Decluttering gift wrap, ribbon, and bows

Here it is, April 1st, and Spring isn't here yet, but hopefully it's getting closer. We still have huge piles of snow in the yard, and ice everywhere, but at least temperatures are starting to climb into the 30s again, and might even hit 50 tomorrow.

I'm working on some of the projects on my to-do list, and doing some decluttering too.

Today I was vacuuming the floor of our coat closet, and the big bag where I keep all my gift wrap, cellophane, ribbons, and bows caught my eye.

For several years now, we've given cash or gift cards (instead of a present that needed to be wrapped) on special occasions. We've cut out a lot of the Christmas gift giving we used to do among our extended family too, so there's really no need to keep all the wrapping supplies that we have.

I kept a couple of partial rolls of wrapping paper, some ribbon, and a couple of bows on the off chance that I might need to wrap something.

If I don't use it within the next year, I'll probably get rid of the rest of it.


This weather has me in the mood to do some Spring cleaning and decluttering

Spring isn't here yet in Vermont, but it's getting closer. We've had two or three days in a row this week where the temperature hit 25 degrees or above, so that's an improvement. Today we have lots of sun and 27 degrees, which is enough to give me the urge to do Spring cleaning and decluttering.

I've had some of my houseplants sitting on an old sewing machine cabinet in front of the window in the living room for a few years now. I was always planning to paint the cabinet white, but haven't gotten around to it. I was doing some rearranging in my art area, and it occurred to me that the small table I have in there would make an excellent table for my houseplants. It would also free up some space in my art area, so I put that table in the living room, moved the plants, and will get rid of the sewing machine cabinet.

I love it when I can get rid of something that big. It really opens up the room.

How are you doing? Has the Spring cleaning and decluttering urge hit you yet?


Recycling plastic containers because our pug is too picky

We have a sweet little senior pug that decided she no longer wanted to eat her regular dog food, so I started making homemade dog food for her.

Since I had been making a large batch of food at once, I gathered up several plastic containers to use as freezer storage containers, but she decided she didn't want to eat THAT food either, so now I can recycle all these plastic containers.

She is a pampered pug; she gets fresh food for each meal now. She's really enjoying it (and who wouldn't?).


Out the door in two-oh-one-four

Happy New Year!

It's been an interesting winter here in Vermont so far. We had two ice storms in less than a month, one of them just a few days before Christmas. Many people lost their power and didn't get it back until after Christmas Day.

Then we had the Polar Vortex with severely below-zero temps. That eased up a couple of days ago, and we went right into a January Thaw with temperatures up into the low 50s and lots and LOTS of rain. There's a lot of flooding and ice jams going on, and a lot of people with water in their basements and everywhere else. We're among those people. There's just so much ice everywhere that the water has no place to go but IN.

Now that the house is back to normal after hosting for Christmas, I decided to do another decluttering round. I generally live not too cluttered anyway, but there's always stuff that manages to get into the house, and stuff that's outlived its usefulness here.

Because we have a family member sharing our home at the moment, we have to be mindful of the amount of stuff we have around anyway, since we've lost a chunk of our usual living space to that family member.

I've made a new page (see above) where I'll list the things we're decluttering this year. Hubby is slowly starting to want to thin out more of the stuff that's collected in his shop and backyard too, so I'll add as many of those items to the list as I can too.

Just for fun, my motto is going to be: "Out the door in two-oh-one-four". It was hard to make anything rhyme with 2014.  ;-)

Here are the first items to go out the door.

#1 Christmas wall hanging that Hubby brought home from the recycling center. I didn't want to use it, so will recycle it right back.

#2 Notepads Another item that Hubby brought home from the recycling center. At first I thought I'd use them because you can always use more scrap paper, then I thought, nah--I have enough scrap paper to keep me going for quite awhile, so these can go back to the recycling center for somebody else to take.

 #3 Coiled magazine paper bowls that I made. I make these just for fun and I have too many on hand. These will go to the recycling center so that somebody else can use them if they want to.


It's time for winter decluttering

After a very busy Fall season, the cold and snow has arrived, and I'm spending more time inside, which means it's time for winter decluttering. I like this for two reasons: it's good for having a thinned-out, deep-cleaned house heading into Spring, and it will keep me active through the rest of the winter.

My husband and I haven't put up a big Christmas tree for several years now, and for anybody who might be gasping about that, let me assure you that it's very freeing.

When putting up a tree becomes more of a chore than a pleasure, it's time to give yourself permission not to put one up.

We have a few Christmas lights up outside, and a couple of touches of Christmas inside, and that is plenty. (Of course it helps that we're an empty-nest couple. If you have children still at home, it might be a little more of a challenge to reduce the amount of decorating that you do, but if the amount of work is getting on your nerves, scale back anyway and regain your peace.)

Anyway, the first thing going out of here is an old Christmas wreath that has seen better days. When I hung it up this year, it looked misshapen and worn. It was second hand when we got it, and I decided I won't use it any more. Out it goes.

One of the latest things I've been seeing on Pinterest is a sprig of greens and red berries stuck in a tiny bottle. I like how they look, and made one for myself, but then decided that it was just "one more thing" I needed to find a spot for and to clean around, so I decided to dismantle it for this year. Nothing wrong with changing your mind.

Next on my list is looking through the rest of our Christmas decorations. I've thinned them out a lot over the last few years, but there are some things I don't think we'll use again, so I'll get rid of those too.

Enjoy your Tuesday, and happy decluttering!


Buttoning up for winter

What a beautiful Fall we've had here! For the most part, it's been warmer than usual, or at least it seems like it. The weather just barely changed this past week, when we saw our first snow flurries of the season, which didn't even stick.

Hubby and I have been doing more decluttering outside than inside lately. We've been getting our place buttoned up for winter, getting rid of things from shed, shop, and yard that we don't need anymore as we go along.

One big thing that finally got taken care of was the stack of second-hand fencing that somebody had given us. For one reason or another, it never got put up, and just started to rot, but it's gone now.

Soon winter weather and snow will be here, so that will put an end to our outside work until Spring. Until then, I'll turn my attention back to things that need to be done inside our house.


Decluttering on the long weekend

We got spoiled with a week or two of cooler-than-usual temperatures earlier in August, but now it's back to hot and MUGGY, so my energy level isn't very high.

I'm in declutter mode in the house, and hubby is decluttering out in his shop and yard. He's gotten rid of most of a stack of old stockade fence that we got free once, but never used, and it's just been getting weather-beaten and ruined over the years. It's not good for anything now.

In the house I'm finding a few things to get rid of. So far these things are on their way out:

-A box of assorted puzzle pieces from a bunch of puzzles we had here when my grandchildren were little. I was thinking about altering them and making pins or magnets from the pieces, but as I sat down to start gesso'ing them, I realized I have NO desire to do that project, so I'll recycle the pieces. (They're no good as puzzles now because a pile of them have gesso on them.)

-Sending a stack of coiled magazine paper bowls I made earlier this spring to the Re-Use Shack for other people to take home with them. I got carried away and made WAY too many. They were fun to make, but there's only so many paper bowls a person can use in one house.
A few coiled magazine paper bowls and altered tin cans I had been working on this Spring.
A lot of people are talking about the early signs of Fall we've been seeing lately. Last night hubby and I were sitting outside when a large number of geese flew overhead. I think that's the earliest I've EVER seen geese getting ready to leave for the season. We might be in for a hard winter around here.

Hope everyone enjoys the Labor Day weekend.

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