Posted in house and home

Project Simplify: Week 4, Unfinished Projects

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, what the hell is this? It has been weeks since week 3, surely she was done already?! Alas, no. I have many excuses but I’ll spare you. Here is the Very Important Bottom Line: Sometimes it doesn’t matter when you finish, it just matters that you do finish. Get it? Yay!

So, truly, this final week was the reason I committed to doing all the Project Simplify weeks. Unfinished projects eat up valuable real estate in my brain. SERIOUSLY. It is an unfortunate addendum to my subclinical OCD (I’m not kidding about that, so don’t be insulted if you’ve got full-blown OCD of any variety, I feel for you deeply because sometimes this brain betrayal really sucks). I can’t forget these things that I’ve committed to, no matter how long it takes me to complete them. Example: I bought a tiara last weekend at the Georgia Renaissance Festival in part because I promised a picture of myself in a tiara to my dear teacher, Francesca De Grandis, about ten years ago. I bet she doesn’t even remember that promise, but I do! (The good news is, I finally found the right tiara! I cleaned my house wearing it! Yay!)

But enough of that. You want pictures, right?! Well, here ya go!

Sweet Sally… she’s a leopard gecko, and just not prone to complaining, but her aquarium was desperately overdue for a cleaning…

Sally's aquarium, before
Sally’s aquarium, before

I took everything out and washed it, then refilled with fresh sand and clean accessories. She was diggin’ it!

 

fresh and clean!
fresh and clean!

I also had a bookshelf to put together to help with the Boy Room Chaos. What Boy Room Chaos? THIS!

Boy Room Chaos, take 1
Boy Room Chaos, take 1
Boy Room Chaos, take 2
Boy Room Chaos, take 2

I think the shelf helped:

Chaos contained!
Chaos contained!

It certainly relieved some pressure here:

Hey, it's still a boy's room. okay?
Hey, it’s still a boy’s room. okay?

With that, my work here is complete. Now I just need to take that picture wearing the tiara…

 

 

 

 

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Posted in house and home

Project Simplify Week Three: PILES!!!

I have really been looking forward to this one. Piles happen and even though I know they will happen again, it’s nice to clear them out once in a while. So Many Things can hide and be forgotten in a pile! My house is tiny, which is mostly fabulous for a subclinical OCD cleaning freak like me, but it does sometimes stretch my imagination beyond the breaking point to find homes for All The Things. With three kids, one of whom is rather a hoarder, and it gets a little dicey. But check these out!

before pile #1
before pile #1

The box is all my seeds I ordered this year (so many explanations and excuses embodied by that box…). The shoes and at least 75% of the basket contents were donations, some was trash, with only a tiny bit falling into the “Where the heck does this go?” category. Voila!

pile #1, vanquished!
pile #1, vanquished!

Here’s another spot where a combination of donations and items to put in storage accumulated:

pile #2
pile #2

Vanquishing this one took an additional sorting stage:

sorting into keep in storage, keep and put away, and donate
sorting into keep in storage, keep and put away, and donate

Persistence pays!

pile #2 all gone!
pile #2 all gone!

I even took all the storage-bound stuff to the shed and the donations to the thrift store! DONE!
Just to prove I’m really not kidding about being subclinically OCD, I also cleared off both desks… the first wasn’t too painful:

desk #1 before
desk #1 before
desk #1 after
desk #1 after

Oh, and the top of the printer:

003

printer after
printer after

But this was truly the piece de resistance:

my poor, poor desk, before
my poor, poor desk, before

Can you imagine trying to work here? Of course not. That’s because it is impossible. However, I have been reading Lori Pickert’s Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners, and right off the bat she dives into talking about the child’s workspace and how it needs to be easy to use and set up to show the work done there is valued. Well duh, don’t I need that in a workspace too? So I worked this area over with that in mind. I moved kid books to the kid shelves and put away what didn’t belong. I also selected a two-foot tall stack of books, magazines, and workbooks to give away. The end result?

a workspace I can use!
a workspace I can use!

Hallelujah! Anyone wanna take bets on how long I make it before it’s all covered up again? 🙂

Posted in house and home

Project Simplify: What Happened to Week Two?

I have a confession that might offend: I don’t really have any terribly pesky closets. Don’t hate me. I do, however, have a troublesome boys’ room:

room for boys, before
room for boys, before

I had begun picking up a bit in order to vacuum before snapping these, so they aren’t 100% “before” pictures, but I’m sure the gist is clear.

elder brother bed, before
elder brother bed, before

I stared and stared at this room until I figured out a few things that might improve the flow. After vacuuming I rearranged the furniture (all by myself!) and organized their clutter, er, stuff, er, toys. The end result, at least for now:

 

after rearranging (note Wolverine on the top bunk)
after rearranging (note Wolverine on the top bunk)
boys' room, after
boys’ room, after

Much better. Now to catch up on week three!

 

 

Posted in house and home

Project Simplify Week One: Drawers and Shelves

I managed to tackle a few drawers this week! Yay!

desk drawer, before
desk drawer, before

The first step for this one was to dump everything in the floor, then sort out what didn’t belong in this drawer before putting it all back together.

emptied onto the floor
emptied onto the floor
sorted into "stay" (on the right) and "go" (on the left)
sorted into “stay” (on the right) and “go” (on the left)
desk drawer, after
desk drawer, after

Ta-daaaa! I may pick up some additional dividers at some point, but I’m very happy with this result just as it is.

I also reworked another drawer in my office area:

office drawer, before
office drawer, before
office drawer, after
office drawer, after

I even had time to rework the kitchen “junk drawer”:

kitchen junk drawer, before
kitchen junk drawer, before
kitchen junk drawer, after
kitchen junk drawer, after

 

With these results I am looking forward to week two!