Tag Archives: purging

Yearly purging project: version 2013

For the third year running, I’ve been a-purging. The first year I made this an intentional New Years project was 2011, when I purged 111 things. It was so liberating and practical and awesome that I repeated the experience in 2012, purging 112 things. This year, though I haven’t reached 113 things, we purged a solid 76, with some hefty bags that made their way from the back closet to Salvation Army. Here’s a pile of the first wave of items:

Clothing was a big one, but I also threw away some old make up, got rid of CD’s from high school that I haven’t listened to in years, and books that I never plan on re-reading (i.e. The Jungle–most depressing book EVER).

Are any of you doing some out-with-the-old this year?

It’s a great feeling. In fact, have you ever noticed that the high of freeing yourself from possessions you don’t need is kind of similar to the high you can get from shopping? Hunh. (There’s probably some smart psychological explanation for that . . . anyone?)

I’ve been thinking it would be a really cool project to involve Alice in every January (and any future siblings of hers–yes, I have the baby crazies and want them ALL. ALL THE BABIES). The goal could be to get rid of at least as many things as they were given for Christmas, and more if possible. Teaching her that letting go is a healthy part of life is an important lesson, especially following on the heels of a holiday that has frankly become quite materialistic–and no matter how we choose to “do Christmas” in our household, some of that will inevitably leak in.

Of course, for now she can’t quite get a handle on purging given that she has just recently figured out that her hands are part of her body. But in years to come, once her motor skills are a little more established, we’ll revisit the idea.

Rummage 2012: what I bought!

Are you ready?

Because the day has finally come to talk about what I brought home from Rummage 2012.

No, really . . .

I don’t want to shock anyone too badly . . . especially because I know I’ve already shocked some (sorry, Jen–don’t hyperventilate!).

I even called my husband before heading home to warn him about the quantity of stuff I was bringing back. “Don’t worry, baby,” I reassured him in my calmest, most rational and soothing voice. “It may look like a lot, but I think it’s all really practical, and I will take care of organizing everything and finding places for the stuff, okay?”

No matter what I said, or how much I forewarned him, I knew he was still in for a surprise.

So I’ll just lay it out there for you all–here it is:


My lil’ darlin’ handled himself remarkably well. He helped my cousins and me carry the stash up to our apartment, with nary a word or glance of disapproval. And though I registered in his glazed eyes that he was wondering where I had left my sense of reason and impulse-control, I knew it would all make sense to him . . . in time.

The one thing he had said before I left for my 2 days of shopping was, “please don’t bring home any pillows.”

Unfortunately, that is exactly what I brought home.

BUT! I purged other pillows that were on death’s door (or simply obnoxious–we had one that leaked feathers every day of its sad, plush life) to make the space, and set these two new ones up on our bed. Here they are modeled on the futon:

And guess what–my husband is now a huge fan! And reclines against them nightly as we read Sherlock or listen to music.


The 3rd (and final) pillow I bought went on John’s bed, to welcome him to his summer abode:

Doesn’t it look so nice??

Okay, it’s a little feminine–but . . . well, you understand. Or at least I hope you do. Please don’t tell me I’m alone in just loving a good firm-but-soft-and-also-pretty pillow.

Other bedding was also brought home–the dusty mauve coverlet pictured above, as well as these awesome quilts and coverlets:

Check out those great textures–and prices!

We have the one in the upper left on our bed at this very moment, and my darling husband–though at first very hesitant to accept these newcomers into our closet–loves it. And he went even further than mere tolerance, expressing his pleasure at how pretty I’ve made our bed look. What a relief. My biggest Rummage nightmare was that my husband would be dead-set against what I brought back.

We purged 3 or 4 other old blankets to make room for the new bedding–one of which was in tatters, one (hand-me-down) which I’ve hated with a passion since it entered our linen closet, a couple scratchy things I’ve never, ever used, one from the dorms that’s too small for our bed or futon–you get the idea.

And we didn’t just purge blankets–we had yet another full-out purging session after I returned with purchases in hand, and I think that adding up our pre-sale-purge and post-sale-purge, overall more stuff went out than came in. Plus, most of the stuff that came in was premeditated. Planned. Some of the stuff had been on my mind for years–like these simple white plates:

Here, I’ll even take them out for you.

Check out that sweet price! (which included 10 dinner plates and 6 salad plates, as you can see)

And that’s $7.50, by the way–not $750. Most certainly not.

They have now taken the place of the set I got for our wedding, which we’ve been hauling around for almost 7 years and I just didn’t like, even though I was the one who chose to register for them in the first place. My excuse: I was 21 when I made that selection, and had no idea what I was doing. Each plate weighed about as much as a bowling ball–totally impractical. We put them in the alley and hope that a voracious alley-shopper took them home to love them as they deserve.

Furthermore, on the kitchen front, I picked up some sweet little cutting boards:

And a tart pan, from my cousin Eleanor!

Note: if you tell Eleanor you’re looking for something, she will employ her eagle eye on your behalf, and most likely find the thing before you do, and pay for it. She’s awesome that way. Thank you Eleanor. You’d better stop spoiling me now, before I bring bankruptcy on your head after being gifted one tart pan too many.

Remember the Tale of the Lost Jeans from last year’s Rummage? Yep. My cousins pretty much rock.

The other kitchen item I found was a blender, to replace the gross one that I could hardly stand looking at (from the recesses of my grandfather’s basement). In fact, I’ve probably complained about the grossness of that old blender on this very blog.

The “T” on the new one stands for “tested,” so there was no doubt it was in working order.

Since my cousins and I put some hours of work in at the Garden Department (home to hundreds of baskets which we priced individually, organized, and stacked all Tuesday morning), we set aside some great baskets which we proceeded to purchase:

All 100% practical!

This one houses my husband’s overflowing collection of socks (in various states of tatter–must correct issue some time):

This one now houses my sewing stuff, which used to just exist in a messy looking pile on a shelf:

These house something or another–don’t quite recall–guitar paraphenalia, perhaps?

Anyway, the point is, these baskets have helped us organize our existing stuff much better.

Speaking of baskets, we had dinner Wednesday night with some old friends of my cousins’ up in Winnetka, and the lady of the house graciously gifted us all baskets crafted of hemp and wool that she makes herself.


And practical–it’s on the bedside table in John’s room (now housing his loose change):

The one totally non-practical, 100% decorative thing I brought home was this:

I couldn’t resist. My sister Heidi had a vase of these (fake) beauties in our room in Alaska when we visited, and I’ve been wanting some ever since. I want to be just like my younger sister.

Their darling, artificial selves just brightened the room. They are now hanging out in our dining room area:

Of course, I also brought home some pretty things to wear. Like this silk Banana Republic top and green drapey sweater:

And maternity stuff! Namely, this stretchy skirt and a pair of jeans:

I have to say that after buying that grey skirt, I lived in it for about the next week. It is so massively comfortable that I can’t even believe it.

Aunt Jessie also sent some fascinators our way that we picked over in the hotel room, and I snatched up a lovely cream-colored one and a black one, which we used during our band photo shoot (the black one may very well be featured in the artwork on either our album or EP–stay tuned!).

There was more–but I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the clothing. There was a gauzy silk dress with a flower print . . . a dusty pink tunic-style top with pretty embroidery and pleating . . . an A-line skirt with a grey and orange floral design . . . yup. Pretty things! Then, of course, there were a few jewelry finds, like this necklace:

These earrings (which I’m wearing as I type this):

And this awesome bracelet.

I’m usually not a bracelet person, but I’ve worn this one at least 3 times since I bought it.

It feels really wonderful on the wrist–weighty and smooth.

Next up: baby stuff! A Baby Bjorn carrier for a few dollars, for instance.

Crib sheets and mattress pads, at 50 cents a pop.

Of course, at this point we weren’t sure if the Little Wa-Wa was a boy or girl, so I kept it pretty gender neutral on the clothing front.

A duck towel!

And plenty of bedtime reading, with a ton of books that my cousin June picked out and purchased. Thanks June!!

A good-looking diaper bag for $8 which can totally work as a regular purse when my diaper-bag-carrying days are over?

Yes, please.

Finally, I bought some other things destined to be birthday and/or Christmas gifts, and since I know my mother and sisters occasionally stumble onto this space, I won’t share that stuff–but overall, this is a pretty complete picture of what I bought at Rummage. Some things I neglected to photograph–a cute red cardigan for the little one’s first Christmas, a turtle nightlight that Aunt Jacquie bought me as a baby gift for Alice’s future room, and a few other items–but this is a pretty good overall idea of what all I rolled in with on that warm spring night.

And I’m already looking forward to next year! Erica says she’ll join (for the first time) . . . and I’m holding her to it!! The presence of sisters can only make this experience even more wildly funly wild.