Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shoe Cull

It never ceases to amaze me that when I turn my eye to my kids' shoes, I can always find some to donate.


I have to admit here that some of those shoes were given to me as hand-me-downs from a friend, and they have yet to see a Team Stimey foot.

Total items: 7 pairs of shoes

Friday, September 26, 2008

Crap in the Bathtub*

I've been accumulating bath toys since my kids were tiny. Now that they're giant, on days when they all cram into the tub together**, there is barely enough room for them what with their giant limbs and all the plastic toys in there and whatnot.

My bathtub toys problem is exacerbated by the fact that our only bathtub is in our main bathroom that doubles as our public bathroom. Below is what guests in my home see when they go to the bathroom. (I'm not going to get into what they smell. My kids have bad urine aim.)


I re-categorized their Bionicles, all of which came from Happy Meals, as basement toys. Then I took away almost all of the rest of their toys. While they were bathing.

It was a bold move.

Weirdly, no one objected. I think they were starved for space as well.

I was able to get rid of a lot. Most of these toys they played with a lot. I'm going to donate them in the hope that some other littler kids will get as much joy out of them as we have.


And this is what guests to my house will see in my bathroom from now on. (Urine stench remains.)


Total items: 16



* Not THAT kind of crap.

** Yes, we're THAT lazy that we bathe all three of our kids together in our tiny tub. Sam showers sometimes, but it really just seems like that requires a lot of extra supervision and teaching him how to be an independent person and shit. We mostly prefer to just assembly-line wash them instead.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Alex's Hard Work

More from Alex's Great Garage Clean-Out of '08:

I was going to itemize and make pithy comments about the things in this photo, but mostly all I have to say is that there is a lot of crap in it. None of which is really worth talking about.


Here are four LARGE empty cardboard boxes. Two of them we've been storing in our garage since we moved to Maryland five years ago. Two of them we've acquired in just the last couple years. But, really. Does that make it any better?


I don't have a photo of the baby gate I gave away, but I also gave away a baby gate.

These things below? These are my favorite. They are legs from a chair we haven't had for at least two years. And I have no clue what that other thing is. But it's not in my garage anymore.


Total items (thanks to Alex): 27

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fare Thee Well, My Cassette Tapes. Fare Thee Well.

Alex has been doing some serious cleaning and organizing of the garage lately. He's started going a little crazy putting things in the discard pile. I actually had to rescue a couple of things. Mostly he's been doing a great job though.

One thing I found in the discard pile that initially gave me pause was this:


What you see there are 100 tapes full of live music, mostly the Grateful Dead and Phish.

My first reaction to seeing this in the pile was to immediately grab it and stash it in a corner of the garage. And then I thought: Yes, I love these tapes. Yes, they mean a lot to me because I went to a lot of these shows. Yes, there is some great music on these tapes.

Then I thought: Tapes?

I can't remember the last time I put a cassette tape in a tape player. I can barely remember putting CDs in CD players, for that matter.

We have a ton of great music in digital formats, and I haven't listened to one of these tapes in years. If I kept them, they would just sit in my garage until they disintegrated. What I had here was an opportunity to give someone a wonderful gift.

I posted these on Craigslist for free, following the tacit rule that you don't sell bootlegs of these bands. In the less than 12 hours I left the ad up, I had 10 people contact me wanting them.

Some anonymous person picked them up from my driveway today while I was out. I think the tapes are in a better place now.

Total items: 100 tapes and 1 tape holder

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We've Outgrown Some Stuff

Remember when I eradicated Barney books from my home? We also used to have a Barney doll, which I got rid of months ago. Today I got rid of my last Barney possessions: two DVDs.

We're finally a Barney-free house.

I also got rid of 4 more DVDs, 1 empty video case, and 5 videos.


Plus, in a drawer with old video games, I found these:


That package is unopened.

Does anyone know where I can donate opened, but otherwise perfectly good Pull-Ups?

Total items for today: 14

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mystery Drawer

I was sitting in my living room this afternoon when I noticed a drawer in my end table. "Hmmm," I thought to myself, "I wonder what is in that drawer?"

Before I tell you what was in that drawer, do you believe me that if you don't remember the contents of a drawer, you probably don't need them?

It was mostly true. I found this:


There were a couple of CDs I moved, a CD I got rid of, the knob for the front of the drawer, and a whole bunch of broken crayons and non-working markers. And a dime.

Oh, and a cherry from Hi-Ho Cherry-O.

Because my kids do their homework in the living room, I decided to make it a drawer for pencils and pencil sharpeners for homework.

I also put a timer in there. I use that timer to wake me up before the school bus comes when Quinn and I nap in the afternoon.

Isn't this better?


I also sold a playpen and two sheets through Craigslist.


Total items for today: 4 (I'm not counting the broken crayons.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Left-Hand Drawers

Hi! Still here! I just haven't had a chance to do a lot of decluttering lately. This weekend I decided to take on the two drawers on the left side of my desk. I've been avoiding them because it seemed like a lot of work. But they were useless as they were, because I couldn't get down into them.

What I started with:




I did a fair amount of recycling out of these drawers, but I don't count regular recycling or trash as decluttering.

What I got rid of:


I made those photos tiny because there is nothing very exciting there. For all the things that were crammed into those drawers, I didn't come up with a lot to get rid of.

I did find some random pieces of candy in one of the drawers. I made the mistake of eating a Twizzler bite I found. I'm lucky I didn't chip a tooth.

Mostly I found things like the labels you put on video tapes. You know how they always put a sheet with four or five labels in with a tape that only has room for two labels? I keep the extras. That is the kind of thing I found in there.

I found some headphones I used to use to talk via Skype to my mom. I say "used to" because I managed to destroy the USB connector somehow.

But even though I wasn't able to get rid of a lot, I was able to reorganize enough that these drawers will be useful again.

My afters:



With a side of:


Total items for the day: Minimal. But because I decluttered, I'm going to count it as 6.

*****

I'm working on some projects to make The Junk Pyramid more than a journal of my decluttering. I'm going to start posting some how-to and resource pages. Please let me know if there is anything you are interested in hearing about, or if you have tips that you think would be worthwhile to include here.

Thanks!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Alex Has Caught the Bug

The decluttering bug, that is.

He's been busy making the garage nicer than our house, and while working toward that goal today, he managed to find these four large items to take to the hazardous waste disposal area at the dump.


The two big cans were in our garage when we moved in. That means they pre-date us. If that's not grounds for being decluttered, I don't know what is.

The computer and the power washer are broken.

Just before we left for the dump (as a family, because that's kind of the way we roll), Alex remembered that he had a battery that he needed to get rid of too.

Our battery in its new home at the dump.

So that's five items for Alex today.

And a bunch of crap that I've been collecting all week.


Total items for today: 14

Monday, September 1, 2008

Craigslist Rocks

Have you heard about this newfangled website called Craigslist? It's A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Okay. For real. I've been using Craigslist since the late '90s, but mostly to look for jobs. I haven't been tremendously successful doing so either. Has anyone?

I was able to use it once a few years ago to give away/sell incredibly cheaply a pool table. The guys that took it rented an open U-Haul trailer and were going to drive it from Oakland to Sacramento. For those of you who don't know where those two cities are in relation to each other, just know that it's a smidge too far to drive a pool table in an open trailer. I probably would have given their money back just to see what the pool table looked like when they unloaded it. Balls are probably still rolling caddywumpus on that thing.

Then there was the giant cat scratching post I listed for sale a couple years ago. I had one email response and the lady who sent it never followed up after I got back to her.

So I was surprised and delighted when I made a ton of money selling my changing table. And then I posted these two box springs this weekend.


I know it looks like three box springs, but one of them is a split queen. And I know there are dangly legs in the photo. That's my scarecrow. He lives in my front yard from Halloween to the day the snow melts in the spring and I notice him underneath it all. I may have to throw him away someday soon. I think he is probably stuffed full of mold now instead of newspapers.

Anywho, I unloaded both box springs within a day.

So I moved through my garage today and took photos and measurements of all kinds of things I'm going to try to sell. And I'm saving the money to buy a Wii.

This is way more fun than donating to charity.

Oh, I kid. Donating to charity is like going to a party where everyone makes you feel good about yourself.

Total items: 2