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junk diet

June 5, 2009

Our house is big… which means when we’re not careful we acquire a bunch of junk.  To get an idea of just how much I cart around imagine these two scenarios…

1.  Moving into my first place (that wasn’t res) after university, my folks and my youngest sister met me in my new location.  The three of them and all my belongings fit in their van.

I lived in the new location for just shy of a year and added a couch, kitchen, a sewing machine (and the resulting fabric stash) and what must have been a lot of clothes.  I had finished school with 3 pairs of pants, a few shorts, and enough shirts, socks and underwear to be able to put laundry off for 3 weeks at a time.  I can’t even recall what clothes I acquired but it was obvious there were a lot of them and other miscellaneous items because I could barely fit all of it in or on the van and in my car with room for my dad and I to drive home in.  I even had to leave some things behind.  There’s no way a couch was responsible for all the space on its own, that’s for sure!

2.  Moving to Alberta I didn’t even have enough stuff to fill half of a small moving truck.  I moved with another person who hadn’t spent any time packing efficiently so she easily consumed the rest of the space.  Nonetheless, when I got into my apartment it was full.  I didn’t add that much to my collection in the next year but when I bought my first town house I was amazed that there wasn’t much room for new stuff their either. Yes!

Well in the years since, Kevin and I have combined households and moved into a bigger house where we now find ourselves with a lot of stuff.  Kevin’s sisters provided us with an excellent opportunity to get rid of some duplicates and because we use one of the closets upstairs for hiking gear, clothes have been leaving the house too.   We would love to get rid of more furniture but we’re afraid of leaving the house looking empty when it’s time to sell.  Never mind that we have 4 tables in the house and only enough chairs for one of them.  (Except for the kitchen table the rest are for sewing, computing or stacking up junk).

While the excess furniture takes up the most room, our dreams of living in a tiny house have got me worried when it comes to the kitchen.  Most of what we have is nice and it’s well used.  We’ve got more than enough dishes for a full load in the washer but my pottery collection isn’t helping.  We’ve also acquired a number of mixing bowls of late but now that we have them we find we use them too!  We have managed to get rid of some pots and appliances but if we want to live in sub 1000 sq ft we’ve got some work to go.

So lets see.  In the next few months we’ll be getting rid of:

– a leather living room set

– a gigantic tv

– a table, or two, or three

– a coffee table

– old heavy and stinky end tables

– a few lamps

– books (I can only stand to read all but reference books more than once so I should have taken care of this long ago.  They’re almost all second hand anyways)

– bookshelves

– clothes

– pie plates

– pasta machine

– glasses

– mugs

– bowls

– empty plant pots

– snow removal equipment

And I’m sure the list will continue to grow. I’m trying to think of it in hiking terms.  Things have to be multi-purpose or well used, essential single purpose items.  Oh, and they have to be used often enough too!

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One comment

  1. It will feel so good to downsize your space and get rid of unused and things you you don’t need!

    I just posted a few things on Freecycle last night and more today. Ah….



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