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Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Posted by celticmoon (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 14, 07 at 13:53

Welcome all you recovering hoarders!! I want to kick off Part 3 (and will link to part 2).

This twist on organization grew out of a thread on counting "How many.." (The gazillion socks and scissors were my wake up call.) Rather than attack and organize a space, like a linen closet, some of us are finding it easier first to eliminate the excess stuff that is hogging our storage spaces. Organization and maintenance isn't so hard after the stuff has been pared down.

The key is to pick a category narrow enough that the job is doable, but broad enough that the culling eventually has an impact. Pressed for time? Pick something narrow like 'Maps'. Rainy Saturday morning? Maybe go for the 'Glassware' or 'Books'. Don't even think on the scale of "Photos" or "Files" at first.

Here's how:

*Contemplate a category. Decide how many makes sense.
*Collect the items.
*Count em (this step and the recoiling in horror is optional).
*Cull them down to what you decided would be reasonable.
*Congratulate yourself!
*Come back here to celebrate.

Oh, and don't forget the part where you actually get the extras out of your space. Goodwill, Freecycle, Craig's list, neighbors, friends and family, EBay, garbage or dump - whereever - just get it out of there!!

Who's culling what today?

Here is a link that might be useful: Previous Culling thread (with category lists)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Oh good, I get to celebrate here that big bag of books on antiques that were donated and no longer cluttering the back of my car. (No I didn't count them, but my bookcase actually looks like it can breathe.) My Mom and MIL were recently here and both commented on my office about the lack of clutter and how nice everything looked.

I'll pick a category next week, and enjoy the peace of recent efforts for now! My garage needs a major overhaul. Well, I did file all the receipts today, which always feels like an accomplishment. Does pruning dead branches off my trees count as culling a category?


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Celebrating here today -- DH finally switched his computer to the new one (and the new flat screen monitor) AND switched my monitor to the flat screen too! So pleased!

AND he's actually on board for the BIG plan to do the next "layer" in the garage (now holds our EBay stuff and business) We must get rid of the old small freezer; a very old oak icebox; old trunk. Hope to replace all this with sturdy garage shelves that match the ones already in place -- and finally have room to sort out MY sign-crafting stuff; the household items and the household tools!

Please keep him in your "O.K. JUST DO IT!!" thoughts! LOL!!

This will take awhile -- but at least there is now light at the end of the tunnel! :)

Celtic -- your outdoor plans sound wonderful! How about some pictures of the new walkway? :)


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I went through 3 magazines and cut out only those articles I wanted to look at again. I hardly have any magazines left to do this to.

Only problem are cooking magazines. I can't bring myself to cut them up and discard the rest. I only have a handful of these and am regretting my subscription to Gourmet because it's adding to my dilemma.

I cleaned DD's room and moved her furniture around. She purchased a large corner desk at a garage sale for only $50.00 and they are delivering it to us. It was a great deal and she needs it. At least 2 rooms are done. She's been very sick and is now recuperating in a nursing home so I decided to do it for her. She has had a sheet over her window for what seems like forever and I finally put up the curtains that were sitting here for months.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

STILL working in the sewing room. Spent part of the day moving around things trying to improve the infrastructure of my sotrage abilities. I bought handles today for some file cabinets I am reusing. I am ashamed to admit that it has been almost eight years since I've had handles! How dumb and what a waste. Now I can EASILY open and close the drawers. It makes all the difference (DUH to me)!

Culled more craft items. The category: acrylic paint. Decided to only keep as many as would fit in the bin. Out went bottles with little dribs and drabs!

Culled all of my beanie babies. Gave away to neighbor kids and the rest are in the van for yet another drop at Goodwill.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Here is an example of why I hold onto things. Today, I'm up in the attic in the tiny, oldest section of the house, and what do I find? Why, it's that small Cuisinart pot that's been missing for several years. During Hurricaine Floyd, our roof developed a leak in a tight area, and that pot was the only thing we could find to put there to collect water. Somehow, we forgot to bring it down after the roof was repaired, and I have no clue how we forgot it was up there. Flash forward to the last year or two, and every once in a while my husband or I would look in the bottom of our pots and pans drawer in the kitchen and exclaim, "Where is the pot that goes with that lid sitting there? It was an expensive pot. It didn't just walk out of here." Soooo, yesterday I go to the Salvation Army to drop off some kitchen culls that had been boxed up in the basement and what do you think was in that box?????? Can you guess???? It was a few rarely used pots and ONE LONELY LID TO A MISSING POT!!!!!

What are the chances of this happening? This is exactly why I'm afraid to get rid of things. Now the question is: 1) How fast can I get to the Salvation Army tomorrow to see if they can find my lid and let me give them a cash donation so I can have it back; or 2) If I've gone with the pot missing for several years and didn't need to replace it, do I really need that pot and the lid? If I'm keeping the pot, then I want the lid.

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Oh Tina! This is bound to happen sometimes:(

Maybe you don't need the pot. You could put it in another box in the basement and see if you are tempted to open it.

You could go back to SA and try to get the lid. It wouldn't be the first time someone showed up looking for an item they had just donated. And what are the chances of someone buying a lone lid in the meantime. If you get the lid, that pot should earn its place in your kitchen!

Whether you find the lid of not, don't let this discourage you from the progress you are making. You mention that it is an expensive pot. What is the cost to you of having too much stuff? Would you be willing to pay (the price of the pot) for the sheer joy of entertaining with greater ease, for the joy of opening a cabinet and finding what you want.... Do you think the benefits outweight the risks?

Best of luck at SA tomorrow! Let us know what you decide and how it went.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina, let it go. Part of the price of simplifying and streamlining your life is that things may leave you, not necessarily in a tandem and tidy way. That is OK. The lid or pot may find a way without a partner or partner up with another part. Besides, I mix and match my pot lids all the time. Let it go.

OTOH, same happened to me. A month or two ago I culled loose, 'useless' hardware scraps, noting some copper ceiling pieces for some pendant lights I barely recalled and thought were long gone. Then cleaning the basement I found the copper pendants - Reconfigured to be swags and missing the ceiling pieces. They will leave here as swags I guess. I am bummed to not have reconnected the parts. What can you do?

Reminds me of those old O'Henry stories like where she sells her hair to buy him the watch chain, and he meanwhile sells the watch to buy her hair combs.

It won't be perfect, this culling. But it is still good.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina -- this is a "sign" to let the old pot go!

OR look for one of those "universal" lids!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I'm culling basement/garage storage items. No cleaning or reorganizing yet. I'm trying to simply get things out!

My DH agreed (in front of a witness) to part with our crib!!! Our youngest is 13. In an earlier, post I mentioned how pointing out that someone in need might be able to use something that was collecting inches of dust in our garage seemed to be the key to letting things go. I believe this also was a factor in agreeing to let go of the crib. Only last year he was adamant about saving it as an heirloom. This crib is not heirloom material. My neighbor, the witness, was suprised we'd be willing to let it go. I guess, given our ages, we could have grandkids in the next 5-6 years. NOT YOUNGEST DD!!! The mental peace of mind will be worth finding another crib when the time comes. YEAH!!!!!!

Now if I could find a way to have him let go of the scuba gear...we are inland...it is old, unsafe(?) and easier to rent in place....HMMMM

Sorry this isn't quite on topic. Just needed to celebrate!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Here's a brief update. My husband and I had a conversation about the lid and pot. I drove to the SA to see if they had the lid. The morning after I made the drop off, a truck loaded with the box (containing my lid) took it to their Wilmington, DE location. So, the lid may come back to the PA store, or it may not. I will survive without the lid. I still haven't decided whether I will keep the pot. I think this is just a little glitch in my sanity and will pass. While I sometimes like to do culling in layers, there are times when I don't like having to revisit a task. I guess it was done, and I'm the only one who's making it now un-done. I'm just wondering if I would rather part with another pot instead of this one. Hmm, as I say, just a brief lapse in my resolve. It will all be over shortly. Just in time to climb back into the attic . . .

Tina


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One more thing

Oh, tre, I forgot to say congrats to you about the crib! I'm so stuck in my own mire and didn't mean to be rude. Good luck with that scuba gear!

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Plastic bags. This weekend I'm going to collect all of the loose ones floating around the kitchen plus the ones I already dumped into my car and take them someplace where they recycle them. I'm not going to count them, though.

Tablecloths. I have a motley assortment that we never use because they aren't the right size or they have holes in them or something.

Old greeting cards. I have a collection of these, some saved for years, that I would never use. Too many to count, I think, but I'll try.

Rags. Do I need an entire hamper's worth of rags for cleaning? They are a pain to wash, when I eventually get around to it, but OTOH are handy sometimes.

Tops and T-shirts that I never wear. I have some that, although I love them on the hanger, and they fit just fine, look terrible on me for some reason.

More shoes that don't fit (see my post on the other thread RE giving away a bag of shoes). I need to continue culling shoes that I never wear because they're not comfortable, even though they haven't completely fallen apart. They are just taking up space in my closet.

Plastic flower pots. A local garden center now recycles these, so I want to collect any that are lying around the garage to take over there.

Okay, that's enough for now. I'll report back as I make progress on these.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina sometimes the ability to just vent here makes things so much clearer. You tried to retreive the lid. Now you can decide whether to keep your found pot or get rid or another. The universal lid idea sounds like a good one. I find I rarely use lids anyway.

And no worries about being rude. It just wouldn't occur to me!

Celebrating actually TAKING crib to Goodwill along with more stuff.

If it stays in the 90's here I make start on Xmas decor or photos!! Or-r-r I could just finish up some already started projects. Darn. I heard the voice of reason. Hearing it more and more these days.

Harriet, I'm with you on plastic bags! The only place that takes them here is WalMart, a place I avoid on weekends. Wish someone would accept plastic flowerpots.

As for rags, this is a stage of life category for me. When the kids were little and spilled on a regular basis, we had LOTS of rags. Now we don't need/use that many. I also have gradually acquired a few microfiber cloths which I love. How many rags do you need? Could you divvy them up...rags for paintig, rags for cars, cleaning rags?

Keep working on those shoes. Someone is thrilled!

Good luck. Keep culling.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

When my 5 kids had outgrown their cribs and baby items, DH gave everything to a new mother who couldn't afford to purchase these items. At the time, I had wished I could still hold onto them but realized this girl needed them much more than I did. And to this day, I never missed one item.

Although I own lids, I usually put a plate over the pot.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Spent some more time up in the attic yesterday working with the insulation. My knees are bruised and ache from crawling around on the three loose boards on top of the rafters. What an obstacle course -- space to sit up only in the middle of the peak, and nails pointing through the roof everywhere. So much fun with goggles and facemask on, lying on my stomache to put down the insulation where the floor meets the roof. My husband is cutting and passing it through from the other section of the attic after I have measured the space. No lights in the old side, so I have two lamps on extension cords sitting on the rafters. I suggested to my husband that we use the work lights with clamps next time, and I probably could use a helmet and knee pads. I think the heat will save me from having to visit the attic again until fall. We got a quarter, maybe a third of the space done, but I'm happy. It will be some improvement at least. For safety's sake, the electrician will be making a visit soon, and I will have him remove some old, dead wires before I put down the remainder of the insulation.

I'm taking a little break on thinking about the pot. I trust when I come back to it I will know what to do. Thanks, marie, for the plate-as-a-lid tip -- gotta love those simple solutions that work.

I'm off for my 5-mile walk, as I'm still working on culling flab. However, Monday is an impromptu trip to the beach with my husband and SIL to visit their family, so the bathing suit has to come out two weeks earlier than planned . . .

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

A miserable job well done! Knee pads and a tetnus shot should be required next Fall!

Remember almost everyone, no matter who, how old or in what shape, dreads putting on a bathing suit. ENJOY the beach. You've earned it.

I've spent yesterday and today celebrating graduations and eating too much. Culling flab should be my top priority. How do you keep from being bored on a 5 mile walk? We are in the suburbs. I can only walk by so many houses before losing interest in the journey!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Thanks, tre. You've earned a break and time to celebrate -- having those experiences (vs. things) that add value to your life that we were talking about. I'm looking forward to that when I visit with my husband's family this week.

I live near two parks, one that has a 5 mile trail with a big hill and lots of trees and shade, and another that has several smaller, open and sunnier loops. It's a short drive to both places. Sometimes I do walk in a development near my house, or drive up into town and walk around there. Most of the time I keep from being bored regardless where I'm walking by forcing myself to walk as fast as possible. I'll challenge myself to see what I can do. Other times I do walking meditations and focus on breathing, observing my environment and the actual act of walking -- a being in the moment kind of thing that I really get into.

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Marie, I have started to purchase the annuals to cooking magazines after first checking to see the stuff I wanted is in there. That way you have some hope of finding the recipe, and don't have to keep torn out recipes. Who ever uses those 3 months later anyway?


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Marie if you can't bring yourself to cut out the recipes, can you simply tear out all the pages with double sided ads or other articles? You'd be amazed at how much space it saves.

But is saving space really the issue? How many times do you refer back to a cooking magazine for a recipe. When I glance thru mine, I turn down the corner of pages. Magazines can linger for at least 2 issues. If I haven't made anything---out it goes.

I do have a file of clipped recipes. Honestly, I rarely look at them. There seems to always be another recipe coming down the pike. I need to suck it up and toss them!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Marie -- I use a spiral bound journal -- usually a 6x9 size and I clip and I paste or tape. Then the recipes go into the bookcase with the cookbooks. They are easy to find because they are in one place. I have started a new book with low-fat low-cal recipes -- that works well for me.

If you want to recycle the magazine -- I just copy them and then clip and paste.

Cathy


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Ah, the cooking magazines. Early in the first thread I took mine on. Checked pages I'd dog eared or stuck a post-it on. Wasn't realy interested in more than a dozen or so recipies. Set those mags aside and brought the works to library. After xeroxing the wanted pages, I gave them the boxes and boxes - hundreds of mags. Years of Cooking Light, Food and Wine, Cook Illustrated, Gourmet. Haven't even thought about it since. I say dump em.

I do keep an extra thick black three ring binder filled with see through pocket pages in the kitchen. Photos tucked on the front. I stuff anything I know I really want in there, maybe in a plastic sleeve, maybe loose. Newspaper clipping, computer printout, hand written, xerox from a mag, whatever. The Ultimate Keepers only.

Like with other "systems", I seem to favor zero filing time and spending the minute or two to rifle through when I want something. I suppose I could cull and tidy the binder in front of the TV some night. But so far it works fine.

Been hot here and my outdoor project has run into some problems - concrete guys severed the underground sprinkler. Oops. Mud everywhere. Hope the new concrete isn't wrecked. Bit of a mess and a delay in transplanting.

Meanwhile inside all went to heck with all the working and dirt and frustration and heat outside all weekend. Good news is, it took us only 20 minutes last night to whip this place back into order. I'm still kind of shocked at how easy it was to tidy up and put all the crap (tools, clothes, papers, towels, files, laundry, blueprints, shoes, dishes, glasses, mail, newspapers, rags, and on and on) that was EVERYWHERE away. Everything in its place indeed. Wow.

So keep up the culling and organizing. There is a huge payoff down the road next time your house looks like a cyclone hit it.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I can only walk by so many houses before losing interest in the journey!

Every route gets boring eventually. I found, back when I used to run, that THINKING was the best time-passer.

The best run I ever had, I spent thinking about the book "Catch 22." And it worked so well, that I started picking a topic to mull over. Books worked well; so did movies. I'd think about the character, or a plot development, and think about whether it rang true, what I wish the character had done INSTEAD, etc.

Like with other "systems", I seem to favor zero filing time and spending the minute or two to rifle through when I want something

Y'all noticed that? That's the organizing classic--make it easy to put away, even if it means it's a little harder to get it out.

I'm still kind of shocked at how easy it was to tidy up

hooray, celtic!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Today, I spent the entire day cleaning the rest of the house including the fridge and changing sheets and the duvet cover (what a pain!). In between all this, I got something in the mail that required my immediate attention. I had culled my filing cabinet a few months ago but had put all the filing items from January of this year until the present time in a box. I made my phone call and looked through the box looking for my back-up paperwork which I finally found after the phone call. Someone is calling me back so that ended up not being a huge problem. But I did file all these papers and it took no more than 15 minutes.

DH brought home more filing for me tonight and I put it all away. A first for me.

I'm exhausted right now but it's such a pleasure to have a clean house. I still need to get more done in the garage and some drawers but that's for another day.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I'm still culling weeds ....... I'll be through in October!

Right now I'm getting ready for a reunion at our house in less than 2 weeks. 15-20 college house sisters. The new gazebo is almost up -- have to finish the roof this weekend. And I'm currently painting chairs and tables to use in it. All those things that I have been storing for so long for just this use!

I'm also tossing as I clean --- fewer and fewer decorative accessories are making the cut! And some furniture is going into storage to "lighten" the look. I love homes that have just the right accessories for every season ..... but it can't be mine. I am learning to "love" a great item than merely "like" so-so stuff. Not every surface has to be covered!! Hard lesson for me to learn.

Goodwill will love the stuff!!

Cathy


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Clink/Cathy, the gazebo and painted chairs sound lovely. Your place is going to look wonderful for the party.

I can relate to limiting decorative accessories. I don't have a change of items for different seasons either. Only things I love are sitting out and, as a result, I never tire of seeing them. I refuse to clog my closet space with so-so stuff, and, frankly, I just don't have the energy to be swapping things out all the time. I had a friend visit my home for the first time, and she commented that she loved my "spare" look. I was really surprised, because I think I have plenty of artwork and pottery on display. Remember me? I'm the one who counted 70 vases!

One thing I've learned about displaying and using the things you love -- there will be accidents. The thing about things, is, they can break and they do break. It's just a matter of when. I'm always disappointed when an item is broken beyond repair, but I've trained myself to say, "There it goes." I'd rather risk losing an item on my watch than have it sit packed away safely for someone else to break.

Almost forgot to mention that I made a brief visit to my clothing closet today. All the large and bulky (men's) thrift shop sweaters I used to wear (late 80s-early 90s) were culled. Boy, does that free up a lot of space!

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina -- after all this work -- I certainly hope it looks good! I've told the girls about the many gardens and the acre of flowers -- so now they expect these beautiful gardens. But its a cut-flower farm -- emphasis on "cut". I hope I meet the expectations.

I laughed when you talked about things breaking. 11 years ago, I broke one of my favorite pitchers. I threw it away yesterday! I kept all the pieces, hoping one day it could be repaired. I think 11 years is past repair time. I even looked up the artist, hoping I could find more of her work -- but no such luck. So I tossed it. I love great ceramic art --- hand thrown with ferns and grasses pressed into the clay.

Thank God the trashman has come -- I might have retrieved it!!!

Good toss on the sweaters -- with all that walking -- you don't need to wear bulky sweaters!!!

Cathy


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

You're right -- it IS easier to pick a category and start dumping. I'm choosing tees and sweatshirts (believe it or not I've kept them for sentimental reasons), and that broken hat-pin holder that's been in a plastic bag for an unknown number of years. And if I can't think of someone to give my Early American Life mags to (back to 1969), they're going out in the next recycle collection in 2 weeks. THAT should clear out the garage!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Cathy - great job on getting rid of the decorative accessories. Sometimes I can't see the point of them. Good luck on being ready far in advance for your reunion!

I found an unused bookshelf less than 3 ft high in the attic to use for our new altar. So I decorated it and I really wanted to paint it, but I'm waiting til my dad comes back so he can help me. I also got rid of some lamps and another dresser.

OT - I realize I'm not the only one with a difficult mother. My cousins' mother disappeared a few days ago. This wouldn't be a big deal since she disappears for weeks at a time anyway. But this time, her clothes and the washer and dryer are gone too. My dad has gone up to help my uncle (his younger brother) and cousins for a few days. I'll try to find out more tomorrow.

~Surfer~


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

. Not every surface has to be covered!! Hard lesson for me to learn.

I never really think about this. But I "decluttered" the living room for real-estate showings, and realize how much BETTER I like the mantel when it doesn't have stuff on it.

I always am *given* stuff, and I think I have to put it out. So I do. And then I have 8 things on the mantel instead of the 3 that I like to have there (and the 3 things that actually matter to me)

Sometimes I can't see the point of them.
This is true for me--esp. w/ that stuff I took off the mantel. I didn't want it. It was just there. If I get too much decorative stuff, there *isn't* any point. You almost can't even really see it for all the visual clutter.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

10 eyeshadows
5 eyeliners
18 lipsticks
lots of magazines and paper trash - gone.

People keep giving me makeup that doesn't match my skin tone and now it's all gone. I am working on fixing up the bathroom closets now.

OT - we got in contact with my cousins' (there are 3 of them and they're all jr. high age) mom. She said, "I don't want the kids but I need a washer and dryer because walking to the laundromat is an inconvenience". I think my uncle and his 3 kids need a washer and dryer more than she does. My dad is still up there helping my uncle.

Surfer


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Surfer, way to go with pitching the extra makeup and mags.

TS, you are a better friend/family member than I. I love that people want to give me a treat, but I have a hard time displaying stuff I don't like. Maybe it's a selfish streak, I don't know. Right now I have a set of very nicely made (and sounding, if you like repetitive clanging!) wind chimes that were given to us last year on our 10th anniversary (aluminum). It was a very thoughtful gift. They are nice looking, but I have always found wind chimes annoying and so does my husband. We have so much traffic going by our house that we are grateful for any moments of peace and quiet. I wish I knew what to do with this gift -- I want to do the right thing so I don't hurt any feelings. I already was called on the carpet for disposing of another friend's gift.

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

My category was "Medicine's". So many had ended up in various cupboards, etc. I gathered them all up (amazing how many duplicates we had!), washed off the sticky ones, got two plastic bins with lids and sorted them all. One bin for the kids stuff and one for adult stuff. Those are now stored at the top of my bathroom cabinet. Vitamins got stored in the small 'coffee' cabinet in the kitchen - which led to me....

cleaning and organizing that cabinet too! It now holds coffee, cocoa, teas, Tang, Koolaid, etc., and coffee cups, sugar & creamer, and a little basket for stuff my husband wants to remember to take to work in the mornings. I stuck some cork board on one inside door and now it's a little message center for hubby and I. Love it!

Plow_in - donate those Early American Life mags to Freecycle :)


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina,
Gee, don't the garden thieves ever hit your neighborhood? (1 way for the wind chimes to disappear...)If I was close to you, I'd come make them disappear for you, I like wind chimes.

Ellie


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

there ya go, Tina! Get Ellie's address and send the wind chimes to her.

(Then if anyone ever asks, they broke. Or something.

Or you say, "they're around here somewhere.....")

Hey, maybe it's time for another swap? Where we send our swap buddy an item that we *know* we should get rid of but just can't, like those wind chimes? The kind of thing that, if your swap buddy was helping you at your house, she'd be your backbone for you? And then the swap buddy can toss it FOR you (or use it, if it turns out to be useful to her).

I gave those stupid penguin candles away to the Goodwill (or whoever). I've gotten pretty ruthless, actually, finally. Bcs I realized that I don't enjoy my home as much when there's stuff in it I don't like.

Though, i still have this enormous plaque someone gave us--long and skinny, w/ some goopy phrase on it ("all because two people fell in love"). It actually matches the paint color nicely, and there are places I could hang it. But I don't like it. I haven't given it away yet. But I'm also worried bcs is absence will be conspicuous, if that couple ever comes to dinner.

It almost makes me want to repaint so I have an excuse not to hang it. Though I can say that we didn't hang it bcs we're trying to get our place ready to sell, and are removing all sorts of personal stuff.

but, I won't hang it. I'll probably give it away the next time I do a Goodwill run.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina -- could you possibly have a neighbor that "hates" windchimes and complained about the noise???? I love a vague excuse.

Talley Sue -- I'm with you. I love the sentiment of certain gifts but I don't want my house cluttered any more! If I can use the stuff in the garden for a season -- that is great. But plastic knicknacks are killing me! I have gotten to the display and toss stage ........ but sometimes, I don't even want to do that.

Cathy


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Cathy, blaming the neighbors is a good excuse! Or, maybe I could say they scared the birds away? We have a whole neighborhood of woodland birds that we feed year round. If I say they broke or were stolen then she might think I'd want to replace them.

Ellie, if you email me with your address, I will send you the wind chimes. My email is on My Page, but in recent months emails sent through Garden Web haven't been reliable. My direct email is my "handle" at Comcast.net

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Cathy - plastic knicknacks are killing me!

I know, right? A gift of plastic means "I care enough to spend $1 for you". I'd rather them give me nothing than junk.

Tina, I've been asked about throwing out gifts, too. But I know that once someone gives me a gift, then it's mine and I can do whatever I want to with it and they need to just deal. But I would say it nicer than that.

I didn't accomplish anything culling-wise today.

~Surfer~


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I'd like to chime in here (he, he) and say thanks to Ellie for helping me cull an item from my basement!

Haven't been working on the house much, but still busy culling flab. No scale to check, but I'm pretty sure I'm now in the ballpark. I go mostly by how my clothes fit anyway, and many of the things that were tight are now comfortable. There are still some slightly snug things, but I would say that within the next couple of weeks I'll be ready to start purging and organizing my clothes. Gulp!

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Exactly, Surfer girl! I would rather have nothing than to get something from the dollar store and be told -- I thought of you when I saw it!!!

I'm in major cleaning mode -- washing walls and ceilings and moldings --painting a bookcase (its mate was done in Feb!!) I did get a blind corner base cabinet (HATE those things) cleaned, organized and set up better. Only one item needed to go...... but now its easier (yea,sure) to use.

In the midst of all this --- I got a call from a tv station and they want to do a segment on the gardens on Wed. Wine....I need wine. Lots of it and now!!! And we have gotten 3" of rain in the last two days and the weeds are all most taller than I am!

To work I go
Cathy


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Maybe we should vow to stop the plastic madness and promise never to gift anything plastic to an adult. It is kind of hard not to give toys (although not mpossible) that aren't plastic.

Tina your flab culling motivated me to get a DVD on walking off the flab. It is suprisely do-able. Keep culling and you'll be thrilled to get in your clothes closet and purge!

Clink take some deep breaths. How exciting to get such great coverage. Those pesky weeds just need to be culled ALL the time. Sorry I don't live closer as I am a great weeder. Hoping o get some outside time today!

To second a post of Tina's earlier, we had 2 couples to dinner last night. Sure I made it more complicated than it needed to be. Still it wasn't hard. Things were easy to find. So it was easy to arrange some fresh flowers or use nice napkins or add a couple of extra ingredients to the salad. It was nice to share our home and to actually use the things that we own!

Have a great weekend. Keep culling!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

tre, congrats on your ease in entertaining last night! And, I'm glad I could help inspire you to walk. But I have to warn you to check for deer ticks if you'll be walking in wooded areas. Cooincidentally, today I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and started a 4-week round of antibiotics. My doctor recommended spraying myself with deet half an hour before my walk and then showering after the walk. The spray is supposed to be effective for two hours.

Clink, your farm seems to be where all the action is! I was telling my husband about your place, as his grandparents lived in Des Moines. We visited his grandmother a few times, but she has since died and he only has a cousin there now. I think some of the descriptions of your farm made him a little homesick!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Planned to do some more culling yesterday, instead I had to bury my elder (13 1/2) Scottie Dog. She lay down for a nap and never woke up. Not something I wanted to "cull".

Maybe today I will have more success...

Ellie


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Oh Scottymam, please accept my condolences on the loss of your faithful companion. We had to make the hard decision to put our 14 yr old Lab to sleep 2 years ago. I am so sorry.

Tina, Lyme Disease! I was going to say unfortunately I have no trees of any significance to shade my walk but now.... Best of luck on your antibiotic course and go invest in lots of DEET.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

scottymam, I'm sorry to hear of your sad news. I have a cairn terrier who's 17 and I worry about him every day. I hope you have many good memories of your time with her.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Ellie, I'm sorry to hear about your little dog. It's always hard to lose a long-time friend. My heart goes out to you.

No culling today. We spent time with friends and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Just realized I've neglected to add some of the topics mentioned to the master list. From this current thread I'll incude:

T-shirts
Books
plastic bags
Cooking mags & recipe clippings
Decorative accessories
Plastic knicknacks
Rags
Vitamins


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Just stopping by since I'll be gone a few days and don't know if I'll have computer access. Slightly off topic but related to my culling of flab. . . . I know the term "irony" is often misused lately, but maybe this anecdote will qualify as an example. (All you word afficionados can tell me its true meaning.) In my quest to reduce flab and fit into a bathing suit just in time for my trip to the beach, I've been walking and walking and working out often during the last month. This is how I acquired Lyme disease. After talking with my doctor today, I've been told that the antibiotics I'm taking will make me sensitive to the sun and prone to burning. I've been advised to cover up and not to go swimming in the ocean. Here I am, as ready as I'll ever be to bare this bod, and no can do! Already working on how to make lemonaide with what I've been handed!

Happy culling, everyone!

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina it stinks that you've worked so hard to acheive a goal and now have run up against this, sorry. On the bright side, culling flab has got to make you feel better. Soon your clothes closet will be calling to you! FUN! Perhaps after the "Big Cull" you can round out the gaps left in your wardrobe?? Hope you are having good weather, no crowds and finding some good shells to admire!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Ellie, I'm sorry about your Scottie. And Tina, I hope you are feeling better. My dad is back and my uncle has full custody so everyone is happy.

I got rid of 13 negatives and 22 duplicate photos. While my family is gone for the weekend, I'm going to get rid of any gladware or lids with no matches. I'm not going to throw them away just yet. And those bags of clothes I filled long ago are still in the garage pending approval, so I'm just going to take them to Goodwill. And one of my coworkers brothers loves pokemon, so I'm giving away all of the toys to him. Since I have no pets, I'm giving away all of our pet supplies to the Humane Society.

~Surfer~


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Surfer, the Humane Society and your coworker's brother will be so happy.
I'm confused as to why you'll wait to find new homes for those containers? Do you thing you'll find the mates?
Getting those bags of clothes out will feel great. Congratulations. We are so fortunate to have multiples of so many things, tshirts, flip flops, dolls, dvds, etc. Sometimes I find that my kids don't even realize that something they once owned has ended up in the cull pile.
I am seeing a small trickle down effect with my DD. This past weekend, without asking, she went thru her clothes and belongings. She gathered quite a nice pile of things to donate! Pretty soon I'm going to be on a first name basis with the workers at Goodwill!!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I tried to throw out a few of our 27 flashlights, but my mom stopped me. So I'm leaving the 28 lids that have no match on the kitchen counter, show them to my dad, then throw them away. I just have to wait until he gets back. (I secretly threw away all of our empty cool whip bowls because I think they're trashy. Hopefully no one will notice.)

~Surfer~


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Thanks everyone for the thoughts on Pipers passing.
We have the grandkids with us this week, so I am going to make a memory and do some culling at the same time. I have bunches of glass stones, marbles, beads, washers, nuts bolts and assorted left overs from projects, also about 1/2 a bag of concrete mix. We are going to take all the left overs, design our patterns out on paper, then mix up the concrete and make stepping stones. They can then take these home and put them outside in the "garden" around their "new" (less than a year) house. Mine will be a memorial stone to Piper.

Ellie


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Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina,
What if you use an Umbrella/Parasol on your walks? I often see ladies here in Tx doing that. Hope you are feeling better.

Surfer,
Glad to hear that things worked out for your uncle.

Ellie


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I threw away a garbage bag of curtains and a dust ruffle. I really have a problem. It was so hard to do it.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Good job, Kathy. I waited until my mom got home because I never throw anything away without my parent's knowledge (except for those cool whip bowls). So out of the 28 lids, my mom decided to keep nine. And my sister says she has more clothes to take to goodwill. I haven't asked my parents about what to do with the flashlights yet so they're still in the garage.

~Surfer~


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I had a lot of fun on vacation, visiting and talking with family. It was interesting to spend the days covered and under an umbrella while on the beach since I'm usually active and out in the sun. I really didn't mind it at all. Actually, between the Lyme and the antibiotics, I wasn't feeling too energetic, so it turned to be the best way to take care of myself.

A friend of mine has agreed to help me review the clothing in my closet, and I think it will help me stay focused and honest. I was going over to visit with her today, so I pulled out four items and took them with me. One item we ruled out without a try on. Another item, although nice, fit poorly and wasn't flattering. I put this aside, too. A third item, a dress, I tried on and we agreed it was a keeper. The final item, another dress, initially was vetoed, but after trying on we determined it only needed a minor alteration in order to be a keeper. This was just a brief cull, but it turned out to be kind of fun. I'm starting to feel ready to dig a little further into my closet.

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina, glad you were able to enjoy the beach. I hope you'l be back up to your normal energy level soon!
Taking things a few items at a time sounds like a great way to get your feet wet. How nice to have someone who is willing to help you and whose judgement you trust. If it were me, I'd have to be very careful to actually get the items tailored!
I have fallen off the culling, organizing and even cleaning wagon. I look forward to reading lots of interesting posts so I might become motivated again!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

tre, they don't call them the lazy, hazy days of summer for nothing. Much of my culling activity has dropped off, too, but I'm trying to trick myself into staying on the wagon by poking around my closet.

Today I convinced myself to try on all of my dresses and skirts, as well as some dress slacks. I used a couple pairs of shoes to give me an idea of how things fit and hang, but I didn't get into coordinating accessories. I've already recognized some poor shopping habits of which I'm guilty, which is a positive thing as far as I'm concerned. I was able to discard six more items and put aside a large group of things to review with my friend. I have a feeling most of those items are leaving too. I guess if I don't love them, I already know the answer. I was surprised to find that most of my clothing fits me again, which is a major cause for celebration! I am going to put aside the remaining things that are a little tight and give myself a bit more time. Anything that doesn't fit by the end of summer is going out.

I think the hardest part will be determining items that will help me get the most out of my existing wardrobe. I know I could use some tops and a few versatile sweaters and cardigans to go with my skirts and slacks. I have to mull over my shoe issues and come to a solution that will make pulling outfits together easier. I have a hard time finding comfortable shoes that look dressy and I put off wearing outfits because they don't seem complete without the right heel or more delicate look. I know I can't have the perfect shoe for every outfit, but there have to be a few practical choices that will give me the most bang for my buck.

Next stop: blouses, shirts, and dressy tees. Then I'll go back and coordinate tops with bottoms, as well as outfits with shoes. Items that don't match up with anything else in the closet or is unlikely to ever find a mate will hit the highway.

I think I'm going to make a cheat sheet of what tops go with which skirts and slacks so by the time fall and winter rolls around I won't have to go through this analysis again. Maybe I'll do shoes, too. It will help me determine the gaps in my wardrobe before I go out shopping. I want to make sure I don't buy any more things aren't useful.

I'm going to go back and read Celticmoon's closet culling thread to get some inspiration and ideas. No sense in reinventing the wheel!

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I put off wearing outfits because they don't seem complete without the right heel or more delicate look.

that's me! I've really expanded my summer wardrobe bcs I found sandals that look both dressy enough and casual enough.

(of course, I had actually NO shoes that fit comfortably and weren't sneakers, for summer)

I need to add a pair of basic flats; I found pewter ones that will go w/ almost anything in my closet, but they were sold out, rats!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

TS, summer is best for me, too, in this respect. I have a few pairs of sandals (wedge and flat) that work well enough for dressier clothes and can also go more casual. I am looking for flats, too, because they will replace the flat sandals once cooler weather hits.

Why is it so hard to find comfortable shoes? Someone once told me to buy fewer but more expensive shoes. She said better made shoes are more comfortable. I do have a pair of Coach shoes that I found over five years ago at TJ Maxx and to this day they are the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. I don't know what they cost full price, but I paid $65 for them. Definitely worth every penny spent because they continue to polish up well, look great with dress slacks and jeans, and I can walk around all day in them without thinking about my feet even though they have at least a 1 1/2" heel. Maybe I should do a major shoe shopping/try on experiment in some high end shoe stores once I determine what type of shoe(s) I need.

I wish all of us shoe-challenged gals could go shopping together!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Ellie -- The wind chimes were dropped off at the post office yesterday afternoon. You should receive them in 5 days. Thanks for helping me cull an unwanted gift! Enjoy!

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina - congrats on even considering such a daunting task as the closet! Have you considered purchasing gel insoles for some less-than-comfortable shoes? That's what I did and it really helped.

My 17 yr old sister, Soleil, got "infected by my organizing bug" and emptied out her closet as well. We listed all the clothes and made a receipt for taxes and dropped them off. It was a lot of work. We have also decided we want to start selling our jewelry and books and stuff online. I'm excited.

I took some time off to think about why I'm so worried about the house catching on fire. When I was 19 I left for my undergrad internship and the apartment I was living in caught on fire. My roommates and I only had enough time to grab a few things and run. But my family has lived in the same house since 2004 and it hasn't caught on fire yet. And my soon-to-be career involves fire safety (I'm learning how to do special effects for movies, like man-made storms and explosions.) So instead of worrying, I'm going to check and make sure the smoke alarms and extinguishers are working and not blocked by anything. And I'm researching different fire safes so we can put important documents and stuff in them. I also pray that the Goddess will protect my family and our home from fire. So I'm trying really hard not to worry.

~Surfer~


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Hey all, just finished reading to catch up. Great work, all. Surfer, you are on a roll. Tina, way to go tackling the closet. And Kathy, the tossing will get easier - first bag IS the hardest.

And group shoe shopping would be very cool. I was too tall too young and only wore flats as a teenager, so I think I missed out on shoe fashion sense. I just don't get it. Sometimes my SIL (who works parttime in an upscale shoe place) tries her best to help me 'get it': "So Jane, these are cute right?" "Uh, no Celtic. Those are just awful." Sigh. Hopeless.

I did end up with one acceptable style. A kinda pointy toe (but not toe squishing) Nickle slide with a little button and a short, maybe 1 1/2 inch, heel. Got em in black and in tan. I keep both pair in my car. One or the other is fine for popping on for work or a meeting or whatever.

Meanwhile..... I got way, way off track on the organizing front due to this hot tub fiasco the last few weeks. Dug up half the yard for concrete slab and walkways - it is STILL muddy out there! Moved gardens and sod around. Dirt and tools everywhere, garage is chaos.
Idiot electrician bored a hole in the side of the tub for the conduit, voiding the tub warranty. And of course the tub leaks. Cripes, big, big problem. No wait, it's the underground sprinkler: Concrete guys severed the sprinkled system - again. After I had done my happy dance after digging/finding/fixing their first cut. Whew. Then, Nooooo! Tub still leaks. Wait, could it please be just the rain puddling cause the slab has a slight bowl...

Suffice to say the tub dealer thinks I am insane. I am getting there.

(I must admit the tub is relaxing though. When it isn't freaking me out.)

Keep on culling, everyone!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Ah Celtic, the joys of a big project!!!
Tina, I love cheat sheets for wardrobes. I use index cards. This could also help you determine where your gaps are. If you keep putting outfits together and saying "a red turtleneck would look great with this" over and over...then you buy the red turtleneck.
Surfer, I'm glad the organizing bug is spreading in your house. I too have found that my DD wanted to organize her closet. HURRAY!
Keep culling while I play in the dirt!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Drat, I just typed a post and then wiped it out! It went something like this . . .

Surfer, thanks for the gel insole recommendation. I'm going to try it.

Celtic, it sounds like you are maintaining your sense of humor and perspective during this series of mishaps. Hang in there, and it will soon be over! I'm still green about that tub.

Tre, you haven't fallen off the wagon. You're focusing on your yard, and how wonderful it must be to enjoy it so. If you run out of dirt, I have lots more you can play in. Ah, the index card . . . What a great idea. I am so doing that!

My recent bloodwork revealed that I have kicked the Lyme. Unfortunately, I still have to complete the final week of antibiotics (ugh). After that I will be my normal peppy self and back to culling at full speed!

Yesterday I culled several t-shirts and a couple pairs of jeans. Added still more clothes to the undecided pile. I think my brain went to mush and I just couldn't make any more choices. I'm going to pause in culling clothes at this point, as we'll be visiting with friends this week and I have to pack. Actually, thanks to Celtic's suggestion for writing down past trips and clothes packed, all I had to do was slightly modify my stuff packed for my last trip to Knoxville and I'm ready to go!

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina enjoy your visit. Glad to hear that you've kicked the Lyme. When you've had a chance to recuperate just think how quickly the clothes culling will go!
Love those gel inserts for heels. The ones I've used are a partial insert...just for the ball of the foot. They help but still don't making wearing heels a breeze.
I think its totally acceptable to become overwhelmed by the decision making process. I think it is a great idea to do a cull of the obvious losers. Then with your friend you can refine your wardrobe and end up with some great pieces. I read recently that we use only 20% of our wardrobe. Does that apply to you?
The notes you took on travel are paying off. Don't forget to make notes on this trip too. Did you wish for a light jacket or and extra pair of shorts..that sort of thing. I can put together some great outfits at home while preparing for a trip. Then I get to my destination, open my suitcase and wonder why did I pack this. Index cards help my feeble brain.
Thanks for the offer of more dirt. I think I have my hands full now. We are only supposed to have one more day in the 70's before it climbs back into the mid 90's!!! Outside, even though my muscles are groaning:)


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Oh tre -- I understand your pain! We are having beautiful weather now --we will hit the 90's on Monday. So hopefully, I can get the weeding done but we have been so very busy and its hard to stay focused.

Fortunately, my weeder is coming today -- she does a nice job --but is a little slow. But she does work -- and finding someone that will weed has been impossible.

Tina -- congrates on the overcoming the Lyme disease. My cousin contracted it in the late 70's - early 80's and was mis-diagnosised for years. She had several knee surgeries before they realized what she had. It has caused problems ever since for her.

I am still getting rid of things -- a few more tees -- a pasta machine -- an old grill. I've decided that culling is pretty complete. Organization and structure is needed in some areas. Like paper..... I'm careful not to accumulate more junk but I ned better organization.

AND my DH shop is a disaster! Can he ever throw out the plastic bag???? When my season slows down -- we will attack that. I can't even find a hammer in it. It is impossible!!

Cath


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina - I'm happy that you're well now.
Ellie - Thank you for your thoughts.

I got rid of all my sewing patterns - I haven't sewn anything in years. I also gave my ice skates to a charity sale. There's no possibility of ice here. Soleil just took a box of books to a used bookstore. I found a store that takes used DVDs. Hopefully theyll take some of mine.

It wasnt until after I put on my bathing suit this morning and I looked in the mirror that I saw there was a large spider on the top half. Now I have begun culling spiders. So far I have culled five. Also, I keep my shoes hanging upside-down in an over-the-door thing but I still have to shake them for spiders and scorpions.

I bought video-editing software to help me with my classes but I couldnt install it, so Im going to have to return it. My uncle built this computer using a pirated version of Windows so a lot of programs dont work. Right now Im saving up to buy my own professionally installed laptop so Im trying very hard not to buy anything unnecessary.

Celtic- Good luck with the mad tub.

~Surfer~


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Threw away assorted bag of junk mail and magazines that I have saved to read. I am trying to fill my garbage can for Mondays pickup each week. In only approx. 10 years I will be done!!!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I am so happy that I helped Tina "cull" the windchimes from her basement, they arrived and are WONDERFUL!!!
My husband even paused his computer game (which he never does) came into the dining room and said, "Wow, those sound pretty where did you get them?" Thanks to Tina!

Ellie


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I have culled 2 big stacks of magazines (between us we get about 15 or so a month) 1 stack will go to the doctors clinic down on the corner, they were very happy last month when I brought in a bunch (there are about 15 doctors in the clinic, as it is associated with the hospital system here)
The cookbook magazines will go with me on Friday night to stitch group, those usually find a home to, and if they don't I can take them to the doctors clinic as well.

A thought for paperback books, the used book stores here will not take paperbacks, however our local library operates a "honor system" area for paperbacks only, you don't have to be a library member to use the books, and are not on a tight schedule as to when they need to be back. You don't even do an official check out, just say something like I've got 2 this time. Got some here when I traveled, as well as taking some to friends in the hospital, as long as you return them when done, your all set. When they get over run they take some that have been there for a while and put them aside, when they have their sales (1 or 2 a year) they make "grab bags" of paperback books, which they sell for a couple of dollars and the cycle starts again.

Also last year the local Christian College had a book drive, one of their outreach ministries adopted all the children in a school (forget which level)_ took donations and EVERY child got at least one book for Christmas!

Done with my ramble now Sorry, my mind needed to be culled of thoughts!

Ellie


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Just returned from vacation and couldn't wait to catch up. Ellie, I'm so glad you like the wind chimes!

I have a few days to take care of paperwork, run lots of errands and clean the house, and then we'll be off again for the weekend. It's our last little splurge of the summer -- part of my goal to share more time and experiences with close friends. I've really been enjoying this so much. I'll soon be back home to do more culling, however, including the clothing closet.

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Okay, I'm back home and took the day to settle back in. This trip I was even more on target when it came to wearing the clothes I packed. I'm amazed. I'll have to write down all the info about the trip, the things I took and wore and keep it with the other packing lists I started saving. As some of you have suggested, the key is to take pieces that all work together. No single-use blouses, etc. I caught myself a couple of times trying to sneak in a "special" item but didn't do it. It was a good thing, too, because I had a couple of accidents (one involving a seagull . . . ) and couldn't get two wearings out of a couple of blouses. I was glad I had other versatile items that worked as substitutes.

One of the things I've done for a while but still rely on heavily is a packing "cheat sheet" for general items so I don't forget to pack anything -- examples include types of clothing, body products, special items for specific trips (beach chairs and towels), phone charger, camera, reading material, etc. I make a copy of the master list and check things off as I gather everything. It's really great if you're packing at the last minute and are totally frazzled!

Time to get back to culling. I'll be looking through my closets and drawers and separating the definite keepers from possible pitches. I'll have to do some trying on again . . . all this vacation time has given me lots of opportunities to eat well and the Lyme got me a little off course with exercising. Got to dig in and pick up where I left off.

What's everyone been working on?

Tre, are you still out in the yard?

Celtic, how's your hot tub and sprinkler system? I'm guessing all mends must be solid and holding at this point.

Surfer, sounds like you are still going strong with pitching a variety of things.

Kathy813, I fight a similar battle weekly with all the junk mail and bills -- glad you were able to begin weeding through. Those catalogs just never stop coming!

Cathy, glad to hear you are close to finishing the culling process. I can't wait to be at that point.

Ellie, you are great at finding new homes for your magazines and paperbacks!

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina --- Just keep working on the clothes. You are really getting there. When I was a very poor ex-college student with my first job -- I had a wonderful salesperson at my favorite store. She forced me to keep a "plan". Everything I bought had to go with what I already had ---- so I had a red suit, did the yellow blouse go with it? It has paid off over the years. Even now -- I can go into GoodWill and find key pieces to go with what I already have.

Next clean-out space for me is the attic or the basement. I can't decide which. The attic is way too hot to work in right now ---- and the basement is "icky!" That's a technical term for 115 y.o. house with outside door and dirt floor in the cellar!

Maybe my customers will keep me very busy with flowers today!!! Avoidance is sometimes a good thing!

Cathy


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Cathy, thank you so much for saying that. You know, I started applying this philosophy to packing, but I havn't gotten that far with my closet. I'm still pulling out obvious and semi-obvious culls, but will need to get more specific like that when the time comes. Actually, I do better when I write things down and have it organized in front of me, so I think this will be an excellent plan for pulling together a wardrobe that is easy to live with. You can guess that wanting to put "special" items in a suitcase when I'm packing is also a shopping issue. I tend to be drawn to patterns or bright colors, but those items are often the least worn and hard to create outfits with. I guess I need to make a plan that includes all of the clothing I currently own. This will help me weed stuff out and give me an idea of things I could use to create more outfits.

By the way, the basement and attic are the two main culling areas left for me, too. Your basement sounds interesting. Mine is much less "wild", given that it has a cement floor, but the house's foundation is mud and fieldstone, so it is by no means airtight. We run a dehumidifier down there almost all summer just to keep the moisture at bay.

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I tend to be drawn to patterns or bright colors, but those items are often the least worn and hard to create outfits with

You need to start buying stuff so that those items DO HAVE something they can go with. Plan some other sorts of garments that can work w/ several of them (black pants, for example, will look great with almost any shirt, etc.)


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

TS, I agree, and it usually is my intention when I purchase a "fun" or "interesting" item. Unfortunately, these purchases are usually at TJ Maxx or some other discount store or thrift shop and once I get the piece home, there's always some reason it doesn't go with what I have. Say, for example, the length of the blouse isn't right, or it's cut too wide for the slacks I thought it would go with. Or, here's a big one, the texture or weight of the material, sometimes even the color, doesn't match anything I own, but I can't seem to buy anything to go with it either. I'm all for having items of clothing with a pattern or bright color, but I've gotten to the point where I know it will be something that's hard to find a mate(s) for. These are the kind of things I want out of my closet. I think part of the trouble is trends come and go and some pieces don't go with others even if the color or fabric is right. However, in recent years I've limited my purchases to styles and cuts that look best on me and this is less of a problem than it used to be. I'm not really a slave to trends, but I do like to update my wardrobe with a few current styles.

Does this make sense? Why isn't there some magic formula for creating a wardrobe? Am I just missing something? I used to dress myself quite fashionably but now seem to have trouble . . . Maybe my expectations are too high or I'm just bored with what's in my closet.

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I, too, have been trying to do wardrobe culling after finally admitting that I am middle-aged, and some things just no longer look right. I can't even explain why, sometimes. I do not have an overly "young" wardrobe since most is professional work clothes. Paradoxically, that may be the problem!

So, even though I can afford now to treat myself to shopping for new things, I'm no longer sure what I am looking for and, I am amazed to realize after years of enjoying shopping for clothes, less tolerant of spending all day trying things on to see what is now "me."

What really frustrates me with women's clothes is that as the above poster noted, you can't just match color and approximate style--you'll put something on and notice, those lapels don't go with those trousers; that jacket is too long/too short/too boxy, etc; the cut of those pants doesn't quite work with the shoes; the gabardine jacket does not really go with the pants fabric; whatever. I even have T-tops/shells that may be the same color, but one "cut" may work with one jacket and another not. Maybe I'm too picky and have had my "eye" over-influenced by fashion nazi's. Of course this is just what they want, and why you can't buy the same style 2 years in a row.

Actually, for years I purchased multiple items in certain brands of clothing just because they tended to stay the same--like hooray for men's clothes that change ever so slowly, if at all. In some of these, you could get the same style (jacket or bottom) in different colors & fabrics, and so coordinate them without having to worry about the cut. That is harder to do now. And, much harder to find something that looks "classic" and forgivingly goes with a lot of other things--there is always some fillip or gew-gaw that makes the item require its own other pieces. Hmmmph.

All of this is a prelude to saying, although I have collected various nice jackets, trousers, skirts, because of lovely colors and fabrics that did seem to "match" other things, I am coming around to the fact that maybe I need only a third of them, because the reason I have so many things is that they really don't all go together style-wise.

I think some of the "dress for success" or similar books for women put too much emphasis on limited color combinations as the key to success. I find that style and cut are more limiting in many ways than color issues. Although I admit that color discipline is key, especially for a travel wardrobe. For that, I can't beat black and khaki/beige. In my middle-aged transition, I really look better now in non-black for tops and jackets--browns, olive, etc, and have acqired some nice outfits for work--but guess what? Much harder to color-coordinate just a few pieces for travel unless all the pieces were available in one line. Have you seen how many shades of BROWN there are? And none of them go together. So I will never give up black trousers.

What is most interesting to me, from some recent shopping attempts--and I'd like to know what other "young middle age" gals have experienced--is that I can no longer PREDICT what will look good and what will not--hence the need for ruthless trying-on and closet-culling, and it makes shopping harder. I used to be able to identify more often on the rack what would look terrible or good. Now, I am surprised by items that I never thought I would have worn, but look great, or by an item that I considered a reliable style standby, and it looks like hell.

Call me moving from frumpy to grumpy, but still hopeful.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Wow, frankie, you're having many of the same thoughts about your wardrobe that I am. I will be thinking about these things as I root through my closet.

Here's what I noticed today when trying on my clothes. Over the years I've been a collector of vintage clothing, mostly dresses. I just love a retro look when it's done low key and in a way that makes it feel current. Well, it's one thing when you're young and wear vintage dresses -- it's charming and fun. When you're older and put on vintage dresses, it starts to make you look, um, OLD!!! I just can't judge whether I've reached this point or not. I need to have my girlfriend over to give me an honest opinion. I think I will be so sad if I have to give them up, however, I am willing to do it if I look better and it improves my wardrobe.

On the opposite end, I'm also worried that some of my newer dresses may now look too short on me . . . My husband (who's conservative in this department) says no, but, again, I need a second opinion. I've seen women wearing clothes that are way too young for their age and it scares the heck out of me. I don't want to look like that. I'm fairly sure I'm not terribly guilty of either fashion crime, but I have this nagging doubt. For me, part of being middle-aged is that I've lost my sense of how my body looks in clothes. I know I'm tough on myself, but it's obvious I just don't look 35 any more either.

I haven't been on a major shopping expedition in a long time. I'm not usually a department store shopper -- I just don't know how to deal with so many choices. Once in a while I will go into a smaller store like Ann Taylor or J Crew and buy a couple of pieces. They tend to have things that coordinate easily and often fit me well, so it's much less overwhelming. I think after thoroughly culling and analyzing the pieces I need in my wardrobe, I'm going to have to bite the bullet and spend a good amount of time shopping and checking out lots of places I've avoided. And dealing with those issues of colors, fabrics, cuts, and styles . . .

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina, thanks for the support!

That's what I think, too--I am going to have to be more adventurous about trying some new places and lines of clothing. I've never been a "boutique" shopper but will have to branch out, becauseI live in a small city with few major department stores, but it does have a number of places I've never tried. Also I think "mix and match" is a harder look to pull off as we get older. Most people would consider me thin and think I would have no problems, but things have just...changed!

The reason this is a culling issue for me is that things seem to fit but just don't look QUITE right...so I have trouble taking the plunge and getting rid of an outfit unless I can see that I've got a replacement. Then, because I'm having trouble finding my new "style", I've lost confidence that I can replace something with an upgrade. So I go round in circles.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Clothing today is simply terrifying to me these days. I have found that I look good and feel comfy in more tailored or preppy clothes, like polo shirts and oxford shirts --- or maybe that's just a reaction to all the women's clothing that appears to be designed for prepubescent girls who aspire to become ladies of the evening!

My best bets have been Ann Taylor Loft, Lands End, and a few good thrift stores. That said, I hate to shop and wore my Carhart coat so long that both my mother and my husband offered to buy me a new one!


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Still slowly culling clothing. Yesterday was gym clothes and purses. The remaining purses will get a second review later on.

I've also been working on decorating the master bedroom, and this has forced me to revisit some drawers and closets and weed out a few more things. I was able to hang some artwork, which helped free up additional storage space. I'm finding that the more complete the room becomes, the more willing I am to part with some of the "maybe" stuff I've been saving. I have one small closet that has extra pictures and display items, and my goal is to whittle that down to things I use for special occasions. The trunk of my car is almost ready for another donation run.

Tina


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Creative storage

Forgot to mention that my master bedroom is really small -- room for a king bed, nightstand, and small desk. The nightstand always seems to be cluttered with reading material. I'm considering purchasing a small wall-mounted magazine rack for the bedroom so I can keep current reads nearby and reduce visual clutter. I really like the idea of creating small "storage stations" near points of use. Sometimes it's hard to find things that are decorative, useful and work in a small space, so I'm pleased to find something I like.

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I may just find a parking space yet in my garage!!!

I've been freecycling like a wild woman........ and what I can't give away as is ........ was posted as scrap metal post and got several responses.

So far ... I got rid of old galvanized piping, window weights, old metal fencing, gas grill, tiller, mower deck, water heater, window a/c unit, Christmas wreathes and very cool retro plant stands that aren't my style.

I'm going to re-do an old wainscotted cabinet for the kitchen and do an un-fitted look for the microwave, mixer storage and plastic container storage. It will give me far more storage space than I have.

AND -- I may find a parking space!!!!

Cathy


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Wow, everyone's been doing a great job! My dads and my culling activities have been postponed because most of the mess is in the attic and garage, and it's 110 degrees outside. The garage feels a lot hotter than that. However, I did give away 6 decks of cards, a remote control, books, and some board games. I sold a dvd to a used store, and donated 3 pairs of old eyeglasses. A few years ago, my uncle accidentally sat on my glasses. I wear contacts 99% of the time because if a wave knocks off my glasses, then I'm blind. So as a surprise, my mom took my glasses to be refitted to fit my head. I wore them this morning and I'm pretty stoked they fit.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Been reading but not posting. I'm facing repainting the exterior of the house (booooorrring) and the backyard work is now in the planting phase. And all else has ground to a halt. Holding steady on the closets, books, magazines, kitchen stuff. Recovered from some slippage OK.

The clothing discussion has intrigued me. I'm 54 and nothing in the stores looks right. I have no clue how to dress any more. So in defiance I picked up two long silk patterned wrap skirts (recycled sari s) at a festival. Then took a trip to a college town with a buddy and picked up a couple more. They are pretty and comfortable and interesting. DH likes them (take us back to the 60's and 70's I guess). Goes with my growing out my hair - missed a haircut in May and never looked back. (I do tie it up so I don't look like a total crazy lady)

And I swear people are being nicer to me. I'm going for the aging hippie, earth mother look. Take that, you intimidating mall!

Not sure what do do with my feet when it gets too cold for sandals though...


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RE: RE:Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Oh, forgot to add. I continue to cull rather then hoard. Chopped up old deck benches and have been sending barrels of 4' chunks out each week, surpressing the voice that says, "maybe you could use that old wood for something" with "uh, Celtic, it is rotted!!! Dump it"

And today DH noted the 3 long strings of outdoor Christmas lights, half of each balled and masking taped (the halves that don't light) and said "hey, these are cheap enough to replace..."

They are in the garbage. Had held onto them for years.

See, I would just stuff the masking tape ball part into a bush, see, and drape the functioning part.... well, you know.

I feel lighter already.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I like the aging hippie look! I wish I was taller -- 4'11" is tough when trying on a sari!

I so agree with you guys as far as shopping. I literally have far more luck at the thrift store than I do at the mall. But I am the sweater, jean skirt and jacket type. With boots in the winter -- sandals in the summer.

If I have to "dress" -- I am major trouble. Fortunately, I try to stay away from places like that!

Cathy


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

celticmoon, are you my long lost twin? I like the old hippie look to. In fact, when I was still working at WM one of the men would tell me "your looking good for an old hippie chick" today, and mean it as a sincere compliment! (loved that guy, he could make you feel good on your worst day).

When I go shopping (seldom) I suffer greatly from
"I'm to old to be young, and to young to be old" to quote a character from the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes".I am securely in the "queen headed to crone" phase of life. Been reading a lot of womens issues books of late!

One word of caution when you are culling, be careful that you don't accidentally let something slide into the wrong pile. I had a copper/brass necklace that I had for years, culled my jewels about 2 months ago, went to get the necklace last week and its gone! It was the Goddess with all the arms, and not easy to replace, practically, or the sentiment attached to it.

Ellie


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Yesterday DH and I hauled the last of the books (remember the books?) - 8 boxes - to the second hand book store. All that was left after giving away all I could. Netted all of $17.60. Sigh. In their day all those clinical texts cost us a fortune. Oh well. They have finally made their way from basement to driveway to garage to GONE.

Today I bribed the garbage guys with sodas and a thank you note to haul off the last of the chopped up (rotted) decking. 3 barrels and a couple stacks. At the last minute I added a garbage bag of refrigerator pieces (extra shelves, bins, etc. we will *never* use) I almost sent to Goodwill - what was I thinking? No one would want that. Then dragged the last of the branches and pulled weeds to the "back 40" - really just a wooded strip between us and a small office building.

Progress.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Cathy, you've cleared out a lot of stuff. It's great you could get items taken away as scrap. Your wainscotted cabinet (infrastructure!) will be just right for your farmhouse kitchen.

Surfer, sounds like you're finding items to purge even though it's too hot to work in the garage. And congrats on your new glasses. How thoughtful of your mom to surprise you with them.

Celtic, that is great you've made such progress on your yard. Painting the house will be icing on the cake. You're going to feel like you have a brand new home. Oh, and great going on getting rid of those pieces of wood and the funky Xmas lights.

I can so relate to the urge to revisit the hippie chick attire. I haven't had a haircut since March, and this summer I've definitely been dressing casually and comfortably. I swear I had the exact same thought about people being nicer.

Received the magazine rack I ordered in the mail today and hung it on the wall immediately. Current issues of magazines and books I'm reading are now off the nightstand.

My girlfriend will be helping me go through the remaining clothes in my closet in the next few days. I have to admit I'm a little nervous. The time has finally come!

Oh, one last thing. And it's related to the ongoing clothing issues discussion. As if I need another way to be confused about how I look, I'm in the process of getting eyeglasses. I've had reading glasses for several years, but now I'm going straight to progressive lenses and wearing glasses full time. Yuck! At least I'm pleased with a couple pair I've selected. My husband convinced me to get two so I could have variety (thanks, honey!). So, now I have a new category to add to my personal culling list . . . banged up reading glasses are outta here!

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I've spent the last three days reading all three parts to this thread and become inspired to take charge of my stuff. I still have things in boxes from our move to FL almost 6 years ago. We work about 65 hours a week (oh the joys of owning your own business) and what little time at home is often just playing catch-up on laundry, bills and garden chores. I'd rather spend all my time in the gardens but ya just have to have clean clothes.
I've taken today off and intend to make a dent in the sewing/compuuter room.
Thanks for the ispiration everyone.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Msmarion, glad these threads have inspired you. Let us know how you do. I, too, find everyone's hard work inspiring. It motivates me to keep going.

Today I worked on my clothing closet with my good friend. I tried on all of my dresses, skirts, and jackets. I got rid of 17 items. It was really interesting to have someone objectively evaluate how clothing looks on you. It made me realize how harsh I am on myself! My friend is someone who is particular about how clothing fits, flattering styles, age appropriateness, etc., and it was a positive experience. I got rid of two vintage dresses because they didn't fit or flatter my shape well. I really liked these dresses, too , but I chose to keep others that look much better on me. Two contemporary dresses were nixed because they were a tad short. My friend said I could get away with them, but because I have others that look better I decided to keep just the best ones.

The process has started to feel and sound familiar to other culling tasks I've completed -- my closet has a limited amount of space; I have lots of clothing but certain items are the most flattering; these clothes are in good condition; I enjoy wearing them and do wear them. I keep only the best of everything.

I am glad to have gotten this far, but still have a lot to do. Slacks, tops, and shoes remain, but I already have more room in one closet. I need to start a list of particular items that would help round out my wardrobe, but I'm not going to buy anything until I have completed the entire culling process.

Also started working on removing an applied texture from the walls of one of our bedrooms. Originally thought it was sand-textured paint, but it's a bit thicker than that. I'm using a spackling tool to lift and chip it off. It's a bigger project than anticipated, but I think the results will be better.

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Still plugging along with my clothing closet. Started another donations pile today and put aside 12 items. Definitely making progress but wish I could hurry it up. I just don't seem to have the momentum for this category that I do for household items. I'm also feeling torn in a few directions, so I'm not as focused. Decided I am going to put off any new clothing purchases until I see how the current wardrobe works out.

Still working on the sand-textured paint project I mentioned, but also preparing to complete a decorating project and gathering info to start another. Today I'm packing for another week away, this time visiting family in Florida. I think I can list the items I'll need off the top of my head -- bathing suit, shorts, tank tops, skirts, one nice dress, and sandles. It's going to be so freakin' hot! I'll be returning the day after Labor Day and ready to get a move on all the projects hanging over me.

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina don't forget a hat, sunscreen and deodorant! It's going to be hot this week. What Part of FL will you be visiting?


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Msmarion, we're going to the west coast, St. Petersburg. I have all those important things waiting for me. My problem is, I never can remember what I've left down there to wear! Of course, it's all basic stuff, but it's nice to not have to travel with all the extras. You know what I'm looking foward to? That summer evening swim where there's hardly any difference between the air and water. I think that's heaven! Does it feel a little cooler on the east coast than the west?

Tina


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Yesterday, I started my yearly culling. Besides cleaning out the pantry and fridge, I went through a couple of kitchen cupboards. I took a few items to my box in the garage of kitchen stuff I don't think I need anymore. On a happy note, one of my kids visited me a couple of weeks ago and took quite a few kitchen items.

I have a brand new steamer I had purchased on sale about 4 years ago that I've still not used. It's big so I don't want it on the counter but I'm wondering if that's the reason I don't use it. Out of sight, out of mind sort of thing. Other than that, I use all my appliances that are in the cabinet, although some are rarely used.

I did find a new 12" nonstick frying pan that I had purchased a couple of years ago at a restaurant supply shop. I'd forgotten that I even owned one of these and I was contemplating buying one.

I made my yearly list, broken down by room. Last year, I had broken everything down by item and found homes for everything. Now, I just have to cull more stuff. In the kitchen, I broke it down by each cabinet and drawer and will try to do at least 2 a day. When the kitchen is finished, I think I'll cull my bathroom next. I have drawers full of stuff but honestly use only a few items in them. I must be ruthless...I must be ruthless...

Did anyone catch Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes this week? He said that he enjoys buying kitchen gadgets and has 2 of most of them. At least I'm not alone.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

Tina we have wonderful Atlantic breezes. My cousins that live in Brandon wish they had moved to this coast. We are half way between Miami and Daytona.
I love my evening swim. It's so peaceful and relaxing.
Enjoy your trip!

Marie I love gadgets. I only have one of everything.


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RE: Pt.3 : Contemplate, Collect, Count & Cull a Category

I have finally finished the insides of all my kitchen cabinets, cupboards, pantry and fridge/freezer. I only focused on about 2-3 a day.

I had had 2 junk drawers which ended up being just 1/2 drawer of on-hand office supplies which is now near my computer.

I did have "Why didn't I think of that before" moments. Originally, I had put all mixing bowls in its own lower cupboard. The problem was that there are 2 shelves in there and I'd have to drag everything out in order to get a bowl if it wasn't the one on top. I now have them in another lower cabinet but this one's top shelf only goes from the middle of the cabinet to the back so taller items can fit easily in front of the shelf. I now put the bowls in the front of the shelf and it's easy to see and reach for.

I'm proud of my other moment. I've always had a problem with mail on my island. I've purchased countless containers and ended up putting a tray there. If I put everything away each day, I wouldn't have a problem but I know I'll never do that. Having it all in one spot is an achievement for me and I do always clear it up when it gets to a certain point. Anyways, the junk drawer that I emptied was right below the spot for the mail. So, that's my new place for mail - in the drawer and out of sight.

Next, I plan to do all the papers that are in drawers by my desk. These aren't items for the filing cabinet and most are sorted by what it is except for my papers. I have a habit of keeping notes, mail that doesn't need a response, etc. and it's time to get this part of my life in order.


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