Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More Little by Little

I'm shocked to see how long it's been (41 days said Technorati ) since I've updated here! Some difficult times (check my main blog if you have an inquiring mind...), but I'm pleased to report that I have continued to work fairly steadily at my decluttering. Most importantly, I've managed to maintain already-decluttered spaces pretty well.

Here's what I've been up on some of the past 41 days.
Right now, I have created an area in the basement where I have been able to neatly stash the astonishing amount of mostly-paper clutter that has plagued me - years worth of it that has accumulated in boxes and plastic baskets, etc. I try to regularly get down there and spend at least 15 minutes working on it at a time. I would say that I have come to the half-way mark, maybe even the three-quarters mark. I certainly have made a great deal of progress with it.

I sort into three categories: Shred, Recycle, Save. I try to deal with the Save stuff right away - if there's no file, I make one -- but if I don't, I have still managed to significantly reduce the amount via Shred and Recycle.

One thing that I have done is create a notebook in which I keep all the manuals, instructions, information that comes with a variety of things we use in the house -- from the humidifier filters to the instructions for a French clay facial mask. I use a large 3-ring notebook filled with sheet protectors. Inside each sheet protector I put a sheet of heavyweight paper. That way I can put two informational items in each sheet protector, one on either side of the paper.
Right now, I'm just putting items into the sheet protectors one after the other. Eventually, I might try to organize them in a more orderly fashion.

My "personal assistant" Roy,

continues to work for me a couple of days a week. In addition to running various errands, he does the shredding, takes the recycling to Goodwill and, as seen in the following photos, will put on a dust mask and do battle, armed with the vacuum.
This was the most recent major project we embarked upon: the tops of the kitchen cabinets. Roy handed down everything to me and vacuumed. I sorted and washed things. And 3/4 of this stuff went off in Roy's van!

That bread machine in the 2nd photo up there has been there since we moved into this house in 1996! Good-bye , Bread Machine!

I took a picture of this Tupperware to show the dust that was on pretty much everything, and since this is the kitchen, the dust was that dust-grease combo, despite the fact that we do very little frying. Now this bright orange Tupperware has been up there for years as well - it was a garage sale find and I think I thought it might be collectibles. It collected dust, at any rate! Good-bye, Hunter Orange Tupperware!

So. The end result: all the keeper items - maybe 1/4 of the Stuff -- fit neatly on top of one section of cabinets. I tried to keep only the things I really use, but I did save my huge cookie cutter collection, despite the fact that I haven't baked from scratch for years...too many wonderful sugary memories attached to them.

The other two cabinets are absolutely clear.
Whoo hoo!

Next, I will probably have to utilize that space (in a neat, planned way of course) to help in bringing some order to my miniscule counter space which looks like this:
And then I suppose we'll have to look inside those cabinets.....

Of course, I've no idea when that might be. My de-cluttering seems to just happen these days, with little advance notice of where or when.
I'm just glad it's happening!!