Thursday, August 7, 2008

Clutter

I actively collect about 6 different types of things. That, and I tend to be a gadget-o-phile. This lends itself to clutter.

I've posted in the past about clutter, and my best friend and yours, The Shredder. I feel like I am constantly battling papers, old stuff too good to throw out and not good enough to keep, and just stuff, stuff, stuff.

There comes a point when your house is just not going to be clean-upable anymore. It can be clean, but it can't be neat because your stuff has finally exceeded the places that you have to put it. I keep reaching that point, purging, and then reaching that point again. Not good.

Last month, desperate, I did something that I last resorted to when I moved across the country. I put three large boxes in the middle of my living room, and spent four hours filling them with stuff to put on Ebay. And one additional box of stuff to give to the NCJW Goodwill store.

I put in stuff like: frames without glass, unopened crafts stuff I will never use, two Walkmen for cassettes, four how-to books on computer programs that I now know how to use, 4 ugly glass bowls that are too small to be useful, an avocado slicer that pulverizes avocados instead of slicing them, a ceramic Lenox thing that a client gave me that is beyond hideous, a printer I never use because the cartridges cost $75 each, 3 "extra" computer mice, 2 reams of unopened recycled paper that is really crappy quality, a gorgeous blue sweater that the cleaners ruined, an unopened Britney Spears cd that a client who obviously doesn't know me very well gave me, a photo album that a friend gave me as a thank you present, and scores and scores of hostess gifts.

A word about hostess gifts: don't get creative with them. I'm gonna say, 9 times out of 10, I can't use the crap people bring me. Bring bottles of wine and flowers. You can never go wrong with a bottle of wine or flowers. Don't bring me cool things that you bought in Amazing Savings. Ugh.

Other stuff:

Crap that I picked up at trade shows (like a hand mirror that says Microsoft on it) imprinted with company logos, an enormous computer monitor (I only do flatscreen right now), Ipod protectors that didn't fit my Ipod, 8 assorted computer cables, and about four different sets of bath and shower gels.

Another word about the bath and shower gel gifts that people get on sale at Bath and Body Works, and other such stores. Don't give them to me. I don't care that you coordinated blueberry body lotion and blueberry talcum powder with a transparent blue toiletries bag and blue ribbon and that it looks so blueberry pretty. I don't use any of that crap. It sits there in my bathroom closet for a year and then I throw it out, untouched. So really, it's one of the worst gifts ever.

I filled the boxes to the top and then spent another two hours taking pictures and putting everything on Ebay. About 3/4 of it sold. I priced most things very, very low, and most of it got bid up. I brought the rest over to the goodwill store. I recovered $506 in cash from the Ebay sales and will probably get about $150 in a charitable tax deduction from the goodwill donation.

And I feel so de-cluttered. It's nice. It's a relief.

I think I am going to do this once a year. Of course the smart thing to do would be to stop being so consumeristic and not accumulate all this crap to begin with, but what can I do, I'm a gatherer.

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