Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Summer's Over So Where Am I?

Again, I really stink at this challenge.  Sigh.

So, here's what's been happening this summer.

My oldest told me he wanted to do a "stand".  I figured out later, that he must have overheard me talking to a friend about a past yard sale, and realized he wanted to do a yard sale.  I tried to gently talk him out of it.  Then he came to me with a handful of DVD's.  I told him which ones were OK to keep and which had to stay.  He ended up finding 5 he wanted to sell.  The he decided he wanted 5 toys to sell as well.  Here is the result of what his yard sale consisted of.
He was ridiculously adorable!  He made a sign that said "Yrd Sal" and was shouting "Yard Sale" hoping someone would stop by.  The only person who walked by was an exterminator or apartment worker.  He quickly became very disappointed when no one stopped by.  Now, we were only out for about 1-2 minutes.  After telling him to just wait, we decided to move closer to the pool, thinking there might be more traffic.   We set him back up there, and it didn't help.  He was so deflated.  My heart breaks just thinking about it.  My little started yelling "Yard Sale", and my big stopped him.  He just didn't want any attention drawn to him.  I felt so bad.  I wished I had known someone that was around so I could have called to have them stop by.  We didn't stay out long before we packed it up and put the toys and DVD's away.  I told him the next time I saw a community yard sale, I'd buy a table for us and he could try again.  I haven't brought this day up since.  I just feel so bad for him.

Later in the month, I went to a scrapbooking crop.  I fortunately or unfortunately brought home more than I went with. I won a couple of raffles and games, so that was good, but bad was that I ended up taking more stuff home.  I also won a basket that I don't remember bidding on, so I must have put my ticket in the wrong bag.  It's not stuff I want, so I'll try to sell it if I can do that yard sale!  There was also a free swap table and I took a ton of stuff home from that.  I bought a bunch of paper flowers too.  Sigh.

Last summer I bought a grill to celebrate my big's birthday.  Only because the friend who was going to let us borrow his forgot and took it away for the weekend.  We used the new grill for the party and three days later, our apartment complex put up permanent grills and told us we had to remove ours.  Ugh.  Well, a few weeks ago I finally decided our grill didn't need to be in our storage unit any more, and gave it to the guy I work with.  Brand new grill, used once - with tin foil so the grill is pretty clean, gone.  Wasted money.  But, the party we bought it for was fantastic, and I gave a gift to a coworker who will use it and appreciate it.

So those are the big things from the past couple of months.  I am still impressed with the day to day things I'm throwing away.  I'm not keeping every piece of paper with a drawing on it, I'm not keeping sticker pages with one sticker left on it, I'm tossing small broken crayons. Tonight while the kids are out, I'm throwing away homemade bug catchers they made in camp.  They are cute and my kids love bugs, but they bought a plastic catcher that we bought when we visited the bug museum, so whenever they find a bug they want to use that one.  They won't miss the decorated shoeboxes with mesh covering a hole in the top.

I really want to get back into this (I know, I know I've said that before).  Along with my de-cluttering I've been wanting to organize better.  There is a great monthly checkoff list that I've been using for a while, but again, I'm behind on that.  There are also two 30 day spring cleaning checklists I've been holding on to (considering it's now the end of summer you can see how that has been going).  So the other night, I put together a calendar.  Each day has a chore on it from one of those lists.  I have it spread out onto dates to the end of September, but I'm OK with that.  I think it's realistic.  I want to incorporate my daily chores and meal planning as well.  I'm hoping it becomes a great visual for me to get back in gear.  I'm already a little behind on it, but I'm thinking this is going to be a good week to get started on it.  I'll have to add the September check off list soon, but I'll get things done when I get them done.  Sitting here now I've realized I need to print the calendar out.  Then it can be right in front of me and not sitting on the computer that I sometimes hate to get on, because I end up doing 20 other stupid things instead of doing what I got on to do.

Hopefully you'll hear from me soon!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Hate Throwing Away Food

Yesterday, I cleaned out the fridge.  The bottom shelf was disgusting!  There was some kind of liquid on it, I'm hoping it wasn't from raw chicken. I was tired of looking at it, so I cleaned it.  I also went through all the food, and unfortunately threw a bunch out.

The expired condiments weren't that hard to get rid of. I mean, if the mustard says it expires in 2012, then by July of 2013 it's OK to throw it away.  I was bummed my Chinese duck sauce (I can't find good duck sauce here.  It's so much better in Massachusetts) was expired though.  Not that I use it that often, but I'll probably forget I don't have any the next time we order Chinese take out.  What really hurt to throw away was leftover veggies that were forgotten about, leftover pasta and other dishes that for whatever reason my husband refuses to eat (then I forget about them or make new food for me and the kids).  I also threw away a brand new bag of rice milk cheese.  I bought it when Whole Foods was out of the vegan cheese I buy, thinking my milk allergy kid could eat it.  Turns out, the casein is just enough to make his throat itchy.  Now I just need to clean the bottom drawer!

There was a birthday in the house last  month, and three balloons have been floating on the ceiling since then.  One deflated about a week ago, but I wasn't allowed to throw it away. I finally put another out of its misery yesterday, and threw it away before anyone noticed.  That made it easier to throw the other one away today.  Chuck E Cheese is still stuck to the ceiling, and although tempted to get rid of it, I think I'll let it stay for the weekend.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Ring, Among Other Things

Tonight, I threw away a toy plastic ring.  It was hidden between a kid mattress and the kid bed.  It won't be missed.

Tonight I also realized, I don't have motivation to blog.  There, I said it.

I really do want to keep trying at this.  I'm really doing well at not personifying things and throwing that stuff away.  Tonight I went through a bag of papers that I had put into a bag to clear off the table.  The bag was sitting on my craft table, and I've spent an hour or so a couple times this week trying to clear the craft table. I went through the bag tonight and tossed expired coupons, drawings from the kids and some other random papers that I just needed to toss.  After the kids went to bed, I looked at my computer and thought, I just don't want to sit and type.

Maybe some of that is because my computer is a laptop with a broken monitor hooked up to an ancient monitor - definitely not a flat screen.  It's set up on top of an old end table that is too low for me to type at, and with no room to put my legs.  But, it's what I have.

Maybe some of it is that the weather is warmer, hot and humid even, and I just don't work well when it's hot.  Maybe some of it is that I'm just not motivated to do much lately, and being lazy is much more appealing.  Maybe I'm not motivated because I'm too overwhelmed at what my house is looking like right now!  A busy life is great, but it does nothing for housework except add to it.

I don't know what my deal is, but sitting and typing this now, is making me feel much better.  It's a busy day tomorrow, but hopefully I'll clean and toss something, so I can eventually get out of my rut.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Slow Going

I was able to throw away a few things every day since my last post.  Unfortunately, it wasn't much.  What I'm happy about is the change in attitude I have.  I think I mentioned before it's getting easier for me to throw things away.  For instance, there was a small plastic skull face with arms laying on the floor.  Instead of picking it up and putting it back in the toy bin, I tossed it out.  The kids won't miss it.  I tossed some papers that came home on the last day of school.  I tried to toss a 1/2 rubber ball out today (it's some kind of suction cup toy thing) but I was caught, and since it only came home from the dentist's office today, I gave it back.  I threw away some sticker sheets that still had a sticker or two left on them - we have plenty of stickers.  I threw away some art work too.  Now that's a toughy for me, but I'm better in the end. Tonight  I took pictures of the art work that is hanging on the wall so tomorrow I can start taking down some of those. Little by little....at least I'm still in the game.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rubber Ball, Martyr

Mommy made good on a promise.

The kids just wouldn't pick up their stuff tonight.  I came home from work and there were new toys scattered across the living room, complete with packaging, and a few bread rolls to boot.  The boys were excited there were new toys to play with, so I didn't mind too too much, but the trash and food I was so not impressed with.  Then they got out the new science experience book.  Then after we created on experiment, they wanted another.  My response, not until you pick up.  Well, the 2nd experiment never happened.

I probably asked them to pick up for an hour.  At some point during that time, not only did I take a break to have my own dinner, but I told them if the toys weren't picked up by the time I finished eating and picking up my mess, then their toys would go in the trash.  Not well received as you can imagine.  Didn't help much though.  Sure a few things were picked up, but there were tons of complaints, and many tears as well.  Finally, I picked up a small rubber ball, which we have plenty of, and threw it in the trash.  Lots of tears, but movement began to happen in the cleaning department.  Later I had something else in my hand to throw away, but I let it be taken out of my hand and put away properly.

I really didn't want to throw away their new toys, but I needed to make good on a threat. I feel good about it, because I was able to carry through when the job wasn't done.  My point was made, and in the long run, they aren't going to care about the ball, but they may remember it for some time.  I may have to use this again, and I'll have to make sure I carry it out in the same way - I'll make sure there is something of little worth to me, something that just adds to the clutter, that I'll be able to throw away if need be.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


So, I've been totally avoiding this blog.  I'll think about sitting down to write, and think, nah.  I'll think I should throw something away, and then I don't.  I turn on the computer, open a new internet tab, and I see this blog as one of my most frequented sites.  All I have to do is make a "click" and I'm here, and I just don't do it.  I feel bad, and guilty, but I get over it.  Somewhat anyway.

I'm just not motivated right now.  I'm not motivated to do much of anything right now.  I'm not sure why.  I recognize it, and I'm even at the point where I think - Yeah!  I'm going to do something about this.  But I don't think about thinking about what to do.  Blah!  I really need to get back on the horse (See, I told you I think about changing), so I forced myself to write tonight.

I do want to get back into this.  I really do want to force myself, so we'll see how the rest of this week goes. I have learned from this experience so far, though.  When I see a random item, I definitely think about throwing it away, rather than not even having that thought come to mind.  For instance, I have a pile of stickers that the kids can use for their crafts.  Before, if a sheet even had one sticker on it, I'd save it and put it with their other stickers.  Now, I'm throwing it right out.  They have plenty of stickers and they aren't going to miss this one.

Last weekend, the kids made sand art necklaces.  The sand is all mixed up and one necklace was in the car, and the other was in the house.  I almost threw out the one in the car as I was cleaning, however, I decided to keep it because I thought if the kids see the one in the house, they are going wonder where the other is, and someone was going to get sad that they didn't have their necklace.  My husband found the necklace and asked if he should keep it.  I explained why I kept it, but then told him to get rid of it.  I really want to get rid of the other one too.  My husband wanted to keep the plastic necklace container actually, but I said no.  At least this stuff is getting easier for me.

Here's to a new attitude!  Let's see how far it goes.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Basket Full of Trash

I took a personal day from work yesterday, sent the kids to school, hubby was sleeping all day, which meant I had the day to myself.  So....what did I do?  I cleaned the kids' room.

I did some major laundry on Mother's Day (what a thing to do on Mother's Day, hey?) - so much so I had to go to the laundromat.  There were still 2 baskets of laundry sitting in their room, and some birthday clothes from Grandma and Grandpa's visit from the day before, so I started with putting that away.  I also picked out a few things out of their closets that were definitely too small and/or too winter and put those away.  I tidied up their closets a bit and they look better than they did a month ago when I cleaned them.

Next I made the beds (which I rarely do) and put some pillows and stuffed animals on them.  As anyone reading this blog knows, I love stuffed animals and can't really bare to part with them.  I've whittled that down before, so now I just need to find homes for them all.  I cleaned off the top of the bookshelf (which I organized not so long ago and it still looks good - could be because we are doing a lot of library lending lately.  Right now we have 37 books checked out of the library!) and put all the story characters, Big and Little Nutbrown Hare, Curious George and Mr. Knox to name a few, on top.  I cleared the top of what used to be the dresser attached to their crib, and put the rest of the animals on that. It looks good.

Then, I conquered the tall bookshelf with all the coloring stuff, arts and crafts and games.  With the extra shelf that used to store stuffed animals, it all looks great now.  There is more room so everything is not cramped and messy looking.  Since the animals are gone, there isn't going to be a constant spill out from the bottom shelf that I'm always picking up.  I'm happy with what I accomplished yesterday.

I haven't talked about the trash!  I did mention a  few pieces of winter clothing I put away, but I also cleared out all the leftover pull ups and swimmies.  I'll give those to a friend.  I put a puzzle book into my Salvy pile. I threw out a puzzle that was missing a piece, and threw out some paper that had been cut up and colored on.  I tossed a few coloring pages, broken crayons and old stickers too.  It filled up their bedroom basket, so that's pretty good.  I'm sure I could really go through more, but nothing is really over flowing or messy, so I'm ok.

I didn't have the chance to clear off their dresser, but I can do that today.