Thursday, February 24, 2011

Things I Luv

My husband, Kaden. He says shit like "I need some more rare old-time string band music", and hand-crafts English Muffins from his own sourdough starter, which he coddled and fed all week. DAMN. Am I lucky or what?

I love love love decluttering and organizing. It is absolutely my favorite thing to do. What if I complete it? Hahaha, no, there is always something more to get rid of! And then there is my parents' whole home & property with multiple sheds. Yesssssss.

Minimalist Blogs. Enjoying the stories & concepts so much.

"Nightmare" by Artie Shaw b/w George Strait's "Amarillo by Morning". I LOVE my musical life. We just started using an iPod for the first time, and it is both funny, cool, and annoying what it chooses to play of the 1116 songs that are on it.

Free Radio Olympia. Oooooh I love it. Probably about 75% of what they play I haven't heard before, and 90% of it is good. I LOVE how they mix up old-timey, psychedelic, hardcore, old-school rap, lo-fi electronic, riot grrrl...ALL OF IT. It's the same way we play music, only different songs.
I listen to it every night while I'm in the kitchen cooking and/or cleaning.

Always decluttering.

Last night I did the kitchen - food shelves, "junk drawer", utensil drawer, and freezer. There is no more JUNK DRAWER, yessssssss. It is now actually a kitchen drawer, with food wrap & baggies, and a few additional utensils. I relocated stuff that would be more effective elsewhere - Kaden's grandpa's old pipe, pens and pencils, duct tape, a big nasty folding knife my dad gave us. I also got rid of some stuff, like the excess of match books, and all of the yucky beige rubber bands, keeping only the neon colored ones haha. The work I did was mostly organizing, though I did get rid of a lot of utensils, and a couple of stale/mystery items in the cupboard and freezer. I also got rid of a couple of towels and a silly vintage apron that I definitely will never utilize.

Then I did my shoes - only getting rid of 3 pairs, but my shoe collection is not extreme to begin with, and I do wear all of them. Upon sweeping out the front closet (where shoes are kept), I realized we don't need a vacuum cleaner! We have hardwood floors, and if we ever have carpet again, we can purchase a vacuum we like. Kaden hated the one we have. So I'm trying to give it away for free on Facebook. If none of my friends want it for free, I'll try to sell it on Craigslist for a couple bucks.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Decluttering

I almost never remember to take "before and after" photos of projects I work on. But I have been working in almost all my spare time last week and weekend on decluttering - either in my home or my folks' (minus the part on Sunday where I got stoned with Cree for the first time in several years!!).

On Saturday Kaden and I got rid of SO MUCH STUFF. We had huge piles of "get rid of"s". I managed to stuff a TON of clothes into my backpacking backpack (I wish I'd taken a picture of the volume of clothes that I rolled up and fit in there!), and Kaden did the same, and we hiked (ha ha) down to Dumpster Values. Kaden got $26 in credit and I got $16. They didn't take all my stuff (but they did take a tye-dyed maxi dress, my mom's from the 60s, that I used to wear in 4th grade...) so I left a bunch of it in the Books for Prisoners charity donation pile. Earlier in the day I donated a big bag of clothes to St. Vincent de Paul. I also took a load to Goodwill in the evening.

My plan was to "reward" my wardrobe reduction with wooden hangers. I happened to go to Ikea (an hour away) a few days before I could complete the "getting rid of" phase of my closet clearing, so I purchased 48 wooden hangers based on a 45-item count. By the time I got to hanging them, I was down to 38 items in my closet, so the remaining 10 went into my coat closet (I live in Washington State. I need all manner of coats). Changing out all of my hangers allowed us to have enough remaining white plastic hangers that I got to change out all of Kaden's clothes AND coats onto white hangers! I got rid of - damn, I should have counted! - MANY UGLY UGLY PLASTIC HANGERS in nice 90s shades like hot pink, peach, mauve, turquoise...and the most revolting PURPLE ever. I organized them all by color before trucking them over to Goodwill, ha ha. Kaden walked by and said they were so gross. Which I agreed. They were kind of grossing me out. I fucking love our new closets and maybe I will remember to take & post photos this week!

We now have two huuuuuge stacks of books to take to Half Price Books this weekend. There are, like, empty spaces on our bookshelves (!!!). Unbelievable.

Another pretty amazing thing I did, unaided by any written guides, is declutter my keepsake box. I eliminated my night stand, which had a tiny drawer with keepsakes. In addition, I used to have two keepsake boxes, but reduced to one in the fall. I managed to get rid of a bunch more stuff...buttons I made at the fair when I was a kid, a teeny tiny plastic Cabbage Patch figurine, a "Barbie cat food" hahahaha, and, strangely - strangely as in I am probably the only person in the world to have something like this - two mini-jars of water, rain runoff from the roof of my house,
that Cree & I caught in drinking cups, out of my bedroom window, on my 13th birthday. I had saved mini-jars of water FOR ALMOST 15 YEARS. I had taken them with me from my parents' house to my first apartment, my dorm, my second apartment, two houses I lived in with Kaden and James, Bellingham, Cree's house, and the house we are living in now. I dumped them down the bathroom sink, without ceremony. I threw out one jar because the lid was moldy. The other one was perfectly clean so I saved it to put bulk spices in.

So...I'm thrilled!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday I did a bunch of organizing at my parents' house. I organized a huge mixed-up stack of paperwork, receipts, coupons, and requests for donations that was smothering a loaf of french bread on the kitchen counter. I organized the pantry ("If you can't find something, just look for something else similar to it"...) and then the DESK DRAWERS. Whoa. It was intense. But I have come to joyful terms with the fact that organizing is actually my faaaaaaavorite thing to do.

So I'm going to become a professional organizer. Although it would be a lot harder to help a stranger through their clutter than myself, my husband, or my family. Where I feel comfortable jokingly yelling at or nagging my mom and sister about stuff they couldn't possibly need, I would NOT be able to deal with a customer situation that way! Lots of exciting learning to be done.

The most amazing thing is the experience of realizing that you don't have an emotional attachment to items you previously assumed you did - or you used to. It's like, fuck it, man - it's funny that I've carried around a vial of rainwater for 15 years, but I feel nothing remotely similar to regret when I realize I don't have it any more! I feel great that I don't have it any more! But I do still consider it part of "my story" that I did keep it for almost 15 years.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Minimalist?

I'm attracted to lots of different kinds of home design. See my Tumblr for proof of that. I do generally tend towards "maximalist" decorating. I am working towards minimalism, "one item at a time" (as I wrote on facebook). It's kind of a joke - I don't envision myself becoming a minimalist by anyone's definition - but stranger things have happened! I have been *very* inspired by some minimalist websites lately: Miss Minimalist and Minimalist Packrat. Picking an article here & an article there from their blogs over the past week has lit a fire under my ass. Interestingly, my first step was to deconstruct pretty much all of the decorating in the two photos a few posts down. It was too much going on in the bedroom. I'll be posting more home photos next week.

The next step is going to be getting rid of the clock in our bedroom. It makes an awful low buzzing sound 100% of the time. Kaden always sets the alarm on his phone. I am a notorious snooze-buttoner, but no more! The last two days I didn't use my alarm at all, just went by Kaden's phone. I also trained myself last night to not look at the time when I wake up - just know that if the alarm hasn't gone up yet, it's not time to get up. I don't need to KNOW exactly how many hours I have left when I wake up! It's a pretty silly thing most people think they need, and I just realized I don't need it.

I'm working on thoroughly going through all of my belongings, as I did last March-June. The hanging part of my wardrobe is down to 48 items, which is a pretty massive change - I think I had 90 or so hanging pieces when we lived in Bellingham. I have two drawers in our dresser. One has unmentionables, exercise clothes, and pajamas; the other t-shirts, tank tops & pants.

Another important step is going to be selling a bunch of semi-valuable (beer mirrors??) stuff on Craigslist. We don't decorate with Beer any more, but we have some pretty sweet mirrors. I hope we can get a little chunk of cash for them!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Loving Things on a Thursday

I love Roses! I didn't know it until this morning, when I started working on a book about Roses (I work at a small book printing company, preparing customer-designed PDFs). My favorite was Disco Dancer!


I love my new haircut. It's a little bit Louise Brooks &/or 60s a-line bob.

I love Unity of Olympia Church. I went there for the first time last Sunday, and it felt *so right*. I'm really excited to learn more & maybe become a member.

I love spending time with my sister! I'm taking tomorrow off work & we are going to Seattle.

I love sexy mornings.

I love organizing things (not events - things). I'm pretty sure it's my life's calling. I'm going to start looking into being certified as a professional organizer.

To that end, I love books about clutter clearing & organizing. I have one coming in the mail, and a new one added to my Amazon.com Wishlist that sounds really exciting.

I'm just kinda pretty stoked on life this week. Pretty majorly.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Things I Love: On a Thursday.

I am a long-time fan of galadarling.com. Clearly, my lifestyle is nothing like hers, but there are several things she has written that truly have changed my life. I will elaborate on that some time. Today I am going to participate in her Things I Love Thursday, because I'd let myself get down in the dumps this week, and that's a silly waste of time! I went to bed last night & got up this morning refreshed. I am, again, going to try harder with affirmations & positive thinking & successful ways of loving & living. And part of that is broadcasting gratitude. I Love: One of Gala's sayings that has stuck with me, which I was using as a daily affirmation when I lived in Bellingham, living your life like a love letter to the universe. What a great fucking sentiment! What a great idea! I used to have a system of sayings & movements that I did every morning, but had let them slip away. I tried them again this morning (and I love them on a Thursday):

Before getting out of bed, I do a yoga "child's pose." Then I stretch up in a "cat tilt" to being on my knees in bed. I stretch my arms straight up and say, "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice & be glad." Then I stretch my left arm overhead to my right side and say, "This day, I have always been filled with joy." Then I stretch my right arm overhead to my left side and say, "This day I have always been radiantly healthy." Then I bring my hands to prayer-position, and say, "This day I have always lived my life as a love letter to the universe." Then I look up & say Namaste & start my day!

OK it kind of weirds me out that I wrote all that. But it's true!

Soooooooooo this morning I started really thinking about what "Living my life as a love letter to the universe" meant. Because saying it is helpful, but doesn't make it a reality. I decided to prepare for my day like I was going on a date, with the day. And shit dude, it made me feel good!

I Love:
After admiring Seychelles shoes on girls on wardrobe_remix, I fucking FOUND A PAIR of Spellbound Oxfords for $28, barely worn, at Buffalo Exchange in Portland, AND I had a credit so I got them for free. I'm pretty obsessed with them. I have literally never worn heels before, so it's kind of exciting & I hope I don't look like a fool walking in them.

I also love this red & white striped t-shirt I got for "free" at Buffalo Exchange. I'm wearing it right now too - it's so my date outfit with Today!

& I love that I started reading the classic "How to Stop Worrying & Start Living." I have a 1948 printing that I got at an estate sale. I don't care how corny it is; it's inspirational!

& I love planning for my weekend home alone. Kaden's going to his folks' for the weekend & I'm gonna get so much shit done! & we have plans to spend more time apart, which is great, since we live and commute and work together. It's a lot of togetherness.

& I love that I got Kaden some really good Valentine's presents.

& I love that we're going to go see Quasi & Sebadoh next weekend.

& I love the amazing hearty oatmeal with apples & raisins that Kaden made for breakfast, eaten with yogurt & soymilk.

& I love all my exciting plans for Project Re-Style. & I love looking at everyone else's projects too!

& I love that my sister & I are going to spend more time together.

& I love visiting Portland.

& most of all I love that I am back in a position to work on affirmations & successful ways of living!