Friday, October 24, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 24 - Childhood Books, NKOTB, and Materialism

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  



NKOTB got your attention, right?!  Ha!




Donnie, you were always my true favorite.




This medium-sized box was all the way in the back of the attic.  It was a box of books from childhood that I wanted to make sure I went through.  I've had them for a while now but hadn't taken the time to choose favorite and purge the rest.




Do you remember Scrabble people?




The books weren't in the best condition, but it was fun to look through a few of them.  It didn't take long to realize that I had kept this box far longer than I really needed to.

I sorted them into donation, go-through-with-the-kids, and recycle pile (it's time like this that I am really glad we recycle, even though it costs).




We have a giveaway pile on the left and a go-through-with-the-kids pile on the right.




Another view: go-through-with-the-kids on the left and recycle pile on the right.




I suspect the go-through-with-the-kids pile will shrink some more and be donated eventually.

I have learned that the things you think you want to share with your kids from childhood really aren't that important.  It's okay to just let things go.  I don't want to keep my things like they are part of museum exhibits.  A few things, sure.  It's probably more for me than for my kids though, really.  It just doesn't seem healthy to hold onto all the toys, books, clothes, etc.

We are hoping to teach a healthy detachment from things to our children.  We want them to enjoy their things but not be a slave to them.  We want them to enjoy quality over quantity.  We want to carefully watch the influence of materialism and consumerism over their little hearts and minds.  We want the space around them to serve their vocations well, not hinder them.  We want them to be good stewards of their money and choose belongings wisely.

It's a learning curve, a process, that's for sure.

Cull any books from your collection today?  Does putting books into a recycle bin cause you to get twitchy?  What have you donated lately?

P.S. So much more room in the attic!  We are winning!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 23 - Blanket Statement

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




I think I counted fifteen blankets, two sleeping bags, and two kid-size tag blankets (you know, the no-sew kind).  And one comforter.


The red plaid has been a decent Christmas tree skirt for a nice, cabin-ish feel, but the walls are a different color now.  It's gotta go.

Then, my husband and I proceeded to have a rather surprisingly detailed conversation about which blankets to keep.  It went something like this:

Me: "The sports blankets are ugly.  They clash with the living room.  They belong in a basement family room.  The Bears one isn't even soft anymore."

Husband: "The Bears one is the one that's thinner."

Me: "But it's not pretty.  It doesn't match the room."  

Husband: (pause, just looks at me)

Me, sensing his panic at losing the sports blankets: "Can't we have blankets that match both of our temperature needs, decor, and cuddle factors?"

Husband:  "All right."

That was just a sampling of our conversation.  Who knew this would be one of the more intense decluttering conversations this month?  I learned some important things about what he looks for in a blanket.  He now understands my desire for visual order in a room.  Both of us can't stand the mountain of blankets that get shoved off to the side of the couch, topple over, and get thrown around.  (A new container for the blankets that remain will be purchased, whoo-hoo!)

Keeping:  

-king-size, very soft dark brown blanket
-full-size, very soft cream-colored blanket
-throw-size, not-really-that soft, thin red blanket that Husband seems to like
because it's thin yet still provides an appropriate amount of warmth for him
-dark brown blanket with quilted pattern
-all no-sew tag blankets for kids
-red and tan no-sew tag blanket for van (cold weather prep! This is in addition to the three blankets I keep in the van for the kids.)

All other blankets are exiting the house.  Talk about first world problems.  

How do you like your blankets?  Knitted? Minky? Wool?


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 22 - The Attic

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  



Yes, readers, I did it!  I went into The Attic.  

That sounds dramatic, I know, but I had been putting it off, and I am just a teensy bit proud to be writing about it now.  It's hard to navigate our little attic: slanted on one side, filled on the other side with way too many frames and art pieces, and you have to gingerly step through things while hunching over and trying to avoid touching the occasional spurts of fiberglass insulation.  Plus, you have to use a flashlight.

So, don't lose your balance and fall over.

Also, once you're in the back of the attic, you have to throw things to the front of it because it's too hard to walk back and carry things.  There was a lot of crashing and banging and exclamations of 'oof!' during this purge.

This was a glorious purge, everyone.  Glorious.  Big haul.

Let's start with the whopper of the haul:



My first set of suitcases purchased lovingly by my mother.  I haven't used these since I went to England via BUNAC (see below).  Boy, did I cram that suitcase full of stuff.  It was so heavy coming home.  That trip was over fifteen years ago.

It is hard letting go of the Mary Poppins satchel-style bag.  It also reminds me of Anne Shirley's carpet bag.  

But I have to let go of it.  We have other suitcases that actually get used.  



How about a big box of candles?


I have another box of just cream-colored cylindrical candles, but I am holding onto those.

I culled some books from a couple of boxes.  Pretty good stack!  (Do I donate or try to get the used bookstore to give me credit for them?  Hmmm....)




Oh, I see a book of my husband's.  I need to make sure he is okay with donating it. Or selling it.  

I also have a small box of decorative stuff, some odds and ends, and a couple of other items to donate.  

Why haven't I let go of this stuff sooner?  I've gone through this attic multiple times looking for stuff to declutter!

I guess I just thought that I would find a surface to put all these things later, especially the decorative stuff.  But the truth is that I've learned I like a spare room.  I don't like tchotkes and figurines.  I don't like lots of stuff to dust around.  

I've thought a lot about what three words I would want my home to encapsulate. They would be warm, meaningful, and spare.  

I'm not as attached to books anymore.  I love books, but I don't want to keep each and every book I've ever been given or owned.  I'd rather the ones I keep be useful or meaningful to me.  

Nowadays, I ask myself: could I get this at the library if I really wanted to read it again?   That's been working very well for me.  I still keep special books, but you know what?  Not all books are special to me!  I feel like that is some sort of violation of the book lover's code, but it's the truth.  I'd rather the books I love stand out in my home versus getting lost in a crowd.

I'm so excited to get rid of this stuff.  This was a great dent in the attic.  I probably should've broken all that I decluttered into more than one post, but I'll just post about it now and force myself to declutter more.  

Here's a sneak peek for tomorrow.




What gets easier to let go of as time passes?  Tell me in the comments.




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 21 - What a Pill


This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




Letting go of the Pack-n-Play made us (almost) immediately judge the contents of said item.  We probably still have too many pillows, but we purged the holiday sheets that I love (too pilly, sadly).  That made room for the extra pieces from our new comforter set (the sheets would've looked so good with the new white comforter, had they been in good enough condition) in the cabinet.  So it goes.




King-size sheets take up a lot of room.  It may seem like not much to give away, but that's a lot of fabric!  At least they can be recycled at the thrift shop.

How many sets of sheets do you keep for each bed?  I think I have two sets for the king bed now.  



Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 20 - I Stand Here Ironing

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  



That was the name of my first major prose piece in high school.  "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen....I can hear myself reciting the piece right now in my mind.  #speechteam

You might have guessed that we purged this today:



It falls down a lot while trying to set it up, and we don't really use it much.  We are more likely to set up a makeshift ironing board on the dining room table.  I also saw this Pin recently, and would love to get it when I have a top loader again. (Or at least a shorter front loader, but who am I kidding?  I probably won't get a front loading washer again.)

I might try to post our vague whereabouts on Freecycle or something to see if any recyclers want the metal board.  Otherwise, it's going to go out with the trash. We take large loads down to the creepy recycling center in a bad part of town. This doesn't merit a trip by itself.  

Good-bye, wonky ironing board!

Do you iron?  I don't, really.  Just being honest.  Only for formal occasions.




Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 19 - Room to Pack in Some Play

This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




It's Day 19 of the 31 Days Series, and I decided to start naming the posts because I can't remember what day I got rid of what thing.  

It is another day of not having the post scheduled in advance, and here I am at 2.5 hours out from Day 20.  

I asked my husband not long ago tonight what he thought we should declutter.  I have been asking him more and more because it's getting tougher to find stuff. (Though, really, I haven't touched the attic yet.)

We sat.  We thought.  He offered this thought:

"What about the Pack-n-Play?"




Well, now.  This is serious.  What about the Pack-n-Play, Husband?

He reminded me of how it just sits there in our bedroom, filled with pillows and blankets, teasing the three-year-old who wants to get inside but shouldn't.  It's packed with stuff all right, but it's not packed with play.  Or a baby.  In fact, it pretty much never has been used by a baby.  Okay, rarely.  We have had it out for each kid, but it really isn't used enough to warrant keeping it.

It held clothes for my most recent baby.

One of us pointed out that we wouldn't use it for any future babies either.

It takes up a lot of visual space.

Boo-yah!  There it is, folks!  Right when we thought we wouldn't have much to offer today, we get all radical and get rid of something fairly large and important to many (though not apparently us).  High five to the Hubs.

Where are we going to put all the pillows and blankets now?

Do you have a baby item that you never really used?  Tell me about it in the comments.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 Days of Letting Stuff Go - Day 18


This post is part of a series of posts called 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go and is hosted as a link up at Write 31 Days with Nester of the Nesting Place.  For previous posts, please do visit my landing page.  You can also explore #lettingstuffgo and #write31days on Twitter.  




We've got the wheel loader rider toy that these go with, but we've never used them.



Good-bye, fake rocks!  Never used ya once!

Let go of any toys recently?  I asked my son if he was ready to let go of some toys, and he gave me a decisive no.