Christmas organizing

We cleaned and organized our Christmas items in the basement and packed up 3 boxes of discard items this past Sunday, finishing up in an hour or so. I’m still on a high from that effort – we sorted outdoor decorations from tree decorations from other decor and labeled all the boxes so it’s easy to find what we want to pull out and use. I packed up all the discards and ran it to Goodwill on Tuesday at lunch. We have a much tidier section of the basement as a result. Still lots of tools and other storage items to go through and organize downstairs, but I’ll take that in sections over the winter and spring, I think. Some of my tools will make their way to my mom since we have a lot of duplicate items and she needs some basics. we’re making inroads in simplifying. Lots to do still, but lots more breathing space around the house, too.

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More organizing stuff

Another thing we accomplished over the Labor Day long weekend was some furniture moving. I had originally thought we’d get rid of the bar in the dining room, but we realized that we could swap it out for a gray mid-century modern storage cabinet from our bedroom and have a much better use of space. You can read this article to learn more about storage solutions and plans. The gray cabinet is not as wide, so it would fit neatly in the dining room and contain tablecloths and larger serving trays, and we could set our pachinko machine on it so people can play it.

Gray storage cabinet

Gray storage cabinet

Pachinko Machine

Pachinko Machine

So we managed, between the two of us to bring the gray cabinet downstairs and the bar upstairs, where the bar now is the home for our upstairs stereo, and we can fold sheets and blankets and put them neatly on the shelves underneath. And in all of the furniture relocation, we decided we wanted the china cabinet on a different wall in the dining room so we weren’t rattling the dishes when we walked past. You can check this 12 Tips for Creating the Ideal Office Workstation if you wish to create an inspiring an creative work space.
So everything is neatly in place, many items are now stowed in new homes and much clutter has disappeared. We still have a long way to go, but it’s getting better. Our next step is going to be spending some time sorting through Christmas items. We both have Christmas decorations that we don’t care about that could find a new place to live, but because we only look at them once a year, at the busiest time of year, and because it’s usually ever-loving frickin’ cold by that point, we don’t sort through stuff and slog it to Goodwill. I thought if we can go through it now when it’s warm and we’re not running off our feet, we could make more space in the basement.

After that – organizing tools in the basement. Even thinking about it leaves me overwhelmed, because there’s a lot to do. We receive lots of tools from Stephanie’s dad as gifts, and I need to come up with a real storage plan, because right now stuff is kind of half-ass.

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Organizing, etc.

I know – still no photos from the great organizing adventure – but it’s continuing. We now have our new china cabinet, and the boxes of china and various other breakable items made their way into it. All of the packing materials for those went into the recycling bin. I also cleaned out the pantry closet (packed with old shopping and plastic bags that also went into the recycling bin) and put the tools we use regularly with it. I hung a clock in the dining room and a print that Stephanie had. My next steps – taking the remaining tools to the basement, taking an old wire shelving unit to it’s new home, and purging the tox-drop items and aluminum can collections this weekend.

I also need to go through my closet and assess my hanging clothes. Lots of them could find a new place to live. I also have some board games that I collected but will actually never play (as opposed to the ones we will) that will find a new home soon, too.

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Uncluttering projects

I haven’t stalled out on the de-cluttering and organizing projects, I just don’t have photos to put up quite yet – I’m still working on the great furniture shuffle. I purchased a new desk and new china cabinet at Ikea last week, and have put them both together. I unloaded and removed the old shelving unit, which is residing on the porch until I can transport it to it’s final resting place. I just have to install the lights into the china cabinet and we’ll be set to load it up with china and glasses that go there, along with table cloths. And I need to clean out the pantry and find room for tools, which will unearth an avalanche of discard-able items. It’s all proceeding nicely and we’re getting to the place where I start working on smaller items again.

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365 unclutter – item 11

365 unclutter - item 11

This is a patio bar that I used as a sideboard in my old house. I should have offloaded it when we moved in, but I didn’t figure that out at the time. It currently stores the china that needs to go in the china cabinet, stuff that needs to go on eBay, and Stephanie’s computer stuff, which needs to go in this spot, but on a desk, which will go here when the bar goes away. For these "not quite useful" furniture items, there’s going to be some time and effort involved in getting stuff moved around and discarded, but these are major pieces of the puzzle keeping us from uncluttering.

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links for 2008-03-22

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Weekend Update 2007-10-15

We managed to get a lot done this weekend, and not kill ourselves in the process, which is pretty good for us. Saturday, I put 7 sets of Avon bottles on eBay, which was pretty huge. I have somewhat of an assembly line going on for getting this done, because there are lots of steps and detail to capture. When it comes to selling stuff on eBay, these particular items are a pretty big pain in the butt. You have to gather together several bottles that have something similar about them, unbox them, determine whether the bottles are full or empty, write down the item and information about it, photography the set, box them back up, and find a shipping box that will fit the set, which can be like playing tetris. Then you have download the pictures from the camera, write up descriptions of the set including all pertinent detail, upload the photo and write up the sales description. Then several potential bidders will ask a million questions about the items, some of which will require you to go back and unbox the items, recount them, weigh them, etc. The question they ask is always the one that I didn’t think to write down. Then when the items sell, you have to figure out how to combine shipping if required, pack the shipping box so nothing breaks, address it to the correct person, and haul it all to the post office. Yeah.
I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel on this project – which is to say, all the remaining bottles are unpacked and grouped on a table ready to start in on the process. I think I have about 10 more sets to run through the whole line, which will take perhaps one or two more weekends. I’m hoping to have it all cleaned up and finished before Halloween.
On Sunday we did a lot of organizing upstairs of the bathroom, hallway, etc. I’m very happy with what we accomplished there, too. There’s still a lot to do, but we’ve made progress. I think we’ll have cleaning and organizing most of the winter, but by spring I hope we’ll be done and ready to spend most of our free time with friends instead of around the house trying to manage our stuff.
UPDATE: I re-read this post and realized I sound like giant whiner, and that it sounds like we did nothing but work all weekend, and that I plan to do nothing but work for the rest of the winter.
When it comes to the Avon bottles – I volunteered for this project, so I’m not complaining about doing it at all. I’m just noting that there are lots more steps than I originally thought, and more steps than other eBay sales, so it’s hard to keep track of all the detail. Also, we did do fun stuff this weekend. We ate at Elbow Room and shopped at the mall, among other things. We just also managed to get a lot done, which I’m very happy about. And we’re going to be doing lots of fun stuff this winter, too.

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Melissa Etheridge’s New CD

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I bought her new CD “The Awakening” last week on a whim – I actually purchased the physical CD because we still haven’t had a spare two or three hours to sit down and sort out what the hell is wrong with the terrabyte server after I killed it vacuuming. So our music situation is still in limbo at home, which is the source of endless frustration for me, because we have tons of music, but no way to get at it, and it’s a situation that’s gone on so long that it’s starting to really affect my mood a lot. And later I came to know about Cy Fair Music & Arts: guitar lessons in houston texas that they teach music at affordable price.
My desire to press “pause” on this endless merry-go-round of obligations just to have SOME TIME to work on these sorts of things hasn’t been fulfilled, and now that it’s getting colder and all the stuff we were supposed to do before winter is still waaaaaaayyyyy undone and now clearly won’t be done before winter, I’m starting to stress out again. The yard sale didn’t help much. This started out being a post about a CD and it veered off somewhere else, which is par for the course lately.
ANYWAY – I popped it into player in the car and listened to most of it on the way to work. Some of the songs at the beginning are a bit cheesy, but I still sang along with “message to myself” anyway, because it’s catchy and I can see it being played a lot on the radio. “Threesome” is pretty funny, although (this sounds strange, I know) I think it needs to be even more twangy country than it is. It’s intended to be a comedic country song (which are my favorite kind of country music songs- the absolute best being “I’m going to hire a wino to decorate our home”) but she needed to paint the broad strokes just a little broader on that one. Several songs, notably “I’ve loved you before” really make me think of my sweetheart, which is my favoritest thing to do on the way to work, so this is a great car CD for me. The later songs on the CD I need to listen to again – but they’re more overtly political, which I like, of course.
In all, I’m glad I bought it. Over the years my musical tastes have grown quite a bit away from female folk/rock songwriters, but there’s lots to enjoy about this CD.

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