Know Who Your Friends Are

Don’t Give Up!
No matter how much time has passed since your last entry don’t be discouraged, what’s important is that you write in your journal today!

~By Rachel Bruner, Guide

Hi, again! Sooooo much has happened since my last post! I hardly know where to begin. No—I doknow that I should start by offering my honest gratitude to those of you who have been with me through my absence from this blog and those of you who have not been with me but are here now to see where this repurposing notion will take me from here.

And now: time for a little catching up, I suppose. Let’s see, when I last posted I was well behind on my vow to publish images of the apartment(s) I share with my sweetheart. While I hadn’t managed to post the tattle-tail images of the tendency to hoard that I share with my sweetheart, I did manage to take a few pics to share with the morbidly curious among you. After all these weeks, the photos are online (the first gallery, below) for the world to see the stuff with which we had cluttered our world prior to the second week of February.

Even I can admit that these pics may seem a little redundant, but I didn’t have the chance to finish taking photos before our household was struck my an unexpected and life-changing event that nearly cost my sweetheart’s life. By a miracle, my sweetheart is still with me, but the initial result of the unexpected event was more than 40 days of in-patient care at our regional Trauma I hospital, a quarter of that time my sweetheart spent fighting for his life in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

Looking back at the clutter that had given me so much grief prior to the second week of February the mess doesn’t seem so unmanageable. Very little in life seems unmanageable prior to the event which sent us to hospital-hotel for so long. But we did learn first-hand the truth behind the adage that says “you find out who your friends are when you’re down in a ditch.” The three people from whom we expected the most help and support—taking care of the little things like caring for our dogs and keeping our home safe and secure—during the six weeks we were sequestered at the hospital flat-out robbed us blind within a day or two of the tragic event, and other “friends” riffled through what was left of our hoard under the guise of “securing remaining valuables” on our behalf rather than packing our things onto a moving truck as they had agreed.

I don’t think you can imagine our heartbreak when we set foot in our home for the first time after 6 weeks of inpatient care we learned that in our absence we had not only been served an eviction on each of our apartments, but we were on our own to pack up and move our possessions under a three-day deadline. A small sample of the state of our possessions as we discovered them is documented in the gallery below…

We did manage, miraculously, to load out the apartments into a storage unit by way of a U-Haul truck before the constable arrived with a trash out crew on the deadline date, and we are both still here, alive and well and together. We are calling that a win, despite the “help” of our “friends.”

Now we are determined to keep that win working for us going forward. We have both come to terms, I think, with our psychological quirks and we’ve decided that we are going to make those quirks work for us rather than try to force ourselves to work around them. To that end, we’ve just rented a 2500 square foot warehouse (including two office rooms and a shower/restroom which are all topped with sub-flooring that will function as living quarters) with permission to build-out the interior to suit our residential needs.

There’s a lot of work ahead of us between moving our things from storage to the warehouse and constructing our living quarters. We’re pretty strapped for cash after all we’ve been through, but our plans for the living quarters are based upon building most of it from salvaged and reclaimed materials. Beyond that, we’re facing the set up and operation of what we hope will be a rewarding salvage, repurposing and resale business. Our major obstacle will be transforming our mustang convertible into a truck and trailer for the business. It’s all pretty exciting but a little bit scary, too. We’ll keep you posted on our progress… We shouldn’t have any trouble coming up with photos to post as we work it out. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by again.

3 for Free

I’ve got big plans for de-cluttering today and my sweetheart’s mother will arrive tomorrow for a short visit. Needless to say, I haven’t a lot of time for posting today, but I did treat myself to a quick look at the local free section of Below are my top 3 finds.

Does anyone else ever have any luck with the free section on craigslist? If you have made some good finds, share them with us, especially if you’ve actually been lucky enough to make them your own!

free desk on cl

Free Desk

Free Futon

Free Futon

Free Piano

Free Piano

Battling 2 Big Obstacles with 20 Little Questions

Opening titles on the 20 Questions television ...

Image via Wikipedia

The biggest obstacle I face in the War Against Clutter is myself, I know this and I struggle with how to deal with myself quite a bit. I often find myself with my hands full of doesn’t-even-belong-in-this-room clutter as I look for some seems-like-I-remember-seeing-it in-this-pile-recently item, cursing because so much stuff is in the way of what I’m looking for. I may swear at the obstacles, but that’s as close to having a conversation with my clutter as I’ve come, but that is about to change, thanks to miss minimalist.

Thanks to her recent post,Twenty Questions to Clear Your Clutter, I now have a new strategy for conquering clutter in my apartment: I’m going to talk to it.

From “How did you get here?” to “Did I forget I own you?” and “Do you make me smile,” miss minimalist’s dialog for clutter-busting helps eliminate, or at least minimize, some of my natural tendencies to hoard.

My second biggest obstacle against the WAC is my sweetheart, who was not impressed with miss minimalist’s list. For about half an hour, after I read the list to him, we talked more openly about why we have the things we have than we have in the past. For each question I repeated from the list, my sweetheart would name an item that we both know we are not going to be getting rid of (at least not by way of the dumpster) but would be banned from our home based upon the single question’s implication. I would find a question on the list that would allow a pardon for our valued item. (“Do you serve a purpose?”) Based upon the saving question, he would name something that we both know we don’t need or really want and I would find a question to rightly banish the item. (“Will I use you again soon?”)

After the list prevailed, rightly, in judging each of the items presented for argument against the list, my sweetheart conceded his position. Sort of. He agreed that the 20 questions are a good guideline for clearing clutter, miss minimalist does not know us and doesn’t get to determine what we keep or what we eliminate from our home.

That’s a win.

Purposeful Public Display of My Clutter

I have to start somewhere if I’m ever going to reach the uncluttered, simple, efficient, peaceful existence I dream of from beneath piles, stacks, mounds and heaps of clutter. As much as I would like to just blog about what I want my home to be, I’m going to do something horrifying instead. I’m going to spend today documenting my starting point with photos of my apartment and uploading the images.

I’m feeling a little light-headed at the thought of posting photos of my clutter and junk and excess and hoarding without “tidying up” first. More queasy than light-headed.


I can’t even think about it anymore. Time to just do it.

Today I capture; tomorrow I post. Wish me luck… Send a search party if you’ve not seen me again this time tomorrow.