Tag Archives: stuff out

Old, but New

We bought a bookcase last weekend. Someone had taken an old industrial retail shelf unit (like I love and already had one of) and spray painted it silver, alas. However, it’s twice the size of the one I already owned. So, yesterday I moved/culled things around in the living room.

This required moving what was in that space (an old paperback case we’d had for the shop, the wood box, the containers of kindling and fire starting materials).

I hauled it all outside, including the fire wood and cleaned it. Culled out 1 bookcase, 1 enamel stew pot & lid, 2 wooden crates. All are going to the antique store today. The crates are the thing I regret the most, but I have no place to use them and they’re in the way, so out they go. They aren’t as interesting as the last batch of crates I bought as bookshelves (from a bookseller to a science department at Harvard) or the last lidded wooden box (marked for the American consulate, somewhere) as they have no labels or other markiings. They will almost certainly sell. Storage furniture/items are good — but money ain’t bad either!

Along this line, we’ve managed to come up with 2+ boxes of stuff to haul out of here to the sale this week too.

The fourth rug is almost finished, so that will be out of my queue too.

The memoir creaks along.

Got the first piece of our CSA share last week: almost 2 lbs of spinach. Tonight’s dinner will be the cold spinach soup I make. Here:

Lettuce Soup v 2

The last blog post for the CSA is one where the wife of the couple talks about how they plan to give their shareholders enough, or more than enough food, and people say it’s too much. We’ll see! If it’s truly too much, my neighbors or the compost heap will benefit. If not, then it will get used.

I didn’t go to an auction yesterday. The only thing I really wanted they had was wire shelving — which I want for the old laundry room/new pantry. Until we move things around, I have no place to put such a thing. My new rule is that I’m not buying stuff or keeping it, including shelving, storage, etc. unless I have a place to put it to use it RIGHT NOW. So the crates go out, the wire shelves were bought by someone else, and that’s it.

I may regret it later, but meanwhile, we have to get rid of the abundance o’ stuff that’s already here, so we can use the house as a home, not a storage depot!

Because of the culling/cleaning yesterday, I opened the surface cleaning files for the first time in months. I rearranged the table I was working on so that it makes more sense. If/when I get it to where it isn’t full of holes & typos, I’ll probably post it.

Do you use a list of seasonal cleaning jobs? What do you use? Where did you get it?



The History of Denim Strips

The denim strips I’ve been turning into decorations (hearts) have been in my life oh for more than 10 years now. Originally, they were legs cut off of jeans to make shorts by the seamstress for a fellow I knew. He sold jeans and denim shorts at a flea market where I had a booth. I took the trash bag full of denim leg pieces and had no idea wtf I was going to do with them. Years later, I decided to turn them into a rug.

The first attempt didn’t work. (1)

I gave them to someone else to turn into a rug, which worked fine, except that it curled. The third time I tripped over it I stopped using it. (2)

Then I came up with a brilliant idea of how I was going to use them to make a different kind of rug. I took apart (2) and charged ahead — except that didn’t work either. (3)

I came up with yet another technique. And, since I have never dismantled (3), I started buying jeans at flea markets, picking them up at the swap shop at the dump, etc. btw, this one didn’t work either (4).

So, I have a LARGE box in the attic labelled “denim for rugs” which is probably uncut jeans and I had somewhere around 1,000 denim strips in the house, mostly still in failed rugs (3) and (4).

While this was going on, I kept trying to figure out how to finger weave a rug, no loom, no sewing, but never found one. Instead, I had figured out how to handweave hearts. Lately, what I’ve been doing is making those hearts for resale. If they don’t sell? Well, that’s too bad, I’ll scatter them around the house, use them as booth decorations or just toss them. Right now there’s two with felt backs (another failed idea) hanging on the front door. I really should remove the not-so-great felt backs, but  haven’t yet. I probably will — eventually.

Also, eventually, and sooner than later, I need to make up a tutorial for these or someone will buy them, undo one or two and post a tutorial for something that literally took me months to figure out. I’m not proud, but I do want credit for the many hours of  trial & error I did until I got it right!

Just so you know, I took apart rug (4) to make these. It doesn’t exist any more. Rug (3) is still here. My intention is to take that apart and make more hearts. I haven’t decided what to do about the box, yet.


The valance idea has run into several problems. When/if I get them worked out, I’ll let you know! My original idea was to stretch wire through eyebolts across the top of the hangers/rod. That could work, if you know in advance how big the window is and the exact placement of the eyebolts. I didn’t. In order to make that work, I’d have to completely disassemble the curtain rod and build the valance in place. I did most of that before I quit. I have a 2nd idea, and that is to use dowels between the eyebolts. If that works, then that’s what I’ll do, much easier! At the moment, there’s a piece of flat copper wire up there. That won’t work for a permanent solution, but the pieces up prove the concept. It isn’t ugly and although definitely feminine, I don’t think DH will mind — no waterfalls of lace, no pink everywhere, no cutesy animals with bows around their necks or tails or such. Definitely feminine and definitely romantic. However, I warned him and he has veto power!

Doing this required that I dig into and start to deal with one of the dust pits. There’s 3 empty artwork tubes, dusty, out in the snow along with a pop flat. I’m sneezing up a storm and need to go take a shower. However, I can absolutely claim this:2 pieces wire,  6 napkins (valance), 3 eye bolts used, 1 reveal (art storage),  4 boxes out. More cleaning accomplished too although that doesn’t count. 2+6+3+1+4=16 out or used

The curtain rod I took down in the dining room can be put back up. The window is a different size than the one upstairs where I’d intended to use it. I have another  gauzy curtain I can put on it temporarily, until I get the kitchen curtains made.

The probable next piece in the bedroom is to empty the corner bookcase. This will take several days, as it’s very dusty and I have not considered what to do with these books. For a long time, it was the case of books I thought I’d almost always keep. And, although that’s not true now (I sold all the really good stuff to help pay the shop’s bills.) what’s left are still pieces I thought would be in the collection forever.

The shower was wonderful and it’s 2:15 or so. I need some lunch!

Bedroom Progress

Last night I cut blanks from masking paper to size around the new mirrors and a piece of art we already had. Today, DH took down the mirror over the dresser. In order to get the paper stuck to the wall, I had to lean over the dresser. This caused me to clean off the dresser, something which needed to happen anyway. In the process of that, I also cleaned under the bed table at the end of the bed and part of one of the closets. There’s a trashbag of paper, etc. to go away, a box full of papers to file/go through — not obvious trash, may need to be filed, or may need to be pitched, not sure — a tray and bin of craft supplies/projects, etc.

This whole effort of course completely trashed the bedroom. I’ve dusted the closet with DH’s help and cleaned under the bed table as I said, and that’s getting pulled together. I have 2 books to add to the swap shop bin right now, more will go before the dump run is made, later.

I went 1/2 through a box of business papers before I got fed up with sorting, culling, cleaning, etc. so most of that went away too. There’s definite progress, but it’s going to take 3-5 sessions like this before we are anywhere near where I want to be.

Other progress: we have an old quilt we bought at auction (it’s just white, not pieced and was cheap of course) that we finally got it cleaned, it looks great! My “vision” for the bedroom is white, cream, off-white covers and valances on the windows with gauzy curtains and other stuff with color. The room is painted white now, except where it’s wood and that may change, but it will be spring at least  before that happens.

The mirror is down, wrapped in towels and in the attic. My new rule about the attic and other storage “dumps” is that whenever I put something away in an area like that I have to pull at least 3x as many pieces out and get rid of them. Did that.

We went to the dump. Came back, I started clearing the  couch so DH could work on the curtain rod. Then went and made chicken veggie soup, came back, finished the cleaning, ate dinner, DH got the curtain rod & curtain up. The asst. clothes that had been heaped on the bed are now on the couch, but wtf, it’s progress!

The wall has been spackled where the anchors for the old mirror were. The paper cut outs are in the approx. position the new mirrors will go — tomorrow. Then I have to get rid of about 4 more boxes of books, well, 8? and then the bedroom might begin to look like I have in mind. Still to do: move the bed, paint the room and dressers, get the other curtain rod/curtain up and figure out wtf we’ll do with the dresser, make the valances and bedspread/pillow covers.

My old idea about the dresser won’t work with DH’s hobby taking 1/2 the living room space, so . . . . we’ll punt. I just don’t know what the answer is yet!

One of the groups I’m in had this get rid of it list

I think it’s a great list, but some of it seems wasteful and bizarre to me. I can’t imagine buying so many phone covers that you need to purge the extras? I may buy one sometime soon, because I keep hitting the buttons on my phone by accident. But aside from that, and a friend’s suggestion that I get one, I’d never even considered buying such a thing! The list points out things that I do have problems with: books, papers,  etc. but many items they talk about are things I don’t buy, or I only have/buy a few, so excess really isn’t a problem for me. Or, many of the items are things that I simply don’t have and didn’t, like prom dresses. I think I went to 1 prom with a long dress — maybe.

My comments are in bold. I updated this 11/2016. If I’ve eliminated a problem, it’s now struck through. New comments may have been added at the end.

  1. The other side of a pair of lost earrings Since I almost never wear earrings, I don’t think this pertains? I may have 5 pairs?
  2. Scraps of wrapping papper Go in the craft supplies or pitched, depending on size
  3. Cards people have given you with no sentimental value Usually pitched pretty much right after I read them.
  4. Receipts you don’t need One of my problem areas
  5. Ticket stubs Haven’t kept ticket stubs since I was a kid
  6. Socks with holes Make great dusters
  7. Old t-shirts Turn them into rugs
  8. Leftover change Throw out money? Are you nuts? I still use change and when I get too much I stuff my wallet until it gets used up — pennies and all. I don’t keep it anyway!
  9. Dried flowers Yep
  10. Magazines Depends if there’s enough in them to keep the magazine intact, otherwise I try t0 clip the articles I want. Working on this.
  11. CDs We still have a CD player
  12. Hair elastics that have lost stretchiness Get pitched as they wear out.
  13. Hair accessories you don’t use Yep see 12
  14. Shoes that don’t fit or that you don’t wear I think I have 8 pairs of shoes?
  15. Extra photo prints This is fine for snaps.
  16. Little knickknacks (designate a bowl and fill it) Too vague. I purge junk regularly.
  17. Kitchen things you don’t use Get sold or donated
  18. Cooking utensils you have two of See 17
  19. Tired bras When they break, they’re tossed.
  20. Scarves you never wear I think I have 3 scarves?
  21. Clothes that don’t fit Well. . .
  22. Gifts you don’t like Yep.
  23. Old towels Become “cat towels” and are used for animal bedding, car clean up, etc.
  24. Old makeup If it’s old, I’m allergic to it. This isn’t a problem. If I put something on and my face begins to itch, the container is pitched right after I clean off my face!
  1. Old toiletries Like what?
  2. Old or unused hangers I purge hangers all the time. I keep getting rid of old plastic hangers & replacing them with older wood/metal hangers. I hate plastic!
  3. Expired or sample-sized toiletries Don’t buy them.
  4. Extra buttons They’re in the craft supplies
  5. Expired sauces Get pitched
  6. Toys your pets don’t play with N/A recently, but the last pet, a cat, her favorite toy was a twist tie. Current Cat1 plays with anything which is tossed. Cat2 isn’t comfortable enough with us, yet, to play.
  7. Expired medication Doh.
  8. Dried-up nail polish Don’t wear it.
  9. Bills you don’t need to keep See #4 Doing better
  10. Expired coupons As I find them, they’re pitched
  11. Old paperwork About what? Depends on what it is
  12. DVDs you don’t watch We may have 5?
  13. Snacks your pets don’t eat Given away with the extra cat food when the cat died. Cat2 was feral at least one year, she eats anything which resembles catfood, so far.
  14. Damaged clothing you can’t mend If it’s usable, it goes into the donation bin, otherwise it becomes rags or is added to the rug fabric collection.
  15. Stained clothing you can’t clean See #38
  16. Old prom dresses What prom dresses?
  17. Scratched nonstick cookware Never bought the stuff
  18. Old underwear or swimwear that’s losing its stretch Yep, it goes out ASAP
  19. Outdated electronics Not my area
  20. Rusty jewelry What rusty jewelry?
  21. Stockings with runs Great for tying up tomato plants and they only last one year, so they’re pitched in the fall
  22. Pens that don’t work Pitched regularly
  23. Clothing you’ve outgrown See #21
  24. Necklaces and bracelets with broken clasps Get repaired
  25. Cables and wires you don’t use Not my area
  26. Worn-out sheets and bedding Join the rag bin
  27. Empty or near-empty bottles of cleaning products Get used up and the empty bottles or cans tossed. Most of my cleaning supplies these days are soap, water, toothpaste, coconut oil, vinegar and baking soda, so this isn’t a  problem. I have donated stuff I no longer use to friends or taken it to the swap shop.
  28. Old mending buttons for clothing you no longer have Go in the craft supplies
  29. Worn-out bath mats What bath mats? I use rugs, these days one that I made from old tshirts.  Currently two made from yarn.
  30. Broken electronics Get repaired, sold, or taken to the dump
  31. Purses you never use Since I never carry a purse this would be pretty easy. Every now & then however, I need to and I do use one. I think I own 3?
  32. Flatware, plates, and glasses that don’t match the rest of your collection, plus dingy children’s plates you no longer use No kid’s plates for one thing. I don’t have any but one pattern of flatware and I sell off extra dishes.
  33. Old pillows Get them restuffed with a new cover for feather ones at your local dry cleaner. Cheaper than a new one.
  34. Worn-out shoes yep
  35. Wedding invites To whose wedding? Not mine.
  36. Save-the-dates Don’t get them.
  37. Wedding favors you don’t use Don’t have them.
  38. Old wallets that you don’t use Yep, they’re gone or being used.
  39. Broken kitchen equipmentLike what?
  40. Spare furniture parts you don’t need Yep
  41. Furniture manuals Furniture manuals? Most of my furniture was bought used, no manuals.
  42. Boxes I use ’em. I ship stuff and move things around a lot. I also get rid of boxes regularly, but I do keep some on hand.
  43. Unused vases I purged my vase collection a while back
  44. Extra tupperware you don’t need Never use it
  45. Old mail A problem Doing better about this.
  46. Junk mail Yep
  47. Travel brochures What travel brochures? We never go anywhere.
  48. Bobby pins I have one tin.
  49. Old crayons or art supplies, plus markers that have run out of ink Old crayons work just fine. Markers that run out of ink yep. Pens nope, they usually can be refilled, if not, they’re pitched
  50. Random containers and jars Depends
  51. Unused stationary, stickers, and sticky notes Except I use them?
  52. Ripped denim I use this too, mostly lately I’m using it for valentine’s decorations, for resale, I hope
  53. Old artwork or old children’s artwork Hmm no.
  54. Used and ripped envelopes Yep
  55. Broken or old iphone cases N/A
  56. Old unused batteries Dead batteries go to the dump regularly
  57. Extra and unused coffee mugs Purged some time ago
  58. Old spices Gone through regularly
  59. Address labels for your old house Certainly since we’ve been here for some time.
  60. Wrinkled ribbon and bows for gift wrap If it’s acetate, yes. If it’s cloth it can be ironed and then reused.
  61. Cards or gifts from exes I purged everything from my ex years ago
  62. Frequent shopper cards you never use Purged as the shops fold or stop their programs
  63. Matchbooks Don’t keep them, we have a woodstove, they get used.
  64. Old shopping bags Given to my local used bookstore, antique store or .  . . every month or so
  65. Old calendars Sold already gone
  66. Old folders Used or pitched
  67. Magnets On the fridge
  68. Clothes that are outdated or from college From college? I don’t have any clothes that old!
  69. Broken Christmas decorations Yep
  70. Christmas lights that don’t work yep
  71. Frayed towels Become cat towels see #23
  72. Expired food Regularly pitched
  73. Computer cords, firewire cord, etc. that you don’t use Not my area
  74. Old and outdated software Not my area
  75. CDs for old computer programs Not my area
  76. Old cell phones Get donated
  77. Hand-me-downs that you’re guilt-tripped into keeping Since I haven’t gotten an hand me down in over 1/2 my lifetime, this is N/A
  78. Freebie or promotional t-shirts you never wear I turn them into rugs, see 7 & 53
  79. Old fortune cookie fortunes Paper is my downfall
  80. Old bank statements Paper is my downfall
  81. Old planners Paper is my downfall
  82. Delete email subscriptions from sites Doing better at this.
  83. Delete emails you don’t need A problem
  84. Delete unwanted music from your iTunes We never buy anything but our faves. Why spend the $?
  85. Extra buttons that come with newly purchased clothes Go into the craft supplies.
  86. Games that are missing pieces What games?
  87. Old schoolbooks you’ll never use again Purged sometime ago
  88. Papers you have backed up on the computer N/A
  89. Books you’ve already read and don’t want to display Are you nuts? Books aren’t display items, they’re tools and friends. But I get rid of books regularly. This is a problem, but only because I had so many to begin with. My mom met my dad selling him books. He was a book collector. You think maybe I might have a few?
  90. Cell phone covers you’re over I’ve never had a cell phone cover.
  91. Old manuals to electronics Not my area
  92. Cell phone accessories you don’t use anymore not my area

Two days ago, I was gone.

Yesterday I was gone much of the day. Didn’t get much done!

Today we went to the dump. I got rid of

a vase, a magazine rack, coloring book, vacuum cleaner & its hose, 3 other things I don’t remember (I counted at the dump!) 3 records, 2 saucers, 6 screws. Also unpacked a box of stuff, some of it office supplies from the shop, which resulted in 2 office supply consolidations. 1+1+1+2+3+3+2+6+2 = 21

There are in the to “go out/sell pile”: 2 marmalade jars with lids, 2 brown glass canisters, a large food storage container. DH sold two pieces today to friends. None of that gets counted until it’s actually gone.

I’ve used a 2nd skein of yarn.  DH is going to use a wooden bowl we hadn’t sold. I’m going to use a large aluminum container we’ve had.  I gave a metal hook and package of tape away Friday. Took the latest batch of processed books (14)  to be donated Saturday — put them in the market bin. 1+1+1+2+14 = 19


Also Up in the Air

about the idea of counting stuff this year. I don’t know that I want a goal like the past 6 or so years, but keeping track, good or bad, doesn’t seem to “push” on me the same way.

We’ve decided that rather than wait for spring to do whatever stuff in the house that we’ll do whatever we can to the house and stay indoors. One of the long-range plans is a place for DH to put equipment for his hobby, which there hasn’t been room for frankly, because there were too many books here.

Also, we have been talking about, for years, about rearranging our bedroom. That’s on the queue for this winter too.

There’s an old studio light that we got from the dump (the kind they used to use for making movies). It has been hanging on a pipe in our kitchen for years. DH got it down, put a new light fixture in it and hung it in the living room. Looks great, won’t use up bazillions of watts of power and hard-to-find-bulbs, and it isn’t obvious that it has been hacked. Win! Less stuff, more useful objects and things being used!

I’ve gotten rid of 31 books in the past 5 days. I have packages to mail to various people. Today we went to the dump and a chunk o’ stuff that I had in the booths went to the swap shop: a 2 bay chafing dish, a serving dish, three gold chargers, and 5 Christmas tins.

We forgot to take the old shop vacuum cleaner. It’s a flying saucer, literally, it floats on a pocket of air. I couldn’t resist it when I found it, I mean what OTHER type of vacuum cleaner could a science fiction bookstore own, I mean really? But we forgot it, so it’s still here. Decided it had to go last month when I realized we had six total vacuum cleaners: two uprights, 2 wet/dry ones, a portable and the flying saucer. The best wet/dry one has a few vital pieces missing for the wet function, which it does much better than the other. (It’s in the attic.) The two uprights each “live” in their designated area of use. The portable is what gets used most often, and it’s all over the place. But the flying saucer had just been stored in the storage unit, for !0 years now, and there’s no reason to keep it, so it’s going out — when i can remember to get it outta here!