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Oct 8, 2013

Good-bye, Blue Lady

Readers, if I'm a little emotional right now, you'll understand.

I just sold the first dress form I ever owned, an adjustable model I purchased nearly four years ago on  Naturally you're not used to seeing her fully naked.  To make her more pinnable, I made her a polyfleece top which I left on during our entire relationship (hence she was spotless to this day).  I gave the fleece top to her new owner in case she wants to use it (plus a copy of "Singer Sewing Essentials").

You're probably used to seeing the blue lady like this:

Her cheap stand broke early on, but I was able to find a better, wheeled base she has stood on for the last three years. 

Alas, I never gave her a name.  Now that I have two pinnable forms, Princess Grace of Monaco and Roy, I couldn't rationalize keeping my blue lady.  I listed her yesterday on Craigslist for $30; she didn't last 24 hours.  I chose to sell her instead of donate her because I trusted she'd find a buyer fast.  She's the first thing I've sold in this round of ditching; everything else has been given away.

Yesterday I discarded, easily, 50 books.  Having grown up in a family of readers, and at a time when books were more precious, it can be hard for me to give books away, but a quick glance at Amazon revealed that nearly all of them could be repurchased for about one cent each, plus shipping.  (The dollar value of most second-hand books is startlingly low.)  We have a tall bookshelf in my building's laundry room where people leave their old books and I've gotten some good ones there myself.  That's where I brought these.

If you've been following my ditching adventures over the years, you may have thought I'd already rid myself of the two large push-button phones below.  I originally tried to sell them on Craigslist but there were no takers.  Yesterday I finally gave them away.  They were too big and heavy to sell on eBay and, in this era of cellphones, the market for land line phones isn't what it was.

Sadly, yesterday even cousin Cathy was forced to part with some ill-fitting shoes, cheap handbags, and an old coat.  When I'm in a flow state, watch out.

I still have another bag of stuff for the Salvation Army and I may list a few things on eBay later this week.  Once I get warmed up, I'm grabbing things to ditch right and left.  I start thinking, If I've gotten rid of ________, do I really need to keep ________?

Do I really need TWO chihuahuas?

Friends, if I've neglected to ask about your downsizing adventures, it doesn't mean I'm not interested.  I just don't want to make anybody feel bad if they've stalled.  TIP: If you're not sure what to throw out of your own, throw out somebody else's stuff.

Have a great day, everybody!

PS -- I promise to return to sewing soon.


  1. Today I found a local thrift shop, supporting hospice work, that will take virtually any household good and all books. We're going there this weekend, probably twice - with many thanks to you for the impetus to do the necessary.

  2. You mean I may not "need" four cats?!? LOL

  3. Yes!! You need two chihuahuas!! Apparently I can't spell. I no longer keep books either except for a very few. Moving after living in the same place for 25 years has given me new perspective on what I need to keep.

  4. I think you should have gotten another chihuahua in return for the blue lady. Be well. Enjoy clearing out. It is very freeing, isn't it? Lane

  5. I wish I lived in your building. I'd love to read that book about Alan Turing.

  6. Good for you on continuing to get rid of what you no longer want or need. I especially resonate with how hard it is to get rid of books. I love books and every time I have had to cull my collection, I have had a hard time.
    You will feel better and lighter to be rid of the clutter in your life.
    I like these posts, they inspire me to see what else I can sell or donate. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. You're making me want to throw everything out and, by and large, I always discard something when I bring in something new. Cognitive dissonance!

  8. It would be funny if someone posted on another sewing blog about the fabulous dress form they got for $30.00. It could happen right? :)

  9. ha! I do find it easy to ditch some of my husband's stuff ;) You are really on a roll Peter. I just moved this summer, so I did quite a bit of ditching while packing up. It's definitely nice to unpack with less clutter.

  10. You got me going! Yesterday I re-arranged and organized the living room which is where projects drift to. (Only found 51 spools of thread there.) Gathered up 2 boxes of donations of things like ugly wine glasses & unused candles. And gathered up 2 large bags of shoes that though wearable, don't bring me as much joy as the 3 pair I just bought.

  11. This is really inspiring. :-)

    I've only taken a box or two to the charity shop but on Sunday I'm going to a carboot sale with a friend and taking a couple of hundred books and loads of other junk. :-)

  12. There are two things I have never tossed until last year- books and letters. Then I decided I would try getting rid of some books. I sold several boxes to the used bookstore. The very next week, my oldest son heard about "Flowers for Algernon", which I had read as a 5th grader, recommended to me by my 5th grade teacher. I had felt so honored that he thought I was mature enough to read it! Of course, I wanted my son to read MY copy of it. So,I went to the used bookstore. The owner had taken it home to read before putting it on the shelves for sale, but the next day he delivered it to our house! (Nice to live in a small town!). A couple months later I bought back another book.

  13. So did you ditch the Snoopy phone? And if not what would you take for it? My dad had one in the early 80's and yours made me nostalgic.

  14. Yesterday had a friend to visit; she's de-cluttering in preparation for a smaller home in two years' time. She confessed that she's been burning some of her old books as there's no-one who'd want them anyway! I find it so hard to get rid of my beloved old books but should really do a tidy-up as my sewing stuff seems to take over my bookcase space! Anne-Marie

  15. It's so hard to imagine burning books. They're a non-volatile storage medium. They'll function as designed in the total absence of technology. A book and a treadle machine....(sigh)

    But books are hard...there really is no market I have boxes, mostly stemming from a bad Barnes and Noble habit in the early 'naughts, that need to go to donation.
    As for the rest - I'll take a run at CL or eBay but after a few rounds without success...I donate.

  16. Most adorable photo of Willie and Freddie EVER!!! it's been so long, now I am second guessing their names. My brain is a mush of anatomy. forgive me. love to you.

  17. You never fail to inspire me in anything you do. I so need to get rid of 'stuff'. I find it so hard. But needs must.... :-)

  18. i trust the chihuahuas are not resting in one place too long

  19. The doggies look a little worried! I'm so proud of you Peter paring down to essentials. Good work.

  20. You always need two chihuahuas. In fact, I could use a gaggle of them.

  21. Although I initially started to declutter in April 2012 it is only recently I have been very ruthless with myself. I live in a one bedroom apartment and shared my craft area with my lounge, but in July last year decided to put the bedroom in the lounge and the craft area in the bedroom. Unfortunately the bedroom is unsuitable as a bedroom due to it having bad condensation resulting in mildew and mould, hence the swap around, and I had to get rid of my wardrobe and chest of drawers due to them both smelling of mould. I now have a hanging rail on the lounge room to replace the wardrobe:
    and underneath the clothes I have some 62 litre storage plastic storage boxes which have replaced the chest of drawers. My bedroom literally takes up the length of one wall.

    In 2010/11 I had *a lot* of stuff I wanted to get rid of on eBay, but their fees are so high now, plus the amount of stuff I wanted to get rid of, it just wasn't worth the work. I would probably of still had it laying around today, so it was easier to take it to a charity shop.

    But decluttering is good, but I do have difficulties getting rid of certain items such as books, although I have gotten rid of plenty already.

    Keep up the great work in all areas, and yes, you do need two chihuahua's. They are lovely.

    Cee Jay/Leigh on Sea, Essex, England, Britain


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