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Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Posted by claire_de_luna (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 11, 07 at 12:27

I don't think I've ever seen that happen on this particular forum, and I'm seeing a lot of new names. Why don't we introduce ourselves? I'd also like to hear why you're here...

Claire de Luna here! I'm terribly organized in my mind, but not always in real life. My goal is to live a calm, peaceful, harmonious lifestyle, which is easier at some times than others. As a former antique dealer, I've had a lot of stuff come and go throughout my life, but I'm about done with all of that. It's helped me learn that stuff is only material, and there's actually very little that we Need. (My house is big enough that I've managed to fill the available space however!) My husband is known as ''Grunt-Guy Extraordinaire'' as he helps tremendously with the physical labor around here, and generally goes along with my ideas, like when I say, ''We have three days over Labor Day Weekend, so let's clean out the garage!'' I like design that includes landscaping and tweaking spaces that help make living in them easier, and have in the recent past undergone a laundry, kitchen and bathroom remodel. Also, I started out as a baker, and I'm learning how to be a better cook in my new kitchen, with a focus on great taste, nutrition and whole grains.

Although I appear fairly organized on the outside, it's a constant and ongoing process. I'm almost there, as far as getting my ''systems'' in place and everything having a home, although I wonder if there's ever a point when it's completely pulled together! (If anyone knows the answer to that, please tell me about it because I'd like to imagine that there is.)

I'm here because I need inspiration to keep going!

Life's Messy. Clean it Up!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

I'm Cathy --- I'm a part-time retail person and a full-time flower farmer in Iowa.

I moved into my DH's house with everything from my house! So we have double (or triple) of everything! It has taken us 11 years to begin to get organized. And we are getting there. But it is a long process of sorting and throwing things out and making the home our own.

I've discovered things that drive me crazy and ways to solve the problems. I've also discovered that I am far more organized than I thought. I've also discovered that somethings are not as important to me..... I love to knit, sew and spin and garden. Cleaning is not fun for me -- so I have to keep things picked up so I can knit and sew and spin!!

Talley Sue has been an amazing inspiration -- and I swear Tina and I could live in the same old house. And Claire -- I still wish I could clean our barn out in 3 days!! Three years -- maybe. But there is progress.

So that's why I'm here.
Cathy


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Cathy, I have a secret fantasy about being a flower farmer! Do you have favorite flowers that you like to grow?


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Gloria here. We live in Anchorage, Alaska and I started on my "organizing" quest six years ago. I grew up in a packed, chaotic house and did not have much in the way of home management skills. I didn't even know the word organization was what I needed. I just wanted my life to be simpler.

We have four kids, ages 7-23. I'm a SAHM now after being a special education teacher for the most of the past 27 years. I'm really enjoying being home after all those years of hitting the floor running in the mornings.

I like to do home remodeling and went to quite a bit of effort to get our current house to look like no one has remodeled it since 1960. It seems like I've maxed out on my organizational skills. What I'm doing now works for us, so no more and no less is needed. My latest concentration is clothing. I am ruining my clothes, so I can either go out and buy all new shirts every six months or start wearing aprons. I've found that I really like my aprons. I buy vintage ones off of eBay and make my own.

I like coming to this forum because everyone just seems very genuine. There isn't a bunch of fluff or putting on airs.

Gloria


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

I started lurking here a few months ago, and was inspired by Claire and Talley this week! Thanks to them, I've got a "neatened" sewing room! I still have MAJOR work ahead of me, but slow and steady wins the race!

My husband and I have six kids, ages 22 to 39, and five grands 4 1/2 and under; he's a retired journalist and I was a SAHM most of the time, but worked in the high school library - a job I absolutely loved - from 1998 till 2005, when DH was diagnosed with colon cancer and seven weeks later I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. We decided to savor whatever was left to us. So far, we both remain healthy, making it an excellent, if difficult, decision.

In the two years we've been fully recovered, we've spent some time traveling in the country and enjoying each other and our offspring. They're a wonderful bunch of kids I'm very proud of, and the last one graduates from college in May! What a relief that will be. I am a good cook and love doing it, and I love to sew and read. And garden.

I've been lurking here because in these two years I practically stopped maintaining the house and garden (we've been having fun!) and it has caught up with me; the house has filled up with junk! I had to absorb my mom's home when she went into a nursing home in May, and various kids move in and out and leave stuff behind...you know the drill. I've been looking for (and receiving, thank you) inspiration and motivation here and am very grateful for the support. Joe has never had any interest in household projects, and he isn't about to get one now, so I work around him. Over the years I've often told him that my next husband will want to do any project or chore I can dream up. He grunts and asks why I want to bother, doesn't believe that the house would fall apart without somebody's efforts!

It's a pleasure to meet you all!

Sherry


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi! I'm Rhonda and live in Kansas with my husband and overgrown Chihuahua we call "Buddy Boy". I have been a packrat the majority of my adult life and now come here in hopes of getting encouragement to quit buying so much "stuff" and learn to organize the items that make our house a home rather than a storage bin. We have gone through family members moving in/out and leaving behind their belongings (things they didn't really want or need, but was too lazy to take along with them) as well as things we have inherited from family that has since passed away. This is on top of ALL OF MY JUNK! LOL! So, I'm sure that the weeding out process is not going to happen quite as quickly as I had hoped for, but have decided our living space is the important goal right now. I'm seeing progress and just started this new adventure on Monday of this week!

Everyone here has been very helpful and understanding and I'm feeling motivated...something I haven't felt for a long, long time!

YAY!!

Glad to meet you all and interested in hearing from other folks as well!


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I also live in Kansas with my husband and college-age daughter. We have three spoiled dogs. I grew up in a house with lots of things. My father is a compulsive collector of things, some lovely and some not. He cannot wait for the day when someone says to him: "Quick, we need a ****load of cotton," because he'll be right there with the stash he keeps from all the medicine bottles he has ever opened. He keeps every rubber band that ever crosses his hand.

I am not like him in many ways, but I am in some others. I battle constantly with paper clutter. I have rooms in my house that are completely clutter free and look lovely and cared for. There are others, like the study/office, that are complete disaster areas. Hot spots are a big problem for me. It seems like I have 2-3 of these areas with which I am in constant battle. And, like my father, it pains me to get rid of books. He has even built shelves above door lintels.

Although I am constantly purging and taking things to Goodwill and throwing things away, I am sporadic like so many of us here (as I see) and the lack of constancy comes back to bite me every time. I need to keep going, slow and steady, and not let long periods of time get away from me. I have toyed with joining FlyLady, but haven't done so yet. I lurk more than I post, but I get some great ideas from this forum and lots of inspiration.

Since starting to lurk here, for instance, I find that I buy far fewer things to bring home. It helps that I am not much of a shopper, but I am more conscious of the things I pick up at stores now.


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I've been on and off of this forum since 2000 and everytime I feel I'm getting lax in continuing my quest of a perfectly organized house, I come here. Believe it or not, I think I'd make a great organizer for other people. But then, I wouldn't have to deal with significant others in trying to keep the organized house that way (LOL).

My biggest problem is that we move every few years (not military) so I can never organize for a home in a way that it will be done forever. I feel as though I'm always starting over. Presently, I live in rural Montana. Being a city girl, this is definitely an adjustment. But I do get to look out a window and see the majestic Rocky Mountains. In this house, I've finally gone through every piece of paper in it and it's (almost) all organized. At least I have the clean side to use for future printing. Others keep knick knacks. Me, it's information. I guess my library training from the time before the internet stayed with me. I even print articles from the internet to read in bed before sleep. Strange, I know. At least DH doesn't complain about my printer costs.

I enjoy this forum because the people here seem genuine and supportive.


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi - I'm Sharon. I usually live over on the Quilting Forum, but even though I don't have a out-of-hand cluttering problem, I'm interested in keeping it that way. I live with DH and one spoiled cat in Nebraska. I'm a mom, grandmom, sometime gardener, reader, and quilter. Ever since I retired 3 years ago, I've taken a critical look around me and slowly gotten rid of boxes and boxes of "stuff", as I realize I'm keeping things out of habit more than anything else. My kitchen walls were covered with copper molds, and I had a collection of about 15 copper teakettles. Now I have about 5 favorite molds, and kept the 4 favorite teakettles. I think as we start to collect things, sometimes the collection gets out of hand without realizing it. Ditto with the 20+ old decorative plates on the plate rail in the dining room. The year after I retired, I stripped off the 20-yr old flowered wallpaper, and that meant the plates came down. When I had painted the walls a soft golden yellow, it looked so much better without the plates up there collecting dust and cobwebs, I left them down and got rid of most of them. I could go on and on. Just recently got rid of a box of books I was through with, as the bookcases were stuffed full. And - - - slowly sorting out my fabric stash, getting ready to pass some on, and cutting up more to make some quilts for charity. Anyone else a quilter out there will relate to a "fabric stash" gone out of hand. I most likely won't post here too frequently, but thought I'd come out of lurkdom. I've gotten alot of inspiration and reinforcement of my goals by reading the posts here. My shopping habits have changed, for one thing. I guess my main goal is to NOT have a ton of stuff that isn't relevant in my life anymore, that the family has to dispose of. I keep thinking DH and I will wind up in one of those little 1-bedroom condos someday, so might as well downsize while I have the energy.


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

I'm the Central Texas Jaybird...I don't usually have much to offer, but I read this forum nearly every day! You folks are so smart and I have learned so much. Talley Sue and the others are an inspiration...even to a confirmed pack-rat such as myself! I thank you all!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Wow, so many new names! How much fun, to have so much company.

I've been obsessed with this forum since 1999 or so. I honestly can't remember.

I grew up in Iowa, and moved to NYC after college to work on a magazine--and I succeeded! I find myself at home in the big city, even though my hometown in Iowa was 1,700.

I live in a 1,100-sq-ft 2BR apartment in Queens, NYC (wave next time you land at LaGuardia--I'm a mile away). (I used to think it was 850 sq ft, but then I redid the math and counted the bathrooms, closets & hallways, and my apartment got bigger!)

We have 2 kids--DD at 13, and DS at 10. They share a bedroom, but fort. we have 2 baths.

I'm sporadically organized--in both time and place. I've decided that I like the *idea* of being organized, and I like the theory. But I don't like the work. I'd rather read. Also, I'd rather tackle strategies and big projects, and I'm really crummy at the routines that maintain order. I feel like I always have piles of stuff in the corners of the rooms. (I think that's bcs I do).

I love the friendly and encouraging tone on our forum. Even the "naturally organized" never seem to look down on us struggling folks. We are ALL experts in some way; we ALL have insights and advice that is spot-on. And we all struggle somewhere (some of me more than others).

Hearing about people starting to tackle their homes for the first time, revs me up!

I love to brainstorm about other people's tough spots, and I love the concept of infrastructure (my love of gadgets, partly). I'm naturally a buttinski--have you noticed?

Everyone's psychological and emotional insights are captivating--I learn so much.

The forum makes me feel like I'm not alone. If I clean out a closet, there will be people who will "get it" that I'm so excited about my extra shelves.

What an honor to hear that stuff I've said has been encouraging or inspiring to other people!

Lately I feel like I'm not a good role model, bcs I have a 9x10 storage bin that is stuffed to the gills--and my home is STILL too full of stuff. We moved things out in order to put our place ont he market, and I haven't set aside time to go through it to ditch stuff.


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I live in the Appalachian Mts of SW Virginia. I have 3 adult children. Oldest daughter is married and lives iin TN. A son and another daughter live here and are partners with me in our daylily nursery. I tend to do organizing projects from Nov to Mar because we are so busy with the daylilies the rest of the year that we just barely keep up. We also have about 11,000 sq ft of vegetable gardens that also help to keep us busy. We can, freeze, and dry 100s of jars of veggies and fruits every summer. DH is disabled but tries to keep as busy and active as he possible can. It keeps him from getting depressed.

I usually hang out on the Daylily and Perennial Forums. I enjoy flower gardening, birding, reading (mostly non-fiction), cooking (vegan as you might guess:))

I crave organization and occasionally achieve it. I am not a pack rat or a collector of anything except books and plants. My worst clutter problem is all the paper stuff on my desk. I got two 4 drawer file cabinets several years ago and got some files set up but need to do so much more! We built a new house--well we started building it in 2001. It is still not finished. We are doing all the work ourselves and it takes a lot of time.

My parents live about 5 miles away and my Mom is de-cluttering with a vengence. She told me she didn't want me to have to go through all their junk after they died! She has sent van loads to Goodwill and thrown away dozens of trash bags of stuff. She will sort out a bunch of stuff and then call me and my kids to come see if there is anything we want before it goes. I got a few things to go in my "keepsake wall" thing I am planning to put up. It's going to be like a shadowbox that covers a wall with a section for each grandparent as far back as I have room for. I want to put in something that represents that person adn who they were.

I'm looking forward to making new friends on this forum because the topic is dear to my heart:-)

VG


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

I'm loving this. Thank you for coming out of lurkdom to post here. Keep it coming, please! Oh...I'm in Kansas City, so there are a lot of Kansans here (and of course Iowa is right next door). What is it about the midwest and organizing? Of course it's nice to see Montana and Alaska represented here as well!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi ,
I am Chris 58 YO Female.Cemetery Sexton/secretary, and local dog groomer.LOL

Just as I started back here my computer crashed and I spent way too much time trying to fix it. YIKES I am an email hoarder. I MUST stop this!!

Anyway I was here for awhile a few years ago when we had just moved into this small house from a much larger house. I was frustrated with all MY JUNK. I have always wanted to be organized and work at it all of the time. I am a strange one that does not mind cleaning but I want to be able to always be able to have a place to put things away easily so it is easy to clean up.

Three + years later I am getting close to having it organized. I peeled off layer after layer. I am getting down to the point I do not want to deal with what is left and I MUST do so. It nags at my brain and I know that nagging is dragging me down. So I am back hoping for inspiration from all of you good people.

Just last week our TV blew up starting a three room re-arrange I am still recovering from. Too insane to go into. I can not even type out the nightmare of getting it done. LOL This boggled up my storage studio which is the biggest area I need to get taken care of.

A little more on me. I am an artist,not painting but mosaics,bead work, weaving, quilting,crochet. So I have scads of stuff for all of these projects. Why the storage studio.I do not really work out there just keep supplies. For now I can hardly work because I can not even get through the room to get what I need. sigh.

Winter is coming on and I MUST get the yard put to bed before I get serious about organizing other than I did just organize my garden storage area today getting ready to put it all away.

I also have a real junk shed I need to peel another layer out of.

Chris


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hey Claire! I'm in Leavenworth, Kansas, so we're practically neighbors!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

P.S. I'm Chicago born and bred, but have lived in a Milwaukee suburb for the last 13 years. Go, Rhonda, I've been following your thread this week!

-Sherry


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

All of you from the midwest makes it seem like we are just across the street!!

I live in Iowa... down in the corner where Missouri, KS and Nebraska meet! Not too far from a lot of you!

I have 4 kids who are hoarders, a grandson who stays with gramma during the day while his mommy works, a DH who is anal about 'his' stuff, and 3 dogs who get into everything! I can pretty well keep everything under control around here except for my home office... and it is SCARY! And the worst part of it is that the rest of the house may be spotless but it is my office that friends and family see when they first come in our house! At least people that don't know us well use the front door and have a chance to get to know us before they come through the bakc door and see the office.

I love lurking and reading how you all have worked to keep things somewhat in order.

I am the opposite of Talley Sue.... grew up on L.A., moved to the midwest and definitely enjoy the rural life. Besides, I don't think we could afford to own a 6 bedroom house in California like we do in Iowa LOL

I love reading, riding 4 wheelers, going to kids ball games, and visiting with friends.

It has been nice getting to know you all!!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Here's my 2 cents worth from Maine. I'm 59, married, no kids by choice, and two years ago I gave up the rat race after 40 years working in various aspects of dentistry - chairside assistant, office manager, dental insurance companies, etc. I have decided that it is time to do a better job of being a homemaker. I am a packrat, basically pretty lazy, had a decent amount of disposable income, and have been sort of out of control forever. I usually am on the garden forum for African violets, and found this forum one day. I read it every day, usually more than once, and have found it to be the jumpstart I needed to get in charge of my home. My main floor is company ready at any time now, but of course we still have 'off limits' upstairs. But, that is slowly changing as I go through the boxes stashed in this room when we moved here 10 years ago. Over 50 to start, about 9 now.

After spending the last 20 years of my career in business attire, I now have a uniform of shorts and a tee shirt, soon to be jeans and a tee shirt. I have 2 closets that I have not yet tackled, but managed to get the third done! The people at the Goodwill store love me, my trash man hates me. LOL

I have given myself permission to pass on usable items without agonizing over the amount of money spent on it. That was a major hurdle for me, and one my husband is still trying to deal with.

I keep coming back because it is reassuring to know I'm not alone. Heck, I even find out occasionally there is someone worse off than I am!!!!! I lurked for a long time, but occasionally post a humble opinion.

Success in a goal is sweet, but sharing it is much more so. So keep on sharing, forum friends.

Barbara


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Fun thread Claire, thanks for starting it.

Another midwesterner here, by way of Massachusetts and the Carolinas. Met DH in Chapel Hill in 1981, and somehow woke up in Milwaukee a couple years later! It has all been good. We are into food, motorcycle travel, billiards and gardening. I'm a 'pretired' forensic psychologist, and feel fortunate I can work part time.

I come here because it is a nice community and I like to revel in the creativity and brilliance of the organizing ideas, and to cheer on others who are just trying to get a grip on the "stuff". Also I need the inspiration. There is still a big gap between the way my space is and the uncluttered spaces of my dreams.... And professionally I've been in a few too many hoarders' homes where things have just gone way too far. We all need to save ourselves from that sad outcome.

One box, one bag, at a time.


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi, everyone! So nice to see all these new names and read all the stories, new and "old." Great idea, Claire!

I'm Susan, and my experience, too, is the opposite of Talley Sue's. I grew up in Woodside, Queens, and lived in midtown Manhattan for four years after getting married. But for the past 32 years I've lived in an 1850 farmhouse on 31 acres in Pennsylvania. Like everything else in life, there are tradeoffs. But I love rural living.

In 2002 I was deep in grief over the loss of my daughter Gillian the year before and the more gradual loss of my husband, whose symptoms of dementia had begun seven years earlier. The condition of my house reflected the state of my mind. I was forced to confront it because some badly-needed home remodeling was about to commence, and before the guys arrived to do their thing, I had to muck out.

I remember how completely overwhelmed I felt, and how much the good people on this forum helped me. The house has undergone quite a transformation since then. So has the way I think about "stuff." I still struggle with paper pileups and the accumulation of things that comes with having too many interests. Plus the house itself, while charming and lovable, doesn't provide much help. The downstairs has no closets, and the upstairs has only two: a very small one in one bedroom and a slightly larger one in another. My bedroom doesn't have a closet. The only built-ins in the house are bookshelves in the living room. So the house and I will probably always be works in progress, with some days better or worse than others. But "progress" is the operative word.

It's midnight goodnight!

Susan


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Tina here. I'm in beautiful Chester County, Pa, just west of Philadelphia. My husband and I live in a small older home, and we've been working on renovating it off and on for the past 11 years. We tear a room apart, fix it up, and then relax for a bit. Once the dust settles and we have a few more dollars in the pot, we start all over in another room. Right now the house is in limbo while I strip and repair the plaster walls in a small bedroom. (It's killing me, because half my clothes are in that room and I have to close it off so that cats can't get in there. I've been reduced to wearing a uniform of sorts.) In between projects I work on organizing closets and storage areas. I still have a couple of prickly areas that I need to address.

I'm much more organized when it comes to "stuff". Although I used to be so on top of this, I've been struggling over the past couple years with time management and paperwork issues. Just turned 50 this year and changes in energy levels and difficulty sleeping are to blame. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!) As a result, I've tried to make it as easy as possible for me and my husband to keep the home neat and clean and pay the bills.

A place for everything and everything in its place.

Tina


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I've been lurking here for over a year now and have really enjoyed reading about everyone's adventures. My name is Carole and I'm a retired elementary school secretary. Married for 46 years, I have 4 adult children and 6 grandchildren ranging in age from 5 to 11. Since some of the grandkids are in Florida and others in Maryland, my DH and I flip back and forth between both places every other month. (We bought a condo in Florida in 2002 and have lived in the same home in Maryland for 36 years) I love being organized and actually FEEL better when I am. Too much "stuff" drives me crazy. I never get a call from one of those service organizations that ask for donations that I can't come up with a bag or two to donate - and they usually call at least once every 6 weeks! My DH and I both like to do - and sometimes re-do - various do-it-yourself projects around the house. One of our grown "children" lives in one wing of our home which makes it great that someone is home for our two dogs when it's time to go to Florida every other month! I especially love some of the posts when people include a link for a product that I never knew existed and it answers a need of mine. (Thanks, Talley Sue.)


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Im Cindy
Hubby and I are from NE PA. We will be Married 35 years in Nov.
This is the second house we are building and doing all the work ourselves. I wish we would have started this one sooner. For a DIY at 57 is tough for someone that works labor and builds a house in his spare time.
We have 3 grown sons and 4 Grandchildren.
I joined GW earlier in the year, and have been working my way around to the different forums. Its a great site and I really enjoy posting, reading and most important learning.


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Hi Cindy, I can so relate about building the house.. LOL! We may never finish ours.


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

I've been active here since spring, when I somehow found it in the course of finalizing (still doing that) plans for a new house. Married 19 years to a New Yorker from Queens, who spend 10 years in Austin, TX and became southern enough for this native Atlanta, Georgian to take up with. We live in a 1400 sq. ft. tract house with 2 1/2 cats (don't ask). It also houses the stuff for a parttime business we run out of the house.

People think I'm very organized. The reality is that my mind is so full of ideas that I start many projects; write notes/acquire tear sheets, clippings, books, materials for projects. My house is overrun with the detritus from my fertile mind. I'm highly distractible and it's hard to focus to finish a task. A psychologist who tested me many years ago said, "You're a thinker--not a doer." Duh; he hit the nail on the head. So I feel completely disorganized inside. It's a constant struggle to keep both mind and house in reasonable order.

I've given up in this house. The new house is being planned to serve our needs better. For now, we live in semi-chaos. There is a new sink cabinet and a wall cabinet stacked up in my great room. DH is finishing a coffee table which there's no room for here; it will get added to the stack. Things will get worse as DH builds things for the new house (medicine cabinets; mudroom coat/hat racks; closet drawers and shelving; etc) and we go into a "holding pattern" here! I'm just training myself not to see the clutter.

I love the problem-solving that goes on here and the encouragement. It's like being back in grad. school where we were all in this mess together. A very happy time in my life.


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

iasheff--I grew up in Ringgold County, not too far from "down in the corner where Missouri, KS and Nebraska meet"! On highways 2 and 169.

One of my strongest kid memories is of getting lost in Waubonsie State Park.

Where are you?

And Alisande, you are more the opposite of me than maybe I realized--I live in Jackson Heights, and my church is in Woodside (Bway & 58th St.)


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Talley Sue, the only churches I was familiar with in Woodside were St. John's Lutheran and Corpus Christi Catholic. Oh, there was the Episcopalian Church up closer to Steinway Street where I was baptized, but the priest who officiated ended up in jail, so we never went back. :-)


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Talley Sue... I am in Taylor Co!!! Small world, huh? Know the corner of 2 and 169 well-- except we were just in Mt Ayr for a football game and I noticed for the first time that there is a big new church on the SW corner!! I must usually be day-dreaming when we go through there because my DH says it has been there for awhile (plus I am usually reading while he drives!)

Did you graduate from Mt Ayr? Can I ask what year? I didn't go to high school here but DH, SILs, BILs, nephews, nieces, kids all have!


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I graduated in '78 (which tells you how old I am!) I wasn't that active ins tuff like sports that would have put me in contact w/ kids from other schools. But I *was* very active in a Lutheran youth organization called OAFC, while I was in high school. So if anyone in your family was a Missouri Synod Lutheran kid in the '70s, we may have known each other.

Was that "big new" church the United Church of Christ (you mean the SW corner of the square, right?)? If so, yes, it's been there since 1978, LOL!

Or is there a newer one out by the highway? That's possible, bcs I haven't been in Mt. Ayr for many years now; my folks moved up to Clive once Dad retired from teaching at MACHS.

Our pastor used to fill in at St. Timothy Lutheran in Bedford, and my mom used to work at the Ringgold & Taylor county offices of Health & Human Services; so she drove to Bedford on highway 2 half the time. (but I don't think we had any Bedford kids in OAFC; I never saw any kids when I went w/ my pastor to the church there to play guitar for the service).

Alisande, my kids attended summer camp at St. John's--that's the southern part of Woodside; my current church is at the northwest end of it.


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

I'm Jean Marie, a 38 y.o. mathematician/software developer from College Station, Texas.

I live alone in a house. I am an avid bicyclist, and I often spend 10-15 hours a week involved with athletic activities, and a few more involved with other hobbies. This leaves me constantly short on time (and energy) to deal with cleaning, organizing and gardening. My place isn't that bad, but it could be better. I'm trying to figure it all out.

My Dad is an awful pack-rat, and my Mom was towards the end too. I don't want to go down that path. I think I've made a good start at avoiding it, but I can always do more.


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I mean the church out on the highway(where 169 goes south towards Redding-- it is on the west edge of MA). My DH just told me last night that he thinks the Baptist and Presbyterian combined and that is 'their' new church.

You only graduated a year before me-- but you probably would have to have been involved in sports to know BILs and SILs...(My hubby is one of 8--and sports were their lives.)

There still aren't many (if any) kids that attend St Timothy's...The whole congregation is very small. Most people now go over to Clarinda. I don't even know if there is a pastor or services held there regularly. I do see the grass being mowed occasionally and there is a cross in the window that is lit at night but that is the only activity there. I grew up in a Lutheran church (Mo Synod) in CA but am now a member of the United Methodist Church.

I still can't believe what a small world it is!


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Wow. Look what happens when you start a conversation and everyone's worlds collide!

Cathy (clink), I liked what you said about discovering you're more organized than you thought, and that some things are more important than others. That's true for me as well. I've lived on a farm (with a barn) and know exactly what you're talking about! Having outbuildings is another thing entirely, and it's so easy to expand to fill the available space.

Gloria (quiltgo), I've always wanted to visit Alaska, and I want my life to be simpler too. What is so interesting to me lately is how much energy it takes right now to acquire that simpler life!

Sherry (Sherrmann), I'm so glad to hear you and your dh are recovered. It sounds like you have a great attitude about life and your priorities for living in the moment. There's nothing wrong with having some fun!

Rhonda (adobesunlight), I know Leavenworth well. I make several trips there a year, in particular to Homestead Greenhouse. Sometimes I'll stop at the Nuway, or I should say I did until I learned how to make them at home. I expected you to live somewhere in the SW from your screen name, not practically in my neighborhood! I admire your recent focus on living in your ''living space'' and applaud your efforts to make a difference.

Sheconquers, another Kansan! Your description of your dad reminds me a little of my mom. She had a very neat home, but kept so many things that weren't absolutely necessary. I believe anyone growing up during the Depression had ''Waste Not, Want Not'' tattooed on their psyche. She could always pull out of somewhere, whatever anyone ever needed; in some ways (like your dad) it was a point of pride for her. I relate to having to battle paper clutter; it's a constant in my life as I think it is for most everyone!

Marie, rural Montana sounds lovely. Because you move so often, I can see the problem with getting organized. Like Cathy, I'll bet you're more organized than you think you are. It's so true that getting ''systems'' in place often mean building them in, which has messed with my head more than once!

I have to take a break, but more from me later! Keep it coming, everyone; I love hearing about all of you.


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I don't want to turn this thread into Name That Church! but I have to admit my mistake. I think St. John's was where I went to school for a year (after leaving a Catholic convent boarding school). The Woodside church I went to as a child was called Christ Lutheran.

Jean Marie, good for you for your athletics! I live alone in a house, too, and definitely need to move more. Time to find my walking shoes under the bed.


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So very nice to "meet" all of you, (great idea, Claire de Luna) :- )

I'm a NYer -- and currently live in a 4-bedroom home in New Jersey. DH and I have two kids -- DD at 16, and DS at almost 14.

I am a procrastinator by nature, and beat myself up over that. When there is a task that I don't want to tackle, for one reason or another, I am usually very productive at something else. Through HS and college, my room was always cleanest the night before a test!

I discovered this forum in 2001 - in my quest for better "systems" to run a smoother household. For me, that was actually easier to do when my kids were little. As they grew older and began to have lives and opinions and attitudes of their own, I found things to become less manageable at home. Their priorities shifted. So I am constantly tweaking how the household is run to the current needs of the individuals who live here. I am a former teacher who successfully headed elementary school classes of up to 30 kids, complete with routines and organization -- so why are TWO so much harder?

Friends and acquaintances (and even DH!) think of me as highly organized. I know for a fact that I am far from it - and I continually strive to reconcile the two. My home isn't bad by most standards, but it is by my standards. Yes, I have "systems" but I lack "routine" in my life, and so things (paperwork and clutter) pile up. This stresses me out. And I know the solution is dealing with this stuff - but my procrastinating tendencies kick in.

In reading through these posts, I realized that I can relate to each of you on some aspect - and I think that's what keeps me here. I feel like the posters on this board "get" each other. Of the many "organizing" sites I have visited over the years, this is the ONLY one that I check in with on a regular (almost daily) basis. It motivates me to do so! Every once is a while I chime in, but I'm mostly in lurking mode.

I attribute many of my organizing successes to the tips and ideas that are shared here - so I thank you, one and all!

Maura

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.
Jean de la Bruyere


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(ok, sorry for the last installment of "name that church"--Christ Lutheran is *my* church. Now Alisande and I will "tawk amongst ourselves")

Maura, I know why you can organize classes of 30 kids but not your own 2--you can be stricter w/ the 30. You're trying to give the 2 the freedom and flexibility to learn *other* things.


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I'm Donna. I live just outside of Boston, work full time and am in grad school evenings, graduating in May. Married to a terrific guy for 34 years, and the "kids" are 28 and 26, both off on their own.

I am a Virgo, and love organization, but it's a skill that needs learning. About 5 years ago I determined that we had too much stuff. Period. I had come to this board and realized I just had to release some stuff and begin to think differently about what I now call "stuff". My Mom had downsized and it was a chore, even though she was a real minimalist. I was very much saddened to see the things she "saved" and never used. She had 2 gorgeous Waterford wine glasses that were never out of the box, and I realized then and there that if I don't use it, I don't need it or want it. It will just be a burden to our children.

I started with my closet, going through every hanger and tossing anything that didn't fit. Then I went through again and got rid of anything I could not wear in public, except for a couple of painting and gardening things that are, by nature, grubby looking. Then I was on a roll. I tossed anything I had not worn in a year, anything I didn't like and anything that just looked worn out. Suddenly I had room for my clothes that I do wear, and I could see everything. Honestly, that effort changed how I think! Next I did the bureaus and then all the closets.
The family jokes that I worship at the Container Store. However, I am married to someone whose idea of "cleaning" is packing stuff closer together so you can fit more in. My idea is use it or lose it. I am winning the battle, especially since we hired someone to clean our house. With the job and school I had no time to clean, visit my elderly Mom, or enjoy my life on weekends, and the cleaning person was a great gift to myself! Less clutter makes cleaning and keeping clean easier.

MIL and FIL are in their 80s and their house is a small ranch, bursting at the seams. I wrote here a year or two ago about my concerns about their house and the hazards it holds for them. It is a source of great concern for me since I am sure they will trip over some of their "stuff", and that's a nice word for it. It's worse than junk. And my efforts to encourage cleaning and ourging were strongly rebuffed. Their stuff is worth money, they say. Well, it's worthless. Truly, it looks like those houses on the TV show "Clean House". None of us want any of it, and we'll have to rent dumpsters when that time comes.

I feel that as a society we are too focused on "things" having bought in to the consumer driven economy. Stores like the Christmas Tree Shops (Christmas-Crap Shop, I call it) fill our lives and homes with stuff we don't need. Less really is more. DD was moving and all worried about the process and I reminded her, "Honey, it's only stuff" and she knew exactly what I meant and relaxed. We can't let our stuff govern our lives. When you have less stuff, the important things can be enjoyed and saved and savored. But when you can't find a seat on the couch for the books and papers, it's time to purge.

So, less is more. And someday my cellar and garage will have less. Not now, though. Gotta pick my battles.

It's great to meet you all!

-Donna


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Pinktoes wrote: "The reality is that my mind is so full of ideas that I start many projects; write notes/acquire tear sheets, clippings, books, materials for projects. My house is overrun with the detritus from my fertile mind. I'm highly distractible and it's hard to focus to finish a task. A psychologist who tested me many years ago said, "You're a thinker--not a doer."

You've just described me, especially the part about collecting information. But I don't want to be a thinker anymore; I do want to complete some of these projects.

Have you ever figured out a way to get beyond the thinking stage and complete a project?


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My name is Ann and I live in WV's Eastern Panhandle, not too far from Harper's Ferry. My husband and I relocated here in 1994 after we retired. We wanted to get a little farther away from the traffic, congestion, expense, etc. of the Wash. D.C. area -- Montgomery County, MD, to be exact--but not too far from our family. We down-sized when we moved and got rid of lots of "stuff", but after 14 years, here, have begun accumulating, again! I, too, stumbled on this forum and come here almost every day. I've learned lots and am almost ready to start throwing away, again!! It's fascinating to hear about others' lives. We're all more alike than different, don't you think? This is a great thread; thanks, clair de luna!


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marie26: No. The problem is that I have so many ideas that no one could ever bring them all to fruition. What works better for me is to simply use my filing system and apply the Time Mgt. gurus' method of prioritizing things as A, B, or C according to importance. Then I have a tickler card I circulate through my card file/calendar. On the 15th of each month it comes up reminding me to "review projects file and identify projects to work on now. Refile them in the 'A' section."

This works really well because not everything is equally important, or equally desirable. A lot of projects lose their importance to me with time, so they sit with all their clippings for months(including notes as to where I've stored any needed materials to go with them--usually in the garage closet). In time, I throw out most of it.

Also, time resolves/changes many circumstances, so I no longer want or need to do some things that were once compelling. All those files get junked.

I will tell you what a career counseling group told me many years ago. If I would practice it I could save myself a lot of time and grief plus save a lot of trees. They said that my mind is like a popcorn popper and I need to carry a journal with me and simply write down all my ideas. Just to clear my mind--NOT to remember them. NOT to do follow up on them. That has been really hard for me and in a way just feeds my "popper", revving it up even more.

The other thing they said to me, and it so crushed me--though they didn't mean it personally--was "All your ideas are not of equal value." Does that just KILL you?!! It's true, though. I should not follow up on most of my ideas. A professional organizer once said that not everything is worth organizing. Another profoundly helpful but difficult concept for me. She said that most people never look at their old photos, so the best way to handle them is to put them in a box in the closet. By year(s) if you wish, rather than waiting till the day you can create a scrapbook complete with commentary for them. (I have the scrapbook. We never look at it. The digital camera has solved the problem. We rarely develop any pictures. And barely catalog the digital shots on our hard drive.)

These are radical, radical concepts for me to accept and live by, but would save me. Also, I've begun wading into the waters of Zen precepts, relaxation training, and such. I think that's where the most help has come from. I have mantras I repeat to myself (not the spiritual type so much). Like "Just let go." "Focus." (A major help during a task when I start to shoot off in all directions.) "Finish this first." "Stay on task." "One thing at a time." (I say that to myself everyday, many times. It applies to the moment, the hour, the day, the week, the year. We cannot have, or do it all--not all at once. Most of it is probably not worth doing at all. And certainly not worth what it would take to accomplish it. This gets easier for me with age as I see the inevitable shortening of the road ahead.

I doubt this is what you want to hear. Here's the counterintuitive outcome for me: the fewer things I attempt, the more I actually complete. Which I find really interesting in light of the recent research finding that the quality of our performance and the quantity of our output both decline when we multi-task. Thinking of multi-tasking more broadly, beyond just a momentary thing, I can see how that is true in my life as a whole.

My favorite Hallmark line is/was Maxine. I bought my mother her notepads and got stationery to write my friends on which was captioned, "This won't matter in a hundred years. It barely matters now!" LOVE it!


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Pinktoes, thank you so much for responding and in such depth. I couldn't help myself and printed your post (LOL). The timing of it couldn't be better since I've just completed organizing into folders and drawers my various projects. I now just have to go through each of these. It's time for me to be completely ruthless. realize that for some of my projects, I could probably replace all the clippings with a book. But since they take up only a folder or two, I wonder why I feel the need to do so. It's somewhat comforting to know I'm not alone.


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Sharon (scraphappy), I can relate to keeping things out of habit. I have collections that were fun to ''collect'' but don't really feed my soul in any way. Like you, I've downsized many and given the favorites a little space around the edges so I could appreciate them. I am fond of my copper though!

Jaybird, glad you're posting, packrat !

Talley Sue, No Wonder you're such a fountain of good information...you know what they say about people from Iowa being the nicest of all. Whether it's nice, helpful or ''buttinskiest'', everyone is glad you're here! It's also good to hear you have your hot spots, because truth be known, we all have them...Good luck on selling your place.

Vegangirl, with a daylily nursery and such a huge garden, I know you're busy! I'm too much of a plant collector myself; so much so that many of the tropicals get dragged to the basement for the winter months, to stretch out under lights. I have plants I brought with me 13 years ago from California that I just can't seem to part with. Aren't you glad your mom is decluttering now and with a vengance? Bless her for saving you from having to deal with it later.

Chris (Shades of Idaho), your description of taking three years peeling back layer by layer is so appropriate! Organizing is such a process, isn't it? And it's so true that sometimes things get much worse before they get better. I think you must be fairly organized anyway if you have ''storage studio''. Where do you work on your projects? (Good luck with your three-room-makeover.)

Iasheff, another Iowan! I've spent some time up in that corner of the states, and remember one particular Halloween day/night we visited the little town of Walnut. I've been thinking about going back up there lately, where the image of little kids trick or treating is burned into my memory. No, you're not far at all...it feels like we could all jump in the car and meet! My office is usually a hot spot too, although I'm getting a handle on it. A year ago I wouldn't have known where to begin, but now if pressed, I could manage a 15 minute cleanup. That's a reasonable goal for anyone I think, although I had to completely rework my filing system.

Barbara (Bspofford), the art of homemaking is a good thing to aspire to. Your box count (and year tally) is quite similar to what I've been going through. I commend you for getting the count to a manageable 9! Also, I loved what you said about giving yourself permission to pass on usable items without agonizing over the amount of money spent. Sometimes that is a major roadblock we just have to jump over. I've had that conversation with myself many times going through my Sale items and just had to let it go. Thanks for sharing yourself!

Celticmoon, I love your description of ''pretired''! I think everyone's most happy you're working part-time, since we get the benefit of your presence here. So true that it's one box, one bag at a time!

Susan (alisande), I remember some of your posts from before and am grateful to hear you're on the other side of loss and remodeling, which are both so stressful. I've lived in several old homes which like yours, had a major lack of closet space. A few years ago I found an antique revolving clothes rack that added the equivalent of two of our small closets to a corner of the bedroom and I felt like I had really scored. As long as ''progress'' is your operative word, I have no doubt you're managing quite well!

I'll be back!


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the fewer things I attempt, the more I actually complete

I am with you on this one, pinktoes! I used to have all sorts of projects half in process. They overwhelmed and distracted me. Now I have a notebook and folder where I write down these brainstorms and project ideas and keep pictures or drawings that explain the concept. I feel reassured that if I'm at a loss for a project, I know I can look in my book and remember all the ideas I've had. But I don't let myself start a new project until I've finished the one I'm working on. That includes no collecting of materials and supplies either, as I can just as easily get caught up in the preparation phase. I've found I'm more likely to finish the current project if i don't invest any energy in another project at the same time. I've never been a big fan of reading more than one book at a time, and I'm not a good multi-tasker either. I don't know why I had let myself get all caught up in the accumulation of projects. Most likely the thrift shop and flea marketing habit brings that out because you see so many neat things that just need a little work.

Claire de luna, thanks for doing this. I'm really enjoying meeting everyone. Hello, fellow Pennsylvanians!

Tina


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Tina
Chester county is a beautiful area. Our garden club has made many bus trips to your area to see gardens and old houses.
Nice to meet you. Im in the poconos.


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Claire---I spent 18 years in Phoenix, Arizona and just moved back to my hometown of Leavenworth, Kansas two years ago. Az is what inspired me to create this screenname.

About the Nu-Way----We just love that little diner and the sandwiches are good too! I make them myself as well using Lipton Onion Soup Mix..lol. I've known the owner since the 70's and was surprised when moving back home that he was still running the restaurant! Have actually run into many of my old friends and acquaintances here in the midwest, which makes it nice.


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  • Posted by qui (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 12, 07 at 22:12

I am from Kansas/MO really. I moved to Alaska from Topeka. My dad is buried in Leavenworth. I was born in Independence and went to elementary school in Blue Springs.

Is Nuway the place with the ground beef sandwiches, all loose on a bun? Kind of like sloppy joes without the tomato sauce? Is there another one on the MO side?

Gloria


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I am late to the party but wanted to say hello. I am a SAHM with a 4 y/o boy and 1 y/o twin girls. The addition of the twins has really thrown me for a loop, and I find myself struggling to stay on top of everything I want to do -- I am currently sitting at a desk with literally hundreds of pieces of paper around me and no real system for going through them except that when one of the kids throws them all on the floor, I pick them up and occasionally find something important that needs action, so I pick up the phone to make the call and realize that the dinner is burning and then...well, I'm sure you've all been here.


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metromom--well, I haven't quite been there. I've been there w/ the "no system for going through the papers."

But not w/ twin infants! Wowee! (I think we can excuse you for being late to the party, LOL, though in truth this is an "open house," and there's no such thing as "late.")

That first year must have bene really hard (though I'm hoping your 3-y-o was as easy on you as mine was when her baby brother arrived--she wasn't much actual help, but she was easy to have around).

I'm sure things will get a bit easier as they get older, but I bet you're always going to have it busy.

I'm glad you're with us!


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Hi everyone! Gloria, it's a small world from Alaska back to Kansas City! Yes, the Nuway is exactly that. There used to be one on the MO side in Kansas City, but it isn't there any longer. I finally figured out the recipe and posted it at Recipezaar, so I wouldn't forget it. It seems like there's always some kind of funky ''Nuway'' recipe in the local paper that isn't it, so I'm happy to provide a recipe that's the Real Deal.

Rhonda, the Nuway were I grew up is historical as well, which is why I feel right at home there. You have to love a place that's been around as long as that one has!

I wanted to address everyone who posted to this thread, just for myself so I could learn about you all. I know it's not necessary but it's helping! Forgive my idiosyncrasies please. I really like this particular forum and it's great to see so many come out of hiding and posting here. Tomorrow...

Here is a link that might be useful: Nuway Recipe


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I agree,this is fun!

Metromom, breathe deep and don't sweat the small stuff. I didn't have twins (yikes!), but I have a small gang (six kids) and eventually, they all grow up. I promise. For a long time, all I could accomplish was keeping the bills paid, meals prepared, the dishes washed for the next round.

Read stories to your kids, play with them, enjoy them; they are your priority. They are very young now, but it will get easier for you. Keep the bills paid and try to live as best you can with the rest of the chaos. I'm glad you are a SAHM. And don't let anyone make you wonder what you did with your time during the day - YOU ARE WORKING HARD.

Meanwhile, the people on this forum will help rescue you. It's kind of like they wave a magic wand of support here and you don't feel like you're the only one who needs help. This is a great place to visit!

Sherry


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I'm Ann from Arizona. I homeschool, so I have junk everywhere! We've finally hit the stage where we're past the toddler/pre-k stage with all the manipulatives and such. I've lightened my load considerably! Also, after 4 years of living in this house, we have finally got someone to show up and build me shelving in my closets! 4 years of no-shows and "we don't come out that far". Yay! I've also gotten a clue about double duty furniture and building closets as opposed to buying more junk to hold the junk! I've been coming here since 2000? I recognize Talley Sue, but I don't always post much!
Ann


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Interesting. I am, as my nom-de-screen indicates, named Steve. I live in the Twin Cities now, but I lived in New York until I went to college, attended Kansas State University, was graduated from Iowa State University, and still have relatives in the northeast Kansas/KCMO area. I think that about covers it geographically. :-)

I live by myself now and have learned (the hard way) that I have difficulty with clutter and disorganization. Strangely, I have greater difficulty when I see this in others than when I see it in myself :-o, and that is a bit of a struggle for me. I mostly lurk here until issues about electronics surface (I'm an electronics geek). It's a pretty friendly place; I just don't think there are many topics to which I can add much of value.

It's nice to meet all of you. It's especially nice that I don't have to remember names and faces, because that usually takes a couple of times to get right. :-)


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This has been so much fun! I have enjoyed reading about everyone! There is NO way I would post a picture of one of our closets... LOL Our house is well over 100 years old and huge but built before closets were important so the closets we have are 'filled'. The rest of my house, except my office, is spotless and organized. Does that count???

Hey, metromom, I want to give you a bit of advice that my nana gave me years ago... you aren't a SAHM, you are a WAHM-- you are a WORK at home mom!! Just because you are staying at home, that doesn't mean you aren't working-- and you have the most important job in the world!!


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This has been an interesting read. Apparently most people have a midwestern connection. I was born in Iowa, but moved away when I was two. I currently live in Oklahoma.

I check in at the organizing forum because I got tired of looking at the mess. DH and I were both decended from packrats. I don't want to pass that trait on to my kids. I also want my kids to be able to have friends show up at the door without being embarrassed by the condition of the house. My ultimate goal is to have a house that cleans itself.


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I am in Florida where I have lived most of my life. DH and I dated in HS then both went off to college only to meet several years later. We have one DD, two DGC, and two furbabies. After many years of traveling for a major financial institution, I am now working from home. I had to be super organized to be a road warrior 3 weeks a month.

I have been posting occasionally and reading daily this forum for a number of years along with the Home Decorating and Cooking forum. I organize get-togthers for the Cooking forum (ex: canning camp, bread camp, and an upcoming PJ Party in TN) and have been been to several get togethers for the Home Decorating forum. I have made some lasting friends on these forums.

I'm anal at times and can't seem to get into daily routine of work less my house is in order. I love organized, organization tools, methodologies, and being organized. For some reason, reaching and staying in a state of organization is more challenging since I started working from home.

My DH is messy, disorganized, and has little interest in domestic issues...as I have mentioned several times. I truly fear when he retires.

While we have 2-3 swaps a year on the Cooking Forum, my first swap was here. Perhaps some of you remember it. We were assigned swap partners, we sent each other stuff that was too nice to trash but we needed to let go of it. I thought it was a lot of fun.

I get a lot of ideas from the informed and motived posters here and should be more supportive in return. I think it's because I'm not confident in my skills although my friends say I'm obsessive about organizing and should do it for a living.

Thanks for sharing your issues and solutions.


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What fun to get acquainted with everyone:-)

Ann, we home-schooled our three children all the way thru high school. I miss it but we are all still learners and share what we learn with each other so the fun continues:-)


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I'm Dot, from NJ,living in a nice suburb with just DH, in the same house we've lived in for fifty years. Our kids are in their 50's, but thank goodness no one has come home to live! I'm really amazed that so many of you are from the mid-west. I'm also realizing that most of you are a lot younger than I am. Pinktoes, your comment about "the shortening of the road ahead" is about where we are now. Which is why I have to get organized enough to get decluttered and get this house in good repair for selling in about 10 years. Or less. I'm at the same place many of your parents are, and I truly appreciate all your ideas and suggestions.
When I work around the house, or especially if I have to go shopping (which I hate), I'm good for about 2 hours, and then have to plan something like paper work, to get a rest. DH can't help much at all, at this point. And frankly, this decluttering is going VERY slowly.

So please keep up the good suggestions - I need them!


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Hi everyone. I'm (yet another) Susan. I grew up in Dayton OH, lived in Boulder CO for 16 years, and am now in Austin TX. I have an 18yo DS who just went off to college this year, a 13yo DD, 3 cats, and a DH.

I was a SAHM/uber-volunteer until a year ago. My DH has an all consuming hobby, and with my son leaving for college and my daughter blooming into a confident, independent young woman, I am feeling like my life is at a huge turning point of me-ness. I am currently studying for a certification that will open up a new career path for me.

I find that I'm asking myself, "What do I want my new life to look like?" I know I really want a clean, orderly, visually appealing home. But since I went back to work, it has gone frighteningly downhill. I've applied a little bit of Flylady, but her whole system is way too bloated and overwhelming for me. I must need more baby steps than most people.

I originally found GardenWeb through the laundry forum when I bought a new washer in 2003. But this is the forum I need most right now.


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Hi, my name is Heather and I have been an avid lurker for 3 years. I never post, but I guess that will now change. I live in Brooklyn NY in a very old 3 room apartment with my DH and two cats. I sometimes wonder if Tally Sue is sitting next to me as I ride the subway. LOL. We also have a very old, small house in Southern Lancaster County Pa. I grew up in both Brooklyn and Queens (Approaching 50 in less than year, how did that happen?) and except for a very short time (4 Years) in my childhood have always lived in tiny NYC apartments. I love neat, and organized spaces, my DH feels like the world is ending if everything is neat and uncluttered, he keeps everything and claims he feels calmer if there are piles near him. I am a staff developer for the NYC school system which entailed not having a desk, office, or even a place to put my coat for the last three years. I just got my own tiny cubby, no drawers, but a desk top and chair. This means my desk area at home is in serious need of a huge purge, systems and new infrastructure. It is great to meet everyone. Thanks for all your help and future help.
Heather


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi, I'm Katie and I'm an artist in Marietta, Ga. (My twin brother lives in St Paul, Steve O!) And my sister and parents are in Virginia where I grew up, and we also lived in Louisville KY for years before we moved here for my now-ex-husband's new job.

I have four wonderful, wonderful children, ages 4-10, and have been lurking around here for years-- some of you feel like old friends to me even if you ight not think of me the same way. I have sole custody of the children and they visit their father every other weekend and one afternoon each (two at a time) during the week. It was a progressively more abusive marriage as time went on, and the children and I are finally rebuilding a sense of normalcy.

I am trying hard to get organized. I had to go back to work full-time and now teach pre-kindergarten every day from 6-2:15. Yes, I have all our kids out the door with me and we get there at 6. I am in the process of making a little apartment in the daylight basement and will hope to find a nice person to live there in exchange for some childcare help-- maybe a college student or a more mature woman.

I am trying to get the clothes switched out for the season-- ugh! We moved in such a hurry (he got the house in the divorce) and wow, i sure wish I had help for one day!!!! One ox at a time, as they say.

Here is a link that might be useful: my woefully un-updated website for my art


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi all,

I'm Holly about to turn 59 and an almost lifelong resident of BC -- I lived in Montreal and Edmonton for a year each as a youngin'. I have largely lurked on this (and most) forums other than the Spanish/Med thread for 3 or so years now. Really enjoy the communities and the info. Moved from 55 years living in Vancouver to Vancouver Island a couple of years ago so lots of reno's/updating going on and thus organizing. I am by nature pretty much an organized person but this last move had me doubting that statement for quite some time. :-)) Don't post much unless I feel I'm adding value as opposed to repeating what's already been said.

BIG THANKS TO CLAIR DE LUNA!!! I checked out your Nuway recipe and in the course of that and further *research* came across your dog deodarant. Serendipity for sure as our Golden Retriever came home from the beach today covered in -- WARNING - VERY GROSS --

dead seal blood. You think skunk is bad? You ain't smelled nuttin' until you get a whiff of THAT. I was gagging bigtime and I don't have a weak stomach. Your 'recipe' stuck in my mind so I ran to the computer and - praise the lord - I had the peroxide on hand. Thank you so much for posting the concoction as it really did work wonders. I'd add to your reviews there but I'm not a Recipezaar member so don't know how. ?? One thot I had is that you might want to caution folks - if their DP has any cuts or abrasions - HP could be a little stingy. Yah? Lucky for me I didn't have that problemo. Thanks so much for posting the recipe. Complete diversion from the purpose of the thread but didn't know how else to say TY. :-))

BTW - Noticed in your pics you also have a Golden. :-)) Wonderful Pups except when they roll in dead stuff. LOL!!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi All, There are some great little bits of wisdom in these posts! I have been coming to this board for years, trying to get the mess under control here. I have 2 dds who will be off to college in a few years and a dh and multiple businesses that we run out of our house. We live in northern Vermont in an old (also 1850) farmhouse. We have a total of 3 closets in this house - one in a bedroom, another in the office and a third under the stairs. Really helpful! But we also have a large, unfinished, unheated room to store stuff in. And store we do. I have gone through most of it, but not all at once.

We are starting to plan the house we will be building in a couple years (been thinking about it for many more). Since we rent this place, I have not wanted to do much work to it, and now that we will be moving (after 12 years here) I have trouble wanting to do anything at all to it. So now I am looking here not just for how to organize now, but how to build a home that will work for us. DH is like pinktoes with the ideas. I am more of a planner (or worrier as he calls me). So maybe that's how a thinker gets things done - give them to a doer.

Nice to "meet" you all :)


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi, I am Karen.
I live in Michigan, just about the center of the state, we have always lived here. never had a desire to go elsewhere.
I work outside the home full time and so does my husband. Ilike to cook and have a wonderful kitchen that is pretty organized...thats cause it was new 4 yrs ago and I have tried hard to keep it that way!
We have 2 sons, a 25 yr old and a 22 yr old in college.
We also have 2 dogs in the house, a lab and a beagle. We live in Mivhigan and have all our lives.
I am trying really hard to get my house under control.
I have recently lost 50 pounds and have another 30 to go. I am wading thru the bins in the basement of clothing that I saved cause I was gonna wear it again...and I am. Some has gonr to the goodwill and some has gone on e-bay.
I have a hard time just trashing things, although I am getting better.
You know if you cut them in half you CAN NOT get them out of the garbage!
This has been fun reading and meeting all of you.
I really will not lurk anymore and post once in a while.
Karen L


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Qui- NuWays are "loose meat" sandwiches and also very very similar to Maid Rite burgers too! There are many recipes floating around the internet, but only one true way of making the sandwiches. First of all, I believe the meat is steam cooked, although not positive on this. I have my own favorite way of preparing them using Lipton Onion Soup Mix and use ground chuck or sirloin and top them with chopped onion, dill pickle slices and mustard. The buns must be warmed too=)


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi, I'm Ya Ya from Arkansas. I hang around a lot at the Kitchen Table and lurk here when I should be cleaning house! LOL I'm 57, married, kids are grown and gone and I'm a retired teacher. House is a little better organized than it was when I was working but I still (always) have a ways to go.

I'm one of those "creative thinking" ones - a thinker rather than a doer, too, I guess. I have boxes of ideas and things to finish them with. Have started slowly doing projects and have had three garage sales since March and have gotten rid of a lot of knick knacky stuff.

Read this forum for inspiration and I sure get it! Thanks so much to everyone for their ideas and hints!

Next?


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Fun! I haven't had time to read all the responses yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

I found this forum a few months ago when we began building a home. I'm a pretty organized person by nature, but we all have things that get out of hand. Also, I find it interesting when I read how someone has organized something that I never thought of before. Sometimes we just do things like we always have never thinking there might be a better way!

I especially like it when Talley-Sue offers to kick someone in the shins for me. ;-)

As I said, we're building a home right now, and we will (hopefully) be in around Thanksgiving. I'm married with one 11yo son. DH is a neatnik like me which is mostly good, but sometimes annoying. (He is a little OCD with the vacuuming.) DS is **not** a neatnik and seems to have inherited some hoarding tendencies from both grandmothers. And, I'm one of the meanies that gets rid of his "stuff" without asking sometimes.

Anyway, nice to "meet" you all!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi--I've been lurking with just a couple posts over the past year or two. Thanks for starting the thread. I'm from Northern California and, at this time, am a SAHM with 3 kids, ages 16, 14 and 11.

Without getting too Freudian, I grew up with a mother who was ultra organized and I couldn't stand it growing up. Swore I'd never be that way. Fast forward 25 years and, while I became a sufficiently organized person, I wasn't prepared for the onslaught that came with 3 school-aged kids...papers everywhere from schools, extra-curricular activities, carpools, volunteer commitments, etc. Combine that with the decision by my dh and myself to allow the kids to pursue many outside activities and go to a school quite a distance away (meaning they have little time to tend to our home) and none of them--or my DH--are naturally well organized has made for a borderline out-of-control environment. I'm sure you can picture it--cleats dumped by the front door, supplies from one activity left in my car as they go to the next activity, school books and materials left out after homework's done, etc.

About 2 years ago I decided I was going to "get organized" and found Fly Lady and this forum and I've gotten some great tips from both. I'm still thankful to the person who described her binder with all the critical info. I was always looking through stacks of paper for the one I needed so my binder has dividers for each child, myself and the house and now, when I need to find the soccer schedule for one child or what I need to bring as snack mom for another's girl scout meeting, I just check the binder--genius!! Someone else posted their idea of putting dividers in a cabinet to store their baking pans--mine used to stack on top of one another over the oven; I risked having things fall on my head every time I tried to extract a pan. Now everything slides in it's place so neatly! I could go on and on with the things I've gleaned from this site--thanks to everyone who posts here and I'm glad to be here (albeit rather silently).


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Amanda here. DH and I live in Gloucester County, NJ. I'm a lawyer , but would really rather have an organic dairy farm or a specialty yarn shop. Maybe someday when I've finished paying off all these stupid student loans? I don't post often, but I get a lot of inspiration from reading the boards. I'm a packrat by birth (my parents grew up in the Depression and passed on to me the idea that you NEVER get rid of anything with use remaining), and I don't have nearly as much time as I'd like for housework. I am trying to learn to better organize my cleaning time and to learn to get rid of things that aren't actually useful to me. I love all sorts of handicrafts and cannot safely go within 2 miles of a hardware, fabric or yarn store. I'm trying to discipline myself to buy fabric and yarn only when I have a definite project in mind and a definite deadline to complete it. Even if it is linen and marked down to $1 per yard.


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi, I'm Barbara from Atlanta. I lurk a lot, but don't post often. Have been a hoarder for years and then a tree fell through the house (no one was hurt) and we had to move everything. We had a 40'x 8' container sitting at the top of the driveway for several months. When the repairs were done, i vowed that we would only bring back things we needed/really wanted into the house. This left us with enough for a huge yard sale and Goodwill were very happy! Still have stuff in the house we don't really need, but on the whole with less clutter it is much easier to keep clean and organized. Still have a few problem areas, but no where near as bad as it was. Finding it less difficult to dispose of things these days (do i really still need that dress i wore when twenty years ago???). Live with DH and DS who is 20, and a dog. Love to garden and be outside at this time of year. Picked up many useful tips here - thanks to everyone.


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi, I'm Susan. I live in southern Ontario, and I work in social services; although I've been on a sick leave for 15 months. I have two grown kids, one of whom still lives at home (22 and in school). I also have a DH and two chihuahuas. I usually can be found at the KT. I'm mostly organized, but there are a few things I need to work on. My sewing room is pretty organized, but I need to use up some of the fabric! First I have to finish a quilt though..I am in a slump and really need to get at it.


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi all. I live in Northern NJ. I am married with 3 children, 2 grown sons out of the house and on their own and one 13 y.o. DD still at home. We live in a 100 y.o. house with our mixed breed terrier. I have been lurking on this forum for several months and have enjoyed and learned so much from all the posters. I found GW while doing research for a kitchen remodel [which by the way, also turned into a remodel of 3 baths and replacement of 28 windows!] I am so enjoying the fun of being kitchen-less for the last 6 weeks and living with a thick layer of construction dust all over the place - NOT!

I am a hoarder by nature, but with all of the good advice here, I have learned that it really is OK to discard or donate things that are no longer relevant to my current life [even if they are "still good" or "cost so much when I purchased them"]. It is a long and arduous journey that I am traveling since my DH and DD are both "organizationally challenged" and don't feel particularly motivated to change. I am having some success with "motivating" my daughter [taking away privileges does wonders, but DH is a tougher challenge.

I really enjoy this forum!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hello, everyone! My friends call me Surfer, and I took a break from this forum so I could work on my thesis paper. But now it's done and I'm very proud of it. I'm 21, from Florida, and I graduate from college in May. Hey auburnfan, guess where I go to school. My goal right now is to pare down a lot of my junk so I will have less stuff to move when I leave college.

My major is theatre, so I'm always using advice I read on here to stay organized. I'm assistant directing, learning special effects, have a part-time job outside the theatre,and as part of my scholarship/work study thing, I'm working in the costume studio. It's easy to get overwhelmed with people's schedules, paperwork, and let's not even get started on that costume studio. Lots of fabric, notions, dye, everything! But I try to keep my projects in order and I have a cute little desk area. My costume professor even called me an organizational queen! So thanks guys!

~Surfer~


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

I'm Randi, 40, married with 2 furry children( dachshunds). I live in Southwestern Ontario in a small town(4k) close to London. I moved here from California( grew up in Florida, born in NY) 5yrs ago. I'm a total city girl and living in this rural area has taken a lot of getting used to. I'm married to a very organized person and we clash constantly on this subject. I'm a chef turned lawyer turned chef and I have tons of cooking equipment. I'm usually on the kitchen forum as our kitchen is almost finished( gutted and renovated). We also added a huge 24 x 24 addition with a large walk-in closet. More room to store stuff!!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi! I'm Erica, 29 years old, and have lurked/posted on this forum for a couple of years. I live in Warwick, RI (just outside of Providence) with my DH and two kids, ages 5 and 19 months. We also have 2 dogs and 2 cats. I grew up in Newport with my hoarding mom and minimalist dad. It's not a big surprise that they are divorced now! My mom is a collector of folk art, paintings, gourds, santas etc. I could go on and on! She lives in a huge 4 bedroom victorian that is bursting at the seams with expensive stuff. I struggle with being somewhere in between my mom and dad. His condo is bare. He is using a couch that I gave him about 7 years ago.

I mostly struggle with laundry and keeping up with all the day to day stuff. Our living room, kitchen and bathroom stay neat for the most part, it's the bedrooms that lack organization. We're getting there though, and this forum is always good for inspirtation!!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

It's so nice to meet you all!

I'm Amy, almost 50, part-time academic librarian, struggling writer, and full time mom to 8yo dd who is homeschooling. Dh, dd and I live in a small town just outside of San Francisco. We've been in our current (and I hope permanent) home for about 4 years. I got the organizing bug when dd's books, toys, and art stuff threatened to take over the house. I've also been struggling with time management issues (work, house, dd, dh, dog, garden...)

Thanks to all who recommended getting a Palm pilot - my Palm Z22 has changed my life! All the chores that I previously kept organized in a file box are now on my Palm. I've been able to find time to practice yoga, write, and do some much needed remodeling of our house.

Although my house will never be completely organized, I feel like I'm getting to be an organized person. Sort of.


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi everyone,

I'm kind of late posting on this thread - I live in northern Arkansas, where I have lived all my life. I am 30ish female, married. I am a newspaper reporter in a small town and live on my family farm, where we raise cattle. We have eight cats and dogs.

I have always, all my life, been horribly messy and disorganized in my personal space. My husband is no better. I think we are probably one of those families where we seem normal - intelligent, presentable, etc. - on the outside, but our house (and vehicles) are like a sick, dark secret. A couple times a year, we clean up the house and make it really nice for a party or something. Then, most of the rest of the time, it is such a mess that we have to avoid letting anyone inside.

We are currently building a new house, and I spend most time on the building forum. However, I came over here recently when I started thinking about designing all my organizational spaces in the new house - closets, pantry, etc. I am excited and overwhelmed by this prospect, and I hope this will be the start of a new and better organized life for us.

This is a great forum!

Here is a link that might be useful: My home construction blog


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

What a wonderful idea!!!Hello Hello everyone! - I've enjoyed reading your "bio's"! I've mainly been lurking for quite some time with a few responses here and there...I'm a mid-fifties divorced mother of two grown kids, and a mental health clinician from New England. I didn't get my masters until my late 40's...translation: I was a part-time student forever, and spent years being around for my kids and Collecting. Lots and lots of time to indulge in my varied interests via tag sales, flea-markets, & antique shops...Translation: I have too many possesions. Sadly, like the cobblers' shoeless children, I'm pretty good at conducting groups on achieving goals, managing roadblocks, organizing etc., but have difficulty letting go of my own stuff...I'm pretty fussy and don't generally bring something into my life unless I really like it, or think I will need it - therefore it becomes difficult to let go. I'm working on it. I've find your successes inspiring!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi guys! I'm sorry to be so late to introduce myself.
I'm a SAHM currently living in Indiana with one child (of 3) still at home! I'm married to a workaholic whose career has taken us around the country. We've lived in tiny apartments in San Francisco, huge houses in Kansas City, KS, ranch houses in Boca Raton, FL, dream house for 5 mos in TOledo, OH, and now here in Indiana. Each move also required a temporary move to an apartment with belongings in storage! Our family saying is the we've lived on both coasts and everywhere in between! I can laugh now but it was really hard moving and getting our kids settled. THe good thing is that I got used to culling things on a regular basis. We've lived in this house for a record 8 years and may be here for good(??!!??)
I really appreciated the post from Pinktoes. Could we be related? I struggle with "potential". I am always coming up with way too many ideas that send me spinning in too many directions. THe result is either total paralysis or lots of unfinished projects.
I love this forum. You all give me so much motivation and support whether I am lurking or posting. I see that my life is changing direction. I am not sure yet where this new path will take me. I feel the need to lighten our possessions, establish new and better habits and evaluate my priorities. Thanks to all of you for your interest, ideas, questions and support. It means alot to me.
T


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi Surfer! War Eagle! I lived in Florida during my childhood years, too. AND, I even majored in 'business theater' for one quarter at AU. (The red-headed step child of majors. People in the school of business don't claim you, and either do the theater folk.) I spent a lot of time working the ticket booth at the Telfair Peat (is that still there??)

Anyway, good to meet you. Sorry I didn't see your post sooner!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi, I'm Patsy. I hang out on the decorating and building a home forumsbecause I'm building a home. In the interim my present house is a mess most of the time and I don't care! No, I do care, just very difficult to focus on tasks to be done here when I'm planning on things for the new house. The new house that will have so much more storage, etc. etc.

Pinktoes, the affliction you suffer from is "creativity." That's why my desk is always messy. I'd rather be creating or learning something new than cleaning off this filthy desk. However, it has reached "that point." That is the point where I can't find a piece of paper with information I had last week. I start getting even more anxious when I can't find things. So after this message I am turning off this computer and am not turning it back on until this desk is clean!! See you in January. No, just kidding!! LOL It won't take me but a minute to put all of this in the trash. LOL!!!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Hi, I'm debios from Northern Alberta. I have 50 years of treasures and stuff to deal with. I used to frequent this forum years ago, then life took over. So happy to return and see well, at least Tally Sue still here. You've given me some great advise in the past. Thank you. I've got a downsize looming in the future and I want to be ready so was very happy to see the enthusiasm here.Lokking forward to sharing great accomplishments with you all.


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

I am really enjoying reading this forum and "meeting" all of you. I'm Donna and I live in North Central OH-Halfway between Cleveland & Columbus. I am married 30 yrs and have 2 grown children (daughter is home due to being MR/DD), son is in the Marine Corps. My husband and I are disabled (I have COPD; limiting my energy to just about how far my O2tubing can reach LOL & the weather) Anyway I'm a sporadic Goodwill donator--and have just found our local FreeCycle group which has really helped. My clutter problems are paperwork, past inventory from all the direct sales companies I used to be with, and the usual assortment of stuff you have when you downgrade fm a big house to smaller one.

I have a storage unit which holds the usual-including the stuff of my son's--grrr i've been after him everytime he comes home on leave to "take it with you" but hmmm never does. My goal is to get rid of everything in that unit whether by yard sale, goodwill, free cycle or plain old trash!

I miss my old house in the country where I could burn the stuff but well we have to deal with where we are now.
Thanks for all the tips and keep them coming!

Donna


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

I've been on the forums since 2005 -- started here when building our home. Since then, I spend growing season with Cottage Garden Forum and off-season with Home Decorating, Kitchens and Building a Home (to try to give back some of the help I received and to get more help with current projects).

I'm going to be 54 in a few days, retired now (thanks to my DH). I actually have TIME to organize!

I just finished my quest for the perfect glass storage jars for my pantry! I ended up with Italian canning jars from World Market. I also got some glass pasta jars with airtight bamboo lids.

Anyway, in my now spare time, I garden and I write in my blogs. (Yes, I do miss the writing aspect of my old job).

I am looking for more creative ways to stay organized.

Cameron (Won By Her Wits is our greyhound)

Here is a link that might be useful: my house blog with kitchen organization


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Cameron, I am so impressed with your kitchen and the organization of it. All I can say is Wow!


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RE: Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!

Marie -- I took those pantry photos right after my yearly cleaning! Every year in November, I remove all unopened goods that haven't expired and give them to the food bank. Then, I start restocking my pantry. That way, I do something good (donate), stay organized and keep all of our foods on a time line.

Thanks for your comments.
Cameron

PS I just replaced the ingredient pantry photo to show the new Italian jars and the pasta jars.


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