Thursday, 29 January 2009

January Jottings

Like most people I am sure, it is hard to believe that January is almost over. As mentioned in an earlier post, I began the new year hoping to do some de-cluttering and begin some 'deep cleaning' apparently we do not spring clean anymore. So as it is not Spring yet deep cleaning sounds more to the point.

I have to say that I have not got very far and did not particularly expect to, but I have been very ruthless in getting rid of stuff. I began by sorting videos and DVDs. We had nearly 200 free DVDs (from our newspaper) and I managed to whittle it down to 170. The rest I knew we would never watch. From those that are left there are a number of very good costume drama series, classics and wildlife plus some good old films. Some of the good series we opted to send away for at a small cost rather than take a trip to the local store with a coupon every day.

Added to that dozens of bought DVDs, either by us or for gifts. We have begun to copy the videos that I want to keep onto disc, taking up less space and preparing for the fazing out of video recorders. Alan tells me that never in my lifetime will I watch them all. Whether I do or I don't it is nice to be able to choose something that fits the mood. My favourites I will already have seen at least once.

With that finished I began on our store room. Now if there was ever an opportunity to be ruthless this was the place. I cannot tell you how many bags went to the charity/thrift shop. We have decided to sell our stamp collection which I began as a small child and Alan took over when we married. This frees up one whole shelf. The albums have not been touched in years. We are fortunate to have a Pastor friend who deals in stamps so we know we can trust him with valuing our collection.

I have also decided to call it a day for knitting. I am having some upper back pain and knitting is not helping. Clearing out all my wool and patterns and needles has freed up 2 large drawers. This has all found a home in our school. I am hoping that in doing this I will be inspired to finish all the embroidery that I have started.

I have also recently given away everything pertaining to my watercolour painting, silk painting and calligraphy, keeping only the craft items I use for making greetings cards. That in itself takes up one whole wall of my art room.

We had a surplus of language books and tapes, Russian, German, French and Spanish and are keeping only the current ones in use. Alan is the linguist, not me.

Above the many shelves that line the walls of this store room, we have all the cupboards from a previous kitchen. Wonderful to have but how easy it is to fill them up ' just in case'. Why do we need so much picnic stuff now there are only two of us for instance?

It feels very satisfying to have some space and to know that what is left is what we use. I completed the job last night by shampooing the carpet in there and afterwards enjoyed watching the second half of one of my Christmas presents - a DVD of my favourite book as a teenager - Anne of Green Gables. Must get Anne of Avonlea now as I loved it so much.

In the midst of this mammoth task life has gone on as usual and last Sunday I cooked dinner for 15 as I was playing host to those that could make it from our house church.

The weather since New Year has been pretty awful with lots of rain, frost and ice but occasionally interspersed with a little sun. Severe weather has been forecast for this coming week with snow and winds from the Arctic. Maybe I will get to start on some 'deep cleaning'!


Linds said...

I love Anne of Green Gables too! well done on all ther sorting. I think I am also a pack-rat by nature and inclination. And add to that all Mum's stuff in the house...sigh. The sun is shining here, but it is very cold. And it is showing up the cobwebs and dust. I had better do some deep cleaning too.
Have a great weekend! Love to you both.

Susan said...

WOW sounds like you made huge progress to me. You know "all empty spaces gets filled up" so take care in the coming months!!!

Adrienne said...

Hi, Barbara -
It sounds like you've accomplished a lot. A lot more than I have done toward my cleaning out projects. I had great plans but life called me in other directions. That is fine since I know there will be a day I can sort and toss and donate and make my home much simpler - and cleaner - again. You've inspired me to do a small task today that will give me such satisfaction when it is completed!

Lorrie said...

You have been busy! Good for you. I've started doing a little "deep cleaning" here, too. Still a long ways to go.
Have a wonderful weekend,


Mike said...

You are good! It must be a great feeling. I'm going to save all that for a rainy day. lol

Sara said...

Barbara you have accomplished quite a lot already. And cooking dinner for 15 too, as well as other things. And I am doubly honored to be the recipient of one of your last knitting projects - thank you again for the cozy scarf!

Cleaning out, sorting and organizing is very satisfying I think. I enjoy it, when I'm in the right mood. And the end result is always good.

Stay warm in that Artic weather! Wish I could send you some of our sunshine and warm temps.


zetor said...

Oh Barbara, you put me to shame. There are tons of 'stuff' here, I am soooo reluctant to part with it!!

Aubrey said...

You're good--I've spent more time reading about decluttering than I have actually doing it.
Anne is one of my favorites--except that third movie they made that had almost NOTHING to do with the books. THAT was disappointing.

Winifred said...

My goodness you have been busy and ruthless too.

You're right about keeping a lot of stuff. I'm terrible.

How are you copying your videos to disk? Did you have to buy a special machine? We have quite a few tapes but only a small Combi TV so it would be good to copy them if I could.

Willow said...

Oh my! No more knitting! But I know you'll enjoy the embroidery work.

I am slowing working my way through the clearing out. Today we did that at the home of The Professor's aunt who recently passed away.

Barbara said...

Congratulations, Barbara, you did a good job (I should do it too!!). I wonder when I get this energy to get rid of all the things I do not use anymore ;-) ! Actually it would be the perfect time now, but it seems as if I still had my "wintersleeping"....Enjoy the empty space you've got :-) !!

Elizabethd said...

You have been very busy! The minute there is a bit of sun I find the urge to do a little Spring cleaning hits me! De- cluttering also..but I dont like parting with things!

Elizabeth said...

So sad you got rid of your water colors.
I thought your paintings were lovely.
However, getting rid of 'stuff' leaves room for new energy.
All best wishes.

Anonymous said...

I call that sort of cleaning "bottoming out" as it's when you get to the bottom of trunks and drawers. :-)

I'm sorry to hear about your back causing you to stop knitting. On the good side, the children will love having the wool. I am glad you have other crafts you can continue with.

I like William Morris' words "Have nothing you do not believe to be beautiful or know to be useful." I can't think what happened around here! LOL

Kate said...

I thought I had done it all six years ago when I moved from my big family home to this small bungalow. But now I look around me and it has happened again : I have been the victim of a heap of stuff attack!
Pam Ayres has a way with words!