Category Archives: calendar

Spring Cleaning

I am slowly, but surely going through the cabinets & drawers in the kitchen. So that I remember what I’ve done (and haven’t) as I’m doing this on an “as possible and I have time” basis, I’m putting labels inside each cabinet or drawer I clean with a note that I did it and the month/year.

I have no idea if this will work in terms of helping me keep things clean. I do something similar when I go through the dry stores and cull them. I put a label on the outside which is the contents and the date, but inside the lid I put a note which tells me when the canister was last cleaned. As some of my dry stores are kept for more than 1 year, it helps me to keep things clean. There’s so much stuff in this house and so many things to clean (shelves, cabinets, drawers, closets, etc.) that this is the only way I’ve found which doesn’t lean on the PTSD and I manage to get some sort of ordered cleaning done. I’ve been doing this off and on for the past year. We’ll see if I can sustain it!

I updated the post I wrote in December (January?) about house decorative items. I’d forgotten that I’d had a goal to reduce the decorative locations from 4 to 3. I’ve done that.

The front door now has my “spring/summer” straw hat on it. It’s a straw hat with fake silk flowers around it as a band. Does two things: it’s nice and spring-like and it’s handy when I’m going out into the garden. I replace the hat on the door when I’m done. No clutter in the house. Nothing extra to store. Works fine.

This post was started a few weeks ago, and I’m still whacking away at the cabinets, counters, drawers, etc. in the kitchen and elsewhere. I defrosted the freezer last week, for example. On the agenda this week is the “great refrigerator move.”

When our big fridge died last year, we moved a small fridge atop a corner cabinet and put it next to the stove. The big fridge was moved off to the side of the room so that it was out of our way and easily accessible for service people. It’s still there. Both of them need to be cleaned and put back into their previous home.

Today I go and talk to someone about new retail space. My problem with the old retail space is that the only consistent way I had to make money was to sell furniture and I don’t sell enough of that to make my overhead more than about 1/2 the time, which is unacceptable. The new shop is brighter (the new location of the antique store is cave-like) and I think suits me better. We’ll see!

The new plan may mean using the Hoosiers as sales fixtures for a while, which would be fine, as it would get them out of here and not in the storage. After the 2 Hoosiers, I have a double dresser/mirror and a wrought iron/marble table to sell, both high-end pieces. If the Hoosier currently in the antique store isn’t going to the new space, then I’ll haul it to the storage today and to the auction house next Tuesday.

Hoosier

After 5 Days

Cleaning up and Clearing every day? There is still too much stuff here. Still it isn’t as clean as I’d like.

So, I think I’ll ask some folks over for a meal this week and see if I can’t get through another spate of culling and cleaning beforehand? I have plans over the weekend, which makes this idea more difficult.

We’ll see?

By Friday last week I was pretty well burnt out. I spent 5 days intensely cleaning and culling, six if you count the flea market on Saturday and the purge after that. Then just cleaning Sunday – Thursday, and by Friday I really didn’t want to do anything more at all.

This past Saturday (2 days ago) we didn’t do as well at the flea market as we had the first week, but we still did it AND donated a batch o’ stuff to the Salvation Army afterwards.  Then I stopped at the market and bought the groceries for our lunch company the next day.

Sunday DH did a dump run early, which was good: the bins were full, there were 2 bags of garbage (our usual is 1) and things to donate.

 

Stuff

I went shopping yesterday I bought 38 pieces, many of them as stock for the booth*. Yes there  are knitting needles in it as well, but when I can get into my office, I will (again) cull the duplicates. I need to make a have or want list for knitting needles, as I have no idea where the holes are!

However, including the knitting needles, I kept about 30% of what I bought. Also included: 2 balls of yarn and 7 pieces of felt. The yarn is in “my colors” and so was irrestible. The felt was something I was ready to buy at a fabric store: DH uses felt under his keyboard to keep it stationary, and the piece he had was really dirty.

The rest of the stuff is inventoried, priced, tagged and packed into my car, preparatory to being put in the booth at the new store, Sunday.

The accounting is up to date. All the check flimsies have been tagged and filed.

I can be very efficient, on occasion! Since tomorrow is the last day of March, I will be filing all the tiny envelopes I use into the month’s larger manila envelope.

I really, really need, in April, to make those cloth envelopes I talked about earlier. But the very next pieces of what has to happen here are: finish getting things prepared for the move April 1. Get the items ready for the show April 15. Then, finish getting out of the old storage unit and into the new one, preferably also by April 15.

Making cloth envelopes is waaaay down the list!

J

*The first 8 pieces were taken to the new antique store location 4/2. The store isn’t open yet, but the pieces are priced and out of my car. The remaining other stock for the flea market, etc. was taken to the storage unit. So the car is empty again, the way it’s supposed to be!

Tertials?

One of the ideas in those problem-solving books I got the other day is to reorganize your calendar in tertials, instead of quarters. That is, 3 four-month long chunks, instead of 4 three-month chunks.

My current seasonal cleaning, etc. is divided into 4 awkward quarters: Feb-Apr: Spr, May-July: Sum, Aug-Oct: Fall and Nov-Jan: Win. That was what I came up with when it seemed that Jan-Mar, Apr -June, July-Sep, Oct-Dec just didn’t work. September is fall here, as is October. March isn’t winter, but early spring at the end and still winter at the beginning, etc. It was a compromise, it has always been.

Tertials? Let’s see? Nov – Feb: Winter Mar-June: Spring Summer, July-Oct: Fall? Nope.

January-April: Beginnings to transition

[or winter-last gasp of winter transition to first breath of spring]

(blizzards to melting snow)

*

May-August: transition to Middle

[or spring transition to beginning and mid-summer]

(ground thaw to the dog days of summer)

*

September-December: Middle to Ending

[or last-gasp of summer transition to fall then transition to the first of winter]

(hot, hot days to the crisp colorful whirling fall colors to icy winds and snow flurries)

*

The tertials aren’t ideal, but a lot closer. Things shift here, sometimes quickly and dramatically, mid-month, so there’s no way to divide seasonal or weather-related things if you use month chunks.

calendar-image

I could use weekly chunks and number them. This would be more accurate, but there are 52 of them and it’s not intuitive. It would also be hard to plan and probably complicated to implement I think?

I’ve been looking for simple, easy to use ideas, because I want to make this into a HABIT, it’s the only way I can consistently get the myriad chores done and not lean on the PTSD.

We’ll see!

J

Been Working on the Paperwork

My first tax appt. is this week, so I’ve been going thru paperwork.

file-folder-tax-image

This morning I’ve culled/filed coupons.

Culled/filed misc. paperwork.

Culled/filed receipts.

I’m not sure exactly how many papers I’ve tossed, filed, or put in the shred tub, but it’s an hour+ of sorting things. I’m going to count it as 30 papers out. I’m sure it was likely more than that, but as I said, I didn’t count so I don’t have an accurate number.

Other agenda related to the tax appt. is to clear my desk and the area around it. The old computer needs to be plugged in so I can get some data off of it.

I ran out of the envelopes I use to file receipts. One thing I learned long ago is that I purely hate the mess that misc. piles of small bits of paper create. My first solution was to tape the receipts to college ruled notebook paper and file the stuff in notebooks. Works, as long as you keep it up. I did (and didn’t). Last year, when I shut off the old computer (it had completely died doing the 2014 taxes, then started to again doing the 2015 taxes!) I had the first quarter’s worth of data in the data base. I figured when we got the new computer, I’d just upgrade the data base, and I’d be good. Something we’ve done before. No, the company has gone to a monthly subscription fee rather than expensive upgrades. Okay, in our old age I am working really, really hard at REMOVING monthly fees and autodebits — so I decided that after 20 years or so with the data base, I’d stop using it. (Also, I’d finally (!) zeroed out the book stock, so didn’t need to use the same medium any more.)

Okay. I started filing receipts and tracking what I was doing in a different way. Like all things, it has its pluses and minuses.

However, I’m still using that system. But I need to get the 1st quarter ‘s data from the old data base . . . .

After that? I have 20 years worth of research for the kitchen book (mostly) in a few data bases to convert to some other system. Now you know why I haven’t tackled this already; it’s daunting!

Pulling it Together

Trying to not only declutter, cull and decorate here, but personally, I’m trying to get myself organized. I do pretty well getting to appointments and so on — a definite improvement on years past. But. . .

Over the years I’ve tried planners, organizers, lots of them, probably 100s of them. None of them worked. I always felt like I was trying to squeeze my life into someone else’s box. So, last year I came up with the monthly notebooks. That has worked, sort of. Years past I had come up with the 7 levels of stuff for cleaning and culling. That worked, sort of. My recent idea is a bullet journal using the shorts and longs idea I talked about here.

The appeal of a bullet journal for me is that it is infinitely modifiable. No being squeezed into someone else’s life. I started one. I liked the idea, but then dropped it because I really didn’t have anything to journal except the progress on the painting  project and all the other stuff I was doing was managed by my weekly to do lists here.

So. . .

I’m going to try and combine ALL of that into one, big flexible system. I’m going to keep the weekly to do lists here because it works for me. I’ll print them out if I need to, but it works — don’t fix it. The monthly notebooks work too, in some ways. However, it’s too easy for me to put some piece of info into the January notebook and then just forget it, until I pick up the journal again. I need some way to remind myself the info is there, a tickler if you will. The cleaning stuff is organized; I just have to do it, something I’m pretty bad at, except for the daily stuff these days.

Three-prong idea, one big system to pull it all together:

  1. Appointments, future ideas, & goals,
  2. Monthly reminders in the month’s notebook, and
  3. House maintenance.

Actually, I just need a new habit. A habit of looking at what I want to get done in a given day and then doing it. The reason the online to-do list works is that I look at it, at least once daily and get up from the computer most days to go do something on it, because I’ll be embarrassed if NOTHING is checked off in a week. I’d like to get more things done than I do, hence the new idea.

Could be this will be yet another failed system. Could be this will yield another partially successful system. Could be that I’m healed enough that a system will actually work. Could be any of those.

My World These Days…

I’ve been wading through the junk. That has resulted in a bunch of books being donated at markets, in the book bins, the dump’s swap shop, or wherever I can find a spot which seems appropriate. I actually sold two books this month! One of them for > $5 and not credit.

Considering that in a bad month in the bookstore I’d sell $300+ worth (about 100 vols.) and a good one $2k, selling 1 book isn’t significant. On the other hand, I’ve sold 3 lots of placemats, 3 metal baskets, and 3 vintage picture frames. Although I expect I will owe the antique store about $30 of my October rent, percentage-wise and otherwise, I’m doing better over all, nearly every month. It seems I’m making my rent + about 1/2 the time, the rest I’m a bit short. It’s getting better. According to every antique dealer I’ve talked to this month has been “dead.” My guess is that this is two things — political/financial uncertainty and changing weather. (Sales always go down a bit when it first gets cold or warm for the year. People go inside and stay there in the fall and go outside in the spring.)

 

financial-chart

Depending on how the overall economy does, stock market and such in the rest of the country, people will be more or less conservative. I hate election years because the financial impact of how people think the election went happens at the beginning of the holiday season.  If you do retail, it can make what looked like it was going to be a healthy year into a really bad one, overnight. There’s no real predicting it, you just have to realize that it’s possible that people will stop buying almost anything, until the new President is inaugurated and the political shift does or doesn’t affect the day-to-day.

People will then settle into a new spending pattern or return to their old one.

As a retailer, especially a retailer selling non-essentials, you see, feel, and then share it if people aren’t feeling “safe,” after the election.

  1. Your sales go down just when you expect them to go up for the holiday season.
  2. You buy, have bought, or committed to buy things you expect sales to help you pay for (sales you didn’t get).
  3. The end result is that now YOU feel insecure financially like your customers did following the election.

So, as a retailer, I hate presidential election years!

Rather than worry about it, as I can’t do anything about it anyway, I’m working on the stored stuff. Better items we aren’t keeping have been put up for sale. I need to purge the books in the booth, again, and move the entire thing around again too.