Monthly Archives: September 2013

More culling and Other Such

I’ve sold a tin bathtub, 2 books, a bunch of linen, a bookcase (did I note that here yet?) and a few other pieces. I have a trunk/desk thingy in the car to go tomorrow to the antique booth on the way to Ikea.

My plans for Ikea are to buy knife racks and curtains — nothing exciting or expensive! The knife racks are for my new spice rack, which if it works as I hope will free up an entire small cabinet.

My plan is to see if DH can get the pullout trash can in the cabinet which currently houses the spices. If so, then I’ll have more space under the sink. If not? I’ll pull some of the smaller stuff from the pantry. The spices will go on the bottom of a hanging cabinet. Where they are now is  a small bottom one. It can be rather inconvenient to get something!

Also, I bought paint for the dressers with, or just stuff or my office, or . . . This presupposes a few things: 1) I have the weather and space to move furniture around (it’s better but the house is by no means “open” yet) 2)DH & I like the paint I bought,  I can get more before it gets too cold to paint,  3) The project I have in mind as my “sample” isn’t a disaster.

Yesterday I was gone all day doing a flea market, the last of the season. I took the laundry room rug with me to work on it and had someone offer to buy it on the spot much to my surprise! I turned her down and was kind of shocked. The rug got a lot of interest  both from other sellers as well as customers, so maybe making rugs for sale is a possible future trend? First I want to get this one FINISHED. Then I have a few to make for others. After that? We’ll see.

I do have a bright orange shirt and a bright green one set aside to try and make a “pumpkin” with. Also have some black to add a face. Don’t know if my idea will work for this, but I’ll try.

Finally, we’re still eating down the pantry and freezer stores. I really want another chest freezer (had one when we got here). It’s on the list, after a lot of other things which have to happen first!

It’s fall, which always happens too soon. Got wood to stack, to finish cleaning out the shed, etc. etc. etc. It’s the mad rush of fall, the busiest time of year for me! If/when I get my low stress planning thing done, hopefully there won’t be any more mad rushes — hopefully.

P.S. Given my history with spammers, this blog’s title will no doubt generate a whole swath of people telling me I’ve written an informative article that should get more readers and to do this I might want to do x or y or z.  I’ll post here how many I get. I wish I could figure out the criteria they use to determine what blogs to send spam to, I’d make sure never to do whatever it is!

P.S.2 I found the missing organization notebook! (Amazing what happens when you get  to the bottom box, isn’t it?)


Update: the spice rack as I envisioned won’t work, or it would work for me, but not my DH. It’s in the way (for him) of the coffee making supplies, and he makes most of the coffee, so that’s out. We’ve talked about doing it under the other cabinet, but it’s a small one and the knife racks won’t fit, sigh. The other cabinet where it might fit currently has the pot lids, so that’s out. Back to the drawing board!

More Data and Food

I was curious, what specifically was I short? I did the math.

The tally doesn’t make it look so bad! Yes, I am short on 60% of the items, but that also means I was over or hit my target 40%. And I apparently like cleaning doors!

19 floors, 7 windows short, 2 ceilings short 27 pcs short

0 walls, did the allocated amount

8 more doors than the allocated amount

We had ham steaks and pumpkin soup with sage last night for dinner. The original recipe called for ham in the soup, but I took it out as you couldn’t really taste it.

I spent a lot of yesterday afternoon pulling things out of the vegetable garden (my large tomato vine, one trellis’ worth of beans, etc.). But it actually didn’t get that cold, so I could have NOT done this. Oh well, I guess I’m ahead of the game?

I have parsley, tarragon, dill, three kinds of  thyme, peppermint, etc. to deal with today as a result. I bagged up the 5 basil plants, some parsley plants, etc  in leaf bags yesterday and they’re currently in the kitchen, looking a bit like brown craft paper ghosts! The cat thinks they smell interesting, she keeps sniffing at one of the bags.

Anyway, my time culling things yesterday was spent in the garden, not inside.

What’s Bothering Me & a Status Report of Sorts

isn’t how many things I have or haven’t gotten rid of, it’s the lack of progress.

I brought home 2+ boxes of books from the storage yesterday. I have some things to get in the mail this morning, but aside from that expect to be sorting through and getting rid of stuff all day. My problem isn’t getting rid of the stuff, it’s that there’s still so much here!

I started a new page on the cleaning tracking yesterday, so I tallied things. From 8/15 to 9/15  I did my basic 4 things 24 days, about 75% of the time. I cleaned the following surfaces : 4 walls, 8 windows, 12 door/closet doors,  37 floors, and 2 ceilings. Is that perfect? Heck no!

My allocation is 1 lg/2 small walls, 4 windows, 1 door/closet door, 14 floors, 2 small,/1 med/ or half of a large ceiling a week. So the month should be 4x that, or conservatively 4 walls, 15 windows, 4 doors, 56 floors and 4 ceilings. Obviously, I fell well short of that.

However, for the 2nd month in a row the house is getting cleaned on a more regular basis and the tallying has given me yet more info. about myself and what I will or won’t do.  For some reason I don’t clean ceilings on Mondays or Wednesdays; don’t clean walls/windows on Wednesdays or Fridays? So I have problems cleaning on Wednesday.

In the great scheme of things, this is pretty silly. But data are data and the more I learn about what makes me tick the more I can use that to help myself accomplish my goals. If that means taking Weds. off the cleaning schedule down the road, it does.

First Fall Harvest

I dug potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes today. I’d pulled the first carrots of size yesterday. I guess it really is fall ‘eh?

Most of my day was spent at the computer, working on pulling the memoir together. When I wasn’t doing that or other computer tasks, I was working on the rug.

I painted myself into a corner today too, on purpose. I invited a neighbor couple for breakfast, the middle of October. So now I have a DEADLINE. I have to get the house cleared out enough that there’s room for 4 people to sit and eat, etc.

Do you paint yourselves into corners? Frequenly,  it’s the only way I can get anything done. I’ll work HARD to keep from being embarrassed!

Stuff, more stuff, less stuff, more stuff etc.

Okay. so I went to the big antique store. In addition to the 5 pieces I knew I’d sold, I sold at least 2 rice bowls, 1 book, and a few other odds & ends. I’ll have a check and more exact details later.

I donated 12  books and a bag of bags (10) at a thrift shop today, the ones that had been slated to go to the community sale I didn’t go to on Monday. The pieces that were going to go on consignment today didn’t make it to that thrift shop, it will have to be Friday instead. (+22)

But, of course I bought stuff too. I bought 4 pieces at the antique store: a chicken thing and 3 kilt pins. (-4)

Then I went to the thrift shop down the street and gave them the bag with the sweater in it (+2) but I got a bunch o’ stuff at the same time: a napkin/egg holder, 2 spice jar racks w/ 7 jars, 1 candle holder. Then at the shop where I got rid of the sweater and bag I got 2 plates a 2 piece pot, and 8 kids tshirts. -12

This morning I have been culling stuff, moving things around, cleaning and making decisions: I decided I needed to purge another vase. I moved the new strainer into the box shelves. I have an idea for mounting the pots, both decorative & accessible — we’ll see! Also moved the placemat/tablecloth collection so that it was easier to get to from the table, and rearranged what’s up there that’s decorative/storage so it looks better.

I got the bed liner out of the laundry room and staged to be cleaned (it can’t, unlike what I thought, go in the washer). Put 2 loads of laundry away, started another,

Things have been progessing, slowly but surely.

This a.m. I took a load o’ stuff from the “dump pile” next to the driveway. This is mostly pieces of wood, metal rods, etc. that come out of the shed, etc. and I use to fill in when I’ve got a dump load. There was enough of it that it was a load and I took it by itself. The car is currently full of the regular trash & recycles.

I’m off for load #2 today! I got rid of a decorative box earlier which isn’t in the counts above.


Sigh. I’m still doing this! I’m doing it in fits & starts, getting rid of great swaths of stuff and then nothing much for a while.

The no-stress/low-stress cleaning schema works for me, so the house is CLEANER. However, it’s still FULL of stuff. Last week, I for the first time in a long time processed a box of books, one of the box stacks that had reached the ceiling doesn’t now. I need to get the stepladder out, grab the next box and do it again. I have a grocery bag full of books to go away by the front door (they were going to be donated yesterday),  4 more books in the dump bin. I’ve organized and found ways to store the tshirts I’m using to make rugs, and the remaining pieces. But, it’s September, after Labor Day and the house is still full o’ stuff.

It’s 3:30 roughly as I write this. I think I will figure out wtf I’m going to do for dinner and start stuffing the car with things to go away: to the booths or to donate. We’ll probably have dinner in the middle of this effort. But I’m going to go fill the car. It isn’t as big as the house, by any means, but it will hold a lot!

What I’ve done (real time notes):

Clean the trays in the laundry room. Replace the plastic bigger trays with smaller enamel trays that were just hanging around. Unless DH will use them, the 2 large trays are going OUT. Consolidated some pantry storage and found a new spot to store the banana bags in the process. Cleaned the dust bunnies off the laundry room ceiling. The laundry room looks cleaner and tidier. (20 mins to 3:50)

Also out: a cape, a decorative box, 3 placemats, 1 table runner. Used 1 metal tray (now holding what was in the decorative box), 2 basket liners  — in the baskets they were made for. (30 mins to 4:20, includes a break)

I need to go do something else for a bit. I’ve got the laundry all set for the day, and I’ve been working on the laundry room itself.  But the other tasks I set myself today  haven’t been done. I just printed the outline of the memoir, so I’m going to go do that and juice the limes.

First 2 major sections of the memoir edited (1 hour to 5:20). A box of books sorted as well, most of them will be donated tomorrow.

I’ve got dinner started, the limes have been dealt with as well (1 hr 10 mins to 6:30)

That’s all for tonight!


For someone who wanted to stuff the car, I did a remarkably poor job of it! However, I do have a box o’ books to go away as well as other things to take to the booths and/or donate. I just need to keep doing this, over and over again!


A Square Notepad

it came off of something or other , I don’t remember. Anyway, it occurred to me that it might be the perfect low/no stress “to do” list? Filled, it will take only about six items.

Right now, those are:

  • trash cans (they got washed outside, need to be brought in),
  • limes (make syrup),
  • rug (next piece of that work),
  • laundry room (background cleaning, where the rug is going to go),
  • start memoir clean up (due for delivery to editor in 2-3 weeks) and
  • laundry.

That list is more than enough. I’ll divide the tasks based on how long/how much of me or how many resources are required to finish them, as below:

ONE SHOT/5 MIN: (tier one, unless overwhelming in number, do these 1st or 2nd): trash cans


SIMULANTEOUS: (tier two, do concurrently with other tasks, do this  1st or 2nd as needed swap w/ 5 min tasks): laundry


MORE INVOLVED: (tier three, longer tasks, can be completed in one smaller chunk of time, can be put off usually, if req’d): lime syrup


INVOLVED/NOT GOING TO FINISH: (tier four, longer tasks, a piece can be completed, but will not be finished today): laundry room, rug, memoir

What is realistically likely to happen is that I’ll bring in some of the trash cans, then work on the garden a little since I’m outside (not on the list), then come in and start some another task, maybe on the list, maybe not.

In order to get some of these done, I can “trick” myself or back myself into a corner: I strip the bed, for example and haul the sheets down to the laundry room. The problem here is that I’m starting to get stressed about the “shoulds” and “have tos” when the point is to find ways to do this stuff that doesn’t involve stress!

I wish frequently that I was just a different person! I know people who do this stuff and other tasks simply because 1) they can’t stand to live otherwise or 2)they really enjoy the result. They don’t have the judgement pass/fail thing that runs through (even still) everything I do.

I can approach that 6 item list with no stress. I can even enjoy thinking about how I might do things as above? But then it suddenly transforms into something nasty and all the old crapola surfaces.

The cleaning idea has been working. I am mostly doing the 4 items a day: dishes, kitchen counter, toilet, bath sink. I do them once or many times during the day, I do them however well or badly. Sometimes I don’t do all of them, but mostly I do. I can handle that without the judgements. I suppose that I just have to take the success I’ve gotten, be grateful for it and try to add to it a bit at a time, as I can?

It’s just bizarre, but I’m undoing brainwashing, fighting a fight-flight response, I guess it takes time and patience, although it seems like it should be easy!