.  But, cleaning was a disaster.  Do you remember when I mentioned that I have a hard time stopping an activity at a 1/2 hour?  Wednesday I began my 1/2 chunk plan and spent a total of 5 hours cleaning.  Yes, 5 hours.  I have justified this by deciding I did not need to do any cleaning for the next five days, to free up extra time for the activities I did not get done, i.e. practicing and schoolwork.  Also, it’s Spring Break, so it’s a great time to get some housecleaning done.  The basement looks much better, the living room looks great, the kitchen area is much improved. . .  etc etc

And I think they key to this plan working is scheduling in free time.  I think that was the problem all long.  How am I going to get all of my half hours done AND free time?  I don’t know.  But, here’s the daily plan:

  • 1/2 hour practicing clarinet
  • 1/2 hour writing
  • 1/2 hour exercise
  • 1/2 hour schoolwork (grading/planning)
  • 1/2 hour cleaning
  • 1/2 hour career development
  • 1 hour free time

What am I going to do on nights that I have orchestra and band?  Not sure yet.  I’ll probably have to knock half of those out (including practicing, obviously).

Well, cleaning, writing, exercise, and free time are done for today. (Got my hair done! :-))  Time to tackle the other 3 bad boys (girls?).  Clock is ticking. . .

<p><a href=”″>Image: photostock /</a></p>

A Whole Lotta Clutter

Today Brian and I went up to our friend’s house to help them move some furniture around in preparation for some new wood flooring. The house they’ve been gradually renovating came right out of the 60’s/70’s, and the old shaggy gold carpet and brown linoleum tiling had to go.

But instead of being inspired by this experience to go renovate my own home, I had the desire to run home and expel all superfluous objects from my own residence.  Much of my work today involved removing various nick-knacks and scores of delicate drink ware, and then returning them after the furniture had been relocated to another room.

As we worked, I heard comments of “We never use these”, and “He says he has to have these for sentimental reasons.”  As I helped packed wine glass after wine glass, beer stouts, and multiple sets of China, I tried to think of what we might have stuffed on our basement shelves, under our stairs, in drawers and cabinets, under the beds, on end tables, and in closets.  What was the point of having all that stuff?  Was there some innate human need to just have things?

I think these are the most dangerous words to any hoarder (or to any person trying to do some spring cleaning): But, I might use this“.  Like the cake storage container and muffin tins that I might use — if I actually baked.   And the various single-use kitchen gadgets and ceramic containers that I might use —  if I actually cooked.  What about all of those Christmas ornaments and the  Oaxacan pottery that I could display — if I were to start trusting my rambunctious cats?  Then, of course, there are the random clothing accessories that might be useful for a future Halloween costume. . .

All I know I know is I do not want my things to tie me down.  And if I ever need to move again, I do not want to be packing up and making space for objects whose only function has been collecting dust.

Image: Bill Longshaw /

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