We’re here with a quick update, as promised, to fill readers in on the stressful seven days we just spent trying to sell the item we had selected for Week 4 on Shed52. We knew we were bound to hit some snags, and anticipated that we might have to pivot to make good on our commitment to this process.
As the old saying goes, “When life hands you a vintage card table that nobody wants, try to sell it for a short while and then just give up.” It’s kind of the home organization equivalent of Lemonading. Kind of.
I have a lot of old sayings I like to make up when things aren’t going my way, like this past week while I was wringing my hands over the Stakmore Set that nobody wanted. And you know? The longer we were trying to sell that thing, the more attached to it I became. I have virtually no use for it. I’ve never played Bridge. And it’s certainly not my style. But it’s still ours, because in a brazen sleight of hand on Sunday I decided to switch out the Shed52 Item of the Week and pretend like these poor old pieces were never up for grabs to begin with.
So how did we make good on our promise to keep getting old junk out the door for Week 4? In a series of hasty moves, driven mostly by impulse and instinct rather than intention, I found myself scanning the house on Sunday for anything that looked like we could live without it. It’s not exactly the conscious uncoupling we’ve been humble-bragging about practicing on this blog, but we were feeling a little desperate and short on time, now that we’re also trying to get Jason’s mom out of southern Florida a week early for her upcoming visit to Boston.
I ended up almost overlooking this nifty doodad, which I’ve had for probably 15 years. I call it a doodad because I have no idea what it actually is, or what it’s for. It’s moved across 3 cities and 5 apartments with me, and to this day, I have no idea what to do with it. This photo might fail to capture just how small those teeny drawers are, but each one has enough storage for about two earrings and a hay penny. I also have yet to explain my bemusing habit of leaving my jewelry everywhere (that’s for another post) and so needless to say, this doodad never had a chance at serving whatever its teleological purpose may be.
I realized that it’s offering neither form nor function for us at this point, and at about 7 pounds, it weighs more than I’m willing to schlep to any other apartments if we ever have to move. So I slapped a post-it on it (“Free!”) put it on our stoop and waited like Joe Biden in the window totally casually to see if there would be any takers.
And then I accidentally fell asleep. But! When I woke up, like magic, the nifty doodad was gone. I assume some eccentric neighbor with exactly 6 pairs of earrings serendipitously stumbled upon it and that it was the answer to all of their tiny-home-storage problems. It’s probably as close to feeling like Beyonce as I’ll ever get. And yes, I know how sad that sounds. In any case, we were able to at least ensure that we’re one more item down in the quest to de-clutter, and looking ahead to the rest of our shedding the rest of our stuff.
What’s on tap for Week 5? My confidence is a little shaken by this past round of Shed52, but I’m holding out hope that we can appeal to the masses with a few bicycles the kids outgrew like 6 years ago. If you know anyone in the market, get at me. They’re in great condition and I dare you to say “no” to a muppet on a bike.
Update: We’re already donating to the Houston Food Bank to support the extraordinary survivors and helpers in Houston, but since we’ve also already posted our item of the week, we are offering to donate 50% of the proceeds of the sale to the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County. See our Instagram and Facebook for details. Item pictured below:
As we mentioned on our Instagram account this morning, we’ve been struggling to sell the item we posted on Shed52 this week. It seems folks in our area aren’t interested in a vintage Stakmore table and chair set, even though we’ve set it at the all-too-fair price of $399. These pieces usually hold resale values of around $450 and apparently the more seasoned Bridge players among us have been known to lay down up to $500 for a set in mint condition.
Unfortunately, it also appears that seasoned Bridge players have no idea what Facebook Marketplace is, and probably aren’t following our Instagram for the latest and greatest on what’s happening at Shed52. Seasoned Bridge players are the worst.
I kid! No matter the reason why buyers in our area aren’t biting this week, the home organization gods (all named after modular Scandinavian sofas) presented an opportunity that we just couldn’t turn down. It’s a de-cluttering dilemma with a happy ending, so gather round on the Norsborg on this chilly Boston evening and get ready for some Hygge-style story time.
Yesterday, while discussing our recent exploits in blogging and inspiration for Shed52, my boss and I turned to the subject of her house. She lives in a beautiful cape just outside of Boston that’s recently undergone lots of updating and upgrading, including expanding their family to include three adorable kids. This has also meant lots of change and transition in terms of furniture, storage and home organization needs as the kids get older, bigger, and more outspoken about their indisputable interior decorating needs.
With new stuff going in to her house and old stuff coming out- including cribs and baby clothes that she has generously donated to coworkers and friends- my boss mentioned casually that she’d like to sell an item or two like we have been. She doesn’t have Facebook and jokingly (I think) said that I should post her Ikea MALM Dresser on Shed52. I jokingly (I think) replied that I’d totally do it if she’d donate some of the proceeds to charity*, and she seriously (I hope) agreed. So last night, she sent me a quick pic of the item, which I then posted to the Marketplace for $80.
Within roughly 30 seconds, a totally trustworthy 20-something named Gabe offered full price, and I mistakenly told him we’d be donating 100% of the proceeds to charity.** I also then explained that it wasn’t my stuff. And that it wasn’t located at my house. And that the person he’d meet when he picked it up would actually be the nanny. But not my nanny. It would be my boss’s nanny. And also there would be a sleepy baby. Needless to say, I was equal parts surprised and impressed when Gabe actually showed up today.
Fast-forward to this afternoon: Honest Gabe turned out on time to take the dresser away, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t even wake the sleeping baby. Good work, Gabe! My boss and I discussed the financial part of the transaction in a conversation that would probably rule us out of a career in organized crime:
“So, I’ll just ask him to Venmo you later?”
“I guess? Hope he’s good for it.”
“Yep. Also what kind of cookies are in the break room?”
The best part about this unexpected detour in our de-cluttering efforts on Shed52 is that 50%*** of the proceeds of this sale will go directly to the Jimmy Fund, a charity that my boss supports regularly in honor of her dad. It’s inspiring to think about how the “stuff” of our every day lives can go from supporting the wellbeing of the littlest and newest people in our families to honoring elders or loved ones whom we’ve lost. It might seem trite to aggrandize the function of a piece of bedroom furniture, but these humbling encounters over the past few weeks have me rethinking the value of clutter.
So there you have it. 24 hours, 80 bucks, and one truck later, and we’ve at least helped one home scale down on their stuff. We still have 4 days to try and meet our goal of getting rid of the Stakmore set, but if we don’t meet our deadline, can we get a free pass this time around? I think Gabe and his 80 dollars worth of assembly-free storage would vote yes.
What suggestions do you have for getting this table/chair set out the door at our place? Can we pull it off in time? Tell us how, and check back later this week to see if we’re in for another win, or what happens if we’re not!
*by “some” I later realized I meant, like, all of the proceeds
**100% = like, all of the proceeds. oops.
***sorry, boss! you’re super great and generous. please don’t fire me.
It’s been amazing to spend the past few weeks thinking more deeply about what should still have a place in our space, and what can go. When we first conceived of Shed52, we imagined that we’d be getting rid of the big and small things that are scattered around our modest living space by determining what we just didn’t use anymore. What we didn’t expect was the kinds of compulsion-driven conversations would emerge about what we can confidently categorize as either:
“necessary/useful item that should definitely be here!”
“what even IS that thing? i don’t remember buying it. be gone, useless thing!”
It turns out that we probably haven’t gotten rid of this stuff before because it causes a lot of stress to think about letting go of it. Especially when it’s the type of stuff that we have weird, unconscious emotional attachments to and then it ends up accumulating in every imaginable drawer, cabinet or gap between the wall and furniture. We both do this in different ways and so we thought it might be a good idea to share about it by identifying 5 ways in which we each contribute to the clutter.
For example, I’ve been calling more attention to the fact that, when I feel like I can’t give some of my stuff the time or energy required to determine whether to keep it, I hide it from myself. Like a squirrel. I put it in a drawer or a random box (which is kind of like the Inception of clutter), consoled by the knowledge that it’s not entirely gone, but equally comforted by the fact that I don’t have to look at it, or crack that nut just yet. Yes, squirrels are my spirit animal.
As I’ve paid more attention to this over the last month, I’ve been laughing at myself and the neurotic ways that I accumulate– without even thinking– random clutter that must hold a place of importance in my unconscious, but equally holds a place of hilarious absurdity in our house. I’m bravely sharing those with you today, in part because I should actually really be cleaning our house right now but PLEASE GOD NO.
5 Things Rach Can’t Keep From Cluttering Our House:
1. Random Ceramics & Glassware that we Definitely Don’t Need
I once tried to take an inventory of how many drinking glasses we had in our kitchen cabinets and I lost count at 50. You might be thinking “why’s this crazy white girl saying she has a small house when she’s got room for all that glass!?” I get it. But these are four dozen mismatched, sometimes broken, high-piled, mostly inherited displays of my inability to just say no to glass. I don’t understand it, but glassware is one of those things that I’ll accept as gifts from people, and then buy cheaply online or at IKEA, and then grab at a funky antique store and always justify because it tends to be inexpensive AND it speaks to the party host in me. The party host whose idea of heaven is a classy lawn party with cake plates and champagne coupes for days. We have so many platters, glasses, vases pitchers and pots that I’m on track to be one of those old folks who has to build a display shelf along their ceiling for every teacup they ever owned.
2. Stuff with the Letter “R” on It
Despite the creatively cruel nicknames my brother gave me when we were little, my first initial is definitely “R.” My first and last name are also the same as that of my beloved grandmother, Nonna, who passed away in 2011. Despite her unending love for all of her grandkids, I always felt a special connection with her as her namesake, and held a special fascination with the monogrammed linens, towels and kerchiefs she had stashed away from the 40s and 50s. She used those kerchiefs as part of a sweet ritual we had when I was a kid, when she’d drop my brother and me off at home following the epic weekends we spent at her house.
After she and my grandfather would bid us goodbye on the front stoop of our parents’ place, they would slowly drive away while beeping, blowing kisses and shouting “goodbye!” to my brother and me as she waved her white monogrammed “R” kerchief out the window until they were out of sight. She looked like an actual queen, and it’s one of my favorite memories of her. So yeah, I’m #sorrynotsorry that I’ve collected a lot of random “R” stuff, and I’m not ready to part with it. Unless you know someone named Roger who’d love a monogrammed doily. Hit me up, Roger.
3. Nautical Crap
Pardon my French, but one of the great mysteries of my life is why, in heaven’s name, I have such an affinity for nautical crap. I have no relationship to sailing, boats, celestial navigation or marine life that I can recall. I get seasick in kayaks. The older I get, the more scared I am of the ocean. So what’s the deal with my endless need to collect decorative ship wheels, anchors, sailboats and themed screen prints? I wish I had the answer. But until then, I’ll hold on to my pipe dream that I’ll one day be an expert sailor, and friends will join me for a super bougie brunch in my little Laser sailboat on the Charles River, and everyone shall call me Captain. Also until then, our house will inexplicably be filled with wall-art, discarded buoys, and anchor-shaped jewelry. And yes, jewelry will probably get its own post at some point.
4. Picnic & Party Paperware
By now, you might have started to pick up on my fondness for the finer things in life, which, according to me, have everything to do with food and friends. I’ve realized by delving how I contribute to clutter in my house that most of where I spend my time, money and energy has to do with feeding friends and friendships. My ability to actually cook decent food might be up for debate (see our post on the infamous rice cooker from last week) but that hasn’t stopped me from luxuriating in countless hours planning, hosting and remembering parties and picnics we’ve held for friends and family over the past 5 years.
We’ve hosted Thanksgivings, ecumenical holiday parties, annual BBQs for the most important day of the year in Boston , dinner parties with crafty libations, and day-long picnics in green urban spaces all across the city. Nothing makes me happier than eating, drinking and being merry with our favorite people and seeing new, deep and lasting connections form between individuals whom we know are some of the best in the world. We also love to take friends for their first trip to our favorite outdoor music venue, Tanglewood, which is known for its incomparable lawn picnics during world-class concerts by the BSO, John Williams or Bonnie Raitt.
Unfortunately, this often leads me to get a little too enthusiastic about the goods at Paper Source, Target and even IKEA, and lord knows I can’t say no to a patterned cocktail napkin. Jason and I took a hard look at our budget from last year, and let me just summarize by saying that outdoor entertaining needed a line item for the 2018 fiscal year. But can we really ever put a price on making memories?
5. Dead Flowers
I’ve saved the worst best and most disturbing for last, because it’s the freakin’ weekend and you don’t need this kind of stress so early in your Saturday. As our last caption colorfully illustrates, about 3% of all that glassware I own is frequently put to use with all the fresh flowers I buy. Our local Trader Joes often has bunches of beautiful hydrangeas, tulips, sunflowers and roses for under $6 a pop.
The thing they don’t tell you at the store though is that, inevitably, flowers DIE. Seriously, has anyone ever seen this critical detail explicitly advertised in any floral department, ever? If you have, comment below with proof and rock my world.
Having the wisdom that comes with experience, I now know that all good bouquets must come to an end. And reasonable people who have dead, molting displays of unidentifiable flora in their house would probably do the adult thing and dispose of them. But I am not a reasonable person. This often means that our home is delightfully decorated with dead or dying $3.99 Star Market Specials, mournfully wilting and weeping all over the place. Like, for weeks. I’m actually sitting next to some right now. I’m not sharing a picture though because that would just be grotesque.
This is one area in which I AM actually very motivated to do better. Mostly because Jason’s mom yells at me about it with a twinge of both regret and resignation during every visit. I don’t know why I hold so fast to something as useless as dead flowers, but I have a feeling it’s tied more to procrastination than to an irrational attachment. This gives me hope. We’ll be getting further into how procrastination affects the volume of stuff in our house next week, when we take a look at the 5 Ways that Jason Contributes to Clutter. So buckle up.
If you’re feeling weirded out by these admissions or find yourself oddly drawn to confess your greatest sins as a clutter-prone consumer, feel free to comment below! What weird habits do you or your cohabitants have? We promise we won’t judge. But we may send you some dead flowers.
3 cheers for 3 weeks! We bid goodbye to our precious rice maker on Tuesday morning as my colleague came through with her $5 purchase. I’m honestly delighted to have that shelf space back in our kitchen. I’m also tempted to sell our equally useless electric kettle, but I heard that there would be a mutiny from the other members of my household, who apparently aren’t convinced that our stove is capable of heating water.
We’ll be posting our next sale later on the blog this week, and it’s our riskiest attempt yet! (We’re told it’s vintage, and it’s a card table & chair set that apparently carries a value of about $450.00– when the sellers aren’t working against the clock!). Our hope is to collect enough on the sale of this set to be able to donate half the proceeds to another charity! Check back to see what kind of price we can fetch for it (yes, I’m going to make “fetch” happen).
The more we share with readers and friends about all this “stuff” we’re trying to get rid of, the more we realize we’re not alone. Maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise to us, since we were partly inspired to start this blog when we came across this Boston Globe article about Americans being buried, nearly literally, in their clutter. The TL;DR of the article is basically that we spend too much time acquiring money and things, such that we never actually get to enjoy the things we spend our time acquiring. That bougie fire pit that you thought you’d be gathering friends around all summer long with a chilled bubbly of questionable price point and origins? No way, Rosé.
This article actually is an important snapshot of a particular socioeconomic class, though it doesn’t really acknowledge the material privilege associated with owning so much stuff. It basically purports that Americans are so busy consuming and stock-piling while paradoxically obsessing about decluttering and “simplifying” that many of us have mentally migrated to a place in which “possession” rather than “expression” is rendered synonymous with being “fulfilled.” Our focus on acquisition detracts from our ability to be immersed in love, vulnerability, joy, or new experiences that allow us to make memories within our communities. In a vigilant quest to acquire just enough, many Americans report some amount of overconsumption, and thus having to back peddle on how much stuff they think they need. Sadly, this often means purging their belongings as compulsively as they pursued their stuff to begin with.
I’m going to pause here to acknowledge that the this article is not an inclusive one, and is vulnerable to making sweeping generations about the struggles of all families in the U.S. To own this much and to be complaining about it it is, well, a special kind of problem. The article doesn’t address income inequality or the sense of food and other insecurities that families deal with that may contribute to folks’ feeling like it’s important to buy in bulk, or hold on to things they don’t currently need, or make small spaces work for large families, or dealing with the many systemic inequalities that must be disrupted and eradicated. There are many problematic dimensions to this kind of social issue even existing in a world like ours, and the inner cynic in me struggles to find compassion for folks who feel even the slightest sense of overwhelm when thinking “I just have too much! It’s just so hard to have it all!” (read: me.)
If my soap-box digression here hasn’t lost you entirely (did I mention I’m a social worker?) I can get back to admitting that this article did partly inspire us. So did this one in the New York Times about the generational differences in how Americans value “stuff.” It essentially points out that millennials are much more caught up in a culture of mass production and pseudo-disposable goods, such as Ikea furniture, fast fashion, cheap household items and even plastic containers for their stuff. With so newly minted adult children unwilling to take furniture, wedding china and old Van Halen CDs from their parents’ storage units in the middle-class American family, baby boomers may find themselves stuck (again, privileged problems! Amiright!?)
Regardless, the struggle is apparently real, and it’s one which Jason and I have felt strongly that we must be reflective and thoughtful in addressing, especially as two individuals caught somewhere between the definition of millenial and generation x. We’re not super into shopping (Jason literally owns pants from 1997, but that’s not my story to tell). We’re not even big on consumer technology or trendy furniture or other home goods that could easily take up a lot of space. We tend to spend our money on entertaining friends at our house, going out to some of our favorite haunts in the amazing city that is Boston, or traveling to some of the best places in the world, when we can get away.
So how did we end up like the poor souls in these think-pieces we’re sharing here? As with most problems, there are many contributing factors, and not a single cause:
We were both relatively established adults when we decided to move in together. Also, Jason is what I have affectionately deemed a “bibliomaniac” and owns roughly three billion books. So when we combined our stuff into one apartment, that meant we had a bed,15 bookshelves, those pants from 1997 and 3.00001 billion books.
We have two teenagers who live with us about half the week, and split their time across two households. They have just about two (or three) of everything and let me just say that our house has more mismatched shoes than a DSW on Black Friday.
I made the questionable life choice to go back to graduate school full-time approximately 5 minutes after we moved in together. For anyone who’s ever lived on a diet of student loans, part time jobs and generalized anxiety for two years, you know that the feeling of deprivation tends to linger, and it’s easy to fall into the trap in which you accept nearly anything labeled “free!” within a 5 mile radius. For me, that often yielded a lot of leftover pizza in the student lounge and tufted armchairs from nearby relatives who were downsizing.
Okay, fine. I REALLY like tufted armchairs. We own like, seven of them, and of course none of them match, and concerned friends have begun to remark that our living room has started to give off a funeral parlor vibe. Which, I’m told, can be kind of a buzz kill at your Queen Sugar / OITNB / Insecure viewing party.
So between collecting curbside treasures, priceless family heirlooms, nautical conversation-pieces (okay, maybe I have a problem) and the occasional splurge on super awesome local art, we have reached a tipping point and recognize that it takes great care not to simply trash the stuff that’s not cutting it any more. We don’t want to buy into the culture of disposability, but also don’t want to be those people (thanks, George Carlin!) any more than we already are.
There definitely have been spaces we’ve managed to mix and match old stuff with new, and investment pieces with actual repurposed recyclables. We’ll be sharing more about where we’ve found success with this and how we’ve struck a balance. It’s been fun to think about what counts as a keeper, and also to admit to ourselves what we’ve been holding onto and why. One of my best friends has a saying: “let go or be dragged.” We’re working on letting go. Stick with us.
Can you related to the articles in this post? What has contributed to the trash or treasures you’ve accumulated in your space? Is it family heirlooms, or roommates with an affinity for “found art?” How have you coped and what was your “tipping point” moment? Share with readers in the comments, so we know we’re not alone here!
Sorry for our brief hiatus as we’ve worked to get Shed52 off the ground! We’ve been traveling around Washington DC and Virginia all weekend for the wedding of some friends, and between the celebratory events of the past four days and the contrasting white nonsense in Charlottesville and beyond, we’ve been trying to conserve our energy.
As some readers may know, our work lives and personal lives are very active and can be personally stressful. Jason is an immigration attorney and lecturer, and I’m a trauma-informed counselor/social worker who works with survivors of power-based violence. Needless to say, our workweek is often fueled and affected by social and political events, and we’ve learned that it’s essential to take consistent measures to take care of ourselves in order to be sustained in the work we do.
You might be wondering what place this commentary has on a blog like Shed52. But we believe that all politics is personal, and so too are our personal lives political. In fact, much of our inspiration for “shedding” our home of unnecessary possessions is linked to our desire to deprogram from an increasingly materialistic, consumerist way of being. This feels like a political, social intention we’ve set for ourselves. (Yes, we’re looking to pocket some dough in the process, but we’ll share more soon on what we intend to do with with the proceeds– and it’s not buying more stuff!) While we’re certainly not preaching any particular ideology to any of our readers, we do feel a responsibility to acknowledge our intention in the creation of Shed52– and all of the fun, joy and positivity it also brings us.
With that said, don’t go thinking that we’ve given up on our goals for de-cluttering in our second week! We were thrilled to find that Shed52: Week 2 has been even more successful than Week 1 (is there anywhere to go but down now!?). The whole story began with this beautiful piece that’s been sitting in our dining room taking up space for about 5 years:
And while you might think it fits perfectly, take note that it’s backed all the way against the wall, with no room for stools OR to access the storage that’s back there (which, frankly, is probably a good thing! Less storage = less stuff, maybe?).
We posted this sucker on Facebook Marketplace on Sunday last week and within 24 hours had about 10 inquiries. One woman offered our asking price right off the bat, and though she couldn’t pick it up until Saturday, she was willing to put down a deposit to claim it. We were more than happy to oblige, given that we were set to be out of town and unable to facilitate a pick-up before then anyway. She let us know that it was intended to be a gift for a loved one, and so how could we say no?
The grand total? We’ll have made $200 on this poor old bar when all is said and done. Not bad, considering we paid a little more than double for it a half decade ago and almost never used it. And while I’m super tempted to buy this scaled down solution to store our many fancy libations, I know better than to go out and just replace “stuff” with more fancy “stuff.” Even if it is pretty. And gold.
Which leads us to our next steps in de-barring our house. What solutions have you come up with when you’re scaling down on storage, but still have necessary items to that need a home? (Yes, gin is a necessary item in this house/political climate.) Have you been able to consolidate or re-purpose bar areas, or find innovative ways to display items you like to make available to guests? As always, let us know in the comments.
And stay tuned Shed52: Ep.3! We’ll be previewing our items up for grabs later this week! Oh, and take care of you and yours.
Many of you have been writing to us with questions about what inspired us to try a project like this, and why we’re making such a process of it rather than just holding a yard sale, donating everything, or getting a dumpster.
Well, wonder no more! We’re here to answer your questions.
The truth is, Jason gets all the credit on this one (including the name; he asked me to make sure I said that). Jason determined that, as our track record clearly demonstrates, we can’t be relied upon to purge ourselves of our least prized possessions in one fell swoop. If we could, we would have! But, we can’t! And so we haven’t.
As a self-admitted procrastinator, Jason tends to joke that he’s “allergic to the future.” This often means that I’m doing the planning in this outfit. Don’t get me wrong: Jason is just as necessary to this team as I am, especially since I get so overwhelmed with all the planning I do that I am often paralyzed by it. Jason keeps me present and grounded when it looks like I’m spiraling into an emotional apocalypse about what we’re going to make for dinner, or whether I’ll ever see Iceland.
What’s the point here? We’re essentially saying that, yes, we’ve tried to have a yard sale. In fact, we’ve talked about it approximately twice a year for the past 5 years. Usually when one of us has climbed out of an avalanche of mystery boxes in the basement or barely survived the annual spring tradition of tripping over one of the garage’s 11 precariously stored snow shovels, we find ourselves inspired.
“That’s it. We’re having a yard sale this (insert month/season/fortnight)!”
“Yeah!” We all chime.
Our determination wanes pretty quickly from there. Jason usually forgets he ever said it within a half hour, and I, anxiously perseverating on this commitment we’ve made, can typically be found in the fetal position scouring Pinterest for consoling responses to “yard sale fail” searches. It wouldn’t have been worth it to even bother, I tell myself.
This year, we’ve reached a tipping point. Stacks of stuff we’ve inherited from loved ones, or stored for friends we never saw again, or bought (because we couldn’t afford not to!) or found curbside during Allston Christmas, have begun overcrowding our space.
With all of that said, we realized that it’s better to make a year-long process of thoughtfully letting go of things we thought we’d treasure. We’re taking it one step at a time and setting measurable, realistic and achievable weekly goals. This means Jason can’t procrastinate too much, and I have limited time to perseverate.
This is supposed to amount to a win-win. We’ll see. We hope you will too!
What’s the one thing about home organization that you find yourself procrastinating or panicking about most? Are there projects that you’ve comically avoided, like we have? Let us know in the comments below!
Week 1 of Shed 52 was over almost as soon as it began, and we are psyched to see how quickly, easily and lucratively we were able to get our first piece out the door! For readers who are just tuning in, we’ve been using Facebook’s Marketplace to sell underused items in our home to clean up, increase living space and ultimately shed our house of all the stuff we’ve accumulated and merged together in the 5 years since we’ve lived with one another.
Our first item up for grabs? An IKEA Kallax bookcase in black/brown that we purchased about 3 years ago. I can’t remember what we thought we needed it for at the time, but it has essentially been darkening our doorway ever since (actually, it’s darkened our whole entryway). It was in near perfect condition, mostly because it sat in the same spot over those 3 years, collecting dust and displaying other useless items we had that have also been collecting dust. Needless to say, we were eager to shed this item from our house!
We were pleasantly surprised with how easily we were able to post our offer and set our selling price at a cool $39. We purchased the item in 2014 for about $69 and frankly, the worst part about IKEA furniture is the assembly. (We’ve decided that if our relationship can survive IKEA, it can survive anything).
The “no assembly required!” banner must have been attractive to buyers, because pretty soon an interested gamer named Roland offered to come by and pick it up THAT night, pay in cash, and take it away in his truck. We couldn’t turn down an offer like that, so we even kicked off a few bucks for his willingness to accommodate our schedules, and ended the day with an extra $35 bucks in our pockets, all told.
The best part? Getting rid of this underused, over-sized piece of furniture allowed me to do a quick DIY project over the weekend on the cheap. It easily opened up and brightened our entryway space and makes a much more beautiful visual impact for guests who come and visit our humble abode.
Shedding the shelf means that the gorgeous chair rail and crown molding are finally visible again in our entryway and that the colors flow more from room to room. I was able to use leftover paint ( Light French Gray by Behr ) from a previous bathroom makeover and salvaged this adorable tufted storage bench from friends who are also shedding stuff from their home in the city. We’re loving this new spot in our place and friends have already remarked about it!
So, what’s next for this crazy home project? Check back soon to find out what we’re selling for Shed52: Week 2.
What kinds of home projects have you been able to accomplish when you’ve sold old items from your space? Have you re-purposed rooms in your house, or reorganized small spaces like this one? Let us know in your comments below!
Psst! Are you in the Boston area and interested in pickin’ up what we’re puttin’ down? Find us on Facebook’s Marketplace orContact Usto learn how!