Category Archives: Organizing/DeCluttering

Today’s Project – Fridge One

We have a fridge like this one in our kitchen. I love it. It’s a side by side with an icemaker. The doors open wide and there is a lot of flexibility in how you set things up, what temperatures you want, etc. We got it about 10 years ago, so it doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles people have now, but it’s really good for us and I hope it lasts a good, long time.

The outside is a nice, glossy black that looks great when it’s spanking clean and gets to looking pretty sad with a gazillion finger prints on it, spills from something we took out of the fridge, water deposits of ‘something’ in the drain under where the ice comes out, etc.

Our problem is compounded because I have all kinds of ‘stuff’ on it.

 

 

I have all kinds of information regarding Nutrisystem – snacks, okay veggies, okay fruits, grocery list, etc. We also keep a record of propane tank readings monthly. We have timers, fridge magnets, reminders of coming appointments – you get the idea.

Today’s project was to clean the fridge – particularly the inside. It started with using up our supply of cut up celery and radishes ready to eat. I fixed that, and then was again aware that the fridge really needed some attention, and had been needing it for awhile. I’m fairly good about watching for expiration dates on things, but I tend to shove bags of lettuce, veggies of all kinds, cheeses, etc. into their places without cleaning the bin or drawer UNDER them much, and the stuff in the door is even worse.

I just finished the fridge in the kitchen. It looks and smells really good now. :0)

Tomorrow’s project will be the fridge in the pantry…

 

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Today’s Project – Scrubbing the Tiled Areas

We have about half of our first floor done in tiles – walk-in pantry, kitchen, dining area, utility room, and two half-baths. I have been working on this project all day and am about half finished.

I scrubbed all the counters, polished tables, cleaned window sills, harvested lettuce, put out a few Christmas decorations, etc.

 

This is the kitchen. I’ve scrubbed everything up top now, and the stove parts are in the dishwasher.

 

This is looking from the kitchen out toward the dining area. (You can see my lettuce plants in the background.)

 

These are a few of our Christmas decorations on the divider between the dining area and the kitchen.

 

This is the dining area and my moved-inside-veggie garden. I still have lettuce and some celery plants.

The next step in today’s project is to vacuum all the tile and then mop.

I’ll try to take pics of more Christmas decorations when the light changes.

I hope you’re having a good day, too.

 

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Today’s Project – The Entertainment Shelves – Is Finished!

I guess if you’re ‘regular folks,’ you might think that the shelves need to be cleaned out NOW. If you’re the Lewises, though, this is WONDERFUL.

 

We have about 1/3 as much ‘stuff,’ as we did, the shelves are clean, smell like lemon Pledge (Ahhhh!) and are organized. (The pic above is my husband’s side of the entertainment center, so he’ll probably do more rearranging, but now he won’t choke on the dust while he does it. :0) )

And this is MY side of the entertainment center. I now have things where I can find them. I found things I didn’t realize I HAD, and did away with more stuff I no longer want.

I’ve worked on this project all afternoon, so with a little nudge from me, we’re going to get fried rice from our local Chinese restaurant for dinner tonight!

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Today’s Project -11-29-2018

Sono Marin Cleaning Services

I WISH I had a cleaning service, like the one above!

I told you recently that we had decided to get rid of our DVD collection – or most of it, since I kept my prized ones, not completely trusting the Synology Storage System. We gave approximately 217 DVDs to the local library for their next fundraiser.  We’re trying to sell the ones Amazon would accept, though it made me feel older than dirt when ours weren’t ‘acceptable’ (even Blu-rays) most of the time, due to the publishing date being too old.

This left us with several empty shelves on both sides of our TV!

I’m working my way through them, cleaning and moving things around. Due to the fact that they have held DVDs jammed side by side for umpteen years ( I removed the strips my husband cut to length and screwed into each one to make the DVDs stand in the shelves correctly) – cleaning is a real trip – partially because, other than running the dustcatcher over the top of them, the shelves couldn’t be cleaned without taking all the DVDs off each shelf. Since I’m a slob – FAT CHANCE! So I’m choking on dust, then using a clean cloth and Pledge to get the shelves clean and wonderful-smelling again, and THEN rearranging things so that books on the same subject are together, for example. I’m also getting rid of a lot of things.

I’ve spent a couple of hours on the project so far.  I’m about halfway finished and am taking a much-needed break.

When I finish my husband’s side, I’ll take pics of the newly clean, organized shelves!

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End of the Kitchen Drawer Project

Well, I threw away things, put extra supplies in the pantry, and reorganized the rest, having the things I use most often easily accessible now.

Our driveway beeper went off just before I took these pics. It was our wonderful Tri-Hill bug guy, on a follow-up trip to treat the outside of the house that he couldn’t do due to rain when he treated the inside recently. I found out that his last work day this week is today, and he has until Tuesday morning off!

While we were talking, I again noticed a BUNCH of frozen, dead foliage around the porch and in the planters, plus a gazillion dead ladybugs on the front porch. I was embarrassed that our outside was such a mess, so I’ll put in some time out there this afternoon. I’ll get rid of the poor ladybugs, cut down the dead stuff, and maybe get started on the leaves all over the front yard. I want to make mulch for the flower beds. If they’re dry enough, I might get started on that today…

I hope that YOU are having a wonderful last-day-before-Thanksgiving, too!

 

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I’m a “Stash-a-holic”

Believe it or not, this is a very nice double pull-out drawer inside one of my kitchen cabinets. The bottom holds cooking vessels of various kinds and stays in good order. This, however, is a horse of a completely different color, to coin a phrase.

Ziplock bags, sandwich bags, aluminum foil, etc. are stashed in here to the point it’s hard to get one thing out without other things coming with it.

So this drawer is today’s project.

 

Here it is from another angle. I would be embarrassed to show it to you – or admit that it’s MINE – except you KNOW I’m a slob and that I’m on a mission this year to go through areas one at a time, sometimes – in this case – one DRAWER at a time to declutter, give away, throw away and then reorganize our over 30-year-old home.

My husband, thankfully, is oblivious to my slobbiness, and I overlook his championship pack-rat skills, as well. While this makes for a happier marriage, it results in messes like this.

The first step was taking everything out of the drawer, cleaning and relining it.

 

This is one view of what came out of the drawer.

And here’s another. Hopefully, later in the day I can show you a much-improved supplies drawer – putting it all on the island insures that I won’t leave it until later. We can’t fix lunch unless I clean this up! :0)

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DVD Project Almost Finished

I am almost finished with the DVD project. These are the remaining DVDs that are my personal collection. These are the ones I want to keep, regardless of whether they are on the new, fancy movie storage thingie my husband got, and that we are enjoying now via Roku. Roku has made noises about not offering the access port after the first of the year. We’re not sure if this means they won’t offer it to new members or are doing away with it altogether. We’re hoping that since we have it now – this change won’t affect us. Since we have been on the wrong side of percentages in the past, I’ve elected to protect MY group by keeping the physical DVDs.

Now we have four empty shelves on the left side of our TV,

and at least 3 on the right side. It’s nice to have the freedom to rearrange our ‘stuff’ now. :0)

Meanwhile, I THINK I can finish going through the remaining DVDs in the office today, either listing them on Amazon (we’ve sold 7 so far) or bagging them up for a donation to our local library for their next fundraiser.

If all goes as planned, we’ll be making donations to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith, and the library in Greenwood tomorrow.

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Phase 2 – Shoe Shelf and Closet Progress

After Phase 2 of my decluttering/reorganization efforts, I now have a whole column of cubbies free.

 

I put three pairs of boots on the shelf above my tops and scarves, but the whole shelf on the other side (not pictured) is empty, as well.

 

After getting into my ruthless mode, I am donating 12 pairs of shoes to the Veterans Thrift store. I still have more shoes than any two feet can wear, but – HEY – I’m worth it!

Phase 3 of this effort will be putting things ON the shelves above my clothes and the empty cubbies, but that is a low priority thing.

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Two Project Day

 

THING ONE:

I told you recently that my husband got a new gadget that allows you to record all your DVDs on it and play them back whenever you want through the TV. There is access to it via Roku, and we enjoyed watching one of our collection last night.

I’ve been working on a project to go through all the DVDs in our collection (hundreds!) and SAVE the ones that are mine personally. (I don’t really trust the new gadget and would be happy to simply play my movies when I would like.) The others I’m looking up on Amazon to see if we can sell them. The ones that remain I’m bagging up to give to the local library for their next fund-raising project.

I’m trying to go through several stacks each day. Most of ours appear to be ‘ancient’ as far as selling on Amazon, so most of them are going to the library. I’m trying to finish this project so that we can make a donation the week after Thanksgiving.

 

 

THING TWO:

Yesterday I showed you Phase I of reorganizing my too-many-shoes. We built and installed a 7 foot long shelf along one closet wall. We put it up high enough that I can store shoes on the floor under the shelf, as well.

Today’s project is to try to get ruthless. One can only have so many combat type boots in a lifetime, for example. I love boots of all kinds, so this will be a difficult assignment, but I’m determined to get rid of a BUNCH of pairs of shoes. I have a leaf bag, a pad of paper and pen ready to go upstairs and get started.

Again, the goal is to have a good-sized donation ready to take to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith by the week after Thanksgiving. I’ll try to take a pic of the finished shoe shelf by the end of the day.

Wish me luck!

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Shoe Shelf Project

I have too many shoes. I’m really trying to go through and donate some of them, but I really have trouble parting with them. I’ll get more ruthless later, but right now, My closet was being taken up by too much wasted space.

I asked my husband if we could build a shelf along the wall about 14 inches up from the floor so that I could put shoes ON the shelf, as well as UNDER it. Yesterday we got a nice board 10 feet long and 12 inches deep. We cut it into 4 pieces: one for the shelf and then three supports. I painted the pieces yesterday so they would have all night to dry.

We installed the shelf today and I’m busily scheming on how I want to rearrange things. :0)

Here are some pics of how it was BEFORE –

This shows you that I’ve been trying to store shoes, purses, health supplies, too-small jeans and shorts, shoe inserts, and shawls on the top-level above my hanging clothes and scarves.

 

I have two columns of cubicles, but ALL were filled with shoes.

 

 

Ta da!  This shelf is 7 feet long and 12 inches deep. You can see the supports that hold the shelf up high enough along the wall I can put shoes under it, too.

 

Until I can force myself to get rid of more than the 3 pairs I’m donating so far, these are most of my shoes. I still have a couple of cubbies that have shoes in them, plus one shelf of combat boot type shoes along the top of the opposite side, but I was able to completely free up four cubbies after storing purses in some of them. I’ll probably refine this further by at least moving the summer shoes to the closet where I have my summer tops.

I was able to empty one full shelf above my clothes on one side of the closet. I moved my purses to some of the cubbies.

I realized I was starting to ‘stash’ and make excuses for what I was keeping, so I stopped for the day, but I wanted to show you that we made significant progress in making my closet much better!

 

 

 

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Project for Today – 11/12/2018

World Arts Me

 

I’m in the middle of “PHASE 2” of going through our house with a fresh eye, trying to purge, donate, give away, clean, and reorganize things room by room, one cabinet or drawer at a time so as not to be completely overwhelmed.

I made it through PHASE 1 – and we have made lots of donations to the Disabled Vets Thrift Store and to our local library to use for fundraising. Our house is better for it – better than it’s been in years. I’ve made a pact with myself that I will do this at least once every 30 years or so…. :0)

Today’s project is the double cabinet under the sink in the kitchen. I have stashed as much as I can in there now, and it’s to the point where I can’t get anything out without several other things coming with whatever I’m looking for.

 

As you can see, it’s been time for a clean-out for quite a while. Last time I did this, I added the two storage bins to help a bit, but they are overflowing.

I have everything out of the cabinet now. My husband awoke from a nap in his chair, going into the kitchen to heat water for some hot apple cider. He asked, “What’s happening?” seeing all the ‘stuff’ on the kitchen counters. I assured him that it would all be ‘healed’ sometime during the day….

I’ll try to post a pic later, and hopefully, you’ll be able to see a difference.

 

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Sunday’s First Project

World Arts Me

It seems that everywhere I look in my house – or outside, for that matter – many things are calling to me, saying things like, “I’m choking on the dust!” “I’m going to fall all over you the next time you try to get something from this shelf!” “Hellooooooooo! Are you still there?”  “Feed me!” “Clean me!” “Water me!” “Cut me down!”  You get the idea. Most of the time I’m able to ignore things, but every once in a while, I feel guilty and attack something.

  • One day this week I finally cleaned our ceiling fans – we have eight of them inside. (I’m still ignoring the ones in the garage, porch, and deck, and I’m not even THINKING about the ones in the shop.)
  • Yesterday I cleaned the three-window-combo in our dining area, then ended up cleaning other stuff…
  • Today I tackled our “back” bathroom. This one is off our utility room. I use it daily after breakfast to dry my hair, put on makeup, etc. The cats also have their litter box there – in case a need arises and they happen to be inside and no one is reacting to their pleas to go out.

Since this bathroom is right next to the door to the garage, my husband and I put up 2×4’s flat on one wall, then painted them white to match the wall, then put up a gazillion or so hooks to hold our hats, gloves, etc. years ago. Later, we added a couple of short shelves, since the cabinet under the sink is small and we needed more storage space.

Since then, the shelves had become a catch-all for cleaning supplies, paper supplies, make up, an electric razor plus attachments for cutting hair, and more. All were studiously ignored, so there was a layer of dust on the top shelf, and there was so much on my make-up and toilet paper shelf that the things threatened to tumble off onto the floor if I wasn’t really careful when I picked something up.  Cleaning the actual shelf was impossible.

I decided to move a small table with storage under it and a drawer into the bathroom. This has been in our foyer for years and years, acting as a catch-all for books we’re going to donate, clothes we’re giving away but haven’t gotten into big leaf bags yet, and more. Everyone who comes to visit comes through our garage, so we were able to ignore this problem area, too.

 

It may be odd, but I have some wonderful art work by friends in this bathroom, as I get to enjoy them every day this way.

 

This is the sink that has a cabinet under it, but no drawer.

 

This gives you an idea of our storage system for gloves and hats.

 

This is the small table that used to be in the foyer, plus the cats’ box.

 

There is never enough room to store scarves…

 

And here are the infamous shelves whose items were threatening to jump off and dump themselves on the floor. I separated my makeup into things I dash on every day and other things for when I want to get more serious in the bag on the shelf above.  I put the back up stuff in a gallon storage bag, and the everyday stuff on a pretty dish I have. Now I can clean under things quickly. :0)

And why didn’t I do this years ago? One of the big mysteries of life….

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Bad News and Good News

MLive.com

The BAD news is that someone in South Carolina won the grand prize in the Mega Millions game last night.  :0(

The GOOD News is several-fold:

  • I have tickets for Power Ball that will be decided tonight!
  • My friend, Marsha, and I reconnected!
  • I just had a really good session of yoga, and my husband did some sit ups!
  • I finished cleaning off the table beside my chair in the living room and the ‘go-out’ table in the dining area.

I don’t have a ‘before’ pic of the table by the chair in the living room, but here it is cleaned off –

 

 

 

Here is the BEFORE pic of the go-out table between the dining area and the utility room with the door to the garage –

 

 

And here is the way it looks NOW

 

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“Closet” Project Almost Finished!

Pesquisa Google Pinterest

 

Actually, yesterday was the biggest push on this. My closet is as organized now as it ever gets – cool and cold weather clothes in there now. I filled a whole leaf trash bag with clothes that were TOO LARGE yesterday – my reward for the day. I’ve spent SO many years moving too-small clothes back and forth, ignoring the problem. The past couple of years I’ve only moved the ones I had SOME chance of getting into by the NEXT season, or things I really loved that I just couldn’t face giving away. As I told you yesterday, I’m still grinning that a deep purple sweater with leather front decorated with leather flowers finally FITS!

The remainder of the closet project will be done today, since it’s STILL raining and too cool outside for comfort  (45 degrees F.)  I moved the warm/hot weather clothes into the guest room closet. I’ll get them arranged a bit better, with room for our son to hang stuff up when he visits (sometime this winter!)  And THAT will finish the closet project.

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Decluttering – Cleaning Out – Celebration!

Cosmopolitan

I told you recently that I’ve started on Phase II of decluttering my home. It’s been awhile since I’ve made any progress because I’ve been working out in the yard. Now that we’re having a rainy weekend and first of the week, I started on the master bedroom and bath.

With the sudden coolness,  yesterday we got the upstairs vacuum working well enough to clean both rooms. I found myself grabbing a hoodie to keep warm, so today I started on my closet in earnest. I moved the hot weather clothes into the guest room closet and the cold weather clothes into my closet. Now I’m doing sessions, trying on everything and deciding whether it’s wearable and I like it, or if it’s in good enough shape to donate to the Thrift shop, or…

A truly wonderful thing is that I’ve been moving a sweater with a leather front, leather flowers and a front zipper back and forth for at least 5 years now because I loved it, even though it was WAAAAAY too small.  Today I tried it on and it FIT!!!!! I got my husband to come upstairs, put it on, and even HE thought it looked really good. He said, “Not only can you get into it, it fits WELL and looks GOOD.” :0)

I like loose tops. I’ve found several, however, that are SO loose they’re either falling off my shoulders or come down so low in front I might as well not bother wearing anything. Woo HOOOO!  I have a pad and pen and some trash bags up there to receive the donations now.

I get tired and out of patience quickly trying things on and taking them off again, so I’m spacing out the sessions. I’ll try to finish things by this evening.

It really feels good to be celebrating getting rid of clothes that are TOO LARGE, as well as purging my closet in general.

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Decluttering Project – Phase Two – Office

I’ve been going through our home this year, trying to look at everything with a fresh eye with the idea of keeping what is useful or brings us joy, and giving away what we hope others can use, and getting rid of ‘stuff’ that just weighs us down. Since we’ve been in the house for over 30 years now and are both pack rats, this is a big job. We aren’t ‘hoarders’ as on TV, but we have gone far beyond reasonable in ‘stuff.’

I’ve made good progress, going through each of the rooms of the house (with only cursory attention to basement, garage, and shop due to ‘intense discussions’ on what constitutes ‘junk’) and am now starting PHASE II, going through everything again.

I started with our office, because we both spend a lot of time in here. My husband was finally able to get both of our computers going again (INTENSE GRATEFULNESS and RELIEF) so I’m officially moving the laptop back out to our shop. There is one remaining open computer on the counter. This is a project of my husband’s, so I’m keeping hands off and mouth firmly shut. :0)

Otherwise, I have been working on this room part of each day for approximately two weeks. Trips and other priorities made this a bit hit and miss, but today I feel as if I’ve made definite progress.

I have one small pile of things left to file or pitch. Otherwise, I’ve cleaned out my drawers and shelves here. It’s nice to not have to wade through a whole pile of ‘stuff’ to get to my calendar, or discover that I actually have two wall calendars for 2019 already! I’m comfortable at my computer now.

 

This was a real mess. I threw away a BUNCH of things. Again, I can find things easily now and have removed more dust than I care to detail. :0(  Our shredder is sitting on a box containing a new laser printer. Our old printer that was beyond used up suddenly gasped and is functioning. We’ll finish out what it can do and THEN get the new one set up.

 

And this is my impractical, but well-loved desk, finally clear of many piles of things that couldn’t be moved before today for various reasons. It’s nice to be able to have a spot to actually work without having to move stacks and stacks of ‘stuff.’

Motivation is picturing our son, who lives and works in Thailand – and who loves his minimalist lifestyle, having to go through things and decide what to do with all of it. I’m not sure which room I’ll tackle next. I have to admit that everywhere I look, attention is needed. I feel good that I have one room “Phase Two Finished.”

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Good Afternoon!

I’m late getting to my blog today because I enjoyed a glorious massage!

If you live in the Greenwood/Fort Smith/Hackett and more area in Arkansas you should contact Lynn Moody at lynnmoody42@yahoo.com and schedule an appointment. Time with Lynn will be the very best present you can give yourself.

Dribs and Drabs and Details Updates:

  • The pulled pork recipe last night was a success and it couldn’t be simpler.

I bought a pork loin the day before yesterday. Yesterday morning I browned it on all sides and then put it in my slow cooker. I didn’t go by a recipe, but added tomato soup plus a can of water, a chicken ‘booster’ packet, a bit of seasoned salt and pepper, onion bits, and garlic. I set it to low for 10 hours. When we were ready to have dinner, I turned off the slow cooker and put the pork loin on a platter. My husband and I grabbed a handful of forks and had great fun pulling it to shreds. We then got out our scales and divided it into 4 oz portions in freezable and microwaveable portions, putting a tablespoon of the remaining liquid from the slow cooker in each.

My husband deemed it ‘very good!’ I was relieved because this can take the place of the pulled pork item that Nutrisystem discontinued recently and probably won’t have again. This was my husband’s favorite item, so this is a big deal for us. It was also quick and easy to prep for cooking. This meant a lot to me because I’ve never tried pulled pork before.

He did ask that we find another BBQ sauce because it would add more flavor, so I found one today, with the help of a good friend, that has 5 grams of sugar per serving. A serving is 2 tablespoons, and we’ll only use ONE, so this is good going forward. We’ll probably have the pulled pork as a staple of his/our new eating plan going forward.  He can eat some whenever he wants for dinner or lunch, since he is near his weight goal now. I’ll probably use it as a flex dinner because we’re eating it on a hamburger bun.

  •  I’m almost ready to start adding some fur or feathers to the drawings I traced recently using my new 4 LED Tracing Board (light box). I did find another drawing I want to try (a fawn) , so will try to get that one added today.
  • I managed to do some yard work last night WITHOUT getting stung by red wasps or ants! I did find that the red wasps had built a nest INSIDE the mouth of the metal peacock critter we built who sits in the planter. My husband squirted the wasps and we ran for the house just before we finished our yard work. Hopefully, with relocating the peacock, the wasps will decide to live elsewhere.
  • I’ll do a final tweak on my closet clean out and reorganization project today and call it finished until I move things in the fall.
  • My husband’s blood test numbers were SO much better that I sent them to a friend who has been trying to get term life insurance for him. (He was turned down 2 years ago, and the policy premium we have now will skyrocket on his birthday.) She submitted the numbers to the underwriters who were super impressed with the improvement and agreed to consider him for a policy! We’ll apply next week. Fingers crossed.

That catches you up on the exciting lives of the Arkansas Lewises. I hope things are going well with you, too.

 

 

 

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Donation

dohanews.co

Yesterday I finished (more or less) cleaning out my closet.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to try to make donations to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith and our local library once a month.

Today was donation #9 for the year to the Veterans Thrift Store, so I’m a bit ahead on my goal!  I’m not doing as well on donations to the local library. I’ve only done 4 this year, so will have to step up my efforts.

It feels good to be going through our things, purging what we’re not using, seeing that other people have access to what they might enjoy, and having less ‘STUFF.’

I have some fine tuning on my closet, but I’m almost there. :0)

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Closet Purge/Reorganization Project Finished

I have now finished going through my closet with my hot weather clothes, all my shoes, purses, scarves, etc. For me, this is good. Before, my shoes were all over the floor, for example. To the right of the shelves you can see my scarves and a hint of my purses.

 

My shoes are actually in the shelves for shoes now!

 

Casual tops are on the top. Dressier (as far as I GET dressier) on the bottom.)

I’ve tried everything on and have brought a LOT of stuff downstairs and dumped it in the foyer corner until I start listing and bagging things for donation to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith. THAT’S for another day, though.

I’m going to go put my feet up and dive into another book. :0)

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Cleaning Out My Closet – Again

Due to the nice fact that I shed one size in jeans due to my efforts with Nutrisystem and exercise, I decided that today was a good day to go through my closet again.

The last time I did a good job was in the fall, so I have a full closet of warm/hot weather type clothing now. I’ve kept some of it because it was too small and “maybe” I could wear it ‘someday.’ I’ve kept other things because they were large enough to fit me.  Other things have just gone back and forth from the guest room closet to my closet and back again several times. I hate to admit that, but it’s true.

This time I’m going through everything thoroughly again, trying everything on and making the decision to keep it or donate it.

The fun part so far was getting rid of some now-too-large jeans and a pair of dress slacks that was new when Methuselah was a baby. (Do you get the idea I usually wear jeans?)  :0)

I brought down a big group of clothes I’m going to donate, but I got hot and tired and decided I would rest a bit and do something else, and then go back up for another session a bit later.

This time I’m not keeping something just because ‘it’s big enough to cover me.’ I’m also looking at the color, style, and deciding if I actually LIKE it or not. Imagine that! It’ll be a while before I can have JUST clothes I like, but little by little, I’m moving toward my goal.

I’m hoping that when I move the warm/hot weather stuff into the guest room closet in a few months and exchange it for the cool/cold weather clothes, I’ll be able to do the try-everything-on again job again and find more things that are actually larger than they need to be.

My goal will be to have a donation ready for The Disabled Vets Thrift Store by the end of next week. I’m also working on another donation for our local library, as well.

I hope you’re having a great Sunday.

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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

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