Monday, October 27, 2008

Day 19 - a little help

Ack! I know. Each day speeds by. I've been doing some stuff, it's harder to get online to document.

So last week, one night R and I spent time in the basement trying to put together the work bench. We only got halfway through, and the next night I was too wiped out to continue. But he was energized, and finished the workbench, AND threw out a bunch of stuff and organized the work area. Wohoo!

First, a reminder of the before.

And now the after:

Wohoo! Great work. Unfortunately, he didn't keep track of numbers. But the next morning i took a pic of the trashcan.
Accomplishments: Entire tool area organized and put away. Work bench put together. Empty boxes, odds and ends thrown away.

Total items: we're going to call it 24 - 2 dozen.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day 13 - a reminder and baby clothes

So, on Monday our nanny Gee and E went out for most of the day. When E was napping, I asked Gee where they had gone. The "nanny network" has decided that on Monday's, now that it's cold, they'll do playdates at rotating houses. So then Gee says, yes, the house today had a nice finished basement playroom. It seems like most of the houses in this neighborhood have playrooms for the kids in the basement.

Thanks Gee! Nice to be reminded of why we're doing this. I just laughed and said my goal was to have a play area in th basement in the next month. So I've got to stop doing little small things and get cracking on that basement. Even though it's daunting.

Anyway, only another small thing to report. Today I went to visit my friend Vickie, who had the freaking cutest little baby girl ever just over a week ago. (sadly, somehow I neglected to get a picture!). And I was able to drop off a small load of girl clothes.

In other news, on Monday i ran a bunch of errands, including returning two shirts to Lord & Taylor, purchased at the end of summer sale, designed to be worn as both maternity and post baby. Nope, didn't need them. Seriously, if something works as a maternity top, I don't want to still be wearing it post baby. And since both still had the tags on, gone, and money credited. Whew.

Today's accomplishments: 15 baby items passed along (onsies, one piece outfits, tights, a tiny pair of shoes, etc). and 2 tags still on clothing items returned.

Total items: 17

Friday, October 17, 2008

Day 9 - a quick run through

I'm falling behind! No time to really devote to decluttering, so today I just did a quick run through and got rid of some obvious stuff on the main level and in the basement. Trash and donation. In addition, the mattress from Day 1 went to the alley for bulk trash pickup (but thanks to the city, no actual pickup occurred). And, my daughter went to a little nanny birthday party in the neighborhood and presents are sometimes given, sometimes not in nanny sponsored parties. But I sent Sweetpea and Gee off with a regift of a present Sweetpea got last year and we never opened.

Today's accomplishments: 1 water damaged mattress in the trash (sorta); 1 child toy gone; 5 things for the trash (along back of photo)- empty shoe box, empty jewelry gift box, empty hair detangler from under the couch, torn gift bag from my (August) birthday, oh and a candle all the way burnt down (near front of pic). 6 things for donation - 2 weird teapots that look like buildings, a box of recipe cards, a heart shaped wire box with sachet, a wine glass with a candle in it (wrapped in paper), and who knows why I had this - a cassette tape of "Mountain Music of Peru." Seriously.

Total items: 13

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day 7 - a sale! And easy trash

Yes! A sale! After three postings, I finally got a hit on a Vera Bradley bag I was given and have never used. New with tags posting on Craig's List finally attracted a buyer and I've got $30 in my pocket. And this counts as two things as there was a change purse, too.

And then today I started in on the baby clothes. I have 9 - yes, nine - rubbermaid containers filled with E's clothes to date. Since we didn't know her sex in advance, much of the smaller stuff is gender neutral, so I was able to pull that out into the new baby's dresser. And then my good friend just had a girl, and she very generously gave me a big bag of boy clothes, but I've been putting off sorting these containers. I started in today, but since I'm right in the middle of sorting, I won't start counting yet. But, there was some easy cleaning of plastic hangers and a random plastic crap and an old diaper bag never used. Oh, and one old shoe I couldn't find when I threw out the mate a couple of months ago.
Today's accomplishments: 2 items sold. 8 plastic hangers trashed. 1 old shoe and 1 random plastic piece trashed. 1 diaper bag put in donation bag.

Total items: 13

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 6 - bed side table

Days 3 and 4 we were out of town, and ay 5 was too busy for any decluttering. This puts me behind, but I can catch up. Today's project - my bedside table. I have one of those skirted tables with a couple of storage containers by my bed. But, a few weeks ago, one of the legs of the table broke, probably because the cat uses the table to get to the window.

In our basement we have two small two-drawer file cabinets, both old and not matching anything, so I was thinking of the best way to get rid of them. But then I thought - take the legs off the broken table top, put the tabletop on top of one of the cabinets, and use it for longterm storage of files we have to keep but don't need immediate access to, like old tax returns, etc. Genius!

So step one, get the table out of there, clean out the nearly empty storage boxes that were there, and prep for putting the file cabinet there.

Here's the top of my bed, with twelve things to be thrown away (8) or put in goodwill box (4). I'll throw away the legs of the table, wash the skirted tablecloth, and get R to bring up the file cabinet in the next couple of days. And the two storage boxes can go into the hall bath, for storage of toiletries.

Todays accomplishments: 8 things trashed (to the left of the photo - just random junk). 4 things for donation - three things of lotion, a sachet. 2 storage containers liberated for other uses. Legs of broken table thrown away. A lot of random junk put where it belongs (sewing supplies in the sewing basket, hair clips in hair stuff, etc). And a cleaner bedside!

Total items: 15

Friday, October 10, 2008

Day 2 - more boxes

Whew, this is exhausting. OK, so back in January, I left my office job for a contract position. My boxes from the old job landed in the front hallway.
That's 9 boxes. Since January. In our front hallway.
But, the worst part is, the boxes have spawned over the past few months. Just more clutter accumulating, along with a box from the front bedroom migrating down to be cleaned out.
So I spent a large part of Friday going through boxes, throwing stuff away, consolidating, pulling out random office supplies. I'm a little burnt out from boxes - especially only counting each box as one thing. It was a lot of paperwork/stuff to go through. But in the end, I'm kind of back where I started - a neater pile of now eight boxes. The thing is, it's now books and files - and until the office gains a file cabinet and bookshelf, I've done what I can do - at this point, we can stash these in the attic, so at least they're out of the hallway. Well, another of the boxes is something to be mailed, so it will get better.

Today's accomplishments: 3 boxes emptied (and most trashed, some office supplies gathered); 1 poster tube, containing 1 poster, put with the other posters 'to be framed someday' in a good spot in the basement; 1 decorative blank book put in donation box.

Total items: 5

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Day 1 - getting started

OK, I'm a bit intimidated by the 250 things goal. But I made a valiant effort today. Plus I started the blog!

Anyway - this is our lovely new attic space. See those 5 boxes? From 3 jobs ago. I emptied one today.

I also found some old paperwork from a "lost" Roth IRA. Don't ask, but I lost track of this account from 8 years ago. Called the account manager and got the process started to regain control. (um, abandoned property has control of it now). So this definitely counts as a thing today.

While taking pics of the basement, I saw this box and flipped it open and found it full of wrapping paper, ribbon, tissue paper, and other things wrapping related. Emptied it. About half in the trash, the other half stored with other wrapping paper stuff.

And finally, I'm also going to count organizing things. This picture has been on a table in the dining room for 14 months. I put a mail in the wall and hung it up and tada! Another thing done. It's a religious blessing that hung in R's grandparent's house for years. When his grandmother passed last year and the house was emptied, we put it in our box. So it's definitely a meaningful family piece and I'm glad I finally got it up.

Today's accomplishments: 2 boxes emptied (1 trashed, 1 saved for office supplies, following the principle of zoning - we have office supplies scattered all over); 1 set of paperwork organized and followed up; 1 picture hung.

Total items: 4

And so it begins

When you're 34 weeks pregnant, the clutter starts to get to you. Ok, it gets to me on a regular basis, but I've got the time and a deadline and a list of things I'd like to get done.

It'll result in a cleaner, easier to clean, more organized, more fun house. Oh, yeah, and there will actually be room for, you know, the baby. And the visitors.

I'm a packrat. I'll admit it. I was raised with the mantra of you never know when you'll need it. So our house is stuffed to the gills with stuff that might be useful someday. Getting rid of stuff is important, I know. But I'm also focused on organizing what we do have, so that if I ever do need it, I can find it.

We live in a an old rowhouse. So not much storage, small rooms, small closets. The footprint is 20 feet wide by 40 feet deep. So about 1600 square feet of living space on the main and second floors. Our basement is the full size of the house, and is partially finished, and would be a great hangout for Sweetpea's toys (and her!) but it is full of stuff. We've saved every bit of her baby equipment, and that's a good thing as we'll put it to use. But there's just a jumble there.

The Washington Post recently did a Getting Organized series. Step one was to group like things together, zoning. So yuo'd then be able to go through all paperwork, or all books, or all kitchen stuff, or whatever it was. So we've made a first attempt at zoning. But with stuff scattered all over the house, it's time to dive in a bit, free up storage space, and then get into the hard attic work.

Here's a little tour of the basement. This is what you see when you come down the steps. There's a lot of baby stuff, plus toddler toys that just overwhelmed the living room, so have been place out of rotation. My overall goal is to end with this area cleared out for a playspace.
These next two are the back end of the basement. Washer/dryer, plus area for tools and household stuff (old paint, rages, etc). Organizing this space is a high priority, because it's so spread out. And because in 2002 I bought a workbench, which has never been put together. Since we have the storage, let's use it efficiently to clean up this space, which will free up room back here.

And this is the other side of the front part of the basement. Just boxes and piles of stuff. Some big stuff to get throw out. This area will take a long time to go through, and we may not get to it this goround. But eventually. Cause the funky 70s bar area could be a lot of fun, if we made it usable.

So, that's it for today. I called yesterday for bulk trash pickup, because the mattress you can see in the front of the above picture has been flooded twice. Time to throw out. I'll count it once it's gone.

My goals for this coming week:
  • Sign up for freecycle to get rid of stuff (and I have to admit acquire stuff - a bookshelf or two would really help).
  • Go through some obvious stuff in other areas of the house to cut down on clutter/trash and free up space
  • get that workbench put together!