Adventures in Downsizing

So we are coming up on our move-in/move-out date.

I’m getting a little bit nervous. You know, moving things down three flights of stairs designed for somebody John Adams’s height (aka SMALL). People were totally shorter in 1893… and I’m totally taking my multivitamins today.

We have a giant load going to Goodwill today. We have this incentive program – get rid of 50 things, get to buy something you’ve been wanting for a really long time (hello beautiful Epicurean cutting board made out of scraps of skateboard ramp material!). It’s helping us get rid of crap we never use while simultaneously helping us make the transition from Having Stuff for the Sake of Having Stuff (because in college, you just want stuff to feel like a grownup) to Having Stuff We Actually Like that Makes Our Lives Easier.

I think downsizing is easier if you treat it like a series of games you play with yourself. And yes, I did watch a lot of Mary Poppins as a kid, and no, when I tried, snapping my fingers did not magically make my things clean themselves up. Sigh. Another downsizing game I like is, “If you aren’t sure, put it in a box for a month and see if you miss it.” Unfortunately, that game does not work well for tax forms, but it works well for many things you are keeping for complicated reasons – one part emotional attachment, one part usefulness, one part not sure Goodwill would be able to re-sell it.

Another downsizing game that is fun to play is called Better Homes and Gardens Arrange-a-Room. It’s like playing the Sims, but for real and for free and with no downloading or installing! You have to put in your name and e-mail to register, but then you get to make fun looking things like this:

Loft Floor Plan

Loft Floor Plan

I’m not really sure how to hang art in a loft. Rumor has it that it involves fishing wire and ladders. I’m not sure that I’m interested in doing that. On a random note, I really want to put up a couple of these prints from Berkeley Illustration. Why do I love them so much? Who knows! But I might love them enough to brave fishing wire and ladders.

Another question is whether or not I will bring the bike I haven’t used all summer long. It’s trapped somewhere in my landlord’s garage and I’m not certain of the exact location of the key to my U-lock. But after Devin’s bike post, and after he also sent me this video of a really cute kid having fun on a bike, I’m not sure I can justify leaving it behind. Can I? I will be walking to commute, and walking to the YMCA next door, and the whole idea of moving downtown is to avoid going outside for the next six months into the frozen hell known as Outside in Minnesota in Winter. I guess if I ever want to bike to the nearest grocery store, it might be nice to have.

I will be getting rid of our guest room bed. Anyone in the Twin Cities can have it for free if they want to come pick it up in St. Paul. It comes apart in pieces. It’s full sized and comes with the mattress. It’s the Heimdal from Ikea. It looks like that even not in the catalog:

Ikea bed. Do you want this?

Ikea bed. Do you want this?

If you want it, you should e-mail me about it. It literally comes apart into each metal piece and then slats for the bed frame so that it fits in the back of a Volvo. It might fit in the back of other things, but I happened to move it in the back of a Volvo. (And a pause for a brief message from our sponsors… If you want to move in to my old apartment, you should tell me that, too.)

In other news, the loft walls are unfortunately remaining sage green – and our stuff is largely red. Bummer. Christmas is only going to be one of the next nine months. I’m looking at it as an opportunity to make pillow covers. And duvet covers. And, well… get a new rug, I guess.

Totally randomly – I think about this a lot – When Conservative Values Achieve Liberal Green Goals (from TreeHugger). And speaking of business and environmentalism, do you know how cool Goodwill is? They are awesome. They take your stuff and try really hard to sell it – even by the pound! – even by internet auction! – then donate it overseas or bale it for recycling if it is not suitable for reuse. They promote their job creation initiatives pretty heavily, but are a little quieter about how fantastic they are for the environment, too.



  1. Regi said

    Epicurean cutting boards of a million sizes are all 50% off at Kitchen Window this weekend. And not sure this fits in your downsizing plan, but you get another free one if you spend $35.

  2. Awesome – I’m going to try that room layout program. I can’t have my office in the living room anymore – too close to the TV and fridge, so I’m going to attempt to move my office upstairs next to my husband. I hope he can deal with me taking over most of the space.

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