Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in The Process

In examining several dining room shelves for more things to give away, I found 11 sterling silver pieces with varying degrees of tarnish. Silver can be beautiful but I definitely don’t want to spend time polishing it for the rare fancy occasions we might use it. I’m sure, however, that a beautiful silver coffee pot […]

I suppose that a pruning purist would challenge every box, space, and piece of paper in the house, but I have to draw the line somewhere. For me, I’ve decided that I simply don’t have the time or will to go through four crates (40 years) of photo albums and five file cabinets of folders. […]

It’s book week #3 and I’m now evaluating the bookcases in the dining room. Technically this room has three bookcases but two of them are actually display shelves with stuff we’ve collected from various countries. One bookcase has books related to the continent of Asia, the second has books on Africa. Most of these are […]

Today I took on our biggest bookcase of 439 books. (One whole shelf contained sort of sorted Legos. I wouldn’t dare give those away.) I chose 193 books to give away which are pictured at right. Probably it’s more instructive to discuss what I decided to keep. A few old college text books: I thought […]

I’ve procrastinated long enough. It’s now time to tackle the books in our house. I counted 11 bookcases (not counting the 2 in Jim’s office and 3 that primarily have artifacts on them, not books) and 1,339 books at last count. Surely I can find quite a few to give away although it may be […]

As we close out the year I thought it would be fun to survey all the useless stuff I still have hanging around the house. Should I just trash these items or could there really be a use for some of them. It all started when I found a box of 124 floppy discs. On […]

Some weeks I give away a lot of things; some weeks only seven small items. The most satisfying times, however, are when I can find just the right person or place to give an item to. This past week I was happy to give our son’s trumpet from marching band back to the school for […]

I don’t’ think it’s fair to count our kids’ elementary and high school trophies and plaques as things to give away since they are of no use to anyone else. Still, I counted 22 trophies and 30 award plaques stored in a cedar chest that could be put to better use. (Trophies take up a […]

I counted 29 coats/jackets in our house. It’s December. It’s cold (10-20 degrees F). It’s embarrassing to think that a household of two people have 29 coats when some people are on the streets shivering. Some might call it sinful. I was planning to give away miscellaneous items this week but coats seem more urgent. […]

…beds. I’m trying to give away a roll-away bed plus a mattress from a long ago discarded sofa-bed. I put them up on FreeCycle and got two interested takers but so far my “takers” are no-shows. I’m even throwing in 11 sheets and 4 pillowcases to streamline my linen closet. I know these mattresses don’t […]

A contradance friend recently announced a dress swap. This is not an unusual event in the contradance world. Women bring swirly dresses that they are tired of and swap them for someone else’s. The dresses are not usually the kind you’d wear for work so it’s more for fun than practicality. My friend added a […]

While we’re on a costume theme, I thought you’d enjoy the two dresses I donated to our local contra dance dress swap. As you may know, contra dancing is a form of folk dancing that has some similarities to square dancing except we don’t dance in squares or wear costumes, i.e. skirts over petticoats for […]

One of our son’s has a model airplane that he’s never put together. In fact, he’s never even taken the cellophane off the box. The story goes that he received it as a birthday present when he was about 13 but wasn’t real keen on it. He saved it and later when he needed to […]

All this giving away has created a surplus of hangers in our house. I’ve used the pretty plastic left over hangers as far as they would go, so here are the ugly wire ones and a few pants/skirts hangers. Should I just throw them away? Is there a way to recycle them? They are a […]

I just learned that our married son’s house was broken into. Two computers and other electronics were taken along with some jewelry. Having survived several burglaries when Jim and I were newly marrieds, I know how upsetting this can be. Even if you have insurance, it’s a hassle to replace things and some items are […]

…a smell. While I was perusing the garage for things I could give away I couldn’t help noticing a foul odor. At first I thought it was an old bag of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. We hadn’t used it in years but I was afraid to put it in the garbage since it might be classified […]

As I focus on giving my extra stuff away, it seems like others keep giving to me. At first I felt frustrated, like the giving was going in the wrong direction. Then, I decided that receiving and being grateful was also a gift. In a sense, when I give, I am in control. It’s good […]

Can returning stuff count? Yes! Some times it takes more effort to return stuff to its rightful owner than to just give a bunch of stuff away. Returning several library books was easy because there’s a time limit and the library is on my way to many places. Returning the car seat we had borrowed […]

Should I count by one’s or seven’s. Technically I’ve only committed to giving one thing away a day, but sometimes things come in groups and it just doesn’t seem honest to count lettuce by the leaf or to count each zucchini for a day. Since last Sunday I chose 7 of our son’s sweaters to […]

…things gotten illegally? – like traffic signs? I don’t remember which of our kids liberated the seven large, heavy traffic signs (STOP, Men Working, Speed limit 25 etc.) that were stored in the garage. I don’t know where or how they got them. It’s probably best I don’t know. I listed the signs on an […]