Category Archives: Organizing/DeCluttering

Greenhouse Organization Progress

I made some progress on moving things around in the greenhouse yesterday.

The FIRST thing I learned, after plugging in the extension cord inside the greenhouse, standing on my head pushing the extension cord out of the hole in the back, stretching it out across the yard, attaching the 2nd extension cord (being careful to install the big plastic green protector that goes over where the two connect), then stretching the 2nd cord out to get to the receptacle on the back of the house, was that I didn’t remember that there was a male connector hanging down from the power strip inside the greenhouse, and that I should have used THAT instead of plugging in the extension cord the way I did, so it was all backwards. I had a female end where I needed a male at the house. Good start, huh?

I pulled the cords up, back to the greenhouse and reversed everything. This time I could plug it in. The automatic vent/fan combination was on when I walked back to the greenhouse! The thermometer said it was above 80 inside, and the fan is set to come on when it hits 80 in there, then go off whenever the temperature is below that. I turned on the ‘people fan’ as well and checked that the light we installed was working. I propped the door open on the opposite end of the greenhouse to increase the venting.

It would be nice if we had run electricity to the greenhouse, rather than using 200 feet of extension cords, but that costs a fortune. Since I’m an amateur (although a fairly NICE one), I don’t need ‘fancy.’ I’m just trying to be able to start seed earlier and get a jump on the season. I’d also like to be able to grow things not offered in our area and hopefully be able to start a fall crop when NO plants are being offered.

I’ve set up this table on the left side of the greenhouse as a seed starting area. I’ll show you a new method for starting seeds that I read about when I start my first batch.  You can see that the weed barrier we put down on the floor is no longer clean and pristine. Each time it rains, the water comes in under the greenhouse. It goes across the floor and pools under tables on either side of the greenhouse. I’m being careful not to put anything in these areas that will get upset being wet.

I brought out the roll of carpeting you can see in the top picture, but I’m thinking that’s a bad idea. Now I’m going to try to make a pathway in front of each table out of the brick  I hope to salvage from the break-down of the two brick planters that are failing that we’ll empty/knock down/rebuild – hopefully hiring a brick layer who knows what he’s doing to redo them. If we can’t find anyone willing to do this for us at a reasonable price in a good time frame, we’ll do it ourselves. (The ones that have failed are over 30 years old. New ones – even built by US – will last longer than we will.)


Here you can see the automatic fan/vent in the ‘doorway’ shape on the end of the greenhouse opposite the door. Yesterday it came on as it was supposed to, because the temperature was above 80 in there. When I went out this morning to take pictures, it was off.  You can see the one six-pack of tomato plants on the table. I have to consolidate more to get the table as clear as possible.


This is the table on the right side of the greenhouse. I still have the jumble of supplies here to go through, but I’m trying to set this table up to hold the plants I need to dig out of the failing planters, hoping they’ll survive the demolishing and rebuilding process. I brought some big pots out that I hope will be large enough for the plants.

It may get too hot in here, even with the vent/fan going, but we’ll just have to wait – with fingers crossed – ‘holding our mouths right.’


Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Organizing/DeCluttering

Working on the Greenhouse

When we return from Lunch Bunch, my plan is to start actually getting my greenhouse more organized. These pictures are from when we just finished it, when all was clean, pristine, and the weed barrier on the floor was in one piece.

Over the months since we finished building it, I’ve transferred lots of things into it, just  moving things from our garage, the garden area, etc., so that it was at least in the greenhouse. I’ve been in and out on almost a daily basis, putting plants in there that I bought from one place or another and holding them until I could get them into the garden. A six-pack of tomatoes is in there now, but everything else has been planted in the raised bed square foot garden. I’m getting some good exercise because the only place we had to build the greenhouse is on the opposite side of our property from the shop and the garden.

Now is the time to at least start getting organized. I want to create an area for starting seeds. I want to consolidate a bunch of supplies, taking up as little table space as possible because I’ll need to bring more plants in when we demolish the two brick planters that have cracked, and in the future will want space for growing seeds, and staged growing plants as I try to get them ready to plant outside. I’ll have to be careful what I store on the floor under the tables on each side because water collects there when it rains. It’s exciting to finally start scheming and planning how I want things to work!

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Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Organizing/DeCluttering, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

More Purging Progress


After our last donation of ‘stuff’ from my art room, I came up with more – about half a 39-gallon trash bag full, and the bag sitting in our foyer, waiting.

Today I enlisted my husband’s help. We went through some really big bins in the basement that were filled with coats, jackets, rain gear, vests, etc. that weren’t worn all this fall or winter. We are going to donate a good half or more of what we went through, freeing up two large bins and one small bin downstairs. We’ll plan to make a trip to Fort Smith sometime in the coming week with a donation to the Veterans Thrift Store.


My next reorganization project will be my greenhouse.  These are pics from BEFORE I started deciding what belonged out there. This will actually be an ‘organization,‘ – rather than ‘re,’ – because all I’ve done since my husband and I built the greenhouse is take stuff out there and stash it, waiting for spring. This will be my first time trying to make sense of the space I have out there. I want to set up a planting area, a supplies area, and then have kind of a staging area for when the seeds start to make actual plants and before they’re ready to go out in the garden.

I need to do something about the floor out there because the black weed barrier you see here has torn in several places. We have some leftover rolls of carpet that I’ll probably spread out in walkways as an interim measure. I’m planning to use some of the bricks we’ll have when we take down the two damaged planters we have now and replace them.  I’ve never tried to make walkways with bricks before, but this seems like a good thing to try.

As I get rid of things I’m feeling better and better. I’m happy that I’m finding lots of things that others might like to use. I feel good that I’m throwing what isn’t good away. It feels good to have LESS. And it feels GREAT to have what I KEEP more organized.  As I go around the house, I see more and more things that need to be gone through, more that needs to be given away or thrown away. Purging and reorganizing seems to be good for the soul.




Filed under Challenges, Changes, greenhouse, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

The Art Room Reorganization Project is Finished!


To refresh your memory a bit, this what my art room looked like before the purge/clean-up/reorganizing. This had gotten to the point there was hardly anywhere to sit down and no clear surface on which to work. Finding something was an awful prospect. NINE+ 39-gallon leaf bags of donation and FIVE 39-gallon leaf bags of trash later, things look a bit better.


The shelves on the left WERE full of art supplies – glassware, gourds….. Now this is where quilts, Afghans, comforters, etc. are stored. The super-large Ziploc bags will keep the dust off and you can see what’s what. The fabric curtain at the right of the picture keeps dust off sheets, etc.


This is a combination gift wrapping center, some finished artwork and mainly paint. This is also the entrance to our attic; hence, the ladder.




This area is set up for drawing (I’m trying to work my way through “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”) and the use of alcohol inks – a fun, messy art form I’m really enjoying.


This is my drafting table that was completely buried in the before pics. I paint note cards, thank you notes, stationery, etc. here. The drafting table is protected by a sheet of black and white vinyl, and then there is a thick piece of glass on which I put the work to paint.


This is the area where I tie ribbon on my stationery and note cards. I also do a bit of jewelry making.


Paper supplies, craft envelopes, etc.


I HOPE that you can see a difference. It will never be completely ‘tidy,’ because this is my play room. I could stack things neatly and finally have it ready for some enterprising person to photograph it for a magazine (in my dreams) but then I wouldn’t want to go in here because I didn’t want to mess it up. :0)

Now I feel free to go up there in the next few days and get started with a new idea I have for a line of stationery, note cards, thank you notes, and greeting cards. I’ve been dreaming about it for a couple of weeks now, so I’m itching to get started!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Treasure is in the Eye of the Beholder

National Treasure Film Set-Wikipedia

Somehow the ancient, old, chaotic feel of this photo reminds me of my art room right now. I’ve pretty much finished gathering things for donation, though I’ve started another bag. I’m down to the nitty-gritty of going through things carefully, getting ruthless about whether I actually plan to USE whatever it is, and then deciding its fate.

This is harder because I’m finding lots of things, like pictures torn from magazines, that get my juices flowing. I’ve decided to pare these down to about 1/4 or less of what I currently have. I’ll make files of what I keep so that I might actually be able to find them later.

I’m finding ‘treasures’ though – things I’ve had for years that have been buried. I’m loving this – but the finding of wonderful things makes it harder to make significant progress on my efforts to purge/give away/throw away/clean and reorganize.

I did finally uncover a chair, so I can sit in the middle of the chaos and go through things. I put in two sessions yesterday and will do at least that much today. I’m hoping to be able to share pics with you soon.

In the meantime, who knows what treasures I’ll find today!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Delightful Surprises, Favorite Things, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Feeling Lighter


We just got back from taking another donation to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith. We took 9 large leaf bags, so my art room is definitely feeling lighter. It’ll feel even lighter when we take the two large bags of trash I added to our regular tonight!

Now that the decks are cleared a bit more, I can concentrate on starting to put things where they will live. I’ll probably shed more, but the majority of the give-away or throw-away portion of the purge and clean-up is done.

Yesterday I finished reorganizing the hallway outside the art room. Quilts, afghans and comforters are now all bagged up and on the shelves that formerly held art supplies. The sheets are kept behind a shower curtain across the shelves to keep the dust down.

I’m excited about finally getting to reorganize some things because that means I’m at least one day closer to being able to actually USING the art room to make something!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering


Garrett’s Moving & Storage

This isn’t my art room, but I guess it COULD be.  My husband came in last night, hoping to see a good amount of progress. However, this is one of those projects that looks worse until it’s completely finished.  He looked shocked, and then, trying to say something tactful, managed, “I guess it’s got to look like an explosion to show you’re doing something.” (He’s sill alive, so I guess it worked.)

I’ve centralized our quilts and comforters storage, pulling things from our bedroom, the guest room, and two cedar chests. I should finish the reorganization of my linen closet area in the hallway today. I’m reorganizing the art room closet, as well as the main room, so things that come out of there are going

  • into a donation bag
  • into the trash
  • onto a table in the main room until I make a place to put it

I also took everything out of a drawer in the drafting table. I was looking for a key for the cedar chest under an art room table. I didn’t find one, but when things go back in the drawer, it’ll be much nicer. :0)  It turned out that I didn’t NEED the key for the cedar chest! I pulled it out laboriously (the thing really seems to weigh a TON). I found that you push IN the area of the keyhole and lift up on the lid at the same time. Wallah! It was filled with ‘stuff’ of all types. UGH. It is now empty, pushed back under the art room table, with a FEW large things that need to be flat on top – at least for the moment.

The plans are to bring the bags of trash down to be put out tomorrow night, AND to bring down the donation bags that we’re planning to take to the Veterans Thrift Store Monday or Tuesday.  Those two things will clear the decks for more rearranging of the stuff remaining in the room….


Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

That Awkward Stage…


I have several shelves inside the art room, inside the adjoining closet, and outside the art room in the hallway completely cleared now. The result, after 8 leaf bags of donations and two of trash, is that the art room – right now – looks worse than when I started  ( if that’s possible.)  It certainly looks as if a bomb hand landed when you open the door…

I’m telling myself firmly that I AM making progress.

Today I’m going to start putting some things away in the place they’re going to live. That should clear the decks – if only a bit – to make it so I can find a chair to sit and rest on from time to time.

One weird problem I didn’t foresee – I have a cedar chest that has a cushion top that I got from my mom. It weighs a TON, more or less. I don’t want to get rid of it, so I put it under one of the tables in the art room. It eventually was buried beneath lots of wonderful sheets of posterboard, large frame mats, and other stuff over the years. I uncovered it yesterday. I then proceeded to pull it out from the wall a bit and open it. I couldn’t! It’s locked. I have no clue where a key is. I’ll look around today, but I’ve already talked to my husband, asking him to use his nefarious lock-picking skills, to open it for me. It may be completely empty OR stuffed. I don’t have any idea which. Today the mystery will hopefully be solved.

You won’t see pics until I can at least get around in there without falling on my rear. I’m still hopeful that the project will be substantially, if not completely, finished by the end of the weekend.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

And the Clean-out of the Art Room Continues

Mairtown Kindergarten-Ephemeral Art

I love this photo.

Yesterday I told you that I thought I had maybe two more leaf bags of things to donate to the Veterans Thrift Store and then I could begin cleaning and organizing. I filled both bags and am still going – if not STRONG – still going.

Something nice is happening, though, as I go through things.

For awhile I was sad because I seemed to be shedding ‘who I was,’ as well as ‘stuff.’  It was hard for me to give anything away. I might need it for something….

Now I’m actually making some good decisions on what I really enjoy doing, and would like to continue doing. An example of this is painting glassware. I’m thinking of new things to do, new designs to try. We have a sand blaster in the shop and I’m looking forward to ‘frosting’ some designs I cut out, plus I find I really enjoy trying to etch the glass with my little dremel tool.  I would like to watch some YouTube videos of someone who knows what they’re doing and then see what I can do.

Once I decide that I no longer really need to do an art form, I find lots of supplies and tools to give away. I’m actually feeling freer – eager to get things organized so I can play again.  I’m hoping to gather the last of the donations from the art room finished by the end of the week, if not before, so I can then figure out where I want to put things. Meanwhile, I have several fun ideas rattling around in my head – giving me motivation to keep on keepin’ on!

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Seeing the Light at the End?

I’m going back upstairs to do another session in my art room clean up project. We took 6 large leaf bags of donations to the Veterans Thrift Store this week and I have 4 more filled. I think maybe one or two more bags of donations and then I’ll concentrate on continuing to throw away while I clean and reorganize.

The shelve in the hall are emptying of the supplies I’m donating, so I’m going to include those shelves in the reorganization project – using them for longer term storage for linen closet type stuff. This will centralize things from our master bedroom and the guest room. I have some large bags to put quilts and blankets in. I’ll cover up comforters we’re not using now, too.  I really hadn’t thought about the new use for the shelves, but things evolved as I began to get rid of things.

I’m hoping to finish the art room decluttering/purge/reorganization project by the end of this week. I’ll take pics to show you. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to starting to create some ideas that have popped up while trying to go through piles and piles of ‘stuff.’ :0)


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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Little by Little…


I’m feeling somewhat like “The Little Engine That Could” today. I keep saying the equivalent of, “I think I can. I think I can” while trying to clean out my art room.


The art room is an accumulation of about 20 years, rather than 30, as some of the rest of my clean-out projects have been, but it’s harder for me because of the emotional attachment and illusions of ‘some day.’  I have a good start now. I feel even better because after filling 6 large leaf bags full of things I think others might enjoy playing with, we took the donation yesterday. (These were all lined up in the foyer downstairs). Now the decks have been cleared and I’m ready to start another session. :0)

As I’m cleaning, I’m making decisions about what I want to continue to do after the clean-out is finished. I’m starting to feel less sad that I’m not going to do some things anymore because I can concentrate on what I still love to do. I’ll have more room to organize the things I need for each type of art or craft.

(My husband, who sometimes wears the hat of “Balloon Pricker in Chief,” continues to ask if I’ve started cleaning things out yet. He finally quit doing that – at least for the moment – when he helped load the truck and then UNload it at the Veterans Thrift Store yesterday…)

As I also clean out supply shelves my husband put up for me in the hallway upstairs outside the actual art room, I’m seeing them as being more useful as added linen closet type space – an option I didn’t have before!

I AM feeling better as I do this. I’ve given away a LOT of things. I’ve thrown away a LOT of things. I’ve reorganized what’s left in each area so that I know what we have and where it is (mostly).  When my art room is cleaned and better organized, I look forward to starting actually USING it to start trying to create the ideas that have been rattling around in my head.  :0)


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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Thoughts on The Art Room Project


I’ve made more progress today on cleaning out my art room. I have a total of FOUR 39 gallon leaf bags full of stuff to donate to the Veterans Thrift Store soon.

The thing I didn’t expect was that this project would make me so emotionally tired, too.

I’ve spent a large part of my life trying to create things, paint things, decorate stuff – to sell on my former website, Creative Artworks. Last year I closed the website down, shifting my work to Etsy  and  ArtFire.

Now I’m trying to pare down what I’m trying to create and the materials I need to make them. This is surprisingly hard, in that I’m closing some doors. I’ll feel better once this is finished and I have more room to spread out and start trying to make ideas rattling around in my head come to fruition, but I have to talk to myself, pushing myself to admit I no longer want to make something and actually gather the materials to give to others. I’m happy to provide materials for others who might love making use of them, it’s just hard to make my creative world a bit smaller.

So now I’m trying to picture my art room looking clean and spacious, trying to gather motivation to continue this needed project. Some things are more difficult to go through. It was much easier when it was pots and pans…


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Art Room Clean Up Progress?

Well, I was planning to show you pics of a couple of tables I’ve managed to clean off in the art room. So far I’ve gathered two large bags of things I’ll donate, plus a nice big bag of trash to put out for the trash people tomorrow.

I brought my husband in to show him my progress last night right before we went to bed. I was thinking he would notice how clean two of the tables are. He looked around and said, “You’ve got a lot more work to do, don’t you.”

I’m not admitting defeat here. I’ll just keep going up there, deciding what I can get rid of, and keep on keepin’ on…

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Slogging Through the Art Room Clean Up Project

I’m having to do really short sessions on cleaning my art room. I keep getting distracted when I find something interesting I didn’t remember I had and wanting to do something ‘artful’ with it, instead of continuing to go through things.

Last time I got the idea for a new line of stationery, note cards, thank you notes and greeting cards. The idea is rattling around in my head, plus I’m dreaming about it, so I guess I’ll need to make time and space to at least get started on the idea soon, but I really need to get the art room ‘healed’ first.

So far, I HAVE cleaned off my drafting table. If you walked into the room, though, you wouldn’t be able to tell anything else had been done. This is the kind of project that looks worse before it even THINKS about getting better.

I’m going up there now to see what I can do….

I would appreciate your sending good wishes, persistence, and focus in my direction today…


Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Cleaning Out the Art Room – Day 1

I’m going upstairs now, armed with trash bags for donations and trash bags for trash, to get started going through things in my art room. As bad as things are in there, my biggest problem will be NOT picking something up and wanting to stop cleaning and PLAY with something wonderful I’ve found. I have my mental ‘ruthless’ hat on, so I’ll do my best.

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New Purging Project Starts Today – My Art Room

I converted our third bedroom to be my art room. I can create to my heart’s content (when I can make the time and have the energy).  I consider it a treasure trove of wonderful ‘stuff’ I can use if/when the creative bug grabs me. Between projects, though, I tend to just open the door quickly (the cats try to dash inside the minute the door is cracked) and stash whatever it is, thinking I’ll get to it later. This is the result of all that stashing.

I really have no excuse, other than being a slob. My biggest problem when I try to go through things and clean in there is that something grabs my interest and I want to sit down and play with it.  :0)


Under all this is a nice drafting table.

This used to be a dressing table when it was a bedroom. It is mostly set up (under all the ‘stuff’) as a jewelry making center and wrapping center. (I know – it’s hard to believe.)


This table is for alcohol ink creations, drawing, etc.

This is an area where I keep art supplies.

I have shelves on both sides of the drafting table.

The last time I cleaned this up, I was mainly straightening things. This time I’m going to concentrate on purging (donating things or throwing away), THEN cleaning, and THEN reorganizing.  This will definitely be a multi-day project.

We have the truck packed with a big donation from the pantry purge to the Veterans Thrift Store in Ft. Smith. When we get home, we’ll repack the truck with all the trash bags from the same project, hoping that the good trash people will take them all.  THEN I’ll start making more…




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Pantry Project is Finished!

Recently I showed you the NON-FOOD side of the pantry. Here is the FOOD side – mostly – except for the very top shelf.


Today I went through the top shelf mainly. We just bought replacement flood lights for an outside corner of the house. Today I found that we HAVE some…. I found a lot to put in the Veterans Thrift Store donation area, a lot to throw away, a lot that needed to go elsewhere. I then thoroughly cleaned the top shelf and then reorganized it. There are still two containers holding miscellaneous small light bulbs, but we won’t have to paw through them to find a regular replacement light bulb anymore.


I bought and used a lot of see-through plastic bins to help me organize things. We also have small ‘critters from time to time, and these will help us move things quickly to clean, plus The critters may decide to go elsewhere when they find it’s hard to get to anything edible now.


My husband made some special can shelves for us several years ago. We have these labeled, so we can quickly find the veggies or soup we want. We put new cans in the back of each partition, so the older ones keep moving to the front.

This is a picture of the non-food side of the pantry.  I can now just walk up and get the small appliance I need, rather than having to stand on my head to get one out of the cabinets in my island.

I’m pleased to have this much better organized than it was before. Even my husband noticed a big difference, though his main focus was on what I did with his ‘chip food group.’

The next thing I’ll need to do is list and pack up the things for the next donation to the Veterans Thrift Store. We’ll need to make this donation tomorrow or so.




Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Pantry Project – Day 4

This is Day 4 of the Clean-Out-The-Pantry project, and I HOPE it will be the last. I’m hanging in there, but I have to admit I’m pretty bushed. I now have 7 large trash bags in the garage to go out Monday evening, and we haven’t started gathering the ‘regular’ trash for the week! We do have several things to give to Methodist Church’s food pantry when I get finished, and I’ve gathered several things for the next trip to the Veterans Thrift Store.

One thing that has helped is we got 6 large plastic see-through bins so I can put like things together, such as sugar substitutes, or low carb baking mixes, or different kinds of flour. I used 4 yesterday and we went back today – since we’re due for freezing rain all day today into tomorrow, and shopped for groceries, too – to get 2 more. I THINK that should finish it. It will certainly make cleaning easier in the future.

Other than my husband’s sacred ‘chips and crackers food group,’ we’re pretty much down to things we can/should eat now in the pantry. Things won’t be so jammed together and it’ll be easier to find things.

If I finish today, I’ll post pics.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

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The Contest is On….



The contest is on for the oldest thing discovered in our pantry. So far, the winner is 1996 – a can of fruit cocktail in one of the back corners…

I had also been keeping large plastic containers of things – Better for Bread flour, All Purpose Flour, Brown sugar, regular sugar, etc. in two rows, one on top of the other, all the way across the back of one shelf. I’ve just finished throwing all that out. We’re not eating ANY of those anymore. I don’t know why I was so reluctant to dispose of them. Some were yucky, too….

I’m taking a break now, and then I’ll start to try to make a baking supplies area, a condiments area, etc. out of the chaos that reigns now. At the rate I’m going now, it’ll probably be the end of the weekend or into next week before it’s reasonable again.

I think I’ll sleep well tonight!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Pantry Purge – Day Three

We’re going to enjoy our good friends at Lunch Bunch today and then I’ll start Day Three of the clean-out-the-pantry project. The non-food side of the pantry is almost finished.



On the food side of the pantry, I’ll try to recapture areas such as baking supplies. I’m going to first start gathering food we aren’t (or shouldn’t be) eating on our low carb lifestyle – except for ‘saving-marriage-stuff, such as the chips food group, for my husband.

I’ve got this! (I HOPE)


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Another Exciting Day at the Lewises!

I wish that I could tell you that exciting things are happening at our house, but it ‘just ain’t happnin’ as Arkansans say.

My husband will probably work in the shop again, working on his welding lathe. He’s had to make almost all the parts, and he’s done a beautiful job. He has the main part of the tool welded together, painted, and on casters with brakes now. He’s having to carefully put the long 2″ in diameter solid tube of metal on the lathe today because it has to be exactly 2″ in diameter, and there are places where it is over that. This means it won’t go inside the 2″ hole in the tool that it has to, so he’ll have to carefully cut off the parts that shouldn’t be there, whittling the piece down to as close as 2″ in diameter as he can get it. He’s heating up the shop now. I’ll take progress pics soon and post them.

I’m making slow progress on my clean-out-the-pantry project.

I have discovered in all the cleaning out/purging/donating/reorganization stuff I’ve done this year, that I try to have one area serve way too many purposes. I’m trying to consolidate and relocate stuff that ‘shouldn’t be there’ more than anything. Hopefully, this will result in my being better able to find things going forward.  (An example of this is I had two over the counter meds on the shopping list for this coming Sunday. In going through things yesterday, I found we didn’t need to buy them – we already HAD them!)


Another example of my lack of organization was that I keep buying another package of clothespins, which we use around here for all sorts of things other than hanging laundry. I had them ALL OVER different parts of the non-food side of the pantry. I’ll probably never need to buy another one, along with good bottles of shampoo…

I went through both of these bins, throwing away expired meds for both humans and animals and reorganizing the rest and labeling them.


At least you can see that some of the shelves are cleaned out. I’m heading back in there in a few minutes to continue my slow, but steady work.

I hope that YOUR day is more exciting than ours….



Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Pantry Project – Day One

I did three sessions on my cleaning out the pantry project. So far, it looks worse.

I’ve thrown away a bunch of stuff, started gathering stuff to donate, and have reorganized some things in bins, but there is ‘stuff’ still on the dining area table and unless you know where to look, you wouldn’t know anything had been done in there. WHEW!

One good thing – I certainly got my exercise today.

This is one of those projects where it only looks better when an area is completely redone. That won’t come for at least another day or so. I’m concentrating on the non-food part of the pantry first. There is a LOT to go through, so I may not be posting any pics soon – at LEAST until I get the non-food part cleaned and reorganized.

I’m trying to keep the kitchen so we can still cook, make hot drinks, feed animals, etc., with an area clear for doing each activity. It seems impossible right now, but little by little, I’ll get it done.

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New Purging Project – Pantry

When we built this house 30+ years ago, we wanted to be SURE we had two things: plenty of closet space and a big pantry. We have walk-in closets in all the bedrooms plus the front hall closet and cleaning closet you visited in other recent purge projects. We have a room off the kitchen for the pantry. Not just a few nice shelves, but an entire room. Ahhhh!  I’ve cleaned this out before, but it was before we changed to a low carb lifestyle. I’ve also stashed things in here because we had the room. Now, of course, like so many of my other purge projects, it is overflowing with goodies.


As you can see, we have heavy shelving that goes all the way around the room and a fridge in-between. We have ceiling-to-floor ‘stuff’ that has gotten totally out of hand.


My plan is to get rid of most of the things we’re not supposed to be eating now – donating it to one of the various food pantries in Greenwood, and there are some things I can donate to the Veterans Thrift Store.  I want to organize the food that is left so I can find things more easily.  I’ll move some of the things in here elsewhere and I’ll throw out a lot of stuff.


I also have small appliances, like a toaster, an instant pot, etc., that I want to be able to get easily off the shelf.

This will be a several-day project. I think I’ll start removing the obvious things that shouldn’t be here first. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed right now, but I’ll just do a session at a time and just keep on keepin’ on.

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Productive Day and Play Tonight!


We had a really productive day! We

  • took 8 large leaf bags of donations to the Veterans Thrift Store
  • exchanged an empty bottle of Argon for a full one (for my husband’s TIG welding)
  • got cash at the bank
  • got parts for the welding lathe at the hardware store
  • found coconut flour at the grocery store for the low carb blueberry scones recipe I’m planning to try
  • found a new welding supply place that is closer to us AND a bit cheaper when we signed up for an account
  • I got the guest room bathroom clean and reorganized (this finishes the guest room reorganization project)
  • I gathered trash – managing to fill an extra bag for the week – according to my plan for the year.
  • I put our bowling balls in the back of the truck for tonight, gathered bottles of drinking water for the women
  • put the bags of trash in the back of the truck so we can put them out on the way to bowling tonight
  • cleaned up the rear seat of the truck, whisk brooming/vacuuming/using a lint roller/and finally a damp cloth to get Amber’s hair off the seats and floor. I also washed the inside of the windows because Amber tends to slobber while enjoying the ride in the car.
  • I made us a late lunch (we don’t eat dinner on bowling night because we want to enjoy some Braum’s ice cream after we play)

Tonight we’re bowling with good friends, catching up with what’s been happening since last week, and enjoying ice cream.

A great day!

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Guest Room Project Finished (Almost)


I finished the purging and reorganization of the guest room closet this afternoon. I have 8 large leaf bags to take to the Veterans Thrift Store on Monday.


Other than my out-of-season clothes and our luggage, the only other things are spare sheets for the bed, a spare comforter and pillows for the bed, a velour blanket. I tried to leave a big space for hang up things – long and short, for our guests, plus hangers, plus lots of shelf space.


I cleaned all the shelves, rods and carpet, so everything is nice and clean and much better organized now.


This is the guest room book shelf I went through the other day.


The only thing left having to do with the guest room is the guest room bathroom. Maybe that’ll be my project for Monday.  I’ll list the stuff for the Monday donation tomorrow. Right now, I’ve earned a nice cup of coffee and the chance to put my feet up for awhile. :0)

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Guest Room Closet Project – Progress (?) Report

I spent most of the afternoon getting everything out of the closet except for my out-of-season clothes, which I moved to the far end. Everything else is now out. When I get home from Lunch Bunch and errands, I’ll make lunch for my husband and then clean the closet before even thinking of putting anything else back in.


Going through my spring/summer clothes again will wait until I switch over at the end of winter.


Right now the guest room looks like a bomb went off in there, doesn’t it. I’ll probably start with linens and bed stuff I want to keep for the guest room. If this takes me through Sunday, I’ll just take time off for the SuperBowl and then do another session. :0)





Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Thursday+ Project

You already know what a slob I am, and that I put lots of things – almost anything – above cleaning stuff out.  I feel the need, however, every 30 years or so, to go through things.  We have NEVER stayed anywhere for more than 7 years. Our first house closing was in 1970. Our second was in 1977. Third 1981, and last 1987.  ( know these dates because of a wonderful wooden plaque my parents had made. It has a mounted champagne cork on one side and a gold plaque mounted on the other with the dates – added to each time we bought another home. We’ve had it on a wall somewhere since 1970 (some 48 years now. :0) ) When you move, you’re forced to go through things, purging, cleaning and reorganizing.

I use the guest room walk-in closet as storage for my off-season clothes. I ALSO use it for our son’s leftover luggage, some memory boxes I created, bedding for the guest room bed, and LOTS and LOTS of other things.


My goal is to only have linens for the guest room plus my out of season clothes. Everything else has got to go – either somewhere else, be donated, or thrown away. I plan to spend a couple of days (or whatever is needed) to take the time to go through everything carefully, armed with a large trash can, large leaf bags for donated items, a pen and paper to list what I’m donating, and cleaning supplies.









I know. It’s disgusting. It’s a good thing we’re friends, ’cause I wouldn’t show this mess to just anyone….

Wish me luck, please, on healing this.

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Monday’s Project Update

Before – I honestly couldn’t get much more IN, and actually had a few things falling on me while trying to take things out. I filled a leaf bag, relocated some things, cleaned the shelves and the floor, and then put what should be in there back.


I don’t think a cleaning closet ever looks ‘pretty,’ but this one looks a  LOT better than it did this morning!  I’m not sure you can tell, but there are about HALF as many bottles of ‘stuff’ as there were this morning. You can actually see the floor now. Things are clean and organized as to type of cleaner, and – best of all – nothing falls on you when you try to take something out!  Hooray!!

Since we’re bowling with friends tonight, I’m going to declare victory for the day and do some serious resting before we need to leave.

I hope you’ve had a good day, too. :0)


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And Yet Another Project…

This purging/cleaning/re-organizing ‘trip’ I’ve been on continues. It may drive me to drink because it’s not like me at all. I may be in the running for the world’s worst housekeeper. I’m not DIRTY, but I’m not NEAT, either. It has been over 30 years since we built our home on top of our ridge line in Greenwood, Arkansas. We have a nice, big house that encourages one to keep bringing more into it. And we have. Things come in, but rarely go out.

I finally decided that enough was enough (to coin a phrase :0) ) and am determined to use this year to really clean things out around here. I’ve also made a promise to do it again every thirty years…..

I’m trying to get donations together once a month – every month – this year for our local library in Greenwood and the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith. We made a donation to the Veterans store earlier this month, and today we took several bags of books to our local library, just in time to make our goal for January!

My new project is to go through what I call my cleaning closet in the utility room. It’s to the point that if I brought another cleaning supply of anything into the house it COULD IN NO WAY go into the closet…. Things don’t fly out at you when you open the door, but….. UGH.

This is the infamous cleaning closet in the utility room. I had to open the door to the garage to get these pictures.

Ugh. Things don’t fall out when I open the door, but it’s close. Things have been jammed in there for years and I can’t even see what’s behind the stuff at the front of the shelves.

top shelf


I don’t believe anyone could get one more thing on these shelves. I hang my head in shame, but I AM going to try to do something about it now.

Pretty frightful, isn’t it.


I’m going to tackle this one shelf at a time. This may take a couple of days, but I’m determined to make this much more usable.

Here I go!


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Bookshelves Project Finished!

It took me two days, but the purging/cleaning/reorganizing of the guest room bookshelves and my bedroom bookshelf is finished!

This is the set of guest room bookshelves. The guest room is our son’s old bedroom – hence the really large built-in bookshelves, a desk, a walk-in-closet, etc. When it was no longer needed by our son, we hired a man to cut a doorway between the bedroom and the bathroom, allowing us to give our guests more privacy with a private bath they can access from the bedroom.


This is the set of built-in bookshelves on my side of the master bedroom.  I can now see what I have, reach everything, and it’s CLEAN.

I gathered enough books in this project that well have a nice-sized donation to take to the local library tomorrow for their semi-annual fundraising sale.

NEXT PROJECT:  the cleaning closet in the utility room. (Pics to follow)

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I saw a set up for selling plants at the co-op as we drove by last week. I did some research and discovered that February is a good months to start onion sets in Arkansas.  We’ll check there tomorrow and see what’s what.  We had such good luck last year that I’ve been enjoying them since harvest and still have two nice hanging mesh bags of onions in the pantry. :0)


We have six 4’x4′ raised bed planters like this in our square foot garden. If we DO get onion sets, I’ll first have to mix some Mel’s Mix to top off a couple of the planters. We don’t have string strung yet to create the ‘square feet’ for the garden, either.  I’m not really in planting mode yet. I’m still thinking about how I’m going to set up my greenhouse so that I can get seeds growing. And I really wasn’t planning to start THAT until March….


I’m still in cleaning out mode, feeling better and better as I get areas around the house finally cleaned out and decluttered.

I’m working upstairs today – the second day of working on my bookshelves on my side of the bedroom, plus the shelves in the guest room. I’m hoping to finish that today.  During this process, I found a bunch of books that I no longer need, so I brought them downstairs to the office. About a third of them were saleable on Amazon, and the rest I listed to donate to our local library.  I have to concentrate on the ‘cleaning’ part of this because I see a book on art, want to sit right down and look at it, drooling over the pictures…

My goal this year is to continually gather donations for our local library fundraisers and the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith. I would like to be able to make a donation each month this year. I’m also trying to gather an extra large bag of trash each week. This week I’ll be putting out TWO extra bags!


I hope you’re having a nice Sunday,too.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Arkansas, Greenwood, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds