Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in The Process

Now on to the really hard core homeless items. My top 3 are Mattresses. (I never did find any place that would take a mattress so I re-purposed the baby crib rails and metal as garden supports and put the mattress on the floor for visiting kids.) See mattress posts here and here. Items that are […]

IT HELPS TO BE CONNECTED. By this I mean that sometimes giving stuff to the usual places (Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, Lupus, Viet Vets – GSVPSALVV for short 😉 ) seems like a bad match. It helps to have personal links to potential “good homes.” For example: Challenge #1 – Carpet Samples. Several decades […]

While pruning the clutter of Too Much Information from my life these last few months has been good, other items have been collecting dust. When I’m ready to let go of miscellaneous stuff around the house I put them in a bin and wait for a time to take them to Goodwill, St. Vincent de […]

April 22 is Earth Day. This reminds me of the importance of decreasing our carbon footprint by the familiar formula: reduce, reuse, recycle. Many families, including us: Typical recycling: Put paper, cans, glass, plastic bottles, anything with a triangle (Δ), into our city’s curbside recycling service Compost vegetables and yard waste Take reusable cloth bags to the […]

It’s the end of 2014. Over the past year when I noticed things I no longer needed, I’ve put them in a plastic bin that I keep for giveaways. These items don’t really fit into any neat category and didn’t merit a trip to St. Vincent DePaul just for a few miscellaneous items. I was […]

An email came from a friend about contributing household goods to a local refugee resettlement program. Most of the people currently being served are from Nepal. Lita invited our faith community to bring extra household items for the refugees to our next meeting. I thought I wouldn’t have much to contribute since I’ve been limiting […]

A magazine, Alive, asked to do an article about my year of giving away and wanted to do a photo. Unfortunately it’s hard to take a photo of what’s no longer in our home. I wondered if we would need to “stage” it to suggest the kinds of things that I gave away but no […]

Continuing my June 1 blog’s issue about how to donate rather elegant/expensive clothing, I now turn to the opposite extreme – what about donating rather substandard items? It’s virtuous to clear out the stuff that’s cluttering our home and simplify our material possessions. This helps us find things more easily, makes for a cleaner environment, […]

Jim informed me that I needed new jeans. He was right. A hole was starting in my “good” pair. No problem. I went to our trusty Gap Outlet where I knew I could get a pair cheap. I was on a tight schedule, however, so I quickly chose a pair of jeans missing the button. […]

To buy or not to buy – That is the question. The word “black” can be a source of pride or despair. In the Great Depression it meant the economy was in crisis. For the day after Thanksgiving it has come to mean the beginning of the Christmas shopping season when retailers move from red […]

Saving money vs. Saving Time

All four of our children are sprung, but not their stuff. We still store memorabilia, some clothes, and high school papers that one 30 something can’t possibly part with. In their defense two of our children live out of the country, and one has a two room apartment with no storage space. The fourth young […]

…But being used in a good way. As my reputation grows for being a “go to person” for where to take used but usable clothes, toys, kitchen supplies, etc., I’ve found that people are starting to drop things off at my house. One reason is that my parish has an in-house thrift store and since […]

I travel a fair amount, have a brother who is a dentist, and tend to hold on to stuff way too long. I have thus collected an assortment of toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorants, soaps, shampoos, combs, and other miscellaneous things one keeps in the bathroom. When I travel, I’m especially fanatical about packing small and light. […]

Recently I have found myself the recipient of other people’s stuff. Some of this may be due to the fact that I have developed a bit of a reputation as a “go to” person for those who are trying to prune their wardrobes and homes of extra stuff. Other’s know I am frugal and don’t […]

Recently we were visiting our son and his wife in Washington, DC. It was trash day and I looked out at the street lined with identical green garbage cans issued by the city. It was a strange sight to me. They all seemed so tiny by Midwest standards. I checked and each can was 32 […]

Once I diligently finished my first 365 days of give-aways, I promised myself that this would not be the end of giving stuff away. Although my pace has slowed, I notice that I am now more mindful about what accumulates around the house. BUT, I don’t want to make weekly drives to Goodwill or Best […]

One of the things I’ve learned about letting go of stuff over the past 1½ years is that choosing what to give away is easier than figuring out how to give it away. Knowing who or where to take it to, carting it there or waiting for someone to pick it up, or repairing/recycling is […]

I’ve been saving this give-away for last because of weather, I couldn’t get anyone to take it, and I had moral qualms about giving it away anyway. You may recognize that the object in the photo was once a baby crib. I have now re-purposed it as a couch. Here’s the story. All four of […]

I know I’m treading on dangerous territory here, but I’m trying to be careful not to give-away / throw-away things that I have no use for, but that belong to other family members. The easy person was our niece, Linda, (right) who cooperatively visited from out of town to go through several boxes of family […]