Life in 409

This blog is about my quest to declutter my apartment. It focuses on clutter, decluttering, and the endless quest to separate the junk from the important stuff - at home and in life.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Bitten: One Bullet

So, I finally did what I've been considering for years: I hired a professional organizer. I found Stacy on Craigslist and after several emails back and forth, I finally found the courage to call her. I did hem and haw, but she was a good salesman (read: a little pushy) and she had Saturday morning open, so I agreed.

She said she works fast, and she did. Somehow she managed to do the things I wouldn't or couldn't: zoom through my worst spaces, insisting on decisions, convincing my kids to toss out things they don't play with and don't love.

It was a nail biter. I was panicking, I knew somehow that my kids (okay, me) would freak out later about "Why did I get rid of this" or "But I still loved that. It was all I could do not to stop them from tossing the Dora doll (one of at least FOUR that the Girl owns) or the Batman observation tower (but you LOVED Batman!).

There were times she went so fast I was afraid things would get missed in the shuffle: She presented the kids with a big bin of teeny tiny toys and said, grab what you want and the rest is going out... boom boom boom and she was dumping it in a big trash bag... the Boy did rescue a few things and he seems ok with it all but I wonder. Maybe it's all me, and not them.

She wasn't too forthcoming about donating stuff, dismissing a lot of it as "broken or missing pieces" when I didn't think it was, or "not worth the bother" when I DID think it was. Especially since I am always trying to teach my kids not to be wasteful. Then again, this way the stuff actually did leave the apartment (as opposed to all the stuff still in my kitchen awaiting a time when I can take it to Goodwill). Nonetheless, after she left, I did rescue a few things from the trash (to donate, not to keep. I don't think.)

One big burden of which she relieved me: My son has a collection of Rescue Heroes and their stuff. If I had to guess, I would say maybe 50 guys, some with pet animals, plus several vehicles (police car, dune buggy, boat). And a giant Rescue Command Center which is about 3 feet high and took up a large part of my living room for about 3 or 4 years now. He hasn't played with it in ages and has said many times he's ready to give it up. We (hubby and me) always said we didn't want just to donate it randomly or throw it out, since it was such a big collection. Anyway, Stacy also sells on ebay and she took the entire collection and is going to post it on a commission basis. The only thing she wouldn't take was the Command Center, as it is too big and bulky to ship. She suggested I toss it. I couldn't bear to do that, so now it's in my kitchen too. But I think it was a good move to let her handle the sale, etc., of all the guys, since she has the time and ebay experience, whereas the stuff I try to sell on ebay barely makes a profit and sometimes shows a loss. The Boy is excited too, as he has Dollar $ign$ in his eyes!

Don't get me wrong - the place still needs work. But the living room and the kids' room look (and feel) amazing. Stacy wants to come back and help me more. I would love it but not sure if my wallet would love it quite as much. I want to try to do a little on my own, now that I've gotten a kick start. We'll see.

The best part? The Boy was able to have some friends over to watch Wrestlemania on Pay-per-view last night, and they could sit on the couches, and play on the floor!!! Everyone was happy! (Except my downstairs neighbor. Sorry, 309.)

Pictures and more info later.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Some photos

I took these a few weeks ago. They ain't pretty.

The left is my dining room table. It's been cleaned many times since, but it still pretty much looks like that. The right is my kitchen "eat in" area. We don't eat in it (obviously) but I do store a lot of crap there.

Weekend Update - March 22 & 23

What I got done this weekend:
  • Cleaned/scrubbed stovetop, counters, dishrack & drawers. I am frustrated because although I have not seen/heard mice, I keep finding mouse poopies in my dishrack and next to my toaster oven. I am now being extra careful to take out the garbage, not leave stuff in the sink, etc., as I had been lazy about taking care of these things on a nightly basis.
  • Took down recycling (also trying to do this daily now)
  • Mentioned mice to exterminator, when he came by. He was not the usual guy, and when he saw the place, he was probably thinking, "Well, DUH, look at this place, surprised you don't have roaches and bats too." He put down more pellets. Then he stood around - I think he was looking for a tip!
  • Went to BJs and bought lots of meat so we can cook at home. Also bought diapers, soap and other necessities that have been needed for a while. I then cleaned out the freezer somewhat to make room. I threw away a very old box of ice cream push pops that my kids didn't like, and some bread that I froze about a year ago. I did not throw out the McDonald's birthday cake that has been in there, unopened, for 14 months.
  • Went to Key Food and bought some other needed stuff - just the usual - milk, seltzer, eggs, cheese, yogurt...

What I didn't do that I really needed to do
  • Unload the laundry basket of clean laundry. We sent the laundry out last week (about 2 weeks worth) and it is expensive, but nice when it comes back all folded. The downside is, there is no urgency in putting it away - unlike when it comes out of the dryer here and is thrown on my bed in a big heap.
  • Unload clean clothes, toys, etc. from the bassinet that has become a dumping ground since boychik doesn't actually sleep in it, preferring the mama bed as did his brother and sister before him.
  • Clean off my dresser and nightstand like I wanted to, especially since my favorite earrings are missing and probably in the mess somewhere
  • Laundry - which I wanted to try to keep in control so we don't have to keep spending $$$$$$$ to send it out
  • Put together the crib - to try and get the kid OUT of the mama bed.

What else I did
Got the kids to the park. Twice. And isn't that what it's really all about?

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Two steps back, two steps back

Months have gone by. Things are improving but also worse. I have cleared paths and obstructed paths. I am starting over, again and again.

I resubscribed to FLYLADY. I was subscribed for so long and finally gave up. Well, I've given in and hoping that it will "take" this time. I have freecycled some things, but not enough to make a difference.

Spring, spring cleaning. Hopefully I'm back to blogging too.

See you soon.