It’s another New Year–and a chance to start anew on all the blogs and projects. Whether or not I will be able to keep the weekly schedule or not will soon be seen.
I’ve got a major project to start the year off.
This is the before:
This is currently the art studio, as you may remember. Well, I’ve decided to change its purpose. I haven’t been making too much by way of art lately, but I have been exercising and collecting quite a bit of equipment for that purpose. So I am going to repurpose this area for an exercise room. It’s going to be a real project, but it will be worth it to have the treadmill out of the computer room. And I’ll finally be able to use my personal trampoline.
New Year, new start.
I’ll keep you posted! Watch here on Mondays for updates.
It wasn’t really all that long ago, but I got out of the tidying habit when it seemed there wasn’t much point in caring (*cough* 2020) and then I got crazy busy trying to get out of that mindset and back to work.
Well, the work part is going really well at the moment, with great things happening around here–but the neatening has all gone out the window. We need to change that back again. So, I am going to be working on my desk for the next little while, and I will share the results when I make some headway. I am trying to get my big office set up again so I can do my Etsy stuff and the writing in there and put this desk back to paying bills and playing games. It’s gonna take a while, but we’ll see what I can get done between now and the end of the day and I will share the progress.
But first — I have to go do my 250 steps for this hour. Be back soon.
Did you miss me? I am loving my FitBit (Affiliate link) which gives me reminders to move a bit every hour as well as tracking steps and a bunch of other things I haven’t figured out yet. Between it and Noom, I have lost 12 pounds since March. But that won’t help get my desk cleaned up!
I don’t think I’ve shared my Lifebook with you. Here it is:
Don’t worry, I’m not going to show you every page, but I wanted to show the scope. As you can see, it can be a place to gather all sorts of memories–photographs, greeting cards, postcards, business cards, membership cards, funny jokes, ticket stubs, trading cards–pretty much anything (reasonably) flat you can think of. There are lots of page options out there. Sleeve protectors come in all shapes and sizes.
This book has memories from the baby picture my mom gave me through our trip to Ireland. Basically 60 years of memories. It’s starting to get totally full though, so I am thinking of splitting out the career achievements to a separate book. The point is, that this is a great way to keep treasured memories where they can be appreciated instead of all over the place like this.
You can see things peeking out that haven’t made their way into the book yet. Getting those items into their correct place will help clear a chunk of the desk for the next phase of sorting.
Any office supply store or local hobby store is a good place to look for page protectors if you want to start your own book. And the notebook itself can be anything. I think this big 4″ one came from my dad’s old office or somewhere like that, but with school potentially getting back to normal in the fall, anywhere with school supplies should have a selection.
I’m going in–wish me luck.
Okay. It doesn’t look like a big progress, but it is SOME progress, and I have put away many things in the book. That stack in the middle there is much shorter…but now I have to go make dinner. After my steps.
I have made a goal of getting back to consistent writing and submitting this year. I haven’t written anything longer than a short story yet, but I have penned numerous new poems and even had a couple of those accepted, so that portion of my life is going fairly well right now.
Doing daily submissions (up to three a day goal this month) has stifled my cleaning a bit. The one housewifely thing that I have done fairly consistently (though the last two or three weeks have been rough for one reason or another) is cook dinner.
We signed up for Hello Fresh and I have found that cooking can be fun if you are feeling top of your game and have the right utensils to hand. I was doing really well for awhile:
And then I didn’t feel well for a few days, and the kitchen started filling up with dirty dishes, and it became harder and harder to find the necessary implements…but I’m feeling better now, and we took a week off of deliveries to see if we can get caught up. A majority of the dishes have been washed, and I can see my counters again…
I am not a one-and-done housekeeper…I am a constant work in progress. But I will try not to be gone so long next time. 😉
(Today’s guest post by my dear friend, Wyndie Deaver, shows that you don’t have to devote a huge amount of time to get visible results…)
I hate cleaning. It’s gotten worse since I moved in with Dad. Going from an apartment to one bedroom was bad enough. But all my teenage disdain for housekeeping returned, so I let stuff pile up and up and pray none of it topples over. The only problem with that is—Dad & his wife are unable to care for the house. My son is unable to follow more than 3 or 4 step instructions.
Which leaves me.
To clean house.
I have always said I like tiny houses. What I mean by that is that I like apartments. If the plumbing breaks, someone else pays to fix it. It doesn’t take an hour and a half to clean the kitchen. Or living room. You get the idea. But I have allowed stuff to pile up so much in my room and the kitchen that it started to affect my mental health. I just can’t think straight in all the mess. But I hate cleaning. What’s a girl to do?
I pulled an egg timer out of the kitchen. This morning, I set it for 15 minutes and worked in the kitchen. In those 15 minutes, I swept and mopped the floors, cleaned off the kitchen table and scrubbed down the stove. The dishes had already been done. (I forgot to do pictures, though, I’m sorry!)
Later in the day, I set it again. This time for my dresser. A picture is worth a thousand words and here’s mine. I need a certain amount of clutter—but that is covered by the collage of cards and pictures around my mirror. The clutter on the surface? Not so much. The dresser is one of the last things I see before I go to bed and one of the first in the morning. It would be nice for it to be a little better. A lot better, actually, but I only want to invest 10-15 minutes at a time.
It made a huge difference. You can actually see the lace runner I have going across the dresser. There are clean, clear spaces. All in 15 minutes.
I chose the egg timer and the times specifically for the housework. It keeps me from feeling overwhelmed. Once the timer goes off, I’m done. I go do something else. I have a bad habit of once I start working on something, doing it until it’s done and my back has been thrown out. The timer frees me to stop working before I’ve hurt something, but also allows me to make an impact in the house.
I’ve been gone most of the fourth quarter. I just totally gave up on blogging and submitting and everything since September, but I decided to jump back in as soon as that train-wreck of a year was in the rear-view mirror.
But that is not to say that nothing happened around here. For those of you who are long time followers, there has been some pretty amazing progress!
Let’s take the nook off the bedroom. Do you guys remember when it looked like this?
And that wasn’t even at its worst.
Well, now, it is my husband’s new work from home office, and it looks like this:
We even got a steam cleaner for the carpet, and now there is actual floor in the bedroom:
As well as the area right outside the bedroom:
We’ve also started using the Hello Fresh! meal program instead of ordering take out every night. Five meals a week to cook at home.
I’m really enjoying cooking for the first time.
It involves a lot of chopping:
And for that, I found that my prep space was far too limited with the kitchen in the shape it was so now:
Yeah, the floor is still a disaster, but I haven’t gotten that far.
I DID make my first enchiladas ever tonight:
And they were to die for!
I’ve never been good at cooking vegetarian, hence the eating out so much, but now I can’t wait for the next box to come tomorrow.
Next week we will have a guest post, but hopefully, the week after that I can show some progress at reclaiming my own office so I can work more efficiently.
Well, it looks worse than it is. I know I have to spend a lot of time to get it back in shape, but the reason it’s back to this state is because that is what I am keeping out of the four boxes I sorted through this week. It was a real trip down memory lane. Some of those boxes haven’t been touched since we moved into the house together in 2003. And some of them came packed from the storage unit I had before that.
And there is this:
The carpet is a mess…but at least I can see it. We are seeing progress. And that is a good thing. More steps to go, but its a long journey and I can see cleared space behind me. 😉
Deeply sorry for that, but I had an edit that desperately needed finishing, and there was a holiday, and…one excuse after another.
I don’t have any pictures for you today, but I did want to pop in and say that I HAVE been cleaning today. First I broke down an immense number of boxes that somehow had accumulated over the summer, and now I am sorting through lots of memories to see which are worth preserving. I’ve already tossed out a bag of broken, ripped, and trashed things.
You can’t see a world of difference yet, but every little thing helps. Particularly when you are a pack-rat living with a minimalist!
I am very pleased with my progress so far today, but it is time to get back to work. 🙂
Maybe I should re-arrange the order of the week’s blogs, because Monday’s I seem to have no energy at all. I can’t motivate myself to do anything. But I did get a bunch of new bookmarks made. I need to get them listed in my Etsy shoppe now, because the only way to make money is to get more stock.
But the thought of that work is making my brain freeze. I don’t know if it was too much weekend or what. I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep, but that isn’t going to happen yet.
To be honest, I can’t even think of anything else to write about today. Maybe I will come up with something by the end of the week like last time…
Here are a few of the bookmarks already listed, in case you are interested:
I will be adding more listings as I get the energy–including some Halloween themed pieces. 🙂
I decided to try and do the post I missed for Monday since I had a cleaning project today that was small, but significant.
I am really excited about my current crafting project, and I want to make it into something financially worthwhile (relatively) despite Newell reminding me that I always get excited at the beginning of a project, and then it tapers off to disinterest.
I’ve put way too much into this one to let that happen this time, but I had one problem–what do do with my tools to get them all in one place, accessible, and portable. I needed a tackle-box (my preferred tool box) but I’ve already spent more than I should getting supplies…
I decided to re-purpose one that I already had. After all, it had been sitting in the bottom of the linen closet for seventeen years, and not really utilized much before that… Every now and then I would open it for a peek inside, sigh heavily, and close it up again. It was originally my make-up box from my years in community theater, but I haven’t set foot on stage in at least a quarter century, so it was time to let go.
For one thing, theatrical make-up doesn’t keep any better than the commercial stuff, so it was unlikely that any of it was hygienically safe to use. There was, however, a lot of it. Much of which had melted into the box.
The first order of business was to throw everything out that was unusable. In this case, it was everything except some brushes and some application instructions.
I don’t know why I had one plastic ear…
After everything was emptied out, it was easier to see just how daunting a clean-up it would be.
Those brightly colored sections were melted greasepaint. Not easy to remove. (Unexpected Pro Tip…lubricant can help dissolve stuff like that…)
After several episodes of an Orange is the New Black binge, and half a roll of paper towels, not to mention several wash cloths…
…I had this result:
There are still a few streaks in the grooves here and there, but I am calling it done. After all, they add a nostalgic whiff of greasepaint and bring up fond memories.
It looks like I should have plenty of room for my tools. At least for now.
I feel really good about this project for a lot of reasons. Now to get back to setting it up.
I promised that I would be back to work this week, but I am afraid that won’t be happening. There are several reasons, and you probably don’t care…but I am still not feeling up to a lot of cleaning, and Newell has an office holiday today, so I am taking it easy. I will see about making it up later in the week if possible.
Sometimes…life is like that.
Let’s have a discussion instead. What is your favorite cleaning tip you’d like to pass on to everyone else? Leave a comment if you’d like to participate.