Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It was written in the stars...

Look what I tore out of a free weekly paper I found in Cottage Grove, Oregon a few weeks ago!  It was just a little while after I'd begun this blog, and I was on my way down south to visit my family.  It's the "Free Will Astrology" horoscope for my sign, Taurus, from that week (the last week of September, if I'm correct):
You'll have to click on it to really read it.  It was extra encouraging to see that Rob Brezsny has picked up on my cosmic cleaning rays and reflected their positive energy back in my direction.

For years now I've been aware that my energy really picks up in the late afternoon, around 4pm, and can keep up until around midnight.  I got on a real roll yesterday with the sorting I was doing, and I couldn't make myself stop until about 1am!  I came to the conclusion last week that I have to start making myself get up earlier in the morning though.  I set an alarm for 11:30 at night to go off to signal that I should start getting ready for bed.  My goal is to get up about an hour earlier in the mornings.

I have some friends picking up a few pieces of furniture tomorrow that I don't use.  And I'm getting closer and closer to getting the books catalogued and ready to be picked up by the college!

I'm going to go downstairs after this and do a little more work on the basement.  I'll get a few more pictures online tomorrow for the big update!

As if to underscore my alignment with fate, I glanced at Facebook where someone had shared a link to this Pinterest board belonging to a Liesl Kirschman Artherton.  Lots of cleaning tips right here!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's ok, I'm authorized

I forgot that I did this organizing/moving/space planning thing for a living at one time.  It's been a long time since I had a long term, full time job.  For a lot of reasons, things that happened less than two years ago seem more like a decade in the past.  Back in 2006, I worked for a company that contracted with Intel to move their office spaces and set up new ones.  I'd have to get these big groups of people to pack up their cubicles and I'd get a moving crew to take all their stuff to another place in their building.  Sometimes they'd move to a whole other building or campus.  That seems like a big job.  Then why does my house seem like such a big deal?  Wait, wait, I already know the answer to this. 

A year and a half ago I also worked for a company that also built offices, but furniture and fixtures from scratch.  I have to remind myself that I'm a pro!

I picked up a lot of crap from my bedroom floor this morning, it's been terrible for a long time.  I'm a DJ so I keep my CD library in there, and week after week I had been putting off shelving the CDs in order.  So, I did it today.  This whole straightening business is showing me what a perfectionist I am.  I was concentrating so hard on it that I missed a big stack of random papers that were sitting on the floor and spilling in a heap off a shelf. 

I did a lot of cleanup this evening tonite in the basement after visiting with some friends.  Sometimes I get started and without meaning to I just keep going and going until I don't see anything else I can take care of in that space of time.  In this picture that I just took, you can compare a section of my work with just the previous blog entry:
I figured out something else about myself that kind of bothers me on a couple levels: I want my containers to match.  Remember the one that had a purple lid?  I had to take that off the shelf and replace it.  I don't know what I'll do with it yet.  Uniformity of some things can help make a messy sight look a little better.  It seems like a form of snobbery to need that but if it makes me feel a little better then I'm just going to go with it.

I've been doing pretty well, as far as managing my depression.  I'm just putting as much as I can into my day to keep busy and checking things off my list.  Many years ago I found that even anticipating those feelings, or considering them in any way, made me anxious.  I didn't know how to deal with them, but after some therapy and trying different things I can head off the worst of it before it happens.  Most of the time.  I also have great friends that help me all the time, I have the best friends ever.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Limits of Control

I took a picture of some storage shelves downstairs because they need work, obviously, but it brought to mind some comments I wanted to make about my and other people's cleanup habits.  I noticed that some people buy a lot of containers so they can just stack everything they have.  I'm trying to get to the point where I need fewer containers.  I already have a lot of my buying under control.  There used to be a time when my favorite place to look in a thrift store was the shelves where all the little ceramic figurines sit.  I wanted to have loads for my curio shelves on the wall, and pretty soon I had to put them in those storage containers you see above.  I still have a lot but I try to get a couple a year instead of a handful every few days!

Not much progress has been made since my last entry.  I forgot that when you move the big things, like furniture, you have to find new places to stack the little things.  So now I have that little problem.  Not a terrible thing, but I think I know a way to take care of it for the time being.  I'm going to have to make use of some of those cardboard boxes I showed you before. 

I feel like I shouldn't even be writing here today.  My thoughts have been with my friends on the east coast all day.  I just wanted to make myself do something just a little bit constructive that I have some control over.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Free Will vs. SAD

Thanks everybody who has been reading my silly blog, I really appreciate it.  Thanks also to my new followers.  I hope I'll have more soon, but then I forget to be an official follower of my friends' blogs so I don't really deserve it.

As much as I am loathe to I decided to dive into cataloging all the books I'm donating, I made a nice spreadsheet and it's going faster than I thought it would.  I've got to take pictures of all of them too, can you believe it?  I hope the tax man doesn't want photos someday of all the crap I gave to Goodwill this year, because I sure have a lot of receipts for it.  I am asserting my willpower over my urge to put off the book stuff, because after getting back from California last week I became acutely aware that my good spirits wouldn't last while I am procrastinating.  We've had driving rain for days, whereas when I left for the Bay Area and during my trip there'd been nothing but sunshine.  I'm trying to head off any feelings of depression this season.  I have some problems every winter, but this year I'm going to be aware of them before they happen and use some focus to work through them.  I really want to get my living room ready again to have friends over and it's hardly in that state now.

Here is a piece from a really good DVD zine from some creative folks in Canada, it's called the Winking Circle.  I found it at random at the library!
Watching stuff like this makes me feel a lot better about the world. 

In other news, two of my friends had to follow me down into the basement today so we could get to my garage & drive away.  They could see for themselves that I've been working hard! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Day After Xmas

The Salvation Army came yesterday to pick up a few things from my house, including that blond wood thing I mentioned in a previous post.  I moved all the donations to my garage for easy grabbing, and I had to put the blond unit on a "piano mover" trolley to get it about 10 feet from where it had been resting since August.  It was sooo heavy!  Just to get it on the trolley took imagination.  It's nice to see things go when they need to be out of the way, but when they're gone it's kind of like when a holiday happens and you want more afterwards.

Here's a pic of the basement room now that the donations are gone:
You can see there's been a lot of progress since day one of this blog.  You can see the floor.  It's hard to tell that there's a path beyond the towers of stuff, but it's there.

I should have taken a picture of the laundry room, where I kept a lot of the things I was thinking about giving to S.A.  I'd forgotten what the washing machine and dryer looked like.

The above photo doesn't show something I'd like to hide, but it needs to be seen:
It's in the same room, just out of view to the right.  Boxes I'm saving for the bookopalypse upstairs.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Down in Hayes Valley

I've been back from the Bay Area for a few days now.  It was one crazy, fully packed trip!  I saw so many good friends and family members.  Alameda, California is a second home to me and if I didn't love Portland so much I might move there.

I had a great time visiting a part of San Francisco with which I was until recently unfamiliar: Hayes Valley.  It's the kind of place where I couldn't afford most of anything that my friend and I saw in the stores, but I'm going to mention them all because we had fun and got a lot of good ideas.  I'm still searching for the perfect bedspread, and we stopped in Reliquary to see a quilt I had looked at on my last trip.  If you follow the link, you can see many of their colorful quilts on a shelf.  Alas, it was too small but at least I have another reason not to spend money I don't have on it.  We paid another visit to Lotus Bleu to see their rugs and textiles again.  It's such a beautiful store, the kind of place I tell myself I'll come back to when I have the money.  One of my favorite places that day was Nancy Boy  , a store with vintage furnishings and their own line of bath products.  The guy that worked there was super nice.  One of the reasons I decided to blog about the place is that he told us that they get business through word of mouth, so I wanted to make sure I did my bit.  He also recommended that we try mixing tea with "cawfee" sometime for a surprisingly refreshing and delicious beverage.  I haven't tried it yet but I will, though for now all I have at home is herbal tea and instant decaf so I don't think it'll be as good as promised.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ah, San Francisco

I'm attending a convention here in the Bay Area, and it happens to be in the Design District of San Francisco.  It's not an interior design convention, but the Alternative Press Expo or A.P.E.  I'm getting inspired by a lot of creativity here.  I'm lucky because I parked in an area where there are some great stores, such as Roche Bobois, a European furniture place.  These are some very high end shops!  My tastes aren't really expensive (as you can probably tell from the pictures you've seen so far) but I can appreciate good quality when I see it.

I'm looking for a really great bedspread I saw in a book called Paris Style vol. II, it was in the bedroom of Christian Louboutin.  I can't find a picture of it at all on the net, so here's a photo of a chair in his living room to give you an idea of his aesthetic.  He's the shoe designer, in case you don't know who I'm talking about.

The bedspread doesn't really look like this, but it's very bold and colorful and exotic.  I think I stand a chance of finding something to fit what I'm after here in the Bay Area, don't you think so?

Friday, October 12, 2012

My blog is growing up!

My blog has one "follower", that feels like a big deal.  Thanks follower!

Again I'm away from my nest, but I did a few cleanup things this week.  After big move I did about a month ago, where I closed an old office/store, I had a few pieces of merchandise that I took over to the new office.  Instant clean space! A couple square feet of it, anyway.  I thought I'd have time to sell more books and get them out of the way, so I put them in my car.  They are still in there, I didn't get the time.

I've had this half-baked idea for a garage sale in the next couple weeks, but I don't know if the weather will be inclement by then.  It's been an unusually pleasant, sunny autumn  for Portland, OR.  I heard that it rained in Olympia today so those days might be over for the next five months.

Many years ago, I had a job working for a woman who was a shut-in.  We'd clean her house, but she could only stand to do about a square foot a day most of the time.  She couldn't go out because she had environmental sensitivities, and she was allergic to dust from cleaning.  I keep thinking about her these days.  I'd have to wear a space helmet to do everything I'm doing.

As for the books I'm donating, my accountant tells me I need to take pictures of the books and write down titles, authors, market value, etc.  Do you remember how many there were in that photo?  Well, now there are more!  I hope this is all worth it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Heavy Matter Pt. 2

A couple friends came over tonight and helped me move more books - I think I am ready to take this donation process to the next level!  There are about twice as many book stacks now in my living room.

I will be contacting my accountant tomorrow to ask about tax deductions and itemizing the things that are going.  After running a sole proprietorship this whole year, I want to get the maximum deduction possible!  I had to pay a massive amount of tax this year and I don't want to experience that again.  As I'm donating a few hundred books, I want to do the least amount of work possible to get the deduction form complete.

As for the basement, that is coming along very well.  If the great weather holds up into next week I'd like to have a small garage sale.  That might be a good way to say goodbye to a few pieces of furniture that are clogging up the floor area down there.  I have two lovely chairs and a side table that I can't really use, as well as all of those books and household goods I couldn't get rid of otherwise.

I've been cycling a bit through my emotions - I feel a sense of accomplishment for a while, and then I feel low.  I keep reminding myself that a few months ago I was going through a similar thing when I had to get rid of some old furniture in order to make room for a gift of new furniture.  I got through that, and I've had a lot of experience trying to make the basement the way I want.  Maybe I just have to give up on the basement altogether!

One tool I've found useful for this project is an egg timer.  If I set it for about half an hour and just clean and sort (or use it for any other chore), and I stick to it.  When I set a time limit, I look harder for little things that need doing.  I don't try to rush, but I do try to be more thorough.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Heavy Matter

This looks like a lot of books, and it IS a lot of books!  But it's far from all of them.  This is just what is in my living room right now, and there are many more in another room waiting to join them.  These belonged to my husband Dylan, they are part of his special collection that I'm getting ready to donate to a college library.  I've had some friends over to help with sorting them, and they've done me the great favor of taking some for their own personal bookshelves.  They were also friends of Dylan's during his lifetime, so I know the books will be enjoyed.

This has been a difficult process.  It is hard to let go of them even though I didn't use them myself a whole lot.  I am making sure to keep many that I love especially.  I have a habit of placing too much importance on how something is used once it leaves my possession - this is partly why I obsessively recycle and donate goods.  The funny thing is I usually don't regret getting rid of things. 

The basement cleaning continues, but the "book parties" as I've been calling them have been my focus for the last three days.  I'm dreading the part where I catalog them for tax purposes, but one thing at a time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pilgrim's Progress

So, I worked a long time tonight just cleaning the basement.  I wish I had picked up some daytime allergy meds today, because now I'm paying for it.  It's too early for a Benadryl tablet, they put me right to sleep!

If you compare this photo with the one I posted September 16th, you can see there has been some change.  Since that time I've sold a lot of books or given them away to Title Wave, and donated arty goods to SCRAP,  or just made a pile for Salvation Army.  I have a laundry room off to the side, and it's now the place where I put the household item donations.  Despite the fact that things are actually leaving this basement room, the change doesn't look like a whole lot.

See that blond wood thing on the floor in the middle?  That's a piece of furniture that really needs to go.  I wish I gave it away when I had a chance weeks ago!  When one of my friends was helping me move it in here, he asked, "Is this thing made of concrete?"  It's probably heavier than a lot of other bigger furniture I have, and now it's stuck where it is because it's too heavy for me to drag up the stairs.

If I had more pictures of the room from different angles you could see that I have made good progress, and I should be pleased. 

I discovered a clever means of making a "shelf helper", which is what those white plastic-covered wire things were that I was praising September 30th.  I took four bricks (39 to 44 cents each at Home Depot) and laid a wire shelf that I found for free on the sidewalk across the top.  I think the shelf I found would normally be attached to brackets on a wall.  It's not a very dressy look but it did the trick for a basement bookcase I have.

I've been reading The Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff, and I'm almost done.  There was a movie made based on it called The Eagle, starring Channing Tatum.  The book is much, much better.  It takes place in Britain in the Roman era, one of my favorite periods of history.  I understand this book was written for young adults, but it's a great read at any age.