This is my third week on the Clutter Diet and we’re moving along.We did some major (to us) work in the living room. We removed an ugly light fixture that was there from when the former owners had a dining table in the space. We are using the area as a book/office space, so installed track lighting in a “U” shape. One of the long arms of the U is over a sofa that floats in the middle of the room, giving that seating great light for reading or needlework. The short bottom is in front of previously darkened bookshelves, and the other long arm is over the area that will become my desk and filing area. We also finally got the phone company out to install some jacks for our second line, so the printer in that area is now a printer/fax! Everytime I wanted to send a fax, I used a 25 foot long cable to plug the machine into the nearest jack. Forget about receiving faxes. So we’re all set on that front. The room is still in a bit of disarray, but that should all be back to normal by this evening, as the phone guys just left. The second task was around organising candles and accessories. We’re good on that, although their current home is a piece of furniture that we want to sell, so they will soon need a new home, but not ’til after Christmas. I did 15 minutes of file purging. All our paperwork is filed in the cabinet, but there’s just too much stuff there. I moved over to the Freedom Filer system a year or so ago and need to continue getting rid of stuff so that I can move down to a smaller cabinet. It’s coming along. Other good news: we got rid of the ugly contractor grade light fixtures in the two small bedrooms upstairs and installed ceiling fans with lights. The rooms are small and the air circulation is not very good, neither the heating in the winter or cooling in the summer, so the ceiling fans are an inexpensive solution until we can get the duct work fixed. We also had the two phone lines installed in the bedroom that has become Zs office so he can have his fax machine there and take long calls for work on his own line. Bottom line: the clutter diet continues to be very inspiring, even if I don’t stick 100% to the assigned tasks, or modify them to suit our needs.
Kitchen ledge after: Ahhhhh…
Filing cabinet before: Note bottle of Chinese rice liquor is sitting just three feet from where it belongs in the liquor cabinet. There is also a stack of financial and other paperwork, most of which is filed in binders in another room and doesn’t belong there.
Filing cabinet after: Ahhh…nice and clear, with just a piece of artwork
But the other two big unscheduled tasks this week were the fridge and the master closet.The fridge was LONG overdue to be cleaned and we got rid of half a garbage bag of take-out boxes, old rotting sauces and condiments, and moldy leftovers (which we don’t normally have, with a teen boy eating them at 10 pm most nights). The fridge itself was also rather filthy, so it’s now gorgeously white, decluttered, and sparkly. I was able to get Z to focus on the master closet this weekend, as he has been setting up his new office in our recently departed-for-university son’s bedroom (sorry, Alex!). We got rid of 2 bags of clothing that will be donated at the monthly St. Vincent-de-Paul Bundle Sunday coming up next weekend at our parish. Everything is dusted, spacious, and tidy, with nothing on the floor except for some shoes and the laundry basket. It’s quite a small closet for two people, so tidying it up really makes a difference. So while I didn’t get all my proscribed tasks done, I believe that the decluttering mindset is rippling through the household, and we’re getting some other long overdue projects out of the way.
Thanks to the Clutter Diet people for spurring me on to accomplish these large tasks. It’s great to have a resource like that to give you a list and make you accountable. They have message boards where you can compare notes with other declutterers and get advice from the pros. I hadn’t been able to motivate myself on my own, so the small subscription fee is definitely worth it to me.
Yesterday was a bit of a write-off. I awoke feeling like I’d been hit by a truck, and worried that I was getting the flu that Michael just got over. I couldn’t even get dressed until I absolutely HAD to take Wilson out for a walk. I didn’t blow dry my hair, so it’s a fuzz ball today. It wasn’t until just before Michael got home from school that the kitchen got tidied from breakfast (and to be honest, from the half of dinner that didn’t fit into the dishwasher the night before). I forgot to go to the library. My decluttering projects didn’t go anywhere. By late afternoon, I was feeling much better, but I forgot the loads of laundry, one in the dryer and the other in the washer.So I’m gonna write my big list for today here and cross things off as they get done. Sort of a public accountability thing. I’m not committed to getting the entire list done, but at least a respectable amount.
- Finish laundry and get two additional loads done.
- Clean kitchen
- Wash kitchen floor
- Return library books
- Pick up prescriptions
- Declutter filing cabinet
- Declutter kitchen counter
- Declutter bookshelf beside desk
- Organize kitchen drawer
- Remind Michael to finish moving his stuff out of Z’s office
- Vacuum living room
- Vacuum stairs and upper hall
- Do sewing repairs (jeans, shirt, mattress cover)
- Make chicken pot pie for supper
There were a few more assignments from the Clutter Diet community this week. The first was regarding household safety, making sure that we’re ready to change our smoke and CO detector batteries in a couple of weeks (synchronized with the time change). I’m good on that. We buy batteries at our local club store and so I’ve got a pile of 9Vs ready for use.The other was regarding fire extinguishers. We don’t have one. We’ve never had one. So while I was at Home Depot yesterday picking up some ceiling fans for the boys rooms, I perused the fire safely shelves. I ended up buying a small two pack of extinguishers, a small one for the kitchen, suitable for grease and other fires, and a larger (but still compact) one to have in the basement near the laundry room. This is also the furnace room, tool storage, old paint depository, etc, so lots of potentially flammable stuff there. The package with both of these devices was less than $40 CDN, so a very reasonable price to pay for that added security.
I have recently joined the Clutter Diet community, in fact, this is my first week!The major task assignment this week is to create a Destination Station near the entrance….a place where everyone can drop their phones, wallets, ipods, whatever. Rather than on the kitchen counter. Or the dining room table. Or the coffee table. I think women have it easier with purses….at least all my stuff is kept together in one spot, even if the purse sometimes gets in the way. But I live with two men and they’re always shedding their stuff all over the place.
We already have a hall closet that is set up with boxes to accumulate hats, gloves, scarves etc, particularly in the Canadian winters. In the summer, they tend to fill with sunglasses, ballcaps, and for some, toothbrushes as we don’t have ANY storage in our powder room (also off the front hall/entrance). Here is a picture of the closet, that I did NOT try to tidy before shooting. Note the spillage from the far left box (my dear husbands) into mine (second from left.) Note the lack of shoes in the closet. They are all in the hallway OUTSIDE the closet. Hmmm.
Anyway, this task is to create a space to leave small stuff, and I happen to have a five drawer chest by the front door. When our children were younger, we used it for all the little socks, mittens, hats, scarves, lunchbags etc when lived in a house with no closet at the front door. Now, one child has left home so we will assign one drawer for each of the three remaining residents, and then one drawer to store supplies for the powder room around the corner, and one drawer for library books that used to be stacked on a chest in the living room.But first, we have to empty the junk out of the drawers. Here are some before pics:
It’s all stuff that doesn’t belong here!Christmas cards, old frames, stuff that is waiting to be mended, two tubes of caulk and a caulking gun, ping pong rackets, duct tape, soap carving tools, aprons, ski-keys, etc . So the stuff was sorted, distributed to it’s rightful place in the house or tossed. And then the magic happened!
The bottom drawer got library books, and the second from bottom the powder room supplies (see right).
The top three will accumulate their wares as people come home. The second drawer is mine and has my purse and a couple of books from my course, plus my notebook and pencil case. (see left). It all feels very neat and organized, and I’m happy with this first task!