Monday, March 15, 2021

Decluttering: Decluttering Again

Hey, look. I'm back.

I'm still decluttering. I'm trying to work up some ongoing decluttering momentum, so that every time I look at a cabinet or a drawer or a shelf I think, "What can I get rid of?"

And I'm trying to change rules.

  • No keeping "sets." This is a lesson I learned with books--the fact that I'm keeping the Tuppence and Tommy books doesn't mean that I have to keep ALL the Agatha Christies. But it applies to other things. For example, I have some shirts in an odd loose weave, some in brown and some in black--I think I bought three of each at deep discount, a year or three ago. Since I wear the black ones, I didn't even consider getting rid of the brown ones. But I don't wear the brown ones. So, off to the donate stack. I bought a set of dishwasher-safe water bottles that work beautifully and came with a weird little holder to put in the fridge. It took me way too long to realize that since I'll never use the holder, I should throw it away.
  • Not everything I give away has to be perfect. For a couple of years, I've put off giving away two water bottles, because even though they've been washed, they have some tea stains in the bottom, and I'm not sure how to get them out. Time to put them in the driveway giveaway pile and see if anyone wants them. Time to wash those sweaters on the "wool" cycle and hope they come out worthy of being donated, because I'm not going to dry clean to donate, and I'm not going to donate something that isn't clean. 
  • And if something is too imperfect for me to be comfortable giving it away, that's what the trash bag is for.
  • The fact that I bought something recently doesn't mean that I have to keep it. I'm about to give away several unopened, will-never-use, tubes of hand cream before they expire and go rancid. They were a mistake. Move on.
  • And sometimes it's not even a mistake. I'm reading my way through a glob of Patricia Wentworth novels, with the knowledge that I'm going to sell them to the used bookstore or give the to the library book sale. I'm essentially renting them.
  • Sometimes a sample is enough. I had dozens and dozens of old Threads magazines; I narrowed it down to, I believe, three. When I want a Threads dose, those will be enough.
  • Donation is all fine and dandy, but there's a lot of stuff that nobody actually needs. The example that I've used now and then is souvenir drink cups--bulky and with no real function. (Yeah, you can drink out of them, but is the world short on glasses?) That is, again, what the trash bag is for. I can't think of an immediate example right now, of something in this category that's in my house. I'd like that to be because I've cleared out all that kind of stuff, but, no chance. I just, apparently, can't see the current layer for what it is.

So. Decluttering thoughts end. For now.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.


  1. You are inspiring me to open a cupboard, a drawer, and be ruthless. Glad you're back. As I've said many times before, I enjoy your writing no matter what it's about.