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stuff

you know what really encourages minimalism? when your sweet neighbor lady dies of cancer, and you see the family spend days going through her stuff and taking out a few carloads of things. then they sigh, realize it's too much, and hire a company to just clean it out, and everything starts going out in dumpsters. they're on the third load of semi-truck sized dumpsters just all going away. this has been our break, negotiating with the truck drivers to back out of our shared driveway when they're idling there waiting for the dumpster to get straightened out enough to put a tarp over it.

some of it is still good stuff. we claimed a jar of marbles, a chiefs license plate, a pair of binoculars and two sets of shelves for our garage.

some of it is still good stuff but we don't need it so like everyone on the street, we've gone numb to the sheer amount going into a landfill this week. wobbly side tables, vases, rugs, throw pillows, framed pictures.

In the midst of this we went to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) thrift store down the street because we were out of wine glasses again, we broke some. Wine glasses that end up at DAV are old, sturdy, and narrow... think slightly shorter champagne glasses with fat stems. They're from the days when wine drinkers drank sparingly because there weren't as many $10 sales on 1.5L yellow tail. We were standing in line and a lady behind us was lamenting that she likes the big fishbowl shaped ones, can't find those for 45 cents at a thrift store, I don't blame her but also just don't feel like buying new.

I see thrift store trips as the best we can do to make up for America. It's a drop in the bucket, it doesn't make up for dumpsters of stuff, but it's something.

I freecycled a toddler bed and today we're going to clear off a whole table to freecycle it too, with the four chairs it comes with. Sometimes I thought I might like it but I just realized that someday, I will be like my neighbor, we all will, we're all mortal, and our stuff can't be organized, someone just wants it out of the house. Everything I like will be in a dumpster. That's the end destination. If I can take the time now to find it a home where it'll be used, I am doing my family a favor. And I'm preventing someone else from buying a new thing from a factory that it cranking out more stuff, all bound for dumpsters. I'll turn into a minimalist in a heartbeat, easy, and never look back.

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
becomingkate
Jan. 4th, 2017 06:21 pm (UTC)
I actually prefer the small wine glasses like that because it helps me drink less. I finally got some cheap plastic champagne glasses because I was sick of drinking sparkling wine out of my giant wine glasses. ("What do you mean I drank the whole bottle? I only had 2 glasses!")
sandokai
Jan. 4th, 2017 08:06 pm (UTC)
OH if it's decent stuff, they should hire an estate sale person to manage it.... The person keeps a huge percentage, but it's better than throwing it in a dumpster and they ould have gotten some money out of it.
lantairvlea
Jan. 5th, 2017 03:34 pm (UTC)
Plus those dumpsters cost money too! Better to make a little bit than be shelling out hundreds if not thousands of dollars just to have it tossed.
secret_woman
Jan. 4th, 2017 09:34 pm (UTC)
I love thrift stores and yard sales! Of course some things I have to have new like mattresses and such. But dishes, tv's, wooden furniture and things like that...you can potentially save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on that stuff!
(Deleted comment)
aposteriori
Jan. 5th, 2017 03:44 am (UTC)
My mom's house is going to be crazy to go through when she dies. It's not that big a place, but it is stuffed with boxes full of ... who knows what. She really hates to get rid of things.

Growing up poor, it pains me to get rid of things sometimes. I've gotten better. I am not awful at bagging up things and dropping it off at a donation center. Though I'm indiscriminate - some of the stuff I bag up really -should- just be thrown away. I just can't do it, but I fully expect that they do.

But I do still have too many boxes of "sentimental" stuff. Lots of old newspaper clippings, ticket stubs, report cards, papers and artwork from when I was in elementary school, etc. I'm hoping someday I'll scan a lot of this in and just have electronic copies that take up no space. But I always worry that someday I'll regret not having the real thing.
cccerberus
Jan. 5th, 2017 03:45 am (UTC)
I am all for thrift scoring, free cycling, and buying used. Good for the planet. 👍🏿
elsieellis
Jan. 5th, 2017 07:45 am (UTC)
A lot of people are talking about minimalism this year. I'm inspired!

Colin has a whole loft full of stuff and there is no chance I can get him to get rid of any of it. It's okay for now because I don't have to see it and it doesn't affect my living space, but if we move again it will be hell. It was hell getting it all here!

If he still has all that shit when he dies, I'm just going to open the loft to the public for a day!
gilda_elise
Jan. 5th, 2017 11:57 am (UTC)
I like the feel of clearing out yet another space, getting rid of yet something else that I no longer need. If I ever did. It's slow going, having started a couple of years ago, but I'm making progress. Like you, I don't want to leave a total mess for someone else to have to clean out. And, really, I'd like to downsize to a smaller house. The older I get, the harder it is to keep this one up.
slemslempike
Jan. 5th, 2017 02:31 pm (UTC)
My parents were inspired to declutter after having cleared out my grandmother's house - we didn't realise it was as bad as it had gotten, thigh-high papers in some of the rooms.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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