031: Unstuffing the office, part 1

January 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Let me introduce you to our home office, AKA storage room #2. Over the past, oh, who knows how long, we’ve let the clutter build up to the point that, as of last Saturday morning, there were no clear horizontal surfaces to be seen (other than some parts of the floor). It’s not much of an office if there’s no useable work space in it.

SO, I cajoled Paul into helping me do some unstuffing. Here’s what we cleared out of the office this weekend:

  • 50 dead pens (from the office that closed almost 6 years ago)
  • 20 colored pencils (Does anyone want some slightly used red, blue and green pencils? Otherwise, I’ll take them to my office.)
  • 50 hanging file folders (we still have at least that many in our three file cabinets)
  • 2 large bags of paper to be recycled
  • 1 bankers box of papers to be shredded
  • 3 cardboard boxes
  • 4-pack of cardboard magazine holders
  • pack of print-your-own business cards
  • keyboard tray
  • plastic paper organizer (ha! as if those work!)
  • 3 three-ring binders
  • Dayrunner organizer
  • 2 small notebooks

We also started a box of e-waste for recycling, but I’m not going to count what’s in that until it’s full.

At the end of the weekend, here’s how our office looked:

Look! There are a few bits of clear horizontal surface (and not just on the floor). There’s still a lot to be done, but at least someone can use one of the desks if they’re so inclined.

And the office is lighter by 136 items.


020: Wedding presents

January 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

In May, Paul and I will celebrate our fourteenth wedding anniversary. Fourteen years is a long time to keep stuff that neither of us likes, stuff that we never use. But when the stuff in question is wedding presents, their pure sentimental value can be enough to justify keeping them. It has been up until now. However, sentiment doesn’t figure into the William Morris rule that I’m attempting to follow during this unstuffing process: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

These wedding presents failed the useful/beautiful test:

  • 2 pewter goblets (from my Morris dance team)
  • silverplate bread basket, three-section glass relish dish and holder and 2 glass candlesticks (from Paul’s aunt)
  • Arthur Court aluminum bread bowl (the only one of these items whose giver I don’t remember… we’d keep it, but we have a similar Nambé bowl that we like better)
  • 4 Limoges dessert plates (from friends who are antiques dealers)
  • Mexican aluminum bunny covered bowl and tray (from one of my mother’s best friends*)
  • 4 Arther Court bunny spreaders (from an ex-boyfriend and his wife**)

That means these things are outta here… as soon as I figure out what to do with them. While I’ve happily dropped off stuff from the past two weeks of decluttering at the big blue truck that parks a few blocks from our place on weekends, I’m somehow reluctant to donate these items as if they were just the usual stuff we’ve aquired. I think that’s the sentimentality talking.

* I am NOT a bunnyware person. I will not speak ill of anyone who likes such things, but I am not fond of small animals on my serving pieces. (No, not even cats or chickens.) My mother tried to explain this to the friend of hers who gave us the bunny bowl and tray, but she was not dissuaded. We have used the bowl (sans bunny lid) and tray once… and that’s more than enough.

**The bunny spreaders were a gag gift, after Kevin asked which of the wedding gifts we’d received was least to our taste. Such a sense of humor! The lovely Nambé bowl that came with the spreader made it clear that they got it. I expect he’d be surprised to know that we’d kept them this long.

014: Unstuffing the dining room

January 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Buried under all that stuff is a dining room, a room in which we have, in the past, shared some wonderful meals… but not recently. I’m ready for that to change, so today I took a first pass at clearing out the space.

Some of the stuff cluttering up this room was canning equipment and supplies that just needed to be moved to their proper places in the kitchen or the basement. However, much of the stuff was ripe for unstuffing.

On their way to someone else’s house (51):

  • 5 vases
  • 2 mugs
  • 2 coasters
  • 2 trivets
  • 5 Chinese soup spoons
  • 5 Chinese condiment dishes
  • 23 small toys and decorative objects
  • bathroom scales
  • picture frame
  • candleholder
  • small food processor
  • folding travel clock
  • bicycle seat
  • bicycle tire pump

Relocating to my office (26):

  • 25(!) red pencils of various lengths (like the butter paper, spoils of the office that closed)
  • large roll of drawings from my last project

Recycling (22):

  • 16 road maps (including the AAA Texas and Southwestern United States maps that Paul and I used to drive from Houston to the Bay Area when I moved there in 1996)
  • 2 boxes of business cards from a previous workplace
  • 1 grocery bag full of deflated plastic air cushion packing material
  • 3 large cardboard boxes, one filled with packing paper

Trash (16):

  • 15 dead pens
  • 1 piece of molded plastic that neither of us could identify

That’s 115 items leaving our dining room today. (And that’s really not all. I’m saving some for tomorrow.)

013: Nothing

January 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Our housecleaners came today for the first time this year. I spent over an hour last night and this morning tidying in anticipation of their arrival: clearing the kitchen counters, putting away coats and shoes and books, tossing unsorted mail into a drawer, folding laundry, and moving some stuff that doesn’t have a home into a room that our cleaners don’t enter.

One of my hopes for unstuffing the house is that some night in early 2013 I’ll remember that the housecleaners are coming the next day, and I’ll realize that I have nothing to do to get ready for them.

(Nothing is also what I got rid of today. I’ll catch up tomorrow.)

012: Cell phones

January 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

We got iPhones a couple of weeks after the 4S was released, and our old HTC Eris phones are still around… as is my old Nokia flip phone, which I haven’t used in over 2 years. Time to send these on to someone who can use them.  (I’ll try to find the Nokia’s charger before releasing it.)

011: Coffee, tea… and cardboard

January 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Work has been particularly busy this week, so the release of the unwanted is proceeding slowly. Today’s offerings to the world beyond our house: a formerly favorite coffeehead mug, and a cute single cup teapot, cup and plate that I’m not sure I’ve ever used.

Oh, and I flattened and recycled a dozen cardboard boxes from the December online shopping spree.

That is all.

010: Santas

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have nothing against Santa Claus. In fact, I’m rather fond of the old elf, in some of his incarnations. However, these four jolly guys (there’s a small one on the tree) don’t appeal to me. I’m sure someone will enjoy them… maybe you?

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