Tag Archives: organization


Well we demolished the bathroom closet. It was a floor to ceiling closet, but located in such a way that its door and the bathroom door could bang into each other in the doorway. There is also a cabinet door and a drawer which open into or block the door way.

We bought a fawncy bath vanity at the Habitat Re-Store. But, it won’t work as a replacement for our current vanity. However, it has more storage than the vanity we’ve got. So? We demo’ed the closet to put the new vanity (without a sink) into the closet space as useful storage. Removed the closet door. Vanity is in the closet “niche” which was primed and painted, first. Feb. 10

We have talked about for years putting in a pedestal sink or wall-mounted sink because of the space crunch in the room. That’s likely what we’ll do, because the vanity as built-in storage solves the biggest problem with that idea: loss of storage.

We haven’t decided what sink we’ll get or what we’re going to do with the floor (which will have to be redone), and so:

the new vanity cabinet will get a temporary plywood top [We bought a fancy piece of limestone for the top.]

while we figure out the rest of the closet configuration [We know what we want, the vanity’s top is higher than we expected, so it may change?]

…and then the sink, mirror and then the floor. I’d love to nuke the bath/shower too, but that’s another whole order of magnitude money wise. What we’ve bit off we can do in chunks. A tub/shower tear out and replacement isn’t a small chunk….

That’s what’s going on here!



I went shopping yesterday I bought 38 pieces, many of them as stock for the booth*. Yes there  are knitting needles in it as well, but when I can get into my office, I will (again) cull the duplicates. I need to make a have or want list for knitting needles, as I have no idea where the holes are!

However, including the knitting needles, I kept about 30% of what I bought. Also included: 2 balls of yarn and 7 pieces of felt. The yarn is in “my colors” and so was irrestible. The felt was something I was ready to buy at a fabric store: DH uses felt under his keyboard to keep it stationary, and the piece he had was really dirty.

The rest of the stuff is inventoried, priced, tagged and packed into my car, preparatory to being put in the booth at the new store, Sunday.

The accounting is up to date. All the check flimsies have been tagged and filed.

I can be very efficient, on occasion! Since tomorrow is the last day of March, I will be filing all the tiny envelopes I use into the month’s larger manila envelope.

I really, really need, in April, to make those cloth envelopes I talked about earlier. But the very next pieces of what has to happen here are: finish getting things prepared for the move April 1. Get the items ready for the show April 15. Then, finish getting out of the old storage unit and into the new one, preferably also by April 15.

Making cloth envelopes is waaaay down the list!


*The first 8 pieces were taken to the new antique store location 4/2. The store isn’t open yet, but the pieces are priced and out of my car. The remaining other stock for the flea market, etc. was taken to the storage unit. So the car is empty again, the way it’s supposed to be!

Pulling it Together

Trying to not only declutter, cull and decorate here, but personally, I’m trying to get myself organized. I do pretty well getting to appointments and so on — a definite improvement on years past. But. . .

Over the years I’ve tried planners, organizers, lots of them, probably 100s of them. None of them worked. I always felt like I was trying to squeeze my life into someone else’s box. So, last year I came up with the monthly notebooks. That has worked, sort of. Years past I had come up with the 7 levels of stuff for cleaning and culling. That worked, sort of. My recent idea is a bullet journal using the shorts and longs idea I talked about here.

The appeal of a bullet journal for me is that it is infinitely modifiable. No being squeezed into someone else’s life. I started one. I liked the idea, but then dropped it because I really didn’t have anything to journal except the progress on the painting  project and all the other stuff I was doing was managed by my weekly to do lists here.

So. . .

I’m going to try and combine ALL of that into one, big flexible system. I’m going to keep the weekly to do lists here because it works for me. I’ll print them out if I need to, but it works — don’t fix it. The monthly notebooks work too, in some ways. However, it’s too easy for me to put some piece of info into the January notebook and then just forget it, until I pick up the journal again. I need some way to remind myself the info is there, a tickler if you will. The cleaning stuff is organized; I just have to do it, something I’m pretty bad at, except for the daily stuff these days.

Three-prong idea, one big system to pull it all together:

  1. Appointments, future ideas, & goals,
  2. Monthly reminders in the month’s notebook, and
  3. House maintenance.

Actually, I just need a new habit. A habit of looking at what I want to get done in a given day and then doing it. The reason the online to-do list works is that I look at it, at least once daily and get up from the computer most days to go do something on it, because I’ll be embarrassed if NOTHING is checked off in a week. I’d like to get more things done than I do, hence the new idea.

Could be this will be yet another failed system. Could be this will yield another partially successful system. Could be that I’m healed enough that a system will actually work. Could be any of those.

Attack of the Blue Stickies

Last night we did a few things: talked about the window replacement effort. What has to happen to pull the living room together. Heating season is coming and the wood stove is in the middle of the living room. We also went through the living room, one wall surface at a time and identified what still needed to be done, before painting. On the one hand, this made the room look like it had been attacked by a blue-sticky wielding monster, but on the other, it gave us a concise game plan, wall by wall. Each wall or area got its own blue sticky with a short list of what had to be done to it, before painting can occur.


DH this morning has eliminated the need for 3 of those stickies. They’ve been put on the back of the door (not being painted). We both have things we want to do this morning, but after that, we’ll see if we can’t eliminate most, if not all of the rest. Then tomorrow? We start painting.


Two walls DH worked on this morning are those we identified which need to be done, first, because as soon they’re painted, the sooner I can start pulling the bookcases and books from the middle of the kitchen and living room where they’re currently stashed. This is crucial, as the items in the kitchen are in the way of the replacement windows. The window replacement is also something we really want done, before the end of this month.

No stickies for that effort — yet.

This is going to get done, partly because, yes, it has to, or we’ll freeze. But partly just because it WILL get finished. In an effort to eliminate unnecessary steps, we didn’t make stickies for the hallway. The hall walls are tiny, go around 4 doors, and need to be fussed with . The amount of paint required is minimal, but it will take a lot of  time, as it requires cutting in here, there, and everywhere. Right now our emphasis is the main room, get the replacement windows in, and the wood stove back together.

So, the attack of the blue stickies is a good thing — as long as it’s short-lived!



New and Old Plans


What I’ve done today 8/7/16:

Empty/remove the 3rd bookcase box. There are two more larger bookcase crates (came from the storage) in my car to be added to the house. (In the house 1:30 pm.) When the bookcase boxes are “put back” they’ll be added. It’s too easy to eliminate cases without replacing the storage I’ve found!

Last night I quit moving things when I realized that the living room had about  the right amount of “things” in it. . . after three days of moving boxes, furniture, and stuff out of there, to the kitchen or the storage.

One of the problems I’ve had is just this: how do I know when I’m done culling stuff? I guess the answer is “When it feels right.” All I can say is based on this, I have a LOT of culling yet to do!

My Plans for the rest of today 8/7/16:

Finish the bookcase box move, then prep the wallboard on that wall (living room side of the stairs 1 of 2). Then remove whatever else is on the interior parallel wall and do that. Should keep me busy for a little while, ‘eh?

Largest piece of the room side wall has been taped, cleaned and spackled. The last 2 bookcase boxes still sit in front of the other side of this wall, it is untaped, dirty and unspackled right now. 10:49am Done! 7:09pm.

I’ll edit this as I get things done to indicate where I am.

The piece below was one of my “drafts” here (I have 49 now.) I’ve deleted a few more and modded others to make them posts — part of the reason I’ve sometimes posted twice in one day. I’m putting this here because all I’m seeing right now is the mess in my kitchen, the pile o’ stuff, and the unfinished painting job in the living room. I need to give myself credit for persistence and yes, I AM, getting things done!

Desk/Office Ruminations Began 3/5/13:

I have 5 bookcases in my office from the old shop. One is entirely bead storage now, one is a mixed bag and contains all the little drawer sets. But that leaves three which have been a hodge-podge of mixed stuff and books. I have enough paper, metal, tools, supplies, etc. to fill all 5 bookcases.

The bead/button bookcase is pretty much set. If I can add the beading and related books\, it would be helpful. The case on the other side of the counter currently holds wrapping paper (and other roll papers), the little drawer sets, the templates, etc.

The three other cases, if organized, would go a LONG way towards making the office into a functioning work space.I have a lots of metal, cloth, and paper stuff. Most of the yardage & scrap fabric is in the drawers, so that what’s left are tools and of course the craft-related books. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of those too. I did this. It didn’t work all that well. The current plan is to find other ways to store the craft supplies and all FIVE of these bookcases wind up in the attic! 8/2016

The remaining furniture in my office is a black hole. That is, it’s the dresser that’s slated to be sold, but hasn’t been pulled out yet. In the hallway beyond, is the bookcase/desk that’s supposed to be my desk and replace the dresser. I suppose the next  step is to get the barrister’s bookcase into the new booth, or if not that, then get the dresser there instead? When we accomplish that, the the hallway gets unblocked, which would be a HUGE relief! No more balancing things in the hall, etc. Finished 8/2016



It’s easy to sit and write about what I want to do, intend to do, might do — and not do, because I’m too busy typing.

I’m increasingly irritated by this. I can’t get anything decorated by making a decorating board on pinterest, for example. The Housekeeper we had as a kid used to buy cleaning products instead of cleaning. The result was that when she left we had a closet full of cleaning products, some of which (furniture wax) I’ve finally used up. (She left 40 years+ ago!)

Talking about, writing about, discussing and planning what to do rather than actual doing seems to me to be another of those. It’s a substitute for the actual work.

There are places which are easy for me to find the balance between plan or discuss, etc. and actually do. There are others which aren’t so easy.

Need to work on this. Somehow, my real life needs to become as exciting as the planning what I want it to be. Somehow . . . .

Working on it!

Need to go actually do something — other than sit at a keyboard.


What I’ve actually done: sort through the table linen, pull the excess off for storage elsewhere (I’ve already sold everything I pretty much want to). Rearranged the basket/baby rail storage for the table linen and trivets. Pulled the 2nd baby rail off and put it in the laundry room, where it will be mounted, sometime soon.

Wrapped and labelled the excess linen (wrapped in brown paper and tape, labels on the tape.) to go in the attic.

Made lunch (corn chowder with cheese, pepper, and onion) with hot rolls.

We have enriched bread ready to go into the oven.

The cat bench/recycling station has been pulled away from the wall, the floor and wall cleaned, and the bench cleaned. I used the last large piece of clear shelf liner on the top shelf of the recycling area. I need another piece. I made a sticky note which indicated where the floor register was and stuck it to the wall.

I cleaned the door area into the laundry room, around the battery station, reorganized the charger, etc. Found a new home for the placemats. Cleaned the battery basket, the typing table, the battery charger, the floor underneath all of this, and the wall, door and/or cabinet as appropriate.

With DH’s help, got apricot jam started (has to sit overnight) and made dinner: the infamous spinach, lemon & avocado soup — without disasters this time — and some of the new bread in toasted cheese sandwiches. The dishes, except those used to make/eat dinner are done and mostly put away. I have  one more load of laundry to finish and a load to put away. But after that? My chores are done for the day. Unless I get up hyperearly and am really productive, tomorrow is a bust in terms of house clearing and cleaning. I’m working for someone for a couple of hours then I go to the farm to get food.

Wednesday will be busy, not sure how that will work out.But today WAS productive.

Amazing what I can get done — away from a keyboard!



Slowly, Slowly . . .

Some of you may know that I’ve been playing with a kitchen book for years, a decade or more probably. I’m finally getting one place, one space to put all the various bits & pieces I’ve had. ONE PLACE. It’s amazing.

Scarey, I couldn’t find some of my data earlier today. Found it, backed it up, you bet! But there’s other pieces of this that are personal that I’ve just (re)discovered. I had, many years ago, made a “in season” calendar for myself. When I went looking for one online, it didn’t exist for the part of the country where we live. I could find almost every other region of the US, England, Australia, and Canada, but not New England. So, being me, I made my own.

Now of course there’s dozens out there; there wasn’t, so I made my own. I pulled every list I could find and edited them for what I knew was nutty here. You don’t get fresh tomatoes in season around Boston in Feb., for example. Anyway, that’s what I did; it took me hours, no months. But I did it.

And, again, being me? I went and ran the ingredients in the recipes I use thru the “in season” calendar, so I knew when I should make them, both for flavor and  lowest cost. That file was one that had been missing for oh a long time. I found it. Yay! So I printed out the Dec. list today.

People who benefit from my December food gift (usually bread) may just get more this year, maybe!

This getting organized business has become what I do when I’m not working. I told DH and a friend it feels like paper dolls for adults. I’m moving stickies all over pages and making pretty stuff, or using pretty stuff. On the other hand, if the pretty stuff helps me unravel the decades of mess in this place, I’m all for it.

We’ll see! I’ve some to do on the cleaning plan tonight before I go to bed, I have to note what I cleaned today and I have a section to figure out. AND I have the Dec. and Nov. recipe lists to file too, but those go in a separate place, for now.

Life is kind of weird and interesting and I may just buy stock in 3M — I should I’m using their tape and stickies by the bagful! I’ve gone from doing lists by hand on notebook paper to specific items on stickies on a grid. (I modded a printable I found.) I know what I want to do for the final version too, but refuse to let myself get side tracked BEFORE I finish the cleaning plan.  I have 2 sections to go I think.

I came up with, a few months ago, the SEVEN LEVELS OF STUFF. And I’m using that as the basis for my cleaning notebook. If it works, hurrah! I may do a FB page etc. If not, I’ve spent about $20 to buy post-its and ink.

We’ll see!