kitykatFebruary 23, 2011

In order to SIMPLIFY life, this winter is being spent getting rid of clutter. A tip I learned while doing a kitchen remodel was to only put something back "as you actually need to use it". A great idea... I can't tell you how many items remain in a box in the basement after 4 years!

Finally, I'm applying that same principle to cabinets, drawers and closets. Most people tend to collect and keep things that simply take up space in our homes. We don't use the stuff, but keep 'just in case'.

Already, I am gathering tons of goodies for a garage sale, donating or pitching. Anyone else feel the same???

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I tried that method one time, but I just found it frustrating. Things I didn't use very often got lost or were packed away somewhere, and then when I needed it, I had to go buy another.

I am decluttering too, or making an attempt. Since getting everything out of the attic so we could insulate, I have twice the junk sitting around. And now it won't go back in the attic because of all the insulation. So I have to go through, organize and discard. I hate doing it.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 2:56PM
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Kittykat I have heard that before . Also in your closet hang clothes backwards on hangers and as you use them turn the hanger around After a certain set time, you set, you remove all the clothes still on backwards hangers. I have not done this but always felt it was a good idea.

Marti I found once I got started de-cluttering it kind of grew on me. I really enjoy the de-cluttered spaces and it is so much easier to find things now.

Another thing I have used many times is to set how many things I have to remove from a space each pass through. I felt three things was a good number and it made a big difference after a couple passes through. Say on my china cabinet shelves. At first three things did not feel painful to get shed of. Then three more and so on. I even boxed the things for a few months before donating them. Just in case. LOL But Just in case never happened for me and I am really happy to be rid of all of the things.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:47PM
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I love decluttering and have done quite a lot over this past winter. My closet is perfectly organized now, and I get a little thrill every time I see it. There is absolutely nothing in it that I don't wear regularly and everything is in drawers where it can't get dusty between seasons. I love it.

We also uncluttered the laundry room and the space underneath the stairs recently. It's wonderful.

I don't miss anything that was thrown out or given away.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:44PM
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Glad a new thread about decluttering is beginning with spring cleaning on the horizon. I am doing just that as I move things into the new closet.

I also have to sort out my drawer contents before I put things back into the new 14 drawer chest, after I paint it.
If I keep things loose in the drawers, I won't feel crowded and need more storage. So that will keep the bedrooms with less furniture in them, and room to walk around.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 11:15PM
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Old gardener... I'm also an old gardener and actually SMILED reading about your closet 'thrill'. We just converted a room to walk-in closet. I will enter, sit on the little padded shoe bench in the middle of the room, sigh and think "yes". Clearing out, opening up space, simplifying... it brings about an incredible calming, a sense that all is right. The older I get (late 60's now) the more I crave peace and order.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 12:03PM
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Oh, this is so timely! I need to declutter, especially my piles of kitchen and garden pages from the Internet. I've been planning and gathering all kinds of ideas and printing them for I really need to get all this organized.

I also want to clean the house really well, before I start working outside. I found out last year, major cleaning does not do well during gardening season! LOL This year, I'm hoping to be ready and have everything organized before I'm back out in the garden.

Actually, I've never been one to keep a lot of clothes, but it's probably time to go through them again. I also have some shoes that I just don't use out on the farm. For some reason I got these cute sandals on clearance and they're almost brand new. I can't even walk up to the car in these things! :)

I think the hardest thing for me to sort through are books, but I do need to make a little more space, so I'm going to be making donations to the library in the next few weeks. Best of luck with all your spring cleaning and organizing!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 12:40PM
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Right next door to the declutter question is the organization of your stuff. I found some of the big bags that would squeeze the air out of plastic bags using my vacuum cleaner. It is wonderful for squeezing down the size of your comforters and cushy blankets. Not so much quilts, but maybe just taking the air out of the bag would help. In the case of big covers, I'm thinking that using such a bag before putting them into a hard-sided container, would allow MORE bed covers to go in that container.

It is getting close to the time to store most of the comforters/quilts/blankets for the long hot summer season. At least, down south here they will all be gone around Easter. I hope you are ready to place these items in a spot well away from your every day closet spots, so the items you use frequently won't be squeezed too much by these bulky items.

I've also stocked up on mothballs for storing my woolen clothing items. Nothing so discouraging as to take them out next winter and find holes eaten in them. Kept for naught.
I like light weight wool, especially gabardine, and moths love it just as much as they do the heavier fabrics. And supposedly, mothballs tossed around in your attic can also help keep the mice out, because they do not like the smell.
Anyone know if that is true or not?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 1:09PM
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Lavender... cleaning and gardening are mutually exclusive!!! I barely think to cook during the garden season... with all my 'babies' beckoning for attention. The daffs are now up 3", the witch hazel is flowering and hellebore flowers rising. Soon, so soon, all my time and attention will be outward. And its not just the labor... everything wants to be observed and touched, admired and photographed. What a beautiful obsession!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 1:16PM
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KityKat, when it gets time to photograph your garden, I hope you will post at least SOME of them on this forum. Either here, to display your "outdoor extended living space" or over on our "conversation" side to just smell the flowers. I've never grown hellebores, but I understand they are lovely plants. I frequent Plant Delights and they were praising hellebores the last newsletter. I buy their aspedistra/cast iron plants, elephant ears, and other such tropical looking plants. Their plant descriptions are much more humorous reading than some books I've picked up.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 8:24PM
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Kitykat, that's so funny that you said you like to sit in your closet and think "yes, that it brings about an incredible calming, a sense that all is right"....I do the same thing! Sometimes I stay in there and just look around, and my husband will ask me what I'm doing. I tell him that I like being in there because it makes me feel peaceful, like everything is under control. He just laughs!

I'm glad to see I'm not the only "peaceful closet" person around. LOL

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 8:32PM
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So we have a peaceful closet buddies group in our midst? I think that is wonderful. It's been a long time since I could even get inside a closet in my house, but I can tell it is soon to happen. All we lack installing are the two bifold French doors.

I hate to do it, but I'm moving the totes sitting around the master bedroom, a work in progress, so I can have room to paint. It will calm me down a lot to have the room empty for a while.

I agree with you two though, Kitykat and OldGardener, that to be organized and under control gives one a peaceable feeling. I like to sit in my garden after I've spruced it up, especially at twilight. I can rest knowing all is right with my plot of ground.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 10:41PM
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My dh used to like being alone in the closet in the morning to do his reading and plan his day. That all changed when the kids left home. lol

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 12:12AM
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I am going to give a recommendation to those wishing to declutter. For spiritual motivation, none better, I recommend that you LISTEN to one of the tracks on CELESTIAL NATIVATIONS album entitled CHAPTER 1...The track #8, THE VALLEY, is about the lightness of being when we turn loose the THINGS which hold us down, hold us back.

I've looked for the lyrics to print here, but will have to record them from listening to the CD.

If you are unfamiliar with the recording group CELESTIAL NAVIGATIONS, I will give you a link to a place online that tells who they are. A story telling recording group, with stories told by Geoffrey Lewis (great voice), and music accompanying his spoken voice by the unexplainably original sounds of the others in the group.

I also recommend to Marti8, a track on this album which is called HORSES. It will mesmerize you.

During Hurricane Katrina, I lost my copies of their albums 1 thru 4, and just this last week replaced those and added their albums 5 and 6, which I have yet to listen to. You don't want to listen to something like that quickly, but take your time to let it sink in. You won't soon forget any of the stories.

Here is a link that might be useful: Celestial Navigations who they are

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 3:20PM
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moccasin: Per your request, I would absolutely love to post a few photos of the garden (it is quite pretty), but ALAS, I am hopelessly ignorant! I know how to take the pics, but my sweetie loads them. I can email them, but that's it. Call me 'techno-challenged'. Even my cell phone ONLY does phone calls... imagine that. Help?????

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 9:51AM
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KityKat, I ask first if you or DH can set up a free online account at some photo album service. There are several, but I know about two which can then have their HTML CODE added to the GardenWeb post when you write one.

I use and it is free. Easy to use too.
Some use and it is free, have not used it so cannot say if easy or not.

Both sites have several lines of "code" which can be used for uploading from there to different online forums. For Gardenweb, you LOOK FOR THE BOX WHICH SAYS HTML CODE.
You copy/paste it into the Gardenweb message box as you write.

If you have your photos on your computer already, then you can create the Tinypic account on your own. And for starters, upload at least one or two images to this spot.
Once that is done, then find your line of code.

I open up my GWeb account, begin to post a subject. Then at the top of my browser, I OPEN ANOTHER TAB, GO TO THE TINYPIC account, grab the code with "ctrl + c"

Then I click the GW tab for my browser, and in the box where I'm typing my message or reply, I do "ctrl + V"
It will be several lines long. Do not mess with it.

Then skip down a couple of lines and type some more if you are not done talking. When you are ready to PREVIEW, click the PREVIEW .....Wait for a second until it appears, and if it is done right, you will SEE YOUR CODE BECOME YOUR PICTURE.

If you like it, then click on SUBMIT. Voila, it is done.

The picture will remain in the post as long as you DO NOT MOVE THE LOCATION FOR THE TINYPIC.COM photo. Once you move it, there is no longer a valid link and there remains only a box with a note in it. So don't reorganize your albums once you upload them to any of the online album services. This will negate every link you've ever done for that particular photo.

Ok, I think that should keep you busy for a couple of days. There is a TEST FORUM you can use if you like, but we don't mind if you practice right here. Have fun. If all else fails, ask your sweetie to walk you through it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 1:03PM
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Okay, I finally found a way to type the text of the Celestial Navigations lyrics....or spoken words, actually, from their first album named Chapter I, and it is Track 8: named THE VALLEY.

It is something which makes decluttering beautiful, and I do want to share it with you all. Not exactly perfect, but maybe you can appreciate the meaning.

Celestial Navigations, Chapter I

I reached the top of the hill still in good shape.
The sun was coming up at my back, casting a warm glow
on the hills beyond.

I knew this was the place I'd been looking for
Because there looking like a blue velvet ribbon
dropped from a goddess hair
was the river winding through the bottom of the valley.
I could hear the birds singing their first songs of the day.
Crack of a twig and a deer was staring at me through the bushes.

I turned and ran back down where I'd left my things
More or less in a pile under some giant pine trees.
Boxes trunks bags suitcases containers of all shapes & sizes
I looked at this mountain of belongs and thought
What IS all this suff that I keep carting from one place to the next?
I wondered if I would need it.

So I opened the largest box.
In it was all my childhood. A pair of baby shoes. A teddy bear.
And old blue blanket. A tooth I'd lost when I was 5 yrs old.
A note passed in class to my first girlfriend and on and on.
No I thought I won't need this stuff in that valley.
I won't have time for memory.
So I closed the box up and pushed it aside.
Then a very strange thing happened.
My back got straighter and I grew a foot taller.
No, it must be my imagination.

I opened the largest trunk.
In it was all my beauty.
An old painting I loved.
Piece of sculpture.
Broken guitar. Books I knew by heart.
My first poems.
A shell collection and on and on.
No I won't need this stuff in that valley,
There will be beauty enough and it is alive.
So I closed the trunk and set it aside.

No, it was not my imagination, I grew another foot taller,
And a gray film washed off my body
Like tears and my senses were suddenly flooded
With the beauty of my surroundings..

I kicked aside a paper bag
Full of canned goods and recipes,
and grew another foot taller.
I picked up a valise full of philosophical musings,
And sociological causes and political speeches
And flung them away with a vengeance
And suddenly felt completely guiltless and sure of myself
And grew another foot taller.

Then I dug a large hole. And except for one small box,
I shoved everything into the hole and buried it all

I was now so tall and alive,
The giant pine trees just grazed the tips of my hands.
The small box had grown too
In it were some tools and a flute.
I picked them up and took them with me
for they are the things of the future.
And started up the hill.

I gazed out over my new world
And it was all right.
Because it was as large and open as I was.
I looked back once. And there far below me,
On the grave of my past, was a new bright tiny yellow flower
Waving peacefully in the morning breeze.

Then I turned... and forgot...
and walked happily into the valley.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 8:08PM
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Hey! I thought of this post the other day while reading a blog. Here's a link.

Here is a link that might be useful: 40 bags of clutter

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 11:39AM
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Nice thought, Young-gardener.
I read the book BURIED IN TREASURES about hoarding, and how to deal with it, and I passed it along to one of my neighbors who has a real hoarding problem. About a Level IV and close to Level V. I left it on her doorstep with some boxes. The boxes I intended for her to use throwing out stuff, but she used them to store stuff. She did thank me for the book, which she read. It is not a subject we can discuss though, because she is so self conscious about it. Lots of friction between her and her grown children because of it.

An untidy house is not simply an uncomfortable place to live, it is sometimes unhealthy and then unsafe, and it destroys our sense of pride and self respect. Winter gives me the blahs, but with spring and lots of sunshine, I come to life and have renewed energy for house cleaning. I suppose that is why it is always "spring cleaning."

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 11:56PM
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I moved to a 784 sq/ft house last May and am still working on what to get rid of. My son and daughter have been the recipients of a lot of stuff, the rest went to the Salvation Army. I have the hardest problem with decorative items - theres not much space for them so I will have to get rid of a lot. I am still sorting - the stuff that I hunted for in antique shops, etc. is the hardest to get rid of, but I like an orderly home - it just makes me feel better. For me its best to make it a project and go room by room as time allows. When I get done with one room I feel inspired to get started on the next. There are some things I will never use but my kids gave me and I just can't part with. Its a daily struggle in a small space to keep it neat and tidy and extra stuff just makes it more so.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 2:02PM
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