Week Six: Room For The Whole Family (A work in progress…)

A couple of weeks ago I offered you a peek into one of the “office” rooms in the warehouse, the room where this little family spends the most “together” time, when I introduced Week Four’s De-Clutter Fail. A few days later, I introduced you to my baby boy, LB, when I confessed my shortcoming on the weekly challenge. This week I’m back in the closest thing to a family room that the warehouse offers, to tackle a different clutter zone and give two more members of my family a chance to say hello to the blogosphere. If these two loved-ones could talk, I’m sure they would have been nagging me to get this room in shape a long time ago. Even though neither of them ever so much as set foot outside of this room, they contribute to the clutter the least of all the family members, and for that they deserve a little showing-off-time on the blog… Nevermind the fact that one of them doesn’t have a foot to set anywhere anyway… Without any further ado, please say hello to my family:

Oogie-Boogie and Peanut…

Both of these guys were gifts who now reside in the “living” or “family” room here at the warehouse. To me, they are something like a cross between Wal-Mart greeter and a Foo Dog. They greet all everyone who stops by and seem to make a pretty strong impression when people come through the door for the first time. Oogie seems to have the more attention-getting personality of the two, for sure, but I have a special affection for Peanut (who is the latest addition to our family, btw).

The real reason I am posting photos of  these two is to find out a little more about Oogie-Boogie. Like I said before, he was a gift and the person who gifted him to me discovered him at a private sale and didn’t bother to ask any questions about him, she just saw him, knew he was meant for someplace other than the place he was in and brought him to my place… Fate, I guess… I’ve never seen anything like him. No one who has seen him here has seen anything like him. I can’t find anything like him on the internet at all… (not even close!) And there are no markings of any kind to indicate that his creator would like to be connected to him… No signature. No date. No inscription. No symbols. Nada!

So, I’m curious… have you ever seen anything like him? Know an artist who produces anything like my Oogie-Boogie? If you have any clues that might help me find out more about this awesome… guy… who puts up with my clutter and greets all of my visitors, I would love to know what you know about him… Anything at all, even long-shots.

While you are wracking your brain over the orgin of my Oogie, I’m going to tidy his room… Er… I mean I’m going to De-Clutter the Family Room… At least a fair piece of one corner of our favorite gathering place.

This is what I’m starting with (about 10 minutes into the effort I came to my senses and realized I needed to snap some photos of this project!):

You’re invited to come see the results of my efforts on Monday when I re-visit this post and show off my freshly clutter-busted corner of the world. If your idea of a fun weekend includes parading your inner hoarder for the world to see (or if you’ve got some tidying up to do and don’t mind the rest of us watching and waiting for you to post photos of your success so we can ooh! and ahh! over them between remarks proclaiming your amazing level of genius and complimenting your spiffy workmanship), then check out the instructions for the 4-Day De-Clutter Challenge.

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Week Five: More Clothes Than You Can Shake a Stick At (Reveal?)

Hangers

Hangers (Photo credit: notashamed)

In spite of a few minor set-backs and miscalculations, I am fairly happy with the outcome of this week’s 4-Day Challenge project. Together, My Sweetheart and I made some real and tangible progress. Is the task 100% complete? No, but I can say with more than a little bit of relief that I now believe that the light at the end of our wardrobe/laundry/clothing tunnel is sunshine rather than a train coming down the track.

I know I am supposed to be posting a photo for you to ooh and aah over, but for the life of me I can’t seem to figure out where I put the camera down after I snapped a few progress pics. I have a sneaking suspicion that I managed to scoop it up with some of the clothes that were bound for either a drawer or the donation pile, but I am too exhausted to mount a search for it tonight. I hope you don’t mind the suspense…

In the meantime, I thought I would share an article with you that I discovered on the Etsy blog a day or two ago about the fate of donated clothing Americans drop off every year and the impact of our used clothing on the rest of the world. It’s somewhat eye-opening, especially for me, as I sift and sort my way through the ocean of fabric items that have been accumulated by my household in just 4 or 5 short months! The post just so happens to be from my favorite Etsy blogger, Chappell Ellison, so that’s an added bonus I am happy to pass along to those of you who haven’t been reading the Etsy blog.

If the statistics in Chappell’s post cause you to re-think plans you have for donating clothing no longer useful to your household, but what can you do with unwanted clothes other than drop them at the donation center? Sell them in a garage sale? Sure… but that’s not the most efficient alternative (unless you are already making plans for your next sale event). You could also refashion, reconstruct, redesign or (your preferred buzz word for recycling unwanted clothing into stylish swag here) your cast-offs. But not everyone has the inclination, time and skill to put that idea into action. Is there another option? I’m happy to tell you that not only is there another option, if you are in Dallas, there’s an option that can put some change in your pocket as well as make room in your closets! Even better, you don’t have to look any further than CraigsList to find this option.

If you have at least 10 bags of clothing, according to this ad, Charity Shoes and Clothing, LLC is interested in buying the lot from you. Check out their website here.

Another listing may be better for you if you don’t have 10 bags of clothing you no longer need. This one offers cash for your untorn and unwanted clothing items and you don’t even have to leave the house to earn it; this buyer will come to your place and buy your unwanted things. How great is that?

I haven’t yet decided the ultimate fate for all of the clothes weeded out of our closet (and laundry cycle) by this week’s challenge, but I have a feeling that I am going to exercise more than one of these newly discovered alternatives to donation drop-spots.

I’ll be sure to post the farewell photos as our rejects hit the road, but for now… Zzzzzzzzzz….

Week Five: More Clothes Than You Can Shake a Stick At

I’ve come to the conclusion that there is something seriously wrong with my head. It doesn’t work right. It’s kind of like a big truck with a little bitty battery; you turn the key, and it starts to turn the engine, but it just doesn’t have the juice to kick it over and let it run.

Here’s an example:

This morning, when My Sweetheart and I were waking up, he commented that today is another day for me to post a pic for the 4-day De-Clutter Challenge. When he mentioned it, I told him immediately that I planned on posting something really easy this week. “I think I’m going to post a photo of the bed of the truck.” That statement was turning the key in the ignition. Now that the time has come to actually take some pics and get them out there for you to see them and join me in the challenge, the engine just isn’t engaging like it should.

Instead of taking the easy way out, like I would do if my head was right, I am thinking about a massive pile of clothing in the warehouse. Make that 2 or three piles of clothing… Massive piles of clothing. All of it clean. Most of it folded or laid out flat, waiting to adorn hangers. If I had to quantify the amount of clothing waiting for attention, I would say that there is enough of it in the warehouse to provide modest wardrobes for nearly a dozen people… not counting the massive amount of infant, toddler and small children’s clothes.

The amount of clothing we have is sometimes the bane of my existence. And the most troublesome thing about the clothes is that most of them aren’t ours. Most of them have been tossed out by the bagful and sneak into the warehouse among the treasure that My Sweetheart brings home. Every now and then a few items which are sized to fit me will come through the door, but only very rarely. We go through the bags and pull out what we think will work for us and we make piles for alteration or upcyling, but I’ve only recently gotten the sewing machine needed for those projects. The task is pretty daunting at this point.

We need to make a trip to the donation center with a lot of the clothes we have here. I don’t know why we’ve been putting it off, but I do know that if I don’t post about the clothes today we won’t be accountable for doing something about it for at least a week. Posting a photo of the bed of the truck (which doesn’t happen to have much in it today anyway) isn’t going go very far in the progress department.

That said, this is my project for week number five: More Clothes Than You Can Shake a Stick At.

And this is but a fraction of the clothes I am talking about…. UGH!

See what I mean about my head not being quite right?! If it was right I would be showing you much less work!

I hope that some of you will join me this week!

(btw… Posting on a blog works a lot better when you actually publish your post rather than just previewing it and walking away. Duh! More proof that my head isn’t right…)

Contents Under Pressure

I have a one-year-old chihuahua named LB (“Lightning Bolt”–I’ll tell you that story another time) Wilbur III, Esquire. I adore LB to pieces and baby him way more than I should most of the time. Today, LB is being a moody little pain in the butt and growls and barks his head off at the whole family every time one of us so much as moves an inch. I have told him a dozen times or more to knock it off, but I might as well have been talking to a stump (a barking, growling stump), because when My Sweetheart came into the living room from the warehouse a little while ago LB went off like a freakin’ siren.

And so did I.

I got nose-to-nose with a (usually) sweet, little 4 pound dog and yelled my head off at him to stop it, Stop It, STOP IT! like an insane person. And I hurt the little guy’s feelings. Poor baby boy. I never even talk ugly to him, so he was totally unprepared for me to go off like that. I feel like a bad person for it.

The reason I lost my cool, I suppose, is the fact that I had been struggling over this post for–oh, I don’t know–close to an hour, maybe, and I had nothing to show for it at all. The reason I am, or was, stuck is I feel like I really have a lot to say here today and all of those thoughts are crushing up against each other trying to get out and building more and more pressure the more I try grab onto just one of those thoughts. My thought process has all the qualities of a warm, 2-liter bottle of Big Red soda that someone just dropped on the hot pavement. Not a good thing.

I was thinking about this post yesterday. The possibility that I would be blocked like I have been wasn’t even a consideration. In fact, I spent a lot of time thinking about this post and expected it to just flow right on through my fingers and into the internet then onto your screen almost effortlessly.  Just like I told you on Thursday that I was all fired up to kick the 4-day challenge meme in the patootie (yes, I said “patootie”), yesterday I was all fired up to tell you that the desk I had planned on moving out of the office for a complete surprise repurpose in another part of the warehouse had been given a stay of execution because I am not going to complete that project this week.

I know, I know… I am not doing so great with these challenges, am I? Not even a little bit.

The reason the desk is staying put is because poor prior planning promotes piss-poor performance and I had failed to take in the big picture when I posted the challenge set-up this week. Yesterday when I was ready to roll up my sleeves and get to clutter-busting the desk, I headed into the warehouse to clear the spot for the desk to start its new life as a major component in my new dressing/sewing room (construction pending). There’s no missing the big picture in the warehouse… It looked like this:

And there is no room there for my desk to find a new purpose…

So, I upgraded my challenge. This is the progress so far:

Wow! That pressure isn’t as strong as it was a little while ago. I think I will be able to get some more work done out in the warehouse before I make the next post.

Oh… And btw… I made up with my baby boy before I even made this post. I picked him up and held him close. he even rolled on his backand let me hold him like a baby and rub his tummy (a position in which he usually is pretty insecure staying for long) for as long as I wanted. But I didn’t kiss him on his cute little head, although I was quite tempted… LB does not being the recipient of kisses.

LB

LB Wilbur III, Esquire