Tag Archives: stuff

Worked on Storage, Yesterday

Intend to do more, today. And yet more, tomorrow. I may have to rent a tiny unit to take the furniture. I’m not sure if the antique store has a place for furniture in its new location. If not, then pieces need to be hauled to auction, sold otherwise, or given away. (Purged books from the house today instead.)

We are getting a new back roof this year and maybe some storage space along with it. However, it will NOT be filled with boxes of books. If I bring the stuff home and it just sits here, I have only gained the price of the storage. And the price of the addition has to be considered in there too. The difference of course is that an additional utility area adds to the value of our home, not just a landlord’s bottom line. But as we’re talking about it right now, it will be a much bigger undertaking than we’d originally planned.

I still have WAY too much stuff. My ultimate goal this year is to have NO storage unit by 12/31 and be able to sanely (no box stacks, except perhaps in the attic) store what we keep. There’s a huge amount of stuff to shed between us and that goal, but I’m really tired of hauling things back and forth, trying to sell them or determine what happens to them. I don’t need the camouflage anymore and I’m tired of drowning in stuff!

stuff stacks

I have no idea how well we can manage this. All I can do is try!


Took a box to the dump’s swap shop today. Also wrote notes to booksellers, collectors, etc. who are friends. Were they still interested in x or y or z type of book? If so, exactly what did they want? Got answers, Am getting a list together.  More stuff gone. Also, will have a way to sell the best of the stuff it looks like. Hurrah!

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

Stuff Spree

I bought “stuff” today. I bought a tablet of accounting paper, a planner, 3 self-help books, 7 pieces of clothing, and 8 bowls. Twenty things.

The clothing includes a jacket (if I can get the arms shortened and defuzz it, I may use it for a while before I dismantle it.) Two t shirts (to turn into rug strips). Two sweaters (in the wash, I have a shortage of long-sleeved shirts at the moment). Two short jackets (to be dismantled, not my style at all). So I bought myself 2 shirts and 5 pieces to take apart and turn into other things.

The accounting tablet and planner are to try and fix a problem I’m having. Ditto the 3 books.

The bowls are for resale and are regrouped, tagged, and ready to go to the antique store Sunday. Were taken Saturday!

Twenty pieces: 5 for problem solving, 8 to resell, 5 to dismantle/ turn into something else, and 2 to use.

Is it just “stuff” if you buy it with a planned purpose? There isn’t one knick knack in it.



How long the clothes hang around depends on how soon I take them apart. The books seem like they might be as helpful as I’d hoped, so they may become permanent additions. (I have 2 books in the out bin right now, I should go find at least 8 more.) The notebook is already in the car, what I bought it for, and it has been used. I started using the accounting tablet too.

I’ll deduct 20 from my outs the next time I update the tally.

So — I had a stuff spree today!



Stuff Purging

Going through some of the things from the attic. My concrete and measurable goal there and the other “dump” room is to walk, unimpeded from the door to the far wall. In both places, the space is filled with boxes and loose stuff.

Today was dump day, but I was busy, so tomorrow a.m. I should have a slug o’ books (and maybe other things) to go to the swap shop.

I think I might want to reinstate counting the things out, but I don’t really. If I did, I’d just make a “thermometer” for a month’s worth the year and fill it as I purged. 2017 pieces out should be easy to do. That’s only 169 a month! Maybe I will start again?

Right now I’ve got 12 or more books on my desk to review for the swap shop. Given that it’s the 28th and I have my first tax appt. next week, I don’t have a lot of time to be purging, instead doing the tax data round-up. Also I tutor and have other commitments. So, it’s unlikely I can get rid of 169 items by 1/31/17. However, 338 (169 x 2) by the end of Feb.? Now that’s possible.

We’ll see!

7 books out, 2 new books in= 5 out 8 books out, 2 new books in = 6 out

(I sold a few things this weekend too! Later.)

I started a list on the tally page, so I won’t clutter up posts here. If you’re intersted, go there!

Happy New Year: Toss List

I tried to do what I’ve done in the past, that is take one of those “get rid of these 30 things” lists as a new year’s step towards minimalism.

I couldn’t get past the woman’s graphics, links to snapchat, etc. It seemed that I would clutter up my life with her or other’s lists about decluttering.


I made my own, smaller list.

  1. Deal with anything which is broken. Fix it, dismantle it for its pieces if you have a plan for them, or take it to the dump.
  2. Dispose of or deal with anything which is out of date — almost always consumables, food, health or beauty products.
  3. Donate things which aren’t broken, have nowhere to be put away (so you’ve moved them around for a while) and you haven’t used: food, clothes, books, tools, etc.
  4. Shred financial paperwork more than 10 years old unless you have a compelling reason to keep it — keep mortgage and insurance papers which are still current, but shred old paycheck stubs, deposit slips and such. (Ten years is how long the IRS keeps files active.)
  5. Go through the stuff you’ve kept (this will likely take all year): books, magazines, knicknacks, clothes, frozen food, etc. and decide if you really want or need this now? If not, donate, sell, or toss it. If you keep it, make sure it’s clean and has a spot to be put away neatly. If you try to donate or sell it and it doesn’t work (I’ve tried to donate things thrift shops wouldn’t take, I think most people have!) have a back up plan.

That’s it. This covers everything: furniture, art, clothes, health/beauty products, food, building materials.

If you need to be reminded of specific items to toss, cull, edit or whatever, there are a lot of lists out there. Seems simplier to me to use principles instead of specific lists. I’ve never found a list which fit me, so aren’t they a waste of time?

Hopefully, this list isn’t!

Happy New Year —



Dismantling Christmas

On the 27th, I took the tinsel and beaded icicles off the tree. I was curious what it would look like, and frankly it looked rather barren.

I have to both find the glass ones I bought years ago and make more beaded ones. Most of the ones I have were a gift from a family who crafted items for sale, including beaded icicles.

I’ve been beading since I was a small girl. When I’d visit them, if they were making icicles, I’d grab a needle and do some while I was there. They didn’t pay me, it wasn’t for that. It was just a friendly thing to do, fun, and it helped them. That Christmas my present was several boxes. Usually their gift was sweet breads and cookies. But that year there was a box chock full of the icicles. What I have could be the ones I made, or not. It doesn’t matter. I value them as a reminder of the friendship I had with Lois, Gini, and Char, all gone now, alas.

I started to take one of my beaded garlands off the stair hand rail (I had wrapped two around it). The monofilament I’d made it with years ago broke. Although I kept it from fountaining beads up and down the stairs, I have to restring the several yards of garland. I’m in the midst of  restringing it on stronger, new monofilament. There’s one other Christmas ornament, a fimo one, which needs to be glued back together.

Ninety-five percent 0f the Christmas stuff is packed. The moving box I’d wrapped is full and I started a second. (I’d packed smaller  boxes inside bigger ones.) The idea that I now have less than the small trunk’s worth of Christmas stuff was overly optimistic. Yes I broke some things. Yes, I sold some too. Yes, I gave some away. But, aside from the tree, there were pieces on the console table, in the kitchen, on the end tables, the front door and the hall. If it was just the ornaments I had on the tree, yes, I have less.

I broke 2 balls and gave away a box of balls, a bag of lights, a box of tinsel, the few hangers I had on ornaments. I sold/put out for sale 5 ornaments that had been in the attic, a small box of them, and a few others. I’d already sold 3 table top trees. Need to do more culling and the items which haven’t sold are going away, somewhere, somehow, but they aren’t coming home again.

I also have to make the box(es) up for next year. My intention is to make it like a big gift box, or find some, I doubt I can find them big enough though. What I’m thinking about is a box which has a deeper lid than file boxes usually do, something like this:


If I can get these, I can do what I want, have it look neat, and have storage the way I want it at the same time. We’ll see! I can buy them of course, it’s if the shipping cost is insane or not. I found a source locally! I can do what I had in mind. Cool!!!! I may (or may not) post images when I get it done.

Anyway, the tree is down, the ornaments are packed. The tree is outside ready to go to the dump, the table has been polished and the large ornamental piece which normally lives on it has been replaced.

The reason that I’m so focused on the decorative stuff is that we decided no gifts this year. Those we got were all consumables, and that is exactly what we wanted. No more stuff!

Although the two boxes and the tree stand haven’t been put away, Christmas has definitely been dismantled and the process was much tidier and more timely than in years past.

Going in the right direction!

If I can do things the way I want, I’ll get through enough other stuff this year so that I can get back to and cull/edit the Christmas stuff again, before next December. We’ll see!



Minimalism: Learning

I already did a post on holiday minimalism, but I have learned or figured out a few things since:

  • Ornament hangers are not necessary. Use a piece of thread or monofilament, whatever you have. Then you can stop buying those packages of little bits of wire which break, you never seem to either have enough of, or there’s too many. [I took the few I had off the ornaments, they’ll be recycled Weds.]
  • I had an open box of tinsel, so I used it up. I also have an unopened box. I decided that I would never use tinsel again, whether I already had it, or not. It’s a complete waste of storage space to keep something that I’m against in principle. If I have principles, I do, and I should act on them. The full package is going to the dump’s swap shop Weds. too, with a mini Santa mug, and other odds & ends I don’t have any idea why I kept, many times for decades.
  • Because the little cat daily has spells we call “crazy cat,” we decided not to put anything breakable on the tree. We have enough plastic, wood, and paper ornaments to cover it. No Christmas balls, but other things. Although it’s a bit odd not to have balls on the tree, it’s just fine without it. I have a new to us box of Christmas balls, which is also going away.
  • The Christmas balls I am using are on a charger or in clear glass vases on the couch’s side tables. Two “artist” balls were broken in storage, they’re off to the dump, and most of the others are in the glass vases. Decorations? Yes. On the tree? No. Also less need for “other stuff” to decorate for the holidays.
  •  When my helper and I pulled the Christmas things out of the attic a while back, I had piled it up discreetly under the couch and one side table. After the tree was decorated, I returned the small boxes to where they’d been. I hated the visual clutter. I thought of putting all the small boxes into a larger box. I did. Then didn’t like the way that looked and “wrapped” the larger (small moving) box. (Like everything else, if I have something I usuallly have too much of it. That’s true of the paper I’ve been using the past 2 years. It’s black & white stripes. I got it to put on the back of bookshelves and/or cabinets, on sale. I decided if I used it that way, it would feel like a prison, so I was stuck with 9 rolls of paper. I have 3 left now.) Now we have this large “wrapped” package in the living room, under the tree, without a bow, marked “empty ornament boxes” and no printed Home Depot cardboard carton(s) to ugly up the place.
  • What I learned from wrapping that box?  That I can ditch the trunk where I’ve always stored Christmas stuff. Obviously, I don’t need that much room! I’ll look for and/or make a box with a lid, and make a pattern so all I have to do it wrap the lid next year and years later. The ornament boxes will have a permanent home, and it will be neat/tidy. It will be able to be put out under the tree year after year. I do NOT know why I never thought of putting the small boxes into a big wrapped one! (The little boxes always made a mess before.) No need to tidy the little boxes away, no extra step. Win!!!
  • No gift tags this year either. I have this correction tape, it’s white. I used it for years for price tags and other things, used some of it as labels for foodstuffs (doesn’t work well in the freezer), and have the end of it now. (See comment about too much stuff in wrapping paper bullet.) I’m using it to make labels this year. Sticks right on the package, no strings, nothing to buy. I’m using a silver pen, but I had it already!

My conclusion from all of this is that minimalism is a process, not a destination. I will never really get there, but my mindset is different than it used to be, and it shows.