After 30 Years, it’s being Decluttered!

I have finally hit that section of the garage I’ve been dreading.  We found a box labeled “Pictures” and ” Fragile” taped up.  When we opened it, it was indeed pictures, in frames, from our old house that we moved out of in 1989!  Wonder what other boxes have been sitting out there for 30 years??  I’ll let you know if I find any!

Now I bet you are wondering how I know it was that old?  Several clues:

  • It was still sealed and it definitely wasn’t from the great flood of 2015
  • only newborn pictures of kiddo #2 (born in 1989)
  • only my brother’s first 2 kids (born in 1983 and 1987), no other nieces or nephews
  • WE LOOK SO YOUNG!
  • A lot of pictures of us before we had children!

And here’s a picture that definitely sparked joy when I saw it!

matulich john Barb abt 1983 resize
sometime between 1979 & 1984

 

 

Decluttered in 2019 Update

Can you believe 2019 is over???  We did continue our decluttering journey this year.  Every so often you open a drawer or closet and realize it’s looking “full” and messy.  In straightening things out, some stuff just has to leave!  Here are a few things that we shoved under the bed, in the dresser “junk” jar, the bathroom cabinet, and kitchen drawer.  It sure would be nice to get rid of the “junk” jar – or rename it!

New Phototastic Collage

This year we removed at least 884 items.  Why did I say at least?  We were not as dedicated to the counting aspect this year.  We began the year by saying we weren’t going to count and then felt an overwhelming need to count.  Go figure!

Here is a surprising set of numbers:  Since we began counting in 2014, we have counted and removed 16,951 items from the house!  Since the average house has about 300,000 items, we figure we can work on 2020 items in 2020.

Decluttering Update 12/2019

I finally decided to start working on decluttering the photos.  The first box held pictures from my aunt.  I think she must have been decluttering for me to end up with them!

I took a picture of each picture I wanted to “keep” – digitally of course.  Put them into a folder temporarily name “photos from the shelf” and renamed each one with the name(s) of the people in them and an approximate date if the date wasn’t on the picture.  Some were easy – me as an infant.  Others were more obscure – grandma in the 1960’s.

46 pictures gone!  plus 6 items from around the house this week.  52 things gone!!

Couldn’t resist – picture of me at age 4 had to go on top!

Christmas Cards “Decluttered”

I have had Christmas cards in the hall closet now for at least 5 years.  I know this because I’ve not sent them out since before the Great Flood.  They were packed up during the repairs and put back into the closet.

I decided to address those cards today!  Some people will be surprised I did so.

Is it wrong that I was contemplating how many to mark off on my 2019 in 2019 sheet while doing so?  Is it 3 (boxes) or 39 (number of cards used)?

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SMART Weight Loss Goal

Nicole’s recent post “Dec. 1. Almost 2020” over at Prosperity and Calamities inspired me to start my weight loss journey sooner than 1/1/20.  Those darn New Year’s resolutions!  They never work so why not just set a goal now and get started.

Kiddo #2 was home when I read the post and we had an interesting discussion about personal goals.  In the work place SMART goals drive me crazy because they always mean I need to do more.  I hadn’t really thought of them for personal use.

As part of our discussion, weight loss came up.  It was so easy to use the SMART goal method for this!  Why didn’t I think of this sooner??

smart goals

S – Specific – Weight loss didn’t seem specific enough.  I decided on an average of 0.5 pounds per week.  To help with this,  I went online and joined WW (officially not called Weight Watchers any longer).

M – Measurable – I’m pretty sure the scale (which I dread) will help with this.  Something like “pants aren’t tight” didn’t seem as measurable.   By the end of the year, the goal is to lose 26 pounds.

– Attainable – I think if I stay on track and record my food and exercise, this goal is attainable in 1 year.

R – Relevant – How could losing weight not be relevant to my life and health.  We went to the scale and I realized I was 2x my previous WW goal set 30ish years ago.  Between the 2 kiddos, I was able to reach lifetime member status.  The weight has been gradually creeping up since then.  I only have data for the last 20 years and it has averaged about 4 pounds per year.  It was very eye-opening to realize this.  A little bit per year has done significant damage to my body.  She also had me do a fasting blood sugar test (using John’s blood tester) and it was 110.  Not diabetes but not good.  Losing weight will help with this too.

T – Timely – A year seems like a reasonable time goal.  If I’ve gained 4-10 pounds a year, I can lose that amount (and more likely more) in the same time frame.

Tomorrow marks one week following the WW blue plan.  I’ll occasionally be posting about this journey.

 

 

Surviving Fire Season

This has been an interesting fire season for us.  Our town had 2 wildfires while the Santa Ana winds were blowing last week.

Day 1 had an evacuation area that surrounded the school I work at.  Literally our side of the street wasn’t evacuated but directly across and to the west of us was under mandatory evacuation.  It sure did make releasing students interesting!

Day 2 had an evacuation warning at the house.  We got the cell phone alert at 3:30 am.  Thankfully it wasn’t mandatory.  I think they do that in case the wind shifts, which it didn’t.

Hopefully that is the end of it for us for a while.  Our last mandatory evacuation was about 25 years ago.  Flames got within 100 feet of the house that time.

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Picture from the hillside looking down at the fire.  Not sure of source – from CNN.com

Canceling Protection One/ADT

ARGH!  We decided to cancel our home security monitoring through Protection One.  How difficult is this, you ask?  VERY!!!!!

We recently had our cable-based internet router die – just straight up quit working one day.  We spent the evening returning/exchanging it at the local office.  They also gave us an updated wireless modem.  After setting it all up, we realized our landline wasn’t working (service provided by our “cable” provider.)  After another hour on the phone with them, they claim all is perfect.

3 days later – count that – not 1, not 2, but 3 days later we can’t set the alarm when we are ready to leave the house.  Evidently our backup battery for the cellular backup option died because the system was unable to use the landline.

A technician came to the house a few days later after being told we needed to have a software update.  John took the afternoon off the deal with this.  The technician arrives, does the update, yet still can’t get the landline option to send a signal for the alarm system.  The “only option” is to upgrade to cellular for “ONLY” $5 MORE PER MONTH.

So now our monthly bill is up to $67.  We have a discussion after the technician leaves and decide that is just too much.  We can probably get a different alarm system cheaper and technologically more advanced.

I call to cancel and they remind me that we have been “loyal” customers for over 10 years.  Yep, we know how long we’ve had the alarm system and still want to cancel.  Now starts the drama!  I forgot about the 30 days notice requirement.  I assumed they would cut us off at the end of the pre-paid month.  NOPE!

Website says you can’t cancel online – you must call and have them convince you that you are putting your family at risk by cancelling.  Then, get this, you have to send an email to cancel.  Cancel date is based on when they receive your email/written request (which they don’t tell you).  Thankfully we emailed as they told us we needed to email.

Can you believe we “missed” the cut-off for canceling at the end of the billing cycle by 2 days??  (According to our contract, we need to give a 30 day notice.)  They then claim that our contract states that we need to give notice prior to the next billing cycle and that our cancel date won’t be in 30 days (Nov. 7) but Dec. 5th because of the billing cycle requirement.  They also have someone call multiple times trying to offer us a 36 month contract for $50 without updating any of the technology.  They did eventually offer no monthly payments until 2020 but with no upgraded equipment.  They finally agree after a week of emails and phone calls to cancel at the 30 day mark (Nov. 7).

How hard is it to just stop monitoring the system?  They claim it is very difficult.  My guess is all that happens is they “flip” a switch and we are off.  Anyone know anything about this side of it?

The icing on the cake is today we got a bill for $15 for the cellular upgrade.

Now what do we do with the ancient equipment?  What will happen when we try to disconnect everything?  Will the alarm still sound?  Can they remotely wipe out our system?  Will that mess with the landline?  Not looking forward to Nov. 7th.