Tuesday, August 28, 2012


How do you know you're a child of a hoarder?

When your hoarder parent resorts to Facebook to convince you that really, it could be worse.

Case in point: Before I went on vacation I spotted an article in The Washington Post about a guy who hunts for dinosaur fossils. He's collected a lot of them. Of the 24 pictures of the guy and his fossil-chasing escapades, these are the last two:

From http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/tracking-marylands-dinosaurs/2012/04/19/gIQA4aJ2ST_gallery.html#photo=23
Picture is owned by TWP
From http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/tracking-marylands-dinosaurs/2012/04/19/gIQA4aJ2ST_gallery.html#photo=24
Picture is owned by TWP

I'm mildly shocked (you can't sit in the guest chair because it's covered in dinosaur bones!) but at least this the guy is collecting something that's actually priceless.

But my mom really likes dinosaurs so I sent her the link to the article, because after all, the other pictures and the article talk about how he finds the fossils, what he's looking for, etc. and is pretty interesting.

Her response?

I'm not sure whether it was sadder that she thought her stacks of ten year old catalogs could be compared to piles of real archaeological artifacts, or that I was about to leave for a vacation in Puerto Rico, not Glacier National Park.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Traveling the world with a tiny suitcase

Well, I hope it will be a tiny suitcase. Assuming I don't take my guitar.

I'll be on vacation for the next few days. See you later next week!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday's Fashion Fallout: there's a mumu in my closet

Everyone has at least one piece of clothing hidden in their closet that's really embarrassing. This is mine.

Okay, I'm lying a bit. It's actually not that embarrassing because it's not really mine. This one has a tale to tell and a lesson to learn from it, but it's one that better fits a post for my Grief and Clutter series, which I SWEAR I will return to. But that's for Sunday.

What's the most ridiculous piece of clothing you own, or have ever owned?

Item 138: A Hawaiian mumu! Off to the clothes donation box it goes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Guessing game

If the average person doesn't know what it is, maybe you don't need it? Okay, maybe that's not such a great decluttering tip. 

But who doesn't love a good guessing game? Other than being item 137, I know what it is...but do you?

Actually, I did need it for a while. That's your first hint. And it was free. That's your second hint. It's a lousy hint though. It's also not recyclable but can't be used by anyone else so it had to go in the trash.

Back tomorrow for Friday's Fashion Fallout!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

FFF + Project 333: Look, I'm cheating already!

My body and eating habits have decided that I'm a size 8, and I darn well better learn to live with it. Learn to love it? Ha. We'll see. But what better way to encourage myself to enjoy being me than with a closet of nothing but clothes that fit? I finally decided that I'm going to start Project 333 in September.

If I can only have 33 items, then they better be the perfect ones. Things are slowly coming out of my closet and going into three piles: keep for afterwards, use for Project 333, and discard.

First, I looked at the drawer where I keep my exercise clothes. I swim, bike, and run regularly (I'll do a sprint triathalon in 2013, I swear).

My selected biking clothes: one pair bike shorts, one pair bike leggings, one short-sleeve bike shirt, one bike tank. 

My selected running clothes:
one pair running shorts, one tank, one pair running leggings, one jacket.
Floppy the Bunny says, "My Human owns too many clothes from Lululemon!"
why did no one tell me about that loose ribbon?
But why can't I wear the purple running tank for biking and cut one item off the list? This lovely picture of me doing the macarena at my wedding should answer the question. See the spots on my skin to the left and right of the piece of fabric? Those are patches of vitiligo. I don't have any pigment there so I burn almost instantly. Sunblock delays the burn for a little while but not long. Two weeks before my wedding I went on a bike ride and wore a tank top. I put sunblock on but it wore off. The patch closest to my hair was still visibly pink two weeks after that ride.

I have to ride with my back covered. The white and purple bike shirt covers my entire back and is long enough in the back not to ride up.

Burning like this doesn't seem to be a problem when I run, though. I run in the early morning and evenings when there's only a little sunlight.

I haven't decided about my swimming items yet. I boxed up the few other athletic items I have.

This is where I cheat, though: I decided that my running clothes will be lumped together as one item, and the same goes for my biking clothes and swimming clothes. Why? Because Project 333 is about seeing how little you can live with, and after years at these sports at know that there is no way I am running in DC in early September in anything more than a tank top and shorts, and no way I'm running in November in less than leggings and a long-sleeve pullover. I can wear the jacket for running and cycling.

Friday's Fashion Fallout

One item I know I'm getting rid of is this old cycling shirt. It doesn't fit anymore. Even when it did fit the fabric was scratchy. Item 136 and today's Friday's Fashion Fallout item: a well-loved cycling shirt.

And its tag says....Made in U.S.A. Can't remember when I last saw that on a piece of clothing.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Decluttering tip #25: Find a kid who likes Elmo.

We started phase I of the Great Closet Cleanout (I'll post about that later). Among the many oh-so-interesting things we found were:
Baby clothes
Baby bottle and accessories
Baby shoes! Oh they're so cute.


Does my closet know something I don't? No, it doesn't. Sorry to get you excited!

Friends of ours moved abroad last year and left their son's outgrown things with us, knowing we were planning on having kids sometime soon-ish. They don't take up much room so I'm content to hang on to them. Unless I find someone else who needs them or would enjoy them. 

The box 'o baby stuff also contained this:
from amazon.com
Item 135, an Elmo book.
As it happens, our next door neighbor's 16 m/o son is CRAZY about Elmo. All he can manage to say is "Memo" instead of "Elmo" but close enough. I took one look at the book and knew it needed a better home. 

And you know what? It was the best thing that happened to me all week. I walked next door and presented the little guy and his moms with the book. He squealed "Memo! Memo!" and gave me the biggest wide-eyed, toothless toddler grin I've ever seen. He toddled over to me as fast as his little legs could, took it from my hands, and instantly dropped down onto his diapered rear end and started reading. His moms were pleased and I had one less thing in my condo. 

But really, I don't care that I got this book out of the closet. It hardly took up any space. But it made a kid I like a lot really happy. 

Today's decluttering tip is simple: look at the stuff you own and figure out if any of it would make someone else genuinely happy. I mean falling-on-their-rear-end-and-squealing-like-a-toddler happy. As soon as you see someone's face light up you'll find yourself with more motivation to declutter than you've had in a while. 

What have you decluttered that made someone else really happy?

Thursday, August 2, 2012


One trick I'm trying this month is to see how many days I can go without spending. I'll update this post each day this month.

August 1st: No money spent
August 2nd: No money spent