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  1. #21
    ti
    ti is offline
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    May 2004
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    you know athos, that is true, life is too short to regret not having people over. i do let a few people really close to me to see the mess that is our house. i think i will just try to see what kind of inroads i can make then invite some people over!

    but honestly i am trying to juggle teaching, grad school and work with trying to do my part of our chores and the house is messy with too much stuff not filthy in any way ...

    it is kinda weird, i feel like i am trying to out forth this person who does everything just so but in reality ... we all have out moments ...

    i've decided to try to do a solid hour each day of cleaning/organizing! plus - i need to keep the house supa clean cuz of my allergies/asthma - having to use a nebulizer is so not fun ;(

    i love this forum as well!!

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  3. #22
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    Apr 2004
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    I get overwhelmed sometimes b/c there are so many different areas to tackle I don't know where to start. But I remind myself that as long as I start somewhere it's better than nothing.

    So I try to pick one room and go at it until I'm satisfied. I either go for the easiest one, or the one that will make the most visual impact for a good feeling of satisfaction.

    I do massive goodwill dropoffs several times a year, and I have a place in the basement for goodwill stuff I'm collecting, so at least the clutter goes away from the rest of the house until I drop it off. For me, the ideal would be not to have excees cllutter, but second best is always at least hiding it so it's not in my face, until I can take care of it. That tends to be my rule with my husband: if you have to keep extraneous crap, at least hide it so I don't have to look at it.

    I also like to keep a list of little things I want to get done, so that if I have a free minute I can just refer to it.

  4. #23
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2004
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    phildelphia
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    Oh, a little cleaning tip I do, is that when I see a mess that irritates me, I try not to walk away without giving it a swipe. EX: walk in the front door and bothered by too many shoes in the foyer -- pick em up immediatly, don't even stop to hang up coat. See a little pile of dust in the corner of the bathroom -- use the paper towel I just dried my hands with to pick it up before I leave the room.
    This way, I'm not looking at the same messes day after day wishing I could find time to deal with it, and things get cleaned up bit by bit in their own half-assed way (don't tell your dad, Sarabell!!)

    >>> another housekeeping tip: Commercial break cleaning. You know you want to sit on your ass for an hour and watch your favorite show, but things are dusty, laundry needs folded, etc. Every time a commercial comes on, get up and do as much as you can, show comes back on, you sit back down. You can get the dishes done, while you watch your show without missing a minute! And it is suprising how many hated jobs really take just a few minutes when you actually time it out...

  5. #24
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2004
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    Kissmyknitz --> Commercial break cleaning, that's genius! It almost makes for guilt-free viewing. Let's see what I can accomplish tomorrow during The Amazing Race.

  6. #25
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
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    Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRSM103
    Another thing that I do to keep a handle on paper clutter... I have a 2 drawer filing cabinet that I use to file all of our important papers (insurance, bank statements etc.). I also have a file for all 3 of my children. In each of them is their birth cert. , SS card and anything else significant to them. For example, awards that they received etc. As parents we can be bombarded with our kids art projects from school and things of that nature but we unfortunately cannot keep it all, so this helps.
    How long should one keep things like the stubs from old bills, bank statements, etc? I would love nothing more than to shred all of the excess paper in my life, but I'm afraid of getting rid of something important.

  7. #26
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2004
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    456
    I've heard a year for bills and credit card and bank statements. I think it's either three or seven (seven might be for businesses) for tax returns and the related paperwork. That's because you can get audited for up to three or seven years back. I'm sure the IRS says something about that. The bill paperwork really isnt' that much as long as you unfold things and get rid of all the extra paperwork and envelopes.

  8. #27
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    Apr 2004
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    San Francisco
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    credit card statements might be useful longer depending on the items you used them for, the warrenties, etc. also for insurance purposes in proving how much you spent.

  9. #28
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    Dec 2004
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    N.C. Pennsylvania
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    I was always told that it's 7 yrs. for taxes, and 1 yr. for bank statements and credit cards. My bank no longer gives back cancelled checks so that eliminated that. (Of course, if I DO need a copy of one, I have to pay!!)

  10. #29
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2004
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
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    3

    saving bank records

    Just a quick reply to the issue of having to pay for copies of cancelled checks: Most banks have online banking now and if you look at your detailed account history and click on the check number, you will be able to access a pdf or similar version. Since the banks don't keep the copies, they scan them in and my bank lets the account holder access those files. Your bank may not, but it's worth a shot. Hope this saves you some money and time!

  11. #30
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    Apr 2005
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    Seattle, WA
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    56

    my two cents

    Hi I love this thread too!

    I was a packrat before I was married. In the past 9 years we have moved five times and because we pay a mover to move the heavy stuff (chiropractic care is much more expensive) and I do ALL the packing. I have become ruthless.

    I just looked at an item and unless it has sentimental value or we love it, I sell it on craigslist, give it away to a friend, or give it to charity.

    I went one room at a time, then each closet. I used a set of paper grocery bags: trash, things to shred, recyclables, sell, donate, gift, keep.
    Use whatever works for you. I first tried trash, donate, keep--but I ended up keeping things because I knew I needed to shred this paper with account numbers, or items in glass jars because I should recycle the jars, ad nausium.

    This was difficult, but one day I decided I just had enough. We were cluttered physically, but also mentally. It was oppressive. I decided to set up "stations" for a lack of a better word for things I touch everyday (my purse, keys, etc. the bills) etc.

    NowI also try to clean up as I go. Still working on keeping the counters clean and getting the laundry out of the dryer in a timely manner!


 
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