Useless Thoughts Running Through My Head

various musings of a generation x kad

Posts Tagged ‘clutter’

Spirited musings

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 27, 2008

Last night I went on a decluttering/unpacking binge.  It all started with a desire to finish unpacking my grandparents’ cocktail glasses.  They’ve been sitting in boxes in the dining room for two years.  I began unpacking them a month or so ago, and I decided to finish pulling out the cocktail glasses.  I found all of them, and a few interesting serving dishes.  I washed those up and put them away.

Then I went around the condo and collected all the recyclables.  In doing so, I practically cleared off a small bookcase that is in the foyer.  It’s where I intended to put mail and keys and such as I was coming and going.  However, instead of being useful, it became a place where clutter gathers.  I decided that I could use the small bookcase someplace else and replace it with small trash bin to hold junkmail.

After taking the trash and recycling out, I returned to the dining room and took the boxes downstairs to the basement.

Now that I had more room in the dining room, I began wondering what to do with it.  One thought that entered my head was moving the small bookcase from the foyer to the dining room and using it to hold my liquor bottles.  I don’t have that many, but I have enough that they can’t all fit in the cupboard.  Happy at finding a use for the bookcase and a holding place for my liquor, I faced another set of questions:

  • Where exactly should I put the the liquor?
  • Do I put the liquor in the dining room corner?
  • Do I now put the recycling bin in the DR corner and place the bookcase/liquor where the recycling bin was, which is near the refrigerator?
  • Does it make sense to keep the liquor closer to the kitchen, or will the recycling bin be too odd looking in the dining room?
  • Will I be annoyed at having to walk further to dump stuff into the recycling bin?
  • Will I be annoyed if the liquor is further away from the kitchen?
  • If I were a liquor cabinet, where would I be?
  • Am I being too much of a perfectionist?

The answer to the last question is, “Yes, you are being too much of a perfectionist.  Knock it off!  If you don’t like where you put the liquor, you can move it!”

But, I still haven’t set up the new arrangement.  Partly because it was late I needed to go to bed and today I was busy, but it’s also because I continued being a perfectionist and kept wondering, “If I were a liquor cabinet, where would I be?”  And asking myself where I’d be if I were a liquor cabinet is kind of fun…

In the meantime, unpacking the cocktail glasses made me realize that I don’t have that many.  I have 3 that could be used as martini glasses, and they’re very nice glasses, so I would like the option of giving a not-so-well-coordinated guest a drink in a cheaper glass.  I have four wine glasses, so I could use more wine glasses.  And I have seven small cocktail glasses,  so I could use some high balls, and a few old fashioneds wouldn’t hurt.  But I want them to be interesting without being tacky.  I googled “vintage cocktail glasses,” but found mostly kitschy stuff, not stylish 50’s/60’s stuff.  It was a little discouraging.  This, of course, led to another question, “If I were a cool cocktail glass, where would I be?”

So I then googled “vintage cocktail glasses boston” and came across Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC).  They had a few suggestions for where to look for cool cocktail glasses.  One place is a flea market, which I doubt will be open tomorrow.  The other is Buckaroo’s Mercantile in Central Square.  Unfortunately, Buckaroo’s looks like it is chock full of old stuff and kitsch.  I tend to dislike old stuff, especially of the kitschy kind.  Usually not my cup of tea, but maybe tomorrow I’ll check out the place.  If I don’t find anything there, I can head over to 10,000 Villages and see if they have anything interesting.  Wouldn’t that be great – Free Trade cocktail glasses!

Of course, there’s always the cool place whose name escapes me on Newbury Street, but they’d probably be expensive.  So I’ll go there last.

But now, in addition to thinking about where to put the liquor bottles, and where to find cool cocktail glasses, I’m intrigued by LUPEC:

The Boston chapter of LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails) is a classic cocktail society dedicated to breeding, raising, and releasing nearly extinct drinks into the wild (a.k.a. Boston-area bars and restaurants.) Founded in February 2007 by Misty Kalkofen of Green Street and nine fellow cocktail enthusiasts, LUPEC Boston is the city’s first and only female-oriented cocktail society. The ladies of LUPEC Boston meet once a month to sample delicious cocktail creations from a bygone era, and educate themselves about the important and nearly forgotten forebroads who sipped them.

This sounds like fun.  I could meet new people and learn more about cocktails.  Plus, I like the idea of having a monthly cocktail party to go to.  And these women are serious about cocktails – I get the impression they’re old school and see cocktails as part of our culture as opposed to a way to get smashed.  They’d appreciate a well-crafted drink.

I’ll have to check them out.

In the meantime, I should go to bed.  Maybe I’ll have a bit of brandy before I go…

Posted in clutter, drink, fun | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

One more piece to getting my shit together

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 4, 2008

Because Target was open until 11 tonight, I was able to buy a file cabinet.  It’s not heavy duty, but it is metal, and decent looking.  I just finished attaching the drawer handles.  Next up is attaching the casters.  Maybe tomorrow I can decide where to put and begin filling it.

And, maybe, just maybe, this will help me be better about paying bills on time and keeping the clutter to a minimum instead of piling up on the floor.

Posted in clutter, happiness, my mundane life | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Yes, Virginia, you need a file cabinet.

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 1, 2008

Last night a friend was explaining to me that I need storage.  Basically, part of my problem is that I don’t have a dedicated place to Put Stuff.  Especially papers.  He told me I have to buy a file cabinet.  I haven’t bought a file cabinet because I already had milk crates for filing, and I was waiting until I had a better idea of how I wanted my office space to be before I purchased a file cabinet.

I was dead wrong.  I am now realizing that my frugality and my perfectionism were working against me.  I need a file cabinet, even if it’s a cheap one from Target.

And here’s why: I don’t file things right away.  I pile.  The larger problem is I pile stuff on top of the milk crate. The result is that I end up with a pile of papers and junk on the files, making it that much harder for me to actually, um, file.  If I had a cabinet, I’d probably still pile crap on top, but at least I could just open a drawer and begin filing stuff rather than having to move the pile or go through it all to get to the file folders.

That was my big revelation today.

So later this week I will head out to Target and get a cheap file cabinet.

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Getting rid of the monsters

Posted by thoughtful1 on November 22, 2008

As I mentioned in an earlier post, a friend helped clear out a mess of boxes from the living room.  That has helped me re-start my efforts to declutter and tidy up.  But this time it’s different – this time around I’m starting to see that I am worth it to have a clean house.  I know it sounds strange, and maybe I’ve worded it wrong, or I don’t have it quite right, but I look around and I begin to see how things could be instead of how they are.  I don’t feel as overwhelmed as I did.  Or, at least, I don’t give in to those feelings like I used to.

I still have moments where I just can’t deal, but instead of putting something off for weeks, months, years, I eventually get around to a task within a few days.  Like tonight.  I started in on the pile of papers in the office area.  It still looks like a mess, but now I have two paper bags of paper for recycling.  In the past I would have thought, “Recycling was this week.  I shouldn’t bother until two weeks from now when it’s recycling week again.”  Now I am better about letting bags of paper sit around for two weeks before I can recycle them.  It’s because I know that it’s progress, whereas before I’d look at the bags and think only of failure – that I didn’t get around to it sooner.

One factor that has helped motivate me is the realization that I just have to toughen up and Do It.  I’ve known for a few years that my clutter is a symptom of something deeper going on.  Normal people don’t freeze or feel anxious when confronted with a box full of stuff.  Regular people don’t allow years worth of junk mail to pile up, or leave grocery receipts from last year on the kitchen counter.  But there’s something going on the keeps me taking care of things.  I feel overwhelmed.  Or I want to do something else.  I think it could be a sign of some sort of depression.  I’m not certain, but that’s my guess.  And it’s most likely related to adoption – some strange attachment thing.  But, the same friend who helped me move the boxes also told me that I just need to work through it by cleaning up.  That somehow the act of forcing myself to clean things up will make things better for me on the inside.  He’s probably right, though I don’t know how exactly.  I only took Psych 101…

Another thing that helped was me finally getting that my friends, my real friends, don’t give a shit if my place is messy.  I’m not being judged.  Before, I viewed the situation as “I trust them to see my place and still like me,” which is slightly different from “They like me enough that they don’t care.”

Finally, it’s helped that I realized that by the time you get this old, you’ve got issues.  Everyone has something going on, and everyone has some sort of dysfunction.  It gives deeper meaning to the phrase “nobody’s perfect.”  And, if no one else is perfect, then I don’t have to be.  Or pretend to be.  It’s a huge burden to feel like you have to be perfect.  Feeling like I have to be perfect means that whenever I came across a piece of junkmail that’s over a year old I’d think, “My God, that’s still around?  You are such a LOSER!”

It’s slow going, but I think I am finally climbing out of this hole.  Things won’t change overnight, and I still feel overwhelmed at times, but I’m beginning to feel better about this.

And, I saw this cartoon in the New Yorker this week.  Maybe I should purchase a print of it sometime…  (Like when the economy is better and I’m not worried about getting laid off :P)

Posted in adoption, clutter, depression, happiness, issues | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »