I 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:
- Get out of bed, turn back the covers.
- 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.
- Go to office, get email, finish coffee. [Future piece to add to this is to straighten the desk or an area in the office.]
- 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.
- When I return to the kitchen for the 2nd cup of coffee, put away dishes or wash/rinse more, depending again.
- 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.!
Remember those? Well, we had one. DH solved it, of course.
Two cars, both needing inspection. Both had appointments today. Two drivers. Two garages in two different towns. Three vehicles.
Sounds easy, right? Except the 3rd vehicle can only be ridden by one person and the other person will not be a passenger. (It’s a motorcycle and I nearly died/was brain-damaged the last time I got on one.) So how do you leave the 2 cars for inspection at the 2 garages in the 2 towns?
I married a brilliant fellow. I know that, and here’s exactly the kind of thing which makes me say so.
- Her car and his motorcycle go to nearest garage. He parks motorcycle and gets into her car.
- She returns home.
- He picks up his car.
- Both drivers go to farthest garage and leave her car. She gets into his car.
- His car returns home. She stays.
- He drives his car to nearest garage. Leaves car for inspection. Gets on motorcycle and returns home.
Two cars at two garages in two towns. Both drivers at home. Motorcycle at home.
Now, wasn’t that easy?
I think I know what I want to do for our new bedroom curtains. I’m going to make them. I knew that, curtains are too expensive to buy otherwise, unless you use sheets. However, I had no idea what I’d do, but think I do now. I will buy enough to do a double window. If that works? I’ll buy about the same amount again, to do the 2 single windows.
Then we’ll see!
The living room has the same window configuration, almost exactly, so if it works in the bedroom, it should in the living room too. Cost per room? About $50, if I have it figured correctly.
Could be I’ll hate the fabric when I get it. Could be. We’ll see!
Posted in craft supplies, Creativity, frugality, future plans, house decoration, Making Home, projects, saving money, stuff, workarounds
Tagged bedroom curtains, curtain design, Home made curtain rods, Home made tie backs, possible living room curtains? Curtains for a room for $50? Home made curtains
We bought some garden supplies yesterday. A while back I discovered how and where to get the supplies cheaper than I had before. The regular retail price of what we bought was $12. I paid $4. The $8 difference isn’t huge, but do that 5 or 10 times a year? Yep, it’s significant.
These are my “secrets” although none of them are secret.
- Be willing to buy something that isn’t in pristine shape, frequently you can get it cheaper, maybe a lot cheaper. We’ve done this with all sorts of goods: luggage at the L.L. Bean outlet with the wrong initials on them, used diner dishes from a thrift shop, etc. I buy clothes, china/glass at thrift shops. I go to my local salvage (scratch & dent) market before I go to the supermarket. (See #2 below.)
- Go through sale items before you shop elsewhere in a store. True at L. L. Bean’s outlet, the supermarket, the salvage store, a consignment shop, thrift shops, etc. Most stores have a regular sale corner or shelf. If you learn where that is, or where the markdowns go and go through them first, you avoid buying 4 new rolls of paper towels instead of 3 and one with a rip in the plastic cover for 1/2 off.
- Don’t buy things just because they’re on sale. I wanted 2 things yesterday: cloth paint tarps and the garden materials. Got everything for just under $20. I know I can find the garden materials on sale, it’s just locating them, so if I hadn’t found them on sale, I would have passed. The paint tarps (not on sale, but usually smaller and cheaper than other tarps) are to put over the ever-larger leaf piles, so leaves aren’t blown back into the yard and to speed up composting.
- Be willing to walk away or have an alternate plan if what you want isn’t on sale. First time I looked for the garden materials this year I couldn’t find them on sale. The alternate plan for this is a lot of weeding. or using a home-grown substitute for what I bought, but it’s messier and doesn’t work as well.
- Be willing to do some work to get the bargain. I had to go look though the store for my bargain yesterday, then find someone to talk to. Needed help from the cashier too. If you’re always in a hurry, this will probably keep you from getting those bargains.
- Don’t damage items or try and bargain with the retailer, unless you know they’re okay with it. I had a retail store for years. I hated people who would pick up a $5 book and ask me to sell it to them for $3. Asking for a break at the end of the season is one thing. Or, if you truly need to buy a lot of something, talk to them beforehand. Don’t ask for extra discounts during sales.
- Buy in or out of season. In season for perishable items, like produce. Out of season for nonperishable items, like winter coats. The bargains in nonperishable items usually start as the seasons change, and get larger (with less selection) as time goes on.
- Know what customary retail is on an item before you go bargain hunting. If you’re paring down your food bill, frequently people make a “price book.” No one (or very few people) seem to do the same thing for durable goods they’re interested in: sofas, tires, prom dresses, etc.
- Find websites which will help you save time/money. I will tell you as a person who has spent a lot of time finding these, there are too many to review in any kind of timely way. If you want food coupons, there’s some really outstanding ones. If you want info re organization, same goes. If you want to save money in general, there’s a bunch of those too. If you go looking for general “save money” websites, you can quickly be overwhelmed. Be specific what you want help with before you go looking.
- Learn about cheaper substitutes: chicken thighs instead of breasts, for example.
- Limit what you’ll buy. For us, that’s six month’s worth of something which isn’t perishable, if I have the room. I bought shampoo a while back. I had coupons good for $2 off 2 and it was on sale as well. I had 3 coupons. I got 6 bottles. Normally, I’ll only buy 3 extra, max., but the shampoo won’t go bad, and my coupons were about to expire. Also, I’d just cleaned out the space where I’d store these, so I knew I had room.
- Be willing to comparison shop by phone if you’re buying either a large quantity or something that’s expensive. I just read an article by someone in the business who recommended this for caskets, etc. dealing with the death of a loved one. I’d never considered that, but why not? If it’s true of caskets, it’s certainly true about 4 dozen azalea plants or 1 tonne of gravel or 3 cases of tomatoes or 25 lbs of ground round. (See Jill Bond’s Mega Cooking if you’re interested in strategies re food bulk buying.)
- Handle things as little as possible.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Take advantage of good weather.
- 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.
- 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.
Posted in behaviors, cleaning up, Culling, dehoarding, Digging Out from Under, Getting Organized, Life Lessons, New Habits, organization, Planning, psychological stuff, Rules of the Road, scheduling, self-interest, selfishness, Storage, stuff, Using up stuff, workarounds
Tagged level 7, moving storage, moving tips, stuff
Whether it is because of the PTSD or otherwise, I tend to work in spurts or fits and starts. I keep thinking I should just be able to schedule something for a few hours, I can, but mostly don’t.
I need to accept that the abuse, panic attacks, and PTSD all make a regular schedule very difficult, if not impossible, as much as I’d like otherwise.
I need to stop fighting this and just accept it as the way I flow, period. I think when/if I can do that, the panic attacks or vestiges of them will lessen dramatically. It’s my belief that the panic is due largely to people being able to “see” what I’m doing or have done. I have a lot fewer problems, like nearly none, when I’m working for other people. This is only the stuff I do at home.
Can I repeat, again, how much I really, absolutely hate the woman who abused me? It totally sucks to have your brain be your main enemy. It sucks more to view any finished project as something which will be attacked, belittled, or sneered at, whether it’s a clean kitchen counter or an art work. This just makes getting anything done a real challenge. [And I needed more of those, right?]
P.S. Reading this, I realized t’s wrong. I don’t hate her. I hate what she did to my brain. If it wasn’t that no matter how much work I do, this will be with me forever, I would have very few feelings about here at all.
She’s gone, her daughter is gone. The memories of what she did just make me feel sorrty: for her that she could be so nasty, her daughter and myself because she felt it necessary to emotionally attack two innocent little girls,, who grew to be wounded women because of it. It was just a waste.
Posted in abuse, behaviors, cleaning, cleaning up, Digging Out from Under, Goals, healing, Life Lessons, projects, psychological stuff, PTSD, self-interest, trauma, workarounds
Tagged getting things done, panic attacks, work flow - mine, workarounds, working