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Posts tagged ‘mess’

If you are familiar with the Flylady, you are probably familiar with the phrase, “You can do anything for 15 minutes.” Obviously, there are limits to that. I mean, unless you’re single, you probably can’t–and wouldn’t want to–limit your shopping to 15 minutes per store. But the idea is that if you don’t think you can do something, or simply don’t want to, you can make yourself do it for 15 minutes.

That’s how it was with me this evening. I had an orthodontist appointment in the late morning, but it’s an hour’s drive away and my husband needed to go somewhere else, so he dropped me off half an hour early. So we ate breakfast, packed a lunch for my son, and didn’t clean anything before we left. I ate lunch after the appointment (before the soreness set in) and took the train & bus back home–about a two-hour trip. It was 3:00 pm when we got home. And I was tired.

So instead of tackling the dishes and the laundry and such things, I sat down in a recliner and tried to nap. When my son decided to join me (but wouldn’t sit still), I put in a nice video for him to watch, turned the volume way down, and went to bed.

I got out of bed a little before 5:00, and was feeling rather groggy. Morning sickness had been mostly nil all day, and I still didn’t notice any, but I was tired and sluggish. Then my husband got home about 10 minutes later, and brought a whole bunch of fruit that he had gotten either free or cheap on the way home. I ate one of the oranges, feeling that I needed to eat something, and almost instantly my tummy began to complain. I moved away and sat down, hoping the feeling would go away like it sometimes did, but it just got worse. So I browsed facebook and tried to ignore my stomach for an hour or so, until I just couldn’t ignore it anymore.

I’ll spare you what happened next, but once I did what I needed to do and was feeling better, I ate a granola bar and decided that happy tummy or no (I was still not feeling 100%), I needed to do some shopping or we wouldn’t be able to eat cooked cereal in the morning (I’m hoping it will be gentle on my sore teeth–the orthodontist really tightened things up this time). So off I went to the store around 7:30.

When I got home at 8:30, I was feeling better, but I was also tired and didn’t want to face the kitchen. My husband had been very busy with things related to our house, so he wasn’t able to clean up–at least he had fed Manny while I was feeling so sick, so I didn’t feel it right to complain. But I didn’t want to clean up either. It looked like about a half hour of work to get the kitchen in order.

Then I remembered the Flylady and her favorite saying: “You can do anything for 15 minutes.” Yes, I told myself, I can clean the kitchen for 15 minutes. I’ll set a timer, and whatever is left when it goes off can wait until morning. After all, if we’re just having cooked cereal with nuts and fruit, there won’t be a lot of dishes after breakfast, so adding in a few from the day before won’t be a problem. And having some clean counters and a cleared-off stove will make breakfast so much less stressful.

So I put a cup of water in the microwave, set a timer for 15 minutes, and got busy. When the water was hot, I added a tea bag and left it to steep while I worked (I like to steep my tea a long time).

In 10 minutes, I was well over half way done. I stopped washing and rinsing  to clear and wipe the counters and stove, then washed a few more. When the timer went off, I took and extra 15 seconds to rinse the soapy silverware, and then took a look around. All that was left was my pressure cooker and a frying pan, neither of which I will need first thing in the morning. Everything else was done and the counters cleared and wiped.

And my reward? A nice cup of raspberry zinger tea. Mmmm!

Last week I shared how I was tired of the messy office and was determined to do something about it. I worked diligently that afternoon and got things fairly well done, but there were a few minor details that I didn’t have time for. Then I kind of forgot about posting anything, and the New Year rolled around. I kept getting reminded of it one way or another, and so today I finished the last few details (took me maybe 20 minutes) and have taken photos to show you the results. First up is the computer/bookshelf space.

Much better, especially the far right bottom shelf. That became the organized catch-all for office supplies, since we don’t have a neat little drawer with an organizer in it to hide them all. At least they are out of reach of little fingers! Someone put some books and papers up on the shelves closer to the camera, but I’m not going to let them stay there (I just noticed them in the picture after taking it).

Next up, the filing cabinet:

I didn’t do anything about the stacks of paper, because they aren’t mine. But I did move the sort of file of papers in the plastic CD holder (behind the chair now) down from the shelf, where it looked tacky and blocked books. I also move all those books stacked under the desk and put them downstairs.

Here is the other side of the room. I tried to get a better angle on the pictures. You can see that I organized a lot of things, but I still have most of the storage containers. The plastic boxes with lids on the right used to hold patterns; now they are in the cabinet below and the boxes have yarn in them that used to be in a big plastic bag on the other side. Everything has been straightened up an looks nice.

Even though the little man with the curly crown thinks he is the star of the picture, I’m really trying to show the view behind him. The plain box holds craft stuff I should try to sell sometime. The other box holds a lot of stuffing. I will try to find a use for that sometime.

This last picture shows the table and bottom of the window:

I put the green mat away and moved my sewing machines away from the edges (to discourage exploration of them by the littlest member of the house). The shipping scales are being used more right now, so they stay there with tape on top ready for whenever something sells on eBay or Bonanza. In front is a package I need to pack and mail out tomorrow.

So I’d say that’s a pretty good bit of organization done! The nice thing is that most of it was done last week and I’ve been maintaining it since. So I hope to continue that trend. And once the bookcase in the living room is fixed up (sanded and stained) I can move some of the books out there and go through the boxes that are currently neatly stacked up under the desk. Not sure when that will happen, though.

So what have you been decluttering lately? Why not post a link in the comments and share it with us?

After that motivating article I just finished, and the good feeling I got from decluttering the too-small clothes from the kids’ room, I am motivated to do something about the office. Here are some “before” pictures to give you an idea of what needs to be done. I’ll post some “after” pictures when it’s done–not necessarily today, but as soon as I can after I finish. Please say a prayer that I can actually do this!

Some of the shelves are not so bad, but some really need to be organized. The desk is a minor disaster (major would be that the the surface of the desk itself would be invisible–at least you can see parts of it!). That black file cabinet (you can’t see the file drawer in the picture, but it’s the black thing with shelves behind the kitchen chair) needs to be at least organized–stuff off the top, papers sorted inside. The box on the chair has things I’m going to list on eBay during the next couple of days, so it’s not a permanent thing. The blue box below has stuff I listed last night and so it needs to go.

That table is utter chaos. Sure, parts of it are still showing, but still! Also, I need to declutter top of the dresser (at least inside it is okay), and organize those stacks of boxes on top of the other cabinet (which is mostly empty right now. Between the dresser and the white cabinet in the corner is a small bookcase full of stuff that seriously needs to be organized as well. And the box in the window must go!

So check back in a couple of days to see if I’ve finished and posted “after” pictures. If I haven’t, bug me about it, please. And if you’re motivated to declutter your office (assuming it needs it–maybe I’m the only one with a cluttered office right after the holidays), then let me know how it’s going. Especially if you have a blog, then post a link back here. Let’s bring some order into the world!

Not Me Monday

I have never participated in “Not Me Monday” before, but this morning has just been one of those mornings that makes you have to tell someone, so why not do it here, this way, and get a laugh out of it in hindsight?

I did not cut my thumb on our french fry maker this morning while dicing potatoes. I’m always far too careful to let my thumb slip off the potato while trying to get it into the sharp grid. No, that’s unthinkable!

I did not find out that we are going to have to, without question, replace the cooktop in our new house. We are not going to have to take out the cabinet under them and do a minor remodel to put a new cookstove in. The stove is in the island in the middle of the kitchen, meaning we do not have to buy a more expensive stove that doesn’t go up in the back. I did not spend probably 20 minutes on hold with GE waiting for the customer service rep to find out the interior dimensions of the stove to make sure it would fit my larger cookie (or two smaller ones side by side). I do not need to call the contractor that I had told last week we were going to hire to do the repairs on the deck to tell him that we decided to use the other contractor because he’s cheaper (and other reasons). I will not probably end up just sending him an email. That would be ridiculous. Not me!

During the time that I was not doing the above, I did not ignore the kids, letting them run wild, still in pajamas, waiting for me to run their bathwater. They did not make a complete mess of the house, scattering a blanket, an apron, pillows, books, shoes, hair accessories, and clean silverware from the dishwasher all over the place. I did not hear a big crash from one of the back rooms, and did not discover that my kids (probably my son) had knocked over my little plastic chest of drawers that holds all my sewing thread (nearly to capacity), scattering it all over the floor. It had not been arranged by color, so of course I did not mind picking it up and putting it all back in the right drawers. Not at all. I also did not discover that the Mutual Mania game, which has more pieces than Monopoly does, had been opened and dumped in a very disorganized pile. I did not sit down in the middle of this mess and throw a 5-second tantrum out of frustration. Not me. I never lose my cool, especially where children are concerned! I did actually find the work of sorting rather therapeutic, and have been much calmer ever since. Really.

I did not get that all cleaned up, the kids bathed and dressed, and my son down for his nap, only to discover that I was still in my pajamas, and that the breakfast dishes still have not been done! And I did not sit down to write this before fixing said issues.

And I most certainly did not inhale a pea skin while eating split pea soup for lunch. No sir! I never breathe through my mouth while eating because my nose is plugged from allergies or whatever. Not me!

Later in the afternoon, I did not get so caught up in posting my blog contest on other sites that I didn’t notice that the kids had wandered off. When I got off the computer to look for them, I did not discover that Manny had gotten ahold of my unused spool of brown paper tape, and had pulled out several yards of it from the middle! I did not then proceed to wind it all back in again. And then I did not let the kids go play together outside, even though it could rain at any moment. And I have not failed to get any packing done today! Of course not!

Sigh. I can’t wait until we have moved! I am sure life will be so much easier once we are in our new house. Or not!

Don’t forget to check out my regular Monday post. This week it’s Mom’s Cornbread.