October Update

Happy October, everyone!

When a blogger goes missing, it's usually because they're either too busy that they can't find time to write, or they're doing absolutely nothing and therefore have nothing to write about. For me, it's actually been a combination of both - the first half of the month was pretty leisurely, but I've been keeping busy since!

I've been playing Guild Wars 2. I actually hit level cap, almost entirely by soloing. That just... doesn't happen with me. But I love it, it's a great game.

Of course, I've been doing lots of crafting (and cleaning) for Halloween... though I still haven't started our costumes. T's going to be the character from Journey, and I'm gonna make one of Cardcaptor Sakura's outfits.

None of our friends watch anime or have played Journey, so in the end I'll have put a ton of work into a costume that no one recognizes. Hooray! (Luckily I don't have to be done 'til Friday - I can wear an old costume or approximate Fancy Catwoman on actual Halloween night, if I need to. I will need to.)

For decoration crafts, I'm doing some reliable favorites (paper bats, pumpkins, orange lights, etc) and I DIY'd a few new ones: cheesecloth ghosts and paper pumpkins. The ghosts are being hung off of twigs that I painted black and sealed with Mod Podge.

Have a Happy Halloween! Hopefully this year I'll get some good photos of our costumes, heh.

Four simple things to help your home

I know, I know. The title sounds ridiculous and boring. But I'm serious! I've been playing house for the past few months in our new apartment, and have had to learn a couple simple tricks to being an adult living in a clean home. I've spent many years living as a lazy student who has better things to do than vacuum or make the bed. But I'm old enough now that I actually care about making my living space feel welcoming and comfortable, rather than cluttered and potentially hazardous. Here's the four things that have made the biggest difference in my quest to not live in a pig sty:

Velvet Hangers

These hangers are a god-send for any girl's closet. They can handle every piece of clothing I stick on them: cozy oversize sweaters, slippery satin dresses, wide-neck blouses, spaghetti strap tops. I don't think I can describe in words how amazing it is to be able to drag a suitcase out of the closet and not send half my wardrobe cascading onto the floor.

My closet has never been so clean.

With slippery plastic or metal hangers, most of my clothes lived on the floor. My closet was in a constant state of FUCK IT. Now? I organize by type and then suborganize my clothes by color, yo. ME. ORGANIZE. CLOTHES. BY TWO CRITERIA. I couldn't have done it with plastic hangers. It wouldn't have been possible.

Some people like those fancy wooden hangers with like, traction grips on the arms. They're nice, I'll admit. But velvet hangers have one thing those wooden hangers don't: they're slim line and interlocking.

BAM. Suddenly a hundred articles of clothing only takes up three feet of space. It's glorious.(Those numbers are in no way experimental. I just wildly guessed.) Also, the velvet hangers are way cheaper than a closet's worth of wooden ones. TAKE THAT, WOODEN HANGERS.

Uniform Tupperware

I have literally never witnessed a Tupperware cupboard that was organized. I don't know how it happens, but everyone seems to end up with everyone else's containers. You lost the lid to that one, but if you really force it, the lid from that other container will fit - not that one, the other slightly-rounded-square lid. Dammit, where's the circle lid? Where's the rectangle lid? Where's ARUGHGUGH -

- and now you're buried under a pile of plastic containers.

It's no good.

When we moved, I hunted down the owners of all our stray tupperwares and aggressively gave them back. And I mean aggressively - people really don't want that shit back in their house. I had to bribe and/or threaten people just to get them to take their containers back. I dangled containers over garbage cans and made vicious eye contact: "It's going in the garbage if you don't take it back! Then you'll feel bad!"

I kept one stack of Glad containers and lids that were all the same shape. Everything else was either returned to its proper home or trashed (some people were resistant to my attempts at guilting).

You probably have no idea how pleasant it is to empty the dishwasher and be able to pop all the containers into one stack without triggering an avalanche. It's like, the highlight of my day some times.

Smaller Clothes Hamper

We used to have two hampers. I'm not even sure why; we just had them. They were just there. So we used them... and let them get full. Eventually they'd get so overflowing that I'd scrape off the top layer of clothes and do two loads of laundry and call it a day. But the hampers were both still packed full of clothes.

I threw one hamper away when we moved because it was broken. And ugly. But mostly because it was broken.

The new place has a washer and dryer in the apartment! That really helped because we don't have to time doing laundry around a bunch of strangers' schedules. But, this washer is also much smaller than the one we used before; it holds about half the load size. If we let our one hamper get full, it can take five loads instead of two to empty it.

A smaller hamper would be a gentle reminder of this fact. We're not good at following schedules; we tend to lose days. We need visual reminders to do non-daily tasks. A full hamper indicates "laundry time," but that signal doesn't work if a full hamper means five loads of laundry!

Keep the Kitchen Sink Clean

This one is from a miracle cure I read on the Internet somewhere: "If you keep your sink clean at all times, your kitchen will never be messy." It sounded easy. It sounded like it would take care of my least favourite and most problem area: the kitchen. I decided to try it.

It really does work!

But it also takes work.

The reason it works it because you're more likely to do dishes and tidy up if the kitchen sink is already clean and waiting to be used. Sinks have a real special way of getting nasty. When you put dirty dishes in a sink, they stay wet. Whatever bits of food left on the dish gets soggy and it turns the water into what my friend so aptly named "stinkwater."

The stinkwater then starts to absorb genetic materiel and nutrients from the various unsavoury items lurking in the sink and it creates an astounding new form of life. Then you come along later and you're all: "YEA TIME TO CLEAN!" and the toxic ooze monster that's living in your sink is like, "hey," and then you have to drink a bunch of alcohol to forget about it. All because you put a dish in the sink.

If you force yourself to at least clean out the sink every day, you end up doing a lot of necessary little side tasks too. For me, that simple task unrolls into twenty minutes of work. Unload the dishwasher, load it up with dirty dishes, clean the pots and pans, rinse out the french press... on and on. Then I can finally wipe down the sink!

But it's worth it, if only that I haven't seen an ooze monster for months.
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"Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."