Plan #8 – Use a hacksaw

I have been slowly turning our spare room into a guest room. Very, very slowly.

We set the room up with a bed, nightstand, and dresser over a year ago when my nephew was staying with us. He moved his stuff in, it looked pretty cool, I was feeling good about the space. But when he moved back home, the room was pretty barren.

At that point, I decided I wanted to have a dedicated guest room. (We’ve lived here ten years, and our guests have been staying in pretty haphazard conditions.) So for the past year, I’ve acquired some things to fix the room up: new sheets, a quilt, some window coverings – but I never got around to putting it all together.

The worst thing? All the unfortunate people who have stayed here this year had to deal with glaring sunshine and/or makeshift window coverings. The blackout shade and the new curtains were right there in the room, but I never managed to get them hung up.

Until now!

Yes, today I broke out the hacksaw and started sawing some metal. See, the Ikea shade I got was sort of one-size-fits-all. You use scissors to cut the shade to fit the window, then saw the extra inches off the metal rod at the top. It took me three tries to get the length right,  so I am now a pro at this whole hacksaw thing. I got to put my skills to use an hour or so later, too, as I hacked down a Goodwill curtain rod for that same window.


Shade = installed; curtains = hung. An excellent day’s work after a year of procrastination.

In related news, my arms are killing me after all this over-my-head drilling and measuring (on top of all the hedge trimming and leaf raking I did this morning). I’m beginning to wonder why I scheduled a massage for 9 AM today instead of 9 PM!

Plan #4 – Book some appointments


I don’t have a fear of doctors, dentists or hair stylists. Why, then, am I so bad about making regular appointments?

See, I’m very, very good about going to Urgent Care. Part of that is because I am often ill; part of it is because I am terrified about things going wrong. I’ve decided I’m not a hypochondriac, because they want something to be wrong, but I’ll admit I get anxious about my health.

But regular checkups? Mammograms, skin checks, flu shots? Seeing the dentist twice a year? Somehow I never remember to make appointments for those things.

I’m definitely improving on the haircut front. I’m growing my hair out (goal #2 for my 50th birthday), and I am facilitating the process with regular trims. But I had to cancel an appointment when I was in California last month, and kept forgetting to re-book it. I do much better when they just schedule me right at the end of the last appointment so I can put it in my phone and move on.  Now I just need to get Kaiser to update their systems to book out for six months or a year so I can do that there, too.

Check this space for updates – I’m gonna make myself book those doctor and dentist appointments tomorrow!

Plan #1 – Deal with paperwork

November is in full swing and the aforementioned plans have kicked into gear! The first plan will simultaneously reduce stress and tidy things up. Yes, I shall be taming the paper monster.

I have a love/hate relationship with paperwork. Basically, I love virtually everything made of paper and hate the work of dealing with it. Obviously, this creates some problems, which manifest in the form of piles and piles and piles of papers that need my attention.

It’s not as bad as it used to be, though! Over the years, I have implemented some strategies that have helped me deal with paper. I have a decent filing system, thanks to Freedom Filer. (Prior to using it, I kept everything; it really did give me the freedom to know when and how throw stuff away.) Flylady taught me about using an Office in a Bag to corral bills and important things so I can grab the bag and deal with stuff on the go. (Somehow it’s easier to pay bills when I’m at the office, since that’s where I pay bills for a living!) I’ve adapted that concept to having separate bags for specific contexts: a church bag, a Girl Scouts bag, etc. The papers are often still “piled” into the bags, but at least it helps clear off flat surfaces. The killer, though, is actually making sure that all papers go to their final destinations instead of just being piled until such time as I feel like dealing with them.

Well, look out, papers! The time is NOW. Since November is the beginning of the rest of my life, I have decided that my new life will not involve being taunted by unprocessed paperwork. The plan for today went something like this:

  • Step one: Collect all the loose papers in the house.
  • Step two: Be very glad that David made the bed this morning. (Wonder about the three white pillows. Why three? Decide to deal with those later.)
  • Step three: Let the sorting begin!


No, this is not all of it… not by a long shot! But it was a good start. I didn’t finish sorting, but in order to make the bed a proper sleeping surface, I managed to clear everything into a temporary file box with the following categories: To Pay, To Do ASAP, Calendar, Projects, My Interests (I read a book that suggested a file called this, and I loved it because it is so vague and all-encompassing), and To File. As a bonus for my hard work, I rediscovered six small checks that need to be deposited and discovered that my car registration expired at the end of September. (Oops!)

Still, I’m feeling proud. The paper monster is on its way out. Hasta la vista, paper!