Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Going to the charity shop today

It's been a while!

Going to the charity so today is:

1 pair of pyjamas
1 skirt
1 handbag
1 creative craft toy
1 mug
1 pair of slipper socks
1 watch
5 tops
1 jumper
1 set of measuring spoons
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Mountains of Paper, Mounting Injustice

This video, from the World Rainforest Movement, is about paper production, and takes a global view of consumption of paper and paper products. It tells us that only 1/3 of paper production is used for writing and printing, most of it is used for advertising and packaging. It also talks about the environmental impact of paper production and usage.

It is quite poor quality, with varying volume levels in particular. I'm also a bit wary because I'm not sure what the alternatives are - other than more recycled paper, of course - because other materials used in, say, packaging, tend to be plastics which are more damaging to the environment overall. However, it's an interesting watch nonetheless.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Buy Nothing

In this video the founder of Adbusters is interviewed about Buy Nothing Day, and an advert against consumerism that the US networks refused to air. The woman interviewing him sadly does not come across well!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

How Things Are.

Been ill and quiet for a few days, having also had a busy few days in the week. Not much giving stuff away has gone on, except giving a t-shirt to a friend, and trying to give a Nokia phone charger to someone before we worked out it was the wrong type for her phone.

I've been adding a few things to the charity shop bag, so hopefully will be able to get that out into the world this week.

I keep getting angsty about getting rid of clothes. I know I have way too many, and I know that the ones I'm getting rid of are the ones that I either don't like or which don't fit, but even then I worry I will miss and regret whatever the item is. So whereas I'm trying to be pretty ruthless in getting rid of things, I'm not always managing that where clothing is concerned.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Charity Shop Haul

I took a bag of stuff to the charity shop. It included a sandwich toaster so i made sure i took it to a shop that sold electrical items, as many don't. So, this bag went to the Oxfam shop.
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Blog Posts I have Enjoyed This Week

"Investment Clothing": Investments that aren't.

Top of the Tat: The best of the worst royal wedding memorabilia.

What to make with chipboard coasters (some great suggestions in the comments!).

Ribcage / Spine T-Shirt Reconstruction Tutorial - I have been looking for crafty things to do with old t-shirts, and I *love* this!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Consumerism in America

What's Gone, What Will Go.

The bag of stuff from a few days ago was donated to the St Luke's Hospice shop. And I again managed to go in and out without buying anything new, which is great. Though I did have a look round this time, and had I seen something I loved I can't guarantee I would have come home empty-handed.

Most of the stuff I've been giving away for the past few weeks has been things that have been ready to go for ages, and that I just haven't got round to. In the next week or two I am going to be getting to the end of that lot, and will have to start looking around more creatively at what, in my home, should leave.

This is good progress, but it makes the decisions a bit harder.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stash-busting April

Always a bit late to the party, i have just remembered that April is Stash Busting Month!

My craft stashes are certainly a big contributor to making my stuff levels too high.

There are various ways to get rid of your craft stash. Give it away! Schools, women's refuges, community groups, mental health support groups, friends who go to itch n stitch gatherings, and dozens more places like these would be really glad of your donation.

Another way to give it away is to donate the stash to a charity shop. This will partly depend on what the items are. Packs of craft stuff, at least mostly unused, and knitting needles and balls of wool, are the craft stash items i see the most in charity shops.

If the items of craftyness that need to go perhaps don't fit the bill for those, then freegle and freecycle type sites are perfect. Last year i had way too much gorgeous paper- handmade, printed, dyed, embroidered - and the time came to get rid of a good proportion of it, and i did that through freegle. I divided it between two women. One ran a craft group for people with mental health problems, the other's daughter was about to start her own business teaching card-making.

It worked out great for me because firstly they came to my house to pick it up, and secondly because i knew it would be appreciated and well-used.

So, there you have it. Loads of ideas on how to give away your craft stash this April!
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Going to the charity shop today.

Going to the charity shop today is 2 packs of photo frame fridge magnets, a pair of pyjamas, a baby bottle stay-warm holder, a tin, a craft set and a big woolly jumper.
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Donation Etiquette

I'm trying to tackle my bulging wardrobe. Most of which has been in there in piles for so long that I am getting surprises as I pull things out, with little memory of ever having owned some of the things in there.

So, needless to say, this is prime territory for charity shop donations. I've got a huge pile already in front of the washing machine ready to be washed, then dried, then donated.

But most of it is not actually dirty, it has just not been worn for a long time. Washing the things would freshen them up, but I do wonder if I am creating extra work for myself, and complicating the situation. I could pull things out of the wardrobe and, if they are clean put them straight into a donation bag. It would also prevent them hanging around for long enough for me to get attached to them all again and want to keep them.

Giving clothes to charity shops is great. Giving plus-sized (I hate that term!) clothes to charity shops is particularly important because there is a lot less choice when you get to size 18+. I don't want to create extra work for the staff of the shops by not washing everything first, but I also don't want to create a huge electricity bill for myself and have days of many items of clothing hanging here, there and everywhere to dry. Especially when they weren't actually dirty to start with, perhaps just a bit musty.

I'm very clear that these are going to be donated. It's not worth selling them on ebay, and the charities, and other fat women will benefit from me donating them. It's just whether I chuck them straight into a bag, or make more of an effort first.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I'm currently listening to the audiobook version of Buyology: How Everything We Believe About Why We Buy is Wrong. As well as borrowing more books from the library, I'm also testing out using audiobooks instead of paper books. The plan is that this will not only reduce the stuff in my house, but also give some relief to my hands and wrists which struggle quite a lot with holding a book these days.

The books is described on audible, where I bought it from, as follows:
Why did so many people who took the 'Pepsi challenge' say they preferred Pepsi only to carry on buying Coca-Cola? Why do the majority of anti-smoking campaigns inadvertently encourage people to smoke? Why does the scent of melons help sell electronic products?

If you're bewildered by these questions, then Buy-ology will make everything clear.

Written by one of the world's top branding gurus, and drawing on state-of-the-art research, it shows why we don't always buy things for the reasons we think we do.
I wondered if it would help me to understand why I sometimes fall for advertising of stuff I don't want or need, and how I can learn to resist that, but I'm not sure it will. I'm only half an hour into it, and it's very interesting, but it's so far predominantly about the neurology of desire and the neurological response to marketing, than anything I can actually apply in my life.

The reviews on audible and amazon aren't great, but I'll stick with it a bit longer and see what I think.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Selling Stuff on Ebay - Nearly at Deadline!

So, later today some of the ebay items I've been listing, will end. With several bids on this first lot, it's looking promising but there are bound to be bits that don't sell.

However, it will be a good way to get rid of some things. Anything that doesn't sell will be re-listed once, and if it doesn't sell a second time then it will be charity shopped, or freegled.

Being Given Away Tomorrow

is a large bag and its contents, which is clothes, a sandwich toaster (if I can remember which charity shops accept electricals and which don't!), a couple of books and some craft things.

One thing that's helping a lot is that I'm getting tonnes of inspiration from other blgos. Look over there ----> ----> in the right sidebar, and you will see recent posts from awesome bloggers on minimalism, money-saving, tidying, decluttering, organising and all the stuff I need to know about! They range in perspective from professional organisers, to people who make crafty things with material that would otherwise have been thrown away, to environmental activists, to debt-advice counsellors, to people who are earning a living just by blogging about how to learn a living just by blogging (you get the picture). So, if you're ever in need of inspiration and my own words aren't quite doing the trick, follow some of those ----> links and I hope you enjoy what they way!

I will try to remember to take a snap of the bag that is ready to go, before it gets donated. I haven't decided which charity they will go to, because that will depend on which part of town I end up going to. The last lot went to the Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice shop.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Story of Bottled Water

Donation complete.

Yesterday's big bag o' stuff is safely in the charity shop. The danger, of course, of donating to a charity shop is that you have to go into the charity shop, which is full of bargainous, tasty temptations for you to buy.

Thankfully today there was a member of staff near the door so I walked in, handed the big bag o' stuff to her, turned round and walked out again. I must admit there was a pause before I turned round, during which I contemplated having a quick look around, but I was stern with myself and got outta there.

So that's good.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Big bag o' stuff

Going to the charity shop tomorrow is a bag of 4 tops, 3 hooded tops, a pair of gloves, 4 packs of pencils, a pack of pretty pens, a new pair of tights, a new pair of fluffy socks, an elbow support bandage, a hello kitty keyring, a head band, a hair brush and some unused bath gels.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ebay Free Listing

It's not quite giving stuff away, but ebay in the UK has a free listing weekend this weekend, so I have been listing various items to sell.

My usual rule with ebay is that if I list something twice and it doesn't sell, then it goes to the charity shop who can usually make better use of it. That's often the things that someone would pay for, but it's heavy so the postage doesn't make it worth buying online.

So if you are trying to downsize too, you have the rest of today and tomorrow to list for free!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why I Crave More Stuff

There's a really interesting blog post from Frugal Dad, called Why We Crave More Stuff.
Whether it is storing berries for the winter, or adding to our expansive collection of DVDs, human beings perceive a larger quantity of something to be more desirable. However, if you stop and consider the stress the accumulation of these things creates in your life, you may be able to reverse this thinking.

That's where I'm at - trying to reverse that thinking. I know I have way too much for comfort, even, never mind necessity.

Another reason I crave more Stuff is fear. After a long period, some years ago, with no income, I now fear that that will happen again and I will have to choose between buying shampoo and toilet paper, between soap and the bus fare to a medical appointment. The thought of finding myself in that situation again makes me scared to get rid of even the smallest of things. "What if I need it?" is the mantra. But it has to change.

I have improved already with this, a lot, but it still underlies a lot of my procrastinating about what to keep and what to throw. Giving things to someone else who will use them helps, it makes me feel less wasteful, and especially if I can give it to a charity shop I know that it benefits me, it benefits the charity, and it benefits the person who buys the item for a bargain price.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Story of Stuff

Why I Need to Give More Stuff Away.

Inspired by Free: Adventures on the margins of a wasteful society which, appropriately, I have borrowed from the library, it has become clear to me that there is too much stuff around us. Around me in particular.

Periodically I make a big effort, and haul a lot of stuff out to charity shops, or give it away on freegle, or even sell it on ebay, but then I lose interest and start amassing Stuff again. It's so easy to do.

This blog is an attempt to keep on top of Giving Stuff Away, to keep doing it, and talk about why we have too much, why we can make do with less - a lot less in my case! - and what I am giving away.