Summer Reading and Assorted Items

As hard as I try, I can’t seem to work on one thing at a time. Over the last few days, I started to de-sticker Emma’s toy kitchen so I can sell it, along with a metric half ton of felt food and little Ikea kitchenware, and I started another half-hearted book purge. I know I mentioned that I don’t think I can purge any more books, but I’m going to try anyway. Currently I’m in a good mood which is a good time to set oneself up for disappointment. I think.

I’m also resolving some issues related to our very long DIY kitchen remodeling project. A recent analysis led me to believe that the kitchen is fully decluttered but I did some rearranging that revealed that I was very, very wrong. So the kitchen is back on the list, not just for the DIY stuff, but for reorganizing. The kitchen story is a very long saga which I will share in the coming weeks. Finally, when I go to sleep I dream of chalk paint (seriously, and Panera coming to my town) so when I get some of the purging tasks done I’m going to start painting.

I feel good about the last few days, even if my approach has been haphazard, even though I’d probably be happier if I had one complete task as opposed to three balls in the air. My recent slump took a definite toll on me and my project. When I was teaching, the summer was always the time to deal with house projects because it was the only time of year I had a solid block to devote to the things I couldn’t always deal with during the school year. And as much as I’ve been happy to be working again, it feels odd to go off each morning and leave Emma at home with Bob.

Here’s a belated photo of my last July donation pickup. It was a big one.


Lately I’ve come across a few good reads which I thought I’d share:

  • If you haven’t had your fill of Marie Kondo, this was an interesting article. Ironically it comes from an online store which scatters suggestions of things to buy throughout the article, but I wasn’t bothered by them (and I’m easily annoyed about things like that). I decided to share it because I like the author’s ideas for using shoe boxes for assorted tasks. And there were some great comments too.
  • Recently I stumbled across this blog, Lisa Moves. I found it when searching online for fabric because I was thinking about making new living room curtains. She writes about simplifying but I also love that she writes about decorating too. Trying to reconcile my need to declutter with my fixation on decorating has been a challenge, so reading about her approach has been interesting and helpful.
  • Another blog I read sometimes is Organizing Made Fun. I found it when I was searching Pinterest for curtains used in place of closet doors. There is a lot of information so I find it’s better to go when I have a specific need, but I always find good ideas.
  • Here’s a good list of organizing books. There are some I’ve heard of and some that are new.

And now for some housekeeping items, no pun intended.

This month’s 30 day challenge: I laughed when I read last month’s 30 day challenge because I did squat. I was supposed to focus on getting back to my chore routine, which I did sporadically, but it didn’t stick. So the August focus is to embrace slackerdom and have fun. I realized today that we have two free weeks left, then Emma goes to camp, then she goes back to school the following week. Summer is flying by. Last Saturday we spent the day at our town lake with a bunch of friends, and it was the first time I’d really seen them since school ended. The next day I had brunch with another great group of friends and I think having those two days of social activity also helped get me back on track. And last night Emma and I went to see a play with our neighbors. I need to make more of an effort to do things like that. Tomorrow I’m going to look at the calendar and see where we can fit in a few more activities before school starts. This pertains to my often-overlooked fourth objective.

This month’s big project: To get the kitchen in shape. While decluttering is needed, we also have several small half-finished items to complete. This pertains to my first objective.

This month’s book: I don’t know if I ever really confessed to my Peter Walsh love. I looove him. I have never read this book but I decided it would be a good choice.

Published in 2007

Published in 2007

He recently put out a new book, Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight, which may have inspired interest in his other books, so I’m hoping people who want to borrow it will be able to. Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight is on my Kindle. I started to read it and enjoyed it, then got into the section where you have to start an exercise program. I am not feeling that part. But I will go back to it.

Since I’m supposed to plan every day in advance, as per Brian Tracy, I’m planning to do nothing tomorrow because it’s Saturday. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

8 Responses to Summer Reading and Assorted Items

  1. Whoa, girl, you like to have a lot on your plate! I do have one question for you, and I hope this doesn’t come across wrong, but if you have had a hard time managing a routine for purging the possessions in your home during the summer, when your daughter Emma is not in school, and has no homework to deal with, how on earth are you going to do it once she IS back in school?!

    With your personality type, the method you are going to have to embrace is forcing yourself to work on one project to completion. Like, for example, the toy kitchen with the stickers on it. Since you enjoy watching TV, why don’t you take the entire kitchen down to where your TV is, yes, I mean every last item involved with the toy kitchen, and take all the stickers off, and give it a cleaning, while watching TV? Because, I sense that you get bored with a task quite quickly and you get distracted easily.

    This is not meant to be an insult at all! My husband and daughter are both the same way. And I’m an A personality, I believe it is. I have had to learn an immense amount of patience with them. And actually, one other thing I’ve learned to make a habit in my home to do is, to leave every horizontal space empty. Yes, completely empty! Except, naturally, for a bookcase, or a shelf you may have pictures or ornaments on, that type of thing. Even with my ornaments, I must have removed 85% of them. I am very selective with what I keep now.

    Two other habits I have is to leave a room in (at least the same shape) better shape than when I went into it. That, and do a load of laundry a day. But then again, your husband does all the laundry, with you folding and putting away, so I suppose that one wouldn’t work so good for you, lol!

    I have been purging our house of possessions over the last, roughly, 2 years, and I have now removed approx. 65% of our possessions. Some may ask how come I couldn’t do it within just a few months. Because it’s not just ME in the house. Turns out, my husband, as well as our daughter, are a bit of a hoarder. At the same time, I started, with the help, mostly, of one of my brothers, to completely empty out our father’s small farm. We must have carried 100 garbage bags to the road, and I must have burned 50+ pallets that we found around the property. I have also been decluttering our mom’s (and dad’s) house over the past 8 months or so. She passed away a year and a half ago, and we’ve had to go at it rather slowly (emotionally, it was TOUGH, she passed away in her car; cardiac arrest).

    I have also started helping a new friend, organize, and declutter her house, since she would like to sell it in a couple of years, and it is not at it’s best at the moment.

    So, sorry about the novel here (lol!), but I have had, and am continuing to have, experience with this, so I know a bit about what you are up against. The key to your success is going to be to make the decluttering fit in with your daily life, AND to tackle one job at a time, or you will, as you mentioned, have three jobs half finished. And that is just WAY to discouraging!

    • Sue – I love your idea that Tracey brings the toy kitchen to the TV room (GooGone for stickers).

      Tracy – Each small or big success feel so good. It reminds me of last month’s book “Eat That Frog”. Haphazard method may not be as calming.

      • Pat, that’s a good point. I think having a tv show on will help me get the kitchen de-stickered, I hadn’t thought of that. The kitchen weighs a ton and I know my husband won’t move it- but I can set up Netflix on my laptop which will work just as well! 🙂

    • Hi Sue! When Emma’s in school I will have 2+ hours after work before she gets off the bus, so that will be a huge help. Her school day will give me structure and a deadline/schedule which I need. When I get home now, she’s usually home with my husband and I feel like I need and want to be available should she want to spend time with me. It’s really hard for me to get stuff done in the house when I’m not alone. I know I need to deal with one thing at a time- and I am VERY easily distracted too- sometimes I listen to an audiobook which helps me get through a task.

      I’m sorry to hear about your mom. My dad died two years ago and we haven’t done anything with his things yet- it is very tough.

      Thanks for your comment and your insights, they are spot on and very helpful!

      • Hi Tracy! As I mentioned to Pat, I should have kept checking back in, to see other comments made on your posts, oops!

        That makes sense. I guess I thought that perhaps you got home at the same time. And as far as being distracted, there was a time I couldn’t understand that, but now, unfortunately I can. My mom was like that, my husband is like that, and our 7 (almost 8) year old daughter is like that, UGH!

        Thanks, yes, it’s tough. Sometimes you go for days and you’re just fine, and then some little thing will set you off, and then the tears flow. I’m hoping next week, or the week after, my husband and daughter will be able to go start it with me. Kind of a tag team thing. And sorry to hear about your dad. My dad and I were never that close, unfortunately. He was very chauvinistic, and not very affectionate, which made me choose differently in a spouse.

        And you are welcome! “Society” has fed us the lie that we need all this stuff, while at the same time, people have filled their houses with a bunch of crap, that then is giving them a part time job, they never needed, to get rid of the crap! Ugh!

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