Simplicity – Small & Cheap

Living simply & cheaply…wherever you are!

Book Purge

Kind of concurrent with my closet purge, I’ve been working on my book purge. I love books and I love having lots of them, but Al & I have a disagreement about them. I have a collect & purge philosophy. He requires that if the subject is useful they must stay. Whether we’ve ever read them, whether HE could name a single title I’m ready to purge. Well until now, anyway; now he just wants them gone!

My goal is to get my books down to those I would replace if we lost them in a fire. My reasoning? Well, I’m hoping to get down to one bookcase.  I have 7.  And we have to move enough to hold the books we ARE keeping. And I want the big one. So if i can make the books i love fit on that shelf only, maybe i can keep it :). Why the big one?  Well, I love it! I picked out the color & painted it myself. I’ve always wanted a nice bookcase & it’s the only nice piece of furniture we have other than our bed.

So far, I have emptied 2 bookshelves and have sold one of them already.   I’ve got a third bookshelf almost emptied of everything except STUFF (i.e. non book stuff — photo albums, cd’s, manuals/receipt binders, etc.).    Dagny’s bookshelf is almost emptied as well.   That just leaves the office and the cookbooks.    So far, I have gotten $58 from books and the bookshelf.   Yeah!!

I’m kicking myself for not taking pictures of the pile before they started to walk out the door, but I just wanted to get rid of them!   Here is a pic of the chest (full) and the two boxes:


This is BEFORE purging my work-related books, my cookbooks and about a shelf worth of weird misc. Al books on the shelf downstairs.  I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of those books will be added to the pile.   I’ll be working on emptying those & listing them this week.    Wish me luck!!


March 18, 2009 Posted by | Living Simply | | Leave a comment

Closet Purge

In light of my realization that I have too much stuff, did a MAJOR closet purge Saturday. I got rid of more than I kept. Of course, I’m still not fully unpacked & I have laundry to do, but I’m still pretty sure it’s mostly gone. If it didn’t fit (either direction), was the wrong color for me, wasn’t practical for nursing, or i just plain didnt like it, out it went. Sort of:).

I was a little more relaxed with my maternity clothes since there weren’t many shirts. There were also a few things I JUST bought that I’m going to try to work in with better colors for me (they are white & black) until I have the funds to replace them. They are mostly basics that get worn UNDER things – tanks n cami’s n such.

Al was watching me go through my clothes and didn’t recall seeing me in 90% of them. I have two items that i bought in Indonesia that don’t fit but are a beautiful batik fabric that I may be able to repurpose them somehow…pillow covers, a runner? We will see. I also decided on the way home to have things made from my wedding dress–I wish I had been ready to gut it last year when we baptized DD. I suppose the next one(s) will get it.

I’ve been reading “Your Money or
Your Life” again and just read the part about adding up all the extra costs relating to work to get your true hourly wage. Boy did that make itself apparent today! I had about 10 pr of black pants and 4 suits I bought just prior to getting pregnant that I just can’t see my myself fitting into or wearing again. Plus a bunch of shirts I bought to wear with my black pants. Black is NOT my color and I had a closet full of it. I wish I cared as much then as I do now!

Anyway, here is the impressive mountain of clothes I’m getting rid of.

March 12, 2009 Posted by | Living Simply | , | Leave a comment


Since we’ve returned home, I’ve come to realize how much of my life is spent dealing with stuff. In the camper it took 10 minutes to clean the whole thing, top to bottom. My house? Yeah, not so much.

I have and will spend a large portion of my day & money on stuff. Space to store the stuff (in the form of mortgage & the myriad of storage vessels), cleaning the stuff, picking up the stuff, organizing the stuff, moving the stuff. You get the idea.

Living in that camper was a huge eye-opener. I was in it for 2 months and there was very little that I missed. We decided that since we really prefer not to be in MI as a long term deal, we would continue to try to sell our house. We (meaning ME because all this crap is MINE!) are going to try to condense our belongings to fit into a medium sized trailer (which we want anyway, for rendezvous stuff).

We have a 2200 square foot home filled to the brim with stuff. A good friend of ours got our house show-ready when we were gone and she even commented on it. You’d never know it at a glance–It’s well organized and put away. But, it’s still just stuff. She asked if there was anything we were looking for…I can hardly remember what I have there’s so much of it!

For the next few weeks/months I will be sharing my purging efforts. First up? My closet. I’m almost done with that and will be hosting a beauty swap if my other friend doesn’t mind me stealing her idea :). I figured we could swap old clothes, jewelry, and even makeup and beauty products that we’ve never used.

The rest of it can go to Goodwill. I’ve considered a yard sale but all the worry about people stealing stuff and planning it just doesn’t seem worth it. I’ll keep good records and swap some, sell the more expensive stuff, and give the rest away.

March 10, 2009 Posted by | Living Simply | , | Leave a comment

It’s Official

We decided this morning that we would list the house for sale. I am mentally going through my house, trying to decide what to keep and what to sell. Knowing that we are moving from a 2200 sq. ft. house and are/will be living in a 21 ft trailer makes it hard. How will we store what little we DO keep down here?

I suppose we could buy a trailer like we’ve always wanted for Rendezvous and store all the keepers in there. I don’t think there is a lot we would bring. Living in this camper has made me appreciate simple living. Giving up all my books would be the toughest, though. I think I could pare down quite a bit though. We would probably have to spend a month up north packing & having a yard sale. A huge one! Everything must go and all that. Selling everything we have could probably bring in a few hundred if not a grand. That would be helpful.

So if you want anything that probably has no sentimental value, make me an offer :). I’m making up lists now…

By the way, if you’re in the market for a BRAND SPANKIN NEW house in picturesque Northern Michigan, take a peek at our Craigslist listing!

February 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment