So, I decided to take a sabbatical from work, felt like I needed a break from sitting at a desk every day. I made a list of stuff I wanted to get done during the break. One of the big things was that I wanted to build some shelves in the garage so I could empty out the guest room so I could build David an office, which would mean we could have a living room.
In case you are wondering, I seriously LOATHE dusty books. I decided to hang a curtain in front of my bookshelf to try to keep the dust down. I plan to do the same for David's office.
Anyway, one of the big reasons that I tend to hold on to a lot of stuff is cause I feel guilty and wasteful throwing stuff out, so I hold on to it thinking that there has to be a use for it.
So, just in case there are any other pack rats reading this, here is a list of how I got rid of more that half of what was taking up so much space in my house:
- Furniture (a small chest of drawers, a bedside table, and a bed): I listed these on both Facebook Marketplace and the Buy Nothing app and Facebook page. I also listed a desk and a coffee table that will be going to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore this week.
- Packing Material - EVERYTHING I get in the mail, including books and completely unbreakable stuff like cat treats, comes wrapped in !!@#!@ bubble wrap and packing peanuts. I had 3 enormous bags of packing material. I have so far given away one bag to someone from Buy Nothing who is moving, but still have 2 more to give away. Let me know if you are local and are or know an Ebay or Etsy store owner who could use packing material.
- Christmas giftbags, boxes, tissue paper, wrapping paper, etc. I made fabric gift bags years ago and stopped using wrapping paper altogether. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to convince anyone else to do the same, so have been amassing this stuff for years. I gave away many bags/boxes of this to a local woman who still wraps, but looks to reuse. Works for me!
- Jeans - I've been saving jeans for a quilt, to make bags, yada yada. Between David and I, we had probably amassed a good 20-30 pairs. I found this store called Madewell where, when you donate your jeans, they give you a coupon off for their store, but the best part is that they recycle the jeans into insulation for houses. Dropped this off today.
- Clothing - I never throw away clothes, I "might" wear it again some day, I "might" make something out of it, etc etc. I found a great resource called For Days, where you order a bag for $20, they send you the bag, and you send back any old clothes, linens, even fabric scraps. The $20 includes the return postage for a pretty large bag. I ordered 3 and have already filled up 2, and I haven't even started on the garage or storage unit yet. You also get store credit when you return the bag.
- Pens - As you know, I LOVE pens, especially my Sharpies. But how to dispose of them? Remember the old days when you could refill a pen? I looked up refills for ball-point pens recently - they cost more than buying a new pen. So insanely wasteful. But at least there is a place that will recycle pens. In fact, Terracycle will recycle just about anything - for a price. I have a ton of (non-refillable) pens that I hate to just throw out. I am looking for one or more people who would like to go in on a Terracyle pen box with me. If you are an artist or teacher, let me know if you are interested and we can share a box. I just can't justify getting one for just my own pens yet, but will someday. But would be nice if one or more people would like to share a box now.
- Pill Bottles - I've been saving these for years. I have on a few occasions washed, then decorated pill bottles and stuffed them with money for gift-giving occasions, but that gets old pretty quick. I read about this place called Matthew 25 Ministries that will reuse pill bottles for humanitarian aid. I have also heard that the Humane Society also can reuse clean, empty pill bottles. I will be contacting my local Humane Society and animal rehab/shelters first, then will split my collection between the charities that can use them.
- Other random stuff will be going to either Habitat for Humanity, Halo (local cat/dog rescue) or the Humane Society Thrift Store.
Note: I found Madewell, Buy Nothing, and For Days on this great blog post.
Anyway, this is what I was doing when I wasn't working with Scrub jays. I must say that dealing with Scrub Jays was far easier, and even when the deer flies were biting, it was better than cleaning.