Scanning project

Every year I make a list of projects I want to complete, and I always try to think up a few new decluttering ideas, which is getting difficult since I've done so much in this area! I remembered that in my garage I had a box of all kinds of papers: journals, poetry, high school and college papers, childhood artwork, and so on. Although I had already reduced this to one document box a few years ago, I decided I might as well go all the way, so I decided to scan everything and get rid of the paper for good. It took me a few months, but it was kind of fun to just mechanically do the same thing over and over while watching a video and drinking a beer. It was pretty nostalgic seeing everything I had written and I was kind of amazed the volume of it, covering all the major events in my young life, and now one of my new goals is to actually go back and read it all! I also threw my complete collection of trading cards in the mix, and it was nice to dig through those again. After all that scanning, I have everything backed up in three places (including two offsite), and now it's much easier to enjoy everything since I don't have to dig it out of a dusty box. Here are my final totals, plus a random sample of some of my scans (that aren't too embarrassing to share):

  • 1086 journal pages
  • 1301 trading cards
  • 756 songs and poems
  • 410 school papers
  • 129 drawings and artwork
  • 385 other things
  • 4067 items total

View Trading Cards: Star Wars and other movie cards from my childhood
View Questar: Homemade comic book with hilarious artwork
View Galactic Gazette: Geek newspaper I made with my school friends
View Comic Books: Overachieving high school report with illustrations
View Romeo's Quest: Shakespeare-inspired role playing game I made in college


LEGO trains update

Several months ago I decided to change my LEGO train track layout. I used to use my switches to make a double-loop, but my Emerald Night had a little trouble navigating those tight curves, so I created a single loop in an "L" shape with more straight sections. I ended up using my switches to make two spurs that I can use to park my Passenger Train and Cargo Train, and I'm pretty happy with the much larger design! I haven't really added many more buildings, but my city is kind of overrun with vehicles now, since I just can't resist buying sets like the Garbage Truck and the Dump Truck. I also had a ton of fun building the huge Public Transport Station (my Black Friday impulse buy last year), which included some cool structures as well as more vehicles, including a cute street cleaner truck with brushes! My Toy Story train is put away for now, but I plan on getting it out again soon since I haven't made a video of it since I motorized it. Speaking of videos, I decided to buy a Hot Wheels Video Racer on a whim, which is a standard size Hot Wheels car with a complete color video camera built right in! I was able to fasten it to each of my trains at various angles to film a "point of view" video of what it looks like to ride around in my LEGO city! Although I mainly love building LEGO sets and marveling at the imaginative design that goes into each model, I relish the times when I can find a way to play with my sets like a kid!

Watch video: LEGO Trains Point of View


Decluttering via eBay

One of my decluttering goals for this year is to finally sell some collectibles on eBay, and I've been working away at it every weekend! On Friday I pick a new item to sell, do my research of looking at completed auctions to find a good price, take my photos, and post my listing. I stopped collecting Disney pins quite a long time ago, and those have been selling really well (my best went for nearly $30 for a single pin), but I've also listed a few Jpop CDs and DVDs (that I bought when I was collecting more than just Morning Musume) and also some old manga series. It's fun to check how many views and watchers my auctions get, and sometimes the suspense is great! Shipping hasn't been too much of a hassle, since almost everything I've listed will fit in a small flat-rate postage box that ships for five bucks, and I can even use eBay to print the postage at home (I got some special printer labels to make this even easier). I like reading the feedback from my buyers, and it's cool to see my star rating go up (it's certainly not huge, but much bigger than it was a few months ago). I'm definitely not getting rich, but I always make enough to feel satisfied, and I'm glad to sell to someone who is actively interested and appreciates these items. Of course, these sales end up in my PayPal account, which is immediately used to fund my current collections (mostly Godzilla toys), so this is also a nice way to keep buying goodies without going broke! I really like using eBay's iOS app (on both my iPad and iPhone), since it's so fast to check on my auctions, and the notifications about items I'm watching have really helped me win some cool stuff!


Instagram friends

Since I started using Instagram over a year ago, I've added a new photo almost every day (I'm up to 339 photos so far). Almost all of my pictures are of my toy collection, so lots of other Instagram users have noticed me and started following my photos, since my collection spans a lot of interests like Disney, Star Wars, LEGO, PEZ, and Japanese toys. Most of these followers post fantastic photos as well, so I follow them and see their new posts every day. I really don't know anything about these people, but it's fun to interact with these new "friends" by seeing their daily images and making comments! I'm kind of proud of the eclectic group that enjoys my photos. I have several Japanese followers: two are in Hokkaido (and constantly post beautiful snowy landscape and architecture photos), another is a cute Japanese girl who loves all things Disney and frilly and often posts pictures of her pet rabbit, and two more are fantastic geeks who must visit Akihabara every day to take photos of the latest toys to hit the stores. I have some cool Star Wars followers also, including one hardcore fan with Star Wars tattoos and an amazing costume collection. I love posting a photo each day and seeing "likes" popup (I usually get around 10 per image), and I sometimes comment with my followers (even in Japanese, which gets a surprised reaction). I love my daily routine, and Instagram is a fun part of it! By the way, you can check out my Instagram photos on Statigram or Flickr.