Hatton House Diaries

One day, we decided to buy a 125 year old Victorian House in Des Moines, Iowa…….

Days 24, 25, 26 – Minimalism Game – I Had No Idea How Much Stuff We Had November 26, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 11:43 pm
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wpid-20131126_165114.jpgIn getting ready for my daughter’s birthday party, we converted the front parlor from summer use to winter use, which in the land of no garage means moving the bikes downstairs, which meant that I could then see the lost treasures of Spring gone by. Under a table, behind the bikes, was a huge box. In fact there were three boxes total that were hiding behind bikes (because like coats, we also have more bikes than people in this house). In two of the boxes, there were lights that I bought at a garage sale to change out some outdated fixtures in our rental house. In the third box, there was a giant pile of stuff. I counted: 76 items, all ready to be donated (and 4 items worthy of selling) that I just never got to the Thrift Store this Spring. JACKPOT!

I now realize that I had nothing to fear in this project. I thought this would be the hardest week. Where was I going to find 20+ things per day to get rid of? Now, I’m panicked because in four days, I’ll officially be done, and I’ve done one corner of the cluster f*%& that is our master bedroom. I haven’t gone through all the lotions and potions I keep in the bathroom but never use. And the attic…full of boxes of mystery, that I haven’t even cracked open. I’m pretty sure I could do Minimalism game for at least one or two more months and not be done. I’ve gotten rid of 351 things, and only in a few corners of my world does this place actually look decluttered. I’m going to have to think about how I want to use my last few precious official days…not at all how I expected to feel at this point.

P.S. That’s Pumpernickel, one of the mousers from Days 22-23 in the background, waiting to mail the silverware and collectibles out from our Ebay sell off. Remember my silverware stash?  It sold for $214.05. Not a bad haul for junk in a box!


Day 20-21 – Minimalism Game – Flatware From Another Life November 20, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 9:38 am
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$_57Remember how I hate selling things? I have a ton of stuff that falls into that “not willing to let it go/sell it”category. It’s so much easier to put the flatware from the beginning of our marriage in a box and forget about it. It was a really nice set, but looked kinda silly next to the new plates we got in….wait for it….2006. So I’ve had this set of flatware in a box for SEVEN YEARS. Because you could save it for the kids, for the apartment they might have 15 years from now. Or should I sell it to Replacements? Or Ebay it?

UGH! Decision time! Ebay it is. http://www.ebay.com/itm/321251514094


Day 19 – Minimalism Game – Did I Seriously Move All These VHS Tapes? November 19, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 9:26 am
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wpid-20131117_192638.jpgI guess I thought VHS was making a comeback? Or that we would get a VHS player and I would someday take time to watch this stuff again? Er…again…as if “The Devil’s Own” ever got out of the package. (It was filmed in my hometown, and I think I bought it in a homesick weak moment).

OK, so I kept the videos of my senior year play and our graduation video, which I will convert to DVD, and I’m sad that my FIRM videos are no more, but seriously….when did I ever expect to play these?

This Minimalism stuff is pretty freaking cool. I’ve realized a couple things in this process:

1. I had so much more crap that I DO NOT need than I thought I did. I’ve gotten rid of over 231 items, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I need to toss/sell.

2. All that stuff is draining. It sucks the energy out of your life with an emotional weight about 100x it’s physical weight.

3. Getting rid of stuff makes me feel stronger. By doing stuff I’ve been putting off for years, I feel fearless about facing the next big challenge. Who knew getting rid of stuff would be so empowering?

I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel as we get into the big number days, but so far…I’m a huge fan.


Day 18 – Minimalism Game – Closet Cleanout November 18, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 9:16 am
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wpid-20131108_134339.jpgYou’re never going to wear it again. You used to like it, but you haven’t worn it in forever. It’s OK to break up with an outfit that’s not that into you anymore. You used to be OK with that shirt that would ride up, but that’s just not cool anymore. To St Vincent’s Thrift Store with you all!


Day 15 – Minimalism Game – What Do You Do With… November 15, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 6:33 am
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wpid-20131117_002531.jpgCan we just talk about it? If you’re obsessed with not wasting things, what the heck do you do with your kids’ outgrown underwear? Yeah, let’s get weird. Ewww…not like that. Just, seriously, like everything else, they outgrow stuff long before it’s worn out, the you have a pile of underwear that’s perfectly fine, but donating undies just seems weird. So yeah, ex-undie sizes, I give up, you and I are parting ways. Done.

Halfway through the month. Just getting warmed up.


Day 14 – Minimalism Game – Kids Clothes Are (Not) Taking Over November 14, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 6:19 am
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wpid-20131116_212554.jpgI have the only granddaughter and grandson on both sides of our family. Sure, I’d rather have tons of nieces and nephews, but instead, I have two awesome kids that want for nothing. They have plenty of toys and a great collection of clothing, especially my daughter, who gets hand-me-downs from a friend with excellent taste in clothes. This is a wonderful thing, until they outgrow them. We are still planning to have another child, but it’s taking a little longer than planned to make that plan happen, so what started as a few boxes of extra clothes is now an out of control wild prairie of Rubbermaid boxes across the preserve of our 1000 SF attic. It’s not OK.

So I’m starting slow….a box of my shoes that don’t fit anymore and pants that aren’t at all special cast off by my son, sizes 3-5T. They’re for sale on my Minimalism sale on Facebook. Get these things out of my house folks, right here: https://www.facebook.com/tanyakeith/media_set?set=a.10202251802514841.1073741831.1183778292&type=3

Also, the Ebay page: http://www.ebay.com/usr/djotzke#

Please, buy our stuff.


Day 13 – Minimalism Game – Spice Girl November 13, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 5:59 am
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wpid-20131112_213054.jpgI have a problem. I have cool stuff I could sell, but I seem to get lost in the thought of how complicated it would be to sell it. I will have to find it, clean it, photograph it, list it for sale, meet with the buyer….ugh…it’s all so complicated. I will put it off forever. I will sometimes donate things I know I could sell, just because it’s so much easier. What I’m learning through this minimalism is that inaction can be just as draining as action. Seeing stuff time after time and having to think, “ugh, there’s that X again. Someday I’ll get rid of X” takes energy, energy I was expending over and over again.

Case in point: The spice rack from our first home. We used to have a house with no cabinet space, but a fair amount of counter space, so we moved everything we could out of drawers and into counter based storage solutions, such as this lovely spice rack. I thought it was so cool looking, and I loved the part it played in our first home. Now we have a home with plenty of drawer and cabinet space, but very little free counter space, so I moved the spices into one of the drawers, but couldn’t seem to let go of my little rack when I unpacked the kitchen stuff.

But 12 jars and a rack….that’s 13 items, if I could just force myself to clean it out and list it. So I dumped the several year old spices, cleaned the jars, photographed and posted. In the end, it didn’t take that long, and once it was posted, it didn’t take long for it to sell and the drop off was seamless. The lesson: less stuff and more cash in my pocket is the way to go. I promise you, there will be more to come!


Day 6 – Minimalism Game – GET OUT! November 6, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 5:41 pm
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kitchen lightTechnically, it’s one thing, but this 6 arm chandelier has been sitting in the corner of my dining room since I changed out the kitchen fixture 6 months ago, and Thanksgiving is around the corner. I’m not sure why it bugs me so much to list things for sale. It’s just annoying, getting the photos, measurements, writing the ad, posting the ad, dealing with the calls about the items…ugh. But this thing is worth more than $5, and I should sell it before one of my kids or cats breaks it! Listed for sale, buyer coming to see it tomorrow! HOORAY!! Get out of my house!


Day 3 – Minimalism Game – Orphaned Mitten Day November 3, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 10:18 pm
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wpid-20131105_090635.jpgIt’s time to let go of mittens with no matches. I’m giving up on ever finding your pairs, my friends. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out. Maybe next time, I’ll post in Craigslist Missed Connections, but today, you’re out the door. I’m going to work my way up to doing the same for your sock brethren. That’s a much bigger bag, I have a couple weeks.


Day 2 – Minimalism Game – Trash It! November 2, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 10:18 pm
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wpid-20131105_090705.jpgDay 2 of minimalism game brought on a big cleanout of the master bedroom and my closet. I set up boxes for sell, donate, trash/recycle, and a pile for putting things away. It was one of those situations that got worse before it got better, but by the end of it, I had two big bags of trash, and lots of organized chaos. Taking out the trash was awesome, going back to the chaos, not so much.