Archive for the ‘clutter’ Category

It’s embarrassing. I mean, really.

We have a house full of “STUFF” and just put about 1/3 of it in a storage unit. Other than minor inconveniences, I really haven’t missed what’s in storage. I could use some of the kitchen tools and so on that are boxed up and in the storage unit, but a lot of the things are truly not “essentials.”

I thought about some of the things as I packed them…

– extra crystal (in patterns that aren’t my favorite)
– promotional beer glasses
– silver what-nots, including a collection of random spoons that aren’t for my spoon rack
– THREE sets of china (OK 2 of them are for our daughters. but really)
– books, towels, knick-knacks and… yikes more STUFF

Some things I could easily toss into a recycling box, offer on Freecycle, or trash. Other things I gently re-packed and put away. The difference was my emotional attachment to them (either positive or guilty feelings) which allowed me to let them go or made me regretfully keep them. Similarly, items which belonged to others and were important to THEM I could quickly have tossed — but they are attached to them. So we kept them…

For instance — We have FOUR sugar/creamer sets in casual patterns (ceramic, stoneware, etc.) FOUR. That doesn’t include the ones which are in my crystal or china sets. I’m thinking that we should be able to let a couple of those go.

The question that keeps coming up is “what is ENOUGH” and “what is hoarding” — ??

I don’t have the answer. But I know we could live with less. And I sure don’t want to “rich” in the wrong “STUFF” and be poor towards God…

Luke 12

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with those who store up things for themselves but are not rich toward God.”


We have 90% of the heavy lifting done. All but the two remaining pieces in the family room are moved, either to storage or to the living room (which has become furniture central!) I’m waiting to carefully cover the furniture until I am sure that (1) all of the cats are sequestered out of the storage and construction areas and (2) we have finished hauling in the last pieces (our present kitchen table and chairs.)

In the mean time, we took 4 car loads to the storage unit in the last two days. We boxed up everything except our “every day” dishes. We cleared a path in the garage for the work men to store/work. And we had plants moved which would be in the way of the construction. I have one more plant I need to move because it is a sentimental plant for me — it was in my grandmother’s garden.

I am half-past exhausted, but it feels good to be close to being done with this phase.


  1. start EARLIER. I mean it. Begin boxing up your kitchen a month ahead of time. Unless you are having formal dinners, you can get the china and crystal packed up first. (I know – DUH.)
  2. watch Freecycle or Craig’s List for boxes and begin storing them for future use WELL in advance. I have been on scrounging missions and it takes so much time! And buying them is very expensive.
  3. Most of the storage places have really good prices on plain newsprint, unless you want to buy it wholesale and pay shipping. I figured it out. it comes out about the same.
  4. Get help. We didn’t. And we’re sorry. (If you’re friends of ours, we’ll spring for pizza and beer if you’ll help with the move-in!)
  5. Storage places which are climate-controlled, have good security and have a ground-floor unit open for rent are worth their weight in gold. I’m glad we got one!
  6. Tape. Lots of it. And if you don’t have a “real” packing tape dispenser, get one. The cheap plastic jobs that come pre-loaded from Scotch brand tape are junk. You heard it here first.
  7. Markers. I’ve used up two. Because…. I…
  8. LABEL EVERY BOX with as specific a list as possible. The list is on the top and on one side. If I had to stop packing a box and finish it later, I made a quick list on an inside flap so that I would not forget what was neatly packed in the bottom of the box!
  9. NewsPAPER for crushing and creating a pad for the bottom of the box. NewsPRINT (plain) for the actual wrapping. That way I can tell what is a wrapped item, and what is just crumpled paper.
  10. Bubblewrap. I love it.
  11. You can take out the furnishings and boxes in dribs and drabs as you get it packed. But for move-in, we will be getting a truck, making one big hairy load and getting it over with.
  12. Medicinal pedicures can never be over-rated. I need one. It will happen tomorrow. The same can be said for a nice wine cooler (yes, I know, girlie drink) or a good IPA at the end of the day.
  13. We have way too much stuff. (Which is not meant to dissuade any of our friends from helping us move it all back! 🙂 )

Excavation and discovery mode

Posted: 08/28/2010 in clutter

So I went and cleaned out my desk in the family room. Truth be told, I don’t sit at it much. It doesn’t have good storage for bills and the fold-down desk is not big enough for anything more than a laptop. The shelving is sized for books, as long as they aren’t bigger than a standard 1 inch binder. But it was my grandfather’s desk and it holds a lot of helpful things like cards and smaller office supplies…

However, in the process of cleaning out and boxing up the contents, I found I had a bit to throw away. For instance there were school directories from six years ago! And I unearthed some partially used and now dried up office supplies (pens, ink pads, glue, paint, etc.)

I have four Freecycle collections posted and awaiting their eager recipients. I found some great resources to send to one of my sisters who is a media specialist at an elementary school. But the ultimate finds were several unused, unopened 90 minute cassette tapes, and a folder of carbon paper. I considered donating them as artifacts to the Smithsonian… but nope! They are being Freecycled too.

One thing I’m not sharing? A wad of twenties I found in a birthday card from a few years ago. 🙂 Yippee!!! A BONUS!!