Category Archives: Organizing/DeCluttering

New Mantra

Joshua Becker via becomingminimalist

Two years ago now, I made a donation to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith at least once a month, every month, in an effort to declutter our home. I made a lot of progress, but I’m trying to get started again.

This month so far we have made one donation – a whole bunch of glasses – glass and plastic – that were cluttering up our kitchen cabinets and pantry. I was truly amazed when my husband brought a 5 foot long box in from the shop to use. I was amazed when we filled it almost to overflowing!  We added a trash bag with an old crock pot and an old juicer, and that it was the first donation.

I’m going to continue in the kitchen/pantry/dining area for now. Since we are eating keto now, I’ve changed the way I’m cooking. I’m going to reorganize, so that the things I use the most often are in the prime storage spaces – or, at least, that’s the PLAN. :0)

It feels good to gather things others can use and donate them.

This year I’m not going to try for any particular number of donations. I just want to make steady progress in my effort to only have things around that I use and enjoy.

 

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Filed under Attitude, giving, Organizing/DeCluttering

Hello!

Wild and Wonderful

I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday.

It’s nice and fall-like here, with sunshine. It’ll get to 60 today. I’m lovin’ it!

My back is almost completely healed now, so I’m very grateful.  I’ll continue to do the multiple sessions each day until the soreness is gone.

I’m continuing to gather things for the first declutter donation.

AND I’m hoping to sneak up to my art room this afternoon.

Have a wonderful day, everyone.

 

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Filed under exercise, Organizing/DeCluttering, playing in my art room, Thoughts on a ________

The Great De-Clutter – Phase 2

Deposit Photos

A year ago we made a donation to the Disabled Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith every month, trying to help others while we cleared things out here, room by room.  The reason we have so much clutter is that we have lived in this house for over 30 years now. It has a good amount of storage space, so we have made generous use of it. Both my husband and I tend to save things, thinking “we might need it later.” Needless to say, we ended up with waaaaay too much ‘stuff.’

After a year of trying to declutter, we made good progress. So I sat on my laurels and we only did a few donations in 2019. Lately, it has become obvious that we need a Phase II of the decluttering project.

This time I’m starting in the kitchen/dining area/pantry, since I realized that with our following the keto eating plan, many of the things I used to use on a daily basis are gathering dust and taking up space.  I’m going to do a big reorganization of the kitchen and pantry, putting the things I use all the time in prime storage space and moving the other things onto high shelves in the pantry. Some things I will donate.

Assuming I ever finish in this area – a BIG job – I will then move from room to room, gathering things to give away, if they can be enjoyed by others, or thrown away.

I’m not going to set a once-a-month time frame this time. I’m going to take my time and try to concentrate on making the area work better for us.

So far, we have filled a long box with glasses that were cluttering the cabinets and the pantry.

Wish me luck?

 

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Filed under Organizing/DeCluttering, quality of life

Thoughts on a Thursday 11-14-2019

wildlife-photography-awards-www.boredpanda.com

We are having a balmy day today – bright sunshine at 56 degrees F. – can’t ask for more.

A happy thing happened yesterday. I received an email from ArtFire that I had an order!  A nice lady ordered one of my mosaic Christmas Bell ornaments. After I received an answer on which one she preferred, I packed it carefully and mailed it today.

I always go around with a silly grin on my face after I receive a sale. It’s the highest compliment there is. :0)

My big push for the day is to clean up our office. It exploded recently when I was doing a lot of new projects in my art room, then trying to get the new stuff on my websites, and then was trying to get my products together to put in my new “Blasing Bright” booth locally in the Rags & Roses shop in Greenwood.  Every flat surface is piled high with ‘stuff’ now. ANYTHING more added would result in instant avalanche.

SO – I have promised myself that I won’t do another thing – other than write a few blog posts – until I transform the area from a hard hat area to what could pass for a regular office….

Wish me luck?

 

 

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, MY ARTFIRE GOODIES, Organizing/DeCluttering, Thoughts on a ________

Flying Hair Balls?

stormzonec

Rain, fog, wintry mix, flying hairballs, and MUCH colder temperatures are forecast for my area today. We are just southeast of Fort Smith, in Greenwood. With as warm as it has been, we don’t have to worry about any accumulation, but bridges and overpasses will get slick and it’s just a great day to stay inside.

Happily, I managed to finish cleaning out the flower planters in the front yard – 11 brick planters and two pots.  When we have good weather again, I’ll tackle the remaining brick planters and pots in the back yard.

This is Memorial Park in the center of our small ‘square’ in Greenwood. People can have memorial stones made for their Veterans and have them added to the moving display. On Veterans Day you can see the flags placed at each of the stones remembering our veterans. More stones are added from time to time. I wanted to get one made for my husband, who served for 4 years in the Marine Corps during Vietnam, but he is adamantly opposed, since he wasn’t in combat, ‘only’ on a ship offshore all the hot spots during his time. I think he deserves to be there, but that’s a fight for another day. This remembrance makes me proud.

 

Memorial Park, City of Greenwood AR

I’m going to TRY to clean up my art room today. With the combination of having a blast experimenting with the new kit of Unicorn Spit Stain/Glaze my sister-in-law sent me and then taking a set of shelves out to put in the new booth at the shop in Greenwood, it looks as if a bomb exploded. I’m going to concentrate on getting things so you can walk through the room without injury and MOST of the ‘stuff’ is put where it won’t fall down. :0)  THEN, I’m hoping to PLAY some more up there!

littlekidsbigart

Also on the ‘should’ list for the day is a clean up of our office – but I’m studiously ignoring that for now – celebrating the fact I worked hard yesterday and that it’s definitely an inside day today!

I hope that the weather is nice where you are – OR that you have a nice warm, dry place to spend the day.

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Filed under holidays, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering, playing in my art room

Garage Project is Finished!

Just to officially document that on OCCASION my area in the garage looks pretty reasonable, here are pics of the finished project for the day –

 

I hate to admit it, but usually I have trouble walking around in this area.

 

 

See – there IS a counter under all the ‘stuff.’  It’s a NICE counter, too – when you can SEE it….

Enough for today. It’s really too hot outside. I hope that you are indoors and comfortable.

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Today’s Project – Cleaning Out My Area in the Garage

Imgur

I just came in from Session # 1 out in the garage. I look a lot like the poor kitty above. Picture an old lady with paper towels, a red face, and a BIG glass of ice water….

The weather folks say the heat index today is between 103 and 106, and I believe them!  I’m going to rest and drink a LOT of water before doing another session.

My area in the garage is the catch-all for everything that doesn’t have a permanent home. This includes cases of bottled water, cases of sugar-free pop, gallons of Zero Peach Iced Tea, and then the tools we have ready when we finally run out of excuses not to start the rebuild on the second brick planter that collapsed, plus bird feeders, plant food, bug killers, weed killers, planting tools, stools, roll-around stools, plastic buckets, bags of quik-crete, a new seed and ‘stuff’ spreader, my elliptical trainer, etc. etc., etc. (Aside – are you old enough that what I just said reminds you of Yul Brynner from “The King and I?”)

The other day I moved a bunch of stuff out to the greenhouse, but if you didn’t watch me do it, you wouldn’t know by the amount of stuff still stashed here. It’ll probably take two or three more sessions to make some sense of the area.  If I don’t die off of heat stroke before finishing, I’ll take some pics of the ‘healed’ area so you’ll know it’s clean and organized SOMETIMES. :0)

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Freezer Diving

Webstaurant Store

This freezer is very similar to ours. Ours has three heavy plastic bins that hang across the top.

Since things tend to go INTO this freezer and never be seen again, today’s project is to clean it out and reorganize it for actual cooking again.

For those of you who don’t know – and can’t imagine anyone having a problem like this – my husband and I have been trying to lose the lard for a bit over a year, starting mid April of 2018. We signed up for Nutrisystem. Except for planned cooking or go-out meals (one each for breakfast, lunch and dinner each week)  I haven’t been cooking. We stopped the Nutrisystem program and  have recently started the Keto eating plan. I like the idea of eating real world meals again, with leftovers, etc., but have to gear up for it.

I’ve finished PHASE I of the project this morning. Can you believe I had stuff in there from 2013? I KNOW!  :0/  I filled TWO doubled leaf bags!

I’m resting now, gearing up for PHASE II, which is trying to make sense of what is in there and reorganizing it so I can find things quickly and stuff hopefully won’t be ‘lost in the ozone’ again.  I’m hoping that I can actually move some stuff that is in our fridge freezer out there, making space for more frozen veggies and fruit INSIDE.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

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Pantry is Finished!

It’s far from perfect, but MUCH cleaner and more organized than it was. It was almost like a treasure hunt. I found things I didn’t know I had!

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Cleaning Out the Pantry – AGAIN

Contemporary Closets

I’m lucky. I have a ROOM we use as our pantry. Being lucky is sometimes a double-edged sword, though. Having ROOM results (in OUR house) in things going in and never coming back out.

Ours doesn’t look as bad as this one, but right now ours looks as if a bomb had struck. I’m trying to do a combination of things with the clean out and reorganization –

  • get rid of things that are past a sell or use by date
  • box up the remaining Nutrisystem stuff (I read some of the labels again and was appalled that ONE meal exceeds my carb limit for the day!)
  • reorganize for more actual cooking going on (I got spoiled when we were on the commercial diet. Now I’ll be cooking most meals- plus gearing up to feed our male 16-year-old Italian soccer-playing foreign student who arrives August 6th.
  • I’m gearing up to be able to stick with the keto eating plan for me, and the main things my husband eats, plus be able to add some pasta, or bread, or cereal, etc. for our new ‘son’ for the coming school year.

I’ve spent an hour so far, and am about to do another session. It will take several before things are ‘good,’ but I’m happy to be getting my act together.

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What To Do When Internet Service is Out…

Today’s Parent

We HOPE we have reached the end of over two full days of NO Internet service. Granted, our weather has been bad off and on, but the last couple of days have been relatively nice. There seemed to be no reason for the outage. Of COURSE, it was on the weekend – starting Friday evening – outside of regular working hours.

My husband talked with a tech a couple of nights ago, who confirmed there was an outage in our area. He said they were working on it, and should have it fixed by yesterday morning at 10 a.m. He told us to call if we still had problems. I called yesterday after 10 a.m. and they told me the outage had been fixed.

I CALMLY said that was lovely, but we still didn’t have service. Finally, after many “put-on-holds-and-thank-you-for-the-patience-that-had-long-since-been-used-up” sessions, they confirmed that there was still an outage affecting where WE lived. Duh. They said they were working on it…

I had been trying to watch a webinar for the full two days. It was concerning my new Etsy store, and what I should do to give it the best possible chance of success – something I really wanted to watch and hear. My frustration level was through the roof.

I used the time we didn’t have Internet to finish inventorying the supplies I had for filling orders. I also reorganized what I had so I could put my hands on things quickly.

This is my newly-cleaned-off-thanks-to-the-outage drafting table.

 

This are my note cards and stationery supplies shelves.

A close-up of the labels so that I don’t have to approach the shelves with a ruler each time. :0)

 

Combination freebies-to-be-included in orders and wrapping station.

 

I was FINALLY able to watch the hour long webinar at 1o:00 last night. :0)

Now that we have Internet service again  – HOOOOOO-RAAAAAAAAAY! – I’ll concentrate on trying to implement one of the many great suggestions my expert, Renae Christine, had.

 

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Filed under Challenges, Organizing/DeCluttering

Gearing Up

Love To Be Busy

These aren’t MY shelves, but I’m spending time in my art room inventorying my paper supplies, calligraphy pens, wrapping supplies, paints, boxes, ribbons, envelopes, and more to be sure I can fill orders without delay.

I’m making lists of what I DO need to order, and then reorganizing my shelves so that things I need are super easy to find.

I’m excited that I have found Renae Christine, a lady who has been super successful in online shops of her own, who makes videos for others like me, helping them to correct mistakes they might be making, helping them rethink what they are trying to do, and helping them get set up. I signed up for one of her webinars today at 2pm, and have an alarm set and note-taking supplies at the ready!

She is very smart. I’ve watched each of the three videos I have twice, trying to absorb everything and use her suggestions in my new Etsy store, ArtworthyNoteCards.

P.S. Our Internet only functioned in spotty fashion the whole day, so I missed the webinar. I THINK I can save it and watch it tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

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Cleaning Up the Greenhouse

This is the greenhouse we built a couple of years ago. It has withstood all kinds of storms and gusty winds and I’m very grateful.

Lately I’ve tried several times to get spinach seeds to sprout so that I could transplant them into our square foot garden on the opposite side of our property. So far, my moniker, “Serial Seed Killer” remains applicable. All I’ve created in here is a mess.

Today, while my husband mows the lawn using our lovingly refurbished, very old riding mower (WEARING A HAT, I hope!) I’m going to be cleaning things up in the greenhouse, armed with a fly swatter and wasp spray.

 

When he finishes mowing, I’ll string the extension cord across the yard and plug it in at the outdoor receptacle at the house so I can run the exhaust fan. It’s hooked up to a thermostat that turns it off and on depending on the temperature set, to try to cool things off. This works pretty well in the spring, but we give it up in the summer. Even with the exhaust fan and the one on the table going, plus have the door at the opposite end propped open, it gets too hot in here.

I’m basically trying to extend our growing season as much as possible, growing new plants to put in the garden at the proper time.

I have lots of good supplies. I’ll try to get things better organized and ready to plant more seeds.

I try to plant things on this side of the greenhouse, and I keep the water here.

I’ll feel happier when it looks more like someone has a plan in here, rather than everything just being ‘dumped.’ :0)

 

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Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Organizing/DeCluttering, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

Patting Myself on the Head – Just a Bit

LessonPix

I’ve been a good girl today, doing some of the things I hate most – balancing checkbooks, filing, and tax prep for 2019.

I have the equivalent of a doctorate – plus in the fine art of procrastination. For years I have paid for it and the end of the year/beginning of the next year – being buried in receipts. I HATE tax prep and my husband calmly washed his hands of it years ago. He does bring me cups of coffee every once in a while, as encouragement, but that’s as involved as he gets.

When I finally could dump all of the organized receipts for 2018 on our wonderful CPA, I promised myself I would do things differently from now on. (Truth be told, I promise myself a LOT of things, only to procrastinate until the promises become meaningless.)

This year, though, I’m happy to tell you I have just finished

  • balancing our checkbooks
  • filing (I can see my desk!) – AND
  • converting receipts of all types for the month of March into the spreadsheets for taxes for 2019 I started at the beginning of the year.

Instead of cramming all the monthly receipts into monthly folders and then trying to make sense of things at the end of the year, I am going through the monthly receipts, listing things on the proper spreadsheet, then putting the receipts into a folder labeled for that deduction. No monthly folder anymore once the month is over. This way, at the end of the year I can simply total each category on the various spreadsheets, print them, list the information on the tax form booklet our CPA provides, already having the receipts ready to take!

I have officially finished 1/4 of 2019 now – can you see my grin?

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Bright Ideas, building good habits, Cause for Celebration, Changes, character-building exercises, learning new things, Organizing/DeCluttering, THINGS I HATE!

Good Day

Rebloggy

I’m tired now, and am finished trying to be productive today – other than cooking fish for dinner later.

It’s a gorgeous day – 67 degrees F. and sunshine-y. I WISH I could finish prepping our square foot garden for planting, but I ran out of some of the ingredients for Mel’s Mix. I’ll try to get them tomorrow.

I decided to continue trying to clean out, declutter, and reorganize our office supply shelves. In the process, I’m finding several things I think others can use, so I’m bagging them up to donate to the Disabled Vets Thrift Store. I’ve thrown out a bunch (it’s a good thing our trash pickup is soon :0) ), and I’ve cleaned shelves. I’m trying to make FINDING and ACCESS paramount, since my husband gripes when he can’t find the extra staples, for example.

I ended up with a couple of bins for things we want to be able to find and use quickly. I put extras in a larger bin, but out of the way a bit. Throwing out enabled consolidation, so we actually have a bit of shelf empty now! HAH! :0)

I’ll work on the shelves again, but I made good progress today.

Now the rewards of my book, a cup of coffee, and my recliner. AHHHHH!

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Today’s Continuing Project

When we built our home over 30 years ago, we used an entire room off the kitchen as our pantry. I’m lucky because we have a lot of space. It also causes some problems because I tend to stash way too much STUFF in here!

I went through our pantry when we switched to Nutrisystem almost a year ago. I cleaned a bunch of stuff out, gave away a bunch, packed other things away for much later….

Now we’re doing more flex meals, plus branching out. I need to reorganize the pantry so that things are easy to find, easy to get to, etc.

The side of the pantry in the picture above is the food side of the pantry.

On the back side is the pantry fridge, and then an L-shaped bunch of shelves that hold cleaning supplies, paper supplies, cooking pots, canning stuff – you name it.

I’m now working on getting things organized so that I can cook more without having to move a bunch of STUFF in order to get the pan I need, the ingredients I need….

I’m trying to do a bit each day. Today I’m giving it an extra push because it’s cold and rainy outside, we don’t need to go anywhere, and I want to accomplish more today than laundry and vacuuming. (Already done!)

I’m concentrating on the non-fo0d part of the pantry today. I’ll take pics if I make enough progress.

 

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Patting Myself on the Back a Bit

JaneSturgeon.wordpress.com

I promised myself that when I finally finished getting our tax stuff together for our CPA, I would then keep up with things on a monthly basis, and reorganizing our files according to deductions, etc.

I’ve just spent much of the afternoon doing just that for January, 2019!  I had made spreadsheets of deductions, and copied them for 2019. I used the stuff I had accumulated for January, plugged in the numbers on the proper spreadsheet, then made new files. I then balanced our checkbooks, finishing things up for the month.

I may break my arm trying to keep patting myself on the back, but I’m really happy that this afternoon resulted in such a good start to the new year.

Ironically, by the time I have this down to a science, I’ll probably have croaked!  :0)

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Encouragement, Organizing/DeCluttering

Friday’s Reorganization Project

We use Pyrex bowls on a daily basis to eat out of, store food in, etc. We made the mistake of stacking them neatly, only to find that they stuck together. We had to devise a way to get them apart without breaking one or both of the stuck bowls – which worked intermittently. We started stacking them in the messy fashion you see above in order to keep them from sticking together.  We put all the lids together, but you try to pull one out and usually end up with a handful, or some falling onto the floor…

I recently bought a book called, “The REALSIMPLE Method to Organizing Every Room and How to Keep it That Way” by the makers of RealSimple magazine.

As with any suggestions, some would be NICE but aren’t workable in a given situation. I did come across a good suggestion for our Pyrex bowl storage problem! They suggested we put the lids on the bowls and THEN stack them. DUH! I was hitting my head wondering why “I” didn’t think of this. I just implemented the suggestion –

My husband, who is nice enough to help me fill the dishwasher, empty it, and put things away again, might not agree this is a good solution, but I’ll ask him to TRY it with me. It certainly LOOKS better, doesn’t it?

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Decluttering

Oldtimers via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

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Filed under Favorite Quotes, Funny Signs - Humor, Organizing/DeCluttering

Kitchen Reorganization Project is Finished!

EMGN

I’ve spent about 3 hours cleaning out the four junk drawers in the kitchen. I finished – finally – and then fixed some lunch for us.

The drawer on the right is the original junk drawer, and is still the most averse to organization. I mostly took things OUT. The drawer on the left is now tools.

 

Drawer # 3 on the right is left-over tools, such as levels, stud finders, razor blades and holders, and measuring tape. The last drawer is my microwave steam cleaner, rolling-pin, extension cord and toothpicks.

Not perfect, but I threw away a ton of stuff, relocated things, and then reorganized what was left. We should have a much easier time finding things now.

I have officially called the end to the kitchen project now – at least for this Phase II pass.

I’ll decide the next project tomorrow.

Right now I may curl up in my chair and take a nap.

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Morphing Junk Drawer

Yesterday I cleaned out four more kitchen drawers.

We have always had what we call a ‘junk drawer’ in any kitchen we have. It’s the place we put nails, screws, twist-ties, tools, and other odds-and-ends We might need.

The problem with living in a nice home for over 30 years is that – unless one is a good housekeeper, which I’m NOT

ONE junk drawer morphs into FOUR!

(The one we had set up got too full, so my husband moved some stuff out of the drawer next to it and put the new junk in there. And then, the next, and the next….)

Now we have FOUR junk drawers in the kitchen –

shutterstock.com

 

Drawer 1 – this is the ‘original’ junk drawer

Drawer 2

 

Drawer 3

 

Drawer 4

I know. We’re slobs. But we ARE trying to do better.

Today I will take EVERYTHING out. I’ll pitch a lot of things, relocate other things that shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and then try to organize what we’re keeping.

I’ll try to keep it to TWO junk drawers.

Junk drawers will never be ‘neat,’ but we are wasting lots of valuable space.

 

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

Kitchen Reorganization Project Update

Original copyrighted work by Betty Ming Liu

(These aren’t MY kitchen drawers, but I wanted to give you a feel for what I’m dealing with.)

_________________

 

I’ve been through my kitchen and pantry once last year and made a lot of progress. Two drawers in our kitchen island, in particular, were jammed full of ‘stuff.’

I pulled everything out. I washed out the drawers and lined them with rubber sheet liners so things wouldn’t slide around in the drawers.

There were things in the drawers I honestly had no idea what their purpose was! I like having more than one of something, but enough is enough as far as duplicates.

I filled a large leaf bag with stuff from the two drawers, plus some things on my counters, plus things from a decorative wooden bar my husband mounted over the island where we have things hanging.

We took a donation to the Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store yesterday – two leaf bags of Christmas decorations, a two-piece 8-foot-tall fake Christmas tree and stand, and the leaf bag full of kitchen stuff.

Here are the two drawers after the purge –

Drawer 1

 

Drawer 2

Today I’ll do more in the kitchen purge, but I feel good to have a start on Phase II of getting rid of ‘stuff’ from our over 30-year-old home!

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DeCluttering the Kitchen Project

Pinterest

I have been through my kitchen and pantry once in the past year, after 30-plus years of living in our home on top of a ridge line in Greenwood, Arkansas.

Last year I promised myself I would start somewhere – anywhere – and work my way through our home, taking everything out of a drawer, a shelf, a closet, and keeping what I wanted, giving away what I thought others might use or enjoy, and pitching the rest. I made it through everything with the exception of our garage and our shop – areas my husband protects with his life. He doesn’t actually stand at the doors and guard, but he does it verbally.

Now I’m in Phase II of the big clean-out.

Today’s project is going through the drawers in the kitchen. Too many of them are full of ‘stuff,’ – gadgets that haven’t been used, too many duplicates, etc. Too many ‘junk’ drawers!

I’m going to see how much I can accomplish this afternoon. I have a donation ready for us to take to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith tomorrow, but I might be able to fill another large leaf bag before then that I can add to the list and we can take at the same time.

I hope that you are starting 2019 with energy. I’m trying to make each day count.

 

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Project for the Day is Done!

EducationNews.org

The bins in the basement are empty. The Christmas decorations are now down and stored in ONE large lidded bin. The bin is now stored under the stairway.

I still need to make a list of the donation for the Veterans Thrift Store, but I can do that tomorrow. We won’t make the donation until after the first of the year.

The spaghetti sauce with meat is simmering on the stove. I have a cup of coffee and my book.

All in all, a great day.

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BONUS!

Lifebuzz

I’m about 2/3 finished with my project of going through the Christmas decorations in the basement. I emptied the three bins, and several more I found that didn’t have much in them. I made a major decision and brought up the big fake Christmas tree we’ve had for years. We have another, much smaller tree that we can decorate when we want to. I like the idea of some other family enjoying the large tree, handmade stand my husband constructed, plus ornaments that are too large for our smaller tree.

BONUS: My husband bought me a really nice, furry blue jacket with a hood several years ago. We’ve kept it in a bin down in the basement because I couldn’t wear it after a couple of years. Neither of us wanted to give it away. I tried it on today and it’s LOOSE!  I wore it when I came upstairs. My husband recognized it immediately and broke out in a grin. It’s now in the closet, ready to put on! HOORAY!!!!!

I have one large leaf bag full of things we’ll donate, plus the tree, so far. I have more to go through in the basement and then can make final decisions, bring everything upstairs and put it into the bin in the living room. I may have to pare down what I’m keeping again as I see what will fit in the ONE bin I’m allowing for decorations!

I’m taking a break, drinking a big bottle of water, and resting awhile before giving it another shot.

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

Less is More

After a wonderful Lunch Bunch this morning, I’m devoting the rest of the day to two things: reading a good book and starting a new project – going through the gazillion Christmas decorations I have.

THING ONE:

I’m enjoy re-reading my Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. I’m currently re-reading # 15 (out of 25 that have been written.) I discovered I didn’t have #23 and #24, so I ordered them from Amazon. #25 is now in hardback. I’ll wait until I can get it used in paperback before adding that to my collection. I LOVE the main character. I find her quirky, half nuts, and quite endearing. Her friends, co-workers, and relatives make up a truly wacky group, one I find addictive. I’m trying to do something useful each day, and then enjoy as much reading time as I can get.

THING TWO:

My house is pretty well-decorated since our son is home from Thailand for the first time in over 3 years. I wanted things to look festive. My son and husband were asked to vote on whether they wanted to add a Christmas tree. Both thought we were festive enough without it.

Besides all the things I have out, my son helped pull down three other large bins from a shelf in the basement. I’m going to be starting down there, dividing things up into two groups – (1) things I HAVE to keep (at least for now) and (2) things I can donate.  I’m going to take my time – not having a particular deadline, but my goal is to pare things down to ONE large bin that I will store somewhere where “I” can get it out easily when wanted, rather than having to worry about my husband and I hurting ourselves.

This may take several days to do, or it may go quickly. I won’t know for sure until I get started. The only thing I DO know at this point, is that I’ll get lots of good exercise, going up and down the stairs bringing stuff up as decisions are made and bags are filled.

I’ll add the current decorations that are up now into the bin and bag up things to donate after the first of the year.

I spent all last year trying to go through 30+ years of accumulation of STUFF. I did a good job and we’re in much better shape than we were. Now I have a good START and will continue Phase II of the project through 2019.

My new mantra is “Less is more.”

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Did It!

Library Donation – We may add to this before we actually take it to the library.

 

Disabled Veterans Thrift Store Donation – We may add to this, too, but the foyer is now clear of the piles of books, clothes, electronics, etc.

So, today’s project is finished and I’m going to grab a cup of coffee, sit in my recliner, and dive back into my book.

Have a wonderful afternoon and evening!

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Sunday’s Project

Getty Images via FreeImages.com

I’ve told you that our son is home from Thailand for the first time in over three years. I can’t tell you what a wonderful time we’re having, with lots of good conversations, a few really bad movies, lots of laughs, hugs, and more.

One thing I wanted to do while he was home was go through the things we have that are his. I made sure he understood that whatever he wanted to store here, he could. I just wanted to know if there was anything he really didn’t need or want anymore that we could either sell or donate. It turned out there were a BUNCH of things that could go.

He brought things down from the guest room and up from the basement. He consolidated the things he wanted to keep in a big lidded tub in the basement. Yesterday I went through all the books, listing some for sale on Amazon and bagging up the rest to donate to the local library for their next fundraiser.

Today’s project is that I’m going through all the other ‘stuff’ he no longer needs or wants, listing things to donate to the Disabled Veterans Thrift Store. Our foyer is pretty full, although the picture I chose for this post is a bit of an exaggeration. :0)

We will end up with several large leaf bags of donation, so I brought one bag into the office to gather trash before I started on the foyer. Suddenly our son was here with a trash bag, gathering the trash! He’s a keeper, for sure.

I’m cooking for the holiday tomorrow, so I want to get this accomplished today.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day, too!  Wish me luck!!!

 

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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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