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Making Decisions to Declutter - Winter Solstice/New Year's Challenge 2012/2013

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Old 09-26-2012, 09:00 PM   #1
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Arrow Making Decisions to Declutter - Winter Solstice/New Year's Challenge 2012/2013

Hello Everyone.

That thread title is a mouthful.

But here we are, Fall 2012. Winter, the Holiday Season(s) and then New Year and all the hope and dreams that the season generates within us are all encompassed by this next decluttering challenge.

What kind of a home/car/office/workspace do we want to live in, or invite others into, during the coming months?

Let's support each other as we identify, act upon, and create the changes we have wanted to make in our immediate environments so we can truly enjoy our friends, realtives, and our own lives instead of worrying or fretting over our clutter.

Let's get something accomplished and off of our to-do lists this season.

Please feel free to set yourself some goals, big or small, and post them here and check back in.

Thanks for joining me.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:05 PM   #2
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Hi everyone! Welcome to Fall!

I finished my September goal (well, the re-stated one) today -- sorting all of my photo and ephemera boxes. It took all day and I didn't get many of the other items on my to do list done. But it felt like once I got started it was something that I needed to finish -- easier to do in one fell swoop than to get back to it in the middle of things.

It's better organized than it was. It can be even better, but I don't need perfection at this moment. Now that my photos are usable, I suspect the organization will improve naturally as I use them. I already got my birth to age 6 photos in chronological order for the project that starts next week. I imagine as I move through the project that more organization will fall into place naturally.

For October, I want to go back to the first project I designated in September -- clearing the balcony off of my study.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
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Onebyone, thank you for starting this! I lurked about in the Summer thread & had to compliment it though I wasn't a Beckster - but you all were so nice, saying I could chime in regardless. My library doesn't have Beck's book. But I did find my card! *credit*!! (is that how you put it?!) Anyway, I'll check other libraries.

In the meantime, I'm thinking of autumnal goals to write down. Hey, where did that pen go to? Who took all the paper?
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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Hello friends!

Thanks for getting us started, onebyone, and glad you are joining us, MountainMamma!

gardenerjoy, right off you mentioned that your project didn't have to be perfect. That is key for me, as I move forward. Otherwise, I get stuck in the perfectionist details and it's never good enough.

I've been in maintenance mode as family has been visiting for the past two weeks (staying at my mom's) but always nearby. I was really grateful for the Summer thread because I kept pursuing baby steps. The end result was that after a long sightseeing day which required a change in dinner venue, I was able to feel comfortable inviting the whole group over for leftovers with a moment's notice. credit

This morning it is time to regroup and come up with a plan for these next few months. First off, I set to getting things back in order. I put everything away in the kitchen and cleaned the sink. I pitched some food items which came over from mom's that I knew we'd never use. I made the bed and put away clothes that had accumulated there. I gave DH three bills to pay. credit for all.

I deleted my name from the massive emails that FL(flylady)sends but I'm going to check in with her after work. I do find that her small daily chore list keeps me grounded.

I look forward to hearing everyone's goals and insights as we collectively move forward.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexxiss View Post
I've been in maintenance mode as family has been visiting for the past two weeks (staying at my mom's) but always nearby.

I look forward to hearing everyone's goals and insights as we collectively move forward.
Ok, the last of the family left on Monday and it's now Friday. I have found a great amount of success in taking small steps on a frequent basis. This morning I recognized it is very easy to slip into the thought pattern of "tomorrow, tomorrow, next week, next month......"

Accordingly, I took on a small project. I am at my "part time" home right now. My bathroom and closet are both attached to our bedroom.
I started in my cedar chest:
~pulling out items for thrift store; an electric blanket, an antique dress (pretty not my size), some yarns.
~I made room for the yarns under my bed
I moved to my closet:
~I tried on clothing items and got rid of everything I won't wear
I moved to my bathroom:
~I cleaned out all the small drawers disposing toiletries/makeup I no longer use
~I sorted my jewlery drawer...mostly organizing
I cleaned the tub/toilet/mirror/sink.

credit for all

I hope to hear from other declutters, reminding you all that baby steps count!
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:42 AM   #6
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Oh, and most important for me, the large bag for the thrift store is in my car. It is counterproductive for me to leave it taking up space in my home. credit.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:48 AM   #7
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Great idea and I'm glad I'm participating. " Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" doesn't work for me.

I am drowning in other people's paperwork! As Treasurer for four different organizations, the piles keep growing. The biggest one is for the Mill here in town which is a National Historic Site. Because it's a charitable organization, I need to keep seven years of all paper work. I had no idea how much this would be but have another filling cabinet now and am slowly sorting and storing the mess.

I also quilt and always have too many projects on the go. This week I sorted out some fabrics and made up plastic bags of complementary colours which I gave away at my qulilters meeting this week.

I also sorted out some of the antique meat at the bottom of my freezer and gave it to a local farmer for his hounds. (I used to feed my dogs a raw food diet but that was back in 2009 so the meat was pretty antique.

Today is a busy day but I am going to sort and organize the shoes that are littering the floor of my closet.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:30 PM   #8
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Yay, Ruth! I'm glad you're joining in! (I'm needing some company here right now, too Great steps you've decided to start with. I tried to find someone w/pups last year when I started working on the "antique" meat/fish in the freezer. I had no takers yet persisted and it's now gone.
That paperwork issue with the mill is quite a different story....is there anywhere else it could be stored once you are done with it?? A locked cabinet at the mil?? I have a hard enough time dealing with my own paperwork...
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:22 AM   #9
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This sounds like a good challenge for me!
I just moved back home into my father's house (he lives in his second wife's home), and my boyfriend had moved in with me. I've been here for over a month and all of the boxes from my previous place are still in the garage. I've done quite a bit of cleaning up around the house actually, but obviously not enough and my boyfriend is getting annoyed! Also, my father's room (which used to be my room - we switched) is still completely taken in by my old stuff, most of which I will probably have to throw away. I'm going to take it one room at a time, starting with my father's room. Wiew. I'm giving myself two weeks starting now to have it ready!
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #10
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Hi

No good internet here and now I'm almost late for work. I wanted to check in and say runthecontinent! Glad you have decided to join in. Let us know how you progress.

I got up early and got everything unpacked and put away from our trip. That's always great because I can move forward with my declutter goals.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:27 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Welcome to All and Welcome Back to Me

Hi Declutterers:

I knew I was going to post here this morning and I couldn' do it without putting away my already washed and air dried dishes just sitting there in the dishrack. So *credit* the sinks are ready for another round of dishwashing today, and I have clean plates and utensils once more. Yay.

Ruthxxx, runthecontinent, and Mountain Mamma How are you progressing with your projects?

Welcome back Lexxiss and gardenerjoyMay we all see further improvement and change as we get ready for this most social of seasons. Thanks for being here.

I crossed a big hurdle yesterday. The landord was in to turn our heat on. Man, it was cold in here! I put off calling him as long as it made sense since my kitchen has fallen back into major disorder and disarray and the floor was kind of icky. *credit moi* for arranging the dirty dishes nicely, and for moppingup the floor, and for decluttering the hallway area where the landlord had to go to get to the thermostat. My landlord was my motivation to start this decluttering challenge this summer as when he came in to turn on the air conditioning he was upset with the state of the floor. I thought, you know, it's not that bad, but you know what? I HATE feeling the pressure of someone judging my housekeeping. I have never had the kind of house that people can just drop by in and I don't feel like apologizing for "living like this". My hope was to have DH's mom over for thanksgiving. Well, we went to her place for thanksgiving yesterday, so I have revised this is having her over for Christmas dinner. THAT would be spectacular.

I will be moving my art supplies/stacks of completed artwork/asst. bins and boxes over to my NEW STUDIO(!!!!) around November 1st. People are actually renovating a space for me to work in. I cannot believe how lucky I am with this studio space that I will have. There is ample space or me to store my artwork there and to work there and to make whatever it is I need to make, so what this also means is my house can now be my home and not my sole work space. Some things I will still work on here, but major stuff will be done in the studio space. It will be fantastic to finally have a house be a house, and hopefully, evolve into a home.

My decluttering task for today is to clean up the dishes (wash and put them all away), and to make a decision about the hot peppers I harvested from the garden. Do I dehydrate them in the dehydrator, or do I just freeze them?

Hope to hear how everyone is doing out there...
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:25 PM   #12
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Onebyone, LOVE the Hitchcock avatar!!! Made me smile.

Well ladies, you inspired me to work on bookkeeping & filing this weekend. Paper is my downfall!!!! And like Ruthxx I'm also a treasurer of a group & quilt as well so guess what I don't need more of. Paper & Fabric!! (Is it my imagination of are most of us on this thread creative types???!!! )

RuntheContinent, what a huge project. Good luck.

Anyway, will be off the board this week. Have company coming & am 3 months behind on the housework. DH is wonderful and does his part, but doesn't get the concept of putting anything away. (Do we really need 3 pairs of size 16 shoes in the living room?) Situation made worse by recent travel & its clutter, and what on earth did the dog do to the car seat? And the lawn is funny-looking - half mowed because mower ran out of gas. (Is that not a great excuse? At least it's not mine!! )

Gotta go through the family recipes, buy food we haven't purchased in months and be a cooking fool. And change sheets & go find the Windex.

Everyone have a good week!
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:51 AM   #13
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I'm headed back to our second home later today. I made progress there last week and will continue with decluttering there, which reminds me I still have the stuff in the back seat of our car which I should have already dropped off at thrift.
I've had a yard/weed project in the yard that was long overdue. Yesterday after work I mentioned it to DH and we just got out there and did it. credit. I had also recognized my disorganization with travel stuff had impeded our travel time last week. I made a list and have our food/commodities packed already. My goal before work this morning will be to pack a box of essential clothes that I can leave over there (socks/undies/pants/shirts/coat/hat/reading glasses/shoes,etc) that I won't have to bring back. That will mean that next trip I will only have to bring my laptop and a few essentials that can't stay over. credit.


Mountain Mamma, best wishes for your pre-company projects/cleaning. My DH tends to leave stuff out, too. I started moving his stuff from the common areas to his office. At that point he can deal with it (or choose not to). It is working for me.

onebyone, I think it will be a big step of progress to reclaim your home as you move the majority of your art stuff to your new studio. What an exciting time.

I maintained all my decluttered spaces this week and have brought nothing new in. For me, not "buying" makes it so much easier. Yay!
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:53 AM   #14
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Exclamation crisis mode

Hi Out There

Last night, after pondering how to help our sick cat get better (she's better in some ways, worse in others) DH and I were feeling completely worn down and then we get home and....the toilet floods the floor and stuff backs up the bathtub drain and OMG we have to call our freakin' landlord to come in. NIGHTMARE for me. This guy is super-nosey and his place here is way too precious. So much so that when we first got here, April 2011, he told me he didn't want me to put anything on the walls, and even though I have tons of stuff that would be great on the walls, I haven't put anything up anywhere. Last night I was thinking how this place doesn't allow me to feel "at home" or to relax into the space.

I may have been the one to "break" the toilet earlier in the day as I got so frustrated with Looloo peeing near her brand new litterbox and not in it that when I had sopping urine coated paper towels I tossed them into the toilet and *knew* it was a no-no but my emotions got the better of me. When the plumber snaked the thing all they found was hair (?). Bizarre but to top it off the plumber and the landlord were speaking a foreign language and I couldn't understand what they were saying which made me angry. I *knew* I was ready to blow my stack, which is pretty rare and would have been a dumb thing to do. So, to deal with it, I let DH deal with it and I went into the bedroom with the cat that's not sick, Caesar, and shut the door. I did tell the landlord that that is a horrible toilet that I have to plunge on a regular basis. Low flow toilets. I have never seen one work right. He's going to ask us to pay some of the plumbing costs which I find dubious. I WANT TO MOVE. DH won't move. I am sooooo looking forward to my studio and to making changes.

So I did a major cleaning of that bathroom at the end of August and because of that, DH was able to get it into decent shape (Landlord still nit-picked) in a hurry as it was going to be the center of attention for a while.
MAJOR CREDIT: when the crisis was over I had the cleanup tools to get the bathroom back into shape and I didn't stop without it being finished. The floors got mopped and the walls were cleaned and the state of the bathroom was good, except for the floor of the tub which will get washed during DH's shower and wasn't that bad anyway. I did leave a bucket in the tub. I'll go retrieve it now....okay, done. Bathtub is clear. Credit to DH for tossing the towels and the bathmat immediately into the wash right after they left, which I finished up in the drier.

So it was good that I started on the dishes this week. There was less mess in the kitchen area and I did the floors too so the major gunk was all gone -- hallway was acceptable too.

Anyway, what can I say? I am *tired* of all the stresses right now. I have a studio tour this weekend which I just want overwith. It's going to be two long days. Last year I made $20. We'll see what comes of it this year.

Today's agenda:
1) laundry = wash one of those mystery garbage bags of stuff (one load is on now)
2) kitchen = clean off stove - including wiping down the front of the stove and the back where the controls are.
= doing some more dishes.
= clearing the countertop / deciding whether I can put the toaster away as we are not eating bread these days except rarely.
3) choosing a subject and painting something new for the studio tour this weekend. (I am thinking of painting a marine iguana.)

Ok that's my update. I am hoping for a non-eventful day today.

Oh yeah, so the landlord says "I don't want to intrude on your life but..." This is the *completely infuriating* phrase I ALWAYS hear from him WHENEVER we have to deal with him outside of the everyday. I was waiting for him to say "But you have to get this place cleaned up/cleared out/in order. Last time he said the conditions of the floor were "unacceptable". This time: the aquarium has to go. He's worried about it breaking and then the damage that would cause. He says it's in our lease. I was in the bedroom when I heard this. To his credit, DH said "we have insurance" and the Landlord said "they don't always cover that."
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:23 AM   #15
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Hello!

onebyone, I hope your situation is easing, although I imagine it's pretty complex with LooLoo right now. Having a kitty myself, I know that the situation doesn't have an easy solution once they start peeing somewhere you don't want them to. Sending supportive thoughts your way.

We've been at our second home since Tuesday eve and we'll leave later this afternoon. DH and I (together) seem more stressed here lately and I'm understanding that a big part is that this used to be our #1 spot...we love it here, had a garden and had a life (friends and socialization). Now it's more like a weekend retreat.

My thought: I need to work towards having it be "turnkey".

No more unfinished projects, etc. With that in mind, I went back to my trusty dry erase board...cleaned it up and made a new list with those unfinished projects. I was able to cross most of the items off and one that is left I will ask DH to complete. Cleaning out the freezer can wait until next trip.

Looking back at my last post, I did drop the stuff at the thrift store before we left. credit.

I took time here to notice the improvement from the few projects I accomplished last trip.
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