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Three Magic Words for a Clean Home and a Better Life

Not a natural tidying and organizing whiz? Take hope in one short phrase that can change your life forever Full Story
     Comment   July 9, 2014
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At my house it is not only things that have fallen out of place, it is doors and drawers left open. Somehow, gaping openings with perfectly functional means of closure make a place look as cluttered as things left haphazardly on surfaces where they do not belong.
May 27, 2013 at 3:39pm     
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barneal likes 4 comments on an ideabook

9 Exit Strategies for Your Clutter

How to efficiently — and regularly — rid your home of the things you don’t want Full Story
     Comment   July 9, 2014
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I need help managing paper! My husband and i each have our own drawer near the kitchen. His is full of neat plastic folders with strange words like 'Bills - Paid' on them. Mine is a jumble of every catalogue, article, ripped out piece of newspaper interest, empty seed packets, paint chips etc etc. It is full to overflowing and I have no idea how to organise it. On the odd occasion I try to tidy it I never get past the first layer because I always end up reading/playing with the stuff. And then it goes back in. I need a system to store or declutter it! Any ideas??
July 9, 2014 at 1:52am     
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Rivka Leiner
Clothes, furniture, appliances these are easy for me and don't clutter. Our last kid is out and i keep a small dresser of spare sox, underwear and pjs for sudden grandchild needs. My problem is papers. I am working on my MA, working at home, am the go to print/fax/copy station for my married kids. Ad the reciepts and papers that need to be kept for my business and important documents and we drown in paper. It doesn't take that long to get rid of the junk but sorting the needed stuff almost never gets done because it is SO time consuming.
July 9, 2014 at 2:22am     
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Anne Pratt
I love the de-cluttering advice, and will probably put some of it to use. But the best advice is to stop buying all this stuff! How much money have we spent on items that sit unused? Can you imagine if you had saved all that money? Not to mention the ecological value of using, buying, and wasting less. We can put money in our pockets and save the planet. Go for a walk, go to a museum, work in the garden, work in the soup kitchen, read a book. Making shopping our "entertainment" is costing us, spiritually, and environmentally.
July 9, 2014 at 10:41am     
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re: corinncampbell's "No More Gifts"
- CREATE a memory: tickets to an event; fees for a workshop, camp, or lessons; regular or special time together conversing over coffee, ice cream, or cocktails; teaching/learning a skill (cooking, sewing, using a tool, helping at a charity, etc.)
- STORE memories: appliances (photo scanners, cameras, old audio/video technology to new converters, etc.) or volunteered time to help accomplish those tasks (like loading a parents' lp/cd entire collection into an iPod or taking digital photos of cherished items & writing identification on those & old family photos; spontaneous or guided interviews about a person's life & what they've found significant)
- SAVE memories: set up proper "back-up systems" not just for computers (3rd copy stored off-site!) but for personal identity & estate documents, passwords, etc.
- LIMIT FRUSTRATION: set up a way for next-of-kin to deal with person in medical crisis, etc. (include plans for pet & houseplant care, incoming mail & parcels, list of current medications, ...)
- HELP: cab/bus fare, rides to grocery or medical appointments, gift certificates for regularly-used services/items (hair cuts, postage stamps, car fuel)

And lastly, DO GIVE (New or Cherished) ITEMS when you know they're needed/wanted but always give them completely, allowing the recipient to do with them what they please.
July 9, 2014 at 11:37am     
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barneal commented on an ideabook

How to Add a Backyard Shed for Storage or Living

Need a home office, a playspace or extra room for your stuff? Learn about off-the-shelf, prefab and custom sheds Full Story
     Comment   July 8, 2014
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@ladytee17, Yes, our carpenter is wonderful! He actually designed the shed around the lower windows which we got free for hauling from an older house undergoing a big remodel while the shed was still a vague idea in my mind. The upper windows came from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and the fiber cement siding was bought for a pittance from a local building supply store's clearance of broken lots, etc. Curtains from Big Lots. I did pay regular price for the roof shingles. The most expensive part of the project was the concrete foundation and the labor, of course. The whole thing cost less than $10k, though.
July 8, 2014 at 10:03am   
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great idea
July 18, 2014 at 9:11am   
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I built this Irish garden shed from salvaged materials, mostly found on the 40acre parcel I own. The walls are made of dried black locust rounds, the beams from white pine I squared with an adz. The brick floor came from an old outhouse, I just set them in sand. The double door from two other sheds. I bought some treated 4x4 for the rafters and bottom plates. Made two windows and found the third. Splurged on cedar shakes for shingles. Built 11 years ago and have needed no maintenance. We really like it.
10 hours ago   
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