clearing the clutter: the PVR and endless lipglosses

After going through the Making Things Happen Intensive (key word...INTENSIVE), in Chapel Hill North Carolina...a blog post chronicling the experience is nothing short of expected.

My brain is telling me to put it all into words, and slot in pictures as I go, regaling my 3 days, the 8 wonderful speakers, and the 100 other dreamers in the room. 

The first post is the hardest.

And I'm not ready to write it right now. So here's the second post instead. 

It won't be about the people I met, or the things I wrote down in my little Making Things Happen moleskin notebook. It will be about TODAY.

Some of the most amazing things happened during my time away in Chapel Hill, and it entirely had to do with being SILENT, not just literally but mentally CLEAR in order to listen for what is truly important in this life. 

One of the things I was most nervous for as I prepared for the Intensive, was handing over my cell phone each morning and not getting it back until close to 7pm. When I read that sentence back to myself, it makes me sick. What does that say about my values?

I had made a significant investment to attend a workshop with some of the most inspiring people I've ever come by, and I was worried about missing the latest instagrams, tweets, and statuses on Facebook? I was worried about not being able to check my emails as soon as they came in?

Real life is SO much more important than my iPhone. 

Repeat that. 

Real life is SO much more important than my iPhone. 

After a lot of reflection about the way I spend my time, I realized that my PVR was actually governing the way I spend my days.

Real life is SO much more important than my PVR. 

Real life is more important than being caught up on the Kardashians, or New Girl, or Big Bang Theory, or having seen every celebrity interview on Conan. 

Sorry Conan...real life is more important. 

So in my Action List (more on all this stuff later, promise), I wrote that as soon as I got home, I would delete all of my PVR timers except for the 5 shows that are most important to me. 

(And in order to survive this without hyperventilating, 
I deemed all Real Housewives franchises to be one show, 
since they run at different times
 of the year...phew.)

I really didn't know just how many PVR timers I had set, so true to my Action List, when I got home from the airport, that's where I headed. 

Seventy-five timers. 

Repeat that. 


No wonder I found myself with too little time in the day to do the things that truly mattered!! No wonder I'd skip the gym sometimes -- there was just too much to get caught up on! gross is that?!

For those of you TV ladies -- you know who you are, and we've probably had hour long chats about every single one of the shows I had PVR'd -- here are the 5 shows I've held on to...

Real Housewives
Big Brother
Grey's Anatomy

And I need my future self to know that this was HARD. Really, really hard. One of my struggles comes with wanting to be caught up; always, always caught up. I want to know references to every single show on TV! I want to be part of the conversation! I want to watch every show and movie that gets nominated for an award...

But what I've realized is that I don't want to miss out on REAL LIFE at the expense of missing out on conversations about "reality" television. 

Because that is just crazy. 

But trust me when I say that it was hard. 

The next step was to take this decluttering step in every other facet of my daily life. 

My iPhone.

My Google Reader. 

My home. 

Once all my shows were deleted, I didn't really have anything to do (SHOCKER!), so I made a calendar for the week, and put one or two very simple decluttering tasks on each day. Things like "throwing out all the old bottles of crap in my bathroom cupboards."

That particular example was on my calendar for Saturday, and it only took me about 30 minutes to do it. I sat on the floor with a garbage bag (and an Aaron Carter CD blasting in the background to make me feel good) and got rid of things like:

35 half finished bottles of lotion...
24 old lipglosses and chapsticks...
5 empty shampoo bottles...
8 empty conditioner bottles...
approximately 900 bent bobby pins...
and makeup that went out of style in 1999

How liberating to see my 3 bathroom cupboards almost completely empty! I felt like I had room to BREATHE!

I simply can't wait until I've been able to tackle everything in my entire house. Seriously...I am FIRED UP by decluttering right now.

This post probably seems like it came out of nowhere, but I want to share a couple of ideas that have changed my thinking, and I want to do so in a way that is purposeful...and blasting out a review post of the Making Things Happen Intensive just isn't the right thing for me right now. 

All in good time. 

P.S...all of these gorgeous photos are from LARA CASEY'S blog
which is a serious GEM on the internet, and if you haven't already checked it out, 
I urge you to do so whenever you find a moment :)


  1. You're such an inspiration Laura - what an awesome post!! :)

  2. I'm going to start doing this next week!! Decluttering my entire life. LOVE this post, and excited to see more just like it.

  3. Wow! Good for you! I totally need to cut down on the TV watching. I don't own a PVR because I know I'll watch WAY WAY WAY too much TV.


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