Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Condiment Cleanout

My family was on vacation for two weeks. Of course, that means we returned home to an empty refrigerator, or did it? Well, there was no fruit, vegetables, milk, dairy  or meat, but there sure were a bunch on condiments. This was made even more obvious by the fact that there was nothing else in there. I decided it would be a great time to give the fridge a big wipe out, and to see what was what among the condiments.     Yikes! And it turns out that there was still more in the fridge when I took this photo. Oh my goodness. There were a few things that passed their Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Life after Death

Last week, our dog Tucker had to be put to sleep. We'd had Tucker for 9 years, and over the past year, he had steadily lost control of his hind legs, until, in his final days, he was only able to drag himself around on his hip. Even a dog leaves things behind when he leaves this world: 3 dog beds (one for each of his favorite rooms), a collar with tags, medications, a contact lens from eye surgery he had several years ago (we kept it in case he had to have the same surgery on his other eye), a leash, a food bowl, and enough shed hair to knit a sock. We all will die, and no one knows the Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Decluttering and Cleaning Supplies

I've been thinking a lot about cleaning supplies recently - how many I should have, where I should store them, etc. and I have come to a somewhat shocking conclusion: I'm going about it all wrong. I don't use a lot of cleaning products, and they are stored in a couple of places. I have a caddy of supplies in the laundry room, a huge container of vinegar under the kitchen sink, a toilet brush by one toilet but the toilet bowl cleaner is in the laundry room, and a vacuum in the upstairs closet. What got me on this train of thought was a problem with the vacuum. I've had my vacuum for many Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ To Fix or Not to Fix

Unless I've lost track, which is possible, this article from Wired magazine on the need to fix things, rather than just tossing them out, has not been included in a Friday post. I'll wait while you read it. One of the things that I love and appreciate about my husband is that he can fix almost anything. Sometimes his care in fixing an item makes it better than when it started out. Recently, he fixed a bag dryer that we've used for a decade. (See a photo of a bag dryer here.) Years of use had finally caused the glue to completely give up and the base to fall off, so I was using it balanced Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ For Advanced Declutterers

Today's post is geared toward the advanced decluttered. If you're a beginner, don't try this at home...or anywhere can lead to discouragement, a big mess in the hallway, and a complete lack of improvement in your situation. But if you've passed the beginning stages of decluttering, if your friends call you The Decluttering Queen (that's what mine call me, at least), or if you've been at it for more than a year, then today's post might be for you. Sometimes, you've just got to start all the way over. Yes, all the way over. That's what I did last week. My pantry is decluttered. Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Efficiency

I have been thinking a lot about efficiency recently. We are constantly told by ourselves, our friends, and the media that we don't have enough time. Is this true, or are we just deeply inefficient and distracted? In my house, during down times, I have notices that all four of us have our "go to" strategies, none of which are very productive: I check my email and Facebook for the millionth time; Clara listens to music and plays solitaire; Audra watches TV; Dan fools around on his computer. All electronic, all non-productive. My girlfriend Sherri addressed this on Facebook recently. (Okay, I Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ It All Adds Up

We've had many discussions on 365 Less Things about Selling v. Giving Away. At various times, I've come down on both sides of the argument.  I've agreed that selling recoups some of your investments. I've argued that giving away shares your blessings with others and relieves you of your clutter with less work and fuss. In general, I sell my larger or more costly items and give away my smaller or less costly ones. However, I've sold things on Craigslist as cheaply as $5, and given away things I could get $50 or more for. In general, I don't consider selling to be too much of a hassle, and now Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Don’t Over Buy (revisited)

This post first appeared in September 2012. Since I am in the thick of plowing through the Lost and Found and checking the cleanliness of all the uniforms from the uniform exchange closet, it seemed like a good time to reprint it. At the end of every school year, I volunteer to take home all the lost and found from my daughters’ school. I look through it, sort it, wash it, fold it, and give it to charity. The amount of lost and found (or as the Head of School calls it, “Lost and Sometimes Found”) is absolutely amazing.  At the end of this school year, I had 20 expensive metal water Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Mourning My Dancing Shoes

My daughter, who is 13, is starting to take ballroom dance lessons. I'm happy for her, but this new passion has caused my first case of declutter regret. Yes, after 3 years of decluttering (June 1 was my anniversary), I finally caught the bug. It took someone else to cure me. You see, my husband and I used to ballroom dance, as well. We took lessons for 4 hours a week for 2 years and went to many dances up until my new dancer was born. I held onto my dance shoes - a pair of black practice shoes and a pair of gold performance shoes - for years. Dance shoes are pampered and get very little Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Moving

Last month, I helped my friends, The E family, move. In the last month, I also helped my daughters' school pack for a move. The Es have lived in their house 13 years; the school has been in this location 10 years. Let me tell you, I have seen a lot of junk, stuff, things, good stuff that's no longer needed, beautiful useful items, heirlooms, and lost & found in the past month. A lot. Moving really forces you to focus in on what's essential. This is especially true for the school, which is being torn down and rebuilt. For the first half of the next school year, The Girls' School of Austin Continue reading