House stuff

I’ve been doing some things around this house lately, like paper organizing and minor gardening for lazy beginners. And I actually found all the parts to my camera and replaced the parts that were “lost in the move” and remembered to actually take some pictures.

Spring and tax time is coming and I always feel the need to purge files at this time of year. I actually get a tiny bit excited about it because I’m a weirdo. Normally, the annual file purge process involves me going all the way through our two, two-drawer file cabinets and burning up a crappy little paper shredder that seriously stops working forever.


This year; however, instead of just going through the old file cabinets, I decided to change the whole way we manage and store papers. So in addition to dumping out both file cabinets and selling them on Graig’s List, I mean Craig’s List; I went through the house and gathered literally all the paper (specifically all the piles of papers that I never want to deal with like school papers and cards and cute stuff the kids make – even the giant pile of paper crap that I put in the corner of the basement when we moved here hoping our basement troll would eat it or burn it or something) and dumped it in the middle of the living room.


Additionally, I surrounded myself with necessities for this long and strangely exciting task: a trash can, recycle bin, chocolate, water, music, and my best friends. Plus, I stationed myself on our new used Mad Men couch that I love. Dave put me on a lifetime restriction from love seats because when we moved last year, we had four to six depending on your definition of “love seat”; and zero couches, which apparently makes couch napping difficult. Mad Men couches (a.k.a. mid-century modern couches from Macy’s via Craig’s List) are perfect for couch napping. Just watch Mad Men and you’ll see; though the line there between napping and sleeping off a mid-morning workday drunk is blurred. Anyway, problem solved. Back to paper business. Notice the butt print on the couch so you know I was working at paper sorting and shredding.


If your eyes aren’t twitching too hard from all the crap in these photos, I will point out some of my solutions to the ongoing problem of random paper piles around the house. Up until now, I had a file for everything that I thought I needed to keep long term. But I didn’t have a place for all the everyday short term paper that makes a temporary home in the kitchen or wherever until we don’t need it. So, I had those clear plastic lidded paper boxes that are stacked on or near the couch. I’m keeping long term stuff in those and not wasting too much energy categorizing it as I don’t need to access that stuff much.

The 12×12 inch scrapbooking boxes are labeled for each kid and for each school year. The size works well for all their school papers and art projects, plus birthday cards, etc. I get rid of plenty though too. A word of advice: don’t put the kids’ purged art work in the recycle bin. Shred it. Otherwise, the kid you ask to take the recycle out later may end up in tears. I’m not saying that happened to me. I’m just saying it could happen; that’s all. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Why does she think that all these boxes are going to take up less valuable real estate than two file cabinets?”. Well, I will tell you why…mainly because we have little floor space in this house but there are several shelves in the basement for the boxes. Plus, I couldn’t get the file cabinets up on the shelves.


My chocolate is laced with espresso. See? Just joking; not about the espresso, just that I’m pretty sure you can’t see the espresso in the photo. Oh, and if you’re wondering why my best friends are ducking out of all the shots, they’re not. I was referring to my label maker and my shredder. My latest shredder. The one that hasn’t died. It’s amazing. I shred pizza delivery boxes in there like all the time. No I don’t. I don’t know why I said that. I just got excited about the shredder. I totally could though. I bet. But I wouldn’t because I would feel like a real tool if I broke it with a pizza box.


Finally, my solution to the everyday short term stuff is the cute little open top baby file holder on the floor that is going to hold all the crap like the kids’ homework and receipts and bills and a couple other week to week things. And my genius idea to further prevent kitchen paper piles is to keep that little thing in the kitchen. We’ll see.

Oh, and look what happened in the kitchen. We (by we I mean Dave) took out the super old cabinets and replaced them with super free cabinets that our really awesome neighbor friends hooked us up with.


We are about half way there. I wish I was better at before pictures but I’m not. The vacuum is there because the counter tops are temporarily plywood and I can’t exactly wipe them down with a dish cloth like normal people do.


We (again Dave) exposed some festive 1925 brick that Dave assures me will be sealed up somehow so that it’s pretty but doesn’t shed into our food.


Oh, and btw, those cute little under-cabinet lights get really really hot so I would suggest not using them until they are all the way installed; like actually attached to the cabinets rather than dangling against the wall.


I’m getting a little tired of vacuuming the counter tops every time I cook, but I am finding all kinds of project patience. Counter tops can’t be far now.

Today I made a $4 investment in a hopeful kitchen herb garden. I was at Target today for TP, toothpaste, and dishsoap. Of course, Target happened in its usual way and I left with those three things, plus tank tops, a burlap sack (true story), herb seedling kits, and cute little chalk labels. So, herbs. We have a perfect kitchen window for that sort of thing. This is the first house we’ve lived where plants actually thrive inside. I’m going to give it a go.


They certainly are cute. Though I’m impatient and lazy so I wrote on the chalk labels in No. 2 pencil instead of chalk because I had a pencil handy but not a piece of chalk. I did have a chalk marker handy but I’m pretty sure I didn’t use it because part of me expects these little plants to die and I don’t want those cute little labels to be ruined. We’ll see.


I am just now realizing that when I stand on a stool to take a close up photo of cute little herb seedlings in my kitchen window; to a passerby, it actually appears that I’m standing on a stool to take a photo into our neighbor’s window. City life.

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