Cleaning out Junk

 Photo Credit: roadkill rabbit via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: roadkill rabbit via Compfight cc

It’s not spring but that doesn’t mean I can’t do a little bit of cleaning around our place! In a one bedroom apartment of less than 800 square feet its actually essential to go through and see if there’s any items that we don’t need. If we didn’t do this often we would find ourselves without any room to sit or sleep! It’s not really junk as most of it is still usable and in good condition. It is though to us because we have no use for it! We can toss the items that are broken or extremely old and give away the ones still in good condition. If you look around your place I’m sure that there are tons of stuff you don’t want or need anymore.

Cleaning my place of stuff I don’t use or want really helps me mentally. I don’t have to keep track of stuff I don’t need and my place is clutter free! What I think of as important or as something I must have changes constantly. Plus no matter how hard I try not to buy anything somehow I still stack up things over time.

Try selling it
First thing I do when I put together a pile of stuff I don’t want I see if there’s anything worth selling. eBay is usually me go to when it comes to selling used items. I’ve tried Craigslist but I didn’t like it and had no luck selling anything. People would contact me and then would end up changing their minds at the last minute. Plus the people who use Craigslist tend to want to buy everything dirt cheap. Usually if its worth selling then eBay will net more. Shipping is additional work, but buyers usually follow through on their purchases.

Give it away
If I can’t sell I try to think of anyone I know who could make good use of it. A friend who just moved here recently could possibly use some furniture or some kitchen items. Old clothing in good condition might fit someone else and it would be totally new to them. If I can’t think of anyone I know that can use it I usually just donate it to Goodwill. Hopefully they can make use of it and sell it for some money. Plus I can then deduct it from my taxes. It’s not much but it can possibly add up.

Recycle or toss it
Before I throw anything out in the trash I look at recycling, hazardous, or e-waste disposal. Anything electronic definitely has to be recycled at a proper e-waste center. Paint and old medicine would need to be taken to a hazardous waste center. Anything I can do to keep more out of the landfill is a good thing.


I’m going to go through an intense round of cleaning up this place pretty soon! I go through phases where I just go through each room one by one and pick out the items I really don’t want or need. Less clutter means I don’t have to worry about it. Plus on my next move I won’t have to pack it!

How often do you do you un-clutter your place?

To Keep or not to Keep

Christine&Barry-wedding-143Two people living in a one bedroom apartment can start getting crowded the longer you live there. It’s a human tendency to accumulate more stuff even though we’re trying hard not to! I’m constantly going through our stuff looking to see if there’s anything we don’t really need anymore. Either we give it away to a friend who wants it, or we donate it to Goodwill. Our last resort is to toss it if it’s really on its last legs. I don’t intend to be on that extreme hoarding show one day. Plus I do like having a clean space to live in. Buying less to save money and to be more earth-friendly helps keep our life simpler.

One-time events like a wedding were particularly hard to figure out what to buy and what to rent. Anything we bought for it would most likely be used only once. I’m a very practical person by nature so I ended up renting my wedding dress. For only $300, I was able to wear a gorgeous designer dress on my wedding day and then return it afterwards. The cost of alterations and cleaning was included in that rental price! The things I did end up buying include my shoes, a ring bearer pillow, card box, and some tulle for decoration. I’m trying to sell off most of these currently, but I can’t decide what to do with the shoes!

I happen to be on the short end of the spectrum at 5’2 and a half inches. My husband is almost a complete foot taller than me. That meant when I was picking out wedding shoes I could go as tall as I wanted. I didn’t intend to pick up 5 inch heels at all, but then I fell in love with these and had to buy them. I splurged $60 on them and hobbled around all day long until I could change into flats during the reception. As any woman (or man) knows, 5 inch heels are not comfortable. No matter how much padding there is or how well made the shoe is, it will hurt after a bit of time. Still, I don’t regret my choice.

Getting back to the question of what to do with them, I have a few options.

Try to sell them on eBay
Give them away or donate them
Keep them

I’m not sure how much they would sell for on ebay. New ones I believe were going for $30. It seems like my best bet is to give them away or donate them to Goodwill or some non-profit prom organization. At the moment though, I’m leaning towards keeping them as a sentimental reminder. Most women keep their dresses so maybe I can keep my shoes for now. This doesn’t jibe with my goal of trying to lead a simpler life, but sometimes I can’t bear to part with certain items.


What do you think I should do with a pair of 5 inch heels I 99.9% most likely will never wear again?

Beware the Sidewalk & Street Cleaners

The sidewalk cleaners were out and about today making Downtown Los Angeles look better!
The sidewalk cleaners were out and about today making Downtown Los Angeles look better!

If you live in a major city, most likely you have seen street cleaners that scrub the roads. Less commonly seen though are these sidewalk cleaners! Since I work at an office in Downtown Los Angeles, I see them fairly often. These guys look like mini zambonis that take up half or more of the sidewalk. They spray soapy water onto the ground and scrub the sidewalk with brushes. I always think they are so funny to look at and wonder what it is like to drive one. How fast does one go? Top speed at 10 mph so they do not accidentally run over any pedestrians? They amuse me.

The big street cleaners on the other hand are not something you would want to mess with. They are about the size of an armored truck and they try to do their job as fast as possible since they only have a small window of time to clean. If you park on the street here, you have to be really careful to always look at the signs to see if parking is allowed and what restrictions there are. Many times there are a few hours when you cannot park because that is street cleaning day. Park at your own risk! 99% of the time you will get a ticket. I learned that the hard way when I first moved here. Got a lovely parking ticket!

So are these cleaners really necessary and are they worth the tax dollars we pay for them? I am sure they run on gas and they probably end up using a lot of water to clean. I would have to say that is one money sacrifice I am willing to make for clean, trash-free streets and sidewalks. Not only should we be keeping our own places clean, but the area we live in too! When a city is clean it promotes a trash free environment. Peer pressure of sorts.

Keeping our cities clean is tied to being environmentally responsible. If we trash our cities however we like, then we definitely would not have any qualms about trashing everything else. It is a positive mentality and view that really will help us be a society that cares about its living environment.

What do you think about street and sidewalk cleaners? Do you think a cleaner city promotes a cleaner environment?