97

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I’m getting close to 100! Woohoo!!

I’ve continued cleaning the Queen bath, and I’ve filled a bag of garbage and a bag of recycling. I still have another cabinet and the counter to do, so it still looks like hell. My BFF “G” should be here in about an hour, so I think I’ll make sure the guest bath is completely stocked for her use. I won’t finish the Queen bath in time.

I cleared out the 3 drawers, and found that not all of it fit into the Sterilite drawers. I had too much “medicine” to fit in one drawer, so I left the sinus and cold stuff in there and made a separate bin for gastrointestinal meds. I have stuff for when my GI system is too fast, stuff for when it’s too slow, stuff for when it’s bubbly high and bubbly low. And I have tons of duplication, because when I’m suffering with any of these problems, I go to the drugstore rather than try to root around in the cabinets.

Bottom drawer…GI and blood sugar…

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Note to self: Do NOT buy multiple bottles of the same supplement, no matter how deeply they’re discounted. Do NOT buy a new supplement to try until you have finished the trial of the previous supplement. Do NOT think you can take dozens of pills a day for any extended period of time without your gag reflex kicking in.

Middle drawer…supplements and daily prescriptions…

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And the most impressive, the top drawer…makeup,deodorant and toothbrush…

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I found tons of sample-sized toiletries and I put all the opened ones in my “travel” box, which will have to go in the closet or under the second sink. The unopened ones will be donated to a homeless shelter.

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

95, Part 2

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You know, Pinterest has really changed what I eat for lunch. I don’t actually cook the recipes I pin, but I get a vending machine sandwich instead of going out, so I can look at Pinterest all through the lunch hour. I’ve heard it said that Pinterest is like crack for middle class, middle-aged, mid-western women. I  can testify to that.

My BFF “G” is coming to visit for the weekend, and the house looks really good, except for the Queen bath. That’s where I shoved everything when I ran out of time cleaning for company LAST weekend. I tell myself I can’t clear off the counters until I clean under the sink to make room for all the crap on the counter. The truth is, I really like “organizing” much more than “cleaning”.

Before…

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…and after.

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I got these Sterilite drawer units at Target. I think they’ll make things easier to get to than the big boxes, and therefore easier to put away.

I only filled partial bags of garbage, recycling and donations, so I’m still at 95 bags.

Stay tuned…

p.s. The morning after I cleaned and organized this cabinet, my alarm went off at 6:00. I turned it off and work up at 7:30. I cursed loudly, scaring Bella, who was sleeping on me. She tore off, leaving long bloody scratches on my leg. Just a typical morning at Laurel’s cottage. But THEN, instead of rooting around in the cabinet, I went straight to the drawers marked “bandaids” and “ointments” and doctored myself up in a flash, saving crucial minutes in my race to get to work on time. Being organized is awesome!

Great Expectations

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I was on the phone with my BFF “G”, saying that even though I’ve gotten rid of 95 bags and boxes of junk, I just didn’t feel different. She asked, “Do you have expectations?”

Expectations? I have great expectations! I expect the house to be clean and easier to maintain. I expect to be more organized and not lose things anymore. I expect clearing the house will cause a corresponding clearing of body clutter, that is, I’ll lose weight, quit craving sugar, have motivation to exercise and effortlessly do so. I expect to be focused, disciplined and dedicated. I expect to appreciate all the gifts in my life- my home, my job, and my health (which will improve exponentially as I declutter). I expect to be cheerful, clear-headed, attractive and sexy. I expect any number of potential Princes Charming to fall at my feet in adoration.

There was a stunned silence on “G”‘s end of the line. Then we both burst out laughing.

Okay, it probably isn’t out of line to expect the house to be cleaner and more organized as I clean and organize. But even I don’t need Dr. Ima Shrink to tell me what’s wrong with the rest of it.

1. Clearing the house of clutter will not cause me to lose weight. I know this because I’ve sometimes gone on a diet to clean the house. That didn’t work either.

2. I probably will be more focused, disciplined and dedicated as I continue decluttering the house, but only because I’m consciously practicing FOCUSING on one thing at a time, practicing the DISCIPLINE of keeping my commitments to myself, and DEDICATING time and energy toward the house clearing, and not quitting when it gets hard. These character traits are like muscles, and will become stronger as I use them.

3. Appreciation is another trait I’ve been consciously practicing, so that muscle will continue to develop, as well. And I won’t be such a crabby-pants. I mean, I’ll be more cheerful.

4. Prince Charming, hahahaha. If men start throwing themselves at my feet, I’m going to trip and hurt myself. Bad, bad idea. Anyway, I gave up downhill skiing after I took a bad fall and got a concussion. It took 2 concussions (figuratively speaking) sustained while dating to give up that infinitely more dangerous sport. I just don’t think I can handle any more brain injuries, but I could contact the VA and ask. They know more about my brain than I do.

Note to self: Focus, discipline, dedication, appreciation. Release great expectations. At least for today.

Stay tuned…

 

 

95

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My computer has been in the shop for a week! I’ve been lost without it! No internet, no cable…it’s like returning to the dark ages, you know, the 1970’s.

Today is Friday and I’m almost ready for my Saturday Stampin’ Up party. I was determined to go through all the junk in the living room and dining room, and I did fill a bag of garbage, a bag of recycling and a box of donations. But, in the end, I had to box up a lot of things and put them in the studio and the Queen bath to be sorted later. At least I didn’t reclutter (I’m sure that’s a word) the areas I previously decluttered. If I continue to maintain that hard line, eventually everything I can’t find a home for will be on the lawn. I’ll just slap tags on it all and call it a sale.

Living room, before.

Living room, before.

Living room, after.

Living room, after.

Living room. I really need to rehang those pictures.

Living room. I really need to rehang those pictures. They’re wonky.

Dining room, before.

Dining room, before.

Dining room, after.

Dining room, after.

Ever since the Queen bedroom has been clean, I’ve wanted to rearrange the furniture in there, as if I didn’t have enough to do. So I tackled it this past week, and looking at the results brought to mind an incident from early in my career. I’m a Mechanical Designer in an engineering firm, and I was sent to a machine shop to check on a prototype being built for us. I looked at the prototype and told the machinist it looked lopsided. He measured it up and said, “You’re right, the right side is .002 inches thicker than the left side. Good eye.” No, wonky eye. There’s no way I saw a difference of .002 inches. That’s two THOUSANDTHS of an inch. And here’s how the bedroom looks because my wonky eye saw plenty of room for this furniture.

Plenty of room.

Plenty of room.

I see more furniture moving in my future.

Stay tuned…

92

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It took an hour to clear off the island Monday night. Well, not a solid hour…I made Tuesday’s lunch, swept, and did dishes, too. Must learn to focus! I filled one bag of recycling.

I couldn’t find the before picture of the island, so here’s a picture of an island girl taken in Jamaica.

Island girl.

Island girl.

Island, after.

Island, after.

On Tuesday night, I tackled the rest of the kitchen counters. I got another bag of recycling filled. That puts me at a total of 92!

Counters before...

Counters before…

...and after.

…and after.

And, I did the dishes again! Two days in a row! I usually don’t do them two weeks in a row.

Even more shocking,I participated in my first link-up! Strangers could actually look at my blog. How scary is that? I linked to A Slob Comes Clean. Check it out!!

Stay tuned…

90, Part 2

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This morning I poured myself a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast, and as I was putting the milk away, I saw a carton of cottage cheese. Yum, I’ll have THAT for breakfast. Yes, in the split second between pouring the milk and putting it back in the refrigerator, I’d forgotten that I’d made a bowl of Cheerios. So now I have to scoop salt-and-peppered cottage cheese back into the carton. I’d will my brain to the Veterans Association, but after doing a couple of brain studies there, I doubt that they’d want it. They know too much.

VA studying my brain.

VA studying my brain.

Once my brain starts working, I have to start decluttering in the “Public” areas of my little cottage-to-be. I’m having guests over in a couple of weeks for a Stampin’ Up party, so the dining room, kitchen and living room need attention. Usually when I have a party, I just bag and box all the junk from the public areas and shove it into the private areas, hence the densely packed Queen bedroom and closet. Now that the Queen bedroom is fully decluttered and the Queen closet is almost there, I refuse to hide junk to prepare for a party. I’m going to actually clean things up, decluttering as I go.

To cut through that overwhelmed, where-do-I-start feeling, I’ll pull a few cards.

WOO-WOO ALERT (tarot reading coming up):

Do I start in the dining room? Nine of cups. Contentment. A feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Nice.

Do I start in the kitchen? Justice. Justice is a major arcana card indicating that actions can lift karmic veils and bring balance and order to my life. Major arcana cards are big ju-ju (technical term) and are disregarded at one’s own peril.

Do I start in the living room? Seven of swords. Uncertainty, confusion. So, not a good place to start.

Kitchen it is. I started (and ended) in the kitchen when I last attempted to declutter the house, about a year ago, so the cabinets are in pretty good shape. They’ll be quick to go through again. I don’t think they’ll yield a lot of stuff for donating, but that’s okay.

I need to start on the ledge between the kitchen and living room anyway. The ledge has a tendency to collect things I don’t want to lose in the clutter. I need to find logical homes for those items, so when I need them, they’ll be retrievable.

The ledge, before.

The ledge, before.

The ledge, after.

The ledge, after.

It’d be more impressive if I’d cleared the counters behind the ledge, too, but the ledge is cleaned off. As predicted, no donations, just a bunch of stuff to put away. That still leaves me at 90 bags.

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

90

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I’d better throw myself a party when I hit 100 bags.

I pulled 2 more bags of clothes from the back of the Queen closet. My therapist, Dr. Ima Shrink, tells me that I pretend to be a queen because I feel powerless in my life. I pay her $240 an hour to tell me things like that. I AM a queen, not in a hereditary, coronated sort of way, but because I NO LONGER feel powerless. I feel powerful; I AM powerful! I’m 100% responsible for how I live my life, and I recently decided, no, DECREED, that I wasn’t going to hide behind piles of junk anymore.

My BFF “G”, who knows all about my Queenliness, sent me this link: http://www.cherylrichardson.com/newsletters/week-3-why-its-good-to-be-a-queen/

If the link doesn’t take you right to the article, go to newsletter archives, week 3.

I printed the newsletter (in purple) to hang in my bedroom. It suits me to a tee. Hmmm, I’m thinking of letting Ima go.

Stay tuned…

 

 

88

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What home labor does to your mani.

What decluttering does to your mani.

I really, really need a manicure, but it would be pointless to do it before I work on the Queen closet.

On Saturday I gathered up another bag of donations and one of garbage. I took another four boxes and bags out of there and moved them to the rooms they belong in. I won’t count them in my bag count because they haven’t left the house.

On Sunday… I stalled. I slept late, I had breakfast, I looked at ereaderiq.com for free e-books, I had coffee, I looked at pinterest, I had more coffee, I had lunch….and I finally worked on the closet.

I went through tons of old mail and papers and made 8 bags of recycling. There was also a bag of garbage and another box of donations. I haven’t sorted through any more clothes, so I’m sure there will be more donations, just not today. Here’s a photo of the progress…

Progress!

Progress!

Here’s a photo of how I started storing my purses on shower hooks. I saw it on pinterest, only with scarves. I’d link you to the site, but I don’t remember where I got it. Sorry.

Shower hooks to hang purses.

Shower hooks to hang purses.

And here are my favorite slippers. They’re Freudian slippers, get it?

Freudian slippers.

Freudian slippers.

Now I’m off to give myself that manicure.

Stay tuned…

P.S. I went to pinterest and searched for shower curtain hooks to see if I could find the tip about hanging your scarves. Not only did I find a great many pins explaining how to hang your scarves from shower hooks, there were just as many explaining how to hang your purses from them. I guess I’m not as brilliant as I thought.