Tag Archives: donations

Continuing To Support My Friend’s Place (or Learning New Ways To Help Others)

I’ve written a few times in the past about My Friend’s Place. It’s an amazing organization that helps homeless youth in Los Angeles. So many organizations to help the homeless focus on adults and their needs. So it’s great that there is a place for homeless youth to get support and services they need. They do such a great job with providing education, health services, housing information, and other services that homeless youth need. Every time I have things to donate I bring it there since I love the work they are doing. I always just wish that I could do more to help.

At the SAG-AFTRA Convention, we encouraged delegates who were staying at the hotel to donate their hotel toiletries if they didn’t need them. Since My Friend’s Place has shower facilities, toiletries are needed so they have enough supplies for everyone who wants to clean up there. When there have been National Board meetings in LA, board members from other locals come and stay at a hotel here and they have been encouraged to do the same. We’ve managed to collect quite a nice collection of things to donate from people at the union.

I also had some things from friends who knew that I do donation drop offs. Sometimes people just need a way to be able to make a donation easily and don’t have the time or ability to do a drop off on their own. So this week, I went along with 2 other members of SAG-AFTRA to do a drop off of the things we collected.  It felt so great to be able to go with lots of donations even though most of them were from other people.

A lot of times when I do drop offs, I just bring things over and then head back. But this time we had some time to be there and I’m so glad that we weren’t rushed. We got to check out a new thing that My Friend’s Place is doing called the Corner Collective.

The Corner Collective is art, apparel, housewares, and jewelry that was made by the youth at My Friend’s Place that is for sale. Artists come in from time to time to teach a class and then the youth get to create their own work. And now, they are selling them so the youth are able to gain new skills like marketing and are able to gain confidence knowing that what they create is valuable. I know it must give them so much pride to know that someone is buying what they made. And I bet that confidence and pride can be shifted into other areas of their life so they can continue to make steps to getting a job and getting a place to live. It’s such a great idea and I love that we were able to see the work that was for sale!

We also found out that they are going to be doing their 30th anniversary gala on April 7th. It’s going to be held at The Hollywood Palladium and I’m definitely going to see if I’m able to attend. I’m sure it’s going to be an incredible event and I know that supporting such a great organization is something I want to do whenever I can.

I wish I had the ability to donate more items to My Friend’s Place because it is an organization I believe so much in. But since I can’t give as much as I’d like, I figured I could help continue to spread the word about them and the work they do. I found out about them through someone telling me so hopefully I can inspire others to do the same. They have a list of donation items that they are always looking for on their website. I know that some people have been hesitant to donate to certain organizations because of how they may use the donations. With My Friend’s Place, I know that the things we drop off go directly to the youth that they support in Los Angeles. There isn’t a corporate office that determines who gets what. It all goes right there and is used by who needs it first.

If you are in Los Angeles, please consider donating to My Friend’s Place the next time you have items to donate. Or if you have to buy a gift for someone, please browse what The Corner Collective has available and know that your gift will go to support the homeless youth in Los Angeles. And if you are interested in attending their gala, there will be more information on their website soon.

Southern California Fires (or Some Ways To Help)

Even if you don’t live in Southern California, you’ve probably heard on the news that we have multiple fires happening right now. While wildfires are something that we get from time to time, this time it seems different. Having multiple fires at one time isn’t the norm. But also they seem to be surrounding us.

There is a combination of things that are happening that make things worse. We had a good rain season this past winter so there is more plant life around than there was when the drought was at its worst. But since our summer was hotter than normal the plants all died which left dried plants everywhere to catch on fire. The humidity in the air is lower than normal so the fire risk is higher. And we currently have the Santa Ana winds which are very strong and are blowing the fires and embers into new areas. All of that combined means that the fires are big, tough to fight, and keep moving.

There is a fire up in Ventura County near where my brother and sister-in-law live. My brother was working at his hospital the first day of the fire and things were getting pretty bad then. He hasn’t worked since that day, but the fire continues to get worse and more out of control. Their home should hopefully be fine, but it’s still scary to see the fires getting closer to them.

I have a lot of friends in the valley who are on evacuation watch. Hopefully those fires won’t get into their neighborhoods, but even without there being a fire it is still difficult to breathe. The smoke is pretty thick and the wind doesn’t seem to be clearing it. The smoke and wind are the problems that I’ve been encountering. There is a fire near my gym and that smoke has come over to me. I’ve been trying to stay inside but since my house doesn’t have the best insulation it smelled smokey inside my house.

And I’ve had some family that was evacuated because the fires are in their neighborhood. We are all very hopeful that their house will be fine. There was a fire in that neighborhood about 70 years ago and their house was still standing because it was built out of stucco and not wood. We don’t know when they will be able to go back home to check on their house, but I hope that it is soon so we can find out what their next step is. And we all just want all of the fires to be out so more homes aren’t lost.

But the sad reality of these fires is that there has been loss of property, animals, and some people. And help will be needed because not everyone will be able to rebuild on their own. I read one news story about a family that just closed on the purchase of their house last week and it burned down this week. Hopefully they had some sort of insurance, but insurance doesn’t always cover everything.

There are a couple of ways to help. If you live near an affected area, there may be volunteer opportunities but it seems like a lot of those are filling up quickly. I’ve seen people who are buying bottled water and leaving them near where the firetrucks are so that the firemen fighting the fires have water. But with many disasters the best way to help is with money. Organizations that are set up to help with disaster relief need funds and they will know where to put that money toward.

The Salvation Army is a good place to donate. They’ve been setting up shelters around Southern California and many people in the shelters have no idea when they can go home or if they will even have a home to go back to. And there are so many animals that have needed to be evacuated. Many of these are larger animals like horses that need to be transported to a safe area and that is not cheap. So the Humane Society is accepting donations to help animals affected by the fire. There is also the Southern California Wildfire Relief page through the California Community Foundation. That page has a lot of different places that are providing help and offering information to those looking to find out what is going on.

I don’t know how much longer the fires will be burning, but the relief efforts are going to take a while. There is no quick way to rebuild someone’s life after a fire has taken everything. If you have the ability to donate, please do. I know that is what I will be doing it when I figure out how much extra money I have in my budget this month. I know that there have been so many natural disasters lately and it can seem overwhelming. But hopefully the links that I’ve provided can help you find where to donate so that you can help those affected by the fires happening all around Southern California.

Cast and Crew Read Through (or We Get To Make A Movie!)

First of all, thank you to everyone who reads this blog who donated to the Kickstarter for “Single Parent Date Night”! I’m overwhelmed by how many of you wanted to help us and how you’ve all supported us in this campaign (and how you all tolerated the million posts we all made about it). I’m so happy that we made it to our goal and we get to make this film happen!

But if you are reading this on Friday (the day I post it), we still have some time left in the campaign and can use every dollar we get. The $2200 we asked for (which will be less than that after the Kickstarter fees are taken out) is the bare minimum we need to make the movie. We’d love to have any extra money so we can use it for any emergency costs that come up and to submit this film to film festivals when it’s completed. So if you can donate any amount (seriously, $1 is so helpful!), please do so before the campaign ends! And if you are reading this after the campaign ended but still want to help, contact me and I can see what else we can arrange.

Beyond the Kickstarter, we’ve been working on getting this movie ready to be made! Our director and producer (both of whom rock!) have been working on getting the film crewed up. It was tough to do that before we knew we’d reach our Kickstarter goal, but things are starting to come together. We are looking at an early June shoot date and I can’t wait to be filming this!

I had a meeting this week with the director, producer, and my co-star/writer of the film. This was the first time we had all been together since shooting our Kickstarter video and I’m glad we were able to all be together again. We had to discuss some Kickstarter stuff, but that was just a little part of the meeting. The real reason for the meeting was to do the first official cast and crew read through of the movie!

Read Through

Christopher (the writer and my co-star) and I have met to do a read through before, but that was also a slightly different version of the script. We also had done that read through before we got our director and producer involved so it had been a while ago. So it was great to get together to read the script out loud and for our director and producer to hear it spoke for the first time.

Fortunately, everything went really smoothly. The script doesn’t need to have many changes made to it so we are pretty set with how it is right now. And by saying the script out loud, Christopher and I were able to work on the rhythm of the script and to work on where the comedy is in it versus the serious moments. And our director asked Christopher and I some really great questions about our characters and I really had to think about some of the answers. I’m definitely realizing now that I haven’t done enough script work on the script and I’m going to focus on that for the next week or so.

I think that we read through the script maybe 4 or 5 times (it’s easy to do with a short film and while sitting at a table instead of going from location to location) and I think that we are really off to a good start to this production. I know that things will keep going smoother as we rehearse more and once we start performing at the locations instead of at a table (some of the comedy will come from the locations), but I just feel really good about this already. Christopher and I really work well together (which is lucky since this is the first project we’ve ever worked on together and we didn’t audition to see how we worked as a pair), and I think that even if the part hadn’t been written for me that this is a part that I would have gotten from an audition. It really fits me well and I think it showcases me nicely as a comedic actor.

I think I might have forgotten how much I love working on a project that is more than just showing up on the day and doing something really quickly. I miss the prep work and rehearsals that larger projects have. While I love any job I get and am grateful for every single one, this is such a different experience than booking a job after a very quick audition and not working with the cast and crew until when you arrive on set (and a lot of time that time on set is extremely limited). But now, I get to spend a lot of time with the script and we have rehearsal time to figure out how to make this film the best it can possibly be.

The next steps for us will first be to get the Kickstarter done (which will be at 5pm today) and then get those funds as well as the personal funds we are using together to finalize our budget and hire our crew. Things will be happening pretty quickly between now and the shoot date, but I really couldn’t be more excited about it all! This is exactly what I want to do with my life and I’m lucky enough that a friend wrote a script for us so I could live my dream (even if it’s only for a little bit).

Thank you again all so much for supporting our Kickstarter and I can’t wait to blog about each step of the way of making this movie! I hope that you enjoy following this process as much as I love being a part of it!

A Major Cleanup (or Saying Goodbye To The Old Me)

A long time ago, I wrote about how I was having issues getting rid of my old clothes. Every single thing in those under bed storage bags had sentimental value to me. There were dresses that I loved, the perfect jeans that I found and bought in every color (it’s not easy finding jeans), and fun clothes that I got as gifts over the years.

I’ve always figured that if I got down to those sizes again, I’ll pull the clothes out of the bag and wear them again. But that post about not getting rid of my clothes was over 3 years ago. I’ve been holding on to those clothes for over 6 years. I don’t have a ton of storage space, but since they were kept under my bed I didn’t think too much about it.

But the other day I just got fed up. I don’t need to keep reminders of who I was when I was at my skinniest. So I took an afternoon, opened up the bags, and started sorting things out.

There were some things that I knew I wouldn’t get rid of. Those included my high school prom dress, my absolute favorite pair of jeans from my skinniest (but only one pair), 2 designer dresses that I got at a discount store and had tailored to fit, and a workout jacket that I love. But almost everything else in those bags I felt could go. I don’t care about a lot of the shirts and sweaters I had been storing. I don’t need to have jeans in every size. So many things aren’t really in fashion right now. And it’s not just that. When I lose weight, I might lose it in a different way so even if I got down to that size again I wouldn’t necessarily fit into those pieces.

After going through my under bed storage and closet (I had a couple of things in there that I didn’t need to keep), I moved on to my entry closet where I keep coats, shoes, and purses. I wasn’t going to get rid of any shoes (I had done that lately and while I have more shoes than some, I don’t have a ton). I got rid of some hoodies that I got at old day jobs and a jacket that I got on clearance but never really loved.

And I seriously had too many purses. I pulled out some of the fancier ones and I have friends who are going to trade me or buy them from me. But I had a lot of purses that I got at a cheap store to wear with a particular outfit and never used the purse again. Or they were so small that they weren’t really ever used because I couldn’t put my phone in there. Like the clothes, there were some purses that were kept for pure sentimental value. I have one designer purse that my grandma gave to me after she heard me say how much I’d love to own one one day (she had the purse and never used it). But I probably pulled 10 purses out of my closet to donate.

In the end, I had 4 very full bags of clothes and purses to donate to people who could really use and need them.

Clothes Donations

It felt so good to get all that stuff out of my house. I don’t miss them at all and things feel less cluttered than they did before. And I’ve rediscovered some clothes and purses that I had forgotten about because they were buried under all the other stuff.

After getting rid of all those clothes and purses, I also felt inspired to work on clearing out my fridge, freezer, and pantry. I’ve bought food that I felt that I should eat. I had some frozen fish, different veggie patties, and other quick meal things. I never ate any of them because they don’t taste good to me. There’s no need for me to keep healthy food in my house that I don’t eat. So a friend of mine took the perishable food from me and I donated the non-perishable stuff. I didn’t replace it with unhealthy things, but I wanted my healthy choices to make me happy and not make me feel guilty that I should eat them. My healthy options don’t have to match everyone else’s.

I probably spent a good chunk of my afternoon and evening cleaning out things from my house, but it feels so amazing now that it’s done. My clothes are only things that I wear now and make me happy. And my fridge and freezer doesn’t make me feel horrible when I’m looking for something to eat and nothing seems good to me. I’m making my house make me happy, and it’s working and I feel the results from that already.

Helping People Help Others (or A Drop Off At My Friend’s Place)

I’ve gotten to work with My Friend’s Place a couple of times in the past. It’s such an amazing organization and they really can use all the help they can get. And unlike other organizations, I know that they use everything that is donated and pretty much everything goes directly to the youth that needs it (some things like office supplies goes toward running the organization).

I wish that I could donate more to charity, but right now in my life I can’t. But I’ve had the chance over the past month to do some collections so I could do a wonderful drop off at My Friend’s Place.

Somehow I got on a mailing list for pregnant women. I have no clue how that happened on what list I’m on to be taken off it. Most of the things I get just go into the trash because they are ads or promotions if I start a baby registry or buy things that I wouldn’t buy. But one box was actually 2 cans of baby formula. When I got that, I knew in a heartbeat that I would be bringing that with me to My Friend’s Place for their parenting program.

I posted online that it’s weird I’m getting baby stuff but I’m glad I did so I could donate it. From that post, several friends reached out to me asking how they could help too. I explained about My Friend’s Place and told them how they could drop things off. But then I realized that might not be easy for my friends with babies to do so I offered to do a drop off for them.

I’ve been getting things from friends since the end of October. And my parents had things for me to donate too when I saw them at Thanksgiving. They had pet supplies that Tucker is too big for and my dad had a small collection of hotel shampoos and conditioners that he doesn’t need anymore.

I put all of my friend’s and family’s donations together and was able to make a stop at My Friend’s Place after my class this week (it’s only a few blocks from my class so that was easy). My trunk was pretty filled with everything that people gave me (plus the 2 cans of formula that I got in the mail).

Donations

When I dropped off all the donations, I could tell right away that the staff was so grateful. I wish I could have taken credit for what I was dropping off, but really it was all due to the generosity of my friends and family.

I think I’m going to try to run donations drives again in the future. I think a lot of people don’t donate things because of the hassle to drive to where you have to drop it off. Or they don’t think about it and forget later. But if someone is reminding them to do it or is making it something easy, they have no excuse not to do so.

If you are local to LA and want to donate to My Friend’s Place, they have a wish list on their website. Anything on the list (even if you only have one of something) really can make the difference in someone’s life and will be appreciated.

This is the season for giving, and let’s try to work together to give to those who might not usually have someone giving them a gift.

A Week Until Race Day (or Helping Out My Friend’s Place)

The 3rd Hard Rock Cafe 5K is just over a week away. I’m excited for the race to see if I’ve made any improvement since my last 5K. And my best friend is coming to town to do the race with me! I’m also nervous because I know that my calf injury isn’t totally healed (it’s super close!) and I don’t want to hurt myself during the race.

There’s not much I can really do about how my calf (or my hip) will feel during the race. I know that I’m not going to push myself as much as I might have just to be careful. And I am going to time out my workouts leading up to the race to make sure I have rest days right before.

Since I can’t do much about dealing with injuries at the race, I’m trying to focus on something else. Last year, I got to tour My Friend’s Place, which is the official charity of the Hard Rock Cafe race. I’m so glad that I had that opportunity because I never really thought about homeless youth in Los Angeles. I’ve helped at shelters for homeless adults, but youth have very different needs. After touring  My Friend’s Place, I knew that I wanted to help out with donations in the future.

I hadn’t really been able to donate in the past year, but My Friend’s Place was always on my mind. Whenever someone mentioned having things to donate, if they were things on the wish list, I’d recommend they donate there.

Then, at the SAG-AFTRA Convention, one of my fellow delegates mentioned how AFTRA used to do donations at their conventions (this was before the two unions merged). Many delegates come from out-of-town and stay at the host hotel, and we know that most people don’t use the toiletries that the hotel provides in the bathroom. So at the AFTRA conventions, they would collect these toiletries and donate them to a place that could use them.

I connected with the delegate who brought up the donation idea (and got it all started) and said that if she didn’t have a charity in mind that I’d love to donate them to My Friend’s Place. So all of our donations (about 5 bags full) went to My Friend’s Place recently and we know that they will be going to good use.

I’ve also told my parents to bring all of the dog supplies that were Dante’s or Tucker’s that Tucker is too big for because My Friend’s Place allows the youth to bring their pets there and they need collars, leashes, and other pet supplies. So I will be doing that donation after Thanksgiving when I get them.

And the other day, a box showed up at my house. Somehow, I am on a baby/pregnancy mailing list (I’m not pregnant) and lots of baby related coupons have been arriving at my door. But this day, there were two cans of powdered baby formula inside!

Baby Mailing List

So I will be adding those to my post-Thanksgiving donation and several of my friends with kids will be giving me baby clothes that their kids have outgrown, the leftover diapers in a box that their baby has sized out of, and other baby supplies that are on the wish list. I’m really excited to have another nice size donation that I will be bringing to My Friend’s Place soon.

If any of you are in Los Angeles, I highly recommend donating to My Friend’s Place if you can. They are so happy for any donations they can get and I know that they are working on helping the homeless youth find jobs and homes so that they don’t have to sleep on the streets as adults. I know that I haven’t made a lot of donations in the past there, but I’m hoping to fix that now and to make donating there a somewhat regular thing.

Building Momentum (or Remembering High School Science)

Think back to high school science for a minute. Do you remember Newton’s first law of motion? In case you don’t, here’s basically what it is. An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion.

First of all, Mom and Dad, aren’t you proud that I remember something from high school science? Secondly, I’ve been trying to use this principle in my life a lot lately.

I’m not just talking about the obvious movement of my body with the workouts I’ve been doing lately. But yes, I am having an easier time working out the more I do it and I’m able to push myself a lot more than I used to.

But I’m also noticing that some things that have been very tough for me to deal with in the past are getting easier (and fun) once I start doing them. I don’t know if it’s because of my panic disorder or my touch of OCD, but I have an issue with change. I’ve mentioned this before when I couldn’t bring myself to buy a new alarm clock (I still haven’t been able to do that). But recently, my e-reader died and I had to get a new one. I used to have one by Sony, but I switched to the Kindle because there are more books available on Amazon than Sony. But the change was tough. I did have some minor panic attacks about the new e-reader, but now that I’ve had it for almost a week, I really love my new Kindle.

I’ve also talked about my issues with getting rid of clothes. But I’ve made some serious steps there as well. I’ve got one bag of old clothes in my closet that I will be taking over to Goodwill soon and I’m going to work today on getting rid of more clothes.

And I’ve even been able to get rid of other things in my life I don’t really use anymore. I had a Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit that I used to love to use (now that I’m more into spinning and my 5Ks I haven’t used it in a while). Well, did you know that Amazon allows you to sell them your old electronics? You just submit the items online that you want to sell, they give you an estimated price and free shipping label, and after everything is reviewed, they credit your Amazon account so you can use that money on a future purchase. I sold Amazon my Wii, Wii Fit, and some old DVDs and got enough to pay for half of my Kindle! And just yesterday I sent Amazon another 25 DVDs that I don’t watch anymore!

While I’m decluttering, I’m also trying to be careful and not too over zealous. At some point while I was living at my last apartment, I accidentally got rid of a box that had all the pictures I took in high school and college (I didn’t own a digital camera until my senior semester of college). I don’t know how I got rid of it, but I’m thinking it might have been misplaced when I moved to my house.

I don’t want to get rid of memories like that again. So while I am staying in motion right now, I’m also trying to stop and make sure that I’m not doing something I’ll regret later.

But I do have to say that I’m really loving having extra room in my closet and dresser and it’s nice to also not have as many DVDs on display in my living room.

Too Much Stuff (or Some Things Are Easier To Get Rid Of Than Others)

I’ve mentioned in the past my issues with giving away old clothes. I still have 2 giant bags of clothes in smaller sizes under my bed. I did give away 2 pieces recently to a friend, but I have almost all of it still there. It is so much easier giving away clothing to a friend than to Goodwill.

While I haven’t been able to give away clothes successfully, I was able to get rid of some things that I don’t use in my house recently. First of all, I have a crazy DVD collection. I love my movies and TV shows and love having the DVDs there so I can watch them (and also enjoy the bonus features) anytime I want to. But there are some DVDs that I’ve either outgrown, don’t watch, or never watched (I somehow “inherited” DVDs from old roommates). You can see how many I’ve accumulated in this photo I took a few months ago.

IMG_2025

My collection had actually gotten a bit bigger since I took that photo and I realized that I was running out of storage room (and I don’t think I can fit a bigger DVD tower in my little house!).

So I looked into a couple of buyback options. First I searched on Amazon and BestBuy. Neither of them were offering me that much on my DVDs. I ended up going to Amoeba. Of the 37 DVDs I was trying to sell to them, they took 33. I chose store credit over cash because you get a lot more in credit and I used that to buy the latest season of “How I Met Your Mother” on DVD (something I really like).

I brought my other DVDs back home with me and realized that I had more than DVDs that I could get rid of. I had a Wii and a Wii Fit that I haven’t used in a while (I stopped using it around the time I discovered SoulCycle). I looked back on Amazon for their buyback program and realized that I could get quite a bit for my gaming system. So I decided to sell them that plus the DVDs that Amoeba didn’t want. Between all of it, I’m going to be getting about $70 in Amazon credit. I know that I probably could have sold them for more if I went on eBay or craigslist, but I didn’t want the hassle. Amazon sent me a shipping label and I shipped everything off yesterday.

It’s nice to have a cleaner house with fewer things in it. While I will never be a minimalist, I do like to limit clutter and excess. I’m starting to go through my clothing again to see what I can give up, and while I know it won’t be all of it, I would like to try to donate at least a few pieces soon.

Signing Up For More Races (or Hoping To Make It To 10)

So I totally conquered my goal of 5 5Ks this year. In case you don’t remember the 5 that I did, here are the races (and links to the posts):

And now I’ve got an awesome collection of medals that look like this.

IMG_1945

And I’m going to be adding to my collection soon! I’ve signed up for 5K #6, #7, and #8 and I’m hoping that some of you (at least those of you who are local) can come and join me for one of them!

As of right now (because I might be adding more races) 5K #6 will be the LA Cancer Challenge 5K. I’ve never done this race before, but it’s Halloween themed so I really like that! This race is on October 27th so I’ve got a while before the race to try to get my time down some more (and maybe add in another race or two).

The next race that I’m signed up for is the weSPARK 5K that is at Universal Studios. I’ve done this race before, and I’m excited to be doing it for the 3rd time! The first link that I’ve shared for this race will link you to my fundraising page. I’m hoping to raise $100 this year for the cause, so if you can donate even a dollar it will help me out! You can also register to do the race at the link as well.

And finally, I’ve signed up for the Santa Monica Venice Christmas Run. This one is in December, and I’m thinking it is most likely the last race that I will do in 2013. So hopefully this race will end up being #10 instead of #8. This is another race that I’ve never done before, but I’ve heard from friends that the course is very flat, so I’m happy about that.

I’m so excited to have 3 more races coming up this year! I’m on the lookout for the races that will help me get to 10 total, but I’m having some trouble. A lot are on days that I can’t do one (due to my work schedule). And there are a few that I really want to do, but there is a time limit for the 5K and I know that I’m not that fast yet.

Fortunately, as I register for more and more 5Ks, I get added to more and more email lists that let me know about more races. So hopefully something fun will be in my inbox in the future.

I hope that some of you can donate to the weSPARK 5K, as this is a fundraiser for an amazing organization! Also, please let me know if you are going to also do one of the 5Ks I’ve listed because I always love running into people I know at the race!

I still can’t believe that I’m this excited to do 5Ks when only a year ago I was stressed about doing 2 or 3 in a year!

Is It Too Early To Be Spring Cleaning? (or Out With The Unused)

I’m been on a bit of a cleaning spree lately. I don’t keep a messy house, but when you live in a place that is about 400 square feet, it always seems like I have a lot of stuff.

I’m always jealous when I go visit my friends with big apartments and the amount of open space that they have. Everything looks so much cleaner that way. No matter how much I clean, my house always seems a bit crowded just due to the lack of space.

So I’ve been working on going through my things and trying to make some more space in my house (and no Mom, I’m not just cleaning because you are coming to visit soon).

I still can’t seem to get rid of my old clothes, but since those live under my bed I’ve decided that they can stay for now. And most of the clothes in my closet are things that I wear. If I haven’t worn them in a year, they go, but I don’t have anything like that right now.

I’m slowly going through my purses and shoes. I know that there are plenty of things I can get rid of. I donated 3 bags of things, which included some shoes and purses, but I know there is more that can go.

The one thing that I’ve been struggling with getting rid of are my books. I have an e-reader that I use 99% of the time and I hardly ever read an actual book. There are some books that are signed or are very special to me that I will keep no matter what, but I can’t seem to get rid of the others yet. I think that I just have to take the plunge and empty my bookcase out (and then I can use it for other things).

I think part of the reason I’m cleaning like crazy is the less cluttered my mind feels the less cluttered I want my house to be. I’m finally having some clarity in my life and I want that to reflect in my house too.

And yes, maybe I do want my mom to be extra impressed when she sees my house in 2 weeks.