Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
My mother, as I have mentioned before, is VERY decluttered. She was a minimalist before I had any idea that there even was such a decorating style. (I thought is was called “bare.”)
Very recently, my parents moved back into their house after having it extensively remodeled. Before moving to Austin, Texas, my parents had lived in a very stylish, although not very large, custom-built house. The plain ranch that they purchased in order to live next door t me and my family never fit my mother’s idea of stylish.
Every remodel produces its share of furniture and accessories that no long work, no longer have a home, are no longer wanted, and my Mom’s remodel is certainly no exception. As a result, I have taught her how to use Craigslist, and she has had quite good luck selling her items. Her first round of selling were items that she sold during the remodel, knowing that they would not work with her new scheme. (My mother, interestingly, found a decorator who shops widely at thrift and consignment stores. Almost all my mother’s accessories were already second hand when they came to her.) Those items that hadn’t sold in a couple of months were painlessly donated to the garage sale at my daughters’ school.
Now that she and my father have been back in the house for a couple of months, more things are not making the cut – items that she’s thought might work, but didn’t. One of those was a sofa and loveseat set. These are the couches my parents have owned almost as long as I can remember. I know from photos that we had one sofa when I was quite little. I remember another when we lived in Houston for almost 10 years. Then my parents bought this set. It has been reupholstered twice, and it is a classic, well built piece of furniture. My own sofas were really worn out and tatty, so Mother’s sofas came over to my house for a trial. We didn’t really like the way they worked in our house, so I told my mother I would sell them on Craigslist for her. (Better than dragging them back to her house.) She kind of poo-pooed me and said that she didn’t think they were worth more than about $50, which I thought was completely absurd. We moved the loveseat into my husband’s office (he decluttered a whole desk to have room), and I listed the sofa for $200.
Two weeks passed, and the sofa hadn’t sold. I was having a party and having an extra sofa to maneuver around was starting to set my teeth on edge, so I contacted my favorite furniture consignment store, sent them a photo, and arranged to take the sofa to them to sell. They told me that they would like it from $100 to $300; my mother would receive 60% of the sale. Mom found out that I was taking it away, and insisted that I return the sofa to her. She would list it on Craigslist. When I asked her why in the world she would do that, she said that I had said that the value was $200 and “that figure was stuck in her mind.”
For my mother, this is just a quirky moment. For some people, this perhaps false idea about value could be a true stumbling block toward decluttering.
Things like Lego kits, Madame Alexander Dolls, books, James Avery jewelry, and automobiles have a fairly fixed, easily discernible resale value. There are plenty of identical items on the market and enough buyers to have established a fairly uniform price. Things like accessories, furniture, clothing (unless, perhaps it is a popular name brand), jewelry, and antiques have a more variable value – and often much, much less than their original purchase price. Don’t let the idea – possibly a false idea – of something’s value prevent you from decluttering it in a timely manner.
Today’s Mini Mission
Round up all your stationery items ~ Keep a pen in each room of the house if that makes your life easy but the bulk of your stationary items will be more easily found if they are all stored together. If you don’t have a desk or set of drawers for this task why not use that spare shelf you have cleared in the linen closet during your last towel and sheet declutter.
Today’s Declutter Item
Some more bits and pieces decluttered out of my craft area. Aside from some items I have recently or am about to list on ebay I think I may have finally come to the end of the craft items decluttered during the big craft area minimisation. That’s not to say that these will be the last craft items ever decluttered, there are still plenty of supplies left, but they are certainly greatly reduced from the quantity I used to own.
Something to be grateful for today
The variation of the waves that break on the beach. I love it that every time I go down to the ocean where I live that it is different in some way from the time before. Different tides, different weather, different waves for the surfers to enjoy. Today was a surfers delight even though it was overcast the waves very ridable and so constant that the surfers had no sooner paddled out from the last ride and then were riding their way back in again.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast