Getting Caught Up on the Decluttering Count

My entire house has completely fallen apart. I’m so unorganized right now that I’m not sure I can remember everything I’ve gotten rid of but I’ll try to give you a quick run down:

(The consignment sale at the horse fair went really well!)

These are the things that we sold at the sale:

Leather Lead Line
English bridle
Nylon hay net (brand new)
Sticker book
Coloring book
Bell Boots
Red breast collar
Western headstall
Red and black lead line
Fly sheet
Brush
25 other things (HA!! I can’t remember what they were! They really weren’t important to me I guess! You have to list everything out that you’re selling so I know that I sold 36 things.)

Total Count of 36 things sold at the horse fair.

Here’s the things that I cleaned off my dreaded front porch today:

27 clothing items
Disposable litter box (we have to buy these to take to the 4-H cat show every year)
9 bottles that were painted gold for my daughter’s wedding
Small mirror
3 empty boxes
2 saddle pads
26 pieces of junk mail

Total Count of 69 things off the front porch today.. YAY!!!

So, I’ve gotten rid of 105 things in the last few days. I can’t believe that it added up to so many! There’s such a mess here right now that it doesn’t look like I’ve gotten rid of anything at all but I still feel good that I found this many things to get rid of.

It looks like the last time I counted was back in February when I took down the Christmas tree.

My grand decluttering total then was 2,135 and now I’m up to 2,240.  What a great number!  It’s still a far cry from the 5,000 that I’m hoping to get to by the end of the year but there’s still 8 months left.  I can still do it!

It’s all gone downhill since Saturday night

The trip to Tennessee was great. Everything was really nice right up until 10 p.m. Saturday, the night before we were leaving. When I woke up that morning, I went and sat out on the front porch, like I had every other morning, but something was different. The winds had changed. Things felt strange and the birds seemed to be singing a different tune. It was like a Mary Poppins moment.

The rest of the day went okay and I had forgotten how strange the wind had felt that morning. We went and met their neighbors’ family and spent a little time at their house. It was nice. But as soon as we went back to the house, that’s when all the strange unfortunate things started happening.

The first was the accountant calling. For years, my taxes have always seemed to work out. Pay a little federal and then get a state return or vice versa. It just never changed much. Well, this year, we owe thousands of dollars. I still don’t know how that even happens. So here it was 10 p.m. on the night before the day we’re leaving at 6:00 in the morning and I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to be in bed by 10 but who could sleep after hearing that kind of news? I was a wreck and that’s when I started feeling a little cruddy.

The drive home the next day wasn’t too bad. The GPS took us a different way home than we had gone. It involved going down a mountain (or really huge hill) and my ears were (or weren’t) popping. They filled up but didn’t actually pop for over an hour. I could hardly hear a thing. It was painful! I thought I was going to have a brain aneurysm or something. There was so much pressure in my head and to top it off, I still wasn’t feeling well in general. We made it home okay though.

On Monday, my son, his wife and their new baby were taking a vacation two hours away. I took my mom and the twins to go see them because my mom hasn’t gotten a chance to see the baby yet. The drive there was fine. The truck was doing something a little strange at one point but I ignored it because it was still driving okay. It just felt a little funny. We got home later that afternoon and I took my daughter out to do some riding. The temp dropped 20 degrees and I was freezing and feeling worse by the minute.

On the way home, we decided to stop at the store. We pulled into the parking lot and the truck started making all kinds of crazy noises. Every time I went over 10 mph, it got much worse. I knew it had to do with the bearings.  So, it took forever to get home but we made it. I still can’t believe that we made it home from both trips without anything happening! I guess that I can truly thank God for that one!

Still, the truck wouldn’t have been an awful thing by itself because it has a warranty but that’s not how things work around here. Of course, my son had his driving test in the morning at 8:30 a.m. I tried to borrow my mom’s car but her brake light was on. Can’t take the test if any lights are on. So, we had to use our other vehicle which is a smaller truck that has lots wrong with it, but no lights on.

He didn’t pass. The way everything was going, I wasn’t surprised. I took him to school and since then, I’ve been feeling worse and worse all day. I need to feel better but I keep feeling worse. I have a terrible sore throat and headache. And just now, my friend texted me and said that her husband just went to the ER because he’s having chest pains.

A whole bunch of smaller things happened too but these are some of the biggies. I hope the wind changes again soon!

Homestead Heritage Museum in Tennessee

It’s like visiting the Little House on the Prairie.  It’s just a small little cobblestone house with a few rooms and a few items in each room.  It wasn’t really much of a museum but it was cute and I got some nice pictures.

When we first got there, a couple was leaving the house.  We had seen a car from Massachusetts so we thought that’s where they were from.  It turns out that it’s just a rental car.  They’re actually from Wisconsin too! They weren’t from the exact same area but not too far away.  What a small world it is!

I wasn’t really planning on doing much sightseeing on this trip since I don’t really have any extra money but I guess it’s hard for me to just sit around doing nothing.  I already have too much planned for tomorrow!

Here’s a few pictures of the museum!

Visiting Tennessee Made Possible By Selling My Clutter

We’re in Tennessee!

Tennessee vacation

I decided less than 2 weeks ago that I was in desperate need of a vacation.  When I was a kid, my grandparents lived in Georgia so my mom would take us there every couple of years.  Sometimes we drove and sometimes we travelled by airplane.  I loved flying because I loved the whole airport experience.  Traveling was so exciting for me that I planned to take my kids all over the place.

Well, the twins are 17 now and they haven’t been out of Wisconsin more than a handful of times.  They’ve never flown.  The only reason my older kids have been to Disney is because they went on school trips.  We haven’t had time or money to go anywhere.  So, I just decided, we needed to visit family in Tennessee.  All I needed was money for a little food on the way and gas because once we got here, we would be well taken care of. Thankfully, I got a last minute bid on something I was selling on eBay that gave me just enough money to make the trip.

So, here we are in Tennessee today.  It’s absolutely gorgeous.  They even have SUN today.  Wisconsin hasn’t seen more than a couple of days of sun in the last month or two and when it was out, I was at work.  It would get cloudy the minute I walked out the door.  It’s also green here with splashes of color everywhere instead of gloomy depressing brown.

It’s Beautiful in Tennessee!

I don’t know what we’re doing today.  If we do nothing, I will be perfectly happy with that.  Sitting on the front porch in the sun all day sounds like a grand idea to me.  I might take the kids and check out the town a little bit but I don’t think that will take very long.  The population here is only about 10,000 so I don’t imagine it’s a very huge place but I could be wrong! I’m sure they would at least have a little downtown area with some shops we could visit or maybe a nice park.

Cleaning Out the Old Horse Trailer

We finally had some beautiful weather the other day and I was able to clean my horse trailer out.  It had to get done because I bought a different one and I need to sell the old one as soon as possible.  My truck isn’t big enough to haul a horse trailer and it’s on it’s last legs.  Once I sell the trailer, I’ll be able to buy a different truck.  We managed to fill up 3 big bags of things to sell at the Midwest Horse Fair next week.

Time for the pics!

cleaning the tack room

It doesn’t really look like that much stuff, does it?  It’s hard to see it all in the picture though. You’ll see it much better when it’s out on the driveway!

Cleaning it out!

cleaning out the trailer

There was a lot more in there than you thought, right?  I loved that trailer because of all the space it had in the tack room but unfortunately it just wasn’t big enough for my horse.  I’m glad that we found a lot to get rid of.  Still not sure how it all fit.

Here’s the emptied out horse trailer!

clean horse trailer

See, it has tons of space for a lot of stuff.  You just need to have small horses that fit in the horse area.  Just kidding.  They don’t really have to be small.  My horse has an usually long neck so that’s why it’s too small for him.  The new trailer only has about half the amount of space that this one does so we had to get rid of some of the stuff.  We also put some of it in the tack stall at the barn but that needs to be cleaned out too.

The tack stall at the barn and my front porch are the other two places where I keep too much horse stuff.  I’ll have to get through those two places before the horse fair.  I don’t have much time left!

Beautiful Weather for Cleaning out the Trailer

A couple weeks ago, I bought a new used horse trailer.  Yay!  My old trailer didn’t have enough windows and it was a little too small for my horse.  We love the old trailer but it just wasn’t great for Flash. Just like the house, the trailer has way too much stuff in it.  When we were starting out, we used to go to tack sales and buy anything and everything that was cheap because we didn’t know what we needed.  Now when we go, we only buy what we need but we still have a lot of the remnants left over from our buy everything days.  There’s also a lot of things that just need to be replaced so it’s out with the old and in with the new.

It’s been cloudy, cold, and rainy here for weeks!  There hasn’t been a single day that was nice enough for cleaning out the trailer.  Finally, it’s beautiful today.  It’s sunny and supposed to be in the 60’s… ahhhh warm!

Time to start unloading the trailer!!!

The Listings are Ending with No Bids

I have a lot of listings that are ending today and none of them have any bids.  It’s okay though.  I’m really busy for the next couple of weeks and won’t have much time for shipping!  In fact, I won’t have time for decluttering or anything else.  Where is the time going this year?  I was hoping for a long cold winter so I could get a lot done without all the temptation of being outside but we had a mild winter.  We were able to go to the barn pretty often.  4-H is also taking up way too much of my time.  Next year, I am giving up some of those responsiblities.  I need to get this house a little further along before volunteering for anything else.

In two weeks, we’ll be going to the the Midwest Horse Fair.  They have a big tack sale there where you can sell all of your horse things on consignment.  The sale itself gets over 20,000 people going through it so it’s easy to sell just about anything there. It’s also easy to spend a lot so you have to be careful.  I’m planning on spending some time this weekend getting things together to take.  It will help to turn some of this clutter into $$$.

Listing Lots of Things on eBay

While it’s not nearly as worthwhile selling on eBay as it used to be, I was listing things this weekend in hopes of making a few dollars.  I really want to pay off a few bills quickly and was finding a lot of things that I thought maybe would sell.  Since I was having a hard time giving these things away anyways, I started listing them instead.

Did I mention that I don’t like selling things?  Most of the time it’s not really worth the little bit of money that I make.  I get way too emotionally involved and practically give things away free anyways.  I might as well skip the selling part and all the hassle that comes with it.  I’ve spent a lot of time already and I’ve only made around $100 after all the ridiculous fees. It’s certainly better than nothing but it doesn’t seem like enough for all the work I’ve put into it.

Maybe I should try selling some things on Facebook instead.  Where’s your favorite place to sell things?  Or do you just give it all away?  Has anyone tried OfferUp or LetGo?

Cats and Clutter Don’t Go Well Together

I always thought I would have dogs in my adult life.  I love dogs.  I’m a dog person, or so I’ve always thought.  But I didn’t have dogs like I thought I would.  A family member with dog allergies meant no dog for me ever again.  My kids wouldn’t get to benefit from all the joy a dog can bring.

Then, about six years ago, something happened.  I found a cat or maybe I should say that the cat found me.  He was in a terrible situation and begged me to help him.  I didn’t know what to do because I never had a cat.  My friend’s cats always hid when I was around so I never actually had any contact with cats.  I was a little terrified of them but I love animals so I helped him.

STALKER

cat

This is Stalker.  He’s the cat that I saved.  As you can see, he’s a very intelligent cat.  I called him Stalker because he followed me around the house all day long.  I didn’t know what he wanted but then I saw the grateful look in his eyes and knew he was just trying to thank me for saving him.  He’s been a joy since the day I brought him home.  I don’t think there’s another cat in the world who would have been a better first cat.

PATCHES

Patches

Next came Patches.  She’s a fun loving, friendly, I want to meet everyone kind of cat.  She is happy being the center of attention.  The reason we got Patches is kind of silly too.  Stalker seemed to like the girls in the family and the boys were feeling left out.  So, they went and got a little girl kitty and she loves the boys!  It all worked out perfectly.

Oskar

oskar

This is Oskar, our newest addition.  He’s so much fun.  Even though he’s super shy around strangers and scared of tiny noises, he makes me laugh every day.  You could also say that I finally got my dog.  He plays fetch better than most dogs I know, even gets in a few flips here and there.  He growls at strangers walking up to the door and he tries to bark by saying “Woof!”.  He’s great.

Cats and Clutter

I don’t think cats like having clutter around and I’m glad that we didn’t have dogs or cats when our house was at it’s worst.  I think that would have been miserable for all of us.  My cats love it when they can roam around without having to climb through mounds of stuff.  They look less stressed and are much happier.  Sometimes things pile up but as soon as I move a few things, they come along and sleep in the cleared out spots.  When I see that, I know that the clutter affects them and I get motivated to do more.

Wish I Could Take a Day Off to Declutter

The decluttering effort at my house is very slow right now.  My living room is slowly filling up or at least it was.  I’ve gotten two boxes together that I’ll be taking to a donation place in the next day or two.  I listed a few things on eBay too.  I told myself that if they didn’t sell, they were being donated.  Most of the auctions have ended and none have sold.  No one else wants these things either so I’m going to put them in the donation boxes.

There were quite a few Hallmark ornaments.  Some of them are really cute but I have no connection to them.  They’re ones that my mom got from someone, didn’t want them, so then she gave them to me.  That’s been one of my biggest problems – people giving me things that I don’t need.  She may have given them to me because she thought maybe I could make a few dollars by selling them but I don’t want to keep relisting them over and over.  I called her yesterday and asked if I could get rid of them if they didn’t sell.  At first she said she wanted them back but then since she couldn’t even remember which ones they were, she told me that I could donate them.  I’m glad she made that decision.

Here’s a couple of the ornaments

See, they’re cute but I don’t need them.  We have enough ornaments and each one we put on our tree has a special meaning to it.

Recently, my manager told me that I should take a few days off because I’m getting too many vacation days built up.  I told her that wouldn’t be a problem.  I’d be happy to take a few days off!