Cost of Organizing and Accumulation of “Stuff” With Age

A close up of sorting boxes.
A close up of boxes used for sorting small items.

A recent online conversation about yesterday’s post included an exclaimation about using a lot of boxes and the cost.  Actually, the boxes looked kind of cool so in a way the organizer was a part of the everyday office furniture and served us well. We got the boxes for about $3 to $4 each using weekly coupons and acquired them over time.   We used them for many years. As one thing was disposed of other items were stored and or sorted in the boxes. Later we went to cheap Home Depot boxes for the larger items as well as document boxes which are a subject of their own. Those boxes bought in 2011 and 2012 have been swapped out so many times over the years they have more than paid for themselves.

Below gives you an idea of why downsizing was an ongoing process and how we disposed of some items.

We had had previous businesses so we had a LOT of inventory to get rid of responsibly.

Logan made stained glass display.
Wayne made this display which came apart with bolts and wingnuts.

We used to sell stained glass and do shows – most of the glass went to daughter who creates beautiful mosaics.


We had a graphic arts business for quite awhile (T-shirts, business cards, wedding invitations, band brochures, restaurant stuff, etc.).

A client's artwork used to create a business card.
A client’s artwork on a laminated business card.

A lot of the supplies used in our graphic arts business we continued to use for our own products and advertising in our next venture.  We stopped doing graphic arts when computer programs became push a button and spit out a business card.


Bottles and Jars awaiting purchase.
We used to drive to buy in bulk and wholesale and spit bottles into individuals and various sized packs (6, 12, 24, 100, etc.)
A copy of a soap label printed on a muslin bag.
We printed our soap labels on muslin bags.

We sold soap and incense and that expanded into selling soaping supplies, bottles, jars, essential oils and such.  Some of these supplies such as fragrance and essential oils had to be disposed of according to legal restrictions so this took awhile longer to sell.  Eventually I found someone wanting to get into the soaping business so those supplies went in one large purchase with the exception of some soap molds and small items sold previously in garage sales.

We also did gift shop items at the swap meet with left overs sold at garage sales.

All of these businesses had online stores that we sold at.  The only physical selling was the occasional swap meet, products placed in stores and the personal interaction of some clients during our graphic arts business.

So all of that took time and space for inventory. Slowly all of that is gone as are many things sold through garage sales.

If you are young you likely do not have a lot of things to dispose of. But if you are in your 50’s and up you probably or possibly do. Yesterday’s tip will apply to someone taking their time to reach their goal with a lot of living and buying behind them. I’ve had a lot of garage sales and a lot of these items were organized,  cleaned and priced before the sale. I just kept it up over the years and I’m getting there.  Being disabled doesn’t mean you are dead, it just takes longer to get things done and some need help.  So disabled isn’t a good word, I just need a bit more time and it gets done.

I’ve had a fun time doing what I’ve done in my younger years – all those jobs were on top of my husband’s and my full time busy jobs and we worked a lot of hours (I used to come home from work and say, print out 500 custom designed musln bags for a wedding order). Wayne would mail them the next day and be working on his own clients. We worked well together and had a blast.  Whoever brought the client in had the last say if there was a disagreement so it kept us friendly.

If you have a long way to go just start and keep at it as you can.  Eventually downsizing gets done this way.

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