A New Beginning

My cataract surgery in 2008 was successful. My annual check ups were normal except for this time. For a few months, I have blamed my dirty eyeglasses for my blurry vision. I would clean and clean my eyeglasses but did not see any difference. It was time for my annual check up so I went to see Dr. Singh. His assistant knew that I did not need a new pair of eyeglasses and thinks a laser treatment will do the trick. Since I want to go to Virginia Beach no later than April 17, 2011, I asked if we could schedule me right away. Doing something to my eyes is so scary but I trusted Dr. Singh and he assured me I will be fine and my vision will improve almost immediately and it has. We will do my left eye on April 15, 2011. Dr. Singh said the treatment is permanent.

Meantime, I am renovating my kitchen, sending balibayan boxes to Solano, making decisions about the Solano property and how to divide it equitably, getting rid of clutter, shopping for great airfare, planning a reunion with my engineering classmates, packing my stuff, coaching my daughters… To manage the overwhelm, I devised a daily game plan and so far I am ahead. The placement of my furniture was not how I enjoyed it so I went ahead and rearranged all of them. There is a great feeling of being complete I cannot describe and the peace that comes with it – is awesome.

In the process of de-cluttering, I found old notes, notes on how to simplify my life, notes on what to do and by when, notes on what happened. My January 2004 is as follows:

1. Organize Photos – in photo boxes, give photos to siblings, scan and store in CD.

2. Sell or donate books. 3. Send usable items to Solano.

4. Throw out old magazines.

5. Donate old clothes, books and artifacts.

6. Clean out Chelsea’s room.

Note: Nov. 12, 2004 As I go over my old notes, I see some improvement in simplifying my life. The living room has less clutter, the dining room looks neater, the kitchen is cleaner, my bedroom looks more pleasant, the bathroom a lot nicer. I don’t touch Steve’s room because it starts a fight. I gave myself a timeline on when I will get these done as June 30, 2004. I don’t exactly know how or when this will happen but writing them down definitely have an effect. I have done most of the items 2 to 6. The photos are in photo boxes for now.

2005 Project Plan for House:

A. Chelsea’s bedroom – bring all her stuff to the basement. clean out the floor and walls, bring mattress from basement to create a guest room.

B. Basement and Stairwell – sort out and give away books, clothes, toys, artifacts; throw out unusable stuff; clean floor thoroughly; paint the walls with bright, warm color, buy shelves and organize.

C. Garage – Throw out useless stuff, clean up the mess, create shelves for paper craft and more stuff.

D. Dryer Area (under the front porch) – Throw out junk, clean out recyclable trash can, have dryer repaired.

E. Backyard – Remove dried plants, clean up debris, prepare garden.

F. Front yard – Remove dried plants, clean up debris, prepare for garden.

G. Living Room and Dining Area – Get rid of old magazines, do not renew subscriptions, clean out old files, keep up and clean furniture and floors.

H. Kitchen – Give away duplicate utensils, throw out old stuff, clean cabinets and keep up.

E. Lolita’s Bedroom – Decorate, clean and keep up.

F. Steve’s Bedroom – Don’t touch.

G. Chelsea’s Room – Storage

Big problem – Roof leak in bathroom and Chelsea’s room.

My notes continue to 2006 because of my limited success in getting my house organized and fun to live in.

2006 Project Plan for House

1. Living Room Purpose – receive guests, lead introductions, reading area, watch TV, home office, display art, photos, artifacts.

2. Dining Room Purpose – dinner, process paperwork, do homework, prepare notes, store china, etc., Baker’s Rack for kitchen items, calendar, entertain friends.

3. Kitchen Purpose – Cook food, store perishables, wash dishes, store dishes and utensils, food, food containers, process food, rinse and wash food items, store household chemicals.

4. Basement Purpose – Sort out and get rid of unwanted stuff, wash and dry clothes, store other household chemicals, store arts and crafts items, store artifacts, for office work, exercise…

5. Garage – Store more wanted or unwanted items.

Action Plan for the House

Living Room – Sort and purge files in credenza, decide what to give away, sort and cull baskets in coffee table, install wood blinds in picture window, re-pot plants, shampoo rug, treat wood cabinets with orange oil.

Dining Room – move large vases from the china cabinet to basement shelves, keep only pretty and useful items, organize Baker’s Rack, polish wood surfaces.

Kitchen – sort and purge items, degrease and polish wood cabinets, clean every nook and cranny, store unused appliances.

Basement – Sort and purge clothes, throw out old magazines and books, don’t buy anymore books unless I give away what I already have, do not accept books from others, use up old notebooks before starting a new one.

Garage – same as basement.

To keep myself inspired to keep up these chores, I ask myself a few questions. “How is your experience coming home to a cluttered house? What degree of clutter is livable to you? What are you avoiding, tolerating or are resigned to? How early in your life did you notice you began hoarding?

Basically, I am happy with the condition of my house. I am renovating the kitchen and expect to be finished by April 15. Spring is here again but I will not be around to take care of the outdoors because I will be in Virginia Beach creating a different sort of garden made of sugar. Maybe I will plant more lavender because lavender plants are perennials.


2 thoughts on “A New Beginning

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