One month in…

How is your 27 Thing Fling working for you? Are you looking at things differently? Do you find yourself flinging from a spot that we haven’t even started? (Or do you want to leave it solely to be able to count ‘later’? If so, fling it and add it to whatever place you are counting. 🙂 )Are you questioning your purchases?

By the way, this is NOT a ‘no shopping’ exercise. What it is is a ‘Do I NEED it’ exercise, ‘Is it worth working another 5 hours of my life away’ exercise, an ‘Am I buying it because it’s easier than looking for the old one’ exercise, and a ‘Where am I going to put it exercise’….  (Ok, officially exhausted. Haven’t exercised that much in forever!)

I have purchased (other than food, etc) a few pairs of pants, a nice stack of CD’s, some sweaters/tops in colors that I found worked well with my leaner, more organized closet (All from Goodwill. I just LOVE my Goodwill!!!)

And, some Christmas stuff on mega clearance that I KNEW I could use. (Like wrapping paper. Once I make it into the guest room, where the wrapping paper lives, I will be flinging some things there, and HOW could you turn down 90% off?)

Yes, faulty logic, and possibly how my house got to the state it is in. But, being that my Christmas things were just out….

Ah, see how easily we can delude ourselves? (Gotta watch those KNEW/HOW equations. But in this case, I feel confident.)

I bought a few house decorations too. My father was selling this tea set on his site and I couldn’t resist buying it. Its precious, isn’t it? And so me!

patches

So, we are all on the same page, right? This is not about denying yourself, but about trying to find yourself, amidst all the ‘stuff’.

The next category is: File cabinets. Yeah, this one should keep you busy for a while. And what perfect timing, as Tax Season is upon us.

Is your shredder up to the task? And by the way, you don’t get a pass simply because you keep your financial and paper life in something other than a filing cabinet. Any box, basket, drawer or pile otherwise unnamed counts here. But, I will give you a day or so to contemplate this next project.

Because I believe I promised a little deviation to the list.

Its computer clutter. It’s digital images. Let’s grab the bull by the horns, ok? (This is not about past behaviors. We will get to that. Photographs have their own category! We are going to establish new behaviors.)

Tomorrow is February 1. What needs to occur is this: (And for some of you, it’s so much a non-issue, you may not believe I am bothering.)

Get your cameras. All of them, phone too, if you use it as a camera.

FIRST. Have you uploaded all the images you took in ‘JAN 2010’? If not, do so. Create a folder with that date, put everything there. After you take whatever photos you may plan on taking today, Jan 31. (Happy birthday, Andrew!)

NEXT. LOOK at the images. Are there blurry, dark, or other obviously bad images there; images that are really meant for the recycle bin? Then FLING them. Right into the recycle bin.

THIRD. Rename them. I don’t know how to do so particularly in your program or your computer, so I will tell you this–Name all the images 2010-JAN_ Or JAN 2010_ or whatever suits you best. But get the date in there. (If they are all pictures of the cat, then possibly 2010- CAT….) What I am suggesting is ESTABLISH a naming system, and NAME every file in your JAN 2010 picture folder. But only the ones worth keeping.

NOW. Is there any image you would like to print? (If you do photo editing, then insert this step here.) Print them. Order prints. Today. Sign up for Kodak Gallery, or Shutterfly, or Snapfish or load them back onto a card and take them to Target or to wherever, but get them PRINTED. After all, WHY did you take the picture in the first place?

LASTLY.  Burn a CD. Back up in some fashion. Create a second set of these images. Grab a fine point sharpie, LABEL the CD in the center, 2010-JAN, photos. 1 of … . Put the CD into a jewel case, and create a spot to store it. Create offsite storage online for additional backup protection. Use the online gallery at Kodak (about $20 a year IF you don’t order photos from them) or whichever place floats your boat… (Smugmug is my choice. REFERRAL LINK GETS YOU a DISCOUNT when you sign up USING THIS LINK ONLY)

Because it is only January, it’s a DOABLE number of photos. Most people take very few images in January. But we are establishing something that is going to be important later in the flinging.

But before I do that, I am heading outside with my camera to take pictures of the snow!!! Looks like a foot or so!

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Going out strong…

As of last night, I had flung 342 items. Not 27 a day. But at least 27 each day I worked at flinging. How are your numbers?

For this last week of January, we will finish off the kitchen flinging.

8.  Refrigerator/freezer

9.  Kitchen cabinets/pantry (Moved from way down on the list, since we are in the kitchen)

You CAN fling food… Just, no food fights, ok? Systematically, shelf by shelf. Look at the items in your fridge. Do you have four opened bottles of one salad dressing? Soy sauce packets, dying green peppers in ziplock baggies, left-overs left over from last year?

If all 4 bottles of dressing are almost full, gather them together at least, and erase them from your mental grocery list! And, I would suggest adding salad to your menu for the next week or so! (My mental grocery list forces me to buy spaghetti sauce repeatedly.)

When you get to the freezer, take a pad and pencil. Were you aware you had that many frozen pork chops?

Can you go through the pantry as well, and create a menu to get you through the first few weeks of February without having to do a major shop?

This isn’t about depleting your stockpiles or anything along those lines. To those of you who have a clue, and a handle on this, realize some of us are clueless!

Do you shop, and then wonder what on earth you are going to cook for dinner because there is no food in the house??

One of my failings is I want for dinner to be a meal. Not just dinner. So, I am perfectly capable of hosting a meal for 6 –12-20 people. When it comes down to having dinner on the table? Again? I mean, didn’t I just make dinner last night?

You should be finished flinging the bathrooms, the bedroom and the kitchen by Sunday. Note, I did only the master bedroom. Tackle EACH bedroom as a separate entity, following the flinging rules above.(Or don’t, no one is checking on you.) Doesn’t need to be done by Sunday. There will be a LOT of year left by the time we finish one complete round!

Monday, February 1 we are making a small deviation in the list. (More to come in Sunday’s blog.)

And, since I am posting this on Tuesday, and will not be posting again this week, let me say “Happy Birthday, Daddy,” one day early!  You can go to Country Joe’s to wish him a happy 65 yourself. (Daddy is probably not following this flinging blog. He is so NOT a flinger.)2009 10 NYC-295 8x10 

Aunt Gael, Daddy, and me, Oct 2009

How’s the Kitchen going?

That was the question we heard for a month, 4 years ago this spring. When we bought this house in 2003, the most unsatisfying thing about it was the kitchen.

So, in 2007, Timmy and I ventured to IKEA and designed my ‘dream kitchen’….Dream in the way that a small budget allows you to dream, and the lack of additional space and all that, you understand, right?? (Go to THIS LINK to see the before-during-after images.)

Since we did this only 3.75 years ago, I don’t expect my kitchen to be as hard as it might have been. That’s not the same as it will be for everyone else. I understand. I feel for ya. Really, I do. Don’t be hating. (If it makes you feel better, the spring before last, I Flung my mother-in-laws kitchen for her. She lived there for over 20 years. Ok, better? )

I haven’t gotten much done this week; battling that “I almost feel like I am about to come down with something” blahs that don’t turn into anything, but still somehow sap energy beyond staring at the computer screen after work. Yay, January.

My kitchen drawers are done. I didn’t (couldn’t) fling a few of the obscure implements that you KNOW you will need the month after you fling them, even though you hadn’t even realized you still owned them…. However, the drawers are not over-whelmed. They are neat, they are visually clear enough to find things without injury.drawer2 drawer 1_ drawer 3

With that under your belt,the next category of Flinging is–

Dishware/cookware. One full set of dishes, to serve the number above. Or two coordinating sets, one in your ‘out of the way’ storage. ONE holiday set, but ONLY if you are the host of said holiday most years, AND use USE them then!

Do you have china in your china cabinet and still serve guests on paper plates for a holiday? Who will be worthy of using it, if not them? When will be a special enough time, if not then? (I have visions of my grandmother coming after me if I were to serve Christmas dinner on paper plates.)

And I recall this one Easter, after all of us stuffed ourselves and the women decided to take a long walk, to allow food to settle (to allow room for dessert.)  We came back in and found Daddy Gus standing at the sink, the COLD water running over the sides of the porcelain onto the floor while he ‘washed’ our dishes for us, sans soap. Good memories!

Here, we use my entire cabinet of mis-matched but ‘real’ plates, glasses etc, whenever I have company over. I don’t even have a dishwasher. (No, not even after the dream kitchen.) However, paper plates and cups etc, are in a cabinet and when we have a BBQ, I use them. (No offense meant to my in-laws, btw…)

 

mugs This is what came out of the cabinet this morning. We are a COUPLE. Two people live here. ONE drinks coffee. This may be a bit more difficult!! I had already culled the mugs down to the ones that I “loved” last time.

Glassware /mugs.  Wine glasses, soda glasses, juice glasses…  What do you use? How many people live in your house? Three glasses per person seems reasonable. Maybe 4?

A friend of a friend once went on a minimalist kick. One complete place setting per person in the house, and that was IT. (Ouch. Extreme. But the sink was probably always clean.)

Is your kitchen stocked for your potential life, not the life you are living currently? If so there are two choices, either change your life (entertain more? bake more? etc…) or accept you are NOT Julia Child, or the Hostess with the Mostess…

27 gizmos and gotta have’s

Ok, our next 27 things to fling:

Kitchen utensils, gizmos, and gotta have its. Those one shot wonders. What is that gizmo for, anyway? What possessed you to buy it? Is it missing a part? Have you EVER used it? Can you do the job adequately without it? Is it one of those “who thinks up these things” things? A “people will buy anything” thing? Or a “Wow, why didn’t I think of this” thing?

Justify it’s existence in the cabinet or shelf or drawer. No gadget overflow into drawers where they don’t belong in.

Silverware. The largest number of people you have (not plan to or expect to in the future) hosted for a sit-down meal, plus 1. If you host that number only once every 24 months, move most of it to out of the way storage. Leave out enough to set the table properly. (Kitchen, all seats, or dining room, all seats, if you use it.) If you haven’t created this out of the way storage location yet, box it, bag it, move it out of the home location, and we will find a place later. HINT: It needs to be in the way ENOUGH for you to remember you own it!.

Dishes/ pots/ pans pantry shelving is all for another day.

Limit yourself to those locations where ‘gadgets gather.’ (Junk drawers, too!)

I have had four different people at work mention 27 things to me in the past week.

I hope you, too are finding this helpful and good encouragement!!!

27 thing Fling, Spices…

My completed categories are THREE. My Flinging total this year is 274. (People who have never been in my house may be amazed. Visitors, not so much.)

Moving into the kitchen for a bit, today I will fling spices.

Unless you are a gourmet cook, are there even 27 spices you should own? Have they expired? Is there less than a 1/4 inch left in the bottom of the container?

Tomorrow is my day off, but instead of continuing the Fling, I will be removing Christmas. I never take Christmas down before the Epiphany, and then after, well, it lingers. I like all the sparkle.

When I pack this year, I will be looking to assure myself that I am not packing anything better sent to Goodwill, or anything broken.

I am also going to do this. All those Christmas crafts (half finished, or purchased post-Christmas for next year) are going to stay in the studio, so that over the year, as I find inspiration lacking, I can work on some of these crafts.

Then, my good intentions to give hand crafted items next year will not get swallowed in the abyss of the pressure of Christmas once again.

“But I paid good money for that!!”…

Or, “My aunt So and So (God rest her soul) gave this to me at my first wedding…”

Or, “This color may come back into style, this lipstick matched that sweater so perfectly…” (Did you already Fling the sweater??)

Or, “Of course I will host a sit down dinner for 28. One Day. And I will NEED this. How can I possibly get rid of this?”

Flinging, de-cluttering, purging, downsizing. Call it what you like, but what it is mostly about is learning to accept the life you ARE living, as opposed to the one you dream to live.

(Which is not not the same as a life you strive toward.)

Loving something is different than simply acquiring it because you believe you SHOULD have it….

If it means something to you, you keep it. It makes you happy. Happiness IS it’s meaning. But understand happy, too. If it doesn’t make you happy, you need to let it go.

How is your Fling count?? As I expected, working the past four days, I only put in a minimal time. But my number is up to 155 for the year.

(Remember, when flinging, that the purple lid that doesn’t fit anything gets flung into the trash, and counts toward your 27! You are de-cluttering, not sacrificing things that you use, and need and like. You are flinging the detritus of your life, the things that make your world chaotic.)

makeup

If anyone is playing along and wants to share their experience, by all means, join in!!!

 

Balance—

Remembering my word for the year, I am trying to not obsess over the Flinging to the exclusion of all else. That is how burn out will happen. So…

On the quilting front, I have restarted a quilt that sat as a U(n)F(inished)O(bject) for years and years, because I just couldn’t find the inspiration to do anything to it.

Here is the quilt, before:crazy before

And after I had an epiphany, here is how it is going…half done, but well on it’s way to being something I love! (That’s Rory, my Quilt Safety Inspector, checking to see if this quilt may be slippery on a hardwood floor.)

rory checking

I have one other UFO that I am hand quilting while watching TV. I want to start only ONE quilt in the meantime!

27-thing Fling…Toiletries and makeup…

I am back to work this afternoon. Dreading it. Ugh. Stay-cations have a lot going for them! I accomplished a lot, fling and quilt-wise, spent time with my hunny and haven’t felt pressured!

In any event, here is category three, which will probably carry me through the weekend, as I work until Sunday.

My toiletries and makeup reside in three locations. The vanity and drawers of both bathrooms and the travel kit I have. If you carry makeup in your purse, don’t forget to fling from there, too.

Fling anything that is in it’s ‘old style’ packaging, and anything that you used at your wedding (unless you just got back from your honeymoon). ‘They’ say anything older than 6 months… (does it pass the smell test?) Have you even USED it lately?? In the past year?

Is it a color that makes you look ill but it cost a lot, or its a good brand? If it makes you look ill, you aren’t going to use it. Ever. Fling it!

A perfume that is too overpowering for you, makes you sneeze? Fling it (or Goodwill/give to someone who will like it…. probably the only item in this category you won’t simply fling into the trash can.)

Tubes and bottles that have only a squidge left, make a shopping list and fling them. Fling your toothbrushes too, and you will be good for a few more months. Don’t forget nail polish.

If you keep cleaning supplies under your sinks they count, too. And the medicine cabinet, wherever that may be. Everything that has expired, fling it. Left over prescription antibiotics, fling!

Once done, can all of the keepers fit comfortably where you would LIKE them to be stored? (basket, drawer, etc.) If not, can you do a second round of flinging to make it work?

(Oh, by the way—Do all of this before you hit the tail end of the Big Sale at Bath and Body Works. It will save you money when you realize you already have 6 bottles of shower gel in reserve!)