Monday, March 31, 2008

Week 4: In the Thick of It. My Goals.

Aaah, the Living Room. Ok, so that's NOT the living room, it's (a bad merge of) the "wall o' shelves" in the basement. (I wrote on some of the photo using MS Paint. Click to enlarge). But since the basement stores items from the living room (and for it) this is a good time to tackle those things.

Cure Tasks:

Sort and toss fabric, curtains, pillows, pillow covers, etc.

Declutter books. I have an entire collection of Nancy Drew from thirty years ago. I've kept them for so long, it seems strange to get rid of them. My daughter is seven. She may be ready for them in a few years. The Hardy Boys' series, 20 of which I also saved, is of no interest to my son.

I also have two "apple" boxes full of foreign language dictionaries and the like. I haven't looked through those boxes in ten years. It's time.

Confirm what you need to increase/decrease colour
I have been toying with the idea of painting that nasty wood panelling in the laundry room...but that would involve moving the upright freezer, so it's doubtful.

Confirm what you need to increase/decrease softness
This would mean I ought to finish hanging the curtains for the windows and START looking at what I have and what I'll need for the wall of shelves curtain hanging project.

One Room Remedy:
Tally up what I've spent so far.
Price out taps for the laundry sink and look into how to install them.

Other Non-basement Cure tasks:
Paint trunk in living room. (It is Living Room week, after all.)

I wrote this post a few days ago--and I just now planned out this week in terms of school. It's going to be very busy: the first Tuesday of the month is usually a wash and this one is no exception. However, we have been working fairly quickly of late and that gives me hope that I may be able to tackle most of the above. However, I am trying to be sensible this cure-round.

I compiled this list below 1) to get it off my mind and 2) to see how much more I want to get done. Of course, the house isn't going to fall down around my ears if it doesn't get done, nor does the fire department need to be alarmed anymore. So, we'll see how it goes. We're also going to a Homeschooling convention in a few weeks and I need to plan my shopping list (which, to my way of thinking, means planning the next ten years....).

My list of Cure projects to do (at some point before the Cure is completed.) and yes, these are all related to the basement, as either the basement has stored the materials required for these projects (wood for fireplace) or has come out of the basement in order to be done (mending):

  • finish picture frame project (just that last photo to deal with. Hooray!)

  • finish faux fireplace facelift. (Husband has holidays the week after next, so I'm thinking we'll do this then)

  • re-locate clothesline
  • curtains for windows (hem and install)
  • curtains for wall of shelves
  • mending

  • Tasks:

    sort Camping gear.

    sort and empty Chemical cabinet

    sort and toss:

  • books
  • files
  • children's artwork
  • children's schoolwork

  • fabric, pillows, curtains, etc.

  • scrapbooking supplies

  • Here's to Week 4--the thick of it.

    Sunday, March 30, 2008

    The Sunday Project

    I was itching to do some decorating.

    But first, one must cull and clean:

    (I did that part yesterday)

    Then one must create a vision:

    Next, one must plan.

    As I was dealing with such an eclectic collection of frames (some wood, some black, some white, etc) and pictures (some in colour, some in black and white, portraits and snaps) I also arranged them on the bed. It took me, oh, probably two hours to find something that worked.

    I went back and forth between the wall and the bed until I got something I liked. Another hour or two measuring and hammering (I can't help it, I must measure. My left brain wants to have fun, too).

    And so now we have this:

    (Yes, the center mirrored frame is blank. The photo isn't ready yet. But I had to do it. I had to.)

    That wall has been blank for two years--since we painted the hallway. Two years!

    Boom da da boom.

    Saturday, March 29, 2008


    (image from an Armstrong flooring ad.)

    I've been thinking about a name for my style since SCB's wonderful post about George). And, some eye-candy is long over due. No matter how tidy or clean, the basement is still the basement: pretty boring, visually speaking.

    I have long loved a classical English type look. High ceilings, breakfronts, books, polished gleaming wood, faded floral rugs, soft walls washed with distemper, you understand. I also love the sleek interiors of "contemporary." Strong contrast between dark and light, an emphasis on texture, shade and light.

    A long, long time ago I decided my style was "country." But not the "country" I ever saw in shelter magazines: it was too busy, too cliched. But I loved the concept: old, honoured things given pride of place, lots of textures in quilts, weathered wood. My budget was more "garage sale" than any of the above: and I love bright colour.

    But that's not style, ladies and gentlemen, that's an undisciplined mish-mash.

    Until recently, I haven't found anything which I might possibly embrace. Nothing to emulate, nothing to guide me. For one of the things "naming your style" does is give you direction.

    Naming the style also adds to our vocabulary so we can discuss it with others; it's a reference point for other, similar combinations and permutations of the elements of style. The name creates a boundary, too. This sort of thing is allowed and this excluded. This is why "eclectic" is hardly helpful. It includes too much.

    I was totally captivated by an article on "Modern Euro Country" decor8 posted many moons ago. As I recall it was like a colourful shabby chic. The magazine (Canadian Home and Country) published a book called Canadian Country Style, and while they don't feature "modern Euro country" they do have a chapter on something called "Urban Country."

    photo by Martin Tessler

    Isn't that perfect?
    Light and dark.
    The lamp is the perfect mix of a modern material (steel) juxtaposed with a "country" texture (basketry)
    Natural objects highlighting the "modern" black and white photography.
    Clean, clean lines.

    It gets a little trickier, the more objects you introduce:

    photo by Debra Thier

    Modern: artwork, sofa, vase, lamp base (same lamp!), the shiny pillows.
    Country: trunk as coffee table, wicker shade, wicker chair, oversized pillows, magazine holder? Whatever that big thing is. Country pitcher in a modern shape.
    The palette is muted, the scale is cosy.

    For me, however, this is not as successful:

    photo by Debra Thier

    As an expression of the style, I'm sure it meets its parameters:
    The look of urban country is fresh, unfussy, and intriguing. It combines modern design with traditional materials, mixes warm country elements with cool urban architecture and modern furnishings, and marries minimal features to gracefully aged surroundings. (p. 108)
    But in this picture, the style is entirely too modern for my taste. Likewise, the interiors they featured for the bedrooms and kitchens seem altogether "too country" --they rely on the absence of all clutter, minimal colour, and a streamlined look to express the modern component--and in my house, that just wouldn't fly.

    My take:
    1. Keep it functional and useful at all times.
    2. Keep it simple. "Clutter" must be of the functional and useful sort.
    3. Contrast modern materials with ancient lines.
    4. Add colour.
    5. Have something unusual or unexpected.

    I have chairs to figure out what to do with, the trunk to paint and the faux fireplace facelift to finish. Perhaps this can give me some direction.

    By the by, there's also a book by the name "Urban Country."

    It focuses on the style more as a architectural concept than a decorating one; for example, the authors suggest pairing a rubber floor with a porcelain "farmhouse sink" in the kitchen. It hasn't been all that useful to me, so far, (though I do love that coffee table on casters!) but, if you're interested, this article explains it briefly.

    The project this morning.

    By the back entry way.
    A paper towel holder from Umbra functioning as a towel bar for wiping the dog's paws. It's really a beautiful piece for such a humble function.

    Progress Report: Week 3

    Short Version:
    Tackled and tamed the cords.
    Cleaned out 3/4 drawers in large filing cabinet.

    Garbage and Recycling: 36 lbs
    There isn't a total for donations this week, really. There's stuff ready to go out, but since I have a bad habit of stockpiling stuff to donate, I decided I wouldn't post the pounds until it was actually out the door.

    Toss total (to date) : 370 lbs

    Long Version:

    The husband and son did all that incredible work down in the basement (dismantled shelving, and removed the black dresser) and I shuffled the furniture around. Hemmed one set of new curtains and hung them.

    No donations (yet).

    picture frames for picture frame project: $18.00
    Curtains for Basement (5 x $7) $35.00
    DVD holders for Living Room: $18.00
    Hanging clothes case to protect sentimental clothing: $14.00


    Velcro: $9.00
    Curtain Hardware and rod: $4.50
    (I already have the other four I need).

    Removed the rest of the clothing in the exercise area and sorted through the last "keepsake" box. I found my old army long underwear! I was in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves, briefly, when I was seventeen. I thought I'd tossed them long ago, so out they went, this time.

    I installed the clothing keeper. As a result of what Wende said:

    But there's such a huge difference between storing a handful of garments that have intense sentimental value, versus storing boxes and boxes of garments that just kind of exist!
    There needs to be a place in our lives for sentiment and nostalgia, and culling stuff down to the TRULY meaningful honors that place.

    I decided that if I was going to keep my sentimental favourites because I loved them too much to part with them, then I ought to truly honour them. So, I took them out of their makeshift closet under the stairs, dusted off the shoulders (they'd just had plastic garbage bags draped over them) and then placed them back in this:

    It felt right.

    I spent about an hour, a very pleasant hour, I might add, down in the basement working on the picture frame project.

    Washed mittens and hats and gardening gloves. Realised all my clothes pins are missing. How do 100-odd clothes pins just disappear?

    Spent another hour, not quite so pleasant, implementing Zooza's cord management system.

    *Galloping Curitis:
    Washed inside the fridge door while dictating spelling test. That completes the fridge cleaning (except for the coils).

    Worked on fastening more cords. In a couple of sessions I got everything I'm going to do done. It is most satisfying, even if the pictures are inadequate for the tale.

    Finished framing all the pictures I want for the framing project--except one. It's a print from our wedding and I want to scan and enlarge it. That may take a while as I scanned it at a ridiculously high resolution.


    Bagged up "outbox" of clothing from WT in the fall. Put all but two of my coffee can collection into recycling.

    Apparently you can make ice-cream with them. I'd like to try that some day.

    Started emptying the out-box.

    Sorted the outer winter wear and boxed it up.

    Opened a file drawer and stared at the husband's business paperwork.

    Closed the drawer.

    Looked at the stack of children's artwork.

    Tackled a box overflowing with mending. Sorted things that are needed and could be used if mended. Threw out a lot. I'm going to have to spend some time at the sewing machine.

    Got permission from the husband to toss his business related paperwork. Freed up two file drawers.

    Read about using old coffee cans mounted end wise on a wall to store rolled up towels and toiletries in the bathroom. Would that be cool--or tacky? Oh well. They're gone.


    Tossed most of a filing cabinet drawer devoted to my past. It was actually fun. I came across a file with all the academic awards I've received (the ones with money attached!) and I tossed it: but I wonder if I should have kept it. The only reason I think I should, is that I like to think of my kids discovering it someday after I'm gone and saying, "Hey, mom really was somebody. She had a life before us." (It was worth about $3,000 from the Ontario Government. Heady money back in the early 90's. You could live on about $6,000 back then, books and tuition included.)

    OK. I just fished them out. It occurred to me that the stuff we keep will tell a story about ourselves after we're gone. What's the story I want to tell? Whatever it is, I think it can include my accomplishments.

    Used the new drill to fasten the power bar near the stairs. Yes, a new drill. The old one started sparking right after my husband finished dismantling the shelves in the exercise area. He had to buy a new one. Since it was the virgin run of the new drill, the husband took it upon himself to put in the power bar (admittedly, after I'd picked the wrong sized screw head.)

    Retail Therapy:

    1 brushed chrome pedal operated garbage can for the bathroom. (Now that we have a dog....)

    1 paper towel holder. This was a very clever idea from a salesperson at Canadian Tire. I need something to hold a towel by the back entry to wipe the dog's paws. I have about 16" to work with--2" less than the standard 18" towel bar length.

    1 plastic cage for the bare bulb in the laundry room. $4.00

    50 clothespins. $2.00

    Thanks for cheering me on this week, everyone.
    Let the Cure continue!

    Friday, March 28, 2008

    Cords Done!

    It feels very silly to post this--but it has made an enormous difference. It was a rotten, nasty job, but I am so grateful to Zooza for suggesting how it was to be done. So, out of gratitude (and not a little pride) I have to post.

    First: the area by the landing, where one of my outlets resides. Not a big change here.

    (Where did the big loop of wire go, you ask? We'll get to that in a minute.)

    Second: the power bar. No longer dangling on nails! (Yes, there's a story, but you'll have to wait for the weekly report.)

    I want to replace that last dangling cord...and I will, just as soon as I track down a multiple extension cord that takes a three prong plugs.

    Third: The bottom of the stairs. It's a bit hard to describe. That white bit to the left of each photo is the stairwell. Basically, I turn and follow the path of the two parallel gas pipes. These used to wonk me on the head:

    They come out the other side. It used to look like the image on the left, now it's all tidied up as in the image right:

    (Yes, I got rid of the big yellow lamp. Something was wrong with the socket).

    The "telephone pole" now looks like this:
    Just to explain: the bottom one doesn't work because it's a completely separate phone line, installed when we rented out the back bedroom. There is a very ugly corresponding black box on the back of the house to accommodate it. If we ever need another phone line, though, all we need to do is activate it. As for the middle, it needs to be connected to the one above to work: it's basically just an "extension" box. As one of the junctions doesn't work (I forget which one) it's kind of useless. I should just replace it someday.

    Lastly, the spidery scary thing. I traced that looped wire (the old telephone cord) right to it. And since I didn't want to mess with telephone connections, I just put it right up there with the velcro--right where it belongs:

    The green wire seems to be connected to our water meter, so I didn't fuss with it, either.

    My apologies for the horribly over-exposed "after" pictures or the under-exposed "before" pictures, whichever, take your pick.

    Old Schoolwork

    I wrote a paper in Journalism school titled: "McLuhan and Politics: A Technological Argument for Political Change."

    I just re-read it. I have no idea what I was trying to say. Was it so poorly written? (probably). Or is it so context-dependent (the class, the lectures, the bias of the Professor, the readings) that as a school-paper one doesn't expect it to make sense decontextualised? That has never occurred to me before. The Professor said he found it interesting. He gave it 82% (whatever that means).

    But it is entirely useless as a piece to reflect upon McLuhan, the medium of Television and the political process in Canada. And that's too bad, because I think there is a good paper to be written on that. Voter turn-out is becoming dismal here, and according to McLuhan, that is to be expected. But I can't remember exactly why, nor does the paper help me.

    So, I'm tossing it along with notes and papers and letters arguing against a quota based Affirmative Action policy, notes and assignments on Universal Design, sheets and sheets of paper on drafting principles and procedures, 100's of 5x7 index cards cataloguing songs for Aerobic work-outs and floor exercises, records of work for payment as a freelance broadcaster for CBC radio, and even material on how to write a resume and find a job.

    Yes, all of that, in one box emptied today.

    Am I freer, now? Have I broken the shackles of my past (if they are shackles) so that now I'm freer to create myself in some new way, beyond the bonds and boundaries the past would determine me to be?

    It's isn't the past of 15-20 years ago which shackles me, it's yesterday and the day before. It's the stuff upstairs, not down.

    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    Boom da da Boom.

    I've had a rough couple of days. Feeling stuck. Yesterday's muttering post was a good way to help me prioritize and figure out what to do next. That left today to implement it.

    I went downstairs and looked at this:

    That's the miniature house project box with the lovely red table cloth on the top--and the children's artwork piled beside it.

    I opened the top file drawer.

    I closed the drawer.

    After the husband got home, I took him downstairs and opened the drawer. I said, "You closed the business 8 years ago. Can we let go of this, now?"
    He said, "Was it that long ago?"

    And so, after supper, I sorted and tossed the two top drawers of the filing cabinet like so:

    (That blue bag in the back weighed 15 lbs).
    I just have to check with Revenue Canada to see how far back we need to keep tax returns. I know I have a copy of every single one I've filed, and it looks like the husband does too.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008


    (This is my worktable. The old kitchen table moved down here during the Fall Cure 07. I spy things that should be in the outbox in this picture.)

    I hope you don't mind if I just talk to myself here a minute.

    A long time ago, I talked about "curing" the basement. I mentioned wanting to put a sewing area and a small crafting area down here so I could leave things permanently set out if needed (it is awkward to leave sewing and scrapping out upstairs as I leave other things permanently set out--like school stuff).

    For the last two evenings, I've spent about an hour working on the picture frame project. It's been quite enjoyable. It's very quiet. Right now the temperature is fine. (From November to February it can be too cold to even do laundry!)

    The area is cleared out, for the most part. If I wasn't doing the "Cure" I wouldn't be doing anything more down there. But I am doing the Cure--and that makes it different--why, I'm not sure. Is it because the Cure is a fixed amount of time, and I feel I have to work for that amount of time? Maybe. Is it because the Cure is all about making your space more enjoyable, more livable--and so with my thoughts, turning that way, I can find more to do? Maybe. Or is it because there are things I promised myself I would do--and by making the process part of a public Cure--I won't let myself off the hook? I think that's it.

    So the things I must do are these:
    1) sort the five foot pile of children's artwork.
    2) sort through the kids' schoolwork now piling up. Keep one thing per subject per year?
    3) finish sorting through my old schoolwork.
    4) I wonder how much of the business paper work my husband would be willing to let go of? He closed the business in 2000. The seven year tax "rule" has been dutifully observed.
    5) how much of our past tax paperwork can I consolidate? Each year is in a bankers box (mostly because that's what we needed for the business).
    6) I have two filing cabinets: One two, one four drawer. What can I do with these? Can they be emptied? If they are emptied, will they still be useful? (For example, school work and taxes can be filed in manila folders and put in here. I love filing cabinets!)
    7) my miniature house project box. No clue what to do with this. It's huge.
    8) scrapping and art supplies. These have been piled into one area. I need to organize this so it's a) functional and b) presentable.
    9) sort fabric

    Most of this I had classed as "paperwork" and had slotted it for Week 5. It's too massive a task to tackle in just one week, though. I'm pretty much done wrapping the cords, and I have one small thing to do to finish the picture frame project (other than arrange and hang the frames, of course) and I'm just about finished washing and sorting the winter outdoor clothing, so I think it may be time to clear off the table down there and get to work on this stuff.

    As most of this stuff is in this area, you could consider this (and the one above) a "before" photo:

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    Cord Progress

    The two black thingys around the cords are velcro--attached with an upholstery tack, just as Zooza recommended. It's brilliant. The tack is long enough to hold well and the head is big enough for me to whack at odd, cramped angles. I did about 10 feet of these two cords: (one's a three prong for the washing machine, the other a simple two prong for my lamp).

    The thick white cord is the wiring for the dryer and goes to its own junction box (which it shares with the stove) on the other side of the basement. It's a different voltage of wire, just so you know.

    As you can see, it's a nasty, dirty, rotten job, but I'm so grateful. Thanks Zooza.

    Anyone know what we can do with that insulation peeking around the top edges? It's all the way around the basement. Keeps us toasty, I imagine. And can I paint the grey "patches"?


    Here are the photos of the work my husband and son did yesterday.
    I was hoping they would convey the incredible sense of space and freedom I feel, but they don't. I have uncovered a heretofore undiscovered hatred of black furniture, however. (Which means I don't think I'm painting the coffee table/trunk black, even though it would make the most sense). The black Ikea dresser used to sit where I've put the "handsome" dresser. They take up roughly the same amount of physical space, as you can see.

    But psychologically, it feels much more spacious in there. It's indescribable. (The bottom drawer is being glued and clamped at the moment).

    Moving the handsome piece freed up the area under the window behind the clothesline (which I haven't yet decided exactly where to move.) I hemmed a set of those new IKEA curtains and hung them up. (You can barely see the area in the before shot. It's behind the clothesline. Green sheers. I'd thought I'd taken a better one, sorry.)

    I've got the baskets lined up on top of the short dresser (moved from beside the freezer in the before shot) to sort the winter stuff.

    Here is the biggest change, though:

    A better shot:

    I will be removing those clothes. Once I figure out how to attach the mounting hardware for the curtains, the plastic will come down and they'll go up too.

    I think the wood is destined to become a doghouse

    And so, that's how we begin Week 3.

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    So Good...

    --Prime patch in back entry way
    --Unstick drawer in pine dresser
    --Move out black dresser and drawers
    --Fix stair edger in back entry
    --Remove "excess" shelving by excercise bench

    This was the to-do list I left my husband when I went to run errands today.

    It's all done.
    Taking down shelving and removing storage pieces--like a dresser, feels a bit like paying off a substantial amount on your credit card--except the space is tangible. But it's the same sense of release, of freedom.

    He's shop-vaccuming the area now, or I'd get pics. I'll update and post some later.

    Ikea has their "BRIT" curtains on sale right now, $7/pair. I put a pair up on the living room windows by the fireplace last week and realised they'd be perfect for the basement. So, I bought five pairs today (the husband said he wanted some in the workshop. In the workshop? OK.) I put up the first pair and I'm going to have to hem.

    I am so thrilled.

    Cord Issues: For Zooza

    added later: Zooza's most elegant solution here. Well worth checking out.
    As I mentioned, we need to re-wire. We have, at most, three outlets in the basement.

    This is one of them:

    The black cords are connected to our television cable--which we do not currently have hooked up. The wire coiled on the hook is from a tremendously long extension cord for the phone that went all the way up the stairs to the bedroom. We pulled it up, but left it here.

    You can see that I have a power bar plugged into the outlet. It's over to the right, just propped up on some nails.

    From here, I have a fax machine and a light plugged in: but the cord for the light (an extension cord) goes UP to the rafters and OVER the ducting and down the other side. Like this:

    (I took each picture facing the ducting, that's why it looks so wonky in the middle.) Having it go UP and OVER is a new thing: it used to hang below and catch in my hair. But it still needs taming. (PS. Using those small pipes to hook things onto is a no-no. They're natural gas pipes. I had an empty coat hanger slung over one of them once and got a BIG lecture from a furnace guy. So, they're of no help at all.)

    There are phone cords here:

    (For future reference, those square thingys are phone jacks. For land lines. Only the top one currently works. It's connected with a cord to the REAL phone jack (somewhere else, I don't know where) which then connects us to the outside world.

    And then there is this.
    I love this:

    I'm not sure there's anything we can or should do to this. And the long green wire, bisecting the photo? What's that you ask? I have no idea. Those coloured wires don't actually go anywhere: they just hang there in all their spidery glory.

    Thanks, Zooza. I hope your idea will work for at least ONE of these monsters.

    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    Reality Check: Goals for Week 3.

    I went down to the basement tonight after reading Wende's and Zooza's comments about possibly being side-tracked from the basement project to list what I still needed to do and think about why I am feeling stalled.

    Of course I had to do something, and while doing that thing I broke a huge piece of glass in a picture frame. Fortunately no one was hurt and the print inside the frame wasn't damaged. I just loved the picture (print actually) and had wanted to use it again, somewhere, someday.

    But this is the danger of living with an unliveable basement. I should have stored it properly when I put it down there, but I couldn't reach any of the spots where it could have gone to be safe.(for example, the top of the wall o' shelves, where the print and mat are now). To lose an expensive (or even cheap but time consuming to replace) piece of glass because of an envelope, or coffee can and jam jar collection is utterly ridiculous.

    So, as for my entry way, I'll sort and purge the stuff in hanging baskets, hang a towel rack and scrub, but new flooring and a paint job will wait for another cure, another day.

    This week, I'll focus on more clothing (there's still a large box) and indoor/outdoor and camping gear.

    I'll have the husband fix that stupid sticky drawer in the handsome dresser and move out the black one. Having it emptied but still sitting there is discouraging. I need to see progress! Maybe he can even rip out the shelving.

    No. Probably not.

    Thank you so much for keeping me on track. There are things down there I just don't want to face--but some of it must be done--just so I don't ever have to face them again.

    Week 3: Introducing the Back Entry Way

    I actually have a back entry way.

    It is badly neglected, in every respect. Once, when I made an "emotional floor plan" of the house, this was coloured in black angry crayon. I can probably bring it up to a grey angry crayon.
    It is so tiny, the frugal husband even mentions building something of an extension to handle things.

    Here is the sketched floorplan. The door is a standard 36" or so wide.

    And here's the view from the top of the stairs to the kitchen:

    There are three Ikea Antonius baskets hanging from chains going down the stairs to help us keep track of mittens and hats and baseball gloves.

    On the other side of the stairs is a shelf for boots with hooks underneath for skates and bike helmets.

    (That's the furnace behind it).

    It's awful. I hate it and what needs to be done could easily occupy a couple of weeks. In fact, as I am writing up this post, the husband is sanding this patch by the door:

    A friend of my daughter's asked "What's that noise?"
    I answered, "That's the sander. It's usual around here."
    and my daughter added, "Yeah, my Dad is making it perfect for my Mom."

    I doubt we can make it perfect, but maybe we can make it better.

    Friday, March 21, 2008

    Week 2: Progress report

    I'm not likely to do much tomorrow, so I'm posting a bit early. Same format as before.

    Short Version:
    Unpacked, emptied, sorted, put away, bought stuff, gave stuff and shuffled stuff around.

    Got rid of 235 lbs
    Like this:
    90 lbs: donations
    80 lbs: garbage
    65 lbs: small fridge

    Long Version:

    Caught up on some Week 1 tasks:

    Took out the counter-sized fridge. Hooray! My mom wanted it and now she has it.

    Took a chair out to the curb. I really did. Wonder what will happen to it? (I'll give it 24-48 hours and then I'll put it in the haul-this-crap-to-the-dump pile in the backyard.)

    Brought home an end-table from Mom's for the livingroom.

    dropped off 90 lbs of donations.

    Living room:
    Got a nice napkin (to help cover a pillow. The dog has chewed a corner out of it). $3.50
    Got a pillow. $10.00
    Bought a fabric table cloth. $7.00
    Bought a lampshade, finally! $25.00

    pillow: $20.00
    new duvet cover: $15.00 (As Is at Ikea.)
    2 new pillow shams: $8.00 (As Is)

    Basement: full sheet for curtain project: $4.00 (As Is)

    Cleared and washed a the pantry shelves. My daughter helped me for the first 15 minutes which was very good of her. In the words of a seven year old, "the basement makes me creepy."

    Started measuring for the floor plan.

    Discussed removing shelves by the excercise bench.

    Galloping Curitis:
    Washed out microwave.
    Washed top of washing machine.


    Washed top of dryer.

    Started cleaning out the area under the stairs, by the "I have no taps!" laundry tub. I keep spare boxes, here, and important ones like the computer box and so on. I've been through this area many times over the last few years, so it's no longer painful. (Can you believe I once worried about throwing away empty boxes? There's nothing so useful as an empty box!)

    I got rid of all except the box for the monitor and for the scanner. Those I do need, just in case I ever have to mail these away for service.

    Now I have a big empty hole, there, honest, right behind the 2x4, and I just want to fill it up with something!

    Man--do we have cord issues!
    (We also keep some of the recycling and empty cans here, in the old Ikea trash can.) When my husband saw these pictures, he said, "What a dump." I think that's a good thing.

    However, I've misplaced my box-cutter---

    (and we missed putting out the garbage and recycleables for pick up today.)
    Handwashed my Ikea fuzzy orange blanket in the bath tub. The only fun part was taking the "perfect" picture:

    Later---I found the box cutter, and flattened everything. It was getting so I couldn't walk through there to get to the all important Wardrobe Therapy laundry!

    Then, I ran some errands and bought a broom. Yep, nothing but one excitement after another. Between taking pictures of boxes, garbage, and filthy blankets, we're having a gay ol' time.

    This is the haul from this week:

    80 lbs!
    I can't believe we missed the garbage truck!
    (PS: I took these outside. Yes, that is snow.)

    Galloping curitis: cleaned two shelves in the upper food cupboard. (I have three upper cupboards).

    Tackled the sentimental clothing I've kept that I thought could be sold on consignment. Let go of 10lbs, (not counted) but I wasn't able to get rid of some truly sentimental dresses. Would photographing them and scrapping the memories be enough? I don't think so. The pictures will never show how tiny my waist was when I wore some of them.

    Finished taking measurements for the basement and began the floor plan. Moved out the bench (that I removed from the living room during the fall cure) so we could lay down and flatten the wood for the faux fireplace facelift project. Haven't tried the hot water trick yet, but I will.

    and so we've gone from this.

    Drew floorplan.

    Cleaned most of my son's room.

    If you are eating: don't look.

    Turn away now....

    You've been warned.


    (This was the worst of it).
    And so, that was my week.

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