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#1 of 56 Old 07-06-2004, 02:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What are your decluttering goals? Do have a vision, a reason, an overall plan?

I've been decluttering since 1997. I'm still not there. The upstairs is fine. The closets are fine. (This took years). We did the garage last year.

The problem is the %%%* storeroom! Why do they build these rooms? I've cleaned it out every year. And I can't get it done for all I work at it.

The storeroom has the furnace in it so it's dusty and horrible. And it is LARGE. Today I just had it- my books were getting dusty and I packed up 80 percent of them to donate. I worked all day sorting stuff.

My vision is to get to the free place of being young (which I'm not) and unburdened with junk. Half of it is dh's -- I don't know when he'll have time to go through it.

I just want to rent a dumpster, close my eyes and throw it in.

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#2 of 56 Old 07-06-2004, 02:41 AM
 
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Hm- I opened this thread right after opening an email about voluntary simplicity. Is the universe trying to tell me something? :LOL

I can completely and totally relate; we are planning to move from our teeny (obscenely cluttered) house after being here for 10 years. My last 7 years have been utterly swamped in mama-ness as well as going to school; needless to say, housekeeping and tidiness have taken a distant third in my life; now I need to do 10 years worth of purging THIS MONTH. Oh my lord.

My shed is full of things that are already priced and ready to go for a garage sale; if only I could find a free weekend in which to have one. Then I'll have a shed I can fill up again; with more things for a garage sale!

Tell ya what- I'll trade you my shed for your storeroom. It's always easier to go through other peoples' crap!
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#3 of 56 Old 07-06-2004, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLaLuna
Tell ya what- I'll trade you my shed for your storeroom. It's always easier to go through other peoples' crap!
Sounds great! :LOL I had my sister help me with my "first round" decluttering. She said, "why is this lamp in your linen closet?" as she simultaneously held an open trash bag next to me...

Good luck

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#4 of 56 Old 07-06-2004, 04:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monnie
What are your decluttering goals? Do have a vision, a reason, an overall plan?
Too much stuff - too little space!! Actually, I have been working on it for a few years now, since I discovered FlyLady. I certainly don't do a 27 fling boogie every day, but I am much better at looking at things I don't use/need/love & getting rid of them. I still have a hard time tossing things in the garbage, but I can donate usable items.
I also recently joined a Yahoo group called VancouverFreecycle where you post things you want to get rid of & people that want them come & pick them up. You could check www.freecycle.org & see if there is one in your area. I have posted four items in the last few days & no-one that asked for them has come for them yet : . Oh well, they will go to good homes soon.
I still want to have dd get rid of a few things before her birthday, but it's like pulling teeth! There are only a few things of hers I have donated in the past because she never showed an interest in them. A couple of weeks ago she started crying about a pink stuffed bear I gave away - oh probably a year ago or more! I tried to explain that it had gone to a little girl that didn't have any bears, but she wanted to call her up & get it back . Any suggestions for getting her to part with her treasures?

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#5 of 56 Old 07-06-2004, 01:01 PM
 
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Mom to nicola...you can ask your DD to "share" her toys with a child who does not have as much as her, and teach her this is something good.

I have lived where I am for 20 years. I have my sons help me go through my DH's thngs before I toss it since I do not know about tools or any of that kind of thing.

I began to help my Father clean his home before he died and he lived there 40 years...it was precious going through everything with him as this was the home I grew up in.

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#6 of 56 Old 07-06-2004, 01:08 PM
 
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We just have way too much stuff. I wanted to get it done before our baby was born, but I seriously doubt that's gonna happen!! I get rid of about 10 garbage bags of stuff every month or two (I give the stuff to charity because we've tried having yard sales and no one buys anything anyway) and there still is no end in sight. I don't know where it comes from.

We used to live in a tiny apartment but now we live in a house but we still don't seem to have storage space. The basement is full of stuff, every space is covered with stuff, the closets and drawers are full, arrgghh! We don't buy stuff so it boggles me where it comes from.

I am making a goal to get under the sink done today (we had an "accident" and had to replace the taps, so everything is out anyway). We have lots of plastic stuff I want to get rid of anyway. After that, I have to do the kitchen closet (again, everything is pulled out so it needs to get done). It's mostly boxes and my scrapbooking stuff, which I need to find a place for. After that it's off to the bedrooms.

It's endless. I want a simple life with little stuff but it's so hard to get there!
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#7 of 56 Old 07-06-2004, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by bwylde
I want a simple life with little stuff but it's so hard to get there!
Me, too. We'll get there. It's my goal now...

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#8 of 56 Old 07-06-2004, 10:57 PM
 
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I'm so glad Monnie started a new thread about this...the last one did actually help get me off the dime a bit. We are very blessed that we have a lovely, large house that offers us a lot of space. We just have too much stuff!

I'm feeling very weighed down by my possessions just now, but also a little stuck as to where to start, and each project seems to be loaded with other implications (i.e., if I sort out the little baby clothes and give them all away, does that mean I am done having children? I'm not ready to say that, and yet, we are absolutely overrun with baby clothes...). So now I am trying to figure out "work-arounds" that will get me to at least make some progress. Yes, it is a bit of a rationalization, but I figure it is better than doing nothing at all.

So, my decluttering "goals", such as they are, and progress to date:


  1. Sort Baby clothes (actually started work on this this weekend--my "workaround" is that I'm giving myself permission not to give the clothes away just now, but do want to have them sorted and out of the way)
  2. Clean Out "Alcove" off dining room (lots of day to day junk that we don't want the kids messing with, but don't want to deal with ourselves ends up here, and it really looks horrible. I got about half of it cleared out this weekend. There was a lot to throw out!)
  3. Clean closets, especially DD#1s, which I share (another thing that is loaded with implications, because I'm in the process of changing my clothing style, and lots of things need to go out. But I'm all fraught with indecision about what a 38-year-old mom of two kids wears...anyway, a topic for another thread, I guess...I made some progress here recently--about three bags of stuff pulled out and sent to the mission.

There are more, of course (as my girlfriend says, there are always issues!), but this is good for a start. Now, instead of spending all my time on MDC, I'm actually going to try and declutter something!

Good luck, all!
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#9 of 56 Old 07-07-2004, 06:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singermom
I'm feeling very weighed down by my possessions just now, but also a little stuck as to where to start, and each project seems to be loaded with other implications (i.e., if I sort out the little baby clothes and give them all away, does that mean I am done having children? I'm not ready to say that, and yet, we are absolutely overrun with baby clothes...).
This is a big problem for me too (especially the baby clothes). Plus when I start one area, it impacts another. I recently did the living room and the bedrooms ended up with a bunch of junk (DH is particularly fond of putting things we dont' know where to put in DS's room since he's never in there). I have about 5 laundry baskets of stuff in my bedroom that I dont' know what to do with. I truly believe there's a place for everything but what do you do with the stuff you want/need but dont' have a place for? Some of it needs to go in the kitchen, but I have to clean out the drawers that are full of junk, which will mean stuff that has to go somewhere else, ect... It's making me crazy and slowing down what I want to do.

One thing I need to do is start a filing system for our important papers and bills. There's nothing worse than needing something and having to tear the whole house apart to find it. It's also hard when half your mess is pieces of paper that you aren't sure if you need or not. We have a hard time throwing anything out although it has to be done!

HOw do you know what to save and get rid of is a big question for me.
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#10 of 56 Old 07-07-2004, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"Clutter's Last Stand" by Don Anslett is a great book for helping decide what to keep and what to not. It's also very funny- and at most libraries. I enjoyed reading it and it helped.

The baby clothes are tough! We're done having kids so it goes out the door as it is outgrown.

For bills/papers- a cheap filing cabinet in an office or even closet works great. I did the filing system from the book "Smart Women Finish Rich" and have all our important papers filed. It was hard to even find them to make the new system but now it makes everything easier and there is USUALLY no bill clutter- it's either shredded or filed.

Unfortunately we haven't been filing or shredding for two weeks... I need to do that.

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#11 of 56 Old 07-07-2004, 03:00 PM
 
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FlyLady has helped me figure out what's important & what's not. Even if you don't want to get all her e-mails there is a ton of great information on her web site. Here is the table of contents:
http://www.flylady.net/pages/TableOfContents.asp
HTH

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#12 of 56 Old 07-07-2004, 04:53 PM
 
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I definitely second the use of a file cabinet for papers. That has really helped us immensely. And although it may seem like an unnecessary expense to some, I can see the need for one of those "bill slayers," where you have 31 (or so) slots, for each day of the month, and you file each bill in its appropriate slot until the time comes to pay bills. To my mind, it beats having a huge pile of envelopes sittting precariously on a table somewhere that a toddler might knock over in their travels. So I am on the look-out for one of those.

We also got a bulletin board which we put up in the kitchen--now, all the coupons, permission slips and telephone lists can go on that, instead of cluttering up the kitchen table as soon as we walk in the door.

Good luck, and keep decluttering!

Mia
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#13 of 56 Old 07-15-2004, 02:53 PM
 
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We've begun! You'd think we wouldn't have much considering we moved a few times with the Navy. We actually don't have much compared to our relatives, but...

Our very first garage sale will be held next weekend.
We sold the kegerator last night.
We freecycled a bombola heater and two twin mattresses last week.

(The Feng Shui karma is coming our way. Someone freecycled a wilkinet and it's all mine. )

We are just beginning and I know that during the year we'll be making another big pile for next summer's garage sale. It's great to get rid of this stuff. It's still a little difficult to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. I know that each time we go through stuff it will be eaiser. I just have to remember what Karen Kingston said -- to trust that the universe will take care of us; we don't have to hold onto things 'just in case'.
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#14 of 56 Old 07-15-2004, 03:25 PM
 
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Can someone please tell me that it's ok to give away the stuff I keep thinking I'll sell on ebay? I've done ebay--it takes a ton of time for not a lot of return. The thing is...I have clothes that still have lots of good use and are popular brands. But you just don't get much for them. And there I go justifying again!

Has anyone beaten the ebay trap? Help!

Mom to DD1 (11/1999),  DD2 (07/2003), and DS (11/2012), all born at home and cloth diapered. 

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#15 of 56 Old 07-15-2004, 04:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by miss_sonja
Can someone please tell me that it's ok to give away the stuff I keep thinking I'll sell on ebay? I've done ebay--it takes a ton of time for not a lot of return. The thing is...I have clothes that still have lots of good use and are popular brands. But you just don't get much for them. And there I go justifying again!

Has anyone beaten the ebay trap? Help!
I knew I wasn't going to get anything on Ebay so I attempted to garage sale a bunch of my clothes. A few went, but there's still a ton left. I went through once again and pulled out stuff I think some friends might want, but otherwise they're going to a charity. I just loaded the bags into the car this morning. I figure I have now put more effort into getting rid of these than I ever did purchasing or wearing -- and I have better things to do. Maybe think of your time as money and you'll be able to recognize the hidden expenses of trying to recoup some $ from worn goods. Did that make any sense???
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#16 of 56 Old 07-15-2004, 05:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by miss_sonja
Can someone please tell me that it's ok to give away the stuff I keep thinking I'll sell on ebay? I've done ebay--it takes a ton of time for not a lot of return. The thing is...I have clothes that still have lots of good use and are popular brands. But you just don't get much for them. And there I go justifying again!

Has anyone beaten the ebay trap? Help!
It is okay to give away the things you were going to try to ebay!

Really it is okay. Ebay takes time and effort and you are better putting that effort to more important things in your life. Look at it this way- it may take you over all 2-3 days to organize, take pictures, describe, list, correspond, pack, and ship these items via ebay and you might make $15 or maybe $150 but it will take you 30 minutes to call and have the salvation army come pick it up off your porch or drop the stuff off at a shelter or church. If you donate it- it is tax deductable. If you decide to ebay it (depending on the value) you may not get $5 a day for your time and effort.

: Also thank you for posting this- you just reminded me that my time with my dd is much more valuable than the meager money I could get for the things I haven't been willing to part with becuase "it is worth something and I might need it one day".
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#17 of 56 Old 07-15-2004, 05:08 PM
 
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I am in the process of decluttering our home. We are also painting and putting in new floors. It is just a mess. I am using this weekend to sort things into bins and give away items into trash bags and shoving it all out to the garage. It is so freeing to see all this *junk* leave my life.

We are by no means living in squalor but what am I doing hording 19 pair of jeans my huge rear will never fit into? Time to move it on out!
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#18 of 56 Old 07-15-2004, 05:47 PM
 
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I fell off the decluttering wagon but I'm trying to climb back up again. Life gets so busy. My DS just started crawling so it seems like I have so little time to do anything at all. I got stalled on taking stuff to goodwill cause I was need to separate a big, heavy box of stuff to go into 2 small bags that I can actually carry. Isn't that sad?? They've been sitting there for weeks!
On the plus side, I've been trying to limit what I bring into the house. I've been going shopping less and less and applying the one item in, one item out roll. It seems to be working.
Y'all are inspiring me again, though. I'll get back to decluttering!!

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#19 of 56 Old 07-15-2004, 06:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by greenbean
: Also thank you for posting this- you just reminded me that my time with my dd is much more valuable than the meager money I could get for the things I haven't been willing to part with becuase "it is worth something and I might need it one day".

I have to remind myself of this every once and a while, too.

miss_sonja -- you could also go to a consignment shop and let them pick through your stuff.
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#20 of 56 Old 07-15-2004, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenbean
It is okay to give away the things you were going to try to ebay!

: Also thank you for posting this- you just reminded me that my time with my dd is much more valuable than the meager money I could get for the things I haven't been willing to part with becuase "it is worth something and I might need it one day".
THANK YOU!!!! You know, when my sister visited recently, she gently criticized me for selling on ebay saying 'isn't this time you could spend on your family?' I brushed her off and got defensive....and you know what? She was right!

Sometimes it helps to hear it from someone else....:-)

(and I've considered the consignment route, but you have to make an appointment and they don't take all seasons etc. So...Goodwill it will be!)

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#21 of 56 Old 07-16-2004, 12:51 PM
 
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Well, maybe I can serve as a role model.

I got on board with the decluttering thing a few years ago when I moved from a house to a small 1 bdrm apartment. Over the years of living in houses (with roommates) I had accumulated SO much junk.

It was hard the first time, until I felt that liberated feeling!! We actually got a dumpster and put SO much stuff in there (what couldn't be donated to charity that is).

Then, I moved to a new country (the US) and could only take with me what I could carry on the plane. I stored important stuff at my Mum's. My DH and I have moved around tons since we got married, and none of it "paid for" by employers. So, with money being a factor, we've really learned to pare things down. Most things are not worth the cost to move cross-country.

Over the years of doing this, I have become very good at deciding what stays and goes. For sentimental things, I pick a few items and ditch the rest. Whether it's baby clothes, childhood drawings, etc...

It's really amazing how much it becomes a part of you. We are looking to settle down soon, maybe buy a place of our own, and I don't want to start with the cluttering again. I think I have a handle on how it gets started, and decluttering has become part of my routine, so I think we'll be okay.

One thing we like is living in small spaces. No houses for us anymore. We like condos. A 2 bedroom for about 1000 sq feet would be plenty room for us. I find the less space you have, the less places there are for things to build up.

Anyways, good decluttering vibes to all of you!!

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#22 of 56 Old 07-16-2004, 01:10 PM
 
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Piglet, I hear you! We moved from a 1900 sq foot home with a huge basement and garage to a 1000 sq ft condo - the cleansing was unreal!

But, alas, we have accumulated more junk.

I'm so happy to have the reminders about eBay. I hold on to things, saying, "Oh, I'll put this on eBay" - it is a pain in the patootie and not worth the hassle of having to stay on top of emails, etc. Yes, yes, yes. Goodwill it is.

I'm motivated now! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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#23 of 56 Old 07-16-2004, 04:36 PM
 
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I thought it might help me to just articulate what I have to get done in the next week just to prepare for new paint and floors that are being installed on 7/23-7/26. I am not sure I will make it through the next week! : None of this is in order and I will be back to edit it. I am getting ready to paint and put wood floors in the livingroom and hall- rest of the house will come later. All of this is a DIY project.

1. Clean out livingroom closet. Purge non-used items and store what comes back in the house.

2. Wash walls and scrub baseboards.

3. Move all of the furniture into the garage.

4. Fill nail holes and any other wall defects.

5. Cut carpet and pad into strips and put on the curb.

6. Pull up wood that carpet was nailed into.

7. Label and pry up 1/4 round from base boards. Sand lightly and pull nails.

8. Sand all door frames and baseboards lightly and front door.

9. Clean up the dust/dirt on the linolium (I can't spell but the 40 yr old flooring under the carpet).

10. Concrete patch the front door where concrete is missing.

11. Clean out hall closet. Purge non-used items and store what comes back in the house.

12. Tape off ceiling, trim, baseboards and front door for painting.

13. Put together table saw and miter saw.

14. Go to Lowes/Home Depot way too many times.

: Oh I am scared!
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#24 of 56 Old 07-16-2004, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good luck with that, greenbean!

I so agree with eBay being a hassle. I know many people do it, but for me selling is not worth the hassle. I've sold a few things and it was a big headache. I give things away or donate them to Salvation Army.

Piglet, a condo sounds so attractive me sometimes. I don't like the yard work or time spent maintaining. I LOVE gardening, but if there was a community garden available, I'd prefer that. We used to do that when we had an apartment.

Well, I gave away 80 percent of my books. Our storeroom is emptying out. All the closet shelves are bare except dd's art supplies and minimal miscellaneous crap in the spare bedroom- like the vaporizer, first aid kit, etc.

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#25 of 56 Old 07-16-2004, 11:34 PM
 
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Here's a way to deal with those piles of clothes you'd get peanuts for on eBay that's actually kind of fun...

Have a naked lady party! Invite all your girlfriends over for an evening (white wine and canape's even!) and ask them to bring all the clothes they're tired of or outgrown and trade them amongst yourselves. It's a kick to come home with a bunch of new-to-you clothes and you feel good sending yours on to someone else who may actually love them like you did for a while. If y'all have kids in descending orders of age it's a good time to pass the kid clothes on, too.
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#26 of 56 Old 07-17-2004, 12:41 AM
 
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That is so funny!!
I have many decluttering goals!
What has helped me so far is reading the book 'clear your clutter with feng shui by karen kingston, I think....hmmmm, don't quote me, lol and joining flylady for the 2nd time. Some of the routines are sticking!!

We have a service in my area where 'big sisters' will send a truck to your home to pick up household donations, they are a group home for teenage girls or something, anyway, they even give you a receipt to use for your taxes! They will call you when they're in the area and they called me yesterday, so my current goal is to get as much stuff together before they come, on Mon July 26th

My biggest problem is my business stuff(bath products and fabric) but in general in my whole house, everyone is used to things falling!! Which is bad! Nothing breaks, lol, but I shove stuff in cupboards and quickly close the door, oh I am sick, I am a sick sick cluttered person, I do need help, help me!! lol

I try, but I guess I need to try harder!!
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#27 of 56 Old 07-17-2004, 12:59 AM
 
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LaLaLuna, I have been to naked lady parties! What fun! I forgot!
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#28 of 56 Old 07-19-2004, 12:45 PM
 
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Pretty sad but out of my LONG list #14. Go to Lowes/Home Depot way too many times, is the only one I managed to complete this weekend.

I did manage to start preping the walls by filling nail holes and sanding the previous attempts of sheetrock repair. I wrapped up the artwork and it is now stored until the walls and floors are complete. I threw out 2 hanging things that I can only describe as hideous.

I cleaned out 3 storage bins down to one and threw out my 1960s curtains/rods.

I started on the front closet but shut it promptly because it is just scary! So my goal tonight is to use the empty bins to sort and store the contents of the 2 closets until the hall and livingroom are complete.

I did get 5 loads of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away on Sunday. I have at least 5 loads left to wash, including diapers. I put in one load before I left for work.

I feel pretty stressed out. I need to be at the point I can start cutting strips of carpet out Thursday night. Please send me your positive vibes that I live through all of this. I wanted to take off work Thursday but I have a meeting at work I am required to be in. :
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#29 of 56 Old 07-19-2004, 01:18 PM
 
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Greenbean: Good luck with everything! Sounds very stressful, but I'm rooting for you.

As for us, we just got back from a week of vacation last night (at 12:30am, mind you), so my decluttering goals for this week are being shelved in favor of getting the suitcases unpacked and everything put away, preferably before our NEXT vacation...

Mia
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#30 of 56 Old 07-19-2004, 02:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singermom
Greenbean: Good luck with everything! Sounds very stressful, but I'm rooting for you.

As for us, we just got back from a week of vacation last night (at 12:30am, mind you), so my decluttering goals for this week are being shelved in favor of getting the suitcases unpacked and everything put away, preferably before our NEXT vacation...

Mia
Thank you! I really need the extra push!

And unpacking is considered de-cluttering in my house. I cannot tell you how many times the suitcase has become a temporary fixture in our livingroom because I don't have enough umph to get them unpacked and stored!
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