Monday, February 13, 2017

Lillie House

We met with our realtor last week and got things moving on putting the house on the market.  This week we have painters coming in to clean up the house so that it is ready for buyers.  We have moved all the last remaining junk into the garage and are now going through that box by box, bag by bag to see what we want to keep, what goes into storage, and what is given to a local charity.  The past two days I worked at the house and approached it with my 27 Things philosophy and gathered bags of stuff  27 Things at a time.  I ended up with 6 bags that were taken to the Goodwill truck yesterday.  I spent time vacumming and cleaning up a little as well and by the end of several hours of work I was really tired out.  I'm going back today to continue working and will be moving items to storage to get things out of the garage.

Here is my haul of several groupings of 27 things.  Many of these things were in the attic which my husband has emptied out.

Christmas gift bags stored and forgotten - best to give them away!


Clothing, games, craft stuff - all ready for Goodwill

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Fast and Furious February!

February will be a big month for decluttering and organizing for several reasons.  One is that we are placing the Lillie property on the market in early March so we don't have a choice but to get the house totally ready and that means getting rid of the final clutter which in some ways is the hardest to get rid of!

In the meantime I will also be working on our current home to keep it in good order and a great project to start with is our office.  During the holiday season I used the office as a kind of staging area for gift wrapping and decorating.  Although it was convenient to do that, one big problem is unless you are disciplined and get it back to normal quickly, it becomes a hot spot of junk.  My desk became totally disorganized, papers piled upon papers,  and for several weeks I would look at it and think I need to get this under control.  In late January I got a nasty cold or flu (not sure what it was) but I was totally out of energy to do anything.  I knew I was feeling better when I decided that I was ready to tackle the office.

Here are the before pictures:


Obviously not the whole picture!

Definitely a doable project!

So after working several hours to go through the mess of papers and to put other things in their proper place the office looked great and now I find myself working in the office every day because the energy is calming and organized!

After Pictures:

My desk and general area all cleaned up!

Having an organized desk is great!

Close up and I'm maintaining it!
My husband's desk which is always clean and neat!

Our general office space - it is nice for each of us to have our own desks!

Our colorful credenza for storage 

The amazing thing is that this small project totally lifted my spirits and I felt like I had done something spectacular.  Of course that is coming off a week of being sick but it was the perfect project to get me back in the swing of things!

Monday, February 6, 2017

27 Things Daughter Style!

Well I can say the last part of 2016 was truly a stall in the 27 Things department.  December would have been a bust if it was not for my daughter and her visit home in December!  I think she has inheritied some of the organization gene and is actually very good at it.  My bathroom was in a shambles and I was totally stuck on getting any additional progress made aside from my project of using the overstock of products I had to help get rid of some of the clutter.  So my daughter came to my rescue and it was fun too!

What to keep and what to discard -- Cait was a great help!

She definitely wanted to clean up the medicine cabinet

Drawers reorganized and vanity cleaned up!

She is rightfully taking credit where credit is due!

Some of the junk we threw away!

I took pictures but did not really get the magnitude of the project.  Unfortunately I did not take any before pictures but the final outcome was documented and it is a decluttering project I won't forget!  I wish she lived closer to help with other projects like my closet!!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Status Update

My last post was October 4, 2016 and since that date I have made two trips - a trip to Paris with a friend and a trip to Tacoma with my husband.  In between those trips I have been busy but have not posted.  I left for Paris on the 8th and returned on the 18th.  It took me a good week to get my energy level back so I didn't do much in terms of home projects.  On November 1st I did join a Challenge on Facebook for household tasks for the month of November.  This challenge is associated with my MoMo app and it has been motivating even if it is just to get small household jobs done.  On the 2nd of November I was off to Tacoma until the 7th and so I've just been home about a week.

This past week since being home I've worked on household tasks that are maintenance in nature.  I haven't been back to the Steve Lillie house to continue my work there.  I will be doing that in the next week.  Today I am working on my digital clutter and working on clearing out my email.  I have allowed my unread emails to climb to 534 and will get that cleared out by the end of the evening.  I actually watched it get bigger each day but decided that spending time with family, as well as relaxing, took priority and I also knew I wouldn't let it get out of control.  And so today I'm tackling that project.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

27 Things Plus 2

Way back in the spring, in addition to the major decluttering I was doing, I also was looking at ways to reduce my accumulated stuff by using it up.  This primarily had to do with cosmetics, skin care, and hair care products.  I had subscribed to Birch Box for an entire year and received many sample sized items that became overwhelming after a while.  I ended the suscription after the first year and decided to tackle my many personal care products by selecting a few and using them up and then moving on to the next group of items.  Well over the past few months I have done just that.  It actually feels really good to use up these items and really assess whether it is a product I need or want in the future.  Many of the items are not things I will purchase again.  Othere items have proved to be effective enough that I may just add them to my routine.

The CeraVe is a must have on my list for body cream.

Dry shampoo is a must have and the heat protector is pretty good too.

The Vitamin C Serum is a Murad product that I really like as part of my skin care routine.

The Shea Soap smells great and I will buy it online. 

Some of the items are must haves like toothpaste, deordorant, and hair conditioner.  However some of the scrubs I bought were okay but I'd rather have one all-purpose scrub to use rather than individual products.   The Nutregena Shower Gel is a staple in our home and we get that at Costco.

Believe it or not I still have quite a number of items to go through and use up.  I'm hoping by the end of 2016 I've reduced the clutter in the bathroom and have identified a few really good products to use on a regular basis.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

One Step at a Time

The last few weeks we have gone to the Lillie house somewhat intermittently.  Mor has been working in the yard, and I've been doing a few things inside.

On Sunday I spent some time at the Lillie House and gathered another 54 items (two groups of 27 Things).  It took some time because I worked primarily in the garage.  Here is what I gathered on Sunday:

Books, books, and more books!

Various items mainly from the garage

I worked for approximately 2 hours and bagged and boxed up the items to deliver to Goodwill for later in the week.

So today. before I went to the Lillie House, I worked at home and looked through some of the items I have brought back from the Lillie house and began to incorporate them into our current home.  I have some specialized kitchen gadgets, as well as towels and some sheets I need to wash, fold, and store in our linen closet.  I also gathered another 27 Things at home.  Some of the items were things from my closet which will require an extensive overhaul but I'm starting out small.  At the Lillie House I brought home several boxes for storage in my closet and I also dropped off 4 bags at the Goodwill Truck.

A couple of the shirts are going to be passed on to a friend if she wants them.  They are a little large for me but are really nice.  I also sorted through bras and finally released three I have not worn in ages.  I tried them on and they were not comfortable but someone will get good use out of them.  The toothbrushes just seem to sprout around here and they will be given to the Food Pantry my friend runs.

So that is 81 items I can add to my total which is now a whopping 1,242 items moved on and released from my space.    I also can add 5 hours over the past 10 days for a total of 5 hours remaining on this second 27 hours committment.

Over the past few months we have made tremendous progress and Mor is getting the yard in order which is important in the marketing of our property.  We are getting closer to have the house entirely cleared out.  I just need to keep the momentum going!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Maintenance Ramble

I've been thinking a lot about the idea of maintenace as it relates to maintaining something in a specified condition or another way to look at it, the care and upkeep of our things.  Maintenance is important and it takes time too.  This morning as I was working in my backyard, trimming and pruning shrubs I thought about the time and effort spent in maintaining things.  The fact is I like to work in the yard but it is a committment.  Tackling a project that has a start and end to it is one thing, but it is the daily maintenance that takes the real comittment in my opinion.

It seems for the last week or so I've been in a maintenance mode.  I have spent time in the yard doing things each day to keep it up, and I have been working in the house, doing the routine things like vacuuming, laundry, mopping the floor, cleaning toilets, cleaning mirrors, and dusting. which are all maintenance activities unless you let it go so far that it becomes a major project to clean it up.  So much of the project work I've been doing lately such as the office update is to get me to a point where I am only doing maintenance in the office!  Ha!  The thing is maintenance does take a lot of time so it is never really done.  I'm not complaining but it is an observation and in some ways helps put things into perspective.

For the past few months I've been actively working on decluttering 27 Things at a time which I have characterized as a major project.    I've done this in my current home as well as the Lillie house we are getting ready to put on the market. To date I've moved over 1,000 items on to a new life with friends, family, or a charitable organization.  It has been a freeing experience and I still have more to do.   One thing I know is that the less "stuff" you have, the less you have to maintain.  So if you look at the idea of maintenance as something that never goes away, you can at least minimize the impact of it by reducing what you have to maintain.

In the next few days I plan to work at the Lillie House to really bring that project to closure.  It is hanging out there and I need to finish it.  It just seems like maintenance of things is getting in the way.  I need my momentum back which was at full speed in July and kept me motivated.  Maintenance does not motivate in the same way.  So I need to be able to shift from project to maintenance and back to project so that I can jump start my momentum and get this project done.

What's that saying?  Just do it!