Category Archives: Rules of the Road

New Rules

  1. Handle things as little as possible.
  2. When items are for sale, if they don’t sell at some previously set time frame, try to remove at least 75% of the items from inventory.
  3. If it’s in the house, you don’t use it, haven’t used it, and you have no idea when or if you’ll use it, get rid of it or reuse the components.
  4. Ask for help when you need it.
  5. Take advantage of good weather.
  6. Talk to the people you do business with. If you’re personable and reasonable, it can save you money. Maybe not a lot, but some. We drove the rental van about 8 miles yesterday. Because we were personable with the folks we rented from and the person before us had put in a little more gas than they had to, the guy told us if the gas hadn’t gone down below x level, to not worry about it. It hadn’t, and so we didn’t buy gas.
  7. Make use of the resources and tools you already have. This one actually cost us money. We forgot our hand truck yesterday and so had to rent one, sigh. We didn’t use it much, but we still paid for the one we rented. Today I’ll throw the one we own in the car.

full hand truck



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If you comment here, please at least make sure your comments have some relationship to the content of the blog. Also, I’m a writer and editor. I speak and write English for a living. I’m a little fussy about language. Spelling and syntax and proper grammar aren’t as much of an issue for me as content however.

I appreciate good wishes but won’t let comments be posted that are nonsensical, whether or not they appear to be well meaning.


Since the 15th, I’ve managed to

catalog just under 300 books (289). I have the 100 I finished yesterday ready to go to the antique booth today. The white book case in DH’s office, which is going to the booth is nearly empty. The new graphics table and the space near it is much neater and holds less stuff. Yesterday I sold 5 books, donated 4, and put 3 in the dump bin, etc. I’ve also mowed and started the next wholesale box. I have a box of 50+ to catalog today before I go to the booth; I’m planning to sell them as a  box lot.

In other words, I have been BUSY. However, next week is the end of June, 1/2 way through the year. I have only about 50 things to add to the last tally, and I should be at around 5015, instead of the 3672 where I was as of my last update. I have added one new category of stuff going “out” that isn’t, well, it is. I’m giving myself 1 point for every 100 pieces I catalog. This is like a REVEAL in that I want to reward myself for the work I’m doing as I’m doing it, not just the stuff going out.

I need to give up on the desk that’s currently in the booth. I haven’t hauled it out of there because I haven’t been sure how to dispose of it. It’s DH’s, and he’s not entirely sure what he wants to do with it, either. If someone bought it, that would be great, but it has been there for a couple of months now, and no takers.

I’ve (finally) gotten into high gear, we’ll see!


I added a new category to the de-hoarding

“About” which is making a de-hoarding or cleaning goal. I have a goal elsewhere which was to clean a little room in my house (we have 9) for a month. I cleaned the room once weekly, for a month, so it counted as 1 item out. This is like the REVEAL, where I’m giving myself a point for tackling a really dirty job. If I give myself points for only the stuff out, I’ll pitch stuff right enough, but keep avoiding the untouched spots. Also, I determined that my hoarding undo required two things: less stuff AND new habits. The REVEAL and DE-HOARDING or CLEANING GOAL fall into the new habits category.


The Uncounted

Just so you know, this is the storage unit. This stuff is NOT in the house, there’s other stuff in the house

What's NOT in the house!

So ~all~ I have to do is empty the house enough to get some or all of this into the house so I can go through it. No problem, right?


Haven’t quite finalized the new format yet

but it should be done, I hope, by the middle of next week. This post was written Wednesday, 1/4/12.

It’s COLD here, 4 degrees. My inclination is to curl up in bed with a cup of coffee and a good book. That’s my reward, if I get things done. The dump is open this afternoon & I need to take the trash/outs from last week (couldn’t go then) and this.

All the stuff I can think of adding to the dump bin has already been counted. I need to find new areas to clean/declutter/cull.

Let’s see . . . .

The fridge needs to be wiped out, and its contents culled as needed, but that’s part of the normal Wednesday dump routine. Even if I pitch 100 items (I won’t.) none of it is counted.

The long-term food storage also needs checking ( potatoes,onions, etc.) Again, this is routine and not counted unless I do pantry consolidation, pitch storage containers, or some such. The pantry shouldn’t give me much, if anything, to count either.

The laundry & bath are cluttered, so I suppose I’ll start there. They’re two of the smallest rooms, and so should be the easiest to keep clean. They are, but they also get cluttered really fast if I’m not diligent! There’s probably not a lot that will be counted from either as they’ve been cleaned regularly.

Last on today’s list is the attic. The bead dresser has been cleaned/removed. The trunk from storage needs to be cleaned and put in the attic and things stored in it. Storing previous clutter DOES count, so most of my tallied items today should be attic related. We’ll see! [Note: the trunk did NOT get put into the attic 1/4. That should happen later this week.]

Cleaned/revealed one corner of the attic; I’ll count this as 1. There are many spots that need to be cleaned/revealed that haven’t been in the past six months. This corner hasn’t been cleaned in probably 5 years. It was a dirty job, it sure needed cleaning! Revealed spots are usually nasty. And, I suppose that rewarding myself with a point for each isn’t overly indulgent. Is it? The rules say, “Regular clean up isn’t counted.” but this isn’t regular cleanup, not if I only do it every 5 years!


To dump (swap shop): 1 book, door mat, failed gallon of preserved lemons, 1 oak bookend, one sponge, 2 pieces of counter top (remainders of a now complete project, not pictured)

Dump stuff 1/4/12

To family:0
Gave away:0
Trashed: broken glass, chipped ceramic tile 2

Used: razor blade, box, 2

Spice bottle landing pad, box/razor blade used

Found new home/put away: 4 x 6 cards, stack of postcards – (both clutter in DH’s office), 3 tins of buttons 5

Moved from LANDING PADS: 32 uprights & shelves to attic

shelves, moved from LANDING PADS in livingroom, dining room, and DH's office to attic

Consolidation (a/k/a the Arlo Guthrie school of stuff management.)
pantry consolidation 1, office consolidation 1
Cleaned/revealed: 1 part of the attic

From the dump:0
To a landing pad:
bead dresser (temporarily parked in the livingroom, on its way to the antique store)1
20 used plastic bags to go to the antique store/ bookstore, or?,

today 51-1= 50

old 10011
new 9961

What counts (and doesn’t)

Items counted are almost always “hard goods,” rather than consumables. There are three main ways things are removed:


The store stock is being sold. I give items away regularly, though I avoid craig’s list and freecycle. (That may change!) Unsold items are frequently taken to the dump or donated. Food or anything acquired in quantity and then needing storage for some time counts, although “normal” consumption doesn’t. (If we buy 10 boxes of steak, that counts as -10, as we’ll store them for months.) I usually then forget to deduct the items when used. Regular purchases of consumables don’t count.

If something overflows its allocated storage and requires a LANDING PAD (temporary storage) it’s counted as a negative. When the item is moved into regular storage (Extra TP moved from the attic to the bathroom) it’s counted as a plus. I count CONSOLIDATION as a plus, two bottles of spice now in one bottle counts as +1.

When something that has been clutter gets  put away, I count that as FINDING A HOME for the piece. Sometimes, I have to designate a place where it will go, sometimes it is simply something that’s been out of place for a while. (Regular cleaning doesn’t count.)

Other terms I use: SPACE BUDGET, allocating a given amount of space to a type of thing…like a box to hold candles. If the box isn’t big enough to hold all the candles, then I donate/trash/give away enough items so that the remaining items will fit the SPACE BUDGET. It’s too easy for me to think I’ll find alternate storage for an item, I’ve acquired a lot of stuff by thinking that. The SPACE BUDGET gets me to cull the (whatever) collection, and reminds me that space is NOT infinite, at least in my home, and costs money.

I have no idea how I’ll get rid of 200 items a week!

Note: If I find an error after I publish a list of items in/out, I will either add new content in bold or strike through an error and replace it.

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