Category Archives: Organizing/DeCluttering

Latest Decluttering Project

I’m going through the last group of books I brought into the office from the entertainment center in the living room. I’m listing some of them for sale on Amazon and bagging up the rest for a donation to our local library tomorrow to be sold at their next fundraiser.

It has taken most of 2 days to go through the shelves, bring the books in here, sort them, and then clean the living room.

 

I made my husband stop what he was doing and come in and look at the CLEAN and much better organized living room.

 

I’ve promised myself that I’m NOT going to take 30 years to declutter what it has taken us a bit over 30 years to accumulate!

 

As I finish each phase of this once-in-30-years declutter/give away, throw away/reorganize/cleaning long-term project I feel freer. We have been weighed down by too much ‘stuff’ for far too long. Since neither my husband nor I are great housekeepers or throw-awayers, things had gotten well out of hand when I started this in January.

Thus far we’ve made 7 trips with donations to the Disabled Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith, and tomorrow we should be able to make our 3rd trip to the local library to donate books. We definitely have a good start now, and I’ll continue tackling one area at a time, making pass after pass until it feels really good.

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A Little Progress

BuzzFeed

I’ve told you I’m a lousy housekeeper, and that almost anything takes priority in my day. Yesterday and today, though, I was determined to get our screened back porch cleaned up after the long winter, lots of wind and rain, and even more dust and pollen. When I took Amber’s kiddie pool off the porch, I was choking from all the ‘stuff’ I stirred up!

Yesterday I cleaned off the table, then cleaned each thing on the floor as I piled it on the table. I then swept. I dragged the garden hose onto the porch and hosed everything down, then scrubbed the floor.

Mohkam_Mopping-commons.wikimedia.org

Today I swept again, and then used a mop and combination cleaner and shine stuff to finish the floor. The porch actually looks pretty good right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look quickly!  The wind is blowing and we have a chance for rain tonight, so this won’t last.  I’m planning for us to enjoy our lunch there today.

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Entertainment Center Purge Project

Yesterday I started a new cleaning/purging/give away/throw away/reorganize project – the entertainment center in our living room.  The shelves cover the wall at the end of the room and are brimming over with DVDs, books, gadgets, throws, afghans, ‘fru-fru’s’ (as my husband calls them, and more.

This project is fraught with peril because my husband doesn’t want me to do away with any of his DVDs or books. I will simply see if I can reorganize them a bit and clean thoroughly (yesterday I did a first pass and choked on the dust.)

He has an idea about using the computer to record all of our DVDs onto the computer, rather than having the physical DVDs. I’M the one dragging feet about that. I told him that he can do that with his DVDs, but I wanted him to leave MINE alone.  :0)

I’m am going to seriously go through MY books and the other things in the shelves, seeing which I can sell on Amazon or donate to the local library for their next fund-raising sale. I’ll need to get up on a ladder to reach the back of each shelf, and that may be the extent of my exercise today.

This will be a several day project, with my trying to get more and more ruthless with each pass. (I’m starting with the large shovel ….)

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Ooh, Look!

Title Wave with Sue Fitzmaurice via Cathy Ruggiero

Actually, it isn’t QUITE as bad as this, but it’s a close thing. :0)

Today’s plans involve three things, now that our errands for the day have been done:

THING ONE: put our produce in the new mesh bags I ordered YESTERDAY from Amazon. They came today! I have no clue how they do that, but I love it. The Nutrisystem plans have you eating 4 servings of veggies per day, along with the other stuff. We love salads (and I’m growing two kinds of lettuce in our raised bed, square foot garden – ready to start harvesting). I also have some broccoli I bought from the store. (Later, I hope we can harvest from our broccoli plants.)  A “serving” of veggies is one cup raw veggies or 1/2 cup cooked veggies, as a general rule of thumb.

An article on the website suggests that we use mesh bags to store our produce – that they keep the produce fresher and they last longer. I thought it was worth a try. I’ll move our stuff into the new bags later this morning.  I bought these

The set includes 3 sizes of bags with drawstring tops. They seem to be well made. They are machine washable.

THING TWO:  Our deck is still in winter mode. It finally quit raining and the sun is out! I’m planning to start uncovering pots, emptying or filling pots, as necessary, to prepare for our buying mandevilla for the 4 large pots, and a combination of favorites for the rest of the pots on the deck. I’ll also start figuring out how to get our hummingbird birdbath going. This is a pretty large project, but I’ll take pics as things come together.

 

THING THREE:  We have a wall of built-in shelves on one end of our living room. We use it as an entertainment center, housing speakers, DVDs, books, TV, etc. I’ve been ignoring the fact that this area needs some purging, as well as re-arranging and cleaning. I’m going to try to at least get a good start on that today.

I hope you have a fun and/or productive day planned. Our weather is so nice right now we just opened the front and back doors to air the house out. :0)

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SERIOUS ‘Un-Filing’

tedlilyfanclub.blogspot.com

 

I just love this picture, so I had to put on MY serious face in order to tackle – and FINISH – going through the last 4-drawer file cabinet in our office this afternoon.

 

I’ve told you before that I’m a lousy housekeeper. I’m in the process on decluttering/purging/donating/throwing away over 30 years of ‘stuff’. I’ve finished PHASE I (with the exception of the basement, garage, and shop, because I foresee some REALLY serious discussions about what stays and what goes with my husband. These are on the ‘ignore’ list for now.

PHASE II started with going through our office again, this time concentrating on the drawers and shelves not done last time, plus the file cabinets (we have two 4-drawer file cabinets, one 2-drawer cabinet, and two file drawers in my desk.

The picture above shows you the obsolete files I removed from the file cabinet. It doesn’t show you the pile of hanging files, file folders, labels, etc. that also are out of there.

  • I’ll run this pile of ‘stuff’ through the shredder.
  • I’ll make a list and bag up what we’re donating to the Disabled Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith.

Other than the computer switch we’re suffering through right now, we’re pretty well fixed in the office now!

My husband is working on writing programs that will make backups of each of our computers, storing the backups for mine on his computer and vice versa. We still have the MAC to my left on the counter, waiting to be wiped and sold, the tower for my new system on the counter to my right, waiting to be moved under my counter and all the wiring rerouted and neatened up, and then another computer he’s working on in the corner that goes with his ham radio set up. When we get all this organized, the office clean-out project can be considered finished (except for HIS shelves, which are on the ‘ignore’ list. :0)

Progess is being made in the Lewis house!

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Purging Project Continues

There are two main areas in our house where things go IN, but never come OUT:  file cabinets and freezers.

FILE CABINETS– Recently I finished cleaning out a four-drawer file cabinet and two file drawers in my desk. I’m trying to get motivated to go through the other 4-drawer file cabinet in the office, but it has been low priority. I’ll attack it soon.

 

FREEZERS-  Since we’re on top of a ridge line outside the small town of Greenwood, Arkansas, we have always tried to prepare for bad weather, bad events, bad luck, etc. To this end we have backups on a lot of things, like a generator to start up when the power goes out, well water if the public water isn’t available, a fire place to warm us if we can’t use the heat (like when the generator is providing power) etc.

Since food is far too important for us, we have a fridge in the kitchen, another in the pantry, a third in the garage, plus a chest-type freezer in the garage. Since I’m also lazy, food has been put only in freezer bags and put in the various freezers, rather than using my vacuum sealer all the time, labeling and dating things that go in. The end result is a hodge podge of ‘stuff’ in the freezers, comforting in general, but pretty pathetic if actually used, since a lot of the items in there have freezer burn, are mystery items, or have been in there since 1492….

My efforts to purge/clean out/donate/throw away/clean/reorganize centered on the freezers the past week or so. I finally finished most of what I’m going to do in Phase I of the project this morning.

We have FIVE 39-gallon trash bags full of ‘stuff’ for the good trash people to pick up this week. We’ll put it down at the bottom of the driveway tonight on the way to pick up our good friends for an evening of fun, exercise, bowling and ice cream.

I have now promised myself that I won’t let this happen again. I have a nice vacuum sealer readily available in the pantry. From now on I WILL USE IT so I won’t have any more mystery items. I’ll be sure to label and date each thing and come up with a system for getting rid of things that have been in the freezers too long in the future.

*So promises the lady who religiously cleans every 30 years without fail!*

It DOES feel good to be able to open freezer doors and actually have space available……

 

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Office Clean Out – Phase 2 Finished

Molly doesn’t enjoy having her picture taken, but my efforts to take pictures of the office woke her up. I finally finished Phase 2 of the office clean out/purge/declutter project late this afternoon. I went through all the drawers and shelves, reorganizing, putting things in the donation pile, throwing things away, cleaning. The above is the office supplies/dog toys/dog bed area.

 

The supply area is now clean and mostly organized. I gathered a 39 gallon leaf bag of trash.

 

These shelves are between my desk to the left and the file cabinets and my computer area to the right. I went through all the file cabinets, too, except for the one on the other side of the room. We have two four-drawer file cabinets, one 2-drawer, and then my desk has a file drawer on either side.

 

I went through all the drawers in my desk recently, so catching up on filing was all that was needed here.

 

This is my computer area. I cleaned out the drawers on the left of the chair and the shelves to the right of the chair. The only things left are to put the new PC tower under the counter and reroute the wiring, plus wipe the MAC to the left of the monitors and box it for sale.

Even my husband, who is pretty oblivious to disarray, noticed the difference!

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Decluttering – Phase 2 Begins

Frugal and Thriving

I’m still a slob. There is almost anything that I put ahead of cleaning. At the beginning of the year I made myself a promise that I would go through things in my house religiously – once every 30 years or so – and REALLY make a difference. I also promised myself (yes, I talk to myself a lot) that I would make every effort to make a donation to the Disabled American Veterans, aka The Veterans Thrift Town in Fort Smith, plus our local library, once a month all year long until all was under control.

To date, we’ve made 6 donations to the Vets and 2 to the library – a mixed success rate, to say the least.

I took a break, but now I’m starting with Phase 2 of my decluttering/purging/reorganizing/cleaning promise.  The biggest areas of concern were tackled in Phase I. Large areas needing help from my husband remain our basement, garage, and the shop. The problem is that basically, he would like to throw away MY stuff and vice versa.  So I’ve put these on hold to ‘discuss’ another day.

Pinterest

Today I started on Phase 2 of our Office clean-up. I tackled a 4-drawer file cabinet that I discovered was a repository of old records from my website, Creative Artworks. I shut down the website last June. All the records were obsolete, just taking up space. So, I –

  • took almost everything out of the drawers
  • saved manila file folders that were still usable
  • gave away hanging file folders whose colors were really annoying (yuck green, even yuckier dirty mustard color) saving the many I still had whose colors are good (purple, a really nice shade of blue, bright yellow, etc.)
  • I put the things I could use back on the office shelves
  • put the hanging folders that were good, but that I didn’t want, in the ‘donation’ area,
  • threw away a large trash bag of obsolete ‘stuff’ that will go out for pickup tonight to be whisked away by the good trash people tomorrow.

The next step will be to relocate stuff that I can now store neatly in the file cabinet that have been looking for a home. I’ll clean out the office shelves more in the process and then clean when all is where it should be (assuming it gets that way.)

I’m making definite progress on my promise, even though I’m one-and-a-half donations behind to the local library. They collect books to sell to the public in order to raise money twice a year. They either just had a sale or are going to have one very soon; so as soon as that is done, I’ll get more serious about finding books around here that can be donated.

I still don’t like cleaning that much, but PURGING is beginning to feel really good!

 

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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.’

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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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More Purging Progress

123RF

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.

 

 

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The Art Room Reorganization Project is Finished!

BEFORE:

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.

HALLWAY OUTSIDE ART ROOM:

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.

ART ROOM CLOSET:

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

 

 

MAIN ART ROOM:

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!

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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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Feeling Lighter

arts-kids

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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Hahahahahahahahahaha!

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….

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That Awkward Stage…

ClipGround

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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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?

artandcreativity.blogspot.com

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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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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Thoughts on The Art Room Project

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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…

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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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Slogging Through the Art Room Clean Up Project

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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…

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Cleaning Out the Art Room – Day 1

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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.

 

 

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Pantry Project – Day 4

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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….

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EEK!!!!!

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!

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Pantry Purge – Day Three

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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)

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Another Exciting Day at the Lewises!

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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….

 

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Pantry Project – Day One

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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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