Category Archives: New Habits

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.!

 

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

So?

We sold a bunch o’ stuff and donated a bunch more. My biggest frustration is that I either 1)donated the accounting with the things we donated or 2)put it into the storage unit with the items we returned there. At any rate, it isn’t in the cars. Fortunately, I DO know exactly what I took in money-wise, as I was doing a running tally with every sold item. I had $x until just before we packed and I thought that was it, and sold another item for $5 last thing. The money checked out the way it should (start cash + sales = expected $) and I would have been very surprised if it hadn’t.

But it’s annoying in the extreme that I don’t have the actual tally. I can only recreate about 1/3 of it out of my head, what sold and for what, and I’ve done that. Hopefully the stupid piece of paper is in the storage and I’ll find it tomorrow. Otherwise I have the partial tally and I’ll have to put something like (unknown qty/items) sold for $xx.xx in my accounting, and I really don’t want to do that.

The flea market was a success, both in terms of selling things and doing a major cull o’ stuff.

receipt book

Obviously, however, I have some work to do yet on actually getting organized. Or, more accurately, getting organized for not in a store event. I will probably just go buy another receipt book as that always worked before. It isn’t records I have a problem with, it’s when they’re on odd sheets of paper. I’ll fix it.

More Different

light out of darkness

There’s still WAAAY too much stuff here and it’s still too disorganized and we still have BAD habits. That said? There’s stuff getting disposed of here, daily. Areas which are being culled and cleaned, daily. It isn’t huge, but nibbling at the sides, every day. DH is finishing various projects, I’m culling a box or more . . . every day and cleaning some place new, every day.

We may, eventually, dig our lives out from under all the stuff.

Maybe.

J

3 rules of work

 

Attitude Adjustment

Things are definitely different here. We’re off to work on the storage today. I have a large bag of papers to take to Staples for shredding. It’s expensive,but will get the approx. 1 file box of papers out of our lives for good.

paper trash

Had to move a box for DH this morning, so I went thru it with the idea of culling the books down. Came up with an immediate 2 books to get rid of, they’re going out today too.

These days, I toss something in the trash and think, “2 cubic inches more of my life free!”

Sure is different!

J

Also different: 3 more bags of garden materials were bought today. They are already spread out in the garden, the packaging dealt with, the cart and tools put away, and did some raking before I put everything away. The materials are in their permanent home, the trash dealt with, and not only did I do the “new” stuff, but the remaining upkeep has been lessened too. DEFINITELY DIFFERENT!

New Rules

  1. Handle things as little as possible.
  2. When items are for sale, if they don’t sell at some previously set time frame, try to remove at least 75% of the items from inventory.
  3. If it’s in the house, you don’t use it, haven’t used it, and you have no idea when or if you’ll use it, get rid of it or reuse the components.
  4. Ask for help when you need it.
  5. Take advantage of good weather.
  6. Talk to the people you do business with. If you’re personable and reasonable, it can save you money. Maybe not a lot, but some. We drove the rental van about 8 miles yesterday. Because we were personable with the folks we rented from and the person before us had put in a little more gas than they had to, the guy told us if the gas hadn’t gone down below x level, to not worry about it. It hadn’t, and so we didn’t buy gas.
  7. Make use of the resources and tools you already have. This one actually cost us money. We forgot our hand truck yesterday and so had to rent one, sigh. We didn’t use it much, but we still paid for the one we rented. Today I’ll throw the one we own in the car.

full hand truck