Snowy Day Today

snow

I woke up to snow this morning.  It really wasn’t a lot of snow but it was enough that I was happy to see it.  Not because I like snow but because I was supposed to take my mom to a Christmas Tea (craft fair at someone’s house) for the entire day and all I really wanted to do was stay home today.   She won’t go anywhere if it’s snowing, even if I offer to pick her up.  She’s had a few bad experiences driving in the snow so there was no way that she would go especially since the news people didn’t have anything better to report on and were making a huge deal out of it.  I have a truck so if I had wanted to go, I would have.

It was great being able to stay home all day.  I got a lot done and I didn’t have to rush to get anywhere.  I was able to finish my plans for the entry way.  I have a little more to think about yet but I think we’ll be ready to build it by next weekend if I can find time to finish painting.  I was able to spend a little time on an online class that I’m taking.  It’s not hard but I never have time to sit and work on it.

I even spent some time updating some of my hubs on Hubpages.  They’ve been badly neglected.  I was a Squidoo’er and this move to Hubpages has been awful.  I loved Squidoo.  I loved the little monsters, the cute themes and the fun groups.  Most people were nice on the forums.  I made sales on Amazon and was rewarded with useless but fun points for it.  At Hubpages, the people in the forums are not nice.  The themes are non existent so the whole site is drab and boring.  There’s constant changes that don’t make sense.  And worst of all, if you make a sale on Amazon, they unfeature your hub so you can’t make anymore.  I’m sure other people have better experiences with the site but that’s how it’s been for me.

It was an awesome day but there was one thing that really made me smile.  It was a feeling that I haven’t had in a long time.  I was able to sit in my living room and look around and not feel overwhelmed or too miserable to be there.  I was content.  There’s still too much stuff in the room but it’s not too bad.  It might be overly cluttered by some people’s standards but compared to how it was, it looks beautiful.  I feel like all the work I’ve been doing on it is finally paying off.

An Hour on the Front Porch

My front porch is taking me way longer than I expected.  It’s usually a place that I can have cleared out in a few hours but this time is a little different.  My house is so full right now that there’s no place to go with anything that I decide to keep.  I either need to get rid of things or they have to stay on the porch.

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This is one tiny part of the porch.  I wrote about it in another post.  The things that were there were a plant, some bubble wrap, too much mail, a washcloth, salt for the sidewalk and other various random things.  None of them were beautiful and only a few were useful.  I was having a really hard time with even getting started because I didn’t know what I was going to do with these things.

I finally buckled down and spent about an hour working on this little area over the weekend. It’s amazing how much you can fit in such a small area.  I threw away most of the junk mail and cut up a few small boxes.  I moved the plant.  It’s still on the porch but will find a home someday. I might take it to work.

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Well, here’s that area cleaned up.  It’s a different angle but I think it looks so much better now!! It’s nice to be able to see the floor out there.  It’s nice to be able to walk in the front door and not bump your leg on anything as you walk past.  It’s nice to walk past that little tiny area and not wonder where all that stuff is going to go or worry about what the neighbors think.  It’s still not beautiful but at least there’s hope now that someday it might be.  I’m glad I got a little done!!

 

Free Day Reward?

not hoarding cookbooks

I’ve been getting rid of things by putting them out on a table in front of my house with a big FREE sign.  I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff so far and I’m hoping to do it again this weekend.  Last weekend, I wasn’t even planning on having a free table but I started working on an area and had so much stuff that we set it up.  A few hours later, almost everything was gone.  It was my biggest and most successful free day yet!

Dinner at my house has been getting a bit routine.  We’ve been making the same things over and over for a few months now.  I was thinking that I really needed some new cookbooks but certainly couldn’t afford any new ones right now.  Besides, even if I could afford them, I still probably wouldn’t buy myself new cookbooks when there’s so many perfectly good used ones out there.

The night after my biggest and most successful free day, I was at a 4-H volunteer banquet.  Everyone got some raffle tickets.  We played a trivia game and the tables that got the trivia questions right won extra tickets.  My table didn’t win any extras.  There were different bags for different things that you could put your tickets in and one was a cookbook basket.  Some of the other things were a Keurig coffee maker, a Starbucks basket with coffee, some scissors, and a car wash basket.  I put a few of my tickets in the cookbook basket and a few in the other bags.  Surprisingly, I won the cookbook basket!

The cookbooks were all brand new Taste of Home cookbooks.  My favorite ones!!! And let me tell you, a brand new cookbook has a different feel to it than a used one!  It feels great!

The books included one for Christmas, one called Church Suppers, one with Best Loved Healthy recipes, and a diabetes family friendly cookbook.  The fifth book wasn’t a cookbook at all but a book that made me think that maybe these books were my reward for having these free days.  The title of the book is The Kindness Diaries.  I thought that was pretty cool!

Tough Decisions – Vintage 3M Games Oh-Wah-Ree and Facts in Five

Vintage games

I’m having a hard time letting go of a few things.  These two games are on the top of my list right now.  My head is saying to get rid of them.  I don’t need them.  I have no reason to be attached to them.  I picked them up about a month ago at a rummage sale.  It was a bag sale and my mom pointed them out.  They were marked $8.00 each but I fit them both in a bag along with a bunch of other stuff for $5.00.  I had never even heard of these games before I picked them up that day,  I put them on eBay last week and didn’t get any bids on them.

My heart on the other hand is saying hey, these are cool vintage games.  They’re both from the 1960’s and they look awesome.  We could really use some games around here that aren’t electronic and these are pretty neat.  It looks like all of the parts are here and they’re still in good condition.  They look fun!  Oh-Wah-Ree has a leather pouch of brightly colored marbles and a leather pouch of stones.

They are both the size of big books.  In fact, they are called Bookshelf games because you can put them on your book shelf along with the big encyclopedias that you probably don’t have anymore.  They are so big though that I would really like to get rid of them.  I have them sitting next to my TV right now and they’re driving me crazy.  I want that spot cleared off.  I could move them but do I really want to take up that much room somewhere else either?  I don’t think so.

Does anyone know anything about these antique games?  Should I feel bad getting rid of them or should I be keeping them?  What would you do with them?

Forced to Take a Decluttering Break

I was so gungho the other day to finish my front porch within a week but I woke up yesterday with a sore wrist.  I was hoping that it would get better throughout the day but unfortunately, it just got worse.  By last night, I couldn’t sleep the pain was so unbearable.  I was this close to going to the ER but decided to try to stick it out until morning.  Urgent care is much cheaper than the emergency room.

When I got to the doctor, my hand and wrist were so swollen that the urgent care doctor kind of freaked me out.  She was saying that she might send me for an ultrasound because she was worried there was a blood clot in my arm but thankfully never made another mention of that.  She did have blood work and an x-ray done, neither of which showed anything in particular.

She said the pain is being caused by the swelling being so bad that it’s pinching my nerve and left the final diagnosis as inflammation.  I’m not very satisfied with that diagnosis because something must be causing the swelling and all she’s doing is masking it with anti-inflammatories. I’m supposed to see my regular doctor next week but won’t be able to get in until the following week.

Unfortunately, it’s my right hand and wrist that are having the problem so there’s not really much I can do.  I’m fairly dexterous and can use my left hand quite a bit but it’s not as strong and gets tired pretty quickly.  I guess I will be taking a break from my decluttering for a few days.  I hope I can get back to it quickly.

Kids with the Clutter Bug

I think a lot about my kids and how much or how little they clean. I would love to say that my kids are great at cleaning and keeping things clutter free but that would only be half true. Half of my kids are great at it. They have no problems letting things go. Their bedrooms or homes are kept fairly clean and straightened up. But the other half have, unfortunately, inherited the clutter bug.

One of the older kids in particular has a way of going through the house leaving little messes behind her everywhere she goes. I’m almost positive that she thinks she has cleaning fairies who are constantly there to clean up after her. I’ve told her numerous times that they have quit and are no longer cleaning up after her but she still leaves little messes for them to take care of. She’s not really a kid anymore which is why this is so frustrating.

Clutter and kids

As you can see in the picture, she left her shoes, a towel, and some cups on the floor but if you tell her that she did, she completely denies it. Trying to get her to clean it up takes much more effort than the two seconds it would take her to clean it up. She left a pair of socks on the bathroom floor. I left them for about 3 days and then guess what… I threw them away. She sees them every time she goes in the bathroom but it never clicks in her head to pick them up. There’s nothing else on the bathroom floor so it’s not like she can’t see them. She needs some sort of organization but she’s not going to find it in my house just yet.

Another Missed Moment

Remember the cool house?  The house where everyone always wanted to hang out at?  I always wanted my house to be that house but it’s a little hard when you can’t let anyone in because of the mess. Last night was my daughter’s homecoming dance.  Buying the ticket, finding a dress, and making plans with friends were all done at the last minute and we definitely didn’t have anyone over.

She looked great but because we weren’t prepared, she missed taking pictures with her friends.  They all met around 2:00 p.m. to put make up on and take pictures and then we met them at 5:30 for dinner. She had a great rest of the night but there’s so much that I wish we could have done differently.

The biggest thing for me is that we couldn’t have her friends over here beforehand.  She couldn’t even have one friend over let alone the whole group.  This one is so hard because there’s only a few years left before she’s out of high school and then there will never be that opportunity again – that chance to make happy fun memories with her friends.

I loaded up quite a bit of stuff into my back seat today.  It’s filling up with things that are hard for me to get rid of but will free up space in my house so we can live.  The more I get rid of, the harder it is to get rid of more.  I feel like I’ve been through buckets of stuff over and over.  I feel stuck but I’m going to keep struggling to get rid of more, a lot more.

Cleaning When Under Stress

I’ve been stuck for days unable to get any further on this disaster of a house.  Today, my oldest daughter almost had her purse snatched and then told me that her and her fiancé are moving almost 2 hours away.  I was pretty devastated over both things and since I didn’t know what to do about either one, I managed to get rid of more things!  For some reason, when I’m under a lot of stress, I start cleaning.  I can usually get a lot done.  I made a trip to St. Vinny’s and dropped off two big garbage bags full of miscellaneous items.

Here’s the pile of stuff that I was originally planning on keeping:

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That’s my new little kitty in the pic!  He took that ball maze out of the get rid of pile and it’s his now!  It was a second sort through of this pile of stuff.  I do this a lot.  I go through it kind of fast the first time.  Then a little slower the second time and then third time through it seems to do the trick.  By then, I’m so sick of looking at it all that it’s easier to let it go.

The other thing I did was picked up a few baskets and buckets.  I’m going to be putting in a bunch of shelves and I realized that the small things will need to be inside some sort of container.  I bought a few to get started. Here’s the pile after the second run through:

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The black basket on the right is one that I just bought.  It held a lot more than I was expecting!  I’m glad I got it.  Handles would be nice on it though.

Getting Rid of Clutter

This is the stuff that I took to St. Vinny’s.  It’s not a ton of stuff but every little bit helps.  I will try to go through it once more and hopefully I’ll be able to get rid of a few more things.

I’m not sure what makes me want to clean when I’m under stress. I get a lot more done than when I have unlimited amounts of time to clean a room.  Something about that stress feeling makes me want to get rid of everything.  It has a positive outcome but it’s not great to be under all that stress either.

The Critter In the Mess

This is one of my most embarrassing hoarder moments.  I don’t think I’ve ever even told anyone this story about the critter.  When my kids were little, my computer was in the living room and I would sit on there for a little while every night and chat with other moms on Babycenter while the kids played.  My twins were babies and I was working full time so I was very sleep deprived and the room was overtaken with stuff.

For a couple months, as I sat at my computer, out of the corner of my eye, I would see a big fluffy thing go flying past my feet.  I never saw a furry critter so I thought that I was so sleep deprived that I must be seeing things.  We didn’t have any pets at the time. It would have to be something bigger than a mouse to have a big fluffy tail like that but then surely I would have seen an animal that big.  I’m sure that I would have known if there was a critter living in the house, even if there was stuff every where.

I saw this fluffy thing that I thought was a tail at least 5 times but I never heard anything.  I thought that if it was an animal and it was living in the piles of stuff, I would hear it rustling through the room or there would be some other clue but I never saw or heard anything.

This went on for a few months until one day I finally saw it.  I walked in the kitchen and there it was.  The critter – a chipmunk.  There was a chipmunk in my kitchen, on the counter, having lunch.  I still can’t believe it!  It wasn’t very small either.  Now that’s when you know you have a hoarding problem!

critter

Imagine finding a critter like this one on your counter.