Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fall Means Time to Purge

Labor Day signifies the end of summer for most of us.  For me it also is a reminder that the garage must be cleared out of all the extras I’ve accumulated over the last few months so Mike can park his car in there.

I failed miserably at keeping his side of the garage clear year round.  All was going fairly well until I took on the big project of the outdoor kitchen at the end of June. 

At that point I had to get to the stuff that was jammed into my side of the garage, all the way in the back.

So what did I do?  I went in through the side, Mike’s side, and pulled out the stuff in the way to get to what was needed.  Then came all the tools used out in the kitchen, they had to be stored inside at night, so his side of the garage became the temporary tool holding place.


Only it became rather permanent, as the outdoor kitchen became my summer long project with me doing a little bit here after work and a bit more there on the weekend between rounds of golf and graduation parties and what not.

So here it is, Labor Day.  The unofficial end of the season. 

Leaves have already started to turn color at the top of the silver maples.  I can see the pretty shades of red when I look out at them through the upstairs bedroom window. 


The air is cooler, as are the nights.  Mums and asters are beginning to bloom.


The kitchen project is essentially done.  Oh, there will always be some tweaking here and there, but it is done. 

Instead of feeling elated at this I find myself looking around at the chaos of my surroundings….garage, breezeway, porch, even the yard; and feeling less than satisfied. 

As a matter of fact I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed.

It’s never going to be all neat and pretty and ready for nicely staged blog photos. 

Mike would love to have a big party here with our friends.  I can’t even imagine it. 

It’s time to start going through and getting rid of the extra junk I’ve accumulated and have no immediate plans for.  That’s the stuff that gives me the most trouble. 

The “Someday” stuff.

Someday: All those crib railings will make a great arbor.035

Someday:  The many headboards will become beautiful benches.

outdoor kitchen 019

Someday:  I’ll get the piles of white cement siding blocks made into a planter wall.


Someday:  Those windows will  make  a perfect greenhouse.



Enough!  I’m truly maxed out on someday projects.  At the rate I’m going, I’d have to quit my job today and live to be a hundred and fifty to use up the stuff I have planned for someday.

Yesterday I went into pare down mode.  I started with the yard.  There were pallets leaning against the fence, some wood basement stair treads left over from my Mom’s house that were going to become a square raised garden bed…..016

Two, make that 3 areas where windows were leaning against the fence, lots of extra planters and pots I’d picked up last year, and the infamous piles of block piled up between 2 trees.


Eeek! This is where I generally bury my head in the ground and pretend it’s not really there.  It’s just more than anyone can be expected to deal with.

But no, not this time.  I want to have a pretty yard.  Not a dump site. 

I turn the outdoor TV on to keep me company while I start tackling the mess. 

Guess what was on?  A marathon of Hoarders programs.   That is one show I’ve managed to never watch, as many times as I’ve heard people talk about it.

Oh my goodness.  I could not believe the state of those houses and yards!  I looked around at my junk and all of a sudden it didn’t seem like so much anymore.  Not in comparison to what was on TV anyway. 

But it made something click inside me.  I suddenly wanted to be rid of everything.  No more saving it for later, nothing.  I just wanted it gone!

And so I spent my day pulling stuff out of the garage, away from the fence, from the shed……


And piling it out at the curb.  It’s only fair that it go back out to where it all began.  At the curb.  There are plenty of curb-shoppers around here that will take some of this stuff.



The chiminea came in handy for burning up a bunch of the pallet wood and scraps I had saved.  Anything that wasn’t pressure treated or painted was burned.



This morning this is what the pile looked like.  If you’re anything like me you are cringing to see such good stuff out at the curb.  I can tell you this, the trash hauler won’t take any of this to the dump.  If it’s not picked up by fellow curb shoppers I’ll have to find a new home for it.


Yet even at the time of this writing  more stuff is gone.  A very nice gentleman just knocked on the door and asked if I was getting rid of the rocker. 

B ’bye dear rocker, it’s been a great summer, time to go to a new home.  We had some good times, we surely did.


And what about that nasty old pile of blocks?


Now it’s a planting bed.  Or the beginnings of one anyway.

And those stair treads and pallets?


A raised planter, pallet wood all cut for the end trim, ready to attach one day this week after work.

I’m not done by a long shot, but I’m feeling a lot better about it. 

And no, I don’t think I’ll be doing any curbshopping for a while.

This reverse curbshopping is rather addictive in itself.

If you happen to live in the Syracuse area, be sure to come by my house for some great curb shopping!



I’m linking up to Linda’s Nifty Thrifty Tuesday party # 28 over at Coastal Charm. 


  1. Rose I am so proud of you. Sometimes our stuff can take over and we need to 're-evaluate'! I hope it all goes to good homes. BELIEVE me if I lived near you I saw several items I would curb shop. Deep breath and you are doing great. I am also in a purging mood and have a few boxes and bags to take to the thrift...mine is not curb stuff.

  2. Good for you! If it makes you feel better, then I'm glad you were able to let go.
    The only thing I'm shocked about is the table top. That looks too big to throw out. But hey, that's me, hiding out and NOT watching those hoarder shows!
    You sure were a busy girl. I tidied up my paint cans, does that count for anything? :) I bought another gallon of oops and had NO place to put it!
    have a great (short) week friend!

  3. Rose I am so proud of you... it is very uplifting isn't it?

    I need 2 of those crib railings for an arbour... I hope you didn't get rid of all of Save me some good stuff. I will be there in 2 weeks if you are still free.

    I am glad you watched that show, that is what did it for me... if I had no plans for it then it was gone... it literally scared the crap out me. I wasnt' even close to them but they all started slowly too.

    Love the new flower bed... that looks awesome.

    Keep up the good work Rose... I am routing for ya.

    Hugs, Deb

  4. Oh man...I live near Syracuse & would LOVE to get by your house. Much to my hubby's dismay I cannot give up my curbshopping!!

  5. If I lived near you... I would grab that table under the dollhouse!!!! It is exactly what I need for my porch. -sulk-

  6. Im about 2 hours away and would've loved that white double shelf table. But ya know what? I am SO PROUD of you!!!
    I too was watching the Hoarders marathon and disgusted and saddened that people live like that. It made me want to go right home(I was at my inlaws:)) and purge purge purge. And I dont have a full house but its just the idea of watching it.
    Anyways,its so great that you actually got going on those projects too! Keep up the good work:)

  7. No Way!! Not the wheelbarrow!!! EEEEKKKKK!!

  8. I would take some things off your hands for you. Like that little 2 tiered table. Or some windows. Wish I was closer!

  9. Hi... I'm your newest follower.

  10. I relate to this post so well....
    You are so strong, I have as much as you and more for those 'someday' projects, but Im finding it hard to part with the stuff!! How did you do it, well done!We have good intentions, but lack of time!

  11. WOW! You really have quite a collection, I only wish I lived close by to "shop" your curb!! I totally understand you're needing to purge...that's on my list to do! Thanks for being such an inspiration!!! Good for you!

  12. Oh how I wish I lived in your area so I could curbshop your house. That Hoarders show will do it every time. I watch that and it makes me feel like I'm a neat/clean freak and I'm so not. Congratulations for being willing to let go of those someday things.

  13. OMG OMG first let me get to that curb!!!!!!!! agghhhhhhhhhh'
    ok good for you. I saw that horders once too, we don't have cable. I was amazed. so very sad. You are not there!
    seriously.....I want to be at your curb!

  14. I told myself that having had a very successful shopping, thrifting, freebie-ing Labor Day weekend that I could call the season closed.
    I behaved myself on Sunday and Monday not even browsing Freecycle or CraigsList or even a lot of blogs. I straightened the yard and folded laundry, and like you I can find a Hoarders marathon very motivating. But looking at your curb, I do see a couple of tempting items! Guess I am not totally immune.
    But think of all the room you have to finish projects and store the real treasure you are going to find next.

  15. Congratulations, Rose! It is so empowering to eliminate the clutter from your life/yard! Keep it up. Remember, no more pick stuff up UNLESS you already know what you're going to do with it and you will do it within 24 hours.

  16. Shoot!! You have good "stuff" you're getting rid of. Wish I were close to you too! :)


  17. Congratulations - I like it both ways and I know hard it is to get rid of stuff but how it can weigh on you if you don't.

  18. Oh man...I want to say great job, but it kind of hurts me to look at all that great stuff sitting all lonely on the curb. I hope they all found loving new homes. My sister lives in Baldwinsville, I should have sent her to go pickin' for me. I don't know what I'd need a doll house for, but I'm sure I'd use it..right? :)

  19. Wish I lived nearby! I would have totally loaded up ...
    I'm your newest follower, and love curbshopping, too!

  20. My husband cannot read your blog. He will make me burn stuff or put it at the curb. I wish I could have shopped your curb.

  21. Oh my goodness, if I lived near you this day I would have taken it all! :) SO jealous!


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