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Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House

01 Jan 17 - 03:45 AM (#3829805)
Subject: Declutter & Fitness - 2017
From: GUEST,Don Aslett's Acolyte

Another year has passed, here is the 2016 thread to refer back to. These aren't broken into monthly topics any more, but there are still people who follow them, so one more circumnavigation 'round the planet for the declutter topic here at Mudcat.


01 Jan 17 - 02:05 PM (#3829861)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Putting away the holiday decorations is the first move of the year. Not that many in play, but enough that there are several boxes to add things back into, then organize the boxes in the office closet.

Our work holiday seemed to be particularly short this year, with xmas and new year's days both on Sunday. None of the permanent projects (new tile, in particular) was finished this week, but I started shopping around. The idea is to keep working on small projects that move the house closer to being ready to sell, should I decide the time has come. I don't envision it any time soon, and in the meantime I'll enjoy the results of my work.

Sipping tea, looking at a few things that can be completed today. eBay, a little gardening, filing papers (they seemed to push back - hard - every time I tried to organize them this month).


01 Jan 17 - 02:14 PM (#3829864)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Below is Dorothy's last post from 2016, and lets me ask the question - are you still maintaining a residence or work space at the mill? Will this continue indefinitely, or is the new place meant to completely replace the mill operation one of these days soon?



Subject: RE: Yet More Clutter's Last Stand - 2016
From: Dorothy Parshall - PM
Date: 31 Dec 16 - 05:10 PM

Beaver:
Looking at a post from last January, I see progress! Snow removal (more today!) and bringing in wood are still ongoing. No wood shed yet but the heavy cover is wonderful.. The snow is holding it down VERY well! The eaves trough without heat cable were an error and the house one has fallen down from the weight of snow and ice. Next year. Sorting through archives has progressed but still has some to go. No potting wheel in the BR; I took it to Montreal to use when there. Sewing machine is on a TV table, repaired!!!! And ready to use. The kiln room is better organized but not optimum yet. **New thought: that new cabinet (below) might work better in there than what is there now. On a warm day, I can pursue this possibility.

The BR, now that the new wall is in and painted!!, has been re-organized with the bookcase across the foot of the bed raised on 12 inch concrete blocks so things can be stored under the bottom shelf and books on 3 shelves – bed width. The bottom shelf is about level with the surface of the bed; there is just enough space to tuck things down there – about 8 cf of storage! The bookcase will prevent the mattress shifting – sort of a footboard! A tall 28 inch wide antique cabinet is next to that and still leaves good room to see out the window. I will finish loading it today and this will clear most of the BR clutter so I can re-organize the other cabinet and HOPE this will complete de-cluttering of BR.

We now have an empty wall space where the ladder to go to the loft. No furniture planned for there until that job is complete. Book shelves may ensue.   

The studio is in torpor. There is about 2 feet of snow on the roof.. I will use it on warm enough days, use the M one when there and the one at the mill when it is warm enough. I am getting quite taken by the concept: "I'm retired, I don't HAVE to do anything!"

.An article in Bancroft This Week gives hope that the Town might find a better space for the library. Might be time to get folks organized, after this holiday, to work with those "in charge" with the aim of supporting a library for the people. New librarian seems positive addition. Maybe we could take him to lunch for a consult.

Auction this am: one $5 cabinet that can go in shed for better organizing OR I can give it to the friend who was also there and transported it for us; it occurred to me too late that she may have wanted it but she "went to the washroom,,," Otherwise, R bought some things for elsewhere. and we netted a nice hand painted wood loon for here.

R is, "as we speak" putting in new light fixtures in the LR so I can use nice light covers which have moved across the country with me. This de-clutters them from storage to useful.

Just agreed: insulate roof next year.

Speaking of which - MAy everyone hae the best possible New Year!!


02 Jan 17 - 10:17 AM (#3829994)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

This year, Himself retires from the army and we move from Ottawa to Stratford, Ontario. We have been in this house for more than 18 years, longer than either of us has ever lived in one place before. I'm a fairly neat person (he's not), but the prospect of packing up books and papers, china and kitchen traps, acres of framed art and God knows what else AS WELL AS the furniture and 144 sections of terracotta drainage pipe that we use for wine racks -- well, I'm so not ready.

The first major project is replacing the kitchen stove, which happens on Friday. The gas technician comes to disconnect the old one on Thursday, so I guess supper will be pizza or something from the microwave -- come to think of it, I believe we still have some venison bourguignon in the freezer. Removing the carcass will be a bit of a challenge, as the kitchen is on the second floor of the house and the space through which the old stove must pass on its way out -- especially the gap between the handle of the refrigerator and the kitchen island -- is only about an inch bigger than the stove itself. Then, as the delivery guys are bringing the new one in, Himself and I will be promptly down on our marrowbones to scrub out the vacated space. After eighteen and a half years of cooking, it's going to be an icky job.

Then the carpenters come in to tear the electricity-devouring light fixtures out of the bathrooms and replace them with something far more modest. They will also repair all the damaged drywall in the house, including the hole in the kitchen wall where a dribble from the leaking roof found a place to pool and wreak havoc. I believe we have been ignoring that hole for some ten years now.

We have a list ...


03 Jan 17 - 03:34 PM (#3830229)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:
One of the ultimate clutters is having more than one abode. OR there are more places to put stuff which COULD lead to less clutter, however,...

R lives in Montreal. I detest living in Montreal – noise, pollution and my lack of French. I detest the house; it needs major reno. It is more like indoor camping but if I were camping in MY space, it would be neat and clean. It is unlikely that R will move out of Montreal – business and bro. I have done my best with this place and there is very little cooperation for anything further. R is too busy. And used to it.

The Mill is a dreadful 20,000sf industrial building in a farming area of southern Quebec out of which we have carved a sun room, a beautiful kitchen with no running water, and a bed/sitting room that is moderately comfortable and generally uncluttered. I have a studio at one end of the building, a marvelous window manufacturer has a large chunk in the front and there is tons of storage area that R has dreams of making into a variety of … In the meantime, it helps to have a place to put stuff in a fairly organized way. The mill got bought due to our Friday nights at the Café for the music, which led to a community of friends. Unfortunately, the air is toxic from April until the rainy season due to the chemicals sprayed on corn and soy fields. We go there for the music and I visit with friends and do some pottery. Having a thriving perennial plot and space for veggies but fear the toxins and must wear a face mask in garden times. But no black flies!

Beaver Haven, near Bancroft, Ontario, gets me back to the area in which I lived 17 years, where I have friends, fresh air and quiet. The 600sf house provides a wonderful shelter in a great area. R also loves being there and I becoming part of the community. I have a small studio and do get some pottery done when the weather is warm enough. We have two storage sheds and a large outhouse. We have two raised beds for veggies and more planned. R plans to build a library – maybe next summer – 10x10 and 2 story. With no windows but the door and skylights. (10x10s do not need permission.)

In the latest 10 day stay, we attended 2 community Christmas dinners, the monthly open mike music night, and an antiques auction, visited the art gallery so R could see our friend's wonderful art, but mostly just hung out. R enjoyed doing small jobs: this trip, the sewing machine, two new light fixtures in the LR, snow clearing, wood hauling, and pie with the neighbour who has taken it upon himself to blow the (very short) driveway!!!! The re-organized BR looks good, a couple paintings are hung, an ugly and unnecessary florescent light removed, two more towel racks in the bathroom, and I may have forgotten…. R read 3 books and relaxed.

I will prob go back to Beaver in a week, depending on weather (dow) and stay a week or so - dow. So, we sort out our own peculiar way of life. We both prefer to be there but he needs to be in Montreal, and we each need/want to spend time together. The big clutter is schlepping things hither and yon, slowly becoming more routine as there is a special bin-to-go. The washing machine is at Beaver, and an oven that works. The wonderful washing machine at the mill can only be used in warmer months and the one in Montreal still needs the burst water line repaired – a pointless job considering the needed reno. Maybe we NEED 3 abodes!! I am certainly happier having one that is fir for habitation in a beautiful area where I have dear friends.

Good thing I am retired!


09 Jan 17 - 12:48 PM (#3831466)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:
Finally succeeded in de-clutteringmy body of a nasty respiratory things AGAIN. When I finally came to terms with "I am really sick" I upped the Pau d'Arco and went to bed. It was a week long malaise and effectively precluded most activity. R kindly took me to a grocery store where we could get edible foods. It was to his advantage! Then I went back to bed. Celery soup has been his mainstay this week though I managed to produce good BFs.

Today feeling almost normal and not wobbly. Too cold in the house to do much. Still dosing myself and keeping warm in front of heater. Want to be at Beaver but need a few more days here to recover. R is being very solicitous.


09 Jan 17 - 02:19 PM (#3831502)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

Hauled a large batch of recycling off last week, and the back of the car is currently full again, and will be emptied when I go pick up Jason at the bus stop later. Fridge needs a major cleaning out (hello compost pile!) and the floors need a good sweeping/vacuuming, thanks to Beau's toy-shredding habits. There's less fluff now, though, since I've discovered that he's perfectly happy with the de-fluffed pelts.

I've also been bringing home the cardboard open-topped boxes that the clementines come in that a lot of customers don't want (the clementines are in mesh bags in the boxes) and using them to organize my cabinet space. So far, the large containers of spices have been organized, next up is the large collection of food storage containers.

We got a large ceramic jar with a top that seals for dog treats, and that has gotten the multitude of bagged treats off the counter and in one spot.

Now I just need to get the mountain of laundry taken care of. The laundromat in town has a very poor heating system and it is so hard to muster up the enthusiasm to go in when it's as cold as it's been the past few days.


09 Jan 17 - 05:48 PM (#3831558)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Tami, you're using the classic "early orange crate" method of organizing, on a smaller scale with the clementine boxes.

I'm working my way through paper, filing, shredding, or putting a few in an action pile that actually are useful right now. When it's so cold outside, this is a perfectly acceptable activity - come spring it's difficult to make myself address paper issues at all if I can be out in the yard instead.

The last of the holiday decorations are down, except I think I'm going to leave a couple of the colorful strings wrapped around a limb that I have standing in the corner of the room. I was going to cut it up (it fell into the yard from next door when the crape myrtles were trimmed) and realized it was actually a beautiful shape. I have a large pot full of limestone gravel holding it in place, and strings of lights running all around it. Mostly I use the clear LED, but now I have some colored LED lights as well. You don't really see the colored strings at all when the white ones are turned on, and the revers goes with the colored ones on and the clear unplugged.

I can see floor in my office and some of the desktops. Progress.


09 Jan 17 - 05:52 PM (#3831561)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson

Wow, Charmian, you must like wine!


10 Jan 17 - 08:40 AM (#3831665)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yes, Thompson, we like wine. We also like dinner parties, which tend to involve wine, and French food, which also frequently contains wine. On the other hand, a fair few of the sections of drainage pipe are unoccupied; I think our current holdings stand at about five dozen bottles.

No new stove for us. The gas technician came on Thursday, took one look at the current set-up, whipped out his tape measure and declared it Not Up To Code. Alas, according to the most recent revision of the Canadian national building code, a gas-fired stove must have 30 inches of clearance above and to the sides of the cooktop. In our current kitchen, that would mean ripping out three cabinets, finding a new home for the very large microwave oven, and installing a new exhaust hood ten inches higher than the current one. What is wrong with the current one, you ask? Well, its light sockets contain flammable plastic! Who knew? Not I.

So the plan did not survive contact with reality. What a surprise.

On the phone with Sears, I cancelled the delivery and "returned" the new stove with which I had quite fallen in lust. We will replace the old one later in the sell-the-house project, with an electric job that does not call for extensive surgery on the overhead cabinets. It won't be my kitchen any more, so Not My Problem.

Meanwhile, the foul weather of an Ottawa winter has given the carpenters a Very Good Reason to cancel their date with us today, so the contents of two bathrooms are scattered throughout the house. All my need-for-order nerves are tweaking like crazy.


10 Jan 17 - 10:58 AM (#3831696)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson

Bloody code. For the same kind of insane reason it has been decided that all gas hobs should have inlets on the right, which means I can't replace my old one and have to change to electric.


14 Jan 17 - 07:49 AM (#3832515)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

The companies that sell electricity in my state can all be accessed through one state-run website, and they all have to provide basic information (do they have a base charge the power usage is added to? What is the charge if you use up to 500 kWh, 1000 kWh, or 2000 kWh or above? Do they let you pay by credit card, do they charge extra for that privilege, or must you let them take their fee out of your bank on their own?) There are some with ridiculously low offers in one area, offset bit ridiculously difficult to calculate fees in others that actually make it more expensive. There ought to be a law . . .

Anyway, I did a lot of math this week and chose to go with the company owned by Berkshire-Hathaway. They have the simplest statement of facts, the easiest offering, and don't gouge if you want a plan for two years instead of one. Warren Buffet's common sense trickles down into his company's holdings. Every year or two I change companies to get those lower introductory offers. The savings is significant, but I do have to do the research. (When I moved in here and connected with the default large state power company, I had bills upward of $350 during the highest heating or cooling months; now my highest bill never reaches $150, and during much of the year it is in the $50 a month range. It is worth it.)

Still sorting, filing, and shredding paper, and I have to put a few reams into my paper cabinet. For xmas I try to give totally practical gifts along with a few more targeted personal ones. This year I bought a case of good bright printer paper and gave a couple of reams each (brightly wrapped!) to family. And have a lifetime supply left over. So paper is a never-ending occupation around here.

Time to plant the potatoes and see about some onion sets. The chard took a hit with the freezing weather but a few survived, so I'll weed around them and apply more mulch. Year round there is always something that can be harvested or consumed out in the garden. Right now there are lots of herbs and a few straggler onions from last year.


14 Jan 17 - 07:44 PM (#3832651)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: LilyFestre

I have been cleaning things out slowly. One drawer at a time. Maybe one group of items a time. It's all I have time for these days as I have returned to a full time job. :)

I thought that maybe we would fall behind on the care of the house now that I'm not home on a full time basis but that just isn't the case. We are a well oiled machine when it comes to staying on top of the daily chores which makes me most happy. :)

I've donated several boxes of things over the last few weeks, making room for the new or perhaps just making space for the sake of making space. :)

I hope all is well with everyone!

Michelle


16 Jan 17 - 01:14 PM (#3832996)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal

I thought I had beat the malaise but I slacked off on treatment and it hung on. I THINK it is finally beaten back but will not slack off yet. Not much has gotten done. This house is beyond me but I did manage to keep warm and make soups. Went to the Mill on Friday but too cold to do anything but lunch with Geri and music at the Cafe. R made it down for music and we came back to city. I have managed to keep us fed and dishes washed.

Yesterday, R did a major de-cluttering in the LR. All I asked was to clear the paper off his chair; off the K table would have been nice also. However! Those did not happen. We have considerably more floor showing and there were many trips, by him, taking books to 2nd floor. The top of the huge buffet is cleared of "stuff" and looks civilized with a row of glass vases across the back and some other pretties.

The upper cabinet we rescued from the trash last week is against a wall (as a lower, not upper!) and ready to hold the new TV. He cleared a bunch of stuff out of the under-the-stairs closet. But it is still inaccessible as things were piled back in the doorway - I heard a mumble that indicated this might be improved (what year?).

When the new TV is in place and working???? Then the big old monster can leave.I shall have to re-arrange the electric cords and lamps to suit the new chair arrangement. The table the TV is on can be a coffee table, the air cleaner in better spot and ... HOPE!

It is a great improvement. The next phase may happen - sooner or later. Anyway, the weather may go to or above freezing so I can go to the laundromat and grocery (refused to leave house during cold weekend) and start a pot of the veggie chili I have not made in a couple years. That first!

Thankful for the air cleaner which collects the dust that was disturbed yesterday. That was a 12 hour job - he read a lot! I just sat with the computer, next to the air cleaner and hoped the dust did not get to me. And fed us. I could not help; it was his stuff. I basically hid out - in the LR while it went on around me. Oh, I am afraid to see what the upstairs room looks like - not my monkeys!


16 Jan 17 - 01:35 PM (#3833000)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Michelle,

Congratulations on the new job and on seven years cancer free. When you look back, I think you'll remember much more the joy of raising Jeremiah and the cancer fight will recede (as it should). What a stroke of genius that the state should ask you to raise that wonderful boy right at the time they did! (I am 17 years out, and as scars fade, so do the scary memories.)

Dorothy,

I have a friend who moved from here out to Arizona several years ago, and after a large garage sale one thing that didn't sell I claimed (as no one else had room for it) was her heavy-duty coffee table that used to hold her old monster television. It lived in the room where they held a weekly Movie Night. It has scratches but every time one of the family comes over they fondly look on that table, now in front of my sofa (my television is on the fireplace hearth).

I'm still thinking about the tile for floors in the bathrooms, the sun room, the laundry room, and one closet. I want to keep working on these projects to finish what I started. I'm thinking the house needs some foundation work before much more is invested in tile, but foundations are horribly expensive to stabilize. Home ownership isn't for the faint of heart!


16 Jan 17 - 10:41 PM (#3833065)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ragdall

My decluttering so far this year has mainly consisted of removing the unwanted snow from areas we need to use dail, the driveway, walkways, stairs and deck. In preparation for the warmer weather and deeper, heavier snowfalls expected, last week I used our big gas snow blower to cut trails through the snow to various destinations in the yard, the grandchildren's "tree house", the compost boxes, and out along the side of the house to the front yard and driveway.

Indoors, I went through the pantry cupboard and removed items that were well past their "best before" dates.

I'm planning to have a photo book printed to commemorate our thirty-five years together, this April. I've been working through old photo albums, scanning family group photos and several "memorable occasion" shots from each year. Four years completed, only thirty-one to go.

Because there were some years that prints didn't make it into albums, I revisited my photo print organizing project. Last week, at my church ladies' unfinished projects group, I managed to arrange one shoe box of prints into salvaged envelopes that I'd labeled by year. I'm hoping that I can sort the rest in the coming weeks and put them into albums.

I'm considering how to dispose of extra copies of photos of family members that were never sent to their intended recipients. Doing so would free up quite a bit of space. I'm leaning toward running them through an empty shredder, then disposing of the shredded bits in the rubbish bin as I don't think the coating would be acceptable in the recycling.   

After I had a look at the four years of scans on a bigger monitor, I was very disappointed when I saw that, in spite of using an old towel to wipe both the scanner and the photos, there are many white specks on the images. Removing those will require much time consuming editing. Also I'm afraid they are not a high enough resolution to print well in a book. Not sure if I can find another way to do this project?

Christmas is still very much present in our home. The creche, tree, wreaths and stockings remain in the same places they held on Christmas Eve. The boxes needed to store them in the attic are still beyond my reach in the attic because I injured my "better" knee when I hefted the big snowblower around. Now I cannot climb a ladder to get the storage boxes down, or to carry them back up and stow them away again. Oh well, it does make the living room more colourful and cheerful on these cold dark winter days.

rags


17 Jan 17 - 07:56 PM (#3833259)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Rags, if you scan at 300 dpi you will have something a printer can work with. The higher the better as far as getting detail and lots of pixels to work with.

Another option is to take the negatives, if you have them, and have a photo store scan them digitally and make a disk with as high a resolution as possible. There should be less dust. I can give you tips about the specks on the images - send me a PM with your email and we can talk about it. This is one of the things I do at work.

Those snow blowers sound like they're kind of fun to use - more dramatic than the comparable task of mowing the lawn with a power mower. Injury while operating isn't great, though. Rest that knee so you can resume your usual activities.

I cleared off my kitchen counters and table this weekend, and hope to keep them looking good till next weekend when friends are coming over for lunch. And I have a couple of stools and chairs I need to glue and put a nail or screw into to strengthen them. My kids were here during the holidays and identified all of the wonky seating and left things upside down in place, so I know which ones to work on. Don't you just love how straightforward family is at times? It was a help, a way to remind me I need to do this.


18 Jan 17 - 08:04 AM (#3833341)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Photos ... Oh, God, so many photos. Yet another of the jobs I should have been doing for an hour a day but neglected so I could read instead. I must have forty years worth of negatives to scan, all carefully jumbled up in an accordion file where they will most certainly stay for the foreseeable future.

The carpenters are hard at work here on Old St. Patrick Street, and our third floor -- one study, two bedrooms and two bathrooms -- is chaos. Arie and Ron, the carpenters, are neat and careful, but everything does have to be pulled away from the walls, and they do have to patch and sand and patch and sand again before even the first coat of paint can be laid. It all takes time, and I hate every minute of it -- not least because I know that every completed room takes us that much closer to putting the house on the market and getting ready to leave Ottawa. The carpenters are amazingly tolerant. I think they've been through this before.

Himself is now two months out from his last day in uniform, and his agenda is filling up with pre-release obligations. Yesterday it was the dental unit, where he was told to use an incredibly expensive fluoride-intense toothpaste because he has "exposed roots". Long in the tooth, are we? Gettit? I hope he makes a date with Clothing Stores soon, for I would love to get the last barrack box out of the cellar, with its contents of desert-pattern combat clothing and winter warfare snugglies. At least the sleeping bag suitable for nuclear winter has gone back, along with the Kevlar helmet, flak jacket and load-carrying equipment. Now, if only he could be persuaded to re-home the accumulation of combat boots. Imelda Marcos had nothing on your typical old soldier.


21 Jan 17 - 07:48 AM (#3833854)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ragdall

My trail blazing with the snowblower backfired on me. Instead of getting a large amount of additional snow, we got warm winds and rain. Snow melted, the paths flooded, blocking my access to compost boxes etc. and seriously upsetting my neighbours' cat, who claims my yard as her own, and wasn't able to conduct her usual tour of the perimeter. Thankfully, the flood has mostly disappeared and temperatures have returned to below freezing again. Winter will resume.

My knee responded well to resting it. I managed to dismantle the Christmas tree and stow it away for the next ten months or so, along with most other signs of Christmas.

Acme, Thank you for offering to help with the dust specks. I don't know how to tell if it scans at 300 dpi. The specs for the printer says: Optical Resolution   1200 x 2400 dpi. I'm assuming that is the output for a document the size of the scanning screen? My scans of small photos are as small as 500 x 700 dpi.

I haven't made time to get back to scanning. I've been trying to think of other possibilities, including giving up on the idea completely, or limiting the project to the post digital camera years. Before I give up completely, I may try to can set up my camera and rephotograph the prints?

rags


21 Jan 17 - 09:28 PM (#3834012)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

Decluttered two inches from around my waist since August. House is still a disaster.


22 Jan 17 - 06:35 PM (#3834181)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: pattyClink

Digging into general clutter today. It was not my plan, but wound up boxing up 3 vacuum cleaners to donate now that the place is carpetfree. Yes, now that I count them I realize they should have moved on long ago, but, here we are, admitting stupidity. Still have the shopvac for big jobs, and the tiny stick vac I got for the RV is much more fun to use for little ones. All this is neither here nor there, except sheesh that liberates several square feet of floor space.

Rags, I wasn't able to get all my photos digitized til I got my hands on a sheetfeed scanner. Mine is a ScanSnap, it would shoosh through a packet at a time and let me sequential number with a prefix like 'Easter 2002'. They are not super cheap, but if you can get your hands on one, it would really help with your project. Only thing I use a flatbed scanner for any more is for delicate stuff I'm afraid to shoosh.


22 Jan 17 - 07:47 PM (#3834188)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

De-cluttered my mind of concern for Beaver by phoning dear Dan and asking him to check on things. He kindly did so and watered the plants. sent me a text. A great relief to know the pipes are not frozen, the studio is not a pancake from the 2 feet of snow on roof and the plants are alive. Once again, I had brought the african violet with me, wrapped in its shawl; it is blooming nicely.

Have recognized that my malaise is long term and, although the cough is mostly gone, the lack of energy persists. I did manage a bunch of thrift shop visits last week, collecting very nice comforters for the house in the Laurentians which is due for first tenants on 26th. We also spent Friday at IKEA collecting other essentials. Tomorrow, the house and my car will be de-cluttered of a huge pile of stuff. R and crew will go up to get it in order. I shall stay home and do almost nothing - again.

Other than that, all the promises of piles of papers being organized have come to naught. Getting a 6 BR house with indoor swimming pool and 3 saunas ready for Airbnb rentors is taking up R's time and energy.

Tired of eating the same stuff all the time, I went berserk - I need something different! There were brussel sprouts in the frig so I googled and put together what i had with a few recipe ideas and we had a sort of brussel sprout/onion/chicken stir fry with blue cheese and heavy cream as a sauce. delicious!

Finally recognized in the last couple days that cookies do an immediate job of clogging sinuses. Will I be able to eliminate them from diet????

I manage to maintain moderate organization for the most part. Cleared some shelf areas for R to use when he gets to it. The buffet is still civil, the new TV not in place...


22 Jan 17 - 09:57 PM (#3834201)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

I've kept the kitchen counters and small table free of clutter for several weeks, mostly since I've had houseguests and made myself pick up and put away instead of letting things pile up. One of my few "resolutions" for the year, formed recently and not on New Year's Eve, is to continue this practice.

I'm also making myself do at least one new eBay listing a day this week, to start moving the things piled on a table I recently moved into the sunroom so I could clear my working space to do those listings. I want all of this photographed, described, packaged (all but sealed - ready to go when someone buys it) and listed so I can move that table back out of my way. The cash will also be welcome as I'm resuming the frugal "no spend challenge" again this month. I did really well for about eight of the 12 months last year - but those four months were monsters! Everything from dog surgeries to a new air conditioner compressor, car repairs, and finally, a new vehicle. Oy.

Patty, you need to be very careful with those scanners that feed documents. And I don't think you can get very high resolutions from an item that is moving across a very narrow scanning area. Those are good for snapshots that don't matter, but the flatbed scanner is every archival librarian's first choice when it comes to preserving important photos, negatives, and documents. The good news is that you can get a pretty good flatbed scanner new, with the software for $150 or less (you might even want to shop software first, decide what kind you want to use, then find scanners that come with it.)


24 Jan 17 - 11:54 AM (#3834544)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal

My energy seems to have returned. For now anyway. Rejoicing in the house and car being emptied of mountain of stuff, I went off foraging for groceries yesterday and did every shop in a largish mall looking for a new item of clothing - a loose fitting shirt, tunic/tent, SOMETHING to camouflage the hips I am simply NOT getting rid of.

Out of a couple dozen stores, only one had a nice big cotton shirt that was perfect - but too small. I checked the brand on line and, although it appears to be based in Montreal, no info on products... SO, this morning I snitched a shirt of R's. He won't miss it and it will work for now. It has snowed about 2 inches in the last hour or so on top of ice that dropped just before; I ain't going no where!

R stayed over up north so... I put clay on plaster bat to dry, had a hot bath, sorted out an upcoming CC payment while on a call to complain about telemarketing call as I was getting out of bath, and had a light BF. Did some sorting in the K, eliminating a couple excess containers. Thought about what can be put in awkward-to-get-to cabinet that R cleared AND washed for me. Will be looking for WHAT ELSE can I do today? I COULD walk to the laundromat and do that, maybe. (Lights just flickered!)

Actually, those mini sortings add up to a good bit of clearing as well as hope.


24 Jan 17 - 01:56 PM (#3834591)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

eBay listings coming along. A couple of things have sold lately so I labelled and mailed them - and from there got started with listing newer items.


25 Jan 17 - 11:55 AM (#3834774)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The contractors are patching the walls and painting in the kitchen today, so the entire house is all of a doodah. Last night, I emptied the cabinet where we keep our way-too-copious collection of glassware, and this morning I cleared the counters and removed literally every piece of furniture that I could pick up. Consequently, the dining table, the sideboard, the front ledge of the china cabinet, and every surface in the sitting room are covered with wine glasses, bottles of booze, beer steins, cooking equipment and large food-storage crocks.

The cats hate-hate-hate what's going on. So do I.

But the real estate agent came around on Monday to check up on progress and talk about timings, and we agreed that the house goes on the market on the first day of Spring, which happens to be a Monday this year. It is also the day after Himself turns 60 and becomes a civilian, and the clock starts running down the time we have to complete this move. One of the most valuable benefits Himself is entitled to on his retirement from the Army is a full-cost move to our destination of choice (within Canada), but we have to get it done and all claims submitted, within a year of his release date.

The bedrooms and bathrooms are patched and painted. The kitchen is under way. In the rest of the house, only the baseboards, window frames and trim are to be painted, but that still means moving every single piece of furniture, including a ridiculous number of bookcases.

On with the show. This is it.


25 Jan 17 - 08:32 PM (#3834892)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Having a target date to finish probably helps pace yourselves, Charmion. To where within Canada are you considering moving?

More items are on eBay, a couple of sales shipped this week, and several parcels need to be shipped to friends. One package no longer needs to be shipped because I delayed for so long that the friend is visiting in town this week. I'll give it to her in person on Friday.


26 Jan 17 - 09:17 AM (#3834979)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: pattyClink

Also getting that 'this is it!' feeling, the bedrooms are done, the main rooms yet to be painted. Have hauled out more bags of trash from the shop building, am sorting and purging lots of 'stuff'.   I'm afraid to call a realtor til the place is tidier, which is hard when you're sorting/purging/listing things, but I guess that needs to move to the top of the list.

Acme, I have a flatbed scanner, and use it for very old or special photos. It took forever to scan a few hundred old photos. I get amazing resolution with the modern sheet feed scanner, which takes 1/20th the time to do, so I got thousands done. My colleague has used one to do all the publications for his agency with great results. Maybe you're thinking about the old first generation sheet-feeders, they were pretty lame.


26 Jan 17 - 09:23 AM (#3834981)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yes, Acme, a deadline concentrates the mind mightily. I have disliked the state of the kitchen for at least five years, but only the imminent sale of the house could force me to pull my finger out and get the work done.

Our destination is Stratford, Ontario, the seat of Perth County and home of the Stratford Theatre Festival. It's a nice little town of just over 30,000 population, just close enough to Toronto to allow weekend jaunts for shopping and shows, but far enough away that house prices are still almost sane. It's also within easy visiting distance of Himself's extended family, which comprises what feels like dozens of nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews, all spread out along the 401 highway from Toronto to Windsor.

The kitchen is back to rights, after some two hours of trotting back and forth with trays of glassware and armloads of cooking tackle. I also improved the last hour of daylight yesterday by scrubbing the floor, my second-least-favourite job (after cleaning the oven). Himself came home from work just as I was hauling in the last of the wine glasses (yes, we have too many), and all I had to say to him was, "Pizza for supper. And beer."

The huge mirror in the front hall -- seven feet tall, Victorian plate glass and mahogany, probably once the property of a Montreal haberdasher -- has been taken down from its bracket and propped up against a bookcase full of British Empire history. Fresh plaster has been applied to the jeezly great holes in the wall where its enormous anchor bolts were sunk into the studs, and the carpenters are due around lunch time to sand, patch again, sand some more, and patch yet again. The real estate agent wanted it dismounted and squirrelled away before any potential buyer saw it and assumed it came with the house, but now I'll actually have to pay attention to ensure that I don't button my coat skew-whiff.


30 Jan 17 - 08:00 PM (#3835820)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal

Charmion is going to have a pretty clean slate when she moves to new quarters; she can choose carefully what actually gets unpacked. Of course, sending things to elsewhere before moving is best - for all that we can bear to part with.

I de-cluttered my life on Friday morning by breaking the left ankle. The right foot hit a bit of black ice and flew out in front of me. The left one stuck on the tarmac and I had the fairly unique experience of watching my foot fold up toward my knee. One full day in emergency and two in bed recovering and this morning I wanted to jump out of bed and make breakfast.... R made it - again. But I feel better and can maneuver around with the borrowed "Cadillac" walker. Just the skill we each need!

Well, about the de-cluttering:R has cleared the house to make way for a walker! Some good comes from... The house is a MESS!


31 Jan 17 - 09:15 AM (#3835916)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Oh, Dorothy! How awful!

Some 30 years ago, I broke my left ankle while getting out of the car in an icy parking lot. Four years later, I broke the right one in an incident eerily similar to what you suffered. I'm sure you have received loads and loads of good advice already, but here comes my two cents: don't be in any hurry to put weight on the recovering joint.

The routine task I found most difficult was cooking: as long as I was on crutches (ten very long weeks), all I could do was stand at the stove and stir -- fetching and carrying were not possible. Number two was bathing: getting in and out of the bathtub required a fair amount of upper-body strength and no little skill.

But you're right about the decluttering effect. When you can't, you can't, and that's that. I'm sure Roger's cooking skills will meet the need, and I hope you're better than I was about nagging from the sofa.

Our carpenters have finished their work and I paid them on Friday, thus decluttering our bank account of a substantial sum. Now we wait for Himself's all-important meeting with the Release Section at National Defence Headquarters, when he gets the all-important Relocation Package and we find out precisely what the Crown pays for -- and what it doesn't.

If this move is anything like what we went through before, it would be best if we shed as much stuff now as we can. When the packers come and the house is full of cardboard and newsprint, we will quickly lose track of what is where -- that is, if we ever have anything resembling track. I look around the cellar and despair; some of the boxes down there were packed 25 years ago, when my father died, and haven't been touched since except to shift them from his cellar to mine. There are also three cartons of cassette tapes (we don't even own a cassette tape player any more) and two milk crates full of ancient, battered LPs. I can't remember the last time we cranked up the turntable that is still hooked to our stereo, but Himself would weep real, salt tears if I proposed parting with them.

Oy, veh.


31 Jan 17 - 01:55 PM (#3835959)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Bat Goddess

Been a bit distracted lately by political events, my sister's medical situation, and then getting hit with The Cold (which everybody else seems to have already had).

Occasionally when one is lying awake at 3:30 in the morning, the mind actually does some good thinking and organizing and comes up with some good ideas. (This has happened exactly once, I think, in my life -- but it was a week or so ago.)

One of the ideas was to deaccession several boxes of magazine clipping -- photos and artwork -- that I used to use for collage projects such as covering storage boxes, portfolios, pocket folders, clipboards, etcet, etcet. Some great and colorful stuff but...I'm not really doing this anymore. And when I do, I've been using maps instead.

Asked the likely recipient, a very creative and artistic friend, if she'd be interested and, since she's been working on making figures she calls "Entities" and selling them from her Etsy shop, she declined. Just emailed another friend who runs a large daycare/preschool and has taken other paper craft materials for school projects.

I really would prefer to give them to someone who can creatively use them, but I'll try to wrap my brain around throwing them out if I have no takers. I may not have grown up in New England, but Tom always said I was born a Yankee -- I really hate throwing out something that somebody somewhere can use.

Got to go chip some more ice off the deck and steps. That's what happens when a cold slaps you down the day after several inches of "wintry mix" arrives on your doorstep.

Linn


02 Feb 17 - 06:16 PM (#3836376)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal ---INDEFINiTELY! Phooey.

Phoned Dan and he will check on house and water plants. also told him of a new spring project: extend the walkway to west end of studio, build an 6-8 foot deck with weatherproof cabinet for two small kilns. R has acquired a kiln rated extension cord! This will de-clutter a big portion of the shed by house for more accessible storage,

Now to find someone to empty the mailbox.

Re-scheduled appointment to get cataracts checked to April so save R two days of tripping to take me. Hope to be able to drive by then.

Tomorrow to hospital for xray to check on healing; hopeful as I have been VERY careful (Charmion!). This will greatly de-clutter my mind as the thought of surgery for a pin is most distressing.

AS for the house: we are gradually coming to terms with what needs to be done and how to keep me eating without driving R into more stress. IT is chaos but there is a path for the walker. R will move the microwave a a spot where I can access it.

On the plus side, I have avoided all sweets ad choc since last Thursday and am eating very carefully. Hope to keep on.


02 Feb 17 - 08:16 PM (#3836398)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Linn, if you box all of the craft stuff maybe you can donate to a shelter or a daycare center or even thrift store?

Dorothy, did you have to have surgery on the ankle, or did they simply set it?

I fear I will soon be minus one dog. My old pitbull Cinnamon is today looking unhappy, has more lumps under her coat, is moving slowly, and tonight she didn't eat her dinner, not even a few pieced offered by hand. I think the lesions removed last summer were cancer, and they're catching up with her. I'll let her sleep on the foot of the bed tonight and see how she is in the morning, but I refuse to prolong her discomfort (she's 13 or 14) when medical intervention would only give her a few days or weeks, and those not quality days or weeks. I told the kids, and my son just emailed saying he saw that she was "worse for wear" when he was here earlier this month and he said his goodbyes then. Maybe I'm the last to see it, since I've been with her every day and the decline is gradual.


03 Feb 17 - 08:29 AM (#3836462)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Dorothy, if you have avoided surgery thus far, you have been very lucky -- and I hope you continue to be. Both my ankle fractures were complicated, with bits of bone all over the place, so I got "open reduction and fixation" -- i.e., surgery plus screws and plates -- followed by a week in hospital and a long convalescence made miserable by Ottawa's icy winter. For each foot, I had to have follow-up surgery within five years to remove the hardware, yet more fun and games. The scars were rather stunning for some years but they have finally faded to faint silver traces.

Yesterday we went to see the financial wizard who handles our retirement savings. I'm always amused by my intense desire to be patted on the head and congratulated for my bourgeois impulse to squirrel away as much cash as possible and duck any potential for debt, and Mr Smith obliged nicely. It seems that we won't starve as long as the Canadian government keeps to its end of the bargain on military pensions, and our savings will permit us to continue attending folk festivals as long as our digestions will stand the rigors of road food.

Acme, I'm sorry to read that your dear dog is failing. Several years ago, one of our cats died of cancer while we were away (at a folk festival, oddly enough), and I've felt guilty ever since that I failed to realize she was so close to the end. You clearly won't make the same mistake.


03 Feb 17 - 01:25 PM (#3836525)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

She perked up to her old self today, but now that I look at her more closely I see she walks more slowly, and has those bumps, so we're going through that stage of good and bad days. When she has more bad than good days, I'll have to make the decision.

My goal to keep the kitchen tidy pays off in making my days and weekends easier - preparation to leave for work smoother, and weekend projects don't require the clearing of stuff.

I have to test the new steam cleaner, but first have to vacuum. My house is a sea of dog hair (and it isn't even shedding season yet).

eBay is moving along, I've built up the balance in my PayPal account and that encourages me to keep up the listings. Success breeds success.


03 Feb 17 - 01:50 PM (#3836532)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Senoufou

Acme, just wanted to say I'm so sorry your Cinnamon is declining. We recently had to make the decision to have our cat Minty put to sleep, and in spite of it being entirely the right thing to do, I know how heartbreaking it is. It helps us to concentrate on the very happy life he had, and the really lovely little moments we shared. I so feel for you.

About the decluttering, I always do a massive attack on the filing cabinet in the study every January. Two huge drawers with quite neatly arranged folders, but over the year they get more and more stuffed full of papers. This is only for running the house, our car and other documents (Tax and so on). But the amount of A4 bits of paper gets silly. I weed out all but the most essential stuff and do one file at a time. By the time I've done only the first drawer, there's a massive pile of paper to get rid of. It can't be recycled because there may be details of accounts etc so it all has to be shredded piece by piece. Our electric shredder overheats after 5 sheets, so this process takes literally weeks! I'm nearly at the end of the second drawer now. And I've managed to do a financial review at the same time, which is always useful. I'd like to burn all this paper, but our garden is tiny and there's a huge 1000 litre oil tank sitting there. Bit dangerous to burn stuff right beside that!
I remember the time when all this malarkey was unknown. My parents didn't have huge amounts of paper around the place. I'm thinking of employing a secretary and an accountant!


04 Feb 17 - 12:58 PM (#3836733)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Senoufou, when I pay bills (all are paid online these days) I print the confirmation, but I use the printer's sheet feeder and run each page twice so the next confirmation goes on the back of the first. And I have a couple of accordion-style folders with 12 pockets. Each bill and the confirmation for the month goes in the appropriate pocket, and I keep two smaller envelopes, one for medical and Rx receipts (it moves from pocket to pocket during the year) and a monthly envelope for store receipts. At the end of the year I open the next 12-pocket case after emptying the two-year-old contents into a large manila envelope. That is marked and put on a shelf until enough time passes to shred it. This way, with only two folders in play, I have the previous year's receipts handy in case I need to dig one out to prove a purchase, etc. I used to have a file drawer with a folder for each of the bills and when it got too full I'll shred the oldest, but that was a bulky system because I rarely ever needed to refer back to those bills.

I'm going to set up a station for emptying the vacuum cleaner. Odd as it sounds, and as easy as my new vacuum is to empty than the old bagged Hoover, the dog hair dust still tends to be a problem. So I'm going to line a kitchen-sized lidded trash can with a bag and empty the vacuum receptacle into the can outside. This will probably live beside the house side door (outside). I have a small kitchen trash bin on top of my dryer - all trash receptacles are up out of reach of my Labrador retriever. I recycle most things and have compost, so it doesn't fill very fast and it doesn't need to be large.


05 Feb 17 - 04:40 PM (#3836963)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

VERY tired of sitting. Just looked at yarn on line and realize I do not want or need any such. Maybe R can find some yarn at a thrift shop and I can crochet hats to give away. If he can bring home a crochet hook! He is not hopeful.

Surgery: TEN hours at the hospital: "come back in a week and get an xray" No phone number, no correct paper work and no one knew what to do! R went - "You can't come in here!" - got someone working on it. About 4 pm, the xrays!!! "Can I leave now?" "No you need to see a DR." At 8:30, having spent a VERY uncomfortable day in horrible wheelchair, waiting for name to be called, Asked again - no file here! The paper we had had was gone "We will return it!", they said! Got phone number and name of Dr and went home.
d
Getting in the house (an out in the am) entailed picking up Ephraim, who was waiting at the office, so he and R could pick up walker with me in it and carry it up the 3 steps to the house. NOT fun! BUT! To get as close as possible, R was backing up right on the sidewalk. Police took a dim view and came at us with flashing lights and siren -at 9:30 pm! R and E had a fine time convincing them it was necessary to get the 80 year old into the house!!! I suspect they watched from down the street.

Maybe on Monday, R will manage to connect with the Dr's office and find out if I need surgery?? In the meantime I am HOPING, esp after Charmion's story!

I washed dishes yesterday, on one foot, and washed hair at K sink today - with R standing by. The microwave is accessible and I can get to frig. R is cooking great BFs and we are getting into routines that will evolve as I get stronger. I have started lobbying for a strong railing on those front steps, though winter may preclude much use, if it even comes to pass.

A friend checked the mail at Beaver and is sending needful stuff and will check again in a couple weeks. She will use the coupons!

My bum is still sore from Friday so I need to go back to bed with a good book. which we found in the hospital - a consolation prize!

And I rescheduled eye appointment to April; Although I am anxious to get cataracts checked and dealt with, a two day trip to central Ontario is too much right now.   

And R bought me a wonderful table lamp for my b-day. One part from one thrift shop and the other from another. The shade coordinates with those beautiful ones he installed on the ceiling at Beaver at Christmas. We can de-clutter the lamps we no longer need. Planning for two in the LR here to go to the airbnb house up north.


10 Feb 17 - 09:06 AM (#3838001)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Today I'm drafting an email to a Stratford real estate agent setting out what we want in our next abode. I find that I've become very picky about domestic technology (what kind of furnace, where the washing machine is installed), but I don't care a rap about fancy bathrooms -- in fact, I'd much rather have a nice, big linen closet than a "luxury ensuite". Currently, I have blankets and table linen stashed in plastic bins only I can identify in the range of shelving in our cellar. Thank God for lavender sachets ...

Dorothy, how are you faring?


11 Feb 17 - 04:12 PM (#3838317)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Charmion: sounds good that you can state what you require! Hope you have a well recommended realtor! Plastic bins are SO helpful! Labelling them does help!

Up one day, the next I'm down. Half an inch of water....

Trip to Dr on Weds elicits info that ankle is in place but "it could slip any time"!! I thought the cast... Trip was exhausting (de-cluttered ALL my energy!). But Friday I managed to sort and fold laundry that was FINALLY dry. AND washed the dishes. So today I am again de-cluttered! Another set of xrays in ten days and then Dr again. HOPE!

Cold night= cold house so I just stayed in bed today. I hope all this energy is going into healing. I WANT to go home.

LR still looks like a store room. R loses time from work caring for me. But I still keep nudging. Big nudge on which to focus is a railing for front steps (3) as I think I would be able to hop down soon. The stress of being carried in the walker is huge! I need to be able to get OUT!! LIBRARY beckons! Finished The Piano Maker and it was excellent and helped state of mind = took me out of prison. (We only have 2 TV channels; today is sports on one and tripe on the other.)

Adding to chaos: R woke up to the snow removal siren and as he dressed a neighbour banged on door; we were one car from being towed! He was gone an hour; as he sought place to park, fire trucks arrived - lots! - so he went to a hardware store for something but still had to park a distance. Crisis was a gas leak on side street - about 50 feet away! All fixed.

Email from neighbour re public info meeting re proposed quarry on 20 March. I hope we can make it. HEAL ankle, HEAL!


12 Feb 17 - 11:26 AM (#3838461)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Yesterday I ripped several novels into my mp3 player as I continue my shift of drive time listening to novels as I declutter my life of all-day news reports. I get enough radio news in the morning as I brew my tea and in the evening when I fix dinner. The rest is through reading (skimming) during the day. I use Windows Media Player, though it has some problems with how files are organized (if you accidentally lump all of the files together in WMP they're still in their own folders, but they don't play correctly through the player any more and you can't separate them out easily.)

Potatoes beginning to emerge in the garden, and it's time to plant onions. I have a couple of bags of home-chipped mulch in the garage to put down around the onions. I'm thinking it's time to try true raised beds, not just beveled soil mounds.

Meanwhile, there are a number of projects sitting out in plain sight on my dining room table. I need to do something soon since one of those projects is a delayed holiday gift for my siblings.


12 Feb 17 - 04:43 PM (#3838509)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

Second snowshoe race of three completed today before the blizzard got going. I am proud of my time - the course had to be rerouted due to an ice storm earlier this winter, so it was a tad bit shy of four miles, and I completed it in 1:07:42. This is more than 30 minutes better than the previous time I ran this race. Granted, conditions were also a lot better this time.


12 Feb 17 - 08:26 PM (#3838544)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Good job!


13 Feb 17 - 08:05 AM (#3838625)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Excellent, Tami. My toes hurt just thinking of four miles on snowshoes.

I took Himself to the airport this morning, well before dawn, in the lull between phases of our current weather system. Only one car in the snowbank on the Airport Parkway -- and it wasn't us. As I backed through the windrow left by the street plow (whump! skid!), it occurred to me that this was our last pre-dawn airport run. How many over 19 years? Lots and lots.

CBC tells me that the Maritime provinces are in the middle of a huge blizzard fit to bury everybody under some 70 cm of snow. I imagine that Maine is getting the same thing -- Tami, does your house have a snorkel?


13 Feb 17 - 09:22 PM (#3838780)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

No, but I do have a window in the loft :)


14 Feb 17 - 12:04 AM (#3838791)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

We're getting thunderstorms overnight. We don't need a snorkel or window in the loft, but I do have a towel in the corner where a puddle forms because I need to replace a gutter (that would be torn down by the kind of snow you get in Maine - good thing this is Texas).


14 Feb 17 - 12:44 PM (#3838942)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

Debating decluttering the roof of some snow before the next storm arrives on Wednesday night. I also need to declutter the path from the cottage to the car again, it filled in last night with drifting snow and is now hip deep. Bleah!


14 Feb 17 - 08:49 PM (#3839012)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

There were puddles of water left near the fireplace after last night's storms. I need to put up rain gutters on the back of the house to stop so much water pouring down onto the chimney that needs repointing. This week, I hope a friend will be available to help with that. We'll buy pre-fab pieces and assemble gutters to carry the water away from the brickwork. While I'm at it, I'll set up one of the gutters to fill a rain barrel for the garden.

My daughter called this morning to say she'd just accepted a job offer. What timing - the last day at her former job was last week on Friday. She starts work later this week. She finished graduate school last spring and has been applying for jobs all summer and fall. We will all scramble to position ourselves to be helpful to her at this time of transition - she has a difficult commute ahead, but I live near where she will work. Perhaps I'll see a bit more of her, if we plan some dates ahead.


15 Feb 17 - 09:02 AM (#3839081)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Snowing again in Ottawa, and our street (a main bus route) looks like a one-lane tunnel. Cars parked on the street are deeply nested in snowbanks thrown up by the city plows. Our neighbour, who has three cars and a garage full of junk, is facing about an hour's worth of heavy labour before he even leaves for work. We are living through our 19th winter next door to that family, and they seem never to have considered clearing that garage so they can actually park in it.

I am now looking critically at the china cabinet with intent to remove from it every article that I know I have never used, and am morally certain that Himself is unlikely ever to use again, if he ever has. Unfortunately, Himself has strong sentimental attachments to such items as a coffee mug from the 2004 Nijmegen Marches, a beer stein from the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, and a badly designed teapot from the Six Nations Pottery. Don't get me started on the great variety of travel mugs and coffee-making technology, every single item of apparently crucial importance. I'm getting that Gotta Have A Garage Sale feeling.

Acme, how wonderful that your daughter landed a decent job, and it's near you. Texas seems like a place where a long commute is so normal as to be part of the price of employment, along with an expensive post-secondary qualification and a "professional" wardrobe.


15 Feb 17 - 08:31 PM (#3839198)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

She will work at a museum, so her somewhat exotic wardrobe may not be totally outlandish for working there, but she will need some good separates that she can combine for a number of looks. There is a very nice department store chain that has an outlet store here in town, so I'll suggest she try that, though we all tend to head to the thrift store and find remarkably good-condition clothing. She has her undergraduate degree in Theater Arts costume design, so she can modify anything she finds.

Lentil soup is simmering on the stove, an Egyptian recipe that is very simple - water, lentils, grated onion, salt, pepper, cumin, and some lemon juice. The house smells heavenly. The same cookbook has some more elaborate lentil soup recipes, but this is my favorite. This book is such a favorite that I've now given copies to every member of my family - I buy the used hardbound copies for a few dollars since the new paperback version costs about $60. I even have a couple of extra copies of it here in case I want to make a gift, and a paperback one that was sent by accident is at work for reference. We have many middle eastern students and when we get talking about food, this book comes down for consultation.

Search link. I just bought another copy, it was $7 and free shipping. Now I'll have three available as gifts, but I already have a couple of recipients in mind.


16 Feb 17 - 09:54 AM (#3839275)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook looks like a great find, Acme. I already love Madhur Jaffrey (Indian) and Marcella Hazan (Italian) for less-meat-arian recipes, so I just might procure a copy for myself.

I picked over the kitchen cabinets yesterday for crockery that I think we should part with, and it's spread all over the sideboard and dining table in the hope that Himself will agree with me and let it go without argument. Well, not argument; let's call it discussion. The Wedgwood majolica (green, leaf patterns) survived the cut, but only because it's collectible (by somebody else) and the younger generation of Himself's kin group should get first refusal before I find a way to dispose of it profitably. We've had it since Mum-in-law died some ten years ago, and not used it once. More challenging are the clunky hand-thrown dinner plates Himself bought at a long-ago craft show; I hate them because they have the heft and finesse of roof tiles, but that's exactly what Himself likes about them.

Maybe I could drop them off the balcony, by accident?


16 Feb 17 - 11:04 AM (#3839296)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

There are quite a few recipes with no meat in that book, Charmion. I found it years ago in a small town where the local chain bookstore had put it in the remainder bin. I moved there after several years in New York City, eating at all manner of ethnic restaurants and ordering a favorite dish over time until I figured out how to make it, then moving to another. This cookbook made it possible to figure out many dishes easily, especially when I was living in a small Central Texas town with mostly just Tex-Mex and faux-Chinese restaurants. I have a garden and when I have a lot of a particular crop I can go to this cookbook and find numerous recipes. It's particularly good for okra and eggplant.

The plates that you don't care for may have collectors out there in the world. That's where eBay comes in handy. I had a couple of plates my sister sent that were out of our mother's house - they were some small southern Alberta manufacturer and when I listed them I made sure they went up in the Canadian eBay listings also. They went to someone who grew up in that area. I'd much rather give each item a cursory exam, learn a little something about it, sell it for a modest price and know that it is going to a new owner who really wants it than dump it all at the Goodwill. I know I'm not a museum, but I learned something about the object, and possibly about the interests of the family member who originally purchased it. On a couple of occasions I've decided to keep the item I've researched, but usually I let it go to it's next home where it will be appreciated.

I think I picked up some of this from Don Aslett's book Clutter's Last Stand. He is a philosopher, not just a house-cleaning guru. He asks why we keep these things we don't need, and helps his readers figure out how to let go. You can usually find that in used book stores, and it will certainly be available through Bookfinder.com.


16 Feb 17 - 01:34 PM (#3839336)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Bat Goddess

Most of my decluttering these past couple weeks have been of snow on the deck, steps, and car. I even sprung to pay my up-the-hill neighbor's ex-husband to shovel the deck/steps after two of them. This one is only about 5" and comparatively light, so despite my sore shoulder, I'll do this one. And the car. My plow guy will be back later, but I may not go out late this afternoon to the movie at Portsmouth library, so he won't be able to do clean up until I leave for the Press Room tomorrow.

I HAVE reread my letters to and from author Robert H. Rimmer, mostly from the 1970s, and I'm adding significant dates to my personal digital calendar of my life -- I'm sort of reconstructing the ten years of my first marriage. I put a lot of that completely out of my mind. As a result, I'm realizing, I'd forgotten how many poems and other pieces of writing I had published and sold during that time period.

I chose to revisit those letters because they're fairly upbeat. I found that going through another binder of letters from 1969 to about 1980 was putting me into a fairly strange mental space. Maybe, having eased into it from the RHR letters, I can revisit those now with minimal effect from the bad memories.

Linn


16 Feb 17 - 05:25 PM (#3839384)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

My sister-in-law introduced me to Don Aslett some 15 or 20 years ago, and I've been lightening my load of clutter in stages ever since. This move will be just another opportunity to shed some household bulk.

Linn's remarks about letters reminded me -- the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet needs a good purge before the move. My parents never threw away a letter, and my brother (also a bit of a pack rat) ended up with several boxes of Dad's papers, including every letter I ever wrote over five years of military service during which I cranked out about one per week. Of course, instead of kindly deep-sixing them like a sensible person, he returned them to me. Unlike Linn, I have no desire to visit with my younger self (I can stand only so much cringing), so I'll just shred the lot. Tomorrow would be a good day for that.


23 Feb 17 - 07:06 PM (#3841086)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal

:ost post. Too tired. Cluttering operation tomorrow on ankle. Ticked off.


24 Feb 17 - 09:34 AM (#3841215)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I'm sorry to hear you're in surgery today, Dorothy. On the other hand, if you need it, you really need it and I'm glad you're getting it.

Feeling tense as Himself's last day in uniform comes as us like the noon freight. He has contracts to handle three military cases immediately after release, for which he will be paid handsomely, but the news media are full of stories about veterans who wait months and months for their first pension payments because of chaos in the responsible administrations. We have savings, but ... but ... but!

Today, I'm packing up donations: clothing to the Canadian Diabetes Society, tchochkes for the church bazaar. That'll keep me out of mischief.


24 Feb 17 - 11:47 PM (#3841361)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Dorothy, I'm looking forward to seeing you up and around soon, once that ankle is taken care of.

I've decluttered my mp3 player of some files that were kind of mangled by Windows Media Player. I'm more careful in ripping audio books from CDs to the player so they play in order. I just finished a book and the last disk didn't make much sense - I realized it was skipping around. These recorded books folks aren't very good about giving each disk the same name and not changing the numbering system. I listen to these now during my daily commute, instead of listening to the news each drive. I get enough of that in the morning and I read newspapers.

Gardening weather is here, so I'll be dividing my time between getting set up for garden crops and clearing out the sun room of the things that have accumulated in the last few weeks. Most of it intended for eBay. The allergies have started up, which may affect everything.


25 Feb 17 - 05:00 PM (#3841555)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

By eating about half the portions and no sweetened soda, little bread and rice and more veggies like cabbage I went from 220 to 198 in about 5 weeks.

I noticed stairs are easier.

At 6 ft going below 190 would mean a clothing overhaul.

To hit 170 I would have to halve the portions again. If my type 2 status improves I won't need to go there.


25 Feb 17 - 05:34 PM (#3841564)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Don, good job!

I have a similar project in mind. My job is so sedentary that sitting in front of a computer 8 hours a day (at work) and then more at home to work on my own projects is crippling. Literally. It was when the restless leg bit started at night that I realized I needed to do something - several somethings, in fact.

I cut out all of the alcohol, extra sugar, and salty snacks on general principles. I added magnesium and potassium to my vitamin routine. Next month I have an appointment with my GP for general blood work since we didn't do it at my last physical (different doctor for that). I'm getting more exercise. The restless leg seems to have subsided, but the achy muscles aren't gone yet. I too hope that weigh loss will be a part of this shift in my eating and behavior. Stress is a factor that I can help somewhat by not listening to the news all day long, that's why I'm ripping audio books for my mp3 player. At my work we have a couple of computer stations, tall tables with treadmills and I have a couple of tasks I can do there, so I walk several times a week in addition to an exercise class.

And today was a project for that mp3 player. I have it so I'll use it, though I could load books into my phone as well. One of these days I'll figure out if there is a bluetooth connection instead of a cable to the aux plug, then the phone might be easier. I searched for and found the manual for the Walkman, figured out how to format the drive, and this morning I created an audio book library in my computer to detangle those files from music. And I'm organizing them in folders and loading with Windows Explorer, not Windows Media Player that has a mind of it's own with it comes to syncing files. In the last month I've listened to two fairly long novels and am set to start another. The political news on the radio will keep until later.


26 Feb 17 - 02:12 PM (#3841746)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

The days are longer and that may be contributing to more energy, but whatever the reason, it's progress. I forgot to mention that yesterday.


26 Feb 17 - 04:58 PM (#3841771)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

I haven't introduced any exercise for exercise sake. I have too many yard projects and internal decluttering things to do.

I no longer eat a ritual meal just because its time. The only time I feel a little bit hungry is late at night but I think that is a good feeling and easily resist eating after 7pm.

I personally think running is no healthier than sunning. A little tiny bit is fine but a lot is not for me. Enlarged hearts and sunburns are not good.


26 Feb 17 - 05:26 PM (#3841775)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Donuel

Depending on how much you have to lose some people may need to cut portions in half then cut that half into a quarter and end up near an eighth of their former portion. The reason is the body will become more efficient with less food so you have to shock it into submission until your mind learns between a 1/8 and 1/4 of huge historic portions is normal.

Of course I still have treats in really small portions. I can not live on no chocolate cake or 4 bites of ice cream from time to time.

If cutting down feels austere you are doing it wrong.


26 Feb 17 - 08:51 PM (#3841815)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

I find alternate day fasting works; it's not a true fast, but one day of "regular" eating then one day when you have one small meal, or a small meal and a tiny snack, of no more than 500 calories. The research show that on the "feed" day you don't eat more than usual so the law of averages works. Eat, Fast, Live Longer is where I learned about it, about 38 minutes into the program he starts talking about this routine.


02 Mar 17 - 12:26 PM (#3842476)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Thank you for encouragement!

Hope I can get it right this time! Yesterday was a BIG turning point! R went off without cooking our BF -crisis #6 milion! - ao, after a while I decided I could do this! This being getting to the K and cooking bacon. I did a bit of cleaning up and realized that I could put a knee on the walker so some of the weight was off the one leg. WOW! So I texted R that I was fed and OK. Success breeds success so I was in and out of K all day, getting fed and doing little things. And let him know it was OK. It felt GREAT! He had sone some adjusting, getting the antique wood stove out of the way so I can better access that area. So I can feed myself, folded all the laundry, washed ALL the cutlery, and looking to see what else I can manage. This morning, he cooked, I washed. Later, I rolled across the bed to sort out that corner of the BR, sorting clothes and picking out what to wear for our possible weekend excursion.

There is a sense of security that the bones are screwed together and although they will bear no weight, they are not in danger of rattling around.

I am sticking almost 100% to the Keto diet I doubt I have lost any weight through all this but I do feel good and no longer crave choc or cookies. Connie lost 25 on it - the first diet in her life on which she lost weight; if she tries exercise, she gains! But this week she told me tht her husband,who drinks, smokes and eats junk, has, on one keto meal a day, decreased diglycerides (this seems to be important) and improved diabetes status enough that she is amazed and delighted. R has come to terms with it and agreed this am that mashed cauliflower improves the omelet.

My op was excruciating on the day. I accepted, gratefully!, pain med in hospital but took one Tyenol that night at home and nothing but MSM since; it seemed to help but I continue with it and glucosamine sulfate for the shoulders I was ignoring. much better now. The brand new bottle of Tylenol will be going to a new home.

Weds, a knock on the door. I managed to get into walker and to the door to peek. A woman was standing on the sidewalk. She appeared to be reasonable so I opened the door and we started chatting; she was admiring the house. It was cold so I invited her in and we had a great visit. Then she walked home to Nun's Island - 90 minutes! Acme: she lives in one of the first buildings there, by an architect survivor of A. She actually found his signature in a lower level and photographed it before "it was covered up". The name did not make it through to my muddled brain but R will know. We talked on the phone this am, both delighted to have found a kindred spirit; we seem to speak the same language.

The positive aspects of the ankle affair are that R has realized he can cook well, the LR is somewhat more habitable, that darn wood stove is somewhat out of the way, R has been keeping the distilled water supplied- learned to use the distiller.

But I had to change my eye appointment re cataracts and my eyesight is worsening so reading is no longer enjoyable. Thankful that Saul told me how to enlarge stuff on computer!!!!

I hope we can take this weekend break for our friend's memorial and a possible visit to Beaver. Anything OUT of this house is a treat!


02 Mar 17 - 07:11 PM (#3842541)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

First formal arrangements made to sell the house: an appointment with the organization that handles all Canadian Forces moves. They want an amazing array of documentation, some of which makes no sense to me -- why, for example, would an outfit that arranges and pays for household moves need to know the size of the lot upon which our house sits? It's a puzzlement.


02 Mar 17 - 09:34 PM (#3842560)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

It's coming back to me now - some time ago I created a new folder in my mp3 player for audio books. And that time, like this time, it didn't work. The player isn't set to play nicely with new folders, so I had to move the newly loaded books into the existing music folder. I had formatted the player to reload files, and after a confusing drive to work when the newest story I started didn't make much sense I realized the default setting seems to be "shuffle." I listened again on the way home and the book is much more interesting now!

I've shopped around and read reviews for the computer desks that go from sitting to standing work stations. We've had some at my workplace for a while, the type with electric motors, but I found some at Amazon with and without the motors. The manual crank desks have good reviews also, so I ordered one of those (the motorized desks cost about $150 more). It's supposed to arrive tomorrow, and will need to be assembled. I then need to clear an old computer setup in my guest room to make space so I can move my current computer desk in there for the time being. Multiples of monitors, external drives, USB ports, keyboards, mouse, plus the scanner, the printer, a video box for converting VHS tapes to digital AVI files . . . and all of the cables. I'll spare you a description of the rest. It'll be a big job.


07 Mar 17 - 05:01 PM (#3843512)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Our trip of 50 hours away from Montreal, involved 20 hours of driving time/sitting in the car trying to be comfortable time! R had so much trouble with the night shifts, we vow no more night driving.

A night in a hotel and meals decluttered his finances. But we managed a visit to my 101 year old friend in nursing home - a painful experience as she could only tell me "that name is familiar to me" and requested my address and phone number; she is SO embued with correctness. Well, better that I did get to see her than not. The memorial for our dear friend (70) was amazing with wonderful people and chats with other good friends and the reminder that this person had LIVED LIFE! I hope it encourages R to do more of that. He failed to go on The Canoe Trip last summer. There will be no more with Paul.

We spent a cold night at Beaver and loved waking up to trees and the hills in our tiny house. The wood stove did a good job. Dropped off stuff there that had been cluttering Montreal. When ankle is healed and I can go home, all that will find spots. Picked up a few things I wanted from there and a wonderful box of apples - still in good shape! Did up a BIG pot of them yesterday. Then back to Montreal. Glad we had done it but very tired.

Here, things get a bit sorted as we go along.


07 Mar 17 - 09:38 PM (#3843559)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

My desk is assembled and in place, equipment up and running, with things still needing organizing in the office (that were taken off of the other desktop and haven't found a way onto the new one - yet). I'm awaiting the delivery of an ergonomic rubber mat that is essential when standing on a hard floor in front of the tall desk. Amazon tells me it will arrive tomorrow.

Our weather has fluctuated hot then cold then hot again. I sometimes switch to a down comforter on my bed in winter, but this year I've stuck with layers of blankets. I can peel off however many I need to be comfortable (something not possible with the comforter - you're either cold or way too hot). That ice and snow you describe is the reason why so many people from up there retire to Florida. :)

I'm thinking of doing a Katlaughing maneuver and installing Dragon Naturally Speaking. Do any of the rest of you use it?


08 Mar 17 - 06:27 AM (#3843620)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: billybob

I have had so much pleasure reading this thread over the years but never felt I could contribute. Not that Billy and I have no clutter , believe me we do! Last year he ,at last, attacked the garage, so full he had to hire a skip. We can actually walk from the back to the front now but still no room for a car. We replaced the doors upstairs recently and of course the old doors are now in the garage waiting for us to work out how to lower the back seats in the new car so we can transport the doors to the tip. See, that's what garages are for a stepping stone for rubbish no longer needed in the house but waiting for disposal. Is that a man thing? Certainly some of my friends have husbands with the same mindset as Billy. Since my lovely mother died a year ago, she lived with us for 5 years and had a bedroom downstairs. I have gradually packed her treasures and boxed them in the attic, cannot part with her memories yet although I have gifted some to my daughter and son and grandchildren, so now her bedroom is a fine sunny dining room and we try to fill it with family gatherings with laughter and fun. The old dining room is now a cosy second sitting room. A place to sit and read, listen to music and have some " me time"
Next week we have Billy's nephew and family visiting from New Jersey, the first time they have been to England, so I have stripped one of the guest bedrooms and painted the walls a lovely shade of palest green. Thrown out an old divan bed ( that actually made it to the tip!!) Found some lovely new cream curtains and decluttered the bookcase, what to do with the books, maybe the local hospice bookshop? Most books I cannot bare to give away, but do we ever read them again?
We thought we should sort out the shower room downstairs so the visitors had free use of the upstairs rooms. Big drama, the shower has been leaking. Even the joists under the floor were rotten so we have had workmen all week replacing the floor and stud wall and installing a lovely new shower with new glass door. Utter muddle but at least I can escape today to the salon to look after some clients!
Just the garden to sort out before the visitors arrive, that will have to be at the weekend, if it doesn't rain.

Hope your ankle is improving Dorothy xx

Wendy


08 Mar 17 - 11:14 AM (#3843690)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Wendy! wonderful things happening at your house! Good to get the floor repaired! I have hopes for the ankle; doctor on Friday aft; waiting with almost bated breath!

Never used Dragon but it sounds a good idea. I suspect a new computer is in my future as I have upgraded as much as possible and still get messages that I am sub-par.

I would prefer an ergonomic high stool to standing at that computer table! Standing has never been a strong point for me but I could walk all day. Are you going to have a treadmill under the desk and walk as you work?

Have to admit to momentary feelings of "that's why people go south" when we got to Beaver on Saturday night. But the wood stove did its thing with R feeding it and we survived and enjoyed the quiet and the beauty. And I do NOT do well in heat. There is a propane heater in our future for when I can no longer heft wood into the stove. A couple plants were very dead but most were fine. That the apples did not freeze was a good sign, nor was there ice in the toilet so our space heater system did OK except the breaker on that special outlet (Acme) tripped and Dan reset it. So it got cold enough to freeze the tenderest house plants.


09 Mar 17 - 08:39 AM (#3843906)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

So glad to hear you're able to travel, Dorothy. Do you have a walking cast yet?

The house appraiser came yesterday, poking about and saying Hmmmm a lot. The relocation people require much documentation about our current abode, including an appraisal, a copy of our title deed and a survey of the lot, apparently because one of the benefits we get is coverage of any losses we suffer in being compelled to sell up and move at a time not of our choosing. I'm glad I invested the better part of a week in decluttering, tidying and sweeping the cellar, as that was the appraiser's first focus; he also peeked into every single closet and cupboard on the premises. He made a good impression on Cat 1, who deigned to accept caresses while lolling in his basket like an old-time starlet in a bubble bath. Cat 2, as usual, vanished under the sofa at the first pong of the doorbell.

I have four boxes of glassware and ornaments packed up and ready for transfer to the church, where the main annual fundraiser is a big bazaar in late fall. Five large bags of clothing and three 2-cubic-foot cartons of kitchen traps departed last Saturday, donated to the Canadian Diabetes Association. And this morning, Himself announced that the uniform trousers he has on today will not go to the cleaners', as they usually do at the end of the week, but to the trash ... Next Thursday will be his very last day in the Dominion Tweed so, as of Friday, a significant proportion of the contents of his closet will be excess to requirements.

The last barrack box went back to Clothing Stores last week, stuffed with the last of his paint-by-number wardrobe. The collection of combat boots remains, however, as nothing worn next to the skin or bearing the imprint of a foot can be issued to another person. Consequently, we still have a bit of an Imelda Marcos situation here, along with rather too many hats. I'm keeping the UN-blue Tilley he was issued 20 years ago for Haiti, as it is good for gardening although it is so large that it has to perch on the tips of my ears. The brim is so wide that it covers the back of my neck down to the fourth cervical vertebra, and we've never had another hat that would do that.


09 Mar 17 - 10:38 PM (#3844009)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Billybob it's always a pleasure to see people get encouragement from these reports of our work toward less congested households. We (I, at least) have to be the slowest declutterers around, but keeping in mind the progress we've made helps avoid refilling the space with new stuff.

Dorothy, we all have our fingers crossed that your ankle will heal completely soon. You'll be ready to go once spring arrives out at the Beaver house.

Charmion, those hats sound intriguing. And my sister swears by Tilley hats (she always takes one when she travels).

I'm slowly sorting stuff I stashed into boxes when I cleared my old desk. I had a stack of books supporting my second monitor on a lower table beside the old desk; it now sits on the new desktop, and have to decide if I'll find space for them or donate them to the thrift store. I see some devices that need to be put away and would like to clear off the second desktop that is a nice piece of plywood supported by two file cabinets and is generally my filing staging area. It doesn't take long for materials to pile up. This winter I'm doing a pretty good job of keeping my kitchen sink from piling up with dishes, but I can't say the same thing about papers on my kitchen table or desktops in my office.


10 Mar 17 - 01:08 PM (#3844128)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

Taking a two week break in between jobs. The original plan was to take a road trip someplace, but I think I'm going to make a staycation out of it and work on some stuff in the house. Getting rid of the gigantic pile of laundry, clearing out all of the recyclables, and sorting through and getting rid of a few boxes. My goal is to get rid of four of the boxes piles in my small space by the end of the month.

On the fitness end, I'm wearing trousers I haven't been able to fit into for at lest three years. I finished my three snowshoe races with improved times from the last time I ran them in 2015, and I'm contemplating trying at least the six mile trail race in July, maybe, if I'm feeling up to it when registration opens, I might sign up for the nine mile race in August and the twelve mile race in September. I'll make that decision when the time comes, though.


11 Mar 17 - 09:58 AM (#3844251)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

I think it was here someone asked me about a treadmill at home. No, there isn't room for one, but I have room to move my chair around when the desk is in the tall position and the standing mat in place. I do have access to two treadmill workstations at work, right outside my office, and even just 5 minutes of movement is therapeutic during a sedentary day.

That break between jobs sounds good - the garden is crying out for attention right now. Two weeks would begin to whip it into shape. It's the time of year when my attention shifts from house clutter to garden clutter. :)


11 Mar 17 - 10:52 AM (#3844256)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: ranger1

That two week break is for resetting my internal clock more than anything else, to be honest. With the change to DST tonight and shifting back to working days from working nights, I'll need that time to adjust back to getting up early instead of sleeping in until 8 or 9 in the morning.


12 Mar 17 - 09:18 PM (#3844551)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:
Still and probably for another 3 or 4 weeks. It is so delightful to scroll through prev posts to see how folks are doing and be encouraged! Tomorrow is walking boot day! But still cannot put weight on foot for???? HAve a good cane ready. Will not be able to drive! Cannot go home! Cannot feed wood fire. But my energy level continues to improve so I could spend a bit of time in the K today, hopping around with the counter for support. I am getting better and better at hopping!

R is in another period of crisis at work - 16 million machines needing to be moved from A to C by 1 April; he has only had a year or so to do it.... But he did manage to sell off some of them (de-clutter!) so those are gone! OK, so I cannot keep track of the endless number of machines!

I am VERY happy to have realized that the friend's son who wanted to talk to R about Geology, might be a suitable helper in this move. YES! This will be very helpful to him in moving the clutter from one building to another! They stopped about 10 last night.

My increased capability is timely as it saves R needing to come home and feed me! I am almost independent in the house but cannot go out. Not that anyone would want to in this COLD!


16 Mar 17 - 11:57 AM (#3845239)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

While many of you are struggling under the weight of fresh snow and slush, I am anxiously awaiting the completion of repairs on my lawnmower. The grass is above my ankles at this point and he tells me it will be another week. My daffodils have bloomed and an iris near the front porch is swelling, probably to open this weekend.

I have several indoor projects to keep me busy if we have any rain over our long weekend (Spring Break for the academic community, but only a couple of extra days for university staff, not the entire week the students and faculty get). I have a new steam cleaner, probably mentioned weeks ago, that I still haven't tested. And as it happens, my ex has a perfect test for it at his house. Apparently Brazilian beer six packs are made of flimsy paperboard and when carrying two across the living room carpet both boxes broke and there are three dark spots where bottles broke and soaked in. He has continued to be a good friend and supportive in all of the activities of the kids and myself the least I can do is take this over and let him see if it will work to clean up the spots on the new carpet. What you can't pay back with dollars you can pay back with access to useful services and devices. :-/ If I had a house full of carpet this smaller device would be a slow way to clean carpets, but I have two areas with carpet, the rest is tile, so this will take care of it. Renting those clunky cleaners from the grocery store is a pain in the backside and you never know what the last renter ran through it.

I'm switching allergy meds this week after a consult with my GP. The daily tablet apparently doesn't turn off the sensitivity of the nasal mast cells so I'm still sneezing. But using a spray will make them less sensitive, and if I need more than the spray then I can boost it with the tablet. The entire office has been sick and sneezing so this seems to be a particularly powerful allergy season. The result of all of this switching stuff out is that I have a lot of bottles of stuff (I shop at Sam's Club where everything comes in bulk packaging) so I need to rearrange one of the kitchen cupboards to organize all of the extra in a way that I can find them when I need them.

There is a deeply discounted grocery store in town that buys from stores that have too much product, that has quantities near the sell-by-date, etc. They get a lot of excellent high-dollar items that are marked down and shoppers understand that either it keeps well past the shelf date or you're going to use it quickly. Yesterday I loaded up on the good yoghurt, organic milk, cheeses, etc. so I need to reorganize my fridge. If I get a $5 tub of yoghurt for .99, and it spoils because I lost track of it behind other stuff, it wasn't a bargain.

How are you doing, Dorothy?


17 Mar 17 - 11:24 PM (#3845464)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Still in Montreal:

Out of cast and into boot. Do not wear it in bed!!!! Also seems lighter and makes it easier for me to determine that I can balance with it but not put weight on it. See m to be gaining in strength and balance! Able to spend a little more time in K chores. Feeding myself, a good thing as R is gone for 10-12 hours some days!

R managed to buy two boots at the Eco-centre for $5 each. We were able to use one and left the other to be sent to Honduras where the Dr.'s office spent used stuff. saved us about $100!

The bare spots in the back yard are no under about 2 feet of snow! Oh well! But warm enough in house today to wash my hair!

Still suffering from cabin fever. R has NO time. Today was disaster in building from which he is moving machines. Snow removal kept making him move truck so he only got two machines loaded before a 6 inch water pipe broke - from freezing - spraying LOTS of water up to the ceiling. It took the city 2 hours to access the problem so water was a foot deep. He spent the time in a nearby McD's so at least he ate. CAme home about 6 to change wet clothes and went off to offload machines and take pumps back to building! Hope tomorrow goes better!

3 more weeks until I get cataracts checked. Hope we can visit Beaver! I could get yarn and needles! My eyesight is becoming very depressing. R has brought me some books but the print is too small or too light; managed to read one and on another that is interesting but van only read a couple pages at a time.

Back to the Dr. re ankle on 10 April! and HOPE for an end to this so I can GO HOME!


18 Mar 17 - 06:38 AM (#3845483)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: wysiwyg

Hardi finally sees a retirement timeframe for us that paces my last round of declut-- 3-4 years to full-time Ohio.

The last big declut was the upstairs office, to take the 8-foot table desk south; we got onto recycling pickup, so a LOT of paper went. The sunny room now holds boxes to further sort/binderize-- books on one wall and papers on another. The rest is propagating perennials to take south in May, under grow lights in front of two picture windows (south and west). The new dog is my garden helper. ;-) New friends advise.

There are new lasagna-garden beds in Ohio to fill; I have a new weedkiller recipe-- with regular strength vinegar and Epsom salts-- to try this year.

Be well, all

~S~


18 Mar 17 - 09:24 AM (#3845504)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The prep-for-selling cleaners come on Tuesday, followed by photographers. That means a whole lot of decluttering has to get done over the next three days, along with cooking and serving a big birthday dinner.

Himself's last day in uniform was on Thursday, and now there's a huge box of green clothing in the middle of the sitting room floor awaiting the big decision: Sally Ann or St. Vincent? The study is cluttered with boxes of glassware and ornaments bound for the church bazaar; all of it has to be out of the house by Tuesday morning.

Yesterday was the official Retirement Bye-Bye, with speeches and flowers and "certificates suitable for framing" that will never hang in our living space if I have anything to say about it. It seems that everyone wants to pat the back of a retiring soldier: not only the Chief of the Defence Staff but also the Mayor of Ottawa, the Premier of Ontario and even the Prime Minister himself! Instead of the dreaded plaque, we were presented with a flag that flew over National Defence Headquarters on the 8th of March last, painstakingly folded and packed into a glass-fronted box. How sweet, I guess.

We have tentatively scheduled our house-hunting trip to Stratford in the first week of April, between two of the three military trials Himself is under contract to do. I think we have done all the on-line research we can, and it's time to start crawling around Perth County's basements and closets.

I hardly slept last night, which is quite unlike me, and lay awake for hours with house prices tumbling through my head. I am also distracted by a sore wrist and fingers that go numb now and then, a mix of carpel tunnel syndrome and a touch of bursitis or tendinitis -- or even both! There's no law that says you can have both. Anything to prevent me from just getting on with the long list of chores in an orderly way.


18 Mar 17 - 11:46 AM (#3845519)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

I don't know about Epsom salts, but the combination of Pickling vinegar (9 - 10% vs 5% kitchen strength) and d-limonene (Orange oil) works very well. You can buy an expensive brand called Avenger or make your own. I tend to think that too much of any kind of salt in the soil is detrimental, though putting modest amounts of Epsom salt out (dissolved with other things like compost tea or an organic liquid fertilizer) adds necessary magnesium to the soil.

I've cleared off most of the stuff on my dining table so said table can be moved and the carpet under it cleaned with the steam cleaner. We'll see how that goes this weekend.

I'm in need of another trip to the recycle bins behind our village city hall - lots of paper around here that needs sorting and tossing. And I think I need to rearrange some stuff on shelves in my Dad's music collection that I still need to process. All of these reams of printer paper are heavy so need to sit on a bottom shelf somewhere, in sight but not a tripping hazard.


19 Mar 17 - 03:19 PM (#3845702)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

I discovered one reason the computer has been a bit slow - one drive is about full to bursting. I'm slowly bailing out stuff I don't need, backing up other things to Blu-Ray disks or DVDs, depending on what it is and it's size. I've recovered a few hundred Gig so far. Not so long ago a few hundred gig was luxurious beyond compare. . .

The garden is also getting a thinning out - the oregano has gone from pleasant usable groundcover to invasive weed, so I'm leaving it on one side of the yard to use for cooking and the rest is coming out. The garlic, Swiss chard, and cilantro are happy to have more room.


19 Mar 17 - 07:16 PM (#3845737)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

I had to borrow my next door lawnmower because mine is in the shop. He has a fancy one with lots of levers and speed controls, and I got the hang of it, but even self-propelled, it was a workout! I usually take the string trimmer (weed eater) out around the edges, but I noticed a baby bunny darting under one of the shrubs, so I'll put that off for now. I've accidentally taken the top off of bunny nests several times over the years and had to catch said babies and put them back into the hole and leave so they stay put.

Computer video processing still underway, but now it's time to shift to indoors and finish laundry and get some boxes ready to mail. That will clear out several cubic feet of space - they've sat here for a while but it's time to get motivated and post them.


20 Mar 17 - 04:47 PM (#3845868)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

The energy on alternate days gets some clearing done in K; the next day, I rest! Yesterday, scrubbed some of K counter (dreadful tiles) with steel wool and prepped fresh tomato soup for R to finish when he got home. He, not having gotten the hang of shopping ahead, spent 3 hours out fetching groceries as we were out of so much; He went to 8 stores??? Maybe now he can keep up. And I hope he learned by it! I hated that it took time away from his necessary work. Cannot figure out how to get what I need without him. No friends with vehicles near by that I can ask. But I could not without any longer. Today, he did a nice BF and wnt off to move machines. And I am resting.

Still sticking to Keto diet almost 100% and finding neither cookies nor choc taste as good. A teaspoon of good plain cocoa in a half cup of 10% yogurt is a fine treat. I will not know what my weight is until I get back to Beaver. But I am never bloated. Doubt I will ever get rid of the bowlful of jelly though. Pants do not seem any looser.

Ankle seems OK and it is nice to sleep with bare foot - very carefully. Still swollen. One of yesterday's acquisitions was a rectangular mop bucket so I could soak my feet in hot water with Epsom salt and clean off the dry skin - Finally! What a joy!! Putting vitamin E oil on incisions now. Nothing hurts but continue MSM, Glucosamine Sulfate, K2, D3 and ortho minerals - for osteoporosis and arthritis - helps shoulders appreciably.


22 Mar 17 - 09:06 AM (#3846128)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

So.

The cleaners came yesterday and, boy, did they clean. Everything not actually drawing breath, whether movable or fixed, got either vacuumed or wiped with some kind of toxic substance. The cats spent the day under the sofa, until the vacuum cleaner drove them to camp under the guest room bed. Me, I went to the gym for the first couple of hours, but eventually had to come home if only to find out whether anything was busted yet.

I have to admit that they did a good job, much better than I would have -- but then, three strong, fit women working flat out from nine to three jolly well should.

Today, a guy called Richie comes with a truck to pick up the coffin-sized box that contains the last of Edmund's cast-off military uniforms. He sounded slightly disappointed that all the combat gear had to go back to Clothing Stores, but glad to get the rest; he runs a clothing depot for homeless men.

Likewise, the excess china, glassware and cutlery is going to a women's shelter for those getting ready to start over. I wish I had had that contact a year ago when I started digging out the basement, but ...

Real estate agent comes on Friday with the photographer. House goes on the Internet on Monday. This shit's getting real.


22 Mar 17 - 09:23 PM (#3846213)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Pretty damned efficient!

My mother had people come in and clean her house when we were getting ready for some big event - this included sponge mops with commercial cleaners to wash the enamel walls and ceiling in the kitchen. It was like the Spic N Span commercial, watching each pass of the mop take of years of accumulated nicotine and tar. The room went from brown to cream color. She was a heavy smoker, and all of us moved out as soon as we could to get away from that. That cleaning job just made it all the more clear to us what we were living in the middle of.


23 Mar 17 - 04:37 PM (#3846362)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

On Friday (tomorrow, that is), I meet with the real estate agent selling our present house and then hop the noon train to Stratford to buy our next house. I hope.

Its price was ridiculously high for months and months. Then, yesterday, it dropped right into our range. It's not ideal, but it meets all our needs and most of our wants -- not least with respect to location. It's the only house for sale within 1000 metres of Stratford City Hall that isn't either insanely expensive, much too large, or in need of tens of thousands of dollars worth of renovation.

So, on Saturday I'm going to buy it. If nobody else gets there first.


23 Mar 17 - 08:40 PM (#3846393)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Charmion: WOW!

And all I have managed is to cut the back of my hair - about 3-4 inches. Did not even look; just did it by feel because I could not take i any more! Almost 3 weeks until I get to go anywhere so no one will notice!


23 Mar 17 - 09:04 PM (#3846399)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

That smacks of desperation, Dorothy!

My mower was ready for pickup today, and it turns out the belt had slipped in the transmission for the self-propel function. It hadn't propelled for a while, and lately if the handle was put in place it stopped the mower in it's tracks. He was able to get crud out of the transmission box, grease everything that needed grease, and it's back up and running. My back yard is about 12-16 inches of tall grass so it will take a while to finish mowing it; I'll start on Saturday and probably mow half then and half on Sunday. I don't use the self-propelled feature often, it reduces the mowing power, I get the exercise from pushing it. And in tall grass, I need to pause regularly to let the clippings blow out from underneath or the motor lugs or stalls. This is a great spring workout.


25 Mar 17 - 12:00 PM (#3846603)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Yes, desperation. Yesterday wasm hopefuly, the nadir. When R left to go to work and I knew it could be 12 hours or more - I lost it! Phoned Geri is abject misery. Solitary confinement does not agree with me. After an hour + on the phone, my fingers were tingling. Vented some more on FB which I never do. And sank into a fog of TV, internet (slow!) and just gave up. Today I need to cook - make a new soup, and cook some chicken breasts. Needing to do something helps.

A pro pos of Charmion's situation as well as an addition to feeling blue: friends of the Bancroft area announced last week they were planning to move to SWestern Ontario, due to Bob's health issues - close to family, less isolated... Yesterday, they posted on FB the property they bought -already! Virtual tour: Plenty of wall space for Bab's paintings, plenty of space for a studio and a quilting area for Pat, a level lot, good sized two BR house - room for grandson to visit... As I think of their current home, I see very little de-cluttering needed. It will be an easy move as they have run a tight ship all these years, well organized with very little chaff. Even the garage is tidy! A good example! Being on the plus side of OCD is not a bad thing! I shall miss them. I made their wedding cake almost 30 years ago.

Shoot, I am too upset to even phone someone. Maybe later.


25 Mar 17 - 01:48 PM (#3846617)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Hopefully the cooking will soothe your shut-in blues.

I've drunk my tea, eaten my oatmeal (full of chopped dates) and have to quit putting off the inevitable - the back yard needs mowing. Part of the workout today, the rest probably tomorrow.

The computer is in better shape, but as old as it is, it may soon be time to consider what the next model will be.

I'm considering using a modified Bullet Journal to keep track of stuff that is normally on notes all over the house. That might cut down on some of the paper clutter.

It's a lovely day. Into the yard I go.


28 Mar 17 - 04:36 PM (#3847228)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

Today, I made the step forward of using the cane. Robin as cheerleader and coach. I can do it but need the walker basket to carry stuff so I feel much better and begin to see an end to all this. Next Tues we drive to Bancroft for an overnight. I will get to see the world and "our hill". I could have easily dat for two months looking at "the hill" but looking at 4 ugly walls...

So I did some more K stuff today and will do more later. And washed hair as it is warmer today. Hoping I do not put too much weight down or stress ankle. I had not understood the directions at last Dr visit but R did. Again, my failure to comprehend - brain dysfunction; also my difficulty in figuring out how to move my body, or to get up when I fall, (In my whole life, I never hurt myself falling - until this one - 80 years.

Weather above freezing but snow is still thick in back yard. Maybe Thursday I can go out back.


28 Mar 17 - 07:55 PM (#3847255)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

I walked into the house and decided that tonight the clutter in the kitchen gets work. Some of the stuff on the counter is fruit ripening, it can stay, but there are other things that have accumulated.

My next door neighbors have a large sewer line replacement job going on, and the pile of dirt is onto my property right up against the garden. I need to replace the planks that are now pinned down by dirt, in a job that will take upwards of three weeks. I'll have to see about getting new planks, a friend with a pickup can make a run to the hardware store. I sure miss my pickup at times like this.


29 Mar 17 - 09:16 AM (#3847348)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

I did not buy the house in Stratford.

It's a darn good thing we aren't forced to base this decision on what we see in the real estate agent's photographs, for the house that looked so appealing on the Internet was far less so in real life. It has been ruthlessly renovated and expanded, so much so that it is now well-nigh impossible to distinguish the additions from the original structure without a structural plan. No such documentation was on offer.

Complicating the situation was an urgency imposed by the Stratford agent's revelation that another buyer was forcing her hand, demanding to be allowed to make an offer on the property immediately. She fetched me from the train directly to the house at eight o'clock in the evening, saying that the other guy's offer would go in at nine-thirty pm, if you please.

The first thing that struck me was the plethora of windows and doors -- four exterior doors at ground level, to be precise, and too many windows to count. A real treat for the enterprising burglar, especially in the absence of an alarm system. With all those windows, and some rather oddly placed radiators, the house has almost nowhere to put bookcases, an item with which we are excessively endowed. Incidentally, the current occupant apparently doesn't read much; I saw only a selection of large art books that looked more like decor than literature.

It was the basement rec room that blew the deal, however. Nothing of substance has been done to improve it since about 1965. Vinyl wall and floor coverings showing signs of damp where no damp should be -- thumbs down for me, since that was the only space large and unencumbered enough to accommodate the books, and both our desks.

Hi ho, hi ho, back to the drawing board I went. The real estate agent took me to see four more houses, including a high-Victorian rectory so neglected as to seem vandalized, and I spent a profitable two hours at the offices of the developer building Stratford's first major subdivision. Unless something fairly dramatic happens in the next few days, that subdivision looks like our next destination.

Dorothy -- I feel for you. There's nothing like the cabin fever of late winter when you have a leg in plaster (or even 21st-century removable plastic) and you dread what can happen in any venture outside your bedroom. As you gain strength, you will feel amazed at how weak you felt, and how strong you are beginning to feel. If only it didn't take so long!


29 Mar 17 - 10:44 PM (#3847478)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

When I started looking for a house I knew it was likely I was going to want to do some renovating, so I had a contractor friend come look at a couple of them with me, pointing out the things I might want to change and were they doable. He's the one who did the work here. He taught me a few things to look for on my own in houses that were being sold by owner, by investors, etc. Too many "investors" take a house and add new cheap carpet and tile, a low-end air conditioner, slap a new 3-tab composite roof on top of the old roof (two layers is legal here). Then try to sell it like it has had much more extensive renovations. This house had been empty and the original owners were selling, so I did the renovations myself.


31 Mar 17 - 06:18 PM (#3847898)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

The real estate agent and his photographer came today and did the marketing shoot. The house has never looked better -- and we're leaving!

Yesterday, we cleaned under and behind the refrigerator and the stove. Holy cats, what a mess -- eighteen and a half years of dinners means plenty of boiling-over pots, each of which must have left a trail of drool down the side of the stove. The fridge became the home-away-from-home of no fewer than six cat toys, not counting wine corks, beer caps and other things our feline friends like to swat off the kitchen table.

On Sunday, we head back to Stratford for House-Hunt Mark II. This time, we gotta get lucky.


31 Mar 17 - 10:40 PM (#3847922)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

The dogs are shedding drifts of hair these days and I've started brushing them some (using a faux-furminator tool) to try to get out ahead of it. Considering how much comes off with the brush, I'm lucky the hair isn't up to my ankles every day.

Filing and shredding this evening in order to clear off my computer desk and kitchen counter. I have to attack the weeds in the vegetable garden plot this weekend and get things started. It's past time. The push-me-pull-you of in the house and outside jobs is here, and the yard usually wins.

I'm enjoying your descriptions of the houses you're looking at, Charmion. Better luck with the next batch!

Dorothy, are you up and around more today?


01 Apr 17 - 07:11 PM (#3848079)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

TODAY! I am good with the cane and it is causing no discomfort in the ankle!! I sorted the laundry which had all been tossed on the floor of the laundry room, bagged it for transport and sorted out a very long orange extension cord, confining it with duct tape, and found the apples up top of the washing machine instead of the much cooler floor so they are going to be not fun to cut up - tonight or tomorrow!

Making a list of things to do when I get to Bancroft on Tues and things to fetch back with me. AND events I want to attend in the near future - if we leave early enough we could make the tues night movie and there is a waffle breakfast on Weds! Happiness is going home! Even for two days!

Of course, now I am even more anxious to get this show on the road. Emailed the shop that buys my pots and told them I will have, at least, some mugs for them and whatever else I can fire when I finally get down to the mill.

The rest of the afternoon on computer. Don't want to overdo it as I would be apt to do.

Now for some supper.


02 Apr 17 - 04:49 PM (#3848228)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

I should have mowed yesterday morning while I had the chance. I returned home from an appointment and the drizzle had started - mowing still would have been possible, but the deluge that descended last night and continued today put period to any thoughts of mowing for a couple of more days.

With the rain-imposed indoor time I listed more eBay stuff. I'm working on switching to a low-inflammation diet and this evening will be fixing dishes that I can package and freeze to take to work for lunch--that's the easiest way to keep to the plan. The usual weight and cholesterol issues. I'm also working on a set of stretching and dance exercise videos that are stored on the thumb drive in the rear of the den BluRay player. I can easily skip through the options and have it running in no time. The dogs are figuring out to stay out of my way when the music is on, not to try to help. :-/


07 Apr 17 - 05:52 PM (#3849352)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

It may not seem like a particularly recreational activity for a Friday, but since I got home a bit earlier than normal today I thought I'd clear the kitchen. Countertops were free of paper for a while, but this week it all went to pot.

From there, we'll see what cries out the loudest to be fixed, cleared, donated, laundered, whatever.


09 Apr 17 - 12:07 PM (#3849672)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

A few weeks ago I started on a Mediterranean Diet, mostly excluding white flour foods and sugars. It's for health, low-inflammation, and weight, and it's also a very appealing diet (though I am looking for bread substitutions, if I can find grains that are acceptable). I don't want to simply toss the stuff in my freezer that fits the "do not eat" category, so I'll probably slowly declutter by taking some of this to the office for co-workers.

It's time for some seasonal tasks - putting away the cold weather foot gear near the side door, putting cold weather clothing into bins or up on shelves in the closet, making more room for lighter clothes. Washing or airing the heavier bedding and putting it up out of the way. Dusting the blades of all of the ceiling fans that will be in operation for the next six months.


09 Apr 17 - 03:49 PM (#3849700)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

We have nearly sold our house already.

The real estate listing went live on Friday just after lunch, and by supper time the agent had booked three showings. Before we went to bed, he emailed us again to ask if a fourth party could tour the house late in the afternoon.

Himself was preparing for a trial, so he decamped with the car and his huge briefcase to my brother's house, where he set to work at the dining room table. I tidied frantically and bailed out the door about five minutes before the first party was due to arrive. Half-way through the third visit, I couldn't stand it any more and called the agent, who told us that Party 1 liked the house but couldn't see how they would fit their furniture into it, and Party 2 were making an offer.

Party 3 and Party 4 were impressed, but not in love, so by close of play we had a genuine, solid offer but no auction. Our agent asked us if we were happy to accept ten thousand under the asking price and we said we'd like more (as one does), so he made a counter-offer asking for their offered price plus five thousand. They came back this morning with their sons, apparently loved it all over again, and accepted our counter-offer an hour before the deadline.

So now we're waiting to find out whether the people selling the house we like in Stratford are willing to sell it to us.

Stratford is close enough to the greater Toronto area to be affected by its housing bubble. Sellers refuse to take offers for up to a week after listing a desirable property, and shove through as many punters as possible during the interim. Buyers are entitled to know how many offers are in contention, so their agents strategize to secure the property. I expected to discuss the price we should offer (well above asking), but this transaction included something quite new to us: we were asked to write a letter to the sellers in which we essentially marketed ourselves as the buyers of choice. Okay, whatever it takes; I just gritted my teeth and did it. Fortunately, I still seem to be able to generate entertainingly literate blue sky on demand.

We find out tomorrow if we have to start hunting all over again in Stratford, this time much more urgently as we have agreed to close the sale of our house on 4 July.

The sale of our present abode is still in the conditional stage. First, a building inspector has to go through the place, and then the buyers, who are diplomats, have to get approval from their home government. I'm fairly sure the building inspector won't find any skunks (literal or metaphorical) under our back porch, or indeed anywhere else, and we're told that the diplomatic approval thing is usually automatic. Nevertheless, we are in a fine state of tenterhooks while all of these things percolate and time passes at the agonizing pace of one minute per minute.


09 Apr 17 - 05:22 PM (#3849711)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Is there a link to the listing? Or have you posted it in Facebook?


10 Apr 17 - 09:38 AM (#3849837)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Here it is:Home of Charmion & CET


11 Apr 17 - 09:10 PM (#3850098)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

It would be lovely to have a tidy, shiny house with beautiful furniture all in view because there is nothing sitting out on top of it. I have some interesting furniture but it is disguised by mostly paper. I did load up a bunch of it and make a trip to the village recycle bins last weekend, but this chore needs to be repeated many times over.


12 Apr 17 - 07:53 AM (#3850161)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

That tidiness and shine was achieved at considerable effort, and it lasted about five minutes after the photographer left. In fact, the coffee table in the kitchen is where newspapers and books pile up until I can't stand it any more, and Edmund's office (the one with the desk facing the window) is normally full of running gear, printer parts, and lawyer's clutter (i.e., yellow note pads, open file boxes, disembowelled accordion folders, three-ring binders, and random stacks of paper. All that was swept away, along with its associated cat hair and dust, to create the fantasy of order presented in those photographs.

My parents were both champion packrats, and living with them --
and cleaning up after them -- taught me to make Charmion-specific house rules and stick to them. Rule 1 is No Stacking Books On The Floor. Rule 2 is Only One Filing Cabinet.

These rules are based on the principle of No Accumulation. When the library outgrows the shelf space, we purge it, starting with novels. When the tax files fill up their assigned drawers, the old ones go to the shredder. And now that we're past our sixtieth birthdays and moving house, we're going through the ephemera of our lives, consigning most of it to the shredder and the recycling bin. Childhood scribbles, old birthday cards, postcards from teenage travels, years' worth of letters from university and military bases -- gone and, thank God, not missed.

We are not celebrities or even particularly interesting as people to those who don't know and love us, so it would be the height of arrogance to expect others to care about our papers when we are dead. Even if somebody a century from today might want to read our letters, it would be completely unfair of us to compel our heirs and assigns to sort through pounds of dusty old papers to identify anything of interest or value.

When my parents died, I found myself charged with just that task, as my father had bequeathed a large collection of his family's papers, some of them dating back some six generations, to the National Archives of Canada. Unfortunately, there was a lot of dross around the gold, and it was my job to do the preliminary sort before the collection was ready for transfer into professional hands. I well remember the despair I felt when, just as I thought I had it licked, I found four butter boxes full of my mother's war-time letters to her father, whom she actively disliked, stashed behind the furnace. Each letter began, "Dear Daddy," but I remember that she never referred to the man as Father or Dad, but always as Himself. The mixed feelings rolled out of those boxes like toxic gas.

Did I have the guts to shred them? Not then, but I would now. I'm getting tough in my old age.

A practical tip on paper disposal: You know those big paper yard-waste bags? They're great for loose paper and the output from the shredder. I load 'em up, label them "Waste Paper" in big letters, and put them out with the newspapers.


14 Apr 17 - 02:33 PM (#3850513)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Montreal:

We had a trip to Beaver last week - in the pouring rain with a very tired Robin driving. I had to keep alert for 6 hours "Are you awake?" We made it by 6:15 - at least before darkness! - and went directly to Place for the Arts for the Tuesday movie - artsy and weird but interesting. Then to Tim Horton's for food and home to Beaver where R got a fire going and the electric cube heater and heating pad! It was not terribly cold so we had a good sleep and woke up to a decent day, happy to be there. A series of errands in town, lunch - Waffle Wednesday at the Heart of the Park (HOP) where we found a couple friends and had a great lunch with them. A quick last errand at the bulk food store (Harvest Moon), finding that the woman who has been managing it for years has finally been able to buy it!!! Now she will be able to brighten it up. I am SO happy for her! She looked so much happier. Errand list completed!

Then off to Peterborough for cataract check: appointment for measure in May and first fix in July - seems so long! Quick stop at Canadian Canoe Museum as it was closing - a planned trip just for that is in our future. Back to Bancroft too late for most eateries so we settled for Italian (R had never been there) but did not eat Italian; the menu has been modernized. Nice meal but we prefer a couple other spots - that close at 7 or 8.

Happy to get home to Beaver where the big plus of running water was helpful. But the laundry was too much so we went to laundromat and washed the two huge bagfuls, put it back in the bag and brought it to Montreal to dry at home! We got off at a reasonable time and stopped for lunch at the Hidden Goldmine Bakery - great turkey soup! It rained all the way back, stopping as we neared Quebec so we stopped for a nice supper, only to find it had started again with a vengeance - the last hour took an hour and a half with both of us on alert.

Friday was a rest day and Sat we went to an UPSCALE auction! Prices were very high and even R bought nothing! But I met 3 very interesting people and R got a free lunch as we sat down with two folks to chat; M could not eat much so R helped her! the reason for our presence was that a dear friend of R's was divesting herself of family acquisitions, mainly antiques of huge value. (a painting brought in $37000 CAD) It had been a long painful process to divest herself of the multi-million dollar mansion and this was clearing the house for new owners. Her life will be greatly de-cluttered and easier!

Monday - doctor: 2-3 more weeks with boot but I could try walking without it; won't hurt anything but it might hurt. So I tried it on Weds until it hurt then put the boot on. NOT on Thurs - a day of recovery! But today I did some more with just slippers. I was hoping to drive to Beaver today but not happening. Maybe I could but not on Easter weekend. I need to try out using the clutch when I have a chance - when R is home in daylight!

We went to Seder at a home with many steps! It was a nice outing.

I want to go home. Can I carry wood in? Probably; but it is getting warmer... I can get it into the stove and could have someone stop by and bring some in. R also wants to spend time at Beaver so we talked about a plan where I go for a week or so, then come back for a few days and we go for 5 or so days, then... It does encourage him to work out ways of getting away from the incessant demands. My friend's son, Mathias, may be viewed as competent enough to be delegated for more responsibility. He is reliable and sensible. So glad I suggested him!

I remembered to bring the yarn, hooks/needles and some books back but have not yet been energized to look at it. Maybe today. Ideas fomenting for other things, and wondering if I could make it upstairs to the pottery wheel - maybe tomorrow. Getting from sitting all day to doing things seems to be a slow process. Yesterday I was stricken by the thought that I could, conceivable, sink into a morass of just accepting that all that is left is to sit in this gruesome house and read, watch TV, computer and naught else - for the rest of my life. I can see where that could be a temptation. It is called "depression". I need to get back to Bancroft! Maybe Monday.

Congratulations to Charmion!! Things seem to be moving along well.


14 Apr 17 - 07:23 PM (#3850534)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Wow, Dorothy, you're really healing fast. I hope you can work the clutch sooner than I could; my left ankle was so buggered up by the fractures and displacement, not to mention the surgery to repair them, that I could not work a clutch pedal without pain for a couple of years.

The sale of our Ottawa house underwent a severe hiccup that plunged me into a slough of despond this week. The buyer was a diplomat with an Arabic name, presumably from somewhere in the Middle East. He did everything he was supposed to do, including getting permission from the Canadian department of foreign affairs and requesting permission from his home government. He and his wife were actually at the house with the building inspector when his boss called to tell him that his home government might or might not give permission, and whatever their decision it would not be rendered any time soon; it could be weeks. Or maybe months. According to the real estate agent, all the colour drained from his face. His wife asked him what was the trouble and he told her. She burst into tears. The building inspection was called off, and the sale nullified. The house was back on the market the next day, Maundy Thursday.

Cut to today, Good Friday. Three parties of punters were booked to see the house and we bailed out at nine o'clock after the now traditional frantic dusting and vacuuming. We hung out at the coffee shop near the church until it was time for the passion liturgy, and I actually almost managed to concentrate on the readings and psalms. Then we went to the pub for lunch, as we still had Party 3 to go before it would be safe to return home. I had just ordered a club sandwich when the phone rang. The real estate agent, with good news. And more good news -- two offers out of three viewings!

So we seem to have sold the house again, and it's safe to do the laundry and fill the basement with drip-drying underwear.

Meanwhile, the situation in Stratford continues to simmer. Our agent in Perth County has never seen the market so hot, and neither has her dad, who has been in the property business since the end of the Second World War. At five-thirty on Monday morning, I get back on the train, intending not to come home until I have found AND PURCHASED a house.


15 Apr 17 - 04:29 PM (#3850633)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

Dog to the vet urgent appointment trumped other plans I had for the morning (hot spot under her neck again). Helping the next door neighbor with a computer problem will probably tie up an hour at least this afternoon. Looks like some of the heavy lifting of the weekend will happen tomorrow.

I've added more things to the donation bin in my laundry room, and I made a recycle run during the week. There are boxes waiting to be shipped next week (they've waited for a long time already). I have a growing list of things to do in the yard.

Decluttering isn't happening at a great pace, but it's still on my mind.


16 Apr 17 - 11:25 AM (#3850716)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

I must have been possessed yesterday evening - I took the dust rag and some dusting spray and attacked the buildup in the front room. Now that the weather is changing I can take some of the dog bedding out of that room and wash and air-dry, vacuum, and in general clear out the mix of house dust and dog dander. I took an antihistamine ahead of that assault on dust.

So many chores to do around here, I need to simply pick something and get started.


20 Apr 17 - 07:40 PM (#3851513)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Dorothy Parshall

Still in Montreal:

My friend who "crushed his ankle just after me is up and running about caring for his bees. Never mind that he is 20 or 30 years younger. I am determined and FED UP! Hopefully I will get a chance to try driving my car tomorrow or Saturday. I've invited a few people to the mill for a tiny birthday party for Robin on Sat aft. 70th

Poor R came in about an hour ago and I was so happy; I thought we could go food shopping AND I had been stuck in here ALL day - again. But, No, he was changing clothes to go to a lecture ---Total hissy fit! The lecture is on his great great... uncle. Oh well.

The best bit of de-cluttering around here was getting rid of the increasingly derelict wooden rocking chair which has been on the front steps for ...years. I told him emphatically - if it is still there on Monday I will put it out for the trash. This time he took me seriously and it is gone - to where I do not care as long as I never see it again.

Now for that Manitoba maple which is destroying the back garden. It is sizeable - about 2 feet dbh. A project but need to go SOON - before leaves- or it will be too late - again this year.

Glad to see Charmion's project moving along! MY friends who bought home in Glencoe sold their lake property in a week and are in full pack to move mode! Others moving to Guelph in June and another couple just announced a move to the (Ontario)"banana belt" - so far unspecified. Older bones looking for more temperate clime!

The other de-clutter is my energy level which left town. Healing is hard work, I guess.


21 Apr 17 - 09:02 AM (#3851619)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Our house is now "sold firm", as they say in the real estate biz, with all conditions met. We have a couple of fix-up tasks to do before closing, but the list is short and uncomplicated.

In Stratford, however, things are rather more fraught. Yes, I found a suitable house -- or, more correctly, a house that can be made suitable -- but it has problems. If we were not on deadline, and if Stratford were not a ridiculously competitive housing market with high demand and short supply, I would have walked away when the building inspector found the aluminum wiring (!), but things are as they are, not as I would have them be.

It's a good-looking house in a nice neighbourhood, what I call a grown-up suburb -- the trees are now taller than the houses. The lot is a peculiar shape, wider than it is deep, so the garden is divided by the house and the generous back deck. The distance from downtown is a bit greater than optimal (2.45 km from the front door to the Perth County Jail), but the walking route takes one through Stratford's nicest streets and along the river, so that's more of a feature than a bug. The house was built about 1977, we figure, and it still has its original wall-to-wall carpeting upstairs, all wrinkled and tatty, and the meanest little linen closet I have ever seen. On the other hand, it has the largest and most opulent bedroom in the Huron Tract, complete with a walk-in closet large enough to accommodate a family of four. The kitchen is tiny and inefficient, but its problems are soluble with the application of money.

We are currently waiting for our real estate agent's favourite electrician to produce a quote on rewiring the house. To clear the conditions in our offer, I'm going to ask the owners to pay part of that (the amount it would cost to bring the system to code, while we pay the rest of what it will cost to solve the problem completely), and to nail down the toilets that rock on their moorings and replace several rows of roof shingles that were laid wrong, without enough overlap. They also have to finish dry-walling the garage ceiling, which was left open although there is living space above it -- a major sin against the building code.

It's all rather exhausting, and I really appreciate the work the real estate agent is doing to coordinate the tradesmen's visits and nail down their recommendations in the purchase agreement. If I had to do all that, we would be living in a sod hut.


22 Apr 17 - 01:00 AM (#3851774)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

It is energizing and exhausting at the same time to go through this process. I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress on the two houses.

Have you culled pretty much everything that you plan to, or is there another phase of that to come now that you have a destination in view?

I've gotten a very late start on my garden this year. I dug a patch from which I'll work outward decluttering weeds. I have several compost piles in the back yard to turn over and combine. I need to move much of the finished compost to the garden this year and chip a bunch of small limbs for mulch. I have a small "stay-cation" planned soon to give me a chance at actually getting the garden in before it gets too hot here.


22 Apr 17 - 06:50 PM (#3851911)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Acme

I'm changing my diet and for the time being am avoiding eating much if any processed white flour, so when friends came over for lunch today I pulled some of the many types of breads from the freezer to send home. Flatbreads, pita, tortillas, rolls, loaves, and some pasta. It went home in coolers and into their freezers. Better they use it than it becomes freezer-burned.


23 Apr 17 - 03:08 PM (#3852044)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Charmion

Yes, Acme, we have more culling to do.

The kitchen in the new house is much smaller than what we have here in Ottawa, and irritatingly inefficient. It's a galley-type arrangement that opens into the dining area, which is not only small, but also lacks wall space because a large patio door leads from it to the back deck. All very nice when whipping steaks off the grill to the table, but less than optimal when trying to fit a sideboard, a china cabinet, a table and chairs, and a drinks cabinet into eleven by ten feet of floor space.

So I am contemplating a major refit of the whole back of the house -- dining room, kitchen and ground floor loo -- to get the most out of the space. Some idiot had a shower stall built in between the loo and the back door, just where a sensible person would have put a pantry. So I plan to abolish the shower cabinet, plumbing and exhaust fan in favour of a comprehensive set of shelving and stowage for our ridiculously large selection of pots, pans and skillets.

The window side of the galley has two sections of counter space suitable for prep work, on either side of the sink. So I want to get rid of the crappy cramped cabinets that overhang that space so I can see what I'm doing and knead bread without bonking my head. The other side of the galley will be cabinets to the ceiling, counter space for the knife block, the toaster and the coffee maker, and cabinets under the counter for the stuff we use all the time -- mixing bowls, colanders, the blender, the food processor, and the glass casseroles that go into the microwave.

While we're at it, the dining area will get built-in china cabinets so we get the most use out of what little wall space it has.

Consequently, I can see us definitely parting with the china cabinet and the drinks cabinet, and possibly giving the sideboard to my brother, as it's both useful and a family heirloom.

All this craftsmanship will be made possible by the difference between the sale price of our Ottawa house and the purchase price in Stratford. I just hope we have enough left over to pay for getting rid of the wall-to-wall carpets, which look as if they might have been installed when the house was new.

All in all, we're going to be living in a construction zone for months. Whee.


24 Apr 17 - 03:41 AM (#3852098)
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
From: Thompson

But afterwards you'll be gloating, Charmion! Think about
toe-kick drawers (the kind you kick gently to get them to open), for big trays and the like - be careful to make them in mouse-proof marine ply - and href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6Ow6TFGVO0">spice racks and lazy susans (for things like rolls of foil and parchment as well as spices and tea and coffee), and a pull-out cooker hood (can't find a picture but a friend has one that she pulls out from the wall when she puts on the hob, and pushes back in when she's finished cooking).

I have a separate hob and oven - in fact, the oven sits in the old kitchen chimney where there was an anthracite stove when I moved in; loved the stove but the anthracite gave me awful asthma, so I replaced it with a bunch of cupboards and drawers, with the oven sitting in the middle. The great thing about this is that it's at eye level, and when I open the door down it opens out at waist level so I can put the pot or roast or tart on the open door and check it easily, and then pop it back in or bring it to table. And you don't get as much of that horrid whoosh of hot air into your face as with the crouchy kind of oven below a hob.

Windows for me are super-important; if I could, I'd have a full-length window or glass door out to the garden in my kitchen! (Though if I could do absolutely everything, I'd put the kitchen and the bathroom at the front of the house as the Japanese typically do, and have the living rooms in the quieter and more private back of the house.)