rmc28: (glowy)
I was tracking fairly carefully until I got flu in November, after that I've had to reconstruct a bit from memory and guesses.

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The final scores on the doors are:

IN: 600, OUT: 886, Net out 286 on day 365

So I didn't hit my target of having 365 fewer things at the end of the year, but a) I didn't do badly and b) it's pretty clear that part of the problem is me continuing to acquire an awful lot of stuff. I'm going to keep trying to declutter in 2010 (the junk room still isn't clear of our stuff, for one thing), and I see that unclutter_2010 exists on LJ already. This year I will probably post decluttering stuff there - I feel more able to cope from the start than I did a year ago.
rmc28: (glowy)
It's 6 weeks since we came back from holiday. I have nearly filled a notebook page with notes of things coming in and out, though I confess to hanging on until the numbers might look better.

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The biggest help has been decluttering Tony's clothes (with his permission!), which account for over 50 items all by themselves. And as a bonus putting away the laundry has got much easier thanks to the extra space.
rmc28: (wonderfrown)
Before I haul these videos down to the charity shop, or offer them on freecycle, does anyone want them? Note that these are available on DVD and I've replaced them where I care rather than purchase a working VHS player:

The three original Star Wars films, special widescreen editions released in 1994 (Han shoots first, no slug by the Millennium Falcon).

Animated Batman series:
Batman The Animated Series, vols 1-6
The adventures of Batman & Robin: Bumper Collection
The adventures of Batman & Robin: A Fight to the Finish
The Batman & Superman Movie
(in Italian) La Maschere del Fantasam/Subzero

I'm happy to deliver/be in for collection in Cambridge, and to hang on to them for next-visit-to people out of town.
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
No dizziness at all today, and not much tiredness either. I tidied the kitchen, wiped and reinstalled my old PC, took out the INCREDIBLY NOISY and probably faulty giant cooling fan, caught up on my Google Reader backlog, fixed the Electrisave and reinstated the receiver in the living room where we can see it, listed the PC on Freecycle and then got dressed to go for a pub lunch and drop in at a 40th wedding anniversary party.

Tony and I will be around 70 when we reach our 40th wedding anniversary. I hope we are still as happy together as this couple seem to be.

Charles got cross when I wouldn't let him play with bits of the computer: "Mummy, you have to share, you know the rule". He was reconciled a bit by helping me with the screwdriver putting the case back on.

My PC offer is bringing all the freecycling Ubuntu fans out of the woodwork. I realise I never did measure how much power its replacement uses, so should go do that shortly and work out how long it will take to pay for itself in electricity savings. I should also measure charging up the netbook. The electrisave says the house is currently using 250-350W - I tested it earlier by switching on the kettle and watching it zoom up to nearly 3kW.
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
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In other news, I am less dizzy but still really easily tired. It turns out I have just the right level of concentration to not be bored by systematic tidying jobs, like bagging up everything I could find in the junk room to return to Keith, and sorting out Charles's latest crop of outgrown/outworn clothes. Tony worries he doesn't have enough clothes now; I think we'll be fine once the current laundry is dry and put away. There's also the "too big" clothes to check through too. And as a last resort, I will go shopping. Interesting to note when I was sorting through clothes - the vast majority of clothes I consider "keepers" are from Boots, and they're having a bit of a promotion on at the moment. Also the Woolworths children's clothing brand has been revived, on the web at least.
rmc28: (books)
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My will power utterly failed and I mooched 5 books to fill the gaps in my Michael Connelly collection. I wish I could say this was before I loaded down the orphanage lady with all my tat. I also had fun stalking spotting friends and friends-of-friends on the BookMooch site using the find-person-by-location tool.
rmc28: (books)
[livejournal.com profile] nwhyte recently mentioned BookMooch, and I had some fun listing books and making my first symbolic mooch on Saturday. At first it was just the slightly-too-tatty-for-Oxfam books that I still think someone will love. And then I found myself looking at my books and wondering which ones I'm never going to read again.

I also reminded myself again of BookCrossing which is rather more altruistic, informal and social than BookMooch. I think on the whole I prefer BookMooch - it's quicker, it's simpler, and the points system formalises the benefit-to-individuals that happens informally with BookCrossing. I find it interesting that the very simple reward scheme of BookMooch has prompted me to seriously look at my permanent book collection in the way that my use of charity shops and BookCrossing has not.

The funding model for BookMooch appears to be partly Amazon sales referrals, and partly a tipbox. I do wonder how sustainable this is.

[Note on Amazon: while the gay books teacup-storm has died down now, and apologies have been made, various people pointed out other reasons to avoid Amazon which matter to me, and of which I had not previously been aware. So I am hesitant to leap back into giving them money, even though they make it so very easy to do so. I also feel I have to check on any alternative that they aren't doing the same kind of things of which I disapprove, before I definitely spend money elsewhere. The whole thing just makes me freeze up on buying new books, which may be no bad thing! But then where does that leave using BookMooch, which appears to be financially dependent on at least some people spending money at Amazon?]

But back to the weekend of books: for some time now we have been meaning to make a slight adjustment to the bookcases in our bedroom. The bookshelves are deep enough to double-stack but to discourage this we had placed the books at the front of the shelves. The inevitable hideous build up of dust behind the books took place. In the meantime we had accumulated a great many books to insert into the alphabetically-sorted shelves. The trouble with a large book collection and alphabetic sorting is that insertion takes a lot of effort, so I like to save it up for months at a time.

I therefore spent a lot of Sunday afternoon and evening moving books around, vacuuming books and shelves, filtering in newly-read books, and putting aside books to give away. With the exception of the top shelf (because otherwise I can neither see nor reach the books there), all the books are now at the back of the shelves, which will make it easier to dust regularly. It also makes it easier to stack books ready to filter in.

My cull resulted in a small pile of books to give away immediately, and another pile approximately 3 times bigger to read one more time to decide whether to keep or give away. I had to find somewhere to put these two new piles, so I implemented a plan I've had for a while to swap my to-read pile in the living room with the anthologies in the study. This means when people look at those shelves in the living room, they see nice interesting books grouped sensibly together, rather than my haphazard never-shrinking to-read pile.

This involved more vacuuming, and the drafting of the dining table as swap space. I took the opportunity to roughly sort the to-read pile into:

* non-fiction
* Mills & Boon
* "last chance saloon" fiction culled from my permanent collection
* all other fiction

I'm hoping this will make it easier for me to find the kind of book I'm after when I want something new to read, which in turn might make the to-read pile seem more like a source of entertainment and pleasure than a burden of guilt.

The immediate giveaway pile is slowly going onto BookMooch as I have time, and I'm already receiving and responding to requests. The main problem I foresee is resisting the urge to acquire even more books with the points I'm earning. Apart from that first mooch, I'm going to try to only mooch books when I'm ahead of my 1-item-per-day decluttering target. Let's see how long that lasts.
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
I was only just keeping to the net 1 item per day out at the end of April, and an awful lot of stuff has come in since. Just the nebulous feeling of falling behind has inspired me to sort out books, list things on Freecycle and check if the charity bag is full yet.

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rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
1 bottle of "Karmatherapy Tranquility Ritual" Jasmine & Vanilla Relaxing Milk Bath, 250ml bottle barely used.
2 flannels, originally from John Lewis, bought 2.5 years ago and almost never used.
1 unopened 500g bottle of Johnson's baby powder.

I think I'll add the bath stuff to the accumulation of bubble bath in the main bathroom (it lived for ages in the shower-room, no wonder it was never used), and maybe try if scheduling myself a weekly relaxing bath is a) plausible b) beneficial.

The flannels could probably be downgraded to cleaning cloths, I will ask Tony to ask the cleaner when she is back (calloo callay) next week.

I could empty the baby powder into the green bin and recycle the empty plastic bottle. Except one of the neighbours has nicked our plastic bottles box after today's recycling collection *humph*.
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
I now have enough shirts that ironing them takes longer than one Now Show. Bah. But on the good side, I now have enough shirts! And pretty much enough everything, though one more pair of smartish trousers wouldn't hurt. My mad spending spree is probably coming to an end (just in time for my bras to need replacing).

Decluttering update: 5 shirts in, 1 small bookcase out. (running totals - Out: 223, In: 120, Net: 103, day 100)
I've started a new charity clothes bag, and gathered together unwanted clothes hangers for freecycling. My flickr uploading means I can delete photos off my camera card which means there's enough room to take some photos of freecycle stuff, but actually I should probably wait to offer that until we get back from Wales and concentrate instead on clearing enough space to take holiday snaps.
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
The decluttering has stuumbled to a halt recently. About 2-3 weeks ago I finally took the bagful of expired medications to the pharmacist at Boots, who fell upon it with enthusiasm. So that answers that question: will do again.

I think it was the same week that I decluttered my hair accessories and offered them on Freecycle but then got hit by being-too-tired-and-busy and haven't got any further with responding to the emails. I've also managed to get hold of some silver polish but not actually done anything about cleaning up my tarnished silver jewellery and the larger declutter-the-jewellery project.

Incoming: I bought 3 more items of clothing, 2 slings and a Slingview mirror (for watching the child on my back). I have managed not to buy any more books for myself, and I've read at least 3 of the recent purchases since I last posted, and got through 4 of the ancient stash of M&B this weekend - being ill is good for something.

Oh, I bought a vicious tool for lopping branches, and two knit-a-scarf kits.

So, that's approx 10 out and definitely 9 in:

Running totals on day 74
In: 48
Out: 164
Net: 116
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
Inspired by my urge to declutter this year, I took a long hard look at my wardrobe recently. I've been vaguely aware of dissatisfaction for a while but failed to do anything about it.

First, I wrote a list of all the clothes I think I need, in a different room so I couldn't be distracted. For example: 2 pairs of jeans, 4-6 casual tshirts, 2-3 pairs of smart-casual trousers and so on.

Then I went into my room and started going through everything to see where it fitted on my list. The idea was to throw out anything surplus, anything I didn't like, and anything that didn't fit me or fit on the list. Unfortunately I ended up realising that almost all my outerwear fell into the throwing-out pile. I have spent at least the last year mostly wearing things I don't really like. This is crazy and I'm glad I've finally woken up to it.

Finally, I ended up with a "get rid" pile, a "keep until you find a better replacement" pile and a very very few items in a "keep" pile. I am slowly getting in replacements, holding myself firmly to "do I like it?" and "does it fit on the list of required clothes?". In the meantime it's a good thing we do laundry several times a week.

I think I may have exhausted the possibilities of La Redoute and would welcome recommendations for other places to find smart-casual clothes in size 22-24. Preferably home-delivery as actually visiting shops involves logistics and childcare.

I seem to be voluntarily ironing things for the first time ... ever? Last time I regularly wore clothes-that-need-ironing was at school, so not exactly voluntary. I was pleased to discover I can still do it competently: I literally cannot remember when I last ironed anything - before Charles was born certainly, but probably years before that.
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
raw data )

Also I've been attacking my clothes.
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rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ailbhe pointed me at [livejournal.com profile] unclutter_2009. It's a bit overwhelming in volume of posts, but after a bit of thought I have decided to join the community but not watch it, so I can dip in and out as I feel able to, and stay inspired.

The basic idea is to get rid of 1 thing a day, but also to get rid of something for each new thing you acquire, above and beyond that. Now, I'm not sure I can even hit the first target but the second idea is more valuable, for making me think twice before acquiring things. After all, my house didn't fill with clutter all by itself.

I now need to translate my thinking in 'bags' and 'boxes' into 'things', for easier comparison with things acquired.
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I make that 55 things out, 10 in, so a net 'out' of 45, and we're only on day 39 of the year. So maybe I can do 1 thing a day after all.
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
There was a Flylady mail today "Set a timer for 15 minutes - walk through your house and get rid of whatever you can in 15 minutes." So I just did, starting in the study and moving out into the house. I got halfway down the hall:

cut for detail )

I deliberately stopped moving things once they were in a place where the "next action" is easy, so that I was focusing my 15 minutes on getting things from "clutter" to "actionable".

Right, now another 15 minutes on actioning some of those things ...
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
Cut detail for tedium.
Read more... )

I'm still aiming for "do something towards decluttering every day" but not succeeding more than half the time. This doesn't bother me too much as trying for every day at least means I get something done several days a week, whereas a weekly target would probably mean nothing got done except once or twice a month.
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
Saturday 10th: 1 large bag of books to Oxfam, on the way back from ballet.
Friday 16th: 1 large tub of protein powder, collected by freecycler.

In junk room ready to go:
1 bag textile recycling
1 bag baby-2 year clothes for charity shop
1 bag misc for charity shop

Waiting for freecycle collection tomorrow:
1 large cardboard box containing lots of bubblewrap and similar packaging
1 carrier bag full of jiffy bags

Offered on freecycle:
1 unopened pack men's underpants

I am trying to do "something decluttering-related" every day, even if it isn't actually stuff leaving the house. It would be really really nice if we could get the junk room cleared by the end of this year. We cleared all the "ready to go" bags out of the junk room on Christmas Eve, so this is starting fresh for 2009.

(The baby clothes are a result of me finally tidying the baby clothes into transparent Really Useful Boxes which are now labelled and stacked neatly on the top shelves of Charles's room, along with the smaller cloth nappies and my breastpump and accessories. We're also culling-as-we-go from his current clothes as he appears to have just grown out of the smallest of them.)


rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
Rachel Coleman

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