Housekeeping Boot Camp

A military friend of mine keeps a well organized, always clean home. She can’t help it. She’s in the military and used to strict routines so having a home ‘just so’ is second nature. I envy her. I’ve always lived in clutter and disorganization. I know I lack discipline. Sadly I am too old to join the military, so I cannot get it that way. If only there was a housekeeping boot camp.

Possibly the next best thing is Fly Lady. Fly Lady is a gem of a website that really helps you develop better housekeeping routines. I discovered Fly Lady years ago. I had started the baby steps and enjoyed it. Not sure why I stopped. I probably faltered and never got back on track.

So while thinking about how great a housekeeping boot camp would be, I remembered Fly Lady. The website is still there and content is still free. So today I will start with baby step one. It’s an easy one – shine your sink. Just make sure that kitchen sink is clean before going to bed. I look forward to making this a routine in that I love having a clean sink. It’s amazing how little things can have a big impact.

So while I may not be in an official housekeeping boot camp, I plan to really give more attention to the home. More quality attention that hopefully will produce better results for a clutter-free way of living.

30 Day Challenge

30_day_challenge

For the month of January, I vow to do this challenge – fill 30 grocery bags with either donations or items to trash/recycle. It’s a small, bite-size way I can start de-cluttering our home without getting overwhelmed. I figure one day I may do three bags but another day I may do none. As long as I have filled 30 by the end of the month, I will have succeeded.

I plan to put a simple tracker up in our home. Next month I will do another challenge of some sorts – maybe something with writing or blogging. Each week I will post my progress hoping this will keep me accountable an on track.

Here’s to big, exciting stuff in 2015!

UPDATE 1/20 – I am failing at this challenge. I have probably only filled one bag. Not giving up yet though.

Clean Sweep

We haven’t had satellite TV in a year but one show I miss is Clean Sweep. It was inspiring to see these cluttered rooms transformed into a useful space again. Since I have been working outside of the home, the house has really become a cluttered nightmare. I just do not know where to start. I keep saying that I will sale some stuff on eBay and other stuff at a rummage sale. The truth is I’ve done neither – all the while more stuff keeps piling up.

So since I am working, I need to really think if reselling an item is worth it. If I cannot clear $10 off an item, then I should just donate it. That will dwindle down the pile even though there is this part of me that says every dollar will help you get out of debt faster. But the problem is how much time do I have to spend making that dollar? What if I could write an article for $10 during the time it takes me to make a $1 off one item? So I should focus my efforts on my goals. Writing would give me money and a creative outlet. Putting a cheap item on eBay will cost me listing and final value fees, supplies to pack it up, and gas to take it to the post office. Yeah, the writing would be way simpler.

I just need to learn to let go. It is OK just to donate items. I really don’t mind donating but some items it’s just hard not knowing what home they are going to. Yeah I know; I’m way too attached to my stuff.

Old Baggage

This weekend was a good one. We spent it with friends we haven’t seen in 15 years. It was awesome. Not only was it good to see all of our old friends, it will provide me months of blog posting topics. Like this one inspired by a story my friend told us.

In 15 years, it’s not surprising we all have moved a few times. A friend mentioned his collegiate locker that he always used as a coffee table. The locker traveled with him on several moves, and he always believed it contained old textbooks mainly because it was so heavy. So, after years of lugging the locker around, he decides to go through it. There are no textbooks but instead there are copies of Newsweek magazine. One of his roommates subscribed and would place the magazine in the locker. My friend threw out the magazines and was a little disappointed not to discover a treasure of his since it was his locker.

This reminds me of boxes we have from our move three years ago. I think I know what is in them but not 100% sure. If I’m not sure, then why are we keeping it and also why is it so hard to go through our stuff? We just put it off – thinking we know what we are hauling around. His little story has inspired me to touch some of the boxes we moved here and have never opened. I may just donate them sight unseen. If I don’t know what is in there, then I won’t miss it when it’s gone.

A Clean Inbox

This past week I have been waiting for word on a possible job. It is nerve wracking to say the least. The weather has been cold and terrible – so I am forced to stay inside and wait. It is about to drive me insane. One task I have been doing to pass time is clearing out my Gmail inbox.

I never delete emails, and I get a lot of junk mail. My inbox had over 30,000 messages. I have been archiving one hundred at a time for two days. Now I have a clean inbox. But going through this process I was reminded of several websites that I would like to visit again. It also reminded me of some other blogs I used to write for through a blog network. Oh how I miss them. They had traffic, actual comments, and made me a little cash. And I loved the subjects. The blog network folded and to my knowledge the owner never sold any blogs to the bloggers.

It feels good to clean out the inbox. Now if I can just keep a handle on everything as it comes in. I do plan to unsubscribe to a lot of newsletters. I never read them and signed up mainly so that I wouldn’t forget about the website. Well that is what bookmarks are for. So many times the important email gets buried. I want to keep on top of things.

Apparently I did this about two years ago – I know this because that’s as far as my emails went back. This time I hope to stay on track and keep a clean inbox.

eBay Promotions

eBay has a sweet promotion going on now until January 7th. Your first 100 listings are free. Best of all you can begin them at any price. I did have an eBay store until about two months ago. This promotion has been going on for months and those with stores weren’t eligible. When I dropped my store, I was pleasantly surprised that the listing free was dropped on my new auctions.

I have been listing a lot of stuff that I want go get more than 99 cents. Usually I just start auctions at 99 cents and let it ride. With this promotion, I am able to list some things I want to get rid of but really need more money to let go of it. The promotion ends soon, and I still have 100 auctions for the month. It is time to get busy.

To help keep on track, I’ve started a list of the auctions I want to run. Today I hope to get pictures done and at least 30 listings. That may take all day but I have to do it. Just think of all the clutter that will be gone and the extra money in my pocket. If that is not motivation, then I don’t know what is.

Winter Cleaning Like it was Spring

These past few months I have been on a crusade to clear the clutter from our lives. We have old books, magazines, newspapers, toys, clothes, etc. that are just taking up way too much space. The problem with a pack rat that is de-cluttering is making the tough decision where to toss or keep. Logically I know that if an item has been in a box since the move (three years ago) chances are pretty good that we will not use said item in the future. To make it easier to let things go, I’ve started listing some items on eBay since it will bring in a few extra dollars. And Lord knows we need as many extra dollars as we can get!

I’ve been working at this for months and have sold a lot of items on eBay. Some items just aren’t selling – so I will either have a rummage sale or just donate those items. The donation idea sounds like it will take less of my time – but the rummage sale idea could net some money. Rummage sales are definitely more work than their payout. Well at least mine are. We never have large ticket items. I usually make around $40 for two days work. Well longer if you count the days it takes to prepare. It’s depressing just to think about it.

Items are selling well for us right now are collectible cards and video games. Sadly, I am running out of good stuff in both those categories. I do plan to go into more detail about how and what I put on eBay. eBay is like having a job. But I try to think of it as win-win. I get money and get rid of unwanted items. Plus someone is getting a good deal in the process.

I do plan to blog about items that I put on as this will help keep me accountable and on track. I know I can do so much more on eBay if I just put in the time. I would love to be clutter-free by spring. It is a very attainable goal and one I would love to reach as well as maintain.