Monday, January 31, 2011

My first digital scrapbook page.

This is fun.  That is all.

Project Order from Chaos, Day 31.

I received back all my developed photographs from 35 rolls of film; approximately 1000 photos.
(127) Throw away one stack
(128) Give away one stack
Keep one stack. The negatives and packaging will be thrown away after the albums appear online and all photos will be placed in a photo album or scrapbook or be culled out.
Onward we go!

Friday, January 28, 2011


"You must let go of a thing for a new one to come to you.” Attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson

Project Order from Chaos, Day 28. Thought of the Day.

A lexicon to use to describe people who accumulate too many things. (Found here.)

  • HOARDERS – Can be referred to as hunter/gatherers
  • PACK RATS – Stockpile haphazardly and seldom use the things that are stored
  • CLUTTERERS – An out of control need to accumulate things
  • COLLECTORS – Orderly, systematic organization of things, often on display
To this list, I would add:
  • PASSIVE ACCUMULATORS - People who inherit things from others and want to do the "right thing" by it and those who don't throw away the broken item when it is replaced.
Bill and I are a bit of several of these.  I would say we are more than 50 percent "Passive Accumulators" with a bit of a "Pack Rat" mentality and a lot of a "Collector" mentality.

Much of what we own we inherited.  I would say that we have absorbed several households -- perhaps as many as 4 (My Papa's, my grandmother's, my parents and part of Bill's grandfather's).  We have duplicates of lots of things -- furniture and household items.  Many of the items are better quality than Bill and I originally owned.  Many of the items have sentimental value.  A lot of the items have monetary value (if you can find the market for them.)  What we have lacked is TIME and SPACE.

The things that are obviously trash are easy to dispose of -- just throw it away.  Other things are easy to give away -- especially if I don't have any emotional connection.  But others we are keeping in our lives because it hurts somehow to dispose of it.

An Example:  We have two decorative baskets that were in our downstairs bath and our master bath.  They aren't very robust; I don't think they were made to last all that long.  I've repaired the one in the downstairs bathroom.  Here's a picture of it that I posted earlier this week with other items I had marked "give away."

Bill's gut reaction to this pile of "give away" was so very visceral, "But my Mommy made that."  And that she did.  She made it several years ago with her own hands and gave it to us to use and enjoy.  When I heard he say what he said, my heart broke a little.  How well I understand that!  She's no long with us to shower us with her love and affection -- she's no longer with us to make us any more gifts. After a brief discussion, we agreed to give it away and keep the other that is in better condition and try to repair it.

Dr. Ted Hackett told a story to our sacrament class long ago about a man and a tube of lipstick.  He had that tube of lipstick in his pocket for a long time and when he laid dying, he refused to allow that tube of lipstick out of his possession.  People wondered why -- but to those who knew the rest of the story understood.  This was his wife's tube of lipstick; while she lay dying, he would carefully outline her lips with it and apply it gently.  It was his last and lasting service of love to his wife.  It had become a ritual item, a holy relic to him.

We have a hard time giving up small meaningless items so very often because they have become relics.  Of course, we still have the memory of the person, but these items become our physical prompt.  And for some of us, this is the main reason we become a "clutterer" or a "hoarder."  God bless us all.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 27.

Items to give away:
(121) cornucopia basket
(122) six soup bowls with handles

(123) Playhut
(124) 100 ballpit balls, still in box

125) Twilight series
(126) Gospel CD, still in wrapping

4 and a half days ahead of schedule -- I've run out of things to donate in kitchen right now, I think I'll turn to the garage to sort.

Project Order from Chaos, Day 27. Thought of the day.

Out of Clutter, Find Simplicity.
From Discord, Find Harmony.
In the Middle of Difficulty Lies Opportunity.
--Albert Einstein (Three Rules of Work)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 26. Dwelling in Chaos, Have Been I.

I have been contemplating this "Project Order from Chaos" for quite a while. I wrote more than two years ago this:
The central thesis for my "Theology of Space" is indeed this -- Unless the exterior life reflects the interior and the interior live reflects the exterior, you live in a cognitive dissonance; you are living in conflict. I have absolutely no problem spending an hour or two a day in contemplation and prayer, attending to my interior life. However, I don't spend that time working on the total exterior life; my physical shape, my grooming habits, my living spaces and my creative nature. So that will be my goal this year -- either to become a complete intellectual, spiritual and emotional slob or to get my exterior life in line with my interior.
How well have did I do with these goals?  I re-read the entire posting: I did indeed get rid of all the books in the garage.  We have worked on both estates that need to be finished.  I have continued to push to get the entire house "done."  We live in less chaos that we did BUT ... I'm not finished.  Or maybe I should say we're not finished.  Since I wrote those words, I have started homeschooling and accumulated more stuff; different stuff.  The garage has gone from a clutter level 5 to a clutter level 3.  I have pared down the amount of items in the kitchen cabinets, in the laundry room.  Our bed room and the girls' rooms have been painted and decorated.  I have organized my closet more than once.  I have made myself a place in the bedroom for study.  I have organized and moved furniture into a parsonage.

Did I accomplish my goals?  No.  But I am letting go of the "shoulda, woulda, coulda" and the guilt of it all; that's all just mental clutter.  And I will strive on to perfection.  One day, it will all be done.  The more space I make in my life, the more I can live.

Enough for now.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 25. Thought of the day.

The more we own, the more we have responsibility over. The more we have the responsibility over, the more time we must use for its upkeep; the less time we have to inhabit the spaces God is to be found. Get rid of excess; make room for God.

Project Order from Chaos, Day 25.

Items to give away:
(117) stack of pots and pans
(118) twirly-ma-jiggy
(119) lampshade (replacement on order)
(120) basket from bathroom

Kitchen cabinet, after.
Still sorta grubby -- need to scrub and paint, as necessary.

Kitchen cabinet, before.
Can't find anything and grubby.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Casting bread upon the waters... or as The Message phrases it:

Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns.
Don't hoard your goods; spread them around.
Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night.
(Ecc 11:1-2)
I received notecards from #MercyPercolator -Thanks! and a beautiful teapot from a friend after I noted Lauren's love of tea.  Be generous! Blessings will come back to you!

Project Order from Chaos, Day 24.

A clutter scale from the Boston Globe to describe clutter levels in a person's home.
On this scale, anything past about a level 3 is considered "visual noise" (IMHO). Most people would not be able to get anything useful done. Past level 4 on this scale, clutterers would qualify for a mental health evaluation.

Project Order from Chaos, Day 24.
Items given away
(111) pile of clothing
(112) big pink robe
(113) stack of 12 hats
(114) bag of random socks
(115) plastic chain with clothespins cabled tied to it.

Items given away:
(110) pile of hair bows

Items given away
(116) CD player

Thought for the day, Day 22.

Thinking today of clutter as "visual noise." (saw it on a website somewhere). Just as a noisy environment can interfere with useful conversations and ruin communications, visual noise can disrupt useful activity and ruin motivation. Here's to clearing out my visual noise.
*, reference for "visual noise."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 22.

This is a stained glass panel I made for my grandmother more than 20 years ago (there was a matching lapquilt, too). It had separated from the frame; Bill soldered it for me, as I can't find my stained glass tools. Cleaned, it's ready to hang!

Thanks to @Matt Fox, I'm going to try this stuff on my buffet and kitchen table and try to stretch out their useful life. I'll let you know how it goes!

Item to give away:
(109) Big area-hog boom box.

Stripes is helping by adding cat freshness to the laundry.

Project Order from Chaos, Day 22.

Let us pray to God concerning those things
which hold onto us
and those things we hold onto –
the habits of our life -
the loyalties which guide our actions -
the standards which we do not question...
Let us pray that we might love God more than we love these things... Lord hear our prayer...
(a prayer found on Kir Shaolm)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 21. Thought of the Day:

Life is not defined by what you HAVE.

Speaking to the people, he [Jesus] went on, "Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot."

Luke 12:15 The Message

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 20

The Laundry Room. It's not horrible, just untidy. If an item does not fit into the purpose of the room, it's out of there. So today I am determining the purpose of this room and removing all things that don't support its purpose.

The Landry Sink. Yes, it is a sink. I removed a case of V8, a rug, a blackbelt karate uniform, a trashcan, a sorting bin, 3 fly swatters, a large bag of charcoal brickettes, clothing and three pairs of shoes. Among other things. Logic would tell me that a sink is for washing things, not for storage.

Project Order from Chaos, Day 20. Thought of the day:

Live, really live, live exuberantly.

And I command you today: Love God, your God. Walk in his ways. Keep his commandments, regulations, and rules so that you will live, really live, live exuberantly, blessed by God, your God, in the land you are about to enter and possess.
Deut 30:16, The Message

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 19. Thought of the day:

Having Nothing, and yet Possessing Everything.

"sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything."
2 Cor 5:10

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 18. Thought of the day:

The phrase "feng shui" is based on the Chinese words for wind and water. Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that claims our physical world can be arranged so as to improve the flow of life or chi (qi.) Interesting that both wind and water can sweep away or clean.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 17

 I've eliminated 108 (plus) items (really more since I considered 33 shirts or 12 puzzles as one item). I've been reorganizing things this weekend. It seems to be a breathe in, breath out process; there is a natural ebb and flow. As soon as I get rid of things and make space, I need to order the space logically. Contemplating this today. And reorganizing a kitchen cabinet.

Empty cabinet.  Eventual home to the small kitchen appliances.

Disposed of a slew of name tags I had dangling from the plate and hung some crosses I had collected.

Clear counter space.  Recycling basket is full -- and I am working my way around the counter.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


From Clutter's Anonymous
"Clutter is anything we don't need, want, or use that takes our time, energy or space, and destroys our serenity. It can be outgrown clothes, obsolete papers, broken toys, disliked gifts, meaningless activity, ancient resentments, or unsatisfying relationships...
Decluttering is not merely eliminating, but gradually transforming our space so that we surround ourselves only with things that express our purpose. It means turning something useless into something useful; creating more leisure and space; being more honest in our relationships; eliminating distractions and simplifying our lives in order to find our spiritual roots."

I feel deeply that my push to declutter my life is not just a physical one; it is a deep spiritual discipline.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 13

To be donated/given away
(101) Two Ball Jar
(102) 4 lbs of Melt and Pour soap
(103) soap mold
(104) lollipop mold
(105) rose soap mold
(106) Two popcorn holders
(107) three plastic cups

(108) stack of 12 puzzles (gone already! Marta took them for her grandkids)
I did keep 9 puzzles, so I gave more than half away.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 12

I took a break yesterday.  Here's today's efforts.

Project Order from Chaos, Day 12.
Items to give away or recycle
(65) a few dozen tealight candles, burned for like 5 minutes.
(66) 25 unopened wallpaper boarders, 3 different patterns.
(67) pottery crock and loaf pans
(68) can opener
(69) handpainted butterfly trivet
(70) 8 Christmas napkin rings
(71) Odd cork thing
(72) fabric covered box
(73) kid's leaf necklace
(74) red bulletin board letters and numbers
(75) three partially used rolls of wall paper
(76) unopened kid's paper birthday tablecloth
(77) matching papergoods for wedding shower -- 36 cups, 48 napkins, 36 plates -- all in a bag.
(78) pile of telephone books to recycle.
(80) stack of plastic cups to be recycled.

(81) cups with lids
(82) random bag of craft stuff
(83) spool of ribbon

(84) bucket of plaster of paris, half used.
(85) Easter Bunny Basket
(86) Flower cookie cutters, unopened
(87) bucket of unused candle wax
(88) WalMart bag of used Easter Eggs
(89) Red Rabbit Fur Collar
(90) Random Bag of Craft stuff (good stuff, too)
(91) Button thing
(92) Bucket of foam shapes
(93) Leather book cover

(94) bag of unused balloons
(95) bag silk flowers
(96) bag of birthday noisemakers and stuff
(97) bag of craft things
(98) Bunny necklace kits
(99) Spool of ribbon
(100) plastic butter tub of clear plastic beads

And the kitchen is a total mess.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 10

A "before" picture.  The kitchen buffet looking unusually unruly.

The kitchen before.  Again, all messed up because it takes messing up to clean up.

Items to give/throw away:
(57) Barbie Camera
(58) Old glasses and case
(59) Elephant made of seashells
(60) 4 tacky coasters
(61) Furniture "glide" thingy.
(62) Old Birthday Candles (worthy of throwing away)
(63) old sunglasses
(64) Kid necklace

Idea board for lighting in Kitchen.

Kitchen Idea Board.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 9

(48) 33 Denim shirts (NWT) -- tried to sell at least 3 times/ no joy.
I probably could have sold them on eBay, but at great time and hassle. FISH will put them to good use. Should I count this as 33 items?

(49) Old Fax machine
(50) Old scanner

(51) 3 ill made "House" teapots
(52) Santa plate and mug
(53) cosmetic box from Este Lauder
(54) Avon powder box
(55) Foam sticky things for kids
(56) Glass Christmas Tree Candy Jar

Project Order from Chaos, Day 9

Design board for Master Bathroom. Inspiration room on the bottom. Plan: paper the bottom half of the room with beadboard paintable wallpaper. Trim with chair rail and board to make "shelf." Paper the central portion of the cabinet doors with beadboard. Paint soft sage green. Paint all hardware/towel racks oil-rubbed bronze. Purchase faucets in bronze. Magnolia print, flowers in coke bottles.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 8

Sewing room design. It will include my mid-century sofa (basement) covered with this fabric, soft blue on the walls, a mid-century record cabinet (basement), a bench (storage unit). Big Lots has this floor lamp for $30. The shelving is from ULine or Sams. The work table is stainless from a restaurant supply company. The task: to dispose of all excess sewing things that don't fit on the shelves or in the closet.

(38) 2 dozen socks
(39) a pair of skates
(40) a Nikon camera
(41) a Coca Cola camera
(42) two cheapo watches
(43) Art set
(44) pile of 3 tee shirts
(45) tacky hat
(46) bag of alphabet stamps
(47) bag of assorted kid type paper craft junk

(37) Removed huge bag o' film from laundry room, packaged up 38 rolls of film or disposable cameras into mailers, labeling each and every one with a return address sticker. Should this count as one item or 38 items?
(Note: film developers are getting harder to find. I opted to go with an online service that will do it for $1.99 a roll with an album posted on line and one set of 4 by 6 prints. This great price was ONLY if you pre-paid for 50 rolls and I don't think it will include shipping. I found 11 rolls of film that need to be used. I think I'll give the girls photography lessons -- that brings the total of film cans to be developed to 49...)

Scraping Wallpaper. Easier in some ways than anticipated; harder in others.

Paint chips for Kate's move into current sewing room, Kate's old room as the new sewing room, the girl's bathroom and the kitchen. We now have a stark white wall in kitchen.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 7

Items donated:
(31,32) picture frames
(33) pile of plastic beads
(34) Baby's sleeping plaque
(35) mismatched gloves
(36) Barbie and stand

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 6

Items donated:
(24) blue box
(25) egg snow globe
(26-28) hand painted figurines
(29) Tasco bag
(30) Bunny thing

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Project Order from Chaos, Day 5

Cleared off top of Kitchen China Cabinet

Removed all pictures from fireplace wall in prep for wallpaper scraping

Items to give away
(19) Broken spout Teapot
(20) Cracked Teapot
(21) Clay pot with tissue paper flower.
(22) Two cookie tins
(23) Bag of craft stuff from Girl Scouts