Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Tales of Bed Bug Woe

A new minimaist life - what have you thrown away?

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  1. evel18

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Sep 25 2010 12:04:15
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    I'm slightly depressed right now, because I know what I'm going to do later. Throw things away. It's such a heart break to part with these things, but I hope in the long run, it'll make me feel better and it'll be worth it to live a de-cluttered life. I've always found it mentally pleasing to see a very bare, de-cluttered place.

    This makes me think of the Buddha statement....PAIN BECAUSE OF MATERIAL THINGS. For bed bugs, I realize the top few concerns driving me crazy is such: 1) fear you spread it to family, 2) it'll show up on your face, 3) bite marks that you have to hide from work and friends to avoid stigma, 4) all the material status symbols you bought.

    It pains me so much. I live a pretty frugal lifestyle to begin with and I've splurged on certain items like purses and clothes whenever I feel like I "accomplished" something. And these damn things, like brand purses, are giving me heart ache because I'm worrying for them like a baby. Crazy right? The extent you'll be crazy over a Louis Vuitton purse. If I never had them, I wouldn't even be fretting about it. At the same time, I'm feeling totally depressed, knowing something I worked so hard for saving $$$ for has been bed-bugged.

    ---
    PLAN TO DECLUTTER MY LIFE: If I knew I was going to throw so much away, I wouldn't have made all that effort to move it up those stairs and into my apartment in the first place!

    It's funny once you have bed bugs you take a look at your life and realize the things you're willing to throw away to avoid the risk of a bed bug. I think by the time I'm done, it'll be so weird to have so little things in the apartment. Let me know if you agree with the things I plan to toss or maybe I'm just being draconian right now due to my level of terror.

    BOOKS - College books that you kept in hopes you'll read them one day. I had them all organized and everything. As my mental terror spread, I realized that I hardly ever read those books and maybe it's time to bite the bullet and go digital. I plan to throw them all away. I'm not even going to wait for the Packtite (which I hear isn't shipping until November) or the heat treatment in the apartment. In the past couple of years since college, I've never actually sat down for long to read a book. What's the point of keeping them? But it totally breaks my heart though. Some of these books, I really love(d) despite the fact I never read them. Some of them have sentimental value. Those I might keep.

    FURNITURE - extra furniture from Ikea that I hardly use. They seemed like a great idea when I bought them and thought about how I wanted to furnish my place. But in the year I've been here, I've barely touched them. I just sit on them from time to time and place things on them I'm too lazy to file away.

    SHOES - I'm a girl. I can't bear to throw away some of my shoes and clothes. I've always LOVED a few pairs of shoes but then I realize....I never wear them to work or to social outings. Maybe I've grown up. I loved them in college. They were a smash hit then and drew lots of compliments. But I'm not 19 any more and I don't really want to kill myself wearing 3 inch heels. The shoes are so beautiful though.

    PURSES - This I am waiting for the Packtite. If there wasn't a Pack tite, I will literally put them in a zip loc bag and leave them there for 18 months. I cannot bear to throw away $2k down the drain.

  2. kannon_bosatsu

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Sep 25 2010 12:22:07
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    We threw out furniture we were "saving" for when we moved to a bigger place:
    - Poker table that was completely encased in plastic that we used at our wedding reception
    - Various tables (in good repair) that we had dismantled and stashed under our bed
    - Couple of fabric chairs because we would never be sure they were okay

    I threw out ALL my skinny clothes - had twins, got stressed, gain weight, yada yada. I threw out all our non-white linens and pared down to only 4 towels because we were stressed by the amount of laundry we had to do. I threw out BAGS of baby clothes I was planning to hand down to another twin mama and adult male clothes that were going to a friend who lost her house in a fire.

    I saved all my yarn and fabric - wrapped it in plastic and will Pactite it once ours arrives - but threw out all my needlepoint stuff. I hadn't done needlepoint in ages so I figured there was a good place to declutter. I saved all of the special baby clothes that I loved and packed those in plastic.

    I am considering getting rid of my desk entirely since I don't use my desktop computer as much as my laptop and getting a nice chair for our room. We had to dispose of our boxsprings so the only thing our bed is curently good for is sleeping. You can't sit and work in it because it doesn't have the right support and it is driving me crazy that I don't have a comfortable place to unwind.

    We saved as much of the kids toys as we could. The only thing I threw out were soft blocks because they could become infected and they had outgrown them. I have a couple of bags of baby toys in the closet waiting to be pactited and passed along.

    I tried not to throw things away impetuously. We bought a steamer and a Pactite is on order so we should be able to save a lot of stuff. We have bagged it and stored it in a closet until we can deal with it. The stuff that was plain old or dicey or that we hadn't used in at least a year we gave up on.

    L in Brooklyn

  3. bugnut

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Sep 25 2010 12:30:52
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    Wow - I could not resist this post:

    Things I threw away:

    1. 2 Cole Haan handbags and the other bags that were stored with them - I think there was a Coach one also.

    2. Upholstered storage bench - BR
    3. Upholstered chair and ottoman - BR
    4. Headboard
    5. Desk
    6. Son's toys - lots of them - packtited the few remaining
    7. Sleeper sofa
    8. Pine storage bench
    9. Halloween and Christmas decorations - not all will Packtite the rest.
    10. Wreathes and all woven baskets
    11. Laundry baskets (now use plastic trash cans
    12 Laundry hamper
    13. Floor pillows from Pottery Barn
    14. CDs, books, magazines - packtited a few remaining
    15. CLOTHES, sheets and towels - a few remain

    Kept- the bed (encased ) dressers and sofa. All treated as well. No signs on the sofa at all - and we and the PCO looked.

    I sent all of my clothes thru the dryer at least once - Then I bagged them for treatment (3x) Now I am opening them, donating most and keeping the rest in air/water tite bins which are a fortune to purchase.

    All I can say is bless the packtite and my dryer. Hope this is the end for me (74 days). Someday when I unbag everything, I will have a very spare home. Most of my belongings will be in these bins so if I ever get them again, I will at least have some things protected.

  4. evel18

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Sep 25 2010 12:34:28
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    bugnut - 3 minutes ago  » 
    Wow - I could not resist this post:
    Things I threw away:
    1. 2 Cole Haan handbags and the other bags that were stored with them - I think there was a Coach one also.
    2. Upholstered storage bench - BR
    3. Upholstered chair and ottoman - BR
    4. Headboard
    5. Desk
    6. Son's toys - lots of them - packtited the few remaining
    7. Sleeper sofa
    8. Pine storage bench
    9. Halloween and Christmas decorations - not all will Packtite the rest.
    10. Wreathes and all woven baskets
    11. Laundry baskets (now use plastic trash cans
    12 Laundry hamper
    13. Floor pillows from Pottery Barn
    14. CDs, books, magazines - packtited a few remaining
    15. CLOTHES, sheets and towels - a few remain
    Kept- the bed (encased ) dressers and sofa. All treated as well. No signs on the sofa at all - and we and the PCO looked.
    I sent all of my clothes thru the dryer at least once - Then I bagged them for treatment (3x) Now I am opening them, donating most and keeping the rest in air/water tite bins which are a fortune to purchase.
    All I can say is bless the packtite and my dryer. Hope this is the end for me (74 days). Someday when I unbag everything, I will have a very spare home. Most of my belongings will be in these bins so if I ever get them again, I will at least have some things protected.

    Can I ask why you didn't Packtite your Coach purse? Was it because you didn't get the Packtite then? Or because it just wasn't worth it?

  5. mam1974

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Sep 25 2010 18:00:34
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    I opted for thermal so I wouldn't have to purge so much, let alone deal with all the washing/dry cleaning/etc. With that being said, I've been on my own self-purging binge for the past 6 months or so (even before I knew BBs were back). I just wish I had purged more now.

    This plague has finally forced me to deal with my office... the room in our house with the "closed door." I can see most of the desk finally, and have thrown out several bags of garbage and papers.

    Now if I could finally just pull the trigger and throw out the floppies... I don't even have a computer with an A drive anymore!!

  6. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Sep 25 2010 18:14:22
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    I will take your couture and your cars. I'm not afraid. What I am afraid of is irresponsible disposal. e.g. OOH I found a Hermes bag in the trash and a new problem begins somewhere else.

  7. O Buggery

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Sep 25 2010 18:21:04
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    evel18 - 2 hours ago  » This makes me think of the Buddha statement....PAIN BECAUSE OF MATERIAL THINGS.

    I've been thinking about the "detachment from material things" part of Buddhism as I go through all my belongings, asking myself "Do I care enough about this object to clean it, isolate it and store it properly?"
    A lot of times the answer is "no."

    I've wondered if the bedbugs might actually be teaching me Buddhism; but then, they're not doing nearly so well with "kill no living beings" part of it.
    (If I live a rotten enough life, might I come back reincarnated as bedbug?
    ...I don't even want to think about that.)

    A canine inspection team declared me and my apartment bedbug free just last week.

    But the bugs are in the building - in the apartment just across the hall, in fact - so I'm in serious "Prevent & Prepare" mode. Besides all sorts of junk and clutter that I should have gotten rid of anyway, some the things tossed so far include:

    - my Art Deco nightstand (thrift shop find). Gorgeous, with great detailing and dovetailed corners(!); but in the no-longer-alternate reality of a bedbug infested world, just the concept of it being a nightstand had me completely creeped out...

    - almost all of my rattan and wicker furniture & baskets, which I had been slowly collecting up for years. One small wicker trunk that was a gift from a dear friend, and two exceptional examples Japanese basketry, plus another two of Native American basketry, are safely zip-locked away.

    The worst wrench was a coffee-table-sized wicker trunk, wood-lined so that it was sturdy enough to sit (or stand, or tap-dance) on. It was my cat's favorite place to stretch out and ignore me at close range when I'm sitting at the computer. I've replaced it with a similarly-sized plastic tote box topped with his favorite sleeping pad, but the cat has yet to forgive me.

    - my treasure trove of cardboard boxes. I've moved many, many times; and have come to really value a good sturdy cardboard box. I'd built up a nice little stockpile of extra-good boxes, and into the recycle bin they went. That brings me to one of my current dilemmas -

    The Turkey Boxes:

    The place where my mom used to buy holiday turkeys sold its turkeys in these wonderful cardboard boxes - the kind that fold into shape so that they don't have need to be taped, with recloseable latching notches and handholds that fold into doubled side walls, all made of sturdy good-quality cardboard. (The turkeys were well wrapped in plastic within the boxes, so there was no worry about leakage/staining/etc.)

    What with my penchant for cardboard boxes, I would ask for them at the end of the holiday, and "Save the Turkey Box for O'Bug!" was becoming sort of a family semi-tradition. Then that particular smallish grocery chain was gobbled up by Whole Foods, which just uses extra-heavy plastic bags for their turkeys (hmmphf!).

    The "tradition" never ran so strong or so long that I have more than four of these boxes; but they are very good boxes, and there's that emotional family attachment (if my family were the kind where we passed around things like sapphire necklaces or first-edition Hemingways as symbols of our attachment, I wouldn't have this problem; but our socio-economic level is more compatible with particularly-well-made-packaging).

    ...But they're corrugated cardboard.

    ...But they're my Turkey Boxes!

    ...But they're corrugated cardboard.

    ...But they're my Turkey Boxes!

    (Admittedly, keeping this sort of argument from going on interminably in my head was a prime motivation for giving up some of the stuff I've already tossed.
    ...But these are my Turkey Boxes!!!)

  8. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Sep 25 2010 19:23:47
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    Oh my...great posts.

    Okay, so we considered burning the house down (lol) and didn't, instead bagged up 25 boxes of books which will stay that way for 2 years and hopefully then we'll sort and dispose of. This has pushed me into the digital age, big time!

    I packtited about 25 bags of toys, clothes, linens, and donated much of them. Talk about time consuming! What would I do without my packtite??? Still have more to go but am less frantic at this stage.

    Threw out 2 sofas (couldn't sit on them), a wicker chair (got bit), a rug (old), debating and testing our other furniture but still considering tossing a wicker table and another rug. The garbage guys won't take our wicker furniture so a friend said, "leave it behind your garage for 18 months, let the weather get to it and then jump on it or smash it to smitherenes. I like this idea.

    I realized quickly, that much of our stuff..I'd get rid of in a minute. Oh to have 1 room of stuff that could be cleaned in a week! I would keep tossing but my husband is getting a little worried about the level of minimalism in our house. If it were just me, I'd throw out much more and go with clean, white lines. I'd also toss out a car.

    These bugs are having quite an impact on my life.

  9. ewwbugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Sep 25 2010 23:55:18
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    I didn't have a ton of stuff to begin with, being an apartment-dweller with frequent moves over that last few years. Also the thing i tend to accumulate most of is kitchen stuff, which i feel less concerned about in relation to bed bugs.

    But so far i have thrown away:

    1. My box spring. When we found out we had them i looked on my boxsping and it was pretty bad...not just droppins but several live ones and shed skins in one of the corners. I have since learnt that getting it out the way we did was a bad idea, but in the moment i just had to have it OUT.

    2. Half a bag of clothes...so far. I laundered and bagged things in a bit of a hurry and i have been slowly going through the bags and getting rid if what i can. I find it pretty hard to give up clothes, but i', trying!

    3. A lap desk that i have had since i was about 10 years old. This broke my heart a bit, my aunt made it for my and then my mum recovered it with fabric that matched my curtains in my room as a kid. It was graffitied, has lived with me in countless places...but it had been near my bead and it had to go.

    4. Some sheets, and will probabaly get rid of the ones i am using at the moment as they will be washed to death weekly while we are being treated to get rid of these things!

    5. Some books, only about six or seven i guess...

    Not very much i guess really, although my mattress might be replaced by an air bed. I feel like i should purge more but it's so hard! I want to get some of those strips that you keep reading about...to treat the stuff that couldn't be laundered prior to bagging. I still have almost everything in bags from the first tkicingreatment, trying to keep everything "decontaminated" Even though i have seen no evidence of bugs anywhere but in bed/bedding/boxspring. I am so worried about stray bugs/eggs in stuff though that i want to make sure it all gets treated...i don't want to open a bag of shoes or whatever in a months time and inadvertently re-infest our apartment...and i definitely don't want to give them to anyone else!

  10. ghostbitten

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 6:59:32
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    My mother and I had a severe infestation and since previous LL's refused to treat properly then sabotaged and evicted us (see my posts here, the story is sordid and epic) we moved with the problem. Since then we've removed:

    Two couches, one leather; my mother got rid of 80% of her clothing, I got rid of 80% of my clothing. Books, magazines, three living room tables. I got rid of my nightstand, bed (replaced with a futon w/it's mattress encased by the PCO), dresser is soon to go.

    I use storage bins and plastic milk crates as furniture now!

  11. bugnut

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 7:39:58
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    Eve -

    Re: the Coach bag - it was in with an infested bag and I did not have a packtite yet (I do now). I was so grossed out that I just threw them away - in a black contractors bag so no one would see it and get excited.

    I can't say that I miss them - I am happy to have much less stuff although it was a hard lesson I do not wish to repeat. Not only do I not miss it, I do not pine for new things either. Catalogs of fall clothes hold no interest for me anymore. Forget about a new sofa - our old loveseat and chair (which fit together as a sofa also) will be re-upholstered - good as new. Hopefully at some point we can start replenishing our diminished savings account too.

  12. omgbedbugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 16:45:53
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    I've thrown so much away my husband is ready to divorce me.

    1. Brand new queen size bed and box spring, which I would stake my life on was infested from either the delivery truck (they take old bedding) or the factory. The exterminator agreed this was the main source of infestion.
    2. King size bed and box spring from my room, even though it was treated by the extermintor. Not only did it creep me out but the insecticide was affecting my asthma. We are all currently sleeping on inflatible mattresses.
    3. All of our winter clothing/coats which was stored under the beds in totes.
    4. Lazy boy recliner which was in the bedroom with the queen bed.
    5. All of my sheets, blankets, towels, pillows, including my sofa pillows.
    6. Boxes of books and computer paper.
    7. Any clothing in the drawers that we don't wear very often.
    8. All my throw rugs and area rugs.
    9. The cat's bed
    10. Anything else I could/can sneak out and throw away when my husband isn't looking.

    I didn't throw my shoes away, I bagged them and the exterminator put some kind of powdered insecticide in the bags. I have washed, rewashed, dryed and redried any remaining clothing. I vacuum the entire house and remaining upholstered furniture (all that's left is my couch and loveseat which was also treated). I wash all the bedding daily. I put anything I'm going to wear in the dryer for 30 minutes before I leave the house and once I'm dressed I don't sit on anything. Have I mentioned THIS SUCKS! It's been two weeks since the exterminator came, we found dead bugs for a few days after he left, nothing since and I'm constantly on bug patrol. Keeping my fingers crossed it's over and wondering when I'll feel "normal" again.

  13. bbpsych

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 17:53:34
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    Yes, BBs definitely are teaching me to cherish a minimalist lifestyle. By the time my treatments are done, and I get my moving truck Vikaned, I believe I will have discarded enough possessions to move from my 1 bedroom to a new studio (I call it my future shoebox in the sky) in an apartment building that follows strict protocol in their pest control.

    One question . . . can shoes be Packtited?

  14. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 20:12:57
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    Oh sure..I've packtited almost all of our shoes..they do fine. Of course I don't buy fancy shoes...and yes, the fall catalogs are coming and I'm just recycling.

    This bb issue has COMPLETELY stopped my shopping and I'm happy about it.

  15. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Sep 27 2010 1:05:08
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    I'm still available to take your unwanted car!!!

  16. bugnut

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Sep 27 2010 8:48:43
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    omgbedbugs -

    If you get a packtite you can treat your shoes - also any new purchases (like THAT is going to happen) and stuff you take out with you and want to bring back into the house.

    It is about $300 but well worth it - I hope mine does not burn out!

    Minimalism is the new fall color this year!

  17. wheresthebs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Sep 27 2010 12:06:58
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    I'm not entirely sure of what we threw away, but for a few things:
    threw away the kid's chair because the dog hit it and the kid is outgrowing it anyway.
    threw away the car seat because it was in the car and maybe the bbs came from there (i *know* i don't know for sure) and we panicked and trashed it
    threw away the sleeping bags from the camping trip, also in our initial panic
    threw away some old shoes
    threw away some old clothes, especially stuff that doesn't fit the little guy any more. it just needed to happen
    threw away photo albums. everyone thinks i'm nuts for this, but i never look at them. why save something i'm only going to look at when i move? i'm all digital now anyway. saved some stuff, but most of it went out to the dump.
    threw away lots of old papers, warranties for things we didn't need any more, etc
    threw away some old baby blankets
    threw away some cotton blankets that we never use
    threw away some costume jewelry, just as part of the overall purge
    threw away one leather purse that was living on the floor and not being used anyway.

    the funny thing is - i'm a throw it away kind of person. well, i'm more of a give it away kind of person. but not so much anymore. i could be one of those people who goes in to someone's house and eliminates clutter, with a combination of organizations skills and tough love. though i wouldn't want to do that these days because of bbs. so for me, this was utterly liberating. why do we have all this extra crap anyway? of course, part of it is that i was raised middle class so i had enough and didn't feel the need to save things. but overall i'm not a hoarder. i like to get rid of stuff. it was fun.

    there are probably some other things too. i regret the sleeping bags and the car seat a little because i think it may have been a bit hasty, but i'll live.

    and now, i have soooooooo much storage space!

  18. mlp

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 2 2010 1:44:23
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    But if it just happened. And if I wash all of my clothes. I mean I think I've been in an invested place for about three weeks. And I'm moving immediately. Literally. Either tomorrow or the next day. Can I just wash all the clothes? I've been living in a temp spot so they're all the clothes I wear the most anyway...please say I can just wash them...Packtite the books and the shoes...surely that will do?

  19. O Buggery

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 2 2010 11:54:50
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    mlp - 9 hours ago  » 
    But if it just happened. And if I wash all of my clothes. I mean I think I've been in an invested place for about three weeks. And I'm moving immediately. Literally. Either tomorrow or the next day. Can I just wash all the clothes? I've been living in a temp spot so they're all the clothes I wear the most anyway...please say I can just wash them...Packtite the books and the shoes...surely that will do?

    The answer is a conditional "yes."

    You don't have to throw anything away, all carefully sealed and labeled as BB-infested, unless it can't be:
    - machine washed and dried (see the Laundry FAQ), or
    - put, when already fully dry, into the dryer on "low" for 20 min., or
    - packtited, or
    - taken apart & thoroughly inspected and cleaned with 91% isopropyl alcohol, or
    - completely sealed in an airtight container or a giant Ziploc bag for 18 months, or
    - some other treatment method I'm not thinking of just at the moment.*

    (*Please read the FAQs (and the forum threads linked to within them), which are much more thorough, reliable, and up-to-date than I am.)

    In your sitation, it sounds like most of the things you've had with you in the infested place are ones you'll be able to treat and that will be worth the effort. But your runnning shoes that have been more miles than you can remember? that old sweatshirt your ex-boyfriend gave you that you never really liked? the cheap overnight bag from Costco that's kind of falling apart?

    As you go through the process of washing, Packtiting, or otherwise treating everything, you will sometimes look at some object and realize that it's way too heavily infested, or else it's just not worth the bother. That's where the minimalism starts kicing in.

    (Note: You'll need to make sure that your new place is not BB-infested as well. And keep everything you've treated sealed in Ziploc bags until you're really truly sure both that all your treatments were sucessful and that your new place is BB-free.)

  20. StupidlyBitten

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Oct 2 2010 23:53:10
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    bugnut

    Minimalism is the new fall color this year!

    It's certainly all the rage
    (sorry, I couldn't resist)

  21. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Oct 3 2010 11:33:14
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    This is sad. I think of Haiti and Pakistan and all those people without clothes, shoes, even a tarp. I'm always gathering things to give away. There has to be a better way.

  22. fightorflight

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 5 2010 1:15:54
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    Well, what a question... I was in a poor situation to treat when I found out I had 'em; in hindsight, probably could've handled things differently of course. I abandoned and then went on a commando mission to save the things I cared most about in the time I had. I had accumulated way too much stuff and ended up ditching about 75%. Twenty-five percent I rescued in a day, and stored, and I'm happy I now still have some cherished books, Lp's, photos, clothes, shoes, bicycles and some very, very limited furniture: 4 dining chairs and an end table. Probably sounds a bit loopy, but then that's the nature of the beast.

    I know folks in a single family home (unfortunately got the bugs courtesy de moi) who got rid of almost nothing. Theirs was a tough and long battle nonetheless. There are different ways to skin this bug, with different advantages and disadvantages.

  23. bugnut

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 5 2010 16:17:47
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    nycyn

    I put a LOT of clothing in the dryer, bagged it and donated it. I would never risk donating something that had even a slim chance of being infested. I don't like throwing away something perfectly good but if it is potentially infested, it is not worth it!

    I do think that many of the posters here feel the same way.

  24. Eric_S

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Oct 25 2010 23:35:57
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    Everything.

    My apartment was seriously infested before I knew I had bed bugs. I was seeing the adults crawling over my keyboard during the day, and on my arm on the couch while I watched TV in the afternoon. I thought they were some kind of roach or carpet beetle til I started being suspicious of the bites I was finding on my legs. A Flea issue in the apartment hid the appearance of the bed bugs for over a month.

    My apartment was a shithole. We had roaches for years, but the office claimed they never got them.

    I drove to my parents house, immediately took a shower and threw my clothes in the washer and dryer. Since then I learned that not even the washer/dryer can kill eggs if they don't get hot enough, so even the clothes that were on my back got burned in a barrel in the back yard.

    Everything else is still at the apartment. The office says they are "spraying" this wednesday. They told my roommates to bag everything up. They will screw it up. No question about it. I will wait until they think they are gone and then have some Active alert monitors and some passive monitors mailed to them, and I guarantee they will fail the test.

    I could probably try to get my baby blanket, a quilt my grandmother made for me, and my diploma out of there if I really wanted to, but the risk of even setting foot back in there is too high in my opinion.

    My parents could never be rid of them if they actually showed up here at our house. It would ruin their marriage. My mom is OCD, she would go insane if she knew they were here. She has already had one severe episode with lice in her life, and is constantly scratching and picking at her head, and checking in mirrors for them. This is over 5 years since the incident. I can only pray that the passive monitors remain undisturbed when I put them on our bed.

    Sorry if this seems very grim, but it's the truth. The only bright spot I can see here is that I have a new appreciation for how little I actually valued things like my electronics. They can all be replaced easily. The searching and bargaining skills that it took for me to accumulate so much professional equipment are still with me. And to be honest I am now feeling quite a bit more spiritual in my life, trying to redefine myself. I needed out of that apartment anyway. My health and behavior was not healthy. Now even if the bed bugs don't show up at my parents place I'm going to stay here and help them out with a lot of odd jobs that have needed doing for years. And I am also finally completing my application to the Peace Corps.

    The tally

    Baby blanket I have had since i was born. It was added to in pieces by my mother as I aged. Nothing is more comforting to me. My single most cherished childhood item.

    A quilt that my grandmother quilted for me when I was 4. She only made a few of these, usually one for each child in the family. One of a very few things I have to remember her by, and easily the most beloved.

    My original College Diploma

    My hard drive containing stories and essays I wrote in college

    Physical paper copies of stories and essays I wrote in college

    A massive collection of rare and vintage video games and systems

    Multiple professional video studio monitors that took years to track down, repair, and calibrate

    My childhood bed that I have slept in since I was seven.

    Favorite pillows, sheets, and blankets

    A collection of trading cards that took a decade to gather.

    All my clothes, though I don't really value them that much.

    My life as an independent adult.

    The friendship of my oldest friend. He stayed with us while he was getting divorced, and almost certainly brought the bugs with him. I had no knowledge of his disgusting lifestyle until later. He also brought fleas, and robbed us of at least $40. When confronted with this robbery, he never spoke to me again. I take his silence as proof of guilt. I can never forgive him for bringing this scourge into my life.

    And finally the friendship of my former roommates. I have known them both for almost two decades, and they were like brothers to me. I hold no ill will against them, and I hope they do not hold too much against me for simply getting up and running. However, I know that as long as they live there they will always be "infested" and I can't bear to be around them physically for fear they will spread them back tome.

    And if these god forsaken things end up at my parents house I'll probably run again if the situation turns out badly. My parents probably wouldn't pay for Vikane Gas treatment, and they will probably have spread the bugs to my grandmother and my sisters houses by then. I could plunge myself into debt by applying for various credit cards and paying for it myself, but the treatment would probably go awry somewhere else and I'd be back where I started.

    At that point the National Guard and the Army would seem like a relief. I guess I would have to decide if I was willing to throw away the last thing I can hold onto: my dignity.

    Again, sorry if this is very grim or dramatic, but it's cathartic for me. Thankfully, I still have many possession at my parents house that are dear to me, and I hope they will remain that way.

  25. so unsettling

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 26 2010 5:13:04
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    I began to read these replies, but couldn't continue with it. Too painful. I guess this is what it comes down to--everywhere to run, everywhere to hide. They are anywhere and everywhere--the more items you dispose, the better the chances you got rid of one bug or 2 eggs. And cleared some areas, making your home easier to treat and search.

    I picture myself emptying this place completely of anything that is not built in. Then sleeping on a portable blow-up mattress, owning 2 pairs of clothes that I wear on alternate days. 2 towels, some soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Buying a few new pairs of cheap shoes every few days, and disposing of them after use, since it is simply too difficult to take care of shoes. It is getting cold here and I have to have some kind of warm coat. Have not figure that one out yet, and I assume my bagged winter coats, not yet dry cleaned, are full of bugs.

    But you know what? I bet I could completely empty this place of virtually everything but the barest necessities, and they would still be in here. They remain in empty, treated apartments, after a discouraged tenant moves out, ready to feast on next victim who may know it had bugs but believes the treatment cleared it or a next treatment will.

    Maybe in a decade or 2, some genius will make a scientific discovery that results in much better methods of eradication than we currently know. And then these years in the early 21st century will be remembered as a time of national madness when we tossed away things that some of us had spent a lifetime working for.

  26. rs1971

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 26 2010 13:15:29
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    Eric_S - 13 hours ago  » 

    The tally
    Baby blanket I have had since i was born. It was added to in pieces by my mother as I aged. Nothing is more comforting to me. My single most cherished childhood item.
    A quilt that my grandmother quilted for me when I was 4. She only made a few of these, usually one for each child in the family. One of a very few things I have to remember her by, and easily the most beloved.
    My original College Diploma
    My hard drive containing stories and essays I wrote in college

    Eric this has obviously been really hard on you, but I think that you're making a mistake by not retrieving at least the blanket, quilt, diploma and hard drive and I think that one day you'll really regret it. If it were me, I'd make one last trip to the apartment with an air tight container into which I'd immediately put those items. I'd then (mostly for peace of mind) wash the exterior down with alcohol before putting it into storage at your mother's house (or somewhere else) for 18 months. I really don't see any danger in this approach and a couple of years from now you'll have your cherished possessions back. You should consider this.

    -rs1971

  27. yearlongtrauma

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Oct 26 2010 19:58:50
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    What did I threw away ----- EVERYTHING except my 40K car (Yes, I mean EVERYTHING). I used to rarely ever keep my car under sun. After these little [expletive deleted] took over my life, I have been keeping my brand new 40K car under the sun , under extreme temperatures every single day.

    Thanks to the [expletive deleted] who gave these little [expletive deleted] to me, I have been living in hell. Hopefully it looks like I might not have them any more (been free for over 3 months)

  28. evel18

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Nov 6 2010 1:18:00
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    As I watch my apartment, full of bagged items, a PT and empty shelves, and after living in fear for the past few weeks (and continue to do so)...I'd like to thank:
    * Steve Jobs for the iPhone and all these engineers, phone people for creating Address Book, Calendar, Photos, Videos all integrated into the phone. LESS THINGS TO THROW AWAY AND FRET when you don't have a paper calendar, rolodex, photo albums.
    * NETFLIX, YOUTUBE , HULU, ITUNES so I don't need hard copy of DVDs anymore taking up space and collecting dust...so I can stream...less BB possibilities. unless BB can stream through ethernet.
    * Of course PackTite.
    * whoever invented zip loc bags
    * AMAZON AND STEVE JOBS AGAIN.....Kindle...iPad. [expletive deleted] the books. I do miss flipping those pages though. Will just have to bum off bookshops and save $$$ from purchasing things.
    * Evil computer manufacturers for making laptops out of date every few years.... well at least I know I can throw away this damn machine and replace it with a spanking new BB-free device, so I"m not stuck with it for eternity
    * smartphone and electronic devices that lets me so I don't have to write on paper anymore...or keep pens.
    * online banking.....so I don't have to keep check books

    I'll think of more I think. Ideally I'd like my home to be like a sparse, chic hotel room.

    Anybody you'd like to thank?


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