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Author Topic: reducing clutter and organizing stuff  (Read 314591 times)
octoprof
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« Reply #1065 on: August 08, 2012, 10:55:50 PM »

I want a medal for the decluttering and organizing I've done of the physics lab and storage room I inherited as part of my new job.  I've gone through about fifty years of stuff by multiple packrats and it's looking pretty good now after two weeks of work.  I have a couple shelves of things that I will be asking retired people and sending photos to random colleagues in the hopes of figuring out what those items are, but the lab space is now clean and the storage room is storage, not random-stuff-all-stacked-in-unusable-configurations-including-everything-that-facilities-didn't-know-what-to-do-with-and-didn't-want-to-move-in-a-building-with-no-elevator.

In fact, after today's work of hucking around furniture so that bookcases and tables could be used instead of being random pieces of big wood, the director of social work brought by the new history professor to see what he could use out of that room since his new office has zero furniture.  That's a desk, two bookcases, a couple chairs, and possibly a table that will be out of there soon, even if I have to help the new history guy move those things upstairs instead of hoping that facilities might have time in the next two weeks.  I have no idea where the furniture in that office went since the previous history professor resigned at the end of spring, but it's not right that this guy has no furniture less than three weeks before classes start.

You are awesome!

I am home from the big annual conference. So tired. I am starting to panic about Fall semester less than 2 weeks away. However, I need to slightly declutter the dining table, and deal with my luggage and packing pile, as well as the coffee table. If I do that, the living/dining areas will be back to pristine like they were 10 or 12 days ago. I'm going to put those on my to do list for when prepping for Fall starts to put me over the edge. I'll use those tasks as a mental break.
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infopri
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« Reply #1066 on: August 08, 2012, 11:30:23 PM »

Today I had to dig something out of the disaster zone that is the walk-in closet in my study.  I thought the item was on the floor in the back, so I pulled half the crap out of the closet to get to it.  (It turned out--of course--that the item was actually right in front and would have been easy to retrieve without disturbing much.)

So now there is crap all over my study floor, three days before my house is going to be full of people.  (We're throwing a big bash for our silver anniversary, which we're celebrating a year late because a close friend died just before our real silver anniversary last summer.)  Normally I'd have just gone through it all this afternoon and gotten rid of stuff--only two or three items deserve to go back in the closet--but I just couldn't deal with it today.  I'm on double-doses of my narcotic pain meds (I'm in the middle of a physical crisis and will have a procedure done tomorrow to address it), and the drugs have left me extremely tired (and still in pain).  I even fell asleep at my desk for a while.  When I stand up, I can't straighten up completely, and I have to list to the right in order to walk.  So I don't fancy doing a lot of bending to sort through all the crap.

In addition, My Better Half brought four cartons of school-related and other important stuff (financial papers), etc., upstairs from the living room to my study.  These are the last of the boxes to be unpacked from our time in Somewhere Warm.  I'll try to take care of those tomorrow, after the procedure, if the sedation wears off enough.  But right now, the decluttering in my study is definitely going in a backwards direction.  Wahhhh!
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« Reply #1067 on: August 09, 2012, 9:09:02 AM »

In between manuscript duties, I've been working on my hellhole of a home office.  I had neglected my filing for a year or so, but I really am glad I bought that Freedom Filer system.  It was not too bad filing everything! After a day of cleaning, my office was looking somewhat better (i.e., you could actually enter it and walk a foot or two without stepping on books or papers), and then I made the mistake of opening my center desk drawer.  It's usually only opened when a writing implement is needed.  Well, wow.  I now have a lot more to file.  That is a long desk drawer! I also found some news items that were apparently important to me at one time: 1) an overview of the deadliest Mexican drug cartels; 2) a photo of a koala being bottle-fed some water by a fireman (who is also holding its paw as it drinks!) after a wildfire.  I get the koala picture---I am a sucker for cute.  But what is with the drug cartel info? It may have been a topic I was interested in a few years ago when I was called as a potential juror in a (only tangentially, and it would be a stretch) related federal case that I did not want any part of.  Thankfully, they decided against selecting me.

Anyway, this thread continues to motivate and inspire, so thanks again.  I will keep at it.
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« Reply #1068 on: September 27, 2012, 6:45:27 AM »

I have just assembled another big bag of clothes to give away, along with an old backpack that I just replaced. I am still slowly weeding through things in my flat. It feels wonderful to clean it out.

One thing that I need to do is go through some books that I don't and - in all honesty won't - ever use. I am a bit of a book magpie so this will be challenging.
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wanna_writemore
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« Reply #1069 on: September 27, 2012, 8:24:20 AM »

I've brought 2 boxes of paper (mostly old exams) home from work to toss in our home recycling.  Walking into my office and having slightly more floor space is wonderful, even though there's still a long way to go at home and at work.
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octoprof
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« Reply #1070 on: September 27, 2012, 8:41:21 AM »

When we get back from the surgery trip, I have one week for the great declutter before1) the new cleaners start, and 2) a visitor arrives.
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tinyzombie
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« Reply #1071 on: November 08, 2012, 12:31:47 PM »

I WILL donate clothes and books this weekend. They are sitting in my living room, ready to leave my house.
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octoprof
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« Reply #1072 on: November 08, 2012, 3:07:25 PM »

When we get back from the surgery trip, I have one week for the great declutter before1) the new cleaners start, and 2) a visitor arrives.

To report in, I got most of the house decluttered for the first cleaning and the rest for the second. I need to do some minor neatening up before Mama arrives on Monday and cleaners come again next Wednesday.
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elsie
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« Reply #1073 on: November 08, 2012, 4:10:42 PM »

I'm having some work done on the garage, and the handyman is willing to cart the big stuff to Goodwill to get it out of the way. Yay!
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« Reply #1074 on: November 09, 2012, 12:58:30 AM »

Kid #1 got a wild hair to scrub the kitchen today--it needed it.  IT wasn't "ick" filthy, but she took down & washed the curtains, scrubbed the burners and put in new foil liners, Brillo-ed the sink, and such.   All stuff I don't seem to have the time or energy to do as often as I probably should.  She can be a good girl when she puts her mind to it.
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infopri
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« Reply #1075 on: November 09, 2012, 3:38:16 AM »

Kid #1 got a wild hair to scrub the kitchen today--it needed it.  IT wasn't "ick" filthy, but she took down & washed the curtains, scrubbed the burners and put in new foil liners, Brillo-ed the sink, and such.   All stuff I don't seem to have the time or energy to do as often as I probably should.  She can be a good girl when she puts her mind to it.

May I borrow her?  Please??
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infopri
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When all else fails, let us agree to disagree.


« Reply #1076 on: November 09, 2012, 3:56:28 AM »

Today was a day of detours and roundabouts:

It was supposed to be a day of grading--but one of the forumites (you know who you are) got me in the mood to hear some Leonard Cohen.  Oops, my CD player wasn't set up.  No problem, just a couple of plugs.  Nope, the audio output cords were missing.  That was an hour's search, ending with stealing the cords from another device.  But then I couldn't find the Leonard Cohen CDs, because my CD collection was in such disarray.  I've always kept my music very neat, alphabetized, etc., but I have too many CDs and too little shelf space, so things have gotten out of hand the past few years.  No problem, I inherited some great CD shelves from my mother, which I never set up.  So, I started to set them up.  But wait, a huge pile (20 years' worth) of TIAA-CREF materials was in the way.  No problem, most of it could go straight into the round file.  The stuff I actually needed (the quarterly and annual reports) went into a document box.  And, once I was throwing all that paper away, it seemed to be a good time to empty my large recycle basket, which was overflowing at 300 percent of its capacity.  Finally, I got the CD shelves set up, so I could start re-organizing the CDs.  And, at long last, I found the Leonard Cohen CDs and could finally begin my grading. 

The grading itself took 20 minutes, but all those preliminary tasks took hours.

But, here's the final tally: 

  • Four large brown grocery bags now filled with old paper and moved to the recycle bin
  • Four huge CD shelves positioned and assembled
  • Entire CD collection now organized
  • Assignment #5 graded, recorded, and posted to the CMS
  • Assignment #6 downloaded, printed, stapled, and ready to be graded

Not so bad, if not exactly what I'd planned.
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amlithist
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« Reply #1077 on: November 09, 2012, 9:03:03 AM »

Kid #1 got a wild hair to scrub the kitchen today--it needed it.  IT wasn't "ick" filthy, but she took down & washed the curtains, scrubbed the burners and put in new foil liners, Brillo-ed the sink, and such.   All stuff I don't seem to have the time or energy to do as often as I probably should.  She can be a good girl when she puts her mind to it.

May I borrow her?  Please??
Ha!  This burst of helpfulness was something of an aberration, but you're welcome to her!
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infopri
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« Reply #1078 on: November 09, 2012, 1:51:18 PM »

Kid #1 got a wild hair to scrub the kitchen today--it needed it.  IT wasn't "ick" filthy, but she took down & washed the curtains, scrubbed the burners and put in new foil liners, Brillo-ed the sink, and such.   All stuff I don't seem to have the time or energy to do as often as I probably should.  She can be a good girl when she puts her mind to it.

May I borrow her?  Please??

Ha!  This burst of helpfulness was something of an aberration, but you're welcome to her!

Yeah, but kids are often more helpful to strangers than they are around their own homes, so I've got a good shot at seeing her productive side!  And it sounds like she knows how to clean--which, believe it or not, is a rarer talent than you might expect.

(I've actually had housekeepers that left the house dirtier than when they started!  And my last one once went home leaving a mop and huge bucket of filthy water in the middle of my living room, with the floor only half-mopped, simply because it was 3:00, the end of her three-hour cleaning day.  Never mind that she'd spent 15 minutes earlier in the day drinking a cup of coffee that I'd made for her.)
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People who do not understand numbers should not be allowed to use them for anything. - DvF

MYOB.  Y enseņen bien a sus hijos.
amlithist
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« Reply #1079 on: November 09, 2012, 2:54:17 PM »

Good points, infopri.  This is the same kid who gave me fits when she was growing up, yet her teachers would stop me in the grocery store to point out how (smart, kind, hard-working, respectful, etc.) she was.  At 24, the same would probably hold true.

My goal is to someday be able to afford a cleaning lady.  My grandma, after she was widowed and moved to town from the farm, was the cleaning lady for the local banker, and later for one of his married sons, for years and years.  It was an acceptable way for a lady to support herself at that time (1940s-early 1970s) in our small town.  A maiden great aunt did the same.  Both of them not only cleaned, but cooked, baked, did laundry and ironed (pre-permanent press days), etc.  I need one of those.
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