jump to navigation

Stuffed! March 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Life Lessons, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , , ,
40 comments

The best way to avoid clutter is not to buy it in the first place.  We learned that lesson the hard way by moving our stuff . . .  more than a dozen times.

Our first visitors
stumble o’er moving boxes
“Let’s go out to eat!”

Wikipedia ~ Moving Company

In our younger years, we had a number of buying triggers (CD’s, books, zebras, Santas) ~ all manner of collectable collectibles.

Unpacking becomes
A logistical challenge
We have Too Much Stuff

These days, we seldom shop for anything but groceries.  And still we have things cluttering up our life which would benefit from more pruning. 

Back to the basics:
load, unload, unpack, repeat.
We have Too Much Stuff

Wikipedia ~ Collecting

When we bought this villa we inherited a literal ton of knick knacks and paddy whacks which we stashed in a make-shift staging area in the garage.

After our umpteenth trip to Goodwill, the garage floor reappeared with an opening large enough for our cars.

Life’s small victories
mount, as stuffed garage swallows
a Toyota van

Wikipedia ~ Moving Company

The less we have to distract us . . . the more time we have to live!

Rain drops on hutches
and bartered possessions ~ our
moving saga ends

 Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to Ponder:  Until you are happy with who you are . . . you will never be happy with what you have.

Related posts:  Pack & Live Lighter (My Light Bag) * Possessions: The Stuff of Life (LA Times) *  Collectable Collectibles (Colonialist) * Expand Time Energy Money (Love Out Loud) * Timely Advice

Begone Foul Weeds! February 8, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Home & Garden, Nature, Writing & Writers.
Tags: , , , ,
58 comments

As is often the case . . . one thing led to the other.

IMGP1290d

So I’m purging my filing space of extraneous paper and clutter.

IMGP1290b

The shredder’s earning its keep as I utter and sputter . . .

IMGP1290.cjpg

“Begone foul weeds!”

Per BlueBee’s requestMy writing desk, space, and room . . . with a view.

IMGP1876b

Aah . . . that’s better!

Votes cast in The Writer’s Deck Contest . . . 175!  If you haven’t voted yet, there’s still time to swing by and cast your ballot.

Buy Less. Do More. November 8, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Life Balance, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , , , ,
44 comments

IMGP1472aMy life, like most, has had ups and downs, good decisions and bad,  and more than my fair share of mistakes and challenges.

But they all led to this door.  So, no regrets.

Except one.

When I look at the collective accumulation of stuff in our living space and closets . . . I am filled to overflowing with “buyer’s remorse.”

Not in specific.  Just in general.

If I could go back and tell my younger self or a good friend just one thing, it would be:

Buy Less. Do More.

We travel best when we travel light.

The best way to avoid clutter is not to purchase it in the first place.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related Posts:  Tell us something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do (WP Prompt) * Woman Found Dead Amid Clutter * CCD: Compulsive Clutter Disorder

* * * * *

Susanna posted the 8 Finalists from the Halloweensie Contest yesterday morning . . .  and I’m in the running!

If you want to vote, click this link and Vote for your Favorite!

They’re all in one place . . . so it’s one stop shopping.  No clicking back and forth between blogs.  Simple, right?  And nothing to clutter up your house!  ;)

Linger Longer April 16, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , , ,
64 comments

What if everything we claim to possess possesses a part of us in return . . . splintering our energy into fragments?

When we claim to possess something (MY house, MY car,  MY workplace), we invest energy into “owning IT” and caring for IT.

We infuse part of ourselves with each person, place, or thing we “grow attached to.”

What if, as a result of our investment, the person, place, or thing comes to possess a bit of us in exchange?  

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

We give . . . IT takes.

What happens when we leave IT behind (or IT leaves us behind)? 

Does our energy linger longer?

What say you?

I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.  ~ Blaise Pascal

Want Less Clutter? Buy Less Stuff September 18, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , ,
14 comments

Fred-'n-BarneyAs we entered the age of consumerism, we stopped sharing tools with neighbors, and started buying more and more toys for ourselves.

Our garages, whether one bay or three, are crammed full of rarely used items we must paw through when we need something.

Our interior living spaces have expanded as well, allowing us to store stuff  we rarely use:  closets have gotten larger, kitchens have more cabinets, and  playrooms look like toy stores.  We’ve gone from 1,200 sq. foot homes to McMansions (with rooms no one enters except on the occasional holiday), and we still don’t have space to store all our stuff.

We buy stuff that we don’t need, spend money that we don’t have, heat and cool rooms we don’t use, and rack up debt that we can’t repay.

Wikipedia ~ Moving Company (in Public Domain)

If your living space resembles an  obstacle course, or you park your  car in the driveway due to clutter in the garage, consider borrowing rather than buying the next time you need a piece of equipment that will remain “unemployed” for most of the year.

Borrowing rather than buying allows you to free up both money and space for stuff that really matters.

Powerwashing the House:  You’ve been waiting for Mother Nature to  wash the dirt and grime off your home’s exterior.  She’s not cooperating.

Instead of buying a power washer that will sit idle in your overflowing garage for most of the year, look for a house that seems cleaner than its neighbors.  When you see the homeowner outside in the yard, head over with a beer.  Bring 2 beers if you are feeling especially neighborly.

Admire the sparkle on his siding and wait for him to tell you about the latest piece of equipment that he has added to the clutter in his garage ~ his brand new Turbo-Charged Power Washer.

Give him his 15 minutes of fame while you admire his choice of tools.  Then, ask whether you could borrow it for a couple hours.

If he agrees, invite him (and the powerwasher) over for an adult beverage.  While he gets set up, head inside and grab a couple of beers.

If he offers to show you what his turbo-charged baby can do, relax and enjoy your beer as he demonstrates his glorified “fire hose.”  Don’t feel bad about this.  He offered.  He probably wants to hang around and drink beer with you to get out of doing his own chores.

If he powerwashes your entire house while you stand there drinking beer, remember to invite him over again next Spring.

220px-Peep-at-Christies-GillrayHanging Pictures in Your Loft:  Unless you live or work in an Art Gallery, artwork (once displayed) generally stays put until someone moves out and things need to be arranged.

If you live in a space with cathedral ceilings, you may need a ladder to hang a few pictures.

Before you run out to buy an extension ladder that will reach from the floor to the 40 foot peak of your loft, see if a neighbor, or the superintendent of the building, can loan you the tools you need to display your culture to the world.

To recap:

1.  Whether you live in the city or the country, on a farm or in a loft, it makes sense to borrow rather than buy those items that will not give you a regular return on your investment.

2.  Borrowing, instead of buying, will free up money for things that you can use and enjoy every day ~ like that 60″ LCD Hi Def that you’ve been eyeing.

3.  When you borrow, instead of buy, your living space (be it loft or garage) will be less congested ~ allowing you to stay put, instead of wasting even more money by moving into a larger space.

As an added bonus, you’ll meet people who live near you and learn who to invite to your next gathering (and who to avoid on the elevator).

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Clearing Clutter * Simplify Your Life * How To Clean The Garage *  Woman Found Dead Amid Clutter * Expand Your Time, Energy, and Money (Love Out Loud)

Woman Found Dead Amid Clutter August 31, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , ,
17 comments

TimonThis week, a four month search for a missing woman ended.

Her husband found her inside their home, buried under the mountain of junk that filled her “rabbit hole” from floor to ceiling.

More details:

The collected clothes, trash and knickknacks in Billie Jean James’s house was so vast that sniffer dogs had searched the home without finding her corpse, The Associated Press reported.

Billie Jean was a compulsive hoarder, with a passion for shopping for trinkets and clothes. One friend said that Billie Jean referred to the room where she was found as “her rabbit hole.”

Cassell told the AP that the house had only small amounts of clear space so that people could get around, and that the home was filled with strong odors from animals, garbage and food.

Billie Jean is not the first person whose hoarding instincts proved fatal. In May, an aging Chicago couple was trapped for two weeks after being buried in their belongings. When they were rescued, they were found to have rat bites on their bodies.

To read the full story:  Las Vegas Hoarder Found Dead Among Possessions

For tips on Decluttering your own rabbit hole(s):  Declutter 101

Related posts:    Simplify Your Life * Give Your Stuff Away Day * Between The Wish & The Thing You Better Stop Shopping Around * I Don’t Want Stuff Anymore, Only Things  (Raptitude)

Give Your Stuff Away Day ~ 9/25 August 18, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, Happiness, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , ,
8 comments

TOO MUCH STUFF cluttering up your living spaces?

Mark your calendars for  September 25th!

Give Your Stuff Away Day, the  brain-child of Mike Morone, a 52-year-old former teacher,  is an opportunity to recycle  stuff that has little or no value to you, but would have value to others:

It’s a national swap meet, if you will, a day to reshuffle and recycle our collective unwanted but usable goods and, as Morone puts it, “magically shift ownership in one weekend.”  Just bring items to the curb and watch them get snapped up. Then take a stroll to find some free stuff for yourself.

For tips on Decluttering:  Declutter 101

Related posts:   Give Your Stuff Away Day * Simplify Your Life * Clearing Clutter * You Better Stop Shopping Around * That’s Trashy!

Photo:  Trashy Art Student Exhibition, a juried exhibit of TRASH ART.

CCD: Compulsive Clutter Disorder August 2, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , , , ,
22 comments

Clearing clutter from our homes and minds results in real benefits to our health and well-being.

To find previous posts, search “clutter.” 

Now let’s talk about a few of the very real risks of refusing to deal with extreme clutter:

Illness, Injury, and Death.

Hoarding behavior is on the rise ~ a growing public health problem which results when people collect mountains of possessions and refuse to whittle down the piles.  In extreme cases, hoarding leads to fires, attracts vermin, and results in health risks to occupants of crowded living spaces.

Studies suggest that 2-5% of the population suffer from compulsive hoarding behavior.

Although classified as an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, psychiatrists have yet to determine if hoarding results from a compulsion or an addiction.

For that reason, psychiatrists may soon characterize hoarding as its own disorder, with symptoms of:  persistent difficulty discarding possessions,  strong urges to save items, and the excessive accumulation of possessions.

Whatever its cause and characteristics, excessive clutter can kill:

* Rescue workers drilled a hole in the roof of a suburban Chicago home to extract an 82-year-old woman’s body this month.

They couldn’t get through the doorway because her home was filled almost to the ceiling with cardboard boxes, furniture, clothing and other junk.  She and her daughter had been crawling through tunnels to move around the Skokie, Illinois, house.

* One of the most famous cases dates back to the Collyer brothers of New York City.

In 1947, Langley Collyer was killed by one of the booby traps he had devised in his Harlem apartment to protect nearly 130 tons of junk. His older brother, Homer Collyer, who was blind and crippled by arthritis, starved to death in the apartment about 10 feet away, according to news reports.

* In February, a woman died inside her El Paso, Texas, home in a fire.

Newspapers strewn throughout her house fueled the flames, and firefighters weren’t able to reach her because of the clutter, said Felix Cabrera, a resources and external relations specialist at the Adult Protective Services in El Paso.

Due to its increasing prevalence, several cable networks now air shows centered around hoarding behavior and its dangers:

* TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive
* A&E’s Hoarders
* Animal Planet’s Confessions: Animal Hoarding

As demonstrated, hoarders attach excessive significance to objects and become unable to  throw things away.  Over time, they lose the ability to separate trash from treasure, viewing all objects as meaningful.

If we are consumed with possessions, those possessions may consume us.

For more information:  Hoarding Called A Public Health Issue (AARP)

For tips on Decluttering:  Declutter 101

Related posts:  Simplify Your Life * Give Your Stuff Away Day * Between The Wish & The Thing You Better Stop Shopping Around * I Don’t Want Stuff Anymore, Only Things  (Raptitude) * Woman Found Dead Amid Clutter

Clearing Clutter June 4, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Home & Garden, Simplify Your Life.
Tags: , ,
11 comments

To effectively clear clutter, change your perspective.

Instead of asking:

“Would I maybe possibly someday want to have this object, article, or knick knack in my life?”

Try asking:

“If this object, article, or knick knack had not appeared in my life . . . would I have missed it?”

If no . . . let it go.

Stuff Stuff and more Stuff
Possessions overwhelm us
Enough is enough

Create space for what matters.
Simplify your life.

Related posts:  Simplify Your Life * Between The Wish & The Thing You Better Stop Shopping Around * I Don’t Want Stuff Anymore, Just Things  (Raptitude) * Expand Your Time, Energy, and Money (Love Out Loud)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,977 other followers