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So Long

July 7th, 2015

I’m constantly trying to get rid of things and not acquire more. With moving we definitely trimmed down, but then with chickens and other farm things we acquired a few things. As my lifestyle changes I try to get rid of things I used to use and no longer do.  I’m constantly downsizing and trimming down. Thankfully, I really notice that I have very few things I don’t use on a regular basis. As I was cleaning out the root cellar this week I came across tons of old canning jars.
old canning jars 1
I have some of my own, that came from my grandma and the previous owners left a bunch that they didn’t want. The result is that I probably have 75 or 100 old canning jars. I used to use them for canning, but I don’t do much canning any more. There are a few I’ll keep, mainly the ones form my grandma, but I’m going to get rid of them.
old canning jars 2
I’ve been trying to decide what to do with them, I could probably sell them for a few dollars a piece. The Goodwill probably isn’t the best spot for them, I’d love them to go to places that they’ll be loved and appreciated. There are so many old, interesting things in the garage I was thinking about setting up at Etsy store to list them all. I have a few really neat vintage lanterns and other really neat things. Now I’m just trying to decide if I want to deal with the responsibility of an Etsy store or if I can find a local place to sell everything to.

How often do you go through things to reduce the level of stuff you have in your home & garage? 

14 Comments to “So Long”
  1. DEb on July 7, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I keep things as I see no reason to get rid of them and then have to reacquire them. That would be a waste of money. I’m surprised you don’t an much. Your lifestyle is one I envy and would preserve all I could grow and forage. I would never get rid of old canning jars. if I lived close I’d love some of the old ones, they’re made so much better. Couldn’t afford the shipping though. I have probably hundreds I never use but will never get rid of them. Only hubby and I now. If I can acquire something free or very cheap and I use it I will get it ready for when the other goes bad. Hubby has a barn and other buildings full of many things he will never, ever use but as long as it’s inside. He could do much worse things. lol

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  2. Meg on July 7, 2015 at 7:54 am

    I declutter and clean out about every 10 years…not often enough. As we approach a time of true lifestyle downsizing, I’m trying to be more aggressive about not acquiring things.

    I use those old bail canning jars in my pantry for dry goods (no pantry moths, ever) and for leftovers too. They also make great gift jars filled with homemade sauces, vinegars or cordials. The rubber gaskets are still sold, but I wouldn’t trust them for preserving.

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  3. K. on July 7, 2015 at 8:41 am

    I used to run an Etsy shop and sell things like this. You probably wouldn’t make much money after packaging these up nicely for shipping. (Unless you have some rare jars…) You might try something more local (Craigslist, a local Facebook buy/sell/trade group?) and sell them as a lot. Alternatively, I’ve started filling cool old jars I have trouble letting go of with cut flowers from the garden and giving them away to friends/people around me.

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  4. carol on July 7, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I’m in a constant decluttering mode. I try to get together a bag for Good Will on a monthly basis. There are just the two of us now and I would hate to leave this job for my daughter and I also want to live a more simpler life. All “stuff” needs to be taken care of in some way. I want to have experiences as opposed of taking care of stuff I don’t use.

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  5. Mary Z on July 7, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I’ve used Freecycle in the past. I don’t know there’s a local one around you. We were giving away a reel lawnmower and I was able to sort through the messages and give it to someone who’d appreciate it and use it safely.

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  6. Mary Schier on July 7, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I’m the big de-clutterer in our family, but we are always acquiring new things, especially books. Our community has a garage sale Facebook page where you can post things for sale or giveaway. I just got rid of some chicken wire and posts I’m not going to need in the future and have sold canning jars on it. It’s a great way to sell and buy within the community.

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  7. Rue on July 7, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I’ve sold some old jars on etsy and really the only bother of it was finding ways to pack them so they wouldn’t break without buying any materials. I’ve also sold some on Craigslist, which was nice because I was able to sell a lot at once. I still have a ton of them, because they are handy, but no need to keep more than I’ll ever use.

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  8. kaela on July 7, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Plenty of people in Maine still can in the old jars, and there are for sure lots of antique stores that would likely be happy to have old Ball jars to sell. Down in my area, north of NYC, a vintage Ball jar in good shape can sell for more than $10 each. You could always set them up to sell in lots on Etsy, to cut down on the pain of packing & shipping. Alternatively, if you don’t necessarily care about getting money for them, I always think churches are good places for canning jars: even if they don’t use them themselves, there is always someone in the church community who is an avid canner.

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  9. kaela on July 7, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Or, you know, I still use them: you could just sent them my way! ;)

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  10. Justin on July 7, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    If you feel like taking a ride south to the Wells/Arundel area, there’s a section of Rte 1 or 1A that’s known for antique shops. They sell tons of those jars…all kinds and colors and vintages. I’m sure they’d give you a few dollars for them and save you the trouble of doing the Etsy thing. I know they sell them for anywhere from $5-$15 each. Down here in RI, the antique stores get even more than that for them, depending on the rarity.

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  11. Nebraska Dave on July 8, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Susy, I’m constantly in the decluttering mode. The problem is that I live with two hoarders that bring home everything. My daughter can’t pass by a bargain bin. She brings home stuff that no one can use and probably it’s why it’s in the bargain bin to begin with. I can’t bring myself to throw away new stuff but usually have no use for it. My grandson is the worst ever. He has an entire wall filled with boxes of Legos and other toys from the 10 years of life. I pity his wife when he gets married. The best I can do is hide some of the stuff for a while and then get rid of it when they aren’t looking.

    I find most of my canning jars at the thrift stores for 25 cents. I don’t really can much either. I try to take your lead and store things without have to preserve them. Yeah, well, somethings just can’t be done that way and this year I have a source for tomatoes that will be canned for me for the tomatoes. Best deal ever for me.

    Have a great decluttering day.

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  12. Sarah on July 9, 2015 at 11:27 am

    You might try craigslist. Those are really beautiful! But I understand as I’m also a constant declutterer

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  13. Jenelle Jordan on July 10, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Post them for sale to your devoted Chiot’s Run followers! A monthly post perhaps with the price and description! We all love following your site and it would give us another way to contribute to the site outside of donations and would give us a little piece from the farm! It would also be fun to hear from the followers who purchased the item to see how it is being used! What a fun sense of Chiot’s Run community that would foster! Just a thought!

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    • mandie on August 8, 2015 at 9:26 am


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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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