Mountains O’things

It has been a very very long time since I have posted anything about 27-thing flinging, organizing or de- cluttering. Does it mean I fell off the wagon? Got lost under my mountains o’things? Not really. Just life and all that….

I probably stopped some time around Thanksgiving, because I took up the blog with Christmas Photo-A-Day posts, and right after the first of the year, my dad died. I’ve moved on to a Photo A Day on my other blog.

But spring is in the air (well, down here it is, at least for today!!) and I think it may be time to revisit some of the the ideas of decluttering, getting ready for spring cleaning! (oh, YIPEE!)

The major concept was to daily locate 27 things that could be removed from your household (living creatures do NOT count). Some of these things may be donated, some things may have always been trash but never made it to the garbage and some things may end up being given to someone else who can utilize them.

In order to make this a bit more ‘organized’ rather than random tossing, I had made a list of areas. This link takes you to the initial post last year.

This is the breakdown of categories I had come up with, and I have added to it how far along I feel I have gotten.

  1. Clothes-closet and drawers. This was done, and I ‘thought’ I had been successful. Sadly, Goodwill is my downfall. My new work around with this has been to force myself to wear something in the closet, and after I get it on, decide WHY I haven’t worn it lately, or get rid of it. My work clothes are starting to outgrow the location I had assigned them, so I am not putting clean clothes away, but emptying out the drawers, item by item, and WEARING IT. If it is tight, cut oddly, stained, ripped, frayed, torn, or collects cat hair more than other things, it is gone.
  2. Clothes-undergarment/socks. This is completed. Getting socks to not be eaten by the washer or dryer is another issue altogether.
  3. Toiletries/makeup. This area could certainly benefit from an expiration date check-up.
  4. Spices. Under control. Can’t change the size of the location they live, so I do have to remember to replace items as I go with smaller containers of spices.
  5. Kitchen utensils. Another section I feel has stayed under control.
  6. Dishware/cookware. Requires only a bit of tweaking as to what goes where. (getting dishes washed and put away? NOT part of this conversation.)
  7. Under the sink. I need to identify duplicates and get them used up, and really, could use another shelf of some sort under there.
  8. Refrigerator/freezer. It never hurts to go through this and toss anything hidden that has died!
  9. File cabinets Thirty minutes of my life would get this back to 100%.
  10. Knick knacks/home décor. The day to day stuff is in good shape. I LIKE it, and want to keep it near me.
  11. Linen closet. Our linen closet is too small for ANYTHING to fit in there, so I really need empty, disperse to other homes and totally declutter.
  12. Cat toys/supplies All beheaded and gutted stuffies are tossed upon witnessing their demise. Otherwise, contained and under control.Cat face
  13. Shoes Considering I don’t buy a lot of shoes because my feet are so bad, it is quite bizarre how many pairs are littered about throughout the house. If there was a place for the laundry basket to live other than in front of the closet door, I wonder if more would find a home in there? Probably can toss a few more pair.Disappointed smile
  14. Jewelry box/hair do-dads. Taken care of.
  15. Quilt fabrics IMPOSSIBLE!!! I DID the impossible. I folded all my fabrics and stored it in bins on the shelves in the studio. While doing that, I was able to purge a small amount and gave them to a single mother I know who is learning to quilt. ALL my fabric is in a container, most of the containers are in one location. (all in the studio)
  16. Quilt books HARD!!! But done. See Above. Of course I needed the space for the new ones. Quilt show is next week.Angel
  17. Quilt patterns HARD!!!  Ditto.
  18. Art supplies HARD!!! Haven’t even made an attempt.
  19. Paintbrushes/paints HARD!!!! See above.
  20. Glues and adhesives HARD!!!! See above.
  21. Papercrafting/scrapbooking HARD!!! (Ahem, cough cough) Ditto.
  22. Jewelry making HARD!!! You must be kidding! It is however CONTAINED. It all stays in one location, in containers designed to hold it, and seriously needs some editing.
  23. Magazines HARD!!! Done.
  24. CD’s HARD!!! Done. All 4500+ songs are on my iTunes/iPod. I bought two large CD books, tossed all the jewel cases, sleeved everything. Saved one shoebox full of interesting liner notes and the Christmas CD’s were not part of this. If I go into Goodwill one more time, I will need another book.Surprised smile
  25. Books HARD!!!! But, done. To Be Read (TBR)  are all in the bedroom on the headboard shelf. Keepers that have been read are on all the other bookshelves. Buying a Nook certainly has made this a doable goal. I didn’t get rid of any reference books.School
  26. Kitchen cabinets/pantry. Is this ever done?
  27. Photographs HARD!!! Digitally, I am half way there. Hard copies? HAH!Nyah-Nyah

Areas of interest not in my 27.

The den. That is Timmy’s domain. When we had the carpet installed the room was emptied, and he did his own version of de-cluttering while putting everything back.

The Attic. I have this small window of time that I can comfortably get up there and work. The location stinks. There isn’t enough room to stand up straight, the floor isn’t solid. And a lot of stuff got shoved up there during the carpet. But I was very careful sending things back up after Christmas, so I feel confident that Christmas can be moved to one side.

The Garage and Shed. Timmy’s domain, and he is interested in getting a shed that will pass inspection and then he can clean out the garage. ( He has this idea of putting a CAR in there? Anyone heard of such a novel use for a garage??)

How about a SUCCESS photo??

THE GUEST ROOM!

2011 2 15IMG_5982

New carpet, new bed. The bed has three full depth drawers under it. The wicker box under the window holds a lot of linens (see linen closet, above)

The bookshelves have ALL my genealogical stuff and old family letters and photos. The basket in front is temporary because I have an art show that I am getting photos ready for. (and the closet is de-cluttered, too)

I had a cancellation for next weekend. I’ll leave the light on!

OK, so I’ve fessed up. How are YOU doing??

Edit Attaching this link to a very interesting article…

90 Day Improvement Plan…

(90 Days to Thinner Thighs!!!90 Days to a Whole New You!!! 90 Ways to….)
I can’t promise any of the crazy magazine cover stories. What I CAN guarantee you is that in 90 days, you will be looking back at 2010. Yep, a mere 90 days until the new year. Think of all the things that need to be done in the next 89 days. Parties to plan, gifts to buy, meals to cook, traveling to visit family….I know, you need a nap just thinking about it.

But the question I am posing today is this: Of this past years resolutions/thoughts/promises/ideas you had, how are you doing?
Sometime around the end of month one, I decided to de-clutter. And for a bit, I did well. 27 thing flings occurred in many rooms in the house, right down to the sock drawer being divested of orphan socks. I had grand plans, great goals. And I even thought maybe that if you journeyed along with me, you’d keep me honest, motivated and accountable.

None of which happened, I am sorry to say. There ARE great improvements, but I LIKE my stuff too much. I am not a hoarder; those shows scare me. On the other hand, I would do bodily harm to the hosts of those clean sweep shows, where they don’t take into account anything of any sentimental nature…to them, if it doesn’t match, it isn’t worthy of owning.

And the romantic in me, the sentimentalist, the genealogist—well, we all cringe when they seem determined to create a movie set of a person’s house—with two or three ‘personal’ touches.

The same thing can be said for magazines. I have the chance to peruse the home magazines at work, and every winter, they offer a slew of ‘Reduce Clutter’, ‘Storage Tips for Small Spaces’ and other creative ways to suggest that you go out and BUY a bunch of storage containers to solve the problems (Addresses and websites conveniently listed at the end of each article.) And yes, some of the ideas they have are clever; artfully displaying a few items.

But again, they are movie set clever—not real houses, with 2-6 real people, a couple of pets and not enough space, who already own things. This house was built without a coat closet, without a utility room or a broom closet. That is the reality of the thing. Therefore this past year, back when I WAS posting weekly about de-cluttering, I carefully avoided suggesting that one purchase a magazine to get a great idea or five.

I didn’t suggest that one read self-help books about clutter either, because they too seem to be of the ilk that it ALL go… and they don’t often suggest some pretty storage idea; no they basically think that one is either looking to live life as a hoarder or a minimalist. They suggest taking photographs of all things that are of a sentimental nature to you, and then pitching the objects in question. But it’s not quite the same thing, passing on a photograph of a cherished stuffed animal to your grandchild, you know?

Look, I admire those who can live life with a fork, a knife, two t-shirts, a towel and a back-pack to hold all their earthly belongings. More power to them, if that makes them happy. But I wonder if there isn’t a mom’s attic somewhere where they are storing a bunch of their past? If blank white walls truly make you happy, go at it. I like color. I like design and pattern and things that have stories.
So. Where does that leave me on the de-cluttering scale?

I still have to do the attic. Summer was too hot to deal with it, but hopefully with autumn I can get up there. And I want to re-carpet the house before the holidays, because putting it off isn’t going to get it done. And it NEEDS to be done. (I need to have the couch re-upholstered as well.)  I, of course, haven’t really finished the 27 thing flinging, either. The den hasn’t been touched. (The den is Timmy’s domain. That is my excuse.) I bought myself a Nook earlier in the year, and so I know I can start divesting myself of some books. Slowly. I am not about to tip the shelves over and pitch everything, because I can’t afford to replace everything on the Nook right away.

I can truthfully say that I probably could find 27 things in the kitchen, but only if it included out-of-date yogurt in the fridge or something. The kitchen has managed to not get re-cluttered. (Really, hunny. It’s a totally different thing if it’s not put away …that is a behavioral thing, not a de-cluttering thing! :) )

My studio needs to have a shelf by shelf re-organization as well. That is probably the room where the whole thing fell apart, because there is so much in there, and it all could have a purpose at some point! (Ah, the mantra of the magpie, “But it’s pretty, and shiny!!”) I lost sight of the forest for the trees- I admit it freely. My fabric has been contained; the boxes I chose are perfect and I am very happy with the way it is working. However, I do need to open them all and sort by color. But that is not something that needs to be done now.

Re-carpeting the house, however, is the thing that has made me aware that I really need to put this thing into over-drive. All this stuff has to be moved, right? I have two rooms (the kitchen and dining room) where we have already replaced the floors. The rest of the house is chock-full-o-stuff that will need to be moved. As there is currently no bed in the guest room, it seems like the time to do it. (And because my daughter informs me that the bed needs to be built before she arrives. :) )

I believe I am beyond a mere 27 thing flinging now. It is going to require a minimum of an hour of dedicated time spent per work day, and probably a nice chunk of any day off that has not already been booked (and it’s that time of year where a lot have been booked). I need to really analyze the things in the space, the storage they are in or not in, whether it needs to stay in the location it is in or can be moved, and whether it is better off at Goodwill.

So it seems that surfing the web, reading, goofing off with this or that project will need to take a back seat for a few months. I DO need to make some holiday gifts, but other than that, maybe I need to limit my play time until I get all of this done.

I will get my photo website all set up for the holiday gift-giving season—I have a few really neat things getting ready to launch, and I will need to gather and post my Christmas Photo-A-Day, starting on December 1. If I feel the need or desire to go off topic here, I will. But beyond that, do you think I need to simply post a “I DID IT” post every day? And maybe you will reply that you do, have DONE something, to get yourself to the place you want to be in 90 days. :) :)

It may be a push, but wouldn’t it be nice to say on Jan 1, 2011 “I am FINISHED and that the new year is mine to do with what I choose? To create with wild abandon?”

Progress…

I would simply put photos, but then you might not realize exactly how much work I have done so far!!!! So, here I go, baring my soul….Hopefully when I finish I will remember to use my ‘real’ camera, so I can say I am a photographer!! Ugh, don’t judge my photo skills on THIS blog!!!)

 

This is the desk area, before. I am calling everything else DURING, because it is a process. The During photo shows I have cleaned off all surfaces. I am going to have to go back later and tackle each of the containers on the shelves and decide if it’s kept or flung. (The craft materials in question are scrapbooking, rubberstamps, some stencil paints, mixed media stuffs…. during shelfbefore shelf)

 

 

 

 

 

The Computer area (from whence all these posts are formed…) I should have made this before  a vertical shot. Oh, well. The During shows that I cleaned out the boxes that were under my feet;  almost everything there was flung. A good deal on the top shelf was flung as well.  (I went WAY over my 27 things this time!!!

before desk

during desk

The Cutting Table area, before. Tatiana mostly lives under this table, it is the only safe place in the house from the boys. The tower unit next to it houses my jewelry making supplies, and precut fabric squares in different sizes, and pre-gathered quilt fabric collections and WIPs. I have eliminated a number of containers in the During, and made the top of the cutting table far more comfortable for a cat or two to decide to nap on. (I will need to remember not to leaves projects out. )before cuttingduring cutting  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fabric area, before. I can actually iron on this board, although I need to step around the litter box. (see above….) The bins are pretty much the ones that will be staying on the shelves, but they need a serious flinging and sorting and folding of fabrics!! The During mostly shows a cleared out area. I have removed about 4 large bags of craft materials so far, and a good number of small totes.

before ironduring iron

The next step. This is where I need to be careful, and not overshoot my limitations. Opening each container, deciding if I am keeping the fabric, trimming off the really rough parts, refolding it and making it go back into color sorted containers.  I did two containers today. I KNOW that I could do more, but I also know that I will start envisioning quilts, and will start deciding to move fabrics around and I will end up a few hours later with many many piles of unfolded fabrics…

Here is one (not terribly awful) box of fabric, before. It was well sorted by color already. I measured the size of the majority of containers and cut a cardboard that is smaller by a bit. I am going to open each fabric and refold it around this board. I am not worried about it being a perfect fit, because each box has a bit of give. I will then slide the cardboard out (for a few reasons—1, cardboard is acidic, 2- that is a LOT of cardboard to cut, and 3—it will take up a lot of space in these totes otherwise.) I have a lot of small pieces of fabric, I rarely purchase over a yard or two….

 beforeduring

fab fold

finished

One completed tote. (Eleventy-billion to go.)

 

 

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE MOTHER-LIKE PEOPLE IN MY WORLD!!

(HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MOM AND TO JOE ON WEDNESAY!)