Thursday, July 5, 2012

3 Is Just Too Much

Project goals that is. I thought 3 might be a good number to aim for, but apparently, for me, that's just too much right now :( That really bothers me.

I AM happy, and proud I took care of my yard clean up, mostly by myself. I did borrow Dad's truck, and Dad himself to go to the dump with me. I loaded it up the night before, in the dark, to keep myself from completely passing out from the heat. Then drove over to Daddies the next morning, to pick him up.

Of course, Daddy had to improve upon my securing of the branches. I don't blame him though :)

The red straps were my attempt, the yellow are the ones he added.

So. The yard goal was reached. I did also work on the crocheting project, however, I didn't complete it. I will continue this project in July. I am not even going to try to work on the basement ceiling tiles. For some reason, I just don't want to do it, or I would have done it already. Other projects are getting moved to higher priority than this one.

I'm torn between seeing if one project a month is a good goal, or going with two instead. I'll try two for this month. The crocheting, and at least ONE of my many photo projects. 

I DO need to work on a vision board. That should be my first project. I needed a scanner to finish up my photo projects. For some reason, I can't seem to keep a scanner working, on a multi-function machine, but really, who wants to keep a flat bed scanner all by itself. It takes up too much room, right? Well, I was at the thrift store last week. I decided to take a chance on a $5 scanner. Seriously. The thing was marked $4.99. I did a quick search on my smart phone and decided to give it a go.

It took about an hour of fiddling with the drivers (which were downloaded) in order to get it working, but I DID get it working, and scanned about 250 photos in the period of 2 days. I still need to search around the house to see if I have any left. After they are all scanned in, they need to be cross-referenced against what I already have uploaded to flickr. Then, and this is going to be major pain in the butt, I have to figure out a better way of arranging the photos ON flickr.

In other cheap news, I have been dabbling with going "no-poo" for a while. Not really committing, and then washing my hair with regular old shampoo when it got to the point I couldn't stand it anymore. I think that may be over! I decided to splurge, and get a $7 bottle of L'Oreal Sulfate Free, Silicone Free "Cleansing Conditioner". While I was there, I also got a 89 cent bottle of Strawberries and Cream Moisture Milks Alberto V05 conditioner. It's also sulfate/silicone free. Guess which one works better...

My hair is looking pretty fantastic. Nice and clean, soft and my curls/waves are really responding. That's the majority of the reason I'm trying to be poo-free anyway. I want my curls back!

I did get one other item off my to-do list over the weekend. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you're looking at it. I have had "Defrost Basement Freezer" on my to-do list for probably 2 years. It's certainly wasn't a high priority at all. On 6/30 there were some pretty severe storms that hit the bat cave and surrounding area. The community I live in, just got it's power restored this morning. A full 6 days later. This is why the freezer got defrosted. I need to find a more level place for my freezer. It's in the corner, and leans about 2 inches on one side. I think this is why ice is forming, because it's only on that one side. Anywho, the two loaves of bread and one Lean Cuisine that was trapped in the ice on the bottom are now removed. Yay. I think I should give it a good cleaning, and just unplug it. I don't keep food in it. All that's there is booze, and that's really because there's no reason to keep that in the main house/kitchen fridge, because I don't drink enough for them to be there. I'll see how much the electric usage drops after I unplug it. No point in paying a bunch of money to keep liquor cold unless it's going to be consumed.

I did really well with my cash spending, right up until the last week of the month. I got a little sad, and decided to have fast food a few days in a row. That really eats into my cash spending. I still ended up with a full $20 left over from this months $116 cash spending. I am disappointed with how much needed to be charged in June, but, it wasn't stupid stuff. It was investments in the future. I'm really just trying to keep the mindless spending to a minimum (fast food, etc). With that, July will have a $100 cash limit, and $300 charge limit. I may have to bump the charge limit to $400 as I have a fridge and freezer to restock with food :(

I am Woman Hear me Roar!

I like to think of myself as a pretty handy gal, but there are some things that just plain scare me, like using a circular saw. I'm afraid I'm going to cut a limb off. Because of this, I am SO proud of myself for using my chainsaw to trim up some horribly overgrown things in the yard. The Holly out back, and a who-knows-what bush on the side of the house. Yeah. The bush was HUGE. You can see in the picture how big it was, because all the grass underneath it was dead. I would have cut even more, but there's a birds nest in what's left. The neighbor told me my tree looked good. HA! If it were to stay like this, and continue to look like a tree, that would be fine with me. This thing grows huge every year.

Holly got her hair cut too ;)

There's still one or two limbs that need to be cut back, but I need to get underneath the tree to do it, and I was getting cranky by the time I got to this point.

Yesterday only topped out at 82 degrees. I took that as a sign to finish up the yard. I mowed the back lawn, used the blower/sucker on the back patio after I moved a few things to the shed, and weeded the two beds I had left (Front and right hand side of house). I had wanted to shape up the bushes in the front bed, but that will need to wait until fall, as I have to purchase some new equipment to do that. But at least the weedy vines won't kill them in the process, right?

This months budget isn't going so great. It isn't horrible, but I neglected to factor in the fact I was charging my trip to a dietitian (separate post might be written about this, but basically, I'm making an effort to eat well, so I thought it would be advantageous to have someone tell me if I was on the right track or not), so I'm WAY over at this point, but, it's an investment. I AM proud of not charging silly things. I'm doing quite well on my cash spending this month. $86 left of the original $116 (I had overages from last month).

I also just signed up for a prep class for the certification exam I'm going to take. Didn't even think about that when I picked $400 as my budget. Oh well. These things are "investments" in my future. Gotta spend a little money to make big money in the future.

I also changed out the battery on my old car yesterday. Poor girl hasn't been driven in almost 2 years, but she started right up like a champ! Now, to get to the emissions station safely, and pass the emissions. I did a little happy dance at the car just starting. I'll do virtual cartwheels (because I can't do them in real life ;) when the car passes!!

I have been doing a bit of crocheting here and there, so I am slowly making progress on that goal (Remember, I had only 3 for the month). I haven't touched the basement ceiling yet. I plan on doing some laundry tonight, so I'm going to challenge myself to do the prep work while the first load is in. Prep work for this project is removing the staples. I'm thinking, in the family room, I'll rehang the tiles. I have enough to do that, but in the laundry area and bedroom, I really have to think about what is the best way to proceed. It may be easier to rip the ceiling down (large parts already are) and just hang sheetrock instead.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I Need to Make a Vision Board

I really need to make a vision board. I'm already thinking, in my mind, of things I want to make my life better, things in my house prettier, or my heart fuller. Some of these things are happening, and I'm so thankful for them. I think making a vision board will help me bring the others to fruition.

My last post talked about scrapping the spice rack project. I have the spice rack on my mind, and I of course check Craigslist "Free" section for my city, on a daily basis. I came across this free standing cabinet last Sunday. Yahoooie! I think it goes pretty well with my existing cabinets, and I'm super happy the stock pot (which holds my large utensils) fits perfectly underneath. I am looking for a working VCR so I can check some recordings I have on VHS tapes and see if they are worth keeping. If I can get a VCR (mine ate tapes, and I got rid of it late last year) that works, and there's anything I'd like to keep, I will purchase a transfer cable/software off of eBay and convert whatever tapes are appropriate to DVDs. I found an ad for a free VCR on Craigslist this morning, and am waiting to hear back from the person on whether it's still available, and hopefully when I can pick it up today.

Of course, some of these things aren't so good :( I was sitting at my dining room table playing cards with friends on Wednesday, looking out my large picture window, it's hot in this room. The living room has much better ventilation. I would really like to have a window that opened instead of this picture window. Fast forward to Fridays torrential rain, and the a window that hasn't leaked in the 9 years I've lived in this house is suddenly leaking. Just great! (sarcasm). While I really would like to switch out the window for something else, I don't want to spend the money on a want rather than a need at the moment. My intention is to spend as little as possible on 'wants' in 2012. This window issue 'needs' to be addressed, but I've been told it's a $7 fix with a tube of caulk.

May's financial challenge was very good for me. I ended the month with $4 left, of my $100 cash. I charged $221.41 on the credit card. I think only $20 over on such a low limit was pretty darn good on my part!

June's financial challenge will have a larger charge allowance as I have a few vehicle expenses to include for the month. A battery and emissions on one car, and an oil change on the other car. I think $400 will be an adequate amount to pay for my normal charges, plus the car expenses. I will start the month with the normal $100 cash, plus the $4 excess from last month, and $12 I made at yesterdays yard sale ( I didn't have any big ticket items to sell, I'm happy with what I got rid of) for a total of $116. I still have a Visa debit card to use with $4.46 on it.

eBay sales weren't so hot last month. I made $48.95, with only 5 sales. This month is starting off strong. I've made $24.97 so far this month, and that's with sales that were actually listed using May's free insertion listings, so I still have all 50 to use for this month. This morning I transferred $100 from my PayPal account to my checking account in anticipation of using it to finance the car charges I'm going to incur. I'm contemplating getting a PayPal debit card. It may be easier to do this instead of transferring money between accounts. I could just charge my 'extras'  on it. But then again, I get nice cash back on my Discover, and I never pay interest on that account, so it is truly bonus money. Decisions, decisions...

Ughh, just remembered I have even more extras to pay for this month. My Mothers birthday and Fathers Day are this month. I'll still try to keep it under $400. Oh yeah! I haven't taken any gift cards on my MyPoints account yet this year. Quick check tells me I have a few more points before I can get a $25 gift card to Target or Walmart. Boo! But, I do have $50 in bonus dollars on my Discover account. That will come in handy.

Ok, so I knew everyone was getting a $100 credit from the local Gas and Electric company, but I thought mine would be spread out over the next 6 months, as I'm on budget billing. To my surprise, the credit was given all at once, so this months bill is only $30. Huzzah! The money saved, will be spent on the cars, but that's plenty fine with me. Things are shaping up to find a financial homeostasis this month, and I'm thankful for it.

Thinking I should take care of all the project items on my to do list each weekend, is kind of keeping me from doing any of them, so I'm amending my thoughts here. In June, I only have 3 items I'd like to complete. #1: Re-hanging the ceiling tiles in my basement, #2: Tidying up the yard. The weather is perfect for this today. Since I got some sun at yesterdays yard sale, I'm going to tackle this one when the sun isn't going to be blazing down on me. #3 will be the easiest to achieve, as I can do it while I'm being lazy! I have a crochet blanket I'm working on, and need to finish it and make another one. I'm pretty fast with my stitches, and these projects aren't large to begin with. That's it. If I complete all three of these items, I will feel as though I accomplished something.

I also think it's time to fast from TV again. A week should be sufficient.

'maters are finally starting to produce fruit. Yay! Since I messed up when I should have harvested my broccoli, I have already consulted with my garden guru. She tells me to pick them when they first turn orange, and then let them ripen on a window sill. I have additional pics of the garden, but I don't really feel like posting them. Everything is coming along nicely, I think the next thing to start producing will be the squash. I'm happy for that, as it will save me a bit on my grocery bill, and I happen to LOVE squash!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The First Harvest/Spice Rack Project Scrapped/$ Totals Update.

So, silly me thought my broccoli heads would get as big as they do when purchased at the market. Silly, silly me. Therefore, I'm a little way late on harvesting them. I managed to salvage one and a half of them, and will try to keep the plants going for the "side shoots" I keep reading about.

Trying to make the most of my oops, I chopped off a couple of the broccoli leaves, and added them into my salad mix. I had intended to cook them up like "greens", but found their raw taste to be more than acceptable.

I'm proud of my first harvest. It felt really good to eat food that I had grown. I did have a moment of "But I don't really WANT to eat a salad tonight", but that was quickly changed when thought of the food that I created, being wasted. I have a problem with wasting food. I buy good/healthy food, and end up throwing part of it in the trash. My hope is, this garden will assist me with being more mindful of eating the food I produce or purchase before it spoils. Looks yummy? It was! Didn't realize I made a smiley face with the strawberries and chicken until I looked at these pictures. Hehe.

I'm kind of peeved my wild strawberries (or are they something else?) are growing ridiculously well in my yard, and the animals leave them alone completely, whereas they were eating mine in my topsy-turvy prior to moving it to the front porch.

Speaking of my yard I finally mowed the back yard for the first time this year. I've been paying someone to cut the front. I'm tired of trying to deal with my horrible hill. This cheap chick thinks the $15 to have the entire front yard cut, is completely worth it. I cut the backyard this past Friday. If the weather cooperates, I will likely tackle the Neighbors weed overgrowth on our shared fence. GRRRR.

I'm a little tardy in posting this entry. The harvest was last Thursday, the grass cutting was Friday, and the spice rack was Saturday. The spice rack project I've been talking about has come to a screeching halt. Sigh. Here's a pic of it as it hung in the cubby underneath the basement stairs.

And here's all the stuff I took out of the little drawers. Need to sort this stuff and put it with the other miscellaneous home improvement type things.

Once I had the thing off the wall, I figured out a few things. There's no back. Ok. That one isn't all that big of a deal. The shelves the drawers are sitting on...they don't all the way back to where the wall is. There's at least a 2" gap. AND the unit itself, is about an inch and a half wider than is ideal for the location I wanted to hang it in my kitchen. Yes, It will fit, but it will mess with my need for symmetry. THIS will be a problem. So. I've decided I'll draw up some plans and see if I can figure out the miter saw, and just make one that suits my needs better. I may even break out the router and make it all fancy! One benefit of this exercise is, the unit is no longer on the wall, therefore I will not be banging my shoulder, etc. into it when getting boxes out of the cubby area. It's where I keep all my empty USPS boxes for my eBay sales. I may possibly post a rant about some tw@t on eBay leaving me negative feedback last week. Totally uncalled for. I'll wait to see if it resolves itself first.

Lets see...what else. Oh yeah. A financial challenge update. Credit card is sitting at $170.34 (that's including the pending $40 I spent on dinner at PFChangs last night, with a girlfriend from school. I splurged on an $8 drink, and it was darn tasty!). I have about a 1/4 tank of gas left from my last fill up (5/14), and will probably top off the tank when I leave work today. Bringing me to my goal of $200 or less spent on the credit card this month. Cash, I'm not doing so hot on the cash. I have $9 and some change left for the rest of the month, and $4.46 on a Visa gift card. Again, this is do able if I stay out of stores.

Stores! What a freak'n rip off. Stupid me put the beater for my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer in the dishwasher and of course it ate the coating off of it, so it is worthless to me now. I went to Kohl's after dinner last night to see how much a replacement beater would cost me...$36! Arrrggghhh. I couldn't bring myself to do it. I have cash in my PayPal, and this is exactly the kind of thing I try to use it for (if not paying off bills). So, this morning, I purchased a replacement beater THAT IS COATED so I can actually put it in the dishwasher. I should get it next week.

Dishwasher. I know, sounds like I'm wasting energy/money, right? Probably, but I've also recently been reminded that the gaskets and seals, etc will dry rot (?? other term?) if I don't use it occasionally. So I've taken to running it every 2 weeks or so. I hate doing the dishes, so this is working out quite well for me :)

I got an expense check from when I was away for work at the end of last month, and used 2/3rds of it on restocking my groceries. I don't know how to record that in the budget, since it was reimbursing me for mileage and food that I charged, that I wouldn't have if I were home. Anyway, I shouldn't have to go shopping again until the end of next month. I'm trying to make sure I cook at least 2x a week, and use up the food I have in the house. I got tons of vegetables, meat, fruit, and a few snacks for lunch. All for less than $80. I love Aldi! Even if I were to add this into my charge budget (though I paid through my debit card) I'd still be under March's $300 challenge. Sigh. Maybe $200 is too much to try to stay under? Meh, some of this months charges are for parking for that conference, at the beginning of the month. Double sigh. Just need a "regular" month, to see if I can meet the challenge.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My 2 Cents...

2 Cents, or even a penny. Everything is going towards debt these days. I am using eBay, baking, and side work for friends as a way to supplement my income without getting a second job. In March, I gave myself a spending limit. I started the month with $100 cash, and challenged myself not to spend more than $300 in credit card charges. I am very proud to say, I met that challenge (was $2 over on the credit card, CLOSE ENOUGH!).

April. April felt like I did nothing but hemorrhage money :( I'm embarrassed to say how much was spent (last months credit card balance was paid off today), but will say that a little more than half of it was spent on a conference and test that will help me find a new job in the near future. But for someone as cheap as I am trying to be in 2012, it still stings a little when looking at the credit card statement.

It is the middle of May, and I had intended to write this post at the beginning of the month. This month's goal is $100 cash and only $200 in credit card spending. That's including my gas. It's currently around $45 to fill up my tank.

As of this morning, I have $42 cash in my purse, a $10 winning scratch-off ticket, and $4.46 left on a Visa gift card available for spending for the rest of May. Thankfully, I have only charged $95 on the credit card so far (1/2 was parking for the conference at the beginning of the month, and one fill up of gas). The house is stocked with food, TP, kitty litter and anything else I might venture into a store to purchase. If I can manage to stay out of the supermarket and drive thru's for the next two weeks, I have every faith that I'll be able to stay under my spending limits for the month.

All of this penny pinching IS worth it. I think I already posted about paying off my car in March (8? months early). I'm ecstatic to say...
I paid my student loan off on May 12.
Waaaahooooooooiiiieeee! This means, my only outstanding debt is now my mortgage. Any and all extra money will now be thrown towards it, and my savings account. I already have a pretty sizable liquid savings account (Not including the 401K. That's probably the only amount I won't actually share a specific dollar figure.), but for me, it's not enough. Lets say it's around 2/3rds of a years salary (I make OK money, nothing spectacular). My first savings goal is to increase it to a full years salary in the next two years, then, 2 years salary in the 5 after that. I think, extra money will be divided at 75% towards mortgage and 25% into savings. Since I can't rely on actually MAKING any extra money each month, I have to do my best to keep the credit card charges to a minimum. That way, there's extra $ built into my actual budget each month.

eBay sales haven't been all that spectacular this month or last. Last month I only sold $121 worth of items, and this month, I'm only at $36 so far (but that's only 4 items). I do have 29 more "No insertion fee" listings for the month, and will spend most of tomorrow night listing some new items, and re-listing some of the higher priced old listings.

The community yard sale is at the beginning of June. I have pretty high hopes of getting rid of a bunch of the smaller items I have previously listed on eBay. Last year, all I sold was "smalls". My Hoarder friend will also be bringing some of her items over for sale and will keep me company. I don't expect to make a bunch of money at the yard sale. I think $50 would make me happy this year. I don't have a lot of things to sell, since I've unloaded most of it already on eBay! Every penny gets me closer to meeting my goals.


I am so freak'n excited about my garden! It's the first year I've tried to have one. I started one this year, as an exercise in being more frugal with my food costs, and hopefully to encourage me to eat less processed foods.

I went on a home improvement store date with my father at the end of March. He's the only person I know locally who has had a vegetable garden. I remember picking fresh salad fixings every night as a 6 year old. I bought a bunch of different plants, and another bunch of seeds (which I haven't planted yet :(, but I'm going to blame that on the fact that I'm still collecting soda bottles to make a vertical garden in a shoe rack!)

In the garden (with any luck) there will be: Tomatoes, Green and Red Peppers, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Onion, Lettuce, Squash, Dill, Cilantro, Cucumber, Honeydew Melon, Strawberries and a host of other goodies escaping my mind at the moment.

This first set of pics is the veggies as they were first planted, at the end of March/beginning of April.

And as they looked at the middle of April.

Here's everything at the end of April.

And finally, the middle of May.

Some plants are doing better than others, but overall, I'm pretty happy with how things are going so far. The 'maters and strawberries need to be moved to hang from my front porch. They're too close to the ground, and some lucky animal has been eating my precious berries :(

I started writing this post almost two weeks ago, and I STILL haven't got any of my seeds started. I do have all the soda bottles collected, cut and placed in the shoe rack. I don't know what my problem is with filling them with dirt and shoving a seed inside. Actually, some of it is the fact it's been raining so much these past 2 weeks. The potting soil is either wet from the rain, or it IS actually raining on the days I have the time to plant. THIS WEEK!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Right Tools for the Job

It has taken me almost an entire week, but I've checked off all of my non-project items from the 'To Do' list. It should have happened last night, but shopping got in the way. I hate shopping for clothes, but somehow, I LOVE shopping for tools. I want to buy ALL of them. Having a workshop full of every tool imaginable sounds like a FANTASTIC idea to me. Seriously. I picture myself doing all kinds of things with these imaginary tools, and ending up with the coolest house ever! Have I mentioned I'm terrified of my circular saw? Yeah. I keep it in the house for the men folk to use. I'd like to keep all my limbs.

I didn't see the point in paying full price for the tools I needed, so I went to the pawn shop and bought a miter saw. I've been talking myself out of it for a few months now. I need it for a picture frame project I have dancing around in my mind. I also wanted to purchase a palm sander while I was there for the spice rack project I have planned, but the guy didn't want to work with me on the price even after I showed him his sticker price was only $3 less than Lowes. He came down some, but we were still too far apart.

The pawn shop was nice enough to let me know they had used the saw just yesterday and it needed a blade, so I actually ended up going to Lowes to purchase one, but OMFG $60 for a 12" blade?!?!?!? I don't think so! The nice lady at Lowes told me Harbor Freight was just a block down the street and they should have something cheaper...and they did. I picked up a new blade for about $30. I'll have to figure out how to install it tomorrow.

Back to the To Do list. I downloaded an app to my phone earlier in the week, typed in my list (I previously kept it in a Word doc), and have been steadily checking things off ever since. It's called "Pro Do" by Othelle Soft. I really like it because you can do subtasks. On my paper To Do list, I had everything arranged by room, and the tasks I needed to complete in that room, so this app is working out pretty well for me. The other thing I really like is, it records the day and time you entered the item on the list, so when you click the check-box the length of time the item on your list is displayed below it.

I think my goal for tomorrow is to refinish what will become my spice rack. That's where the sander comes into play. I purchased a brand new one at Lowes, for less than the cost of the one at the Pawn Shop. I don't think I have the energy to try and figure out how to replace the saw blade just yet.

Next weekends project will be adding some shelving to one wall of my closet, and painting the inside of the closet to match my bedroom, and the shelves white. I totally lucked out and was able to take some wood home from work on Friday. I'm very thankful for that, because I don't have to purchase it now (was actually on my To Do list). 

The week without TV has been surprisingly nice, and I haven't missed it nearly as much as I thought I was going to. I bought a Roku box a few months ago, in anticipation of cutting the cord from cable (my cable bill is currently more than my gas and electric bill!). This coming week's challenge is to see if I can survive on just what's on the Roku/Netflix and seeing how many of my shows can be found on the internet. 

I would consider trying to go another week without TV at all, but I have some organization type projects that are going to take a LONG time (Scanning the remainder of my old photographs) and digitizing all my old cassette tapes (I bought the converter on eBay late last year). Thankfully all of my CDs are already ripped to MP3. I will be catching up on my shows while I do this mindless scanning after work, probably every day this week.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's like eBay wants me to be debt free!

I've been a seller on eBay for over 10 years now. I would say 95% of what I sold falls into the costume/garb category. Some creations of my own, some I purchased for myself and have since grown tired of, some items purchased with the pure intention of reselling them on eBay.

As my student loan finally came due, I renewed my selling efforts. I can't stand debt. Since November, it has been my mission in life to pay off my two outstanding debts (other than my mortgage). I paid off my car 6 months early, at the beginning of March. This month has required some financial investments in my future (Exam fee, conference fee, and a few other larger than I'd like charges), and as a result, has pushed back paying off my student loan. Luckily, it isn't a large sum, but I still want it gone. My goal is to have it completely paid off within the next two months.

eBay was super fantastic to me in November and December, offering multiple special "List for Free", or "1 cent Listing" days. Otherwise, I have been taking advantage of the "No insertion fees" on your first 50 listings, each month. As stated, garb has been what I've primarily sold. With being in school practically non stop for the last 5 1/2 years, I haven't had much time for sewing. Well...that, and the fact that I can't figure out the bobbin on my sewing machine, and I've seized something on my previous 2 sewing machines because I didn't oil them. Who knew?

This post inspired me. How I paid off $15,000 in 9 months selling my 'stuff' on eBay I see eBay, coupled with some other income generating efforts (on top of my actual salary), as a fantastic tool in erasing my little bit of outstanding debt, doing things I like, without having to get a "real" second job. I don't really have many big ticket items, but every $20, or heck, even $1 helps my bottom line.

Because I have a little (ha!) touch of OCD, I, of course, had to find a way to organize everything I am trying to sell on eBay. I wanted to give away a cheap bookcase I've had for about 10 years, but the person who said they wanted it, never made arragements to get it, so it has become my eBay staging area. I walked around the house and thought to I love this item? Do I use it? Do I have a use for it? Is there a negative memory/emotion attached to it? I pretty much cleared out anything that didn't make me feel good or help me lead the life I want for 2012 and beyond. It is a big help that I really can't stand clutter. I only allow this bookshelf to be messy because I don't spend any time in my basement.

I considered cropping the picture, but then you wouldn't be able to see the two dead sewing machines on top of the beer fridge (which actually holds no beer, but a bunch of wine and liquor). This picture was taken at the beginning of March. I see many items that have already sold. More items have been added, listed, and sold, as I continue to purge the main house of its clutter.  Having everything in one place, makes it easier to take advantage of eBay's free listing days. They don't like to give a lot of advance notice.

I have found, people will buy practically ANYTHING on eBay. Really! Here are a few items that have sold this year. I wish I still had the pictures of the blank cassette tapes, answering machine tapes, and other truly random things I sold at the end of 2011.
These mugs were purchased for 80 cents each at my favorite thrift store. I sold the lot of them for $10.50.

When I helped clear out my Grandmothers house, I rescued this barbecue set. The pair sold for 99 cents.

Ahhh. Once upon a time, I thought I would try Weight Watchers (I lost about 10 lbs). I never used the dining out guides. WW is wonderful to get you thinking about what you are putting in your body. I scanned the Welcome-Week 6 guides previously to give to someone, so it's not like I can't still do the program if I wanted to. This item sold for $19.99.

It is my goal to make at least $250 each month from selling my "stuff" on eBay. Once I have a better handle on said "stuff" (and a few more projects off the To Do list), I will start sewing again (garb to sell on eBay, and maybe a few new bodices for myself)'s a little look at the fabric I need to use up...The china hutch, and everything on top of it is pretty much ALL fabric. But...that's it. All together, and actually sorted by what I intend to do with it. Bodices, Skirts, Shirts, and Cloaks/Capes.

Oh, hey! Look, there is ANOTHER sewing machine. That's the one I have to figure out the bobbin tension. Sigh.