Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Vernal Equinox!

I don't believe it's a coincidence that things seem to be pulling together and reimagining themselves for me and for many people I know. I'm sure it's the action of the light and dark falling into balance influencing us :-)

After having a rather unpleasant basement flood, our insurance is paying out a healthy amount which will allow us to have the floor tiled (giving up on carpet) and the rec room painted. Fortunately the amount is that which we can pay someone else to do it too, and not have to do it ourselves and by the grace of friends.

Since the house was thrown into tumult anyway, I decided to reconfigure some of my rooms and continue on my quest to declutter. I have decided to turn my decluttering efforts into opportunities to bring joy to others and perhaps direct some good karma my way.

I decided I wanted my handknit sweaters to live in my main dresser, rather than the spare-room dresser, so that I can see them and remember to wear them! I went through my dresser and managed to reorganize stuff to dedicate an entire drawer to sweaters and one to things like shawls and capelets.

In doing this I discovered 2 sweaters that I made, and are lovely, but just don't suit me anymore. And so I brought them to my knitting group and found two delightful young ladies to pass them on to. They were both thrilled and I am happy to see the sweaters enjoying the light of day and flattering a pair of lovely ladies.

While my living room was thrown into disarray due to the immediate removal of all of the things in our rec room to the nearest above-grade room (i.e. the living room), I decided it was high time to rearrange furniture. I have a very large bay window and a couch-loveseat set. Because of the room's floor plan, the only way to arrange those two pieces is to put the couch in front of the window. It blocks about half of it. I never cared for that (although I am not against furniture in front of windows, I dislike blocking a window I paid a lot for!), but I could NOT figure out a way around it.

My helpful friend John suggested I consider getting rid of the loveseat, so the couch could be put across the room, and getting a nice chair instead. He actually suggested a nice red leather chair. I have ALWAYS wanted a red leather chair. And now I get to pick mine up tonight. Squeee! Better yet I have two people interested in the loveseat too!

As for the things that were in the basement, much of our furniture (pressboard) was damaged enough to claim it on insurance, but not enough to render it totally unuseable. I put the bookcases and the entertainment bench up on my office's employee exchange and got myself a bit of cash for them. Inspired, I also posted my daughter's all-terrain stroller (which she won't ride in anymore, she wants to WALK) and made myself more than half the money back on that.

All told it looks like I'll be getting about $160, not including the loveseat. Not too bad, huh?

The money is secondary, however, as I am so excited that our living room has so much beautiful space now and our rec room is going to get a beautiful treatment as well. I feel like this "mishap" actually messed up things enough to break me out of the dreaded status quo and give me the impetus to make some big changes I had been putting off.

My new goal in every room is to have the things I need and love to use in that room.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Saving Space AND Getting Paid

Wednesday I decided I was going to go through all of my CDs. I uploaded them all into my computer and onto my Ipod, and then for most of them I put the CDs in a bag and got myself a lovely credit at my favorite used bookstore! I did save some of the CDs, but every time I look at them I find another few I can part with.

I realized that when I buy on Itunes, I don't have a hard copy, so why is it so difficult to get rid of them? It's not like I won't be able to find them again someday if something happened to the file. Not to mention most of them have been lying in the basement since we moved in and I haven't gone down to get them for any reason other than to sell them!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Best Way to Do It

Over the weekend Mr. Knitty helped me declutter my kitchen. He took everything from each cabinet and put it on the table. Then I had to sort and then rearrange what was left to fit appropriately. I was surprised by the impact removing only 2 large boxes of stuff had. Some stuff got thrown out too. As I was rearranging each cabinet I kept asking "Where is the rest of the stuff--this cabinet was SO full??" It was a very nice "problem" to have.

Encouraged by that, yesterday morning I gave my hall closet and my right-by-the-door cabinet the same treatment. It feels sooooo nice to look in there and see the coats hanging all nice, my totebag collection thinned out a bit, and a space on the top shelf for my bag of reuseable grocery bags.

On that front, my mission to reduce my use of plastic bags has been succeeding! Now that I shop at Whole Foods, I not only remember to take my bags, but I buy less stuff and so I don't need to remember to take as many :-) That little 10 cent rebate is quite a motivator :-) Maybe I will put my 10 cents in a jar and see how much I save.

Next up is my wardrobe. I'm going to take everything out of my closet and my dresser and put it on the bed. Then I'll just go through it and see what I wear, what I don't, what doesn't fit, and what I need to fill in the gaps.

My goal with the wardrobe is to fit my entire wardrobe into my dresser and closet, including my sweaters. I have stored them a number of places and I never wear them because they're not right there where I get dressed. I am hoping to clear space for them in the dresser drawers. As a last resort, I may invest in a new piece of furniture to put them in.