Last weekend I went to an estate sale in town. Several times a year there is a company that moves items from an estate and they sell them over the course of several days. I have probably mentioned it before. I go every time there is a sale. I don’t always buy a lot but I like to see all the different items.
A sale like that gives you a glimpse into the lives that the owners had. Their hobbies, style, memories. It sometimes makes me a little sad that they didn’t have someone to leave these things to. Or maybe they did and these are the things that were left that no one wanted. I see so many quilts and cross stitch pieces that I know so much time has gone into. I feel the need to rescue them. I don’t, always. I know that if that person who made it was like me the joy came from actually making the piece and admiring it or sharing it with someone at the time. I always come away from these sales feeling like I know the family.
So anyway I went to the sale on Saturday. The sale always starts on Thursday. On Thursday morning at 9:00 AM people are lined up to get in. Everything is full price on Thursday. On Friday everything is reduced to 25% off. On Saturday everything is 50% off. On Sunday and sometimes Monday everything is 50-75 % off except for items the family has a firm price on. I usually go on Saturday because that is when I have the most time to look. I sometimes go back on Sunday or Monday to see if anything is left that I might want and get it for a really good price.
On Saturday I went to the sale and got there around 10:00 AM I saw a few interesting things. The person who had these items loved to paint. And not just your usual flowers or scenery but some really funky colors in an abstract sort of way.
Only three items purchased. I know exactly where I will put them and what I will use them for so I don’t feel too bad about bringing them into the house.
I may have mentioned a few times how much I hate clutter. Yeah like a few hundred times probably. But I hate it. Clutter doesn’t seem to bother some people like my husband, and some of my co-workers. It has come to my attention that clutter makes me a less productive person. Clutter clutters my mind. Personal flaw?? maybe, but that’s just me.
Why do places get cluttered? Think about it. Is it stuff that we don’t need? We don’t have room for? or maybe clutter is just things that are not properly put away. Do we have somewhere to put it? and if not then why did we get it in the first place? Did we actually need it? If we come to a point where we don’t need said item why don’t we get rid of it? O.K. O.K. I am getting ahead of myself and causing my blood pressure to escalate. I will circle back to this.
When I was growing up we didn’t have clutter at our house. We lived in a tiny house and we didn’t have a lot of extra things so we didn’t have a lot of clutter. We used everything we had. That happens with seven kids. My mama cleaned constantly. She hated clutter even worse than I do. Maybe that’s where I get it. I always wondered why she made such a big deal about things being out of place. But now I see where she was coming from.
If you have a small space and you don’t have room for a ton of things why do you get them? Maybe it makes you feel better having something new, maybe a treat for you, maybe you bought more than you needed of something like for a project and it just gets pushed back into a closet or your garage when the project is finished. Maybe you have a sentimental attachment to something a long lost relative or friend, spouse or your child gave you and you just can’t part with it. This is where you have to make the decision of what to keep and what to let go. Of course you are going to keep some of those things. But if you are like me and my husband we have been in our house for over twenty years. We can’t continue to accumulate without letting go of some things.
I vowed to make this year the year I reduced the unused and un-needed things in our house. I have done pretty well so far. Every week I take several bags and or boxes to our local Good Will. Which in our area is called SAMS. The donated items are sold and the money helps people in our area who cannot afford their electric bill or medication. I also donate to a place near my house that collects money for our local animal shelter. I love that these items will bring help to people and fur babies.
I will share with you what has worked for me: Because I work forty plus hours a week away from my house and take care of my mother in laws needs outside of her assisted living center, I don’t have a lot of time to invest in a huge decluttering that would include every room, closet, garage and basement. If you have time for that, great!!! So here is what I did
1. Right after Christmas I collected several empty boxes from work. I put those in my basement and whenever I had a free hour or even thirty minutes I would work on filling them with things I needed to get rid of. Small bits of time really add up. And it makes the job not so overwhelming.
2. I went through my closet in my bedroom first. I did not even gather any of my husband’s clothes I did only mine at this point. I went through the clothes piece by piece and placed what I didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t wear into large bags.
3. I then went through the clothes a second time and looked for stained t shirts old scarves and Pjs and things I knew I wouldn’t wear or donate and I threw those out. (One time I almost got the bags mixed up. Don’t do that)
4. I went to SAMS once a week with a trunk or car filled with bags and boxes. The first three weeks were only clothes and shoes. I am still going every week.
5. I then started in my basement and started filling the boxes. I had several boxes of books, magazines and household items. I took those in and now have another load in my car ready to go. I usually go on Wednesday when I meet my sisters in town for Sister Lunch.
6. Last Sunday I cleaned out a closet near the laundry room. This closet had gotten so bad we would just open it and stuff things in and slam the door before everything came crashing out. It took two hours to clean it out. I threw away two bags of things that we could no longer use, I discovered a ton of cleaning supplies, and I found a box of things to donate. Now the closet looks so nice I just stand in front of it with the door open gazing adoringly at it. My husband walks by shaking his head at me.
7. Before I make a purchase I ask myself if I really need it, or do I already have it. I shop what I have first.
8. I go through my pantry before going to the grocery store. I had so much waste and clutter in my pantry because of this. I often joked that I could live out of my pantry for a month without buying anything.
9. After I have totally finished with the purging I will keep a box in my car and one in the basement and I will continue to get rid of the things I don’t need or use. I don’t want to get so bogged down with items that I don’t need that I can’t find a starting point to get rid of them.
10. Stay focused this is an ongoing process.
It feels so wonderful to start seeing spaces where once there was only clutter. I feel lighter, more focused and free!!!!! WHOO HOOO!!!!! Let me know what works for you.
Hello friends, how are you. How was your January? can you believe it’s February? I think I blinked and January was gone. You know that happens more and more the older you get. My parents used to tell me that and I just didn’t believe it until it started happening to me.
My work has been closed for the past week because we have been doing some renovations. I still had to go in to work but no customers to deal with except on the phone. Lots of hammering and sand blasting and cleaning. I mostly stayed in my office and did some catch up work that I normally don’t have time for.
I also had a couple of Zoom meetings with my Attractions group that I meet with several times a year. We haven’t actually gotten together in person in over a year. All of our meetings have been by zoom. Hopefully we will be able to have some in person meetings soon. I so miss seeing everyone.
It seems like January absolutely flew by. I am trying to remember everything I did in January. The weather was actually pretty good, no snow, just a little rain. But other than work and home I didn’t really do a lot. If you read my last post you know we spent a lot of time moving furniture around, HA! Check out the post if you get a chance.
I did read four books and most of them were good. If you are interested:
Moral Compass by Danielle Steel. I don’t read a lot of Danielle Steel’s books. I find them to be a little too unbelievable but I do like to read one occasionally just to take my mind somewhere else. This one was a little darker than she usually writes. All in all it was pretty good.
The year of less by Cait Flanders. I loved most of this book. The author got a little side tracked in the middle of the book but she did explain that it all pertained to why she was the person that she was. This book has been a big part of getting started with de cluttering my house.
All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank, No, just no. I finally got through this book. I kept waiting for something to happen, it didn’t. Because I had invested a lot of time in it I hated to just put it down so I continued reading. It had a couple of cute things in it but no.
Keep Moving by Dick Van Dyke. Yes Yes I loved this book. I watched an interview withDick Van Dyke and he was talking about his book, Keep Moving, and I just had to get it and read it. This man is 95 years old!!! He attributes his longevity to MOVING his body. He is an amazing person.
I have a few books set aside to read this month or whenever I get to them.
I did a lot of knitting and working on a Valentine’s cross stitch. It’s hearts and I actually started it last year. But I decided I love hearts so it doesn’t matter if I have it finished for Valentines Day or not I will probably keep it out all year anyway. I love hearts, heart earrings, necklaces, pillows, you name it I love them. They’re happy.
I have also taken about a million pictures. I stop on the road and take pictures, I take pictures of the babies and just about anything else you can imagine.
I guess one of the things I did in January that I hope to continue the entire year is decluttering my house. Every week I take several bags and boxes full of “stuff” that I have cleared out of my house. Clothes, household items, books etc etc. It makes me feel so good to get rid of clutter. Clear the clutter and clear your mind. I have become very mindful of what I am bringing into my house. Unless it is an absolute necessity I don’t bring it in. This saves both space and money. I know you are going to laugh at this statement if you have read the blog about all the tables. HA!!! But we did give our old TV, that I mentioned in my last blog post, to my sister and we donated the other tables. I think that is a fair exchange.
We are staying in a lot. Only going out for groceries, and to work and I go to Sister Lunch once a week. So I guess a rather uneventful January but a great month over all. Just the kind of month I love.
It all started before Christmas. I was thinking ahhhh this story is similar to The Gift Of The Magi. Yeah, right, if that story was twisted and smoking crack maybe.
It all started when my husband told me he wanted a 3D printer for Christmas. I asked where we were going to put it and more importantly what about the one he already had in the basement that has barely been used. He said this one was new and improved and we would give the one in the basement to my nephew.
I ordered the printer. He told me he already had my Christmas gift but it was on back order. The 3D printer came in and it was delivered to my work place. I could barely get it into my car, well it actually took a couple of people to wrestle it into my car. I could not lift it. I started worrying about the rather small table in our office that it was supposed to fit on. My nephew had to follow me home and help me get it into the house and wrapped for Christmas. After opening it on Christmas morning my husband said it would never fit the table in our office so table one was ordered.
A few days later my Christmas gift arrived. It was a TV for my den I have upstairs. When we started to put the TV on the table where the old one was the table was too small. So table two was ordered.
Since I now had a new Smart TV upstairs we decided to cancel our Direct TV account, which had gotten ridiculously expensive, and get HULU and Netflix. By doing this we cut our Internet TV bill in half. We couldn’t do this until before because we didn’t have high speed internet. We recently got fiber optic cable installed in our area and now we can stream HULU. We ordered HULU and I was in heaven with my TV upstairs. The only problem was our downstairs TV where my husband watches TV was so old it didn’t do very well with the streaming and kept freezing so bad we couldn’t watch it. A new TV was ordered.
The table for the 3D printer arrived and it was quite large. When Mark put it together and put it in the office there was not enough room for it and our old desk. Table three, a smaller desk, was ordered. It arrived and it is still in the box in our office at home. I’m not sure if this one will be big enough because I was actually able to lift the box.
The new TV came in. Once again it was delivered to my work and it was wrestled in by two men in an Amazon fulfillment truck. Again I had to have a couple of people load it into my car. I took it home. We got it partially set up and realized the positioning of the legs on the base were different. You guessed it. It didn’t fit the table that we were using. Table four was ordered. Luckily it came in within just a few days and it has been put in place and fits wonderfully.
So. Things I have learned from this costly experience. 1. Use a tape measure and measure before buying. 2. Tell my husband I have already bought him a Christmas present. 3. Next year tell my husband I want a pair of earrings for Christmas. 4. I need to work out. I need more upper body strength. 5. Possibly get a second job before Christmas next year to offset any additional costs.
See? Gift of The Magi, sort of. Maybe I could sell my hair next year, hmmmmmm.
Love your day your way!!!! (and always use a tape measure)