Category Archives: organization

Still Hobbily Challenged

Since I don’t think I can make a hobby out of Downton Abbey or Gosford Park, I’m still looking for a ‘real’ hobby. The Spouse is fully in support of this, probably because if I do find something to do in my (very rare) free time he won’t get nagged about the ever-present sports – Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks – that rotate through the house on a clockwork-like schedule.

I’m just not that big of a sports fan, so it gets irritating.

So a couple of weeks ago, over the holidays, the Spouse went on a cleaning spree. Yes, you read that right. An Actual Cleaning Spree – which for him is rare, given his borderline hoarder classification. And his inspiration? Something I said. Yep – you read that one right too. Apparently in the course of some casual conversation I made the comment that I didn’t really feel like I had a spot in the house that was ‘mine.’

He actually felt really bad about that, and had to agree. So what did he do?

That guy spent the next two days moving all of my old crafting bins and stuff out of Minion 2’s closet, rearranging the kid stuff, shoveling (yes, shoveling) out his side of our dual closet, and moving unused/out of season clothes up to the top racks that no one has ever used. With a ladder. And – get this – he moved my craft bins into the empty corner of the closet, researched (and found! and bought!) folding tables, put the new table in the empty area and arranged all of my things. The table even fits my sewing machine plus leaves room for a work area!

Ta-da! I now have a crafting corner!

The problem?? WTH to do with it? I’ve fretted about my lack of a hobby before. Since my sewing projects of old consisted of clothes (the only formal I actually bought back in the day was my prom dress) and girl stuff, I’m at a loss here. If I had more confidence I would tackle drapes for the media room and it’s tricky arched window. Hmmm. I’ll have to think on that one.

Or I could move in there and use it for my writing space. The cool thing is, if I close the closet door I actually have a quiet, peaceful little room. And theoretically no one would know where I was. Bwahaha…

Still a third idea that popped into my head last night was that I used to paint. Oils, acrylics, you name it. I did it. But oils get expensive, messy and take about two weeks to dry once finished, so I’ll need to think on that one. Acrylic painting is much easier and cleaner, but you don’t get the wonderful blending of texture and color that oils make possible.

Hmmm..

So I guess I’ve got no excuses now, folks. All I need is some free time where I’m not totally exhausted from my two hour daily commute, eight hours of work and trying to keep the house from looking like a total sty.

Easy, right??

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Filed under Hobbies, organization, Space Saving, time management, working moms

Decluttering…

Wow! I just looked at the blog and realized it’s been over two months since I posted. Not good. Not good at all. What’s the deal? Well, between looking for, finding and training at a new job my time has been seriously strapped. Not to mention that the minions are out of school, so when I get home they tend to occupy the little time left in the day – after which I drop down exhausted. But it’s all good.

So in the interim, my teacher-spouse has become Mr. Mom for the summer. He’s on a mission to declutter the house (specifically his game room, but the enthusiasm is spilling over to the garage, kitchen, etc.) He even moved the boxes that used to contain my desk stuff out into the dining room so that I could go through them. Thoughtful guy. I actually dug through part of one the other day. It was pretty interesting. Those boxes are a holdover from a couple of years ago when I was inspired by Oprah. Yes, one of the few episodes I actually watched. It was called ‘Declutter Your Life.’ After that episode, I went through my stuff with a vengeance. Yes, my name is Amy and I could possibly be considered a borderline hoarder. Is there a 12-step program for that? There should be. So I was interested to see what I had actually kept during my mad sweep to clean up and clear out.

What was left? Lots of pictures – which I will NOT scan onto Facebook, since most of them are from long-past TTBOC days. Big hair, NKOTB clothes and teenage acne. Not public material, but some good memories there. My student ID from my freshman year at UNT. Part of a corsage. Thumb tacks (??!) Wedding invitations from dear friends and some letters from band camp buddies back in the day. Student planners from college. That one was interesting. Now I can access any number of old to-do lists, as well as remember important events should I so desire. What happened on April 11, 1992, for instance? Well, with the flip of a few pages I could give you that information in two shakes. Boxes of stuff that, to the casual observer, would be considered junk but are indelible snapshots of my life. Huh.

In the midst of decluttering, it occurred to me that decluttering my head might be beneficial too. Now THAT’s a major undertaking. There’s WAY too much floating around in there on a normal day, let alone an eventful one. So the other day at lunch (still can’t believe I get a whole HOUR – and most days I don’t know what to do with it) I sat down and wrote a blog entry. Yes, I did. On paper. A really long one. Even typed it up during a slow moment in the Big World of Commercial Real Estate with intentions of just copying and pasting it in here.

And then a minor miracle happened. I reread it. More than once. And I DIDN’T POST IT. That’s a first here. I realized that my post was the equivalent of that time when you really want to say something so you write a letter to someone (your boss, a co-worker, that evil guy who cut you off on the highway) just to say exactly what’s on your mind. What do the ‘experts’ always say about these letters? DON’T MAIL THEM. So I put it away. Yes, I got some pretty good insight from it, but I revised my usual routine of ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ when it comes to my mouth (or in this case, my typing.) I put the filter on  – which is difficult for me – and pondered my thoughts. Yes, Pinky, I was pondering. For a long time. And I remembered the advice of a very wise man: “Identify the issue. Plan a solution. Take action.” Wow. That’s pretty easy to read. Makes sense, too. I planned and I acted. My brain feels much less full. And – insert gasp here – I feel better. Decluttering the mind is a good thing. Now, I’m still waiting to see the end result of ‘taking action,’ but you know what? To me the journey is just as important as the destination.

Go ahead. Declutter something today. That pile of clothes hangers, boxes or the nagging thoughts in the back of your mind. Just do it!

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Filed under family, Life Changes, organization, Personal growth, planning, work