Quiet But Busy

Aside from one evening, this week has been an uneventful, yet busy one. I’ve had a little more energy lately in the evenings, so I’m trying to get back into a habit of decluttering, starting with the kitchen. The clutter finally got bad enough that I decided I’m tired of living in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome*), so it’s time I did something about it.

I started with the countertops, which had become a dumping ground for STUFF (“Something That Undermines Family Fun*) we were being too lazy to just put away. And as FlyLady suggests, I gave the sink a good cleaning and am also working on a habit of making sure it’s clean before I got to bed each night. Wow, did those two things make a difference! Even DH is now putting things away, because he likes it tidy, too. And it’s so much easier to fix a meal in a kitchen that’s not full of clutter!

Of course, the cabinets and cupboards still need work–lots of it!–so I’m going through and decluttering one a day. Typically, this takes no more than fifteen mintues–FlyLady’s recommended amount of time to spend, so we don’t get burned out. I highly recommend FlyLady’s website if you want to learn to get your home under control using baby steps. I discovered her many years ago when I was laid off, and had my house looking really nice before we all slacked off and started letting clutter accumulate. I will admit it’s easier when one doesn’t have a full-time job and a second, part-time one (my writing), but it’s still doable.

Friday night was a quiet occasion. A good friend’s sister passed away, so we went to the funeral visitation. It was one of life’s sad ironies–this woman had beaten breast cancer twice by age 40, when she’d been given a low chance of surviving another year. She was 42 when she passed–from an accident on an ATV. It’s the kind of thing that really makes us think of our own mortality, especially given my husband’s two close calls last year.

Saturday morning, Isis had a play date–our next door neighbors are dog-sitting for their son, so they let his dog run around our backyard with Isis for a while. They both totally wore each other out! I did not get any pictures because every time I got my phone out, they ran around the other side of the garage, or were just moving too fast!

Into the Savage CountryWhat I read this week: Into the Savage Country by Shannon Burke. This a bit of an aside from my usual fare, a Western/historical fiction about a young man’s adventures as a fur trapper in 1820s America. A writing friend recommended it to me, and since the hero of my upcoming book is also a fur trapper (albeit 70 years earlier, and about 700 miles east), I read it partly for the time period, and partly for the research. It started out kind of slow and episodic, but got better as it went. The characters and their relationships were complex and well-developed, and used the same inventiveness and determination that got them into trouble, to get out of it.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: My goal last week was to rewrite/tweak the blurbs for all of my already-published books. I did that for one, but decided I would rather focus on one book at a time and instead worked on reformatting it (my publisher wants to upgrade the interior look of their older ebooks, and I do this for them as a contractor). That took a while, and it’s not out yet (I need to do more testing and tweaking), but so far, it looks much better. I also did some website stuff that isn’t ready to roll out yet, but will be soon. I consider it a win, and plan to continue in this vein this week. So this week, my plans are to finalize that book and get it to the publisher, then reformat another, probably the short story.

What about you–how has your week been? Have you worked on developing a new habit lately? Have you read anything outside of your usual type of books lately, and if so, how was it? How are you doing on whatever goals you might be working toward, whether writing-related or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

* Definitions for CHAOS and STUFF are FlyLady’s.

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

11 Responses to \

  1. I really try to keep the clutter under control in my house, but the hubby seems to always be bringing something home. My only personal area of clutter is my office, where I display my collection of Snoopys and other Peanuts characters. It took me the entire day yesterday to clean this one room. I am close to parting with a few items from the collection. It is just too much!

    Best wishes keeping your own world clutter-less.

  2. Hey Jennette!

    It’s been awhile. Nice to catch up on what you’re doing. Sounds like you are in a declutter mode like we are. It becomes a mess so quickly. Ugh.

    Congratulations on the Row80 goals, even with your change you have moved forward and that is always great.

    I’ve taken the time in the morning and night to focus on caring for me for a few minutes each day. That is making a bit of a difference, if on nothing more than the bags under my eyes, and that makes me happy. 🙂

  3. Ahhh, cleaning and decluttering. Something I should do, but… Yeah.

    Got no writing done this past week, but I’m half-way with judging the entries I received (4 out of 8) from my RWA chapter, so that’s good. I’d never really judged before, so kind of treating them like a critique. Hopefully my comments help the writer.

  4. Sounds like another productive week. I’ve been decluttering too, but only because we’re (eventually) moving and I don’t want to pack and haul stuff that I’ve only used once in 3 years. That just makes no sense.

    The book you read sounds good. I may have to check that one out.

    Have a wonderful week.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  5. Chris, I have that problem with my husband, too! Thanks, and good luck to you, too!

    Debra, it’s so important to take care of ourselves! Otherwise, that makes it difficult to care for others. Thanks for stopping by, it’s good to see you!

    Stacy, have fun with judging! I learned a lot from judging in many RWA contests.

    Patricia, good luck with your decluttering! If you get the book, I hope you like it.

  6. I’m going to have to check out FlyLady’s site. Thanks for sharing. Fifteen minutes per day … I could probably make that happen.

    All the best with your goals for the coming week. Have a good one!

    TTFN

  7. So many people are in the decluttering mood. Is it because of spring? As you know, I moved. So naturally I was forced to declutter. Although I like to stay on top of it. Clutter drives me nuts! I hate it when the kitchen needs to be cleaned before I make a meal. I mean, who of us like to cook in a cluttered kitchen. There’s not enough room to work. So I applaud our efforts Jennette. This will make things so much easier for the summer season. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. It is a shame that she lost her life to an accident after all her struggles to survive. And yes, when something like this happens, it helps us take stock of the more important things in our life. ((Hugs))

  8. Karen, I just got tired of living in CHAOS, and I think with spring I’m getting a bit more energy, so I’m taking advantage of it now! And yes, that’s exactly the situation we were running into–who wants to cook in a kitchen that already needs to be cleaned up? I actually didn’t know the woman killed in the accident, but her sister is a good friend. Thanks for your kind words!

  9. Clutter–Oh, yeah. I got it. Loads of it. I started decluttering the office early this spring, then had to stop to declutter the yard of weeds. Unfortunately, the weeds grow faster than the house’s paper clutter. I like the 15 minute thing, but once I get started I hate to stop. Just ask the hubby. A single hour in the garden turns into a half day marathon as I say, “Just to the end of the next flowerbed.” And then I go way beyond. Does that make me OC?
    Thanks for the flylady site. Maybe I’ll get some help there. LOL