A Long and Accomplished Day for the Non-Consumer Advocate

by Katy on March 6, 2010 · 11 comments

I am a big fan of free time. It’s not unusual for me to spend a couple hours after the kids leave for school to drink my tea, read the paper and goof around on the computer work on the blog. I then throw in a load of laundry, tidy up the breakfast dishes, take a shower and then slowly enter the land of the awake.

Today was different.

I had agreed to help a friend ream through her basement today, so I knew I didn’t have the luxury of multiple cups of tea and my normal leisurely pace. And you know the phrase, “Need something done, ask a busy person?” Well today, that was me.

  • Woke up at 7:00 A.M. to wake son #1 and come downstairs to start tea and make school lunches, (I usually do this the night before, but had slacked off) and start the tea, which we all drink.
  • Drove my 14-year-old to school for early morning Japanese tutoring.
  • Wake son #2, and get him ready for the school bus.
  • Eat breakfast, quickly check e-mail and head out the door. Make sure to bring camera to document the process, as well as a Vancouver library book I checked out in November to take to the house of the librarian who had arranged for a talk I gave. (I thank the big librarian in the sky for online renewals, I really do!) Turn the car back around as I realize that I forgot to pack an inhaler, and I’m thinking today is going to trigger all sorts of asthma symptoms.
  • Drop off library book.
  • Stop to pick up a dozen donuts.
  • Arrive at my friend’s house at 10:00 A.M.
  • Work all day with a fun team of friends on a rather un-fun task of basement decluttering.
  • Rush back home at 4:20 P.M. to meet up with my kids.
  • Drink a cup of tea, throw a load of laundry in the wash, short chat with a neighbor, and then start making dinner.
  • Completely rearrange everything on my mantel to show off the antique chalkware bookends I gleaned from my friend’s basement.
  • Serve dinner and then clean up from dinner. (Which takes an unbelievably lengthy amount of time.)
  • Sew polar fleece onto a hoodie for my son in the pattern of a panda bear, while watching the documentary Addicted to Plastic with my son.
  • Write my blog post for the day.

It is now 12:52 A.M. and I am beat, beat, beat. My feet ache, my back hurts and my breathing has that penny whistle sound that makes me wonder where I left my trusty inhaler.

Simple living? Not always. But I do feel like I actually got something accomplished today. I’m just happy that I can sleep in tomorrow and nobody is expecting me to make any basement appearances.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Sense of Home March 6, 2010 at 6:09 am

A sense of accomplishment is a satisfying feeling. I love a quiet start to the day too though, never enough of those.


Emily March 6, 2010 at 10:12 am

Do you not know the rule that if you cook, you don’t have to clean up? It is even more important than the “if you have a cat on your lap you can ask someone to fetch you things” rule!


Katy March 6, 2010 at 11:51 am


We have a rule that trumps that one, which is “if you just worked a 12-hour shift, then you neither have to cook nor clean.”

Why is why I do a lot more cooking and cleaning than my husband.

Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


Angela March 6, 2010 at 10:37 am

I love the polar fleece panda hoodie!


Katy March 6, 2010 at 11:55 am

The hoodie did turn out super cute. We had looked for a white hoodie at Goodwill without success, and I ended up actually going to the mall to find a light grey one at Old Navy, which exactly used up a gift card that someone had given my husband. The polar fleece I already had, so there was no money spent.

I consider using up gift cards to be a Compact exception.

Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


Lisa March 6, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Katy- We just had a 4 day stretch of volunteer work, so I understand what you mean. By Friday, the best I could do was make a valiant effort at cooking and housework before collapsing on the bed….for just a short nap. (It ended up lasting nearly 4 hours!) I’ve been lingering on my morning routine this weekend because I was rushed through it all week. Next week we’ll be volunteering again unless it comes to the point that the work is caught up. Hey, I can always HOPE!


Karen March 6, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Katy, I think it was very sweet of you to help clean out someone else’s basement! I don’t even like to be in ours, let alone go through someone elses’s stuff.

It must be spring in the air, because today we attacked our bedroom and it’s about half done. Who knows when the clutter got cleared out last, or when the room got dusted! But after de-cluttering the floor, cleaning the windows and washing the curtains, it’s beginning to feel like a new room…and I hope this inspires us to keep decluttering. Goodwill will be happy with some cool stuff to sell, and the library’s used book sale area will too.


Sense of Home March 7, 2010 at 6:24 am

I have used that “cat on my lap rule” many times.



tammy March 7, 2010 at 7:47 am

Ah Katy! When I read you were de-cluttering a basement I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder if Katy will gleen any treasures!”
Glad to hear about the bookends!


magdalena March 7, 2010 at 10:28 am

Gleaning is a perk of cleaning someone else’s space. I had a spring cleaning binge, started with washing windows in the baby’s room because we took down the sheer curtains to wash them before hanging the new dark curtains I’m sewing. So that led to cleaning the floor, washing the mirrors, cleaning out the closet, and sweeping under the dresser. And the clean closet meant that an old crib, a baby mobile, a play mat and a fan got moved to the lumber room over the kitchen. The outgrown clothes got bagged and set aside for the rummage sale next month.

One room down, twelve to go!


Katy March 7, 2010 at 10:30 am

Don’t forget the rooms at my house!



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