Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ya gotta see this!

The easiest way not to have clutter is not to bring stuff into your house in the first place. Plus it's good for the earth. This video is the clearest explanation of I've seen of how things are going wrong.

So yes, clutter is an ecological issue -- and a political one.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

one more load to Goodwill

plus lots of things went on freecycle. I cleared out all the magazines in the living room bookshelves -- it's amazing! There is plenty of room to organize everything! Turns out i have a magazine problem, or at least I used to. But the only magazines I get any more are Sunset and Better Homes and Gardens, and I promise myself that when I finish going through this HUGE pile of magazines, I'll tear out what I want as soon as I finish each magazine.

Oh, I put all my beading supplies and much of the knitting and crocheting equipment in the new crafts armoire! It's really cool. (Photos soon!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Been a little slow...

A good friend of mine left her body rather permanently on Sunday. Had I not been clutter clearing, I might have known she was on her death bed in time to say goodbye. But things happen as they are supposed to. (Please see -- read the next to top post and then the one at the top.)

Anyway, between being rocked back on my heels by that, and having a house guest for 2 days, and dinner parties 2 nights in a row, I haven't been clearing too much. I do manage to let go of a couple of magazines a day, though, and both yesterday and today I've donated CDs or books to the library. I have a small pile of things to put on freecycle, as well.

I cleared off George's bulletin board yesterday, and took the mementos off the interior walls of Kosta's old desk armoire today. I'm looking to put the stuff from Kosta's armoire on the bulletin board today or tomorrow. Baby steps...

Oh, and one of our dinner guests has been here often and says the place looks better. Yay!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cleaned up and cleared out

So I was really exhausted from working so hard (cooking, cleaning) and all the people and staying up past my bedtime, and kind of lazed around till about 1PM. Then, by some magic, I got a first wind, and

- did 2 loads of dishes,
- put them away,
- sorted out what goes back to Mom,
- packed that up,
- moved all the furniture back into its usual places (by myself!),
- put away all the 'good' dishes,
- started the distiller on another gallon of water (wow! we go through it fast with guests and cooking)
- made turkey soup, and
- began an overhaul of the piles of CDs on and around the stereo.

I raided my stepson's old room for a CD shelf, because I needed something to hold them. He had baseball cards in it, and I put those in a drawer in his old room. I wonder if he even looks at those? But I know my Dad had a comic book collection that his mother threw out, and he held it against her forever (with good reason? monetary value?) so I wouldn't dare get rid of baseball cards, or the Pokemon cards that I found, as well.

Anyway, the living room, dining room, the kitchen, our bedroom and my office all look much better than a few weeks ago. I still have to finish with the CDs, move Kosta's office from that armoire in the living room and put my crafts stuff in it. Then help Kosta organize his new office. THEN the hallway down to the garage and the garage itself (omg).

But you know, it strikes me as all this is somehow about my relationship to change. I change, you change, the seasons change, the kids grow and change, but somehow home is supposed to be constant. As if I can bring all this stuff into it, and it's just supposed to absorb it.

And those changes that each of us makes involve a letting go, even if we don't think about it. You take in food, and you digest it, and you let go of a lot of it by breathing or defecating. The trees take in nutrients from the soil, and use sunlight with them to make leaves -- which they let go of at this time of year. Why wouldn't it be the same for my home?

If my home is an extension of myself, then I have to make a regular practice of letting go. Do I make that a daily practice, like digestion? a weekly practice? an annual practice, each autumn? I mean, we put the food scraps into the compost just about every day, so we let go of some stuff daily. And obviously we put out the trash each week, and so we do let go of some stuff then. Is that enough? Do I then make an annual practice of looking at clothing, books, CDs, etc.?

I guess my home has to change as I change and as my family changes. The only question is how.

Guess I didn't really want those glasses

Because I didn't get out the door early enough to buy them on sale. I'll just have to put out into the universe that I find some new used ones. Oh, I know -- I'll ask on freecycle. So I almost made it a buy nothing day. I did run out of ink for the printer, and had to go buy that. But I would have had to buy that any other day of the year, too, so I'm not counting it as buying anything.

Friday, November 23, 2007

More stuff went on Freecycle!

Oh, I forgot to mention that the following items were taken:

- a globe
- a bag of stuffed animals
- an air cannon -- get this! -- which will be used to scare pigeons away from a bird feeder! Apparently the pigeons scare away all the other birds, and eat all the food.

Maybe I'll put some stuff in the Pennysaver, too. A few years ago, I sold a lot of stuff there, for very little money, right before Christmas.

Thoughts on Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day

Whew! Thanksgiving is over, and I'm wiped out. It was 2 solid days of prep (W & Th), and then the guests started coming (an hour early!) at 3:30PM. But everyone had a great time, the food was wonderful -- and I have enough leftovers so that I don't have to cook for a week, which means more time to clear the clutter! Fortunately or unfortunately, everyone had such a good time that the last guest didn't leave till 10:30, which is way past my bedtime these days. So I'm bushed, and have a headache.

And even in the last few days, I did manage to get rid of some really old food, like a box of egg replacer my husband bought before we were married (it had practically become an ugly part of the wallpaper) and perhaps half a dozen catalogs and magazines.

I also emptied out the junk my stepson had stored (I think mostly so he didn't have to look at it) in the file drawers in his old room. I just threw it on the floor for him to paw through, or not. (if he doesn't care about his stuff, why should I?) Then I emptied the 2 1/2 (don't ask) file drawers my husband has in the living room, and put those contents in my husband's new office (i.e. his son's old room). Today, if I get enough cleaning up of the Thanksgiving mess done, I'll move my recipe and crafts clipping files into those file drawers, perhaps with the catalogs. That means more space in my file drawers down here in my office. Not sure exactly how that will help down here, but it will. At least my files will all have room to breathe.

I've decided that after I'm done in the house, I'll move to the garage and clean it out. For now, anything that doesn't go on freecycle is going down into the garage, but in a way, that's making the garage worse. And after the garage is cleaned out -- goal is at least one car in it -- then I'll work more in the yard. This is hard, because in the yard, I don't really know what I'm doing. But hey, I'll learn. And again, the goal is to have everything but the yard done by New Year's Day. Wish me luck! :)

So since I'm in the mode of getting rid of stuff, I'm not much in the mode of shopping. Actually, I'm not much of a shopper anyway, but I do like a good deal. And they abound today. So I'm really of 2 minds about it -- I am not programmed to buy at the drop of a circular, but I do need some new beer steins, and they're 6 for $6.50 at Kmart this weekend. (I broke a few in some misguided experiments to heat my morning latte milk without the microwave, and only have 2 left. And hey, those came from a garage sale, so I was really good there.) What to do? Buy them today, or buy them later for more money, as a sign of protest? I'll buy them now, because why would I give KMart extra money for the same stuff just to prove a point? Just to improve their bottom line? I don't think so.