Laundry Closet, or 299

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I called No.2 Sis last Sunday and asked her if I could borrow my drill. She graciously said yes.

Before she came over, I cleaned out the laundry room closet. I threw away a pair of shoes. I put two more pairs in a Goodwill bag with some jigsaw puzzles. And I recycled two bags of bags. That brings me to 299 bags, boxes, and small pieces of furniture I’ve gotten rid of since January of 2014.

Untitled design-3

When No.2 Sis arrived, I unpacked the two organizing widgets I’d purchased from Amazon. One was to hold the ironing board, and one was to hold the brooms, mops and dusters.

We decided to hang the broom holder first, because it looked more difficult. We held the broom holder up on the wall, and I drilled through each of the six mounting holes with a 1/16″ bit.

Then we put aside the broom widget and enlarged the holes to 1/8″. Hmm, too small for the drywall anchors. We tried 5/32″. Too small. 3/16″. Too small. I used every drill bit I owned. Finally, the largest bit gave us the proper-sized hole for the drywall anchors.

We installed the anchors, put the broom holder back up to the wall, and screwed in the six screws. Beautiful!

Ew, that broom needs a good hose-down.

Ew, that broom needs a good hose-down.

I hung the mop up. It slowly slid down to the floor. I hung the broom up. It also slid down to the floor. Damn it!

Well, at least the hooks would hold the dusters. On the contrary, the hooks were quite large, and the holes on some of the dusters were quite small.

I went to my trusty hardware bin, and pulled out some “S” hooks to adapt the dusters. Harumph! The “S” hooks were too small, too.

No.2 Sis noticed some plastic rings in the hardware bin. “What about these?” They were old plastic curtain rings.

The curtain rings were small enough to fit through the duster holes, and large enough to hang on the broom widget’s hooks. Unfortunately, they didn’t snap closed. A quick rummage through the kitchen junk drawer yielded some twist-ties, and I wired the curtain rings shut.

I hung the modified dusters on the hooks, hung the mop from another hook, and put the broom in upside-down so it couldn’t slide out of the holder. Beautiful!

I had to make it work. I damned well wasn’t going to try to get those six screws out after they were anchored into the drywall!

Sis and I figured the ironing board holder installation would be a piece a piece of cake after the broom holder experience.

laundry closet- ironing board widget

We held the ironing board holder on the wall, and I drilled two 1/8″ holes. Oops. The screws just popped into the holes with no resistance whatsoever.

Another rummage through the hardware bin, and we found two more drywall anchors and hammered them into the wall. The screws actually screwed in after that, so the ironing board hanger was securely mounted. Whew. I mean, beautiful!

PRODUCT REVIEWS:

I bought both hangers from Amazon.com. The broom hanger was:

$13.95
This got mixed, but mostly good reviews on Amazon. Some people did mention that their brooms and mops tended to slide out of the hanger’s grips. I should have read more of the reviews before I bought it. I wouldn’t recommend it.
The ironing board hanger was:
It would have been nice to have been told the drill size needed for the screws, but otherwise, good price for a good basic hanger. I’d recommend it.

Stay tuned…

p.s. The links included in this post are not affiliate links (I don’t get any commission if you click on them).

p.s.s. I shared this at Cozy Little House.

242, the KonMari Way

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I was so inspired by Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (see Reading List #6) that I went through my half of my dresser and half of my closet again. I still need to go through the other half of the closet and 2 more dresser drawers.

I filled up 2 more kitchen garbage bags with clothes to donate by following her advice to keep only pieces that give me a thrill. Well, some clothes I kept just because they gave me a little tingle, but I definitely got rid of anything that made me shudder.

Now my socks are relaxed and on vacation, my tee-shirts have found their “sweet spot”, and my hanging shirts feel loved and respected. Happy sigh.

Before:

before KonMari

After:

after KonMari

Stay tuned…

p.s. I shared this at Chic on a Shoestring and I Heart Organizing.

 

 

235, or Dr. Doogie and the Ice Pack

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I was planning on getting a lot done this weekend, but that was before I saw Dr. Doogie, the chiropractor, Friday night. She was poking around my ribs and sternum and asking if it hurt. Well, it didn’t until you starting jabbing me like a schoolyard bully.

Apparently, in addition to my back being its usual wonky self, my ribs and sternum were misaligned. How does that happen? She ordered me to go directly home and apply ice. There are two essential things I lacked for an ice pack. The ice, and the pack.

I stopped by the drugstore and bought a gel pack (similar to the one linked below, only I paid a lot more) and a bag of ice. I put the gel pack in the freezer to cool for future icings. I made a pack out of the ice cubes by putting them in multiple snack bags and putting the snack bags in a one gallon freezer bag. That made a pretty flat ice pack, and I thought I was pretty clever for thinking of it.

Ice pack

Although I won’t take the vacuum cleaner to the repair shop as planned, or make a Goodwill drop-off (too much lifting), I still need to do my weekly maintenance.

WEEKLY MAINTENANCE:

Kitchen: 12 minutes to load the dishwasher, clear and wash counters, and scrub the grill. I didn’t try any new recipes this week. I just grilled a few burgers and a couple of steaks to build meals around.

Queen Bedroom: 15 minutes to mate socks, put away clean laundry, clear some junk off of bed, and make bed.

Queen Bath: 5 minutes to clear counter and pick up dirty clothes.

Queen Closet: 20 minutes to put away clean clothes, clear dresser, and pick out outfits and accessories for the coming week.

I managed to fill the donation box that I started last week. I added the candle bowl that I de-limed a while back. I found the base to a similar one in the garage and found the bowl in the dining room hutch. I added that to the box, too. I added a tablecloth from the hutch, then I tucked in some books from the studio and called it done. It will go to Goodwill when I feel I can safely lift things again.

I also filled a bag of recycling. That puts me at 235.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I linked this to Cozy Little House.

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn virgin margarita money!

 

6 New Year’s Resolutions

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2015-3

I was only going to make one New Year’s resolution this year. Unfortunately, No.2 Sis insisted that “be perfect” was an inappropriate resolution. She thinks maybe I should come up with something a little more realistic.

I don’t remember making any resolutions last year, although perhaps I did and just forgot. I got a lot accomplished in 2014 anyway.

I started decluttering the house and garage. I got 231 bags, boxes, and small pieces of furniture to a donation center, the garbage, or recycling. I’m not done, Goddess help me, but I’ve made a huge amount of progress.

I organized the Queen bedroom, Queen bathroom, Queen closet, and kitchen. And I got the chandelier hung in the Throne Room.

I started cooking, and I started eating in a more healthful way. Of course, there was one slip-up (lasting from Thanksgiving through Christmas), but I lowered my blood sugar enough to go off all of my diabetes medications, and lost 22 pounds.

I started this blog, and posted to it pretty regularly. Do you know how many projects like that I’ve started and given up on within weeks? I don’t even want to think about it.

One thing I didn’t do so well, was manage my finances. I ran a credit card up to the limit, and it will probably take two years to pay off. That’s IF I can be diligent with large payments and make no more charges.

So, here are my resolutions for 2015:

1. Cut credit card debt by half.

2. Continue decluttering and blogging.

3. Continue to cook, and eat well.

4. Take a photography course.

5. Take a tech writing course.

6. Learn Tai Chi.

That’s manageable, right? I’ll have to do a reality check with No.2 Sis to be sure.

Oh, I do remember making a New Year’s resolution for 2014. I was determined to finish my Herbal Studies course. That lasted about 3 weeks. I’m now going into the sixth year of a two year course, and it doesn’t seem important enough to add it to the above list. Hmmm, that’s giving me some information, isn’t it?

Happy New Year, and I wish you great success with all your endeavors!

Stay tuned…

p.s.  I shared this on Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House.

And on The Creative Collection at Classy Clutter.

And on Flaunt It Fridays at Chic on a Shoestring.

And I Heart Organizing.

 

 

 

226

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Oh dear. I’ve been back on heavy carbohydrates all week. It was my birthday a week ago and I dined with 5 different friends over the week (and I had to have dessert…it was my birthday!). I guess I could have gotten together with all of them at once, but I don’t like crowds. Hell, I wouldn’t even get together with my sisters all at once, but we need 5 of us to play canasta. 4 to play, 1 to serve drinks.

Besides getting back on the lo-carb regimen, I’ve decided to spend a little time each weekend to do some maintenance on previously decluttered rooms. I hope that a little attention will keep these rooms from backsliding too much while I continue to work on seriously cluttered areas. My BFF “T” cleaned last week, so I don’t have to do any scrubbing or dusting (ever), but she leaves my piles of junk for me to figure out (as she should).

WEEKEND MAINTENANCE:

Queen Closet: 5 minutes to put the last of the larger pants in a bag for Goodwill, arrange shirts by sleeve length, and clear top of  dresser. I was down to 2 pairs of pants that fit me, so I went to Goodwill and shopped, instead of just dropping off bags. I bought a pristine pair of blue jeans and black dress pants, and a pair of olive green Levi’s with the tags still on! Total clothing expenditure: $21. Sweet!

Queen Bath: 5 minutes to pick up jewelry, scarves and makeup.

Queen Bedroom: 10 minutes to put away clean clothes, clear the nightstands, and make the bed.

Living Room: Um, didn’t get to the living room (again).

Kitchen: 20ish minutes to clear the counters and load the dishwasher. I did some of this while cooking and some after cooking a batch of food. I made tuna stuffed peppers (recipe was for salmon, but I only had tuna) and chicken parmesan. The chicken recipe said simmer in sauce for 4 minutes, but my chicken breasts were SO fat, I mean practically spherical, so I simmered them for 12 minutes, checking often to make sure I didn’t simmer all the sauce away.

Easy peasy recipes and they were quite tasty. The recipes are from Low Carb Meals in Minutes, which seems to be only available used on Amazon.

Also, I made the chicken in my new Dutch oven, it’s maiden recipe! It worked great and cleaned up easily. It’s one of my newest kitchen additions.

dutch oven, low carb cookbook

Still Life with Cookbook

I worked in the Studio for a while, decluttering, and I filled a bag of recycling. With the bag of clothes for Goodwill, I’m up to 226 bags. Thank goddess, I broke the 224 slump.

Stay tuned…

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn margarita money!

118

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No.2 Sis came over later on Sunday afternoon and oohed and aahed over the Queen closet. Then she helped me go through the disaster that was the Queen bed. I have a hard time cleaning one area without creating a disaster in another area. We packed up 3 bags of linens to donate and 1 bag of garbage. Then we loaded up Gypsy Blue and took everything to Goodwill. We made it just before closing. That puts me at 118 bags, boxes and pieces of furniture. You’d think the house would be empty by now, but not even close.

I kept one white matelasse comforter for the bed and folded the green comforter at the foot of the bed. I think it brightens up the room nicely.

With the purple comforter...

With the purple comforter…

With the white and green comforters...

With the white and green comforters…

I probably shouldn’t admit that I cropped the photo so close because the nightstands are a little….umm….embarrassing right now. It’s a little hard to keep up.

Speaking of keeping up, I found another box of spring/summer clothes under the bed. Just when you think you’re done….Oh well. At least it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble.

Stay tuned…

P.S. I linked this post to http://chiconashoestringdecorating.blogspot.com/

 

114

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I’m trying to figure out if there’s a reason, besides laziness, that I’m procrastinating the work in the Throne Room, and there is. I’m annoyed, peeved, put out, that things are broken.

I design million dollar, 20,000 pound equipment to run for years and years. There is no note in the operator’s manual saying, “Tighten the hundreds of screws on the equipment on a daily basis, or things will start slipping and sagging”. Nowhere does it recommend, “Jiggle the handle if the equipment fails to cease operation properly”. So why do I have to put up with that on the toilet? Granted, it’s not a million dollar piece of equipment. It’s just a few hundred dollar piece of junk.

Okay, I feel a little better, thanks. Not good enough to work on the Throne Room, but good enough to do the final clothes push. I have my pile of “maybes” to try on, and the rest of the stack of spring clothes. I have the partial bag and partial box to finish off, and then whatever else I can come up with. Remember, it has to make me feel good to great. Groot. My clothes have to make me feel groot.

AFK (away from keyboard).

I’m back for a coffee break. I’ve finished the partial box and partial bag. I’ve started a new donation bag and a garbage bag (for dry cleaner bags and wire hangers – I have to agree with Joan Crawford on the wire hanger issue). I want to clear the top shelf of the closet, too. It’s mostly extra linens. I’ll fit the keepers in the living room blanket chest, donate the non-keepers, and throw away some old pillows. I may keep the closet ones and throw away the flat ones on the bed, but some are definitely headed for the garbage.

AFK

I haven’t totally dealt with the linens yet, but I cleared the shelves and filled 2 more donation bags. That’s 114. My entire wardrobe is in the closet and the dresser. That feels good! I’m sure there will be more clothing to donate, but just usual amount that normal people do, a piece here and there.

Shelves, before and after. The big purple/green quilt is a quilt I made with the help of No.4 Sis and her daughter. I still have to do the hand finishing.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Before

Before

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

After

After

And a view of the whole closet, mid-progress (I can’t find the “before”, but there was junk on the floor piled thigh-high)  and after. Tah dah!!!

Progress!

Progress!

After

After

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

110

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I really wanted to make space for the extra dresser in the Queen closet. No, I still didn’t measure, but this time it fit okay without my eyes being wonky. Now I just have to shift the furniture in the Queen bedroom a bit, to make up for my wonky eye in there.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA GE DIGITAL CAMERA

The left side of the closet has now been nearly all cleaned out. I found a couple of skirts and a few pairs of dress pants that I need to try on. I never wear dress pants, why do I have so many pairs? And the skirts were a surprise too. I didn’t know I owned any. I filled a donation bag with a lot of slinky, sexy clothes that still had the price tags on them. I’ve never been slinky and/or sexy, but I had hopes. Or, more honestly, delusional aspirations. Just as I’ve always thought the right dishes would make me a brilliant hostess, and the right spices would make me a marvelous cook, I thought the right clothes would make me sexy. The sensible shoes would kill the look now, anyway.

After I moved the dresser, I put the travel bins and bags in one of the drawers. I just hope I remember they’re in there come travel time. I’m not sure what I’ll put in the other drawers yet. Empty drawers, what a concept!

I filled one bag of donations, and set aside a pile of “maybes”. That makes 110.

I have absolutely zero progress to report on the throne room. Well, not zero, I bought a few things I need at Home Depot on-line. I still need to pick up some things in person. Apparently you can’t buy paint on-line. What’s that about?

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.