Author Topic: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2  (Read 1065149 times)

MayDay

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4300 on: November 14, 2020, 12:14:22 PM »
^^

This is why I try to give things away right away rather than hanging on to them just in case... By the time "just in case" arrives the town is often worthless and goes into a landfill.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4301 on: November 14, 2020, 01:58:39 PM »
^^

This is why I try to give things away right away rather than hanging on to them just in case... By the time "just in case" arrives the town is often worthless and goes into a landfill.

This is a big driver in my decluttering quest too. My folks were "keepers" and had huge amounts of stuff stored under and in their house because it was "too good to get rid of" and "just in case" they might need it one day. When they both had died, we had to clear it all out and nearly every item was severely damaged/deteriorated and had to go straight to landfill. Such a waste! So ironic!

NotJen

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4302 on: November 14, 2020, 02:42:28 PM »
You see posts in this thread when someone has not been able to sell something for a long time finally decides to give it to charity. What they really are doing is giving the organisation an expense instead of a gift.

I'll definitely think about this before I donate any unsold items. 

My assumption was that different people might want the items who don't use Marketplace or eBay.  But my goal is to get stuff to the people who want/need it - not to contribute money to an organization through a donation of things.

Sometimes it just takes a while to find a buyer.  Yesterday I sold something that I had listed on eBay 2 years and 2 months ago!  Since I started decluttering with no end-date, I can hang out and wait for that to happen.  Hopefully reducing the amount of trash I have to deal with when I finally move.

PMG

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4303 on: November 14, 2020, 03:20:55 PM »
We have our little old IKEA loveseat disassembled and in our tiny little car to drop at goodwill  I guess weíll reassemble in the parking lot. I was surprised they accept soft furniture but they said yes when I called to check!  I also have a small bag of household odds and ends and a small bag of clothing.

Plina

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4304 on: November 14, 2020, 04:12:05 PM »
You see posts in this thread when someone has not been able to sell something for a long time finally decides to give it to charity. What they really are doing is giving the organisation an expense instead of a gift.

I'll definitely think about this before I donate any unsold items. 

My assumption was that different people might want the items who don't use Marketplace or eBay.  But my goal is to get stuff to the people who want/need it - not to contribute money to an organization through a donation of things.

Sometimes it just takes a while to find a buyer.  Yesterday I sold something that I had listed on eBay 2 years and 2 months ago!  Since I started decluttering with no end-date, I can hang out and wait for that to happen.  Hopefully reducing the amount of trash I have to deal with when I finally move.

It is a nice feeling to be able to donate or sell something that is of use to someone else. As a private seller it is possible to hold on to things a lot longer while waiting for it to be sold. The charity shops can not do that because they have limited amount of space and they have to have a turnover of stuff. To hold on to something like you have been able to do would mean that it takes space from stuff that could be sold and make money to whatever their goal is.

 They have a pretty good idea of what is sellable and what is not. All those stuff that are not sellable in one way or another end up at the landfill or energy recycling.

I am giving to charity shops to not have to deal with the hassle of selling if it is not items of little higher value.

okisok

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4305 on: November 14, 2020, 06:45:00 PM »
SO and I decided to go a different way on some holiday gift items, so I immediately took the ones I'd already purchased back to the store for a refund. I still had my receipt and got full price back. One of the items wasn't with me at the time, so I will still need to make time to take it back. Posting here to make myself accountable.

Got this done. Now I have another bag of items to return that we didn't use for a project. Tried to do it last weekend, but I noped right out after I saw all the people streaming into the store. I'll try again.

Was given a holiday gift early that won't work for me, so I looked up the store where it came from and how much it cost. I have a plan for the gift card I can get for returning it, to replace some clothing items that are wearing out.

AerynLee

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4306 on: November 14, 2020, 07:29:57 PM »
This week we moved into our new house. We got rid of a ton of stuff last time we moved, 5 years ago, and have kept things pretty minimal since then. But as always there's more that can go. Even though our new place is bigger (1800sqft vs 950sqft) I'm being very selective as I unpack trying to decide what we actually want to keep.

Already in the donate bin is ~5 tshirts that are either from events I've done (running/biking) but didn't like the look of, or some I bought 12+ years ago that never fit but that I loved and hoped one day to. Plus two tumblers from we were given from our mortgage company at closing that I know we will never use.

There's a few things in the basement and a lot of stuff in a couple of outbuildings that were left by the previous owners that we'll need to toss. We figure once we get settled in and have a chance to sort through what could be nice to keep (it's a 100 year old house so original doors and flooring are keepers) and what needs tossed and we'll probably have to rent a small dumpster to get rid of it all. Unless someone wants a pink bathtub :)

SunnyDays

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4307 on: November 15, 2020, 10:08:15 AM »
@AerynLee, funny you should mention a pink bathtub.  When I bought my house in 1993, the original blue bathtub and sink from 1971 were still in the bathroom.  In my desire to have neutral ones instead, I exchanged a heavy, iron (?) tub that held the heat like crazy for a flimsy, tin (?) tub that gets cold in 15 minutes.  I so wish I had just had the blue one repainted.  So if I lived near you, I might just take that pink tub off your hands!

AerynLee

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4308 on: November 15, 2020, 02:06:48 PM »
@AerynLee, funny you should mention a pink bathtub.  When I bought my house in 1993, the original blue bathtub and sink from 1971 were still in the bathroom.  In my desire to have neutral ones instead, I exchanged a heavy, iron (?) tub that held the heat like crazy for a flimsy, tin (?) tub that gets cold in 15 minutes.  I so wish I had just had the blue one repainted.  So if I lived near you, I might just take that pink tub off your hands!
Haha, I learned from reading Snacky's journal here that for bath lovers, old cast iron ones are great. I'm not a bath person and get board even before the cheap plastic-y tubs get cool, so I may even rip out the newish bath and replace it with a large walk-in shower (eventually....).

But yeah, if you happen to be in the midwest you're more than welcome to my pink bathtub. And the purple toilet with matching purple laundry sink that are still installed in the basement. And I'm pretty sure there was some other pink fixture in one of the outbuildings :P

MayDay

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4309 on: November 15, 2020, 02:23:33 PM »
@AerynLee, funny you should mention a pink bathtub.  When I bought my house in 1993, the original blue bathtub and sink from 1971 were still in the bathroom.  In my desire to have neutral ones instead, I exchanged a heavy, iron (?) tub that held the heat like crazy for a flimsy, tin (?) tub that gets cold in 15 minutes.  I so wish I had just had the blue one repainted.  So if I lived near you, I might just take that pink tub off your hands!
Haha, I learned from reading Snacky's journal here that for bath lovers, old cast iron ones are great. I'm not a bath person and get board even before the cheap plastic-y tubs get cool, so I may even rip out the newish bath and replace it with a large walk-in shower (eventually....).

But yeah, if you happen to be in the midwest you're more than welcome to my pink bathtub. And the purple toilet with matching purple laundry sink that are still installed in the basement. And I'm pretty sure there was some other pink fixture in one of the outbuildings :P

Definitely post the sink, toilet, and tub on CL..if you can find local vintage groups, people will probably want them!

1. We need a mint green toilet, anyone in Mpls have one?
2. You can't buy a good heavy duty laundry sink anymore, they just don't exist, I'd take a purple one!

SunnyDays

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4310 on: November 15, 2020, 03:06:24 PM »
@AerynLee, funny you should mention a pink bathtub.  When I bought my house in 1993, the original blue bathtub and sink from 1971 were still in the bathroom.  In my desire to have neutral ones instead, I exchanged a heavy, iron (?) tub that held the heat like crazy for a flimsy, tin (?) tub that gets cold in 15 minutes.  I so wish I had just had the blue one repainted.  So if I lived near you, I might just take that pink tub off your hands!
Haha, I learned from reading Snacky's journal here that for bath lovers, old cast iron ones are great. I'm not a bath person and get board even before the cheap plastic-y tubs get cool, so I may even rip out the newish bath and replace it with a large walk-in shower (eventually....).

But yeah, if you happen to be in the midwest you're more than welcome to my pink bathtub. And the purple toilet with matching purple laundry sink that are still installed in the basement. And I'm pretty sure there was some other pink fixture in one of the outbuildings :P

Alas, I am in Canada.

Goldielocks

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4311 on: November 16, 2020, 08:52:05 PM »
I have craigslisted my piano.   Arranged for a truck rental and a couple of helpers to get it out of my home for Friday.   Offering delivery seems to give interest to people, although they have to get it from their driveway into their homes themselves (I just cite Covid but really, less moving I personally do, the better, I am getting too old for that).

We'll see if I can get it gone before my move at the end of Dec.

I need to sell my piano also: I have been putting that off for a while. In my area  costs at least $300AUD to get a piano moved even a short distance, ...so I can imagine offering delivery would help to get it sold and out. Fingers crossed for you.
Piano is GONE!  Happy dance.  I got $350 for it.. It was in good shape but 1976 vintage.

We rented a large commercial style cube van with a lift gate for $150.  We used the van to move heavy furniture to a new condo in the day, and the piano at night.  Without the piano, I would have rented a uHaul with a ramp, which would have been harder to load / unload the heavier furniture, so it was a win.

slackmax

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4312 on: November 17, 2020, 06:06:05 AM »
Way to go !!

oneday

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4313 on: November 17, 2020, 04:00:24 PM »
The Pile Of Doom is gone! 🥳 In its place is today's mail, which will sit for a few days for decontamination.  This will be an easy pile to get through, so I'm happy to declare No Doom Pile even though there is still a stack rather than a clear spot on the counter.

The Pile of Doomô is back. I'm sure none of the mail from Sept 8 is still around, but I just don't process the new stuff as fast as it arrives (postal mail and other sources of paper).  Work on this is resuming: sorting, phone calls and checking things online. It's frustrating that nothing can be tossed yet, but I'm determined to vanquish the Pile of Doom by Nov 30. Posting for accountability.

Sibley

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4314 on: November 17, 2020, 04:24:45 PM »
The Pile Of Doom is gone! 🥳 In its place is today's mail, which will sit for a few days for decontamination.  This will be an easy pile to get through, so I'm happy to declare No Doom Pile even though there is still a stack rather than a clear spot on the counter.

The Pile of Doomô is back. I'm sure none of the mail from Sept 8 is still around, but I just don't process the new stuff as fast as it arrives (postal mail and other sources of paper).  Work on this is resuming: sorting, phone calls and checking things online. It's frustrating that nothing can be tossed yet, but I'm determined to vanquish the Pile of Doom by Nov 30. Posting for accountability.

What is coming in that you can stop from coming in? That would help slow the accumulation. At the same time, can you change up your routine to help deal with at least some of it faster? If you throw all the mail into a pile, yet 2/3 of it is the junk flyers and can be tossed, set the routine to throw out the junk immediately.

PMG

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4315 on: November 17, 2020, 05:28:48 PM »
I dropped a huge box of instant oatmeal packets off at a little food pantry.  They've been hanging around our house for 6 months and we occasionally choke one down. I feel so wasteful getting rid of good food just because we don't like it, but we ought to be giving more back to our community! I might as well at least give this away while it's within date and someone might enjoy it in winter!

I also took some red beets we had in the pantry to a friend who's been talking about craving beets but not finding them in the shops.  Fun to make her day and chat through the window. 

Tonight I'm wrapping my spouses birthday gifts in scrapbook paper I've had for... 15 years? I've kept it because I use little bits each year to make greeting cards, but now I've found a website I like to print cards from, so I think it's time to let the other paper go. Such small successes.

eta: While re-hiding the birthday gifts I pulled out two items I need to return and got them packaged up with mailing labels so I can send them off tomorrow.

« Last Edit: November 17, 2020, 06:21:12 PM by PMG »

okisok

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4316 on: November 17, 2020, 07:29:25 PM »
Way to go on the piano, @Goldielocks! Impressive efficiency with using the rental truck for multiple tasks.

Finally threw out an ailing houseplant and repurposed the glazed pot to hold kitchen utensils. Then I was able to put the two glass containers I had been using for utensils in the donate box. Three items out! (The plant went into the compost--it wasn't ill, but got too cold when my power was out.)

Pulled a pair of pants out of the closet that just don't fit right.

Taking a surplus wax warmer to work since coworker mentioned they wanted one. 

Selling some gifted perfume to a FB Marketplace buyer tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Waffling on putting a couple of decorate items and a large mirror on FB, but they're on the radar.

Contacted a charity that will pick up my old mattress. It's in great shape but it's not right for me. I really hated to throw it in the landfill. They are supposed to pick up on Thursday.

oneday

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4317 on: November 17, 2020, 07:49:15 PM »
The Pile Of Doom is gone! 🥳 In its place is today's mail, which will sit for a few days for decontamination.  This will be an easy pile to get through, so I'm happy to declare No Doom Pile even though there is still a stack rather than a clear spot on the counter.

The Pile of Doomô is back. I'm sure none of the mail from Sept 8 is still around, but I just don't process the new stuff as fast as it arrives (postal mail and other sources of paper).  Work on this is resuming: sorting, phone calls and checking things online. It's frustrating that nothing can be tossed yet, but I'm determined to vanquish the Pile of Doom by Nov 30. Posting for accountability.

What is coming in that you can stop from coming in? That would help slow the accumulation. At the same time, can you change up your routine to help deal with at least some of it faster? If you throw all the mail into a pile, yet 2/3 of it is the junk flyers and can be tossed, set the routine to throw out the junk immediately.

Junk mail is chucked ASAP, thankfully. I am a paper hoarder and give too much significance to anything printed or written on dead tree pulp. In this pile are various "action item" papers:

  • coupons (need to find a time to go to the drug store to use)
  • statement from therapist - needed a phone call, done today
  • various ID documents needed for RealID, but DMV is not making appointments right now
  • various documents needed to renew passport - will get photo after T-day
  • dunno what else


It's all random stuff. Even though I called the therapist, I need to keep the paper because she didn't answer and I couldn't resolve the issue that piece of paper represented.

The problem is I don't want to adult. So the Pile builds until I can't stand the mess.

Sibley

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4318 on: November 18, 2020, 12:38:45 PM »
The Pile Of Doom is gone! 🥳 In its place is today's mail, which will sit for a few days for decontamination.  This will be an easy pile to get through, so I'm happy to declare No Doom Pile even though there is still a stack rather than a clear spot on the counter.

The Pile of Doomô is back. I'm sure none of the mail from Sept 8 is still around, but I just don't process the new stuff as fast as it arrives (postal mail and other sources of paper).  Work on this is resuming: sorting, phone calls and checking things online. It's frustrating that nothing can be tossed yet, but I'm determined to vanquish the Pile of Doom by Nov 30. Posting for accountability.

What is coming in that you can stop from coming in? That would help slow the accumulation. At the same time, can you change up your routine to help deal with at least some of it faster? If you throw all the mail into a pile, yet 2/3 of it is the junk flyers and can be tossed, set the routine to throw out the junk immediately.

Junk mail is chucked ASAP, thankfully. I am a paper hoarder and give too much significance to anything printed or written on dead tree pulp. In this pile are various "action item" papers:

  • coupons (need to find a time to go to the drug store to use)
  • statement from therapist - needed a phone call, done today
  • various ID documents needed for RealID, but DMV is not making appointments right now
  • various documents needed to renew passport - will get photo after T-day
  • dunno what else


It's all random stuff. Even though I called the therapist, I need to keep the paper because she didn't answer and I couldn't resolve the issue that piece of paper represented.

The problem is I don't want to adult. So the Pile builds until I can't stand the mess.

Ah. I understand. There are times I also don't want to adult, luckily mine aren't frequent enough to cause this problem. You might find it helpful to designate 30 minutes to tackle the need-to-adult pile on a weekly basis or whatever. That limits the time spent (though you can certainly extend it once you start), yet also keeps the need-to-adult pile under control.

happy

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4319 on: November 18, 2020, 02:13:10 PM »
As I declutter, I've discovered that I am really bad at putting things away when I'm done with them. All these years I thought it was my kids! Now faced with incontrovertible evidence I also need to adult up.

slackmax

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4320 on: November 18, 2020, 02:22:59 PM »
I'm going to call this decluttering. I combined 2 car trips into one.

I was initially planning to drive to the cable co to pay my monthly bill in person with cash  (save the stamp and check cost. Don't want to use credit card, they charge you $3.00 extra for that!)

I was OK with wasting the gas and mileage since I just wanted to get out of the house anyway. But... after paying the bill, I remembered that Aldi's food store  was close by. Hopped over to Aldi's and scored big on cheap good food, in same car trip. For the Win!     

okisok

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4321 on: November 18, 2020, 09:28:07 PM »
The Pile Of Doom is gone! 🥳 In its place is today's mail, which will sit for a few days for decontamination.  This will be an easy pile to get through, so I'm happy to declare No Doom Pile even though there is still a stack rather than a clear spot on the counter.

The Pile of Doomô is back. I'm sure none of the mail from Sept 8 is still around, but I just don't process the new stuff as fast as it arrives (postal mail and other sources of paper).  Work on this is resuming: sorting, phone calls and checking things online. It's frustrating that nothing can be tossed yet, but I'm determined to vanquish the Pile of Doom by Nov 30. Posting for accountability.

What is coming in that you can stop from coming in? That would help slow the accumulation. At the same time, can you change up your routine to help deal with at least some of it faster? If you throw all the mail into a pile, yet 2/3 of it is the junk flyers and can be tossed, set the routine to throw out the junk immediately.

Junk mail is chucked ASAP, thankfully. I am a paper hoarder and give too much significance to anything printed or written on dead tree pulp. In this pile are various "action item" papers:

  • coupons (need to find a time to go to the drug store to use)
  • statement from therapist - needed a phone call, done today
  • various ID documents needed for RealID, but DMV is not making appointments right now
  • various documents needed to renew passport - will get photo after T-day
  • dunno what else


It's all random stuff. Even though I called the therapist, I need to keep the paper because she didn't answer and I couldn't resolve the issue that piece of paper represented.

The problem is I don't want to adult. So the Pile builds until I can't stand the mess.

Ah. I understand. There are times I also don't want to adult, luckily mine aren't frequent enough to cause this problem. You might find it helpful to designate 30 minutes to tackle the need-to-adult pile on a weekly basis or whatever. That limits the time spent (though you can certainly extend it once you start), yet also keeps the need-to-adult pile under control.

I just discovered the Minimal Mom YouTube channel today. She has a very simple organization system for paper clutter. The thing that stood out to me was the 'Time Will Tell' basket. It's for all those coupons and flyers that you *might* use, but don't have a home. Then once a month you go through and trash/recycle the stuff you didn't use. Might be a solution for the need-to-adult pile until you get the motivation :)

okisok

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4322 on: November 18, 2020, 09:37:37 PM »
Went through the closet AGAIN today and found two more bags of clothes and shoes. If I didn't wear it this summer, out it goes, it's not going back in the tub for next summer. Found a few kitchen items and a dozen hangers that I don't need now that the closet is pared down.

The old mattress is on the porch for donation pickup tomorrow along with a moving blanket they might be able to use for future pickups.

Drove across the metro area to meet up for a FB sale for a higher-dollar item. I mapped out all the errands I needed to do (except the Goodwill drop-off since they were already closed). I made a giant loop that involved returns to Target and a department store and stopping in at Aldi for a little grocery shop and gas at Sam's Club. No back-tracking and no wasted mileage.

I popped into Dollar Tree but they didn't have what I wanted so I popped right back out. Nothing purchased at Target either--just a refund and dropped off the plastic bag recycling. At the department store I returned a gift and was able to get a new clothing item I needed plus some on-sale treats (I didn't want a gift card with like $0.32 hanging out in my wallet, so I was ok with spending $1.29 for *chocolate*. That I will *of course* share and not eat all by myself. Fingers crossed.)

So I netted over $100 and got rid of several items that were piling up to be returned or recycled. Once I drop off the truckload at Goodwill tomorrow afternoon, I should be good!

But I've said that several times upthread and keep finding more stuff :P

oneday

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4323 on: November 18, 2020, 11:00:48 PM »
The Pile Of Doom is gone! 🥳

The Pile of Doomô is back.

The problem is I don't want to adult. So the Pile builds until I can't stand the mess.

Ah. I understand. There are times I also don't want to adult, luckily mine aren't frequent enough to cause this problem. You might find it helpful to designate 30 minutes to tackle the need-to-adult pile on a weekly basis or whatever. That limits the time spent (though you can certainly extend it once you start), yet also keeps the need-to-adult pile under control.

This would be helpful. Maybe even 30 minutes a month? Hmm....


I just discovered the Minimal Mom YouTube channel today. She has a very simple organization system for paper clutter. The thing that stood out to me was the 'Time Will Tell' basket. It's for all those coupons and flyers that you *might* use, but don't have a home. Then once a month you go through and trash/recycle the stuff you didn't use. Might be a solution for the need-to-adult pile until you get the motivation :)

I will keep this in mind as I dig into the pile more. There might be enough to justify a Time Will Tell basket.


@happy ouch, painful discovery! Let's level up out adulting together, along with all out friends on the declutter thread! :)


MayDay

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4324 on: November 19, 2020, 07:55:21 AM »
The Pile Of Doom is gone! 🥳

The Pile of Doomô is back.

The problem is I don't want to adult. So the Pile builds until I can't stand the mess.

Ah. I understand. There are times I also don't want to adult, luckily mine aren't frequent enough to cause this problem. You might find it helpful to designate 30 minutes to tackle the need-to-adult pile on a weekly basis or whatever. That limits the time spent (though you can certainly extend it once you start), yet also keeps the need-to-adult pile under control.

This would be helpful. Maybe even 30 minutes a month? Hmm....


I just discovered the Minimal Mom YouTube channel today. She has a very simple organization system for paper clutter. The thing that stood out to me was the 'Time Will Tell' basket. It's for all those coupons and flyers that you *might* use, but don't have a home. Then once a month you go through and trash/recycle the stuff you didn't use. Might be a solution for the need-to-adult pile until you get the motivation :)

I will keep this in mind as I dig into the pile more. There might be enough to justify a Time Will Tell basket.


@happy ouch, painful discovery! Let's level up out adulting together, along with all out friends on the declutter thread! :)

I have a friend who swears by this system. She previously struggled a lot with paper. I know there are paid options for her whole program but I think all the Sunday basket info is free.

https://organize365.com/the-sunday-basket

SimpleCycle

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4325 on: November 19, 2020, 10:13:03 AM »
I use a slightly adapted version of Freedom Filer for my paper clutter and it works great.  The trick for me is monthly folders - it gives me a place to put "not sure if I need to keep" items along with "keep for a limited time" items, and they get purged when that month comes around again.  I think Freedom Filer recommends two years worth but I only have one year worth and that's enough.  Having a designated place to keep receipts (the monthly folder) has saved my butt a few times.  This article roughly describes it.  https://www.freedomfiler.com/pages/filing-system-university I set it up without buying any of the special products they offer - just regular hanging files and color coded tabs.  It takes about 2 minutes a month to maintain the system.

Freedom Filer only takes care of the reference part of the filing system though - I still have two paper trays on my desk, one for action items and one for unopened mail that I know is important but I haven't taken care of yet.  I love the idea of a designated day to attend to those items, will check out the Sunday Basket idea.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4326 on: November 19, 2020, 02:40:31 PM »
I have a friend who swears by this system. She previously struggled a lot with paper. I know there are paid options for her whole program but I think all the Sunday basket info is free.

https://organize365.com/the-sunday-basket

This system seems useful. I have good systems for archive and permanent papers. It's the action papers that are the struggle. Between Sibley's suggestion and this system, it may be time to schedule a recurring task (probably not Sunday, tho :)


I use a slightly adapted version of Freedom Filer for my paper clutter and it works great.  The trick for me is monthly folders - it gives me a place to put "not sure if I need to keep" items along with "keep for a limited time" items, and they get purged when that month comes around again.  I think Freedom Filer recommends two years worth but I only have one year worth and that's enough.  Having a designated place to keep receipts (the monthly folder) has saved my butt a few times.  This article roughly describes it.  https://www.freedomfiler.com/pages/filing-system-university I set it up without buying any of the special products they offer - just regular hanging files and color coded tabs.  It takes about 2 minutes a month to maintain the system.

Freedom Filer only takes care of the reference part of the filing system though - I still have two paper trays on my desk, one for action items and one for unopened mail that I know is important but I haven't taken care of yet.  I love the idea of a designated day to attend to those items, will check out the Sunday Basket idea.

This is complicated, but I think I do a version of it for my reference papers.  Fortunately, I do follow this advice for Trash...get rid of ASAP!

Inspired by this conversation, I've gotten the pile down quite a bit. I think the Time Will Tell basket and scheduling the work should be my next steps.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4327 on: November 20, 2020, 07:46:59 AM »
FWIW, my system is:

-immediately open all mail. Discard junk. Anything that's just for filing goes into the filing pile. Anything I need to deal with gets put into the desk.
-Each weekend, I grab my checkbook and anything I need to deal with from the desk, pay bills, balance as needed, etc. If something needs dealing with during business hours, it junks up my little table by the couch so I remember to get to it.
-I divert a lot of paper from coming in by switching most bills to online only.

The desk is usually a mess, but it closes so you can't see the mess. The filing pile tends to sit until I feel like dealing with it, I need to get into the files, or am moving the file box for cleaning. Whichever comes first.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4328 on: November 20, 2020, 08:26:06 AM »
You see posts in this thread when someone has not been able to sell something for a long time finally decides to give it to charity. What they really are doing is giving the organisation an expense instead of a gift.

I'll definitely think about this before I donate any unsold items. 

My assumption was that different people might want the items who don't use Marketplace or eBay.  But my goal is to get stuff to the people who want/need it - not to contribute money to an organization through a donation of things.

Sometimes it just takes a while to find a buyer.  Yesterday I sold something that I had listed on eBay 2 years and 2 months ago!  Since I started decluttering with no end-date, I can hang out and wait for that to happen.  Hopefully reducing the amount of trash I have to deal with when I finally move.

There are plenty of things the Salvation Army would want, and be able to sell, that simply don't sell at flea markets or garage sales.

One example is 3 ring paper binders. You see them for sale at Walmart for $3 to $5 apiece. I have sold some of these for 50 cents at a flea market last year. This year no one wants them, for some reason.

But at least I know I can get rid of them by donation to the S.A.  I have actually seen a guy buying one of these binders at a Goodwill store  at the register. It was $1, I think.     

I don't worry too much about whether the donated item will have to be thrown out. At least it will probably be in a full dumpster, so the diesel fuel burned to hoist the dumpster around will be efficiently used, lol. 

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4329 on: November 20, 2020, 08:52:23 AM »
There are plenty of things the Salvation Army would want, and be able to sell, that simply don't sell at flea markets or garage sales.

One example is 3 ring paper binders. You see them for sale at Walmart for $3 to $5 apiece. I have sold some of these for 50 cents at a flea market last year. This year no one wants them, for some reason.

But at least I know I can get rid of them by donation to the S.A.  I have actually seen a guy buying one of these binders at a Goodwill store  at the register. It was $1, I think.     

I don't worry too much about whether the donated item will have to be thrown out. At least it will probably be in a full dumpster, so the diesel fuel burned to hoist the dumpster around will be efficiently used, lol.

I sold a ton of 3-ring binders in February - a garbage bag-full of them through FB Marketplace.  I had them listed as "as many as you want" for $5, and someone wanted them all - I was happy to be rid of them.

I assume that thrift shops can sell things for less than I'm willing to - the effort for me to sell something for $1 is probably more than it's worth for me and the buyer, but people shopping at a thrift shop would be more willing to purchase these things in combination with others.

Since my last update, I've sold another 4 things on Marketplace by offering shipping and increasing my "audience".

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4330 on: November 20, 2020, 09:04:09 AM »
Locally our thrift stores wonít accept china cabinets, armoires and entertainment centers because they cannot sell them.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4331 on: November 20, 2020, 01:07:25 PM »
I took the apple box back to the orchard when I was in the area for something else.  Alas. They are out of apples for the season but that means we wonít have any more boxes hanging around the house.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4332 on: November 20, 2020, 01:21:58 PM »
I am now trying to sell our workshop full of wood tools.   At least the tools worth $40-$200 at bargain used prices.  There are a lot, as we are moving to a place without a workshop space.   Normally I would have a tool garage sale, but with Covid, any ideas?  CL will take a long time and they are too heavy to reasonably ship.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4333 on: November 20, 2020, 02:27:24 PM »
Locally our thrift stores wonít accept china cabinets, armoires and entertainment centers because they cannot sell them.

People donít want armoires?  Huh.  I love them - they create so much more floor space than a dresser and hold tons of stuff.  China cabinets and entertainment centres I can understand.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4334 on: November 20, 2020, 05:20:01 PM »
I am now trying to sell our workshop full of wood tools.   At least the tools worth $40-$200 at bargain used prices.  There are a lot, as we are moving to a place without a workshop space.   Normally I would have a tool garage sale, but with Covid, any ideas?  CL will take a long time and they are too heavy to reasonably ship.


Those tools are the sort of thing that would sell quickly at a flea market, if you have any nearby.

By the way, I don't see why you couldn't have an outdoor yard sale to sell them, with social distancing and masks on. Are yard sales prohibited where you live?

And you might get lucky with Craigslist, if you give it a try.

Good luck.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4335 on: November 20, 2020, 08:17:01 PM »

[snip]

I had been looking for a different paper in the paper stack (only one stack these days, woot!), and felt up to dealing with these & another envelope that arrived not too long ago.

Ha, ha! Two years ago, I was so excited to have just *one* stack of papers. Now with hedonic adaptation, I'm irritated to have one whole stack of papers.


FWIW, my system is:

-immediately open all mail. Discard junk. Anything that's just for filing goes into the filing pile. Anything I need to deal with gets put into the desk.
-Each weekend, I grab my checkbook and anything I need to deal with from the desk, pay bills, balance as needed, etc. If something needs dealing with during business hours, it junks up my little table by the couch so I remember to get to it.
-I divert a lot of paper from coming in by switching most bills to online only.

The desk is usually a mess, but it closes so you can't see the mess. The filing pile tends to sit until I feel like dealing with it, I need to get into the files, or am moving the file box for cleaning. Whichever comes first.

I definitely get rid of junk ASAP and also have all bills not only delivered online, but paid automatically.

Made good progress today.

  • Paperwork from opening a checking account discarded or filed*
  • Paperwork from turning slides into USB discarded or stored with USB*
  • AAA's magazine flipped thru & discarded
  • Almost-used-up notebook excavated & put back into "to use" pile
  • Random paperwork filed*

*adulting delayed

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4336 on: November 20, 2020, 11:17:35 PM »
I am now trying to sell our workshop full of wood tools.   At least the tools worth $40-$200 at bargain used prices.  There are a lot, as we are moving to a place without a workshop space.   Normally I would have a tool garage sale, but with Covid, any ideas?  CL will take a long time and they are too heavy to reasonably ship.


Those tools are the sort of thing that would sell quickly at a flea market, if you have any nearby.

By the way, I don't see why you couldn't have an outdoor yard sale to sell them, with social distancing and masks on. Are yard sales prohibited where you live?

And you might get lucky with Craigslist, if you give it a try.

Good luck.

Not prohibitted, but people are on stepped up "locked down" - masks in public are mandatory, told not to socialize outside of your household for a few weeks, eliminate non-essential travel.  My guess is to flatten the curve before christmas season is here.  It will be hard to keep people apart for all of the holiday.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4337 on: November 21, 2020, 02:02:18 PM »
I went through two dresser drawers today and donated a bunch of tshirts and bras that were still good (ie never worn), and threw out the rest.

I am counting this as decluttering, since I used something I had instead of buying something new. I needed an impossible skinny (15") side table for my guest bedroom. After scouring used sites and not finding anything suitable, I looked around in my basement and found a crate that will do in a pinch. It's not really tall enough, but it will be better than nothing.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4338 on: November 21, 2020, 02:41:15 PM »
@Prairie Gal Iíve also got a crate for a night stand that is too short. I built a foundation for it out of books and brought it right up to bed height. I like to think it looks creative and not cheap. ;)

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4339 on: November 21, 2020, 11:21:55 PM »
Dropped off the trunkload at Goodwill the next day like I said I would. Major progress there!
Came home and immediately filled some more bags. I'm getting into the sentimental stuff and gifted items now, which is a harder layer. I continue to watch decluttering and minimalist videos on YouTube, which is helping.
I've still got the pile of items I'll try to sell on the kitchen table. Need to get motivation to actually post them. I have $164 more dollars to meet my sales goal this year and the tableful will help.
The mattress was picked up by the charity. They left the moving blanket behind so I trashed it.
Cleaned out the junk drawer and it only has a handful of items. I only have 4 drawers in my kitchen--I can't afford space for junk!

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4340 on: November 22, 2020, 11:41:21 AM »
16 things gifted on Buy Nothing - 14 gone and 2 awaiting pickup.

Have some other donations I'll take care of this week - outgrown diapers and diaper doublers for a food bank and eyeglasses to the Lions Club.

I also found two LED lightbulbs to return to the home store, so that'll be something out of the house and a little money back.

Honestly I've made a ton of progress on decluttering - the difficult part is maintenance of neat and organized living spaces.  I've been working on the kids and picking up.  We've got a long way to go, but I'm counting any progress as a win.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4341 on: November 23, 2020, 05:37:42 AM »
16 things gifted on Buy Nothing - 14 gone and 2 awaiting pickup.

Have some other donations I'll take care of this week - outgrown diapers and diaper doublers for a food bank and eyeglasses to the Lions Club.

I also found two LED lightbulbs to return to the home store, so that'll be something out of the house and a little money back.

Honestly I've made a ton of progress on decluttering - the difficult part is maintenance of neat and organized living spaces.  I've been working on the kids and picking up.  We've got a long way to go, but I'm counting any progress as a win.


Does anyone have advice on how to teach this? I am naturally a picker upper/putter awayer. If I have something in my hand I don't drop it on the nearest horizontal surface, I put it away (or at the very least contain it to a "things I need to put away" pile.

I was helping my son with his room yesterday, he is 13. He walked his book to his room and dropped it on his bed. The correct "put away" place is 2 feet to the right on the top of his bookshelf. It would take literally 0 more time to set it two feet to the right. Then it would be done! I don't know how to teach this to him, all my attempts have failed. Maybe I just can't because his brain doesn't work like that?

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4342 on: November 23, 2020, 06:04:31 AM »
16 things gifted on Buy Nothing - 14 gone and 2 awaiting pickup.

Have some other donations I'll take care of this week - outgrown diapers and diaper doublers for a food bank and eyeglasses to the Lions Club.

I also found two LED lightbulbs to return to the home store, so that'll be something out of the house and a little money back.

Honestly I've made a ton of progress on decluttering - the difficult part is maintenance of neat and organized living spaces.  I've been working on the kids and picking up.  We've got a long way to go, but I'm counting any progress as a win.


Does anyone have advice on how to teach this? I am naturally a picker upper/putter awayer. If I have something in my hand I don't drop it on the nearest horizontal surface, I put it away (or at the very least contain it to a "things I need to put away" pile.

I was helping my son with his room yesterday, he is 13. He walked his book to his room and dropped it on his bed. The correct "put away" place is 2 feet to the right on the top of his bookshelf. It would take literally 0 more time to set it two feet to the right. Then it would be done! I don't know how to teach this to him, all my attempts have failed. Maybe I just can't because his brain doesn't work like that?
I think the error here is thinking that "putting away" is a separate task from what has gone before.  What you might try teaching is that the job (whatever it is, and it might just be finishing reading his book for the day) is not complete until everything is ready for you to start the next job, or re-start the same job.  So if you have read a chapter of the book the job of reading is finished not when you finish reading the book but when the book is where it belongs and can be picked up from its proper place to start reading the next chapter.  Similarly, undressing is not completed when the clothes are off, it is completed when the clothes are in the proper place for their next use, either in the laundry hamper or put away ready to be brought out again when needed.  Taking out the trash is only completed when a new trash bag is in the bin.

I learnt this when reading something about how a tradesman, such as a carpenter or mechanic, works.  If you treat putting tools back where they belong once a job is done then you are always ready for the next job, you never lose or accidentally break or damage your tools.  I found it an enormously useful reframing of how to get things done.  It sounds to me as though its something you do naturally, in fact you do it so naturally you haven't realised its something that needs to be taught to most people.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4343 on: November 23, 2020, 06:10:58 AM »
I was helping my son with his room yesterday, he is 13. He walked his book to his room and dropped it on his bed. The correct "put away" place is 2 feet to the right on the top of his bookshelf. It would take literally 0 more time to set it two feet to the right. Then it would be done! I don't know how to teach this to him, all my attempts have failed. Maybe I just can't because his brain doesn't work like that?

I donít have kids, but I remember being one.  My room was always a disaster (part of it might have been having to share with my sister and not having full control).  But I turned into a tidy person as an adult.  We did have to clean our room periodically, but were not harped on to keep it tidy.  We also had lots of chores to help out around the house, so we learned about cleaning even if we werenít choosing to do it on our own at that point.  I wouldnít worry about it too much, eventually what youíre teaching will have an impact.

Iím still mystified about which of my things sell quickly.  Yesterday I listed a coaster set (no box, but never really used), and it sold in an hour!  Iím also setting out a mirror to be picked up - yay for a larger item gone.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 08:54:24 AM by NotJen »

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4344 on: November 23, 2020, 07:30:05 AM »
Yesterday we had a huge snowfall.  Perfect snow for making snow sculpting and snow ball fights. All the snow pants got tried on - three pairs don't fit anyone.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4345 on: November 23, 2020, 01:28:11 PM »
I was helping my son with his room yesterday, he is 13. He walked his book to his room and dropped it on his bed. The correct "put away" place is 2 feet to the right on the top of his bookshelf. It would take literally 0 more time to set it two feet to the right. Then it would be done! I don't know how to teach this to him, all my attempts have failed. Maybe I just can't because his brain doesn't work like that?

I donít have kids, but I remember being one.  My room was always a disaster (part of it might have been having to share with my sister and not having full control).  But I turned into a tidy person as an adult.  We did have to clean our room periodically, but were not harped on to keep it tidy.  We also had lots of chores to help out around the house, so we learned about cleaning even if we werenít choosing to do it on our own at that point.  I wouldnít worry about it too much, eventually what youíre teaching will have an impact.

Iím still mystified about which of my things sell quickly.  Yesterday I listed a coaster set (no box, but never really used), and it sold in an hour!  Iím also setting out a mirror to be picked up - yay for a larger item gone.

Where does he put the book when he goes to bed? I have adopted the strategy to put everything away  before going to bed. It takes me about five minutes every evening to put things in their place if I havenít immediately put everything away.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4346 on: November 23, 2020, 02:05:28 PM »
We completed several wood working projects over the weekend using up wood we had stored, improving storage spaces, AND we even put the tools away promptly afterward!  I rebuilt nicer, prettier legs for our dining table.  My spouse moved a shelf on his office bookshelf so that now it is spaced appropriately to hold his tall binders.  I built a not very pretty but perfectly useful bookshelf for my home office space.  All from things we had on hand.

This lead to a good clean up and putting away of things and the house feels so nice today. I'm still working on organizing my work space, but it's already such an improvement.







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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4347 on: November 23, 2020, 03:11:42 PM »
@MayDay, I use the strategy of ďlike goes with like,Ē so all the books are in one place.  To your son, putting away might be completed as long as his things are in his room.  And he is a 13 year old boy, so that might be all you can expect from him.  As long as itís not creating work for you, maybe itís good enough?

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4348 on: November 24, 2020, 11:55:11 AM »
Found some dusty and grimey areas on kitchen counter while looking for stuff to move or throw out. Cleaned that area with dish deterg and water, then noticed fridge door seal was (and has been) awfully grimey also, so wiped it clean with paper towel and water.

Rediscovered a 32 ounce tub of frozen peaches, now thawed, in fridge.  Totally brown, yuch, even though seal still intact. Instructions say they are only good for 5 days in fridge after thawing (who knew?) , and they are waaaay past that, so I feel entitled to just toss them out, and will feel mainly good about it.

 Found 2 packets some powdered drink called Postum. Made one up with hot water. Didn't like it, poured it out. Yes! You can do it, Slackmax! Go, Go !  I then tossed out the remaining unopened packet. And recycled the small glass jar they were in.

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Re: Continued: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter! PART 2
« Reply #4349 on: November 24, 2020, 12:06:51 PM »
@slackmax I grew up with a parent hoarder. Every time you post a success I feel a bit of that struggle and feel like I know a bit about how long and hard your journey is.  You are doing so much. Itís wonderful.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!