There is probably enough for a blog post by now…

(Useless– but profound— random thoughts…)

It seems that my blog post count is tied closely to the act of de-cluttering….last year, I was deeply into that task, and felt the need to be held accountable in some fashion, so posting to my blog worked.

This year, the de-cluttering, while not finished, seems to have taken a back seat to –well, just about anything else.  It seems like there is something to this other than pure laziness; there is an acceptance that I WANT my things, an understanding that they have a certain level importance attached to them that possibly isn’t smart (although not unusual, or hoarder-ish, I am apparently just not evolved enough to let it all go.)

I am happy to say that there has been no event or catastrophe here at the Greenhouse to cause my posting to slack off. A picture is worth a thousand words, however, and by that accounting, I have been very much on target, having posted a photo each day since the beginning of the year on my companion blog.

I have made small inroads into those areas of clutter that seem to refuse assistance—staying out of Goodwill is a huge help to the book pile and the clothing pile, not to mention the cash pile.  (My nook is an even better help to the book pile). I have downsized all my work clothing to one drawer. It’s not like the washing machine is in an inaccessible location! (It’s in the bathroom which is attached to our bedroom.)

We have just returned from another quick trip up north; this time our annual Easter Eggstravaganza at cousin Susan’s, topped off by the annual trek into Manhattan to the Car Show. (Note: It isn’t annual for ME. But when my daughter wants to attend and my mother-in-law wants to attend, I end up attending. Personally, I would rather wander the streets of Manhattan than look at cars, but am apparently very out of step with the majority here.) As I had a pretty rotten cold and sore throat (courtesy of the very generous and giving man I married) it was probably for the best; the weather outside could have been best described as a rich, moist pea soup.

A good time was had by all, and those who were missing were missed (that’s you and you!) Saturday seemed a bit tame, if wet, so we invited the local fire department over for a tour of Susan’s home—sharp wits at work, they declared the cause of the  CO2 alarm going off was the meatballs, and they would have to confiscate them. (They settled happily for a “Thank You” handshake and smile from one very brave Miss Vanessa, and we got to enjoy the meatballs while Rich went and bought a new CO2 alarm.) PSA—CO2 detectors are apparently reliable for 5 years.

We spent the weekend at cousin Ken’s home, and *GASP* he doesn’t have wireless internet, so the laptop took a break, and the uploading of my photo a day took a break as well. (It’s probably not too much to say that my creative juices as far as subject matter may have also been on hiatus).

After the car show, my mother in law wanted to see Times Square. So Timmy pushed her there from the Javits Center and back.  We stopped for dinner at the Shake Shack on Eighth Avenue in the Theater District. Great food, (burgers, milk shakes, etc) incredible prices for Manhattan and wildly friendly staff…and did I mention nice? There was a line outside going to the corner. Their computer crashed and they comped the meals of a half dozen people who had placed orders before they realized it and got a handle on it… (we were one of those lucky ones—had we cash, I would have gladly paid….)

I am now in the home stretch of preparation for the Fort Clifton Festival, to be held on Mother’s Day Weekend. I am busily matting my photographs and framing some as well. I hope it will be a wonderful weekend, with great weather and the chance to showcase and sell some of my art.

Life goes on, ob-la-di, ob-la da….

(AND, a VERY happy anniversary to my husband. Nine years ago tomorrow, he made me the happiest woman on the planet! And he continues to do so, day after day. LOVE YOU!!!!)

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!

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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…

One Year…A de-cluttering tail (tale).

This week marks the end of year one with three cats in the house.

I am surprised we all survived. Seriously. I almost hesitate to mention it, as we have gone something like seven weeks without an accident. I feel we are overdue.

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(GANDOLF. 8.5 years old.)

We adopted Rory and Gandolf last October, after our Hamish died suddenly. To say it’s been an adjustment is something of an understatement. Tatiana was left alone, and Timmy was missing his good buddy. He found Gandolf, and Rory came with him (or the other way around.) Whatever, they came as a set, and we agreed, considering their past history. Gandolf settled in rather easily. It was HIS house, right? Tatiana moped and hissed. (Perfectly in character.) Rory decided under the couch was a lovely home for the first few weeks. Beyond that, nothing major. They shared food. (Well, to a degree. All food belonged to Gandolf—and three bowls made it VERY hard for him, as he couldn’t eat out of them ALL at once.) They shared a litter box. They didn’t destroy the Christmas tree. Life was good.

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(RORY 3.5 years old)

Something happened come spring. Suddenly, Tatiana was being stalked at the litter box. We got a second, removed the lid from the first, and have ultimately moved both to locations I would prefer they weren’t in. Gandolf spends his days lying in the doorway to the studio, or in the studio itself, always in view of Tatiana. Tatiana spends hers under the cutting table in the studio, or on the ironing board. Rory is off somewhere. Is Gandolf jailing Tatiana? Or, is he guarding Tatiana from Rory? We still can’t say exactly. Rory wants to play– he is a baby, a clown,  and these two sulky adult cats don’t like it. There is a LOT of hissing. There is a lot of fur flying. (Literally.) I spend my days thinking I am the mother of three toddlers, hearing in their hisses and growls, “Mommy, he’s looking at me; make him stop LOOKING at me!”

(What exactly, you are asking, may this possibly have to do with de-cluttering? Unless I am flinging a cat or three? Patience, young grasshopper. I am building to the climax.)

This, I could tolerate. Hey, who doesn’t want to be mommy’s favorite? However, suddenly our noses were getting a workout. Someone was not using the litter box. Was it Tati, because she couldn’t get to them without assault? Was it Gandolf, aggravated that Tati gets first dibs on my lap? Was it Rory for reasons un-guessed? Number 1 and number 2, but not every day, indeed, not every week. Just often enough. Gandolf had the nerve one night to go right in front of us in an empty cardboard box. The couch, the table, the floor….Someone decided since we abandoned them on vacation they should go on a pile of quilting fabric.

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(TATIANA  11 or so years old)

Yes, FABRIC. Nervy, I tell you. It’s not a happy house. They are segregated for feeding, they are examined by the vet. They all get lap time. There is no proof of it being one or the other or the third, (with three exceptions), so they are ALL to blame. I spend copious amounts of time and money cleaning, washing, deodorizing, disinfecting, and then discovering some other place someone went, unnoticed.

And can I just on the side mention Rory never learned to groom himself? I don’t know if he was taken from his mother too early, but the boy knows nothing about cleaning his own backside, or coat. It’s not a good thing when you are a long-haired cat. It’s not something I have ever dealt with before. Cats like to groom!

Ok, ok. The de-cluttering part of the post. I ordered new carpeting for the house. A risky move with pee-ers, I know. But if you could see the carpet the house has now, well… circa 1980 and gross. It is time.  Anyway, they will be installing in about two weeks, and so I have a drop-dead deadline. A good thing for me. I am trying to do this the smart way, and not end up with boxes of things I don’t need getting boxed and then having to be unboxed. (Or worse, left boxed for months afterward.) So, slowly I am working on things in the studio, because it has the most “stuff”.

I discovered a plastic tray, with sheets of sleeved negatives in it, with a layer of dried out pee. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH, I was SO aggravated, you just don’t know. This container was apparently once in a location they could aim at. (Where I just pulled it from it was impossible, even for a cat.) That means that months back they did this, I didn’t notice and moved it after it had dried. I can’t get mad at them– they don’t know why I get mad at them WHILE they have a knocked over house plant between their teeth– months is out of their scope.

The sleeves seem to have made things better than they could have been. The de-cluttering part of the story? Last week, I was up in the attic, and opening one of the totes during my flinging, discovered I still had a bunch of darkroom supplies.  (I haven’t had access to a darkroom since 2002.) I put the lid back on it to deal with it another day. Classic procrastinators move, don’t you think?

I am now slowly removing negatives from sleeves, and rinsing in Photo-Flo–which helps dry without water spots–(circa B& H Photo back when they were still a hole-in-the wall on 17th Street, NYC) and hanging them to dry. Its a long, slow process. The moral of the story?

When “flinging” I suggested you think about:

  • whether you need the object,
  • do you use the object,
  • and if you needed to replace the object, how hard to come by and how expensive would the object be to replace.

Two potato peelers? If you have two cooks, I guess you could keep two. Six potato peelers? Can you FIND that many people to put to work, let alone fit them all in your kitchen?

Photo-Flo is definitely worth not flinging, as to get a new bottle when I needed it would have been somewhat less than simple.

It’s a VERY good thing the cats are cute.