Thursday, November 14, 2013

Space, The Final Frontier

Pressure Busting Tip #14
Our house is tiny, and what it lacks in closet space it makes up for in crawl space/knee wall storage.  Pretty
much the entire upstairs, which we finished for the boys' shared room, has space behind three of the walls for squirreling away boxes of stuff, the baby crib and changing table, Sam and Jared's toys, and the Christmas decorations. Each year, Rick would go upstairs and haul out the stuff marked "Christmas"; later, I would go upstairs and separate the crappy stuff that went back into storage because 1. I got better stuff; 2. It had some bad provenance attached to it; 3. It was from when the boys were little and liked a lot of schlocky stuff; 4.  It was from my long ago crafty period.  Finally, I realized that the whole routine was idiotic.  Why was I storing a bunch of Christmas stuff that I never used?  Little by little, I either gave it away to people who appreciated it and would love it/use it, or tossed it if it was really awful.  I consulted the boys if I thought they would be sentimental about it, of course.  Now I'm down to only the stuff I really use and need, with a few things kept aside for the boys when they want them for their own trees in the future.

I'd urge you to take an hour and do the same, if you haven't already.  Pressure Busting Tip #14 can really be liberating and free up some storage space as well as some headspace.  Go through your Christmas Stuff as you haul it out and find homes for what you no longer need, want, or use.  Those things can brighten up a homeless shelter, a church charity sale, or even a school.  Drop them off at the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Take them to work and put them on a table with a FREE sign.  It's really true that "one man's trash is another man's treasure."  And I would add "sometimes space is a treasure."



  1. I love the term "squirreling away" even though I've grown to pretty much hate the destructive yard/tree rats. I've been following this practice every year, Nance. Each year it gets easier and easier. Plus, I keep my commitment to not add anything else to the Christmas stash unless it is exceptional and/or can take the place of something else. Not much meets either requirement. This summer, we even got rid of the small artificial tree that we had. That was mostly for emotional reasons after our burglary last Christmas, but I'm still glad it's gone. I take most everything to our charity thrift shop nearby. It's run by the Episcopal Women's group and makes over $100K a year, which all goes to local well-deserving charities. Hubby took it while the ladies were there working. They were hard at work with their backs to him and turned with a start when he said "Merry Christmas" and added to the loading dock donation area. They laughed heartily when they saw it. I have given a few things to friends who admired them, like a nativity wall hanging. I'm sure I'll purge even more of the stuff when I get it out this year. We're hosting Christmas Eve for our family, so I guess we will put up a tree (a live one) for the first time in about 3 years.


  2. Oh, and super clever title, too! I feel the need for more and more space as I get older!

  3. Shirley--Probably even a better time to do it, when you're not in the throes of the Season, but I hate going into the crawlspace in the heat of summer. It's terribly hot and stuffy in there, right under the roof.

    I bet the Episco-peddlers (LOL) didn't have that tree for long. I've noticed that artificial trees are rising in price lately. Rick would love to get one, but I'm stubbornly holding out. I like a live tree, and I have no problem with getting a much smaller one to make it easier on him re: wrangling it into the stand, putting the lights on. Of course, we hear about having a smaller tree, but I DON'T hear offers of help coming from the same people if we DO get a bigger tree. I know how it works. ;-)

    Re: the title. Thanks. It was just begging to be filched.

  4. Anonymous10:54 AM

    I like your thinking. When we moved to this house we ditched lots of Christmas stuff, but over the years new stuff has found its way here. Perhaps it is time for me to re-visit the idea of less Christmas is more Christmas. Thx for the idea.

  5. I can be pretty ruthless with getting rid of stuff - even stuff that means a lot to me if I don't think I have room for it. But Mike NAMES things. I can't get rid of things with names - why that would be like throwing out a child!

    Fortunately, we don't have a tremendous amount of Christmas stuff. I never buy anything, so it only grows with the few ornaments friends give us each year. Maybe this year I'll finally toss out some of the cheesier stuff that I "brought to the marriage" - surely he wouldn't mind if I throw THAT stuff out. Right?

  6. I did this a few years ago. Somehow, alas, the boxes have multiplied again.

  7. Mary G.--Oh, yes. They do. You have to be strong. But sometimes children bring them. And are overcome.

    Bug--The best thing that ever happened to me is the twice-yearly garage sale that my brother's lake community has. I can sell things there to others who honestly want them, get a bit of money, and unload a lot of stuff I just honestly don't need. And I know it is getting used, rather than sitting in my home, taking up space and gathering dust and resentment. And donating things to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or the Veterans makes me feel better, too. Maybe even Mike would feel good about his named things finding "work" or new homes in any of those cases.

    Ally--Oh, you're welcome. It's about time and opportunity meeting motivation sometimes. I find myself able to be at that junction more often lately. But I will say, I can get myself there with some prodding, too. The result is worth it.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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