Although my New Year's resolutions included the easily-doable (already done!) item "get messy" -- a healthy and normal part of parenting young kids -- I also set a few organizational goals for our house in the coming year. Now that Kaspar's back in school after his forever-long holiday break, too, I feel like I've had my fill of messy for a while. Maybe it's the pregnancy talking, but there's a part of me that wants our home front CLEAN. Now. Asap. We do a pretty good job of keeping the house presentable -- we're not living amongst loads of clutter or anything like that -- but I can't ignore the dust-bunnies that are accumulating in the corners any longer... or the fact that our bedroom closet has been largely responsible for our generally-tidy-ish front, and is, as a result, full of the clutter we would otherwise be living amongst. The former problem will be solved next week when professional 'green cleaners' come and whip this place into sparkling-clean shape. The latter, I've decided, must be dealt with in advance of their arrival. Otherwise, it's bound to get worse. (As in, if I don't deal with the closet situation, I'll just throw more stuff in there to make way for the cleaners. Which is exactly what got me into this mess in the first place.)

Luckily, the up-side of facing the closet, which I have already bravely embarked on, has meant that another 2013 goal of mine is under way: to sort items out from my wardrobe that, for whatever reason, I never wear, and replace them with clothing I love. I know better than to buy a bunch of maternity clothes -- I lived in maxi dresses last time I was pregnant, and plan to take that approach again -- but I know how much I'll be looking forward to wearing 'real' clothing again post-baby, and I think it'll be fun to create a stylin', mix-and-match selection that suits my tastes as they stand now. Before I do, however, I need to get rid of a handful of clothes that I just never wear anymore, or never wore much in the first place, and I'd like to pass them on to others who'll love and wear them well. There's a great resale shop in town where I've bought some favorite items, but I know myself well enough at present (I'm exhausted) than to think I'll haul a bag of my own stuff up there any time soon. Instead, I'm hitting the internets with what promises to be an eclectic virtual yard sale of sorts, beginning with my barely-worn threads, and ending with a random assortment of lost-in-the-closet items like a hot stone massage kit (an aspirational purchase made before I enrolled in massage school) and Torchwood (whatever that is) Blu Rays (sent to me by a PR person back in New York... Never opened, never watched.)

Enter: Your virtual yard sale (some junk, occasional treasure) slash Burning Man (barter system, baby) slash eBay (let the bidding begin) slash Amazon (easily searchable)! Listing items is easy -- simply upload a photo, write a description, choose a shipping method and BAM, the people start bidding. Every item starts at a 'zero' value, but as other users bid on it -- by way of the number of 'credits' they're willing to 'pay', its value goes up. When the auction is over, the bidding ends, and the highest bidder's credits get transferred to the seller, who can then bid on other items on the site in the same way. You can either charge for shipping or not; items with free shipping generally sell for more credits, but, of course, then the seller must swallow the shipping cost. (I listed two items with a flat rate, which may in fact earn me a small profit for my time, and one with exact rate shipping, which I guess I'll determine at the point of sale.)

I'm excited to have discovered; I recently disabled my Amazon account, as I felt the many boxes of goods that were arriving at my door could be purchased locally, not only fueling the local Austin economy, but also reducing the transportation-related pollution, and packaging waste, inherent in my Amazon habit. It was a good change; I've found a local, independent camera store for my SD cards, hit up local books shops for our books, and patronized the indy toy stores nearby; all three types of businesses desperately need in-person customers these days, and the service you get in local establishments like that just can't be beat, even via live chat help online. I've also purchased less, in general, because it takes more effort to buy stuff if I'm not doing it from my computer. And buying less, of course, has saved us some cash. Finally, I've been enjoying the wonders of eBay for certain items that I can find there for far less than retail cost, and often already-used but in 'like new' condition, meaning I'm a part of a large-scale re-use phenomenon, which is pretty awesome. But eBay charges users to list items, as I understand it, and I'm just not that committed to the process. Plus, I'm not sure anyone will actually buy my junk. Listia allows me to list and sell -- actually, trade -- risk-free, and thus saves my stuff from getting thrown away. This last point is actually really important to me; we're lucky, in America, that our trash is hidden -- if barely, beneath the ground -- from view, but trash and waste is a huge problem the world over. It's everywhere, and it's gross. We, as a species, need to find creative new ways to drastically reduce the amount of waste we produce. gives us one of those ways. 

Wanna see my auctions? Click here, and here, and here! I'll be added more stuff as I get the hang of it. And I'll be on the lookout for select, useful baby items (we've long since given most of Kaspar's baby stuff away) to spend my credits on... so if you have some baby stuff kicking around that you're no longer using, list it up there and give me a shout! has generously offered to gift 10,000 free credits (translation: free money!) upon an Alt-Mama giveaway winner, too! Simply register on, and comment below with your Listia username, and one organizational tip or goal. I'll select a random winner on Wednesday, February 6. Have fun, and good luck!
01/29/2013 12:44

Ooh, this looks interesting. I registered with the username Jesabes. I'd like to go through all my makeup samples.

nici r
02/02/2013 11:27

My listia username is ngurnett. I would say to start in one room and complete it, then go to the next. It helps me when I start with the back room and work in order of rooms all around the house.

02/02/2013 11:35

My username is RedHammer. A tip would be to make a to do list

02/04/2013 10:28

Love this idea! My username is shalaghkelly. I like to keep all household and family bills & paperwork neatly filed in color-coded file folders. It's so easy to reference something when you need it! Make sure you purge the files every year so your cabinet doesn't overflow. :)

02/07/2013 15:58

I'm a day late on this-- sorry y'all! This mama's been super sick for a full week with some kind of nasty cold that won't quit. Gross! BUT giveaways are more fun than germs, so let's all give it up for nici r! Congrats! You're our lucky winner. Had pretty good odds in this giveaway! ;-)

Nici, I'll send your username over to the Listia peeps for your free points, and everyone else, stick around for more Alt-Mama giveaways, coming soon.


Taylor Alt-Mama

nici r
02/09/2013 18:46

Thank you so much!!! I am so excited!!!


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