Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in Days 1 – 40

Happy Easter! The 40 days have come to an end, but not this project. The more I got into giving stuff away, the more I realized that these 40 days were simply the first round. Although I’ve given many things away, few items will I actually miss. To really stretch myself I’ll need to keep […]

Today is the last day for giving away – at least for awhile. I ventured out to the garage which is the last burial place for things on their way to the netherworld. There are probably a number of things that could be given/thrown away from here – like the STOP sign one of our […]

If our basement storage room is the graveyard of electronic parts, the furnace room table is a step lower into the bowels of the undead. Dignity is surrendered here as I found an adult potty seat, speakers that were probably dead before we moved into the house but we figured maybe we just needed a […]

Birdie was my Kris Kringle partner at our parish last Advent. I never met her but prayed for her and sent her a card. I know that she is African American from the parish directory. Jim and I have been trying to get to know more people in our parish especially people of other races […]

I knew this storage closet would be a challenge. It stores camping, canning, and Christmas stuff plus kitchen supplies waiting for our kids’ apartments and toys waiting for grandkids to grow into them. (Don’t worry, Brian, I’m holding off on your 9 boxes of model train supplies.) It also is our electronics graveyard of known […]

Our family loves sports, but contra dancing has replaced many of the sports we used to play as our preferred recreation. Even though both Jim and I grew up golfing, I haven’t played since my back surgery 15 years ago. I’m giving away my old clubs, tennis and golf balls, weights, and the extra ping […]

We have 9 pairs of skates in our basement (4 kids roller skates, 3 kids in-line skates, and, 2 adult ice skates). Seeing as no one has used any of them in probably 10 years, I think I will give away all but the adult ice skates. Memo to our kids: “If you want any […]

I always resist the sacrament of Reconciliation even though I know I’ll feel better once I’ve examined my conscience and confessed. I also don’t like the idea of having a church rule about going to confession at least once a year. Still, I have to admit that if this wasn’t the case I would probably […]

At the beginning of our marriage we decided to make candles for relatives as creative and economical Christmas presents. Although we didn’t realize it at the time, we also had more discretionary time BK (Before Kids) so we silk screened Christmas cards. We now have more candles than we can use and don’t send snail […]

We call it the “tool closet” but it didn’t make sense to get rid of any of our tools. This closet, however, does store a number of other miscellaneous items. I decided to keep all the puzzles since they are good for visiting children – especially if they don’t speak English, but threw away the […]

This is the day you’ve all been waiting for: “Dead Pet Day.” Over the years we’ve had a dog, hamsters, mice, lizards, rabbits, fish, and birds. We are now petless. I decided to keep the dog dishes for a grand-dog who visits and I kept the rat trap to prevent visiting rats from staying. I […]

Now I’m looking at our historic “entertainment center.” I say historic because I counted 109 VCR tapes. The last time we tried, we couldn’t even get our VCR to work – but that’s mostly because someone messed with the cables and our local son wasn’t handy to reattach them to the appropriate places. I should […]

As I move to our front hall I find stashes of gloves and winter hats. I also counted seven umbrellas (plus one we keep in the car). Even allowing for visitors who may need an emergency umbrella, gloves, or hat, we don’t really need all of these. How many people are really going to visit […]

Recently I was forced into “techno-purging.” I was trying to move some e-mails into Outlook folders and couldn’t do it. After the usual amount of fussing, I wondered if the problem was that my folders were too full. Bingo! Reluctantly, I deleted and archived e-mails that were older than 2008. It worked. I also sent […]

…Stuff. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to REALLY clearing stuff out of our house is all our kids’ stuff that we’re storing. The last time I asked our 36 year old if I could throw away his grade school papers, he said “No.” Child #2 has stuff from her Peace Corps stint in Mali and later work in […]

Storage of the stuff I’m giving away is starting to become a problem. Since it’s not efficient for me to daily take each day’s give-aways to Goodwill or St. Vincent DePaul, I’m collecting all the stuff in a corner. After Easter I plan to put an ad in Freecycle for the bigger items and […]

How small should a piece of wrapping paper be to be useless? How much newsprint of different sizes does one need for banners and children’s art? Since I also store candles in the same area as the wrapping paper, I tackled them both together. I had more luck throwing away wrinkled newsprint than still usable […]

Our family is pretty competitive and likes to play board games. Now that the kids are only home for short visits and most games take at least three players, most of our games gather more dust than players. I counted 53 board games (some left over from Jim’s childhood like Foto-Electric Football). I’m giving/throwing away […]

Although we have lots of sports equipment scattered throughout the house, I had forgotten about the balls, gloves, bat,  and Frisbees, that were stored in a cedar chest. I kept about half of what you see, will give half of the rest away and pitch the rest. (Some balls are really not worth saving – […]

Knick knacks are a source of clutter in many homes – including ours. BUT, they are also a source of memories and that’s what makes it hard to decide what to give away. Today’s photo is probably most notable for what is NOT in it as there are probably 10 times the number of items […]