Would you like to know my secret to “Disciplined Decluttering”?
While I would not consider myself a “pack rat” or in modern terms, a hoarder, I sometimes keep things longer than I should. Recently, things were a little out of control, and it was time to do something.
There were things I hadn’t used in a long time, but I thought I might use them again someday. There were things that I used to like but didn’t anymore, and thought perhaps, someday I would like them again. There was some home decor I didn’t really have a place for anymore, and probably wouldn’t, going forward. There was stuff that we paid a good amount for, but we questioned if we should just give it away even though we spent good money on it?
There were gifts I treasured because they were given with love, but I didn’t really use them any more. There were things from the early days of Dan and Betty. Remember when we took a hike at Castlewood state park and played Scrabble with that little travel Scrabble game on a bench with a scenic overlook? Our love was new then; am I’m supposed to just dump that game?
Do you have trouble deciding when to keep something and when to get rid of it? What do you do to conquer the clutter? Are some categories of stuff easier to deal with than other categories? How do you decide?
Recently, a new thrift shop opened near us. The profits from this resale shop benefit children in foster care. Children, who frankly, got the short end of the stick. Suddenly, all those things I pondered over, back and forth and over again, had a new purpose. A better purpose than sitting in our garage or our basement. Our castaways could help a child. Even if just a little.
Remember, the Spiralizer? I used it twice in the last couple of years. I still had the box and the receipt for the warranty. I never got into making oodles of zoodles, like I thought I would. And I now I know, I’m not ever going to do that. Goodbye Spiralizer.
Remember the long-slot toasters I bought for Dan’s Christmas gift? One for the house, one for the travel trailer. When we got these new Cadillac toasters, the old ones went into the basement. You know. For back up. In case we ever need a toaster. Or if someone I know ever needs a toaster. Really? Has anybody ever asked me for a toaster? Toasters, you’re outa here!
Remember the bike rack? Well, yes, one we gave away to the neighbor, the one that hung on our travel trailer. We also had one for the car, but it didn’t work for our new e-bikes. We seem to be in the business of giving away bike racks. No matter. We’re giving this Swagman bike rack a ride to the resale shop. The only man that should be in our garage is Dan, and he has all the swag I need.
We had some outdoor folding chairs. Six of them. There’s two of us. So, we kept four in case two of you ever want to come over. Adios to the other two.
We also had some indoor folding chairs which frankly, I have outgrown and can no longer sit in comfortably, if you know what I mean. We still have enough regular chairs and folding chairs for all those who want to come over for dinner.
Many moons ago, my parents gave me a picnic thermos. I haven’t used it in ten years or more. I did get a lot of use out of it years ago. Now someone else can, too. Getting rid of that thermos didn’t remove even one ounce of the love in my heart for my parents.
And so it goes. Clothes. Books. Games. Christmas decor. And those kitchen canisters with the roosters on them, too. I’m farmin’ it all out.
That was Phase 1. Phase 2 is coming. There’s a lot more stuff in the basement. Now, if I want to keep something, I will. But if I haven’t used it in years – or I’m hanging on to it for some irrational reason, knowing it will make a difference, even a small difference, is enough to tip the scales in favor of donating.
What’s the worst that can happen? Five years from now I have to buy a toaster? Maybe?
We usually donate to Goodwill. I know there have been criticisms of Goodwill; however, they do do a lot of good. But donating to a charity with a cause closer to my heart helped me decide more easily that I could get rid of something.
There are many charities which take our castaways and use the proceeds for a good cause. Veterans. Habitat for Humanity. Salvation Army. Homeless shelters. Animal shelters. The list goes on and on. What charities speak to your heart?
You know what the best part is? The garage hasn’t looked this good since we moved in ten years ago.
Next up: the basement!