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  #51  
Old 07-17-2012, 08:39 AM
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So, mental note: never allow someone to store stuff at your house. Got it.
  #52  
Old 07-17-2012, 11:39 AM
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After reading how everyone is cleaning up and getting rid of things, I decided that this morning was the perfect time to clean out the laundry room.

My laundry room is 7'x11'. It was HUGELY cluttered. My husband has most of his tools in there (some have taken residence in the back hallway, also). He's in the process of building a large shed, and I'll be thrilled when it's done, so I can get all the tools OUT of the house. He's on OTR truck driver, and it's going to take him forever to get it finished. But, he's hoping to have it done before the snow flies, and it can't happen soon enough, in my opinion.

I bought a set of large shelves this past weekend. I my daughter and I started this morning, and cleaned out the laundry room. We put up the shelves, and put most things back, only it's much neater, and very organized now. We ended up throwing away one leaf-sized garbage bag full of crap that we didn't use, anymore. I can actually go in there and walk around. So much nicer.

Thank you all for giving me the gumption to do it, and keep up the great work!
  #53  
Old 07-17-2012, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olivesmarch4th View Post
So, mental note: never allow someone to store stuff at your house. Got it.
I dunno. I have stored stuff at my house for both my best friends and it worked out. The key was that there was a fixed date of the stuff being removed (when they both moved into their respective new homes) and that getting the stuff there was under my control (I was loading it all up in my car and bringing it to them).

Add on that they great people who look out for others (especially me since they love me), I doubt it would ever be a problem.

Now, if my sister in law wanted to store anything? No way, Jose. I know exactly what would happen. I have seen what happens.
  #54  
Old 07-17-2012, 01:53 PM
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Frustrating "weekend" for me (I'm off Sunday-Tuesday) as the heat is really knocking the stuffing out of me, but I DID:

1) Keep up with the dishes
2) Weed the garden
3) Take the recyclables+1 down to the recycle place
4) Empty the household garbage
5) Neaten up the clothes closet a bit (it's in the cool part of the house)
6) Get through a bit more of the paperwork piles

I'm thinking of doing another closet purge before I have to go back to work tomorrow. I can drop off a bag or two of no longer wanted clothing when I take my paycheck to the bank as Goodwill is right next door to them.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:52 PM
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Our friends came over tonight, and the ''scrambling around doing last minute cleaning'' thing we're so used to never happened. My house has been kept clean enough that I am comfortable with guests just waltzing in unannounced. What a cool feeling.
  #56  
Old 07-18-2012, 02:02 AM
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As of last summer I thought we were going to move to Kentucky in not too long a time. As of April, that's not happening. In the meantime, though, I got a good start on getting rid of things and sorting out what to keep and what not to keep. I was making a point of getting rid of at least one thing (either throw out or put in the bag for the resale shop) every day, and it was getting easier to look at things and say, "I'm never going to use this." When we decided to stay here, I decided to keep up the process, to get this house into better shape.
We've never been actually dirty, but clutter keeps things from getting properly dusted and vacuumed and suchlike. And not having things in order makes it that much harder to get a good start on anything, since everything I do means something else has to be moved or set aside or put away first. But it's getting better. Sewing patterns are all in boxes, and a lot of them ended up in the resale bag. The random pictures that were piled in the corner by the desk are all in the file cabinet and a shoebox next to it. I've gone through craft magazines, pulled out pages I want, and stuffed the rest into the recycle bin. The pages I pulled are in sleeves in a binder, so I can find them.
Lots of paper got either shredded or binned, and everything is current and put away. No more piles of papers waiting to be filed.
Early in the summer I started in on the kitchen, scrubbing everything, right down to the microwave vent covers and windowsills between the windows and screens. In the process I got rid of a few things that weren't being used, or that I didn't like anymore. The direct impetus for that was that we were hosting my husband's card game, which gave me a deadline. Now that it's clean it's easier to want to keep it that way.
At this point:
Dishes are being done every night, washed, air-dried, and put away. It's surprising how happy a clean countertop makes me.
The mail doesn't leave my hand until it's either put away or thrown away. I need to set up a folder or something for things like bills that need to be paid or mail that needs attention later.
I'm trying to make a strong habit of not handling things twice. If I don't set it down I don't have to pick it up later.

I've gotten to thinking of the house in terms of 'broken window syndrome'. When it's messy it's that much easier to add to the mess. When it's clean it's not only easier to see what's out of place, but it makes me want to keep it that way more.
And when things are in place, and actually have places, it's easier to find them and use them.

There are other contributing factors in my life in the past few years, but whatever the reason, it's happening. By Christmas, this is going to be a whole different house.
  #57  
Old 07-18-2012, 09:33 AM
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I mucked out our kitchen pantry a few weeks back - a side effect of finding that a bag of whole-wheat flour came with its own supply of animal protein (pantry moths). Tossed anything grain-based that might have had a chance to get infested, got rid of outdated stuff, consolidated some things where we had multiples (who needs 3 partial containers of baking soda??). Got stackable bins for all the dry goods (and we have a LOT of those). There's actually *space* in there now.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:59 AM
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Eew, mothy protein. I am a strong believer in stackable bins. One of my best ideas was getting a set of small bins to organize the medicines in our linen closet. One for Cold and Flu, one for Pain Meds, and one for First Aid.

I am one of those people who gets very easily overwhelmed by cleaning. If I am surrounded with a mess I just sort of shut down when I realize everything I have to do.

Two things have really worked for me in addressing this issue.
1. Short cleaning sessions. You don't have to clean the whole house. You don't even have to clean the whole room. Can you set a timer for 15 minutes with full permission to walk away at the end if you want to? My spin on this was every time I left a room, I put away 5 things. So easy. The house was spotless by the end of the week.

2. You can't make progress if you are continuing to make messes, so the basic idea is everything has a place and it goes there immediately when you're done using it. I am only recently learning how to do this. My end table gets particularly cluttered so I actually have a specific list of items that are allowed to go on it - no more than one drinking glass at a time, nothing other than my electronics, a picture frame, and a box of tissue. I still use it to put stuff on, I just make sure that stuff is cleaned up every time I walk away.

I have discovered it really isn't that hard to put away my jacket instead of throwing it on the couch, or put my shoes in their shoe holder, or put away a medicine bottle immediately after I use it. Everything is so much easier this way.

As for current projects, I'm still working on the spare room. I basically have the entire day to declutter and I'm going to make good use of it.

Last edited by Spice Weasel; 07-18-2012 at 10:01 AM.
  #59  
Old 07-18-2012, 10:04 AM
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I mucked out our kitchen pantry a few weeks back - a side effect of finding that a bag of whole-wheat flour came with its own supply of animal protein (pantry moths). Tossed anything grain-based that might have had a chance to get infested, got rid of outdated stuff, consolidated some things where we had multiples (who needs 3 partial containers of baking soda??). Got stackable bins for all the dry goods (and we have a LOT of those). There's actually *space* in there now.

I also tend to let mail pile up. I keep up with the basic household bills via online billpay and Quicken reminders, but non-routine stuff tends to get pushed aside "until I have time". I finally piled everything I could find together - it completely filled a reusable grocery bag - and tore through it last night. 90% of it was trash (ads etc.), a few just have to be filed and put away, but there were a few bills as well. Oops.

Our biggest challenge areas:
1) master bedroom closet. There's stuff in there that makes it hard to move around. I *know* there's stuff that is outdated, outgrown etc. But who has time to clear it all out??
2) master bedroom itself: piles of stuff that need to be sorted / tossed / put away. Again, who has time.
3) Kids' bedrooms are a disaster but they always are. We'll go in once a year and do massive mucking out, and it looks good for a week.
4) Study/computer room. That is actually the most daunting: we have tons of papers that need to be sorted through, photos to scan and discard, etc. I could see it taking 2 of us several days to get it all handled.

What we're doing *right*: We don't let trash pile up. newspapers get tossed / recycled promptly, trash gets taken out, food isn't left lying around, bathrooms are clean and functional, etc. With a couple hours work, we can get the public areas of the house looking pretty presentable. We've got a good scanner now so the plan is to scan virtually all paperwork that we need to keep - we can throw the paper away, or file it, as appropriate, but at least we'll be able to get the information.

A while back, a friend whose husband is disabled (a kind of early-onset dementia) mentioned that he enjoys scanning photos, can spend hours at it, and offered his services as a scanner. This thread has finally inspired me to take them up on it. That'll free up a ton of shelf space in the computer room.
  #60  
Old 07-18-2012, 07:19 PM
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I'm going to throw in a work clean-up, too.

My company bought a store-front. By they I mean they purchased a defunct shoe-repair business as-is. It had been unused for several years and when they first entered it everything was covered by 3-4 inches of dust and dirt. (ew)

Cleaning and organizing the mess while simultaneously running a business in the space has been and interesting challenge.

(With boss permission) I spent an entire afternoon working on some of the lingering mess. 2 garbage bags of trash later we have 8 now-empty drawers to store stuff in, I found a half a gross of a sewing machine needles so we don't need to order them after all, various other supplies we've been needing that we no longer need to order, and several usable tools. More space, less trash, and we can spend our limited money for work supplies on something other than the items I found.

Also figured out why the blue singer treadle sewing machine isn't working, but fixing that will have to wait until next week at the earliest.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:06 PM
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Olive, the bins for medicine idea is brilliant! I'm going to do that tonight, and I have the perfect spot for the bins: the big deep cabinet above the refrigerator. (It stays cool enough to be my hidey hole for chocolate chips that would otherwise disappear before I need them, so it should be safe for medicine.) That cabinet is only good for seldom-used stuff like chafing dishes, but it's deep enough to put meds in the front, and everyone who's old enough to self-medicate can reach it. The first aid kit is already up there, so of course the OTC meds and pet supplements should be right there!

Now I need to train myself to do stuff immediately or systematically instead of letting it pile up. Laundry is my nemesis. I wash it and dry it, and then it never gets folded/hung and put away. My random crap piles grow into mountains. And every mess I clean turns into three new messes thanks to Hurricane Lily. (Which comedienne observed that cleaning house while the children still live there is like shoveling the walk while it's still snowing?)
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:01 PM
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Smart Phone "Scanner" Apps!


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Originally Posted by FlyingRat View Post
When it comes to documents, the best purchase I ever made for peace of mind was a sheet-fed scanner that automatically produces searchable PDFs. I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap, but there are other options out there, including one called the NeatDesk. Every piece of paper coming into the house goes through the scanner and then gets shredded (unless it's particularly important to keep a paper copy for a while, like certain receipts or tax documents), and the results are kept on our computer and securely backed up online. Anything I need I can print out again, or just email the PDF without having to scan it on-demand.

It's worth ten times what I paid for it, solely from the time/space savings. It only takes sitting down for ten minutes once a week to take care of that week's paperwork, and not much longer than that to make a dent in our backlog of archived paperwork (a thirty-minute scanning session can take care of several file folders' worth of paper).
I will see your NeatDesk Scanner and raise you an iPhone app (although I'm sure there are Android/Windows versions galore). The freebie that I use all of the time (like several times a week) is called GeniusScan (for iPhone). Basically it let's you take a picture of any document and store it as a PDF "in the cloud" - on Google Docs, Evernote, Dropbox, or several other places, or locally on your phone to transfer to your main laptop/desktop 'puter.
I use this app not just for random receipts, but flyers I see and want to review later, notices I must remember, even the hours of operation signs at businesses I frequent. But most often, I use it for holding on to my kids' 3 & 4 star artwork (keeping only the very creme of the crop and sending other goodie to grandparents). For other paper keepers, I strongly recommend getting an app like this, it's so freeing... Mentally as well as freeing up physical space and time that'd eventually be spent to declutter the stock piles.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by McCallBLaw View Post
I will see your NeatDesk Scanner and raise you an iPhone app (although I'm sure there are Android/Windows versions galore). The freebie that I use all of the time (like several times a week) is called GeniusScan (for iPhone). Basically it let's you take a picture of any document and store it as a PDF "in the cloud" - on Google Docs, Evernote, Dropbox, or several other places, or locally on your phone to transfer to your main laptop/desktop 'puter.
I use this app not just for random receipts, but flyers I see and want to review later, notices I must remember, even the hours of operation signs at businesses I frequent. But most often, I use it for holding on to my kids' 3 & 4 star artwork (keeping only the very creme of the crop and sending other goodie to grandparents). For other paper keepers, I strongly recommend getting an app like this, it's so freeing... Mentally as well as freeing up physical space and time that'd eventually be spent to declutter the stock piles.
I have CamScanner on my android; there may be others as well. While it's not as good as a real scanner, it's useful for small-volume documents when I want to get 'em scanned in a hurry and don't have the time to go to the desktop computer and do it for real. I think I've got it set up so that it automatically goes up to Dropbox.
  #64  
Old 07-20-2012, 09:37 PM
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How did we miss this? Obligatory xkcd link.
Ironically, I came across this today because I am "decluttering" the unread items in my reader.
I could get rid of the box and probably be fine.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:17 PM
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very frustrating few days. Instead of finishing up the kids' rooms, we had to work on cleaning and treating the master bedroom for bedbugs. >_< I wish I knew where they came from.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:38 PM
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very frustrating few days. Instead of finishing up the kids' rooms, we had to work on cleaning and treating the master bedroom for bedbugs. >_< I wish I knew where they came from.
I am so sorry. We had lice last week. While lice are easier to get rid of, it took days to wash all the soft things in my kids' rooms.

(Good news is that it's all clean now.)

I did the top of my closet on Saturday. Wasn't a big job (took all of five minutes) but now I know what's up there, at least.

Tonight I am going to try for the rest of the bedroom. I recently purged my clothes so it's just going through all the other stuff (nighttable drawers are magnets for assorted stuff).

I also have to go into the pile of stuff from our upstairs bathroom to find soap and razors. The renovation is going to take an extra week (shocking!) and I didn't leave out enough supplies.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:48 PM
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I don't usually buy things to organize things (I'm not a fan of "let's buy cutesy hodlers to hold all of our junk!") but I did get a mid-mod low dresser to store all of my papers, son's DVDs, Wii games, teaching materials, etc. It's going in the living room. The living room will look so much nicer and the TV is going on top of it. I already organized medical bills and my son tossed out all but 10 favorite DVDs.

Also took a bunch of stuff to the Goodwill drop off. I had organized everything so nicely and neatly and they just tossed it into giant bins. That sweater was $58 new! Eh!

Last edited by Farmer Jane; 07-24-2012 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:25 PM
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I was getting caught up on the backload of laundry and putting all that away yesterday, as well as sorting through things and tackling some small areas but last night I had a full-blown asthma/allergy attack that was also accompanied by vomiting (I suspect some food poisoning was involved). Needless to say, I feel like shit today AND I discovered this morning that there was a leak above the linen closet so that's another two loads of stuff that has to be done before the mildew attacks because, I guess, doing eight loads yesterday wasn't enough.

I am seriously contemplating using the drop-off service at the laundry. I usually don't, but I'm not feeling well, it has to be done, and I'll get it back not just clean but already folded. Then I can use what's left of my energy for the usual dishes/garbage chores. And purging the refrigerator of anything that might be going off, just to be on the safe side.
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:59 PM
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I am so sorry. We had lice last week. While lice are easier to get rid of, it took days to wash all the soft things in my kids' rooms.

(Good news is that it's all clean now.)
....
Blech!! We had that, about 6 years ago now. Moon Unit brought home more than memories from summer camp. It was a few weeks before we realized why her head was so itchy.

If soft stuff can't readily be washed, bag it up for a couple of weeks. Also be vigilant in head-checks for a few weeks - anything that survived the initial treatment might have survived (or missed nits might hatch). We did an oil comb-through every 48 hours for 2 weeks: soaked the hair / scalp in olive oil or almond oil, and then a careful going-over with a steel nit comb. I definitely found adults that had survived the initial Nix treatment, within 48 hours, and a few days after that found several adolescent (well, smaller) critters that had presumably just hatched.

Buying stuff to hold crap: oh yeah. Depending on what it is, it can either enable you to have excess stuff that looks marginally more organized, or can make what you have easier to find / use when you need it. I had all my spice jars in bins - which was fine except they were never where I thought they were, I'd miss them even so (e.g. oregano is in bin 2 vs bin 4). I finally spent a fair bit of cash on some Elfa spice rack stuff that attaches to the back of my pantry doors (all that cubic was going completely to waste, the pantry shelves were only half depth).... and now everything is ALPHABETIZED and EASY TO FIND. Yay.

I've gone through 4 out of 11 photo boxes. With tossing out the double prints, and compacting all the negatives to one box, and tossing the really bad exposures, blurry photos, etc., the 4 boxes are down to 1.5. I won't have time to do much else with them for a few more days, but hopefully in a week or so I can get 'em shipped off to my friend. The boxes were incredibly dusty and there were cobwebs. I so look forward to being able to muck out everything from those shelves.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:14 PM
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...
I am seriously contemplating using the drop-off service at the laundry. I usually don't, but I'm not feeling well, it has to be done, and I'll get it back not just clean but already folded. Then I can use what's left of my energy for the usual dishes/garbage chores. ....
Ugh!! I think the drop-off service is an excellent idea in this situation. Gotta be done, neither you nor husband is up for it, and as you said it'll save your energy.

If you have a fan or a HEPA filter available, run that in the closet to dry things out faster. Probably you've already thought of this, but if you're feeling that wretched it's conceivable it hadn't occurred to you yet. I know I get kind of stoopid when I'm feeling that awful.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:36 PM
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Yep, used the drop off and glad I did.

Fortunately, the humidity was down today (for a change) and the closet is dried out. The linens did, after all, absorb most of the water!

Feeling better, but still feeling fragile if you know what I mean. And my throat is incredibly raw but the allergy meds knocked down the reaction completely so I should be good to go to work tomorrow.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:23 AM
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Well, I didn't get to cleaning out the bedroom. I spent the whole night doing laundry. (Hubby was supposed to do it while he was working from home yesterday but somehow didn't get to it.)

I did tidy up every room in the house so everything is put away. (Into overflowing closets and cupboards but it's a start.)

I will try again tonight but last night was my only night alone (no kids, no husband) the chances of even keeping the house tidy are slim.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:08 PM
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I took the day off due to prepping for a job interview, but I still reorganized my cracker, cereal, snack cupboard.

Tomorrow's task is going through the boatload of paper that was heaped on my desk. Sort and shred, sort and shred.

Even if I never totally get decluttered, I feel better for the stuff I have been accomplishing in small bites.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:46 AM
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Well, today I bought something that holds something.



I was excited. I live in an apartment but I like it. It now has stuff on it and the Wii stuff in it and my papers and 6 drawers to spare. But while cleaning up the living room I noticed a dozen books on my shelf that could stand to go...and I don't really need to keep old teaching materials. Not all of them.

I also have a lot of framed pictures sitting in boxes. The older my son gets, the more we collect...sigh. Photographs are going to be a Christmas break project, I think. I want them all in albums. No more 'photo boxes'.

I went to the shoe store today (finding a pair of Cole Haan shoes that were PERFECT...and in someone else's size, gah) and brought home one pair of shoes. I can wear them tomorrow for a date and they're suitable for work. I passed over a pair of wedge sandals that were on clearance because I just tossed out a bunch of cheaper shoes I barely wear. The shoes weren't a horrible brand or anything - Guess - but I'm trying to not let my newly-cleaned closet implode.

Last edited by Farmer Jane; 07-26-2012 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:50 AM
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I just sorted out our meds drawer and chucked away loads of stuff from 2010 and 2011. Got to do this before my husband moves home next week and never lets me throw anything away again.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:03 AM
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While I'll be keeping my shared flat near Barcelona and using it as a travel base for the next project, I did go through the clothes I had and toss several pairs of shoes and a few T-shirts which weren't particularly comfortable and not even good as sleeping shirts. I'll be in my owned flat for the next two weeks and part of the plan is to go through the trunks and toss piles of old comics.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:55 AM
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Yesterday I took the boxes of stuff I've been planning to donate and actually donated them (SPCA thrift store). Today I will snag a box from the office and start a new round.
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:16 AM
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That is really pretty! It looks like it would also be great used as a dresser.

Ever since the big organization spree I've been on, I've done some little things here and there but nothing else major. The beautiful thing is, though, our house has been clean for an entire month. Just by making sure I put stuff away whenever I use it, I've made such a difference for our environment.

The other beautiful thing is, I don't have to search the house for random items all the time. I always know where they are, because they have a place!
  #79  
Old 07-26-2012, 10:04 AM
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Well, still haven't cleaned out the bedroom. Our department took the afternoon off yesterday and drank A LOT of beer.

The good news is that my house was tidy enough to have everyone over. The bad news is that I am so hungover today that I KNOW I am not getting to the bedroom again tonight.

(I may have to have some redbull just to make it through the day. At least we are all suffering...)
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:43 AM
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I'm sad to say that actually this thread has had the opposite effect on me than I had hoped. After a week of being sick, and the unrelenting heat, I find myself entirely discouraged. Then I come here and read about people who have organized houses who declare their place a disaster because they haven't dusted in two days or whatever and I look at what I'm facing and I think...

Why bother? It's hopeless. This place is never going to get organized. I'm struggling just to maintain what I've done, I just don't know how I'm going to keep improving.

I get one shelf cleaned off, turn around, and the spouse has already filled it up again. I'm tired of the arguing. I told him I wanted all the hardware stuff out of the kitchen and it's another argument about how he can't do things and he wants help and about how I've been doing all the heavy lifting and carrying and he isn't doing what he is able to do to help out, or even give me some encouragement.

Or maybe I'm just feeling like crap mentally because I've been feeling like crap physically. I'm just really, really discouraged because I woke up to three or four days worth of dishes in the sink and overflowing garbage cans. Yeah, we've both been sick but it feels like all the progress I've made recently has been reversed. There should be a some sort of natural law against both members of a marriage getting sick simultaneously.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:19 AM
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Today we turned out the shed entirely. First time in about six years. I threw away about ten 40 litre bags of sheer crap like empty plastic pots and empty paint cans (they can only be put out once a month here and they will only take six bags at a time so next Thursday we will see if they actually go or not....).

We found that mice had gotten into a box of books that my husband had not opened for 14 years but swore that he needed. I insisted that they go, he insisted that they be shredded (confidential stuff in there.) So I spent the afternoon alternating between shredding and then when the shredder overheated, sweeping up mouse droppings and bundling stuff up into different categories, while he refloored the shed with lots of offcuts of wood in an effort to make the floor more even and to block up some mouse holes. Only non-edible stuff is going back.

My husband has just moved back with us after four years away. We found a use for the three trashcans he brought back with him - two for all our skis and poles and one for all the garden stakes! I feel very thrifty and nifty right now!

Pity it got dark and we had to leave stuff strewn all over the grass... Another couple of hours tomorrow though and we will have a pretty, tidy shed for the first time in years.
  #82  
Old 08-02-2012, 08:30 AM
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Don't get discouraged, Broomstick. My triumph this weekend was the clearing out of one single kitchen drawer. I got everything out, sorted al the dry goods that were expired, (some had been expired for over three years )put open packages in containers, cleaned out the drawer, that's it.

Took ten minutes, feels good.
  #83  
Old 08-02-2012, 09:00 AM
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I was getting ready to go retrieve some bins of baby clothes from the attic in preparation for giving them to a friend. I saw this thread, and was so tempted, but I told myself I could read after I brought the stuff down. 4 bins, a laundry basket, an XXL Ziploc storage bag, and two baby gates are downstairs waiting to be put in the car now, and I need a glass of water, so here I am!

I think the biggest thing for us is making sure everything has a home. You can try to clean up all you like, but if the items don't all have a coherent, known place to be put back, it's pretty hopeless.

Having work done on my dryer and fridge in the past month really helped me pick up a bunch of stuff in those areas that had been tossed there because "I don't know what to do with this."

I'm also converting my daughter's old bedroom to my sewing room and storage for their toys, while dejunking all that stuff from my dining room. My parents gave us their old DR furniture, and it inspired me to make my dining room into a real dining room again. I got a LOT done in there this week. Biggest job will be sorting the craft supply bins and creating a storage system for that stuff that makes sense and looks good.
  #84  
Old 08-02-2012, 10:59 AM
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I get one shelf cleaned off, turn around, and the spouse has already filled it up again. I'm tired of the arguing. I told him I wanted all the hardware stuff out of the kitchen.
Solution to that which may provoke another argument: Create a space somewhere and tell him that every time you find a piece of hardware in the kitchen, you are going to put it in that space/bucket/whatever. If the bucket gets full, you will put it outside. My mother used to pile all my stuff on my bed to make me clean it up (it helped, but not completely).

I know where you are coming from though. Lordy, but it is difficult for me to master the art of organizing paperwork. Just take on a little bit at a time so that each day I can say I accomplished something right? Well, I failed yesterday and Tuesday as well. But I've got to keep trying.
  #85  
Old 08-02-2012, 01:19 PM
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The bins thing really helped while moving, and I am continuing to use them for all kinds of things now that we're settling in. I had found 97-cent plastic containers with lids, about the size of a shoebox, at Walmart, and got two dozen of them. They are WONDERFUL for the pantry, can put open bags of rice or whatnot into them, using them in the computer room for assorted EVERYthing, use them for snacks...they're really great.
  #86  
Old 08-03-2012, 09:51 AM
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I get one shelf cleaned off, turn around, and the spouse has already filled it up again. I'm tired of the arguing.
I totally know how you feel.

We now have a housekeeper who comes every two weeks to do the heavy cleaning. That means that everything needs to be tidied up and put away the night before she comes. My solution to this is to tidy the whole house and put everything away every night after dinner. And continue to clean up after myself as I do things.

Every night. EVERY DAMN NIGHT, I spend about half an hour before I go to bed either nagging my husband to clean up the messes he made or that the children made in his presence or just cleaning them up myself.

Do you know how much stuff I can get done in half an hour? I could have time to sew some buttons on (a job that desperately needs doing). I could clean out the pantry. I could sweep out the garage. I could water the garden.

But, NO! I have to be the one to keep the house tidy, too.

I am so looking forward to he and the kids going away this weekend. I can do whatever I want and only have to worry about tidying after myself.
  #87  
Old 08-04-2012, 08:14 AM
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Well, now that I'm getting over whatever bug I had and am feeling better physically I'm feeling like strategizing again. The weather is supposed to cool off to normal summer as well this "weekend" (meaning my days off, which are Sunday to Tuesday) so maybe we'll get something done.

Tentative plans (no particular order)

- clean off 1/2 of "mad scientist laboratory" (MSL) workbench so I can get my leatherworking gear set up and maybe earn some spare cash from people interested in items.

- clean off a shelf (again) in the MSL and put the hardware stuff in the kitchen in there, except for the hardware stuff going into the spouse's new shop space

- clear kitchen corner where I want to put an upright freezer

- another closet purge. I usually get a bag or two of items for donation that way. I just can't seem to adopt a scorched-earth policy but if a once a month pruning will accomplish the same thing long term I do it that way because it works for me.

It's also laundry week. The spouse went to the grocery story yesterday so I won't have to do that this weekend.

Longer term when we get more of the MSL cleaned up the piano and my sewing machine will go in there, freeing up more space in the living room. I'm also thinking of making a corner of it for storage. Basically, the room will end up half workroom/hobby room and half storage, leaving the front room, bedroom, and kitchen more open and presentable which is mentally good for us and also better for when we have our (very occasional) visitors.

ETA: I also got buy in from the spouse to sit with me in the MSL and provide moral support and help decide what we can throw out. A LOT Of the junk/clutter in there is his and he has to be the one to make the decision. If he fills up one or two bags of crap I'll be happy to do the actual work of taking it to the dumpster. Yeah, we're both slobs.

Last edited by Broomstick; 08-04-2012 at 08:16 AM.
  #88  
Old 08-04-2012, 04:50 PM
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Well, I'll poke my nose into this thread, since I've been looking at the title, then looking quickly at the next one down so I didn't have to think about how I was slacking on this. BUT!

Today, I set out to put away the clothes. ALL The clothes (including the pile in the bedroom that's developed from the "I hate this shirt" moment after I get dressed for work). Got that done and said to myself "self, you could just put those shoes away and it'd look even better". Which turned into finishing cleaning the bedroom. It's so clean, y'all. I even swept it - yes, even under the bed!

I think I'll work on a couple of small living room projects this evening post dinner - like dealing with the junk mail on the coffee table.
  #89  
Old 08-07-2012, 01:40 PM
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The good news: the whole family helped on Friday to clean out the children's clothes. I had them try anything that might be too small on and took them off to Once Upon a Child.

The bad news: my daughter had very few pairs of pants or shorts left so we had to buy a bunch of those while we were there. There is still plenty of room in all her drawers, though and now everything in there fits her. (Go team!)

Also, the husband and kids were gone for the weekend so the house is still tidy. (Actually, far tidier than when they left.) I cleaned out my bedroom (finally!) and the hall closet.

The project for this week is to go through my closet and donate all the items that are now too big for me to my pregnant friend. (That's right folks, I lost four dress sizes.)
  #90  
Old 08-18-2012, 04:20 PM
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This weekend's project has been the second bedroom. There were boxes in there that I hadn't unpacked when I moved to GA from Arizona two years ago, and just moved into that room when I moved here last summer. Every one of them, with 3 exceptions (the boxes with my good dishes, that I don't have space for in the kitchen cabinets and am not using right now) has been opened and emptied.

There are two small boxes of stuff I need to sort through and decide whether it's stuff worth keeping. There's also a big blue IKEA bag of papers to sort through, shred and/or recycle whole. That bag can be dealt with in the evenings after work this week, because it's fairly mindless to do. Two bags of clothes are in the trunk of my car to go to a donation center - there are probably more, but that will happen when I clean out the closets for my summer/winter switch.

I have before (and later, after) pics I'm going to stick on my tumblr. After this, I just need to deal with the kitchen cabinets and I will have done an excellent deep cleaning of the apartment. Even with what I've done so far I feel like there's a lot more space, and I'm far happier being in here. And I feel like I can keep this up once it's done - I've maintained the living room and bedroom for 3 weeks, and that's major for me - I can't let my guard down (it's like when I was quitting smoking), but I can build new habits.
  #91  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:13 AM
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I have before (and later, after) pics I'm going to stick on my tumblr.
I know, I know, I may be the only one posting in this thread lately, but since I'm proud of yesterday's work, here it is.
  #92  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:22 AM
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I'm sad to say that actually this thread has had the opposite effect on me than I had hoped.
It's rather late, but would a (virtual) hug help?
  #93  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:26 AM
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I know, I know, I may be the only one posting in this thread lately, but since I'm proud of yesterday's work, here it is.
You should be proud! Well done.


I, alas, have again failed. I blame it on a loooong stretch of hot humid days AND no working a.c.

I promise to start decluttering again come fall-type weather.
  #94  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:27 AM
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I know, I know, I may be the only one posting in this thread lately, but since I'm proud of yesterday's work, here it is.
Well, I'm impressed

That room looks amazing now! So empty, and just calling out for a comfy sofa for you to be able to curl up on with a book, or a nice desk to turn it into a home study, or.... any useful purpose you can think of (and stretch your paycheck to) to reward you in your progress, and to prevent any backsliding
  #95  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:38 AM
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I know, I know, I may be the only one posting in this thread lately, but since I'm proud of yesterday's work, here it is.
That is definitely worth being proud of!

Hang in there, Broomstick! Set teeny, tiny goals. 5 minutes a day. Something. Anything. You will get there!

I am proud to report that the house is still clean, and has been clean for about two months running. Nothing left out on tables or the floor. Bed is made every day (last one up gets assigned that task.) I'm getting in the habit of taking care of something immediately after I'm done using it, even putting my dirty gym clothes in the hamper when I come home from the fitness center, rather than leaving them in my bag. I've continued to work on having a ''home'' for everything. There are still some drawers that could stand to be organized, but nothing screams out at me.

Right now my biggest organizational challenge is getting situated at my new job. I just inherited a mess of files and have to figure out how to keep everything organized. One thing I am trying is using colored index cards where I write all notes related to a task on a single card. That seems to be working well for work on individual grants. I bought some new office stuff including a business card file, which is exciting because I've never had business cards before.
  #96  
Old 08-19-2012, 11:42 AM
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Our determination to clear out the basement was partially realized last weekend, when we held a one-day garage sale and took in over $1,000. I can actually get to the furnace and electrical panel now without walking sideways and tripping over things. De-cluttering is really very freeing, mentally.
  #97  
Old 08-19-2012, 12:12 PM
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It's rather late, but would a (virtual) hug help?
Hugs of any sort always appreciated.

With the cessation of the Great Heat Wave and my recovery from whatever viral bug I had I now feel I can resume more than just maintenance cleaning. Unfortunately, the fall allergies are now here, but I'm used to working around those.

If I can manage to make some progress this weekend (and for me, weekends are Sunday to Tuesday) I'll post the results.
  #98  
Old 08-19-2012, 12:34 PM
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Hugs for everyone! This thread is making me happy. I plan on starting my big cleaning project tomorrow, and you guys have been inspiring.
Oh, and when I say "I'm planning to start tomorrow," I'm not just procrastinating- I have to leave for work in half an hour, and I'm going to get back too late and too tired to do anything tonight.
  #99  
Old 08-19-2012, 03:00 PM
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Hugs for everyone! This thread is making me happy.
Your user name is making me happy.
  #100  
Old 08-20-2012, 12:19 AM
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Would this idea help anyone else?

I recently did some traveling, and found I could fit everything I really need in a backpack (a few clothes, lots of books and art supplies). And it got me thinking, "What if I called home right now and said 'Quick, before I get home, I'll give each of you kids $50 to throw out all my stuff!'"

The advantage there is that my family wouldn't be sentimental about my 5th grade doodles, or that old toaster oven that I just KNOW I could fix. The times I've tried to declutter myself, I keep rationalizing keeping things, and throw out 10% of what I should.

A less-severe compromise would be "Okay, if I went on a sabbatical, I could probably fill a large box with everything I just HAD to have." So why don't I just pack up a box, go somewhere for the weekend, and tell my kids to go crazy with the dumpster I rented?

Think it'd work? For me, or for you?
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