Tag Archives: clutter

Sharing My World 63

img_2957

Share Your World January 9,2017

If you lost a bet and had to dye your hair a color of the rainbow for a week, what color would it be?

If the choices were strictly red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet,  I would go with red. Bright fire engine apple red.  So that people would stop and stare and make funny remarks about the crazy old lady with the flaming red hair.  But if it was ok to go with any hue you can come up with, I would much prefer pink, the colour of fluffy cotton candy. And maybe not quite so many startled exclamations from strangers.

If you could choose one word to focus on for 2017, what would it be?

Writing.  Or maybe Living.  I can’t decide. They are both things I am trying to focus on, but so far I’m doing my normal lackadaisical hit and miss break-taking job of both.  Nothing happens.  Then things happen that I don’t want to write about.  I have days where I would rather just obsess over them in silence.

Last week I learned of the death of a 67-year-old man I knew through work.  He died two days before Christmas, halfway through his work day.  I joked with him once about retiring, but he said he tried it briefly and got bored because his wife was still working so he came back.  Stories like this drive me nuts.  It’s like people decide to work themselves to death.  He was too old to be working and much too young to die.  And of course it is absolutely none of my business how anyone else chooses to exist.  Or ceases to exist in this lifetime.  Sometimes it makes me sad, and sometimes I think deceased people are lucky they won’t be around to face whatever happens next.  I know, it’s messed up.  I don’t want to talk about it.

What was one thing you learned last year that you added to your life?

I learned a whole lot about cleaning up and sprucing up and redecorating an old house.  Mostly I learned it’s a lot of work and I don’t ever want to do it again.  I also learned you should do it completely for yourself without trying to please anyone else.  It will just make you sad when the next people move in and decide to gut the place.  So I have added serenity.  I have subtracted mountains of clutter.  I have greatly simplified our next move.  If I die before then there’s way less crap for the living to sort through.

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..?

A peach.  You have to work your way through the fuzzy skin to get to the good stuff.  Obviously I have no clue what this question means.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for my knee recovering from whatever its problem was.  I still walk around being cautious and aware of it, just in case.  And probably looking sneaky and weird in the process.

I am grateful for surviving a back-to-back full moon and Friday the 13th.  Although as many sources predict, next Friday could be infinitely more frightening.

Next week W goes for his one year follow-up on his hip replacement surgery.  Other than that madly exciting event, I’ve got nothing specific to anticipate.

More lists, though.  I’m not done with the lists. I will work on being slightly less morbid.  Yay for that, right?

share-your-world2

 

Advertisements

Rabbits In the Rain

image

Rational me knows that the appearance in my backyard of crows and magpies and jackrabbits and squirrels and cats and ducks (yes, there have been ducks!) is completely random and entirely insignificant.  There is no sane reason for me to be counting these creatures and keeping track of their arrivals and departures.  But I do.

Weird superstitious me believes in omens and portents and prophecies of doom and assigns grave importance to…well….pretty much everything.  Because you never know, right?  If the cosmos is sending me messages I would like to be receptive, not oblivious.

Let me tell you about the crows.  It’s been a crow summer here.  These big black shiny creatures swoop down four and five at a time onto the grass and squawk at each other like mad things. Magpie conversations seem almost polite in comparison.  They are devious and mean looking.  One in particular, perched somewhere in the big pine tree in a neighbors yard,  eventually lost his voice I guess, or moved on.  For weeks he just would not shut up.  But now he has.

So What Does That Mean???  One for sorrow?

Maybe somebody shot the bastard.

Anyway.  There are no crows today.  Today is W’s birthday.  If you’ve been paying attention you will notice my last post was on MY birthday three months ago.  I am fine.  Just finally doing things worth writing about and not having time to write about them because I’m too busy doing things.  I feel like I sat on my derrière for the first year or so of my retirement and now I’m not doing that so much.

My kitchen and living room are cleaned up, painted, decluttered and tastefully decorated. Ha!  Notice there’s no pictures of that so you can’t dispute the tasteful part.  Instead I have shared jackrabbits and white spray paint on our pitted driveway through the kitchen window.  That probably means something too.  Like I should stop gazing out rain streaked windows and get on with the rest of the house.  I’ve taken a few ‘before, during and after’ shots. And then some after-after ones after I changed my mind again.  We had a garage sale the end of July and got rid of a lot of stuff.  The garage has now become home for what remains until my daughter picks it up and it gets donated to some poor unsuspecting charity.

It’s been lovely to have lots of time and no deadline getting the painting done.  The house is old and there are always new challenges and surprises.  I am now an expert at concealing gaps on wooden window and door frames and baseboards, imperfections which showed up when we painted them white, with sealant.  House glue!  Awesome stuff.  Hallway, three bedrooms and main bath to go!  All in various stages of work in progress.

The crows have been worrisome, but now I think maybe they were not trying to give me bad news.  Because after all my doctor visits and tests  and consultations, I finally have a medical diagnosis.  I will save that for another post, and don’t worry, it won’t have to wait for some random relatives birthday.

Unless the crows freak me out again simply by being their normal bird brained annoying selves.  It’s their fault this post wanders around all over the place.   At least I got it done.  Longest break ever.  But I think I’m back.

image

The Great Declutter Plan

shoprto.com
shoprto.com

Operation De-Clutter has officially begun here in Casa Mia.

I am writing this little declaration, not because I believe anyone will find it fascinating, (and if you do, holy cow, I hope your day improves), but because having it in writing is likely to motivate me to carry this through to a satisfactory conclusion.  In other words, embarrass and guilt me in to keeping my word about it and finishing what I’ve started.

It wasn’t rocket science to figure out that the thought of actually getting rid of stuff permanently was what was holding me back.  So now I have a giant purple plastic bin into which I will be lovingly placing precious articles with which I cannot possibly part.  (Unless they’re confiscated behind my back and I don’t notice they’re gone, but no one has volunteered to do this for me.)  So I’m on my own.

Yesterday I donated three bags of miscellaneous toys and puzzles to our local County Clothesline.  And hardly made a dent in the “toy room”.  But it’s a start. I have donated three big green garbage bags full of clothing to another charity.  My bedroom/office is next.  Walls and shelf surfaces will soon be bare while I sort out only the necessary from the purely frivolous.  There are things in here I don’t even like, but they were given to me or have some sort of sentimental value or have been around so long I don’t really see them anymore.  They are on their way out.

There will be many steps to this process – I expect it will keep me busy for days and days. Maybe the whole summer.  More purple bins are a very real possibility.  At the end of it all, everything will be put in the storage room with the door closed where I can’t see it.  Then we wait.  If in, say, six months, I haven’t missed or longed to see whatever is in there, out it goes.  I will be ruthless.

We never used to be such crazy hoarders because we moved around so much and learned to give it away or toss it out before the move, rather than pack it up, only to pitch it out at the new location.  Living in the same house for almost thirty years means we haven’t done a big purge for a very long time, and we are currently running the risk of being buried in the collected rubble.  I’m just a little overwhelmed by it all.  Time for a change.

So Good Luck Me!  Get this done, and then we’ll work on the behavioural collecting problem that started all this in the first place.

Magical De-Cluttering

Although it would be nice to just whip out my magic wand and zap about a hundred objects per room into oblivion, I haven’t perfected that method of de-cluttering yet.  I’m working on it.  In the meantime, I’m reading this book because I need help with housekeeping.  I’m sure recognizing that I have a problem is half the battle.

Sitting in the living room this morning enjoying my second (or maybe third – who counts) cup of coffee gave me a chance to look around with a critical eye.  I tried to be objective, and imagine how a stranger would view my collection of random things.

It might be a stretch for that person to believe I love, need, and use all this crap, or that it brings beauty to the atmosphere and joy to my heart.

Tess Whitehurst suggests several external clutter categories (paper, clothes, books, decorations, furniture, gifts, food, unfinished projects and broken things) but I think the decoration category is my biggest challenge.  I’m not ready to even think about my internal clutter yet.

In front of our living room fireplace there is a lovely stone shelf which I’m sure was bare when we moved in but has hardly seen the light of day since then.  It’s the perfect place to burn candles and put miscellaneous stuff that there’s no room for anywhere else.  It’s been looking more like a junk heap than even remotely decorative lately.

 

The book suggests starting small so this is where I decided to begin.  I got rid of my bowl full of rocks because I can’t remember whatever possessed me to have a bowl full of rocks in the first place.  Then it was easy to throw away a bunch of candles that were burned down to nothing or melted into ugly puddled blobs of wax.  Things that I couldn’t imagine parting with I moved somewhere else so that it looks like I threw them out.  I’m not telling you where they magically teleported themselves, but I will admit that I made several trips to other parts of the house and only one trip to the outside garbage bin.

I’m giving myself A for effort here.  It’s still a shelf load of junk, but it’s better organized.  I read to the end of the first chapter of this very helpful book only to learn that “clearing clutter is a lifetime pursuit”.  Perhaps the author has seen my house.  I wonder if I’ll live long enough to get to the rest of it so that my home will eventually become  “a powerful catalyst for personal transformation and manifestation.”  Huh.  I foresee a lot more trips to the black-bin or Good Will, or a colossal garage sale in my future.

But I’m going to completely ignore the book de-cluttering category.  The line has to be drawn somewhere and my books are sacred.  Even this one.  The good news is – the next chapter is about cleaning, and with all the de-cluttering still to do, I might never get to that part at all.

Picture Potpourri

I’ve spent my morning pretending to reorganize things in an effort to make my work space more efficient.  Now that the clutter has been successfully rearranged (for better or for worse remains to be seen) I thought I might work on moving pictures around.  Then I decided chronological order is perfectly fine.

Here’s how the world outside my front door looked a few days ago.  It’s hard to capture a downpour with the rain coming down so hard it bounces back up again.  The neighbors car went from dusty to squeaky clean in two minutes flat.  And look at that golf course quality green lawn!  I continue to pay a lot of money for its beautification and upkeep while taking all the credit, although the rain deserves honorable mention too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s the next couple of pictures on my phone sent to me from the other side of the country.  A lucky granddaughter on holiday in Nova Scotia.

She gets to go to the ocean and I get to look after her dog.

Sometimes he’s very dignified.  Sometimes not so much.  Today he’s happy because I’m not going anywhere.  That makes two of us.

Clutter I Collect

Do I collect anything? Why, yes I do. ANYTHING being the operative word here. If I like it, I collect it. Sometimes even if I don’t like it much I find myself hanging on to it anyway. One day I could have a monstrous garage sale of all my collected things and it would have no recognizable theme whatsoever.

Every so often I ‘uncollect’ a great number of collected items though. Otherwise I might find myself buried underneath them, never again to surface. I give things away, or lend them, or toss them or stuff them out of sight and forget about them.

I gave or threw away all but the most special of toys after my kids grew up, but found myself collecting them again for my grandchildren. After 10 years of this there’s of course way too many of them, but I’m not sure what should stay and what should go. Maybe there’s something treasured and cherished in there for any one of them, and getting rid of it could prove emotional and traumatic and they would never forgive me. It’s more likely that they’ll all simply remember grandma’s toy room as being filled with junk and that they had hardly any room to turn around.

But still, just in case. Best to wait until they’re at least in their teens, or maybe even have kids of their own This plan appeals to me mostly because adhering to it means that I don’t have to do anything about the mess right now.

I have a lot of African things, and a lot of books. Those things I love, as much as it’s possible to love inanimate objects. I would miss them if they were gone. The rest, not so much.

Last week I threw out three beat up muffin tins my mother gave me. They were in really bad shape and I decided they just weren’t something it made sense to hang on to for the sentimental value. So they got dumped in the bin. A couple of days later I bought a brand new teflon muffin tin, because living without at least one muffin tin is apparently something I’m uncomfortable doing.

But it WAS three for one. So that must mean I’m ahead of the game. At least in the bakeware department. I’m working on the rest. Some projects are lifelong, and I’ve accepted that the de-clutter process is probably one of them.

Powered by Plinky