Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cleaning Update 3-23-2010

Things I cleaned today:
  • 2 loads of dishes
  • 1 load of laundry
  • the dining room table so it's clean enough to eat off of. 
No that doesn't mean that the table is "Clean", just that 2/3rds of it are.  No time today for pictures, and the next several posts will probably be more about next steps and planning rather than actual cleaning.  

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Recycling Day! Plus Cleaning Update 3-21-2010

Well Recycling Day was a success:
  • all of the cans of expired food got emptied
  • an entire pickup truck bed full of recycling
  • more than 4 black trash bags full of trash left the apartment today
  • 4 loads of dishes got washed
  • 2 loads of laundry were washed
  • the couch was completely unearthed from under it's papers and other clutter
  • the dining room table got similar de-papering treatment.
  • the front hall is now cleared of styrofoam, closed-cell foam, and boxes
  • all but 1 of the kitchen counters are de-cluttered and freshly scrubbed (with my nifty new skoy "paper-towel" cloth and Windex)
Today was scheduled to be a big day thanks to one reader's offer to move all my recycling at once rather than in small chunks.  Many thanks to that reader and my other helpers for all their work in Operation Recycle.

I started today's cleaning by finally emptying and rinsing the expired food discovered on a pre-blog mission to only have non-expired food in my fridge and pantry.  After some discussion over the past few days I decided to tackle this by rinsing the fluids down the kitchen sink, dumping the solids into a double bagged kitchen trashbag (which specifically had absorbent trash from the rest of the apartment), and then tying off both bags, and hauling them to the dumpster IN the trashcan to avoid springing a leak or tear.

The pile of cans which needed to be emptied before Operation Recycle commenced

The cans running scared from their empty and clean future...

Overall I was impressed with how easily this went.  I saw sell-by and best-by dates from as far back as 2002 and 2003.  Despite the fact that some of it was labeled as best-by 7-8 years ago, nothing LOOKED especially bad.  There was 1 can of 2005 tomato sauce that released a little bit of pressure when I opened it.  The can of red enchilada sauce was a bit odoriferous, and the ragu's were a VERY dark red, but smelled fine.

Aside from the sweetened condensed milk which needed a couple rounds of rinsing & soaking, everything else came out smoothly w/ a spatula, shake, soak, and rinse.

The cans all cleaned and emptied for inclusion in Operation Recycle
I worked on getting all of the cans, glass, and paper recycling presorted before the troops arrived.

It is impressive just how much we were able to empty, recycle, and trash in less than 2 hours.

The black bags are filled w/ the contents of expired ramen, expired pretzel rods, and heaps of styrofoam.  The white can contains the contents of the expired cans.

And now for the star of our show, 1 truck full of recycling:

Phone books, cat litter containers, glass, paper, cans, and heaps of cardboard all on their way to become new products.
With more than an entire pickup truck less stuff, my apartment is now so spacious I actually said "WOW" and stopped dead in my tracks to look around this evening when walking into the Junk Room.

*UPDATE*: For those of you who wanted pictures of the Junk Room, check out this previous post.

Here is how things look now:
Yes there's still stuff in here, but there WAS a whole pile of boxes on top of the stuff that remains

All that's left of the Wall of Kitty Litter (a.k.a. Project Guppy & Brine Shrimp tank)

Yes that's actually open wall and floor space.

More floor, no boxes

I can actually put my fan in the window again. 

Just that is a huge accomplishment and prepares me for the next phase of Project Clean Apartment.  I now have sufficient space to start creating piles, areas, and sections for items to be kept, sold, donated to good will, recycled, or trashed.

Here is how the futon and kitchen counters look now that they are clean.

Every inch is free of paper or clutter and ready for sitting or kitty snuggling.

It feels so nice to have what little counter space I have back from the expired cans.

Note my nifty new skoy cloth on the sink handle, it's like a paper towel and a cloth at the same time.  They are supposed to take the place of 15 paper towel rolls.

The counter to the left still needs to be cleaned up a bit, but just look at how that oven and right counter shine!

New video of the Junk Room:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cleaning Update 3-16-2010

Things I cleaned today:
  • The mess an old exploded coke can left (with the remnants of my Magic Eraser)
  • Counters (with Windex)
  • Litterbox & surrounding area (also w/ Windex)
  • 1 load of dishes
So prior to the blog I have had several fridge cleaning sessions with friends.  On the last round of "but I need that, that can't POSSIBLY be expired already", I grudgingly gave in and agreed to discard an old can of coke.

Right after the last fridge cleaning session I also did a pantry cleaning session and set aside all of the cans that are expired.  My dilemma is that all of these canned goods are:
  1. Expired
  2. In cans which can be recycled
  3. Still full of food (which is now expired)
I have been delaying the best solution to this b/c of the cold.  My thinking is that the best solution is to bring a can opener, a box for empty cans, and my expired stockpile to the dumpster and go to town.

As a result, my can of expired Coke has been sitting on the edge of my sink.

Imagine my surprise today when I discovered it had exploaded and leaked all over my Magic Eraser, 2 sponges, and box of Baking Soda I use for cleaning at the sink.

The spill was VERY thick and sticky which is odd because when I opened the can (it leaked through some invisible hole in the side) what I poured out looked the consistency/fluidity of regular Coke.

Since I really DON'T want to see the inside of any of the other cans, I obviously need to have my little dumpster excursion soon.

The offending can
Yep, it even got the blender

Notice that it's all over my pile of sponges

In response to some of my commenters, yes I agree that it's time to tackle the Recycling in a big way.  Yes it IS bad to simply move the clutter from place to place, but having a Junk Room is a wonderful thing because it allows me to make VERY visible progress quite quickly, something which helps to provide the motivation to continue working.

I think moving the recycling en-masse is a good way to move on to the stage I'm dreading...separating the things which I have been saving for years in to groups to sell, give, or trash.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cleaning Update 3-14-2010

Happy Pi Day Everyone!

In honor of Pi Day I ate Oreos and cleaned:

  • 1 load of laundry
  • 2 loads of dishes
  • 1/4 of the dining room table
  • the floor behind the futon
  • hung a painting up
  • cleaned and found a home for the tile table I made in school
Cleaning the floor behind the futon entailed moving 2 boxes of books from home into the JunkRoom, as well as breaking down boxes and putting the cardboard in the pile of cardboard recycling.

So while the area behind the futon is now cleaned and vacuumed, it comes at the expense of some more JunkRoom space. 

I recognize that this just makes the JunkRoom that much more difficult to tackle, but the progress and regained space makes me feel just great.

The kitties are all excited that they have this area back.  (Tho they probably will miss the giant box they jumped into and out of all the time).

The box had a fake mouse inside which may be the reason they spent so much time in the box.

The wall pre-painting...and a little shot of the printer which needs a home aside from the coffee table.

The area before I liberated the kitty's playtoys.  The table turned out to be a convenient landing pad for kitties jumping out of the big box.
The painting in it's new home.
A very happy kitty surveying the exciting new expanse I have created for her and her mother to romp in.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cleaning Update 3-13-10

Things I cleaned today:
  • 2 loads of dishes
  • 1 load of laundry
  • put away travel stuff from 2 bags
  • put away xmas gifts & boxes from xmas gifts
I'm expecting to find a whole new surface tomorrow.  It is likely to be one of the following:
  1. The coffee table
  2. The dining room table (at least the 3/4 of it needed to seat 3)
  3. The floor behind the futon.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cleaning Update 3-9-2010

I cleaned today:
  • Filled a box with scrap papers
  • Filled a box w/ junk magazines 
  • Did a load of dishes

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cleaning Update 3-8-2010

Things I cleaned today:
  • Took 3 paper boxes full of recycling to be recycled
And that's about it.  It's a 6 month marathon, not a sprint.  Tomorrow should be more productive.

I have LOADS of recycling to take, but I think a slow and regular drop-off is the best plan.

At some point that mountain of cat-litter containers need to make their way to be recycled.

For several years I was SURE I was going to use some silicone caulk, tubing, and water to create an outdoor fishtank to put on my balcony.  Or perhaps raise brine shrimp in a lower level, and guppies or mollys in the upper levels (so that the brine shrimp get higher salinity, and the guppies have the brackish water they like.

But now I just need to save a couple of them to use to refill with cat litter from my local pet supply store which allows me to fill my own containers at 25 cents a pound for "premium" clumping litter.

Today's offering to the recycling gods.  All the plastics pre-sorted to save time when I drop them off.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cleaning Update 3-7-2010

I cleaned the following today:
  • 1 load of laundry
  • 1 load of dishes
  • the sink and mirror in the bathroom
This finishes off making the bathroom clean and presentable.  All new towels and everything has been cleaned.

Entry to bathroom with washed bathmat

Providing angle to connect location of sink, toilet, and tub.

Freshly scrubbed tub, washed curtain, washed & bleached blue mat

Scrubbed and cleaned counter and spotless mirrors

A toilet so clean you can...nah, I still wouldn't eat off of it.  But it really is clean now.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cleaning Update 3-6-2010

I cleaned the following today:
  • 2 loads of dishes
  • Mopped Bathroom floor (w/ last of Lysol Pine All Purpose Cleaner)
  • Scrubbed toilet
  • Washed Tub
  • Washed Bathroom rug in washing machine(w/ Tide Free & 20 Mule Team Borax)
  • Washed Shower curtain and Bathmat in washing machine (w/ Borax)
  • Rewashed Bathmat (w/ Bleach)
  • Added the containers I emptied into the appropriate box for a recycling run

The Junk Room

This room was originally intended to either be the "Reading Room" or "Office" or "Project Room".  Sometime in the last 4 years it has been known exclusively as "The Junk Room".

Top Middle of Junk Room
Bottom Middle of Junk Room
Top of Closet
Bottom of Closet
Looking into Junk Room
Entry to Junk Room

Video of Junk Room

The Closet (Video)

The Beginning

In college I lived in an 8 bedroom house with 7 friends. I lived in that house for a total of 2 years, and was the first person to move in, and the last person to move out.

As such I knew everything that had been "left" by 2 years of college friends. Unfortunately I took pretty much everything with me.

I come from a family of packrats who consider me a hoarder.

5+ years later the 2 bedroom apartment I moved into is still overfull of stuff.

The purpose blog is to document my progress in cleaning the apartment.

I have been fighting clutter and my hoarding tendencies for the past 2-3 years, with a stronger push in the last year.

The catalyst for creating this blog was my reading the following post on Get Rich Slowly:

My Goal: An apartment in which I feel comfortable entertaining friends, family, and coworkers.

My Timeline: 6 months from 3-6-2010