Shred to Shed

I’m still going strong with my house-cleaning project.

It’s amazing how much paper is all over this place. Whew!

Thank goodness for shredders.

I have two. One upstairs and one on the ground level.

These are cross-cut shredders, and I use them to shred anything and everything that I don’t plan to keep that has my name, address and/or social security number on it.

I can’t count the number of pre-approved credit card applications I’ve come across, along with book club membership applications. All that stuff gets shredded.

Old statements and receipts get shredded.

Envelopes with my name and address on them get shredded.

Eventually, when I scan all the cards from special occasions, receipts and statements I’ve been keeping, they’ll get shredded, too.

Tomorrow is trash day, and I was able to get a lot of stuff out of one of my computer rooms, so this is a good thing.

To the inventor of the shredder, face-cheek smooches. 🙂

Trashy liberation

Well, yesterday my Room Whisperer and I discovered that our goal of cleaning out three rooms of all its trash was too much to accomplish.

Remember in my earlier post where I said I have layers and layers of stuff?


That’s what caught up with us yesterday.

We did get out several bags of trash and some empty boxes, but it’s going to take more than one day to go through everything, especially since it’s all in three rooms.

I have to tell you… even though we didn’t get the entire job completed, it felt so good to get rid of and/or shred all that paper that wasn’t serving any purpose.

There were old sales papers, pre-approved credit card applications, postcards for local community colleges, magazines from companies trying to get me to buy their products, requests for donations in exchange for pocket calendars, restaurant menus and coupons, book club mailers for book clubs I’m not even a part of anymore and junk like that.

I whittled down the contents of three boxes into half a box of stuff I wanted/needed to keep. The rest is gone.

Decluttering is so liberating. Loosing it and letting it go is definitely the way to go. 🙂

Something else that’s important for me to keep in perspective…

Just because I have to change the plan doesn’t mean I have to abandon the plan. In the Army, they call it “overcoming and adapting” or “adjusting fire.” I’m still on course to clean out and clean up. It’s just going to take a little longer.

A clean compromise

OK, so with five days invested in my house-clean-up-and-out project, there is one room that’s totally clean.


That may not seem like a lot to you, but when I show you the before and after images, you’ll understand my excitement.

I have dubbed my helper the “Room Whisperer,” because he goes through each room to decide what needs to be done next.

On that note, we hit a bit of a snag…just a bit. However, since my Room Whisperer was willing to compromise with me, we’re good now.

His suggestion was that we clean up two rooms on the top level, but I wanted to clean up/out another room on the middle level; the room next to the totally-clean room. Tomorrow is trash day, and I know that room has a lot of paper that can be shredded and put out for the truck to pick up.

My Room Whisperer didn’t see the value of that, so I explained to him my reasoning, and we decided on a compromise.

Instead of trying to clean out and up the two rooms on the top level, we’re going to clean out all three rooms.

What that means is we’re going to simply go through everything in all three rooms and only concentrate on things that need to be thrown away or shredded. We’re not going to worry about anything that stays, should be donated or should be sold. We’re only focusing on trash and papers to shred.

This way, we accomplish a lot and I get to have a say in how things are done, even though the Room Whisperer has the ultimate veto.

I also got him to agree that we don’t have totally clean one room before starting on another, because there are going to be little odds and ends that can’t be decided on right away. That’s why it took five days to do one room; because there were odds and ends to deal with.

Anyway, I wanted to make sure you all don’t get the impression that my Room Whisperer is a total tyrant. Haha.

On that note, let me get back to the task at hand before the not-so-total tyrant starts ty-ranting all over me. 🙂

Uh, where does this go?

Now that I’ve hired someone to help me clean and organize my home, I find myself asking this question more and more:

“Uh, where does this go?”

It’s just amazing how many levels of stuff are in each room, and I’ve narrowed down the answer to my question to one of five responses:

1. It goes someplace in this room I’m cleaning but not in this spot where I got it.

2. It goes in the trashcan/recycle bin.

3. It goes in another room.

4. It goes in the donation pile.

5. It goes in the sell-and-try-to-recoup-some-of-your-money pile.

For me, the third answer is the most dangerous.

When I leave the room I’m suppose to be concentrating on cleaning, to take something to another room, I want to stay in that room and see what needs to go from that room into another room or into another one of my categories listed above.

Thank goodness for my Organizer, who yells, “Hey, what are you doing? It doesn’t take that long to move something from one room to another!”

When I come back to the designated room carrying something from the room I just left, he says, “Nope! Take that back where you got it from. You’re concentrating on this room now.”

I’m like, “But…”

And he’s like, “Did you hear what I said?”

OK. Why do I feel like I’m 11 years old all over again. Haha.


I’ve almost gotten one, whole room cleaned. There are odds and ends that have to be dealt with, but this room looks a zillion times better than it did two days ago.

OK, let me get back to work before he comes yelling.

Don’t be too proud, ashamed or cheap to PAY for help

Back in February, when I decided to be self-employed again, one of my reasons was because my house is a mess.

There’s unopened mail and books and printed-out papers and receipts and shoes and computers and boxes of books and unused printers and electronics everywhere!

Let’s not even talk about all the clothes left in laundry baskets all over my bedroom. Goodness!

I was so busy working for someone else over 15-16 hours a day that my house just got out of control. Cleaning the kitchen and the bathrooms was really my only priorities, because I didn’t want to be living with pests and penicillin.

Anyway, this place is a mess, and I got tired of living in the whirlwind.

I’ve tried taking it a little at a time, but I’m always left feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything, because a little just isn’t enough.

My bottom line is that I need peace in my home, and I’m not going to get it trying to do it alone.

Thank goodness for other entrepreneurs!

A friend of mine, who’s also self-employed, agreed to my payment terms (and said I have to put in cable,which I did) to come stay with me for awhile and help me get my house cleaned up and out. I told him he doesn’t have to actually clean anything. He just has to help me stay focused.

Dude is taking his job seriously, too. Ugh.

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a control freak. I want to do it when I want to do it how I want to do it. He’s not even thinking about what I want. 😀

He’s doing exactly what I’m paying him to do; keep me focused.

When I start trying to drift into another room, instead of the designated area we agreed I would clean, he reels me back in despite my whining.

When I sit down in front of the computer for too long, he tells me to get up and get back on it.

When I complain that my back is hurting, he tells me to get over it.

It’s only been a couple of days of this, and I want to ask him, “Aren’t you ready to go home?!?!”

I’m very glad he’s here, I’m having to learn some discipline because of it, and that’s not a bad thing.

If I could do it my way, it would have been done by now. Obviously, I need his help, so I’m sucking it up and allowing myself to be directed.

I really wish I didn’t have to pay for help, but I do. That’s point blank and period. I need help. I’m thankful to be able to pay for help, and I’m thankful my friend is willing to help me.

In the end, this house will be peaceful, and I will be at peace when I’m home. Peace in the home is priceless, so I’m getting a great return on my investment.

Ooo! Here he comes! I have to go!