Tidying up

There are 3 things that have really been game-changers for me when it comes to tidying.

The first is cleaning up the kitchen immediately( for the most part) after cooking or prepping food. Washing the dishes in the sink then air-drying them in the rack and then putting them away soon after. Since the dishwasher still isn’t working we’ve had to do all the dishes by hand. Actually, it’s kinda nice to make it a zen moment of being in the now of hand washing the dishes. So, if there are dishes in the sink, DO THEM!!

The second is whenever I leave a room I look around to see what needs to be brought back to where it lives. For example, we fold our laundry on the bed. So after it’s done there are often piles (like dishcloths) that need to be put away. If I’m putting towels away I might not get back to the other items right away. So when I go back in the room I pick up what’s there and take it out to it’s home. I do this in all the rooms actually. I think I started doing this when I had my foot fracture so I was limiting how much I walked around and so I started carrying anything in that room that didn’t belong there out.  I think it’s a good practice and it makes sure things go back to their proper places.

Also, and thirdly, I am adamant about everything has a place to live. That’s where it goes and needs to be put back after use. In the really great book”Decluttering at the Speed of Life” by Dana  White,

she talks about decluttering in a very humorous way. But one thing that stuck with me is to ask yourself WHERE YOU WOULD GO LOOK for an item. And then to put such item in that spot. For instance, we have a drawer where ALL the batteries go. Not some here and there, but all of them. So whenever anyone needs one, they know to go to the top drawer of that dresser( it’s the one in my office area).

These are at least 3 ways that I keep( and hopefully others) the house tidy and clean.

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a considered life…

All in all, we choose what our lives look like.

Sometimes, that is hard to see because perhaps it doesn’t really reflect who we are. To start, we need to ask ourselves, “what do I want my life to be/look like?”

I’ve been thru many different phases of my life. Young wife, mother, older mother, older wife. You get the idea. I also went thru lots of phases with decor from shabby chic, to lots of old furniture, and our more esthetic period when all I wanted was a Japanese farmhouse. ( well, I still would love that). But, really everyone’s life has phases and we are all at different points in the journey.

 I started my minimalistic journey with Flylady.  I was really in need of a system to help organize my house, housekeeping, cooking, etc.  I also was on Revlimid( a chemo pill for myeloma) and a very intense steroid( Dexamethasone). So I either had limited energy or the Dex was making me hyper and a bit crazy. So that’s when I started Flylady as her 15-minute rule worked perfectly for me. Basically, get a timer and set for 15 minutes and do the zone cleaning or decluttering.  Sometimes that was all I could do.

Since I decluttered thousands of things, each zone really only takes me 15 minutes max except the kitchen which takes generally an hour.  I don’t spend hours a week cleaning or tidying because the bulk of it is done in the zone cleaning. I do vacuum multiple times a week though and dust with a Swiffer.

There are some areas that I would still like to change such as moving some of the Heywood furniture in the living area but for now, that’s where they live.

One of the biggest game-changer for me was to finally be okay with our small house. It’s old, takes a lot of upkeep overall, it’s got a weird layout. ( There’s no real entryway). But it’s what we have and we do not want to move. Of course, circumstances do change if it became necessary we would move.

So I am grateful for this ‘considered life’ that we have created for ourselves.

A certain feeling…

I’ve been working on letting go of even more things that are just not essential.

When I was in Sacramento for those 2 1/2 almost 3 weeks, I had only what was most important and essential. There was the Mr. Coffee I bought for the RV, 2 cups, a sharp knife from Ikea, and a few other things.

I’m a sensory/visual person which is why I’m so attracted to minimalism. I get anxiety if there is too much stuff around me or on shelves. So down at the RV, visually it was very simple and undecorated.

And I had a FEELING about it. It was something I could tell was a subtle elusive thing. When I got home, with everything going on, it took a few weeks to get back to routines. Then I had that elusive feeling pop up. It was very fleeting and then I stopped and really examined what I was feeling.

It was to have around you only those things you love or use.

Friday things

We’re off to Sacramento for Clinic and Labs. B still has diarrhea going on but the Predisone and Imodium should help. We think this is a small Graft vs Host going on since he is now off one of the anti-rejection drugs, Mycophenolate.  At least it isn’t getting worse. So, all in all, that’s good.

I had thought to stop at Costco on the way home and I still may do that. It kinda depends on how long we’re at clinic. I really need to get my receipt in there as I was charged twice for 2 things. That’s always awkward as I feel like ‘will they believe me’?? But, like I said, it depends on how I feel and what time we leave Sacto. B just has to sit in the car, so that is something to consider too.

I filled out my LLS reimbursement form using SS for the first time. I probably did it wrong and they’ll kick it back. I found, after I submitted, their list of what was needed and I didn’t copy the cards just the payments, so that’s probably what they’ll need. They can be quite fussy about it but then again, they are giving me money, so I guess it needs to be done to the letter.  I’ll just wait and see 😦

I started emptying the tent trailer and put some things in the barn. I’d like to completely empty it and wipe it down and then evaluate its condition. B likes to take his naps out there so I don’t think we’ll close it completely down.

Well, I guess it’s time to get going!

Back to routines…

It finally feels like things are getting back to some semblance of normal.

It has been busy to some degree and yesterday was a very long clinic visit with the doctor. There are a few things needing attention. His blood pressure is still low and seems to drop when he stands. The doctor thinks this is the Flomax, but since he needs that to get the peeing going the dose cant be lowered yet. So he needs to be extra careful getting up.  Then he has a ‘drop foot’ happening in his right foot where it’s kinda lagging. This just started a few days ago. The doctor ordered an MRI asap, but that still is 2 weeks out. It may be a nerve or it may be a rare side effect of the anti-rejection drug, so it needs to be figured out.  Well, no one said this would be easy.  But overall, it’s all going better than expected.

Today, though, I’m going to do Flylady zone which is the living room. Always an easy zone for me but I may do it a bit deeper especially after the deep cleaning we got from the cleaning lady.  Yesterday, I moved all my cookbooks into the LR bookcase as I want o see them together and what doesn’t fit I’ll get rid of. I’m also going to wash the couch covers. I’m guesstimating that I do this about 4 times a year. Since we just had the summer solstice that’s a good time.

I’m also going into the closet pantry and do some tidying up in there. It doesn’t need a lot but some stuff does need to be re-organized.

I’m not going into the gym or town at all today. But tomorrow I will go to Costco as coffee is needed and some other basic things. I’ll go early so as to be home just after my daughter leaves for her job. Someone is supposed to be with B 24/7 but an hour won’t be too bad.

I’m also putting a piece of pork in the slow cooker for pulled pork. I have some corn and I may do a small potato salad. Not sure if I have enough potatoes though.

We just had a nice one-mile walk.  Don’t want to do too much yet. The park has been really busy even at 6am. I grumble about it:(

Trying new things

I like routines and doing things on a schedule. Maybe it’s a security need to know I’m getting things done. For me, there is LBC(life before cancer) and LAC( life after cancer). Before my diagnosis, I certainly got things done and was homeschooling my son using a Waldorf program. I had lesson plans, monthly blocks of learning, etc. So I was disciplined as such.

But it wasn’t til LAC. when I relapsed in 2010 and even later, that I started Fly lady and began my decluttering in earnest.  I don’t remember minimalism as a catchphrase so much back then but I’m sure it was.  Over at Minimally-less stuff,  Trisha has a great blog on the ongoing process of decluttering. It sometimes, like for me, is a life-altering event to start the decluttering journey or just a phase of life and discovering what works.

But back to trying new things. I like to implement new cooking techniques( the IP, that now I’m not too crazy about), and also new minimalist ideas that I read about. My son jokes with me, though, that I don’t really go out of my comfort zone a lot, and that is true. I guess I feel I did that so much as a young person and it was a bit reckless at times. ( The one year we moved like 6 times, like in a school bus, to a trailer, and so on). Yeah, not to steady. It really wasn’t till our daughter was born that we settled into a routine.

Anyway, this coming week I will be doing something new and that’s staying in the RV alone. It’ll be interesting, to say the least. And it will definitely be out of my comfort zone.

The week ahead…

We had a quiet Memorial Day.

My brother died in Viet Nam in 1968 so I thought about him. He was a talented artist. What a waste. He also couldn’t get a deferment even though he had a heart problem and at that time was working full time to support my mother. I guess Donald Trump got the deferment for his bone spurs. I guess he had enough millions to pay off a judge. Well, I guess that tells you something about my brother being killed in Viet Nam and  Donald Trump whining about a bone spur.

It was cloudy to start but then eventually the sun came out. We BBQ some burgers and I made some coleslaw. My daughter made us some strawberry shortcakes for dessert later.  We generally don’t eat dessert so this was a nice treat.

I didn’t drive to Sacramento and missed seeing B. But I’m going down today and all the rest of the week except Friday. I think my daughter will go on Friday unless her new job starts. Her library interview is next week and this job she is doing is only temporary thru June.

Everything is lining up for us to have the RV. I just ordered some camp chairs as I don’t want to use the owner’s ones for risk of them being stolen or damaged. We needed new ones anyway.

Flylady zone this week was the living room. That’s an easy one for me as it is almost where I want it with functionality and minimalized. I try and do one thing in each zone that’s new or improved. So this time I moved the Ikea cart out and put it in my office area. It holds our wine bottles( which have been reduced to one Chianti, that we don’t drink very often) and we kept our silverware in Ball jars there too. So, I’m going to try it and see if we NEED it back or can the space just be open( white space). I guess we shall see. Right now in my office space, it has a plant on top and that’s it so, that probably isn’t very efficient either.

I’m planning on going to Sac Co-op this morning for veggies and olives from their olive bar. But it kinda depends on my mood as I get closer. Nothing is critical that I need so we’ll see. (How’s that for being indecisive??)

Dinner is chicken enchiladas!