Please brag

stephanie_in_gaJanuary 26, 2006

Tell me what you've accomplished recently, or your latest great idea, because I need motivation, inspiration. I've wandered around the house this morning starting things and not finishing them, trying to find motivation to keep going.

I've been doing laundry, since that doesn't take a whole lot of committment- and b/c DD had to wear a dress to school to school ("ick, puey, yuck"-what a battle! She's become a tomboy this year) since her jeans and athletic pants were not clean. I'm going to start dinner, lasagna, so it's prepped before the kids come home from school. And I'd really like to get the boys' room (the one #2 and #4 share) cleaned up, excess removed, better situated.

Hold me to it! I'm posting b/d now I've told someone, I'm committed. Tell me what you've accomplished so I'll want to accomplish this.

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I don't know that I can brag, but I use the Flylady system. It gives me direction. It keeps me focused. I have a family of six and I honestly take care of us easily in 3 15 min. pops of time. The house is in good shape, laundry always flowing along, we get where we need to be on time.

Setting that timer seems to really help.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 1:31PM
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I threw away a garbage sack and a half of broken toys. I got them out the door before my 5 yo got home so he didn't get in the trast and take them out. Also, I picked up six Wal-Mart bags of toys to donate. They are in the garage wrapped up so he won't see them. I'll have dh take the 3rd row seating out of my vehicle tonight so I can hide them in the compartment and drop them off at the thrft store in the next few days. My 3 yo doesn't seem to notice what I'm doing, but the 2 yo caught. I think I'm going to have to watch out for her. I tried to sneak out some stuffed animals, but those are her babies.

Since I was on a roll, I called the furniture company to find out how to replace the things that stick the bunk beds together. I also called the city to request that they paint over the graffiti so our new readers in the neighborhood don't learn any new words. My 5 yo and his 6 yo friend were sounding out the words the other day. It was looking nice by the time we got there this afternoon. (The park is also the bus stop.)

It seems I've had extra motivation these last couple of weeks because of the springlike weather. I suggest a walk outside to perk you up.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 5:57PM
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I walk outside would perk you up real quick here. You'd be running back to the house. It's all of 2 whole degress above zero! LOL


    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 6:46PM
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I have to travel two weeks in a row and leave DH in charge.

So I really got the urge to get caught up on lots of things. The prospect of being gone for two weeks was too stressful to handle without having things caught up.

So I did this:
1) utterly caught up on laundry washing, folding, putting away.
2) Laid out 5 days of school clothes sets for DD
3) Bought a dry erase calendar and wrote down all daily activities for DH to follow each day (sigh, not that it helped). LOL
4) stocked up on easy to prepare food for her snacks, lunches, and for DH.
5) Converted to a smaller, more streamlined purse situation. I do not need to carry so much. I found a smaller purse that has custom cubbies for my stuff and it has worked out beautifully!
6) Changed the beta fish's water so he would be able to 'breathe' LOL it was baaaaad
7) and for some unknown, type-a, anal reason, I caught up on my mending (sewing buttons back on, repairing ripped seams, etc).

So tomorrow I fly back to GA, unpack rainy Seattle clothes, and pack for sunny Tampa next week! (boy being in the same timezone and wearing spring clothes will make the trip so much easier!!!)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 9:24PM
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Well, I can't believe I can actually add to this thread, as I am usually unmotivated as well!!! Lol!

Painted my bedroom, replaced the area rug, went through all my "junk" that I had been hoarding in there, put the room back together.

Painted and set up an entire baby nursery for baby #2 arriving in 5 weeks. (Now all I have to do is go through the baby clothes and I am done!)

Went through DDs room/clothes/closet and toys. Donated and discarded. Got her a new area rug.

Completely cleaned out the living room closet which had become a dumping ground for more "junk".

I feel so much better about coming home to my house everyday and managing it. It is much easier now that the clutter has been removed. I dreaded the closet job as well as painting my bedroom and going through all my stuff. But once I started each job, it wasn't that bad. I put on some music, and just banged it out.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 11:08AM
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This week I have kept my morning and routines in place (barely).

Other than that, I survived the work week, I have made and addressed and mailed 33 baby shower invitations, shopped for party favor supplies (didn't buy any yet except the bags to put them in), attended a funeral visitation, helped out at a Boy Scout meeting, gone to a mid-week banquet, ordered shower cakes, paid bills, and watched a movie with my son.

Don't ask what my house looks like... LOL. I have 5 more minutes of "me" time and then I'm changing from work clothes to grungy clothes and grabbing my Flylady timer for an hour to see if I can rescue some rooms.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 6:08PM
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Finally got a filing cabinet. Still need a couple more :)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 6:02PM
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Got two new concrete pots/urns for the front of the house for my birthday. Got them home, painted a satin black and placed on either side of the front door. Now just gotta figure out what to put in them this time of year! LOL

Also have ALL of my decorating, etc. ideas placed in notebooks. For the last 6-8 years I've always had a huge stack waiting on me to get them put away. I am now officially caught up! LOL Now I can just go pull a notebook and thoroughly enjoy checking out all of my favorite ideas.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 6:31PM
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We just got back from a week's vacation and I managed to get all the laundry down to the basement and two loads done.

For the first time ever I was organized enough to change all the sheets the day we left, and it was so nice to come home to fresh beds after traveling all day.

Today my goal is to get the suitcases put away and all the residual stuff sorted out. My LR and DR are in dire need of room rescues, that's for sure!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 9:08AM
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Got the turnaround done this weekend and I'm headed to the airport shortly for Tampa. DH did good as Mr. Mom last week, and I really like my dry erase calendar.

It will help me greatly!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 10:11AM
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Oh! I love to brag, LOL, although it's usually about my Harry Dog. Here's what I accomplished last week.

My sewing /crafting / guest room re-do has come together nicely...but I still need "more working room."

The small sewing table is near the window, but when I'm scrapping I like to set embellishments and tools out where I can reach them. I also need my sewing and serger accessories near to hand. Guests need a convenient place to set their toiletries, etc. while visiting.

The window is 41" from the floor, and 60" wide, but because of the floor vents, and aesthetics, I can't put a cabinet or small bookcase under it. The ledge is less than 1" deep, so it's useless.

An epiphany hit me..."wall shelf!" Living on base where everything has to be removable, I decided to use four decorative brackets and a 1x8 board the length of the window to fashion a shelf about 9" below the window. I wanted it far enough below the window that the books on it don't peep above the sill.

The clerk at Lowe's cut the board to exactly 61 and 1/2 inches. He trimmed from both ends so the board was perfectly square.

I dropped by the cabinet maker who repaired the oak wash stand and asked him if he'd mind rounding off the board's front edges for me. Stopping what he was doing, he rounded the sharp corners by tracing his coffee cup on them and cutting them off with a jig saw. He ran it through the belt sander, routed the top AND bottom edges of the three sides (it took four slow passes through the router before he was satisfied with the look), sanded everything again on the belt sander, and then sanded everything by hand.

He then refused to let me pay him one cent. "It was no bother," he said. I considered it a bother. It took more than 30 minutes of his valuable time; he used all his tools, and did a far better job than I could have managed in my unheated, 20-degree garage.

I was flabbergasted. He turned my $3 pine board into a piece of furniture!

It took another day and a half for me to prime and paint the board, and install the brackets so the shelf hangs level. I now have a long flat surface area to hold my bits and pieces while I craft and sew. Guests can set out night creams, perfumes, purses, notebooks, medications, and "stuff" to their hearts' content.

If I were to do it over again, I'd use thicker wooden brackets instead of the swirly wire ones. I'd also check to see if the wall anchors and screws fit through the bracket holes before installing the anchors. LOL

All in all, it's a job well done. The Dutch Boy's "Lilac Vapor" shelf melts nicely into the Lilac Vapor walls. My audio books look spiffy sitting on the far end of the shelf. DH was actually impressed. He doesn't care for "fiddly" chores and was amazed the installed shelf is perfectly level.

For very little cash I added about 3.5 square feet of useful space to an otherwise "dead" area of the room. ...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 12:18AM
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Well I just went and Bought a new sterio,so my kids and I could be closer, 2 are in their teens now and it can be tough!! They are into hip hop, but I think the stuff on tv is terible and so does my husband, we did a bit of research and found a website this has some music on it that the kids love and we can tolerate!

Some of it kinda reminds me of my fathers funk albums, anyway Ive wanted a good sterio and now we have a good one, music is the key to the soul and it can be there for your every mood while cooking, driving espescialy in the garden!! I say go buy yourself an upbeat different album and turn it up, have a wine and a nice dinner!!!!!!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 1:14AM
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wowee, some great progress and projects!

Caroline, I'm glad about your shelf,a nd impressed!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 2:18PM
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Well, I don't think it's anything to brag about, but I got my Christmas decorations put away last weekend before February got here...

My guest room is actually ''spare'' now that it's also an exercise room. It serves triple duty between guests, laundry and housing the treadmill, and I refuse to use it unless it's picked up. (While I'm treading along, I'm always thinking of what to do next, which is usually anything but exercise!) The good thing is that I'm using it a lot, so reclaiming the space for my needs was beneficial. A skinny bookcase helped me manage a corner for the tv, weights, linens, towels and some books; there's even room for bottled water. My husband uses the closet in there for his clothes, so the room is functional now for both of us, and working well. Hooray!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 3:50PM
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I finally went through 1/2 of the kitchen cabinets and reorganized them with holes. My tupperware had been in a bottom cupboard and I moved it all up to 3 shelves in the cabinets above the counter. At least for me, it will be easier to keep in order this way. I found that I was preferring to throw the plastic containers and lids into a bottom cupboard rather than get down on my knees to put them away properly. So, now I have 6 shelves left to do.

BTW, it only took me about an hour to do the shelves today.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 9:23PM
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Marie26, I have the same "toss it in a bottom cupboard" urge w/ the Tupperware-type stuff.

So, I didn't fight it--in my last kitchen, the cabinet was exactly the width to accommodate an Elfa wire basket--a big, deep one--so I used that; I could pull it out, and chuck stuff in there.

Now that I've redone the kitchen, I put a drawer in that spot, and the Gladware goes there. I do stack it more neatly, just cause then I can fit a bit more.

Congrats on your kitchen efforts--I hope you like your new arrangement. Don't be afraid to tweak it if you think you need to.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 8:41AM
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Thanks for the kick in the pants. Seeing how much others get done is motivating. It's not that I'm always so unmotivated, just slow days sometimes.

Good idea with the shelf. That is exactly what DS needs. He shares a room, has the top bunk, and a shelf just like that by his bed, a foot or so from the ceiling, would be great. A place he can keep his book, gameboy, and special things he wants out of his brother's reach. Simple, inexpensive. I can paint it the color of his room, still have that paint. Good idea.

I haven't done any big organizing of the home, a cabinet, a drawer, not a whole room though. My "cooking" cabinet, the one with spices, flour, sugar, etc is much better. I hooked long, narrow plastic baskets to the back wall of the cabinet. They can easily be lifted off the hooks and put back. They hold spices, sorted by how I use them: baking spices, meat/soup spices, Italian, and Mexican. So I can pull out one small basket, have what I need for a favorite recipe, and put it right back. I did get some volunteer jobs done I had committed to, so that's a weight off my shoulders. Now I can focus for the next 3 days on things around the house.

But mostly, I'm foucusing on maintaining better habits. I see that as my best approach. Like a diet, it can't be a crash, it has to be lifestyle and habit changes.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 9:51AM
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Oh, and I did want to tell about yesterday. I used to have that "can't have anyone over" syndrome I think Flylady talks about. But yesterday a friend called me. I only met her a few months ago, haven't seen her in a few weeks, and she'd never been to my house. But she had a baby a couple months ago, so I was very anxious to see them. She asked me to lunch, but I'm broke right now. So I said, "Why don't you come here?"

That is a big deal for me! To just be able to say "come on over right now" and know that the house is presentable. Places to sit and chat, coffee maker on the ready. That is how I'm holding to my better habits. Not perfect, not mother-in-law clean, but presentable. I took 10 minutes to wipe down the downstairs bath, load up the breakfast dishes, and start the coffee. That felt so good!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 10:01AM
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Stephanie, that really must feel good! I seem to want to clean out the insides of cabinets, cupboards and drawers and never touch what anyone would see if they came over. I wish I had the energy after work to clean the house so I can invite people over.

I had once read an article that talked about a woman who was always able to relax on weekends while her next door neighbor was cleaning the house at that time. Apparently, this woman cleaned house, did laundry, etc. on Thursday nights. She worked hard then but this left the weekends free for her to lounge around. I would love to do this, too, but it's so hard to clean when DH is sitting on the couch.

How do you clean the house when DH is home and not helping at all? I should mention that we live in a one-level ranch that is not so big that we can avoid each other.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 12:29PM
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What a good thread! Caroline, I'm glad about your shelf, and so very impressed, too! You'll have to send the guy a pic and chocolates and thank you card, as his generosity is an inspiration. Can we clone him, lol.

Claire, I just got my real tree down 10 days ago. I was sick after January 1st for a week, then got caught up in paperwork, so the tree and decorations just kept sliding to the bottom of the priority list. I have to lol about number of needles I swept up.

Not much of a brag here, just an ongoing decluttering which is showing real results. Next is getting rid of my collection of books, which just gather dust, not even any monetary value. Enough is enough! One thing I'm so happy about is that getting the second dishwasher has made all the difference in the world to the kitchen mess. With the dishes out of the way I can see the counters and floor. But I don't know if I can brag about that. Maybe I need 2 washers to handle the laundry better. I can't declutter DH's work clothes, as he uses sometimes 3 outfits a day for his dirty, and sometimes weather wet, job, so find myself doing 3 loads of washing, drying, and folding laundry a day, and we are only 4 in my family.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 6:13PM
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Yeah Stephanie!!!

I remember when I had been doing Flylady for about six months it was my turn to hostess my quilt group. All I did was fix a snack and run the vac.

I was so excited not to have to spend three days trying to get just the part of the house they would see in some kind of shape. It really motivated me to stick with the system.

I love just saying at the drop of a hat, "Come on over."


    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 9:53PM
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What a great hostessing moment for you!

This week would not be a good "Come on over" week for me. But I'm working 5 minutes at a time today to get my house back in shape. This cold virus has just wiped me out, but I did make it to work every day this week.

On a "brag" note, everything is ready (ahead of schedule!) for the baby shower on Tuesday, so I don't have to worry about that. It's at the church, NOT here thank goodness! LOL

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 2:57PM
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I really tell people this system has totally changed my life and they just don't believe me. I'm having a friend flying up from MO this coming Sat. and all I have to do is change out the sheets and move a few things from the DD's room where we will have her sleep.

I was sick last fall for almost a month. It was a wicked virus. Even though no zone cleaning got done, the morning and bedtime routines were so firmly in place that the family keep going smoothly. No running out of laundry, no being unable to function. Now, the house wasn't looking any too pretty, but it only took a couple of short afternoons to get us back to normal.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 4:54PM
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Gloria said:
"the house wasn't looking any too pretty, but it only took a couple of short afternoons to get us back to normal."

I think that's the point where I am. Nothing is TOO bad, but nothing is too pretty. No dishes in the sink, the laundry is done. No big clutter, lots of dust. Need to vacuum and wash floors... but NOT today. LOL I'm just working on the little stuff.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 5:06PM
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I invited a friend over this coming Friday night. I'm almost positive she won't make it but it's given me the push I needed to clean the house. I've already started and feel good about the progress. It's too bad I have to trick myself into doing this but it's working. Notice, though, that I've given myself a week to get the house cleaned up.

This particular friend's house is immaculate. No clutter at all. She and her DH don't even believe in buying DVD's and books because they add to clutter. They rent movies and go to the library instead. She has 4 cats and a dog living indoors and she vacuums practically everyday after work. I was so jealous of how perfect her house looked (which she doesn't think it is). They are both minimalists. But if I'm with DH, I'll never get to that point.

So, inviting this new friend over for the first time is obviously forcing me to make sure my house is also immaculate.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 5:57PM
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Good luck with your house cleaning project, just don't make yourself crazy going for immaculate.

I have friends whose houses look like nobody lives there--like a model home in a new subdivision. It makes me nervous sometimes. I'm much happier visiting friends who have clutter stacked up all over the place--probably because it makes me feel better about my own house, rather than jealous? LOL

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 6:40AM
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Just spent some time cleaning off the top of my washer and dryer. The washer was starting to look a little gunky from spilled detergent, etc. The dryer was COVERED with containers of detergent, bleach, spray starch, etc. and looked awful. Took everything off, scrubbed the tops and fronts of both and put back PART of what was on the dryer.

Nobody will probably ever notice, but I sure do!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 6:23PM
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I cleaned out all my food cuboards last week. Dumped a bunch of stuff, donated some items we are not going to eat. Tossed out old spices, combined some. Filled lots of Tupperware containers with staple type foods. Sure felt good and looks great.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 8:10PM
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This is nothing to brag about, but it got done. The car was full of plastic bags to be recycled, as well as old phone books and catalogs, also for the recycle center. I have little excuse for the bags, since there's a recycle place at the supermarket; I just forget to put them in. For the catalogs and magazines and phone books, there's only one place , none to convenient, anywhere near me. Anyway, I had a meeting at the Centers for Disease Control, which as really serious security - so this poor guard had to go through all this stuff in hatch of the car (especially the bags, they had exploded out of the container they were originally in) - I was so embarrassed, but she was really professional and nice.

I went to the recycling center on my way home that night.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 12:19PM
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A friend asked if she could bring her favorite aunt (visiting from out of town) over to meet me and see my house. YIKES. I spent two days dusting and generally acting like my mother was coming for a visit. I had spent a couple of days before that working on the hot spots in my home office; throwing away catalogs, paper, and trying to see the top of my desk again. Unfortunately, I did not get to that room with the dustrag, and for the tour I made everyone stand back and squint through the twilight hoping the dust mites wouldn't make anyone's allergies explode. What I should confess is that anyone could have written "DUST ME" on any surface of my home, and it would have stood out quite nicely!

It was lovely to have (the rest of) my house clean for the the weekend, and we spent the day relaxed, and enjoyed cooking a nice meal in my clean kitchen. (Bolognese sauce and lemon cheesecake.) It's great to have gleaming surfaces for a huge change, even if it doesn't last nearly long enough.

OH...and we finally got two wooden thresholds attached in doorways that needed them for the last three years. Now THAT was big! What that has to do with "Organizing" are the number of trips made to get these small pieces of wood ready to go into place. A trip to find the threshold, two trips for the right stain and poly finish, quite a few coats to apply, and...I'm almost more trip for longer screws! Obviously I was not organized enough to pull this off in any kind of timely manner.

You know, it's not about bragging, but more about relief of being able to put those long drawn-out chores behind me that brought me to this place!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 7:08PM
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I think the key to getting organized is to go through closet by closet, drawer by drawer and get rid of everything you don't use. If you don't use it, lose it! Then you can start to reorganize each space according to you and your family's needs.

For instance, when my kids were small (ages 12-2) I went back to work full time. What a disaster for the first 6 months. I finally decided to use my spare time to clean the house top to bottom and get rid of what we weren't using. Then I started in the kitchen (most used room in the house) and reorganized it for our needs. We had one cupboard that everyone could reach that held lunch supplies. The kids learned to make their own lunches the night before and put them in the refrig. They also laid out their school clothes the night before and left their backpacks by the back door with their coats. When I left for work, everyone was out of bed and dressed, were eating breakfast and I left their lunch boxes next to their backpacks. When the bus arrived, they got their stuff and off they went. It took a lot of hits and misses to get this system down but once we did, it worked wonders.

Saturday mornings everyone pitched in to help do household chores (even little ones can attempt to make their beds, dust etc) and when that was done we'd do something as a family for the rest of the day!

Lots of work to set it up but it pays off in the long run with everyone helping out in their own way!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 7:43PM
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I have been using the FlyLady system and finding that the more I do my basic daily routines the more time I have for other things. For the past couple of weeks I've been doing a lot of purging and reorganizing. I went through and purged countless papers in DH's office as well as my own. We bought a bookcase yesterday and I spent a lot of time yesterday reorganizing my office and loading up the new bookcase with books. Today I reorganized 3 kitchen drawers, put a couple new organizers in. I unpacked 3 boxes just today (we moved here about 18 months ago, still haven't settled in totally due partially to the renovations we've been doing). I did more organizing and purging in my office today, got rid of old catalogues and magazines, reorganized drawers and cupboards, and now have empty storage space!!!

DH built a bench seat for the kitchen for storage, hung a floating shelf in the kitchen, and a shelf for my chef statue. I find that once the purging is done and you have created suitable storage space for the things you use and love, the room really comes together as part of a lovely home! The problem is, DH wants to build everything, so in the meantime I have to make the best of the storage spaces I have, but every little bit helps!
I find nothing makes me feel better than having a room that is clean, decluttered, and organized. If you're feeling uninspired try cleaning out a drawer, or buying a little storage shelf unit that you need, and sort through your things and display what you love and get rid of everything else! The feeling is contagious, it is sometimes hard to stop once you get going, which is why I need the Flylady system so much, 15 min. baby steps will get you there, so you still have time for the daily routines that keep your mind at peace!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 5:22PM
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FYI - Getting rid of that clutter? I found an awesome website...people actually do want what you consider "trash". I organized all of our CD and DVDs in large holders and was getting rid of their cases. I was going to throw them out and then heard of this site. . Posted them and people came and got them the next day. I even gave away a vacuum that was broken. The woman knew how to fix it. Giving the stuff away made me feel better than just throwing it out. And I got rid of the clutter!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 9:03PM
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Freecycle is very popular in my area. There are several thousand members on the list.

But I wouldn't have considered the CD holders trash. I would have donated any if I had extras. They don't seem to have a long life with my kids, but I don't like just the jewel cases which only hold the CD, so I buy other peoples leftovers at the thrift stores.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 12:37AM
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What that has to do with "Organizing" are the number of trips made to get these small pieces of wood ready to go into place. A trip to find the threshold, two trips for the right stain and poly finish, quite a few coats to apply, and...I'm almost more trip for longer screws! Obviously I was not organized enough to pull this off in any kind of timely manner.

Claire, that's not bcs you were "not organized enough"--it's because those things are just hard! How do you *know* your screws aren't long enough until you try?

That difficulty is the exact reason why I almost never tackle those sorts of projects; they are just WAY too involved! They take 40 times as long as you think they do, bcs of all the piece-meal problems. It's a major deal to sit down and decide what you'll truly need to finish the project. Or to start it, LOL!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 11:12AM
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My MIL visited for 7 weeks ( it was ok really!), but apart from a quick dust, swiffer and vacuum and bathrooms wiped down, beds changed etc, nothing else was done. It took me four days to CLEAN the house ( including cleaning and finishing the hardwood floors) and I must admit it looked good. Then I spent five days catching up on paperwork and shredding old bills etc. Now I have just the day to day stuff to do and it feels so good. My brother and sister will be visiting in April and I will do a big 'clean' before they arrive. Before then I hope to get two rooms finished ( painted and carpets down. Then I really will have just the odd thing in each room to finish.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 9:38PM
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