Pet Serrano is doing 34 things including…

Clear my home of anything which isn't either useful or beautiful.

32 cheers


Pet Serrano has written 16 entries about this goal


I threw out some broken keepsakes and toys with no tinkering value.

The YM is still OK with sorting out which toys he doesn’t need anymore. We leave them in a box in the garage for a few months in case he changes his mind, but so far the only thing he wanted back was the xylophone.


It’s a good thing I didn’t go through the DVDs earlier because they closed childcare at the gym with less than a week’s warning and no one would get any use out of them. I wonder who got the two I donated earlier….

The LO is over Elmo so we gave 8 of the 10 Elmo DVDs we used while living in hotels to the library. Since I put the disks in a wallet and packed the cases away they were in almost new condition. The librarians were thrilled and said all of their media comes from donations and they hardly get any children’s DVDs.

We have the Elmo potty training DVD to a friend of the LO who needed it. When he’s done they’re giving it to the library.

I kept the “Best of” with the robot just in case, but if he’s still uninterested that will go to the library, too. He can always check it out if he wants to watch it again.

Baby stuff

The thrift shop on the way back from the library and gym is nice and apolitical. And they have a drive thru dropoff. Win!

The LO thinks it’s normal to give away things when you get things. He trades his old clothes and toys for books.

I didn’t know what to do with the car seat/ stroller/ swing combo until the librarian at Story Hour mentioned she didn’t know where to find a safe car seat on a budget for her daughter’s baby. We gave her the stroller and car seat, plus a pack and play and a rocker/feeder.

After getting knocked around the garage so long a piece from the swing was missing. I expect it will be years before it shows up, if ever.

The child care room at the gym will take kids’ DVDs even if the original cases are gone,

Thrift shop or yard sale?

I really don’t want to do a yard sale. Yeah, I could use the money and it’s a good way to meet the neighbors, but the time, and hassle, and possible creeps, and the early birds who think clocks don’t apply to them….

I don’t think I have it in me, and I think my time would be better spent working. Funny how when you start working at home you view time that way. Three days spent setting up and putting on a yard sale is three days I’m not making things to sell for my business or doing administration.

So there are two thrift shops in easy reach. One is a little farther away but the proceeds go to the needy. I don’t know about the other one because before I got to check it out they got their signs professionally reprinted WITH AN UNNECESSARY APOSTROPHE!

Now, I’m not pedantic enough to correct people tweeting, or updating a status, or making a point conversationally in a comment, or even in a handwritten sign at Halloween advertizing “pumkins”.

But really? If you get a sign professionally printed to represent your business it needs to be spelled and punctuated correctly. Not doing so says to me you either lack attention to detail or you can’t admit you’re wrong, or both. Either way, I’m not going there.

Ideally I’d like to give all the baby stuff to the mother of a baby whose father is deployed overseas, but it’s hard to ask around for that without looking like a wacko. All those groups send care packages overseas but they don’t distribute used items here, or if they do I have to ship them to Kansas, or something.


I bought an herb set last summer because I was itching to grow something. It came with coconut fiber growing medium and pots that don’t drain. They would either overflow or the coconut would soak up the water and pop over the edges of the pots.

The plastic was very brittle so two of them cracked when the cat tossed them on the floor, and they came on a stand that was rickety and kept one side in the dark.

They’ve been sitting on towels on the windowsill.

Today I got pots the next size up in flexible cat-proof plastic with bottoms attached. Sagan picked the colors, (which means all of them). They don’t match anything in the kitchen but they sure are cheerful, and they are a simple enough design that we could paint things on them in the future.

I’m getting rid of the yucky ones and the “strawberry pot” that I never seem to be able to grow anything in.

New toys! Old clothes!

When I revamped the garage and made a space for “Garage Sale/ Freecycle” I finally got a single area to fill up, so the moving boxes in different corners of the house collecting non-useful things slowly made their way there over the next few days.

I figure if I haven’t taken anything out in the last few months we can do without them.

I put a new empty box in the bedroom for outgrown clothes because tossing clothes in there until it was full and shipping it off to the garage worked so well.

After getting the playroom set up it’s been much easier to stick to the rule of getting rid of the same volume of toys that come in. Sagan’s uncle brought him a truck and some soldiers so the two of us immediately went down and picked out things he hasn’t played with in awhile and put them in the garage. He took one small noisemaker out of the bin that he decided he wanted to keep and replaced it with a small plush toy so it evened out.

I have my son in on this, now.

I have a rule he can only have as many toys as we can put away together in ten minutes. (It sounds pretty strict put that way but you can put away a surprising range of toys in ten minutes! Every time he gets faster at it we add more Legos.)

I routinely sift through what he’s been given and set aside the toys he’s bored with. I also have a storage spot for toys he can’t get yet because it would take too long to clean up, (like the rest of his Legos.)

If I bring them out and he’s still uninterested, I put them in a box with the clothes he’s outgrown so I can give them away.

I also actually encourage him to be rough with them because I love the idea of Tinkering School. If something breaks we either fix it together or take it to pieces and get rid of it.

He’s 17 months and is already pretty adept with an electric screwdriver (pressing the button while I hold it still, anyway) and understands when something needs to be sewn or cleaned. He also knows when batteries need recharging.

I really can’t wait until that Let’s Rock Elmo dies. I want to see how it works.

Broken Stuff

As I unpack I’m finding some bent and broken things.

Most of them I’m throwing out. Cat sun catchers collected for me by other people, for instance. Cute for awhile but I don’t need them for anything and the suction cups are always falling off the windows.

Some of my paintings got packing material stuck to them. I’m not sure it’s possible to save them. I certainly can’t sell them in this condition but a few of them are flood paintings so it’s not like I can just paint over the parts that are damaged. I’d have to cut it off and build it up again. Not sure it’s worth it.

One is Color Study of Kitty Heads. My son likes to touch it so I’ll probably just hang it over his play area in the basement.


Now that we’re moving I’ve become more merciless.

Everything left has to fit in the last Ubox. Half of that will be taken by the bed, couch and TV stand.

I am leaving or selling my monstrous yet fabulous desk. It will cost more to move it than to get a new one. My husband is getting rid of his matching desk and file cabinet so I have a chance to get one in a different stain. If I get a new one instead of installing a work closet I’m going to make sure I put it on casters this time.

At first I started sorting the remaining things in “Keep, Toss, and Keep if there’s room” but I think I’ll just toss everything that’s not “keep”.

There are things I already sent that I wish I’d gotten rid of but I had one day to pack a small truck so I’ll have to throw them out at the other end.

The DVDs: Ugh. We had 600 DVDs. 100 of them were mine and half of those were the Babylon 5 sets. 100 DVD cases takes up a 30-gallon recycling bag. We have 12 bags of trash and recycling out there now. I hope the hauler takes more than that because I still have 2 days left to add to the pile.

The two lists

I made a list of the things we can get rid of when we move. Many of them are cleaning tools, with other stuff like cheap towels and potholders.

At Amazon I made a wishlist of replacements made of more durable materials, plus some things I’ve missed having while I had no counter space.

Also, I’ve gotten rid of over 200 DVD cases so far. :)

Pet Serrano has gotten 32 cheers on this goal.


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