Monday, August 3, 2020

Don't Retire My Master Bedroom!

Should the term “master bedroom” be retired?

The term “master bedroom” should not be retired. A prospective homeowner knows it will be the largest room in the home, probably have a large en-suite bathroom and a large closet. It might have a sitting area. It generally is used by the owner of the home. Some of the newer homes have a “mother-in-law suite,” which is a duplicate of the “master bedroom.” Multi-generational houses often have this feature.

Of course, I grew up in a time where there was only one bathroom with running water—if you were lucky. Mom and dad should have had the biggest bedroom; however, their three daughters and a grandmother occupied it.

The bathroom was added years after acquiring the house. Yes, we had an outhouse and took baths in the kitchen in a tin tub next to the wood cookstove which heated the kitchen.

My current 1925 mill home doesn’t have a master bedroom in a sense the term brings to mind. I do not find the term offensive in any way. We have one bathroom located off the hallway that used to be part of the back porch.

It is time to get over this, “I find whatever offensive mindset.” Terms, names, buildings, streets, are not offensive unless the so-called offended are small-minded. Life is too short to hunt terms and things to declare offensive.

Find something real with which to be offended. Come up with solutions, make them happen, write letters to the politicians. Run for office. Make the corner of the world that you live in better, look for the good in others, pay your blessings forward, and live!


Upgrading Your Taste?

How do I upgrade my taste in clothing, furniture, and home decor?

Decide what your current style is. Do a storyboard of styles you like. You can use Pinterest as a digital source. Go for quality over quantity.

A wardrobe of 10 to 15 well-fitting mix-and-match pieces of clothing is better than a closet full of trendy outfits that will be out of style in a year. I love the program, "What not to Wear." Pick flattering clothing styles that are not too small or big. Wear proper foundation clothing before trying on and buying the outer garment.

Get the foundation garments that fit you currently, not the mythical "when I lose/gain weight."

Try on all of your current clothes. Keep only the clothes that fit correctly, you like, and that makes you feel good about yourself. You will notice a trend in the clothes that make you feel good about yourself. You will probably find a "core" color/style that dominates your clothing. The clothing should skim the body, not envelope or sausage it.

You should be able to walk in your shoes, note your feet get longer as you age because your arches flatten. Shoes should not hurt your back or your feet.

If you are frequently moving, keep that in mind when purchasing furniture.

Remember, you need to clean under and around furniture and keep the size relative to the room in mind.

Every room should have mobility space in it. Choose storage or dual-purpose furniture pieces if open space is at a premium.

Visit retail furniture stores to see how sets of furniture are displayed. Doing so will give you an idea of the styles and material that you want in your home.

Follow the maximum that less is more. After all, you'll have to clean and dust everything you put into your home. Go to some house openings that brokers are showing to get an idea of how to present home styles. Look at houses that are representative of your home. Many times professionals stage the homes for sale.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Don't rent storage

How do you declutter a house without renting storage?
Have a plan, a vision for the room or home.
  • Remove things to end destination as you progress on the decluttering process.
  • Trash first is an easy way to let things go.
  • Large furniture, rent/borrow a truck, and some sturdy friends. Take it out and away.
  • Clothing, bag it and donate or trash it.
  • Smaller stuff, box for donation, trash it or deliver it.
  • The process is the same, sort and box/bag items, and get rid of the items as you go.
  • Hoarding situation, rent a dumpster and have at it.
  • Retain only the things that fit your current lifestyle. Let the rest go. Do not keep maybe things. 
Consider the cost of storage. The items that you hold in a paid storage facility should be irreplaceable; chances are, they will fit in a couple of boxes. (Keep backup information on flash drives in a safe place or the cloud. Not in a storage facility.)
If your house or room were to catch on fire, right now, what three things would you take with you? Hum, don’t need storage for that, do you? We can bump the number to ten; the same premise applies.

Aversions for Cleaning

Why do some people develop psychological aversions towards cleaning?

They need an attitude adjustment.

  • Haven’t been taught pride in cleaning things the right way
  • Haven’t been shown that they are responsible for their personal space’s appearance
  • Haven’t been taught the right way to clean
  • Haven’t been trained how to clean efficiently
  • Don’t like the labor involved in cleaning
  • Don’t have the proper tools
  • Are allergic to the chemicals involved
  • Have had a bad experience cleaning something
  • Were trained to clean by someone that did not make it a positive experience
When you teach someone the efficient way to clean effectively and praise them for a job well done, they might not like doing the task; however, pride in themselves for completing the cleaning job well is priceless.

Always positively teach someone. Do not berate, holler, or shame the person you are preparing for the way that they complete the job. Give positive reinforcement when teaching someone to clean.

Many adults do not know the correct cleaning methods for specific tasks. They did not learn how to clean in the past, or they had an ineffective or detrimental teacher.

If you need to look up how to clean something correctly, YouTube has some fantastic videos.

As for me, I now dance with my mop. Beats having my back hurt from using a bad technique.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Environmentally responsible things to do when decluttering

Environmentally responsible things to do when decluttering

  • Practice Swedish Death Cleaning
  • Only keep things that work for you in the present
  • Recycle things that can go in recycle bin
  • Freecycle
  • Sell items online
  • Gift items
  • Donate to charity
  • Donate to fundraisers for causes that you support
  • Have a yard sale
  • Sell to a reseller

What else do you do?

Monday, June 22, 2020

"How does house cleaning reduce stress and anxiety?"

I gave a Quora response to, "How does house cleaning reduce stress and anxiety?"

Ok, here goes.

Look at your living room, kitchen, bathroom right now.

There's a knock on the door. Your best friend has decided to throw a surprise party for you. She's brought everything for the party, food, supplies, guests, including your boss and coworkers!

You open the door. Heck, you haven't even had a cup of coffee or combed your hair.

Do you slam the door or welcome them?

If the house is clean, you're golden, no stress, no worries.

However, if the kitchen had not been cleaned since dinner last night, wet towels from the shower are on the floor, books and snack debris is in the living room, well, do you want your friends and coworkers to think you live like this all the time?

By widespread consensus, social opinion has determined that whether or not a home is clean and neat is a reflection on the female in the home. Married or partner, it's a reflection on the lady of the house. But guys, it's your home too! How many times has the woman in your life "nagged" you to pick up, to help?

If the home is clean, you've made the bed, and no one has marked their territory by leaving items around holding their "space," then you and your household are better prepared to meet life's little surprises.

Trigger warning, passive aggression contained!

And ladies, if the guys won't help, cleaning the house all by yourself, is a great stress reliever. After all, you are channeling your suppressed anger for an inconsiderate, lazy, non-caring, do-nothing household member(s) into cleaning the house!

Excuse me, please, I've, um, got to do a quick sweep of the house before I become the triggering family member.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Why we hold onto things--see if you figured it out

Jenna's Quilt,  by Carolyn Overcash for a writing class

Jenna folded the quilt and placed it carefully into her grandmother's trunk, wiping away a tear as she thought about what she would say to Milton in the morning. Milton hadn't wanted Jenna to come to her grandmother's funeral, much less clear out the home to rent or sell.

The quilt is the last item to be packed away; it is tangible proof of her grandmother's love. Jenna was seven-years-old when she and grandmother started making the crazy quilt. It took them three years to finish it. They used clothing from when she was a baby and toddler, some of her mom and dad's, and some of grandma and grandpa's clothes. As they sewed, grandmother talked to her about her mom and dad growing up as next-door neighbors. She learned how they grew close while doing church activities; how they fell in love and married. Grandmother helped her connect with her parents as they sewed the quilt. The chest was the hope chest grandmother had as a child; it had been her mother's, too; now, it is hers.

As she stroked the stitches on the quilt, Jenna thought about her relationship with Milton. Milton's demands have been increasing in the past few months. He is pressing her to let him move in with her.

This past month, away from him, has solidified her resistance to cohabitating with Milton. He's calling her two or three times a day, wanting to know when she'll be back. He's angry that she is not there to play hostess to dinner meetings for his employer’s partners in her townhouse. He has told her that her home is perfect for entertaining the partners. Milton berates her telling her that she is selfish by staying away.

Staying in her last childhood home has Jenna reevaluating what she wants in her life. She is meeting old friends, enjoying working with her Christian friends on various community projects, and finding joy in singing once again.

Jenna is thankful that her grandmother kept her and raised her when her grandfather and parents died in a head-on collision. They never had a chance when that drunk driver crossed the road and met their car as they were coming home from the airport. Grandmother and Jenna were alive because Jenna stayed home to get ready for the church cantata in which she and grandmother were both singing.
Jenna was upset and angry when her parents and grandpa were not in the church sanctuary, where they usually sat before the cantata. Grandmother helped her deal with her regret and survivor's guilt after the sheriff came to the church to let her and grandma know what happened. Jenna found peace and acceptance with God's plan as they sewed the quilt.

Jenna sobs as she strokes various pieces of clothing, her mom's wedding dress, dad's wedding tux, part of the christening gown her little brother would have worn if he hadn't died in the crash too, never having a chance to be born. She pulls the quilt back out of the trunk and wraps it around her, wraps the memories and love that it represents around her. Her fingers touch the fancy embroidery that outlines the pieces. Here is the first piece Jenna added to the quilt. The stitches are uneven with her childish first attempts. The elegant piece of material next to it is her grandmother's work, where she encompassed Jenna's piecing and made Jenn's first attempts at sewing appear part of the quilt's design.

Jenna remembers what her grandmother said that day, as she combined the two pieces, "Baby, we must always do our best. Others will add to our efforts. The ending result will glorify God. All of us have a purpose in this old world. We'll never know when something small we do touches someones' life for His glory. This piece is lovely, child, sewn with love, the very best sewing you could do. As you learn more and add more scraps, your stitching will get better, but even then, it will still be, just the best that you can do. And God will still use all of it for His Glory!"

Jenna gulps, sighs, wipes her eyes, blows her nose, and places the quilt to the side. She gets up and goes into the bathroom. After washing her hands and splashing her face, Jenna goes back to the trunk. She retrieves a scrap of cloth and adds it to the quilt, finishing the stitching around it with a lovely design in gold thread. Finally done, she pats the final piece, folds the quilt, and puts in back in the trunk.

Right before Jenna closes the lid, she once again touches the final piece, an angel made from a section of the hem of the dress grandma was going to wear to Jenna's wedding. Jenna wants to think of her grandma wearing that dress throughout eternity. Jenna sighs as she pinches her nose between her eyes then rubs the back of her neck at the base of her skull.

Jenna recalls Milton's objections to her coming back home. As her grandmother's only living relative, Jenna had to go home to clean and pack things up. Milton wanted her to skip the funeral and pay someone to pack up the house. That just wasn't right. Tomorrow Jenna meets with Lawyer Davis for the reading of the will. She has been using the upcoming meeting as an excuse to hold off on going back to the city immediately.

Her lips press together in a firm line as she walks determinedly out of the room. She'll talk to Milton in the morning. He won't like what she has to say. She cannot deal with him right now. He and she are through; he just doesn't know it yet!