Ive just been shoving stuff in boxes and drawers

talley_sue_nycMay 17, 2007

In the last 3 weeks, weÂve had two people pop up out of the blue to look at our apartment. Since we're not officially on the market, and we've been busy (and lazy), we havenÂt been strict w/ ourselves (and esp. not with the kids), so the tidying up has taken a lot of time, and IÂve been resorting to just taking an entire stack of papers or stuff and shoving it into a box or a drawer. These last 3 weeks have been crunch time at work (closing the summer issue), so I havenÂt been home much, and there have been OTHER things to eat up the time (like folding laundry).

Lots of it is paperwork that needs action, but I havenÂt had (or havenÂt taken) time to photocopy, mail, whatever. So IÂm a little worried about getting back to it, etc.

And a lot of it is stuff that just can go out, but IÂm not SURE about that, so I canÂt just toss it; I need time to work through the stack.

So, guess what IÂm going to be doing for the next month? I think IÂm going to try to "do a dozen" out of each drawer. And maybe restrict it to paperwork.

Because the OTHER type of thing that is in these drawers and boxes is stuff of the kids that I donÂt know where to put--the cloth doll she made for an English project; the Pinewood Derby cars from this year and last; the game from the math project.

And I think if I try to deal w/ those, IÂll short-circuit. ItÂll take too long; itÂs not an easy puzzle to figure out, since every available shelf in the house is full of stuff. So I think IÂll just let those things "float" in the box or drawer, and deal with papers only.

And if I set the bar low (12 pieces of paper required; any more is gravy), itÂll keep me from getting overwhelmed at the multistep process needed to handle some of them.

Maybe I should use this thread to check in each day, to keep myself from chickening out.

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jannie

I can't use my bedroom dresser because all eight drawers are filled to the brim with junk. Like old pantyhose with runs on one leg. I figured I could wear two ar a time and have two good legs. Never happens. Also my lace hankie collection fills one drawer. I think what I need to do is empty one drawer at a time onto the bed, sort and toss, then put the drawer back in place. Again,it never happens. am I lazy or what?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 11:50AM
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talley_sue_nyc

OK, Jannie--I challenge you: Together, we'll tackle the dresser, twelve items at a time.

Tonight--wait, tonight might be hard, it's Ascension Day and I have to play the organ--well, surely I can do TWELVE, right? Esp. if I make sure several of them are "throw them out" things?

Tonight, open one drawer, and pick out twelve things that don't belong, and do whatever with them. (toss, refile, mail to someone else)

Don't worry about the stuff that stays; we're just weeding out.

I will too. Check in tomorrow, 'K?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 12:01PM
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minet

I think I'll play along too. I've been sidelined with a horrid cold that's turned my mind into fog but I can do at least twelve, right??!!!??

And for me, it's paperwork. That's always my nemesis. So at least twelve today that are tossed or filed or shredded, but not just put back onto the pile, into the box, or into the drawer.

Twelve sounds good. I always hope to just tackle the piles and get them done, but don't, so breaking it up into bite-size pieces is good.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 1:59PM
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jannie

TaLley sue-the challenge is on! Check back later tonight!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 3:07PM
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talley_sue_nyc

all right--three on board, 12 pieces of paper dealt with.

(I love "do a dozen"--it seems both large enough to matter, and small enough to be doable. I do it often when I don't *really* want to fold clothes; w/ clothes, socks don't count, LOL)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 3:43PM
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celticmoon

I'm in. I'll toss 12 dead pantyhose. Hate em all and don't even wear em!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 11:09PM
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Plow_In

I was going to say I'd start this tomorrow, since it's now 11:15, but I bet I can find 12 things to toss while DH is putting his pjs on. Actually dumped 6 mags belonging to him today, but he'll never miss them (he also would never get around to reading them). So I'll toss and check in tomorrow.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 11:19PM
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talley_sue_nyc

I did it--I thought I might not have time, but actually, w/ no kids to put to bed, there was a LOT of time.

I probably handled more than 12. Debated whether I should count things that were being thrown away, and decided that I should. Bcs the others take a little more time, many of them (gotta write a letter but don't have access to the computer, stuff like that).

I also put a few things back; I looked at them, and said, "I can't do them tonight, but I can tomorrow; they'll be part of tomorrow's dozen." I feel I'll be prepared to tackle them tonight.

How'd the rest of you do?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 10:55AM
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minet

I didn't keep count but did recycle some things on the kitchen island and sort through the mail. My cold is better today and I have some energy.

I'll report back later on today's paper purge progress (P3).

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 12:05PM
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Jane_the_Renovator

Hi everybody,

I'm IN on the paper purging! We are planning to get rid of the two file cabinets in the living room and replace them with a furniture-quality small file cabinet (Home Decorators Collection has some really nice ones) and "dead file" storage in the basement.

I have a suggestion for you, Talley Sue: take pictures of those bulky 3D kid memorabilia items. I think either Deniece Schofeld or Bonnie what's-her-name recommends this--whichever one it was had a dragon made from sugar cubes to deal with. It worked for me when I was clearing out my schoolwork from art school: I took pictures of the oversize stuff in case I ever had to prove I did the work, put the photos in photo sleeves, and put them in a binder with the rest of the 8 1/2 x 11 work. Then I tossed the giant stuff. Very freeing!

Here is a link that might be useful: Check out these file cabinets!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 12:56PM
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talley_sue_nyc

oh, the only caution, on those furniture-looking file cabinets--they are NOT effective filing cabinets. Unless they're from an office-supply company and expnesive, they are frustrating and worthless. Beautiful, but a crummy filing tool.

They are normally not full-extension, which means you'll be completely unable to access the back part of the drawer. Which means you should NEVER fill them up--put a block of Styrofoam in the back fo the drawer, so that you can't (and so that the files will stand upright instead of flopping around w/ the extra space that lets them sag).

They are *smaller* (which can be good), so they won't hold much

I hated my little filing cabinet so much, I can't tell you. Absolutely the best money I ever spent was on a real fiiling cabinet--those full-extension drawer slides are worth thousands, I'm telling you.

I would never buy ready-made furniture-style filing cabinets . I'd ONLY get furniture-style ones if I could be assured that they have full-extension slides. So I'd seek out office-furniture-style ones, or I'd have them made for me.

I suppose it might not be that hard to replace the slides in those will full-extension ones....you'd have to drill in an odd position, inside the cabinet, but not impossible. You'd need to be sure you got a replacement drawer slides that would hold the weight--most are 100 lbs, though there are heavy-duty ones. You could set a stack of papers the size of the filing drawer on a bathroom scale and see what you need.

Here is a link that might be useful: replacement full-extension slides, rated for 100 lb.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 1:33PM
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claire_de_luna

Jane, congratulations on getting started with paper purging! Since I just did this myself, I wanted to tell you about my experience. I recently bought a 9 drawer file cabinet from Home Decorators to use in my bedroom for very light clothes storage. These furniture items are not well made; in fact after we got it home, two drawers out of the nine needed the drawer slides replaced. They are not allowed to stock parts in the store (don't ask me why) and the first replacements they sent were the wrong ones. We got the right ones after two weeks and had to spend time repairing what should have been right the first time. In moving the piece (it's large and awkward) we noticed that it flexed quite a bit. Although they do have full-extension slides, if I were storing files instead of underwear, I wouldn't expect it to hold up very long at all. I would suggest dong what Talley Sue suggested and buying a real file cabinet instead of the wannabe version. Home Decorators furniture is not recommended! Sometimes you simply just get what you pay for...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 2:22PM
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quiltglo

I'm in. My sewing/crafting/sitting room is out of control. It's 5 steps up off the kitchen with an open pass-through area. For the past couple of months, I have let the piles overrun the piles. I'll probably do it with my timer, since I've already gotten myself programmed to working until the thing dings.

Gloria

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 2:42PM
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talley_sue_nyc

I have a consolate cabinet (just doors--no drawers) from Home Decorators, and it's sturdy enough, and I like it. Not heavy duty, but not the flimsiest

Home Decorators doesn't sell fine furniture, but it's OK. Filing cabinets, however, need to be stronger than other furniture because they move so much and have so many parts.

I think a skinnier piece would be much sturdier--the cross-bracing would be more effective. But I still think a real filing cabinet is the thing to get.

When I'm sick of publishing, I'm going to make quality filing cabinets that only *look* like wood (but a good fake) for people like you. And me.

The function of my office-quality cabinet is so satisfying that I'll live with its straightforward looks,and any inconvenience it keepign it in the bedroom where it's less noticeable.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 2:50PM
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lobsterbird

Thanks, Talley Sue. Count me in, too. I need to stop playing around on the computer so much. I've managed to avoid paying bills for a bit, so I'm going to get up off my you know what and get busy.

Tina

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 4:09PM
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liz_h

I now have a real office, but still have piles and piles of papers in there, and some existing files that really need to be purged. I have a Very Ugly but serviceable 4 drawer file cabinet, which should be out of there by the end of the year. Anyway, I'm in. Instead of 12 pieces, my minimum is 15 minutes - starting tomorrow.

One other thing about installing full-extension glides. Be sure the cabinet won't tip over with the new glides. It's always a good idea to not open more than one drawer at a time in a file cabinet.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 9:48PM
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quiltglo

OK, I set the timer for 15 min. and over half of the pile was either put away or pitched. Lots of field trip notices which are already over. I did find the permission slip I need to send back next week. If I do this Sat. and Sun. I should be finished.

Gloria

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 12:31AM
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Plow_In

OK - in addition to the 6 mags yesterday, I tossed 4 more today, 2 pks face cream, 2 pair panty hose, 1 blouse (hated this thing, and never wore it), 7 socks, 2 bras, 2 slips (this left a nice space in the back of the drawer, and I thought: now what can I put in this neat space, until I remembered that you guys said not to fill the "holes") Also managed to put 2 books back where they belong (does that count?) Will try to do better tomorrow, especially with paper. My computer room is loaded with piles of paper -which can't be tossed, but has to be entered in computer first.

Have to attack the summer clothes - I'm sure that some of them won't fit. But I am definitely going to join you on the "12-toss" paper thing - I so need that!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 12:40AM
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teacats

In our guest room/home office -- we had California Closets "do" the closet -- and create strong shelving to hold our "file crates"

Those file crates are basically plastic "milk-crate" boxes that hold the home office files (two) -- and the Home Applicance info (one) -- and the Canadian file (one) -- and one for Home Decor pictures (clipping from magazines) and one for Food Recipes.

Six plastic crates in total -- and trust me! -- they work SO well for us. Not too big -- and portable. So I do the filing sessions (we have a "File" inbox sitting by the crates) on the kitchen table.

Just a suggestion for an alternative to file cabinets .....

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 1:10PM
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harriethomeowner

I'm working on something along these lines, too. I finally came up with a plan to get our papers organized, which involved buying a two-drawer file cabinet that would hold legal-sized files. Last weekend I got all the files moved from the basement up to our designated office room and into the cabinet, and I started labeling the folders and putting away all the paper that had been piling up for the past few months. I'm glad we're not trying to sell our house or anything! That room is still a disaster area. So I'm going to go in there right now and put some more things away. I'll give myself an hour or less.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 2:10PM
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jannie

I rtemoved and tossed trwelve items from one big dresser drawer. I won't list them, stuff like empty bags and a box of licorice gumdrops. Th drawer is nowhere near finished, but at least there's breathing room and I can now close it easily!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 12:36PM
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lobsterbird

Okay, I pulled out all the bills and got things organized. I'm thinking I need to add some more structure to the process. Will analyze the paperwork and bill-paying tasks and provide a regular space for everything, probably a folder in my file box. It makes me feel uneasy when I put stacks of stuff in a drawer because there's no system to it. I fear I may forget to pay something by the due date -- you know, out of sight, out of mind.

Tina

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 12:43PM
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teacats

Well done Jannie!!!

Yes -- Tina -- getting a "system" organized to handle the "Accounts" from the mail coming in the door -- to stashing it until you can get to it -- and then filing the paperwork -- and then mailing things out on time is really crucial!!

So many tightly dated and timed items these days -- and being late on bills can REALLY cost you some serious money!

As out mail comes in the front door -- it gets sorted right away -- and Bills-to-Be-Paid go into a slot in my organizer by the phone in the kitchen. Filing-Items get taken to the home office and stashed in the Filing Tray -- and things get shredded. The organizer in the kichen also has a tiny drawer that hold the stamps AND the return address labels too.

As mentioned above -- filing is done on the kitchen table -- and the paperwork is filed into the plastic milk-crate boxes.

Haven't set up an electronic pay-billing system yet -- plan to investigate that later in the year.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 1:41PM
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minet

Tina, I have a spreadsheet I made on Excel many years ago and have used ever since, modifying it occasionally. It's 7 columns wide and a page long of rows.

**Column 1: Description (mortgage, water/sewer, electric, gas, Visa, etc.)
**Column 2: Total of bill $$$
**Column 3: Minimum due $$$
**Column 4: Date due
**Column 5: Amount paid $$$
**Column 6: Date paid
**Column 7: Reference (check #, paid online, paid by phone, etc.)

It took some time to get set up, but now I've used it for years. I print them off and three-hole punch them, then keep them in a binder.

In that binder I also have a couple of those fabric pencil pouches with see-through covers, and that's where I stash the bills. Open the envelope, recycle unnecessary paper, and then stick the rest in the pouch. I mark down the info in columns 2,3 and 4, and then set the binder in an easy to find place.

My husband knows about this system and has been able to pay bills when I've been away or whatever.

Ideally, I would open the bills and mark them down on the spreadsheet as soon as received them in the mail (on in my email for online billing), but sometimes I let them pile up on the kitchen counter then do them all at once.

That is bad. I have a good system for me, and I should use it properly. Open the bills right away, mark them down, and put them in the pouches. Pay them once a week.

If you don't have Excel you could do a similar thing easily on another program. This also lets me track several months bills easily, for comparison of costs.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 1:50PM
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minet

To clarify ...

Column 1 of my spreadsheet is already filled in with all the bills I expect to pay each month. I put the descriptions in when I make the spreadsheet on the computer. Group them together - utilities next to each other, credit cards next to each other, etc.

So if I notice that one row across doesn't have any info in it, then that means the bill has gone missing and I need to find it.

There's always a lot of extra blank rows at the bottom that I can use for unusual or once-in-awhile bills. Just write those descriptions in.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 2:52PM
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liz_h

minet - I used to print off a form like that - on my Commodore 64! It was a great system, though I only noted the date, amount paid & check number. One time my bank screwed up and didn't make a scheduled payment to the electric company. They wanted me to pay a $200 deposit! I took the sheet in with me to explain what happened & ask them to waive the deposit requirement. She agreed, and told me "Anybody who's that organized and even tracks with a computer I don't worry about." This was over 20 years ago, & my organizational habits have been less than impressive at various times since.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 10:51PM
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liz_h

to show you this cabinet. In our old house, we had one of these on each side of our bed. The cabinets are each 7' tall and 3' wide. These were our dressers, but we didn't want to keep any clothes in the bedroom of this house. (due to dust allergies)

I now have these in my office/hobby room. One is for play stuff and one is for business. The bottom section of my "business" cabinet will be reconfigured to have 2 hanging drawers instead of the 4 drawers that are there now. Getting DH to do this will be my reward for when I finally get my office together! There are more piles and boxes of stuff than shown here. My task is to get the stuff into drawers, rather than out!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 11:08PM
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talley_sue_nyc

It makes me feel uneasy when I put stacks of stuff in a drawer because there's no system to it. I fear I may forget to pay something by the due date -- you know, out of sight, out of mind.

this is my fear as well, which is why I'm determined to weed through all those piles in the boxes and drawers. I did 12 on Saturday, and blew Sunday off (sorry!)

Back on track for today--but I think I'll use down time at work, bcs I've got insurance reimbursements, etc., to file.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 9:08AM
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lobsterbird

Okay, I have paid all of my bills and filed everything away. Yay!

I'm going to look at using a system such as Minet described to give myself some more structure to this process. I think it will give me a better big picture view of our finances, as well as track where/how we spend our money and run our household. I'm wondering, Minet, whether you pay every bill that has arrived that week when you sit down on your bill-paying day, or whether you postpone paying bills based on their due date?

Tina

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 3:38PM
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talley_sue_nyc

OK, I did my 12--filed for insurance reimbursements, etc. Some need to then be refiled. And I put some off, bcs I need more info; I'll try to get that tomorrow.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 5:59PM
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minet

Tina, I'm more haphazard about paying the bills than my system would suggest. I don't sit down to pay them every week, as I should. I usually remember to look in the binder every couple of weeks and see what's up next.

What I like best about my binder is that even if I misplace a bill, when I look at my chart I'll see that I haven't paid it, rather than just forgetting about it.

I know someone who sits down with all her financial papers every Sunday night and goes through them. Balances the checkbook if a new statement has come in, pays bills, files receipts, etc. I should make that a habit for myself.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 6:54PM
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Plow_In

I have a book-type checkbook, and I put the bills in there as soon as they arrive. Once a week I sort by due-date, and pay 5 days before that date (unless it goes to the next town). Paid bills go upstairs for my DH to sort for tax purposes, & he shreds the rest. It's the other stuff that sits around until I decide what to do about it. And that paper stuff is what spreads all over the dining room table, the couch, the TV table, and sometimes the floor. This is not a good system. I'm trying.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 6:55PM
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talley_sue_nyc

well, not only did I handle 12 pieces of paper during the day (submitted claims for reimbursement), but I probably processed 24 of them last night while supervising homework.

Lots of them just went in the garbage; others got filed. And a few got put back in the box to deal w/ them later, LOL! I can only do a couple of complicated ones in a day.

How are the rest of you doing?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 9:04AM
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talley_sue_nyc

plow--last week you wrote:
Also managed to put 2 books back where they belong (does that count?)

yes, that counts! That's most of what clutter is, at least in my house--stuff that didn't get put back where it belongs.

I did another dozen last night; most of it in the garbage.

I hope to do a few more "claims for reimbursement" today.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:11AM
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minet

I'm on Day 11 of this wretched cold. Didn't have colds like this in SoCal - thought it might be allergies, but have decided it's a long cold. I have a doctor's appt this morning to try to get it figured out.

I haven't been doing the paper purge but instead have been opening up the last large moving boxes in the garage to see what's in them and try to get it all placed somewhere. Some of the items are in limbo - I haven't decided whether to keep them or freecycle them - but I did pick out the display items I felt were most meaningful and I knew I wanted to keep. And I put them on the rattan stand in the living room.

I also finished shelving the books that had been just piled up and now need to find homes for the book rejects. I'm going to look for a good used bookstore that's close by. There's a great one downtown, the famous Powell's, but I don't want to lug three cartons of books down there.

And I've been reading through my pile of old magazines as my DH watches tv and getting them ready to take to the doctor's office today.

And I need to get going! So I guess I've done more than my 12 pieces of paper each day - just not the ones I'd been thinking about originally.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:45AM
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talley_sue_nyc

that "long cold" could be a sinus infection. I think mine is.

that may not be a "paper purge," but it's a "backlog purge," which is in much the same vein. Congrats!

I know what you mean about "limbo"--I've decided putting stuff in limbo is OK as long as it doesn't becom permanent.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 2:11PM
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minet

Yep, you're right. Diagnosed as a sinus infection, and now I have a couple of prescriptions to take for 10 days. I should start feeling better in 2-3.

I took in 5 old mags and 1 Pottery Barn catalog to leave in the waiting room.

I still haven't found my lost box of keys ...

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 2:44PM
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lobsterbird

Way to go, Talley Sue!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 3:36PM
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talley_sue_nyc

my doc is out of the office for 2 days--will a sinus infection go away on its own?

and thanks, Tina!

One benefit of this: checks will be coming in the mail, w/ all this reimbursement filing.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 5:22PM
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minet

I don't know if it will or not - I've had this since May 13. She gave me an antibiotic and a pseudoephedrine.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 5:26PM
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lobsterbird

My impression of sinus infections is that they usually require an antibiotic, taken for the full prescribed period. A decongestant (Pseudophedrine or some other) is used to help drain the sinus cavities. My doctor also had me use Simply Saline (original formula, not allergy formula) a few times a day to help flush out the sinus cavities. It's a natural, drug-free solution, and does not cause any problems when you stop using. They way I understand it, it's helpful to keep the sinus area moist, because dryness contributes to lingering infection. This kind of thing can make you feel miserable. I hope you both get better soon.

Tina

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 7:00PM
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jannie

I am cursed with allergies and sinus infections. I bought a Neti Pot sinus-irrigation system and packets of nasal moisturizing solution. I have cured myself of sinus problems. When I have a cold or otherwise stuffy nose,I'll use it twice a day. It removes dust and allergens and mucus. Sounds gross but works for me. I haven't seen a doctor in over two years for nasal problems.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 9:19PM
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lobsterbird

jannie -- Can you tell me about the Neti Pot, please? I've heard of these, but don't know how they work or how to use. I have bad allergies and would do almost anything to not have to medicate as much. I guess I could google this, but it would be nice to hear from someone who actually uses. Thanks!

Tina

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 9:38PM
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minet

I bought one this morning, after leaving the doctor. I got it at Whole Oats (a natural foods/health store). It was about $15. I'd heard about them a couple of years ago, and then this week I saw a demonstration of it on Oprah.

Here's a link to an explanation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Neti Pot

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 10:27PM
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lobsterbird

Thanks, minet. I did a quick search last night after posting and found that link. Very interesting. The Simply Saline solution is used the same way, except it is a prepackaged thing. Probably more expensive, but it is portable and I can just pop it in my purse. I think the Neti Pot would be good to have at home, and I would be able to use it daily. What mixture do you add to the water?

Tina

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 12:34PM
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minet

I was told, by the person who sold it to me, that sea salt is best. Regular table salt usually has iodine and is too irritating.

I'm going to wait until I get over this infection before trying it.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 1:40PM
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talley_sue_nyc

my dr. said to use kosher salt; it dissolves easily. It's cheap. I have a waterpik w/ a special nose attachment that I was using to try to alleviate my allergy / postnasal drip stuff. I forgot about it for sinus infections.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 3:24PM
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jannie

Tally sue, I'm rolling along. I'm going to make a list of all the drawers and closets in my house, then tackle them one at a time, 12 items at a time. I expect there will be 30 to 50 projects, but if I keep going, eventually I will have a TRULY uncluttered home. Not just one that looks presenrtable on the first glance.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 8:12PM
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liz_h

talley sue, I've found I can usually knock out a sinus infection with nasal irrigation. When my waterpik finally died, I switched to using an ear syringe.

A year so so ago, my dental hygienist talked me into getting a Sonicare toothbrush. I also use it to brush my tongue. Since I've started this, I haven't had a sinus infection. I don't know if the coated tongue that accompanies sinus congestion made a great breeding ground for bacteria, or just what the connection is. I've had years in the past with 8 or 10 sinus infections - not fun!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 11:58PM
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jannie

Minet, thank you for posting that link for Tina. I'm not computer-literate enogh to do such things. I mean that in a nice way.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 7:04AM
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tre3

I'm ba-a--c-k! Feeling behind and rather scattered. Twelve items sounds like just the thing to get me back on track! Do 12 weeds count? LOL
T

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 10:47AM
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jannie

I know,I'm sorry this thread got hijicked. Back to 12-at-a-time organizing, folks.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 10:55AM
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talley_sue_nyc

Janniek don't do the list if it's just going to slow you down. Just grab a drawer and do a dozen.

I didn't do any last night, I'm sorry to confess. It was my birthday, and I had cake to eat, and a Hardy Boys book to read to a little boy.

I'll have to try the nasal irrigation. It never made any effect on my chronic cough, but it might clear the gunk out well enough for my body to tackle the bacterial.

Interesting the thing about the tongue.

Well, I have 5 receipts to file at work--that counts as 5, right?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 11:09AM
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liz_h

Well, I have done 12 things or 15 minutes most days, but never in the office. Does it count that I dealt with new mail, and paid, shredded or recycled as appropriate? At least it didn't add to the piles there... Maybe this week I'll do better.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 2:09AM
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talley_sue_nyc

At least it didn't add to the piles there

What is my mantra? "First, do no harm."

I think that counts, but of course, you are going to need to get to "paying the principal, not just the interest."

(hey, there's another theme: "decluttering is like a credit card")

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 12:24PM
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liz_h

Thanks talley sue. You're certainly right about paying that principal!

Actually this is costing me some money. I run an air cleaner in that room because I'm so allergic to dust. If all those stacks weren't sitting around, I wouldn't need that machine.

Hmnm... maybe I should shove all the stacks inside the cabinets, and take one out at a time to deal with. I'm just afraid I could ignore them even better at that point. For some reason I'm just really reluctant to work on this. Even doing laundry is preferable!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 1:38AM
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lobsterbird

Just realized that it's been over a week since I last paid bills and filed everything away. Yesterday before company arrived I had to put away a couple bills, filing and to-do's-- that's a sign I need to sit down and take care of business. I noticed that at this point the task doesn't seem critical, nor does it seem overwhelming. I think for me that is an important point -- do tasks when there are still only a few, rather than rationalizing the opportunity to put it off. It's a fine line between "I don't have to do this yet" and "Oh, my gosh, there are so many bills to be paid and things to do, but I just don't have the energy".

I'm a little disappointed that I hadn't stayed on top of the few things to file and the to-do's, nor have I yet to find an actual place for these things when they can't be taken care of immediately. Oh, well, it's a learning process.

Tina

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 9:40AM
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talley_sue_nyc

Tina, don't spend too much time being disappointed in yourself. First, that's just a waste of time, if you spend very much time on it.

It's OK to be a little disappointed; that's what motivates you to improve in an area you value.

But spend MORE time dwelling on the idea that the work you put in, in the past, made it easier to get caught up again. Let THAT idea roll around your brain, instead of the disappointment part.

Then, next time you think , "Oh, I'll file that later, it takes too long to do it now," you will trigger the "last time, filing it made life easier later; it won't either take that long, and I'll be paying it forward," instead of "I'm such a crumb for not filing."

Sometimes I think we need to treat ourselves the way we treat our children.

Sure, we make them come back and pick up their own jacket and put it away.

But if we're smart, we also point out their successes and encourage them.

I walked DS to school today, and pointed out to him that he is very good at studying, at reviewing the material he's learned, and drilling, and memorizing, and thinking about it. And I pointed out that he sees a very big payoff. He studied hard for a multiplication-tables test, and got 100 out of 100 right! And he studied the rules for dividing words, and his entire row got to eliminate one homework assignment bcs they recited them back w/ no errors.

True, there are times he didn't study, and got a 67 on his test. But every time he has studied, he gets a 97 or a 100. So THAT was what I pointed out. Not the goofs, just the successes.

I kind of blew off paperwork this weekend (though I did take care of an envelope full of receipts this morning--can I count that as 8 instead of 1? I'll do more tonight, but I'm out tomorrow until midnight, so I'll have to pick back up on Thursday.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 10:04AM
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lobsterbird

Talley sue, thanks. I think I was more just noticing my behavior and thinking out loud. The small disappointment was with the filing and to-do's and realizing I had forgotten to create a space to put these things. And that's ok. -- I'm definitely not beating myself up over it. The whole week I had been riding high on my success at clearing away the bills and paperwork. But I was actually pleased to recognize my internal thought process yesterday as I was putting away my small pile of bills and stuff and noticed there were "just a few things" -- I think for me that is an important point -- do tasks when there are still only a few, rather than rationalizing the opportunity to put it off.

I am looking forward to staying on top of things. I have already seen the results of culling and organization, and I am ready to have this important area of my life under control. I should mention that this is something I have historically always taken care of, but in the last year or so I let things slip -- more a sign of my perimenopausal state of mind and all the things that go along with that! I try and keep in mind that this is the time I need to create order in my life and simplify tasks so they get done.

Tina

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 10:40AM
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lobsterbird

Okay, back on track with the paperwork. I've been taking care of it a little bit each day, and that seems to work well. Maybe in the future I'll be able to create a system where I sit down and pay bills once a week, but for now my goal is to clear things out daily as they arrive. It's sort of the same principle as putting things away where they belong. I open the mail, and see a bill. The next step is to write a check and file away the statement. Anything I touch is taken care of. If it's a notice that creates a task for me, such as writing an email or letter and I can't do it immediately, I put it on my next day's to-do list. I want things done so I don't have to wonder about the order of my accounts or when a bill is due. For me, my new paperwork mantra is "DO IT NOW".

Tina

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 11:38AM
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talley_sue_nyc

I don't think there's anything wrong w/ clearing things as they arrive. In fact, that system is much less likely to result in the backlog that I'm trying to clear away.

If you blow a day, then at least you only have that days' worth of backlog to deal with tomorrow.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 11:43AM
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talley_sue_nyc

well, I powered through a whole bunch of paperwork on Saturday--nearly emptied one of the boxes.There's still stuff in there, but it's all stuff that will take longer to sort out.

(and as a bonus, I threw out all the utility & bounce-protection statements from 2000 through 2005--gotta keep ahead of those)

So tomorrow I'll tackle the drawer.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 9:46PM
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minet

I got a bee in my bonnet this evening and have been shredding the papers that were piled up next to the shredder. I just got tired of looking at them.

I've emptied the shredder can a couple of times and right now am waiting for the motor to cool down so it will start up again. When it gets too hot it just shuts down for 10-15 minutes, then is ok to go again.

I use the shredded paper in my compost pile, so right now I'm just collecting it all in bags to take out to the pile a bit at a time. I need to mix it in with some kitchen scraps.

I have done well over my dozen pieces today, but that only makes up for the days I haven't done any.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 12:31AM
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