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Old 02-19-2013, 08:44 PM   #1
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Default Thinking About Spring Cleaning

I said THINKING, not doing. It must be the weather but I'm getting a little restless. We've had several quiet weeks where a lot of situational stress from last year has more or less bled off. Thankfully, that's leading to a mind that feels more free to think, to plan ahead for spring & summer & a mind that's eager to really enjoy life this year.

It's going to be some time before I can really get outside much - the garden is frozen solid, it's still thoroughly winter but once the season starts changing, it can seem to happen so quickly. And when it does, I hate the frustration of knowing there's work to be done - seasonal work I could have fone when the weather was less amenable to heading outdoors. It's hard for me to enjoy my little outings when I KNOW there's important work waiting.

I didn't have the energy earlier this winter to wash walls or anything on the 'heavy' side of housework. And frankly, it takes a fair bit of self discipline for me to force myself to do that kind of thing. You won't find me on my death bed muttering that I should have done more housework. Yes... I HATE the "OMG! My life is out of control!" feeling I get when I let things slide. And for me, I've found once I start letting things slide, it can escalate sooo fast.

Thankfully, SO & I had enough energy, (& strong senses of guilt!) to keep up with every day & weekly stuff but most rooms need 'turning out' - that is, move furniture & clean in the corners. Mentally inventory what we have, make sure it's all in good order & in some cases - move it around.

I can be such a procrastinator. There's a "I'll worry about it tomorrow" streak that runs deep in my family & I've got it in spades It's gotten me into trouble of my own making before. Small things ignored grow & after a while, become overwhelming; almost too difficult to handle. It's a charactor flaw I've been chipping away at & finally feel I'm making real progress.

The physical work around the house won't be bad. We're generally on top of our surroundings & our stuff but there are a few things that need addressing. I have a large box of photos I have to sort through - too many duplicates & some I can't figure out WHY I'm keeping... time to go through them... groan! I also have a few small containers of miscellaneous junk that has GOT to be gone through. I have before but have ended up shuffling things from one box to the next - that's not dealing!

Today I finally got around to tackling my 'Miscellaneous Things to Do' file folder. That's the mail I open with things that need reading, that need addressing but not right away & I end up not getting to them. I managed to get most of that dealt with - COMPLETELY dealt with today. Two things left to do, a couple fo answers on queries I'm aiting for & several things - now that they're dealt with - to properly file away.

Today we got our tax slips so Saturday is personal tax filing day. I will be very happy to get that in the mail. Only one tax package to do after that but the forms haven't been sent yet - delay on the printing front apparently.

Barring death or disaster & doing things one small chunk at a time, everything should be done by the end of March - just in time to start getting dirty in the garden again! But... some work between now & then. This is laughable for me but... I've got too many clothes. For some idiotic reason, I'm hanging on to old stuff that's ratty, doesn't fit well, doesn't really suit me & I'm starting to get tight in my small closet. I've always found I can throw out things more easily if I tackle a cupboard, drawer or other storage when I'm in a foul mood. When that's the case - misplaced sentiment gives way to practicality & that's what's needed.

Ugh - I don't want to tackle this crap but if I don't - the guilties will be riding on my shoulders every time I'm trying to wade along the beach this summer.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:20 PM   #2
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I can safely say that other that spot cleaning, sweeping and repainting I have NEVER washed a wall...Oh wait, I did give it a try once when DS colored the hallway of a rental...I ended up painting that wall after a good scrubbing. And, come to think of it I do wash bathroom and kitchen walls when I have to.

Now as far as spring cleaning, yes, we are beginning to feel the urge. We have a little extra help these days and her job is to concentrate on the main floor/dad's apartment so our goal is to simplify everything possible on that floor. Once accomplished, Max and I can focus on the loft (where we live) and basement (where my business is) something that simplifies our lives a great deal. Our goal is to make the main floor easy to clean in one session which right now occurs every other week. Right now we are looking at everything with a critical eye, simplify, do or die.

Also today we started on sorting the paperwork...we're behind and taxes need to be addressed. It's getting old looking at piles of paperwork that just needs to be sorted...I really despise paperwork, its one of those things I really should get over.

Oh yeah, Yesterday I sorted and organized several of the kitchen drawers! I think I'm on a roll LOL
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
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Paper is paralysing... or it seems that way to me. I hate it, hate it, hate it. I think. Growing up, I had family members that let paper pile up beyond reason. Literally mountains of it that they wouldn't deal wth & we couldn't touch. I'm okay if I deal with paper reasonably quickly & not let it pile up. But... if I'm faced with moe than a 'short stack', the childhood demons come back & I want to whimper & run. I finally solved that by sorting out one small pile at a time into related items. When I KNEW I had a complete collection dealing with one matter, I dealt with it. It took a bit of time but it worked. At first it was emotionally tiring but I got used to it. Now, I just have to remind myself there's no need to let things pile up. A half hour here & there lets me deal with things.

Wall washing - I don't scrub. But the last few years, we've been surrounded by major construction & we get a LOT of dust. We also pick up cooking smells from other units. A wipe down with a clean, fresh smelling cleaner once or twice a year is all I do. It's not hard - just relentlessly boring.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:48 PM   #4
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I'm like those family members Sue. I wouldn't be so bad if it was just my stuff but I've got paperwork that spans several other lives. I'm working my way through it but each piece has to be looked at and evaluated. Periodically, I just can't look at it anymore and it sits where it sits until I can get inspired again.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:12 PM   #5
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I think that's the toughest paper to deal with. I was executor for dad's estate & I felt like I was invading his privacy going through his personal papers. And oh man, did it HURT. I had to take several passes at it. There was a lot, so in the first pass, I quickly scanned it & got rid of volume - envelops that didn't matter, old gas station receipts & stuff that didn't matter. That reduced the volume but what was left was emotionally weighty.

Twenty years on I have it down to some personal momentoes - letters we wrote to each other & those are nice things to keep. For some reason I can't fathom I kept a sheaf of notes I MUST get rid of. When he was preparing for his divorce he wrote 20 or so pages about their lives as a couple & our family's life. It wasn't written in anger but it's a mistake to keep it. It's a millstone & I can't understand why I'm so reluctant to let it go. But I have to. I get furious just THINKING about it & what it represents & that... I don't need.

I think this weekend, I have to let it go.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:08 AM   #6
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Just..,

thinking about it..,

LOL!
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:12 AM   #7
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I haven't done spring cleaning since before my mom died. I did a quick clean of the house before Christmas. Don't even want to think about it.

Yup, I have papers still for my grandmother, my mother, my father, my kids, my husband, and the rentals. Argh. I'm spread thin, needing to deal with all this continually incoming paper. It never ends. I put away one stack, and another appears in the mail that day.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:11 AM   #8
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Get a scanner. Scan your papers. Burn a few disks and distribute to trusted sources. Shred the paper. Takes up much less space.

I love spring cleaning, and this year I'm going at it with gusto because I finally (look left and right, sign of cross, crossing fingers) feel GOOD. No more flu, colds, norovirus, sprained whatevers... and the last few days the weather has turned nice, clear, and warm. Windows and doors are wide open, drapes and throw rugs are laundered and laid out in the sun to dry, dust and mopped behind furniture and appliances... and one by one each closet and drawer is being reorganized.

The big thing is, visiting bro in law has moved to his own place, taking all the guest room furniture with him. So that room is down to bare walls and I get to redecorate from scratch. I DO wash walls... and woodwork, and polish floors, and clean inside closets, and of course give the bathroom a good scrubbing down (this is the bathroom of glass shower doors covered in hard water spots... ugh... again). I had the windows open yesterday to air it all out and it is a wonderful blank canvas for my imagination.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:47 AM   #9
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A whole room clean and empty to play with! That sounds like a fun project! Is it going to become a guest room again or do you have some other special purpose in mind?


I do vacuum walls and ceilings and wash certain areas but I'd rather repaint than wash some rooms.

There are two bedrooms in the loft with a bathroom and "library" between them. The "library" is a 10 x 10 space with floor to ceiling bookshelves on two walls and is open to the floor below. It's a nice space but serves mainly as a hallway to one of the bedrooms. Right now it has a daybed against the railing, a flokati rug on the floor and odd things like a set of congas, electric piano and a telescope. Its not as cozy as I envision it and eventually there will be a couple of reading chairs and nice lamps to give it the feeling of a real library. The books need to be gone through and culled. That's one of those things on the Spring Cleaning list. I've sorted them and boxed the children's books except for those that are age appropriate for DGD (its only one box <<<<I just felt CS cringe LOL)

I had hoped to have gotten those two bedrooms painted this winter but it just didn't work out. The job will just have to wait until its time.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:19 AM   #10
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It's going to be a guest room again. When we moved into the house (almost 2 years ago - how time flies!) we used our old master bedroom furniture for the guest room. It was gender neutral... dark wood and grey and ivory fabrics. When not in use by guests, I use the room. It has two large clothes closets. I kept my sewing and knitting supplies in one of them, and I had a chair by a sunny window for quiet reading, music, and knitting. In other words, it was the Mom Cave. So now that I have it back, I want to make it lighter, brighter, and more romantic than it was before.

I also have two other projects in the works. We're planning a baby shower for DD#1 in June, and our gift is furnishing and decorating the nursery.

THAT is going to be a project. DD and SIL are extreme foodies. Both of them love to cook so they have a ton of high quality kitchen equipment and an extensive pantry - but a very, very tiny kitchen. When they were house shopping they picked the best house even though the kitchen was much less than they wanted. They have been using the bedroom between their room and the kitchen as their pantry/storage room. THAT is the room designated as the nursery. They have two other bedrooms - one is too small, and one is on another floor. DD should not be moving anything in her condition, so when I go up for the shower, SIL and I will relocate that stuff (god knows where) and paint, assemble, and arrange while mom to be sits and supervises.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:43 AM   #11
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Your own romantic bedroom! I love this idea.

The nursery project sounds, um, interesting. As a foodie myself I can understand completely their situation.

One of the bedrooms in the loft is my "mom cave". I'm trying to put all my "stuff" into that room only. Its a good exercise in getting rid of what I don't need. The furniture in that room actually belongs to my sister and its my grandmother's bedroom set. Eventually I hope to have it tweaked into a romantic atmosphere. I like having my own retreat. The other bedroom still needs work as well. We moved the master bedroom there when my dad moved in and it too needs finishing touches. It is my hope to make it into a Man Cave retreat for Max. Sometimes you just have to have your own space.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:18 AM   #12
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It is a constant struggle between Old Stuff and New Stuff, and finding storage space for Seasonal Stuff and Other People's Stuff. The old v new I can usually keep up with fairly well. The Seasonal Stuff is growing... I need more storage because my holidays are bumping into each other.

It is Other People's Stuff that is killing me. My DD's keep toiletries, pillows, and some clothes here so they don't have to haul things back and forth when they come to visit. They buy stuff while down here, then abandon it when they don't have room in their luggage. All of that is going back into the second closet in the guest room. I have a dozen huge boxes filled with my sister's clothes. I feel guilty getting rid of them but she's in a nursing home and will never wear these things again. I have several large boxes of my father's belongings - his art work, going back to art school, things he treasured, things I treasure because I associate them with him (like the wooden shoe shine box he had forever). They don't matter to anyone but ME. I need to tackle these things because they are filling the small amount of storage space we have in this house. I need to pare them down to one keepsake sized box. Someday...
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:52 AM   #13
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We have individual keepsake boxes started and it does help to have a place to put the things you just can't bear to get rid of yet.

I'm trying to get back into my "happy, not happy" mode. I love to make my home eclectic and artsy but in my new easier to clean lifestyle that means the clutter has to go. Simplify, do or Die! So when I look around the house I say to myself "does this space make me happy or not happy?" It may only be the look of a small side table I'm targeting but a few minutes of simplifying and that table now makes me happy to look at it. It might seem like a rather silly philosophy but it works for me and I can apply it to all things in my life. When I open a kitchen drawer and ask the question then a few minutes later I can answer it with "Yep, that makes me happy!" Every time I open the drawer from then until chaos takes over it makes me happy all over again.

I'm starting to get better at giving things away too. I have hundreds of cookbooks including some duplicates of my favorites. I give little bundles of them as gifts and wish I had an exchange table like Lilly has LOL.

I keep a "goodwill" box in my closet and try maintain a "fill, pass on and repeat" attitude about my clothes. It's a gradual process but it works.

Max and I also keep crates designated for ebay in the shop. All the nick-nacks we no longer want to dust go there.

Holiday decorations. That's always a tough one but even those have been simplified and each year I put out less. I find I like it better that way and I cringe at pictures of people who "go all out."

So that's the method to our madness. It isn't for everyone but it seems to be working for us.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:10 PM   #14
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In some ways it was liberating to get rid of my husbands paper stuff. Shredded for days, sent 600 lbs of records to be shredded. But sprial bound books had to be shredded by the ripped out pages as they would destroy the shredders. Didn't even save the tens of thousands of photos. Didn't save my own writing as that was only fun writing. Didn't even want to read it. Didn't want to read old letters. That life is gone forever. One son took things but no photos no momentos, he has become something of a minimalist. The other wanted every scrap of paper he ever wrote on. One has let go of the past, the other is letting go reluctantly. My house was his storage space. All of us have led tumultuous, unusual lives, but who cares. I don't anymore. The past is gone.

What I miss are many of the beautiful material things that I collected. I will never be able to replace them.

They have been sold and gone elsewhere.

The objects on the exchange table are no where near the quality of the things I owned once.

More Dollar Store or Walmart than top of the line in the objects that are discarded. I can't say I would have gone out of my way or spent money on anything I've taken from the take me table. It is merely a stop gap in useful things until I can find more pleasing replacements cheaply. If it works, that is fine for the time being. I do get a very real pleasure out of using beautiful or well made objects.

I notice paper is piling up, and I've only lived here a bit more than a month. Will have to clear things out every month or they will pile up. I hate paper stuff. I'll try to toss weekly, and then do a final toss monthly.

The apartment is easy to keep in order otherwise. Loads of closet space.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:45 PM   #15
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Be careful what you start, it can lead to an avalanche. Maybe this should go downstairs in the b*tch thread.

It all started innocently on Saturday taking down some bedroom curtains and blinds to 'spring clean' them. You let in all that light and really see how dirty the walls are. The paint is too old to take another washing.

One innocent question. "How much paint would it take just to paint the bedrooms?" That's all -- just the 2 bedrooms. How hard could it be?

Suddenly we've decided we need to paint the whole house! While we are at it, we (I) completely emptied out my home office and replaced some nasty old carpet with something more suitable for office chairs. (Dismantling and reassembling my computer network gave me nightmares and a migraine that is still with me.)

Most of the day on Monday, all my living room furniture was outside on the front walk to make it easier for painting. Followed by a huge panic to get done before a big green blob on weather radar arrived to rain on everything.

Living room, kitchen, hallway and office are done. Still need to paint another bedroom and 2 bathrooms this weekend. Also steam clean all the carpets.

Now he is talking about ripping out and replacing all the tile in the bathrooms at the same time. Have mercy!

Spring cleaning....bah!!!!

I'm b*tching now 'cus I'm tired. But it needed it bad and is looking much better already.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:52 PM   #16
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Key, that's not Spring Cleaning. It's Spring Renovating!

I feel for you. btdt... and barely survived.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:58 PM   #17
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What a project Key! It will be like having a whole new house!

We've been living in a slow moving avalanche for about 3 years.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:24 PM   #18
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I LIKE the happy/not happy approach. It's elegantly simple & pretty much IS the core issue, isn't it? I sort of do that but not enough & when I do, I tend to get over fussy & overcomplicate things. Happy/not happy is attaiable when, as bg says, you limit it to one table top, one drawer, any spot easily handled in a short session.

SO & I have pretty different styles. I swear to Gawd - give him a square foot of space & he'll race to fill it. It took me years to get him down to ONE doily type shelf top cover. He's got photos all over the walls, shelves full of the model tabks he builds & MY bookshelf is full of his neatly organized binders of hockey card collections. Most of the apartment is done his way. However, he knows his life is forfeit if he moves ONE item in MY kitchen. If I want it repositioned, I will do it!

I love fb's idea of 'A room of One's Own'. I wish I had the space but I'm going to work on my computer corner.

If we owned the place, my preference would be painting but we rent.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:08 PM   #19
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Between all of our moves to other countries and one housefire back in 2001 we have started over from scratch furnishing homes 5 or 6 times. We've always done second hand stuff mostly. I am looking forward to getting my new place in japan set up once we get settled there, it's kinda fun to switch things up. We're staying with our kids in denver right now, it's fun to see our stuff furnishing their place since they took most of it before we went to Japan.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:47 PM   #20
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Red face Woah! What Happened?

Last 2 days were really busy & I was tired. I woke up & got up too early & did squat except fot a load of laundry & cat related chores. I went for a nap after lunch & woke from a rather bad dream involving being confronted by a bat shit crazy old lady, a fist fight with her son... & I woke up because my shoulder hurt from being handcuffed & I ould FEEL the police officer's hand on my head & he put me in the back seat...LOL

I'm not one to put a bad mood to waste. I'd mentioned the other day I was THINKING about spring cleaning. I got up from my nap, staggered sullenly out to the front room & suddenly felt very claustophobic - we have TOO MUCH STUFF! Three hours later, I feel like I can breathe again. We gave away & threw out stuff that's nice, that's pretty, that's useful... but isn't working at all for us. Owning it & having it where it was meant we were feeling cosed in & items we DO use weren't as easily accessible as they should be.

There's more to do - a LOT more to do but this has been a good start & for me, starting is always the hardest part. Tomorrow, I start spring cleaning for realsies...
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:03 PM   #21
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I can see the top of my desk...

I just thought it was important to mention that tidbit...
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:31 PM   #22
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It matters BG, it matters.

I finally have recovered from my little incident with the car last Friday. I warmed up by doing OTHER peoples' spring cleaning Tuesday & today.

Back to my own tomorrow. I can feel spring coming & am starting to feel a wee bit of pressure to get my indoor work done, (FINISHED!), so I can enjoy outside with complete mental freedon. Luckily the weather these next days isn't stellar. I should be able to get a fair bit done tomorrow - books need sorting, entrance closet & bathroom. I think that's enough. Saturday is supposed to be sunny & mild. If so, I'kll be outdoors because the following 3 days promised cloud & rain. On target to have everything finished by the end of Marchg - even with plenty of slack days. And those slack days will be spent starting to clear up the garden for spring - work in & of itself.
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