Spring Cleaning, Yard Work, and Getting Rid of Stuff - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-27-2019, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Spring Cleaning, Yard Work, and Getting Rid of Stuff

Last fall I decided it was time to do the big "de-clutter". When we moved into our house I had a child in middle school, a child in elementary school, and a one year old. Fast forward and now I have two adult children off on their own adventures and my youngest is 16. And I have a house that is crammed to the gills with "stuff". The big de-clutter never happened because we got a horse and had to do some major work on our property to get it ready and I did something to my shoulder that put me in a lot of pain for a couple of months. Now spring is here, the shoulder is pain free and the horse is at the trainer's barn so I feel it is time to get organized. I also need to do some home improvement things since we have lived in the house so long. The carpet is old and needs to be replaced (with something besides carpet), all the rooms need a fresh coat of paint, and every cupboard, drawer, and shelf needs to be cleaned and organized.

And the yard work. I know a lot of people are still experiencing very cold temperatures or dealing with acres of mud but in the desert it is warm and sunny. We had a really wet winter so the weeds are horrible this year. And with Miss Lulu arriving and my shoulder issue I didn't get the chance to do my late fall/early winter cleanup of the yard so everything is overgrown and in desperate need of pruning.

Anyone else feel the need to simplify, minimize, just get rid of the stuff? I have a difficult time relating to a lot of the blog posts, videos, etc. online about minimizing because they often discuss the habit of buying tons of things online or weekly trips to the mall. I'm not a shopper unless you include trips to the feed store for horse food and bedding, and dog food. The most recent boxes I went through were clothing from when my children were little. I managed to get that down from six boxes to three. Still, I am struggling to find the time to go through things and with a husband, a teen, a horse, two dogs, two cats, and a goldfish it isn't easy to find the time. :)
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post #2 of 25 Old 04-27-2019, 08:42 PM
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This lady is pretty inspirational! Sending good decluttering vibes!



I need to do our shed this year...

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post #3 of 25 Old 04-27-2019, 10:59 PM
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@SueC I watched Marie's first season Netflix a few times already! LOL!

@MissLulu I am doing the same this weekend. A lot of yard work and throwing stuff away. We went on vacation and spring finally hit while we were away.
I tried when we had some nice days a few weeks back but everything was still frozen to the ground!
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-28-2019, 12:15 AM
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May I tell y'all about my current yard work? It's a drainage / neatening project, and I need to finish it before I do the actual clean-up / reorganise in our shed. I have photos etc from my journal... and left a couple of pounds of body fat out there last week, which was nice. (You know what they say - "Burn fat, not oil!" - a road cycling saying!)

And I also have music, because I find stuff like this goes better with music. Anyone here got any favourite yard work / clean-up / de-clutter music?


DRAINAGE PROJECT / GRAVEL PATH

A project over the past week has been to get a lot of the drainage around the shed and tank done that we were supposed to put in last year (but I broke my foot). This is so we don't have to wear Wellington boots to get into our shed after rain. I ordered gravel, which came last Monday, and spent a couple of days shifting earth, digging ditches, laying pipe and shifting two tonnes of gravel with a wheelbarrow. The week I did that, I did no Pilates or rope-skipping! I did go for several rides on bicycle and horse though.

Thank goodness for iPods! Nothing like a good song to help you shovel gravel efficiently. Here's an excellent one that energises me for this sort of work:

Other favourites for this kind of work:

I didn't take any "before" photos, but the problem was that we never put in any drainage when building the shed and tank, and so for five months every year, there would be major puddles, turning at intervals into a swamp or even a temporary sort of creek. This actually eroded a channel into the sandy walkway between the tank and shed - not helped by Romeo's habit of coming to watch me make food for the whole entourage every evening (he just loved cooking shows ), and walking up and down the path in excitement when he thought his feed was getting close.

We had originally covered all that area in woodchips, but these degraded, washed away etc, and a more permanent solution was needed. So, I ordered some gravel, both to make drainage lines and to make a decent permanent path between the shed and the water tank. Then, I started carving out the excess sand that had blown dune-like up against the shed and tank walls - ten wheelbarrows full! I shifted this out to a hole near a gateway I also want to fix this year. After that, I dug a ditch for a slotted pipe and gravel - and only then started taking photos.

Photos 1 - 3: Stormwater pipe that was left over from our house build, and that I'd slotted with an angle grinder every 40mm or so before placing it in the ditch, ensuring it had the correct fall, and glueing the sections together. Loose sand in the bottom of the ditch was checked with a spirit level and raked to suit before the pipe was placed in the ditch, and the pipe was re-checked after placement for correct fall.







Photo 4: Bedding the pipe on one side before adding gravel into the ditch.



Photo 5: The gravel... 4 tonnes, in 3 cubic metres of volume.



Photos 6-10: Thick layer of gravel now in place over drainage pipes and ditch, creating a nice walkway that won't blow in the wind or wash out. You can see at the bottom end that I still have to connect the outlet pipe from this area to a pipe leading to a little pond we have dug to receive stormwater. The pond itself will have an overflow pipe that leads directly into the ditch besides the driveway. These are the next stages of the project... I'll start that in a few days, but have some urgent work to do in the food garden first. Nice to see the progress though...









...the reason the "after" shots look cleaner is that I scrubbed down the shed and tank walls to complete the job...

Next stage is this week - more ditch-digging and gravel carting! Wishing everyone a successful and productive week with clean-up, yard and decluttering / organisation work.

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post #5 of 25 Old 04-28-2019, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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@SueC Your new walkway looks really nice. I usually don't have to deal with mud but this winter we had so much rain and I had horse in the yard so I couldn't just avoid going outside until everything dried up. I really feel for horse owners in areas with lots of rain and the resulting mud. I noticed how clean the shed and tank look in the last photo. I'm glad I'm not the only one that cleans the exterior of buildings! I like your music selections, I need to make some playlists to work to. After only watching about five seconds of the Big Audio Dynamite video I had to look up when it came out. I was sure it must be mid 80s. I can't wait to show it to my daughter and tell her it is a perfect example of music videos when I was her age. And I really like Marie Kondo. I read her books a few years ago.

@COWCHICK77 I watched Marie Kondo's series on Netflix about a month ago and found it very inspiring. The show was the reason I was able to get rid of half of the baby/toddler clothing I had saved. I love how Marie doesn't try to tell people what to get rid of or guilt them into getting rid of things. Once I felt I had permission to keep the things it made it easy to get rid of some.


I really hope my trash man doesn't hate me next week, there will be lots of yard debris for him to haul away. I pruned a few shrubs and pulled up so many weeds I lost track. Tomorrow I'm going to focus on the inside of the house.
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-28-2019, 02:34 AM
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Thank you, @MissLulu . Please share some of what's on your play list when you make it up! And yes, BAD brought this out in 1985 and of course, at least one of the band was ex The Clash. I really do like this song, it was always a good anthem for me as a young person to keep on pushing on in difficult circumstances. I remember listening to it in my senior high school years.

Isn't it fun, being able to date a clip by its appearance / style etc. I also remember Tom Petty's clip from that time, for Don't Come Around Here No More - a surreal Alice In Wonderland! Great fun, and still is. It's a sad thing he died so relatively young recently.

And isn't Ms Kondo just so lovely and soft-spoken and warm and inspirational... I mean, she actually makes you want to clean and organise!

@COWCHICK77 , if the ground is frozen, can't you just use a blowtorch?

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post #7 of 25 Old 04-28-2019, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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@SueC I Googled "Don't Come Around Here No More". I haven't watched that video in ages! And it is sad Tom Petty is gone. I felt the same way when David Bowie died. "Modern Love" was a song I listened to over and over as a teen.



I adore Marie Kondo. She is so sweet and, like you said, makes me want to clean and get my house in order.
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post #8 of 25 Old 04-28-2019, 05:41 AM
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Yes, David Bowie was a huge loss... and he always looked so great for his age, so it came as a real shock. I completely understand why you'd keep the terminal cancer under wraps in his position - imagine how the media would have hunted him otherwise... you'd want what's left to you to be quality time without avoidable rubbish.

Robert Smith turned 60 last Sunday, and Bono won't be far behind. It's kind of sobering. They are just over a decade up from us. Things go quite fast, although of course, one shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. And, as Geldof cited on one of his albums, "Mortality is a small price to pay for existence."

However, despite all this fear instilled into us in our 20s that we'd be "over the hill" at 30 and half dead by 40 I am having the best time ever right now - no previous age felt as good as my 40s. So I keep on telling the young whippersnappers that, who are stressing about 30!

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post #9 of 25 Old 05-07-2019, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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In an attempt to annoy my trash man again this week I spent the entire day in the yard pruning and weeding. And I found something wonderful.

A nest of quail eggs. My daughter counted 20. I won't be pruning the ornamental grass that is hiding the nest. I'm so excited. Quail babies are adorable!
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post #10 of 25 Old 05-07-2019, 02:49 AM
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We got some pasture clearing done. Got a bunch of deadfalls burnt before the burning ban. I hear ya about the decluttering, I am due for a trip to the "share shed". A place at the local dumps where you can drop off items for others who would like them. I have to keep hubby away from there, he brings home stuff I later have to take back!
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