Cleaning Up My Life

Don’t worry, nothing like that, I am just cleaning up the apartment (first floor of two family home I rent) and my part of the basement. Kind of was forced into doing this, since the people upstairs noticed bugs. I had seen some over the course of the last year or two when the old tenant and his new wife lived here and thought nothing of it.

The new tenant contacted the landlord about them, which they then had an exterminator come check on it. After looking around I guess they found that we had some cockroaches, while I was at Access U conference. I had lived here almost seven years and noticed the bugs recently and never paid attention to what I was squishing. So the landlord informed me that the exterminator would not spray/treat the house until we got rid of all our (neighbors and myself) cardboard boxes and old papers, since what they eat is the glue and cardboard.

Landlord’s Freaking (just a little bit)

The landlord was a bit freaked out because there were bugs in their rental property along with the fact that the couple upstairs is due to have a baby in like four weeks or so. They want it done yesterday so they can spray or whatever they are gong to do before the baby is in the house.

So for the last two weeks after work and on weekends when I have not had other obligations I have been first going through all the crap, as my mother would call it in my apartment. This has been helpful in the form of having me go through boxes of stuff that I have not looked at in years and tossing, saving, or as much as possible donating things to charity. I have recycled as much paper and others items that I can. I really don’t want fill up a landfill with more junk. No, I’m not a tree hugger, not that there is anything wrong with that, I just want to recycle/reuse as much as I can.

Donations to the Poor

I have donated a ton of clothes (work, casual, jeans, dress shirts, etc.), shoes, ties, and a lot more to Martha’s Table, so they can help out others less fortunate than myself. Even made two trips so far and I might have one more before I’m all done. I ended up getting rid about half of the clothes I owned, since I have not worn most of them in years for whatever reason.

Was at a fairly good point with the upstairs, so spent a few hours Saturday afternoon/evening going through boxes in the basement that contain stuff in them that have not moved or been looked, since I got here almost 7 years ago. I found at least one box so far that contained 5+ year old magazines in it. I had a lot of old magazines upstairs too. Pointer to others once you have read them unless it’s important to you because you, family, or a friend are in it, recycle them or just recycle them once your done reading.

I used to shoot a bunch of model photography back in the day as they say and had boxes and boxes of photos. I ended up transferring them from their cardboard boxes into new plastic containers with lids. Glad Target had 18 gallon plastic bins with lids on sale last week for $6, so I could buy 20 of them. Did not get all the miscellaneous boxes sorted yet since I have to go through to see if there are any important papers in them, like tax form, old bills with bank, or SSN information in them.

Spent Time with Friends

Spent about five hours Sunday(6/14) in the basement with a good friend of mine and her sister helping me consolidate, move, re-box wines. If your wondering why it took so long, it was because I have close to 600 bottles of wine just in my basement. I’m a wine collector, which made one of the landlords request to get rid of all boxes extremely difficult. How am I going to store 600 bottles of wine with no cardboard boxes, without spending thousands of dollars on wine racks, which won’t work downstairs, since floor slopes into center of room? Luckily I have been gathering and saving wooden wine boxes over the last few years, when I could get them.

I finally took my two 47 bottle wine frigs out of their boxes and started them up. Just in case you were wondering the number of bottles they say will fit is incorrect if you are trying to put Burgundy or long odd shaped bottles in them. Now they are loaded with a total of about 60+ bottles, which removes over five boxes from the basement.

Still need to go downstairs the next few nights to finish sorting and dumping the 20 or so boxes I have not looked at in the basement. The slowest part has been going through the old bills and removing the check receipt and bill to be shredded and placing them in one container and everything else  in a recyclable one. Anyone have suggestions to getting rid of old software. I recycled the boxes, but am trying to figure out what to do with all the CD’s and a lot of 2.5 inch diskettes.

A few friends and co-workers have asked if this has helped me feel lighter, less clutter free, and I have told them I will tell them once all of it is done. Right now it is feeling like a second job that needs to be worked on every night after work. I can’t imagine what is like for someone that is a hoarder to have to do a task like this.


If you have  suggestions for doing any of this better or stories similar to mine I would like to here about them.

Hopefully if nothing else you all start, recycling, donating extra stuff, and keep up with stuff on a regular basis so your not forced into having to “clean up your life” all at one time.