Twelve Steps Forward, Two Steps back


Yikes, right? And we were doing so good…

Remember when the desk looked like this:

And that wasn’t even its best…

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I’ve Been Sorely Neglecting You…


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

I promise pictures next week!

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Made More Bookmarks Today…


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Make Up For Monday


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…

So…

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.

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Best Laid Plans…


alone bed bedroom blur

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.

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Not Much to Show Today…


Not all maintenance of the house involves cleaning stuff up. Today, it’s mostly laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. Second load in the washer and one in the dryer.ย  Next load waiting for a spot.

I’m also cleaning up a music collection by removing duplicate songs for my Car Music. I love Harry Chapin (paid link), but I can only do with one copy of “30,000 Pounds of Bananas” (paid link) a day…

I saw him in concert once at Armadillo World Headquarters and was devastated the day I heard about his death.

Last Monday, I talked about the sorting I was doing for a new merchandising idea I had. Well, here are the first results…

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(The black and silver ones are birthday presents…)ย Still learning, but it’s kinda fun. Debating if I should put them into my Etsy shop or just have them at conventions. There’s not much else in my shop at the moment…

I know they aren’t very polished, but I was thinking of only charging a dollar or two…what do you guys think? Leave me a comment. I love feedback.

I also got the office trash out before the collectors got here, so that was something.

There is so much to do, that I feel extremely overwhelmed at the moment.

Laundry days always do a number on my back too, so I may be finished for the day. After I get the current load in the washer into the dryer and both dryer loads put away…

This isn’t the cleanup you signed up for, is it? Next week, I promise back to work!

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Some Days You Need a Bit of a Break…


It was a long and exhausting weekend for some reason, so today I am taking it a bit easier than normal. I did a bit of sorting and organizing instead of major cleaning today.

I had an idea for a way to make some money (hopefully) and add something new to my table stock. I’m going to try making some cool bookmarks with a Steampunk theme, so I ordered some of these from Amazon. A lot of them, actually.

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And a set of tools to work with, since I recently divested myself of most of my jewelry stuff.

I spent several episodes of What We Do in the Shadows (which I really, highly recommend) sorting the cogs by size and shape in anticipation of the utility drawers arriving tomorrow.ย  I might have gotten a mite carried away with those too…

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These are temporary quarters, as they don’t completely sort everything out, but the drawers will have plenty of space for a second go-through.

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The desk is still in good shape, and so is the bathroom counter. Still feeling pretty good about myself and the cleaning…but that’s it for today. Some days, like I say, you just need a break. Maybe even a nap…

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Getting a Late Start Today…


Just moving a bit slowly…

Here’s the current state of what we’ve done so far.

Still have a clean(ish) desk. I will admit that there were stacks of books piling up, so I moved them where they belonged.

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The books on the left corner are related to the week’s blogs, so they don’t count as out of place.

The bathroom counter is still neat. We did get a fountain for the cats because Newell didn’t want to keep filling the sink for them. They still aren’t sure about it. And that isn’t exactly where it will eventually go, but we have to get them used to it instead of the sink and gradually move it back over by the Terracotta Warrior in the corner…

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Today we are going back to the depths. That area under the desk continues to bug me, and I want to get it tamed. Here’s an example of why…look at the expiration dates on these:

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Obviously, I need to keep better track of coupons I might use, and if I don’t plan on doing it, toss them at once–or at least when they aren’t good anymore!

I wonder if a coupon organizer like this really helps? I tried clipping coupons for a while, but never really got good at it. I think it may be time to try again.

That doesn’t get the depths cleared away though, does it?

These have helped a lot:

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The four-drawer one is great because the big drawers are good for holding my idea notebooks and such that I need handy but not on top of the desk. The six-drawer one is still mostly empty so far, but it has my gaming headphones out of the way. (The link isn’t the exact chest, but basically the same in white.)

The goal is to get the underworld tamed to the extent that they can sit side by side under the left arm of the desk. To do that, I have to get this out of the way:

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That doesn’t look like a big project, but to do it right and not have everything just drift back into it eventually, I have to sort through everything and throw out what isn’t necessary to keep and find better homes for what is left. I’m going to move the under-desk unitย to the short side of the desk under the computer if it fits well to keep things I really DO need at my fingertips, like current game manuals or the post-it notes I use every day.

This is my project for the day because I really need to get some editing done. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As you can see, it’s a bigger task than it looked in place under the desk!

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Time Passing

 

Well, time passed. Going through the under desk unit yielded most of a bag of trash, and clearing the space where I wanted to put the drawer set filled the rest. When I got the storage unit emptied, it turned out that it was too wide to use on that side without interfering with typing.

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That’s okay, I will do without it.

I found a button that I bought for a friend several years ago and still haven’t delivered because I forgot all about it. I’ll have to see if I can get that to him someday. Though the way things are going these days, I might just keep it…I apologize a little bit for the language…

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I found a frame that I could use for one of my trip photos of Newell from last summer.

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And now there is room under the desk for my under desk exercise bike which is close to this one, but not as fancy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ignore that area behind the desk. One day at a time…

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While this may not look like I got a lot done today, I feel that getting another bag of trash out of the house (and sweating like crazy by the time I did,) is a good step forward for the day, and now I can go edit with a “clean” conscience.

 

 

 

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RIEVIEW: Clutter’s Last Stand by Don Aslett


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Today I want to tell you about the first book to ever get me excited about house-cleaning. (Not that it particularly took, but it got me motivated…) Don Aslett’s Clutter’s Last Stand came along long before Marie Kondo put pen to paper to create The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up, but it affected me just as profoundly. As you can tell from the photo above, I have gone back to this book again and again.

For one thing, it is very engaging. It is written in a light, humorous style that brings a smile along with the sting of the advice. (And de-cluttering advice CAN sting a bit…)

It is illustrated with lovely cartoon characters in situations you can relate to, and it’s full of handy lists:

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It includes checklists to help you pinpoint areas that might be harder for you to deal with:

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As you can see, I’ve been through the list several times over the years…

Despite the light tone, the advice is sound and useful. I am probably about to read it again as we are embarking on this new round of de-cluttering. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a handle on your housecleaning. I love the book so much that I got a new copy:

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(And I even just ordered the second edition. I will update this RieView if there are significant changes.)

There are dozens of copies for sale used on Amazon of this 1984 edition, and almost as many of the 2005 edition if you want to check it out without a lot of out-of-pocket expense. And, remember, I will be updating if there are significant changes between the editions.

 

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Another Monday…Let’s Get After It!


First of all, the review of what we’ve gotten done so far:

The desk is still neat, underneath still uncluttered to the part I’ve finished, but today I am going to take a break from sitting on the floor because it hurts my back if I do it too long. And there are other parts of the house that could use a cleaning too.

Before I get started though, a quick anecdote. I went to Home Depot today looking for WD40 and cannedย air because my front door has been screeching and my portable air conditioner coils are full of dust. Well, they didn’t have the air, but when I brought home the WD40 and told my husband what I planned to do with it he said: “You know that’s not a lubricant, right?” I blinked and showed him the back of the can where it said “lubricates.” It felt kind of good to know something he didn’t, but I was a bit shocked. How do you get through life without the miracle of WD40? BTW, the front door is whisper silent now. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I found the remnants of a can of air, but it really didn’t work on the coils, so I am still contemplating what to do there.

Anyway…time to clean, right? Today my goal is to restore the upstairs bathroom to the Asian-influenced beauty it had before we started using it every day and letting things pile up. It is currently a mess:

 

I am not going to lie. It’s really filthy. So I didn’t want to take closer pictures, but that’s a cop-out, so I probably will…but for detail shots. I think you can get the idea from these.

Let’s get started.

Time Passing

(We remember what that picture means, right? Time passed…)

 

Well, it probably won’t get completely finished today, and the linen closet is a day by itself. I have a real tendency to over-estimate my stamina for the day…still, I think you will be pleased to see the difference. I know we are.

 

One end of the counter was worse than the other. (And I forgot to take a picture of the mess behind the sink before I started cleaning it up.)

Now, the clutter is gone and it looks like it is supposed to…:

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May still be a bit cluttered for some, but SOOOOO much better. The tablet is running my Steam Powered Giraffe playlist. This is even better for housecleaning than the Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack from last week.

I still have more work to do in the tub. I’ve found that Scrubbing Bubbles work great, even on our textured surface, but it takes a couple of applications when it’s gotten as bad as it had.

I did like the results from the Tile Plus Mold and Mildew Remover, but wish I had read the cautions before using it because it says open windows and/or turn on fans. Well, this is obviously a windowless bath, and I didn’t turn on the overhead fan until I’d already sprayed it. Don’t do that. I think I am still tasting bleach…yuck! Stay safe out there!

Anyway, here are the results so far:

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Like I said, not finished, but much better.

I also cleaned up the toilet some and put in 2000 Flushes. Taking a break for lunch. I may or may not get back to it today. It sucks getting old…

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