Posts Tagged ‘downsizing’

I get “the bug” this time of year.  Not the flu bug (please), but the urge to get rid of stuff.

Sunshine brings it on and Virginia has had many sun-shiney days this winter

It’s high time to make decisions about what clothes to discard and which to donate!

Over twenty years ago I was a working girl of semi svelt proportions who invested in quality stuff befitting a career girl’s status.

And would you believe those pencil thin skirts and silk blouses are still in a back closet?

They are the favorite clothes that will not button or zip no matter how much I hold in deteriorating abs.

Never mind  the suits and silks of the past are no longer in style and never mind that most of those vintage beauties are ridiculous to wear in the country.

Sensible sneakers and jeans are things to wear here in rural Virginia (with the exception of one or two special occasions where people still turn out in jeans!)

But back to the bug, my warped thinking every Spring is,  “Hang onto this.  You might get down to that size again!”

That skirt was high quality you know.

But there are many other “things” to hang onto.  Shorts, bathing suits, and even underwear have accumulated in plastic bags marked Medium, L, XL, XXL (notice there never was a Small).

It is exhausting work to try all those sizes back on.


I have managed to donate two coats to Good Will, but promptly bought two more – needed someting in beige after all.  Something to wear with jeans.

Best to leave all this decision making until it is really Spring, or maybe a year from next Spring?

I might get down to that size again!


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Random Five Friday (even though it’s Sunday)Hull's Drive-In

At the beginning of the week Bill and I set out to downsize a white elephant piece of furniture.  It held an old television in a bookcase-desk  that stood for 25 years collecting useless items and perhaps a small smattering of dust.  We spent half a day brutally trashing unidentified papers including cancelled checks from 1989 and removing old engineering text books for donations.

The effort left us both sneezing.  Do you think it could have been a bit more than a smattering of dust?  Anyway, the result was a mystifyingly satisfying bare wall awaiting a new t.v. (another surprise birthday gift for Bill)!

Wednesday turned out to be old home week when old friends wandered in from Arizona and Washington State.  They came as another surprise for Bill’s Birthday.  But there is already a post on that.

Around that same time, a neat little console was delivered to hold the new big t.v.  That left nowhere to display all the framed photographs that were on the original white elephant shelving.  Now I am searching for a weathered wood collage frame to accommodate the pictures and to hang on the wall over the new television. One thing does indeed lead to another, requiring hours of internet searching and in-store muddling around.

Thursday evening we went to Hull’s Drive-In.   Hull’s is one of the few remaining, verging-on-extinct operational theaters that were so immensely popular in the 1940’s and 50’s and where you watched a movie from your car.  It’s a fine relic of the past that is now community owned, funded and maintained and if you are anywhere near here during their operational season please plan a visit.  This particular night was “Robin Williams Tribute Night” featuring Hull’s Drive-InJumanji and Good Will Hunting and 30% of the box office proceeds were donated to our county’s Suicide Prevention Program.

After sharing meals and giggles, memories and experiences with teary eyed goodbyes, our friends left yesterday, Saturday, August 23rd, and we have been sleeping off and on ever since.  Perhaps we are dreaming of the old days or maybe it’s just age reacting to emotional swings.  At any rate we are missing all that action and laughter.

And our wish is that you will hurry back old friends.  Hurry back.

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Closet of a Would-Be Minimalist

I’m downsizing!

That means trashing things or giving them away, and I am undertaking this colossal task with grim determination.  The goal is to uncover more shelf and closet space which will lead to a bare, minimalistic lifestyle. I have a recurrent dream where I reside in a serene, organized world devoid of human clutter.  And so, I have begun a waking journey to bring that dream alive.  And even though my family all laugh at the improbability of such a result, minimalism is still my goal.


First I managed to donate a bunch of not-so-flattering apparel to a worthy cause.  So there!  Even though most things were out of date or waste-cinching to the point of asphyxiation, discarding them was still painful.  What if I lost 40 pounds and fit into that skinny mini skirt?   And even though I haven’t worn that sweater in 15 years, it was one of my favorites.  What if it comes back in style?

Sweet success! I gleefully gave bags of clothes away and after three trips in three days to the Good Will box, Ralph (the fellow who helps me unload) is now a best friend.  Yes, it was an agonizing sacrifice but how noble I feel!   And the real bonus is all that extra space!  Look at that bare shelf would you?  This is what life is all about – downsizing toward minimalism!

Then I received a coupon in the mail!  It was for 25% off my entire purchase at a favorite local department store.  Well, I had to check that out didn’t I?  And I came home with some real bargains because there was a big secondary sale on that day too.  Uh Oh!  The empty slots in the closets and drawers are filling up again.  I have to try something else…..


I love baskets.  I suppose you would say I collect them because they are upstairs, downstairs, in cabinets and closets, and in the corners and niches of every room.  You can do so many things with baskets.  Once again, grimly determined, I went at this project with a brutal cut-and-run attitude.  I found new owners for twelve of the baskets, and then, puffed up with pride I thought, “Voila!  Spaces in the corners again!  Wow!  I am definitely a minimalist!”

Then yesterday I stopped at our local Habitat for Humanity thrift store and simply could not resist the perfect basket for holding magazines (only 50 cents!), and another for sorting mail, and there was a  wine basket that would be perfect for summer flower arrangements! I wound up purchasing six new baskets.  Well, I have the room now don’t I? And the total was only $7.50.   Uh Oh!  Available home space is becoming limited.

USE BY 2009 – OUT THE DOOR IN 2012

Two shelves in a kitchen cabinet are dedicated to health giving supplements, vitamins, and other medicinal remedies. Things don’t fall out when you open a door, but there is still  an element of chaotic confusion.  What vitamins are hidden way way back in the dark recesses of those cabinet shelves?   O.K., it’s time to inspect the Use By dates again.  I am pleased to report I discarded at least six bottles of things that are no longer applicable and which might cause instant death upon ingesting.  O.K. – I know where I am now and can say to myself,  “We have enough of that, and that, and everything is up to date.  I will save that in case someone else wants to take it. I’m organized. This is it.  I have created order out of chaos and I am now a minimalist!”

On second thought, I did need  B vitamins – so I ordered two bottles of that.  The multivitamin is also running low, so I might as well get extras of everything now.  We’re o.k. on calcium but the catalog has that on sale, so I’ll get eight bottles of that too.  Really, it’s something I always take so it won’t go to waste.  What if there is a pandemic?  So I’m restocked and guess what?  There is still chaos in those two cabinets.

You can see where this is going.

I’m downsizing.

But I’m upsizing at the same time!

There is less space and order now than when I began the project!  If I juggle some things around and trash some others, my family many not discover I’m failing at the minimalist goal.

Now don’t tell me you are laughing too!

“For the most part, we, who could choose simplicity, choose complication.”
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in Gift From the Sea

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