The Scary Attic Storage: In The Thick of It

Well, the moment is now, folks: my husband spent two days emptying the Scary Attic Storage completely. He put ALL of those items on our (formerly) empty back porch – which is where we eat breakfast, drink coffee, and in general, unwind with the beauties of our backyard garden, the waterfall, the flowers, trees and the creatures, furry and feathery, that visit our little haven.

But it doesn’t look like that right now. I came home from a business trip last week to see this:

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After having taken an online e-course (which changed my LIFE!) with , I re-read out loud to my wonderfully brave hubby all of the tips and the mentality for sorting through gobs of stuff we’ve managed to keep. He’s brave because he was okay with me posting these photos for all of you readers. He’s a private person, and an only child, so the whole idea of me sharing anything is not typical for him. More on that later.

Well, I can tell you that initially, his estimate was that 90% of it was engineering-related e-waste and documents, books and other things he would need to sort through. Actually, he had managed to box up a bunch of stuff that belonged to me as well. I have been looking for that stuff FOR-EVA! But realizing that I hadn’t used it in months? Years? I managed to take the e-course’s suggestions and donate, recycle, and otherwise dispose of it.

Below is just a sampling of stuff we’re donating from this stack of stuff. I’m so glad he’s kept everything so neatly organized, so I can feel good about donating clothing items (wrapped up properly), books (nearly brand-new, because we take care of our stuff), and well, as for the electrical components, I took a WHOLE TRUCKLOAD to e-waste over the weekend. Amazing.

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And now, for my biggest and best surprise: my husband is a trooper! I was concerned that overwhelm would get to him when that huge stack was to be faced all at once. But he’s doing well – and sorting with pride. When we’re finally done, I’ll post a photo of the number of boxes of the stuff we’re keeping. But even he knows further sorting can be done. In support, I keep the congratulations coming, good Italian food and beer to supplement him, and in general keep taking stuff to e-waste and proper recycling to get that stuff OUT of our house.

I’ve always loved getting rid of things, he has not. So this is great for me, but he says he’s feeling good with what we’ve accomplished so far.

I would love to hear what you think, please comment if you so desire. This struggle of stuff has been something that has been in the background, but stressing me out. I can honestly say that the less I have, the freer I feel. Also, feedback = instant friend.

I hope you’ve been motivated or inspired by even a little of our journey with our former stuff.




Little things mean a lot

Like a lot of us, we love our electronic toys. Over the years, we have accumulated so many of these things: digital cameras, electronic compass, Magellan GPS, and so many cell phones, laptops, computers, displays, keyboards and on and on…

And for whatever reason, the wires, components and accessories were really cheap. Of course, now I know the reason for WHY they are so cheap – we here in the Western world aren’t really paying the whole cost. This will blow you away:

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, we are starting to move through the stuff that’s been out of sight and out of mind (because it’s been in the Scary Attic Storage) or it’s been part of a large stash of stuff I was scared to deal with.

And while it may not look like much, believe me, the fact that it’s being properly taken to Goodwill, an e-waste facility, or given to friends, well this is just pretty fantastic. I walk around my house feeling so much lighter. It’s an amazing feeling. And I’m trying to NOT bring things IN the house.

My hubby is now on the bandwagon, and while my electronic toys are primarily of the consumer variety, his have to do with work (he’s an electrical engineer). I wouldn’t know how to decide what his stuff even IS, so I’m glad he spent almost all Sunday going through things. I’m really, really impressed with him. It is so great to have my partner and I agree on the need to continue to reduce our stuff.

So, I’m also selling back to Gazelle an older iPhone and an older MacBook Pro. So a check is on its way to me! Yay!

The photos are of drawers emptied and a few banker’s boxes. The last photo is of the few things I’ve decided to keep since I started getting rid of stuff, back two months ago. It’s a small pile. I think I’ll have to go through THAT pile once I’m done with the big stuff.

Also on sale this week is my piano, via Craigslist. Let’s hope it sells!

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The scary attic storage

So, my dear hubby, in the 16 years we’ve lived here, has spent countless hours helping me “de-clutter” our things in the house quickly for parties, people coming over, and because we just couldn’t stand being around all of our STUFF while we were remodeling or doing some other project inside the house.

Where did all that stuff go? I never thought to ask, but occasionally on down weekends his plan was to “clean the garage” and he’d spend hours in there. Again, I never asked. One day, I climbed the ladder up to the attic and peeked in. AAARRGHHH! NO WONDER he was always buying banker’s boxes! They were all neatly stacked, labeled and sorted. All I could think was: 1) So THIS is where x, y or z item of mine went and 2) OMG, this house is a TINDERBOX! Although, considering how many times he’s reshuffled this stuff, it’s amazingly neat and tidy, and I thank him for that. If had been me…yeah, totally chaos would be the result.

Now that I’m taking this e-course on downsizing, it’s weighing me down, especially since the things IN the house have been donated, culled, etc.

So, we worked together to bring down several boxes and some old electronics (laptops, etc).

The immaculate MacBook Pro went to Gazelle – they paid shipping in a laptop box (even though my hubby kept the original box it came in back in 2009) at Fedex and will be sending us a check for $267, which is ~$40 less than selling it on Craigslist. The rest of the items went to Goodwill, and the banker’s boxes are photo albums, which are going into my stack of things to be digitized (this is an area for another post). The miscellaneous electronics went to e-waste recycling for FREE.

Maybe the attic isn’t so scary after all?

Attic stuff, Part 1

Attic stuff, Part 1

I’m on a roll…

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After organizing a few drawers in the bathroom, I went back to work (in my home office).

At lunch, unable to stop the momentum, I cleaned out my closet, ruthless tossing everything that didn’t fit me and keeping only what I absolutely loved. I kept going – I went through the drawers in the two chest of drawers we have plus my shoes. Then I bagged it all up and took it to Goodwill.

It feels amazing! Literally everything I have now for clothes is something that fits and I love. My husband is amazed! I told it was all due to the downsizing course and the inspiring people in the associated Google Group.

We have a ranch style house built in 1950 and I’ve always bemoaned the small closets. Now I have TONS of room!

Downsizing a few minutes a day

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As part of my downsizing course, I’m going through the easy part first – getting rid of stuff I just don’t use or forgot I had. I took 15 minutes this morning to go through the two drawers in our bathroom and kept only the things I knew we would use. Everything else went into the proper recycling/trash/etc.

It took me longer to take photos and post this blog than it did to clear out the drawers, haha. But I want to document this for our own benefit and to see the progress we’ve made.  It should be pretty obvious which are the “before” and “after” photos.

Progress, even if it’s just small!

The Curated Life

Our remodeled kitchen which we adore.

Our remodeled kitchen which we adore.

Like most of us, I suppose, I’ve had dreams about what my adult life would be like. I’m proud to say that in general, I’ve already accomplished most things on my bucket list. My husband has too – we made a deal when we got married that we would help each other live some of our dreams.

And now, 26 years later, we’ve purchased and completely remodeled a house, lived in Europe, purchased and sold real estate (for fun), and along the way, with all of our awesome hobbies and remodeling, we’ve acquired stuff, stuff and more stuff. And guess what’s really fun for us? Our friends, each other, our hobbies/traveling, and not the things we spend most of our time doing – working, working, and more working and watching TV.

We’ve been fascinated by the Tiny House movement for a very long time, probably going back 10+ years. Check out the man and his site who started the fire under this movement, Jay Schafer:

But how to decide what to keep and what to toss/recycle, and repurpose? What kind of life we do we WANT, and how much stuff will support us, and not the other way around? About a month ago, I discovered this e-course, and promptly signed up:

One month later, I’ve changed my thinking and feelings about my stuff, it’s been an amazing journey so far. We are socialized in the U.S. that shopping, stuff, toys, etc are the fun parts of life. I agree, to a point. But what do I really want?

My manifesto:

Eat well, travel often. And have loads of time for friends, cooking , and of course my hubby and doggie and yoga and swimming. I would also like to be part of a quartet again.

I’ve started several businesses to support myself, which has also been a life-long dream of mine. I’m a bit terrified but I’m also very, very excited to make money doing things I’m naturally good at.

Join me (and my hubby and doggie) on our journey to a more simple life.