My Membership Expires Today and I'm Not Renewing.................

cupofkindnessSeptember 14, 2005

So I wanted to say "thank you" to the many wonderful, nonjudgemental people on this forum who have helped me get it together in the year and a half I've been posting. I have learned about Flylady and baby steps, about all of the cool things that help you use space more efficiently, and especially that "Less is More" when it comes, not only to owning stuff, but also in how to approach organizing things in a functional way through this forum. Another favorite approach to all of this organizing is "fake it until you make it" as a way to just get over the more significant issues in managing a household and all of the possessions. Finally, Katrina showed me that stuff doesn't matter much at all, even my children admitted to not wanting/needing all of the things we own. If we lost it all, only a few things (besides our home and our way of life, of course!) really matter to any of them, and not necessarily the belongings that I would think the children should want to have above all else. Thanks again and I hope that all of you find the perfect way of organizing your home so that you have the extra time and energy that is such a precious gift for you and your families !

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mustangs81

Dear Cup, I understand and respect that you have to do what you have to do. However, you will be missed on numerous forums.

Take care.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 4:50PM
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cupofkindness

I can still post today! Perhaps there is a grace period that allows me to extend my good-byes.

Thank you, Mustangs, for your gracious reply. I am actually posting less on most forums as I try to focus my time on my family and house. Please take care as well.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 7:14AM
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talley_sue_nyc

wow, I will miss you!

(my membership is up very soon, too--maybe I should let it lapse so I'll get something done, LOL!)

Best of luck--and remember, if you change your mind, you're welcome back!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 11:03AM
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cupofkindness

Talley:

I'll miss you, too. You have some excellent insights into how humans think about stuff. I'll never forget your post on the Kitchen Forum about how the most ecologically correct kitchen countertop to have is the one that's already in your kitchen.... Of course we'll run into each other when someone posts a Corian question on the Kitchen Forum! I'm still as delighted with my P-Touch as I was the day I bought it.... it makes everything look so official that it really motivates one to keep things in good order. These days I'm trying hard to permanently dejunk. I even dread Chrismas and birthday parties due to the things that work their way into my home. And when my children confessed that they really didn't want all of the things they owned (vis a vis Katrina), it was like a light finally went on: why am I keeping all of this stuff when no one really wants it? I am so very tired of tripping over, rearranging, reorganizing, replacing, and spending money on stuff! In fact, I even gave four cute little gerbils away yesterday. It was sad to see those sweet little creatures go, but since no one wanted to clean their cage (which smelled like a toilet) and no one played with them, it was time to say good bye to the fabulous four rodents. The firebelly frog went last week. The heaviness that I feel for owning all of this junk is just crushing me. Anyway, my goal is to toss/pass on 100 items a day. Yesterday I was out of the house for most of the day, but I counted all the fashion Polly Pocket dolls and their stretchy plastic clothes as 100 items (probably more like 250!) just to keep the momentum going. The laundry room is my target this afternoon. I'd better run! We'll see you around and as long as I can still post, I'll do so! Maybe you don't have to be a contributing member to post on this Forum now that iVillage is running the show. Here's hoping!

~C

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 2:47PM
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des_arc_ya_ya

cupofkindness, sorry that I haven't "met" your acquaintance before! I only occasionally stop in over here. Just wanted to say that I think you are one of the most articulate posters I've ever seen on the Garden Web!

Sounds like you got it goin' on, girl. Think I'll keep your posts and just reread them when I need inspiration! (Of course, that DOES mean hangin' on to still one more thing, then, doesn't it!? LOL)

Good luck and best wishes.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 11:02PM
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cupofkindness

Well, I got an email about renewing my membership today. But I can still post, so we'll see what that amounts to. Des Arc, would you do me the favor of explaining your very creative "forum name?" I've always wondered....

Yes, I'm moving forward. Finally. My enormous alley trash can that is issued by the city is overfilled with junk. My laundry room is nearly dejunked. Baby steps... What also helps is the pressure of having someone over, whether it's one of my kids' friends or my own friend. I'm really bustling when we expect a guest! Oohhh! I hear the garbage truck. Let's see if that stuffed garbage can will be emptied.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 11:24AM
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talley_sue_nyc

it makes everything look so official that it really motivates one to keep things in good order.

me too

I even dread Chrismas and birthday parties due to the things that work their way into my home.

me too
' And, my 2nd favorite cousin is in town, and *might* come to my home, so I'll be straightening like a maniac!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 6:45PM
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des_arc_ya_ya

The "Des Arc" is from my hometown. The "Ya Ya" part is from my group of "girl" friends and me. We gave ourselves that name PRE movie! LOL (A couple of us had read the book and that's all it took! LOL) We're all 55 & 56 years old and have been friends since we were about 14, or younger. There's a group of about six of us who are really "hardcore" Ya Yas! We kid ourselves that the rest are just "wannabees"! LOL

My suggestion concerning holiday gifts is to give consumable gifts - Movie/theatre tickets, car wash certificates, etc.
Kids' gifts could be trips to special places. Do their's up festively with handmade announcements, etc.

I may have to go back to my Christmas chair after reading all of this! LOL

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 10:33PM
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cupofkindness

I can still post today! And for those of you who may have wondered, all that trash was dumped effortlessly into the garbage truck and whisked away to the landfill. Now, one of my most important stretches of kitchen countertop is clear, that is the nearly six feet between the main sink and the back door/garage area of my house. Formerly, that spot had been loaded, and I mean fully covered and stacked, with papers, hair doodads, ballet shoes, Boy Scout patches, files, coupons, receipts, bits and pieces of small toys, playing cards, etc. Cleaning off that counter space has finally given me a landing pad for groceries or other gear that is carried in from the van. So now, when I grocery shop, I don't unload bags onto the kitchen floor, I have the counter. This is so much easier on my back and we don't trip over the bags until they get unloaded.

In order to clean this countertop, I threw away as much as I could, then I asked my teenage daughter to simply stuff everything else into a milk crate or I moved the papers to the kitchen table. I asked her for help because I was burning out (I worked on this counter for the better part of the weekend in-between everything else) and had the goal of finishing the job by Sunday dinner. When I got to the point where I simpy could not stand to look at another tangible sign of my inability to get it together, she willingly stepped in. She couldn't dejunk a whole lot, but she could move it to milk crates and the kitchen table (we eat in the dining room). So, of course my table is unusable. Today I've got to tackle my kitchen table. I have stacks of papers from the three different schools my children attend, in addition to receipts, recipes, books, magaizines, church bulletins, etc. So that's how I'll spend the better part of my morning. To celebrate my "new" counter space, I found a lovely white embossed decorative pot (in my closet), and bought some cheap silk white geraniums and pale yellow roses for the pot. Now that arrangement sits in the corner and it helps me keep that place clean. It has been clean for about a week.

My laundry room is now at the point where I have a clutter free place to put my laundry-sorting totes (I have nine of them; one for each member of my family, plus a tenth for linens and towels), that place being the top of the dryer and across my freezer. So.... I hope to fold and sort laundry in the laundry room as it leaves the dryer rather than toss it on a sofa (where it typically sits for days on end). My laundry room is also my office, I'm sitting here right now on my computer at the conter height desk we built as a part of our remodel.

Anway, Talley, my son had a friend coming over yesterday and that burst of cleaning has left my house neater than it has been in months, thanks to slow but steady progress with dejunking. And D.A.Y.Y. I agree 100% about consumable gifts. And what a great idea about making the card special, that's the perfect way to demonstrate the feelings behind the gift.

And Talley, I got rid of my stackers. They were in the laundry room (the only place I could set them was on the dryer, and I need that real estate for my folding) where they basically stored papers. I need a better way to deal with the vast amount of paper I receive in any given day. Using a calendar faithfully will help immensely. But letting go of all of the precious things my children bring home is what I need to do. Childhood is so fleeting, I want to treasure each thing each of my children does, that is sit down with them, talk about their work, shower them with praise..... but of course that doesn't happen.

Anyway, that's all the news that's fit to print. I'm heading for the kitchen table! Thanks again for all of your encouraging replies.

~Cindy

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 6:04AM
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rjvt

Just a comment on the papers. I have 2 teenagers and have struggled with the piles of paper, too. I have kept them in piles, then on a wire with clips hanging on the wall, back to piles, you name it.

Now I have a file in the filing cabinet marked school, and divided in to syllabus', school info, college info & progress reports. I also have a 3 ring binder with clear page protectors in it. Anything that I get from school that I think I MAY want to see at some time gets put into the filing cabinet. At the end of the school year, I go through and throw out anything that is just for that year.

Sports schedules, field trip info, basically anything dated gets it's own page protector (like each DD's sports team) then I put in all the paperwork as it comes in into that pocket. When the season is over, I empty out the pocket and add the next season's team or field trip, etc. I also have a pocket with a list of doctor's names & #s, dates of last visits, dates of last tetanus shots, insurance info. and other stuff that I have to fill in ad nauseum on forms every year (and for sports, each new season). I used to have to go to the filing cabinet each time and pull out all the files every time I had to fill out a form. Now I just open the book and there it is. I update it after each appointment and copy the sheet from the doctor saying what shots, etc. they got and put that in the page protector, too. I never have to look hard for this info any more (especially when they hand me the form as they are running out to the bus in the morning!)

This has worked so well for me. I can find the info. I need and I have somewhere to put all of those papers that I'm not sure if I need, but don't want to throw out just yet. They used to sit in piles for months, and if I really wanted to see them, I'd either forget they existed or not know where they were. It only took me 13 years to figure this all out!

I have mentioned my other (large) 3 ring binders in the past. They also have page protectors. They hold particularly important (for whatever reason) papers of my kids. I have 1 binder for each DD, and dividers for each year. Then I just put in any pictures or papers or whatever into the page protectors. It ends up like a photo album of kids papers, and it really made me go through the papers and figure out which ones were really special (in fact, on some I made some notes as to why I was saving them - kind of like a scrapbook). This was a year long project for me, and I need to go back and add in stuff for last year (as they get older, there are not so many of those special little papers, so I think it hasn't been as important to save many of those). But I do love to go back and look at those binders. They really are like a photo album because you remember the phases they went through (like the cat princess drawings - we must have had hundreds, but I picked out a select few favorites).

Sounds like you're really making some progress. Good luck organizing - but pace yourself and don't burn out!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 12:43PM
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cupofkindness

RJVT:

Thanks for the reminder about the binders! I actually purchased at least seven white 'clearview' 1 1/2" binders for each of my children, plus a 100 pack of page protectors, last spring (!) that matched what I use for my Flylady control journal. I wanted to teach them (read that as the blind leading the younger blind) how to save their most important documents, schedules, report cards, medical infor, and letters, which is especially important as my oldest children gear up for college applications. But of course these binders are sitting in a bag on my closet floor. And I love the idea of binder "archives." A much simpler system than the keepsake box thing I've got going on with each of my children (which by the way, none of them wanted to take in the event of a hurricane or other evacuation scenario that we discussed). Plus, with a binder, I could just grab all of them in case of an emergency. Another helpful thing is expandable files, my high school age daughter likes her large, thick expandable file better than binders, since she doesn't have to hole-punch the material she keeps for her eight classes. However, you do lose the ability to flip through your paperwork, but everything is a trade-off. I'm going to try your binder idea, RJVT. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 7:47AM
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cupofkindness

On Saturday I received an email from iVillage reminding me that my contributing membership had not been paid for, so I guess the end is near. Thanks again to all of you who's honesty and creative ideas make this forum so special.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 9:50AM
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mvastian

Just testing to see that I can post even without paying for a membership...

Maria in Greece

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 5:06AM
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artmom

Hey Maria!!! Great to see you. Tell us what you've been up to.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 6:06AM
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kittiemom

Maria!! Glad to hear from you! Please update us.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 7:02AM
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