Wednesday, October 22, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 22 - The Attic

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  



Yes, readers, I did it!  I went into The Attic.  

That sounds dramatic, I know, but I had been putting it off, and I am just a teensy bit proud to be writing about it now.  It's hard to navigate our little attic: slanted on one side, filled on the other side with way too many frames and art pieces, and you have to gingerly step through things while hunching over and trying to avoid touching the occasional spurts of fiberglass insulation.  Plus, you have to use a flashlight.

So, don't lose your balance and fall over.

Also, once you're in the back of the attic, you have to throw things to the front of it because it's too hard to walk back and carry things.  There was a lot of crashing and banging and exclamations of 'oof!' during this purge.

This was a glorious purge, everyone.  Glorious.  Big haul.

Let's start with the whopper of the haul:



My first set of suitcases purchased lovingly by my mother.  I haven't used these since I went to England via BUNAC (see below).  Boy, did I cram that suitcase full of stuff.  It was so heavy coming home.  That trip was over fifteen years ago.

It is hard letting go of the Mary Poppins satchel-style bag.  It also reminds me of Anne Shirley's carpet bag.  

But I have to let go of it.  We have other suitcases that actually get used.  



How about a big box of candles?


I have another box of just cream-colored cylindrical candles, but I am holding onto those.

I culled some books from a couple of boxes.  Pretty good stack!  (Do I donate or try to get the used bookstore to give me credit for them?  Hmmm....)




Oh, I see a book of my husband's.  I need to make sure he is okay with donating it. Or selling it.  

I also have a small box of decorative stuff, some odds and ends, and a couple of other items to donate.  

Why haven't I let go of this stuff sooner?  I've gone through this attic multiple times looking for stuff to declutter!

I guess I just thought that I would find a surface to put all these things later, especially the decorative stuff.  But the truth is that I've learned I like a spare room.  I don't like tchotkes and figurines.  I don't like lots of stuff to dust around.  

I've thought a lot about what three words I would want my home to encapsulate. They would be warm, meaningful, and spare.  

I'm not as attached to books anymore.  I love books, but I don't want to keep each and every book I've ever been given or owned.  I'd rather the ones I keep be useful or meaningful to me.  

Nowadays, I ask myself: could I get this at the library if I really wanted to read it again?   That's been working very well for me.  I still keep special books, but you know what?  Not all books are special to me!  I feel like that is some sort of violation of the book lover's code, but it's the truth.  I'd rather the books I love stand out in my home versus getting lost in a crowd.

I'm so excited to get rid of this stuff.  This was a great dent in the attic.  I probably should've broken all that I decluttered into more than one post, but I'll just post about it now and force myself to declutter more.  

Here's a sneak peek for tomorrow.




What gets easier to let go of as time passes?  Tell me in the comments.




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 21 - What a Pill


This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




Letting go of the Pack-n-Play made us (almost) immediately judge the contents of said item.  We probably still have too many pillows, but we purged the holiday sheets that I love (too pilly, sadly).  That made room for the extra pieces from our new comforter set (the sheets would've looked so good with the new white comforter, had they been in good enough condition) in the cabinet.  So it goes.




King-size sheets take up a lot of room.  It may seem like not much to give away, but that's a lot of fabric!  At least they can be recycled at the thrift shop.

How many sets of sheets do you keep for each bed?  I think I have two sets for the king bed now.  



Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 20 - I Stand Here Ironing

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  



That was the name of my first major prose piece in high school.  "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen....I can hear myself reciting the piece right now in my mind.  #speechteam

You might have guessed that we purged this today:



It falls down a lot while trying to set it up, and we don't really use it much.  We are more likely to set up a makeshift ironing board on the dining room table.  I also saw this Pin recently, and would love to get it when I have a top loader again. (Or at least a shorter front loader, but who am I kidding?  I probably won't get a front loading washer again.)

I might try to post our vague whereabouts on Freecycle or something to see if any recyclers want the metal board.  Otherwise, it's going to go out with the trash. We take large loads down to the creepy recycling center in a bad part of town. This doesn't merit a trip by itself.  

Good-bye, wonky ironing board!

Do you iron?  I don't, really.  Just being honest.  Only for formal occasions.




Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 19 - Room to Pack in Some Play

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




It's Day 19 of the 31 Days Series, and I decided to start naming the posts because I can't remember what day I got rid of what thing.  

It is another day of not having the post scheduled in advance, and here I am at 2.5 hours out from Day 20.  

I asked my husband not long ago tonight what he thought we should declutter.  I have been asking him more and more because it's getting tougher to find stuff. (Though, really, I haven't touched the attic yet.)

We sat.  We thought.  He offered this thought:

"What about the Pack-n-Play?"




Well, now.  This is serious.  What about the Pack-n-Play, Husband?

He reminded me of how it just sits there in our bedroom, filled with pillows and blankets, teasing the three-year-old who wants to get inside but shouldn't.  It's packed with stuff all right, but it's not packed with play.  Or a baby.  In fact, it pretty much never has been used by a baby.  Okay, rarely.  We have had it out for each kid, but it really isn't used enough to warrant keeping it.

It held clothes for my most recent baby.

One of us pointed out that we wouldn't use it for any future babies either.

It takes up a lot of visual space.

Boo-yah!  There it is, folks!  Right when we thought we wouldn't have much to offer today, we get all radical and get rid of something fairly large and important to many (though not apparently us).  High five to the Hubs.

Where are we going to put all the pillows and blankets now?

Do you have a baby item that you never really used?  Tell me about it in the comments.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 18


This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




We've got the wheel loader rider toy that these go with, but we've never used them.



Good-bye, fake rocks!  Never used ya once!

Let go of any toys recently?  I asked my son if he was ready to let go of some toys, and he gave me a decisive no.




Friday, October 17, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 17


This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  





It's Day 17.  I am cutting it close to the wire again with two hours before Day 17 is over!

My husband and I went down into the basement, and I felt like I was grasping for straws.  We poked around for a while, and he finally found this tub full of:

MORE GLASS.

Folks, I obviously had (have?) a problem.  I believe this is my third major haul of glass items.

You can read about the first haul.


And here's a picture of the third haul.  Oh, my goodness.

This is actually the fourth lot of glass!  For the love of all that's holy! I wasn't even remembering things correctly until I looked at the pictures.





I love the latched jar the most.  I'm leaning towards keeping the Ball jars.  I like the metal-lidded square jars for their design, but I don't know where to use them. I can't have glass out as toy storage or art supply storage.  

I keep thinking to myself that I could keep them until my kids are older.  But, golly, that is a long way away.  If I loved the jars so much, why didn't I have them out?

I asked my husband what he thought we should do with everything.  He said the pumpkin was cute.  I said we didn't have anywhere to put it.  He concurred.  

All of it is going except for the latch jar.

That really has to be it now in the glass department, right?

Comfort me in the comments.  Tell me why I had so many glass jars/vases/holders/decorative items in my basement.  Some of them were from our wedding, but still....!





Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 16

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  





Most of my posts have been scheduled and ready to go: hurray!  Not today.  It just took too darn long to work through today's stuff.  You remember this?




No sense in putting it off any longer.  I dove in last night and finished up today. Normally, I can pick what I need to purge and write quickly about it, but that was not going to happen with this project.





It all took me down memory lane: essays, reflections, notes, and full-blown papers.  PIP packets, syllabi, research articles...






I kept some class notes.  I didn't think I would, and maybe I'll recycle them once I take a closer look.  After a while, I couldn't make decisions anymore.  DECISION FATIGUE. :)



A graduate class at the undergraduate level made me "highly qualified" to teach reading.

The left side is the recycle pile, and the right side is the keep pile.  I must say, I am disappointed the keep pile is still so big.  It was less than half the size of the recycle pile.  The keep pile needs to be organized a bit better and placed in an appropriate place.  I'm not sure the basement is the best place to keep class notes.





Abandoned file folders.

Throughout the purge, I kept asking myself: could I get this information again somewhere else?  Do I really need my notes on the stages of an early reader?  Or could I research the latest professional teaching resources for this information?  So, I'll take a break from this particular stack of stuff and come back to it with fresh eyes, maybe during the latter portion of 31 Days.

With a half hour to spare, I am finishing Day 16 of the 31 Days challenge!  

How do you organize your professional papers?  Are you a teacher?  What do you like to keep?