Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Cleaning helps me concentrate on debt...

Is that crazy?

I'm not a Martha Stewart type, by any stretch of the imagination (I actually have a plaque in my kitchen that says, "Martha Stewart doesn't live here -- adjust"). We do have a very cluttered basement, though (one side of the basement is finished and is my "playroom" - office for me, sewing room, library & exercise room. There is so much crap in there, it's not even funny, and we've only lived here three years. The other side of the basement is unfinished and has the washer/dryer, my pantry, storage, and my ebay area - table for packing, packing materials, and a shelf full of stuff that needs to be listed online.

We had a rummage sale in the spring where we made a little over $300. What didn't sell and I knew I couldn't ebay went directly to Goodwill, which I'm really proud of. It didn't go back in the house. But now...as I go through organizing and decluttering the finished side of the basement, I'm finding more stuff, so we may actually have a second rummage sale this fall. I think I'll even advertise it as new (not rummaged before) stuff.

I made a big dent in it last night - worked down there for about 3 hours as I watched the finale of Hell's Kitchen (I only seem to get sucked into the really stupid reality shows...). But as I worked, I started thinking of all the stuff we've bought over the years - on cc, with cash, using bonuses, at auctions, and it occurred to me that we are hoarders.

No big surprise, I think most of the US holds hoarders. But - for two people, no kids, in a small house - we really have a lot of crap.

Luckily, dh is starting to agree with me that we just have too much stuff. He is agreeing to get rid of some of it, too, which is amazing, because he's even more of a packrat than I am. I thought I had really gone through and grabbed stuff for the rummage sale in June, but I'm finding a lot more than I just want out of the house.

I do rummage sales differently - one day only (no multiple day crap for me), and by noon I am marking stuff down rapidly. Sometime around 1:30 or 2:00, things go half price, and I tend to have everything closed by 3:30. If it's not sold, it goes to Goodwill, unless I think I can ebay it.

The two that I've done like this have worked well - $550 on one, $300 on the other. 'Course, I get lots of stuff, and I almost always have some furniture out there, which helps bring more in.

But - as I sort (back to that), I do think about our debt, and make peace with the money I've spent. I think that helps. If we do have another one, the money will go to pay off the cc. That's incentive, too. That sucker needs to go down.

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