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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Getting Rid of the Clutter-Physically

It was not a pretty process. Did I really want to put this junk back into my now clutter free rooms? No!
The hardest thing I am finding about this whole process of purging my junk is physically getting rid of it.  When I dumped every piece of clothing in my living room and went through it, I was able to to call my mom and brother to come over.  My brother immediately filled up his car with garbage bags of clothes and took them to Good Will. That was great.  The clothes were gone.  It felt great. Bam! It was like magic.

Here are my purging tips:
1. Remove items from your house as soon as you can

2. Donate things to the Good Will if you don't want to spend time selling it. Think: is this actually worth anything

3. Don't push off your stuff on other hoarders. I have family members who will take almost anything whether they have the need or room

4. Throw things in the garbage. In my neighborhood, people drive around taking things out of the garbage.  For example, we put a broken lawnmower in the garbage. Minutes later, someone in a truck picked it up.

5. Be as ruthless as you can.  I am starting to have a wash of euphoria wash over me when I just dump a junk drawer in the garbage. Sadly, I often do pick up things like emery boards and matches out. However, I have tossed most of the useless items out.

Goodbye, old books!  
Then I started on the books...Even when I was a kid, I had a lot of books. Every month I did that Scholastic Book slip, I went through boxes of paperbacks, I went to the book store, I read my parents' books, and I even was in about five book of those Book of the Month clubs. I used to store my books everywhere. I carefully displayed my Dean Koontz hardbacks on my tall wooden shelf. I had a water bed (think a bag of water) with storage drawers on the bottom and it was filled with books. I think I even broke some of the drawers with the weight of the books. Shocker.  Fast forward 20-30 years and I think I did had some of the same books!  Plus, about a 1000 more.  I mean, I'm an English teacher.  Not only do I read true crime, historical books, education books, art books, suspense thrillers, and young adult dystopian fiction novels, but I basically had 200 other favorite books in topics from angels to how to think like Leonardo Da Vinci.  Oh, I also had cookbooks, travel guides, and hundreds of How To craft books.  Thanks to this little thing called The Internet I realized that most of my books are obsolete.  For example, if I need a recipe, I go to my lovely Mac and do a Bing search (ugh, those Bing points I get turn into Amazon credit that I use more books!) and then print out the recipe. Or I just use my iPhone 6s Plus.  I really am much too lazy to go downstairs and dig through this huge, heavy recipe book that my mom gave me.  Jeez, I don't even have room in my kitchen to set that book down.   So I start going through the books and get rid of a lot. I'm able to take them to Good Will or just put them on my curb. My brother says, "I'll give them to my friend." Said friend has still never shown up.  Then, my brother decides to put them on eBay.  We do lots of 20 books on crafts and scrapbooking. Days later, we get some bids.  We go to the Post Office.  Sadly, it cost me MORE to send the books than we made.  My brother said something about cancelling the order.  I said I would just pay for it.  Crafts have to stick together.  So by selling the books, I lost money!  I am actually PAYING people to take my books.
Thanks for taking my old books!  Let me pay you.
Moving on, I have a lot left to go in terms of old coffee pots, a fondue pot, an aerogarden, and a few other appliances that I really don't use anymore.  Should we throw these up on eBay?  I think we have a neighborhood garage sale coming up. You have to pay to participate, so there is a chance I might not even break even.

So here is where I am now:
*my living room is filled with boxes from the bunk beds and mattresses (We're planning to make a fort of them with the kids.)

*my garage is dangerous piled with those storage bins and multiples of other junk. (I called my mom to ask why she had four Shark vacuums that we exactly the same in my garage. She was clueless. I tried to throw them out and my brother stopped me.)

*I have several huge bins that I cannot move down in the office. They are just too heavy.

*I cannot box anything new up because I have no where to put it.

*I'm still waiting for the mysterious "friend" to pick up some of these books.  I hope he can take all of them.

*I backtracked a little.  In a frenzy right before garbage day, I threw some stuff in the garbage and took it out. This is exactly what I need to avoid. It's like if it was ALL thrown out, I wouldn't miss it. However, to see it sadly being discarded, is pretty sad.

I am also thinking of donating a lot of the art supplies to my school's makerspace.  I could also set up a tinkering corner in my own classroom.  I certainly have enough tools. Also, I could probably have a jewelry club with all of my extra beads.  I have thousands of packets of plastic beads that I really don't want to throw away.