Archive for the ‘reducing clutter’ Category
After a very unproductive week in my ongoing basement declutter project, we made some headway this weekend.
My husband took our ancient, broken old computer and the giant monitor to the recycler. For only $10 a piece, they’ll dispose of the toxic elements and recyle the rest – what a great deal!
Next weekend is the big push, where we rent a small truck for a dump run and get rid of the trash. Vintage Girl will be with her auntie, so we hope to spend some time together over a nice meal, planning what to do with all the wonderful space we’ve created.
I promised Marelisa I’d post photos of the piles we haul out, so stay tuned!
I forgot to take photographs of all the stuff we hauled out of the basement last week. For those of you who have a little time to kill, here’s the list – or what I can remember anyway – this is what I call decluttering!!
We started with a giant bag of clothing that Community Services for the Blind picked up.
The rest went to a consignment store where they will donate what they can’t sell to a local organization that supports foster children – perfect and easy.
The big things were two full-size rocking chairs (never used); one child-size rocking chair (never used); and a wooden rocking horse (not used for at least four years).
Then there were the dollhouse (we still have a nice wooden one); Lincoln Logs; pattern blocks, a “chest” full of dress-up clothes; a set of twin bed sheets; alphabet blocks; plain wooden blocks; several teething toys; a Baby Bjorn; and an electric bottle warmer (couldn’t have lived without that when we used it – highly recommended!)
My husband has promised to dispose of the computer, printer and monitor that have been down there for 3+ years, and I’m still chipping away at the clothing.
I had hoped to get a lot done today, but Vintage Girl is home sick with a fever, so I’ll have to tackle it another day. I know, most kids would happily sit in front of the TV, but she’s not most kids – at least in that regard. She has never enjoyed TV, but that’s another post on another blog!
My husband and I have decided to tackle the basement clean-out once and for all. I’ll have a little time off from work at the end of October, and I’ve committed to delivering the things we want to donate to the appropriate places, putting a few things on Craig’s List and gathering up all the junk that needs to go to the dump.
We can’t do any of this with DD around; she can’t part with anything! We’ve arranged for her to spend the weekend with my niece in early November and we’ll rent a truck and haul away the trash then. With any luck, we’ll have all the work done by Saturday afternoon and we’ll be able to enjoy a nice lunch or dinner and a movie together. That’s a huge treat for us, even if we haven’t tackled an enormous project!
All this to say that in order to ensure I have time to get this done, I’m not going to post here for a bit. You all know how much time blogging can take, and I feel like I just need to give it a rest while I focus on the basement for a few days. And it seems perfectly appropriate to take a break from your blog about decluttering and getting organized so you can actually declutter and get organized!
I’ll keep you posted as I make progress!
Two events conspired to make me think about some of the stuff I’m holding on to; the first is that my daughter is losing her baby teeth, and the second was a post by Rachel over at smallnotebook.org about Holding on to Sentimental Things.
So here are some things I’ve been holding on to and some thoughts about why I’ve been holding on to them:
- My wisdom teeth – extracted many years ago. Yes, they’re kind of creepy but they still hold a certain fascination and I think they’ll come in handy if I ever need to keep evil spirits away.
- A little wooden box in the shape of a heart given to me by my high school boyfriend. I haven’t seen him since 1980, BUT we became “sweethearts” in 6th grade; it was an on again/off again thing all through junior high and high school, and when he gave me that little box I thought it was the sweetest, most romantic thing EVER, and I guess I still do!
- The “Italian Mood Cube” my Mom gave me hundreds of years ago. I can’t come up with a good reason for this one, but it doesn’t take up all that much space . . .
- My mother’s wedding dress, not a traditional gown, but a totally chic 50′s cocktail dress. Given the state of my mom’s basement, the dress is much better off sitting in mine . . .
- The tassle from my college graduation mortarboard. I was the shortest one in my dorm so I was at the beginning of the line – that’s all the tassle meant!! I guess it conjures up lots of happy memories – not of being short, but of college days.
- My Cambridge Italian Dictionary, held together with masking tape and rarely used anymore. I keep this to remind me of another time in my life when everything was still ahead of me and I dreamed of an exciting and glamorous international career.
- My Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School cookbook, given to me by my Mom in 1985 and held together by even more masking tape. I still cook from it regularly and see no need to replace it until it becomes unreadable. I was green when green was just a color.
- My husband’s first pair of baby shoes. This is a complicated one; I think that the fact that his parents saved this stuff (we have baby clothes too) tells me how much they loved him, and how much they longed for a baby, just as we did.
So what about you? What’s in your closet, cupboard, basement or under your bed that you hang onto for sentimental reasons?
I had to laugh when I saw this Purse Park advertised in the Solutions catalog. I’m sure Erin at unclutterer.com and all the wonderful simplicity sites and blogs out there would shudder at the thought of buying a special shelving unit just to store purses.
I had no business laughing, really, since just a few short months ago those shelves would not have been large enough to contain my purse collection . . . I do still have more than just one bag (true confessions) but the other one or two are for occasions when my big polka dot bag isn’t appropriate – and I sure do miss it when I have to leave it at home.
This got me to wondering: are ten purses clutter if they’re stored neatly in a Purse Park? Or only if they’re in a heap on your closet floor? Or are ten purses excessive regardless of how you store them? If you love them and use them all the time, are they clutter or treasures?
What do you think?
I had a revelation recently. All the stuff I’ve been putting down in the basement – to avoid sending it to the landfill – will end up in the landfill anyway. What in the world did I think would happen to it?
I recycle, donate or consign a lot of things, but I’ve started tossing out items thatare broken, don’t work anymore, or are just too worn out to be useful to anyone. I still feel a pang of anxiety about the effect on the environment, but it feels so good to have the stuff out of my house and out of my life.
And now I won’t be digging through piles of broken appliances and worn-out shoes in my old age . . .
Today my left-handed dish glove sprung a leak; now aren’t you all glad I saved that left-handed glove the other night??
Kind of defeats the purpose of the gloves.
So here’s what happens once I’ve tossed the torn glove: I can’t bring myself to throw the other one away! I know this would probably make many tidy, clutter-free people nuts, but I feel compelled to keep the left because . . . what if, someday, I tear a left-handed glove?? Wouldn’t it be so satisfying to have a spare?
It’s a “waste not, want not” kind of thing that I got from my New Englander dad. He would never have thrown that glove out; he’d probably find some clever use for it in his workshop or out in the garden.
I haven’t gone that far, but I do, at this very moment, have one lonely lefty sitting in my cupboard, just waiting and hoping for the day when it can come to the rescue!
I figure that in the scheme of things, a couple of dishgloves won’t get in the way of my quest for order, serenity and peace of mind . . . what about you? Do you indulge in any similar quirks?