Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coming Soon: How to Downsize

While clearing out the kitchen and then the living room, I stopped the whole process once the living room was pretty well in place and have been enjoying it ever since. A little too much in fact. I think I've sat on the couch more in this past month or so than I have owning it, cumulatively, for several years. Here's why:


(not just my ass because it's starting to sag more) but I need to move out of this overpriced tic. I've lived in this one-bedroom for almost 2 years, and it's quite nice. Because it's so nice I've accumulated more and more crap in my effort to build a home. I'm not a starving college student anymore and I don't want to be. However, given the job I have, which isn't going to pay much more than it is right now, divided by the price of this place + bills + food, etc. and I'm left with practically zero. Doesn't exactly build a foundation for future home ownership, let alone car ownership, let alone short hairdo ownership. 

Because I'm not a 20-something anymore, and I have a desire to build some sort of stable life (A) and (B) a life that makes me happy(er), it's time to take my head out of the sand and come to terms with the fact that while I may like this place (except for the upstairs neighbor stomping around who I hope finds her inner ninja so I can stop sleeping with wads of silicone in my ears), I can't stay here.  Nor would I want to.  It's just that, all my damn stuff is here!  And, if I move, I have to move all that crap!  Weird how that works.

Just the thought of moving has put me into a sort of blank haze.  I envy starving-college-student me!  She didn't have nearly the amount of stuff I do - I mean, furniture alone!  I don't know where I'll be moving to, and I don't really even know if I'm staying in town.  I may be moving to another city (possibly another country) in the fall depending on how some things go.  Therefore, I can't really move out right away (thank goodness) because if I am going to be moving in fall, there's no point moving now only to have to do it again.  So, what does this mean?

I have some time to offload/unload/weed out stuff that I really don't need, that isn't essential (i.e. What am I willing to pack up and pay for to keep in a storage unit?)  Because if I do move to another city or country, I need to be far more mobile than my current Jabba-the-Hutt style austerity. 

Therefore, here's the plan:

1.) Get a box
2.) Start at one end of the house putting absolutely necessary, required, sentimental-value type stuff into said box
3.) Get rid of the things that don't make the cut
4.) Put box in area you just emptied out.

We'll see how this goes!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Making a Bigger Mess Out of the Current Mess

Ever notice how when you set out to clean, you only end up making things worse?
That seems to be the case here - so I figure it must be a universal phenomenon.

As I've begun nibbling away at Mount DunnoWhatToDoWithIt, the clutter has only spread. 
Instead of it being one tall heap, it's slowly just melted into little pockets of things I don't know what to do with.

However, there is a solution!

Oddly, I learned this from writing - but, what I've learned is that, if you just keep plugging away, eventually
a) You know what to do with stuff, and
b) It gets done.

It might not look very pretty yet amongst the rubble of the grenade that went off, but things actually are falling into place.

I'm slowly working through the things I think I should post on E-Bay.
The pile of clothes that is - everything else is in a state of purgatory

I'm slowly working through the things known as: paperwork:

And there's a lot of it!

I think of all the things I have the hardest time getting sorted is all the papers.  And it's not that I don't have filing, it's just that I have a hard time figuring out what needs to be filed, what I need to save, and what can just move out with the trash.

Also, since I'm a writer, I probably have more papers than most - we hold papers quite dear - any little scrap or scribble is potential gold, ya know? :)
The Writing Box

I've figured out a pretty good way to get this stuff organized so I can begin filing.  Rather than rush out and start smacking labels on file folders, I started putting things inside a notebook, with a page from the notebook marked for what I will ideally label the folder for it.  This way, I can see what things definitely need to be filed and what things maybe I can consider tossing out if there's just a single paper or something.  Here's what this thing looks like:

And for things that I'm hanging onto, like memorabilia, that I haven't put into some sort of album or whatnot,

there are these really nifty plastic file folders, that are only 99 cents, to keep things organized until I can go through them and figure out how to display and keep them that's much prettier than just inside a plastic folder, but I highly recommend these things if you're a paper/photo hoarder like me!

Slowly but surely, whittling down the mountain ~

Not much to report here other than I am still breathing and alive amongst the current wreckage, but digging my way out.

Also - I haven't been very diligent about the whole Take Out process.  It's really great to put stuff in the Take Out box (which has now overflowed into bags), but then one must actually, well, take it OUT!  So, at the very least, I've begun hauling things down to the car so it can be ready to go.                                     

Monday, January 30, 2012

Clearing Spaces: The Living Room - Getting Started

Now I remember why I always start in the kitchen whenever I'm deciding what room to begin with, and that's because the kitchen, even when messy, is the most structured room in the house.  There are drawers, cabinets, shelf space, etc.  Whereas now, in the living room, I've entered the jungle.

It's much more difficult to navigate because:
1.) It's bigger, but more importantly
2.) There's more stuff, and
3.) Less structure

Not to mention it also houses the wayward corner otherwise known as "I Don't Know What To Do With It" Land.

Embarking on the Trail: Picking Your Route
DAY 1: consisted of stepping across the threshold of the kitchen and embarking on the first foothill of... whatever.  This happened to be Kali's bed. 

So that took up Day 1. 

I didn't want to get rid of it.  I didn't like the idea of moving it downstairs to the garage where it could potentially get dirty and possibly house a nest of baby spiders or something, so what I've decided to do is keep it since it's like an ottomon, and I'm going to get some fabric to cover it, give it new life, and put it in front of the fire.  That's where Kali always wanted to be anyway.

DAY 2:
Moving toward the center of the room. This brought me to the lake of the carpet which required some generic clearing, organizing my DVD collection, etc.

 DAY 3:
Arriving at Base Camp
Then - you just start nibbling.  I started with what's closest.  The pile of stuff that didn't sell on E-Bay.  And then, the dead plant with the plastic flamingo and we'll call it a day.
 This kind of just got spread out - I tossed some stuff in the Take Out box, and some stuff I'm re-posting, and some stuff is currently sitting on my project desk as I try to decide whether to sell or toss.  I'm mostly in a quandry because it's stuff that is nice, that should sell, but it's not the right season.  O retail!

And then the flamingo guarding the deathly plant ~

 We'll come back tomorrow!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Clearing Spaces: The Kitchen Finale (I think)

This concludes the Kitchen Clearing - at least Round 1.  I'm going to wrap up the cupboards and drawers so we can move on to other areas of the house.  How long did this take me?

The Last Cupboard

 I used this for pet food primarily.

I don't see any reason to get rid of this - I used it to keep dry dog food.  I may need it again for any pets I foster...

And in the meantime, it can keep the cat dish.

 Now this stuff...
Is a hodgepodge - dish holder with random utensils and sun tea maker

The sun tea maker goes better in this cupboard with the canning jars...

And it just so happens I found this chamois cloth at Fred Meyer specifically for dishes - keeps the counter dry, rather than soggy, which was the main reason I put the dish holder away in the first place

Which is tied, ironically, to the utensils in the dish holder ~

Let's see what we have 
(or, rather, how many of these DON'T match!)

Not to mention how many prongs on these forks are out of whack 
since my dog over the years got ahold of them :)

Keeping the ones that match and/or the ones that I particularly like


And thus concludes The Kitchen...
I was hoping for something more climactic, but I guess a fistful of utensils can be quite epic for some.

Stay tuned for: The Living Room

Friday, January 27, 2012

Clearing Spaces: Kitchen Cupboards Part 3

These things manage to sprout and collect, and I think it's because I don't want to toss them for their environmental impact, but at some point, one has to come to grips with the fact that she's 

a.) not using them, and 
b.) lost the lids for many, rendering them useless anyway.

How to decide what to keep?
First, toss the items that have no lids, or you no very well you're not going to use them!
Canning jars stay - yes
Oh hey - I recognize this mixing bowl???  Let's grab that other one and put them together:
Strainer stays - but should go under the stove with the pots and pans
Can go!

The containers that have unique lids!
Since I reuse containers, this is a good way to know right away which lids go with what.
Also - these would make really great additions to my lunch drawer accessories




I got a new tea kettle for Christmas and the old one has been on the bottom shelf - so I think it's time for it to go.

 And, Rearrange the Shelves

Nice and clean!