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Posts tagged ‘organizing’

An Organizing Goddess

This month has turned out to be all I had hoped for after my January letdown. My bookcase is plastered with the valentines I received from friends and family. I didn’t get any sent out. Other things called for my attention.

Valentines

As I’ve mentioned, I have been trying to clear clutter and make my space more user friendly. It’s been ongoing since I moved into my house. I have a lot of stuff for creative endeavors.

On Valentines Day I received a special gift. My blogging friend, Alys from Gardening Nirvana came to visit. It was our first meeting and I was looking forward to it as she is dear to my heart. Alys is an advocate for kindness, animals, and an uncluttered life. She has another blog that she rarely posts on entitled Organized at Heart. It’s how she makes her living.

Coming off the airplane I’d recognize her anywhere

Soups all gone Very tired traveler.

I spent many days cleaning and clearing before she arrived as you would guess. There is more company coming next week. I couldn’t think of where to take her to show her around the Portland, Oregon area. So we just let it happen. We had a simple dinner of homemade lentil soup and veggies,  The next morning we went to Bob’s Red Mill for breakfast. She buys their products but had no idea of what we would find there. Who knew it would be a huge birthday party for Bob’s 89th birthday with a band for entertainment. We even got a slice of birthday cake and a free cup of oatmeal to take home.

Entertainment getting ready

Bob at 89 stops in every weekend when he’s not working. The oldest working CEO in the country I think.

He looks great at 89. Saying happy birthday.

After breakfast we needed to walk a bit so I took Alys to Fabric Depot. It’s an acre of fabric and notions where you can find anything you can possibly imagine. She did find something that had to come home with her. I left it all there. I shop at home now. The party continued through the afternoon. Back at my house, I had to sit and rest my poor sore foot and Alys started to move like someone had set fire to her. She was everywhere at once. Asking how I felt as we proceeded. She immediately honed into the areas that were causing me the most grief and visualized an immediate solution. I was awestruck!

Right at home

We can make this easily

Watch yourself Vanna

Shelves were emptied and moved and other shelves were emptied and moved and then everything went back together looking like a department store had set up a beautiful display but she didn’t do what I was so afraid an organizer would do. She didn’t suggest I throw things away. I looked at things with different eyes and a lot more left to the thrift store. We found things my daughter wanted to keep with her.

Above the washer has never been so pretty. One day maybe a closing cabinet.

The next day, we had a light breakfast to fortify us for a trek through Powell’s City of Books, occupying an entire city block and housing approximately one million books. We only spent and hour and a half but managed to find things we couldn’t live without.

My sister had to drive us there as it’s out of my safe range. Then we went to have lunch at a nice and noisy restaurant friends of my sister own. We waddled out but stopped at Salt and Straw for our evening dessert to go. My sister drove us by the Rose and Japanese gardens but it was too cold and wet to stop.

Much lighter without the bookcase on top.

This bookshelf was on the kitchen desk.

That rack was originally in the laundry room looking quite ugly. Much better here.

Getting back home, Alys once more became more energized and the next thing I knew three more rooms had their Chi fluffed big time. I hobbled along the best I could but Alys was moving like lightning making changes to make my life so much easier. It’s like she read my mind and saw how I needed things to flow. I’m now able to do my sewing and crafts in a way that brings peace to my soul.

This was next to the desk in the kitchen. An emergency basket on the floor by the back door. I’ll paint this bookcase and the others this summer.

Will be putting a tension rod to cover the detergents.

 

My daughter came the next morning and was overwhelmed by how well Alys had read my needs and provided them. My daughter has dubbed Alys her new Goddess Hero for making my life so much lighter. She was gleeful as we moved more things around. In Feng Shui, there is a phrase that if you want to change your life, move 27 things. I think big changes are coming now.

Would you be able to let an organizer help you?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Thursday’s Child

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace;
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go;
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

This rhyme was first recorded in A. E. Bray’s Traditions of Devonshire 

This popped into my head this morning on waking. My mind had it wrong. It kept singing Thursday’s child works hard for a living. Since I’m a Thursday child I figured that’s why I push so hard and work so hard. The joke’s on me. I do remember thinking once when reading this rhyme correctly, that “the far to go” part had something to do with all the moving around the world I’ve done. It’s such a sweet rhyme, I think sometime my children were so fortunate to both be born on Friday’s. For them, the rhyme holds true. They are both loving and giving with tender hearts. Mother Goose, who this rhyme is attributed to, got it pretty darn close.

My son took this and sent it to me. He said this is what hard works looks like. Me sitting down on the job.

I was raised by parents that thought if you were sitting down, they would find something for you to do. If we wanted to just sit, it was done outside and out of their view.

I changed the oil, now help me up please

Working hard comes natural to me and I still do it though as I age, with much less vigor. My daughter bought a little sign for me that says “Don’t just do something, Sit there” I make her tired just watching me. There is a lot more sitting going on these days but rest assured, if I’m sitting, I’m still doing something. Reading your wonderful blogs, writing in my many journals, or doing handwork.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to sit and watch television without having my meal at the same time (yes, I know it’s not good to do that), have my laptop working or some kind of needlework to keep my hands busy.

Sewing and quilting is not as much sitting down as jumping up and down. You sew a seam and get up and press the seam. It keeps one from getting stiff from sitting. My motion tracking device reminds me hourly to get up and move just in case my knees don’t. Most days during the summer months, that’s not a problem.

There has been so much to get done that I have to make a list of priorities. My driveway is clear again so there can be no complaints from the management. Don’t look in my shed or under my beds though. Every day is “clear something out day.”  I reorganized my sewing room to store an extra board, and the top of my closet because the shelf was off its brackets. I so wish my organizing friend lived closer.  With all the work I have done, I still have far to go.

Slowly, ever so slowly the process goes

How about you, does your day of the week apply?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

In Search of the Christmas List

I’ll admit it right now for all to know; I’m a list maker. My family makes fun of me but I have less problem with things being forgotten. I even have a sticky notes app for my computer. There are reminders to check the bank balance, order gift books online, etc.

I have lists in my smart phone. Grocery lists, gift lists, lists of things I need to remember, things I want to make, things I need to get done, and the lists go on and on.

Made this for my daughter to aid in her job as family gift wrapper.

Made this for my daughter to aid in her job as family gift wrapper.

I sat down with my cup of coffee and wrote out my Christmas list. Not the one to Santa asking for things I certainly don’t need, but the one to keep me on track to get everything accomplished for the holiday in a timely manner. I forgot to put mailing cards to Germany and Australia this week on the list. I keep burying my list under all the things I’m doing.

I wanted to finish gifts for a long-time friend who just had a birthday and rushed them to the post office. They actually arrived on time. I have my tree up but I’ve lost my tree top Angel. I’m going to get better organized this year. That’s going on my list when I find it. I’ve started following Organized at Heart for some help with that.

A thread catcher for my quilting friend.

A thread catcher for my quilting friend.

She can't find things with her name on them. I washed & pressed before sending

She can’t find things with her name on them. I washed & pressed before sending

I have my box of old left-over Christmas cards out that will be used this year. My card list is getting shorter and shorter so there is no need to purchase new. What I’m wondering about right now is how to display some of my favorites in a display that could actually stay up all year-long. I have so many different Angel cards that are too beautiful to put away. Checked Pinterest for ideas and I’m sure someone has come up with it, I just haven’t found it. I love the artwork on some cards so much that I buy extra.

This was one of my favorites but I always worry about offending.

This was one of my favorites but I always worry about offending.

My daughter was over yesterday for another day of heating the apartment with the oven. She made two batches of oatmeal/coconut cookies for the holiday. One more scratched off the list. Four more to go but on cold days, it makes sense to bake.

Would like to include one in each card. My friend got hers early.

Would like to include one in each card. My friend got hers early.

I have gifts to mail and almost forgot to put that on my list. It pops up now and then for me to add and subtract from. There it is, under the stack of blankets I have to keep me warm while I sit with my laptop. Maybe I can tie a bell to it. My daughter laughed at me when she noticed I had four notebooks sitting on my couch. Each has a different job.

Why do lists keep getting longer instead of shorter as we get things done? Funny thing though, even with the list getting longer, I’m more relaxed than ever over holiday preparations. I want to enjoy every moment of this wonderful holiday season.

Do you keep lists of things or can you remember everything without one.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Organization

I had another blog written but it just didn’t seem to want to be posted. I finally figured out why. I’m not ready to tackle the subject of focus when things are still so disorganized.

I’ve been in my wonderful little apartment for a whole week and things are finally starting to take shape. Even though I still have to work a bit and rest a bit, little by little, I’m finding the floor. Almost all the boxes I allowed brought up to the apartment are unpack and I’ve found things I haven’t seen in 2 years, as in my rag time quilt that has been carefully wrapped around antique lamps. I didn’t waste space with bubble wrap if I could help it.

I’m a typical Virgo and abhor clutter. I also have a lot of stuff for indulging in my creative endeavors and that creates clutter. What I want most is to have the clutter organized and that takes time and work. What’s the point of organizing? When you spend 20 minutes looking for something, it kills the flow of creativity. I’m still looking for the hammer I brought up from the garage this afternoon. What a waste of time.

My sister wanted me to go into an organizing/cleaning business with her. We were both raised by the same German mother, military father where clean and organized were a requirement. With four children in our house we still passed the white glove inspection every time we moved out of base housing. Through the years, I have become a bit more relaxed and my sister has become a bit more fastidious. She’s a minimalist that wants to toss everything and I’m the crafter that wants to use everything. We are both getting a little stiff in the knees to be doing all that hard cleaning and I may not have that much energy anymore except to help once in a while.

In order to bring order into this new space, I have to find a way to replace the organizational tools I’ve left behind because they no longer worked for me. This week, my daughter and I made a trip to a building supply place and found a beautiful sheet of plywood (on sale) and they kindly sliced the 4×8 sheet lengthwise for me. I have no power tools… yet. Then we found a reclaimed building supply place that takes donated unwanted fixtures. We found four small cabinets with drawers at a yard sale price, that will bring the plywood tops to just the correct height for sewing or crafting. I really need a big project in the middle of this move like I need a hole in my head, but without it, I can’t get organized. Organization makes creativity flow easier and better. Everything needs a home. My home will be so much happier and creatively productive when everything in it finds its home.

Right now my bedroom dresser is holding up the TV and it’s paraphernalia in the living room. My t-shirts miss it. I have no desk so that will be the next project. You can see where my priorities lie. I found stamps in the sewing room today so I’ve designated one drawer in the dresser will hold them along with pads and pens until the desk becomes manifest.

Up-cycling is fun and another way to be creative. There are still no chairs for my ugly, second-hand, drop-leaf, pretend dining room table that doubles as a cutting table for fabric. I paid $10.00 for it and have used it for over 10 years. That’s up-cycling at its best. Chairs will appear later from somewhere, when I need them. o

I’ll take pictures of the sewing/craft table when it’s done. I’ve never done this sort of project on my own before so it’s both exciting and terrifying. Are you the carefree or the organized type? Always open to great tips and ideas.

“Clutter-clearing is modern-day alchemy.” ~ Denise Linn

From my heart to yours,
Marlene