Tag Archives: clutter

Celebrate Personal Victories?

by Kimberly A. Cook

Last week I finished a huge project. Mega big. Finished cleaning out my Dad’s basement workshop. This may sound like a small deal, but it was a humongo challenge. Been working on it for ten years. Off and on. Pretty on the past eight months.


One small part of my Dad’s workshop bench. Before.


So spent part of last week celebrating my accomplishment. Did wild and crazy things like a jammie day,  a massage, bought clearance beads and actually read a fiction book. There was also dark chocolate involved; I stocked up on six bags just to be sure I don’t run out this next month – Valentine’s Day!

I don’t think we celebrate our victories enough. We’re so used to rushing on to meet the next goal, project or to do list item, we don’t revel in the moment.  Celebrate all your achievements. What may seem like tiny victories mount up to big accomplishments.

It also recharges your battery. Which is why I could spend three hours on Sunday cleaning and rearranging the garage so I can get Subie’s car doors open. Parts of Dad’s shop ended up in my garage. Living room. Office. Exercise room. To be sorted later.


Workbench after. All built by Dad.  Quite the amazing man.


Time to celebrate with more chocolate. Plus I’m making big party plans to really commemorate this event by getting Subie detailed inside and out, replenishing my stock of no-stink BenGay and visiting the chiropractor.

After any mission, one must check equipment and do maintenance. Words to the wise.

I recruited help when I needed it too. It takes a platoon to accomplish most goals. Life is logistics.

One of the biggest hurdles was making sure tools and hardware went to non-profit organizations; Habitat for Humanity Restore and Tools 4 Troops got a lot. I know they will be used and help out families and veterans. Dad would like that too.

Got mega or mini victories to celebrate?

Party on!


Filed under Motivation

Trying To Get Organized?

by Kimberly A. Cook

At the end of each year my friend Carol and I say, “Next year we’re getting organized.” We’ve been saying that for more than thirty years now. I don’t think it’s taken. Not for lack of trying mind you. It comes down to stuff and paper. No matter how I try, eventually one day I’m overwhelmed. Today could be that day.


Spec Ops Cat got a new kitty cave bed last weekend. He loves it. Temporarily put it on the chair. Now it’s permanent. I could use a Kim cave myself.


It’s a constant battle. Stuff I can rotate and control to some degree; I purge clothes and books on a regular basis. Kitchen items and towels are a little harder. But paper really takes the cake.

One of the hazards of being a writer is clipping newspaper articles, hoarding books, keeping travel handouts and collecting office supplies. When you have a Scrat brain, every handout, business card and coupon can spark an idea.

Going digital hasn’t helped. The number of bookmark folders on my Samsung tablet alone are mind boggling. So I keep trying.

Add to the mix my Mom’s recent move and all kinds of interesting stuff ended up in my house to process. Of course, that has forced me to get rid of the leftover garage sale items to Goodwill so Subie can actually open her doors inside the garage.

Now, truth be told, if I hadn’t dragged home the wooden park bench from my Mom’s backyard that needs refinishing, the garage would have been okay. Kinda. But once I sand it, scrub it and paint it pink, it will make a fabulous addition to the fairy rock garden this summer. My name is Kim and I’m a project-aholic.

But paper. Yuck. Almost finished sorting the receipts for taxes. Now that is a land speed record for me to have that done in January. Go me.

But, it’s raining and dark outside. A new box of jewelry goodies I ordered has been open for two weeks and I haven’t been able to play with it yet. Its siren song is calling me across the office. Then I have a bunch of Hallmark holiday movies still clogging my DVR.

Plus those Christmas cookies never got baked and the ingredients are still waiting on the kitchen counter. Playing with jewelry parts, watching a movie and eating fresh baked cookies. Forget the paperwork for today.

I’m sure I’ll need to follow Spec Ops Cat’s lead and take a nap too.

Tomorrow I’m going to get organized! How about you?



Filed under Crafting

Do You Have Any Cat Clutter?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Spent part of the weekend reading my latest how to kill clutter book. I have at least a dozen of those guides. No matter how I try I’m always purging and cleaning  out my desk, closets, cabinets, the garage, my purse and the pantry.


To kitty nap on new summer tops, perchance to dream. 


How do we get so much stuff? Part of my collections I give a pass; books, beads, bears, shoes and DVDs. And office supplies – I have an unholy addiction to office supplies. But if OfficeMax is closed, I’m covered, and so is most of Oregon if needed.

So while looking back at photos from March 2014, digital photo clutter, I happened upon a bunch of my favorite feline doing his best to help me organize. Not. These were three brand new blouses that I had laid out on the bed to put away. Before I could turn around and chant “blueberry pop tarts,” Spec Ops Cat made himself a new bed.

Not that he needed another bed, he has at least five “official” beds downstairs and three upstairs. But he felt the need to add a special frilly one to his collection. Good thing he’s cute, cuddly and performs perimeter patrol.

While vacuuming this past weekend I also had to move his toys. Not all his toys, just the bunch which are currently spread all over the house until I rotate them with his stash in the closet. Of all the toys I buy him and Grandma gets for him, the twist ties off the new electronic gadgets are his favorites.

I bet I could get my home organized, but all the books have never mentioned what to do with cat clutter. Perhaps that’s because we all know when it comes to our pets, they rule. A plaque I have says, “When all else fails, hug the cat.”

Who needs decluttering books anyway? Got pets? Got clutter? Enjoy it!





Filed under Shopping

Time For New Dreams And Adventures?

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Back to the day job after a nice vacation between Christmas and New Years. Had a calm and fun-filled time with lots of cleaning and rearranging and moving stuff. Made me glad to go back to the day job to get away from doing more.

First squirrel sighting of 2015! Notice Spec Ops Cat reflection in the window.

First squirrel sighting of 2015! Notice Spec Ops Cat reflection in the window. And his ear!

Took some time to read and watch movies too, plus football of course. Made big strides in my office rearranging my office closet and organizing writing projects. Put together another cubie divider to store the piles of projects which seem to get larger with research.

Some observations about trying to sort and purge items:

1. Sorting paper is an activity which can suck your soul. Since I keep all kinds of things for reference, research and sentimental reasons, the paper is the biggest challenge. It really does breed in the dark like rabbits.

2. I love my hardback and paperback books, but I still have too many. However, sorting them feels like choosing among favorite children. The upside is ones I can’t sell I donate to our Friends of the Library and they make money and the books go to new homes. Makes me happy.

3. Organizing and streamlining my office space is freeing up my mind space. And I can use all of that I can get! I’ve read clutter causes stress and that seems so true in my home.

4. Been reading “Plain and Simple – A Woman’s Journey to the Amish” by Sue Bender. It jumped out at me when I was looking for another book in my office. (See, I can’t get that serendipity book discovery on my ereader.) It is nourishing my mind and my sense of cleaning out. Great read.

Game on stare down between squirrel and Spec Ops Cat. Both think they are super heroes with two panes of glass in between!

Squirrel advances in the stare down game with Spec Ops Cat. Both think they are super heroes with two panes of glass in between!

5. New calendars, new checkbook register, whole new year to make magic and dreams come true. Yeah!

The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, something to give, and something to hope for,” by After Allan Chalmers from Susan Branch’s 2015 Heart of the Home Calendar.


Filed under Creativity