Spring Cleaning

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This weekend Matt and I undertook the task of spring cleaning. I am not entirely sure what inspired Matt to lead the change in this effort, but I am not complaining. To me, the greatest way to spend an afternoon is cleaning out my closet. I love the feeling of de-cluttering and then refolding and color coding all of the clothing that I want to keep, there is no greater joy. I know, I have a sickness. So when Matt suggested that we spend the day de-cluttering our entire apartment, I felt like I died and went to heaven.

After 5 hours of cleaning, we were left with 4 bags of garbage/recyclables, 5 bags of clothing to donate and a few miscellaneous piles of thing that we needed to figure out what to do with. The piles contain the following:

CDs and DVDs – honestly, what does one do with these things? Suddenly, I fully understand why my parents had boxes of records in our basement for years. There is nowhere to put outdated technologies.

“Things for when we own a home” – This pile consists of a down duvet – when we upgraded our bed to a king, this one no longer fit; however, I want to keep it for when we have a guest room (I know, I’m dreaming), a beautiful picture frame that we got for wedding  – it really needs to live in a formal dining room (which we don’t have) with my china (which is all in a closet at my parents house), and a few other things that I want, but don’t have room for right now. Now I just need my parents to ‘swing by’ and pick all of this stuff up… I’m sure they will be thrilled to serve as my storage unit for more stuff.

Baking Supplies – well, not exactly supplies, but super cute containers to put cookies and treats in. I know, whatever happened to good old Tupperware? Blame Martha.

Craft Supplies – anyone who had been to our apartment can attest to the incredible amount of craft supplies I have managed to fit into our one bedroom apartment. Honestly, it rivals most preschools in the city. Unfortunately  my collection continues to grow. As a result, I created a pile of things that I thought might find a better home at Robin Hood’s offices. I know, lucky them!

So even after 5 hours of cleaning and a trip to Housing Works (an incredible Robin Hood funded program) to donate our clothing, there is still a bit of work to be done.  Looks like this episode of hoarders to be continued next weekend…

My Top Five Guilty Pleasures

Wikipedia defines a guilty pleasure as, “something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. The guilt involved is sometimes simply fear of others discovering one’s lowbrow or otherwise embarrassing tastes. Fashion, video games, music,movies and junk food can be examples of guilty pleasures.” I define it as something I like and get enjoyment out of, but would probably be judged for it and therefore, I don’t go around broadcasting it to the world…

or do I?

 

5. Rearranging the dishes in the dishwasher at work

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I’m not going to lie, we have a pretty crappy dishwasher at work. The “spokes” of the rack are spaced much too closely together and we have rather large/thick dishes in our kitchen. People are forced to shove their dishes into place and  the spokes become bent creating even more inefficiency. Regardless of the technical flaws with the machine, people just  pile their dishes into the dish washer, not really taking into consideration proper dish placement, an art form that I have definitely mastered. As a result, I spend approximately 5-10 minutes, probably every day, rearranging the dishes in the dishwasher. Honestly, it is really embarrassing when someone catches me doing this – I try my best to conceal. But the thrill of seeing all the dishes lined up properly, as well as the creation of more usable space, it really quite exhilarating. I know, working with me is pretty much a nightmare dream come true.

4. Refolding, sorting and color coding my clothing

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Every five or six weeks I tackle the project of reorganizing my closet. Most of the time when I begin this project my closet is pretty neat and organized. Or at least that is what most people would think, but not me.  I begin by piling everything onto my bed and begin folding, sorting, and organizing before putting it all back in place. The entire process can take a few hours. In the end, my goal is to have my closet look like the shelves and racks of a high-end designer boutique. I want all of my sweaters to be folder perfectly with a piece of tissue paper inside. I need matching coat hangers – at least within each “section” of my closets (i.e. dresses, skirts, blouses, tank tops, etc). And ideally things should be color coded. Basically, I want my closet to mimic that of Ms. Martha Stewart herself. When Matt and I moved in together this goal became much more challenging as I lost roughly half of the hanging space and now have to deal with his disorganized system, which includes metal hangers and shirts in plastic bags from the dry cleaners. I’ve yet to include his clothing in this re-org project, but I am not too sure how much longer I can hold off. Although Matt would probably be furious with me, the idea of having our entire closet organized is just too tempting.

3. Buying things on sale and bragging about it

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I love a good sale. The thrill of getting something at a discounted price is definitely a high for me. Even though there is typically a huge retail mark up, I think that because I am not paying full price, somehow I have “won”. After nearly every shopping trip where I have saved something, be in 5% off or 75% off, I need to brag about my accomplishments. Typically I call either my mom or my sister – they are the most likely to be impressed and make me feel good about my purchases. Sometimes, if I have purchased a really practical item, I will call my dad. I NEVER call Matt because he always makes me feel guilty about spending money – no matter how much I have saved (major buzz kill –  I guess it is something about perceived savings…) Just last week I called my mom to tell her about the great articles of clothing I got at the Gap, all at ridiculously discounted prices. She was appropriately impressed and even thought about making a trip to her local Gap store as well. Unfortunately in my haste to score a deal, I didn’t try on anything and ended up returning half of the things I purchased this afternoon. Sad. But hey, returning clothes is essentially like making money, right?

2.TLC

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Toddlers and Tiaras. Extreme Couponing. John and Kate Plus Eight. 19 Kids and Counting. Say Yes to the Dress. Sister Wives. Hoarding: Buried Alive. Sarah Palin’s Alaskan Adventure (I know, I just threw up in my mouth a little). You name it – I’ve probably seen it.

I’ve got nothing here – I just like trashy, low quality tv. John Hamm – please don’t hate me. I still love Don Draper.

1. Tween Music

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It began when I was a tween – New Kids on the Block, Spice Girls Britney Spears, ‘N Sync, Back Street Boys and 98°. It then progressed to Hanson, Mandy Moore and Jessica Simpson. Lindsay Lohan, Jesse McCartney and Hilary Duff rounded things out as I ended the teenage chapter of my life and entered my 20s. Unfortunately, my love of the tween pop sensation stayed with me. Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, the Cast of High School Musical, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber  all  make regular appearances on my iPod.

And now, there’s Carly Rae.

Please don’t judge me.

Lazy, yet productive, Sundays

Yesterday Matt and I had an extremely lazy, although very productive, Sunday.

It started off with breakfast sandwiches and coffee, like many weekend mornings. We sat around for a while, watching various things on tv. Then I decided that it was time to get some stuff done.

I cleaned our apartment, while gimpy Matt sat on the couch. Occasionally he would offer to help, although I am not sure how sincere his offers were. What was I going to have him do, use the vacuum as a crutch? It didn’t really seem possible to task him with physically strenuous chores. And let’s be honest, cleaning is hard! I was working up a serious sweat as I scrubbed the kitchen counters and cleaned the bathtub.

So while I cleaned, I tasked Matt with a more stationary chore: working on our wedding website. This sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. Basically, we just need to come up with some of the text to put into the awesome template we found. I wrote 75% of the text in one day but really needed Matt to do some of the entries that are from his view-point. He has been putting this off for a while now, because writing is not his strong suit. So, by the time I finished cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, living room and doing a load of laundry, Matt has successfully written 3 paragraphs for the website. I guess I am marrying the tortoise and not the hare.

Afterwards, I decided that I should put my craft table to use, since I hadn’t for a while. I had ordered some cool fabric off Etsy a while back but never used it for anything. I had also totally disassembled an old apron so that I could use the pieces to recreate one myself. What a perfect activity for a lazy sunday. I started working on the apron at 4pm and by 6pm, I had completed 3/4s of the apron. It is just missing a pocket and a tie. Unfortunately I lost my motivation and put it on hold until later. The good news is, it looks pretty sweet so far.

While I was motivated to be a good fiance, I used to make Matt and I dinner on Sundays. Unfortunately, our tradition has changed from cooking to ordering take out. Last night we changed up our normal pizza take-out order to BBQ. It was a great decision and left my belly in a very happy state.

After dinner, we settled in for an evening of Mad Men and some more crafting. Matt even got in on the action and helped me sort colored beads for an upcoming project. Pretty soon I will come home and find him sitting at the craft table making decorations for our apartment.

The day was great. We crossed a few things off our “to do list”, went to bed in a clean apartment, ready to start the week.  Honestly, to me there is nothing better than that.