Sunday, January 27, 2019


This weather is playing havoc with my dog walking habit. My addition does not have sidewalks, so we walk in the street, which is slick in spots whether it looks icy or not. The dogs get their exercise by repeatedly exploring the backyard - every day is a new olfactory experience - while I have to resort to the mall. Boo.

So let's see what is happening indoors.

I have Marie Kondo's two books, and recently binged on her reality show, so now I am "konmarie"-ing my belongings. Even though I periodically purge some stuff, there is more, always more that can be done. My previous attempts to follow her program were half-a$$ed, but this time I am making a better effort.

First stop: clothes. After I retired, I got rid of all my work clothes. Since then, I find I spend most of my days in yoga pants or jeans in the winter, shorts in the summer, long sleeved tees in winter, short sleeved tees in summer, etc. For a while, I hung onto one dress, just in case we were invited to a wedding, but we haven't been invited to a wedding for years - until this year, where I wore a denim skirt with leggings and was the dressiest person there besides the bride and groom.

I'm not a shoe fanatic but I did have a ridiculous number (for me) of purses. Because of their bulk, the discarded shoes and purses filled a whole garbage bag. The clothes took up another bag and a half, all of which are now at the local Goodwill. They didn't want the freed up hangars.

I still have too many coats, but I was reluctant to send them to Goodwill at a time they are purging their winter stuff. I will revisit this closet next fall. Notice the empty shelf? Various and sundry hats are now gone. The golf shoes on the floor are in limbo.

My bedroom closet still holds a few "sentimental" items in the back, plus a bunch of handknits I am not ready to part with. But all in all, I am happy with the results. Pay no attention to the shelf - extra sets of sheets that will be culled in the future, as they are getting worn out. I want to find new joy-sparking replacements first.

Even though I did not get rid of that many clothes, with Marie Kondo's folding methods, I was able to clear out several drawers in my dresser. For example, the long and short sleeved tees used to take up two drawers, reduced now to one, with room to spare.

My handknit socks were a bit of a challenge to fold due to their bulk, so I folded each one separately. Half of this drawer is socks, the other half bowls of jewelry that were on top of the dresser. I often worried about Beau the Feline Destroyer of All Things Nice wreaking havoc up there, but now the earrings are safely tucked away - and the top of my dresser is (mostly) clear.

After clothes come books. Again, I have culled them periodically in the past - last fall I "gifted" a lot of them to my son - but there are still more that are ready to belong to someone else. Unlike the clothes, the books have not yet left the premises. Some I am saving to take to my fiber arts guild meetings. Others will go to Goodwill. Some actually ended up in the recycle bin - they were old and yellow and musty and falling apart and in Danish, a language I don't know.

Right now i am bogged down in paper, the third phase of KonMarie. In the past, I managed to reduce saved paper to one file drawer. I think I can cut that in half, excluding tax files. Regarding the latter, I have 25 years worth, a full file box. Is there a statute of limitations regarding tax errors? I would never deliberately defraud the government, but mistakes do happen. One occurred a few years ago. I actually had to call the IRS to figure out what the problem was. Let the record state that the person I spoke to was very polite and helpful and patient and friendly. But I still owed more money.

I am anxious to move on to "komodo" - everything else, like the kitchen, bathrooms, GARAGE (where once upon a time I could park two cars, now barely room for one).

Why all the decluttering? Firstly, I am one of those people who feels weighed down by belongings, especially unused belongings and anything requiring maintenance. Secondly, I am contemplating downsizing, from my house to an apartment or at least a smaller house, in about ten years (too many pets right now). Thirdly, if I don't do this myself, the task may fall on my kids someday. I don't believe in leaving them a big inheritance - my goal is to run out of money the day before I die - but I don't want to leave them with a big mess, either.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Berries for the birds

Sorry for the quality of this photo but I had to take it through the living room picture window. What you are seeing is a flock of robins feasting on the orange berries of my 'Winterking' hawthorn tree. Huzzah!

As you may know, not all robins migrate south for the winter. If there is food and shelter, some hang around in wooded areas. Check out this explanation at All about Birds.

The winter has been mild so far, but bitter temps are on their way. We have some snow cover; more is coming. My neighbor across the street (his house in in the pic above) has a snow blower and keeps my driveway clear, for which I am eternally grateful.