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How $16.84 Saved My Sanity

So, here is a truth about my sister and I. We hate “stuff”. We don’t do knick knacks, or cutesy things in our house(s).  Clutter needs to die.  Crap underfoot drives us crazy.  My friends joke that my house usually looks like the “after” version of the show Hoarders.  I’ll live in a place for at least a year before hanging photos on the wall because I just don’t want extra junk around.

For you see, we are the spawn of people who have a lot of “stuff”.  It’s not that my parents love stuff, it’s just that they’re horrible about editing what they bring in to the house, and what goes out.  I think it’s their gimpiness; it’s harder for them to get around and organize.

We try and intervene, but the piles return, and seem to triple.  Once, when my parent’s went on vacation, I flew up from Los Angeles, and my sister and I spent an entire weekend going through their house (the one Troy, Jack, and I live in now) and throwing about 50% of their stuff away.  My (now) brother-in-law helped us load the truck (cause he had one), and drove it to the dump; all under protest.  He kept saying “this is so wrong.  Please don’t let them know I was a part of it”.

We so ratted on him the second they came home.  Cause we’re nice like that.

So, it was an eye-opening experience when I came home the other day to this.

“I learned it by watching you ok, I LEARNED IT BY WATCHING YOU”.

Sigh, just looking at it makes me twitch a little.

This is the table that is in our foyer.  We come through the garage, but somehow, all the stuff gets dumped upstairs on, and around this table.  It’s a magnet for crud.  And it makes my eyes bleed.

I had clutter fever, and the only prescription was more organization.  You might remember my love of organization from this post.  Walking into the Container Store or an office supply store gives me a chick boner.

I filled my prescription to cure clutter fever at a Goodwill this weekend.  I walked around the corner and found a hideous little wooden beast.  It was kitschy, tacky, and I knew instantly it must be mine.  The price tag of $12.99 was right up my alley.  The top was hideous (almost like a countertop laminate, but shiny.  Fugly), but neither Troy nor I have enough time right now, or say in the next 5 years, to refinish it to my liking.  I resolved myself to the fug, paid for the item, and headed off to the fabric store.

The previous weekend I had been at Joann’s, and a woman was buying a fabric that I fell deeply in love with.  I had no need to buy it at the time but knew that someday it would find a place in my life.  Luckily, this opportunity presented itself a mere 7 days later.

While Troy unloaded the fugly cabinet from the truck, I quickly sewed a table runner to use as a bandaid until some day in a magical world where unicorns poop glitter and my family has enough time to recover this cabinet.

Since I was declaring a “no stuff on top of this thing” rule, I wanted something in addition to the table runner for decoration.  I remembered a cool milk bottle I had purchased at Goodwill last year that was hanging in my garage just waiting for a purpose in life.  While still in the garage, my eyes quickly fell on some peacock feathers that “Boy Boy” (named by Jack), our neighborhood peacock had molted on to our deck.

Within about 5 minutes, my entryway became a well-organized place that didn’t make me want to punch a nun every time I saw it.

Ahhhh.  Peaceful.  Next stop, the garage.  Any room that houses both antique milk bottles and feathers from a peacock’s ass might need some tidying up…

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28 comments on “How $16.84 Saved My Sanity”

  1. Oh, I hear you. I am paired with a man who finds sentiment in every item in the house. IT MAKES ME CRAZY.

    If I weren’t so nice, I would have rented a dump truck and just CHUCKED everything while A. was away hunting. But, I am not that ruthless. Plus, he is trying to meet me halfway.

    We are in the process of making some changes, and they may involve (God willing) a move. Now, whenever I am annoyed by something, I ask him, “Do you want to go through the effort of packing, moving, unpacking and paying for it when we move?” I usually get the answer I want. 😉

  2. You are too much like me. I love memories, but I hate, hate knicknacks. Also, every time my parents go out of town, I go bag after bag of clutter and either trash it, or label it and throw it in the basement (with hopes to trash it later after they’ve completely forgotten about it). I’m totally the first one to trash other peoples’ clutter. I should really stop, though.

  3. Horray for a fellow anti-clutter crusader! One time I threw away some of my husband’s clutter and it was not a pretty scenec afterwards. Now that we have 2 dogs (who destroy cluttery things left laying around) and a toddler the husband is much more tolerant of my constant tidying.
    Your Goodwill find has reminded me that I need to stop into Goodwill more often. It is less than a 1/2 mile from my house, on the way ot the grocery store, Target, all of my favorite weekend stops. There is no excuse for me to no shop Goodwill.

  4. Love your sense of humor! The cabinet looks great! In my next life I’d like to be almost clutter free. 🙂

  5. I’m jealous of your $12.99 furniture. I want! You should post a picture of the ugly top. I don’t believe you.

  6. it is still a free flat surface; i wana see a pic of it in a month… and no cheating!
    it IS pretty thought.

  7. You really paid 12.99 for that? From the picture it actually looks like a beautiful piece. Is it solid wood? I am jealous. I never find anything Good at my Goodwill.

    • Yep, $12.99 plus tax! The base (drawers, etc.) are solid wood. the top is awful. I think it used to be part of bed set, and this was a bed-side table because one side is unfinished.

      I fell in love with the quirky drawer pulls.

  8. I too am anti clutter. My own house makes my skin crawl. Being a pregnant crazy ass isn’t helping any. My husband isn’t a pack rat, but close. He’s got no clue I’ve been sending things to the dumpster for weeks. “We might need it!” Nope. No, we won’t.
    I’ve made every surface I possibly can clutter free by making it serve a purpose. Can’t crap up a counter if it’s designated for 3 big mason jars of snacks.
    I should have this house organized and in order- just in time to move in June. 😉

  9. I love it Sarah!!!

  10. Your posts make me laugh! I must admit, I am unfortunately living a cluttered life. Your blog is helping me to see the error of my ways. Keep up the great work. 🙂