Becoming a Bag Lady | Bower Power
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Becoming a Bag Lady

2013 January 23
by Katie

One of my 2013 resolutions is to start trying to organize this house.  I’ve found that organizing is like putting on foundation…I can’t stop there…I have to then pull out the blush, mascara and lip gloss…and I’m hoping that a little puttin-it-away action will help me finish up some of the spaces we have in this house that I have painfully neglected.  One area in particular is our basement workroom.

It’s so messy that it started reproducing sawdust on its own.  Crazy.

I asked Jeremy about it and he said that he couldn’t even work in there anymore.  That’s when I knew something had to be done.  Didn’t want a little clutter to get in the way of me cracking my DIY whip.  kidding.  only 98%.  Seriously though – I knew majority of the reason it was so cluttered was due to my tendency to hoard.  All those random branches in the back?  Leftover from my sisters wedding.  The hundreds of paint cans?  all bad paint we got for free from some guy on Craigslist.  The bags and buckets of supplies?  Evidence of past blog projects.  I constantly buy new supplies because I can’t find the old partially used stuff.  It’s a disease.  With no known medication.

Since Jeremy is the clean one in this relationship, I asked him what we should do first.  His answer….purge.

I had just been contacted by the folks at Bagster asking to partner on a project so I ran to my computer to tell them that we needed a bag…pronto.

Jeremy decided to set it up and at first, we thought…oh this is kinda small…we might need two.  But we read that the bag is really durable – like can hold 3,300 pounds of debris and is big enough to hold full sheets of plywood, doors and even a bathtub…so we continued on (with crossed fingers).

After all, we have a lot we need to toss.  And it’s a lot cheaper than the alternative - borrowing my dad’s truck and taking loads to the dump (which charge by weight…so we would be in trouble with all our cement blocks and wood).  Plus, this is a little easier since the pickup comes to you.  We have a ton of stuff we pulled out of the yard…like this random old post wrapped in old barbed wire.  (doesn’t exactly give off the vibe of ‘safe’ during our playdates!)

And the cut cement blocks from our fire pit project (more on that later)…

(psst…hey turtle sandbox!  that’s a blue baby pool….not a female turtle!)

Naughty little reptile :)

yes…that black thing in the bucket was an outdoor statue of a small child.  head and one foot was removed at the time of discovery.  CREEPY.

So here it is after the first two loads…

Then we began unloading the bigger items…a broken umbrella, a bunch of stuff I made Jer dumpster dive for, the old random gas pipe we removed from the side of the house (read about that here), treated lumber with nails in it…

And this is it after all that was loaded up…not quite full.

See, we thought SURELY this bag would be too small…but if you look, the sides aren’t even unfolded yet….giving us a ton more room.  The rule is that the yellow straps have to be able to meet after you unfold the bag…so we looked harder to see if there was possibly more we could fill it up with…

Enter the gigantor bushes.  I ain’t talking about nether regions that need maintenanced.  Well…maybe I am.  I’m talking about these huge bushes that are on both sides of our driveway…

They were growing so big that it was getting hard to mow the grass over there and the bush itself was getting leggy.

For reference, here’s how big they are compared to my almost six-foot tall boyfriend.

So we called Bagster and asked what was available for pickup in our area.  Yard waste ok?  Yes.

This is Jeremy’s favorite tool for trimming the bushes…

So one weekend he showed those bushes who was boss…

Will and I (and Weston since technically he was strapped to me in the wrap) cleaned up the mess and hauled it up to the Bagster.

Will got a little John Deere Gator for Christmas and he loves it.  like a little too much.

Jer helped me pull the big stuff off the top so we could sandwich the yard waste in the middle…

And then we filled it back up again.   One phone call and a few days later, it was gone.  I wish I could have seen them hoist it in the air like our friend John Petersik did…mostly because I think Will would have just died and gone to garbage truck heaven!  But it was equally nice to not even think about it…that we filled it up and that was that.  Like the bag says…buy, fill, gone.

So now we have a decently emptied workroom….Jer is coming up with a plan to get it really organized so more on that to come…and some trimmed bushes….oh and a yard without barbed wire or creepy babies…all in all…a really good day.

p.s.  I wanted to mention that even though Waste Management does pick up a variety of stuff with the Bagster Bag, we chose to sort through our junk and donate/recycle anything worth salvaging.  Oh and you really shouldn’t burn treated lumber or painted or polyed wood.  We called our local metal recycling drop-offs and our favorite donation centers to see what they would accept and we recommend you do too!


Waste Management partnered with me to participate in its The Bagster® Bag Blogger Challenge.  As part of this program, I received compensation to cover the cost of the Bagster bag and pick-up as well as my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used for the The Bagster® Bag Blogger Challenge. Waste Management believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Waste Management’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

31 Responses leave one →
  1. January 24, 2013

    My husband says I cannot buy anything new for our house until we get rid of all the crap we don’t use. So I’m with ya on getting rid of stuff (mostly because I want to go shopping).

    Also, I clicked on the link for Bagster to check the prices and it took me to a French motocycle website. Fun :)

    • January 24, 2013

      haha…whooops! I’ll fix that :)
      xo – kb

      • Mercedes permalink
        January 25, 2013

        The very last link still goes to the motorcycle website. But the one up top goes to the right place! :-)

  2. Amy permalink
    January 24, 2013

    Wish we had a ‘Bagster’ in Australia! What a great idea! :-)

  3. Sarah permalink
    January 24, 2013

    Wow, my left eye is twitching just thinking about how much crap/stuff/junk I could put in that thing…not that I hoard, just like dump shopping only to turn around and realise it’s taken over! There is nothing like a good clean up!

  4. January 24, 2013

    So, I’m glad to know that I don’t have the only children in the world that LOVE garbage trucks and any other large piece of machinery on 4 or more wheels! (The apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree). If you haven’t already, you have to check out Swamp Loggers. We’re now very 2008 and joined Netcrack Netflix. My 4 & 6 year-olds CANNOT. GET. ENOUGH. So they now want feller bunchers and grapple skitters. So funny. Anywho…I enjoy your musings. you make me laugh. Have a great day.

    • January 24, 2013

      stinkin’ auto-correct…grapple skidders. Oh, and netcrack

      • January 25, 2013

        I was scanning comments wicked quick and saw “grapple skidders” and had to stop. I pretty much love grapples. We go to an ag fair every year that has a woodsmans day and one year I saw grapple skidder races and squealed asking my husband (then boyfriend) what they were. He told me and I’ve been enamored since. I legitimately have no idea why, but I just like them. A lot. It made me laugh to see someone say it here because I never thought I’d see “grapple skidder” on this blog – anywhere, even in comments! Haha. Love it. LOVE it.

  5. January 24, 2013

    After living in temporary housing for the past four months while our house is built…and knowing I have a 10×10 storage unit full that hasn’t been touched in at least that long….makes me think I’m going to need one of these as well. So should’ve done a better job “cleaning house” before we moved the first time.

  6. January 24, 2013

    I have so much stuff to get rid of unfortunately even a Bagster wouldn’t take what I need to toss. Anyone need a ’93 Ford Escort Wagon with about 200,000 miles on it? haha It was my first car and its been sitting at my brother-in-law’s house for years. Its time to get rid of it. Hopefully I can put the proceeds towards a new lens for my camera. :)

    • January 24, 2013

      You could check to see what it would scrap for – a ’93 should be mostly metal, not plastic like today’s cars!

  7. January 24, 2013

    I can’t believe you’re copying YHL! Ha, KIDDING! Must feel good to get that junk out of your life, huh? And the nice thing about the American South is you can totally spring clean in January. We’re getting ready to move (just don’t know where, yet – husband is in the military), so I might have to look into this Bagster to get rid of some of our larger items. Thanks!

  8. January 24, 2013

    haha..I was about to say the same thing! I live in Suwanee and have been looking for something like that though…so thanks for the suggestion! I can now get rid of a disgusting moldy couch on my screened porch and other craigslist hoardingness. Holy grossness I just confessed to that.

  9. January 24, 2013

    It all makes sense now..

    HAHAHA!!! :)

  10. January 24, 2013

    Lovely concept!

    One day we may just wind up using them! In the mean time, we’re doing it the ole-non-Bagster way and having tons of fun!

    Glad to know that they work so well and hold so-so much stuff (gasp!)!

    Oh, and cute pic of Will and the John Deere! :-)

  11. January 24, 2013

    Wow that is so neat I will have to check them out! We live in the country, the city says we are too far for their dumpster route, and we are under a burn ban due to the draught but wouldn’t burn anyway due to the environment. All we can do is haul trash to the dump in truckloads and pay for it, but we don’t have a truck or a place to store the trash until we have a truckload full. This could be our answer!!

  12. Jaime G. permalink
    January 24, 2013

    Lol lol! Turtle sandbox…baby pool…!!! Cracks me up :)

  13. January 24, 2013

    I have seen the bagster on several blogs and it seems awesome, but it was quite expensive in our area. So we have resorted to the whole “a little to the trash each week” trick and it kind of stinks.

    Glad you could get all of yours in one foul swoop!

  14. Meghan permalink
    January 24, 2013

    ohhhhh myyyyyyyy gaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwsssh, don’t you know you can’t do a post about a bagster because YHL did a post about it. PROOF that you’re trying to copy them. Or do you think you invented the bagester? Cause it’s totally coming off that way!!! ;)
    I don’t know how you deal with the negativity, but keep your head up girl :)

    • Melissa Ricci permalink
      January 24, 2013

      The Bagster is on many many blogs. Settle down, sweetheart.

      • kristen permalink
        January 25, 2013

        i think your computer wasn’t displaying meghan’s sarcasm font correctly.

      • Meghan permalink
        February 1, 2013

        Darn, I guess my sarcastic font wasn’t working.

    • Kat permalink
      January 25, 2013

      Meghan, calm down. Bagsters are popping up all over right now as so many people are clearing out clutter with resolutions. I don’t generally read YHL so Katie posting about them is how I heard about them.

    • January 25, 2013

      Given her last sentence, I’m pretty sure this was a tongue-in-cheek comment making fun of the fact that people seem to think this blog is just a parrot of YHL.

  15. January 24, 2013

    Your side comment about the turtle sandbox made me giggle! I was at the zoo with my sister’s family and my boyfriend this past fall, and one of the huge turtles climbed right on top of another. My brother-in-law and boyfriend could not stop laughing, especially at the odd sounds. And my 2-year old nephew spent the afternoon saying, “Why that turtle say MOOOOOO?!!?”

    Oh, and good job with the clutter!

  16. January 24, 2013

    No better feeling than purging! Seriously – it’s one of my favorite things to do :) Once you find the motivation to actually do it, the reward is so darn nice. I’ve got a basement that is in dire need of the same treatment.

  17. Sherri permalink
    January 24, 2013

    The comment from Meghan above was rude. You never claimed you invented the idea & I’m proud of you for letting go of things. I’ve been a collector before & still love thrift shops & repurposing things but life becomes more freeing & less cluttered when you purge. I could be a professional organizer because now I’m wired that way & have helped friends go through their stuff & depart with things. Keep up the good work! And now when I buy something, I ask myself if it’s going to make an impact. I used to buy things because they were a good deal, now I’m selective. You save money that way too. All the little things add up. Good luck!!

    • Meghan permalink
      February 1, 2013

      Hi! I’m Meghan. I just wanted you to know that I was kidding. I did put a wink face and a smiley face, but I guess you missed those.

  18. Misty permalink
    January 24, 2013

    I know everyone always just says all the good things…and I check your blog almost every day because I love your humor (and pics of those adorable kids don’t hurt either!) but can I just be blunt for a moment? I’m losing intest real fast because it seems every other post is a paid advertisement now. I know a lot of bloggers choose to accept freebies, but honestly it turns me off in a major way when they accept as many freebies as you are starting to. I mean, it just turns into a “see what we get for free” blog instead of the casual true to art DIY blog that you started as…Sorry. Let the bashing commence….

    • January 25, 2013

      I totally hope you don’t get bashed. I understand. And I do want to remind you that every blog is different and has different policies. My blog is one that I only accept freebies that I would use and actually recommend. It’s always been that way. I get offered TONS of free stuff and probably 90% of it is turned down…mostly because I don’t want this to be a giant advertisement but I do have partnerships…with Frog Tape (up to four times per month) and Lowes Creative Ideas Magazine (once a month) so that is something to take into consideration. In the last month, I’ve posted 19 times…besides my two partnerships…both of which require work on my part because they are projects…I only accept up to four true ‘freebies’ per month. That’s just my personal policy and I hope you can understand that it’s part of this weird gig I have.
      xo – kb

  19. Amy L. permalink
    January 25, 2013

    Wow- those are way bigger than I pictured. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the space now that it’s cleaned out a little.

    Also, adore those photos of Will on his mini John Deere. He looks very serious about his duties as a helper. So cute!

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