Tag Archives: Cleaning

Project time

8 Sep

A couple weeks ago my Mom and I made a trip down to Ikea and were looking for a cabinet for my living room. We’ve been on the hunt ever since I got my new desk last October (the arrival of the desk started a domino effect of furniture moving room to room within my place … which I’ll post about later)

The trip was good; We found a modular piece-it-yourself cabinet that would work but I wasn’t too keen on the doors. I figured, though, that with the amount of storage it would provide I could get over the doors not being quite what I wanted. The price being more than I was ready to pay (windshield wiper fiasco wiped me out there for a bit), I figured out the pieces I would need to make my return trip a quick one … but my Mom had other ideas.

Tall dresser

The Cabinet

She thought a second hand chest of drawers would be best (she did not like the Ikea idea at all … even after I showed her my out-of-season bedding situation) for both price and style and, though she didn’t find anything on her own, we found a great solid wood cabinet when we went out last weekend.

I already mentioned the cake and pie carrier I found, but my Mom found this tall dresser while we were waiting for a chair she had previously bought to be loaded into her car.

I’ll admit, the fact that it had a $39 price tag on it was a lot more tempting than the Ikea solution, but it needs a lot of work. And I was really wanting furniture that was ready to go. But I argued the missing handle on the left door was worth at least $10 bucks off. For $29 this Sherrill Furniture dresser is mine!

This cabinet is huge – just under 4 feet wide and a shade over 5 feet tall – and it is heavy as hell. Somehow, with the help of the guys who worked at the store, we got it on top of my Mom’s car … but I had no idea how, without the 2 guys and the loading ramp, we were going to get it off the car and up the stairs into my second floor apartment.

On top of the car

Only a hope and a prayer are getting this thing down

Upside down

It's in!


Don’t ask how, but we finally got the cabinet untied and into my apartment, albeit upside down, but the key is: it’s in my apartment.

After a lot of scrubbing with some diluted Mr. Clean, the piece looks pretty good. It could use a sanding and I’d like to paint it, but the reviews on that are mixed: My Mom thinks I should go for it and make it a really cool painted cabinet … but the wood is pretty nice and could just as easily be cleaned up and restored. Decisions, decisions!


Here’s a look at a few other pics:

[gallery, exclude=”1122,1123,1128″ columns=”2″]

Who needs sleep?

25 Jan

Ever find yourself constantly looking at the same numbers? A house number, a route number, the time on a digital clock – all places you can repeatedly see the same digits – unless it’s all nines, then you probably won’t see it on a clock – but still, the repetition becomes uncanny. I keep checking the time when it is exactly 12:34.

I’m not catching the clock as it turns to or flips from; it’s exactly 12:34 and will be for at least another ten seconds. I caught it again last night and had to laugh because it just. keeps. happening.

I couldn’t sleep at all last night (not back to “normal” yet after last weeks rollercoaster) – Or, if I did, it wasn’t good and restful in the least, so I decided to get up and do some of the work left unfinished from the weekend. The last of the Christmas gear is piled up and ready to go back into my basement for storage. The living room area rug was cleared off and adjusted so it no longer curled up under my desk. The bathroom got a thorough and exhaustive bleaching; I purged through the drawers of make-up, small soaps and first aid. I tidied the kitchen and cleaned out the fridge and pantry. The only things I didn’t complete involve power tools that I don’t have access to – nor should I be using – at 2 a.m. and my upside-down bedroom. Amazing that, through all this, nothing wore me out enough that I could fall asleep in between jobs.

In the midst of last weeks heart hub bub, I got a notice that the landlord had finally – FINALLY – decided to bleed the radiators and make the heating in the house more uniform – hence the upside-down bedroom. No more loud tuba sounds in the house as steam rises; No more freezing bedroom and tropical heat wave living room. I hastily moved everything away from the radiators and went about my week. I don’t know if the contractors ever came into my apartment as promised, but my bedroom looked like a wooden furniture puzzle, all pulled out and moved about. If I had known I’d be awake long enough I could either a) finish everything else or b) put my bedroom back together, I would’ve chose the latter, but I figured bleaching the bathroom would make me tired enough. Wrong.

So today you get a blog post about why I’m sleepy and not on my game. Though I think it would be cooler if I had sleep-cleaned my apartment. Sorta like this guy.

Spare Change

5 Oct

After all the misery that was the end of last weeks work week, I started to look around my apartment and wonder where exactly all my debt was sitting. I know a big chunk is sitting in my closet – with bows on their toes and leather straps with gold buckles – the non-negotiables – but realistically – where does my budget go?

It’s almost the end of the year and I am still staring at a huge portion of debt; $2500 to be exact. Well, ok, $2494.13 to really be exact. But the scary thing is that money is the credit hindering debt I wanted most to be gone once December got here. And I really am no closer on that portion. What’s worse is the list of things that I wanted to purchase but would only do so once the number was lower, much lower, is no where closer. The iPhone for my 27th birthday … didn’t happen. No camera. Certainly no Dyson (I know. Getting older makes you reevaluate things. Like a Dyson vs. Hoover. Seriously. Wackadoodle.) Some sort of vacation. Ahhhhh!

Even with all my curtailed spending and resistance of coupons and free $10 gift cards, I seem to be not as far ahead as I wanted by this time. And, as such, am no closer to getting the things I want in my life.

After reading each others posts and realizing I’m not the only one who looks to buy these finer things (And Adaena’s very solid query: Is asking for this camera (and a Vespa scooter and a weekend in Paris) really too much? What’s a girl to do?) I couldn’t help but wonder …

How did I get to this point?

I’ve fudged my budget more than I should.

With all the things I have bought – accruing debt or not – I have too much. I have 2 almost identical skirts and 2 almost identical jackets and around 10 almost identical summer dresses. (Need a summer dress with a blue geometric pattern?) With that being said … I think I have found a strong contributor to my debt: procrastination and laziness. If I actually bothered to keep track of and care for everything I had in the way I truly would like to, I might not be out and about so much and could better evaluate what I actually need. $30 is a great deal for a dress and $5.00 is even better, but they still add up!

Late last night I got that burst of energy that only comes between 2 and 5 in the morning and started to go through my apartment – A vein attempt at getting organized, which I now see is key to this whole thing continuing to work out. But I have kept so many things I don’t need simply because they’re not “worn out”. Jeans from college I never have a prayer of fitting into again (I will never be a 26 again. Nor do I want to be); Shirts that would be better off in someone else’s ragpile; skirts that I never looked good in, but didn’t get rid of for god knows why. All stuff. All things. All impeding me from really being totally happy.

It’s a weight on my shoulders to go home sometimes because my apartment can get away from me quickly. Full time job, 3 or 4 freelance works, a night or two out on the town and I’m spent. The last thing I want to do is vacuum and dust. Fold laundry. Do dishes. When in reality, if I did those things more frequently than I currently do, I might have seen better results toward my overall yearly goal.

I always say I’m an organized mess, but sometimes, I’m just a mess. I need to get organized. I found a desk at St. V d P a few weeks ago and at $15 it was a steal. It has drawers for organizing my bills, my doodles, my odds and ends. And it’s helping out in my living room immensely. I’m working on getting a table at which I can eat – bar height if you’re looking out for me – and I’ve noticed that it’s all helping.

With “keeping up with my apartment” in place, I’ve seen more effort on my part to not use the credit card at all (even though it racks up serious points for paying my cell and cable bills) and am working gradually at whittling down my closet. I don’t need all that I’ve got, so I’m going to start thinking of it as depriving others of my deal hunting prowess. Tomorrow morning all those college jeans go to St. V d P and I reclaim 3 shelves – it’s a big step, even though they’re small shelves.

Highland Dryland

12 May


Though my collection of wellies is neither as vast or as visually interesting as this photo implies – I do have a collection of wellies… And though ‘collection’ may be a bit of a strong term as I have just two pairs of the English Gardening favorite – and two pair seems to be enough as I can never remember to wear either set.

Living in Pittsburgh, they are a necessity for the Springtime when the sky can open up at a moments notice and drop a few ounces of cold water on your exposed toes and recently refurbished leather heels. Way to go me.

But the point here isn’t so much Pittsburghs weather (believe you me, that needs an entirely separate and solitary entry) as it is collections.

I’ve recently realized (and been told) that I have a lot of things in my apartment. And I do, I’m not denying it. Things that I’ve held on to for years and years for one sentimental reason or another, as well as the accumulation of other things without a sentimental reason (not to mention those that I’ve held onto for sentimental reasons but can no longer remember what that reason was – frustrating!) I’m not so bad that if something breaks I hold onto it instead of pitching, but I have a lot of junk taking up prime real estate in my already small apartment.

I have three closets in my apartment – none of which are large or in my bedroom (a true disadvantage for a “collector” such as myself) – and the only one I use on a regular basis is a regular nightmare. The two closets in my living room are now cleaned out, but the “walk-in” in my hallway is still screaming for a facelift – erm – floorlift (let’s not even talk about the holiday decorating fiesta currently housed in my basement storage unit). And so I’ve begun to purge.

And man alive does it feel good – it helps with the plastic fast and with the prime real estate recovery – I thought I was going to have to move! Shoes that never really fit? Gone. Belts I wore once in college? See ya. Clothes I can’t put on – let alone pull off? Hello Goodwill!

I’m only halfway through with the overhaul and am getting ready for the first-midnight-over-stuffed-car-trip-to-the-donation-center-run. Initially I was thinking I would donate in person and receive the tax credit but then part of me thought anonymous might be better – lest I be caught …


Day 4 – Bibidy Bobidy Boo

28 Feb

dysonMy first Saturday without shopping went fairly well. Even though I found myself pining for the cha-ching.

The upside of all my new free time is that my apartment is spotless. After the a.m. work out – uhh. my arms. hurt. – I got the whole apartment sparkling. The dishes are done. Clean sheets. Sleeping Beautys’ fairy godmothers couldn’t cast enough spells to keep up with me.

Cleaning always makes me laugh though, as I find myself coveting better cleaning products. Like a roomba. Or a Dyson.

I cannot tell you how many times I have wished that I had a Dyson.

They’re always sitting there in Target at the end of the shelf. Just like a bottle of Stolichnaya shadowing bottles of Gilbert’s, Dysons tower over the Hoovers and Dirt Devils – though a Dirt Devil hand vac would be soo cool. Nifty design.

But a roomba. How awesome would that be? To just leave the house and know that, while you’re working, you’re also vacuuming. My luck, though, it would get stuck on the high pile carpet. Or get lost and confused down the hallway, stopping to ask my jewelry box for directions.

But I don’t own a Roomba. Or a Dyson Ball. Cost prohibitive. Ironic, non?

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