Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bathroom Etiquette

I finally cleaned out the medicine cabinet and associated drawers in the bathroom.  There were plenty of things that needed to go out - I'm talking about stuff that you wouldn't even consider using anymore.  Old, very old, and even empty boxes, bottles and various containers.
I started by taking all of the stuff out and setting it on the counter, then here are some steps you can follow next.
  1. Set aside items you used this morning or will use tonight (or any of their refills)
  2. Pull out the tools & implements - brushes, razors, etc.
  3. Separate by IN or ON (does it go IN my body or ON my body)
  4. Separate by usage: skin / hair / teeth / eyes / cosmetics
  5. Anything with an expiration date needs to be examined
  6. I don't know if shampoo expires, so just try it out on the strands of hair that you are willing to sacrifice
  7. Ask yourself questions like...
    1. "Will I ever use this massage oil from that freaky girl in college?"
    2. "Do I need 13 new replacement toothbrushes?"
    3. "How long ago was Pert Plus popular?"
  8. Remember: When in doubt, throw it out.
I actually found 2 Rolaids on one of those foil-backed cards that was dated 10/88.  That's 1988 for those of you can't remember back that far - it gave me a stomach ache just looking at it.

Tips to keep it ship-shape
  • Use up what you have before you buy more - apply that to everything from lotions to lubricants
  • Next time you need to clean out that crack between the stove & the counter, go grab one of those toothbrushes - or better yet, use your daily one and get out a new one for your teeth.
  • You can still steal those travel-size items from hotels, but donate them to the troops or to a shelter

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just a Little on the Trashy Side

Do you take the trash out to the curb once a week?  Do you have several bathrooms, bedrooms, a kitchen and a garage all with their very own trash cans?  Do you purchase rolls of trash bags from local fund raisers faster than you use them?  Well, me too.

I used to have an inconvenient method for storing these rolls of bags no good way to dispense them.  Well no more.  One Saturday afternoon I was puttering around the garage trying to see what I could organize better and I decided to solve the trash bag puzzle.

With a 6 gallon oversize milk crate and a few short wooden dowels (pipe, re-bar or conduit would work also) I was able to build a nice little dispenser for my rolls of trash bags.  The 2 rolls I use often in the front, and the other 3 in the back where it's still easy to reach through and pull the loose end out when you need one.


This contraption can easily sit on it's side on any garage shelf.  It's not fancy, but neither is your trash.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who are you calling a Tool Bag?

A man's gotta have tools, right? You can't fix everything around the house with Google.

I've had a lot of tools: hand tools, power tools, bench tools.  But I don't build stuff; I fix, I install, and I assemble, but I don't build.
The problem is that I fix in the bathroom, I install in the kitchen, I assemble on the living room floor but all of my tools are in the garage.  If I worked on cars tools in the garage would be fine, but the closest I come to that is pumping my gas.  All of the tools in the garage and all of the projects in the house makes for a lot of walking and not a lot of working.

I needed to pare down my collection and find a better way to organize my tools.  Here are some things I did.


Here's what I started with:
  • 2 Craftsman rolling tool chest in the garage
  • 8 various tool boxes, a few metal and some plastic ones
  • 1 "electrician's" style tool bag
  • Several pouches, tool belts, etc.
  • An entire 6 ft. tall shelf containing various power tools

First I found new homes for some of the bench tools by contacting the shop teacher at a local high school.  He was elated to have some nice quality tools donated to the wood shop and he even came by and picked them up.
I quickly prepared some additional tools for an upcoming garage sale - a few big money makers and a few I knew for sure I didn't want to keep.

Then I picked up a set of Husky tool bags.

Husky 10" All Purpose Tote
Husky 17" Open Tool Bag
Husky 12" Tool Bag

I'm pretty pleased with all three of these products, they seem sturdy & durable and are well configured with pockets.  I figured if I can't fit all of my hand tools in these three bags, then I have too many.  Turns out, I do have too many.  I've loaded up these bags as follows...

12" Tool Bag: regular everyday type tools - pliers, screwdrivers, measuring tape, adjustable wrench, hammer, flashlight, etc.
10" All Purpose Tote: advanced tools that I may actually use - drill, stud-finder, wire stripper, hack saw, Torx & hex wrenches, Channel-lock pliers, putty knife, etc.
17" Open Tool Bag: the leftovers - full set of Craftsman sockets, pipe wrench, chalk line, ohmmeter, etc.

You get the idea.  Once I finished, I noticed that most of the stuff that still wasn't in a bag was the el cheapo brand junk that I really didn't like to use anyway.  That's the stuff to toss out.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Could Not Have Said It Better Myself

Here's a great little article along the lines of how I feel about Simplimizing.

http://simpleorganizedlife.com/what-simplicity-and-minimalism-isnt-about/

The Beginning

Today I'm going to try to start a blog about making my life easier. Maybe I just feel like making a blog about it will be easier than actually doing something about it. That's how things are now - you don't have to know or do or be things, you can just write about them until people trust you know what you're talking about.
That's what I'm going to do here; just document things I've done (or want to do) and you can follow along.

The Plan:

Here's what I will do...
Toss out some old stuff
Stop buying so much new stuff
Organize things
Make better decisions about my possessions

Here's what I won't do...
Teach you how to grow your own food
Try to tell you that you have too much stuff
Preach about commercialization being bad
Talk about Zen

There are enough blogs and writers talking about enlightenment while they count their limited possessions. And they're great - I even read them. But I'm not in that situation and I imagine there are a few other people out there who feel the same way.