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Friday, July 17, 2009

De-cluttering Project-Day 27 and no end in sight...

I'm beginning to think maybe I like clutter. I have come to this conclusion because I managed to find ways to stay gone all week and haven't done one bit of de-cluttering. I don't think I've organized a single thing...including a thought for the entire week. Of course, I have plans to organize things. I always have lots of plans. But my ability to put those plans into action has me feeling a little less than effective these days.

The whole de-cluttering thing is starting to feel like mowing the lawn. You take the time to go out and push the mower around and when you're done, you can see the results right away. The problem is that in a day or so, you look outside and the grass is there again. In much the same way that the grass grows back and waves at you, begging you to come out and mow again, the stacks of mail, magazines, and toys seem to find their way back into the places where you were just weeding through them. So it becomes a battle of wills. Who will cave first? Will you organize to avoid a catastrophe or will you let the piles climb as high as they can before they simply collapse into a much bigger mess on the floor in front of you? In either case, you lose.

I was reading one of my de-cluttering books the other day while I was waiting at the doctor's office. I was almost inspired to do a few of the things in the book until I realized that much of what was being done was simply moving your piles of crap to other areas of the house and calling them something different. My magazines would become my idea files and my bookshelf would become my reference library. Could I possibly fake being stupid long enough to convince myself that renaming these things had made a significant difference in my clutter?

As it stands, I have almost thirty days left to get in all of the de-cluttering that I wanted to do this summer. My last day on this project will be August 15th. Barring any unforeseen calamities, I should be able to at least manage to hold a yard sale before that day arrives. If I can't manage to do that, I shall have to declare this project a failure. I'm not going to make myself feel bad if I do fail. There's something to be said for making the effort. As a matter of fact, I could just rename my clutter and call it something like "assets" or "valuables." I'd be stretching the truth, but at least it wouldn't be "clutter" anymore. I'll worry about that on August 15th. Whatever will be will be...

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

De-cluttering Project: Day 22-25 Ways to keep yourself from finishing your de-cluttering project...

It's official, I'm the best procrastinator in the world. The positive in all of this is that it has given me lots of ideas for my writing such as this wonderful list of 25 ways to prevent yourself from de-cluttering. Enjoy!

25. Start a new project. Hey, why not? You're ambitious enough to start de-cluttering, so how can you not go ahead and tackle some more crap?

24. Put together a photo album using all of the old pictures you just found while working in your first box of junk. You'll get back to de-cluttering later.

23. Bake a cake. It just sounds like a good idea.

22. Eat the cake. Well, you can't bake a cake without at least having a piece of it.

21. Exercise to work off the cake you just ate.

20. Call your mother...or someone else's mother. Depending on which one will keep you on the phone longer. Sometimes, dragging out all of your old stuff makes you feel nostalgic and you just feel the need to call your mom.

19. Take a Youtube break. Some funny videos will surely motivate you to get back into what you were doing. About two hours later, you'll get to that second box.

18. Go househunting. The biggest problem you have is a lack of space. That's what's been creating the clutter, so why not attack the problem at the source. Just find a bigger house.

17. Tweet! You owe it to your followers on Twitter to let them know how you're doing with that big de-cluttering project. Just a couple of tweets and then you'll get right back to it.

16. Decide that now is the right time to rearrange your cd collection by style and then alphabetically by artist.

15. Move your furniture around. Maybe your feng shui is off. Moving the couch just might help things look less cluttered.

14. Call a friend. You just found your old high school yearbook and it brought back lots of memories for you. You'd better call your friend before you forget how much you really want to talk to them right now. It's only been ten years.

13. Plant something. You just unearthed (no pun intended) three packs of seeds and it's such a beautiful day outside. Why not go ahead and plant these while you have them in your hands? It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so you can do more de-cluttering then.

12. Listen to your newly alphabetized cd's in order. Music helps you work faster doesn't it? As long as your dancing breaks are kept to a minimum, it really shouldn't interfere with anything.

11. Re-connect with old friends on Classmates. That song you just heard reminds you of the time you went to that dance with your friends and everyone was acting crazy, but having so much fun. I wonder where they all ended up.

10. Look for that cd you couldn't find when you were alphabetizing earlier. I know I had a Rob Base cd. But where the hell is it? Did I loan that to one of my friends? Was it really twenty years ago?

9. Listen to your husband read the newspaper out loud. Sit and roll your eyes as you politely tell him that you can't concentrate on what he's reading to you right now.

8. Have a quick discussion about what you're working on and why you don't have time to read the newspaper right now.

7. Make yourself a snack. It's been a long morning and all of this de-cluttering avoidance has made you very hungry.

6. Take a Facebook quiz while you're eating lunch. Why not? They're fun.

5. Answer a few e-mails.

4. Fix that problem on your website that you just noticed because of an e-mail that someone sent you. It won't take long to do this.

3. Take some books back to the library. You just found that book that should have gone back two weeks ago. Shit, that's gonna be a big fine.

2. Write down the idea you just had for a short story that has something to do with a woman who was found dead under a mountain of cardboard boxes filled with Happy Meal toys, books, old magazines and yes, one containing that Rob Base cd.

1. Blog. You forgot to do this earlier and what the hell, you've managed to completely waste the rest of your time today. Try it all again tomorrow.

Until next time...

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A Little Bit of Mystery: Short Mysteries to Confuse and Amuse

Where I've Been...

Listen to my interview on the Jeffery S. Miller show.

Listen to my interview on Calling All Authors.

Listen to my interview on the Let's Just Talk w/Kathryn Raaker.

Listen to my interview on Radio Free Baxter.

Where I'll Be...

After a short break in the summer, I'll be at the following locations:

8/11/09 Allen Park Public Library, Allen Park, MI 6:30 p.m.

Looking for something entertaining for your library or bookstore patrons? Looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours? Do you love mysteries? Then you need to schedule a Tea & Mystery event for your library or bookstore! The fee is minimal and the presentation is fun and informative! Attendees will be given the chance to win great prizes and share their thoughts about the mystery genre and their favorite mystery writers!

E-mail me today at for details on how to set up your Tea & Mystery event!

Books by Rebecca Benston

Reviews for Rebecca Benston

“You'll find yourself looking forward to more stories from the files of Rona Shively.”

Michelle Shealy, Reviewer for


“Rebecca Benston has written a detective with plenty of suspense…I hope there will be a sequel…”

Annick, Reviewer for Euro-Reviews


“The story is good, the plotting great. Rebecca Benston draws you into the story from the first page. Read the book.”

Lucille P. Robinson, An Alternative Read


“Rebecca Benston’s twists, turns, and descriptions are utterly engaging.”

Tracy, Fallen Angel Reviews


“In The Wash is like a 1930’s film noir detective story that had a modern, edgy twist and a female lead.”

Janet Davies, Once Upon a Romance Reviews


“Under Lock and Key is an enjoyable, fun book! Rona Shively is a delightful character. I loved her off-beat, quirky personality and her outstanding sense of humor.”

Connie Harris,


“Talented author Rebecca Benston shows the reader just how complicated life can get suddenly and how people you thought you knew, aren't who you thought they were.”

Anne K. Edwards,