Archives for August 2012

Are You Attached to Furniture?

Do you have furniture that has been handed down from generation to generation? Have you noticed sometimes the new furniture just isn’t made as well as the old stuff? This is what I am dealing with right now.

The reality is, I am emotionally attached to certain pieces of furniture.

Why? I’m not sure.

Since our living arrangements will change soon I am in need of making space. With my background I logically see that there is no good reason to keep things that are not being used and most likely will never be used, yet I struggle to let go.

There is a table and a couch taking up space in the garage. I keep them just in case someone in the family needs a table and a couch. Years later, the table and couch are still in the garage. This weekend I am facing the fact that no one in the family wants them. They need to go.

While mentally preparing to give them away I start asking people at work and got a few takers. The price is right, they are free and they are decent pieces of furniture.

Reasons we keep furniture not being used:

  1. Keeping for my children for when they go to college.
  2. Kids will need for when they get their first apartment.
  3. We paid a lot of money for this couch.
  4. Has been handed down from parents or grandparents.
  5. Have plans to take a reupholstering class.

Storing furniture in a storage unit, will add up and over time, dust mites and spiders could easily get very comfortable in between cushions and other little crevices.

Decision made. Furniture now belongs to someone else. Garage is looking less cluttered and cleaner. What a relief!

What Should I Start Collecting?

In my office, if you are a collector, we love you!

It’s your name we hope to draw in the office Christmas party exchange.

You take the sting out of the painful challenge of gift buying.

Buying for my own mom on Mother’s day was always harder than buying for my mother-in-law. Why? Because my mother-in-law had a collection and my mother did not.

My wonderful Mother-in-law collected angels. Everything Angel, from every country ever visited, made out of every type of material, from the very expensive to the homemade. Her collection of angels got so big she couldn’t display them all and she ended up storing many of them and throughout the year she would switch them around. They were great conversation pieces and she and many family members enjoyed that collection very much.

I don’t ever remember her ever not liking her collection. She enjoyed it and she certainly was the easiest person to buy gifts for.

What Should I Start Collecting?

Recently I was with my niece who is in grammar school and we were shopping at Target. She said she was trying to make a decision on what she would start collecting and my ears perked up. I asked her why she wanted to start a collection and she said, “everyone has a collection of something and I have to decide what my collection will be”. For now she has settled on some little strange thimble size animal looking thing.

Collections can be fun, like a hobby and I know first hand. I collected matches until my little brother caught my bed on fire. Then I switched to napkins from everywhere I visited. One time I thought I would collect bells and another time those little spoons. At least those items don’t take up a lot of space but the incentive just kind of fizzled and I no longer collect.

When it comes to making a decision on organizing and/or decluttering your collections I would propose the following questions. Do you enjoy your collections?  I know they make others happy (or do they?) but do they make you happy?

After all of my collecting, I found the most important thing to collect. The best part is, they are something you can carry around with you. They are easy to store. You don’t have to keep them clean or insure them.

I collect experiences.

Instead of wasting my time searching the internet looking for matches or napkins, I can spend time with family. Spending time with my grandson is just the best! It doesn’t cause me to need a bigger house, or a new collection room.

When you ask yourself, “What Should I Start Collecting?” what you really should be asking yourself is “On my death bed, what am I going to be thinking about?” Matches? Napkins? Stamps? Hopefully not.

The decision is yours.

Two Truths And A Lie, What To Do With Board Games.

Two truths and a lie is one of our official family games. We’ve played it so many times it’s hard to believe that we can still trick each other.

My mom is the best because she has 7 decades of stories under her belt. Just when you think you know everything she came up with a new one.

1. Modeled for the Goodwill

2. Modeled for an Insane Asylum.

3. Modeled for the White House.

Guess which one is the lie?

Our other game is Team Charades. What about all of the board games we used to play? Do you have board games in your closet with missing pieces?

Growing up my favorite games were scrabble, candy lane and monopoly. Now my favorite game is Team Charades.

Check out your closets and if you board games have missing pieces maybe it is time to give away or even throw away. I’m also told for you ebay and amazon sellers that these are easy items to sell.

Again, ask yourself when was the last time you played that game with friends or family? New games are always coming out and they also make good gifts. That is part of the problem. Many of us have received board games as gifts.

Other gift items are puzzles. I had one puzzle I kept on top of a closet for years and I never even took off the plastic wrapping. It is now gone!

If you are a puzzle person and have gone to the trouble to laminate your impressive puzzle and hang up as a picture in the living room and still enjoy looking at it, then keep it.

Now is the time to give away unused, unopened games and puzzles. This is also the time to give away games you haven’t played in years. Create space and give to someone who will use it.

PS. She never modeled for the White House but she did do Calligraphy for the White House.

PSS. Computer games, that will be dealt with in a future post but just an FYI, this is a very high score for Bookworm!

What Do Cars and Purses Have In Common?

They both are catch all areas and both need to be cleaned out regularly. This should be simple and something we can do quickly.

Start with your purse and dump out all of the contents. If you time yourself it should take no more than a few minutes.

GO!

Gum wrappers in the trash. Receipts in your office area. Tape measure to the garage. Loose dollar bills back in the wallet. Pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters in the change jar. If you don’t have a change jar and you actually make change in stores then you’re impressive and in a minority.

Crumbs in the trash. Lip stick and gloss in the little side purse pocket. Slip cell phone in holder. Gummy bears with lint – trash. Brush or comb, pull out hair ball and through away.

Used Kleenex and expired coupons, trash. Loose keys back on correct key chain.

Now your car!

Pretty much the same routine but more physical because now you are bending over and reaching plus the items are bigger. Coffee cup in the holder, trash. Kids school paper (a place for everything and everything in its place). Pens and pencils back in the house (one in purse). Flyer left on car window, trash.

Kids shoes and socks, back in their rooms. Water bottles to the kitchen. Sports equipment  in the garage. Jackets and clothes back in their proper places.

Doesn’t that feel better?

The Mystery of the Missing Sock

One of my sons called about a month ago to tell me that he had come up with a good idea. He was going to gather all of his socks, matched and unmatched, put in his donate pile and then would make a trip to Costco and buy 2 huge bags of white socks that all matched. This way he would never have to fold socks and they would always match.

I will let you know in 6 months if his idea worked.

It’s Elementary My Dear Watson

We’ve all had it happen. We put clothes and socks into the washer and dryer and when we are ready to take out and fold one sock is always missing. We look again in the wash to see if maybe a wet one stuck to the side, but no sock. We then look in dryer, and no sock. Next, we get a flash light and look between the washer and dryer, only to find loads of dust, but no sock. Then we get a yard stick and swipe underneath the washer and dryer, no sock.

This still remains a mystery but simple physics says it can’t just disappear. So where is it?

Today something new disappeared. A pillow case. I washed one blue fitted sheet, one blue flat sheet and 2 blue pillow cases, then in a clump, I put them in the dryer.Thirty minutes later I took out and there was one pillow case missing. I looked everywhere and the pillow case is gone!

A Millions Socks… But Not One Pair

After a while you start to lose a lot of socks. One day you look at your drawer, and it looks like you have plenty of socks. You will never need another sock again in your life. Except one problem. None of you socks match, and you end up having to rifle through 40 socks to find that one pair you do still (which by the way has a hole under the heel, but hey… that’s your favorite pair… you can’t get rid of those). So many socks, so little time. What do you end up doing? Keeping those and then buying another three pack.

Sheet

Time to look at our bedding. How many sets of sheets do you have? How many do you need? How about one for the bed, one for the wash, totaling 2 sets? If that makes you nervous let’s up it to 3 sets.

Sheets can be used for many things, including the back side of a quilt or maybe even a costume. If you like having lots of sheets and you are not ready to part them keep them. But just for today look at your laundry closet or where ever you keep sheets. Count how many you have. Begin to ask yourself if you need that many. Have you used all of them in the last year?

Free At Last

Less clutter around the house is freeing. If you are not using it, someone else could be. If you fear you’ll give away and then suddenly need them then a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond with a coupon might be your answer. Chances are, if you haven’t used them it a year you won’t miss it.

Happy sheet counting.

Update. Found the missing blue pillow case. Someone saw it on the ground and thought it belonged in what we call our back blue bedroom. What surprised me the most is this person of whom I speak normally would have never picked up anything off the floor. The sock mystery still remains.