Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Progress on tidying

Progress has been slow this last week as we have all been down with colds. However I have done some things.. I get a bunch of tester pots and have been trying out paint colours so I can paint as areas get cleared. As the room is almost a T shape and the light levels vary from very brightly lit by natural light to pretty much no natural light at all colours look very different in different areas. I have narrowed it down to two, one twice the price of the other but it's coverage is MUCH better. I have been trying them on pieces of card as they can be moved about but now I'm going to use up the rest of the test pots on the actual walls in a couple of different places to see if the more expensive one is worth the money, if I have to do one coat not three it probably is both because you actually use less paint and because of the time saving.

The other main thing that is an improvement is the table has stayed clear enough we have been able to have your evening meal all together at the table before the small one goes to bed which is something we've been wanting to do for a while.

Other sorting has been done but in other rooms rather than this one, though we are definetly at the looks worse before it gets better stage.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Spaceships and progress out back.

The picture at the top is a spaceship the small one made recently. We were told firmly we had to save rubbish to make things from and indeed we were happy to do so for the school as the teacher had asked but himself decided he needed first pick to build something at home which he had great fun with. Since then it has sat ignored on the table so I took a picture and took it apart so the parts can be re-used to make something else.

So on to progress with the re-organisation. The area to be sorted is too big to be cleared of everything as suggested so I am doing it in stages. I have started to clear the wooden floor area though the building supplies are still there.. however as those are to finished the heating and therefore destined to go under the floor which of course will be out of sight. There is no point making Jon's life more difficult by moving it farther away at this point. However the pile of fabric that was there has been moved and sorted into keep and not keep. I am part way through washing it all as it is very musty due to being a small part of a lot of fabric I inherited in a round about sort of way (see earlier posts) and had been stored in a barn for a while.

I have also got two huge boxes of sewing pattern which I have sorted into keep and give away and got several friends to take what they want. One more friend to look through them ( and anyone else who reads this and is local is welcome to) then I'll see if there is any interest in ebay for the rest.

I did however do some tidying in another part of the room. The dresser had become a complete mess as any small items without a home had been dumped there so I cleared it and got out some of my Denby which is now on display.. It makes me feel like I'm getting somewhere.

In reply to the questions here.

I haven't got appropriately labelled boxes because typically I managed to recycle all the appropriately sized boxes just before we started but I'm working on that. I agree it's a good idea however.

I haven't set a specific time each day but I am trying to do a bit each day and see how much energy etc I have,

I don't want to get containers because a) we have quite a few, they are just full not nessacaraly of stuff we want to keep and b) I want to get the shelving sorted first so they are the right size.

I feel both overwhelmed and excited at the same time.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Planning the attack

Questions from

1. What do I want the purpose of my room or area to be?
It should be a combined living and dining area,with the area near the kitchen having the dining table and the rest general living space which will free up the front room to be a more secluded, more adult sitting room.

2. What do I need in or near the room to serve that purpose?
Dining table, the current one needs to move probably to the attic as it has always been my work table and is very good fr that purpose, then my gran's hexagonal one has to come down from Mum's house.
Sofa, TV and most importantly probably shelving and other storage.

3. What can I remove from the room?
Some of the sewing stuff. Longer term this includes the sewing machine but it needs to stay till the workshop is ready so will probably take the place ear marked for a computer desk for now. There is less to chuck in this room than you might expect as it is where the stuff we actually want ends up because if it is put away we can't get to it as putting away currently means a storage unit!

4. What problems do I see with the room?
The area near the back door because it easily becomes a throw hole. This is where I plan to put a desk but for now will probably have to store the sewing machine instead. Getting the storage right so it works for what we want to store.

5. What organizational tools might solve those problems?
Lots of storage of the right size! Having a plan.

6. What habits need to change to solve the organizational problems?
Us all being squirrels. Ok that might not change but we need to stop being such perfectionists we need to realise the area is good enough to use and the last bits that need doing can be done around using the room rather than constantly waiting.. that is helped by Jon having realised he can do the heating from the void under the floor. Plus being realistic about what we are going to use and when, sometimes it's better to get rid of something and buy a new one later if we need it I know this in my head, my heart and the recycler in me finds that harder to accept.

7. What kind of a budget do I have to create the organized room of my dreams?
Most of the budget has been spent already on the remodling. Apart from paint and paper we have most of what we need as to start with we are going to reuse things we have at least until we get the new table and so forth in and see how everything sits..

8. What kind of a timeline is necessary to organize the room?
Next few weeks, end of the month at the latest as we need to get the furniture from mum's and get ready for christmas. Even though we don't decorate for christmas till the last minute I want to get everything out and go through it before the shops have run out of anything I might want otherwise I'll buy stuff I already have!

9. What is my plan of action? (very much an overview at the moment.)

Clear the wooden floored area and go through the random piles so i at least know what is there, work out what is staying and what is going.

Get one of the boys to finish stripping the ceiling paper (there was a big leak so the ceiling needs re-papering), once that is done I can get on with painting. I'm not doing the ceiling myself as I'm 5 months pregnant and my balance is suspect.

Once that area is sorted moving items of furniture around, which includes things currently in here and ones that need to come in from elsewhere. Then the other part of the room can be sorted and rearranged.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Organising the back

Those of you who have been to my house know the back part well, even those who haven't have seen parts of it in pictures as that is where we normally sew. It has been a bit of a dump.. no strike that a huge dump. For ages as there is no organised storage everything is temporary partly because we were planning to take the floor up in the last bit to finish the underfloor heating. Those who know us know we have too much stuff so not having places to store stuff is fatal however big a house you have.

Well the news is Jon has started on the heating again and has decided he hates taking floors up so much he has worked out how to do it from underneath. This means we can get on with sorting the rest and it also means we can keep the original floorboards and sand them back. Those floor boards are in pretty good nick though we do need to patch in a few where he has removed the hearth from the no longer used chimney, leaving it would have been visible and coursed a cold patch.

For those who don't know the layout of downstairs is as follows. The front door is at the side of the house and you come into a hall with the stairs in front of you. To the right is a sitting room which goes across the whole of the front of the house. To your left is a door into the kitchen and straight ahead is a door which goes into what is now a tiny second hall with the utility room under the stairs off it and another door into the back of the house. The whole of the back of the house is open plan and is a bit like a horseshoe ie from the middle of the house you can enter into two areas (one the kitchen) with a wall between them, both of which open up into a large area across the whole of the back of the house. A huge amount of work had to be done to get the house like this including knocking about the whole area, new doors, windows, putting in beams to allow walls to be taken out, raising ceilings, redoing floors, including putting in underfloor heating and so forth. The main work was done a while now and the kitchen was finished the beginning of this year at which point we ran out of steam.

Now however we are getting on with things again all be it slowly at times. I am determined to get the back sorted and for it to become our main living area before Christmas hits and before it gets much colder so we don't have to huddle round the wood stove in the front room. Also mum is retiring at the beginning of next year so we HAVE to go and collect my gran's dining table which we said we would take and some other furniture as she is downsizing big time and can't store it any more.

To help spur me on I have decided to sign up to The 30 day Organizational Challenge. There are prizes and everything though most I'd either not get or would find out if they would send to friends in the states. The real prize would be to get the area sorted. Basically the idea is to pick a room, cupboard whatever that needs sorting and spend the month gradually doing it.

So what is it like currently? Well a few pictures in a mo. It is actually slightly better than it was at the beginning of the month as we tidied on, around and under the table as we had friends round for Saturday dinner. Currently it is a mix of building materials, sewing equipment and random tat. It all needs decorating as well.

Looking from the utility room into the area that needs the heating put in. As Jon is working under the floor now I can sort this bit. I think we are leaving sanding the floor till the spring but the rest needs painting and so forth before I can furnish it.

You can see right through the back area, to the right of the window the house goes back farther and believe it or not there is another window back there plus a back door at right angles to the window, or rather a boarded up space for a door as we need to get it fitted still.
Looking back into the same area. Much of the building supplies, mostly boards against the wall, will disappear under the floor shortly. The white pile in the for ground is hiding my industrial sewing machine. That needs to stay for now but hopefully come the new year I will be able to move it to a workshop a friend of ours is planning to get at the end of the road which he is happy for me to share.

This is the area round the corner, the other half of the main back area next to the kitchen. It is slightly better than the rest but not much. The floor in this part is concrete with the heating pipes screed into it. We plan to cover it with reclaimed wooden flooring but again that will have to wait till the spring I think as we need to be able to clear the room completely which will mean furniture outside in the day at least. You might just be able to see the fabric I have bought for curtains in the corner next to the french doors.

I think that is enough for one post I will post my plan for the month tomorrow.


Ok it might sound mad to join something about knitting and crochet when I don't do either but I would really quite like to try again.. well crochet anyway, knitting I can do but am not so sure it's worth my time as I found it boring last time. That said it was about 20 years ago and things have changed ! Maybe it's a nesting instinct or something.

So got my membership through today and will see how it goes.

I will have to catch up with either Julie or my mum so they can help me get started as I seem to have a bit of a mental block trying to use a book. Should consider going to Knitwits again as well that might help.

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