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The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Posted by eggplantlady (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 30, 10 at 19:01

This may not be the right forum for this topic, but as we all live in smaller houses (2000 sq ft is small?) I thought it might be appropriate. I am certainly not a hoarder nor materialistic, but I do have lots of stuff that I no longer want or need. The hard part is what to do with it all? I usually give to Goodwill or Salvation Army but they don't want everything, and I hate to add to the landfill. I have piles of magazines (from the past 1-3 years) that I have been saving for the great project ideas, however, it seems that I almost always look to the internet for ideas.

My great discovery is that there are people on Freecycle who actually want my old knitting magazines, gardening magazines, etc. This makes it almost fun to get rid of things; like bestowing a gift! I would love to hear of ways that others manage to 'enlarge' their houses.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Totally agree eggplant lady. I have been on a give it away spree for several years. Some of the larger items I did sell. Like my loom and all that went with my weaving times.I think free cycle is a great idea. There is also a free book magazine shelf/s at our small local library where people can take some magazines in and others take them away.

Many assisted living and rest homes will take older magazines in for their ?? What do I call them prisioners?Guests? Wards?? To the older folks any magazine can be new again. Heck I just came across one in the loft sort out I had saved and will look through again. I see now why I saved it. Pretty pictures of decorated rooms in my colors.LOL

And I do not think 2000 sq ft is small at all. Guess some do. I thought the 1850 sq ft house we had was gigantic. A real pain to clean. AND funny thing is so does the lady that bought it. She is ready to down size. I guess GW does not want to cut off too many from this board.

Glad for your post. The more the merrier.

Chris


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Can someone explain to me if there are or are not laws about recycling in the U.S.? I keep reading posts like this and I'm shocked that there seem to be no programs in place by municipalities that mandate routine recycling (picked up by special trucks with 3 panel sides for dumping paper, metal and glass, as well as yard waste, a different truck though, as is 'regular' garbage). Up here (Canada) we all have small bins inside and info. distributed yearly as to what goes in which bin daily, then it all goes into either green bags for 'wet' (or compostable) stuff and blue for the rest, plus hazardous waste (paint, batteries, other things) have their own scheds and rules. And EVERYone does it - been doing it for 25 yrs.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

I've never lived anyplace where there is mandatory recycling. Our county doesn't have a recycling program at all but we do manage to recycle glass, paper, wood, some plastic and metal sneakily in a neighboring county. I could have recycled the magazines but they still have some usable life, and that's what makes it hard to just send them to the pulp machine. Old habits die hard here; I'm sure we have neighbors that still dump their used oil on their property. Every once in a while I fantasize about moving to Canada!


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

larke, there doesn't seem to be a lot of info in the U.S. about recycling and it drives me nuts. I went to a meeting one time where someone told all the specifics of what can and can't be put in recycling bins. Such as plastic bottles can go in, but they have to be clean and labels taken off, and the lids aren't recyclable. BUT, those little rings that break off the bottom of the lid when you unscrew it are almost impossible to get off.

Cardboard or paper stuff also needs to be clean also.

Anything with food on it thrown into the big bin means that everything in the bin is contaminated and has to be thrown in the landfill.

I bet half the people who recycle leave labels on plastic bottles, or don't clean them out, and even though they think they are helping, they just contaminated a whole bin's worth of stuff.


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I got sidetracked, sorry.

I meant to start that post with a welcome to eggplantlady.

Decluttering has opened up my rooms also. I either take stuff to the thrift store, magazines to meals on wheels, or freecycle it. Something for everyone and it gets useless stuff out of my house.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Hmmm, maybe it depends on where you live? Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, recycling is huge. In our county, homeowners have 3 garbage cans, they tell you what to put in each (yard waste, recyclables, all the rest) but they aren't that particular about lids and labels and rings. They also offer three sizes of "all-other" garbage cans. That's the stuff that ends up in the landfill. The larger the can, the more you pay, so that encourages homeowners to recycle as much as possible to get the best discount on their monthly bill.

As for larger things, you can't leave them out on the curb as the garbage company won't take them. Only a couple times a year do they have special days where they'll pick up big items. Aside from that, it has to fit in the cans or they won't take it.

Oh, and our local landfill also has a thrift store where they sell the "better" things that people discard or bring to the dump. The Cub Scouts does a Christmas tree run each year to pick up and recycle Christmas trees. Lots of things like that go on throughout the year.

At work, we recycle EVERYTHING. They even took away the garbage cans at our desks and replaced them with teeny tiny ones. Food, cardboard, paper, computer disks, toner cartridges, all of it goes into recycling bins at designated areas on the floor.

So it could be a regional thing? You know us California hippies are always trying to do the green thing. LOL


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Haha... keep it up! We haven't worried about labels in decades thank goodness. Of course I left plastic out of my list above, but it certainly goes into the blue bags (or boxes depending where you are). I find it amazing though that there is no proper program in your country (apart from cool places like S.F. of course).


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

We don't have a program in my county at all. I take my stuff to Target where there are bins.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Im not in the US but we have single bin recycling and all the garbage goes through a recycling plant where it gets sorted.

I've just received a recycling guide from my council and they've just passed a law with a list of things you can no longer put in the bin, things like cfl's, paint tins, batteries, bricks, electronic equipment to name a few. They have to be taken to an assortment of collection points now so I'm going to have to set up a recycling area somewhere in my house to store them LOL. One of the things listed on the list of no no's was " Big heavy sharp objects" LOL, I got a laugh out of that one.

Garbage is going to become a huge problem in the future I think now that they have to do something with it instead of just burying it.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Welcome "eggplant", your name intrigues. And yes we have had many discussion on 2,000 being smaller, guess they have to start with a number somewhere. You will find most of us are 1000 to 1500. The key is living well and I believe we all do here. Glad to have you aboard.

I'm in CO and we have recycling everywhere, for just about everything one can think of. Many are setting up shop and are making good money to get rid of the toughest waste products. Which means you pay to do so though. I often wonder if these are some of the electronics that end up overseas, a sad folly that got through when we weren't looking. I did see where a fairly large company that recycles computer parts here got caught doing this. So at least we know the practice is not legal and being watched.

It is not mandatory (law) to recycle here. But we do have laws in place that it is illegal to dump hazardous items/waste, which includes paint. And a lot of advertisement goes into the twice yearly recycle programs where you can take to specific locations. We also have a CO recycle web page listing all the places that take which items. One I really like is a place that repairs elderly houses and also the Indian Pueblo building group.

And I love the Christmas tree, plus yard/tree recycle. You can leave all behind and refill with their mulch produced from this.

Leaving something in front of the house sounds tacky, but add a free sign and it is gone before you look a second time.

I love Chris's idea of taking your mags to a retirement home and perhaps a senior center. I drag mine to the doctors office, it is interesting how many disappear in 3 mos. Now I don't even buy mags, too expensive and half ads. The library gets my business.

Marti....don't get caught!


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

I often wonder if these are some of the electronics that end up overseas, a sad folly that got through when we weren't looking.

I know, isn't that awful!? I'm bothered by the fact that electronics have become so dispensable. It used to be your TV broke, you took it to the TV repair man. Now, you dump it and go buy a new one. Bad in all respects since you've got a loss of all those decent paying trade jobs, we're paying more to replace broken things, then all that hazardous waste ends up in someone's back yard. I would much rather give $200 to a local business owner then send $500 to some mega corporate executive, but we've been left without the choice. I'm completely disgusted by that!


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

"Marti....don't get caught!"

LOL, Target has recycle bins inside the store.


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What?! Does that mean after I build my house in SC, I have to get rid of all my cottage and design magazines?? Noooo! (Clings to the recycling bin as it's being dragged to the curb) NNoooooo!


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

In our county we have recycling paper and cardboard in one bin, plastic, glass and aluminum in another, plus brush also gets picked up once a week, and is churned into mulch and is free to pick up out at the facility. A lot of people do NOT recycle paper or glass and plastic and I don't understand that at all. We have to rinse out containers but that's it.

FlowerLady


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Keep Mobile Beautiful has a Christmas tree recycling project, and then the mulch created is given to whoever gets there first. In Louisiana, they collect the trees and station them to help stop coastal erosion. Cannot say BEACH erosion in LA, because a beach is hard to find there. Mostly muck and mud. And now OIL sludge.

We have household garbage collection every Friday with really large barrels issued by the City, and the special trucks have pincers on them that pick them up and dump into the back, then squeeze it down. Every 2 weeks on Tuesday, which means 26 times a year, we can put out other real TRASH, from bagged leaves to refrigerators to old a/c units, and big city trucks with tongs operated by a guy outside the truck will pick it up. We can put out 9 cu yds of it every two weeks. My DH was amazed at that service, because they have nothing comparable up north. At the rate things grow here, keeping yard debris down is a concern. However, I NEVER put out leaves, because I turn it into compost. Just old tree limbs or fencing and such. Sometimes I put out old furniture, set it aside nicely, because individuals or "pickers" will take it usually within an hour.

We are also collecting drink cans, and trying to do what we can with other potential recyclables.But there is a service in town which charges you to pick those things up, and they are mostly on the high dollar side of town. For the rest of us, we have to take them to the Keep Mobile Beautiful collection site close to town.

I think for us small homers, it is really important to stay on top of the junk normally generated by the modern culture. I now use the cloth grocery totes when I go to the store, even though the clerks look askance at me as a potential shoplifter due to the "bag lady" look. But I do so hate those mountains of plastic bags they hand out so freely.

Did you know that in Ireland if you do not bring your own bag to the grocery, they will SELL you the little plastic ones for about a nickel each? Most people bring their own.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

We don't have any recycling in our area, but we're a small rural area and are really lucky to get someone to pick up the regular trash.

That being said, we do have a county library in the next town (about seven miles away) so we take all of our magazines there. They have a swap area where people can drop off magazines and pick up "new" ones. It's a great place to discard your used magazines and it helps out someone who can't afford to buy new ones...or just can't drive the 30 miles to a larger store with magazines.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Well flgargoyle, I kept mine for a good 3 years or so!


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

"I now use the cloth grocery totes when I go to the store, even though the clerks look askance at me as a potential shoplifter due to the "bag lady" look. ">

I do too, and people used to look at me like that, and now I see people look at me and then they say "Oh, I forgot my bags". lol


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Oops. didn't end my code right

That last sentence shouldn't be in italics.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

I now use the cloth grocery totes when I go to the store, even though the clerks look askance at me as a potential shoplifter due to the "bag lady" look.

Wow, it's so interesting how different things are in different parts of the country. SF is talking about a complete ban on plastic grocery bags. Glad I live north of there because I use them to give out extra veggies from my garden!


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

I also re-use plastic bags for various things at home, donate them to the Sr. Center for day old bread distribution, and to the library for multiple book checkouts. They are lightweight for taking up space/cushioning when mailing a package. A relative mails packages with styrofoam pieces - drives me crazy!!


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Wanttoretire sez: " A relative mails packages with styrofoam pieces - drives me crazy!!"

Oh man, I agree with that. The peanuts found in shipping boxes are hard to deal with. Some are compostable/organic but others are not. I cannot tell the difference. I do use them in my flower pots, the huge ones, to reduce the weight a bit in case I need to move things around....and I'm always doing that.

But when I unpack a box with peanuts in it, oh my goodness alive, they stick to me like a magnet to iron. I am such a magnetic person, always have static charges, cannot wear a wrist watch, such as that. I don't know if this is a problem common to everyone or not. But I dread trying to get those peanuts into a bag so they can be taken to the UPS store next to Lowes. I give that store LOTS of my packaging dunnage.

And a little off topic here, but about packaging and UPS. My UPS delivery guy is so good. He comes here so often we've gotten acquainted. (Also the Fedex girl). And he is convinced that we are rebuilding this house, based on the size and number of deliveries he makes. We joke about it.
But when the bath is done, I plan to invite him to take a quick spin around the master suite. He's brought every item except the tub--which was delivered on a pallet by freight.
I could not have done it without the delivery services. With nothing broken or damaged either.

My latest order is the Kohler bathroom mirror, which I hope does not break....oh woe is me seven years of bad luck could be the same as the rest of my life!

But also as we bring things IN, there are things going OUT. Somehow it does balance, eventually. Right now, too much clutter until I can use that new closet. Which I must figure out the rod/shelf placement so they can put "blocking" inside the walls before the wallboard and beadboard go up.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

"The peanuts found in shipping boxes are hard to deal with. Some are compostable/organic but others are not. I cannot tell the difference."

ML here's a little trick I used to use before I could tell what the compostable ones looked like. I'd take one and put it under a tap. If it starts dissolving then it's the compostable ones and you can just toss them in the compost or bury in the garden etc. They just about melt into nothing when they get wet


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RE: biodegradable peanuts

I just thought I'd mention something else about the compostable peanuts. I never save them anymore for a couple of reasons, they can go mouldy if they get damp and I found they're quite attractive to cockroaches too so I won't keep them in the house. As soon as a package arrives with them, the organic peanuts go straight in the compost bin.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Hi, eggplantlady, my house is approaching 2000sf, but started out as a 900sf (m/l) foursquare. The house has been enlarged several times, but our rooms are still small, with low ceilings, and retain that 'cottage' feel. This is the largest home we've lived in since our marriage, so I think of myself as a 'smaller homes' type.

LOL, moccasin, I picked up on your 'magnetic' personality right away! We keep our trash in a large metal can--when I toss the 'peanuts' that I don't re-use, I have to remember to tie them up in a (re-used) plastic bag. If I don't, the action of pulling the top off the can causes a peanut explosion.

We live in the country--have trash pick-up, but no recycling program. I'm one of the most dedicated re-users, though. When we were doing construction, I saved all the little pieces of metal, used nails, wires, etc. and put them in a box labeled 'scrap metal'. I left that out with the trash, and had the satisfaction of seeing the trash man look at the box, then take it to the cab of the truck. I'm sure it was recycled.

Don't want to hijack the thread, but living in the country, I have to say that I hate LITTER! Why can't people recycle, or at least keep their trash in their cars until they get home? Do they want me throwing my trash out on their streets?! Or do they even care?


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

The U. S. isn't totally bereft of recycling rules. < s > When we lived outside Philadelphia the garbage pickup company gave everyone bins and they were expected to be used. Here in eastern North Carolina there are no rules, although many people do recycle voluntarily. I agree with you that it should be mandatory...everywhere!


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

We've had recycling here for decades.

I've never used freecycle, but it sounds like a good idea. When I lived in town, I'd just put stuff that I didn't want anymore out by the sidewalk with a "free" sign on it, and it'd all be gone in a flash.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

The recycle here is all voluntary too. We do what we can to not add to the land fill. Compost and recycle even though we have to haul it 20 miles to do so. We are going that way any way so we take what we have when there is a bag or box full.Some has to go to land fill as there is just no one around to take it in recycle.

Chris


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Larke, I got this from an EPA recycling statistics update:

"From 1990 to 2005, the amount of MSW (municipal solid waste) going to U.S. landfills has decreased by 9 million tons and continues to decrease each year."


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Oldgardener, thank you so much for that statistic. I often feel that we are losing this battle.

My next corporate battle will be with the warehouse club that I use. Often the triple pack of say, crackers, is actually 3 boxes of crackers placed in yet another, larger box. So, now I've got 1 large and 3 smaller boxes to recycle! Where is the sense in that kind of packaging?

Happy also to hear that so many members of this forum are recyclers and reusers. Maybe there are more of us than I thought.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

oldgardener: "When I lived in town, I'd just put stuff that I didn't want anymore out by the sidewalk with a "free" sign on it, and it'd all be gone in a flash."

Dh had a customer who cleaned out his warehouse and had a couple of pallets of leftover paint, 5 gal buckets that had all been opened and used but not enough to dry out and toss. So he put them in the alley behind his downtown shop with a FREE sign over the pallets. Next morning, all the paint was still there. So that night before they left, he changed the sign to $5 per bucket, and the next morning, it was all gone. lol


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

OH The paint deal. When they put in our house and all the touch up cracks and re-painting they left behind gallons of paint.It was just flat paint and I am not a fan of flat paint. I was not going to spend time using it. We took it down to the WICAP store and gave it to them. They help families in need. Some one with no money would be thrilled with new paint to make a place look better. I think there were a couple of 2 gallon buckets and several one gallon and quarts. They were happy to get it and I was happy to get it out of our house.I kept a quart for touch up until I can get to doing the paint over.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Back in the 1990s, Mobile had a recycling project that was wonderful. Actually, it was a waste materials sorting and reclaiming facility, where stuff was gradually or methodically separated and it was paying for itself.

However, it was a demonstration kind of project, and it had to be approved by the city council, and eventually it was cancelled. With as much money as can be made from reclaiming metal, glass, paperboard, it would have been a great municipal plus....a department that was paying for itself.

I'm not actually doing everything that I can to recycle, because it is so (a) inconvenient, (b) space consuming, (c)time consuming. B and C are part of A. Where do you keep the piles of stuff without attracting CRITTERS? Down here, it rains so much, plants grow so quickly, that a clean collection soon becomes awash in water or leaves. Then you have to take the collected items somewhere, and that means only one place in town....except there is a private facility that will buy your aluminum drink cans so you can take them there. But sorted and washed glass, clean paperboard/boxes, styrofoam/plastics can go to the Keep Mobile Beautiful collection facility sort of downtown.

So I mostly give the cans to the friend who does our yard work, and he sells them. My blue wine bottles go to another friend who is edging her flower beds with them (tops buried in the ground. I now make it a point to buy the Schmittsonne Riesling because it tastes best AND comes in blue glass bottles.

There is a service which mostly serves the upscale side of town, and you pay them to come get your recycled goods. It is not a municipal service, like garbage collection and trash collection. But of course, we can put most anything in the trash (9 cubic yards every two weeks) EXCEPT for hazardous waste.

Hazardous waste includes things like paint cans with some paint still in them, TV sets, batteries, cell phones. Don't know about florescent light bulbs, but they contain mercury. While they save power for you, they also pollute with mercury. It is not always simple to be a friend of the Earth.

With our discussions on this forum, I am becoming more aware of recycling as a need, and sensitized to ways I can do better. Keeping clutter at a minimum means I MUST pay closer attention to what happens to my discards.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

This is so true. We just started a major renovation on our 1,300-sq. foot cottage-style home, requiring us to completely move out of the upstairs. We've only been here for eight years, but it was astonishing to me how much extraneous stuff was up there. I had a huge armoire and when I was done throwing out the gross stuff and donating the OK stuff, I was left with one medium-sized plastic bin of stuff I was actually keeping.

Although this reno has only been going on for a week (out of an expected two months) and I'm totally sick of it already, one major benefit has been being forced to clean stuff out. Things really have to be used and be special to stick around in a house this small but sometimes you don't do that kind of purging unless you actually have to carry the stuff down to the basement for storage!

As for the recycling question, we lived in New Zealand for a bit and I thought the way they handled garbage made so much sense. You had to buy stickers or special garbage bags at the store for actual garbage, and it wasn't cheap (I want to say about $2.50 Kiwi). Recycling was free. This really encouraged people to limit their garbage and be judicious about recycling and at the same time the people who create more garbage pay more (as opposed to the U.S. where, usually, tax dollars pay for a garbage/recycling program and you can put as much as you want by the curb). I'd love to see something like that happen here.


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

Wi-sailorgirl, that is a different philosophy you present. It has a lot of merit, and could be the wave of the future. In the small New England town where my DH has a house, they are approaching the issue in a new way too. But if there is any furniture/wood/construction debris, it must be picked up by a private service. No municipal service for it. They do now have a limit on the real "garbage" stuff, and then the special labels for recycling sorted in some fashion. I'll have to read up on it, because this is a change from the last time I was there.

But right now, it is not the TRASH I'm having problems with, it is the stuff I've kept and cannot find now that I need it. I'm having a series of SENIOR MOMENTS that are driving me nuts. Usually I can sit down and meditate on where I saw it last, and then follow its trail logically. But with the last year of construction and everything in totes sitting around the back bedroom, or stashed in some out-of-the-way spot, there is no trail in the dust.

Like, where did I put the drapery tie-backs I was waiting to install after I hemmed all the drapery stuff in the front bedroom? They are with the extra brackets I was keeping until DH added crown molding to the master/back bedroom. And my tiny smart-drives which hold 8gig of photos for my digital picture frame. Total mystery. It had all the photos from our vacations on them. And my yardage of green awning-stripe fabric which I wanted to give to someone before it dry rots. And all the special FEET which go with my sewing machine, the Viking Designer One....they are quite expensive and I need them now. But what did I do with them?

You know, it pays to keep future retrieval in mind when you are rearranging anything. Heaven forbid that I should accidentally throw away any of those items. Disaster!!!


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RE: The More I Get Rid Of, the Larger My House!

I love Freecycle! I'm still in the learning phase of "getting rid of", so knowing that somebody else can use it helps me to let go. Maybe some day I'll get better about throwing stuff in the trash as well. Also, TalleySue's mantra about "sunk costs" has helped me to let go of stuff I paid a lot for but just can't use. My time and energy is usually worth more than whatever I could sell it for.

For recycling bigger items, I live on a busy street in a not so affluent area, so a big free sign and out to the curb it goes. After seeing some odd items go away in less than an hour, DH no longer says "who's gonna want that thing?!"

For recycling, I'm fortunate. We have curbside pick-up, free. Greenwaste too. It's the trash we pay for. Bigger barrel = higher monthly fee. I'm also in that hippie land of CA.


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