Category Archives: minimalism

Paper Cull

Worked on the attic today for a bit. Found a box which no doubt came out of DH’s office when it closed down — at the company who moved us here, 20+ years ago. This box was in the MIDDLE of the attic, on the floor, so it was behind and under everything else, and had been missed, multiple times no doubt! 90+% of it went to the dump’s recycle bin this afternoon.

Later on, I started going through a bin of my papers, some of which were as old, or older (and business related). They went. I got to near the bottom of the box and found things which needed to be filed, but not tossed, they were that current. I quit.

That said? We recycled 100+ or probably more like 300 pieces of paper today, including catalogs, magazines, sales receipts, etc.,

I talked to DH about taking vacation between Christmas & New Years’, with the idea that we do this or something like it, at least once in that time. It all helps — and tomorrow? Tomorrow’s another day to tackle more.

The bath mat is currently 6.5″ 7.25 wide. I changed out one of the colors at 6″. Will change another when I get to 12″. That’s 20 17 rows from now… each row is .25″. Now you know why I will NEVER make another of these, like this! (Updated 11/26)

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Rug Ruminations

I have the same slubby fabric I talked about (here). I decided this is just enough to do the stairs and maybe, just maybe something else, but I better do the stairs first. I know who to take the fabric to, to get it prepped. I will ask for and take the woman’s advice. I know where to get a rug pad for the stairs, when I get that far. The stairs need to be painted first anyway.

I found the price tag on the bolt, I spent $32 for it. The stair runners I’ve found which I like are all around $200, so I have a way to go before I’ve spent that much.

With the stairs taken care of, that leaves the 5 x 8 foot or 6 x 8 foot rug for the hearth.

I like this, a LOT. My only problem is that it’s printed, not woven. So in 5 years or so I’ll have to buy another, sigh. I try to not buy printed fabrics for the house, I like woven patterns, as they wear 2x as long. My opinion, but it’s my house & money.

print rug

My second choice is another one at Birch Lane. (I can’t get an image to save so I can load it here.) (birch lane rug link)

My problem with it is two-fold three-fold. 1) It looks thick and comfy to walk on, and messy. 2)It’s jute & cotton (so is the first one) and because it’s so thick, I’m afraid it will stink, like the other mats did. [I’m less afraid of this with the printed rug, ironically, because I think they’d have to clean the fibers well to get the printing to work.] And 3) DH doesn’t like it.

Thought I had a solution. I found a rug at Ikea which would work.  But they aren’t in stock: in MA, in CT, in IL. . . . trying to find the same piece another way, found 0. Sh*t!

All of which leads me back to trying to make my own. I do not want to make a 5 x 8 foot rug. The last 2 door mats I did, I crocheted out of jute string, took about 2 balls of string and 8 hours to do, not to mention “airing” the string and having to stop because the fumes were getting to me.

I bought the last door mat at Home Depot for $8 on sale. Being sick for a day to make a door mat is one thing. Being sick for a week or two, month? to make a 5 x 8 foot rug? Not going to happen. And that’s not counting however long it would also make me sick living with it.

Since the last time I wrestled with this, I (finally) found a place which sells natural fiber rug warp and yarns. I can buy a cone of rug warp and use some fabrics I have prepped here and/or buy some and see what I think. I could crochet one, it would take a long time, but I could do it. Or, if I could find someone to teach me how to warp my loom, I could just weave one!

Also I will buy a small amount of the warp and other materials and see if I can come up with a way to make a rug with materials which don’t make me sick. If the printed rug at the store stinks? Then the warp, etc. is what I’ll do.

However, for the moment, I think I need to go to the store which has the printed rug and see if it stinks? If not, I may buy it, for $199. (That’s on sale, sigh.)

I will take the bolt end to the woman who can prep it and see what she thinks. She no longer has a store front but works out of her home. 11/15

Thirty years ago I would have gone to Pier One and bought a sisal mat. Actually, 30 years ago I bought a blue, flat woven, cotton rug from Conran’s. It’s in the attic. The color was uneven, so I stopped putting it out. In Tampa, I had wall to wall  med. gray carpeting in the living room, bedrooms, dining room, etc. The blue rug was used in my library, a large open area. The faults were obvious and I put it in the attic here. But the hearth area isn’t an open area, it’s fairly crowded.Our huge living room is divided into three functional areas. Hm. If I can get the rug out of the attic, I could maybe put a rug in the hearth area for $0.

I’m off to go look at the attic!

 

Becoming OCD: Symptoms

I have many indicators that I am slipping to the other side:

  1. I’m scraping off the “dirty” part of the soap bar and using that when I wash my hands.
  2. I’m thinking that scissors and other tools with dark handles save cleaning fingerprints from them.
  3. When I toss something, almost anything, I think, “One less piece of clutter . . . “
  4. I started wrapping the cord to the upright vac with crossed loops. Fewer loops, much neater!
  5. Our TP holder has room for a 2nd roll behind. I stopped putting the 2nd roll hole forward and instead put it the same way as the roll we’re using… less visual clutter.
  6. I’ve been cataloging, pricing, and tagging items before I leave home. No more wondering if I’d paid $2 for something or $4? I know the mark-up is adequate, and since I know my pricing schema, I know enough when I start mark downs what I likely paid for the item.  $3 is my bottom price, if I can’t sell something for $3 in a week, it’s not worth bothering with. That is the hard-won knowledge of years of retailing and my old inclination to keep things. I’m getting ruthless!
  7. Becoming OCD is catching, did you know? DH is reorganizing his workshop. He’s using a Space Budget (although he doesn’t call it that).
  8. I’ve decided that I love contractions, abbreviations, ampersands & question marks: shorter and tidier writing. (I really am OCD! Tidy writing??? )

Any minute now, I will become that monster: the woman who won’t go outside because her hair gets messed, who wipes the table whenever anyone lifts a cup from it!

If you know me IRL, please TELL me if when I go too far. Please! How do you avoid falling off a cliff?

Wall of Shame

Another company we will no longer do business with: Swing A Way Can Openers. Why?

My Dad bought our first Swing A Way in the 1970s, as far as I know, it’s still working fine in the house where I grew up.

So, when DH and I got married in the 1980s, I bought one for us, the first one was in a box which disappeared in the move. I bought another, about 1985, it survived moving from  FL to New England and two households here, about 10 years or so, then it suddenly didn’t cut correctly. I kept thinking I just had to clean it, and did, and then I got tired of that, and got a new one in a fit of “self-care” about 5 years ago. Seeing a trend here?

Yep. They moved their operations to China a few years back, and the cheap cr*p can opener I bought last has just been replaced.

Note to marketers: Selling me cheap crap isn’t a sustainable business model. I remember your name and I WILL do the research to find whatever new names you adopt.

In the meantime? I will add Swing A Way’s name to the others on my “Do not buy” list.

J

Weds. 9/27 Five new, and the same carry over

  1. Wood stacking (also on to do list).
  2. Clean small tables in living room.10:55
  3. Organize/cull dehydrated foods. 1:30
  4. Organize/cull refrigerator/freezer fronts.11:15
  5. Cull/clean baskets of onions and potatoes.11:30
  6. Desmudge walls.10:30

And of course there’s the day to day: laundry, dishes, making the bed, etc.

 

Weekend Catch-Up, 6 Items

Here’s what’s left that I should have done this week:

  1. Tidy needlework supplies and equipment.11:30 Saturday
  2. Put away summer weight coats.7 p.m. Saturday
  3. Deal with mail.7:30 p.m. Saturday
  4. Work on the wood piles (also on the to do list).
  5. Update grain storage: review/cull, clean containers, etc. A tiny piece of this was done as part of clearing the kitchen counter. Weds. 10 a.m. More of this was done Saturday evening, 7:45 p.m. The job is too involved to do really quickly.
  6. Work on the house notebook. 11:00 a.m Saturday

I’m busy tomorrow, so these all have to happen today (Saturday).

Also on the list is the usual weekend chores: dump, laundry, etc.

I’m off!

J

 

 

 

Morning Methods or Madness?

Not only is it MONDAY, so my brain is buzzing with all sorts of “things to be done,” but the construction people aren’t here, and there’s this huge back log. It’s also nearly FALL and so all the “delayed” and “put off” chores are screaming! at me.

Accordingly, my ADD tendencies have run amok this morning. I have worked on these items and finished the lined-through ones:

  • filing manuals, etc. for things we own.
  • cleaning out behind the washer/dryer Finished about 11:30 a.m.
  • culling/clearing out the top shelf of the small freezer
  • figuring out what I will use to replace the French door blinds
  • Researching how to do it.
  • Finding the fabric I already own for the curtains.
  • Figuring out a way to “put away” the scrub brush which went missing.
  • Figuring out a possible way to “put away” various roll goods: masking paper, Tyvek, shelf liner & weed cloth are the immediate needs
  • Work on clearing out the attic.
  • Work on cleaning up my office.
  • Laundry x 2 2nd load started around noon. Two loads done Tuesday as well.
  • Determining the trunk in the kitchen is still empty.
  • Figuring out another set of crates, etc. to take to the antique store as shelving.
  • Cull the clay flower pots — I have too many of course. Started about 2 p.m. but not yet finished. Worked on this Tuesday as well. Completed Sunday.

Still to do:

  • Go to the hardware store for a piece to determine if the method of hanging roll materials will work.
  • Clean the laundry room. Finished just before noon.
  • Make the bed.
  • Find the missing fabric and determine which piece will be used for the door curtains.
  • Clear out enough of the attic that the trunk can be moved from the kitchen up there. Enough of the attic was cleared Monday, but the trunk hasn’t been moved, yet.
  • Get the crates, etc. in my car and to the antique store. Completed Tuesday.