Tag Archives: decluttering

Lunch coolers

We had six thermal lunch bags. Two for me, two for Luke, and two for Natalie.Mine are the black & white paisley-ish and the red toile patterned, Natalie’s are the colored polka-dots and the pink with the butterfly, and Luke’s are the plain black and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
image

Now we have three. One for each of us. We decided to keep the red toile, pink butterfly, and plain black.
image

My kids use lunch bags for school occasionally, and they may more often at the new school come September. I don’t have a job to go to anymore, so I don’t use mine much. However, it is nice to have one in case we go to the park, or on a long drive. I like having healthy snacks available. I thought keeping one for each of us was reasonable.

I have to be honest though, and disclose the fact that I have several more thermal bags and boxes down in the basement. I have used them all on occasion, for camping trips mostly. We camp once a year, so it might not seem worth it, until you get rid of them and six months later you are packing for that camping trip and asking yourself where you are going to pack the hot dogs and string cheese and drink boxes. Because these need to be kept cool, but don’t fit real well in the cooler with all the water and Gatorade bottles. So really, it’s justified, right? Am I right??

I’m afraid I am far from done.

The Secretary Hutch

It’s only been a little over a week since the offer was accepted on the house we are purchasing, but since that day I have been mildly obsessed with where I will put my “office”. In our current house, it is at the end of our large kitchen (pictured below, don’t judge!) and though it tends to become a clutter magnet, the location does work well. Because I spend a lot of time in the kitchen anyway.

2015-07-13 10.53.01 2015-07-13 10.53.10

 However, the layout in the new house is quite different, and there is no obvious space for an office area. I feel like I need to have a plan. Not that I need a plan before we move in, just that I need a plan so I can sleep better at night.

We have a very old secretary desk/hutch that we inherited from a family member years ago. It’s sturdy, well-built, and I think could work for my office space. I like the functionality of it because I can bring down the platform while I work, then put it back up when I’m done. And the three drawers underneath can serve as storage for paper and other supplies. It’s just not the cutest. So I was looking online to see what options are out there for new secretary desks. Ouch. For anything decent, it’s quite expensive. So I’m starting to think we could make this one work.

2015-07-13 10.54.37     2015-07-13 10.54.55

For today I’m  just going to try and clean it out. Let’s see what we have here…

{Twenty minute intermission}

Okay, I’d be lying if I said I made any real progress. But I did discover a few things of interest.

1) I found my Riverdance CD, which just last week I had been wishing I could find because I think it may be music that would sound good to my bilateral CI ears.

2) I found the Puzzler!! I made for holding puzzles in progress (I used to be crafty). It’s really just a giant cardboard tube with a long piece of felt attached. So you assemble the puzzle on the felt, then when you need the table space for doing “important” things like eating, you just roll it up, and it saves it for later. In theory. It’s been at least a decade since I’ve used it, and I don’t remember how well it worked. I’ll be getting rid of this for sure, but maybe as a gift to my puzzle-loving sister 😉

2015-07-13 11.51.35

3) I have 22 VHS videos in the bottom drawer. I purged my VHS movies ages ago, but these are all home movie types. I’m actually not sure what’s on all of them, and several belong to my husband, so this may be a joint project to continue later. I know that we also have many more tapes, along with our camcorder, hidden in our daughter’s closet. So yes, a project for another day. Archiving outdated technology is something I know nothing about.

And yes, I confess I am procrastinating. But I did make progress on the pull-down desk part! See??

2015-07-13 12.03.53

Ok, that’s enough for today. The little people need my attention…

Type A Confessions

I’ve kind of been on a mission to de-clutter my home, one tiny area at a time. I’ve written about involving the kids recently, but it’s been going on for much longer than that. And now that we are buying a house, it’s time to kick it up a notch.

As a woman with a type-A personality, my problem is not so much with figuring out where to start as it is with learning where and when to END. Because once I get started, I get so thrilled with the progress I’m making and I fear that if I stop when the timer goes off, that I’ll never get the motivation or time to start again. Have I mentioned I’m home all summer with two young children and a dog? The dog is the least of my worries, actually. She doesn’t interrupt me every 3 minutes to ask a question. Or tell me something, or show me something she made. Yes, I love my kids, and I know one day I’ll look back fondly at these pestering moments. I’m just saying they infringe on my inner need to GET THINGS DONE.

So I’m looking for balance. For a realistic plan to accomplish my de-cluttering goals. How can I be sure I’m doing the best I can, with what I’ve got, to get this place ready to pack up and move? I’ve started by listing the areas that need attention, and I think I’m just going to make it a daily ritual. Each day I’ll just work on the area I feel most like doing that day. Which totally goes against my planner mentality, but attempting to plan it all down to the last detail just seems too overwhelming. And unrealistic, as I need to be flexible enough to work around whatever is going on that day here at the house. Will the kids be at Grandpa’s today, playing outside, or playing video games? What kind of moods will they be in? Are they cranky & defiant or are they cooperative and willing to play together without screaming bloody murder every 30 seconds? Because some days they require closer supervision, and that affects the type of work I can get done that day.

I’m guessing if you are still reading, either you share in this type-A personality or you have run out of good reading material. Either way, I thank you 🙂 I think I’m done with this subject for now. Oh, wait, no. I just had an idea; let me know what you think of this… what if every day I blogged (briefly, I promise) about what I have de-cluttered that day. Some days I could even make it interesting. It would be a sort of accountability to keep motivated, and if I come across some interesting junk, it might be fun to write about it before I ditch it. In a way it may be easier to let go of certain things, because if some things had a story, I could post a picture, write the story, and be able to preserve the memory. Because you know that’s why we hoarders like to keep things – it’s the memory attached to the thing – and it’s often super hard to let go. Yes, that’s what I will do. This will be my pre-moving project, to rid our lives of unnecessary clutter, and to share it here on the blog. Who’s with me?!?

Hippy Days

I’ve been de-cluttering lately. Feels good to get rid of things. It’s good preparation for if we ever move to a new house. Which I hope we do, eventually. I finally went through the box of stuff that my former co-workers packed up for me when I lost my hearing and left work. That sounds like they were anxious for me to be gone, but really they were getting ready to move to a new building, so it had to be done. I found a lot of good stuff in there, pictures from when the kids were younger, my ipod and speakers, my notary stamp, even some herbal tea bags.

I’m enjoying a cup of tea right now, of a flavor I had not tried before. I’m sure it was one a coworker gave me to try. Orange spice black tea. It’s actually quite yummy. As soon as the scent hit my nose it brought me back to my hippy days. And not the ones I spent stoned. It was after that, when I first moved to Lansing. I did hippy things (I suppose, not having lived during the true hippy era) like walking around the campus of MSU wearing sandals with fuzzy socks and long skirts, or drinking coffee at Bilbo’s until the wee hours, playing crazy silly songs on the jukebox (Cibo Matto, do you know your chicken?). I used to shop for tapes and CDs at the campus music store (two of which I found recently, but have no way to play, or listen to, really). I had a roommate who introduced me to house plants and egg noodles (the egg noodle craze lasting much longer than the plants, as I have a hard time keeping green things alive). I went to local concerts, camped out on lawns, and danced crazy dances. It was truly a carefree time for me, which I suppose is where the hippy reference fits best.

I also did some pretty stupid things in those days, even after giving up smoking pot and drinking. I used to take off driving and get myself lost, just so I could find my way home again. When I lived downtown I very often walked around alone. On Independence Day I walked half a dozen blocks to sit on a hill to watch the fireworks. Alone. And this was 1997, so I had no cell phone. Then there was the time I considered buying a VW bus from a guy I met at the laundromat, so I took the bus for a test drive, with the stranger dude riding along. Not smart.

Hmm. That train of thought took an unexpected turn. It’s good to remember happy times from the past, but I guess it’s also just as good to recognize some of the stupid things we’ve done, and be thankful we lived through them. God often keeps us safe despite ourselves, doesn’t he?