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Dec 3, 2010

Positively the LAST decluttering post

Brace yourself, friends, my notable Necchi is no more.  She won't be picked up till next week but I have a deposit.  How exciting is that?  Five sewing machines sold in four days.  Let's all take a deep breath.

In other decluttering-related news...

This blue ceramic lamp had been sitting in my closet for the last five years, needing to be rewired.  I finally took it out, thinking I'd sell it on Craigslist as-is, when I decided to take a closer look at the wiring problem.  It needed the most basic repair imaginable: the wire had come loose at the base of the bulb socket and simply needed to be reattached with a screwdriver.  Easy!  Now I think we'll keep it.

Still no takers on those funky phones.  Doesn't anyone use an old fashioned push-button phone anymore?

I've been thinking about upcycling my Lydia, which hasn't had a single Craigslist nibble.  What could I make with her?  It would have to be better and fancier, which is sort of the definition of upcycling.  A large pendant, perhaps?  I welcome your ideas.

Now let's go to the bedroom; have I ever taken you there?

These boxes contain fabric.  Only one box contains my actual fabric stash (I may explore that with you over the weekend).  The others contain things like old sheets for muslins.  I have a lot of those, maybe too many.  The smaller black box up top is my new scrap stash, a quarter of what it once was thanks to Miriam and the mysterious Filipino upcyclers.

The boxes below are a bit of a hodge-podge: muslins I'm not ready to part with, a few pashminas I'm holding for Cathy along with her extensive sunglasses, scarf, and costume jewelry collection.  When my vintage taupe American Tourister luggage set arrives -- any day now, can you stand it? -- I'll probably put some of that stuff in those and put them...   Let's cross that bridge when we get to it, shall we?

Lydia still sits in the corner in her carrying case, looking somewhat forlorn and who can blame her.  She knows she's next.

I bought this vintage Seventies Schwinn bicycle about six years ago on Craigslist and I never ride it anymore.  For one thing it's too high -- a sudden stop could turn me into a soprano.  I'll put this up for sale shortly.

That's it, friends!  I continue to declutter as best I can.  Bags of old clothes are thrift store-bound.  Books go to our building's laundry room, where there's a bookcase specifically for the purpose.  I never did make it to the fabric stores yesterday, but now with some specific recommendations in hand (Thank you, MainelyDad), I intend to go today.

What's on your plate for the weekend, readers?  More importantly -- what are you getting rid of?

Please join me in making 2011 the year of less!


  1. What's your wall space like (and can you put up shelving?) some simple free floating shelves (like the ikea ones, if you can deal with the stupid brackets not matching our studs issue) and then A wonderful wall installation of vintage luggage and pretty white mid century sewing machines seems like a lovely thing! Mix function with decorating!

  2. My problem with shelves, Patty, is that you have to dust them.

  3. I'm glad you were able to save that lamp. It's such a beautiful color! When you make up your mind to do something, it's full steam ahead! Congrats on your decluttering.

  4. Hopefully, I'll be getting rid of a lot of my tie dye stuff at the arts market this weekend. I've been dyeing up a storm and have the most stock I have ever had!

  5. well congratulations. I know how exhausting it is. I don't suppose you have any stash that falls into the "what was I thinking" category? I have a few pieces that should find new homes, but I have taken no steps towards that goal. Like a piece of plush, faux fur type stuff with sequins. Flashy!

  6. Not unless you count four yards of faux python vinyl.

  7. Dusting: Sounds like a perfect job for Cathy - just pick her up a nice feather duster and let'er at it!

    Also. Unrelated, but my basset hound just wandered into the living room carrying a hat and pair of mittens in her mouth. Guess it's time to go outside...

  8. Congrats on all the decluttering. I started enthusiastically last spring, here at my house, but lost my momentum by summer! Yikes-who knew how much stuff you could accumulate in 25 years. I have given lots away to the thrift shops. Here is somewhere you could donate Lydia, if you get no takers-
    I just got the info about this in my email yesterday, so maybe it's fate. Now back to my cleaning and reorganizing-

  9. Just wanted to say I have enjoyed your decluttering posts. I'm also looking forward to more sewing posts. Your writing style is very entertaining. Thanks for sharing your successes with the world.

  10. You're decluttering makes me want to get rid of stuff. It would make life simpler and give me more room.

  11. What am I getting rid of? One toddler, at least temporarily. She's with her parents this weekend, which means I get to have sewing time. Which is good, because I've been trying to cut out another pair of jammies all morning, only to be thwarted by said toddler when she decided that her board book collections needed to be in the middle of the fabric on my cutting table.

    What else I'm getting rid of--well, it's more like replacing. I'm tossing several old VHS tapes because we purchased DVDs of them for Christmas because the tapes were showing their age.

    And my plans include sewing and more sewing with a trip to the dollar store on the side for stocking stuffing materials. And perhaps writing a name on the new baby's stocking with glitter paint. I've made two pairs of pajamas this week and put finishing touches on another. I've been trying to cut out a fourth, but as I mentioned earlier, Evie doesn't want me to! Ah, well, I'll get it done today and start sewing it together. By this time next week, I'm hoping to have most of them finished so that I can start on the toys.

  12. You are doing a great job of clearing your space Peter. I still can't believe that you no longer have a museum of machines...

    Speaking of old phones...I know someone who uses a rotary dial phone on a party-line. Most people have no clue what that means.

  13. I have someone coming to get my Dressmaker Deluxe Zig-Zag tonight, (I priced it to just reimburse myself) and I'm trying to purge so many other things too. I'm nearly to "throw it out!" mode myself, but with two growing girls what I really need to go through and get rid of is extra older clothes. Once gone through those are donation city.

  14. Have you thought about freecycle for the Lydia? If you can't sell it, perhaps you could give it away. [I like freecycle -- put stuff out & it goes away.]


  15. My mother just dropped off about 200 vitnage patterns (40's to the 70's) so the plan is open an Etsy shop and sell them. Not exactly decluttering for me, but is it for her

  16. Don't let this be the last, surely you can find a couple more bikes/sewing machines to toss :-). There, don't you feel better already?

    As to the old sheets for muslins, surely you can't need more than 2 at a time? Since any thrift shop would have plenty at any time, the only reason to even have one would be if you were seized with the urge to muslin in the middle of the night?

  17. Good job! I'm with you on the decluttering front. I usually do some right after New Year's.

    Als, Marie-Christine, I can totally see Peter having an urge to muslin in the middle of the night. I mean, c'mon, this is PETER we're talking about.

  18. and that would be "also" not "als"

  19. Sell Lydia on eBay!
    You'll reach a much wider audience and she'll go to a Necchi collector who is dying to fix her up!

    You've purchased machines on eBay so you understand how to pack one for shipping.

    Don't think about it. JUST DO IT!

  20. Congrats on the decluttering, Peter!

    I did a MAJOR declutter this summer. So major that I filled to the brim, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing the largest dumpster my garbage people could deliver. It was easy to purge (well, hard work but not difficult to purge things) because I had been living in a rented, furnished townhome and realized just how much stuff I do NOT need to haul around with me for the rest of my life. Oh the "stuff" one collects in a lifetime.

    As to your Lydia, have you checked to see if the camstack is broken? It probably is, from what I've been learning regarding Necchi's (I'm a beginner collector). Lydia's are the only Necchi's which have a bad reputation because of that issue, even though it is lovely, vintage, and made in Italy. I don't think I'd bother selling it. Free cycle or give to your local Goodwill.

  21. Good for you! I've come to love decluttering as well. I've been tackling the sewing and craft stuff lately and love reclaiming the guest closet.

  22. My one rule is that I will not pack and ship a machine: too much work, plain and simple.

    Lydia's camstack is indeed cracked, I inspected it myself. All it does is straight stitch. It's also too speedy for my tastes, even on the lowest setting. But it IS gorgeous...

  23. My husband and I only take on big household projects if they have acronyms or initializations or Soviet-sounding names. We tried for years to come up with something for decluttering and finally settled on GRO (for Get Rid Of). Now we aim to GRO by 7 items every week--but it's a tough battle with kids, hobbies, and a taste for thrift stores. Anyway, what am I getting rid of this week besides Thanksgiving leftovers? old hockey breezers, bad books, some crappy CDs. Sewing machines? Are you kidding?

  24. 5 IN 4 DAYS?!

    you have crazy craigslist karma. makes me wonder (again) about putting one of my featherweights up for sale...

  25. "Now let's go to the bedroom; have I ever taken you there?"

    Not a bad pickup line, that.

  26. Here you go. A very nice use for your Necchi.


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