memories

Time has come

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There is no more time for delaying the final sort.  ( just bought a house and we are closing soon) We measured the rooms and basically most everything will not  fit.

I think I will start with the items I like the least….that would be papers and letters, and all that stuff you have to have or you feel like you have lost something if you get rid of it.  But in reality you never even look at it.  It’s stored somewhere, maybe even being eaten by mice.

The cool thing about this paper de-cluttering is that a while back I bought a NEAT scanner off of Woot.  So if I wanted I could scan everything, and still have it if I wanted it.  I think that would be a cool way to handle this mess, but I have never been that organized, and it kind of scares me.   Lol…a scanner scaring me is ridiculous.

These papers, are weighing me down.  I worry that I have kept the unimportant ones and lost the good ones.  All this worry is fabricated in my mind.  And I know it.  But it still bothers me.

I put this off, I say it’s too cold, or I have to do this or that, or I’ll do it tomorrow.  I am suffering with serious dread.  All in my mind.  I am mental.  Maybe Icey gets it from me????

At any rate this is my goal for Saturday.  You read it here, I’ll update as soon as it is finished.

Tools needed:

1.Shredder

2. Scanner

3.Three secure file box for each child. Secure meaning it can close and mice and water wont get in. Most likely a plastic item. :(

4. One file box for the hub and me.

5. Music

6. Determination

7. A glass of ice water, if it takes too long, I’ll switch to wine.

Tip: Just do it.

Inspiration: “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”- Peter F. Drucker

One-day one-thing: Reward yourself at the end of any successful day.

Sale time, yet again

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I am getting pretty good at organizing garage/house sales, and brother do I kill it with the signs.

I use Craig’s list and signs on major intersections.  That’s it.  I have a sale kit with a staple gun and signs and wire stands from old political signs.  All you have to do is take the political sign off the wire holder and turn it inside out and tape your awsome sale sign to the plastic.  So easy, and they go into the ground perfectly.

I never hold my sale if the weather is bad, and now because you can place ads for free at a moments notice that is easy to accomplish.

My signs are always florescent poster board, sometimes with added reflective wrapping paper.  It makes a difference having a great sign.  People always tell me they love the signs…lol.  Some of my best slogans are: ” Don’t MISS this SALE”  or “Something 4 Everyone Sale,”  “Best Sale Ever,” ” Turn Around Cool Items. ” Often my signs are a shapes, maybe a circle or the shape of a dresser if we have furniture.  Stars cut outs on top of the signs in a contrasting bright color also helps grab attention.   And note: If you tell someone not to “miss” something they just can’t resist.

But this sale I am going in for the kill!

Eat your heart out Storage Wars.

I am planning to have a table of “Name Your Own Price” items…..who can resist that??? Another sign will say,  ”  HAVE 2 HAVE sale” sign.   “Useless stuff Sale. ”  “TOO BIG wont FIT” Sale…. for my new house.  And a “too little SPACE Sale” sign…..”Help me I’m a Hoarder, Sale.”

I think you get the idea, I am not planning to have many more of these sales, so I am going to have fun. I am thinking I might sell sodas as well.  If it’s warm and the sun is out, I can make .75 cents a can. Plus it keeps people happy, they stay longer and might just buy something.

In our town, garage sales are the ultimate signal that summer is near.  Garage Sale-ing a ritual, every Thursday is always the first day of any sale.  People map out the sales they are going to hit and make a day of it.  I like to be open on Thursday and Saturday.  I cant stand Friday because it  is too slow and Sunday people are too cheap. We’ll see how it works out this time.

My real issue here is most the stuff I have is what I decided to keep.  Ouch.  Now I am going to have to measure each room and be realistic.  It’s going to be a challenge, especially since, this is it.  My last chance.  I am not moving all this stuff one more time, not going to do it.  Minimalism here I come.  That has been my goal all along, but talking and doing are two different things.

The tough cuts await……I have to empty the storage unit and a garage….ugh.

This was the first day of having a storage unit, it looks so naive.

And you know what’s in those three containers?  Pottery made by students and professors from Cleveland State.  More average pottery than anyone ever needs.  At the time,the pottery was the most important thing for me to pack up and protect, err to hoard.  I still love it.  Every item was made by someone learning about design and clay.   Sigh.

Tip: Price everything, people are shy and don’t want to ask.

Inspiration: “You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.” – Eric Hoffer

One-day one -thing: Remember the every decision is an action, and action is how you create change.

Barbie is a Hoarder

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I would not have believed it but I saw it with my own two eyes. Look at these storage containers that are for all her shoes, bracelets, hats, her books and her love notes from Ken. She is getting her containers this month, just like the rest of Americans. I hope she gets them on sale!

It took all I could muster up not to buys these, if as nothing more than a reminder, that out of sight is out of mind, and out of mind is out of use. I don’t need more clutter no matter how darn cute it is!!!

Just think how many ways she could use these storage containers – endless possibilities.

We live in a world where even the toys our children play with, multiply and eventually end up unruly and in desperate need of their very own storage system.

In my household it’s Lego’s and Brio Trains. I have them stored. It literally never ever crossed my mind to think of those “holy” toys as something I would ever consider as clutter. These toys belong to my babies, they are sacred. (I am kind of shocked at myself)

I have high hopes that one day I will have grandchildren who will like Legos. Is that far fetched? My realistic mind tells me I am crazy. I mean seriously – who am I kidding?  When I see little children now they are playing on cell phones.

I will keep these toys until the bitter end of my journey, because I can’t bare to think about it…..about any of it right now. That’s the truth.

The good thing , I like to let you know, is I didn’t buy the mini containers, and I only swore twice ten times today.

Life is hard. And life is cruel. Sometimes it’s okay not to be super productive.

(Barbie has all sorts of stuff it wouldn’t surprise me if she had a storage unit. )

Tip: Everyday write your current goal at the top of your to do list. This serves as an affirmation and helps keep you on the right track.

Inspiration: ” What if Andy gets another dinosaur? A mean one? I just don’t think I can take that kind of rejection! ” ~ Rex , Toy Story

One-day one-thing: Throw away something that is in your way. Just throw it away. It wont be in your way ever again. :)

Santa’s not going to do this by Himself.

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I better get cracking.  My starting point: I have nothing planned for Christmas and I am mentally and emotionally spent.

In my de-cluttering mode I sold our fake artificial Christmas tree.  I had no place put it anyway and I figured we would get by with less.  Everything else for the holidays  is in here.

Just an fyi, if anyone is seeking a nice Christmas tree, Costco has beautiful real trees, cut, for 29.99.   They even tempted me.  They have short needles and are a good height and shape.  I think the tree is a good value plus you get that fresh pine scent in your house.

This year’s challenge is to make Christmas memorable,  fun and easy with low stress levels – without spending a ton of cash.

Unfortunately, it’s a super busy month even without the holidays.  First I have a business trip to Monterrey.  It will be beautiful, maybe stressful but maybe not.   Next I’ll be driving to NYC to chauffeur  two of my children home.  I’m not complaining at all, I love both places,  it’s just time consuming.

In New York I’d be happy to walk around with a coffee.  I like the sparkling silver star that hangs high above 5th Ave near Tiffany’s. ( if you go to Tiffany’s jewelry repair, 6th floor as I recall, you an get an awesome view of the silver star)   I also love looking at Bergdorf Goodman’s windows, they never disappoint.

We’ll play it by ear.  It’s not like my kids are teens and I can tell them what we are doing.  It’s more like they are mini-grown-ups, you know, with big ideas of their own.  I remember when I was their age, I went out partying all winter break, without my parents.

You know what?  I am going to buy that Costco Christmas tree and put it up. Why not?  Dress it with lights, garland and ornaments, and put some presents underneath.  Bake some cookies for everyone to decorate and make hot chocolate. Wow, a somewhat normal and simple Christmas.  So what if it’s in a basement?

That’s all it ever has to be….simple and real.   In my heart, I knew this all along.

Post Script: We lost the second house we bid on.  It was a multiple bidding situation once again.  Heavy sigh.  I feel like the world is telling me something, something like “stop what you’re doing- it’s not working.”

Tip: Concentrate on shared experiences instead of things.

Inspiration: ” Discovery is the ability to be puzzled by simple things.” ~ Noam Chomsky

One-day one-thing: If you’re giving gifts, wrap them as you get them –  it’s the only way.

Small Town Blues

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The last few attempts at writing a post have me lost.  Here are the various titles:

Am I the only one?

It’s a small world.

Get a life.

Down day.

I can’t get a coherent thought on to the screen.  Because I am so perplex as to why I find it so difficult to live my life by my own rules, and beliefs.   I mean I do for the most part, but there are always these interruptions, when someone has to drop a boatload of judgment on me, in what I feel is the most condescending way.

My rules: don’t engage, get away from the conversation, change the topic.  But what did I do today?  I failed at my own rules.

I tried to explain the way I thought.  I was hoping for a sliver of understanding.  What I got was dismissive, and basically a statement saying I am weird, no one else is like that,  and it ( whatever the f*ck “it” is) is my fault.

So when I say this journey was going to teach me something it has.  And here’s my lesson for today: All of the reasons I left town nearly thirty years ago are still here alive and well.  Small towns thrive on gossip and it’s totally acceptable.

There’s a strong overcast of judgmental gossip about people I don’t even remember and I really don’t have any interest in it.   I mean seriously, I have moved on.  I don’t care.    I wish no one ill will, but I also don’t want to hear random bullsh*t about various people when I haven’t even seen them or talked with them  since I was eighteen years old.

Today I was the gossip topic for two other people.  One was on the phone here and the other had called.  I heard my mother lie about where I lived and continue to talk about my children.  Like it’s this person’s business.   I left the house.  I was disgusted.  And quite honestly I still am.  So this woman (the caller) who hasn’t said a peep to me since 1980,  calls my mother and starts the inquisition.

Later I add my two cents.  My mother replies to me, “I don’t think it’s weird.  Don’t you ever call her mother?”  I was floored.  “No,” I answered , ” Why would I?”  I don’t call any old high school friend’s mothers.  I never have in my entire life.

So this makes me the odd-ball.  No wonder I left so many years ago.  Heaven help me.   I can’t do this on my own.

Tip: Do not engage.

Inspiration: “It is one of my sources of happiness never to desire a knowledge of other people’s business. ” ~Dolley Madison

One-day one-thing: Create a fresh outlook, go somewhere and take photographs.

Clothes: Who am I?

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Last week  I handled sorting my belts after a little self-talk-therapy. I now own four belts total.  There’s a fifth one hiding in a box somewhere, and when I find it I have no doubt it be long out of  style.  Which brings me directly to my point today; style and de-cluttering your closet.

Before you sort clothes you ‘ll need to define your look, your style , or lack there of.  Don’t worry if you feel lost doing this.  In the end, if you haven’t figured it out, your clothes will tell you.

I have little style.  I love fashion, and I buy fashion, but I don’t wear it.  I am a dog person- rain or shine, a dirt person-yard and garden work is fun and I paint- the paint always finds it way on to whatever I am wearing.

I love comfort but at the same time I  love the discomfort of high heels and formal gowns,  black tie type formals.   How many “black tie” events have I gone to in the last few years?  Zilch.  I love wearing formal gowns so much,  I often daydream about having a themed party for ladies only and making the required dress code an already owned formal or gown.  Play-dress-up and party.  (No one ever likes this idea.)

Reality:  I wear jeans.  I swear to God, I think I wear them ever day of the year.  So how many khakis, and slacks do I really need?  Answer: Two pairs of dress slacks for business.  No khaki’s needed, I only bought them for the two weeks I worked at Target.

To succeed in trimming your wardrobe you have to be brutally honest.  It gets easier the more clothes you toss, a sorting momentum takes over.   It feels good.   Remember everyone has different requirements for their clothing needs so adjust accordingly.  For example some people have uniforms and dress codes.  Just make sure those items are always kept current and in good repair.

Nothing can hide. I like it!

On to the work.  Here are some top questions to ask yourself as you look at each item of clothing:

1. Have I worn this in the past year?

2. Does this piece remind me of anything negative or bad?  If there is even the slightest bad memory associated you must toss/donate immediately, no excuses.

3. Does it fit now? Not ten pounds for now, today- remember brutal honesty.

4. Can you remember when you bought it? If it was so long ago, you say you have no idea, then get rid of it. (unless it’s become “vintage” and it passes all the other requirements)

5. Do you feel good about your self when you are wearing it?

6. Is it part of a total look or is it a stray that  never looks right with anything? Toss/give away the stray.

7. Do you have to tug at it?  Particularly under garments, stop the suffering now-toss.

8. Is the elastic rotten? ( I tried on an old swimsuit and the elastic crumbled. Sad but true.)

9. Do not think about how much something cost. Actually erase the amount spent from your memory bank.  It’s useless information.

10. Any progress is good, you an always come back to and continue this task as a “one-thing one day” action.

Some minimalist are extreme in the clothing area.  I am not. ( Remember -I am only in the  process to minimalism)  I like this easy route for now.   Concentrating first on raising my clothing awareness will help me  immediately in two  areas;  I will only buy what I know I will wear and my closet will only house items I like.

It’s your turn now. Look at your life and how you spend the majority of your time.  Once you have a handle on that, you can begin downsizing your wardrobe. Use the questions as a guide.  It will be inspiring, easy and you might even learn something.

Tip: Look up shelters for homeless and/or abused women and fresh start organizations.  These woman will really benefit from your donation.

Inspiration: “I wear my sort of clothes to save me the trouble of deciding which clothes to wear.”~ Katharine Hepburn

I’ve been shopping all my life and still have nothing to wear.”  ~Author Unknown

One day – one thing: Sort underwear, socks, and all your shoes, if you still have time tackle your clothes in the closet.

Additional links: Simplify Your Life Zen Habits (scroll down Zen’s post ,  if after sorting you still have a lot of clothes) And if you still need help organizing your closet visit Apples for Olive.

Who lives in your attic?

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Here’s an assortment of our attic people.  Who  are these people?  What did they do all day? Was smiling against the law?  That one dude is is kind of haunting, somehow I can’t look away- but I am positive he is not going to be hanging out on any wall of mine.

At any rate, these people put forth considerable effort to have these photos created.  They bought photo fancy clothes, hired a  photographer and picked out eloquent frames.  I don’t imagine they ever thought they would end up in my attic , let alone in a blog post.  They are kind of  scary looking to me.   I know think they in some way are related to my husband.  So he has to say “keep” or “rid” before I can proceed. Heavy sigh.

What I have done to move this process along is, I have taken digital photos of each picture.  (Tip: Taking photo of anything you get rid of, but still like, is a perfect solution; the item(s) lives on your hard drive and is easy to find if you ever want to revisit.)  Once we decide on the “rid” group I will email the photos  to my husband’s sisters and offer to ship them and that’s that. Mission accomplished.

Family heirlooms that are handed down, should be given more care, but that doesn’t mean that you have to hold on to them.  It’s your life, you didn’t ask for these things, remember no guilt.

Personally, I love taking photos blowing them up and framing them.  I had so many framed photos that my house had zero wall space left.  I have sorted through them once, and de-framed many, which makes storage and moving them easier.  Next step will be to sort and de-frame the remaining framed photos that are in the garage. This is a challenging area in this entire process, it can be very emotional and should be saved for a day you feel strong.

(I also  have thousands of printed photos (another task) of our family that were taken prior to the digital age, seen here.   The only good news is I can identify the people and places in my photos.)

Today is attic people. I must stay focused.  One-day one-thing. Cheers!