Category Archives: minimalism

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!

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!

REAL Zero Waste

Because it’s summer, we’ve been using our freezers a lot. We have a small, non-defrosting freezer we bought as a back up when the fridge was dying/not dying the second time. The long-term plan has always been to get rid of it, probably next year.

That said, one way we work to keep it more energy efficient (and less of a PITA) is that we keep an ice scraper in it and when the door is opened, we scrape off some of the extra “snow.”

I debated what to do with this and found a solution. I toss it on the ground, push it around and use is as a sweeping compound. It picks up the dirt, leaves a very slight skim of water on the wood floor and when it’s dirty gets tossed into the garden. Water + dirt, and that’s it. No soap, no extra cost, no extra power used, nada.

I had used snow as a sweeping compound on the concrete floor of the bookstore, but it never occurred to me that I could partially defrost the freezer AND do this mid-summer!

I wish I could find 100 things like this, but 1 counts ‘eh?

J

More Stuff to Get Rid of

Worked on the attic some a few days ago. Pulled some paper out for the paper bin (wood stove fodder), some drawer units for the fridge, and cleared a space to get the now-empty trunk out of the attic and the other black one in. I didn’t accomplish that, but did work towards that goal. The idea is that I want to take the trunk coming out of the attic to the antique store some time very soon.

8:33 p.m.: The trunk which will be sold is out of the attic. Hurrah!

I should be able to do that, tomorrow I hope.

I am running out of things to sell. Well, I’m not, but I’ve gone thru the easy stuff that’s been “on top” mostly. The things have sold, been donated, put in the booth, or they’re still here/in storage. But I’ve gotten rid of so many things lately that the collection is greatly diminished.

It’s time to start digging into the assorted boxes o’ stuff. I grabbed a box of paperbacks ( I have no idea what’s in it) from the storage today when I went to fetch the fixtures and stuff to sell. Tonight, when it gets a bit cooler (it’s 80 degrees now) I’ll get into the attic to see what I can find to cull/take to the flea market tomorrow.

The one thing I know needs culling is china. I have “good” china and extras of my daily stuff. The daily stuff is dinerware, mix and match. The good stuff is German china which was my mother’s. I probably should send it to auction, it’s mid-century modern, high-end stuff, collectible, and I never use it. But. . . . I haven’t gotten there, yet. However, I know I have too much, so I need to cull the collection, no matter what, even if I don’t get rid of Mom’s china. There’s just too much of it.

Beyond that I’m not sure what’s in the attic any more. There’s  a lot of books, naturally, and some smaller furniture, but I’m not really sure after that.

New Antique Booth

The new booth has been a success. So far I’ve sold an enamel lamp shade, 3 canisters, a bowl and a coffee grinder. Roughly the same amount of money as I made last month at the old place. Hopefully, the trend will continue. (I sold a salt & pepper set after I left Sat.)

Because I moved in on 5/31, I got a small check. One day’s rent less the lamp = < $20, but hey a check is  CHECK!!!

Today the flea market was a bust, oh well. Next to no one showed up, customers or vendors. Happens sometimes!

DH and I dragged the empty black trunk out of my office tonight. I cleaned it. It's the trunk in the best condition of a batch of them I bought a few years ago. Most of the rest of them have gone away. There's a blue hobnailed one, which has a square top, that's in the attic. I think the one which used to hold Christmas decorations was taken to the swap shop. If not, it will go to the booth and maybe it will sell? If the other trunk isn't still in the attic, maybe I'll replace it with this one.

[The image is from images.google.com, the url originally was from ebay. This isn't my image or my trunk!]

black trunk image from ebay

Not sure yet.

It IS still in the attic and it has had the end of the Christmas decoration boxes in it. I thought I’d gotten rid of that trunk last December!!! Okay, it’s now empty. The few remaining things in it have been sorted into piles: going out/trash, going out/for sale, empty boxes to reuse, 3 small boxes of things to keep. All of the separate categories have been dealt with. When I get a chance (tomorrow) I will pull the trunk out of the attic and clean it, prepatory to taking it to the booth.

My main job tomorrow is to clear one side of the front stone wall, so that the work on our back roof can start on Weds. *grin*!!!

Busy, busy, busy…cull, cull, and cull some more!

J

Trying to Avoid Becoming a Clean-Freak Minimalist

I have a tendency, and have since I was a kid. I go from one extreme to the other, then find the happy medium. I’m trying to avoid that with transforming from being a hoarder.

book hoarder

I worked more on the cleaning plan today and “discovered” some new ideas: mostly, that the more often you use something, the more frequently it needs to be cleaned and/or maintained. Seems obvious, doesn’t it?

But because I’ve never seriously “let” myself think about cleaning up except as an intellectual exercise (It was dangerous. Remember the reason I became a hoarder wasn’t to keep things, complete collections, or perceived value — it was the safety I felt in the mess, and the panic I felt when my space was neat.) this is a newish concept.

Accordingly, floors need to be cleaned more than anything else. Even if you only walk through a space, like in a model home at a real estate development say, the floor gets used more often than anything else. So, they need cleaning more often. The other thing which needs to be dealt with every day is stuff, things you can pick up in your hand: food, books, papers, clothing, bedding, towels, etc. It’s stuff which makes up clutter. (The notion that clutter is made up of things we pick up and put down — was the last big AHA! I found.)

So, I modified my ideas about what has to be dealt with/how often. I’d figured the kitchen floor needed daily maintenance, but not other floors. I changed that.

Now I have a mental list of the areas in my home which need routine maintenance. Maybe not “deep cleaning” but maintenance seven days a week, or Monday – Friday. Some chores can be put off over the weekends, others can’t.

I swept from the entry to the hall this morning because of this. And then the stairs. [I kept finding more to do.] I swept the hearth, [twice]. I started to go into the kitchen, [but did the hall, again] — and made myself stop.

Then I cleaned the dustpan and the brushes (didn’t wax them, had done that last weekend) and the broom. [And started again, made myself stop.] Put everything away, twice.

See the flip side of the hoarding peeking out? Definitely one of the first times the idea that hoarding/OCD is a spectrum really became obvious in me. Intellectually, I’ve known this for a long time, but I always thought, “I’ll never have that problem!”

Sigh.

empty room

In my old age I  will need to monitor not only my stress levels (because of the PTSD) but keep myself from tipping over the edge from hoarder to OCD/minimalist/clean-freak.

Oh joy.

J

Rumination on the Process

The book purge. Every day. Five or more books out. But also purging anything and EVERYTHING. . . coffee grinders, books, saws, kitchen knives, tools, you name it. Bought clothes the other day and we asked ourselves what can go? And some went and keeps going — every day.

So, this morning I asked myself, when will I have gotten rid of enough stuff? And the answer is pretty simple: when I can take care of what remains in a fairly relaxed manner.

I want to get another job and want the house purge done, first, so that the house doesn’t degrade because I’m not here all day.

Seems like a good new goal. Not going to make having a Cinco de Mayo party this year either — maybe next? I sure hope so!!!

cinco de

J