My small bathroom

So my bathroom can be relaxing or stressful depending on the cleanliness of it.  We have two full bathrooms but only really use the small one.  Trying to convince my family that not everything has to go in the small bathroom was hard at first but has gotten easier as we’ve all learned that it functions better when only what we use on a regular basis is left in this room.

Here is what you see when you are walking towards my bathroom.  It used to have a really dark, thick shower curtain.  I thought it over powered the room so I switched it out for a thinner lighter curtain.  I really love the colors in this curtain.

We have two rugs – the dark brown rug is super soft and foamy.  it was by the shower but i found that it stayed wet forever and when the bottom got wet it became a slippery death trap so I just switched them and crisis was averted.  I love the stripes and the green and brown one.  there is a towel bar with two towels on the right.  There is a partial towel bar above it that needs to be taken down and gotten rid of.

The shelf is a new addition but not a new purchase.  Our towel shelf was in the big bathroom but we don’t use that bathroom.  this bathroom is right next to our bedrooms.  It was a real pain to get a clean wash cloth or towel and it didn’t make sense to carry the clean towels all the way to the big bathroom just to have to carry them to the small bathroom.  I’m quite happy with the shelf in the smaller room – my mom was surprised that it fit as the bathroom looked too small to fit anything let alone a shelf.  to me the bathroom looks cozier now the shelf is in there and i actually put the towels away now instead of leaving them on my dresser.

On the toilet is my new favorite lotion – Suave Advanced Therapy.  It feels great and doesn’t overpower with scent.  It’s been saving my hands this winter and I’ve been applying it after washing my hands.  This lotion is fantastic!

I have Suave conditioner and shampoo on top of the shelf – apple scented, and my shaving cream.  My daughter has two Avon bath paint roll ons.

Now I don’t typically use Suave but am really loving on it right now.  It smells good, works good and is way more affordable.

I also admit to owning too many wash cloths, hand towels and towels.  I don’t even have them all pictured because there are towels in the wash and in use.  Three shelves of bath towels, a shelf with hand towels and washcloths and one shelf for my daughter’s bath toys and some bubble bath.  So there are at least 5 towels per person in this house.  What I would really love is to donate most of these and get myself a matching set of luxurious towels instead of this mismatched bunch.  Aldi had a wonderful for about $20 but I would have needed 2 sets.  I couldn’t justify spending $40 on beautiful towels when I have plenty of good ones at home.  Eventually I will replace though.

Hidden is the toilet plunger and the toilet brush.  I converted a vase into a brush holder.  I keep the brush soaking in a vinegar solution with dawn dish soap and lavendar oil so it smells good and soap is always ready to clean.

Here is my sink.  My family loves to try to junk it up but it always gets removed.  hand towels, my bathroom cleaner (vinegar, water and essential oils), hand soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and my husband’s comb.  I like to store the toothbrushes and such in the pink bucket to make it easy to stash underneath when guests come over.  – yes I hide my toothbrush.  My daughter and my hairbrush are absent from the bathroom because we don’t brush our hair in there.  Also absent is any make up as I never wear the stuff.  My facial wash and moisterizer and contact solution is on a shelf just outside of the bathroom.  I find too much stuff on the sink makes it messier and harder to clean.

Just in case you thought I stashed everything under the sink – bubble bath, my husband’s face lotion, my daughter’s mouthwash, an extra bottle of shampoo, husband’s razer, two boxes of q-tips (i’m addicted), tampons, my daughter’s fish tank necessities, flea shampoo for both cat and dog (though we don’t use it in favor of blue dawn dish soap) and a scrub clean bathroom cleaner.

I could easily part with the cleaner (if favor of my homemade cleaner), the flea shampoos and the evolve shampoo but my husband said that it doesn’t make sense to get rid of it when we could use it.  So my plan is to use it and not replace it.  I’ve also decided that when my daughter’s fish eventually passes away we will not be replacing him or her.

In the shower itself a shower rack with Suave shampoo and conditioner (coconut), Suave body wash (apple), my husband’s bar soap and his shampoo.  I noticed that I have two razors – hmmm 1 to purge.

 

And finally – wall art mostly gone.  We bought bath crayons and I learned that if you don’t remove it right away that it almost becomes permanent.  My daughter fully decorated the walls one day and I loved the drawings so asked her to keep them.  Nothing worked on getting it off time i used baking soda and my vinegar cleaner.  I had the rest removed and almost had this one gone but then stopped myself.

It’s a picture of me smiling with my arms outstretched to give her a hug and I am holding flowers for us.  I love it and it makes me happy!

Some before glimpses

I know it’s not much in the way of before pictures but I’ve been looking for before pictures for some of the rooms.  I don’t have any before Fly Lady pictures inside the house because we lost our external hard drive and I of course didn’t have things backed up and I was also very careful not to take pictures of the clutter.  I used to be very good at stashing clutter if I knew people were coming over.  I think this is how my family room got so bad.  I think this is also how “hidden” clutter got so bad too.

Here is the corner of the living room on a “good” day.  It is decorated for Halloween (spider webs and witch cat).  We’ve already decluttered quite a bit by the time this picture was taken as this book shelf used to house much more video games.  There also used to be another shelf – yes – two shelves hanging out on top of a coffee table blocking our second entrance to our home.

This was considered really good to me.  Since this picture was taken we’ve gotten rid of the wooden box under the table, the table, the book shelf and a good number of items included in this picture.

Leave it to my daughter to have some of the best “bad” pictures.  The picture below is a good example – the left side of the picture shows the box spring “hidden” behind my dresser and the tall piece of furniture on top of my dresser is the 9 bin rack that used to be full of clutter.  There used to be two of these 4 foot tall mirrors chilling behind furniture in my living room.

Below is a self portrait my daughter took.  It’s completely normal to have two coffee tables right next to each other right?  This room also had two couches and a recliner for a family of 3.  if you look you’ll see that the tables block the usage of one of the recliners on the couch.  this picture was taken on a very good day.  notice the paper lanterns?  not party decorations – every day decorations.

Wow – this is after I found and started following Fly Lady.  This was good.  Notice the television ontop of the television?  yeah – (heavy sarcasam) i tricked ya with the busy quilt right?  there is usable floor space so this definately was a good day.

My couch – on a bad day.  In the past this is what you might find if you stopped by unannounced.  I would say I was in the “middle” of reorganizing.

if these pictures have shocked you into a state of shock here is the after pics blog link.

Funny thing is – these aren’t even pictures of the room at its worst.  I guess I really have come a long way!

 

Number of things in my bedroom

last night I couldn’t help it – I counted the items in my bedroom.  We recently had our yard sale and removed a bunch of items from all areas of the house.  Earlier yesterday I started putting things away and taking things out of our bedroom that didn’t belong.  To me – the bedroom feels mostly comfortable.  I wish there wasn’t random cords hanging out on the floor or the piles my husband leaves out on the night stand but I can think of worst things.  When we moved into our home I purposely chose the smallest bedroom for our room instead of the biggest.  My husband didn’t initially agree with me but I said that we had a lot of stuff and if we took the biggest room (our family room) that our bedroom would wind up full of stuff.  I said to him that all we really needed was enough room for our bed and our 2 dressers.  He agreed but mostly I think he agreed because it wasn’t worth arguing with me over this.  Over the course of the two years in this home we’ve removed quite a bit from this room.  There used to be an extra bed in here – the mattresses stashed behind our dressers.  There used to be tons of stuffed animals, lots more clothes.  There used to be a bin rack ontop of my dresser with 9 bins all full of stuff.  Slowly but surely since I found Fly Lady my room has emptied out.  She always says that this room should be the cleanest in the house.  That this room needs to be comfortable and relaxing.

What I found to be slightly depressing is the sheer number of items in this room and it’s not even a fully accurate count as there is a load of laundry in both the washer and dryer.  There are 522 items in our bedroom.  522!  that’s crazy.

Interesting breakdown of items:

  • There are 4 pieces of furniture in our bedroom.  Two dressers, a night stand and our bed.  I counted the bed as 3 items as it has a frame, a mattress and a box spring.
  • There are 14 items hanging on the walls/ windows.  This includes 8 picture frames, a set of three hooks behind the door for my necklaces, the blinds, the curtain rod and the blanket we use as a curtain.
  • There are 75 hangers.
  • I have 100 items that are = 95 items are accessories plus 5 items to hold accessories
  • 121 = 92 items of clothes belong to my husband plus 28 hangers and 1 dresser.
  • 193 = 144 items of clothes belong to me plus 47 hangers, 1 hook and 1 dresser.

In our clothing count I also included all of our undergarments and shoes we keep in our bedroom.  I found it slightly distressing that is have almost 200 items related to clothing and I often feel like I don’t have enough clothing.  Isn’t that silly?

I broke the room down into sections – the bed area contains 34 items.  We don’t have a linen closet so we have to store the sheets under our bed.  Storing them in totes keeps the sheets clean – free from dust and pet hair.

Top tote is bedding for our daughter’s bed and bottom is our bed.

The nightstand area and the long, short dresser mostly belong to my husband.  92 items in this section plus the 47 pieces of jewelry tucked away in that little jewelry box.  Yes – a tv in the bedroom.  Don’t really know why we have it as we never use it.  (maybe a dozen times)  I hate tv in the bedrooms.  my husband on the other hand wanted it.  the nightstand drawers contain about 20 items of his.  the dresser is full of his clothes.

the room is small but the furniture fits and we have enough room to walk around comfortably.

Here is the closet that we share – each of us has about 3 feet of space for our hanging clothes.  The closet contains 123 items plus 75 hangers.  my husband’s sweaters are neatly stacked, his dress shoes are in the shoe box.  The two red totes are mine.  The one of the left – useful items.  It’s full of my winter tops.  The one of the right?  13 items that probably do not need to be kept but they are my just in case clothes.  You know – the just in case I decide to wear a buttoned blouse, just in case I need my suit, just in case.  The only thing in there that I really love is my little black dress.

fortunately I’ve purged enough that I can hang up most of my clothes.  I’ve also gotten to where I love all of the clothes that are hanging up.  Each item makes me feel good when I wear it.  The laundry basket on the floor hold our extra blankets and our daughter’s throw blankets.  We keep her extra blankets in our room because if they were in her’s she would use ALL of them.

My dresser area hosts 151 items.  There are more items in this small section than my entire living room.  Crazy!  The first floral box holds about 10 items belonging to my husband.  The second holds 22 accessories that I love.  Hiding behind the door are my necklaces and scarves – 30 items.  The drawers contain my undergarments, my pjs, my t-shirts, jeans and other clothing items.  I try to keep the items on top to a minimum but it doesn’t always work out that way.  When I’m not careful this area is a MAJOR HOTSPOT!  It attracts clutter like crazy.  Ideally the top would be as pictured:  deodorant, perfume, hair brush, change jar, ereader, 1 pair of shoes, flashlight, 2 floral boxes, 1 medication.  I hate the stickers on my dresser but can’t seem to remove them.  I guess that is my task for a lazy day with not much planned.  Any suggestions on how to remove stubborn stickers?

I love how my necklaces are tucked away but easily accessed.  none are expensive but many are special as my husband made some for me.  I adore my long necklaces.

I also love my floral pins and my bangles.  The knitted hats make me happy too!

So here is the big picture!  I love how comfortable it feels.  I love the pictures on the wall.  I love how small it is.  I hate the walls and feel like they need to be painted.  The carpet is also old and faded but both will do for now.  I love that my dog and cat both came in while I was taking pictures and both are pictured below.  I love my comforter and am happy with our decision to get rid of the head board and never bought a foot board.

I found this exercise to be interesting just like the living room experience though I was extremely surprised and how high the number was.  I would have never guessed that there was still 522 items in this room.  I wonder if this means I’ll need to purge down more.  I like the pictures because it helps me to see that everything can be in it’s place and look good.  It helps me see how much I’ve been able to declutter.

The master bedroom was always such a sore spot for me.  We had so much stuff in our first place but it looked good.  Our bedroom had so much storage and we had it full.  When we moved south our spaces were small and we always had housemates so much of our items were kept in our bedroom.  When we lived with husband’s parents for a while everything we owned was either in our bedroom or our storage unit.  it was so hard to rest.  it was so hard to sleep or relax or feel like a grown up.  we were drowning in our stuff.

I love our bedroom because it is relaxing, restful and organized.

 

Pleasantly Exhausted

Today was a successful yard sale day!  the beginning was questionable as it was super wet and very chilly.  we were determined however because my husband had taken the time off of work and we had no other choice but to go ahead or else wait until next month.  the ad was paid for, the signs were up and the items priced.

here are the positives –

  • 1/2 the shed is still full of items to be gotten rid of but nothing was brought back into the house except empty totes to be filled with more unwanted clutter and items that belonged in the house.
  • I got the opportunity to spend the day with a fantastic person and got to meet lots more wonderfully interesting people.
  • I got to see my mom! and my daughter got to spend some lovely time with her as my mom helped us out by taking her to a birthday party at the skating rink.
  • we made enough money to purchase our fire pit plus extra – we are thinking A/C unit as I detest the heat (the gazebo was already purchased with pre-sales and a lovely anniversary giftcard from my wonderful sister).
  • my daughter made a whooping $50 plus by selling her items.  This means she is able to purchase all three items on her wish list – a stuffed Club Penguin puffle toy, Kinectimals for the Kinect and a water table.  a super duper positive is that these items take up sooooooooooooo much less room than the items that were sold.  LOVE IT!
  • my daughter was able to receive her new bike from us today – we offered her a deal she couldn’t refuse – we pre-purchased a new bike for her – larger than her current bike, fancier too with sparkly streamers coming out of the handle bars – no training wheels and in her favorite colors no less.  We put this in the shed.  We purchased her a 6-month Club Penguin membership.  then we offered her $1 per item that she put into the yard sale to be put towards these two Shiney, enticing prizes that she couldn’t refuse.  She earned both with flying colors.

Tonight I’m sitting in my home – it’s messy and things need to be straightened and put away but it feels SO much bigger.  Clutter makes spaces smaller and crowded.  Declutter is the best way to make a small home bigger.  I can twirl and dance around in my family room should I so chose.

There is so much space and I’m in a little bit of shock, a lot of bit of awe and all over relief.  this is going to be so much easier to clean.  this will give me more time to have fun with my family!  how happy is that!

today i was also able to joke about things with the people that i met and the people i spent time with today!  it felt good – joked about my OCD (as it’s not crippling me – thank u Dr. L and the medicine that’s working), joked about me, joked about life.  it felt good to laugh and just be happy.

today i spent the entire time outside.  this is HUGE!  6:30 – 8pm setting up then 8-4 yard sale then 4-9 dinner and games in the gazebo.  all day and i’m still alive and well – (with the exception of a sun burn).  all day outside and i’m still happy.  life is good.

pocket full of money to buy what we really want, 100’s less items in my house so clutter banished, and an enjoyable day.

tomorrow i think i’ll spend 15 minutes cleaning up the kitchen, 15 minutes in zone 1 (the entrance, front porch and dining room) and then relax and enjoy time with my daughter.

Fly Lady’s habit for the month is drinking water so i’m going to give this a shot – maybe more water will help with my on-going health problems (multiple UTIs since February) and give me a glowing complexion.  Did you know that drinking water can help you lose weight, helps you get rid of headaches, makes you look younger, relieves fatigue better than coffee and can put you in a better mood?  there are many incredible benefits from this “simple” act.

I learned this years ago and it still sounds true – do you know how much water to drink per day?  many people know the 8 glasses of 8oz of water.  I learned that you should take your weight then divide it by half (200lbs divided by 2 is 100).  there you have the daily fluid ounces.  so the 8×8 makes sense if you do the math.  An average person of 128 pounds would need to drink 64 ounces per day.

Here is a great water calculator that I found!  It equaled my above method for determining water requirements.

Zone Cleaning the Master Bedroom

So zone cleaning in the master bedroom is increasingly difficult but I don’t mind so much.  My husband definitely needs his sleep too.  I did do some work in it today.  I finally bought a lovely comforter for this room.  When husband and I got our first place together we bought a lovely blue comforter that both of us enjoyed.  Through the years it became worn and tattered and we needed to let it go.  It felt so hard to buy a new one because we are often the fortunate recipient of other people’s unwanted clutter.  They mean well but we often cannot say no but most times the items are not our style.

Give you an example – we were using a brightly colored quilt covered in Macaws!  YUCK!  It would annoy me so our other options were a bright pink down comforter (also a gift) that crinkles when we move or our patriotic quilt (a purchased item I love but not for our bedroom.  It’s our picnic blanket and living room blanket.)

I was shopping at Aldi and found the quilt set below.

I have to say even though I’m not drawn to floral patterns I fell in love with this one right away.  I bought it and it looks lovely on my bed.  I decided that the comforter in my daughter’s room needed to go as well so we went shopping for her.  The current one was given to us and was closer to her style when she received it (pink with princess design) but over the years has become stained from us allowing her to have crystal light at bedtime.  After several stores she decided that she wanted the same quilt that we purchased so I went back to Aldi to pick her up the same.

So today I made our bed and put freshly laundered sheets on.  It smells lovely now and feels great.  I pulled the two totes out from under the bed and took inventory.  We’ve purged down to two sets of sheets for our bed with the matching pillow cases.  Our daughter has three complete sets of sheets and mismatched pillow cases.  We’ve kept two flat sheets that don’t go to either bed but I love them.  One is a lovely pink and white checkered sheet that i have used for a picnic blanket, a table cloth, a make shift play tent and more.  The other is a lovely blue and green floral sheet that is a perfect summer coverup when a blanket is too much.

besides the bed we each have our own dresser and husband has a side table with two drawers.  I cleared husband’s dresser top off to two picture frames, a jewelry box, a vase, his tv and dvd player.  My dresser top still needs a little work and I need to purge through my drawers.  Closet needs a little work as I need to go through my clothes still.  Fortunately it’s a small closet – about 6 feet wide and only slightly deeper than our hangers and we share so I only have about 3 feet of space plus the shelf.  There are two small totes of seasonal clothes and husband’s dress shoes on the shelf.

on the floor some work is needed.  there is a large tote full of dvds that I would love to purge by half but need husband on board with this and then there is a large basket full of blankets.  There is also a GINORMOUS piece of thick glass that came with the house.  It’s so heavy I can’t even move it out.

On my to-do list is to convince husband to go through his drawers, flip the mattresses to staple the lining back in place on the box springs and finish sorting my clothes.  I believe it’ll take 30 minutes total to finish.

 

On a completely different topic –

Here is what I found at Aldi that I bought for my daughter.  This ball is 4 foot 3 inches tall when inflated and is super amazing.  (ad picture below).  We took it up to mom’s house and I let her play with it.  Super, super awesome.

Hold your head up and smile

I’ve been practicing this skill lately and surprisingly it does seem to help make me feel better.  There are many reasons to smile – it makes people more attractive, it relieves stress, it’s contagious and it can help you stay positive.  Just by smiling you can feel happier.  I’ve been putting a smile on my face more and it does help – the anxiety is lessened and I find myself more agreeable.

I’ve also been saying yes a whole lot more!  Almost everybody says that you have to learn how to say no.  I’ve got No down to an art form.  I’m definitely a no person.  “Can I do this?”, “No.”  “Can I do that?”, “No.”  “Can I have this?”, “No.”  It just rolls off my tongue and comes out.  Throughout this process I’ve been working on saying yes more!

Today my daughter asked to ride her bike.  The neighborhood kids have so much more freedom than she does.  We want her safe and we want to know where she is at all times.  The rule is she has to be where she can see the kitchen window.  If she is where she is supposed to be we can see her from 3 different windows.  Unfortunately this does not allow for bike riding as it’s hard to ride on grass.  Today I let her ride up and down the private drive with her friend.  I realized today how sheltered we have kept her – she rides with training wheels and all of the other kids ride so much better than she does.  It’s been hard though because of her lack of attention which makes her unsafe.  If we can’t be right there watching her the answer has always been no.  She’s come a long way though since she’s been working with her therapist and she did very well today without my constant watchful eye.

Zone Cleaning

Today was a very long but productive day.  There is so much more to do though but that is life.  This week is Zone 2 – or the kitchen.  There was a sink full of dirty dishes plus the section of counter next to it.  My husband asked me to wake him up today so that he could help wash the dishes.  I used the power of 15 to get them done though while he slept.  I washed some then let them dry while I worked on other things.  I put those away and repeated a few times throughout the day.  I tackled the refrigerator which was in desperate need of purging.  I also tackled the bottom cabinets to create a shopping list.  My countertops are cleaned off and are looking good.

Progress was made with the dreaded family room though it still looks like a nightmare.  Three full totes taken out to the shed – all for the yard sale!  and they are all priced and ready to go.  AMAZING!

Easter decorations and things are also packed up and ready to go out.  Winter stuff is heading that way too!  I washed our hats, gloves and scarves so that they are nice and fresh before going into storage.

The crazy thing is the amount of garbage I removed from our home today.  4 bags of garbage.  It really makes me think that we need to do things differently.  such waste.  I’ve been thinking about starting a compost pile to cut down on some of the waste.  When we lived in the city recycling was so easy as they picked it up at the curb.  I’m ashamed to admit it but I suck at recycling.  We recycle the bottles that are 5cent returnables but even then it’s hard for me.  I think anything that adds too many steps becomes too overwhelming to me.  We have about 10 large bags of bottles out back because of it needing a special trip into town to take care of them.

Each step though that I take towards a simpler life though creates more time and energy as there is less stuff dragging me down.

Minimalist book spurs on renewed decluttering

I found this wonderful little gem of a book last night while browsing through Amazon’s kindle store.  I’m always skeptical of anything cheap (but I love a bargain of course) and this book was priced at $0.99.  I started reading through the preview and before I knew it I was out of pages and completely hooked.  I bought it and immediately put it on my ereader.  easy to read, useful advice, down to earth and completely doable.  I will never be a minimalist but I can relate to her and use her musings to help create my home sanctuary.

Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify by Francine Jay (Kindle Edition – May 25, 2011) – Kindle eBook

I think what attracts me the most to a minimalist lifestyle is the simplicity of it all.  Everything feels so chaotic and I misplace everything.  less stuff means less stuff to lose, less hiding places for my (insert whatever important item I am currently missing) and less stuff to clean.

I found myself reading a section and then pondering.  thinking, visualizing.  it’s pulling together and I’m optimistic.

Tomorrow is the last day in Zone 1: The Entrance, Front Porch and Dining Room.

I worked in the entrance today.  It’s amazing because I’ve already spent time in here since starting this project and still more items could be pulled out.  some new but most was there during my last session.  A large garbage bag sits ready to go outside to the trash.  coats hung back up and plastic shopping bags contained for the upcoming yard sale.  a handful of items placed in the yardsale tote.  There are things my husband will have to sort through – the tote of tools, some outside stuff.  Here are a few items that I’m undecided about: 1. the punch bowl with cups.  I brought this home months ago and we haven’t even taken it out of the box.  It was a freebie and I really wanted it.  It sits on the shelf. 2. the hummingbird feeder.  We’ve filled it twice.  I’m too short to put it up or take it down.  It wasn’t washed and has some funkiness to it.  When we used it hummingbirds and bees frequented often which we could admire from our kitchen window.

Even though we aren’t outdoorsy people our camping gear is stored here up on the shelf but we’ve pared down to a reasonable amount of items. 3 sleeping bags, an air mattress, a tent and a lantern.  When we travel all but the tent are used so I don’t feel so bad holding on to these items.  Everything else is already gone.  Most of my daughter’s outdoor items were already moved to the shed so only a handful remain in this space.  Our laundry supplies are also housed here as it’s our laundry room as well.  It’s better.  Tomorrow I’ll sweep, mop and clean to finish off this room.

I also spent some time in the kitchen because the dining area is always kept up.  Miss Minimalist helped so much in this area as did my husband.  cookie cutters purged by half, the extra crock pot will be leaving, our 4 wine glasses as well (this includes our wedding glasses – pictures first before the purge).  The blender too will be leaving.  It’s used about twice a year and I hate to clean it.  Kitchen drawers emptied and filled with only what we use.  The bottle of wine I didn’t like?  down the drain.  the wine glass charms? gone.

Thank you Miss Minimalist!

Using zone cleaning for yard sale prep

Yard sales require organization, goal setting, people skills and the ability to price things accurately.  which means, with my ADHD, I’m scrambling around even after the sale has started pricing things and setting things up.  It usually means I’ve forgotten to place the ad in the paper until 3 days before.  It usually means I underestimate the time it takes to sort and decide what to sell and what to keep.  It also means I question and doubt every price I put on items.

To put it mildly I despise yard sales.  Why are we planning to have one?  Because it works.  It works for the three of us to part with our STUFF.  I’ve learned that there are BIG TICKET items we want and if I dangle these items in front of our faces and say, “Let’s have a yard sale!” that it gets done.

Here is our wishlist:

 

Maybe having the pictures handy will make it easier to motivate.

The first part of my yard sale plan – the ADHD friendly plan.  Here is how I’m going to prepare for the yard sale this year.  The following list is the zones as determined by Fly Lady.

  • Zone 1: The Entrance, Front Porch and Dining Room (April 1-7)
  • Zone 2: The Kitchen (April 8-14)
  • Zone 3: The Bathroom and One Extra Room (April 15-21)
  • Zone 4: The Master Bedroom (April 22-28)
  • Zone 5: The Living Room (April 29-30)

I’m going to tackle each zone in turn searching for yard sale items.  As I find them I’ll clean and price them then put it out in the shed for the yard sale.  (at the very least I’ll find them and put them outside.)  We’ve been talking about having the yard sale in May so if I do a little bit each week and then have my mom help me with the family room I might just be ready.

Wish me luck!

Definately a site I’m going to reference again for yard sale prep:  http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/06/12/a-yard-sale-checklist-ten-tips-for-garage-sale-prep/

Making my bed

Every month Fly Lady has a habit for members to work on.  This month’s habit is Making the bed.  Ughhh – 😦  so, this is not working so well.  just saying.  My husband switched jobs a few weeks ago.  He is now working overnights and I work days.  The bed is in almost constant use now.  I barely see him awake anymore (boo hoo hoo I know.) Needless to say I’m worried about the constant state of disarray in my bedroom especially my bed. 

fingers crossed that he works out a sleep schedule soon so we can go back to some sort of normalcy:)

Happy thought for the day, “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections. – Author Unknown”

Decluttering my Books and Family room

Decluttering is mentally exhausting.  I’m in the middle of a break from the dreaded family room.  My vision of the family one is reasonable I believe.  I’d like a clutter free room to give my daughter space to play during her inside time this summer.  I envision a bright, clean space with open possibilities.  My requirements for this room are as follows:

  1. The couch has to be useable at all times.  This means nothing on the couch or piled in front of the couch.  It’s a hot mess right now – just saying.
  2. Her table – clean and cleared for projects and games.
  3. It has to be comfortable for reading with easy access to the books.  My book shelf and my daughter’s bookshelf should have only books we would read that fits activities we would actually do.
  4. Art supplies – neat, organized and within my daughter’s reach
  5. Board game book shelf easy to access.
  6. Plenty of floor space.

Currently, it’s filled with everything.  It’s also full of too much – books, games, supplies.  I called my mom and asked her for help.  We have a declutter date planned for two Saturdays from now.  She will help hold my hand through this process and I will buy her lunch.  My mom reminded me of how hard it was for me to originally sort through my daughter’s clothes.  I wanted to cling onto everything regardless of the size or condition.  Mom pushed me to keep only what was good and what fit her.  Since that initially struggle it’s become easier to maintain my daughter’s clothes.

A big problem is that my husband and I hold onto things because they are in good condition, we paid good money for it, it might be useful someday.  We both agree however to not keep things deemed to be garbage but sometimes I think that certain things could be useful someday.  We also differ on when we want to purge.  When my husband is ready he gets rid of things and I want to beg him to reconsider some of them because I can’t let go.  When I’m ready to purge I want to donate everything just to be done with it but there are many items he will only get rid of if we sell it.  I do need some help though because we have nice things, useful things.  It would be easier I think if the family room was full of junk but it’s not.

I realized that my daughter would save everything.  scraps of paper, every assignment and worksheet ever brought home, expired coupons, dollar store toys, outgrown toys and more.  She saw me sorting through her school papers and wanted to know why I was throwing some away.  I told her that I look carefully at all of them but only handpick a few to save.  She said okay but I could tell she wanted to reach into the trashcan and pull out the papers.

I think the big reason I hold onto things is because of dreams – I dream that I’m going to be a crafter selling beautiful items on Etsy.  I have glue guns and felt and pins, buttons and beads, this and that.  I had a great idea for felt flower pins with button centers.  I rushed to Walmart and bought the supplies.  A year later and everything is still in the wrappers.  not a single flower pin created.

I dream that my daughter and I are going to explore the world together.  I dream that I’m an outdoorsy adventurer type – even on a good OCD day I will never be that person.  I dream that I’m a muscian, an artist, a photographer and a writer.  We have books on art and science and crafting, cooking, camping, play activites and 101 things to do and be and training guides and research materials.  We have camping gear, photography props, crafts, art supplies, graphic design books, paper plane kits, gizmos and guitars, a microscope and hats – tons of hats.

I worked on a pile here and a pile there today in the family room.  Slowly the garbage can is filling up, the yard sale tote as well.  Too much still is still piled around.

I needed a noticeable difference to the room or at least one area that finally looks decluttered.  I worked on the four red baskets ontop of the shelf.  I labeled them finally, one for cords, one for DS/electronic games and items, one for photography related items and an assorted bin.  I cringed when I wrote assorted on the label.  Almost any article you read about decluttering and organizing tells you not to label things misc or assorted.  How do I define the hodgepodge items in this basket though as anything other than assorted?  (air pump to my exercise ball, foam piece for the AC, spare brita filter, voltive candles, etc).  No other title seems to fit.

I worked on my book shelf.

My beloved Harry Potter series is now in the yard sale pile.  I’ve read them twice and have an electronic copy so the books have got to go.  Also in the pile to sell are my Lemony Snickett books – The Series of Unfortunate Events.  I love them but they take up so much room.  Parenting books and social work DVDs are being donated to my work’s collection.  How-to books on things I’ll never do are in the pile to go.  I held on to some that really should go but emotions are wearing me down.  At this point in time – there are no books doubled up on my shelves.  That makes me feel real good.  One series remains on my shelf even though I have the electronic version for my ereader – i guess I’m just too attached to my Hitchhiker books.  maybe someday but definately not today.

The yard sale pile is getting bigger and the mess is getting smaller.

I look around my living room and am reminded about why I am going through this emotional roller coaster of decluttering.  I have ADHD and I believe my daughter does too.  My husband is chronically depressed.  We need a calm, clean environment to be healthy.  The dirt and clutter wears us down, makes us worse.  Our home is our santuary and we need a place to relax and heal.

My living room is calming down, clearing out.  The purpose is known.  Our gaming center with tv, three comfortable recliners, a table for our laptops and a folding table for games or folding laundry.   a student desk tucked away for my daughter.  the dog’s crate and the cat’s tower.  the clutter sneaks in but is swept away in 15 minutes or less.