Post by morningglory on Jun 15, 2012 7:58:08 GMT -5
Hi again, everyone! There are some areas left in my bedroom that need to be attacked and whipped into shape. Truth be told, I began to work on them, while doing the other parts of the room, and have already gotten a lot done. But I am going to post "before" pictures, even though they don't look quite this bad any more, to give you an idea what we started out with.
First, here is a photo from the space beside my (now clear) dresser, extending behind the door to the room. All the junk back there made it impossible to open the door all the way!
Post by morningglory on Jun 15, 2012 8:02:53 GMT -5
And here is a picture of the stack next to the dresser a little later in the process. (There was still stuff behind the door, too.) My intention is to completely eliminate that stack. On the bottom of the stack is a milk crate with file folders in it. I plan to sort those out and put any that I need to keep in a more appropriate place. Like, I don't know, maybe the FILE CABINET??
Honestly, my file cabinets (yes, two of them, two deep four-drawer cabinets) were so stuffed I could no longer fit additional files in them. I have various file boxes floating around the house with overflow.
But just going through a few files from the cabinets in the past few weeks, I've found I can throw a ton of that stuff away, making room for those things I really need to keep. (I tossed a few files during a free moment the other day, in fact!)
Above the milk crate/file box is a wooden door that goes to the bottom of a shelf, creating a "table" to support a plastic bin full of my jewelry, makeup, and assorted junk that I didn't want to lose. I want to move any jewelry I keep into a pretty jewelry box on my dresser. The other stuff will have to be sorted.
But there is no need for things to be piled up next to my dresser or behind my door.
Post by morningglory on Jun 15, 2012 8:06:26 GMT -5
Oops, looking at that second photo again, I realize I didn't mention the other file box stacked there. Also that the top of the bin became a place for random clothes and other stuff to be piled.
This next photo shows a makeshift table my husband put together from a wire drawer thingy with one of his ubiquitous sheets of plexiglass on top. It quickly became a repository for anything and everything, and a horrible dust trap. I have actually already eliminated this "table" and sorted most of the stuff it supported and contained.
Post by morningglory on Jun 15, 2012 8:11:34 GMT -5
And here we have a shelving unit (the one that the door-being-used-as-tabletop goes to) stuffed with junk. I have moved it into the former location of the horrible plexiglass "table" that I cleared away, to make it easier to get at for clearing and cleaning.
I took this photo yesterday, so that's what I am working on now, along with the remains of the next to the dresser/behind the door pile.
There is also a big bunch of junk that I have cleared out of various parts of the room but have not yet been sorted or found a proper home, which I will post a photo of next.
[Oops--apparently forgot to attach the photo and can't seem to do it after the fact, so will post it lower.]
Post by morningglory on Jun 15, 2012 8:59:18 GMT -5
Here is the "leftover" stuff I still need to deal with, in addition to about four loads of my husband's laundry.
His piles of laundry are still a sore point, and I'm not sure how we are going to work it out, ultimately. He goes through spurts of dealing with bits of it, but it's going to have to be some kind of ongoing maintenance routine, or it's not going to work.
Along those lines, I've gotten a little disturbed lately by one son following old habits. For instance, he was told to remove his pile of assorted stuff from my front entry table (which I keep clear of everything except stuff I'm dealing with immediately), so he moved it to the floor!! When he came back from swimming, I found his bag with wet suit and towel on the floor by the shoe rack!! And this is the kid who is most supportive of my clean-up efforts, and most wants the house to be suitable for friends to visit!
Husband also has done a few of these things. We have switched to a Soda Stream machine to make our own carbonated water, instead of buying bottles or cans. It comes out to about half price, plus we don't have to haul all it back from the store or pile up bottles and cans in the house. (You can see a bunch of his blue soda cans in at least one of my bedroom pictures!) However, yesterday we ran out of the carbonated gas, and before I could get to the store to get a new one (you exchange the old one for a half-price refill), he drank a couple of the cans that we have tucked away for just such emergencies. Fine--except that once again I found one of those stupid cans sitting empty in the bedroom. What is so hard about tossing it in the trash can, which is a mere two feet away? Ugh.
Also, in my bedroom cleaning I found a giant toolbox that was used to store a few things under lock and key. He transferred the contents into a smaller, nicer lockbox, which was great. Except that he set the giant toolbox next to the back door--in that "back corner" of the kitchen that I worked so hard to clean out. Again, it was RIGHT NEXT to the garage door. Why didn't he simply open the door and put it in the garage? What is so hard?
We already had an argument a couple weeks ago about him setting junk on that countertop that I cleaned the giant pile off of. I keep that clear for my own use--I have a snack bowl, a tissue box, and a small "current" file container there, and I use it for a staging area when I am preparing things (set a baking dish there before it's ready to go in the oven, for example). But I do NOT want anyone to get into the habit of just sticking things on there because they can't be bothered to put them where they go. I don't want it to become the place where people "temporarily" store their flotsam, as it was for so many years. It would be too easy for it to become that horrible mess again.
But he could not understand why I didn't want him to put random stuff there, since it was only "temporary". Not meaning that he *ever* intended to put the stuff away, just that he meant at some point to shift it to another surface, and would almost certainly not even do that. We all know how easily those "intentions" get forgotten as we deal with immediate demands. That's why establishing habits of taking care of things right away is so important!
Also with my dresser top. I told him (nicely) I didn't like him setting his things down there--and he seemed annoyed by that. "What's the big deal?" he thinks.
That back corner is the same way. It wouldn't take much for people to start regarding it as an out-of-the-way area to tuck random things they didn't feel like putting away at the moment.
If anger is coming across in this post, it is because I actually do feel angry about this. It's not just the fear of so much hard work being undone, it's that I don't feel my words have an impact.
My husband is so very appreciative of all I've been doing. He comments on it regularly, which means a lot to me. But if I tell him that I want him not to leave trash, dishes, laundry, shoes, or whatever sitting around, it's like I am criticizing him as a human being, and he seems to want to push back.
I know I've entered rant territory now, and I guess I do need to vent. This is probably the best place for it.
We still have that huge pile of things next to his chair, taking up probably 1/8 of the living room, and much of what I've had to deal with in the bedroom is his. (I don't even know the total count of adapters and extension cords and cables I ended up with--but it was at LEAST 30, and they weren't even plugged into anything! He has had me keep all but about 3 of them!)
Whew. Well, I guess maintenance will in some ways be harder than the clean-up, because it will require keeping on top of PEOPLE and their habits, which are a lot harder to have an impact on than inanimate stuff.
Hey, MorningGlory! I understand all about your family and DH. I have the same types of issues here. Btw, it looks like you really don't have that much to go in your bedroom. It seems you are soo close to finished with that room.
Do you have many rooms to do, or is this the last one? I know you've already done so very much!
I am trying to decide what to do next... Hmmmm.
Okay, I've decided and this will be very hard!!! It is a 2 part challenge... 1st -- finish clearing out my current beige purse. It is a much bigger purse than I usually have. I normally like small ones, but the big ones are great when traveling. I've got it totally stuffed full of ....... you guessed it! Papers, mostly receipts. I've already done at least 3 sets of 15 minutes on this purse... one set just a little while ago. 2nd -- Top of my bedroom dresser & floor next to my bed. This is really going to be hard and take a very long time. The hardest part of dresser are some of the clothes that I currently use that do not fit in the drawers. I know I should do the drawers, too, ... and that may end up happening. But, we'll see... Also, next to my bed are several boxes of things and I'm sure they will be hard to deal with. Also, clutter totally there. In order to put away thing I will be keeping, I will have to go thru other areas of my house, bedroom, or closet. That is why I have procrastinated on all this for soo long. Argghh! I wish that I could do pictures, but you can probably imagine what it is like based on your room. My dresser is much larger than yours, however. Also, the area next to my bed and between the bed and dresser... is pretty much piled and cluttered. I have a goat path in this narrow area.
So, I hope to spend some time in there later today.
Good luck on AGGRESSIVELY TOSSING in this Thread #6!!! CD
Post by morningglory on Jun 15, 2012 11:26:27 GMT -5
Oh, Cando--your bedroom sounds so much like mine was at the beginning! Hopefully not as full of dirt and dust and gross stuff, but it does sound like the same kinds of clutter (boxes piled up, clothes draped over dresser, almost no room to walk--we didn't even bother with goat path, just walked right on top of stuff!).
I understand what you are saying about not being able to put things away because it involves moving them into the rest of the house, etc. Here's where the TOSSING AGGRESSIVELY part makes a huge difference in making the decluttering possible. My advice: Get rid of everything expect what is absolutely essential. Learn to make those hard decisions and be ruthless about what "essential" means! Then you won't have to put away very much at all. And the more space you clear, the more room you'll have for what needs to be cleared.
Work at it a LEETLE bit at a time. I mean, rather than pulling everything out and sorting it (which creates an overwhelming bunch of stuff to deal with), pick up the trash off the top and throw it away, then pick out some things on the next layer and get rid of whatever you can and put away whatever you can. That's how I did that back corner of my kitchen (picture attached for horrific reference). Little bits at a time (like your 15-minute intervals), leaving the rest in place until you get to it.
In any case, Cando, you CAN meet your two-part challenge! We'll be here to cheer you on and help you through.
You are right that I really don't have that much left to do in our bedroom. I mean, to someone else it would be a terrible mess, but having seen the "before" photos, you know that this ain't nothin'.
Once it is done, this will actually be the FIRST room that I have completely decluttered. After tackling the counter and corner in the kitchen, our bedroom was the WORST room in the house, but certainly not the only one that needs to be delivered from squalor.
And, honestly, I don't plan to do my closet drawers or dresser drawers before moving on to the rest of the house. They will have to sit tight for the time being, until I can come back around to them. (Although I have been doing little bits of my dresser drawers occasionally, when I see things in them that shouldn't be there.)
After I get these final areas of our bedroom done, my plan is to (1) get the more public areas (living room, dining room, etc.) cleared and cleaned, then (2) my kids' rooms. Garage, attic, and basement will have to wait for last. . .but I WILL get to them.
At some point along the way, I need to start getting repairs done to the house. The dining room and kitchen ceilings need to be redone. The bathroom needs a COMPLETE overhaul; it's a mess. But we have been putting this work off primarily because of the expense but the squalor has not been an insignificant factor. It's difficult/impossible to have workmen come in and do major repairs when they have to step over and around junk of all descriptions. Not to mention humiliating.
Speaking of workmen, I am getting antsy about the fence repair, because here it is the 15th and they have not yet been able to schedule the work. T top it off, we got another code violation for the pieces of the fence that are stacked up in the yard, waiting for the fence guys to remove it! I have to see what can be worked out. . .
Post by morningglory on Jun 15, 2012 11:43:55 GMT -5
PS - Looking at that kitchen corner picture, and also thinking about the stack on my counter and on my dresser and next to both sides of my bed--I could never have dealt with any of that if I thought I had to find a home for all of that stuff. In fact, I think that's a big reason I put it off so very long. I had no idea WHERE it would all go, and as you say, Cando, the other spaces are already occupied with other stuff.
It wasn't until I set my mind on tossing aggressively that I was able to handle it. And only after the fact, as the process progressed, did it become obvious to me that the more I cleaned, the more room I had in cabinets and closets and drawers and shelves for things that I really want and need. It was like a joyful revelation--Hey, now I have a place to put all these things that I have been storing on the floor!
I had to laugh at myself for keeping things I need on the floor or on tabletops because the cabinets were stuffed with a bunch of stuff I DIDN'T need. I kept buying more shelves and bins to keep things in, when I could have simply cleared out the junk to begin with. (Please understand, I am shaking my head at myself, not anyone else here. Everyone's situation is different.)
Currently I have a big collection of bins and boxes and wire organizers that I have emptied while I desqualor. I am only holding onto them until the house is finished, as sometimes I need a particular size or shape container for something. But when I am done, I expect to have a lot of containers to give away. When you don't have so much stuff, you don't need so many ways to hold it all.
Post by morningglory on Jun 15, 2012 11:47:45 GMT -5
Another PS - Sometimes bins can be a good interim location to put the things that need to be moved to another part of the house that hasn't been decluttered yet. So, for example, if you are collecting a bunch of books or tax records or jewelry, but you don't have room to put them away where you ultimately want them to go, you could put all of the items in that particular category into one box. That way they are kept safe and all together until you can get the other space sorted out enough to put the temporarily boxed items away. At least then they are not mixed into a random bunch of stuff in a box or stack, and at least they are not cluttering up an area you need to use (like your dresser top).
Sorry I've been absent so long ladies....I'm still having some difficulties with my hands (makes typing hard). I always read this thread though and am cheering you girls on, but my posting will be a bit sporadic.
First: Cando, I'm so sorry about your beloved dog. May he rest in peace. Good job continuing on to the larger purse and making a plan for your bedroom. A good plan is half the battle!
Glory, you're doing fab!!! A quick comment on you wanting to put your jewelry in a pretty jewelry box on your dresser.....I really hope you get to do that. Then you can find all that lovely jewelry and make yourself lovely with it....what could be better? Once I got my house cleaned up it was so much easier to keep myself looking nicer, and I make sure to wear jewelry every single day now. It makes me *feel* like a goddess (and in real life, I am NOT a goddess in this broken down, busted up body). But it's nice to feel like one.
You have so many people living in your house Glory, it is going to be a challenge to keep it up when others "don't feel like it." It used to aggravate the absolute CRAP out of me when my hard-won clean spaces got messed up by others. I'm now trying to let go of those negative emotions and get zen about it. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't, but try not to let it eat you up too much.....cuz in the end the irritation only bothers you. Maybe your family will jump on the bandwagon and maybe they won't, but trust in yourself to keep the train on it's track.
Sunshine, I don't know if you're still reading this thread but I wanted to give you a big HI! I don't have any hands left to send you a message, but I'm thinking of you.
Last Edit: Jun 15, 2012 20:49:04 GMT -5 by Hurricane
Defeat is a temporary condition...giving up is what makes it permanent.
Hi gals, and congratulations MorningGlory on Thread #6!
Janie, I'm so sorry your hands are hurting so much. When you are quiet, I figure that that's what's happening, and I know you are cheering for us. Always know that we are cheering for you, too.
CD, congratulations on choosing those two challenges to take on. One piece at a time, you CAN do it!
MorningGlory, I so appreciate the way that you think things through and express yourself here. It really helps me to read it
Re your rant - umm, you must be a much more mannerly person than I am, I think.... my rants are not nearly so polite
This is just a brief post to wish everyone well with their tossing. One thing I really wanted to say is this - which I've gained from the TA threads....
Instead of looking at an item and asking myself, "why should I get rid of it", I am now seriously reversing the onus of proof, and asking, "why should I keep this?" It's made it so much more straightforward for me - it's like I've changed my 'default' setting to 'toss it out unless there is a real justification for keeping it'.
It's not easy to adopt that approach, but boy oh boy, it really works for me. I can feel how much my thinking has changed, and my attachment to stuff is reducing remarkably.
The stuff now has to earn its place in my home!
*~*~* It's gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiney day. *~*~*
MorningGlory -- Thanks for posting that picture, again. I had fogotten how much you did in that kitchen and how overwhelming it must have been at the beginning.
Yes, I do have a few extra bin type containers and will remember to do that. It is a great idea! Thank you!!!
Your post was very encouraging and helpful, Thank you!
HurricaneJane -- So sorry to read about your hands. You continue to inspire me!
Sunshine -- Thanks for always offering your support.
Today, I did another 15 minutes on the beige purse: still not finished. *put 10 cents in change bag *1 receipt put in 2010 tax box *a bunch of papers/receipts put in 2011 tax box *a bunch of papers/receipts to be filed *1 medication wrapper tossed *2 paper/receipt into recycle bag *1 paper to be shred
I see the end is near on the current, beige purse. I have already decided that I will put it away, totally, rather than leave it out to change to when I need to have a color other than black.
I do realize that I am waiting far, far too long before I go thru a purse. CD
Post by morningglory on Jun 16, 2012 22:22:20 GMT -5
Great to see you, Hurricane! Friday I was thinking about you, and figured you must be having trouble with your hands. I was planning to drop you a note, so I am glad to see you pop up here!
Thank you so much for the advice about not letting it eat at me when others don't bother. It really is a problem for me, getting resentful about having to work against the current. It feels like I am being disrespected, and I have always had a really hard time establishing boundaries.
Thanks, also, for the encouragement about the jewelry. I do look forward to that. I even like that I have been able to wear my houseslippers regularly since cleaning the closet. I always put them back in there when I take them off, so I have them ready. And I have my regular grooming products in those boxes on the dresser. So I do agree it's easier to take care of myself the neater the house gets.
SUNSHINE! What you wrote about changing the attitude toward the decision-making process is *exactly* the shift I have experienced that has finally made it possible for me to make real headway cleaning this place out. I have never done anything like this before, because I always retained everything I couldn't think of a good reason to get rid of. Let's keep going!
Cando, you are doing great! I think you are making good decisions and learning as you go.
Spent another 15 minutes decluttering current beige purse -- Still not done! Almost, though... put tape measure away Empty zip bag & eraser into trash put 2011 papers/receipts into Tax Box 2012 papers/receipts to be filed 3 receipts to be shred 31 receipts papers into recycle bag