Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This Makes Me Really Happy

Of all the improvements and decorating I've done in my house, the one thing that continues to bring me joy every day is my kitchen.

I can't help but smile each moring when I walk in to make my coffee. Thank you Victor (ace tile guy) for your patience with me while I mulled over and over all the options to figure out exactly what I wanted.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Stuff

Since I've talked so much about the journey of getting rid of so much of my "stuff", I thought maybe I should share a little bit about what I've kept.

Here is a little vignette I put together of some of the perfume bottles my mom left me. I like things around me that make me smile as I walk through my house and this is definitely one of them. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Did It Again! Last Storage Rental GONE!

It happened, it actually happened. I am the proud to announce that everything I own is under my own roof.

After years and years of paying for storage units, I am FREE, FREE, FREE. Happy Dance!

If you too are suffering from too-much-stuff-itis, take a deep breath and know there is light at the end of the tunnel. It took you years to get to this point, so it's reasonable that it won't change overnight. That is unless you decided just to get rid of everything in one fell swoop and for me that just wasn't realistic.

My assortment was some valuable antiques, interesting collectibles, my mother's estate items and my own collections AND lots of junk (in the no-one-would-pay-for-this sense of the word). And after the monetary and emotional investment in gathering it all, I just couldn't let it go for nothing.

So, I started selling on eBay and in flea markets, garage sales, giving away to Salvation Army and to friends and family. Slowly but surely the piles started to shrink.

And, fortunately I had some items of value that made the process worthwhile. If I had not, getting rid of it all would have been a much faster process.

I think though, like dieting, when you get too much stuff, you're more successful keeping it down in the long run if you get rid of it slowly and methodically.

I still have plenty to get rid of, but now it is all under my own roof and manageable. It's all either in my house or 2-car garage. And it feels, good, good, good.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Before and After ~ The House

My house originally came with lovely blick-brown carpet that hadn't been cleaned in years, uninspiring dirty-white walls and a boring kitchen with depressing, ugly tile. I haven't done a lot since move-in, but I had to make a few changes to make it livable.

Well, I exaggerate. It was livable, I just knew that once I got all my stuff unloaded there was no way I'd have the time, energy or motivation to tackle the big projects.

So I did the basics -- new floors, new paint and new tile in the kitchen. The rest is ongoing.

(oh, sorry for the picture quality - when I took these I didn't know I'd be writing about this adventure :) )

Before :(

After :)







And just for fun...

OK - time to tackle something new!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Before and After ~ The Garden

When I moved into my house a few years ago the garden was empty and bleak. Weeds and dirt were about all that was here. I didn't get the before pictures until a month or so after moving in -- but you'll get the idea.

It has taken time but it is starting to come together. I thought you might be inspired to work on your own space with some before and after shots. I know I always get inspired when I see transformation.

Before :(

After :)







More in my next post. Now get working on something!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Online Selling Tip #2 - Auction Management Tools

Once you've decided what you are going to sell, the next step is to find a web based auction management tool.

The basic level of service for these vendors ranges from free to about $20 per month. If you are selling any volume at all, their services are very worth the investment.

Currently I use Auctiva but I have also heard good things about Vendio and Inkfrog. To find others, do an internet search for "auction management tools".

These services will save you time, money and sanity. I used eBay for many years without one of these services and wasted lots of resources. These tools provide much more robust listing services at much less the price of eBay.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Storage / Declutter Tip

The following is my favorite tip of all time having to do with storage.

It may seem like a trivial matter to some, but to those of us who struggle with clutter but want to be organized, ideas that really work are gold.

OK - here's what you do:

First, you'll need a set of index cards, a box in which to store the cards and a black marker.

1. As you put items into a storage box, write down the items on an index card.
2. Put a number on the top of that index card and circle it.
3. Take another index card and using the entire card, write that same number on it.
4. Tape the index card containing just the number to the box.
5. Store the other index card containing the list of items in a safe place.

Now when you need to find an item you won't have to rummage through all your boxes nor will you have to try to scan a list you've taped to the box. You just have to do a quick scan of your index cards in the comfort of your home, not the cold, dark garage!

Of course, it helps if you can put like items together - but even when I haven't been able to do this, this method has saved me hours of trying to find some wanted/needed item hiding in a box somewhere.

Now feel free to share your own tips!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Online Selling Tip #1 - Pricing and Research

(although most of my online selling is currently done via eBay, the gist of the tips I provide can be applied to all selling outlets. The mechanics may differ a bit but the goal is the same)

For many of us, starting a new year can sometimes kick-start us into starting new projects. I am one of those people. Yesterday I got back to my Ebay selling.

I tend to go at it hard for a month or so, then slack off for several months. The last time I listed items was in July.

When I do sell, I have pretty good luck. Part of it is the items I'm selling. part of it is just the experience over time of learning to "market" my listings (more detail on that in a later posting).

But, my first tip for selling on Ebay is to learn what sells and for what price range. Do your research!

What are your sellling goals? Do you want to earn a bit of pocket money selling some used clothing, jewelry and household gadgets? Or, do you dream of making big money selling in bulk? Or, maybe you want to sell antiques and collectibles? Do you know what's hot? Do you know the current price market for such items?