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Topic: Not quite a horder - decluttering

Forum: Moving Beyond Cancer —

Managing life after a breast cancer diagnosis, including rediscovering intimacy, coping with fear of recurrence, reconnecting relationships, sharing hobbies and interests, and finding inspiration in daily life.

Posted on: Mar 21, 2011 01:00PM - edited Feb 21, 2012 12:21PM by suzwes

suzwes wrote:

 

Okay friends, I'm updating this info.  I love the picture though so I'm leaving that!!  I continue to look at a very unorganized house.  My friend Zogo had an idea about a thread for decluttering and I thought why not get one started.

Feel free to share decluttering or organizational ideas or hold yourself accountable to us. We have a fun group to share with and want you to jump in!  Below are a few links and info that might be helpful to get you started or to review from time to time.

Fly Lady: http://flylady.net/

Wonderland shared Jeff Campbell's Clutter Rules. Go to www.jeffcampbell.com/Rules-Clutter/ for more details on each rule.

1. When in doubt, throw it out

2. Use it or lose it

3. Efficiency counts, so store things accordingly

4. Handle something once (this is my personal favorite. Another way to state it is "Touch Paper Once")

5. Recycle it

6. Pick a number and stick with it

7. Use a file cabinet

8. Do Something (another personal favorite)

9. A place for everything, and everything in its place

10. Items displayed in the house have to pass a test

11. Don't do things "later"

12. Label things

13. Call in a professional


Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 01:12PM Meece wrote:

I found it!

Sure it's tough, but so are you! Dx 11/23/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2004 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2004
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Mar 21, 2011 01:15PM - edited Mar 21, 2012 07:27AM by Meece

I heard that you should try to get rid of at least one item (Not just real trash) each week.

I am having Dh bring home those boxes from reams of paper.  I am putting a label of what it in them, and have them on a table in the garage. (That's what really needs decluttering).  It helps me from having to handle things more than once.  There is a box for each kid, which when full, will be sent home with them.  Craft supplies.  Scrapbook type items.  A GoodWill or Yard sale box.  Etc...

Sure it's tough, but so are you! Dx 11/23/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2004 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2004
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Mar 21, 2011 01:16PM kira1234 wrote:

Boy do I need this. I've got all the junk from my Dad's apartment in my living room. It's been there since he died in Jan. My goal is to go through it all this week while I'm on spring break from school.

Dx 6/2010, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/7/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 8/2/2010 Hormonal Therapy 10/4/2010 Aromasin (exemestane) Dx 2/2017, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Mar 21, 2011 01:20PM sheila888 wrote:

I have the same issues here. When my daughter moved everything was left behind mostly clothing.

Now that they really decided to stay in Hawaii ( she even sold her car that was parked here over 2 years) I can start to clear her closet, winter coats, so much clothing.

What a good idea suz. You motivated me.Wink

Sheila♥ Dx 4/8/2005, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 8/21/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/12/2015 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Dx 11/2018, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 01:24PM suzwes wrote:

I found I've had to divide my decluttering chores into manageable chunks or I get so overwhelmed that I don't get ANYTHING done.  I like the idea of the paper boxes and the labels Meece.  That's a great idea. 

Good luck Kira, hope you can get through the items in the living room.  My husband had to do that for his dad's stuff but he held on to a lot of items for sentimental reasons.  His "keep" items aren't unreasonable but we have to get rid of some of our junk so he can have a place for the treasures!

Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 01:25PM Wonderland wrote:

Suzette,

Great idea for a thread. At work I have given a decluttering presentation and discussed how stressful clutter can be. I would like to share Jeff Campbell's Clutter Rules. Go to www.jeffcampbell.com/Rules-Clutter/ for more details on each rule.

1. When in doubt, throw it out

2. Use it or lose it

3. Efficiency counts, so store things accordingly

4. Handle something once (this is my personal favorite. Another way to state it is "Touch Paper Once")

5. Recycle it

6. Pick a number and stick with it

7. Use a file cabinet

8. Do Something (another personal favorite)

9. A place for everything, and everything in its place

10. Items displayed in the house have to pass a test

11. Don't do things "later"

12. Label things

13. Call in a professional

I can follow these rules better at work because it's my own desk, space, etc. Other employees are amazed how organized my office is. It's not always that way at home because it's not all my stuff. My husband can be messy but I still love him AND his clutter so I won't be following Rule # 1!!! Laughing

"Put on your coat. It's easier to stay warm than it is to get warm." George the Llama Man Dx 11/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/36 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/26/2006 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 1/1/2007 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 6/4/2007 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 9/21/2007 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/9/2009 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 9/19/2009 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 21, 2011 01:28PM suzwes wrote:

Oh wonderland - great ideas!  My office at work is just as bad right now.  I know it's because I've been in a fog the last two years.  Can I put Jeff's link at the top of the page?

Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 01:30PM Wonderland wrote:

Yes, please do. It really goes into detail on each rule.

"Put on your coat. It's easier to stay warm than it is to get warm." George the Llama Man Dx 11/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/36 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/26/2006 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 1/1/2007 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 6/4/2007 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 9/21/2007 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/9/2009 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 9/19/2009 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 21, 2011 01:43PM kira1234 wrote:

suzwes, I so understand keeping things. My parents had some really old furniture and dishes as well as a dry sink. I have no idea what to do with them, but I'm not about to toss them out. I "sold" a dresser with a marble top to a co-teacher for $100.00. My family will never let me forget that. Makes it hard to do any real cleanup. It's funny he saved his W2's since his first year of teaching back in 1948. It has been a real trip down memory lane looking at all the papers.

Dx 6/2010, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/7/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 8/2/2010 Hormonal Therapy 10/4/2010 Aromasin (exemestane) Dx 2/2017, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Mar 21, 2011 01:56PM LuvRVing wrote:

I have found a couple of useful ways to get rid of unneeded "stuff".  First, I take pictures of it, and put it out on the porch or the end of the driveway.  Then I put an ad in Craigslist - under the Free category.  It has worked every time, regardless of my husband's opinion of the 'junk' status of the particular stuff.  From warped particle board, to builder's grade vanity lights, miscellaneous lumber, old lawn chairs, old VCR tapes...everything has been gone in less than 24 hours after placing the ad.  No muss, no fuss, no emails or phone calls, just come and get it.  Be sure to remove the ad when the stuff is gone.  I've sold a few items on Craigslist, too.  Just check out prices for comparable items then price your item a little lower if you really just want it gone.

And I have gone through clothes (of which I had a ridiculous amount), bagged it up, put it in the car and taken it to the Goodwill.  I spoke to them - bring them anything, even clothes that are ripped or stained.  They sell it to recyclers by the pound.   They especially like old books - the poundage helps them.  Be sure to keep track of the stuff and get receipts for the tax deduction.

So the main level and upstairs have been decluttered.  The garage is in decent shape, too.  Now for the basement.  My husband will either get this done or I will call 1-800-take my junk.  I don't want to pay someone to remove it because my "free" methods have been working well.  But we want to put the house on the market in the next few weeks, so I have to give him a deadline then I'll take matters into my own hands. 

Michelle

Michelle - read my blog at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com - Be kind to one another! Dx 6/15/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 3/29/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/21 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 5/11/2012, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 02:16PM suzwes wrote:

I have to get stuff on Craig's List!  We have a Yonkers store and their goodwill sale is going on right now so I got rid of a couple of boxes of goodwill items and they gave me several 30% off coupons (so I can add more junk)Laughing Actually I split them up among my DDs.

Keep the ideas coming!

Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 03:32PM suzwes wrote:

Alright fellow declutterers, I'm going to tell you my goal for tonight and then I'll let you know how it went.

I am going home and I will look for 5 items to place on craigs list tonight.  My other goal is to go through and throw out or file at least two large piles of papers/mail sitting around my office.

I will do this standing up so I burn some calories (do we burn more calories standing rather than sitting?)

Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 03:53PM voraciousreader wrote:

Speaking of hoarders... One lives down the block. Don't ask! It is heartbreaking. We've been working with Adult Protective Services, Town building department and Town attorney. Divorcee, adult, professional daughters(children of hoarders) want nothing to do with her home. She co-exists with squirrels. When she opens her garage....and we see inside.....oy! Fire department and police were there when her furnace almost exploded!

I'm waiting for the library to call. There is a terrific new book called Dirty Secret, written by this woman who describes her mother's hoarding.

Ladies, I keep an uncluttered home because I never want my kids to ever have to be responsible for my mess.

Doctor told me regarding my prognosis that I WASN'T on the Titanic! Hmmm...Really?....Okay! 02/2010 Pure Mucinous Breast Cancer, Oncotype DX 15, Stage 1, Grade 1, 1.8 cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+ 90% /PR+ 70% HER2- (+1)
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Mar 21, 2011 03:54PM Meece wrote:

The nice thing about the paper boxes, is they stack well while you are not sorting.

There are some great ideas already.  We're on a roll!

Sure it's tough, but so are you! Dx 11/23/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2004 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2004
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Mar 21, 2011 04:09PM LuvRVing wrote:

Another source for really great boxes is a book store - Barnes & Noble or Borders.  The boxes are extremely sturdy but not so big that you can overfill them to the point that moving them is painful.  We moved my mom using those boxes and they were absolutely perfect.

 Michelle

Michelle - read my blog at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com - Be kind to one another! Dx 6/15/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 3/29/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/21 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 5/11/2012, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 04:10PM Meece wrote:

Someone told me that if it isn't something you'll use, just take a picture of it and toss it.  Then you can step down memory lane and you won't have to store it.

Sure it's tough, but so are you! Dx 11/23/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2004 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2004
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Mar 21, 2011 04:40PM Claire_in_Seattle wrote:

I have a friend whose mother's day present is to rent a dumpster.

One more I might add re: clothing is "fix it or toss it".

Freecycle is another thought if you have one nearby.

Completed all treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, radiation and 5 years of AIs - anastrazole). Now celebrating every single day for the wonderful life I have been granted. Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH)
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Mar 21, 2011 06:09PM patoo wrote:

Glad to find you all.  I have soooooooooooo many clothes, some, okay most, too small because I thought I would get back into them.  Some too big because they were bought to hide a multiple of issues..  Most of it I won't wear again even if they fit.  Lately what I've done is try on something, wear it if I can and then take it off, wash it and put it into a donate pile.  So that's how I'm getting my closets down.  It is going too slowly so I am going to have to, at some point, just grab stuff out that hasn't been worn in years and get rid of it. 

We cleaned my aunts apartment after she passed in Oct.  Took 6 of us 8 weekends - she was a hoarder of the type you see on TV.  She was single with no kids and never let anyone into her place so we had no idea.  Now my den is filled with stuff, new stuff, to sell at a yard sale or ebay or, I like the idea above of craigslist.  I don't expect to sell my house until next year but it would be nice to not wait until the last minute to get this all done.  Thanks, maybe this thread will get me motivated to move something out each day.

"for we live by faith, not by sight" - 2 Corinthians 5:7 Dx 10/24/2008, ILC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/11/2009 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 4/1/2009 Breast Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel
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Mar 21, 2011 06:12PM - edited Mar 21, 2011 06:14PM by o2bhealthy

I was a size 8 when this whole BC 'journey' started, went up to a 16 (Ouch) and now am between a 12/14.  I have so many clothes that were given to me, bought or picked up at goodwill that I could open my own shop...instead I am having a yard sale Laughing I literally have 6 large Rubbermaid bins full of clothing and I really need to just purge.  My problem is I still don't know how to dress this new body so I am scared to throw anything out just yet...I like your idea Pattoo of trying on and if it doesn't fit/look good it goes in the yard sale bin!

I have gone through every room in the house but the kitchen and bathrooms. My garage is packed with stuff to sale and I will be sorting,  organizing and pricing over the next few weekends.  

I also took all my broken, unwanted jewelry and sold the gold/silver  last weekend.  I was amazed at what I thought was real gold/silver and what actually was.  For a handful of gold/silver we were paid $900.  Now I can throw the rest of the unwanted jewrly in my yard sale without worrying that I am giving away something valuable.  

I feel like the clutter and mess has taken over my house in the last two years. Now that I am feeling better and on the road towards normal I am taking my house back!!!

Michelle ~ DCIS and IDC - Thyroid Cancer dx 10-27-10, partial thyroidectomy 11-23-10 Dx 5/15/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 6/23/2009 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Targeted Therapy 7/19/2009 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 7/19/2009 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/12/2009 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 12/1/2009
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Mar 21, 2011 06:16PM Meece wrote:

When I helped my parents move a few years ago, I swear they had every reciept they ever got.  I found the bill from the hospital when my sister was born. $210 for delivery and a week in the hospital for mother and baby.

I helped them really toss a lot of stuff and i think we had four yardsales. Now I need to do the same for myself.

Sure it's tough, but so are you! Dx 11/23/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2004 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2004
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Mar 21, 2011 06:27PM suzwes wrote:

Such great ideas.  Ok, I have three items for Craigslist, one I put in a box for my DILs garage sale and the other I'm giving to the church and it is an asked for item!  Woo Hoo.  Now onto the two office piles.

I'm really trying to not stick the kids with a bunch of unneeded items.  I've always thought we should keep reciepts but I've gotten much better at shredding them (after a three month period).  If it's something I need for potential return in the next few years, I have a drawer to keep them in.  Now I have to go through all of my old receipts from years ago so that's next on the list.

Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 06:44PM o2bhealthy wrote:

I have old bills, receipts and tax records dating back to 89' - I asked my DH to bring out the old charcoal BBQ  (it's going in the yard sale too) so we can have a bon fire, it's just too much to shred! 

Michelle ~ DCIS and IDC - Thyroid Cancer dx 10-27-10, partial thyroidectomy 11-23-10 Dx 5/15/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 6/23/2009 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Targeted Therapy 7/19/2009 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 7/19/2009 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/12/2009 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 12/1/2009
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Mar 21, 2011 06:45PM suzwes wrote:

Great idea Michelle!

Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 06:46PM Meece wrote:

I was self employed for 17 years.  Some stuff I wil have to keep forever, but in 3 years all of the rest can go.  I try to get trid of stuff once the ten year mark has been reached.

Sure it's tough, but so are you! Dx 11/23/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2004 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2004
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Mar 21, 2011 06:58PM sheila888 wrote:

Michelle...My daughter did BBQ thing years ago it was so bad some people called the FD.

Sheila♥ Dx 4/8/2005, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 8/21/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/12/2015 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Dx 11/2018, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 07:05PM 3monstmama wrote:

sigh. A topic that is unfortunately timely for me.  My mother is a hoarder---a real honest-to-god hoarder.  I live in dread of following in her footsteps.  We don't have a home office ---what we have is a very scary combination bedroom/attic. 

I resolve to go home and spend 30 minutes picking out clothing for the goodwill. . . . .

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
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Mar 21, 2011 07:08PM suzwes wrote:

You can do it 3monstmama!  I have faith.  We're all coming up with some terrific ideas.  Ok, now I'm going to shred for 5 minutes.

Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 07:33PM vivvygirl wrote:

Hi Suzwes,

I am just over 2 years out and cannot believe how quick that went.

Courtesy from a website called "Flylady" , I like to use the 15 minutes work and then 15 minutes rest.  You can do lots in 15 minutes.

Good luck and don't get too bogged down....you still need to take care of you!

Hugs

Viv

A warrior must only take care that her spirit is not broken Dx 2/2009, IDC, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 07:38PM suzwes wrote:

Thanks Viv.  I love fly lady but haven't been on her website since I was diagnosed.  I did learn from her, 15 minutes work and then 15 minutes rest (or computer fun).  It normally works for me.

If anyone hasn't heard of fly lady, here's the link:

http://flylady.net/

Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2011 07:59PM SeasideMemories wrote:

Hi all...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one...  A good tip that I got from one of the shows on HGTV... When going through your clothes closet...

Step 1.. Get rid of anything that you KNOW you will never wear again (if you are like me... that wasn't too much since that's the whole problem... I think I may need it)...

Step 2.. Take anything remaining and hang it up with the open end of the hanger facing outward toward you (exactly opposite of how most people hang their clothing)

Step 3... After you have worn something, and laundered as necessary, hang the item back with the open end of the hanger facing away from you (the more normal way)

Step 4... Anything left hanging "backward" at the end of 6 -12 months GOES!!!

I am getting to the end of 6 months and really can't believe how many items are still hanging backwards!!!

Dx 5/8/2009, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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