Monthly Archives: September 2020

Deep thoughts on decluttering

3 lbs 11 oz I don’t have to shuffle anymore
An important alternate shot of the discarded papers
The quiet order of IEP and related paperwork


Raise your hand if you were there in 2008 when I started ye olde blog, known then as SiouxsiesMusings. My first post was bright and shiny with enthusiasm about the decluttering process I was going to undertake. Haha back then I thought it was a “one and done” kind of deal. I crack myself up.

I think some of my pre-baby nesting instincts got a little sidetracked because there really wasn’t time once the children train gathered speed. So I’m getting around to it now.

Kepler has an IEP (Individual Education Plan) for school and has had one each year since he started preschool in January 2009. The first IEP was about eight pages long and the documents increased in size each year so by now I have a couple thousand pages of these documents. Or maybe a thousand. Five hundred. A bunch. Today it was “get the IEPs organized” day.

Julie Morgenstern, in her book Organizing from the Inside Out, says that Americans spend a mind-blowing 9,000,000 hours every day looking for misplaced items. How she came up with that number I do not know, but that’s a big number!

And at the end of the day, the pages are in order, the other supplemental documents are in order and all are divided with labeled dividers. I now have a bag full of pages that were duplicates for one reason or another and are no longer clogging up the files.

So yay me. But it occurred to me that the decluttering and the resulting satisfaction are mostly a solitary experience. I know what a huge difference I made today but no one else does! I’m sharing the pictures of the pile I got rid of and the happy end result.

Best part of the accomplishment is I now have this year’s IEP and this year’s ETR (Evaluation Team Report) at my fingertips so I can stay abreast of the goals we are working on, instead of looking at them several years later and musing, “Huh.”

Wishing you this kind of order in your life,



Cleaning Sadie

[Sorry just let me moan a second here. WordPress has changed their editor. So, now I’m searching around trying to find the button to add an image. But no! Now you can add image compare, slideshow, tiled gallery, masonry, collage, offset, stacked, gallery, audio, cover, file, media and text, video, and OH THERE IT IS, image.]

And she shall be called Sadie.

Because I’m not aiming to be a world/current events blog, my post today is about my vacuum cleaner. Oh, not just any vacuum cleaner, but a SPECIAL vacuum cleaner. A Rainbow Rexair vacuum utilizes a basin of water on the base of the machine to catch the dirt and dust. This company has been around since 1936 and I got my machine around 2003.

I remember a tall thin man with a tall thin suit and a tall thin tie walking up our driveway when I was a kid. He was inexplicably carrying our vacuum cleaner. I didn’t know it was gone! Or that it would ever need to be fixed. But this type of vacuum cleaning system is top drawer and worth fixing.

Tall thin man was carrying one that looked like this one.

Seems owners both love them for superb cleaning power and don’t love them for their complicated nature. Not complicated like today’s tv remotes like how in THE WORLD do I turn this thing on. More complicated like where are the attachments, have I cleaned the separator lately and dang this thing is heavy. Ah, but you can vacuum floors! and furniture! and stairs! and the interior of cars! and concrete floors! and corners! edges! grooves!

Shiny upright vacuums usually play a role somewhere in the life of a Rainbow Rexair owner as one eventually tires of the extra weight and work and decides to just take ‘er easy for awhile with an upright one can just zip in and zip out of the closet. Soon enough, though, the upright gives up the ghost or the RR owner realizes the upright gives more of a lick and a promise than thorough cleaning.

These days though with cordless vacuums that just weigh a few ounces and have fancy attachments that can curl up and over high spots, one really has to be a RR aficionado to hang in there. Even my own mother, a RR owner since 1960, has finally eschewed her RR for a Dyson that she loves almost as much as she loves me.

Mom has given me leave to use her Dyson anytime and since we are next-door neighbors it would be easy to take her up on it. But. Even if it’s lighter (lovely) and cordless (dreamy), CAN IT DO THE JOB OF MY WORKHORSE SADIE? That remains to be seen.

The impetus for this post was actually The Woman Who Never Cleaned. (raises hand). Cleaning at many points along the journey has been an arduous, exhausting task that I found easier to leave undone. Who wants to clean over and over, especially when the youngsters inevitably track mud onto the freshly mopped floor?

Turns out, NOW I do. There’s not so much tracking anymore with fewer feet in the house. Plus I have learned to place rugs strategically and have grown to appreciate the habit of removing shoes upon entering.

The other impetus for the post was that this vacuum cleaner needs to itself be cleaned, dusted, scrubbed, etc. It works fine without such cleaning but how nice to have it zippy and zesty.

I looked online because there is nothing new under the sun and I was sure someone had made a video about cleaning their RR. But amazingly, no. So I will have to figure it out on my own! I’ll have to use my noggin! Problem-solve! Do trial and error! Maybe make mistake! Very exciting times we live in.

So while we all look westward (from my POV) and wish the people well who have to deal with the fires, and we all look heavenward for some relief from the political exhaustion, I’m going to also be looking sinkward as I take on cleaning Sadie. Wish me well.

PS [NB: Have cleaned and shined it since I started this post. Bye-bye, dusty dust.]