Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Saturday Seven - #13

the three steps forward, two steps back edition

ARRGH. You wouldn't believe the hours I have spent on trying to get rid of stuff this week, and not to very much avail.

Early in the week, I did manage to part with three nursing tops and a teether, to a freecyler I've given stuff to before. But it's been downhill ever since.

First I should say that this week has been awful. AWFUL. And I'm looking forward to at least two more that are at least as busy and stressful. Then this morning was my Parents of Multiples club's semi-annual toy and clothing sale. Because I'm an officer in the club, and because the sale was happening at my church and I was the point person for that, the sale involved some volunteer hours from me. But on top of that, I decided it was high time I got rid of some of the boys' things I've been hanging onto. Including some big stuff.

A few weeks ago, we finally disassembled the boys' cribs. We had to take the changing table out, too, because they were climbing on it. Now their room consists of two mattresses on the floor, a bookcase, a dresser, and some plastic bins of toys. It is a really sad looking room to me, especially compared to the picture at the left (which doesn't show much, but trust me when I say that long ago the room was lovely and it slowly devolved as the boys grew older).

I decided to try to sell both the cribs and the changing table at the sale, along with one of our carseats (the other one went to My Old Man's new grandbaby), and several bags of clothing. All in all I took 100+ things to the sale. I won't know how much sold until I get my check in a week or two. I do know that I had to pack an awful lot of it up afterwards, including the two cribs, the changing table, and the carseat!

What kills me is how much time and money I put into this event, apparently for little payoff:
1 - approximately 8 hours of sorting, labeling, and packing
2 - 5 hours at the sale itself
3 - $2 on parking
4 - $32 on babysitting during the sale
5 - $2 seller fee
6 - $10 on stuff I bought at the sale, because I apparently can't be around stuff for so long without buying some of it

For a total of 13 hours and $46, and I would be surprised if I sold even $20 worth of things!

But the thing that was most difficult about this event was actually going through all their little things. I actually cried. They are just things, and yet each item I held brought up a wave of emotions as I remembered my little ones wriggling around in this sleeper or that. This is my constant battle: between practicality and sentimentality. My Old Man was wonderful, encouraging me not to get rid of anything I wasn't ready to yet. So I put aside one big box of things I can't part with, even though they fit no one anymore.

And apparently there's a whole lot of stuff I was ready to part with that I'm still stuck with.

So my total is up in the air for this week. Obviously there's the 4 things from early in the week. And I know I got rid of at least 7 total. But the exact total will be a mystery for a bit yet.

What about the rest of you? What do you do with baby things you can't bear to release?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Saturday Seven - #12

More selling on eBay this week, which makes me feel a good sense of accomplishment. I sold this Ella Roo Wraparound Baby Cover that I never used. I had such great visions of being one of those slingin' mamas, carrying my babes around in a traditional wrap. Like many of my great hopes, the dream was dashed by the reality of twins and the general frazzlement that ensued. I was happy to be able to sell it for what felt like a good amount.

I also took a bag full of toys to church, to give to the church nursery. These were mostly really nice things - wooden pounding toys, wooden sorting toys, a jack-in-the-box, a couple of stuffed animals. All the wooden toys were things they just got for this past Christmas. But they were not playing with them much, and it was partly because there were so many small pieces that they always ended up scattered everywhere. The boys have the smallest room in the house, so I'm beginning to think that organizing their toys has to mean paring down to essentials. Well that and just putting up with the fact that some toy storage will just have to happen in the living room. It makes me sad to get rid of such nice stuff, but they will be able to play with these things at church, and now other kids can too.

12 weeks of getting rid of things by giving them away. It has been as difficult as I imagined it would be, and some weeks even more difficult. It takes so much emotional energy for me, not to mention logistical efforts that require a lot of energy as well (just getting something to the post office to mail to an eBayer is hard). I am frequently overwhelmed by thte amount of stuff I still need to deal with. I intend to persist though.

Things gone this week: 7.
Total things gone: 97.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Simple Living

This summer I signed up to receive the Simple Living Newsletter from the Simple Living Network, and my first issue arrived via email yesterday. What little I've had time to read is very thought-provoking and inspiring. I'd recommend it!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Saturday Seven - #11

I am really struggling with my personal challenge these days. Oh, I can always find stupid little stuff around the house to get rid of. But that's really not the point. The point is to deal with my attachment to stuff. For every stupid thing I get rid of, there are probably 7 more things I don't need but can't seem to let go of.

Not only that, but I just this moment realized that I didn't actually get rid of 7 things this week! I was on my way to getting rid of more than 7 actually. I have 3 nursing tops, a baby teether, and a baby toothbrush all packed up and ready to be given to a freecycler. But when I got sick and lost email contact with her, we couldn't get the pickup arranged by today. So these 5 things are still waiting to go.

Meanwhile, I got rid of 5 other things at the church rummage sale, including that bizarre test tube looking thing in the picture there. It's a candle thingy. You put colored oil in the tube and then light the little wick. We bought it our first year of marriage at one of the many Ann Arbor stores that sells little doodads like this. We loved it for about 3 months, until the cats started knocking it off the top of the entertainment center. We haven't used it in maybe 3 years. I'm thinking that when I dropped it off at the rummage sale collection, I should've included a note saying what it was.

In addition to it, I also got rid of 2 pairs of shoes I haven't worn in years, a purple top that I haven't worn in years but suddenly find myself missing, and a monstrous pair of earmuffs.

After I wrote this post, I raced around the house looking for anything I could offer up on freecycle immediately. I came up with a bottle of pet odor destroyer that I can't stand the smell of (sickly sweet) and a Movie Trivia CD game for the car. Both things got spoken for right away, one was just picked up and the other is pending pickup. So I'll call that a Saturday Seven after all. (I won't include the CD in my sidebar total until it's actually picked up).

Total this week: 7
Total so far: 89 (90 after CD pickup).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Check it out

Knitting Simplicity. A group blog dedicated to fighting the rampant consumerism that has grown on the knitting blogs. How cool is that?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Saturday Seven - #10

This week has totally kicked my butt. I'm behind in every possible way, but I somehow managed to get rid of more stuff than usual. I did it early in the week this time.

To the right you can see part of it - a bag full of curly hair care products. The pic doesn't really do justice to the haul. I got rid of 11 tubes and bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and styling products, many of which were full or nearly full. I can't bear to add up how much money I spent on this stuff. Some of it had been sitting in my closet for roughly 4 years. But the freecycler who scored it was happy to have it anyway. She also got: 2 bottles of nail polish (I never use nail polish anymore, except for my annual vacation pedicure, which I get done at a salon so I don't use my own polish. Still I ended up hanging onto one bottle of nail polish anyway. You know, in case I need it some day); a half bag of makeup applicator wedges (I only use a brush these days); and a jar of bronzing creme (never used) that was a gift a few years ago. Someone can do a whole little spa weekend with this stuff.

I also sold a prenatal yoga workout DVD. Woohoo.

Total this week = 16.
Total so far = 99

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Saturday Seven - #9

the little surprises edition

So I sold this sling.

Yep. Not only got my act together enough to list it (first at Mothering, where there was zero interest, then on eBay), but actually sold it. Someone chose the Buy It Now option and bought it for $40 plus shipping. (I paid $60 new, and used it about three times). I put it in the mail yesterday. I've been really sad to let it go, even though I never really used it....

It takes so much effort for me to mobilize to sell something that I did nothing else all week about getting rid of stuff. Figured I'd list some stuff for freecycle today. Then it dawned on me at about 8:30 last night - no one could pick anything up today because it's a game day (opening game, even!), and we live 5 blocks from the Michigan Stadium. So I listed some stuff and said we could do pick up on Sunday. Someone immediately responded (someone I've given stuff to before) and said she could take everything and could pick it up last night from my porch. So I got rid of 10 things, almost immediately:
2 nursing tops
4 baby bibs
3 dog bowls
1 dog toy

I also remembered that there were two more things in what I gave to the rummage sale last week, but I can't remember what they are (not too much sentimental attachment there!). So I'll add those to this week's total.

Stuff out of my life this week: 13. Total stuff gone from my life so far: 83.