Tuesday, February 28, 2006

content with small means

The following quotation was in my morning's email, well part of it, in my "Word of the Day" mail that I signed up for with gratefulness.org. I thought I'd offer it here because it's appropriate to the subject of this blog and because of various synchronicities I feel: William Ellery Channing is a famous Unitarian and I am a UU, though not famous; and because my middle name is Channing and it's a family handmedown name and I've always wondered if I'm related to William Ellery in some way.
So you see I have this tenuous connection/genuine affection thing for him, and I'm pleased to share his words:

To live content with small means;
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich;
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly;
To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with an open heart;
To bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the commonplace.
This to be my symphony.

Dealing with Mom's apartment is going well and in a few minutes I'll be getting ready to spend most of today there. There are many thoughts I've been having as I do that task, thoughts that bear on the issues I deal with in regard to my own disorganization and clutter. I will have to process them a bit more, but I'm anxious to share them here because they will probably be very valuable to me personally as I seek to change. And hopefully sharing them will be of use to someone else working with the same sort of challenges.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

just time for a quick note

Well. I must face certain facts in life and one of them is that I am not Superwoman. Another one is that there are only 24 hours in a day and a third of them should be spent in sleeping or, at least, relaxing. We must not give thought (envious or admiring) to Martha Stewart's apparent deal with the devil that allows her to function at high capacity on a reported 3-4 hours of sleep. That reminds me of the excellent "Beggars" or "Sleepless" trilogy of books by Nancy Kress, which explores what might happen in a society divided between those who need to sleep and those who do not.

Ahem, back to the matter at hand which is supposed to be an explanation of why I'm not posting oodles of pictures of decluttered spots and my enthusiastic notes about the philosophy and spirituality of decluttering.

The situation with vacating my mother's old apartment is rather critical. The retirement community wants me to be out of there by March 1. I had hoped to keep it an extra week. To be fair to them, they are offering to help me "in any way" they can, that's what they said!- even to move things to another vacant apartment to give me more time to sort through the papers, etc. I may take them up on it. But since I really want this to not be hanging over my head, I'm going to try very hard to complete this by the 1st. It will be much better for my mother as well, as having stuff in two apartments only adds to her confusion and distress.

I will need to focus all my attention on taking care of that for the next few days. But I wanted to reassure you dear people who peek in here to cheer on my progress: I am keeping my own journey at the top of my thoughts, maintaining order where I've already created it, taking time to knit or crochet a bit, and even managing wee spots of decluttering here and there.

Some progress notes:
I have gotten into a routine of leaving nothing in the car and, when I come into the house I take a few minutes to hang my coat & scarf in the entry closet, put away anything I've brought in with me. Formerly, everything sort of got dumped in trail as I came in - my purse or tote on the floor in the entry, my coat on The Chair, and anything that came in with me (shopping bags, books, papers, knitting.)..wound up on the dining table or The Chair's seat or the line-up of stuff on the floor behind the sofa.

I also take a few minutes several times a day to clear off the ottoman and chair arms (they are fat enough to function as end tables!) where I knit and read and often blog.

I have decluttered a couple of the shelves on those kitchen shelves I posted pictures of in my last post. Now I have a spot to put the little box of drawing and collage supplies I really wanted to have at hand close to the table where I'm working on things right now.

I also spent a little time today clearing clutter and organizing in a room I've not yet shown here: my little room upstairs which we all call The Goddess Room. It's a special room and deserves a special entry, and I will say no more for now.

So. The journey continues and all is well.
peace and art,

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

plans, easy kitchen declutter

I expect to be spending the next couple of days dealing with the clearing of my mother's old apartment, figuring out what she needs in the new (much) smaller apartment, what needs to be kept and stored in her storage unit, and what I must find a new home for. Today is the delicate task of working on her papers - her writing and her saved paper items are her most precious Stuff and of course the source of her most pernicious disorder and clutter. And because I keep running across family things, it is a difficult task emotionally for me - Mom's poetry and writing is primarily about nature and our family, there are love-letters from my late father to my mother, written in the 40s, his old i.d., his writing,too....

But I am not going to let that task derail my own decluttering!

I still have the organizing of my important paperwork to do. This is the only thing I have procrastinated on in the last two weeks and it feels like a huge weight hanging over my head. Never mind that I am determined this year to NOT get an extension on income taxes, to get them finished by April 15.

I also feel I need to do some of the mental preparation work in Marilyn Paul's book - really work on the visualization and affirmation exercises, so that I have a very clear picture to call on of what I want my life to look like.

That's a lot of things to do that won't have a big visual effect, and I like that visual effect of my efforts. So I'm also going to work on a couple of clutter spots that won't be very difficult, but will give me that frisson of pleasure and encouragement to view:

This is a small shelf in my kitchen/dining room.
Ever since the kids were little, I've kept a little nature table scene a la Waldorf education classrooms/homes. There seems to be a great deal of dust in this gnome house and a giant can of raisins seems to have landed in the gnome's front yard (look closely and you can see him standing next to it.)

On the shelves below is a motley mixture of new and old food items, spices, nuts - I'm sure there is dried fruit in those containers that is many, many years old.

In the same area, here is another kitchen catch-all spot which goes from bananas and honey and table linens to a shelf of kitchen towels and spices to a shelf of tools and a good supply of baking soda.

It's a beautiful golden sunny day here in Indiana!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

thoughts after two weeks

It was two weeks ago today that I started this blog and my grand life-changing project. I am amazed at what I've accomplished in both the outer and inner realms of my life. I feel as though I'm moving very, very fast and that has both an up and down side. Today I thought I'd deliberately slow down a bit, take stock and reflect on what's happened for me so far, and where I want to go in the next couple of weeks. The following is a bit more personally revealing than I usually like to be.

One thing that I haven't mentioned is that in the last two weeks I have also been working on clearing out my mother's 2 bedroom apartment. She has moved into a smaller, assisted-living apartment, a studio. She is also a clutterbug of grand proportions, and much of my impetus to change my habits has come from observing everything she has gone through for the last few years, as well as my memories of her in earlier years.

I can distill all that into this: I believe my mother has spent an enormous amount of her 83 years in dealing with clutter and too much stuff and messiness and disorganization. She feels guilty, she worries and frets, she endlessly 'tidies up' and she has never gotten tidied. I believe she has lost precious creative time (she is a writer) and precious time to create her own self.

I was horrified at the thought of the same thing happening to me.

This was a fully realized thought for me over 3 years ago and that was when I first tried to embark on this decluttering journey - 6 boxes of papers went to the Goodwill shredding facility and I thought I was well on my way to developing a daily decluttering routine that would save me from living a life of frustration and longing, with far too many dreams unmanifested.

Then in February of 2003, awful things began happening to close family - violent deaths and accidents and illnesses, serious and traumatic events, huge changes - like my mother moving here to my city. ( Oh, and never mind That Change that occurs for women at midlife....in the face of all these other events in my life, menopause is a distant star going nova. It'll take years for me to see the light from that event and realize it happened!)

My poor mother is now traveling the sad and terrible path of dementia. It's more of a roller coaster than a path, and for her now, life is filled with horrific hallucinations and delusions. Some might question the wisdom of my embarking on this major decluttering/enlightenment journey as I am dealing with the difficulties of my mother's illness.

But the Big Thing I've Discovered this past two weeks is this:
This journey is my salvation . And it needs to be all about Me.
Everyone says, 'you have to take care of yourself...don't forget about you...' Well, this endeavor is Self-Care of the highest order. With my living room well on the way to being decluttered, I have an area in which I can truly relax - read, spin, knit, think. And I've found that when I feel low or depressed, some time decluttering gets me moving and uplifts me. It's wonderful that my husband and daughter who also live here get some benefits, but that's just a nice side effect. I wouldn't be able to feel so determined or sustain this level of effort, if I didn't do this just for myself.

Finally, I am doing well in my effort to change habits that have contributed to my clutter: I am consciously trying to bring less in and take more out, and I am taking a moment to put things away as I go. So all the progress I've made in clearing clutter is not being undone, and I feel like I am on my way to making new habits to support that.

Not sure just what I want to work on in the coming days, so all I'm going to post today are some results photos of the last couple of days' work.

The clothes are piling up...

in the Going to Goodwill Pile!!!!
(Note: these are already out in the car, ready to be uploaded to Goodwill tomorrow)

And remember the Hearth o'Clutter?

It now looks like this:
This is as good as that area is going to be for now. I would love to have posted a picture without that plastic bin and tote, but those things aren't going anywhere soon - the tote is full of knitting to finish and the bin is full of recent book acquisitions and art/craft magazines that I definitely need to keep and will start putting away little by little as I get rid of books and magazines I definitely don't need to keep.

I feel good today. Real good.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

too many clothes & six impossible things

I have A Plan for Dealing with the Clothes Situation. I have far too many clothes, but every time I have ever tried to weed them out, it doesn't take long before I get bogged down in an awful, fuzzy-headed can't-make-another-decision inertia. So it just cannot be a task to be done all at once, like cleaning up my dining table.

I talked to my sister last night about getting rid of two things for every one piece of clothing I want to keep. I was thinking about doing this in conjunction with doing laundry, but I think even that would be too big a job. I've come up with something else that just might work for me.

Every day, when I get dressed, I will "pay" for each item of clothing I want to wear by getting rid of two. And I decided to start today:
I am "paying" for my jeans, black shirt and vest by discarding six things. I am very happy to say that two of the items were kind of tough to let go, including a purple vest I knitted.
I am not going to include underwear or socks in the plan.
I am also going to try to wear things that I rarely (or never) wear but keep because I like them and believe I will wear them. Someday. Today's vest is one of those things. I got it at Goodwill months and months ago, and I think I've worn it once, maybe twice. If I don't start wearing it more often....OUT IT GOES!

Ooh, I thought that "OUT IT GOES!" with the same feeling I imagine the Red Queen had when she cried "OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!"

Writing of the Red Queen reminds me I wanted to mention here something from the Marilyn Paul book . In the chapter on visualizing, she wants you to imagine the kind of life and home you want to have.
She anticipates that you might feel you are imagining the impossible and quotes the exchange between Alice and the White Queen when Alice is asked to believe the Queen is 101+ years old.

Alice laughs and says "There's no use trying....one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

As a book person, I love the reference. And I also love it as a directive -- to visualize six impossible things before breakfast, six wild and crazy visions of that orderly, joyful, creative life I want....

and here's the ironing board - freed from clutter to be useful once again!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

side effect decluttering - The Chair is A Chair!!

Well, I didn't plan this, but in working on the hearth o'clutter yesterday, I had to move other things and put things away and consolidate and one thing led to another and.....voila! Two more energy-sucking clutter spots have vanished!

The Chair

I have to say I feel sort of sad that it is now A Chair That Was A Closet That Was A Filing Cabinet and not nearly so interesting.

But it had to be done. Right???

Oh, I had brief moments of crazy-thinking that I could somehow preserve it, make it a real art installation (as someone mentioned to me). But where would it go? And most of the Stuff on it was Stuff I use regularly and need - my monthly bills files, important papers for my mother and son, my winter coat and scarves, my shoes for goodness' sake! - just parked there because all the appropriate and convenient places are respositories of Stuff I Don't Use and Need.

(Incidentally, that shawl on The Chair is the first fiber thing I ever actually completed and wore - crocheted, 1971 acrylic, made while awaiting the birth of my first child.)

Here's the second clutter spot that bit the dust yesterday:
The Ottoman
Magazines, magazines, magazines,
knitting, knitting, knitting,
books, books, books,notebooks
pens, bits of notes, bits of yarn and fuzz

(before) (d'uh)

et apres:

I need say no more about The Ottoman, except that it's really nice actually to put my feet up when I sit in My Big Fat Chair!
So...next on the decluttering agenda, finish the hearth o'clutter (half-time picture in the previous post below shows current state of the project) and catch up with paperwork, get it more organized. Now that won't be so visible a project to document in pictures.

I put all the paper stuff from The Chair into a file box, and right now it sits at the dining table where I am forced to work on paperwork until I can get a desk area cleared off somewhere else:I shall try very hard....no, I will keep the dining table neat and orderly and work to create (ASAP) a better, easy-t0-maintain system elsewhere for dealing with life's damnably necessary paperwork.

Finally - I'm gonna take care of this spot toute de suite,
since I'm unearthing all sorts of things I want to iron or do finishing work on - my pie wedge shawl, and the sweetest bluebird-embroidered cloth I got on eBay ages ago. It had been languishing, un-admired and un-enjoyed, at the bottom of the Chair-Closet...

It will probably be a couple of days before I post here again, as I've got to take care of that paperwork and I also want to work on some art.

I feel like I've made a great start on what I expect to be a project that will take me a year (!), though I have a secret goal of finishing this by my 55th birthday at the end of September. My first priority has been to make some space where I can actually relax and not feel all those pulsating waves of guilt that emanate from clutter-spots. And it feels very good to have done that!

Monday, February 13, 2006

pants, hearth of clutter (half-time results added)

Last week, when I was looking around to see what other people might be saying about clutter on blogs, I came across an inspiring entry back on 02.08 from RamblingMuse, complete with a couple of great quotes from Thoreau.

This morning, I had one of those moments when I am just amazed and frustrated at how I hang on to things long after I should have let them go.
I had a bit of a time crunch as I was getting ready to take my son to work and I am behind in getting my laundry done, so had to grab a pair of very old pants to wear.
I've never really liked the color of these pants, but the cotton is soooooooo soft in its worn-ness that I really love them, so I've kept them around for 10+ years, pulling them out when there's nothing else to wear and always enjoying a moment of textural delight as I feel how soft the fabric has become.
I put them on, grabbed my (handknit!) socks and went downstairs to get my socks and shoes on. Just as I was pulling on my sock, I put my leg over my other and this was the sight that greeted me:Now, that didn't just happen. (oh, and if you're distracted by the long johns, here's all you need to know about them )

No, that rip is not even a rip. Over a year ago, I had to cut my pants so I could get them on after a knee-high cast was put on my leg. Did I throw them away when I got home? Nope, I washed them and saved them (in a pile of stuff on my dresser), thinking I'd make something with the material.... which I never did. Recently, in clearing up the pile on the dresser, I neatly folded the pants and put them in my drawer so I could pull them out this morning and be shocked.

Where are they now? In the garbage? Nope. They are now lovingly folded and put in my sewing room (which really looks just like a cluttered attic room right now.) We'll see what I do when I get around to the decluttering up there.
Next on the decluttering action agenda, the wall of clutter across my hearth (we never have fires because of my asthma, not that we could get to the fireplace if we could have a fire....)
What we have here are the Christmas fixin's to be stored (some ornaments to be tissue-wrapped first), and bags and boxes and plastic bins of yarn and fiber, knitting projects-in-progress (not much progress), and knitting equipment.

This is proving to be a more involved decluttering! Most of this Stuff is Stuff that Needs to be Stored, Good Stuff, Keeper Stuff...so it's taking me longer 'cause it's definitely Old Woman and Her Pig nesting tasks that are involved. Here's a half-time picture, it's coming along!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

great book, spinning area (results added)

I know I said I wasn't going to even look at, much less buy, any new books on getting organized but the other day I bought three. Right now I'm only going to write about one of them.

It's Hard to Make a Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys by Marilyn Paul

This book is definitely for me and the journey that I envisioned for myself when I began this blog to document it. I even read the introduction (which is entitled Organizing as a Path to Growth.) I am also underlining and making marginal notes, something I rarely do. That means that the book is truly mine.

You can get a zillion books on how to clean and how to sort Stuff and how to throw it away and how to organize. But it's the rare book that helps you discover why you amass so much Stuff, why you are messy and disorganized, and how you can change those things.

The first thing Paul suggests is to fully understand your compelling purpose for getting organized. She writes, "When you create order not for the sake of order alone, but to manifest something that is deeply important to you, you get the fuel for change."
She provides very simple written exercises that get to the essentials of one's longings and purpose.

Then, to help reinforce your will to change, she offers an exercise based on an Anthony Robbins declaration that '....one essential ingredient of creating change is to associate enormous pain with the way you are living now, and enormous pleasure with the way you want to live."

After doing that, it's time to make a commitment to getting organized and changing the behaviors that have created the clutter and mess and disorganization. And that is at the end of Chapter 2, which is where I am.

I actually made the commitment a week ago when I started this blog and I am really delighted to discover this book - I believe will be a valuable companion in helping me to keep that commitment.

Doing this blog and having the comments and encouragement of people who are reading it is equally as valuable. Thanks!!!!!

Time to declutter my spinning area- two compelling reasons: it's right there by the front entryway and the clutter is absolutely affecting my enjoyment of spinning there.

This is going to be tough, as one of my biggest clutter/storage problems is with my art materials, my fiber stash, my yarn stash and all the tools that go along with these creative urges of mine.

Before I post results, I want to add another view of the table where I spin. I took it just before I embarked on the task. It's pretty horrifying....

I've been working all afternoon on this. Behold:

I am pleased to say that I dealt with the horrifying table clutter most honorably. Everything on it was either thrown away or put away properly, nothing went to create another pile o'clutter.

I cannot say the same for the bags and bags of fiber, spun yarn, unfinished knitting projects, bags of knitting needles, etc., that were lined up behind the sofa. They moved over to what I am thinking of as the Hearth of Clutter, over where the Christmas tree box and ornaments await their putting away. But that was the only way I could really sort things out (and they are all sorted out, really just need to be stored now ) and get some semblance of organization. So I would say I am only half finished with this task and I shall post a picture of Hearth of Clutter tomorrow and make that my next task.

Meanwhile, I am going to feel real good about the order I've restored to my spinning area!!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

christmas tree & dining table (results added)

Just a quick entry today, I've been a too verbose lately. With dental work today and doing stuff for my mother tomorrow, I'm not going to be home much. However, I intend to do some decluttering every day. Even if I can only spend 10 minutes, it will keep me going.

My next two tasks (the first feels very embarrassing to post):
Take down the Christmas tree!

Clean off the dining room table

02.11.06 - Had two days of things that kept me out of the house, but I worked on these projects when I could and I'm happy happy happy to report:

Tree's down and tucked tidily into its box. Clearing a path to the storage space in the attic is a Task for Another Day, as is wrapping up the ornaments and getting them all put away.

And here's a nice clean dining table. Right now, since it's the only desk-type surface available, this is where I have to do paperwork, but I'm going to try to keep it uncluttered. No. I am not going to "try" - I will keep it uncluttered. Really.

Yes. Over there in the bottom corner, those are 3 manual typewriters. It's an inherited curse/trait - both my mother and I will buy any old working typewriter if it's less than $20. ( I think my mother would buy them even if they don't work )

I have to say that I have used all of these at one time or another. The one in the middle is Really Cool. It's a Royal Swinger typewriter and it has a transistor radio in the lid. Works, too. How could I pass that up for $5?????? And what if the electricity goes out and I must type a poem? Gotta have a manual typewriter around, right? I suppose I'll have to choose between these at some point and let two go. I'll discuss at a later time my old Selectric that's stowed away upstairs.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

pigs and buckets and my car

Yesterday I posted in the sidebar an Official Folk Song and an Official Folk Tale for this blog. Why? Because as I was contemplating various things I need to do to continue my quest here, I realized that so many of those things required something else to be done which required something else to be done which required something else to be done in order to do the previous something else in order to do the previous something else, etc. in order to actually complete the original task.

That litany, that sequence of tasks that have to be done to accomplish the simplest thing, is the bane of every clutterbug's existence and also induces that familiar glassy-eyed state of Overwhelmed Inertia....

and I was reminded of the traditional folk song There's A Hole in the Bucket and I also thought about the old folk tale of The Old Woman and Her Pig. Now the latter is, as most folk tales are, rather violent with the butcher-hanging and ox-killing and all, but it is certainly an appropriately metaphoric tale for what I have to do to get the pig home - the pig being, in my case, this monumental challenge to declutter and organize my life.

The specific thing that spurred my thinking about this part of the problem of clutter was thinking about taking stuff to Goodwill, both for donation and re-cycling. Also I need to get my bookselling stock of books out of my house into the climate-controlled storage unit I rented a couple of months ago. I realized that I have to clean out my car in order to efficiently proceed in getting Stuff and Books out of my house and into their right places.

Clean out my car???? OH, man - that means I'll have to find a place for all the Stuff that is in my car! Some of that Stuff in my car is boxes of books that I didn't have room for in the house (that have been there since we closed the bookshop in September!), but didn't want to put in the climate-controlled storage unit until they get catalogued, until I get more organized, and I didn't want to put them in the non-climate-controlled storage unit and.... blah, blah, blah.

Maybe there isn't any rope-gnawing or dog-beating involved, but it is certainly the Old Woman and Her Pig scenario. I don't know what time my pig is getting home, but I know I need to clean out the car before it can even start in that direction.

As for the Hole in the Bucket, I've decided that the Hole-y Bucket is the perfect metaphor for things you just shouldn't even bother to deal with, the Stuff that needs to go. The people in the song go through all the things that need to be done to fix that bucket and they come right back to find out they can't fix the bucket without a bucket. Pitch the Hole-y Bucket and get a new one. Or do without.

So...I'm going to think of things in this project as either pigs worth the effort to take home or unfixable hole-y buckets that need to go.

(Incidentally, I choose to think the Old Woman is taking home The Pig to be her companion animal, a loyal and comforting pig-being presence in her lonely little thatched-roof cottage.)

TASK: Clean out the car
Doesn't look too bad from a distance - Stuff is not piled up much past the bottom of the windows....

Let's open the front passenger door:

There's junk all over the dashboard, a pile of stuff between the seats that is actually Stuff I Use pretty regularly, music tapes, my deliciously warm wool lap blanket knitted in a rosy Lamb's Pride worsted - but mixed in is a lot of junk-drawer type clutter, old pens that don't work, papers, etc. Let's look in the back seat:

Now, here's where we're getting into the mess - the floor is covered with trash, trash bags that have trash in them, and dozens of empty and almost-empty water bottles, some rolling around on the floor, some already bagged to take to recycle. I carry around extra coats and gloves, for my mom or one of my kids, just in case....and what's that over there on the far side of the seat? It's....

.....Oona Baboona Orangutan!
and her pet rabbit.
Oona jumped into my cart one day at Goodwill, saying she wanted to ride around whimsically in my car. My kids don't get the whimsy, they find Oona embarrassing ('Makes you look like a Crazy Lady, Mom' said 17 yo daughter with pierced nose, blue fingernails and goth-black hair). I also have to explain Oona's just a stuffed toy to my elderly mom who finds her a tad.... startling... each time she rides in my car.

And now, the back back:

Bumper-sticker clutter......

boxes of books, catalogues and magazines for Goodwill, more water bottles, stuff still in the car from the late-September Artsfest booth I had, trash, books, papers, a snow shovel, old straw hat, books, and a still-boxed folding hand truck bought for all that taking of catalogued books into the climate-controlled storage unit...etcetera.

Well, wish me luck! I feel like I need to do this ASAP because the weather, while cold at 30-ish, is pretty good for now and because the clutter in the car really is a big obstacle in the way of my getting de-cluttering tasks accomplished with more ease. Will post results when there are some....

Am trying an experiment, editing my post to add the results. Here goes....
It was really amazing how cleaning the car worked out. I did most of the work in about 50 minutes in a very efficient way...took my son to work, then went to my old non-climate-controlled small storage unit. I decided to just go ahead and put most of the books into storage there. The books are just bread-and-butter books, nothing rare or particularly delicate, and all the books I've ever stored there have survived just fine. And really - not sure if my car is any better than that storage unit anyway!

So...I just unloaded and rearranged and picked up trash right there in front of my unit. Then I drove home, stopping at the Goodwill recycling center right on the way, where I unloaded the dozens of plastic water bottles and the zillion magazines and catalogues.

Then I drove to the alley behind my house and straight into the garbage can went the bags of trash - the neat thing is that I made it just before they came to pick up the trash today. I felt SO efficient and quite virtuous, though there was still a bit left to do. Took me another 50 minutes or so - and I want to stress that I dealt with everything, I did not just shift Stuff from car to another Stuff Stash - everything has been recycled, thrown away or put away. Car isn't clean, needs to be vacuumed for sure, but it's now fully functional and ready to be of service to me in getting the pig home!
(Oh, and I almost left Oona at Goodwill, but just couldn't bear to do it. Maybe I will someday.)

Two of these boxes are: the emergency coats and gloves and car maintenance.The third is one box of things that still needs to be sorted and put away.

Not bad, though. I'm happy.