Tag Archives: clean

Another Monthly Challenge (or What To Do When You Are Crazy Busy)

The beginning of a new month is always exciting for me. But it’s been even more exciting since I started using my Volt Planner last year because it means it’s the beginning for a new monthly challenge! It can be a struggle sometimes to think of a new challenge each month, but once I pick one I really get into it. And knowing that I’ll be doing that again each month is something I look forward to.

Last month, my challenge was to tweet more. Specifically I wanted to tweet more about SAG-AFTRA and union related issues. My role as a SAG-AFTRA delegate is officially just as the convention (which is this week), but I don’t want the end of the convention to be the end of my involvement. And while being on social media isn’t the most active thing, I figure that every little bit helps. And I also got a lot out of doing this because every day I was reviewing tweets that might be ones I wanted to share. So I was learning more every time I reviewed them. I feel so much more educated about union issues (and not just actor union issues) than I ever have.

This month, I struggled a bit with picking something to set as my challenge but it wasn’t for the usual reason. I have a couple of things I want to do, but this month is going to be very crazy for me. I’ve got the SAG-AFTRA convention, lots of doctor appointments, work, podcast stuff, some projects I’m working on, and then trying to have a social life. I know that I will be a bit stressed and I didn’t want to pick something that might add more stress to my life. I’ve picked some challenges that have done that in the past, and it can work when the month isn’t going to be stressful. But I know October will be crazy. I’ve been telling people my life won’t be normal again until after the 16th because that’s when I seem to finally have free time in my calendar.

But there has been one thing that I’ve had on my monthly and weekly planning sheets in my planner that I don’t see to ever get around to. I really need to clean my desk and my closet. I probably need to work on my entire house, but I really see how packed my desk and closet are and I know I don’t need everything I have. I also keep bringing more things in without removing stuff so it gets more and more cluttered. But when I look at it it seems so overwhelming.

So I’ve set my monthly challenge for October to do speed cleaning/organizing every day. I have an alarm set and I want to do maybe 5-10 minutes every day. The idea is that I’d focus on one thing each day. For example, with my clothes I’d look at tops one day and dresses another. I don’t need to look at my closet as a whole since that has been what is looking like too much of a project. With my desk, I might break it down my the drawers or by category but I’m not sure yet. And there are so many other areas in my house that I could organize by breaking it down into chunks like this.

I had read “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up” a while ago, and while I don’t agree with everything in the book there are some really good points. I only want to have things in my home that make me happy and bring me joy. My definition of those things are a bit different from what the book talks about, but the general idea is the same. There are things in my closet that I look at and get annoyed about because it doesn’t fit anymore (either too big or too small), it doesn’t fit right, or it just is something I never can figure out when I should wear it. I don’t need that taking up space in the tiny closet I have.

But besides decluttering, I just want to have a clean house that makes me happy. It’s never too dirty, but there are times that I have to spend a good amount of time cleaning every room before I have company over. I know that nobody cares if my house is a little messy, but I do. And if I worked on 5-10 minutes of cleaning a day (either by cleaning one room or doing one type of cleaning like vacuuming or dusting), it shouldn’t get too overwhelming before I have company over.

I know that even 5-10 minutes of cleaning might be a bit tough for me to do on the craziest days I have coming up this month, but that’s ok. I understand now that I don’t have to be perfect every single day but instead I want to get into the habit so that it becomes something I don’t even have to think about each day. It would be nice to know that I have a clean house pretty much all the time and not a semi-clean house most of the time and a super clean house occasionally.

Time For Some Refocusing (or I Need To Do Some Follow Through)

My life has been getting a bit crazy lately, but crazy in a good way. I’m back to my normal routine without the worry about medical issues in my head. I’m back in the dating game and while I’ve had some negative experiences I’m having fun. I’m going out with my friends and doing so much stuff that I love. Honestly, this is close to the happiest I’ve been as an adult. I think a lot of it is because I don’t care as much about what other’s think, but I also think I’m just making an effort to make me happy.

Not everything in my life is going great, but it’s pretty awesome right now. I’m taking more time to focus on the positives in my life than the negatives that might come up. But because I’m not focusing on the negatives, I’m slacking off on some things and I know that I need to work on that balance.

Some of the slacking off has been cleaning and organizing. This has been something on my to-do list for a while and I’m just not taking the time out to do the work that I need to do. And looking at my calendar for the coming days, I honestly don’t know when I’ll have the chance to do it. And because I want to do more than just a basic cleaning, I know that this is something I need to set aside the time to do.

My desk has been getting a bit out of control because I’m sitting at it so many hours a day. When I start working on stuff and don’t get to finish, I just set it to the side on my desk thinking I’ll pick it up later. But later doesn’t seem to come and some of these things have been on my desk for too long. One of the things that’s been on my desk forever has been the dry erase board that I used for my Oscars costume. When I got it, I assumed that I would be using it at my desk or somewhere else. But I haven’t done anything with it and I don’t know now if I will be using it. I just need to make a decision and do something with it.

My closet is another trap right now for me. I really need to go through all my clothes and figure out what I want to keep and what I need to toss. There are several things in my closet that are now too big for me and I don’t want to keep them around anymore. But sometimes it’s hard to let those things go because I justify in my head that maybe I could get it tailored smaller or that I might wear it baggy. But I know I won’t and I just have to let it go. There are also things that have gotten torn or just not my style anymore and I need to get rid of it. But again, this is a major cleaning and I know I’ll need to set aside lots of time to do it. I probably will need to try on a lot of stuff from my closet to do this and when I do this cleaning I also am looking at making a list of what I own so I don’t feel like I’m missing something in my closet and go out and buy it (I’ve done that before and have had to make trips to return duplicates).

And as always, I just want to clean up some of the clutter that is in my house. I keep a lot of stuff for sentiment value and I know that I don’t need to do that. I want to work on digitizing more stuff that I keep and finding new and clever ways to organize and store what I want to have. It’s a bit overwhelming to think about how much I want to get done, but I also know in the long run that this will be an awesome thing for me to do and I will probably be really happy when I feel like I have a cleaner, more organized, and happier space.

I know a lot of people who have gone through major cleanings like this have been inspired by the book “The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up”. I actually have this book. I bought it almost 2 years ago and for some reason I haven’t really started to read it. I know that I always get distracted by other books that I have, but now that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the work I want to get done I think this might be a good time to start reading it. I’m in the middle of one book right now so I probably won’t be able to read it until next week, but I honestly forgot that I owned the book until I started to feel as overwhelmed as I am now.

I’m tired of setting a goal to work on cleaning my space and not following through with it. I need to just get my butt in gear and do it. But it’s not always easy to make a change like this when you’ve been putting it off. But hopefully soon I will find the motivation and time to get this done and I can feel calmer in my space so that my home will make me as happy as my social life is making me.

Spring Cleaning (or Needing To Declutter Again)

I usually keep a pretty clean house. I live in a tiny house (seriously, it’s under 500 square feet) so any mess seems to be significantly worse in my house than in a normal house. I don’t like to have a ton of stuff around, but I’ve seemed to acquire a lot lately and it’s been piling up. Literally piling up. It’s a bit ridiculous for me, but I know that for most people it’s probably still a pretty clean space. The worst space is next to my computer on my desk since I’m spending so much time working right now. When I’ve got something I’m working on and a customer calls, I put whatever I’m working on down and I don’t always remember to pick it back up or put it away.

I have written about decluttering before, and as always it seems like I don’t realize my house is getting a bit out of control until it’s so bad that I can’t help but see it! And this time, I feel like I’ve just been ignoring it because of how crazy my life has been. It always seems like I can’t have everything in my life balanced. I guess that’s how it is, something always has to be off. And before it was my social life and now it’s my house.

When I thought I needed surgery, I was neglecting organizing because I knew my life was going to get super hectic and I wasn’t worried too much about my house. I figured that while I was in the hospital and when I was recovering I would have a bunch of people coming over and helping and trying to keep things clean while that is happening wasn’t going to be a priority. So I didn’t worry too much about keeping it too nice before surgery. Also, I was buying a bunch of stuff I thought I was going to need for surgery so that was adding to my clutter by piling up around the house in different piles depending on if I’d need it in the hospital or while recovering. And once surgery was canceled, I put a lot of time and focus into getting my life back to normal and having a regular life again. And because of that, cleaning and decluttering was put on the back burner once more. I did managed to get rid of all the extra things I bought for surgery (some was returned to where I got it and some was giving to people who do need them), but just because I did that didn’t mean that I was able to really do any decluttering.

I keep setting decluttering as one of my weekly goals and each week goes by and I don’t do it. But it’s gotten to the point where I just need to take time out of my day and work on cleaning. It’s pretty much spring cleaning even though it’s almost summer. And I really want to do a big overhaul in the stuff that I’m keeping in my house. I’ve done a couple of small cleanups lately and have even put together bags of clothes to donate, but then of course those bags are just sitting in my house so they are just adding to the clutter issue.

Some of the decluttering is just stuff that I haven’t filed away if I need to keep it, but a lot of it is just random stuff that I probably need to throw away. I’m not great at throwing things away when I think I might still need them. I’m not a hoarder, but there are cards or paperwork that I debate if I need. I am trying to get better about this by digitally storing a lot of paperwork that I have but there are still some things that I like to keep hard copies of. It’s a process but I’m working on organizing everything.

I think the reason why my clutter is hitting me this time is because I finally have my life back in order (or almost in order) and now I’m noticing that my house isn’t. It’s a weird feeling when coming home isn’t the most settled feeling and I’m not used to that.

I know I’m overdue for a massive project. This isn’t just going to be a normal cleaning and organizing day. I need to actually go through my stuff and see what I actually need to keep. I need to go through my closet and see what I can get rid of. I’ve gotten a few new things recently (trying to get ready for the heat of the summer) and I’m trying to follow the rule of “one thing in one thing out”. If I bought 3 new things, I need to take 3 things I don’t wear anymore out of my closet to donate.

I haven’t figured out when I’m going to have the time to do this big cleaning and decluttering, but hopefully I’ll figure out a good block of time that I can set aside to just focusing on my house. I need to not just do this in between other things in my schedule because I will keep putting it off like I have been doing. And hopefully I’ll find this time in the next week or so to really get my house back to how I want it to be and to make my space a much happier place for me.

Working On Cleaning (or Time To Declutter)

I try not to clutter up my house since I live in such a small place, but somehow it seems like all of a sudden from time to time that I feel like my space is too cluttered. I seem to acquire new things in batches, so it quickly feels like I have too much stuff in my house. For some reason, even though I didn’t really buy too much for myself during the holidays, it started to feel like I needed to do a big cleaning after the holidays. But for some reason, this time I’m struggling with getting rid of stuff.

A lot of the stuff I want to get rid of are clothes. I have a lot of clothes that I don’t wear anymore. Most of it is due to it being too large on me now (a good problem to have) but some stuff I just don’t like or it has started to show wear and tear. But despite the clothes not being worn that often, for some reason I don’t want to let go of them. Even the clothes that are too big are tough to bring to donate. All of the clothes I needed to get rid of still fit in my closet, but I wanted them gone. So I ended up taking out everything that I’m not wearing and putting them into bags. I haven’t been able to get rid of the bags yet, so they are just living in my utility room for now. I don’t know what the struggle with letting them go is, but I guess baby steps are better than nothing.

I also seemed to get a ton of new stuff on my desk. Part of it was when I got my new computer and I had to work on the transfer between the computers. Since the cables for the new computer are different from the old computer, I do need to buy some converters to make everything work the way I want it to. But my desk has also become a catchall for things that I need to deal with. I’m starting to organize my 2016 taxes and that’s all over my desk. I also have cards and paperwork that needs to be finished on my printer. My desk drawers are full, but not unbearable so. My focus is just cleaning the desk since that’s what looks cluttered. I want to get this done, but I also know that this stuff is still in process so I can’t just get rid of them.

And finally, I feel like I just have too much stuff in general around the house. I don’t have a ton of things, but the space has felt smaller to me lately. I do only have about 400 square feet, but it never felt too small before. And I haven’t really added too much that takes up floor space (I did get a robot vacuum during a flash sale on Amazon that is on the floor). I’m wondering if I’m feeling this way because things have been organized the same way in my house for years and I haven’t moved around furniture or switched things up in a while. My last big change was when I got a new couch. And that was over 2 years ago. Maybe I just need to rearrange things and it will feel better.

I don’t keep a dirty or cluttered house, but for some reason it’s just been getting to me. I know I need to do something to fix this or it’s just going to keep bugging me. I’m trying to take steps where I can to make things better but I know I need to do more. I do have motivation to do more this weekend because I’m supposed to be having people over on Sunday (having people come over is always a good motivation to do a major cleaning). But just cleaning might not be good enough because I don’t just want to move things around or hide them in drawers. I do want to get things out of the house that aren’t useful to me so that I can make sure my space is as functional and productive for me as possible.

A Major Cleanup (or Saying Goodbye To The Old Me)

A long time ago, I wrote about how I was having issues getting rid of my old clothes. Every single thing in those under bed storage bags had sentimental value to me. There were dresses that I loved, the perfect jeans that I found and bought in every color (it’s not easy finding jeans), and fun clothes that I got as gifts over the years.

I’ve always figured that if I got down to those sizes again, I’ll pull the clothes out of the bag and wear them again. But that post about not getting rid of my clothes was over 3 years ago. I’ve been holding on to those clothes for over 6 years. I don’t have a ton of storage space, but since they were kept under my bed I didn’t think too much about it.

But the other day I just got fed up. I don’t need to keep reminders of who I was when I was at my skinniest. So I took an afternoon, opened up the bags, and started sorting things out.

There were some things that I knew I wouldn’t get rid of. Those included my high school prom dress, my absolute favorite pair of jeans from my skinniest (but only one pair), 2 designer dresses that I got at a discount store and had tailored to fit, and a workout jacket that I love. But almost everything else in those bags I felt could go. I don’t care about a lot of the shirts and sweaters I had been storing. I don’t need to have jeans in every size. So many things aren’t really in fashion right now. And it’s not just that. When I lose weight, I might lose it in a different way so even if I got down to that size again I wouldn’t necessarily fit into those pieces.

After going through my under bed storage and closet (I had a couple of things in there that I didn’t need to keep), I moved on to my entry closet where I keep coats, shoes, and purses. I wasn’t going to get rid of any shoes (I had done that lately and while I have more shoes than some, I don’t have a ton). I got rid of some hoodies that I got at old day jobs and a jacket that I got on clearance but never really loved.

And I seriously had too many purses. I pulled out some of the fancier ones and I have friends who are going to trade me or buy them from me. But I had a lot of purses that I got at a cheap store to wear with a particular outfit and never used the purse again. Or they were so small that they weren’t really ever used because I couldn’t put my phone in there. Like the clothes, there were some purses that were kept for pure sentimental value. I have one designer purse that my grandma gave to me after she heard me say how much I’d love to own one one day (she had the purse and never used it). But I probably pulled 10 purses out of my closet to donate.

In the end, I had 4 very full bags of clothes and purses to donate to people who could really use and need them.

Clothes Donations

It felt so good to get all that stuff out of my house. I don’t miss them at all and things feel less cluttered than they did before. And I’ve rediscovered some clothes and purses that I had forgotten about because they were buried under all the other stuff.

After getting rid of all those clothes and purses, I also felt inspired to work on clearing out my fridge, freezer, and pantry. I’ve bought food that I felt that I should eat. I had some frozen fish, different veggie patties, and other quick meal things. I never ate any of them because they don’t taste good to me. There’s no need for me to keep healthy food in my house that I don’t eat. So a friend of mine took the perishable food from me and I donated the non-perishable stuff. I didn’t replace it with unhealthy things, but I wanted my healthy choices to make me happy and not make me feel guilty that I should eat them. My healthy options don’t have to match everyone else’s.

I probably spent a good chunk of my afternoon and evening cleaning out things from my house, but it feels so amazing now that it’s done. My clothes are only things that I wear now and make me happy. And my fridge and freezer doesn’t make me feel horrible when I’m looking for something to eat and nothing seems good to me. I’m making my house make me happy, and it’s working and I feel the results from that already.

Fall Cleaning (or Making My Workplace Spotless)

I’ve always tried to keep a clean house. I do my laundry weekly, vacuum at least weekly (now that I have a vacuum again), and seem to dust and wipe down various surfaces in my house a hundred times a day.

The one place that hasn’t been super clean has been my desk. It’s not dirty, but until recently it never looked that dirty.

But now that I’m working at my desk and computer a good portion of the day 5 days a week, I’ve noticed that things have gotten a little grimy.

The one positive about being chained to my desk so many hours a day is that now I’ve cut down my computer time to only be when I’m working and then again in the evening (which is when I typically write my posts).

The bad thing is that I’m noticing the grime more and more since I have to stare at it for so long.

One day after work I searched online for how to clean the body of my laptop (I have a MacBook Pro). There were a ton of posts that came up and most had one thing in common.

They said to use a Magic Eraser.

I don’t own Magic Erasers so I went to the store to get one and see if this trick worked (and hoped it wouldn’t ruin my laptop).

It was pretty simple. Wet the Magic Eraser and then wring out most of the water. You want it to be damp and not dripping.

Then you can start cleaning. I first shut down my laptop and disconnected the power source (most websites didn’t suggest this but it seemed like common sense to me). Then I gently wiped the body of my laptop with the Magic Eraser.

It totally lived up to its name!

No joke, it was only a minute before my laptop looked clean again.


And it worked so well, I cleaned the grime off my desk quickly too!


I know I sound like a commercial for Magic Eraser. I swear I’m not. I’m just impressed at a product that really cleaned well and easily and figured that some of you might want to know how to de-grime a laptop too.

Now I have another weekly cleaning task to add to my list.

Building Momentum (or Remembering High School Science)

Think back to high school science for a minute. Do you remember Newton’s first law of motion? In case you don’t, here’s basically what it is. An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion.

First of all, Mom and Dad, aren’t you proud that I remember something from high school science? Secondly, I’ve been trying to use this principle in my life a lot lately.

I’m not just talking about the obvious movement of my body with the workouts I’ve been doing lately. But yes, I am having an easier time working out the more I do it and I’m able to push myself a lot more than I used to.

But I’m also noticing that some things that have been very tough for me to deal with in the past are getting easier (and fun) once I start doing them. I don’t know if it’s because of my panic disorder or my touch of OCD, but I have an issue with change. I’ve mentioned this before when I couldn’t bring myself to buy a new alarm clock (I still haven’t been able to do that). But recently, my e-reader died and I had to get a new one. I used to have one by Sony, but I switched to the Kindle because there are more books available on Amazon than Sony. But the change was tough. I did have some minor panic attacks about the new e-reader, but now that I’ve had it for almost a week, I really love my new Kindle.

I’ve also talked about my issues with getting rid of clothes. But I’ve made some serious steps there as well. I’ve got one bag of old clothes in my closet that I will be taking over to Goodwill soon and I’m going to work today on getting rid of more clothes.

And I’ve even been able to get rid of other things in my life I don’t really use anymore. I had a Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit that I used to love to use (now that I’m more into spinning and my 5Ks I haven’t used it in a while). Well, did you know that Amazon allows you to sell them your old electronics? You just submit the items online that you want to sell, they give you an estimated price and free shipping label, and after everything is reviewed, they credit your Amazon account so you can use that money on a future purchase. I sold Amazon my Wii, Wii Fit, and some old DVDs and got enough to pay for half of my Kindle! And just yesterday I sent Amazon another 25 DVDs that I don’t watch anymore!

While I’m decluttering, I’m also trying to be careful and not too over zealous. At some point while I was living at my last apartment, I accidentally got rid of a box that had all the pictures I took in high school and college (I didn’t own a digital camera until my senior semester of college). I don’t know how I got rid of it, but I’m thinking it might have been misplaced when I moved to my house.

I don’t want to get rid of memories like that again. So while I am staying in motion right now, I’m also trying to stop and make sure that I’m not doing something I’ll regret later.

But I do have to say that I’m really loving having extra room in my closet and dresser and it’s nice to also not have as many DVDs on display in my living room.

Too Much Stuff (or Some Things Are Easier To Get Rid Of Than Others)

I’ve mentioned in the past my issues with giving away old clothes. I still have 2 giant bags of clothes in smaller sizes under my bed. I did give away 2 pieces recently to a friend, but I have almost all of it still there. It is so much easier giving away clothing to a friend than to Goodwill.

While I haven’t been able to give away clothes successfully, I was able to get rid of some things that I don’t use in my house recently. First of all, I have a crazy DVD collection. I love my movies and TV shows and love having the DVDs there so I can watch them (and also enjoy the bonus features) anytime I want to. But there are some DVDs that I’ve either outgrown, don’t watch, or never watched (I somehow “inherited” DVDs from old roommates). You can see how many I’ve accumulated in this photo I took a few months ago.


My collection had actually gotten a bit bigger since I took that photo and I realized that I was running out of storage room (and I don’t think I can fit a bigger DVD tower in my little house!).

So I looked into a couple of buyback options. First I searched on Amazon and BestBuy. Neither of them were offering me that much on my DVDs. I ended up going to Amoeba. Of the 37 DVDs I was trying to sell to them, they took 33. I chose store credit over cash because you get a lot more in credit and I used that to buy the latest season of “How I Met Your Mother” on DVD (something I really like).

I brought my other DVDs back home with me and realized that I had more than DVDs that I could get rid of. I had a Wii and a Wii Fit that I haven’t used in a while (I stopped using it around the time I discovered SoulCycle). I looked back on Amazon for their buyback program and realized that I could get quite a bit for my gaming system. So I decided to sell them that plus the DVDs that Amoeba didn’t want. Between all of it, I’m going to be getting about $70 in Amazon credit. I know that I probably could have sold them for more if I went on eBay or craigslist, but I didn’t want the hassle. Amazon sent me a shipping label and I shipped everything off yesterday.

It’s nice to have a cleaner house with fewer things in it. While I will never be a minimalist, I do like to limit clutter and excess. I’m starting to go through my clothing again to see what I can give up, and while I know it won’t be all of it, I would like to try to donate at least a few pieces soon.

Trying To Cut Back On Clutter (or Why Won’t My Computer Do What I Want It To Do?!?)

I’ve been working on getting rid of the excess things in my life. I have some luggage that I don’t use anymore so I’m selling it (sold 3 pieces so far and only have 1 left). I’m working on donating book to the library (there’s no need for me to keep a “real” book and e-book unless it’s something really special). I’ve done a bunch with cleaning out my closet as well.

And then the other day, I got an alert on my computer that my startup disk is full and I need to trash some items to make room (I don’t have enough room on my computer to do an update). So I’m trying to move some things I don’t use too often to my external hard drive. But this has not been going so well.

To make room for movies and videos on my external hard drive, I have to delete some of the old backups of my computer. There’s no need for me to have 27 different backup versions. 2 or 3 should be good enough. So you’d think that you could move the extra backups to the trash and then delete it, right?


For some reason, my computer does not want to delete any files. This is extremely frustrating. After consulting Google, I’ve tried a few force empty ideas. I’ve downloaded a couple of apps that are supposed to empty your trash when your computer won’t do it. Well, all of those apps crashed on me.

I’m getting ready to admit defeat and make an appointment at the Apple Store for them to help me.

If any of you out there have any ideas, I’d appreciate them. I won’t have time to go to the Apple Store until Monday, so there’s plenty of time for me to try new options.

I’m excited that once this is done, not only will I have more room on my computer to store photos but my computer should run a bit faster.

I’m really feeling better about things as I de-clutter. It’s nice to have room to grow in my house (before it was starting to feel a bit crowded).

I just wish my computer would be as enthusiastic about getting rid of clutter as I am!