Sunday, March 16, 2008

Week 1. Progress Report

Note to readers: I constructed this post throughout the week. Every time I came up from a session in the basement, I wrote down what I had done. The post got rather lengthy. Since I am unlikely able to fulfill the first obligation of a writer (which is never to bore one's audience), here is a short version:

Vacuumed floor (2x)
Emptied my first shelf
Sorted picture frames
99 pounds of stuff--out the door!

(recycling bags not pictured)
Sorted all memorabilia onto one shelf
Sorted all crafting and scraping supplies into one area.
Emptied binders
Emptied the top of the wall of shelves. Put back only what stays.
Cleaned out two dressers (except for the envelopes!)
Sat for ten minutes.
Experienced "Galloping Curitis"* (for specific details, you'll have to see below).
It just doesn't look like much, does it?

Long Version (with more photos):

So far, I have been merely reacting--just going downstairs and letting my eyes drift over an area until it occurs to me that I can sort and purge it. Next week, as we move into the Cure proper, I will have specific tasks to do and areas to clean and clear.

(Monday is part of the weekend at my house. We school when Dad's at work: Tuesday to Saturday.)

Vacuumed floor
(blew the fuse)

Emptied shelf of picture frames.

Washed the shelf

Took two bags of clothing and odds and ends to Good Will (22 lbs) (see photo above)

Took three boxes of videos and CD's to Good Will (20 lbs) (see photo above)

Started sorting picture frames:

  • took pictures out of dilapidated frames and tossed the frames
  • put art cards into outbox
  • Started a donation box for intact re-usable frames
  • put glass without frames in one pile and frames without glass in another.


Continued with the picture frames:

  • Assembled a few picture frames and put them in the outbox with the others.
  • Sorted, stacked and boxed the picture frames I'm keeping.
  • Set aside the frames which need minor repair.
  • Broke some glass.
  • Cleaned it up.

Disposed of 25 lbs of recycleables and 30 lbs of garbage. (see above photo).

Started clearing "memorabilia" shelves.


Cleared the top of the filing cabinet, washed it, and put the three desk fans atop it.

Sorted memorabilia onto one shelf.


Started emptying binders of old course material. Once, when my children were very young, I enrolled myself in a "residential interiors" diploma program. Some of the classes were fantastic, some were not. They were taught by "professionals" in the field.

I put some binders in the outbox and the contents into recycling.

Found my notes on colour theory. Tossed. Boy, did I hate that class. The woman didn't teach me anything I hadn't already taught myself. That was easy to get rid of. Another, on drawing and drafting, isn't quite. Fortunately, my timer rang so I can revisit that later.

One of the things that makes this a little easier is scb's post about "Do you read or re-read?" I never go back and refer to any of the work I've previously done. Perhaps I should, but life is too short. You really only do get one shot at most things, and either I squeezed every drop of water from the rock, or I didn't. There's no going back. Time marches forward and so must I.

In the next 15 minute segment, I cleaned out the dresser underneath the window in the laundry room. (There are four dressers down there!) It held seasonal decorations, lots of old unused valentines, and paper. Packing paper, to be precise. It took me exactly six minutes to empty it and now only the top drawer is in use.

I'm not sure what to do with it. I think it's a handsome piece, really. But the drawers are shallow--too shallow for table cloths or fabric or anything else I might want to store in it. The bottom drawer is totally stuck. I have three other dressers to empty, as well, and I can easily part with one, very ugly, broken but still very functional dresser. (see below) So, we shall have to see what's left after I sort and purge that one and maybe I can shuffle stuff around and rid myself of at least one of the black one.

In a significant case of galloping curitis,* I washed all my kitchen cabinet fronts, cleared out my plastic container drawer (threw away 35+ lids!) and washed the upstairs bathroom floor and walls. My daughter cleaned the mirror, a shelf and the sink.

Another foray after supper led me to the nasty, black, broken but oh so functional dresser by the stairs. It's one I'd like to empty and escort out the door. I started emptying out the drawers and transferring what I will most definitely keep over to the "handsome" piece I'd emptied earlier today. And then I ran into the envelopes. Stopped me cold.
However, I did get this far:

(Those hanging baskets are our "landing strip" for the back door.)


Found my Dawn doll in one of two boxes my mother had saved for me. I was able to toss 1/2 the contents of one box. It was full of old doll furniture I had made from milk and egg cartons, boxes and the like. I also found one of those airline "air-sickness" bags full of miniature glass liquor bottles. I remember collecting them during one flight to visit my father: I'd wanted to use them as lamp bases for my Barbie dollhouse. The bottles are kind of cool, though. The labels are even intact. They might make an interesting display. Don't know.

After that, I emptied the very top of the shelves and put back only those things which truly need to stay there. It's amazing how much calmer the whole space looks with the line near the rafters nearly empty.

If you squint I think you can see something of a difference. Photo on the left was taken at the end of Week zero, the photo on the right at the end of Week 1.

It means I must say good-bye to my dot matrix printer. I have fond memories of the hardy, trusty thing. It never failed, not even once in five years of post-graduate work in a intensely heavy paper-writing field. The printing cartridge lasted forever too.

Sat for ten minutes and looked at this:

I don't think that's an illusion; I think the stairs really are wonky.

After supper: took out one full garbage and one full recycling bag. Started boxing and bagging items from the outbox for drop off.

Everything I have on the shelves and on the floor is generally in some sort of box. When I tackle a shelf, I take down a box and start sorting the contents into keep, garbage, recycle and donate. Then I'd take the empty box and put it in the pile by the pantry shelves. The photo on the right shows the boxes I had at the end of week zero. On the left: end of week 1. Even though I was there--I'm not entirely sure how this happened.

see yesterday's post.

*Galloping curitis: symptoms of galloping curitis present at the cleaning and purging of areas wholly unrelated to the areas one should be focusing on according to the prescription of the Cure. Onset is sudden and unpredictable. May be caused by rampant endorphins and adrenalin released from performing prescribed cure tasks, but it may not as subjects have also presented such symptoms while not completing any of the prescribed tasks. Term first coined (as so many wonderful terms are) by scb.


drwende said...

99 pounds of stuff--out the door!


You've made amazing progress -- it's just a BIG job. (Enjoyed the long version, btw.)

zooza said...

Ditto "wow" to the 99 lbs. I'm exhausted just reading what you've achieved.

I love that little dresser - hope you find a use for it.

scb said...

Wow. How many gazillion fifteen-minuteses did that take? You do sleep sometimes, right?

I enjoyed the long version too, and I didn't have to squint at all to see the difference between Before and After.

Well done!!!!

By the way, do you know if there's any treatment for Galloping Curitis??? I have a touch of it myself now and then. This morning Mum asked me to look for one small thing on the top shelf of the kitchen cupboards. while I was up there, I noticed a couple of jars with a bit of brown sugar that looked as though it had solidified. I set them down on the counter. Then I noticed a couple more things... I ended up cleaning out all her pantry shelves, wiping them down, reorganizing them, and getting rid of 20 pounds of stuff. (Doesn't come close to your 99 pounds, but I figured it was a pretty impressive total for the pantry cupboards of a small apartment kitchen, and a totally unintentional purge!)

Alana in Canada said...

Are you sure you want a cure for the cure? I am quite impressed you did that for your Mom and Dad.

I relieved my Mom of an end-table today to use in my living room--but she got a fridge I had had in the basement! I think I got the better end of the deal.

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