So the good thing about knowing so far in advance that we’ll be moving is that I will have lots of time to Get Organized (those who know me may now laugh hysterically) and pare down the possessions. We’ll have movers come and pack up for us, and I’ve heard that they will pack and ship your garbage if you leave it lying around. And there are lots of things that we haven’t used in years and really and truly no longer need, like Ignatz’s hockey gear. He quit, what, three years ago? And it’s still sitting in the basement. The hockey club has a store where they will sell your used stuff, but it’s only open for half an hour on occasional Thursdays, and never the Thursday when you drop by to check. Argh.

We’ve agreed that I should start with the basement, but every time I go down there, I get overwhelmed. I just don’t know where to start. This is largely due to the fact that, if I can recycle something or throw it away, I have already done so, so the crap we have is either donatable, but I don’t know where to donate it, or it’s sellable, but um, they don’t really do garage sales here.

And I am constituionally incapable of just thowing perfectly good stuff away. I have to see if someone I know can use it, or maybe try to sell clothes to one of the used-clothing stores around here, sell the books and music dvds at, figure out how to use Ebay (in German), wait for the people with a truck who sometimes come by the old neighborhood and pick stuff up but they never come here so I’ll have to ask some of my former neighbors… all of that takes ages and I really should just get the lead out and get started, but instead I sigh, and shrug, and wander out of the basement hoping that tomorrow I will feel more resolute.

Because I’m a doofus, that’s why.

Y’all: if you were thinking of maybe making Broccoli Beef for dinner, with ginger and soy sauce and rice and all that good stuff? But they don’t have beef cut in smallish pieces (or that you can cut into smallish pieces when you get home) at the store? Hamburger, it turns out, is not an acceptable substitute. Just FYI.

Song du jour of the day: Qele, by Sirusho, for Armenia. ‘Sokay.


7 responses to “Stalled

  • amy

    Oh. When did you change the blog? It’s changed, right? How far behind am I in noticing?

    Anyway, on the Stuff. We’re tackling our basement, too, the problem being we haven’t moved in four years and have no plans to do so and I feel like I’m drowning in Stuff. I gave a bunch of stuff away on Freecycle. Go to and search for groups in Germany. Some came up, but of course I have no idea where they are in comparison to you. It was kind of a lot of work–I fielded a lot of emails and honestly, some people are very demanding and whiny about getting free stuff, for crying out loud–but after a week, everything I’d posted was claimed and picked up, except the mattress, which we decided we wanted to keep Just In Case. I suppose we could have eBay’d some stuff, but I didn’t really want to bring an air conditioner to the post office, y’know?

  • alala

    I just changed it with this post. Yeah, we’re kind of too rural for Freecycle, we’d have to drive the stuff up to Munich because nobody in Munich knows where we are. I’m not keen on lugging some of this stuff to the post office either, but even worse is reading the Wall of Text terms n’ conditions for ebay in German. I only speak and understand German with lots of miming and making faces – I can barely read it, and I can’t write it at all. So I have to ask one of the ebay-gurus I know to walk me through it: my brother-in-law, who doesn’t like me, or Tommy’s mom, whom I kinda… don’t really like all that much, even though I really should.

  • Kel

    Ah, freecycle rocks. Maybe you could start a local group? And I like the new flavor! Did I tell you Kev’s design got accepted at Threadless?

  • leil

    I’ve never used freecycle, seems like a lot of work. I usually just load it up and drop it at the used stuff store, but I suppose there isn’t one at this point. I suggest trying this: take 15 minutes, go to the basement and do whatever you can in that time. Pick one thing and do that (such as put all the hockey stuff in a box). Do that three times in a row, and then take 15 minutes off, or stop for the day. It won’t happen all at once, but little by little, works really well. I wish you lots of luck!!

  • Melanie

    I feel for you about throwing stuff away, don’t know how people do it. I too am liking freecycle, too bad it won’t work to help you. I have only given things away so far and twice it was “my husband will be near there when he gets off work at 4”, which I know is shift change at the border!! And one for sure was a border dude, I saw him pick up wearing his uniform (like they don’t pay you enough and you need a broken 10 speed???). I have just left stuff outside the house “under the giant Obama sign”. Everyone knows us, sigh.

    Previously, I lived on the east side of Vancouver and if you don’t want something there, you just set it outside, near a dumpster or not. And it’s….. gone.

    Good luck!!!

  • Nate

    Craigslist totally kicks freecycle’s butt in my experience. I don’t know how far you are from Munich, but in Denver people post stuff routinely from 75 miles away (I don’t know how many milliliters that is. or hectares. whatever.), and there’s a munich site, as illustrated hyah:
    It looks like not very many people use it, but it might be worth a shot.

    We donate several hundred dollars (which is like 14 euros, I think) worth of unwanteds every year, usually to thrift stores whose proceeds benefit the unfortunate (epilepsy, assn’ of retarded citizens, goodwill). tax deduction is nice. Is there such a thing in germany world as a thrift store that would take your crap? I’m guessing the tax deduction thing is an american construct.

    interesting predicament, as yours often are. : )

  • not much of an update « alala

    […] it’s hard to decide what to do first. I already talked about how getting rid of stuff is an obstacle course here, and I’ve sort of made a start with the tidying and decision-making and all. But […]

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