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It has been awhile since I have posted on my progress with cleaning out the cabin.  I’m working at it more sporadically now because…. it’s almost done!  I’ve decided to take it even further and clean more out of each room.  It’s freeing up space for us to move (I’m thinking of this winter when we are stuck up the creek again.), and it is so much easier to keep clean.  We still have a lot of junk, but it’s tidy now.

junk3This is a corner in our living room that is better, but still needs quite a bit of work.  Our media collection is too much.  I never dreamed I would say that.  I used to have a good friend who had his walls in almost every room lined with shelves of DVDs, VHS, CDs, cassettes, records, and books.  I envied him.  Now, Ivy walks over and empties the shelves and I sigh, wishing I could bring myself to toss them all.  We are getting albums to put them in and shedding the cases.  Those suckers are expensive.  $26 for one 300 count album.

junk2The beautiful baker’s rack you see in this picture was handcrafted by my wonderful Papaw.  He is a master woodworker, and can make or create just about anything furniture or related with wood.  Just looking on him makes me smile. 🙂  This piece should be the showpiece of our living room, but again we have the problem of media… and then there are the instruments.  There you see two guitars, two banjos, and two fiddles.  That isn’t counting the instruments stored in the bedroom.   I might never know how best to store those.  John tries his best, but the thin strip you see for walking makes for lots of stubbed toes and bruised shins.  Swear (or alternate versions thereof) words uttered in the pitch of night while trying to find the bathroom.  That sort of thing.  Progress is ongoing here too.

cleanlr2Here is as far as I have gotten with the main area of our most used living space.  You can see in this picture the clear top of the media shelf and a clearer corner.  I’m thinking I might keep the two pretty things sitting on the couch.  They take up lots of room, but they are such joyful little things. 🙂

cleanlrI’ve figured if I can’t tackle the instruments I could at least make straight the rack.  Here is my progress there.  Much better in my eyes.  It’s easier to admire our little eclectic art collection.  We have work from C.M. Laster and his wife Grace Kelly, Karen Welch, and Kate Massey.  The record cover was done by John Haywood for the cow punk/southern rock, Kentucky band Nine Pound Hammer.

So, there has been a moving forward, a flushing out, and it is healthy.  So healthy.

Project Flush is on the second leg.  I’ve finished clearing and cleaning both the kitchen and bathroom in the last few days.  Only two more rooms to go!  Then, maintenance.

Here was my kitchen before.

kitchenjunkWhat you see here is every flat surface being used to collect junk and things that will eventually make their way to the recycling center in the next county.  Dishes are most always clean, and the floor is most always swept.  Otherwise, chaos.

Here it is now.

cleankitI feel like having a dinner party ya’ll.  I might actually get to put my Hull dinnerware collection to use. 🙂  Come eat with the Haywoods.  You’ll be served traditional Appalachian cuisine on fancy plates.

Basically, there was a special trip made to the recycling center.  Old bibs that were still in good shape were donated to Goodwill.  Food that ended up in our house, but that we would never eat has been thrown out.  Christmas decorations being stored in the kitchen were parred down and stored elsewhere.  Play kitchen toys were put away.

I can see my kitchen table!

I am most proud of these two areas.

The Hutch

The Hutch

It’s organized and ready for service.  See those purty dishes, and my current food project fermenting?

The Microwave

The Microwave

The microwave top is no longer the home of a zillion plastic bags and snacks that I couldn’t bring myself to give the girls.  Now, it’s home to apple cider vinegar and a few organic treats for the girls.  Oh, and coupons.

Today, I tackled the bathroom all in one sweep.  It has always been the easiest room to clean.  Except for the shower, but I so appreciate it.  John and I lived for seven years in the big city without a shower.  Tub baths aren’t all the rage they are made out to be… really.  Not very relaxing at all.


The strategy here was same as everywhere else.  Get rid of what is not used.  Fortunately, here I had some space that wasn’t being fully utilized, so much of the stuff sprawled in the floor found new homes.

cleanbathNow, I’m thinking of laying the tile linoleum we have had for over a year down myself.  Is it doable with two small children?

With these two rooms clean and spacious, I’m ready for any visitor we might have.  It makes all the difference in the world.  I can feel a release, and it isn’t taking half as long to do it as I thought.  Procrastination is really an enemy.

Next, I’ll work on our bedroom which is the dumping ground for anything that needs to be stored that doesn’t fit elsewhere.  That room will be my biggest challenge.

*I have noticed while visiting many of your blogs and reading comments, that I’m not the only one working on a decluttering project.  If you’ve been inspired, or would like to inspire others to do the same, feel free to comment on this post and leave a link to a similar post on your blog.  I think our need to purge is not a coincidence. 🙂

*Disclaimer – I’m stepping out on a limb posting these before pictures.  I want to make it clear that all the important areas of the cabin are very clean including dishes, bathroom, and laundry.  I do those things on a daily basis, as well as cleaning the girls’ room.  With small children, and the healing that I’ve gone through the past year it has made big projects a slow go.  Please don’t judge me harshly.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day decluttering the two most troublesome spots of our cabin – the girls’ room and our little faux closet spot.

After a day of play... I clean this mess.

After a day of play... I clean this mess.

Here is the room after one full day of play.  There is simply too much stuff for the girls to manage in play and in picking up.  Deladis is going on 4 and should be able to help somewhat in clean-up, but the sheer amount of picking up makes her stall and eventually turn away from it.  I spent three hours cleaning and sorting.  I got several bags of clothes and two large boxes of toys to take to Goodwill.  This is even after doing this very thing a few months before.

Better, but needs more work...

Better, but needs more work...

Then, I dared pull out the stuff that has been quietly sitting in our little cubby in our tiny hall for a year now, mostly untouched.

Who knows what these bags and boxes might hold?

Who knows what these bags and boxes might hold?

This area didn’t take me nearly as long.  I was done with it in two thirty minute sessions.  Most of it got to go to Goodwill. 🙂

Much better, and still more to do here.

Much better, and still more to do here.

Along with these areas, I went through the Christmas decorations being stored in the kitchen of all places and parred them down to one Rubbermaid container and the Christmas tree (being stored in my bedroom).  I also went through one of our 3 CD storage areas and moved the CDs from the jewel cases and into an album type case with the inserts.  The jewel cases go to recycling.  The CD tower goes to Goodwill.

We got a whole truckload of stuff and donated it at the closest Goodwill in Hazard.  I’m on a roll here folks.  I’m improving.  I’ve taken pictures of all the troublesome areas and will post them as I finish flushing them out.  I still want to work on the two areas I worked yesterday.  My trouble is what to do with things like the quilted crib set that my mother-in-law handmade for Deladis (bumper pads, quilt, and pillow).  We no longer need them, but it is hard to say “get rid of it” because it is something special that Deladis might want someday.  Storage for those types of things are a real problem for us.  I’m trying to get ideas.

This is definitely a release. 🙂


About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

March 2023

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