Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Laundry Area

In the midst of my closet cleaning and decluttering last week, I snuck in a quick cleaning of my laundry area.  I call it an area, because it's in my basement and well, it is an old home so I haven't really done much to try and fancy it up.

I didn't take before shots as I was so certain I had taken some already and now I can't seem to find them.  I probably thought about taking them when I was writing the post in my head (as I do all the time).  If I happen to find them I will update.  Just don't hold your breath!!

Several years ago when I was working for a large company, I scored a nice table when they decided to sell all the old items from our cafeteria before remodelling it.  I knew I wanted to put it in our basement to use when folding/sorting clothes.  Only problem is that I usually dump items on it (like yard sale/donation items) just like I do with my office.

It becomes so messy that I can't use it at all. 

So I cleared off all the junk and left just what needs to be on it.

I like to keep my cleaning rags on this table since there is no other place in the basement (or kitchen) to store them.  The little basket hold the small rags and the pile to the left of it are bigger towels used to wipe up larger messes.  I also have a few tshirts ready to be cut into cleaning rags.

The boxing gloves in the front left  hand corner sit there as well.  Paige wanted a heavy bag for Christmas, which we hung up in the basement.  Of course there was no where else to put the gloves but on this table. I still have room to set my baskets down or clothes as I fold them.

This kind of gives you some idea of my work area.  The washer and dryer sit on a large cement pedestal that was here when we bought it.  The previous owners were well ahead of their time!!  Only problem is that I have a top loading washer and have to step up on the slab to see into the drum.  But I do like it as sometimes we do get water in the basement and it protects them. 

If you look closely at the bottom left hand, you can see a small part of another cement box.  It's around 2 x 3 and I have no idea why it is there.  I joked to Jeff that they are storing bodies!!  I will have to take a different angled shot to show you how strange it is.

The leaning tower of junk beside the dryer used to be my "pantry" in my old house.  I only had a small area to put a storage tower to hold my canned goods.  It got demoted to the basement when we moved here and held all my cleaning items until I got the table.  It really needs to be cleaned out and moved out to the garage.

Our walls are poured concrete and in need of painting.  The green is not doing it for me and it does have some mildew growing in some areas.  In the foreground picture you can see my duvet cover hanging.  The one thing that I love about my basement are the 5 laundry lines that hang in the ceiling.  I can hang so much to dry.  And because our basement has duct work - the clothes dry nicely. 

So this is the place I spend so much of my time during the week.  It's not bad and I hope to make it a little more cheery.  Once the roof and siding get finished!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What's Going On?

Tons of things have been happening in the Shaftic household lately.  Jeff's been busy with Cross Country as it's season is winding down and the Varsity kids are preparing for WPIALs.  He's so busy with that and teaching school and we really haven't spent much time together these past few days.

Which also means that I've been trying to get everything done around here.  In addition to all the household chores, I have been trying to get some organizing done since the holidays are just around the corner.  I found my to do list from last year when I was on medical leave.  I may use it as a guide for this year since a lot of the items are routine cleaning jobs.

Speaking of jobs, I'm still only working 2 days a week.  But I'm ready to move on.  It's just not worth it for me.  I'm still waiting to here about a position that should be opening up in December.  The person is retiring and is suppose to put her retirement in soon.  I was told by the person in charge of the department that the position would be mine if I wanted it.  So I'm just waiting to see what happens.  Things don't always go as promised!!

Yesterday, I photographed a friend's wedding.  I didn't mind doing it, but am worried about how the photos came out.  She kept assuring me that she just wanted to have a couple nice photos and didn't expect me shoot pictures as if I was a professional.  It was ME that wanted to get her perfect pictures because it is her wedding day and you only get one shot.  It was a sunny day which was actually bad for me as some pictures were coming overexposed and try as I might, I could get the aperture to work with me.  I think that sometimes my camera needs to be turned on and off before it will let me dial up and down.  But hopefully I can us Picnik to help fix some problems.  Luckily, Jeff ran to Walgreen's and got me an extra memory card.  I took so many photos (hoping that one out of the many would come out good) and I would have run out with just my one card.  My battery did start to die at the end of the night so I was lucky with that.  I want to down load the photos today to see what I really got.  Pray that I at least got the focal point right on them!!!

Our roof is getting replaced this week or next depending on weather.  And Paige wants a sleep over birthday party Saturday.  Oh, and we haven't looked for Halloween costumes yet either. 

Like I said, it's busy at the Shaftic house!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Closet Progress

Although not completely done, I am happy to say that I did get a lot accomplished in my closet.  I did not get to my shelves- ran out of time and interest!  But I did go through all my clothes both hanging and in storage totes.

I was really amazed out how much I have.  Considering I do not shop for clothes for myself often, maybe a few times a year, I ended up with a couple bags for donation/consignment.  Either I keep a clothes for longer than normal, or I buy more than I think.  Probably a little of both.  Especially when some of the clothes I got rid of were purchases that shouldn't have been bought.  And some were gifts that while well meaning- just weren't my style, size, or poorly made.

All that is left in my closet are the clothes that I wore last fall/winter.  I went through my spring/summer clothes just as ruthless and stored the keepers away. 

It is really nice to see all the clothes that I know I will wear.  I need to purchase a few more tops and maybe some pants in colors other than black.  Haha.  The only color is my red jacket and purple sweater.

The floor makes me so happy.  I still have to work on the bags on the right.  Need to get a new safe deposit box and what you couldn't see from the before are the bags of photos way in the back.  I didn't even touch that side of the floor.  I knew I would waste too much time looking at pictures.  Saving that for another post!

Another thing I didn't get to is Paige's Communion dress.  It's still hanging on the door as it started to rain so hard right after I loaded the car with the bags and boxes for the Salvation Army.  At least the boxes are in my trunk ready to go.

I also went through my son's clothes and took out all the outgrown winter clothes from last year.  One tote I found was full of summer clothes that I was suppose to sell on eBay in May.  Ooops.  I thought it was full of Paige's winter clothes. Obviously, I didn't label them.  Duh!

I never stored Paige's winter clothes this year.  The sad part is that she apparently she doesn't have that much since I never noticed them this summer.  I'm afraid that when I put away her summer clothes, her closet and drawers will be bare! 

I also made a big decision to load up a large pile of boxes that were in my basement waiting for my yard sale (that never happened!).  There are several more boxes in the attic that need to go as well. I may put some stuff aside to sell on eBay since now is the best time for selling.  And I can use the cash!!

What truly amazes me is where does it all come from??  I don't shop much (can't imagine what my house would be like if I did).  And I'm always getting rid of stuff so how is it that there is always more to go?  Thinking back at what I pitched, I did notice that so much of it were gifts.  Birthday and Christmas items that none of us would use.  Like I said before, they are well meaning, but often I feel bad knowing that money was wasted on items that will not be enjoyed by us.  I try to tell everyone specific things for the kids (and that Jeff and I truly don't need gifts) but it never seems to work.  I don't want to hurt feelings, but it also makes no sense for people to keep wasting their money and time!

This year the kids just want money, gift cards, and itune cards for Christmas.  They are too picky for clothes as they like only certain clothes ie UnderArmour, Wet Seal, and Aeropostale to be specific. Clothes purchased from places that we do not shop at are not worn.  I know.  They are spoiled.  Luckily, they aren't shopaholics and are happy shopping in the fall and spring.  I couldn't afford it if they expected to shop all the time.  Haha- they probably wouldn't get to shop at their favorite stores if we did shop more often.

Since they are getting older and not as interested in toys, I think it will be easier to maintain order in their rooms.  It is sad though.  While I love the idea of less, it's also sad.  They are growing up.  Soon they will be moving out.  Ok...time to end this post before I start balling my eyes out. 

Hopefully tomorrow it will not be raining so I can unload my car and get the dress to the cleaners. It was raining all day today so I didn't stop before or after work.        Come on sun! Shine!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Closet

Our house is really great.  I've talked before about how much I love it and don't really care to move.  It's not perfect and there are a lot of things that frustrate me (like having no space to store shoes and coats on main floor).

But there are some nice features that you normally don't find in a house as old as ours.  One of those is the fact that we have 2 closets in our bedroom. They aren't huge walk ins, however, they are really spacious as compared to other homes of the same age.  We installed a closet organizer in Jeff's closet shortly after we moved in.  He really owns a ton more than me and it was nice to get his closet somewhat organized. I would like to replace it with something different, but it works for him right now.

My closet is just a rod and a couple of shelves above. I'm not a big shopper and so most of my summer and winter clothes will fit in this one closet. So does a lot of other junk!!

Full view of my closet- Jeff still needs to install the bamboo flooring in both closets.  It's
been almost 2 years since we did the floor- hahaha!

As you can see, I store a lot of my magazines on my shelf in the closet.  I need to go through them and get rid of most.  There are a good many that I do enjoy re-reading, but I think many got put there because of sheer laziness. My wedding album is in the big black box on the top shelf next to all my breast pump accessories.  I am just not sure what to do with my breast pump.  I haven't used it in 8 years, but it kind of grosses me out thinking that someone else would actually want to use it!  Any thoughts??

My floor was cleaned out earlier this year.  But then I began shoving things in it again.  The big white bag is all the things that used to be stored in our safe deposit.  I was suppose to get a new one at our credit union around 4 years ago.  Hmmmm....guess I can't complain about Jeff and those bamboo floors now can I?

I threw Paige's curtains in here as well when I started on her remodel -which is still at a standstill.  A bag of bags that I use when I need to bag things up for Goodwill or the consignment shop.  Extra hangers, my purse that is truly falling apart, our dvd player (no dresser or stand to store it for when we want to watch movies in our bedroom), and some 31 bags.  Oh and don't forget the free with purchase bear from PS Aeropostale from last year's Christmas online shopping for Paige. 

These are my summer/fall clothes.  Plus I keep my winter coats (far left) stored here.  I have a nice closet in my office (D$%# office!!) but I currently have all the coats that need to go to Goodwill/consignment shop taking up that precious space.  A few years ago, I purchased a huge supply of wooden hangers.  My hangers have to match.  In fact, my son has yellow ones, Paige has white ones, and Jeff and I have the wooden ones.  Though now I'm not loving them as much. 

These are my some of my most favorite books (non cleaning/organizing ones!).  I love Candace Bushnell and purchased her books in  hardback since I do re- read them a lot.  I used to be a fan of Kate Gosselin when she first was on tv, but then after the wedding vow renewal, I sort of stopped watching.  Now I'm not at all impressed with her and may actually sell/donate those books. 

The last thing about my closet is this dress.  It's Paige's First Holy Communion dress.  It's very similar to my wedding dress (minus the sheer jacket) and when she said it was the one she wanted I was thrilled!!

However, it's been hanging on this hook for about 4 years now.  I need to get it cleaned so I can box it up with her baptismal gown (which is probably in a pile of clothes in the attic!).  I'm just so afraid of it getting ruined.  So it's just hanging there collecting dust until I can get the courage to have it dry cleaned. 

Because I can easily shut the door, I tend to just ignore the mess.  But this morning, I decided it was time to really go through my clothes.  I took down all the containers so that I can pitch winter and summer things of mine.  I also need to see what winter clothes the kids have (or need) as well.  I may have some after pictures later today or tomorrow. 

Here I go!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sometimes Laziness Works

I recycle just about everything I can.  I will even research online to find ways to recycle unusual items just so it doesn't have to go to the landfill. Which is one reason why my office  is always  a disaster.  I store these items here until I can figure out what to do with them.  I wish I wasn't like this.  I wish I could just throw broken items away and forget about them.  I blame it on an old PBS show I watched as a child.  It focused on how we needed to start recycling as our landfills were overflowing.  This was probably around the mid to late 70's before we had any recycling programs in our town.

When I went to college, the University of Pittsburgh was starting a recycling program and I was hooked.  I even brought things back to school just so I could recycle them!!  Paper was the biggest load.  I think it is one of the biggest problem most families have when it comes to clutter.  Several years ago I found out about Abitibi (though now it's called Paper Retriever) at a local college.  Since leaving college, I had no way of recycling paper other than burning them.  Yah, probably worse than just throwing them away!

A local high school obtained one of their containers and I was in Heaven!  I bought a cute plastic tub that would hold my paper until I could make a run.  Except, I would get lazy about it and my basket would runeth over.  And over......until somedays I would end up having to fill trash bags with the paper in order to get them to the bin.  I would still carry my nice plastic tub because it was easy to carry and I liked it. 

You can see the blue tub hiding under all the paper

And what does this have to do with laziness...... ;]   One day this summer after making one of my marathon runs to the bin, I left the tub on the kitchen floor near the back stairs. It sat there for weeks.  Luckily, I had my extra one already in the office collecting paper. 

Probably needs a little cleaning

Then it hit me one day.  This tub fits nicely here.  It also holds our flip flops and keeps the stairs relatively clear of shoes (at least the 3 leading up to the kitchen).  Wow! I found a nice solution to a very frustrating problem in my house. Too many shoes and no where to put them.  It may not be the perfect or long lasting solution, but it's been working great.  Plus, I think I will keep it here and store hats, gloves, and scarves in it as I also have no where to put those in the winter.  We don't have as many winter shoes and so it's not too much of a problem. 

Ignore the shoes to the right, I'm still trying to teach the family
to leave them on the stairs heading down to the basement.

That kind of organizing is the best.  It just naturally happened.  Now if that would only work for the rest of the house!

Friday, October 7, 2011

My D@?& Office

Seriously, I feel as though every other month I'm posting about my office. This room just screams "FILL ME UP WITH JUNK!!" every second of the day.

It's the first door my son Jeffrey Michael shuts when friends come over.  For those of you that don't know this about my son, he has issues about our house being clean.  So I am hoping that today he comes home from school and is thrilled with my morning work.

Things are just beyond crazy around here.  I thought that once everyone went back to school, I would accomplish a lot around the house.  Last time I had time off was after my surgery and I tried to do too much.  Not good.  Since I am only working 2 days a week and have no post surgery issues- I figured I conquer a lot. You know whip my house up to be perfect every day! Solve the world's problems!  I can do it all!

Well, I have been.  If you count watching Will and Grace most mornings from 9-11am.  Uggghhh Lifetime tv!
The funny thing is, I don't like watching tv.  But lately I've found myself watching a ton.  Not just in the mornings but at night too.  Big mistake putting a tv in my bedroom!  But it's been so nice snuggling in bed with Peanut.

After my last post, I was so touched by LSLW's comment. It made me stop and think. This is life.  My life.  My crazy busy lazy life. There are some things that need to change and some things I wouldn't change for anything. I have been taking the time the past few days to try and figure out what I am truly trying to accomplish.  Thanks for changing my attitude around LSLW!!

Back to the thorn in my life- my office.  I have to admit (and I'm sure I have in my many posts about this room) it's mostly my fault.  Take that back.  It's all my fault.  I have issues when it comes to getting rid of things.  It's not that I don't want to get rid of stuff, believe me I am forever getting rid of stuff.  But where I have a serious road block is on how to get rid of stuff.  I want to recycle everything.  And I pretty much do.  And by recycle I'm not just talking about normal items like paper, plastic, metal, but all those items that can be donated/sold/given away. 

It's the deciding on what or where is the best thing to do.  Should I give to the consignment shop?  Save for eBay? Or drop off at Goodwill?  Have a yard sale?  Some times it's easy to make the decision.  Other times I struggle and the pile sits and sits.  Like this pile in the corner.

The door doesn't open all the way normally due to a windowsill, but in this case it's all the junk!

Better shot of all the crap in the corner!
 Most of the items were toys that I had cleaned out months ago and had wanted to sell in a yard sale.  Yard sale never happened and now I'm hoping to get rid of these items on eBay at Christmas time.

Many of the bags in the above picture are of clothes that need to go to the consignment store or Goodwill.  That's just laziness on my part.  For one, I have boxes in the basement that are also full of items that were suppose to be for the yard sale.  I should gather them all and get bring them to Goodwill.  But then I keep thinking of all the good things that I could make money on.  But really- is it worth the time and aggravation?  Yes I could use the money, but how much would I really make? 

See those are the inner struggles I have when I am torn between two decisions.  This causes the piles to sit forever and then more piles grow around them.  Then there is the old  "just set it here" mentality.  Happened not even 2 minutes after I started working on the above pile.  I picked up 2 sets of chopsticks that I wanted to bring to the kitchen.  Because I hadn't set up any system - you know bags or boxes labelled throw away, put away give away- that most people do before they start decluttering, I just set them on top of the book shelf to deal with later. 

It dawned on me how that's what starts most of the problem with this room.  Things get dumped in here because I don't feel like deciding.  DUH!

So I went downstairs to the kitchen (with said chopsticks) to get me some bags and began to rethink my plan otherwise known as lack of plan.  Here is what I have ended up with after -

This is how far the door opens normally due to the windowsill. Sorry about the lighting.

Better shot of all that's gone

While there is still a pile in the corner, I have decided that these are items that I will try to sell on eBay next month.  I also have a huge pile of boxes that I have been saving for shipping.  Last year I didn't have any and it was a nightmare to get them especially with my 3 week driving limitation.

I also got a little extra done in front of the tall book shelf.



Most of what was in front of the tall bookshelf were pictures.  I found them after cleaning out the attic a few months back and wanted to hang some in the office.  I did hang up our engagement photo - see below in the top left corner.  But I'm not happy about the look.  All the frames are oak and just blend into the wall.  If I don't end up painting the panelling, I may paint the frames.

Here's a big shot of the newly organized corner-

Whatever doesn't sell on ebay is definitely going to Goodwill.  It's been sitting here for many months and it's not doing me any good!!  Here's hoping I make one little ten year old boy happy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In between

Life lately has been in between.

The weather is in between summer and fall.  Last week the high's were in the 40's and this week we are suppose to average 70's.  This does not help me with clothes. I can't put away the summer clothes and can't take out the winter clothes.

Paige's bedroom remodel is in between.  She's picked out her colors but I can't start painting until we get a lot of her stuff out of the room.  Plus I haven't found new furniture.  Or flooring.

Fall ball is in between.  We've had so many games cancel due to the rain and cold.  While we should be winding down the season, we're actually just beginning.

Cross country is in between.  Junior High and JV is finishing up their season, but Varsity is just gearing up for the WPIALS.  Plus we need to start planning for the banquet.

Cheerleading is in between.  Football is over, but they still practice as they have to learn cheers for basketball season which starts right after Christmas break.

Paige's birthday is in between.  Though her birthday was last Thursday, we still haven't had a family party or her friend party.  Blame above cross country, football, and baseball.

Cleaning and organizing is in between.  I have been working on trying to follow some magical system that will let me live the Jeff Lewis life (yes, there is a gay man trapped in body), I just can't figure it out!  Most areas are almost were I want them to be as far as organized and cleaning them is a breeze and then others (they will remain nameless) mock me everyday.  Lord knows I'm tired of blogging about that room!

I'm in between blogging.  Every day I think of things to post, but yet sometimes it just feels like such a hassle.  I love reading blogs and wish mine was like so many others.  I want people to come here to read and be inspired - or just get a good laugh.  But is that egocentric of me.  Who cares about a girl from Western PA and what I do on a daily basis?
Life is just in between for me.  I feel stuck with every aspect of my life.  Sometimes I get two steps ahead and the fall ten steps behind.  I think it's time for me to make a list.  I love lists and making them helps me to work through times like this when I just feel like a gerbil running wild.

Oh, and I've been asked to take pictures of a friend's wedding.  I.AM.SCARED.TO.DEATH.  They are desparate as they do not have enough money for a professional and they totally understand that I'VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE.  Can you tell I'm anxious?  Ugghhh.  I couldn't say no cause I'm the only one they know with a good camera and would have to rely on guests point and shoot photos.  I'm such a glutton for punishment.