Same content, new home!

I’m not closing the book on my project, just moving it to a new home!

Please find me, decluttering advice, hoarding stories, and conversation from now on Blogger at I Won’t Be A Hoarder Too.

My new address will be http://www.iwontbeahoardertoo.blogspot.com.

All of the old posts will still be there. Why the change? As I’ve started to declutter I’ve realized that addressing the lingering hoarding issues is something I’d like to focus on more. So the name and theme of the blog had to change just a bit. I’ve also realized that I like blogger better than wordpress, so hopefully it will be a better experience for you too!

I’m still taking Colleen’s 365 Days of Decluttering Challenge. Stop by my new site to catch The Reckoning and the Count of Money Wasted on Useless Stuff.

See you soon!

Joanna

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The Lite Christmas List

http://beytriztha.blogspot.com/2010/12/no-christno-christmas.html

I’ve been reading a lot of minimalism and decluttering blog posts about “just saying no” to Christmas gifts. Give other people donations of time. Have other people give you donations of experiences. Great idea, right? Not in my family.

Most of us who dare trying to downsize and declutter had lives with too much stuff, or still do.

Where exactly did we pick up this bad habit? You guessed it — our families. The very people who will ignore you when you say, “oh, I don’t need anything!” and may think you’re being cheap when you give them an IOU for trip to the local park.

It’s time for a compromise. The best way to end up with crap you don’t want is to tell people that you don’t want anything.The alternative is to find items and experiences that you want and KNOW you will use.

I call it the Lite Christmas List. (This also works for weddings, BTW. We tried it and I think we got half the gifts we would’ve gotten otherwise.) Here’s how you do it:

1. You are going to go to Amazon.com and make a wish list. 

2. You are going to get the Amazon Universal Registry Button and add it to your browser. This button allows you to add items to your amazon wish list or registry from ANY page on the web.

3. Now go hunt the web for experiences, gift cards, and digital items. Here’s what I asked for:

  • Concert tickets. I love Lady Antebellum!
  • A gift card to the restaurant that my coworkers and I go to each month.
  • A few e-books.
  • Charitable donations to Polar Bears International.
  • A gift membership to our CSA.

4. Then, you can go back and add stuff. Consumables and needed items only! Here were my choices:

  • Nut-free chocolates. A rare treat with my peanut allergy.
  • Canning jars. We use loads of these in the summer and fall.
  • A new cell phone wallet. My current one has been so loved that it’s tearing and no repair I make seems to fix it.
  • A keyboard attachment my doctor wants me to get to help my tendonitis.Ah, the joys of being a web developer.

Check out my Amazon Lite Christmas List. Are you making one? Post it below and pass on the ideas!

For the other folks in your life — ASK them what kinds of experiences or consumables they want! Asking people what they want really is the best way to avoid giving stuff they won’t use (even if you’re only giving consumables).

And it is possible to still keep your gifts a surprise! You don’t have to be specific. Causally ask someone what their favorite candy is and make a big gift basket of it. Or find out what sports game they’d love to go to but have never been able to. Gift massages, spa trips, romantic dinners and weekend getaways. You can think of plenty more and I’d love to hear your suggestions for a “lite Christmas!”

Apparently Best Buy isn’t completely evil

Yeah, I had trouble believing that one too.

My husband is still at his mother’s for the holidays and they spent yesterday cleaning out her basement (wait, why is he helping her and not me?! just kidding.) They unearthed a pile of 1980s electronics, including a VCR and some walkmans.

Then he told me they were going to Best Buy. Wait, what? I thought the idea was to get rid of stuff.

Turns out you can recycle electronics at Best Buy (for free, doesn’t matter where you bought the item). Huh. More info is available on Best Buy’s site. Small electronics, big ones too. Even CDs.

I never thought I’d say this, but challenge yourself this holiday to actually go to Best Buy. But only to recycle something! I’d love to see what archaic electronics we can all dig up from our closets.

I guess that’s where this huge box of computer stuff is going to go…along with my collection of Celine Dion CD’s from middle school.

Item 13: A little pencil sharpener

I think the only reason I held on to this little thing was that it reminded me of elementary and middle school.

Then I realized, why in the world would I want to remember middle school?!

It also seemed to break every pencil I would put in it. And my husband had an electric one that worked! Out it goes.

The Reckoning!

Original Cost: None to me. My mom paid for it when I was a kid.

What convinced me to get rid of them: It didn’t work and I owned a spare!

Fate: Recycling bin.

Total $ wasted on junk so far this year: $53.

 

Item 7: Frumpy Jacket

This jacket is about four sizes too large and just makes me feel frumpy.

I had only kept it because I liked the pattern. Really? How good could that pattern have looked if the jacket made me look like I was a 70 year old librarian?

The reckoning:

Cost:    $5. I’m not sure about this since I bought it in high school. But I did get it at a thrift shop.

Fate: In the clothes donation bin in our apartment building.

What convinced me to let it go?  Looking bad just makes me feel bad. I deserve good things!

Total $ wasted on junk so far this year: $53.

Item 5: Broken Umbrella

Probably a good thing I own two others of these:

 

Even the husband with his mechanical engineering degree couldn’t figure out how to fix this one.

 

The reckoning:

Cost:    $0, as it was used up and broken.

Fate:    In the trash, not to be replaced.

What convinced me to let it go?  Tomorrow’s forecast for more rain.

Total $ wasted on junk so far this year: $13. 

 

Item 4: Cake Plate

This one isn’t getting a picture, because it was a wedding gift.

Gifts are often some of the hardest things to part with. But we realized that it was huge, fragile, and honestly, ugly.  How to decide whether to part with a gift? Let’s see:

  • do you love it?
  • do you have room for it?
  • do you have occasion to use it more than once a year?
  • is it unlikely to break before it would get used?
  • is the person who gave it to you likely to end up at your house?

If any of these are no, get rid of it!

And now, the reckoning.

Cost:    $0.

Fate:    freecycle. I made someone else really happy!

What convinced me to let it go?  Well, I answered “NO!” to all five of the questions above. Out it went.

Total $ wasted on junk so far: $13. 

(and in case this person does show up at our door, we’ll just say it got smashed in our last move.)