THE URBAN QUIPSTER

Santa Monica, CA

This title just popped into my head while I was writing my blog. It doesnt sound like it belongs on DG, but I'm a newbie, what do I know? Well, anyway, half of the stuff I write doesn't post and I would very much like to join one of the clutter threads but have thus far been unable to so. So I have decided to start my own. In any case, until I clear my clutter I will be unable to return to gardening. Neither rural nor truly urban, I thus wander thru a ghostly netherland of yearning. THE URBAN QUIPSTER

Santa Monica, CA

Boatleaf Betty akaTHE URBAN QUIPSTER is happy to announce that on Saturday she carried a bag of STUFF to the local Goodwill. Nobody walks in LA but despite the youthful-sounding nom de plume, DO NOT BE FOOLED! For shame, for shame, THE URBAN QUIPSTER is a Vintage Classic of A Certain Age who DARES to venture forth into The City of Youth!...... and now I am going to scrub an old ice chest with baking soda, vinegar, water & dish soap. Betty

Newark, DE

Hi Betty and welcome!! (or should I say The Urban Quipster?) I like it!

The de-cluttering threads seem to die down every spring as most folks venture outside to garden.....or just get outside! Most of us (unlike you) are not blessed with abundant sunshine all year. You lucky girl! LOL

I am sorry you had no luck in other threads but this may be the reason - it just may not have been seen by anyone yet. It is not you, for sure! Everyone here is usually helpful, funny and welcoming..... but they do garden and rejoice at no more freezing temperatures and snow.

Good for you with you Goodwill donation! Hey, it is all one step at a time but I can tell you this... with each step you take, it makes you want to take the next - it does get easier. My latest endeavors are in another thread so I won't retype them here. It is near the end in a thread I posted that seems to have been carrying on for some time now. You are most welcome there too. It is now into part 2 and I suppose since there are over 200 posts I need to start a part 3 soon. It is called "4 Obstacles to De-cluttering & How to beat them" it is here -

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1326635/

The first post in that thread is actually posting where we came from in part 1. If you want to start at the begining and "meet" all of us, then part 1 is here -

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1299260/

It's a lot of reading but I think you'll get to know all of us who are on here the most tin that thread. I say so not because I started it, but because it has remained the most active in the long run in this section of forums.

Either way - welcome and keep reporting your progress!! You go girl! Show them youngsters how it is done!

Debbie

Santa Monica, CA

Dear Debbie, Thanks for inviting me to your thread. I did read a bit of Part 2 & tried to post but maybe it's just a trial-and-error process of dealing with technical problems. I enjoyed reading some of the posts and have a few things I'd like to say about house spirits & a beautiful exhibit of Haitian Art that I saw in a NYC museum in the 1990s, but right now I'm tired so I need to rest. All the best, Betty

Santa Monica, CA

HI DEBBIE- I went to Part 1 of your thread a little while ago & went to the "4 Obstacles" article that you refer to at the beginning. VERY interesting stuff about tension & conflicting emotions interfering with the process of getting the work done. The story of one sibling saying, "Throw it all out!", the second saying "You must save it, these are imporant historical relics," & the third saying "You need to save it to chart your own progress!" really rang a bell with me. Sometimes we get barraged with well-meaning contradictory advice which ends up not being very helpful. I for one know a few people who are really PUSHY about this & they don't even share my living space. After a while it becomes very draining. Then I vent to other people who lecture me on either standing my ground or being more open to advice & then I'll often end up with a splitting headache. I heard somewhere that when people get too pushy one should say, "That is a very interesting piece of advice & I'll definitely take it into consideration!"

Santa Monica, CA

THE URBAN QUIPSTER RETURNS! Faced with aches, pains, tension & other stuff triggered by too much contradictory advice, Boatleaf Betty has decided to retreat into her WOMAN CAVE to drink coffee, play music, burn aromatherapy candles and search thru her books & online archives for advice. Aha! Brain scientists have confirmed that she is on the right track: turning clutter-clearing into a GAME is NOT a sign of insanity, despite what the neighbors may say. So, armed with this information, Boatleaf Betty begins her transformation from cowed, frightened mortal into her heroic alter-ego THE URBAN QUIPSTER, she who fears no criticism & is always ready with a sassy comeback. Look, here she comes, ready to battle her inner demons and her clutter as well!

Newark, DE

Hi Betty,

So sorry you are experiencing difficulty in posting. It is possible it is technical glitch, but could also be just a learning curve. Every site is a little different and DG is just another site. It seems as though you are doing well though as you have posted and started your own thread. I think you’ve got it handled! LOL

I’m glad you enjoyed the original article that sparked the first thread I posted. I thought it was a wealth of information about us, other people and how it all affects our surroundings and sadly, clutter. Yes, people are sometimes pushy. We all have our own opinions, some more strongly voiced than others. I have had that to deal with too. Not here in my home with Dave (thankfully). We agree on almost everything, but my family is another story. I am the care giver to many of them but that somehow makes them feel as if they can tell me what I need to do for MYSELF…go figure? Whatever….I let it go in one ear and out the other, now. That took a long time and a lot of patience to get to this point because it affected me deeply before. I just had to find my own confidence and realize I am doing for most of them, so I am quite capable of making decisions that affect me on my own. Since then, I am clearer headed about my goals and how I will be attaining them. This includes a lot of decrappifying.

After some serious health issues in the family I simply had no time to handle “stuff” and it was set aside. Then between working, taking care of others, my own health issues – it was just left “to do another day” because I wasn’t able physically, mentally, emotionally or the proverbial “all the above” to deal with it. In the last year or two I have reached a more confident place to commence the project and am making headway. Last year I was sidelined for months when I fell and was injured. But I am back on track and attacking it when I have a few minutes and am able. It is slow, but it is starting to show which makes me want to do more. So yeah, sometimes retreating to your Woman Cave for some coffee, relaxation, contemplation is what you need. YOU live in your space and not anyone else that is trying to tell you what you need to do. Seek out ideas wherever you can, retreat again and let them play out in your mind to find what suits you, then when you find something that makes sense for YOU – just begin. Remember the old saying “the longest journey begins with just one step”. You have to start somewhere and just wanting to change is the first step. You’ll find your way on your own and that is when it’ll really click.

Once source many find helpful is;

http://www.flylady.net/

She has a lot of good pointers, schedules for maintaining order and schedules for getting there. You may not like everything she says, but you might find some things you do. Make your own schedule, or goals or whatever you need to do – but whatever it is, do it for you in your way and forget about whatever anyone else tells you. No two people are the same and for anything to work you have to be happy with your choices and efforts. If not, in my opinion, trying to please others is a recipe for failure. You have to want to please yourself.

From your last post I think you just may have reached this step too!!! Yup – “Boatleaf Betty begins her transformation from cowed, frightened mortal into her heroic alter-ego THE URBAN QUIPSTER, she who fears no criticism & is always ready with a sassy comeback. Look, here she comes, ready to battle her inner demons and her clutter as well!” .......By golly – Betty has got it! Anytime the clutter demons start talking in your ear – get your hero cape on and fight back!

Santa Monica, CA

Dear Debbie, I went to the FlyLady site & I bookmarked it (on a bookmark list not connected with DG). It looks like it might have some very helpful stuff that I might want to look at later. Thanks, Betty

Santa Monica, CA

HI DEBBIE- Me again. The reason I've been leaving multiple short posts is because I continue to have problems with some of my posts getting 'swallowed'. That's the way it feels sometimes- like some robot-creature has swallowed them up: "I'M HUNGRY- YUM!" It's especially frustrating when I've poured my heart out on a number of different topics. I usually feel too tired to attempt the whole thing all over again, and I end up feeling that I have not communicated very well. Betty

Newark, DE

Hi Betty,

I'm glad you found the Fly Lady site helpful. Cool! It is a starting place and you can change things as you want them to suit you. You don’t need to buy her stuff either; you can print out things if you feel they will work for you or like I said create your own. One thing I have found true and helpful not just in decrapifying but in most things in life is to make goals for yourself to work toward. It is also important to make smaller goals that you can attain easier than just making big daunting goals. It is more rewarding when you reach that smaller goal and it helps you work toward the bigger one. That is either true of everyone, or I am nuts. I don’t care which is true but hey it works for me. LOL

For instance if it is decluttering/decrappifying then don’t just make a goal to have a clutter free home, make smaller ones – to have a clutter free bedroom, living room etc. It is also good to make even smaller ones – have a clutter free closet, dresser, night stands etc., (heck maybe even smaller and be a dresser drawer if you need to) because each of those are part of the bigger one but you attain them easier and faster, which gives you a sense of satisfaction in accomplishment. It’s an “atta girl” with each one you achieve, something sorely lacked by most of us. The same could be said for someone who might have to lose 100 pounds. That goal is a big one and so overwhelming they might just give up, but if they break it down to 10 pound increments and 25 pound increments the goals are obtainable and they will push on. Make rewards for yourself when you reach a goal too. If it is a small goal – small reward, maybe the afternoon off reading a book without worrying about all you have to do. A bigger goal, achieved deserves something bigger - a nice meal out for that clean bedroom. You wouldn’t want to tie eating as a reward for weight loss so something like a new piece of clothing in you new size at 25 pounds lost or something like that. Yeah it can be a game and I don’t see it as nuts, but if it works, why not? You have to find what works for you and no one cam tell you what that is but you.

No problem with the short posts. I know how that can be. A couple ideas for that….when you have written what you want to say – highlight it all and right click copy. That way if it disappears you can right click paste and try again until it goes through. I have found too that sometimes on DG, it might disappear it you hit send rather than preview. I don’t know why, but try the copy everything route before you click to the next page either send or preview and then you don’t have to retype it. I hope that helps.

Debbie

Santa Monica, CA

HI DEBBIE- Thanks for the advice. As for the tech stuff: I don't have a regular computer at home, I have to go to the library for that. I make do with a teeny-tiny $15 mobile cheap phone. It's not a smart phone or even an android. KNOCK WOOD it works fairly well for what it is tho and right now it will have to do. I've visited the DG site at the library computer and it shows up very differently there than it does on the mobile site. Nowadays, tho, when I go to the library I usually need to use my time there to focus on other things.

Santa Monica, CA

THE URBAN QUIPSTER is extremely depressed today and has no quips. Seriously, I struggle with clinical depression & am having a bad bout of it today. Was going to stay away from this site for awhile because I thought I was spending too much time online but today I'm struggling to even get out of bed & I have SO much to do. Hope to return later today with a progress update.

Jim Falls, WI(Zone 4a)

Boatleaf I hope you are doing better later. I do a lot of reading and not much replying. So know I will be thinking of you and your quips!

Santa Monica, CA

Thanks ves522.

Santa Monica, CA

Boatleaf Betty aka THE URBAN QUIPSTER finally managed to drag herself out of bed, took a shower, put on her cleaning clothes, GROOMED herself, and, wonder of wonders, has actually taken the time to apply SUNBLOCK before racing outside into the CALIFORNIA SUNSHINE!

Santa Monica, CA

PROGRESS REPORT: 1) Sometime in the last couple of days I finished scrubbing & drying the portable ice chest that I referred to on July 2. I was carrying it to Goodwill earlier today but I ran into a neighbor and asked if he wanted it and he said he could definitely use it- so there you go! It was perfectly good once I cleaned it up but I don't have a car and it's the old fashioned kind from the 1980s, too heavy for me to carrry around when filled with ice & other stuff. I had recently bought a more modern, lightweight insulated bag for carrying food & keeping it cool. At some point I HOPE to be able to invite people over again for social gatherings, which is one reason I continued to hold on to the big, bulky thing, but right now that's impossible due to all the STUFF. My neighbor, on the other hand, barbeques etc, has family gatherings, etc. and his apartment is airy & SPOTLESS.

Santa Monica, CA

ANOTHER DAY OF DEPRESSION but I MUST sort & clean. I feel so bad sometimes when I read about the physical hardships with which some of the people on these forums are dealing, but major depression is a strange kettle of fish & my current situation is sometimes difficult to explain. I SHALL RETURN LATER.

Newark, DE

Hi Betty!!!

You’re welcome for any help I have been or can be. I am not up on a lot of things myself. I’m probably the one in a million that does NOT have a cell phone of any kind. I’m not that important and I sure don’t need another monthly bill just to be bothered even more. Besides, when I go get groceries I am going after groceries and don’t need phones calls to interupt me.

Don't feel bad about others compared to you. Having had to deal with depression I totally understand where you are coming from. It is not something you can just simply change your mind about and all is right with the world, like some who have not had it think. It involves a serious daily struggle as if you are constantly trying to claw your way out of a deep dark pit. It often seems too that just as you reach the rim to daylight, something happens and you slip back down into the abyss again. If you get out of bed, get showered and dressed that is usually the best kick start for more. Like everything, including de-cluttering (or that longest journey) it starts with the first step. Don’t beat yourself up for what you didn’t accomplish or what you have yet to do, instead; give yourself an “atta girl” for what you have done. None of us hear as much (or any) praise for our accomplishments, so sometimes we have to praise ourselves.

Try that and concentrate on the good things, the accomplishments, the jobs completed. Hey you carted off some bags of things to Goodwill. That is gone. The old ice chest got scrubbed and that is gone….see… you are winning the battle. Battles won are how you win a war. One at a time. It can be overwhelming to look at the whole picture of a job to do – whether it is de-cluttering and cleaning, or losing weight or writing a book! But if you look at it as one chapter at a time it becomes an easier and attainable goal. Once accomplished, you’ll move on to the next, until the “done” side outweighs the “to do” side.

I’ll keep you in my prayers but know YOU will get through this. We’re all here for you in any way we can be.

Debbie

This message was edited Jun 9, 2014 6:24 PM

Santa Monica, CA

MAYBE when obnoxious pushy people (trained in the old school of "Do anything you can to achieve your goals and never take no for an answer!") try to hard-sell their clutter-clearing services (for a hefty price of course), one should respond in an equally old-school way: "NOPE! Sorry bub, not buying encyclopedias today! DO I LOOK LIKE A MONEY TREE? Go peddle your your brushes elsewhere!" THE URBAN QUIPSTER

Newark, DE

LOL Yep that would work. Sometimes you have to give back what you get!

IMHO, I really don't see what you would gain from an overpriced clutter clearing service except empty pockets. Sure the clutter might be gone, but if you haven't done it yourself, you are not re-training your thinking. So, without the learned lesson I'd think one would be doomed to repeat the cycle. I am more the type that thinks "it's my mess, I made it and I will fix it!!" I can be hard headed like that but I will win the clutter war!

Santa Monica, CA

THE URBAN QUIPSTER SAYETH: If we hope to reach a relatively healthy and happy old age, in addition to healthy eating, exercise, and so forth, perhaps we should study old movies, radio shows, comic strips & so forth and MEMORIZE the wonderful snappy comeback lines as part of our armor against the con artists & traveling salesmen & (women) who will inevitably try to sell us the Brooklyn Bridge. LETS ALL learn phrases such as, "DO I LOOK LIKE I JUST FELL OFF A TURNIP TRUCK?", "Scram, Sam!" and "Oh, so you're sellin' something huh? Well I ain't buyin' any!" These colorful phrases worked for our parents & grandparents- let's keep 'em in circulation! As for bots, bugs, and malware..... well that's a diferent story!

Santa Monica, CA

Dear Debbie, YOU SAID IT SISTER! Seriously, I feel the same way. If I need help, I'll ask for it. Betty

Santa Monica, CA

Which does not mean of course that I don't appreciate GENUINE offers of help from people who truly want to help!

Newark, DE

Betty - you're so funny! But… at the same time you make a valid point. No one wants a stranger to tell them what to do with their own stuff, much less pay out the wazoo for them to do so. Yes they would be more critical about the “stuff” than you, which could be a good thing if you or anyone else is the type that can’t let go of stuff. You have already proven you are not like that since you have started donating to Goodwill and a neighbor. I agree if there are two friends, neighbors or better yet, sisters or something where there is an understanding relationship – and they want to help - now THAT would be a gift! Even of not a sister but a relative may help you find homes for things you might otherwise hold on to. For instance, that milk glass candy dish with hand painted violets would be lovely but you don’t need it, nor have a place for it – but it was your grandmothers and you might have guilt about selling at an Antique dealer or donating it – but if that relative helping you happens to know that your niece’s new home has a lavender bedroom, how great would that be? She gets a gift that matches her things and a part of the family history and you have found it a nice home. No guilt! If it is just a friend then she (or he) might like to have something you’re on the fence about – ta-da – an answer and it’s gone.


Santa Monica, CA

THE URBAN QUIPSTER just did THREE loads of laundry. 3 down, ten zillion to go. A SUPER HERO's work is never done!

Santa Monica, CA

I also did a load of BLACK laundry last night. I usually try to use super eco-friendly detergents like Ecover when I can afford it but for my black clothing I like Woolite for Dark Clothing. I don't know how eco-friendly it is but it really does seem to work well for dark stuff. Used a vinegar rinse instead of fabric softener. I'm also loading up another bag of STUFF to take to Goodwill. Listened to news on the radio for awhile today but most of it was SO depressing & when I'm depressed I'm not good for much of anything. Years ago a good friend, now deceased, told me that when upsetting things are going on all over the place & there's nothing you can do, JUST DO WHAT YOU CAN TO BRIGHTEN YOUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD.

Santa Monica, CA

OKAY- Back to work. It is SO hot & I don't have A/C. Turned on the fan but before I do anything else I'm going to: *Mend two torn sleeveless summer dresses. *Inspired by one of the other threads, I'm going to try to clean my shower head. Ready, set, go!

Santa Monica, CA

PROGRESS UPDATE: 1) Cleaned the shower head- yay! 2) Took another bag of stuff to Goodwill-yay! 3) STARTED mending the dresses. Will have to continue that later.

Santa Monica, CA

Right now I'm dealing with paperwork. Sorting and organizing medical records, bank statements, etc. Yes, old-fashioned hard copy. And shredding junk mail & other stuff with personal info on if. I think I'd rather be cleaning toilets or dealing with moldy, slimy stuff in the back of the fridge. NOT that there IS moldy stuff in the back of the fridge. Well of course, I'd MUCH rather be acting, making jewelry, doing hand embroidery, paper crafts or a zillion other FUN things. But when dealing with moldy, slimy, nasty things I think the "yuck" factor produces a strong reaction which at least keeps me awake & on my toes. Shredding paper, for me, is as dull as dishwater. Actually, dishwater is FUN compared to paperwork so I think I'll be a bad girl and go wash the dishes. Is that what's known as procrastination?

Santa Monica, CA

Hmm. Boatleaf Betty has hit a bit of a brick wall when it comes to said dreaded chore of organizing & tossing papers. In fact, it could be said that she has fallen into a bit of a MIND MUDDLE. Somehow, in the midst of dealing with various challenges in the so-called "real world", Betty forgot that her alter-ego, which she shall slip into now, is indeed THE URBAN QUIPSTER. THE URBAN QUIPSTER is a super-hero, (or heroine if you prefer) who is capable of ANYTHING!

Santa Monica, CA

Oh dear, I'm certainly not a super-hero today. I am just a woman sorting thru old papers, a job which for some reason or other causes my 'inner critics' to behave in the nastiest ways. Oh my goodness, the meanest, nastiest creatures are inhabiting my imagination today & for some reason or other they LOVE clutter & absolutely DO NOT want me to clean this stuff up. Nevertheless, I continue to wrestle with it. &#*%@!!!

Santa Monica, CA

CARPET BEETLE: Did you know that Boatleaf Betty is sorting thru her papers & throwing things away? DUST MITE: This means war. Quick, call the Wicked Witch of the West. We need to make her fall asleep & have horrible nightmares.

Santa Monica, CA

I finally got the idea to make a 'Gratitude List' and every time one of those negative, critical 'inner voices' came up ("what's wrong with her? she's not going to make any progress...... look what a failure she is....... what in the world makes her think she's going to make any progress at this point in her life?") I wrote down something that I was thankful for. It is really amazing how well this worked. There was simply no room for all that useless, negative nonsense. I was able to focus again, I was able to find & organize some very important papers that I had been looking for, and I was also able to throw a lot away.

Newark, DE

Oh Betty - you're too funny!

I certainly understand the paperwork debacle. I HATE paperwork and it is something that never ends. I have been able to get rid of most things though when I sat and gave them some thought. For instance, why did I have the warranty to a 10 year old can opener and toaster in my folder of warranties? I mean really, if it quit working even in the warranty time (which would also be too long to return it to the store) it would cost as much in postage to send it wherever than a new one costs. Now, things like that, when I buy them, I hold onto the box and paperwork until I have tried it and if they work it all gets trashed. Obviously things like the washer and dryer are different because they have “exploded diagrams” in them with all the parts and their numbers listed. I have used them in buying new parts and fixing things so I do keep that type. The little things though – there is no point. After my house was burglarized last September and I lost so much in value, both monetary and sentimental, I no longer feel a need to hold onto other things. I trashed several boxes of old cards from family because I realized the people and memories are not attached to stuff – in the end it is just STUFF. They and the memories live on in my heart, mind and soul. My house and I are a work in progress but it is coming along.

I too think I do better when I focus on the positive and am grateful, rather than the negative and be frustrated. It is sort of like darkness. There is no such thing. Darkness is merely the absence of light. So if I focus on the positive and with it gratitude, there is no room for the negativity and all it carries. It is easier said that done, but I too am a work in progress.

Debbie

Santa Monica, CA

I'm in the midst of shredding papers. Unfortunately my mind has gone back to a negative place but right now I can't worry about that. I just have to force myself to shred this stuff. MAYBE it's not necessary to shred all of it. However, at this point I think it will take less energy just to do it than to debate with myself over this point! JUST FOR TODAY, I think my motto has to be, "No pain, no gain."

Santa Monica, CA

Well, I am continuing to deal with those papers (yecch!) but I have to take breaks in order to preserve my sanity! Maybe I should note here that a couple of weeks ago I bought some more organizing supplies. I bought a bulk package of clear 'sheet protectors' (on sale) for organizing papers in my binders. I also happened to stop into the local Goodwill (where I usually BRING things) on a day when, by the luck of the draw, they had loads of magazine organizers (for bookshelves) on sale- CHEAP. I don't care what ANYBODY says: I may toss the old copies of PEOPLE, but I am NOT throwing my wonderful old craft or gardening magazines away!

Santa Monica, CA

Well I have been go-go-going since Saturday afternoon. Note: I am not a vampire nor (note to psychiatrists) am I bipolar. I DO sleep. In fact, I slept most of Friday. However, I not only have the luxury of spending my days cleaning, I have been ORDERED to clean (huh?). I also MUST find & organize certain papers ASAP. So I'm drinking coffee and simply doing what I have to do.

Santa Monica, CA

Okay. That's it! Time to get some sleep!

Newark, DE

Hi Betty,

I can understand what you’re saying. If anything puts me in a real funk it is dealing with paperwork. It is a never ending chore because we are inunadated with it and more comes in the mail everyday. I used to set it aside to get to later and then I’d have a pile on the table in no time. Now I just take the mail to the garbage can when it comes in. If it is a bill it gets paid right then so it is never late or lost. If it is any credit card app or anything like that it is shredded and all the rest - into the can it goes. I don’t shred all the junk mail or old papers, only things with my info &/or account numbers. It isn’t necessary and it takes a lot of time to shred it all. BUT – sometimes shredding can be therapeutic! So if it helps you to do what you need to do and get rid of more – shred away!

I hope you find the things you need and can then have them in your protective sleeves and binders. That is the way to go – decrappify AND get organized at the same time! See… you are getting a 2-fer that way! I see nothing wrong with holding onto the craft and gardening magazines. Most of us on here are into one or both of those things and I am sure most also keep them. Having the magazine holders for a shelf will make a big difference too because then they can be kept neatly.

I’d say you were meant to visit Goodwill that day – just what you needed and on sale too! You’ll get there – just keep trudging along. What’s that old saying? – “The longest journey begins with the fist step” (or something like that). Well I think you have done more than made just the first step. Each one afterwards is easier than the one before. You go girl! We’re pulling for you!

Debbie

Santa Monica, CA

Thanks Debbie!

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