Monday, January 16, 2017

Life is going to be messy~

Life is going to be messy. The goal is to be able to find most things within a reasonable amount of time, keep enough stuff that makes you happy and functional, and to toss what isn’t working, unless it’s beautiful and you like looking at it.

-RainKatt, on Ravelry

I think that is the best and simplest I have yet heard it put.

Decluttering, Round 4 - Begin!

Round 1: about 10 years ago, about 40% stuff reduction
Round 2: about 6 years ago, before and after a move. Much stuff removed.
Round 3: About 3 years ago, after another move. About a 30% reduction - my home shrank by 100sf and a 100sf storage area. 
Round 4: A new chapter of my life is beginning

I realized a few days ago I'd love to own about half of what I currently do. I'm not sure how I can do that, but it does give me a goal.

Things I can do to work towards this:
  • The spare room needs cleaned up a bit better. It has improved greatly in the past month!
  • The older computer tower is ready to be recycled, just needs dropped off. I'm collecting various bits of recyclable electronics together so this can be all in one trip.
  • My collection of duffel bags and backpacks needs to be sorted through, and extras donated again.
  • The oversize dresser needs to be replaced this summer with smaller one.
  • My fabric stash needs to be sewn up and made into things.
  • My book collection needs to be resorted, just as an occasional checkup. 
  • My SCA kit needs checked over, as I'm doing the sewing. As most of the sewing is for the SCA this will work well.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Long-overdue Update

So, my last post was three and a half years ago. I thought I should come back and post an update, at the least.

In late March of 2014, I moved. I no longer have a roommate. I have a 2-bedroom townhouse, with a backyard and brick patio. Moving involved a great deal of decluttering and I continue to filter things on frequent basis. There have been so many changes to my life, it's almost like shedding an old skin. But it feels wonderful, and I'm enjoying the process.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Goals for the house

In the past month, I've rearranged the living room and balcony, and bought a new shower curtain. That last doesn't sound like much, but it looks like I completely redid the bathroom!

The living room functions better with its changes as well; I just need to hang my swords up, fix the couch cover and put it back out, and get the Singer 66 back together and in the living room. Of which the last two are a fair bit of work. My computer desk is much cleaner, but not perfect, and I still have piles on the kitchen table. And a plant on the kitchen counter, that needs a new home found in the house. The plant stand it was on has been filtered. I could use better organization around the computer, which involves more space on the bookshelf, which is a challenge. I need another bookshelf far more than another sewing machine in the living room! Or give Ester (the electric) back to my mother, since I won't sew on it anyway, and replacing that with shelving of some kind. Maybe.

My bedroom is a bit chaotic. Too much stuff jammed in there, between trying to keep my off-season stuff in the carved chest and all my crafts, all my SCA stuff, and most of my books in the room. Eek, that even looks bad typed! But the storage unit is still full as well. Getting the sewing machine out will help. Getting the '66 sewing machine running, even though it means more money, is actually very conductive to finding it a new home. No one will take it right now, they just tell me how pretty it is. I have finished completely flipping over to summer clothes, and also sorted out my box of 'size 12' clothes and got rid of most of that (I had gotten to size 16, now back at 14 and very slowly getting to 12).

The balcony: I've rearranged the pots, gotten rid of several pots (more going!) and bought a whirlygig and a windchime. Once I get the bikes stored somewhere other than my Sitting Spot, I'll have a place to sit. All but two of the pots have herbs in them - rosemary, mints, lemon balm. If I can find a snowball bush (hydrangea) that will work out there, in a pot, I'm getting it. It looks like Endless Summer® Blushing Bride Hydrangea may work, I just need to find one.

I've taken a few loads to the thrift store, and a couple more loads to friends that can use what I'm filtering. The living room looks much nicer, and mostly stays clean. Since the the last time I reset the computer desk (a week or two) it's stayed dramatically cleaner with little effort from me.

There is still room for improvement but I think right now I'm going to work on finishing some of the craft projects. Some of those will result in snowball cleaning - when I finish painting my new SCA jewelry box, I can fill that up with stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else, then paint the old one and use that to hold A&S tokens. Those two things will clean up stuff that's sitting on my dresser right now, where they don't belong. Then the table will be clear, so I can do the sewing that's sitting on the sewing machine, etc. Snowball cleaning!

And once I've done some of that, the next layer of clutter will be more visible to me, and I can peel that off. Decluttering can be like an onion - you have to peel of one layer before you can deal with the next. Especially when it's your stuff, and you're living life in the middle of it.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring is... gone?

It's been 80's the past few weeks; not so much a late spring as one that arrived late and breezed past on its way out. I've moved most of my closet from winter to summer. Linens have been changed, some are being upgraded - some of the kitchen towels are worn to the point of being see-through. The herbs on the patio have all shot to a foot tall and bushy, without so much as a watering from me.

Bookshelves were last night's focus. I now have a half-dozen books leaving, with plans to add a couple more to the pile by the weekend. These will either go to the paperback store for credit, or to thrift. A couple will be going directly to friends who will enjoy them. I still have one box of books I will be keeping that needs to come inside, and another box that is just cookbooks. I want to keep some recipes from the cookbooks and when I have copied out those, they will be going. After a year of not working on them, progress is once again being made.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Back in motion

I've been quiet for a while, I know. I felt like I was at a dead stop when it came to decluttering. Sometimes it's as though I need to build up a certain amount of momentum before I can move; apparently that's what I was waiting for this time.

After being unable to do much around the house for a week, I got quite a bit done over the weekend:
  • reorganized spice cabinet. Tossed 20 expired ones. All spices/herbs now in two spots, not three (one spot is bulk storage; I have 3 qts each of dried bell peppers and dried basil that I grew)
  • reorganized fabric stash. Went from 2 bins + a pile, to one bin, and one bag of 'in progress' that will be worked on shortly.
  • One grocer bag to thrift
  • One grocer bag for friends to look through; anything they don't take gets thrifted
  • reorganized area over dryer.
  • Less stuff on kitchen counters (yay!)
The spice cabinet involved trips to World Market. I picked up prettier jars (here and here) and two cabinet organizers. It's much prettier, and I can actually find what I want, now. And I have spices to buy; I can't NOT have Old Bay!

For the fabric stash - the bin is back in storage, and the one paper grocer sack is waiting near the sewing machine. I believe the projects in there include an underdress for my SCA closet, a couple of mundane tank tops, some stuff I'd started and dropped, and the black fleece teddy bear for DD to make in order to learn basic sewing. She knows I don't care if she keeps it up, I just want her to know basics so that if she needs the information later she'll have it.

I'm quite happy with this progress. The next planned target is the wardrobe; it's about time to flip over to warm weather clothes (despite getting an inch of snow Sunday!). That's for next weekend.

What are you planning on doing next?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Minimizing the Cooking

I have to admit, I'm tired of cooking.  My goal here is to make a larger variety of food, spend less time in the kitchen, and eat healthy. I'm not expecting to spend much less money overall, as any savings will probably be spent on eating more fresh fruit and better breads.

~Cook's Day Off
~Bi-Weekly Cooking
~Better Recipe Access
~Wider variety of foods

Starting about a month ago, I declared Sunday to be Cook's Day Off.  I also started planning menus on a two-week schedule, and buying nearly all of the groceries in one run. Week one is 90% of two week's groceries, week two is milk/bread/emergencies run - generally I get all the shopping done in 15 minutes. Having done this for about six weeks, I can say I'm spending the same or less money, and definitely less time at the store. By shifting the shopping to Friday evenings, I can do food prep on Saturday and have my Sundays free. And granted, it's minimal prep- make slow-cooker baggies, repackage the meat into sizes I can use and freeze it. That's it.

For 'better access to recipes,' I have a recipe program I use - Living Cookbook. Before purchase, I looked around and it got by far the best reviews. I am quite happy with it; any time I can't think of what to make I can look in my custom cookbook at recipe titles and select based on what looks good, and what I have. (It also will create menus & grocery lists for me, but I'm not currently using those options.) I plan recipes for dinner only for five or six days per week. Usually five days, and at least one day is slow-cooker based. The other two days allow for us to eat up leftovers or enjoy personal favorites - I'm the only one that eats sushi or my calamari, my roommate is the only one that eats canned greens, for example.

Wider Variety
This may not sound like 'simplifying' what we eat, but I still feel it's worth mentioning. Some of it is simple changes - having two cheeses and two mustards for cold cut sandwiches. Buying different breads - rye and pumpernickel, picked up for $1 for a half loaf. Some of it is trying new recipes - we had chicken adobo last week, and we're having beef & broccoli tonight. Yesterday I had simple but yummy leftover rice, reheated with soy sauce and bonito flakes. Small things, but they help take the boredom out of eating the same basic things all the time. And yes, I can get bored of eating. This counteracts it nicely =)

So far, so good.