Tag Archives: organization

New Cabinet!

This weekend Mom and I attended the Wethersfield Antique Show, mostly to learn some new things and so she could talk with Mad River Antiques.  It’s not the sort of event that has a lot of things we can afford, although we were there very early in the day and folks were happy to deal.  We needed to kill some time after arriving so we left and checked out a nearby furniture consignment shop, just on a whim.

I fell in love.

There was a wooden cabinet, clearly well loved, but in great shape by the register.  It was the same era as my house.  And it ended up in my kitchen, thanks to Mom’s encouragement.  We had been using a wire rack to hold the plates, cups and bowls, but this is so much nicer looking and way more storage.


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Decluttering – Setting the Intention

You’ve decided to  look into decluttering your space.  The first question is Why declutter now?

Are you moving and have too much stuff for your new place?  Is the shape of your household changing with a birth, partner, roommate or even a pet?  Have you suffered a loss and must process the belongings of someone dear?  Are you seeking to simplify your home-life?  Have you just had enough of your current habits?

Reasons matter.  If you’re making space so your SO can move in, you may be full of excitement.  Getting rid of some clothes or books might feel like a small sacrifice to be with someone you love.  If you’re moving to a smaller place because of a job loss, however, it might feel like surrendering parts of yourself

We attach emotions to items, and our emotional state reflects our relationships with our physical space and belongings.  It’s important to be aware of how we feel when undertaking this process so we can be honest with ourselves.  If you’re struggling to separate the feelings from the items you’re trying to process, ask a friend or family member you trust to join you.  They may be able to spot trends before you do, or just help keep your spirits up.

The next question is What is your end goal?  It’s important to have a clearly defined  vision of what you want to achieve.

Check with yourself, and if needed someone close to you, to make sure your goals are realistic.  While we sometimes buy things to fulfill our fantasy selves, we also may set goals which are not in keeping with our actual lifestyles.  Your end goal should be something that can be maintained easily, and should make your life better.  

For some people, an open ended goal such as “have less stuff” can be too broad and feel overwhelming.  It can also encourage jumping from one area to another, without ever fully processing any single area.  If this is an issue for you, select several smaller goals and work on them one at a time.

Don’t be afraid to start small either.  Your first goal can be clear a quarter of a table, or process one shelf of books.  While small goals can sometimes feel silly, remember they are part of a larger vision for your life.  Particularly if you are a busy person, small goals may be more achievable, because you don’t need to devote large blocks of time all at once.  

I’ll keep writing on this subject as I continue my journey.  It’s always a work in progress!


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This morning, my routine once again brought me a smooth morning.  The bathroom is clean, the cat is cared for, and because i prepared, there is a yogurt on my desk next to me, waiting for me to enjoy it.  Lunch is in the drawer.

I am considering moving things around on the landing so i can do yoga there in the mornings.  Perhaps just a simple vinyasa, but a few minutes each morning.  It’s an idea, I’ll continue with the sun breaths for now, at least through January probably.

It is funny, how much the Sister & i put into preparing for things.  Next week we’ll be attending a sci-fi convention, along with the Husband, Mister, Love-In-Laws and Nephew, so 6 adults and 1 toddler.  We’re sharing two hotel rooms.  With 5 of us on panels, 3 of us on staff and child-care, it’s going to be a full weekend!

I spent yesterday making us a spreadsheet for when our panels were assigned, and encouraged folks to add to it the activities they’d like to do.  For me that meant two yoga classes (yoga using rope & vinyasa yoga), and a shadowcast of Nightmare Before Christmas.  With this, we can determine who has childcare duties, when the best time to get meals  is and those sorts of details.

Today i started the packing list, based of the last big trip i did, back in September.  I like to plan my outfits ahead of time for events like this.  Even if i’m not a cos-player, i still like to dress fun and be organized!

In the evening, i had a meeting of our board for a non-binary gender & sexuality organization.  We had some tough decisions to make, but worked as a team and came to agreement.  I’m lucky to work with such great individuals.  Volunteering my time in this way is incredibly stressful, however, it does feed my soul.

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Un-deck The Halls

This morning was typical. I woke up, went through my routine, enjoying the sun on the snow as i did my sun breathes. I brought down the box of the Husband’s costumes & SCA clothing to the basement and added mine, consolidating. When i realized this left an empty container, i filled it with the artwork i was given from my Grandmother’s house, as well as some other pieces i had that have not yet found homes on the walls. Then it was off to work.

Work was supposed to be drafting, but I needed to do some site restoration oversight instead.  It was cold, but gave me a chance to be outdoors and muse on things.  The Sister and i have been using the Transform Your Life app.  Today’s quote and assignment was:

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. – Emily Dickinson
Control, which is only an illusion, is over rated.  Life has much better ideas for us than we could ever imagine for ourselves.  
Assignment: Today, allow yourself to be startled by life.

It is amazing how much i ignore in the process of living, and how amazing my world is when i choose to actually see it.  How perfect to be outdoors with this “assignment”, and appreciate things like the sun making my face warm just as the icy breeze came by, or how the snow melted and the puddles evaporated.  Simple, everyday things are fantastic, when we let them be.

Box of Lights

Lights, wrapped with cardboard, and a separate box for bulbs and fuses.

This evening has been focused on de-Christmasing the house. I am organizing the 5 boxes of Christmas items differently this year, which is interesting. The first box is lights. With three strands on the tree, and almost the entire first floor draped with lights, there are a lot. Although they take up more room wrapped on cardboard, i hope it will save me some frustration next year!  I also used a small box just for bulbs and fuses.  I think having them all in one place will make life a little easier.

The second box is garland, which i have less trouble with as far as tangling goes, so it’s really just a pile, along with ribbons, bows and the tree skirt. Soft items, really. The stockings as well.


Maybe i love my label maker too much

The other three boxes are primarily ornaments.  I divided them up into three categories – vintage (which is what my tree this year was primarily decorated with), hallmarks (because my OCD family members kept all the boxes) and crafty, which are mostly things my brother and i bought for my parents or each other as children from our school’s annual Christmas Fair.

Each box is labelled, and i hope that will mean less searching for “that thing” i want.  I also labelled smaller boxes inside the larger, such as “to repair” and “mini ornaments”.  I also made sure to put all the loose hooks into a hard plastic container, so i can find them, and they won’t be tearing holes in plastic bags.

It turns out the local cub-scout pack is doing a fundraiser, and taking away Christmas trees for $10. I could load it into the car and take it to the drop off point for free, but the convenience (and that the money goes to support kids in our town) seems well worth it.  They will come tomorrow.

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Goodbye 2012

This morning started off strange.  I slept in very late, probably due to the last of the sick, and right away started in on chores.  I took today off from work, but went about my housework angrily, realizing i was using precious vacation time for housework instead of fun because the husband had not done things during the week.  That certainly doesn’t feel good.  I froze much of the leftovers from Christmas events, took out the trash, started some laundry, did a number of dishes, reset the dining room and talked with the Sister for a while over instant messenger.

The Husband and i had a little fight, which was resolved.  He’s taking unemployment hard and i expect too much of him.  It’s hard on both sides.

2012/2013 NYE Cake

2012/2013 NYE Cake

I used a 1-2-3 Gluten Free mix (Spice Bars) to make a banana cake with chocolate frosting for a gathering with the Family-of-Choice this evening.  We are doing burgers and home made french fries for dinner and celebrating the new year.  I very highly recommend their box mixes if you need to make a gluten free dessert in a hurry.  They can be adjusted easily for vegan needs, and are highly versatile.  Each box has several recipe variations, and there are more on their website.  You can even get creative with them pretty easily, since there is so much information about ratios.

I also hung up our new calendar.  This year i bought another Anne Taintor calendar for the kitchen, since it goes so perfectly (and subversively) in that room.

It was 2:00 before i got to sit down, and even then, it was still in my PJ’s with laundry in the dryer.  I let myself play Sims 3 for a little while to relax.  It is my day off after all.

The rest of the afternoon was spent going through the Husband’s clothes.  When his job ended he had to consolidate 5+ years of living in two locations into one house.  He had a giant collection of clothing because of how he did laundry in NY and, well, not getting rid of junky clothes.  So he did keep his promise and it was all put away by the end of 2012.  We did it together. Most of the time i would hold up an item, read the size and he’d decide.  Sometimes we’d talk about where we felt it belonged, or he’d try something on, but generally it was quick.  The way things were categorized were:

  • In the primary dresser: about 20 pairs of underwear and about 20 pairs of socks (all the same type), plain t-shirts, polo shirts, his favorite jeans and long sleeved t-shirts.
  • In the secondary dresser: Fancy socks, belts, undershirts (about 10), exercise clothes, swimsuits, pajamas, less frequently worn pants, t-shirts with logos or sayings
  • In the bedroom closet (hanging): sweaters, overshirts, sweatshirts
  • In the office closet: Suits, dress pants, ties, dress shirts
  • In the guest room closet – aikido gis
  • Bin – Seasonal clothes, mostly shorts and his motorcycle gear
  • Bin – Overflow, extra shirts mostly
  • Bin – Extra socks, underwear and undershirts
  • Bin – Too small clothing
  • Bin – Sentimental clothing
  • Bin – Work clothes (stuff with stains or rips but good for painting or other projects)
  • Small bin – Running accessories
  • Small bin – Travel gear

We ended up with the largest laundry basket full of things for me to turn into rags and/or throw away as well.  There wasn’t much to donate, as there were a lot of stained or ripped items, but i will see if there is anything worthwhile and bring it to Goodwill when i do.  I feel so much happier now that everything has a place and we know what he has!

NYE with our Family-of-Choice was lovely.  There was a moment where we were all in the kitchen, each doing something, and it felt so amazing.  We watched a terrible movie together after dinner and watched the ball drop before calling it a night.  Well, and lots of kissing to bring in the new year.  It’s important, right?

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