Sunday, April 25, 2010

Getting Rid of Paper Clutter

Now that my closet, cabinets, hall closet, and bathroom have been decluttered, I needed a new project. It's been six months since I last did a paper purge, so yesterday I embarked on the great paper purge of 2010. I got rid of 6.5 pounds of paper and this doesn't even count my regular recycling, it's just stuff I've been hanging on that I don't need anymore.

Here's a few tips for lightening your paper load:
  • Save bills as PDFs and shred the paper. Almost all my bills and bank statements are available as PDFs online, awesome!

  • Scan old files, scrapbooks, photos and toss the originals. I scanned scrapbooks, pictures and other momentos I want to be able to look at again, but don't need in paper form.
  • Toss old manuals warranties, etc. for replaced items. The old owners of my house saved and passed down manuals for everything: the furnace, appliance, even light fixtures. It's handy and nice, but now I have to remember to toss out the old when replacing things.

  • Toss paint chips, old birthday cards, etc. Sure some of these may be sentimental, or you may want to keep paint chips for colors you've used, but you don't need to hang on to all of these.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Garden Tripping: Inniswood Metro Garden

One thing I love about Columbus is our parks and bike trails. This weekend the boif and I went to Inniswood Metro Gardens. It 121 acres of loveliness; I can't believe I haven't been there before in the seven years I've lived here. The flowers, the paths, the trees, the ponds, the children's gardens, oh, I'll just shut up and show you.

But wait, there's more. Stay tuned for installment two, coming soon. And if you're in Columbus and haven't gone to Inniswood, go, go now, you'll thank me later.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Easy Decluttering: 55 Items You Don't Need

All this and more, GONE!

I'm not much for spring cleaning, I still clean of course, but no more or less than any other time of year. But spring decluttering, now that's something I can get into! Yahoo's recent series on decluttering (found via Simpler Living) makes it easy to rid your home of 55 items you don't need.

I've been trying to purge some of the excess stuff around min hus for the last year or two. It's hard; I get way too attached to stuff. I purged 85+ items last year alone, but fell off the 365 days of decluttering wagon. Once again the level of excess stuff around here has been accumulating to the point where it bothers me. So I'm making an effort to cull the excess again this year. So after two days over the last two weekends, I've gotten rid of 72 items and organized some of the out-of-control zones that were driving me nuts.

Here's the list of casualties:
  • 41 items of clothing that no longer fit or don't make me feel great
  • socks & hose
  • 6 health and beauty items I'll never use
  • 5 cutting boards
  • 6 books and magazines
  • candleholder
  • 7 outdated food items
  • 1 tin
  • 1 dish drainer
  • 2 plastic travel mugs
As you can see I didn't follow the article to the letter, but that's not the point, the point is to get rid of unnecessary stuff. I still have work to do and while I'll never be one of those people who live with less than 100 items (nor is that my goal), I like the feeling of a lighter, more spacious home.

Not only was this method of decluttering quick, it was easy too. The boyfriend was a big help too. He did all the house cleaning for several weeks on Friday, leaving my Saturday morning and afternoon free to declutter. Which is a lovely treat!

As a bonus, once the clutter was cleared out, I organized some of my trouble spots, which were getting out of hand, like the hall cabinet, my closet, the tupperware cabinet, my hosiery drawer, etc.

I'm especially proud of this drawer. See, I have trouble telling black, navy blue and brown apart, especially in poor lighting, like when I'm getting dressed for work in the morning. I can't tell you how many times I've not been able to find a pair of socks that match when they were just all thrown in the drawer haphazardly. So I finally went through and paired all my dress socks, and placed the black and brown ones in separate labeled bags, so finding the right color will be a cinch!

More Kitchen Inspiration

This gorgeous kitchen featured in Country Living (found via Apartment Therapy, who else?) makes me want to rethink my kitchen reno plans. Maybe instead of the black countertops I've been dreaming of I should go with white? And even if I reface my old, original cabinets with molding, they'll never look this good or be this functional. Decisions, decisions.

Oh, it's so lovely, but who am I kidding, I'd never spend this kind of cash!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring Garden Surprises: Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

Spring is always one of my favorite times in the garden, especially after a long, hard winter. Spring has definitely sprung here. The tulips are in bloom and most of the daffodils have already come and gone.

There are still a few interesting daffs hanging around though, like these lovely white ladies.

And this eggy-ruffly daff.

I don't know if it was the cold, snowy winter, or what, but this spring there is a surprise in the backyard that I've never seen before.

It's a carpet of pretty purple blooms winding along the fence, leading halfway down the yard. If you bend down for a closer peek you'll find...

Hundreds of grape hyacinths, nestled among the grass. I've never seen this many, throughout so much of the grass. They're a lovely, cheery surprise.

And this crab apple tree, it's my favorite. Most of the year it's kind of homely looking, but once a year she puts on her best duds, does her hair and makeup to perfection, and oh, she shines.

I can't wait to see what surprises summer brings.

Want to see more blooms? Visit May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of every month to see what's blooming in gardens around the world.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Light or Dark?

I got a new end table as a gift from my mom. I love it, the size, the fact that it's round. The only thing I need is another one, but it was an auction find that she painted so finding a match may take some time.

But this new addition does cause a dilemma. Every piece of "wood" furniture in my living room is a different color, ranging from brown/black all the way to white. So what should I keep, and what should go?

I prefer the light, clean feeling of the white. But I can't imagine the coffee table in white and I wonder if painting everything white will be a bit much in combination with the fireplace. The boyfriend prefers the dark black/brown color of the coffee table, which I think might be too dark.

Lately I've been thinking about leaving the coffee table alone and painting everything else white. What to do, what to do? What say you Internets?


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