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Want Less Clutter? Buy Less Stuff September 18, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Less IS More.
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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)

Fun with Words: NPR Challenge September 18, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Humor, Word Play.
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I wrote a story to share with you today, but it turns out that I can’t publish it in any format if I want to submit it to NPR for the Fifth Round Challenge.

So, you’ll have to wait to read the story.  Sorry about that. To make it up to you, I’ll give you a few hints:

1.  It starts:  “Some people swore that the house was haunted.”

2.  It ends:  “Nothing was ever the same again after that.”

3.  The Cheshire Cat makes a brief cameo appearance before vanishing into thin air.

4.  The story features two main characters, related to each other but from different generations.

5.  It’s Pure Dialogue (both characters demonstrate proper listening skills).

6.  I submitted it with the title, The Namesake.

7.  The image of  Little Red Riding Hood, holding a basket, ties in nicely with the story line.

8.   There are no vampyres in the story since they’ve been done to death.

9.  As for ghosts, goblins, and witches, let’s leave that open for now.

10.  The story mentions blackberries (the fruit, not the techno gadget).

448px-Alice_05a-1116x149211.  There are no rabbit holes or hookah smoking caterpillars, but a gopher hole helps to move the story along.

12.  After final edit, I squeezed in just under the 600 word maximum ~ at 599 words.

13.  It was great FUN to write.  Why not give it a go yourself?

To read the story:  The Namesake

* * * * *

Inspiration:  My Literary Quest ~ NPR Three Minute Fiction

Official Rules:  Three Minute Fiction