Tag Archives: family heirlooms

Major Headway — Everything in its Category

When I woke up this morning, I almost despaired. My apartment had not one square inch of cleared space to spare. My junk was everywhere. I was planning to have some larger furniture pieces taken out to the storage unit today to wait until this spring when they will either be hauled off by family members or sold in “The Greatest Yard Sale of Time and All Eternity.” (Yes, that is the official name of the yard sale I’m hosting this spring.) Alas, these prodigious pieces persist this evening, but I have high hopes they will find their new home in the storage unit by Monday night.

I decided I would focus on taming the mayhem in the house. Because I thought removal of some big furniture was imminent, I had emptied them out, and their contents were strewn about. AND I had had the kids bring in some stuff OUT of storage so I could sort it. Suffice it to say, the place was trashed. It’s still dirty, but I called roll and took some names today!

I feel like I can’t really start shedding more stuff until I know what I currently have. To that end, I labeled a bunch of empty bins with household categories like, “makeup”, “painting and sanding”, “office supplies” and so on. Then I went through all the crap all over the house and sorted it all into those categories. Guess how many scissors I discovered I had… 15! Fifteen scissors! I can safely sell thirteen of them. Guess how many nail clippers I found… 13! I bet I have over a hundred pens. I know I have 12 different types of hair gel. Honestly, it’s a miracle this house has EVER been clean.

As I was throwing everything into its categories with its friends, I did a quick sort. I have about 3 new bins of stuff to price for the yard sale as a result. And now the fun part starts! Now that I have all household items in categories I can leisurely pick a category a day (or every other day) and mercilessly cull. I feel so encouraged by today’s progress.

Thanks to my friend, Manu, who sat and visited with me for 7 straight hours while I worked.

Folks, this is really happening. I really am going to be set free. I can’t wait!

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I want to live on a boat…

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Could Aunt Anna's Piano fit and survive on a boat?

I have always wanted to live on a boat.

As I move further into simplification mode, the more my desire to live on a boat, or in an RV grows. Really, apart from money, my biggest obstacle to mobile living quarters is the lack of enough room for my Great Aunt Anna’s piano.

My simplicity has its boundaries. I love my piano. It’s the piano I learned to play on. The action on the keys is very light — too light, actually — but I LOVE it. It’s small and cute and a dark yellow color.

I have a short list of must-haves. They include my piano; my guitar; an ipad and iphone; a super-soft feather pillow; my Aunt Zelma’s quilts; my Dad’s original company jacket; my Mother’s poetry; and my daughter’s photography.

I suppose my interest in aquatic accommodations has been growing in parallel to the likelihood of pulling it off. I wonder if Hannah will be opposed to trading in a two-bedroom apartment for a two-bunk bed boat?

Cool blogs and stuff on the subject:

Living On A Boat – One Woman’s Transition To Living Onboard A Boat.

Amazon.com: The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat.

Living on a Boat.

Liveaboard Life: Minimalism in a Tiny Home at Sea – Sailing, Simplicity, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

We Live On A Boat.

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Dreams, Purging Possessions

Project “Shuck the Superfluous Shit” Progress Report

The current state of the storage unit. CRH, Model.

I worked most of the day today on pricing stuff for the yard sale. I now have a total of 9 bins full of stuff ready to go. I can see that this is quickly going to get harder and harder. Or easier and easier. I’m really not sure, yet. I was shocked at how willing I was to let go of almost 20% of my books right off the  bat.

I have let go of about 20% of my clothes as well. And probably 40% of my shoes. I need to do laundry so I can sort through all of that “situation.” I bet I have 20 or more loads to do. There’s no washer or dryer in my apartment, so I’ve been doing it just about once every two months. It feels like I’m doing it all the time. Thank GOD for CRH! She’s so nice to go with me. She’s much more organized than I am and doesn’t really need to use the laundromat. We laugh and vent and solve the world’s problems. It still sucks, though.

My hope is to get rid of so much stuff that I CAN’T wait that long between trips to the laundromat. It’s such a pain in the neck and expensive! I think it usually ends up costing me about $60 a trip. This time, I plan to bring my supplies for pricing and tagging with me to the laundromat along with a couple or three bins. That way, the stuff I decide to sell won’t have to be drug all the way back up to the apartment. I can just drop the bins off at the storage unit. That’s incentive enough to get rid of as much as possible!

As I look around my living room I realize that I have about 2 bins worth of miscellaneous stuff to sort through still this week. I’m also suddenly really anxious to get rid of some big items. I love my Dad’s desk, but it is enormous and heavy. It always weighs on my mind. It’s just such a monster to move and soooo BIG. I’m trimming back the number of electronics I have and I really don’t need it. But because it’s so huge, it is going to be difficult to get someone in my family to take it off my hands. Maybe my relatives in Menan (Idaho) would like it… I’ll ask.

I have two medium sized bookcases I don’t need; a huge, four-drawer metal lateral file cabinet; and a giant rolling cabinet-thingy from Ikea I could let go. I just sold my little living room set to my sister, Jenny, and I want to get that up to her (in Pocatello) ASAP. I’d like my living room to be open, sunny and easy to clean. I can’t wait! Maybe a next step would be to clean the storage unit and put some of this furniture in there to get it out of here sooner.

Or maybe one of my siblings will suddenly have need of this giant desk and will want to help me get it and Jenny’s furniture to their new homes… Are you listening, Universe? It’s me, Rebecca.

All-in-all, I’d say things are moving along swimmingly. I’m so excited to finally be shucking all this superfluous shit! If anyone has any great tips, I’d love to hear (read) them.

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The Project Illustrated…

This is a “mind map” of the complete Excess Emancipation Project. The daily habits I am integrating; new beliefs I am creating; and the “broad strokes” of my 101 day journey are depicted here.

I committed to this vision on December 11, 2011 and it will be completed on March 21, 2012. This future I am creating is really an integration of habits I once had and/or things I’ve always wanted to do.

So far, it hasn’t been particularly easy. I see a lot of blogs out there about this person’s great new life on a raw food diet or that person’s successful purging of the possessions and I get a little frustrated. It seems like these things came easy to those people. Maybe I’m not reading far enough. Maybe they just didn’t talk about the crying.

One thing is for sure: As I look at my Dad’s desk from when I was a kid, or his galoshes from when he was a kid, I am acutely aware of tough times ahead. I am so habituated to attributing sentimental value to inanimate objects, it feels kinda like I’m getting rid of him, not just some stuff. Granted, I will be hopefully giving any/all family heirlooms to my sisters and brothers, but I know there will be a few things left over that I will have to face selling or giving away.

And it’s not just stuff from Dad and Mom (like her tin dollhouse from the 50s) a lot of my stuff are things I have picked up during my travels to Paris, Morocco, Indonesia, Costa Rica and more. Or they bring back memories of hijinks or lost loves. I suppose this is the inevitable crux of the issue.

I am committed to getting free of having to “tend” all this stuff, though. It’s so much work to dust, house, store, maintain and care for and about this inanimate menagerie. I have always fantasized about being free of it — about living a life more like Thoreau at Walden Pond — and I am determined to get there.

(Dear Universe, Please don’t infer that I want to be put in a position where I have to build my own house with just an axe and old nails from my neighbor’s shanty.)

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