And now, to our regularly scheduled life…

The holidays seem to eat time, don’t they?  No matter how streamlined you think you’ve got it, you blink and it’s all done.

Except for the cleanup – and the de-christmasifying.  That’s a real word, honest!

The Ogre and I like to leave Christmas in our home until after the 6th of January.  This year, we had to dismantle a bit early, due to the bi-weekly garbage pickup.  That saddens me, since I really hate to see the tree come down.  So, I left the little artificial tree and everything else up!

I’ll take things down the way I put them up – bit by bit, during the evenings.  I would imagine I’ll have it all nicely boxed away by next weekend.

Which, of course, brings me to a storage dilema.  Apparently, I have more Christmas stuff than I thought I did.  In order to keep it all together, I’ll first have to clean up the storage area in the basement.  That will happen next weekend as well.

But I did think of a way to cleary identify which boxes hold Christmas goods.  We have TONS of cards that we just didn’t get around to sending.  More than enough to use as box labels.  I’ll just glue the front of a card to each box and stack them.  That way, I’ll be able to see what’s what without opening things up.

Since the storage room will be getting a cleanup, and we’ve just re-arranged the basement entertainment/computer/family area, I think it safe to say that January and February of 2013 will be Basement months.  I’ve ordered paint through the landlord, have some yummy fabric set aside to make a couch throw, and just picked up a wonderful 5X5 cube Expedit on Kijiji.  Turning the space we spend most of our waking hours into a pretty refuge has now become goal number one.

Here’s a few shots of the new layout.  Nothing has been “prettified”, so  it’s a very good representation of where the starting point is.

from doormy sideclosettv

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

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Who knew?

After painting the trim on the window in the guest room, I had a bit of paint on the glass portion.  Trying to scrape it off was not working for me, so I tried the solution I use to clean my vinyl faux-wood floor.

And it worked!  Far, far better than I had imagined.

Here’s my recipe for floor cleaner AND glass cleaner – streak free and paint-loosening!

1 part water

1 part white vinegar

1 part rubbing alcohol

a few drops of the dishsoap of your choice.

Place in a spray bottle and shake until well blended.

I sprayed it on the glass and used my putty knife to scrape the paint off.  It literally slid right off the glass.  Then I simply wiped the glass down with a paper towel.  Sparkly clean!

There you have it.  Inexpensive and you know EXACTLY what’s in it.

Who knew?

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Clutter is not my friend…

It came to me while I was packing and purging that living with all of this messy stuff has been distracting me and really driving me nuts.  I’ve been finding it hard to relax and think.  I don’t seem to have the ability to shut out the boxes and the mess.  It feels like my surroundings are draining me.

 “Clutter is stuck energy.   The word “clutter” derives from the Middle English word “clotter,”
which means to coagulate –  and that’s about as stuck as you can get.”   – Karen Kingston

I think that home is where I come to breathe.  Where I can relax into myself and my life.  Where the world between my ears and in my heart has the freedom to be as large and expansive as I want or need it to be.  It’s where I breathe in clarity and grow strong.

“Clutter is a physical manifestation  of fear that cripples our ability to grow.”   – H.G. Chissell

The purging I’ve been doing is a good start for the new place.  I’ve been systematically getting rid of the things that aren’t needed, or that are just bogging me down.  The Ogre, by the way, doesn’t seem to notice.  He’s blessed with the ignore gene that I just don’t have.  Sometimes I think boys see things differently… Then again, I could just be OCD.

I love elaborate decorating.  In other people’s homes.  For me, too many tchoitkes and knickknacks destroy the line and flow of a space.  The only time I can really deal with that sort of excess is Christmas.  And then, more is most definitely more – and it’s good.  Generally, though, if all I can see is the stuff, I can’t SEE the people, or think my thinks.  And that’s becoming more and more important to me.

It helps that there is just two of us.  No little people with zillions of toys, or teens with lots of things.  Just two adults who really don’t have a whole lot of attachment to things.  (Except for the Ogre’s books and my fabric – but that’s different! ;P ).

But don’t think I’m Spartan!  I love luxury.  Smooth, lush, flowing lines.  Beautifully textured surfaces.  Colors that enhance each other.  Gleaming wood and serenely matt surfaces.  Metals that glow in the light and fabrics that beg to be touched.  Glitz and glamour are a good thing… in moderation.

I’m not a linear thinker.  My thought processes are far more divergent and chaotic than that.  Quiet places outside of my head really do help me harness some of that.  Calm surroundings let me take advantage of the brain that jumps from A to L, D to Z and back to R.

I have some very dear friends who would disagree.  Lovely, vibrant souls who thrive on the chaos of clutter, the exuberance of colors and shapes that their stuff brings.  There’s a part of me that envies them.  I’d love to be able to step into the middle of the kaleidoscope and not feel overwhelmed.  Somehow, they see and appreciate the patterns that I simply miss.

I’m hoping to develop a home that has a place for everything and, of course, everything in its place.  Neat, clean and luxurious, if those aren’t too contradictory.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

– William Morris

How about you?  Which camp do you fall into?  Are you happiest with all of the things you love shining out at you all of the time?  Are you like me in that you need a bit more space from them?  I’d really like to know.

I’ve never seen the elephant graveyard…

but I’ve always been intrigued with the idea.  Imagine… a location where those of like kind go when they know they’re time is up.  Peacefully, of their own volition, knowing it’s the cycle of things.

It would probably be difficult to realize just what you were seeing…

A few minutes for it all to become clear.

You might have to step back to get it all in view.

The immensity of it will eventually sink in.

And you’ll understand exactly what’s going on.

Apparently, my basement was where computer boxes, hard drives, monitors and keyboards go to die.  When I brought this all upstairs, I counted 7 computer boxes, 2 keyboards, 2 monitors and approximately 5 hard drives… not to mention miscellaneous memory sticks.

A lovely gentleman is coming over tomorrow to take all of this away.  He recycles what needs recycling and rebuilds what he can.  It gets it out of my home and into someone elses.

In case you think I might be deprived by this, I’d like to tell you all that this is a two human household, and we have three operating computers.  His, hers and the entertainment system.

I think I’ll survive!

Have I mentioned that I sometimes underestimate?

Well, maybe not sometimes.  Maybe always.  Perhaps…

The conversation with the Ogre went something like this…

“Really, Love, I think I’ll only need a few 1.5 cubes for my sewing room (storage space of all crap that could possibley be one day required for anything remotely creative).”, said I.

“Yes, Dear.” responded the Ogre.  (He’s a smart man.  “Yes, Dear” and “You have pretty blue eyes” are phrases firmly ensconced in his lexicon.  It could be why we’re still married.  Perhaps…)

After procrastinating over packing/purging the “studio”, today was the day I grabbed my courage with both hands.  Christmas Eve and Christmas day with the in-laws was worth a tad of trepidation (unneccesarily, I might add), but it’s been today that I’ve dreaded.  And here’s why.

From the door…

The costume closet

Costuming supplies storage

Now might be a good time to explain that I’m a Belly Dance Instructor, Costumer and Performer.   Stored in this room is fabric, beads, sequins, trims that I take down to the living room, sit with on the couch and turn into costumes for myself and a few clients.   But I honestly thought a few 1.5 cubes would do it.  Honest, I did.

What the holy heck was I thinking?  Or did the Ogre have the brain that day?

Two and a half hours later, I’ve dismantled two very, very well put together desks and packed all of my crap precious things.

That’s 1 desk, dismantled, with 2 drawers.  The other desk won’t be travelling to the new place, but I’m taking both drawers.

And, if you look closeley, you’ll see 8 2-cube boxes and 3 1.5-cubes.  Plus miscellaneous containers and objects previously hung on the wall (corkboard, jewellery holder, etc) that wouldn’t fit in the boxes.

A large rough tote of fabric… and it’s flatter, but equally exciting cousin.  That’s dance fabric, folks.  Not boring stuff!

This wheelie jobbie holds my beaded bedlahs (belly dance bra/belt sets).  I could have put them in boxes, but that would have crushed them… and I really didn’t want that.

So, it’s all done.  But it wasn’t “a few” boxes.  Not even “several”.  I think I hit “many”.  And I didn’t show you the four rather large garbage bags which will hit the curb on garbage day.

All in all, I’ve earned me one of these…

Why, yes, that is a blurry photo of a water goblet full of egg nog.   With Crown Royal, Kahlua and Irish Cream.  I make a MEAN egg nog.

Kitchen purging…

While eating brunch with the Ogre on Saturday, I came to the decision that the purging MUST begin this weekend.  So, while he slept (he’s working midnight to noon shifts this weekend), I cleaned.  My assistant, our oversized mackeral striped cat,  Aphrael, decided that Dad had the right idea and ensconced herself in bed with him.  Which meant I had the room to myself and no bodies underfoot.  Perfect!

The Ogre assured me that all kitchens look this way behind the doors and drawers.  I’m sure he was humoring me, and it’s one of the many reasons I love him.  Nonetheless, I’m a tad embarrassed to show the befores.  But the afters wouldn’t look nearly as impressive without them!  I will spare you the drawers, and just show what lurked behind the doors!

What I started with…

  There’s more, but I’m sure you get the basic idea!

 

 

 

 

 

What I packed to go to our new place…

Things I wanted to keep, but may not have in use between now and then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What goes out as donations…

  (All washed and fresh!)  I’ve made arrangements with a local woman’s shelter to do a drop off of items for them.  Since my things are not being used, it really makes me feel good to think that they can help someone make a fresh start.  The linens haven’t been washed yet, so they’re not in the shot.

 

 

 

 

This is what my cupboards looked like Sunday afternoon, when I had finally finished…

Whew!  I feel better.  Well, I feel tired and really want a hot bath, but I truly do feel better!  It took more time than I had anticipated, but I also washed every dish, fork, knife and spoon, AND the insides of all the cabinets and drawers.

One room down.  One less thing to stress about.  Next up, the entry closet and powder room!  But I think those are chores for next weekend.

 

 

Before and After

Weekends are for working…

Well, 2 out of 3 of them are!  The Ogre works shift work, and that includes having one weekend of three off.  That, my dears, is MY sloth weekend.  The other two are filled with doing all the things that it’s easier to do when he is not underfoot.

Like purging the kitchen.  That was the plan today.

However, I didn’t get to last nights cleaning.  Which means, at this very moment, a Hazmat team somewhere is being assembled and prepped to deal with my home.  Oh, I KNOW it’s not nearly that bad, but it does need a good cleaning.  It always feels this way the weekend after Sloth weekend.

Now that the grocery run is complete and I’ve decided on what to make for dinner this evening, I can’t procrastinate any longer.  The Ogre just left for his 12 hour shift.  It’s time to clean.

Because weekends, apparently, are for work.