Tuesday, August 30, 2011


We have a lot of stuff.
We have a small house.
And we try to cram our lot of stuff in that small house and it makes everything more difficult. It makes less room in the small house, and less stuff actually accessible to us. So therefore... I would say 80% of the STUFF we have we don't use. No good.
I want to get rid of the un-used stuff so we have more room to get to and to use the usable stuff.
This however, is not an easy task. Taking a large amount of time to sort through and decide what we should part with sounds neither appealing nor glamorous... and also really frustrating and mundane, to be truthful.
So in the mean time, I have a new method to deal with it. It's my one for one method. It won't truthfully help to cut down on the amount of stuff we have. It will help control the accumulation of more stuff ON TOP OF the stuff we already have. It's pretty simple and straightforward and it goes like this:
For every new item we bring into our home, we must get rid of something.
This is easy as pie when you are replacing consumable or worn out/broken objects. A few examples:
  • Z got new running shoes, threw out the old muddy garden shoes. (his old running shoes are the new mud shoes... but we have the same number of shoes in the house to fulfilling the same purpose.)
  • Z got new undershirts, because his old ones were dingy and hole-y. Old undershirts were discarded. (actually, they were used as rags for staining and glazing furniture, then discarded. Lest you think I would toss something useful.)
It's a bit harder when you aren't replacing something, but here are some examples:
  • Z bought several new books and video games with birthday money, but sorted out about 30 books from a bookshelf that he took to 1/2 price books. (bonus-- sold them and got about $50 out of the deal)
  • I got a new serger for my B-day (Eeks! sooooo excited) and I am getting rid of the carpet cleaning machine that (sadly) no longer works (but we kept around hoping it might some day).
  • I am thinking of spending some birthday $$ on a food processor... which will eliminate a salad shooter (yup, i actually have 2 of these-- straight from the 90's with all the attachments in perfect working condition. Wait-- why do I have two???) and immersion blender attachments from my kitchen cabinets. (do I get a bonus points for getting rid of multiple items???)
I know, it's technically not cutting down on the amount of STUFF in our house. But the new rule is a step in the right direction. Z seems okay with it too. Probably because thinking one thing at a time is a lot better option (for both of us) than thinking... you need to clean out the basement.
My hope is that it will create a sort of equilibrium in our house, teach us to use and value the things that we have, and keep you from seeing us on an episode of hoarders in a few years. :)
Soooooo... would anyone like a salad shooter???


ztoamom said...

So what goes out when Baby P comes in?

Valerie said...

Zachary. But, Shhhh... we havn't told him yet...
I couldn't make it a day without that man. :)

April said...

You could try taking another step forward and get rid of two things for every one you bring in (like the extra points you earned with the food processor)and then it still wouldn't be overwhelming, but it would atually pare down the excess stuff over time.