Isn't she gorgeous? As a storage solution I'm not sure those couple of drawers in her skirt cut it, but as a decorative object she caught my eye. In case you're wondering, I found this lovely lady in a hotel in the Black Forest area of south west Germany. I'd love to think she's an antique but who knows?
Sadly, however, she isn't the answer to my problem. And boy, do I have a problem. I live in a comfortable house that has built-in cupboards in every bedroom and lots of kitchen cupboards but somehow the place is overflowing. It's true only one of the family is ruthless at throwing things out but still... You see I find myself in the situation of temporarily storing things for three generations of family. There's a stack of material for someone who's in the process of moving countries. There are boxes of keepsakes being kept for cousins who live interstate and asked me to mind these items after my aunt died. They haven't been by to collect yet. There are all my author book copies (which I keep whittling down but which keep arriving).
The result is that we now have a Room of Requirement, as in Harry Potter. If you can't find something it will probably be in that room, which used to be a bedroom and which I had my eye on as a personal study, but which now is a jumble of boxes, books, clothes, kitchen equipment etc.
Lest you think I'm just letting this happen without putting up a fight, you're wrong. Every time I have a spare weekend in between family commitments and deadlines (rarer than you think) I go in and start wading through to weed out things that can be eradicated or passed on to someone. But as fast as I manage it, something else arrives. Months ago I had a real win and after much work, got rid of a heavy box jam-packed with stuff. An hour later, out of the blue, a friend sent two big packages of things she wanted stored safely. I almost cried. Those packages are still in their postal wrapping, just inside the door of the room that might, maybe, one day be my study if I could clear it.
Now, I know part of my problem is not saying no to family and another is just finding time to do a clear out. But there's the issue of how best to store what we've got. So, do you have any favourite tips for great ways to store things (anything from food to clothes to household paraphernalia). I'd love to hear!
Meanwhile, what's making me smile this month is the release of my latest Mills and Boon/Harlequin story INHERITED FOR THE ROYAL BED.
‘I now belong to you.’
He will finally claim his inheritance!
Four years after inheriting—and liberating—a concubine, powerful ruler Sayid is shocked to see the transformation of Lina. No longer shy and naive, she is a feisty, irresistible woman. And Sayid has never wanted anyone more! But, duty-bound to his country, Sayid can only commit to a brief affair. Will Lina accept his outrageous proposal of a week in the royal bed?
Firstly huge congrats on another awesome release this is a fabulous story one not to be missed I loved it :)
Storage this is going to be good and I will be looking for answers as well my house is also very cluttered and I know I really need to do a big de-clutter and soon but finding time is not always easy, I should spend at least an hour a day doing it and I would make some progress but there are so many good books to read LOL
I will be looking for some advice as well and I hope you can get it sorted a study would be just so good.
Helen, I agree. A dedicated study would be fantastic. Or a library. Good luck finding that hour a day. I sometimes do about 10 mins at a time and it's satisfying to find things to toss out or pass to someone else or reuse. But I need to do more.Delete
Thank you so much for the congratulations on the new book! I love this one.
I love that lady, Annie! She's fabulous. (Even if she takes up more room than she might offer in storage). :-)ReplyDelete
I so need to declutter...but where to find the time? The only thing I've taken to doing is buying most of my books as ebooks rather than paperbacks, and I don't doubt that's making a difference. Good luck getting that room as your study!
Thanks, Michelle. I'll keep trying. Yes, I buy more ebooks now but paperbacks still sneak in and I admit I love them.Delete
Isn't the lady pretty? I took to her straight away.
Ah Michelle. I hear your pain.ReplyDelete
I read recently about the hour of power. Whenever you get just a spare hour, you declutter like crazy. Just for an hour so it doesn't get overwhelming. I have lots of things on my hour of power list - clean out that second top kitchen draw (now done), take books back to a friend that I borrowed (now done), clean office (now mostly done). Just grabbing an hour here and there are being really, really focused - works like magic.
Also (and this is a lesson I'm still trying to learn) - say no to the next lot of stuff. Also (as I have done before), offer to post the stuff back to people who leave it with you or sell it off for them. My friends were happy for me to sell it for them which is pretty easy and then I just deposited the money in their account. Me - happy no clutter. Them happy - more money.
Congrats on the new book!!
Oh, such wise words, Jennifer. I need to be stronger, don't I? I really like the idea of an hour of concentrated work. I've done something like that on other things with success but not for an hour. I'll give that a go.Delete
Love the idea of posting things back, except they're all heavy. I might just have to send some reminders along the lines of - do you want them or will I get rid of them?
Thank you - so excited about Inherited for the Royal Bed.
So sorry Annie. I'm clearly insane as thought I saw Michelle's name at the top of this post. I've just marked 100 university assessments (2000 words each) so have obviously lost the plot!Delete
It sounds like decluttering has become a problem for all of us. I’m a terrible hoarder or collector as I prefer to say it. I love my things; books, teapots, teacups, wool, knitting needles. However I also end up with all the extras my children don’t have room for when they leave home. I usually keep their stuff for a year to 18 months then donate to charity ( they don’t miss it). Except books. I have boxes and boxes of books under beds. One great tip I’ve read to declutter is to throw out 5 things everyday. It’s quick and not too angsty for a hoarder. I do this for a month every now and then. There are loads of great posts on Pinterest about decluttering.ReplyDelete
Veronica, that's a great tip. Thank you so much. 5 things a day is definitely doable. I was trying to tackle one area at a time. I've had some success but I need to keep it up and not relax when more stuff seems to be coming in all the time!Delete
Like you, I don't get rid of books! :)
I did start doing the five things per day and I was taking photos to include it in my blog but things got in the way and it didn’t happen. But I like the idea so I may come back to it one day.Delete
Veronica, I'd never remember to take the photos! But the 5 things is a good idea.Delete
Welcome to my life Annie. Don't look at me for answers, I have one room full of boxes. My kids leave and come back and bring back more stuff than they leave with. Mainly my issue is my kids stuff from over thirty years of live and under, and can't chuck anything out from their younger years. Then I have my book collection, dvd collection which is bigger than my book one I think, both growing all the time. We have no storage area, very little cupboard space. Our solution was to build up, so double the space, nearly and still stock piling. :) Then there is my Middle Eastern collection, including Egypt.ReplyDelete
Oh, Jan, it sounds like your house is jam-packed. Hopefully your kids will settle soon and you won't have to store their stuff. Someone I worked with years ago deliberately turned each child's bedroom into something else when they left - a home gym, an office and a sewing room, and got rid of the beds!Delete
I have already done that to my eldest daughter's room now my writing library room, have to store my books somewhere and collection ;)Delete
I'd send them each an email (so it's in writing). Give a deadline to pick it up or it's going out to charity, a yard sale (for you to keep the money), or whatever. The deadline could be in two months. It could be longer, depending on where they live and how much time they need to get to your place. I would not offer to post it back to them at your own expense.ReplyDelete
"I have wanted a personal study for years now, and storing things for you, others, and myself has gotten in the way of that dream. I need you and the others to remove your items by such-and-such-a-date so I can then have the space to declutter my own items and make serious inroads to fulfilling my dream. If items are still here by such-and-such-a-date, they will be considered mine to do with what I wish (possession is 9/10 of the law), like donating to charity, for example. Please help me fulfill my dream by removing your items sooner rather than later. Thank you."
Perhaps they need a different kind of motivation. Could you offer to have said friends/family over for an "open house" or party once everything is removed and your own things reorganized? On the other hand, maybe you don't want to see these people again, LOL.
As for your books, I'm more indecisive. My own books have been stored in various places: a beautiful rattan dresser in my guest room, boxes in my crawl space, paper ream boxes in alphabetical order by authors in my office, some stacked in the order I wish to read them, some in stacked milk crates on their sides, etc. I have boxes of books by favourite authors that I want to keep (yours included), I set aside several bags of books by friends' favourite authors to give to them, I have books piled up to give to a girlfriend I see three times a year so she can give them to her mom in the retirement home to share with others, etc. Everything is labelled meticulously, but they certainly take up a lot of space (and don't get me going on eBooks, as I just deleted 201 Kindles on my computer yesterday that I had read ages ago).
Laney, you're so organised - good on you! Yes, I might write to the relatives about moving their stuff by a given date. As for those closer to home - we'll have to be patient a bit longer. :) I think getting to some of it and going through it all to label and reorganise would be a big step forward. I know there are some old books and magazines I'd wanted to give away and I was sorting through them when the last distraction occurred. I'll have to get back to it. Thanks for the suggestions.Delete
Oh, this is timely Annie. I'm facing a similar problem, except our Depository Room is currently being renovated by my dh who is reclaiming it as his office. In the meantime all the junk has been moved to #3 Son's bedroom.ReplyDelete
I've been instructed to sort through it, to decide what needs to stay and to find a place for those things. Before Son #3 next visits. And before the renovations are finished.
I'm going to adopt Jen's Hour of Power idea. That makes a huge task more manageable. Thanks Jen! And good luck with your sorting Annie.
Good luck to you too, Bron! I think that hour of power idea is a beauty.Delete
How nice about the renovations. Hope they're a huge success!
Fingers crossed for both of us.
I have a great tip, Annie - move! Worked like a charm for me :-)ReplyDelete
That’s a great idea. I should have thought of that. My Aunt did this. Moved out of her house and left almost everything, bought another house and new furniture. She just can’t get around the idea of selling the old house and all her memories.Delete