Less Clutter = More Plays

Less clutter means more time for fun!  Today I spent about an hour cleaning up in my living room.  It looked good after an hour (Yay!) so I was able to go to the kids’ high school musical without having that gnawing feeling like I should be staying home to clean up clutter.

The musical that they did was Aida.  It’s about a Nubian princess who has been captured and enslaved by an Egyptian leader.  She falls in love with him but he is betrothed to the Pharaoh’s daughter.

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The kids all did a great job!  They have so much talent.  The two main characters were fabulous.  They both have great singing voices.  None of the actors and actresses forgot their lines.  Not that I could tell anyways.  I always wonder how they can memorize all that.

The stage crew did a wonderful job on the set.  I didn’t get a good picture of it but they had one backdrop that was solid black with lights to simulate a night sky.  It was really cool.  My daughter told me that they rented that one specifically for this play.

One of my favorite things about the high school plays is that the kids do almost all of the work for it without much adult help.  I’m sure the adults do a lot more than the kids know but as far as putting the set together with all the backgrounds and props, they’re pretty much on their own.  I think that’s great because it teaches them so much and when they see it all come together to produce the final product, they feel good knowing that they’re the ones who built it all. They put in a lot of long hours and hard work and they get to see it pay off.

A Little Bit of Clutter is Okay

I stayed at a friend’s house last week and realized something about clutter.  A little bit is okay.  The house doesn’t have to be perfect to look good.  It doesn’t have to be 100% free of any and all clutter. There can be a little bit and it’s okay if people stop over to say hey.

My friend’s house is very nice.  It doesn’t look like a mess at all when you walk in.  Sure, they could get rid of some things but then the house would  look like a museum, not a home.  I sat there for quite awhile looking around trying to make myself soak it all in.  I’m pretty sure that I am completely blind to clutter since I’ve lived with it so long.  I had to really look around to see the small piles.

Embrace the Clutter

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I keep saying that I want everything out of my living room but that will never happen and I need to accept it.  There will always be a few pieces of mail that will need to be attended to.  Hopefully, there will always be shoes that need to be put away.  I can get them more organized and into a functional space but they will still be there. I need to have pens on my desk and video game controllers by the TV.

Of course there’s still a lot more to get rid of and more remodeling to be done but a little bit is okay and I realize that now.  I will not get all upset when there’s a a few small piles sitting around.  I will straighten them up and leave them where they are or move them to a more appropriate place.  I will do my best to make sure that they stay manageable and don’t get out of control and take over the entire room.  If I live that way long enough, maybe the piles will start to appear again and I won’t need my camera to see them.

Less Clutter = More Fun!

Today was one of those days where I didn’t want to leave the house because I’m right in the middle of a drastic decluttering and I really wanted to finish it today.  I’m busy for the next week and a half so this was my last chance to get some things done.

But we had a few events going on and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to miss them.  One was an award banquet for my daughter and the other one was going to a national show horse barn to see a demonstration about different riding disciplines.

I decided that we needed to have fun and not let the hoard hold us prisoners!  I think I made the right decision.

We got to see this:

and this:

The demonstration was awesome but then afterwards, we were able to go walk around the barn and got to see one of them training a few of the horses.  It was fabulous.  They have a huge indoor round pen where they do the training which is great.  He said that they even train the horses to drive in that round arena. I wish that I had one of those for working with my mini horse!

After we left that barn, we went to our barn and helped clean and got the horses in for the night.  We couldn’t take our horses out though because there was ice everywhere.  It would have been too dangerous trying to walk them to the arena so we just got to say hi to them and that’s it.  After watching that demonstration, we really wanted to work with our horses a little bit.

We got home late but I was able to do quite a bit.  My son did a lot by himself before I got home so he is officially moved into the other bedroom now.  The smaller room is now the new storage room and it’s about half way full.  I still have one more room full of stuff that needs to go in there and then we’ll be able to move pretty freely through the whole house, all except for that room, the basement and the garage but it will be awhile before I get to those.

Drastic Decluttering Efforts Underway!

I couldn’t take it anymore!  I’ve been working in that “storage room” for weeks and just wasn’t getting anywhere at all.  My normal techniques to get rid of clutter just weren’t working in there.  It’s the really hard stuff to let go of and I wasn’t making progress.

It’s been extra frustrating because that’s the biggest bedroom in the house and there wasn’t a single person who could get in there to enjoy up-!  So today, I decided that was it.  I had to make a drastic decision.  It’s  not exactly the best decision and I’ll probably regret it but I had to do something to change the course of that bedroom.

We’re moving everything from the storage room into my son’s smaller bedroom so he can move into the big room.  I will feel much better knowing that the biggest bedroom in the house is being occupied by a person and not a bunch of STUFF.

We’ve been at it for a little over an hour and we’ve gotten a few big things out, like a box spring and the bunk bed frame.  Then we took a break for dinner.  I’m trying to take pics as I go but it looks pretty darn bad so I don’t want to post them yet but here’s a teaser.

Bunk bed in the clutter

Decluttering the Storage Room

I spent the weekend working on decluttering the “storage room” in my house.  It’s not really a storage room, that’s just what we call it because when a holiday comes along, we shove all of the clutter in there.  It’s actually the biggest bedroom upstairs and I want to kick myself every time I think about this cluttered room.  Organized storage would be much better.

My 6’1″ son is sleeping in a twin size bed right now.  It’s too small for him but the room he’s in is too small for a bigger bed.  If I could get the “storage room” cleaned out, I could move him into that room and then get him a bigger bed.  I can’t get through it all fast enough.  I’m struggling.  I could only get through so much before I had to give it up for the weekend.  I was doing too much standing there and not enough getting rid of.

I have 4 big buckets of stuff ready to get rid of (I made a little progress).  I’m kind of waiting until I have a few more because it gives me that sense of accomplishment when I see it all together as one big pile.  I also like the feeling of seeing no room to walk around and then when it’s gone, empty space.  That’s a great feeling too!

We might have some friends coming over on Saturday night.  I’m a little worried about it and I still might have to cancel.  The kids are looking forward to it so they’ve been helping all weekend but it might not be enough.  I will be really sad if I have to cancel this because we have too much of a mess here.  It’s a pretty common thing to happen here though.  There’s a lot of times that we can’t have people over.  It’s one of the biggest reasons that I want this house cleaned out.

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?

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.