Tag Archives: hoarding

A Large Decluttering Fail

I was all ready to write something boring about getting rid of stuff after a few triumphant rounds to Philly AIDS Thrift and assembling shelves in my basement. I mean, remember my parents’ basement? Not like this you don’t.


And I did a decent job clearing out mine.


More organizing will be needed. I put all the miscellaneous hardware and tools from 3 years of remodeling into one box of horrors. Then there’s another box of things I’ve been too lazy to file! Luckily I have filing cabinets, and these really great tobacco cans with really great labels. You know I put the maroon one where it shows on purpose.


And Saturday I loaded up some fluorescent lighting my dad gave me from his hoard and that mini-fridge that kept my beer cold through the remodel and went to the ReStore. I didn’t think that stuff was a good fit for Philly AIDS Thrift. They priced the fridge at $20, or $5 less than I paid for it. I guess that’s fair.

But while I was there I decided to poke around. I’m not looking to buy any more stuff ever again, but you never know. And among a whole lot of mediocre furniture, gasp. This would be great for someone to have. But not me because I don’t need dining room furniture.


I should check the price though. I mean they must have someone here who knows enough about furniture to price this. And I choked.


So I started pacing. The idea of not getting this bargain was stressing me out. Should I start buying furniture to resell at a profit? I called my dad but he was not on board. But there was an extra 10% off on big furniture that day and I had shrink wrap at home and it’s not that far and then this happened.


Yes, I went to the ReStore to divest myself of a refrigerator and some odd building materials and when I got home I had 2 dining room sets.

The good news is, my roommate didn’t want to kill me. My parents don’t want to kill me. The 2 Couchsurfers who were staying with us while this was happening thought it was a good idea. The room does look a whole lot airier now. (And the table doesn’t look skimpy in real life.)


Does anyone know anything about Vejle Stole & Møbelfabrik Furniture? I found maybe the same table online at over 20 times the price I paid for the set so it looks like I was not an idiot for doing this. Plus this table gets super long with leaves that stow inside it while they’re not in use. And with a little less of Nana’s stuff in the room there’s room for her nice plant stand down from my bedroom. Now can I keep house plants alive?


And the down side. My parents’ basement again.


But there’s something you can do to help. Buy our stuff! Yep, the table is already on Craigslist. And yeah, again, I’m happy about this.


Rediscovering More Shoddy Work

It feels like it’s 2013 all over again! You’d think I was done with the astoundingly bad repairs that I found all over the Crooked House, but here’s one more. Along with a whole lot of boob lights, the house came with a builder’s special grade chandelier.



It stuck around into the demolition, so needless to say it was a little dirty.


And then it stuck around in my parents’ attic. A family friend was selling her house and they wanted to offer her something to leave if she took her chandelier with her. That didn’t happen so it was one more piece of clutter in the attic.


But… what’s going on with the chain? It can’t stretch out; it actually was this bunched up. (And sorry for how blurry this picture is.)


The chain is doubled up and the wires are kinked and twisted together. I sorta knew about this but ignored it because I wasn’t keeping the chandelier anyway. Well, I figured out what it is. Bending chandelier chain is kind of a pain, so they just did it to one link. And then they doubled the chain up and braided the wire through both layers of it. And then left the one link open. It made no sense at all. But I fixed it and cleaned the light.


So I kinda get that someone was working on my house and they were really high and decided that they could bend out fewer chain links this way. But why was the wire so kinked up? I must be underestimating just how high they were. And I shouldn’t after all the coins stuck in the floor finish, drywall screwed on over woodwork, and mismatched studs inside walls that were barely fastened together. The old plan was to charge $20 and get rid of this fixture fast, but after all this work I raised the price.

Also, my grandmother’s old mattress went super fast, which means we’ve now sold all the biggest white elephants and my parents’ basement is starting to look like a room again! Well, maybe not till after the yard sale in a month. But I’m still happy to hang out down here because it’s cold.


In other news, I got in trouble today. A friend of my mom’s said she wanted 2 5-inch serving dishes. My mom said she’d give her a pair. I said, “Yes, take them now.”

I brought them up, and she pulled out a $20, and asked what we were trying to get for them. I made a face and said $2 each. My mom yelled at me for telling her. She tried to force my mom to take 5. A battle ensued and I don’t remember who lost and was forced to go away with the 5 dollars.

And while we’re at it trying to figure out what to do with heaps of old things, I think this picture of my great-great grandparents should go right here. (Incidentally they were also my neighbors in South Philly, only a couple hundred feet away!) My mom thinks it looks weird because the wall isn’t on center with the stairs. Tell her I’m right, Internet people!


Anyways, this yard sale is a month away. This prepping job is getting to be almost another remodel. And also, buy our stuff.


More Civility in the Bathroom, It’s Complicated Out Back

Last week I got started lining up missing parts for all kinds of things. Like my bedroom door. I got the other bedroom done to rent it but mine? Pfft.IMG_9276.JPG

A lot of the work is on hold for the Irishman. (The door is on hold until the goods arrive.) But the bathroom stuff, at least the most important bathroom stuff, is done!

I started with 2 towel bars mounted to drywall. Not much to say about that; it was an easy job. As for the towels, they were from my mom. Back when the house was half demolished she kept a tile in her purse to get the blue right.


And she lost a big fight with my grandmother trying to make her get rid of the pink and green flower towel. So imagine my disappointment when she didn’t comment on it!

convo with mom.png

Then came the towel bar inside the tub surround. Same style, but the anchors that came with the bar won’t work on tile. So I went to Home Depot, asked not 1 but 2 people, ended up sitting on the floor in the aisle looking at the bottom shelf while debating with the sales guy. In the end I got toggle bolts, which he thought was overkill. Here they are threaded through the mounting plate for the bar.


And then it came time to drill the tile. This was terrible. It took about a half hour per hole and made a lot of that red dust I never wanted to see again. And this was with a fancy carbide tile and glass bit.


And as for the magnetic soap dish, I decided to go ahead and get the cheapo one. Turns out it’s chrome colored plastic, the instructions are in Korean, and the metal thing you drive into the soap has a smiley face on it. It goes on the tile with a 3M stickum pad. Perfect. It is even cheaper looking than I thought it would be but you can’t actually see it.


More holes. More dust. 4 hours of drilling. Ugh.


And here it is with the bathroom and me all cleaned up! The tub corners (and the mold growing in the tile grout) are free and clear!


I still want to get a second shelf. While I was doing this it came to my attention that my roommate is keeping her razor in her bedroom to keep the bathtub clutter-free. So I’ll be starting this fun all over again soon.

And now I have a container garden in the making! Mostly herbs and tomatoes but I got some flowers too. I used any containers that fell into my lap, whether they are antique crockery or plastic.


Then after this a friend texted me that he’s moving to DC for the summer and I can have his containers and plants. Do I want them? Duh. They’re free. So for now I’m looking a little like a hoarder again.


I’m thinking of redoing the coconut liners and putting the long boxes on my back fence and then putting the other containers wherever I can make them fit. I’m a little short on showy color for now so maybe I’ll get some petunias. I have plenty of sun. He did give me summer pansies and stuff.

Outside the Crooked House, the Christmas Theme Is Hoarders

Apparently having Christmas decoration themes that change every year (and require you to buy new decorations) is a thing for some people. But nothing so absurd and wasteful will ever be a thing for me. This has nothing to do with decorations, really. My grandmother moved to assisted living on Tuesday. Yes, on Christmas Eve Eve. So this year the holidays were a weensy bit hectic.

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Charm on the back of a truck

It’s a common sight in South Philly. But usually it’s being taken out to landfill, not in. The good news is, the woodwork is great quality, the price was good, and it’s in 16 foot lengths. All the baseboards in the house should have just one seam. Except in the closets where I’ll throw together whatever is left over. The bad news is I don’t have a living room anymore.


But you remember what a good match I said the upstairs trim was? Look now! The real life version of that photo I took of the catalog and have been overusing for the past year and a half. Like I said, the new stuff is a little too fancy. But I can live with that.

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