Category Archives: cleaning up

Saving $$$

Because of the new porch and wanting to pay off the loan we got ASAP,  I’ve been looking for ways to save money.

Usually, this means that I find a lot of sites/data that I already know. However, pleasantly enough, I found one this morning which had info. new to me!

(here)

I get aarp’s emails regularly and from them and other sites, most of the ideas are those I know and have used for years:

  • Drink water at restaurants
  • DIY morning coffee/snack
  • Cook at home, from scratch
  • etc.

The saving $ ideas of mine which I’ve never seen elsewhere:

  • Buy the most concentrated form of soaps, or anything else that you can. If you use it with water, you can add it yourself.
  • Buy unscented products rather than buying “his” and “her” products.
  • Use tank tops as underwear, flipflops as slippers during the winter and other such so that you can buy less stuff to start with.
  • Have a set budget for restaurant meals and plan to eat at least one other set of meals from it, whenever possible. (Our budget for 2 adults = $20, and the 2nd meals make that $5/per meal, still expensive, but a lot more affordable than it might be!)
  • Shop your fridge/pantry and use what needs using first instead of sticking with a meal plan.
  • Use a chamois to “mop up” steam from glass and metal shower/bath rather than using glass or chrome cleaners. The steam is a free by product of bathing, use it!
  • Use “snow” from your freezer as sweeping compound to clean your hard floors.

Not unique to me:

  • Buy in bulk when you can afford to, items are on sale, and you have the space.
  • Have a price book.
  • Share and borrow, as needed.

 

 

dollar sign from zazzle.com

Forward!

  • DH thinks he has the door squared up in the frame, which means the first door is installed, or will be shortly.
  • The contractor has said he’ll bring back the material he got for us to make an entry, years ago, so we can make the entry when we’re ready.
  • I hung up the 3 yard sticks which have been perched in a corner of the hall, waiting to be put up. They got hung on 3 tiny walls, between the living room and pantry, the pantry and the downstairs office, the downstairs office and bathroom.

We looked at the kitchen cabinet ruler again, with the idea that maybe we could hang it in one of the two remaining spaces (bathroom/closet and closet/hall). But we can’t, no holes to hang it from, so it went back where it had been.

I am amused. It took me 3 rulers to hang 3 rulers!

I measured the first space with a tape measure, standing on a footstool. Then realized I couldn’t hold the tape and hammer in a nail at the same time, or mark it easily either. So, I got down, grabbed the ruler I’ve been using for the house cleaning journal. Got back up the footstool and realized it didn’t start at the left edge and I couldn’t hold it accurately, etc. either. So I went upstairs, grabbed a  6″ ruler which starts on its left edge, went back downstairs and proceeded to measure, using the trim which was my left edge to prop the left edge of the ruler. Marked where I wanted the hole to go with the nail, put the ruler in my back pocket, picked up the hammer etc. With the right tools? Easy. Without them, way too complex! Anyway, the yardsticks aren’t cluttering up the corner now, they’ve become useable decoration. They can be removed and used if needed, but are tidy and displayed to an advantage. Took me way too long to just get that job done!

New To Do List 8/14/17

to do list 1

 

Get at least one piece of one item off of the long-term list!

SHORT TERM:

  • Replace the north/south doors. (They’ve been ordered, will be delivered tomorrow.)
  • Work on the websites.
  • Prime & paint the removed clapboards from the laundry wall where the new door will be installed. (Priming has been in process since last Friday.)
  • Get the nailers up so the guys can finish up the trim. Monday
  • Get the clapboards painted? Started Monday
  • Paint the rest of the exterior of the house next to the porch.
  • Get the clapboards reinstalled.
  • Finish filling in the holes caused by the construction. Wednesday
  • Finish edging the “rain garden”.
  • Fill the bagster
  • Order gravel.
  • Order wood.

MEDIUM TERM: (in the next 2-3 weeks)

  • Empty the old coffee table full o’ stuff in the hallway.
  • Resolve the “too many” coffee tables dilemma.
  • Remove the “island” of boxes of stuff from the attic. Sell, donate, or trash enough that the floor can stay cleared.
  • Put food away for winter.
  • The fridge freezer needs to be organized and purged. Started Mondaty
  • Clean the fridge’s shelves.
  • Paint the laundry room, inside and out.
  • Paint the bathroom.
  • Get the new shower curtain liner painted and installed.
  • Get through more of the accounting backlog.
  • Get last year’s unfinished clean up done in the entry/living room/hall.
  • Get the marble table out of the kitchen and to the antique booth. [Called the person who had indicated he’d help me get it to the shop.]

LONG TERM & ONGOING:

  • Get a job.
  • Pay off the equity line.
  • Continue to use up the stored foods: grains, beans, pasta, etc. (The canned goods purge the end of last year beginning of this year worked.)
  • Rebuild the winter pantry.
  • Writing Projects: Memoir
  • Writing Projects: Article
  • Writing Projects: Kitchen Book
  • Writing Projects: Novel

Back to Work

It’s Monday, and despite wtf the calendar says, to ME it’s the beginning of the week. That means I am all full of resolutions, plans, & more ideas of things I should do than I can possibly do in the next 5 days,

So, we’ll see.

It occurred to me yesterday that I had not posted a “to do” list in some time. I’ll post it and make comments below. If/when I finish tasks this week, I’ll mark those too. This to do list is a cut/paste/edit from 3/20, so yes indeed, it has been some time!

to do list 1

 

Get at least one piece of one item off of the long-term list!

SHORT TERM:

  • Replace the north/south doors. (They’ve been ordered, will be delivered tomorrow.)
  • Do more prep before the doors are delivered. Tues.
  • Work on the housework book. Tues.
  • Work on the websites.
  • Denail, clean, prime & paint the removed clapboards from the laundry wall where the new door will be installed. Friday

MEDIUM TERM: (in the next 2-3 weeks)

  • Empty the old coffee table full o’ stuff in the hallway.
  • Resolve the “too many” coffee tables dilemma.
  • Remove the “island” of boxes of stuff from the attic. Sell, donate, or trash enough that the floor can stay cleared.
  • Put food away for winter.
  • The fridge freezer needs to be organized and purged.
  • Clean the fridge’s shelves.
  • Paint the laundry room, inside and out.
  • Paint the bathroom.
  • Get the new shower curtain liner painted and installed.
  • Get through some of the accounting backlog. Weds.

LONG TERM & ONGOING:

  • Get a job.
  • Pay off the equity line.
  • Continue to use up the stored foods: grains, beans, pasta, etc. (The canned goods purge the end of last year beginning of this year worked.)
  • Rebuild the winter pantry.
  • Writing Projects: Memoir worked on the formatting issues Thurs.
  • Writing Projects: Article
  • Writing Projects: Kitchen Book
  • Writing Projects: Novel

 

 

 

 

What’s New?!

I bought stuff Sunday and Monday.

SUNDAY: At the flea market I sold 2 shirts, an umbrella, two large saws. I bought 6 au gratin dishes. Took the extra 2 and left them at the storage — they’ll be put out for sale.

I got to a consignment shop and bought a dresser and a picnic basket.

  • The dresser is for the attic. The drawers are nicely proportioned for the size of the piece, and it’s slightly ratty, but not so much you’d cringe to own it. Why did I buy a dresser? Because I realized many of the “disorganized and in boxes” items are small pieces and I have nowhere to put them away.
  • The picnic basket is smaller and more complete than the one I had. I had started carrying one in the car in an effort to use unnecessary plastic and paper goods.

Got home, pulled the 4 au gratins I had, put them in the car, along with the bigger picnic basket.

MONDAY: I went to a shop where I consign things and bought stuff for the booth. I left the items I replaced (picnic basket & au gratins) as a consignment. The items I got for resale here were priced/ready to go that day. (They’ll go to the booth tomorrow.)

The roof/porch project, which was going to take 2 or 3 weeks? Well, it’s still in process, although they got the last of the roof panels up today. Hurrah!

Right now we have too many dressers, but that should change soon. The plan has always been to sell the double dresser (which I grew up with) and use the $ to help pay for the back roof. We have at least one other piece to sell too. The two pieces won’t pay for the roof/patio, but they’ll make a dent, and that’s good. Less debt, less stuff, and better living space doesn’t strike me as a bad deal!

This morning I worked on the other website and my cleaning plan while I was drinking my coffee and later, I cleared out the space in the attic where the dresser will go. Of course, several things came out of the attic which will be sold: a bookcase a bin of china/glass and there’s a few things which will go to the dump.

I haven’t finished cleaning the shed. I started cleaning the attic. I worked on the cleaning plan. I worked on both websites, as well as the day to day mundane stuff: cleaning toilets, dishes and laundry.

Life goes on!

J

 

My Methods

am decluttering/dehoarding the house, a bit at a time. I am changing my ways, although I can’t show anyone a habit tracker with lots of little checkmarks indicating things get done day in and day out.

That said, I have learned a few things about what works for me. I realized that because I’d never really been taught how to clean a house (the housekeeper not only was abusive, but she was also lazy and inefficient) or maintain it. I can read books and lists all I want, but there is a kind of natural pattern which I found which works for me. On the good days, this is what I do:

  1. Get out of bed, turn back the covers.
  2. Go down, get coffee, while it’s heating (if it needs it) I wash or rinse whatever is in the sink or wipe down the sink counter, depending.
  3. Go to office, get email, finish coffee. [Future piece to add to this is to straighten the desk or an area in the office.]
  4. First trip to bathroom, drop denture cleaner tabs in toilet (we have a lot of iron in our water, this helps keep the iron munge down). Wipe down bath sink first time sink is used.
  5. When I return to the kitchen for the 2nd cup of coffee, put away dishes or wash/rinse more, depending again.
  6. By this time I’m usually actually awake. If I remember, this is when I’m supposed to make the bed. (Making the bed is the newest piece I’m adding to this routine; not there yet!)

What I know about myself and shows in the list is that I hate “just” cleaning something. I want to do the maintenance cleaning while I’m doing something else: getting coffee, using the sink, getting my email, whatever. Ideally, I’d never do maintenance cleaning as a “chore” by itself, but it would be done along with something else: the prep dishes washed or soaked while dinner was being made or served is another goal.

I haven’t figured out how to add floor cleaning yet. I have routines for cleaning mirrors, bathroom chrome, and many other items, but some are still in process.

Seems like a PITA? Yes, it might be to someone else, but because setting out to “clean” something as a goal for decades pushed on the PTSD, I had to find other ways to approach the issue, and this works. I can add the little bits of maintenance cleaning to the things I do every day: getting coffee, getting out of bed, using the bathroom, etc. I can’t decide I’m going to clean for an hour between 9 and 10 a.m.!

 

Getting It Gone

Since last summer, I’ve sold our old dining room table, the bookcase which was in the hall, the oak stand which was in the entry and one of two Hoosier cabinets. Still to sell: a double dresser, a marble/wrought iron table, at least one coffee table.

I acquired on a sale rack at a home center not too long ago two jars of paint in “modern finish” (high gloss) in black and white. I also got a high gloss liquid wax which does the same thing, but it’s clear. This morning I cleaned the black strap steel shelves in the hall then lightly coated them with some of the black paint to spiff them up. I didn’t “paint’ them, I used the paint as a “buff.” Worked. It was what I had in mind when I acquired the paint. Black metal looks dingy after a while and cleaning it doesn’t get it looking as good as I’d like.  In the process, a lot of things were put in the car to go to the antique store.

Yesterday I started cleaning out the shed; we both worked on it in the evening. There’s a lot less stuff in there (much of it is in the car for the booth) and we generated 2 bags of trash. If the roof project was finished, we would have set up the bagster we got a while back. That will happen soon.

There is still the storage IN the shed: all the items on the 2 platforms (it’s like a bunk bed) and two shelf units. When we get those cleaned out/cleared/modded and then the stuff we’re keeping stored the way we have planned, the shed will be much more efficient and easier to use!