Today is Wordless Wednesday…

so in honor of that…

My little one's favorite tool... Rubba Scrubba!

 I talked yesterday about working on the piano, so here it is – all done today!

The Piano before decluttering

Piano midway through

Finished! Dusted and polished, too!

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There’s a piano under there?!

Seriously, I know the piano is under the hot spots – but the top of our 110 year old upright (it’s been in the family since its creation) has been hidden from view for a little over two years. What’s up there, hiding on the antique cherry wood? Let’s see… a globe that is starting to split in half at the equator, a big basket and four stoneware goblets – wait make that five goblets – that we use for SCA events, piles of mail and throw arounds that got moved off the dining table by the Sunday gaming crowd, a travel pillow, a bag of plastic bags that needs to go to the grocery store for recycling, a folder filled with take-out menus (most of which we haven’t used) and the operating instructions for small kitchen appliances (the rice cooker, the recipe booklet that came with the slow cooker, etc.), more menus and coupons for the nearby delivery pizza place, three peacock feathers, a tall glass flower vase – empty, and ziptop baggies full of things that should by rights be in the toolbox.

Today, sick of seeing the clutter and not the piano, I grabbed a stack of the papers and in about 5 minutes had gotten rid of most of the papers, keeping only a couple that were really important and needed to be filed. Then I grabbed another stack – done in less than 5 minutes! While I was looking at the piano top, deciding what was next, I realized I was also deciding what was staying and what was going to leave the house. The broken world – going. The goblets – probably also going since we have other drinking vessels. The basket – staying, but not there. Same with the travel pillow. The bag of bags will go in the car, so that next time I’m at the store, I don’t wish I’d brought the bags with me. I need to go through the folder, since we haven’t been to many of the places we have menus for – they came in the mail, and we thought the food sounded good, but we’ve just never gone… so now the menus need to go. 😀

Tomorrow, I’m planning to finish it up. I don’t think it’s going to take long at all, which is what baffles me so much. Why didn’t I do this before? It’s not taking very long, and it feels so good getting it done. Once it’s completely done, it needs a good cleaning and polishing, too… but that may wait til we’re doing that Zone. Must remember to keep focused, also, since fluttering from thing to thing is what got me in this mess to begin with. *laugh*

Weekend decluttering…

So yesterday (which is part of our weekend, DH has Sun-Mon off) we went to work on the major work of going through boxes and getting rid of stuff. My oldest got in on the act this time, since the first box we tackled just happened to be his. He opened it, and in the process of going through it, got rid of most it. Most of what he got rid of went to the yard sale area we’ve set aside in our garage. He did hold aside, and then give to his little brother, a metal Tonka dumptruck that he’d had when he was little. Our toddler was thrilled, and bugged his big brother to go outside so they could go play with it. After he finished the box, that’s just what they did. Meanwhile, we tackled four other boxes, found some of my calligraphy books that were missing (that I knew were still here – somewhere) and some other stuff that went promptly into the yard sale boxes. My DH, who is a genetic packrat (parents and grandparents passed on the trait to him), did a very admirable job of looking through things and reminiscing, and then finally deciding that they could be let go. I was so proud of him! It’s hard when your whole life, you’re trained to hold on to things, because you never know when you’ll need it or want to show someone something, and bring that thing out to illustrate a story… but when all that stuff adds up to a huge amount of clutter – maybe it’s time to find a different approach.

Also, last night, I started going through my scrapbooking/rubberstamping stuff. I already have wire paper-racks set aside for the sale, since I have more paper than racks, and not enough floor space for the racks. I found a different way of storing the paper, and cleared off the racks. Last night, I went through all my rubber stamps, looking critically at the designs on them, deciding which were ones that I was actually going to use (they came in monthly scrapbooking kits that I used to get) and which ones just didn’t suit my purposes. The ones that didn’t suit are going to be sold also, along with a carrier that I used when I was going places to do my scrapbooking. I need to get a couple pictures, along with whatever other scrapbooking stuff goes to the sale, so that when I post it online, I can give people an idea of what’s for sale.

My next project, over this week, is going through our bookshelves, and pulling out stuff that we haven’t touched in six years, and getting rid of it. Then I’m going to employ a technique that my sister-by-choice (best friend who is like a sister to me) used in her house for paring down books. Go through the bookshelves, and pull books just a little forward on the shelf (far enough that you can see they’re pulled out some) that are yours, but you’re willing to get rid of. Then your significant other (or your kids, or both) pushes back in only the books that they are really interested in reading. Then they do the same, pull forward their books, and then you push in the ones that you are interested in reading. Whatever’s still forward on the shelves finds a new home. Since we have seven tall bookshelves full of books in our house, it should be interesting to see what’s left by the time we’re done!

Also, on this week’s agenda is going helping the teen-ager go through his room, with an eye towards the things he really loves, and the stuff he’s merely been holding onto because it’s his stuff. He’s finally starting to understand why we’re doing this now, instead of waiting til closer to when we move. I sat him down, and reminded him how much he hates being rushed to do things, how much he hates feeling like he’s not moving fast enough. I asked him if he liked the last move – up all night packing, cleaning, dropping into bed exhausted for a couple hours sleep, and then back up again for more work? When he replied that he’d hated it, I told him that’s why we’re working on it now – so that we can get a little done each day and not have to kill ourselves at the actual move time. It finally seemed to click, and he was much less grumbly about helping with the boxes yesterday. Hurray!

Not much done today…

but I did get some done. We shop on payday, which is every other Friday, so my Thursday routine is cleaning out the fridge, making menu for two weeks, and then with menu in hand, making the grocery list. I check the store ads to see which of the four stores I’ll be adding to my list of places I need to stop.

I started weeding out my cookbooks today. I have several cooking magazines and cookbooks that I’ve used only a couple recipes out of. Those I’m going to copy the recipe from, and then get rid of the books/magazines. Some I’ve never used at all. Makes me wonder why I bought it – none are copies of books I already had, so there must have been something I thought I’d use. *shrug* I don’t know what caused the purchase, but I do know they need to go.

Only drank two glasses of water today – but the glass I used measures 22oz, so I’m about half under where I should be. Does coffee count towards my water intake?

Starting fresh…

Marla Cilley (aka The FlyLady) is a Goddess! She has helped me revamp how I think about cleaning house. Unfortunately for me, my follow-through isn’t the greatest. I keep falling off the wagon. Well, as of right now, that has stopped. It has to, because I have to get ready for a move… to a new state. I can’t take all the clutter we have accumulated with us, I just can’t! So, the best way I can think of to declutter and make it stick is to follow the FlyLady with purpose. Before I’ve always jumped in with both feet, and immersed myself too much. Tried to do too much, too fast, and then wondered why I felt overwhelmed. This time, I’m remembering a very important thing – my house didn’t get cluttered and messy overnight, it’s not going to get decluttered and cleaned overnight.

Six years ago, I moved to Colorado from California. Everything got packed up, and delivered to my new apartment (about a month after I’d arrived). By the time my belongings got to me, my son and I had been living with my significant other, and the arrangement just sort of stayed that way.  Six months later when my lease was up, we rented a house and moved two households into one – including all the stuff that we had still packed in boxes from our previous moves. The boxes came in the house, and slowly we unpacked a few, put stuff away, unpacked a few more, put that stuff away. Then something happened, and the boxes got moved to the garage. Fast forward two years, and we’re moving again – same state, but slightly smaller house and cheaper rent. We got rid of some stuff, but not nearly enough, and moved again with the boxes that had now been through two moves. We’ve been in this house for two years, but a family emergency is taking us back to California, for at least several years. I told my husband that I can’t possibly consider moving with boxes that haven’t been unpacked since I moved here in Oct 2004.

If I could, I’d get rid of the boxes unopened. But there are a few things that I know are still in boxes, somewhere. Things that I’ve been wanting. We started last week, and I’ve unpacked 7 boxes. Most of the stuff has been put aside for a garage sale we’re having in September. The remainder has been mostly relegated to trash, with a small amount being packed back up for the move – stuff that has meaning and will grace our new place with the adornment – but stuff that would be in the way right now as I’m trying to declutter and clean and prepare for the move that will happen sometime early next year.

It’s been a good lesson for all of us. A lesson in how to get rid of things. A lesson in bringing along only the things we absolutely love. If we don’t absolutely love it, or don’t use it regularly, it’s not making the move. A lesson in paring down for my oldest son, who is a teen-ager. A life-long lesson in staying decluttered for my toddler – so that he will never have to unlearn all the bad habits his parents (and grand-parents, and great-grandparents) have.

This blog is also going to be accountability for me. I’ll keep track of how many things I actually managed to do from challenges, hot spot drills, etc., and how much water I drank… all the little things I need to be doing during the day, as well as how I’m doing on getting rid of stuff. I wish I’d thought to weigh what we’ve gotten rid of so far. If I had to estimate right now, I’d say probably 50 pounds so far. I’m hoping to declutter my body as I declutter my house, and will be logging how that’s going, too.