Tag Archives: cleaning

The big pre-Rummage + pre-John purge

I’ve been delaying a little on the tales of this year’s gigantic Rummage sale up in Winnetka, and the beautiful haul of stuff I brought back with me, but before diving in I have to talk about the purging that happened right beforehand.

The last time we officially purged our apartment was back in January, and it was time to have another go-’round for two reasons:

1) Rummage was coming up and I needed to practice the “out with the old” part before the “in with the new” hit us hard.

2) My brother-in-law John was about to move in with us for the summer, necessitating an emptying/reorganizing effort in the 2nd bedroom.

My mom always used to say that guests are a great excuse to get organized and to clean, and I concur. If John hadn’t come, who knows how long some of this stuff may have stuck around, generally loitering in a useless sort of fashion? But John came, and the stuff was put into its proper place: bags destined to be carried out the door!

There’s no feeling like walking old stuff out the door–it’s like winning a race.

Not that I’ve ever won a race . . . the whole ‘running’ thing never clicked for me. But it’s what I imagine winning a race might feel like.

Anyway! Our first mission was to clear out half of the closet I use. Remember when I color-coordinated it earlier this year? This is what it looked like:

The right hand half, destined for John’s use, housed a ton of my clothes and at least three guitars. Everything needed to find a new place. Time to make a big pile on the futon!

I love big piles on the futon. There’s no better way to feel instantly productive than to yank a lot of stuff off hangers and throw it about.

Over the course of an evening (make that two) I purged a good amount of clothing, and put into storage (i.e. large plastic boxes inna stack) anything that was too wintry and heavy for the warm season, and anything I didn’t think my pregnant self could fit into for much longer.

Of course, we had to create this clothing storage space by purging what was already in other boxes. We opened two of uncertain contents and found . . .

. . . a horse!

Goodbye, beautiful plastic horse that I loved for so many years.

My husband headed up this box-emptying effort, getting only slight distracted . . .

. . . by a tiny guitar.

That’s a keeper–it’s just the right size for my American Girl Doll. Who (and whose possessions) shall not be touched by The Purge. I have decreed it.

This purging amnesty also extended to the little box of American-Girl-doll-sized food that I made with my own two hands many, many years ago. Tiny pizza!

Tiny apple!

Tiny . . .

oh wait! It’s my old glasses from 2nd grade. Let’s see how they fit . . .

. . . just right!

They give a wonderful yellow tinge to the area around my eyes, which looks quite attractive, eh?

Not. Into the trash with ye!

Then there was an old jewelry box from Portugal that I used to think was the most beautiful thing in the world . . .

. . . but has been broken for ages. Time to go, sweet sweet jewelry box.

Next up was the project of housing of all our DVD’s in binders, to clear the shelf. My husband manned this effort solo. Great job, honeybunches!

And the purging of our TV! Into the alley, for some foraging person to find.

At this point, the closet looked more like this:

Slowly but surely, we were getting somewhere.

Then the bags were taken to the alley:

This was our first purging session. A second one happened a few weeks later, culminating in at least that much stuff going out the door again (though sadly, Haul #2 was not photographed by yours truly).

And by the end, John’s room looked like this:

And the closet, like this:

. . . with a closet organizer (a sneak peak of one of my Rummage finds).

Soon, tales of the “in with the new” part of things!

Well, let’s make that ‘soon-ish’ so that no one gets antsy waiting.

Graffiti on my coat: the solution!

A number of weeks ago I tossed up a short post telling you all the sad story of how, the previous morning, I had unwittingly leaned up against some wet graffiti on my train ride into work. I have one warm winter coat that fulfills all my needs, and since I was determined that some punk graffiti artist was not going to coerce me into buying new winterwear by means of his moist silver tag, I could either figure out how to clean it or live with the streaks and splotches forevah-evah. Here is the coat in question:

And here is the damage on the sleeve . . .

. . . and on the side, towards the bottom.

Not huge marks–but definitely noticeable. And annoying.

Two days after getting the graffiti on my coat, I was at a women’s breakfast/brunch that Traci (our pastor’s wife) was hosting. During the course of conversation, she and another mom were talking about occasions their kids had drawn all over stuff–walls, upholstery, etc. And then Traci mentioned how she had removed ink stains from their beige couch with her Tide magic marker. I perked up. A magic stain-removing marker? I rushed out of the room, grabbed my coat and shoved it towards Traci. “What about this?? Will the magic marker get this graffiti out??”

Traci genially applied her magic Tide marker. And it started working.

Needless to say, I bought my own at the grocery store that same afternoon and went to work on the coat.

I worked on the stain on and off for a couple weeks, carrying the marker around in the pocket of my coat so that I could pull it out whenever I had time to sit and rub at the paint with vigor. And after some time and diligence, it is mostly gone, with only a shadow left where the original stains were. Want to see the maker in action?

Here’s a small part of the stain up close . . .

Now let’s apply the magic.

Scrubbity dubbity dub . . .

. . . three men in a tub . . . the butcher, the baker . . . Huh? Three men in a tub? What’s this nursery rhyme about, anyway?

Moving on.

See how quickly it faded the silver? I’ll show you the ‘erased’ spot in contrast with the larger stain.

It’s still a little wet from the Tide liquid, but you get the idea.

And I have to say for any Doubting Daisies–this is no paid product endorsement or any such thing. This is simply a product I pounced on when Traci mentioned it because I was desperate to reclaim my winter coat from whatever gang tried to destroy it.

I also heard from Shalice (at the same women’s gathering) that a little Hydrogen Peroxide takes care of most blood stains. Well, I happen to have this nagging little blood stain on a perfectly great dress that I haven’t been able to remove even after repeated applications of Lestoil.

So I grabbed the peroxide . . .

. . . and thus endeth the story.

Because unfortunately, the peroxide was old and had lost all its bubbles, impeding me from carrying forth with the experiment. But I will resume this topic once I get a new bottle at the grocery store!