Category Archives: dehoarding

I Have Been

Working hard — on the house. I’ve been following my cleaning plan.

It seems to me that a major shift is in order. Instead of trying to sell the memoir as a psych. program auxiliary piece, maybe what I need to do is sell the cleaning plan and make the memoir the back piece to that.

It would solve the problem of the memoir just not having a plot, being first-person, too short, and a mess of other issues. Of course, I still haven’t heard from my publisher, but my feeling is that I will not. Not now and not in the future. It will be as if it dropped into a black hole and vanished… poof!

This has completely stopped the work I was doing on the memoir. I had even talked to a friend about coding it for an ebook. Okay, fine.

I can’t sell the cleaning plan if I can’t use it, right? I can’t set myself up as an expert on anything unless I can actually DO whatever. (Well, that’s not true. These days the woods are full of blow-hard know-it-alls who make pronouncements about any and everything. EVERYONE is an expert, about anything they feel strongly about!)

But I was raised by someone who genuinely was an expert in his field. My brother is. My husband is too. I have been surrounded my entire life by men who are really good at their jobs, and became “experts.”

So I have standards about about what it takes to BE an expert:

  • You must know what you’re talking about.
  • You must be able to do something rather than just talk about the subject.
  • You must have some sort of track record, that is a history, of successfully being able to do whatever it is.

My dad taught aeronautics  and designed airplanes for 40 years, my brother has worked in his field for the same amount of time and he’s still teaching and writing about it, my husband has been in his field since the field started, about 30 years now.

Me? The only thing I’m expert in is the inner workings of my head. The memoir is 50 years of life & learning and took me 10 years to write. The cleaning plan started in one way when I started this blog in 11/2011. I’ve been whacking away at the problems since.

I couldn’t do the memoir until I did the trauma work.

I could write, but not use, the cleaning plan until I did the memoir.

So, we’ll see if the next step is what I want/hope it to be? That is, using the cleaning plan, make it  a habit, and a book and/or app is the next step. (Habits take 90 days to be established.)

I sure hope so! I don’t know that I have the patience to spend 10 more years on this project.

So, I’ve shifted gears. I was all set to publish the memoir, whack away at the cleaning plan, then when I finally got it to work, get it ready for publication.

Nope.

Doing it the other way around. Going to get the cleaning plan working,  finish up the writing related to it, get DH or someone to make the app I have in mind, then publish the CLEANING PLAN, with the MEMOIR as back material.

Then the lack of “plot” or “arc” or sex, drugs, rock n’ roll won’t matter. I’m not selling the memoir; it’s explanatory material, I’m selling the cleaning plan. Want to know why I set the cleaning plan up the way I have? Read the memoir and you’ll find out.

street signs

Image is not mine, not sure where I got it. Sorry!

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This Week & the Neat Muscle

This week is going to be centered around the upcoming flea market. (If you’re local and want info, let me know!)

Afterwards, I hope to have a hole here AND a hole in the storage. As with April’s flea market, I’ll set aside a wadge of the unsold items to donate, hopefully to the thrift shop down the street. If we can’t donate it there, I’ll put it in storage to donate it elsewhere or take it to the dump’s swap shop.

A major purge: a box of books and 10 bins worth of leaves, that’s 260 gallons were taken to the dump! There remains 2 small leaf piles I missed on the lawn and a larger pile next to the compost heap, I just had to get them off the grass!

Today’s work:

  • The bean trellis needs to be anchored further and the beans planted. That’s the next step in the veggie garden. Of course, more leaf raking.
  • The dryer is acting up, so clearing the porch under where the clothes line is getting put up for the summer is another. Moving the dryer away from the wall and see if the drain is plugged? DH did this. The dryer is back in place, hopefully usuable — I had a large load of rags, kitchen towels, etc. to wash and did so!
  • The living room also needs to be cleaned, amongst other things, our chimney will be swept Weds.

Other projects:

Dining Room & Rug:  The rug effort made great progress yesterday. I got the 3 rugs stitched together and started on the first border. I need to do 2 sets of border stitches. Then I need to clean up the stitching, knot and tie off the ends. THEN I’m done! Still several hours away, but definite progress!

The rug effort required the dining area be cleared out a bit, which it was. Still more to do there as well, quite a bit, with the furniture move I have in mind, but it will happen, eventually! We are loaning our old table to a gallery, that will help, but the table top detaches from the legs, so that’s only 2 pieces in what is an overcrowded room. Still, every bit helps!

Electronic Purge: Re the electronic purge? I have about 2800 emails in my email’s trash folder. They are purged automagically when they’re there for 30 days. That leaves approx. 25,300 in my in box.

We went to the dump THREE times yesterday, so aside from the 10 bins of leaves, there are definitely fewer items here!


Much of this process, which now has gone on for years, has seemed futile. I keep relearning what I’ve happened on every once in a while. That is, that the people with neat houses make it a priority. To them, the mess is simply unacceptable. For me, for years it was inevitable and another sign of how “flawed” I was.

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Photo by Kristian Seedorff on Unsplash

I’m not flawed, I just need to learn to think in new ways. The bins being used in the leaf effort is an example.

The bins were bought to hold twigs and other kindling. Fine. Most of them were empty on the porch this spring, making a bit of a mess, but not much, they stack. However, I’d run out of trashcans, used most of my reusable leaf bags, and still had many piles of leaves in the yard. A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that a summer use for the kindling bins could be holding leaves before hauling them to the dump’s leaf pile! And the yard became instantly more attractive as the full bins were stacked in front of where the cars park and the leaf piles disappeared.

I just don’t have the “neat muscle” yet.  But I’m working on it!

 

 

Craft Supplies: What to Use or Cull?

I have too many craft supplies, of course. I need to either use the stuff up, sell, toss or otherwise cull this collection down A LOT.

I have been trying to think what I have to do/get rid of/cull next? And I don’t know. I have fabric at a seamstress currently to turn into \ throws. I don’t need more, those will do us year round, with the one my MIL made.

So, then what? I have pillow forms, fabric, beads, yarn, basketry material, and paper crafting supplies.

The obvious thing to use some of that up would be to do the knit the pillow covers project. The not so obvious thing is whether I have yarn in the right sort of colors/textures for the living room. That I do NOT know, I’ll have to look.

After that project and making myself a new hat. (Remember this? I decided to make myself another hat.) I have no idea how much yarn I’ll have left, how many pillow forms I’ll still, and what to do with what I DO?

I also have no ideas about the rest of it. I need to work harder to find projects or just decide to get rid of the stuff, in quantity!


Okay I sorted. I have enough, with an additional skien or two, to make pillow covers. One or maybe two? We’ll see. I also seem to have enough to make another hat. After that? I have a bin full of yarn, most of it with no particular use in mind. The one exception is the rug which was being knit/crotched for the bathroom, the one that takes about an hour to get 1/4 of the way around and 1/4″ thick  per row. In other words? To make that rug takes a LARGE amount of time/effort, which is why it got dropped to begin with. I either need to ‘fess up and admit I won’t ever finish it OR I need to actually finish it. Storing the tools and supplies and 1/2 finished rug just is dumb!

Stair Rails, Minisplits, & Life Work

I told DH yesterday to add to the list I want to replace the stair rail at some point. It’s shiny brass. The house is going towards flat black or brushed zinc hardware. Flat black on incidental stuff and brushed zinc on things like faucets. (Not shiny brass!)

So I did a bit o’ research and so did he, it will cost $100+ these days to replace the railing.  We explored some DIY ideas, and they’d all cost about the same, so why bother?

It’s a detail and not on the urgent list. If we find a  used flat black or brushed chrome set of hardware, we now know where to buy the railing, prefinished or raw lumber. Info. is almost always nice to have.

I had found a fireplace set I didn’t hate for < $100 and sent him a link. He pointed out it has 2 tools more than we actually need and why buy them? The place where I found this I think has some tools a la carte. I’ll have to go look. The tongs from the current set wound up in the flea market pile because of this discussion too.

The minisplits got more discussion, as did the house design ideas we’ve explored. We talked about taking the home plan we now have to a big box store and talking about floor plans, changing the kitchen around, etc. with one of the free kitchen designers. Don’t know if they’ll actually talk to us without a monetary commitment, but you don’t know if you don’t ask.

DH came up with a piece of hobby equipment for the flea market, prompted me to go find 4 bowls and a length of fabric to add to a new flea market box.

I found in the shed a few things I thought were long gone, but no, they were not sold long ago and far away… they’ll either be put in the booth or the new flea market box, after they’re cleaned. I have a silk pantsuit which needs to be ironed before it gets added too. The china and silk will fill up the end of the box — and another cubic foot o’ stuff goes outta here!

That doesn’t seem like much, does it? But we’ve both been sick, for most of 6 weeks with 2 different colds. And the second one is a bitch and a half to kick, let me tell you!

3 rules of work

DH dismantled one of the 2 snowblowers last week. The motor is being kept for a project he has in mind. The rest of the bits and pieces went to the dump. The last of it today. Also, we’ve started hauling the accumulated leaves and bark piles to the dump too.

He resigned from the board he was on and I asked him what we could do to forward his avocation using his now free time? What he did shocked me!

He bought organization materials for the accumulated work, so we can label and catalog it. His heirs will be pleased and I’m relieved. I had this nightmare vision about going through the work and only having my best memory and no knowledge of the technical side of what he did, when and where. Hopefully, at some point, there will be (even self-published) a complete catalog.

We’re adulting here. It’s a slow process, but it’s happening. All I have to do now is find some weird convoluted way to turn it into some $. That’s all?

Undoing the Mess

The only way to be a hoarder or live with one is to learn to ignore the mess.

Ignoring the mess was easier for me than dealing with feeling unsafe all the time and having continual panic attacks.

But we’re undoing the mess here, one piece at a time.

fullstorageunit

I can tell our attitude is different than before. We’re congratulating ourselves/each other when we deal with one nasty spot or the other. When we finally find that ” ’round tuit” to clean some long-ignored corner.

It’s hazardous waste collection for our community today. We’ve dug into the sheds, the hobby spaces, the yard, etc. and out have come the cans of old paint (not latex) and coolant, and cans of ?. We decided that we’ll make a spot for things to go which fit this category, so next year (our community does this annually) it will it all in one place already. Not ignoring it.

Very different!


Also different, and still different. In my on-going battle with email? I just eliminated all the X person pinned your pins from pinterest. (These days, there’s only 25,8xx unread emails in my primary email account.)

I know I’ve gotten all the pinterest emails, because I got to the email which thanked me for opening my account, in 2012.

Editing

In an effort to store less, I’m seriously considering a major reduction of my cookbook collection. I of course have too many.

My trunk novel’s protagonist was someone responsible for feeding an entire community through winter, in an unindustrialized culture. So, I have a lot of cookbooks related to that: Colonial American cooking, Medieval cooking, butchering, root cellaring, etc.

This came about in part because a gent I’d met had a character in his novel, a tavern owner, doing a marketing survey before industrialization, which simply wouldn’t have happened. Starvation was no joke in those days! Marketing surveys as such didn’t exist accordingly. The result is that I have a slug of premodern era cookbooks. Those are an easy cull, fascinating though I find them.

We also really only eat meat as a condiment these days, 3 times a week or maybe 4 at the most. So meat-centric cookbooks are probably another easy cull. (When I learned to cook, the way you started meal planning was determining the meat first, then the rest of meal around that.)

Along with those, I’d actually like to reduct the ENTIRE collection. The way to do that would be to copy the recipes I think I’ll use most into some type of house notebook or card file, and then eliminate the books.

I have a designed card, based on a commercial one. (I tried a cut/paste, it didn’t work.) The top of the first side is divided into 3 columns: measure, manipulate, and areas. This is directly related to the self-cleaning cooking posts. The bottom 1/2 of the card is the precooking actions

I have  “weird” symbols on many of my recipes. The on-going self-sufficiency index. I wrote a post about that here. That’s represented by 3 numbers, separated by slashes: 3/8/29, for example.

Another is something which shows up looking like a ratio, as this: 5:3, which is how many ingredients are used to create how many precooking pieces. I started doing this when I was working. I would do things like saute onions in the morning before I went to work and then come home to finish making dinner.

There is a type of food indicator: E S or D (entree, side or dessert).

And a list of month numbers, 1-12, so that I know when the ingredients are at their freshest.

Lastly there’s the source of the recipe and the page number.


This sounds really complicated, it isn’t in practice. Much harder to describe than use!

The other side of the card is divided into 4 columns: Qty, Unit, Ingredient, Procedures.

The bottom edge of the card has the name of the recipe spelled out again, for filing.

These are set up as 4  x 6 cards. The reason I haven’t made the cards is that I really need to change the format that it can fit on 3 x 5s. I have a 4 drawer file box I can use for those, but not for bigger cards.


Maybe make the cards hold less, linked by a recipe numbers maybe?

Recipe 1, Tools (card 1 front) Preprep (card 1 back), Cooking Instructions (card 2, front & back), Misc. Info, (card 3, front and back).


If I can get the cards printed by a computer, that should work.

I’ll have to talk to DH about it. Much of the work I had done for this is in a program I’d we don’t have running. I’ll research the upgrade and put it into the budget queue. Then retrieve the data I’ve already got.

In the meantime, I can go through the cookbooks I use now which I didn’t have, then, and get the data and do the obvious culls.

So, I’m off!

I’m not well, but for the first time in almost 2 weeks, I’m not hacking, wheezing or sneezing. I actually feel pretty good. And by comparison with yesterday? I feel terrific.

I am throughly tired of being sick and tired!

Whacking and Hacking

I did some work in my hobby space/office this morning. The drawers I plan to remove this summer are empty. However, the piece on top of them is NOT. Nicely, the bookcase which sits nearby is mostly empty, so I started the process of moving things from the top of the drawer units to the bookcase this morning. After that’s done, the top DH added can be removed. THEN the floor area needs to be cleared enough so we can get the small dresser and toy chest out and then, finally, the drawer units.

It won’t be tomorrow, that’s for sure!

However, there’s progress. Pieces were culled and added to the “flea market” stack, going to the storage, when convenient.

We got rid of the chair which has been lurking on the porch all winter last week, it went to the dump. It had checked (split) and neither of us thought it would sell, so off it went. It was a good, oak chair, but we couldn’t sell it, we tried in two shops, at various price points, nada. So it sat and sat and sat, and eventually the seat became checked.

Still  to be removed is the old flat file. That was waiting on better weather which we have now, but with both of us being sick, it’s way down the list, It can stay where it is, it’s a wind break on the porch.

DH examined the laundry vent, which got bent off 90 degrees by ice this past winter. It’s going to require patching, a diverter it should have had to begin with, and more sealing than it apparently had too, sigh.

THAT job is going to delay my moving the wood piles. We had one which fell over last winter and the plan has  been to move a lot of the wood storage to the porch. That has to wait until DH is done with the roof project. Since I didn’t want to move the wood 2x, I figured I’d just load it onto the porch around now. Hmm. Not now.

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Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

I did get the last of the unstacked wood stacked yesterday. The last fall delivery was dropped at the lowest point of our driveway, the wood on the bottom was pretty wet, even sitting on a tarp. I had a plastic pallet,slated to go to the dump, but what the hey, I used it atop the lower tarp, wet wood stacked on it, put the 2nd tarp back on top. There’s not much there, only about 20 pieces, but it has a chance of drying now and it probably didn’t before, it would have just rotted.

Yes, I’m still getting things done. Yes, I still feel fine, and then have no energy, like water running into sand. It’s inching forward, but it IS forward. I am whacking away at it.

(Hacking is what I sound like, mostly, if I’m not croaking trying to talk.)