So- I’ve had my grandmother’s electric organ for years… I mean…years!  I have fond memories of playing that organ at my grandparents house.  My grandma taught me how to play “Do-Re-Mi” from The Sound of Music on that organ.  It was passed on to me when my grandpa died and has moved with us to three different houses.  But here’s the kicker…it never worked!  In all the time I’ve owned it, it hasn’t worked!  The power of sentimentality, baby!  I should mention:  people told us it would be valuable if it worked…but it didn’t… people also told us it would costly to fix it…

Here's the organ from when we first moved in to our current house.

Here’s the organ from when we first moved in to our current house.

I finally agreed to let my husband list the organ on Craig’s List.  For $20.  Ok- I didn’t know he was only going to ask $20 for it, but it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t work and we don’t need it.  I did love it.  I do love it… but I think I will love the empty space more.

So, the first two calls he got were from people who didn’t want the organ, but were warning us that the organ would be worth a lot more than $20 if it worked.  C’mon, man!  It was hard enough to make this decision in the first place!  Stop second guessing me!!!  I talked myself down off the ledge like this, “It would be worth more if it worked, but it DOESN’T work.  You don’t know how to make it work.  It will be expensive to make it work and then any money you would make selling it would just be paying yourself back for fixing it.  PLUS- if you fixed it, you’d be tempted to keep it and you want the empty space NOT the organ, remember?”

You may have noticed in my book clearing post  that I have a ginormous, old upright piano, by the way.  So, yeah, I really don’t need an organ…

So anyway, a guy came and got our organ.  He seemed very apologetic about taking it for $20.  I felt like he was trying to warn me that he was going to make millions on our naivety without actually saying it because if he said it we’d keep the darn thing.  He offered us a consolation prize:  if we could find the hardware that would hold up the music stand he’d give us an extra $10.  He e-mailed a picture of the hardware.  My husband scoured the house and found it.  We made $30 and got an organ shaped free space in our house for the first time in over a decade!

I see this as a win-win-win situation.  I win- I get some space back in my home and am one item closer to my goal of 365 items.  The guy who got the organ wins- he’s going to make a bajillion dollars reselling the organ.  And perhaps most importantly, somewhere, sometime, some little girl is going to win because she’s going to  have fond memories of her own grandmother  teaching her to play “Do-Re-Mi” on that organ.



I am challenging myself to get rid of 365 items in our home that we no longer need or want.

It occurred to me that the easiest place to start would be the four bookshelves in our family room.  They were absolutely overflowing with double rows of books and things sliding off onto the floor.  I know we don’t need all these books!

I decided to make one pass through for this first go-round.  And I decided only to deal with books, not knick-knacks or other things on the shelves.  The exception being the bookshelf that also houses some of our youngest son’s toys.  I will go back through and take a harder look at the books that are left and the knick-knacks, but I think I made a pretty good dent!  Here are before & after pictures:           

Shelf 1 Before & After

Shelf 1 Before & AfterShelf 2 BEFORE & AFTER

Shelf 2 Before & After

Notice how the middle two shelves above were two rows deep with books.  We love books in our house!  The bottom shelf is full of record albums and yearbooks.  We’re not ready to get rid of those just yet!

Shelf 3 Before & After

Shelf 3 Before & After


Shelf 4 Before & After

Shelf 4 Before & After

That was a double row of books on the top shelf there!  And I’ll point out that my son helped me sort through some of his papers and toys on Shelf 4.  He gave a few things away and recycled some papers and some of the things I moved to another spot.  I’m sure he’ll be part of this challenge before the end, but this phase was just about books.

And here is what was removed:

All of thesebppks will be finding a new home in someone else's house!

All of these books will be finding a new home in someone else’s house!

So final count:  141 books removed!  Almost halfway to 365!  Maybe that goal isn’t lofty enough!  We’ll see after session 2!  I’ll get back to you in a few days!


So, this is it!  I’ve been thinking for awhile now that I really want to clear out our house.  We (and I’ll be honest- probably mostly me!) have a LOT of things in our house we don’t need.  I’ve decided that now is the time to do something about that!  What better way to commit to a project, than to make it public where any number of people can hold you accountable!  The goal: rid our home of 365 items this year.


I’m really not sure if this goal is too lofty or not lofty enough!

Want to join me?  Please let me know and we can cheer each other on!