Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Saturday Seven - #8

the gettin' busy edition

As I mentioned in my previous post, after several strikeouts this week, I finally hauled a big box of stuff to church for the fall rummage sale (put on by the women's missions group to raise money for missions). It included the 7 articles of clothing from last week's Saturday Seven, as well as a number of other things:
2 black cloth napkins
4 yellow cloth placemats
8 red cloth placemats
2 big candle/candleholder thingys from our Crate-and-Barrel registry from when we got married
an umbrella
a weird keyhold thing that someone gave My Old Man as a gift - it's too difficult to describe (I suppose I should've taken a picture)

No pics this week, I'm doing well just to have gotten rid of this stuff and made a log of it. Being back at work and getting ready for a new program year, plus trying to firm up travel plans for my trip to Italy in November, makes life more than a little intense right now.

Total stuff gone this week: 18 + last week's 7 = 25
Total things gone so far = 70

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Even harder than I thought it would be

I knew this project would be hard. Knew it because I know how attached I get to stuff, how emotionally invested I am. Knew it because I know how hard it is to find the time to wade through all the things I don't need. Knew it because I know what an aggravation it is to get things ready to give or to sell.

But I had no idea that even once I readied myself emotionally, made tough decisions, and actually organized myself to get rid of things, even then some of the stuff wouldn't leave. Because apparently, nobody wants it.

It started with an antique table I listed on craigslist last week. I immediately had two bites - one was a scam and the other never wrote back after I sent her more pics. I know I shouldn't expect it to sell immediately. But now I realize I could be looking at this old table, in my way in my study, for a long time.

It's a beautiful old drop-leaf pine table, from the early 1800s. My Old Man and I bought it in Georgia three years ago, our first antique purchase, with the idea that it was a good investment (in addition to be functional and handsome). We thought that, given how old it was (it even comes with a little typed card taped to the underneath, telling its history), that it would hold or even increase its value. It felt romantic and adventurous to buy it. Two years later, with twin toddlers in the house, we realized it was no longer practical, nor would it stay handsome much longer if we didn't get it out of their reach. I've advertised it for somewhat less than we paid, because in three years' time it has gotten a couple of scratches and watermarks. I'm willing to lose money, but I'd still like to get something. I'd been hesitant to take it to a dealer, because I assume I'd only get (at best) about 65% of whatever they sold it for. Should I just suck it up and take a huge loss, or should I persist in trying to sell it myself? Any advice?

Then I resolved to get rid of several big things all at once. It was stuff I knew would take too much effort to sell considering the return I'd probably get, so I thought I'd donate it somewhere and get a nice tax-deduction. I got everything ready to go - a double bed with mattress and box springs, a double bed frame with headboard and footboard, a big mirror, a big dining table, a recliner. I called Purple Heart. They call every month wanting to see if I have anything they can come pick up. Turns out they don't take furniture.

Then I gathered and sorted some things for freecycle. No takers. That's the first time that's happened. I mean, really, who doesn't want free stuff?

And I've got a ton of stuff I refuse to just give away - nice things like cloth diapers, maternity clothes, baby and toddler clothes. Stuff I really need to list on eBay or prepare for my Parents of Multiples clothing sale. But it just takes so much freakin' time and energy to get everything cleaned up, take pictures, do pricing, do the listing, not to mention go to the post office to mail things once they've sold. And we all know I'd rather be knitting.

I did take one nice size box of stuff to the church for their fall rummage sale. It included the seven things I listed on Saturday, plus a number of other things. Right now, though, that seems like the tiniest drop in a whole bucket of stuff I want out of my life.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Saturday Seven - #7

The slacker edition

So this whole thing is ending up being harder than I thought. The weekly deadline thing is the kicker (yes, as a pastor I feel the same way when sermon time rolls around). 7 things a week doesn't sound like so much, especially in light of all the stuff I have that really needs to be gotten out of my life. But I don't make it easy on myself. Each thing is so hard to let go of. Especially when I've been so busy with other things, like vacation.

So it was late this afternoon, 30 minutes before a real Saturday night date with my husband, when I finally scrambled around the house to find 7 things I could part with. I focused on clothes. I probably have 70 things I should get rid of (there are things in my basement I've been hanging onto for nearly 20 years), but I just set my little goal of 7 and went to it. In short order I made a tidy little pile to give to the church rummage sale. None of it is photo-worthy, so no pics this time. Just a list:
3 pairs of jeans, 2 of which were passed on to me by our sweet petite niece. They never ever fit me, but they are very fashionable (she works at Banana Republic and has excellent taste), so someone will really get a bargain
4 t-shirts, including an old favorite that I used to practically live in (navy, v-neck, American Eagle)

Boring. But hey, it's stuff. And I'm getting rid of it.

It's ready to go but not actually given yet because I'm not going back to work till Tuesday and won't be making a special trip just to drop this stuff off. So again I won't be adding this total to my sidebar till the things are out of my life.

Phew! Posted with an hour to spare. Anyone else just sqeaking by this week?

p.s. to people who have joined the ring in the last few weeks - I'll get you linked in the sidebar soon, I promise.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Saturday Seven - #6

The "I Love the 80s" (and early 90's) edition

It is a feat of sheer stubbornness that brings me to this blog tonight. I have not done much blogging lately because my time with family is way too brief to spend too much of it online. But I'm determined to keep up with my Seven Things commitment. So this week, I have gritted my teeth and started going through old things of mine in my parents' closets and drawers. It is a bit ghastly. You might want to avert your eyes.

Except that I'm having so many bleepin' technical difficulties tonight (have already wasted nearly an hour trying to get my camera, My Old Man's laptop, my dad's pc, and blogspot to cooperate with each other), I'm unable to get any pics uploaded, except one.

So you'll just have to let your imagination fill in the horrifying blanks. Except for one little pic from 1989 (my dad's scanner is down, so this is a picture of a picture)
1 - matching distressed denim vest and jeans with brown leather trim. I won this. WON IT. That right there tells you why I have held on to it for 17 years. It was a week before I was leaving for my freshman year of college. I was shopping in the junior department of Parisian, when the salesgirl (a friend of mine) told me about a contest they were having. If you could rope their fake steer, you would be entered into a drawing to win $100 worth of denim. I roped the steer. My name was drawn. I won the denim. Looking at the picture, you might think that they chose which denim I won. Nope, ladies and gents, I picked this ensemble myself.

I was so proud of this outfit. So even though I haven't worn it in forever and haven't fit in it for nearly as long, I have held onto it. The Seven Things Project was the kick I needed. It's going.

2 - my sweet sixteen dress. Tea-length, peach, lace. I have an unbelievable picture of myself in this thing, wearing a cape, crown, and carrying a scepter for a church award ceremony. Couldn't get it loaded, but trust me, it's a pretty astonishing thing. Held onto the dress for sentimental reasons.

3 - my junior prom dress. It's actually still kinda cute, but of course I'll never have a use for it. It was black and white and floor length with a shirred waist. I have a pic of myself in this with super big hair, a very fake tan (from a bottle), and the cute Dutch exchange student (who I asked to the dance because I was determined to go). Held onto the dress for sentimental reasons. This piece feels like the hardest one to get rid of, though I'm not sure why.

4 - bridesmaid's dress. Tea-length, teal green taffeta with huge puffy sleeves. From the only wedding I've ever been in (other than my own or other than as an officiant). I was my cousin's maid of honor in the early 90s. We had shoes dyed to match. I assume I got rid of the shoes, don't know why I still have the dress.

5 - black knit dress with leopard print collar and belt. Wore this to a homecoming dance at someone else's school my senior year in high school. Felt incredibly out-of-place when I saw what all the other girls were wearing, though my date didn't seem to notice. This had been my mother's dress before I started wearing it. It is sooooo 80s. Am not sure why I still have it.

6 - homecoming dress from senior year of college. Cute little purple number. I can't believe how small my waist was when I look at this thing. This dress reminds me of how truly horrible I was - I broke a date with someone for homecoming because the guy I really wanted to go with asked me to be his date. To make matters worse, the two guys were roommates - and I was their RA. Oof. We had an okay time on the date, and we dated a little bit after that, but I always felt bad for how I treated the other guy.

7 - purple plastic diamond shaped earrings. Totally 80s, though I may have worn them in the early 90s as well, perhaps with the purple dress of #6.

So that's the account. I have many, many more outfits and pieces of jewelry that need to be gone through here at my folks' place. But it's hard because every piece has such history and nostalgia for me. Having the goal of 7 has really motivated me. I doubt I would've gotten rid of even this much otherwise.

Am taking all this to Goodwill on Monday. Won't add it to my sidebar counter till then.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Saturday Seven - #5

I'm out of town right now (in Alabama currently) but did manage to pack a few things to give away while gone. All of it went to My Old Man's daughter, who just gave birth to her first baby 2 1/2 weeks ago. I gave her a whole bag of things, including 4 nursing gowns that had been passed on to me from someone else, and four tubes of diaper cream, which we no longer seem to need.

And then the things with real sentimental value. First, this nursing gown and robe set, bought for $4 at my Mothers of Multiples clothing sale. I wore it in the hospital after I gave birth.

Here I am in the gown, with Little Buddha, 3 days old.

Here I am with the matching robe on, holding Tiny Dancer in the NICU, at 3 days old.

I also gave her something super-sentimental. The Christmas I was pregnant, she gave us our first clothing gift for the babies, matching duckie robes. I gave her one of them (am not sure what to do with the other one). Here are a couple of shots of the boys in the robes (at 6 months old).

*Sigh*. It made me pretty wistful to be giving this stuff away, but I am not going to need it and there's no sense keeping it in my closet simply because it brings back happy memories of my boys early days.

So that's what I got rid of this week. What about the rest of you?

Things gone this week: 11.
Total things gone so far: 45.