Tag Archives: release

To-Go Box

Just a quick post on this lovely fall day. . . .

I just wanted to take a minute to share one of the ways I keep decluttering on the brain.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep your less-is-more focus when life starts happening around you. You’ve worked so hard and come so far on your minimalist journey, and then, before you know it, life butts in and stops your progress in its tracks. In some cases, it may even push you back a few steps.

It’s OK. This kind of thing happens all the time. We just have to be aware of it and keep pushing through the interruptions.

One way I do this is to always have a designated spot or box in my house–usually near the back door–where I can drop any item that no longer fits in my life.

I yanked that itchy top off just as quickly as I pulled it on while getting ready for work because I knew I wouldn’t enjoy wearing it all day? In the box it goes on my way out the door.

That annoying kitchen utensil got in my way again as I was trying to find the one I use for every, single meal prep? Toss it in the box!

Even though these unwanted items still remain in my home for a few weeks after I decide to purge them, I’m still steadily making progress. The decision has already been made, and it feels good to have a visual reminder in a forgotten corner in my mud room of my constant steps forward.

I have even found when I don’t have a box or area set aside for these cast-offs, I tend to not address them in those defining moments. I’m a firm believer that everything should have a place in the home, and knowing that even my unwanted items have a designated, albeit temporary, residence helps keep the decluttering process moving.

So don’t get bogged down by setbacks, big or small. Put little plans into place to keep yourself progressing, even when you don’t have the free time in your schedule to plan a decluttering afternoon or weekend.

Baby steps!!!

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Yard Sale-ing Again!

Call us crazy, but we had another yard sale this past weekend.

My brother just purchased a home, and the previous owner had left some things behind.  In an effort to get rid of the things he didn’t want of hers, and to make a little extra cash for remodeling purposes, the sale was more for his sake than anyone else’s.  However, I was beyond thrilled to cash out on a few more pieces of “junk”, as was my mother.

We took a couple of months to get everything together, as we weren’t sure if there would be another yard sale in our near future.  I mean, after all, we can’t have much left to purge, right?

Wrong.  Again, my mother’s dining room (the storage space for our to-go items until the day of the sale) was overflowing with our trash….er, treasures.  We couldn’t believe it!  The layers just keep falling away with each new purge.

In total, the three of us made over $1,300.00!  I pocketed $500 of that myself.  Not bad for the millionth yard sale we’ve hosted. Haha!

I’ve noticed this time around, I’m a lot less afraid of giving up the more sentimental items.  There are still a few things I will want to digitize for memory’s sake, but it’s becoming a lot easier to let the hard stuff go.  It feels amazing.

I had a few items out for sale that most people would probably never consider getting rid of, and someone even asked, “You don’t have a sentimental bone in your body, do you?”

Maybe, but it’s just a teeny one. 🙂

 

 

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Show Me The Money!

After another Friday night / Saturday morning yard sale weekend, I walked away very pleased with my continuing progress.

This time, I made $400.  AND got rid of quite a few bulky items that I’ve been sick of seeing for a while now.

My aunt, uncle, cousins, brother, brother’s girlfriend, Nana, Mom, Dad, and I all came together — each of us pitching in items that we were ready to be rid of.  We always have the best time.  

My aunt made a breakfast casserole, Mom had a crock pot of BBQ chicken for lunchtime sandwiches, and Nana brought over some cake and brownies for us to snack on.  We’re a super close family, so even though there was some labor involved throughout the weekend, we just visited and enjoyed one another’s company.  

One of my favorite ways to spend a weekend.

All of us combined made about $1,000.

I hope this inspires some of you to host your own yard sale.  You really can make a good deal of money, making it worth your trouble.  If you need any pointers, just leave a comment below!

I hope y’all have a great week!

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Storage Unit

Recently, my boyfriend and I had quite the argument.

Having relocated rather quickly from his previous residence, he was forced to rent a small storage space to store the larger items, books, and winter clothes until he could get back into town with a truck to haul them away.

Time passed, and — as you all can probably imagine — the clearing of the storage unit had begun to lose its urgency.

In fact, the bill even went unpaid for a few months.

I finally told my guy that we would go as soon as possible to retrieve the items, which also meant paying up on all those missed payments.  Since work was pretty demanding for him at the time, I offered to work out all the details if he could just take a day off to drive the 2 hours with me to get the load of mess.

After a few phone calls and a little more anger than I care to admit, we learned that the items in the unit had been auctioned off due to my sweetheart’s lack of recent payment.

Of course, I was outraged.  “They can’t just sell your stuff without trying to contact you first!” I heatedly proclaimed.  Then I got back on the phone with the storage company to try to find the buyer of said auctioned items and to report that he couldn’t legally sell them without attempting to contact my boyfriend first.

The man on the other end of the line, God love him, informed me calmly that the company did in fact try to make contact with no success.  Several times, I might add.  My guy forgot to change over his address when he moved (it’s gotta be a guy thing), and so all the letters sent out in hopes to contact him went to the wrong place.  The company had also tried to call him at the work number they had on file — which was correct — multiple times, but were told that no one by the name he gave them was employed there.

I hung up the phone, completely baffled, and immediately filled in the boyfriend on what I’d found out.

Then came the light bulb moment.

Since the name my boyfriend gave the storage company was his legal name and he actually goes by a shortened version of his middle name, none of his new employees would know who Mr. Legal Name was when someone called asking for him.

Simple misunderstanding where really no one was to fully blame.

I originally acted out in anger towards my boyfriend for his forgetfulness and for not taking the time to call and give a change of address, but I was mostly upset because I couldn’t remember all the items in the unit that were lost.  What if we lost something super important?!  This obviously wasn’t the case considering I couldn’t remember anything of dire sentimental value — except for one thing; an old photo album containing the only childhood photos my boyfriend owned.  (There are others at his mother’s house, along with all the negatives of the photos we lost in the auction.)  Everything else could be replaced or wasn’t even worth replacing to begin with.

I had actually planned to sell most of it at my next yard sale, but we quickly realized that no money would actually be made on the items, seeing as how we’d have to pay the storage company for the months that we missed.

I never handle losing items that I don’t freely give up very well.  I’ve sort of taken my time with this whole process, and deciding each and every item’s fate is part of the therapy of it for me.  This was yet another wake-up call in my life to my attachment to things that don’t really matter.  Even the things that I’m not even sure I own — or my boyfriend owns, in this case.

I hate that I spent that much emotional energy on a bunch of junk.

After the dust of the loss settled, I quickly felt my anger being replaced with something else.

Yep.  Relief.

We didn’t lose any more money on the auctioned items.  We didn’t have to take off a day of work to go retrieve them.  And we didn’t have to deal with the aggravation of storing them just so we could deal with the annoyance of later trying to sell them.

Please note that I’m not an advocate of not paying your bills on time.  This was just the positive outcome of innocent forgetfulness, and nothing more.  But what a weight that was lifted from our shoulders.

That storage unit is now one less responsibility that is cluttering my mind, preventing me from focusing on the here and now.

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(Yet Another) Yard Sale Post

Yep.  We’re at it again, people.

Me and my mama will be having another yard sale in just 4 short weeks.

Me and the boyfriend are taking a much needed vacation up to New York for a mini-festival, hosted by my favorite band, The Felice Brothers.  (I encourage everyone to check them out.  They’re pretty freakin’ sweet.)  We just bought a ’99 Honda Civic hatchback last summer with only 67,000 miles on her (we love bragging about it) and want to take her on the open road to see parts of our lovely country that we’ve yet to experience.

We need this trip for our sanity.  Work has been a little hectic for him lately, and our time together is very limited.  We’re hoping to take our relationship to the next level in the very near future and want to enjoy this little slice of time we have before life gets too hectic again.  (It’s funny how busy life can potentially get, even when you’re living simply!)

I’m hoping to save up a little extra cash before we hit the road by selling some more things I never use.  I’ve also been paring down my possessions all along by posting them for sale on Facebook.  I love the success I’ve had with this method!

I’ve given myself a time limit so I’m forced to stay focused on another purge.  I’m finding it much more difficult to find items that aren’t getting any use these days.  This is very encouraging!  I feel like I’m really doing something right.

I’ve made real progress with my wardrobe and am continuing to eliminate pieces on a regular basis.  My kitchen contains almost only frequently used items, and my bathroom is totally uncluttered.  I feel so much more aware of my wants verses my needs than I was just 6 months ago.  Every time I think I’ve got this whole thing figured out, I find another layer to peel away.  I LOVE IT!

The only real area that needs work is me being OK with parting with my grandma’s furniture.  I currently live in her old house, and there are still a few remaining pieces of furniture that are sentimental.  I know that I don’t want to lug these beasts around when it comes time for a move–which could very possibly be sooner rather than later–and will, therefore, try to work my way up to that release before long.

One step at a time.

I like knowing that, if something were to happen to me, I won’t be leaving behind the burden of having to go through and purge my possessions to my loved-ones.  I love them so much and wouldn’t want to put them through such a daunting task.

I feel like I’m slowly, but surely, encouraging others to do the same.  Not everyone gets it–or thinks I’m sane, for that matter *LOL*–and that’s OK.  It’s not for everyone.  I’m just grateful for those in my life who not only do get it but are also so encouraging.  I appreciate you more than I can put into words.

The road is definitely a difficult and less-traveled one, but it is well worth it in the end.

It’s just nice to know I’m not alone in the journey.

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Impulse Buys

I did a bad thing.

I bought too many new clothes.

I was in desperate need of some new attire and found myself with a little extra cash.  So, with Summer well underway, I decided to go ahead and spend a little money.  Needless to say, I was a wee bit over-zealous.

I’ve gotten in this habit recently of saving my new purchases for a few days before using/wearing them, so that if I experience buyer’s remorse, I can just take them right back to the store.  No harm, no foul.

Thankfully, I did the same thing this time–minus a couple of items that I knew I would keep. I returned around 5 of the articles of clothing.

I’ve been really trying to only buy things that fit into my current life and aren’t just physical manifestations of–what miss minimalist calls–my fantasy self.  I realized that a few of my recent purchases were just that.  They were items that I simply found cute or pretty; things I would have loved to see myself wearing, but knew that they would just end up getting shoved to the back of my closet.

It felt good to return them.  And responsible, I might add.

Also, in the not-so-very-distant past, my boyfriend happened to win a drawing for a $1,000 gift card to a massive shoe store where we live.  Yes, you read that correctly.  This is a minimalist’s dream come true as well as worse nightmare.

See, I would finally be able to spend more money than I normally would when I needed a decent new pair of kicks, without my frugal self feeling guilty over the purchase.

BUT….

That also meant I would have more of a tendency to go on random shoe-shopping sprees, throwing caution to the wind, because–since it wasn’t my money–I had no reason to feel guilty for my many unnecessary purchases.  And I have to add, when it’s not my money, I have a much harder time deciding if I really need the item or not.

I fell into the trap a couple of times; which, thankfully, the purchases I made were actually shoes that I am wearing a lot of these days.  However, there was one pair in particular I spent far too much money on that I ended up returning because I just realized, after I got them home, that they just weren’t a pair I really needed or would probably ever even wear frequently.  Thank you, buyer’s remorse!

Just a little confession from a budding minimalist today, in hopes that I can help someone else not make the same mistakes by reading about mine.

And I do encourage you all to hold on to your new purchases for a bit before removing those tags.  Sometimes you just don’t think you’ll become so quickly detached from an item you just couldn’t live without only moments before.

Also, attempt not trying things on or picking things up that you don’t already have in the forefront of your mind as things you are seeking.  Those stylish mannequins and perfectly lit fitting rooms are just ploys to snatch your attention, causing you to fall for things you might have otherwise never even thought about.

Good luck, minimalist shoppers!

And may the force to refuse and purge be with you!

(Note: Upon bringing home my new purchases, I went through my wardrobe and was able to pick a couple of shopping bags full of items to donate or sell.  Can’t bring something in without tossing something out!)

Have you ever made an impulse buy that led to regret and a set-back in your progress towards minimalism?

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This I Know

I long to help the people I care about in any way possible.

What’s tough for me, is letting go of the situation after I’ve realized they don’t want help.

I cannot help people who don’t truly wish to help themselves.

This I know.

Of this I will let go.

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To Keep? Or Not To Keep?

What constitutes a keepsake?

The term can mean different things for different people.

I’m at a place on my minimalism journey, where the things I’m parting with are becoming more and more meaningful to me.  Occasionally I’ll find a few things that are meaningless, but they are getting harder to come by.

I mentioned in a previous post about my goals, that I wanted to have all my keepsakes fit into one fairly small-sized box.  I’m happy to say I’ve almost arrived.

Most of the things that I want to hold on to, but don’t regularly visit, are in this one box.  Items such as: yearbooks, diplomas, awards, special notes/cards/letters I’ve received through the years, childhood Bible, etc.

(Note: I don’t count my photos and such in this category, as they are of separate importance altogether.  These are just items that mean something to me, that I, from time to time, like to pull out and look through.)

Since my Paw Paw’s death, however, I’m realizing that the meaning of the term keepsake is changing for me.  Death really does put things into perspective.  It becomes so clear what matters and what doesn’t in these heartbreaking situations, especially when thinking of all the things you hold dear that you would trade to have a little more time with your deceased loved one.

Everyone, of course, grieves differently and treasures different things.  I know my Nana will have a hard time parting with any of Paw Paw’s belongings, as she tends to hold on to tangible objects.  I hope to be able to help her let go in some ways, but I understand if she is unable to.

My next post will be an image of said Keepsake Box.  (I placed a CD next to it to give you an idea of size.)

It’s a comfort to know that everything I can’t replace is all together in one condensed location so that I am able to pick it up and go in a crisis.  Everything else is just replaceable fluff.

However, as I stated earlier, my definition of keepsake is changing, and I’m sure I’ll be able to condense my box even further.  I can already think of a couple of things that I feel ready to release.

And how freeing it is!

What items in your life do you consider special, or keepsakes?

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Up In Flames

Have you ever secretly wished for a fire in your life?

I have to be honest–part of me has.  (Though, a hurricane would be more appropriate from where I’m standing.)

I know this is extreme, and, of course, not something I would actually want to have to deal with….but the thought of it is liberating.  I just finished reading an article that addresses this topic, and felt that I could definitely relate.  

Even now, after all the work I’ve done on my home.  I look around, and there’s still so much left I could be rid of it.  Even the things I know I’m not emotionally ready to release, I am fully aware that I could do without them. 

That’s what’s so intriguing about the idea of a fire.  It would completely take the decision-making process away, leaving you with only what you needed to survive.

Again, I don’t actually want to deal with the aftermath of a house-fire, and my heart aches for those who have actually had to live the nightmare of one.  I just find myself weary these days of all the decisions, and this is only because I want to go further.

need to go further.

I’m giving myself a little time–seeing as how the last purge was a pretty big one–before moving on to the next step with my possessions.  And truthfully, I feel like my focus for the moment needs to be on my health.

I’m good at sticking to something once I start it, and lately my health/diet has suffered due to my focus on other things.  This is one area that I know I can’t half-ass, so I want to get back on the health wagon, immediately, and build new, permanent, healthy habits.  I may do a post on this subject when I feel I’ve arrived at my lagom.

Do you secretly wish to be stripped of some (or all) of the decision-making when it comes to decluttering your life?

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