I have been on a mission to declutter a bookcase filled with books, CDs, photos and anything else that could be stuffed in there plus a Balinese dresser full of DVD’s
Early September things took an unexpected turn, as a new tv entered the house. It wasn’t planned but not entirely unexpected either. Our small lounge housed an older type tv that has been with us for years and was a favorite perching spot for our cat. Unfortunately the countdown to the final digital changeover meant that we either needed to invest in a digital box and a different aerial because of our area, or consider an upgrade. My husband and I wandered into the department store to look at a smallish flat screen and left with a rather large flatscreen for more or less the same price of the small one. Go figure.
So what did a new tv mean for my mission? Well, my husband decided that he wanted the new tv in the formal lounge and the Balinese dresser out straight away, so the tv could be centred along the wall and the speakers set up properly which meant he also wanted lamp table in the corner out that night too. The original flat screen moved into our small lounge off the kitchen (known as the kid’s lounge) and the bookcase needed to be relocated, turning my mission topsy turvey.
The Balinese dresser has temporarily shifted into our dinning area and after a delay of two weeks we listed it on Trademe, by time this is read, the auction will be over.
The bookcase was relocated to the garage to a spot where a kid size bookcase sat with a small stereo on top of it and a pin board on the wall above it.
Dumped onto the middle of the garage floor are boxes of dvd’s, the displaced kid size bookcase, the lamp table, a box of ornaments which sat on the Balinese dresser and lamp table and our old tv and cabinet. And for some reason chaos attracts chaos and one of my daughters decided to deliver a box of stuff she wants to get rid of.
Straight away I felt like my garage had been invaded by an army of clutter and I felt strangely emotional about this. My garage used to be chock full of stuff with no possibility of the car ever seeing the inside. It took months and months to clear as I worked on the ceiling storage space above at the same time and I have been quite defensive of this hard-won territory.
By the next morning I realised something about myself. I had been so determined to keep the garage floor clear, it had actually been holding up my decluttering in general and indirectly this mammoth mission as well. While the garage was work-in-progress from January to June, I’d used the garage as my declutter-depot but since it had been cleared I didn’t want anything even temporarily located on my beautiful clear space but hadn’t come up with a replacement system for outgoing stuff. So I have told myself that sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war and have set up four boxes for my favourite charities such as Goodwill and the local Lionesses Club and as I fill the box I can drop it off.
If I’m going to have a clutter free clear zone, doesn’t it make more sense that it should be in our living areas rather than our garage? And since it continues to irritate me to see my garage with boxes of stuff in it again, shouldn’t I use that irritation to fuel action?
So the mammoth mission is still very much on, its just got a little out of order. The furniture items were to be the last things to leave in an orderly manner at the completion of controlled decluttering of items one at a time. The lamp table, kid size bookcase and the pinboard quickly left on freecycle. The TV and cabinet also went on freecycle to a guy who wanted a PS3/Xbox station for his kids in their rumpus room. I still have yet to re-house the ornaments but will address that next week.
So 365’ers – has anyone else found themselves in a similar situation, where they suddenly found themselves with excess furniture or had a time limit to clear stuff out cut short?
Has anyone else found themselves defensive of space they have re-claimed from clutter?
I have talked about my declutter-depot where stuff goes to wait its transport from the house, does anyone else have a similar system? And if not, how do you run your outgoing goods?
The Weekend’s Mini Missions
Saturday – Declutter something used for nourishing.
Sunday – Declutter something used as a covering.
“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
Anna B says
I’ve been thinking for ages that I need a dedicated space for the “Declutter-depot”! I have so much stuff that I don’t just want to throw away, stuff that someone else could make good use of. So my next mission will be to create a space to collect all the “outgoing things”!
I had some thoughts of setting up stuff on shelves, like a shop, and inviting family and friends to grab whatever they wanted. All the stuff that was left, I would sell on a garagesale, and that which never got sold I would donate somewhere. But I have seen others spending so much time and effort on the sales part that I have decided just to donate everything. Except that family+friends will have the first pick.
Colleen Madsen says
Hi Anna B and welcome to 365 Less Things. I love your shop idea. It reminds me of the clutter give away one of our other 365ers (Ideealistin) had put on around Christmas for the last couple of years. She lays out the stuff and invites her friends to come and take what they like. Good for you being generous enough to give all your stuff away.
Anna B – that is a good idea for a ‘shop’. As I have a number of nieces and nephews I do have a box for them too, though I do check with my sis-in-laws first, but how often do you hear someone say “if I’d known you were going to get rid of XYZ I would have had it” – of course, you can’t text/ring/e-mail everyone you know with a list of outgoing items, but a ‘shop day’ could take care of that.
Deb J says
Moni, what a difference. This is great. I know it gets really irritating that you can’t do things the way you planned. Still, you now have a great looking rumpus room. I understand how you can get frustrated by the clutter in the garage too. I’m dealing with that right now in our main shed. We put all of this stuff in there to take to a friend’s garage sale and then she decided to not have it. When it gets a bit cooler out we are going to go out there and go through it. It will either go to Good will or the Women’s Shelter. We aren’t going to worry about getting money for it any longer. We can only have sales here in our community on one day of the year when we all join together. We’re not going to wait until April.
Deb J – when I volunteered to document this for 365, I assumed it would be a cool, calm and collected process, everything happened in the order I wanted and when I wanted. But does life ever roll like that? Our two living areas are so nice to hang out in – we might have gone a little bit too plain in the big lounge as there existing art didn’t work and we’re considering our options plus talking about a fresh coat of paint etc.
Good for you and your mum coming to the decision to donate rather than cash in. We don’t have the option here but I believe in America if you donate goods to charity, you are still able to get a receipt that is tax deductible? So who knows you might end up with some sort of refund anyway.
I like your consideration of the Women’s Shelter – I have a friend who does such work and it doesn’t always get the funding or public attention it needs.
The room is looking great Moni – really simple and streamlined.
Our open plan dining room is our dumping room, though I am slowly and gradually clearing that, though it gets new deposits every so often, including the stuff waiting to leave the house – I’ve been taking photos so will be able to post them one day!
Our attic is looking as bad as ever at the moment. I just don’t have the energy to deal with stuff so it has in part become a holding place for stuff I will deal with over the next few years, as energy/health permits, but also I need to organise my husband’s horded stuff up there better.
2 good afternoons would work wonders up there, but I’ve not the strength. Energy is such a precious gift.
Hi Katherine – Deposits – I love that! Yes that exactly. The photo was taken over a week ago and I’m sitting here realising everything that had gone, but alas it had also been added to.
My older daughter is on a roll with her own project – she needs a camera for next year and I told her that she was allowed to sell whatever she could find in the house (as in unwanted stuff) so she’s dragging stuff out from wherever she can find it, its creating extra chaos but at least its sped up the process beyond what I can keep up with. She’s like the energizer bunny so I know the lack of energy feeling.
I just realised that something sounded misleading – I have noticed what items have since gone, but other stuff had been added to it.
Grace from Brazil says
I have been wondering about your decluttering challenge as it directly affected my own about the same time, to declutter my desk which has several book cases attached. I would welcome a sudden change like yours (I think)! If I had to get rid of the desk it would force me into action. I am making progress but not like I want. I took a photo about the time you first shared about your den situation. I took another one to log the progress but it still does not look attractive. But I do understand the strong desire to keep something clutter free! I finally decluttered almost everything from my desk top. I even got rid of some items I really loved and thought I had to have for organising. Well, they just were in the way…always. I have not regretted getting rid of them to have a clear free space and I am fanatical now that nothing remains on the surface that should not be there. I do think your option to move your clutter outside is a hard but necessary one. Can’t wait to soon see an update on the garage. : )
Hi Grace from Brazil – I can remember when I worked on my desk it was a mission all of its own. Fortunately the garage is attached to the house but our laundry is in there and our big freezer so I’m back and forth and everytime it is a sort of a shock/surprise to see it all sitting there.
Still as Cindy says I had to “put my big girl pants on” and just get to work. This morning to warm up I’m going to deal with a number of containers/baskets/bins that are scattered thru the house as my daughter Dayna is on her own mission (we’ve said she have whatever money she makes off selling stuff on trademe to pay for a camera) and each one has one or two things left in them that she doesn’t know what to do with them. So I will deal with those, then I’m going to work in the garage, later on I’m going to take a walk along the beach.
It is a good stand to establish your cleared surfaces as “no dumping zones” – and Colleen always maintains that one item a day will quickly add up. Hang in there and don’t give up.
Thats a big transformation for the better, looks really easy to keep tidy and clean too. We have started to get more and more storage tubs/baskets hanging around empty and furniture freed up as a result of decluttering. Had a bookcase, side-table and two sets of drawers in need of a new home so asked my neighbour who was revamping her rooms if she wanted any of it and she took the lot which was great.
I’ve noticed that one of my past problems was that instead of decluttering i used to buy more storage systems and just store the junk in a more orderly way until the lack of space drove me mad. Since starting my decluttering project this year i’ve made numerous trips to the local charity shop, filled my wheely bin/recycling to the brim every week and learnt to let go of ‘stuff’ with the help of this site. I’ve learnt to be honest with myself about what i really need and have to justify all purchases to stop waste/more junk coming in. I hate my freshly decluttered areas having clutter in once sorted, drives my nuts until its gone which makes me more proactive in its disposal for sure!! Keep up the good work ladies, it spurs me on with my mission 🙂 x x
Hi Kat – yes stored clutter is still clutter. I love how easy it is to keep our lounges tidy these days, what is more, I didn’t have to tidy up prior to taking the photo, whereas in my bad old days I would have needed plenty of notice to tidy up and squirrel things away out of sight.
I started decluttering around 2 years ago but my early attempts were somewhat feeble as I didn’t know how to keep the momentum going and was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to get rid of, and how to get rid of stuff. Things really took off once I stumbled onto 365 Less Things 🙂
I had a situation where I had to get rid of a decrepit, large, wooden playset my kids had grown out of, a sofa that was too worn out/slightly broken to donate and an old TV that was missing parts that I could not even lift to carry up the stairs. I finally hired and paid for a junk removal company to come and take these items away and it was worth it! This was after procrastinating for a long time about what to do about getting rid of these things that I knew needed to go. I finally went and ordered a new sofa and a new TV so I had a deadline. We put a trampoline where the playset was and that has been wonderful.
Henave – yes sometimes we have to just give ourselves a deadline and (to steal the line from Nike) just do it. Your made-over room sounds lovely.
Love it, even the cat has been decluttered from the room!
Kathy – Nuppi the cat has this 6th sense that a camera is about and always manages to get in the shot. He managed to get in the first 5 attempts at a photo so we put him outside and he still managed to get in the photo.
Hi everyone – my day has taken an interesting turn. Next weekend we have visitors coming. These visitors are a bit different, in that the wife suffered a major injury and needs a lot of equipment, such as wheel chair, hoist etc. They are traveling North for a short holiday and asked if they could spend the night with us to break up their journey. The husband, who is a relative, stayed with us late June to attend a wedding, and he saw my freshly cleared garage. He said this would be perfect as he can back up the van to the garage and unload all the equipment. I don’t have the heart to tell him that my garage is no longer cleared so I’m just going to have to dig deep and get this sorted.
Deb J says
Moni, all I can say is UGH!!! I feel for you having to get things going so the garage can be used by your company. I have a friend coming for a week around Thanksgiving (Nov 16–23). We have some things we want to take care of before she arrives.
Hi Deb J – well I am pleased that our relatives are venturing out on a holiday, its been a hard couple of years for them and I’m pleased that they aren’t letting the amount of equipment she requires get in the way of a holiday. Since that photo was taken the 3 small bookcases (were up in the ceiling storage, storing 3 big sets of books belonging to Dayna – which are the ones in the smaller boxes and laundry baskets) were freecycled out, as were the two suitcases and two smaller travel bags. One set of ornaments have gone and I have a query on freestuff for the other. One overnight bag was sold on trademe and one small set of books in a grey basket were also sold.
Dayna and I have decided to box up the big sets of books ready for dispatch for when they sell as the weight will require lots and lots of packaging tape to make sure the bottom doesn’t fall out. At least they will take less space that way and I can have my laundry baskets back!
There has been some movement on the DVD front too but nothing heroic, I will save that for my next post.
Our cousin who is coming to stay, wants to set up her bed/gurney in the garage so I also need to think of ways to make the garage look a bit more home-y. It doesn’t feel very hospitible having them in the garage but he assures me that it is perfect for them.
Jo H. says
Yikes! Breathe, Moni, breathe 🙂 It will be all worth it so that you can kindly host your relatives, and also afterward when it will be all done, and sooner than planned. Good luck!
Hi Jo H – nothing like a looming deadline to make things happen is there! Last night my husband had to drive his ute inside the garage as he had a lot of tools on the back that he needed again for today – that is the first time we’ve had a vehicle inside in like forever! I was all fuss, fuss, fuss there won’t be room with all this stuff and he said this isn’t as much as you think it is, remember the whole garage used to be completely chock full of boxes and piles of stuff. He pushed it all to the side and drove straight in.
Mark Adam Douglass (@MADouglass) says
We actually have a two stage de-cluttering process.
We, a couple, live in a 2 bedroom apartment with a garage.
Anything that is not being dealt with right now usually resides in the garage, on my ‘pallet racking’. Over the years, the two of us have separately collected a lot of stuff.
Our second bedroom acts as the stuff we need on hand, but also the ‘what we are dealing with now’ stuff. We are quite meticulous about keeping this tidy, and ‘resetting’ the space after working on some de-cluttering.
We have a large amount of stuff to clear, and have developed and evolved systems to work through it all.
And feeling much better for it
Hi Mark – sounds like you’ve got a good system working. I work with a guy who recently combined households with his fiance as they each had a houselot. Its been a bit of a mission but they’re getting there.
I know I am going to get on top of all this, but I was blown away by the feeling of shock and panic I felt having my precious cleared space taken away, usually I am more sane and reasonable than that! So there’s nothing for it, I must take it back!!!!!
All the best with your decluttering.
Mark Adam Douglass (@MADouglass) says
Thanks for your supportive comments. I really appreciate it.
Colleen Madsen says
I bet once you developed and evolved those systems things became a lot easier to shift out the door. It has been two years and nine months since I began my one thing a day mission and I am still finding interesting ways to declutter my stuff.
Today I am even trying to help a complete stranger get hold of a free TV via Freecycle. So I suppose I am helping one stranger acquire something while helping another stranger with there decluttering. I have to ask myself “Am I completely mad!?”
Mark Adam Douglass (@MADouglass) says
The systems definitely helped. And I think a big key was that they were our systems that we developed for us. We worked out what worked for us!
And no you are not mad. It is much better that it all be used over and over than to have it in landfill.
Colleen – I was wondering that myself yesterday as I put someone onto freecycle and within the hour I saw her putting up ‘offer’ and ‘wanted’ listings – I kind of felt she’d missed the point of decluttering by putting up ‘wanted’ requests but then I decided that she may or may not get a reply and if she did at least it will be second hand and she will probably freecycle it back out when she doesn’t want it again.
Colleen Madsen says
I feel your pain about the garage as mine is also in a constant state of change. Filling up a little and then emptying a little. Because it is my staging ground for removing clutter I have come to accept this. Especially since over time it has certainly improved overall. Better it be out there than in the house I think. I do look forward to the day when we could manage out there with one less set of shelves and hopefully that my occur within the next twelve months. So long as we can still park the car and two motorbikes in there I am fine with that.
I love the sketch of the rumpus room. And don’t worry about your mission going a little off the rails just call it plan B.
Colleen – thanks for the encouragement. I do wonder if it will ever end, but OF COURSE it is simple maths, if X amount enters the house, and Y amount gets taken out then eventually you are left with an ideal home. It just seems a heck of a lot easier bringing stuff in, than getting rid of it.
Fortunately, I have learnt my lesson and anything that comes into the house has had a lot of consideration because I don’t want to have to turn around and declutter it again within the next year or two.
I suppose have two declutter depots. I start with the bottom of my wardrobe where I keep a bag; clothes, accessories, jewelry etc are dropped in there until the bag is so full that it annoys me (I can’t bear it if the bag starts “interfering” with the ability to hang the clothes on the rail). The bag then goes in the boot of my car. Bags are added to the boot of the car until they start interfering with my ability to put my gym bag in (usually two or three bags will do that), then I make a trip to the charity shop.
I can’t use my garage as a declutter depot because my husband would go through the bags and bring half of the stuff back in the house (he’s not above going through the dustbin either)!!
Hi Tracey – good plan. I am fortunate that my husband wants me to get rid of stuff, he grew up in a very cluttered household and he loves having all this space, and of course, having his new flat screen lined up centre of the wall for his optimum viewing. The kids are also enjoying having a bigger tv in their/my lounge although Turbo the cat is still a bit put out that she doesn’t have her perching spot anymore.
Unfortunately, my husband is what I describe as an “armchair declutter” in the same way some guys are “armchair athletes” ie they watch sport, yell a lot of instructions at the tv but never play the sport. Adrian points at something and says that should go but doesn’t actually participate in the getting rid of said item. I shouldn’t complain, there are a lot of 365’ers who struggle to get their partners onside with them and if I really do need a set of muscles he will pitch in. At least he doesn’t get in the way of things leaving the house, although I think he would have been just as happy to get a dumpster and have hiffed the lot rather than go down trademe/ebay, freecycle, recycle path. On the other hand he is impressed with the amount I have recouped via trademe, and he was initially anti-freecycle and is now pro-freecycle.
Congratulations, Moni! Both on the very decluttered room and on reinstalling a clutter depot. Living in a not-so-big place, there is often some box of decluttered stuff on the floor in the entryway here. I hate it, but at the same time, it’s a necessity for decluttering.
Sanna – I just keep telling myself its all gotta be gone at some stage! The decision to get rid of something is half the battle, it would be great if the actually outgoing process was as quick as is was for it to be incoming.
I absolutely love the after photo. It looks so sleek and streamlined, very neat and clutter free. I don’t find myself with too much excess furniture. For us, furniture is usually a purchase that alot of thought has gone into. If we buy furniture pieces, they will stay for a long duration. They don’t usually make the declutter pile since we do not have an overabundance of it. I do know that usually once an area has been de-cluttered, it is almost like some members of the house use it as their own personal zone to do as they please (mainly using it as a personal dumping ground for when they enter the house). This is mostly house members not willing to put things where they belong :). So, that does tend to make me slightly defensive. We want our hard work to be appreciated and enjoyed by all house members. It just takes a little reminding and making sure everyone is on board. I haven’t really had my time limit cut short unless there is company due in, but I can see how that can be very frustrating. Some people do better working at their own pace and not at someone else’s forced pace. I don’t usually wait too long to deposit my clutter, once I have decided that it is leaving my house. I do use my garage as a collection point or I keep my collection box or bag somewhere that is relatively accessible, but not too noticeable, in the closet, etc. I try to stay on top of keeping the collected items moving. I think that is key to keeping the momentum and motivation going. Great job!
Hi Jen – when the balinese dresser was moved out of the big lounge we shifted it into the dining area as it was easier than dragging it down the hallway around a corner and into the garage, plus I figured with it being on trademe people would ask to see it before bidding (and two did) and I’d rather they came into our decluttered living areas rather than Declutter Depot aka my garage.
What I couldn’t get over was that within minutes of it being moved into the dinning area, the kids were dumping stuff on it as they went past. Its not like there was anything else there prior that they were in the habbit of putting things on, it was a new flat clear space to be optimised. Fortunately the dresser sold and its no longer a problem.
I used to use the front door area as my outgoing clutter area, but was told by someone that it was bad Sheng Fui. I’m not hugely into the practice but I do take on board that which is logical and that stuff going out shouldn’t stagnate near the energy going in, so I was very glad to learn that. So from that point of view it is much better that I use the garage.
beautiful progress moni!
all this talking about depositing, made me think about my place. I so desperately want to get this old drawer out, in which I collect my decluttered stuff. 3 weeks ago, the last drawer broke. I am so mad at this because now I have to look at an open drawer. uah. rearranging might be my weekend project. thanks for the reminder.
Hi Lena – how is the last run up to graduating going? Is the whole set of drawers broken or just one drawer? Is it repairable?
this thing is a cheap IKEA drawer, it survived 4 moves, but now its broken. the sides are coming off, not holding the drawers in the tracks anymore, so everytime I touch it, it feels like its falling apart… its beyond repair, and I am glad when I can bring it outside and jump on it until its the right size for the next pick-up-trash.
Lena – believe it or not, we don’t have IKEA here in NZ! We have our equivalents though. Why don’t you get rid of it now?
because it holds all my decluttered items, clothes, some shoes, some CDs, that I wanted to sell on the fleamarket. and while I have been good with planning my studies, I havent really gotten around on planning to sell my crap efficiently… its going to be 2013 when I get this done…
Lena – that’s ok, you can’t do everything – though I shall look forward to hearing your victory dance when you eventually do get rid of it!
it does take up a lot of space in my living room and I hate it everyday more 😉 so you bet, I will brag and call for cheers here as soon as I got it out…
creative me says
You have inspired me so much with your removal of storage containers and furniture! My old mindset allowed me to have these things (and fill them) because I could. Now, with your example, I have learned that it is much better to not only remove the unwanted and extra but also the bulky containers that hid it all! What a brainwave. That goes for bookshelves and dressers too.
Creative Me – yes stored clutter, even if it is nice and neatly stored clutter, is still clutter. It is soooooo nice having streamlined living areas, you have no idea. If someone leaves something behind like shoes or a school bag or ???? it really stands out. When I cleared out the filing cabinet we were left with 4 suspension files of important stuff, the rest was binned/recycled. I still have a lot of work to do on the bookcase, it took a couple of steps backwards during all this but I keep reminding myself I will get there eventually. The next time I shift house I want it to be soooooo easy. The last time we shifted we had boxes and boxes of stuff in storage that went straight into storage in this house – what was the point of that?
Wow Moni! You are my new hero! What a difference in your before & after with the kid’s lounge!
I understand how it can be a bit of a downer to see one area improved but another area refilled with stuff. It can takes the wind out of your sails for sure.
I have a staging area for my eBay items & that area just irks me to no end. No sooner do I sell off an item & remove it from the staging area do I find 2 more items to sell on Ebay. I have to keep reminding myself that this may not visually seem like progress, but it really is indeed progress.
The other area that seems to always be in flux is our attic. I no sooner remove 10 items from there & we find 10 more items to store up there until we can decide on whether to keep or get rid of them.
I was up in the attic just yesterday bringing down more items to list on Ebay & for whatever reason (hormonal?) I just got terribly overwhelmed & felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere & thus got all frustrated, whiny & negative. So I dropped everything & took a break in my very very decluttered great room (open-concept style house). As I sat there, I took a good look around at how steamlined, clean, decluttered & peaceful it is & realized that I am indeed making progress.
I find it interesting that all the stuff I had through-out the house used to seem fine & appropriate. But then I started to take notice of it all. And now most of that very same stuff feels invasive – like a uninvited stranger.
Jane – I seem to recall you are the Queen of Ebay! I am revisiting my ceiling too as my elder daughter is on her own mission. It is surprising the things that were carefully put up there at the end of our Summer (nicely boxed and labelled, nicely arranged) that I am wondering why on earth I bothered now that it is Spring here. I’m thinking that maybe we’ve all taken it up a gear over the last six months ie we’ve all take off several layers elsewhere in our homes and what is stored just doesn’t meet the standard for stay-ed-ness (is that a word?) in our homes.
And yes I can understand the feeling of frustration as you take things up and down to the attic. I can remember telling Adrian that I wish I had a zap gun to just atomise things so that they disappeared.
And yes you are right, I can leave the garage and return to my lovely lounge and not have it all around me. My husband was saying the other day in the “bad old days” he is sure he could have closed his eyes, twirled around, opened his eyes and a guarantee that he was looking at some pile of stuff or a box of stuff or something that irked him. So he’s really happy with the changes.
Oh by the way – the Balinese dresser did sell and I made over double my reserve price which was about 3/4 of what I originally paid for it. I’m told they’ve increased a lot in value since then so the new owners are very happy with the price, I’m happy to have the space freed up again. A friend thinks I’m crazy to let it go, what if I ever need another dresser? Couldn’t I have stored it just in case? If I ever need another dresser, which I don’t forsee in my future, I will buy something that suits my requirements exactly.
Deb J says
So glad it sold. That’s great. If you ever need another one maybe you will find it on something like CraigsList or eBay or even in a Thrift shop.
Deb J – CraigsList is fairly new here and only covers four cities at this stage. Ironically the city I belong to is bigger than one of the cities Dunedin, but Dunedin is a university town so probably a good place to establish itself.
I don’t forsee me wanting any more furniture, if anything I have an eye to downsize as kids leave home – I’m told the key is to not make them too comfortable returning home between jobs, relationships, travels etc 🙂
I have pointed out to Adrian that his big screen could be too big in a smaller house, I think he would forego a couch and sit on a bean bag rather than see that happens, but I figure if we ever move to a house with only one lounge, there is bound to be one of our kids who will happily take one of them off our hands. At this stage I’d like to stay in our house until the youngest has her NCEA level 1 done as she isn’t one for big changes, but I’m in no particular hurry, but would like to mix up how we live a little rather than the traditional house and section. My ultimate goal would be to have a stress free shift.
Deb J says
Moni, I’m like you. I don’t see needing any new furniture in the future. I imagine I will instead be ridding myself of a lot. I have a friend that would probably sleep and sit on the floor rather than get rid of his huge TV.
Deb J – I think all blokes are the same about their TV’s. I wonder what it was that garnered such devotion before TV’s were invented?
Deb J says
Radio programs, fishing, cars. Who knows! I’m sure there was something.
Deb J – if we go back far enough, I’m sure the Cave Men just stared into the fire (that they’d just invented) and grunted. Unfortunately, conversation amongst guys during down-time hasn’t come far since then. Though they probably did compare clubs (for clubbing things) and described the T-Rex that got away (or maybe it was the reverse story, how they got away from the T-Rex).
Deb J says
Moni, you are a hoot. Men do seem to like things that are dangerous and go boom.
Mark Adam Douglass (@MADouglass) says
I must be an exception to this current discussion.
I am actually the one who has encouraged us to experiment living without a TV, and my partner has loved the benefits.
Hi Mark – the irony is that my husband grew up without TV! They lived on the road in the most cluttered motor-home you could imagine and when they settled down for the boys to go to college (what is called High School in America) they still didn’t have a tv until he was in his late teens. He is one of those people who the pendulum swung in the opposite direction to his upbringing and by time I met him he was very conservative, wanted to buy his own house by 25 or younger, 3 kids, good schools and nice stuff. Not that he didn’t enjoy his childhood but he wanted something different for his kids. The funniest thing is that he likes to watch the fishing shows on his big screen. Yes he goes fishing in his lucky dinghy “Black Sheep” (its lucky because he catches fish every trip even when all the other boats in the cluster around him who have gps, fish finders, mega expensive rods etc don’t catch anything) but if the weather is poor he’ll watch a fishing show instead.
I did suggest a screen free weekend to the kids, but they looked at me really puzzled and asked how would they be able to talk to people? I said the old fashioned way……in person. How novel!
Mark – by the way I just read your In Stuff. Out Stuff. That is a most excellent way of describing it.
Mark Adam Douglass (@MADouglass) says
Hello Moni – Thanks for reading my work. I am glad you connected with my post. Its the mathematician in me that makes me think like that.
Hi everyone – it is Monday here almost lunchtime. It is school holidays here so the kids are home. Adrian decided to take the day off work to hang with us but as Dayna and I were working in the garage, he has been pressed into service. At last we have our Ompah Loompah. Even if it it is a 6 foot tall ompah loompah. We are making really good progress and are now trying to think of ways that we can make our garage look a bit nicer for our visitors on the weekend. If you didn’t catch my earlier comment – a cousin and his wife are visiting, and she is injury disabled and need our garage space for wheelchair, hoists, gurney etc. Apparently we are the only family in the area (or anywhere) that has a clear garage, so I’m pulling out all stops to have Declutter Depot under control by Friday.
Sat: I regularly clean out the fridge. Just this week (past the “mini mission date”), I used a container of cooked and then frozen ribs that hubby made before his loooooong work trip.
Sun: While going through the house, I realized that I had curtains I was never going to hang and a tablecloth that was used on a file cabinet that I’ve sold. I had washed the tablecloth, but it was still sitting out after air-drying. All of the above are in a bag to be dropped off to the bins around a near-by town that takes linens for the needy.
I only accumulate for a week (or maybe two since there are fewer and fewer things to toss). On Friday, the bag goes into the car boot. On Saturday, it gets a quick drop off at the charity shop. Since I use the same shop each week, I just keep a running list of my contributions, and only occasionally take the time to get a receipt for taxes. So a receipt dated December 31 would include all the things donated throughout December. That saves the extra time waiting for a receipt and the temptation to “just look around” the shop while waiting…Don’t take it in the back door and take it out the front door! 🙂