We've been building up to this over the past 22+ years. (Actually, it's been longer, if you count our previous years at the Burgess Drive house in town. We hauled some of that Stuff with us to the Collins St. address.)
It took us two months, four dumpster loads and a lot of work to empty our Stuff down to half a garage-worth...plus what's in the trailer now.
|Our 'new' house's view -- parked by the side yard of the 'old' house|
HOW CAN WE KEEP THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN?
*No more buying'staples' until we've used up what we salvaged, including:
--shampoo, toothpaste, powder, lotions and various pills and vitamins
--stamps, paper and notepaper (this is me. I looove pretty notepaper)
--tape (scotch and packing), scissors, markers, pens
--clothes, including socks (the Brick has nine hundred bazillion pairs of socks --
not counting the unmatching ones, which went out in the dumpster)
--printing paper (we're actually pretty good on ink, too)
--canned food, especially soups, tomatoes and beans
--goods for baking, including flour, sugar, oil, etc.
--sauces (I had no idea I'd collected this many)
*Stocking only what groceries will easily fit in the fridge or (very small) freezer. If they're on sale, maybe 1 or 2 -- but that's it. And only the things we use everyday, like milk, eggs and butter.
*Returning what we didn't use for repairs and updating. Walmart, Home Depot, Tuesday Morning and Lowe's, here we come. (It should help with this month's credit card bill, too.)
*Borrowing books from the library, instead of buying them. (The few I've purchased, for a few bucks each, will go to Daughter #1; one will stay in my research file.)
*Keeping just a few pairs of shoes. Coats and jackets, too -- just a couple. Minimizing our wardrobes is going to be essential. For now, our summer clothes are up in the closets. (Winter clothes will be stored in clothes baskets down in the 'basement.')
|German majolica - pretty AND useful. (We'll use it as a creamer.)|
Only $1.80 at the 90%-off thrift shop sale last week.
*Going without -- for now. Most of my t-shirts and unmentionables accidentally went to Michigan and storage, thanks to never making it out of the highboy drawers. I have enough, provided I sneak into the old house, and wash every other day or two.
*Putting our DVDs and CDs in a zipped case. Just ordered it from Amazon -- 400 DVDs fit in a space the size of a fat hardback! (Right now, we have two huge bins of DVDs and CDs, with others scattered around. One case, maybe two, should do the trick nicely.)
This brings up another new rule:
*Consolidating wherever possible. No more half-empty boxes or bins -- we just don't have the room. No more keeping cracker boxes, when I can pull the sleeve out, instead.
This has extended to the fridge, too. I've been cutting veggies and fruit up right away, then storing them in plastic bags, ready for use. It's more helpful than I'd realized.
*Whatever is meant for the trailer, goes in the trailer. Now.
*If we can't put it away in the trailer -- it goes away. I'm keeping this in mind as we clear out the garage and storage areas this week at the old house. We will have separately-marked piles and bins:
--stays with the house (replacement tiles for future use, paint for touchups, etc.)
--trash (garbage cans)
--trash (back of the truck, filling up for a run to the dump)
--returns (see above)
--donation (the Vietnam Veterans pickup is July 15)
--storage (probably 10-20 boxes still, mostly teaching stuff)
--items the girlies will take with
--sell (just a few things here)
*Sorting the mail -- right away. Junk mail gets tossed, and the rest filed. We've already had our first challenges in this area. Bills and commitment letters go up in a 'mailbox' mounted by the door; letters are read, then put away or tossed. So far, it's working -- but I'm looking at a handful of user guides we have to Do Something With soon.
*Tidying up. Regularly. It only takes a few minutes to put away the fresh sheets (a sliding drawer under the couch) and towels (cupboard by the sink). I cleaned house this afternoon, including sweeping, mopping and cleaning the bathroom. Took me about 1 1/2 hours -- but only because I had to stop and clear some forming piles.
I keep hearing these phrases in my head:
*A place for everything -- and everything in its place. We MUST put everything away in a timely manner, and not allow piles to form. I already know what piles can do over time.
*Something new comes in -- then something old goes out.
I also hear:
So I'll have a small copper planter of herbs by the kitchen sink; a woven basket nearby holds Pop-Tarts, breakfast bars and a few candy bars scavenged from the old house's cupboards. (The rock-hard candy was thrown away.) We'll use up our stock of pretty paper napkins (leftover from the old house), and we still drink coffee out of the same cheerful mugs. A quilt livens up the bed, instead of the frowsy brown comforter the trailer came with. The library bookbag, brightly printed, swings from the 'mailbox,' returns ready to head back tomorrow.
The temptation to go back to the old ways is there. I can feel it. I WANT to collect, make piles, stock up, buy extra 'just in case.'
We have to keep to the new path...it should be very freeing, once we get used to walking it.
|from skywriting.net, via Pinterest|