Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Decluttering Shame

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom

Cindy

A book, and its identical twin sister, have been both a clutter and a shame over the past half decade. When I purchased the pair, probably for a premium, since they came from a pricey, wooden-and-organic on-line toy store,  I thought they were pure genius, and I was a genius too. “Pocketful of Memories Book”: oversized pocket folders, one for each school year kindergarten through eighth, with room to fill in fun information such as “my autograph,” “my pets,” “my favorite places to visit.” How fun! How Simple! How never really used!

It seemed like a no-fail system. My idea was throughout the year, I would tuck special papers and report cards in the folder, tape the school picture to the front, and at the beginning of summer break, the girls could fill in the information. Clara did it a few times; Audra never did, and I stopped even trying when Clara whined that she didn’t really like filling in the little form, which must have been in third grade. She’s now in sixth.

Every time I tossed a picture, special paper, or a report card in a girl’s “memory drawer” (just the bottom two drawers of my scrapbooking supply tower), I would think, “I really should be putting this into that cute little book I bought,” and I would feel a bit ashamed and embarrassed at my own lack of follow through. Well, let me tell you, that’s heck of a lot of recrimination for two little memory books. As I used to say when I was a therapist, “Stop shoulding on yourself!”

I’ve decided enough is enough, and I am decluttering these things. Right now in fact. (A pause in writing while I got get the book and tear out the pages for recycling.) Wow! That felt good! Good bye burden, good-bye guilt! Good-bye “Pocketful of Memories Book.” Maybe you were a good idea, but not for me.

What do you have hanging around your house that causes feelings a shame, guilt or remorse – an incomplete project? memories from a person who’s no longer in your life? evidence of money ill spent?  Isn’t it time you got rid of that too?

Today’s Declutter Item

I don’t have any hats to declutter but I do have head related clutter. a hairband and two hair clips that never get used but kept just in case. Well I don’t have room for just in case so out they go to the thrift store.

Hair accessories

Something to be grateful for today

Cashing in a Christmas gift certificate. Sitting back and enjoying a pedicure was how I spent a little of my afternoon. I really should do that more often.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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Comments

  1. Oh, I so get the aspirational clutter — the projects I think I will do, that I want to do but that I just never do. Good for you letting go: I let go of special scrapbook pages for school ages ago when I realized that doing one family album was stretching me to the limits — no way was each kid getting their own album too. Doesn’t it feel good to just accept that you might not be the person who does or enjoys doing something?

    We are getting ready to put the house on the market and move to an area where the homes about 1/4 of the size we’ve been living in. I read your blog every day to get re-inspired to address the stuff we have collected, accumulated and otherwise gathered. We’re in the “it gets worse before it gets better” stage so I need all the inspiration I can get. Thanks for providing a good amount!

    • First of all, thank you for the compliment. Secondly, Oh my goodness Sabrina! You’re going to have to do more than declutter if you’re going to fit in a house so much smaller than your current one. It scares me to think of going so small, mostly because I fear the people and animals being on top of one another. If we wer in 1/4 our current size, we would have 4 people and 5 animals in 650 sq ft. I think the dogs and the guinea pig would have to go!

      • Well, we will be “empty-nesters” at least during the college terms! But we are moving the three dogs and hope to get 1100 sq. feet or so.

        It’s been an interesting process as we assimilate just how much has to go: we have to take this…can’t live without that…let’s just take our clothes and computers and photo albums and music. Then we step back and say “okay, if this will fit in the new house, we want to take it, but if not we can let it go (possibly with much wailing and gnashing of teeth;-) but let it go nonetheless.

        I finally made a list of Stuff I Must Take, which included only my laptop, photo albums, a crystal bowl I am extremely sentimental about, a washstand that my father refinished 50 years ago, jewelry from my husband, some Hawaiian shirts that simply can’t be replaced, our small kitchen table, our sleep number mattress, a particular lamp and a particular jacket. This was rather like the “what would you grab if you had to evacuate and your kids, spouse and pets were safe?” test. Once I made that list, it became easier to say “okay, I’ll let that go” when I thought about other things. And to make the list of “I’ll let go if the ceilings are too short for that” kind of things. My husband is trying to work himself towards that state.

        We’ve had some back pedaling on what goes but on the whole, it has helped me to let go of a lot (the charity pick up of a porch load helped). And, although it slows everything down, I am taking pictures of almost everything as we have stories about almost everything and the picture triggers the same memories.

        Thanks for letting me go on and on about the process: my Mother, who is incredible at letting go of what she no longer needs, is getting a bit tired of my agonizing over some of the stuff!

  2. Ideealistin :

    “Head related clutter” sounds cute, Colleen. I would think of mental clutter but hair clutter is a good topic, too. I used to heap it up because every time I bought something that didn’t work well I replaced it because nothing is more annoying than hairthings that are too tight or too loose. I wish they had sizes printed on them or testers at the store… I’ve decluttered that area pretty much by now though and aim at having as little as possible because I am more careful in putting them back if I don’t have tons. I used to end up with an empty basket in the bathroom though I had lots and lots … same goes for chapsticks.

    • I’m laughing. I tell my girls that if we herded all their chapsticks together, we could open a chapstick store!

      • I’m the only female in our family of four and we have masses of chapsticks too!! At least now though, thanks mainly to this blog, I know where all the spares are and I shouldn’t have to buy any more for about 10 years!

        • 10 year old chapstick. Probably exactly the same as 10 day old chapstick!

          • äähhh: no. Not the same. Have you never found a chapstick somewhere (in your house, I mean, or a handbag, a pocket, under the car seat … you name it), used it and had the nastiest taste in your mouth for hours (okay, minutes, still bad enough). I admit that applying chapstick that had somehow gone gross more than once was a big motivator in getting this specific accumulating habit under control. Almost there. Only two left. I think I’ll try to make beeswax lipbalm myself when they are empty. And if it doesn’t work for me, I’ll buy ONE new.

        • If you have boys, do you accumulate massive amounts of partially used toothpaste tubes and body wash bottles? I can’t figure out what it is with the boys but their under the sink area gets scary (and they are high school and college aged!).

          • Hi Sabrina,
            If they aren’t buying their own stuff then I am afraid you are in control of this. If they can’t finish one bottle or tube before their curiosity has them opening the next don’t leave spares where they can access them. We have two bathrooms and I don’t carry spares as the shops are within walking distance. Should we run out downstairs our son can always borrow from upstairs before a replacement is purchased. But them I hate excess toiletries so I am a bit of a freak in this area.

            Cindy & Ideealistin,
            I am with Ideealistin on this one, the oils in chapsticks, like lipsticks, go rancid over time which gives them that bad taste.

          • Not a problem in our house. My boys rarely wash and only seem to clean their teeth on the morning of a dental appointment (twice a year) so their toiletries last a LONG time!!

      • Cindy’s Slight Used Chapstick Shoppe.

        • Shouldn’t that be “Cindy’s Ye Olde Slighty Used Chapstick Shoppe”?

        • Hahaha I missed this one, chapsticks, toiletries that get used too much or not enough, head related clutter, firstly I hate chapsticks they always feel too waxy, I love Blistex though. Head related clutter as in headbands, elastics clips and the like, flew out the door the day I de-cluttered my hair! As for toiletries and boys, all I can say is I have a good supply, in all sports bags, school sports bag, dance bag, odd sports bag for miscellaneous use, that’s just my son’s gear, I have a sports bag and so does Hubby, for Cricket and Running, each bag has a set of toiletries in it, I did this when I found all the excess but as they run down the boys are responsible for the replacements. They don’t have to buy their own at the moment I get it with the shopping, but if it doesn’t get added to the list then it doesn’t get got!!!!!! I know it may sound excessive but it saves the trauma of forgetting stuff when we do quick changeovers between school and sports etc!

    • That is exactly why these things are being decluttered Ideealistin. My head circumference is largish and my hair is thick so most hairbands are too tight for my head and most hair clips are too small to hold my fringe (bangs) back and the clips the next size up are made to hold a whole head of normal hair so they are too big for the job. I think I have given up on hair accessories now, even hair elastics are hit and miss.

  3. I have a dollhouse kit that I bought in December for myself to make. I have no idea how to make a dollhouse, but don’t want to give it to the thrift store because I spent $100 on it! And then bought some supplies I thought I would need to build it.

    It’s niggling in the back of my mind and I see it stashed behind the dining room cabinet every time I walk down the stairs. I was going to make it because I never had a really cool dollhouse as a girl growing up. Maybe at 47 I can finally admit that I don’t need a dollhouse?

    I think it has something to do with the fact that I have three boys and no girls. And that no one wants to help me build it. Such a shame, because it would be a really fun project to do with someone, but if no one can help me, I think it probably needs to go.

    • That is a bummer, Chelle. Sounds like something to sell through another venue and not just donate, but if you hoped to construct it as a group project and no one wants to help you, there’s no point in holding onto it.

    • Any chance the husband and boys could be persuaded that this would be the perfect, no cost to them but time, Christmas or birthday gift? Then you could enjoy it and then pass it on. But if not, I hope you find a good home so you feel better about letting go.

  4. I think the most difficult thing that I have left is some old letters (probably about 20) and a few journals. I am thinking of retyping my journals into a file, but I need to just pick a few of the old letters to keep.

  5. I’ve kept my old letters, but shredded my old journals. Make sure that what you save is something that you wouldn’t mind others seeing/reading, because that’s what will happen to them eventually.

  6. Every single year I resolve that I will take the previous year’s photos and make an Apple photo album for the year to give to my kids as a keepsake. But I have never done it. Every January/February, that is the last thing I want to do or have time to do. Actually, in any month of the year I just don’t feel I have time to do it, so I don’t do it. There’s no actual clutter involve in this, just that nagging feeling that this is something that I should be creating. Mental clutter.

    • Mental clutter! I think you need to free yourself. It’s not going to happen. It’s obviously not a priority to you. AND THAT’S OK. How much time to you spend pouring over the albums your parent might / might not have made for you? I look at my Mom’s about once a decade.

      If I turned her loose with the stuff, one of my daughters would happily make a year-in-review scrapbook (featuring herself, of course). Perhaps that’s a possibility.

      • I’ve been married going on 10 yrs now & how many times have we looked at our wedding photos? Twice.
        We go to the Florida Keys quite often & I take tons of photos each time we go & how many times do we go back & look at the photos? Mmmmmaaaaybe once. Maybe.
        Photos from our childhood – at least once to show each other.
        Photos from the concert? Jut a quick glance when I downloaded them off the camera.
        Photos from anything, from anywhere with anyone? Hardly never.
        All the endless boxes & boxes of photos from my Mom-inlaws house after she passed away? The sons picked out a select few (maybe 20 total) & the other 9000 or so got incinerated along with the 40 yrs of canceled checks she collected. Really – just how many photos of cousin Fred or the childhood dog does one need?

        I’m about done taking photos in general. The time involved taking the photos then editing/captioning the photos is pointless if more than likely no one will ever go back & look at. Wow I feel sorta relieved having come to this conclusion.

        • I hear you Jane, loud and clear!!

          When times waiting, I go through my phone camera and clear out photos I no longer need (usually snaps of things I want to buy, it’s like a ‘waiting room’, helps me from going nuts, and compare similar items in different stores easily)

          • GIRLS!!! Stop doing that!

            I bought myself a expensive (for me – for others its cheap crap) big camera. its so big, its actually a bit annoying to carry it around. I loved to take pictures with it, got lessons from various photographers around me, and I have to say, I can actually make really nice pictures. The problem here is. I love making them, and then I love picking out the good ones. and then I eventually manage to file them (and declutter at the same time the ones that arent good whatsoever) – BUT: I dont know why, but I forget about my camera nowadays, I forget I like to do this. and suddenly I see the camera and the thought goes like this: “oh wow, I havent used you for some time – you could be my next declutter item – wait, no! its your camera, you promised you will keep this one to the end of days – dont ever think about that again”. So now I have to get my camera out again and put it into my bag so that I bring it with me the next time I take a walk.

            ok. I think I got it. Girls, you can go on again!!!

            • Hi Lena,
              I think you answered your own question there. What I heard was my camera is too big and inconvenient to carry with me at all times so I leave it behind. The problem often is the clash between what we want to achieve (in this case nice photos whenever we want) and the process being inconvenient. The harder the latter is the less likely the initial goal will be met. I think I actually gave up scrapbooking because it became too hard ploughing through the 1000s of photos we took every time we went on vacation. The decision making process drove me batty so I quite both.

              • yes I did. I decided to take the camera out of the drawer (so often with me its ‘out of sight, out of mind’) and start doing it again, especially with spring coming up and all those new high rise towers here.
                one day I will get those good pictures at least framed and so on. until then, I make the regular calender with my pictures for friends and family for christmas. that will do for now 😉

          • Snozie – now I do that too – snap quick photos of a producst I want to learn more about or an outfit I saw in a magazine, etc.

            Lena – there is no reply link attached to your post, so I tagged it along snozies. For me at least, there is a giant gap between taking photos and looking at said photos. I got a decent enough mini digital camera – but it’s not the camera that is a problem. It’s that there is just not enough reward (looking at photos) for all the effort & time I put into taking photos. For me, why go through all the effort & really not care for the outcome. It’s like staying in a bad relationship or crummy job. LOL

          • This is a great topic, and I agree that I rarely take the time and energy to look through my photos. I used to think that digital picture frames were a silly waste. However, recently my family bought one for my grandmother in the nursing home so we could avoid cluttering her room with multiple picture frames. I have to say, this thing is genius. You can hook it up to flip through hundreds of digital photos (like a slide show). You could even periodically change the album if you wanted, so that maybe from month to month you see different time periods or vacations or batches of photos you haven’t examined in a while. I love that idea of a random reminder, when you happen to walk by the frame and see something that invokes an “oh my gosh, I forgot about that!” about a nice memory. Since the visual cues are always changing, you then don’t become as blind to it like a static picture (when was the last time you really looked at your walls?)

        • One thing I have dealt with constantly is Photos and photo stuff and photo guilt that photo stuff brings along. Here’s my tips:
          1. Don’t take anymore unless you really want too.
          2. Don’t feel bad about what you have already got.
          3. Toss the lot if you feel you must.
          4. Pick out your very best pics of kids whatever and enlarge them.
          5. Decide what you want from your life now! Looking through scads of photos of Uncle Fred or spending time with him if he’s still here.

          I’m at the same crossroad right now, I’ve been going through 1000’s of pics and only the very best make it to the book. If you have no passion for it, hang it up you’ll feel better and you won’t have the stress, if someone screeches in your general direction for dumping the lot tell them to go get them and they can do it!!!

          Have fun 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Hi Jane I hate to admit it but I feel a bit the same way myself. Please don’t tell my son who is doing majoring in photography for his fine arts degree at university, or my daughter or husband who are also avid photographers. In the last two years we have been to Italy, New Zealand, Tasmania and Melbourne and like you I don’t think I have looked at any of the photos. I was there, I remember it and I really don’t need more than that. If I only had a dozen photos of each trip I would be happy but I will hazard a guess there are about 1000 of Italy alone. I am going cross-eyed just thinking about it.

          • I’m curious as to the ratio of taking photos to viewing said photos is by the average person. Do folks go back & look at photos of vacations once every week? month? annually? Only when they have too? Do folks still hold dinner parties & drag out the latest vacation photos onto their unsuspecting & captive-audience dinner guests?
            What’s the generally consensus around here in regards to photo viewing?

            I ask as I’m about close to chucking a bunch of old photos (both digital & cardstock) as they take up space & we never look at them Except when some vague reference comes up over a certain trip or event OR when we attempt to sort through the digital photos & attempt to label/caption them all.

            • Hi Jane,
              when I was a child my father took mostly colour slides. Every so often we would have a slide night and we loved it. But that was back in the day when a person on my father’s income was very selective about taking photos because they were expensive to have developed not to mention the cost of the film in the first place. The problem these days with digital photography is that once you have the camera it costs nothing to download and view the photos so people tend to take soooooo many.

              I also recall when I was first married and the kids came along we were also still in the film camera era and couldn’t afford to take too many. We mostly got given extras when the grandparents took photos of our children. Many of them were poor quality but they were all we had.

              This conversation is really making me feel keen to get serious about weeding out our old photos. In fact I have formulated a plan of attack. Every Saturday we go out to breakfast at our favourite cafe. So long as my husband is willing I plan to take along one photo album each week to sort through while we sip our coffee. Perhaps this way the job will finally get done and it will be a pleasurable experience instead of a chore.

            • In answer to your question Jane ~ no I don’t think most people spend much time viewing their photos. I personally intend to retain just enough to catalogue the history of our family and throw all the extraneous poor quality ones away. This is for printed photos of course. The digital stuff I don’t care how many there are I just wish my hubby would take less of them in future.

              • I have the same problems as many of you: took up scrapbooking and have about ten beautiful albums (only very occasionally looked at one or two), a box of old photos (already weeded drastically) which needs sorting, and a million photos on the computer.

                I have hardly taken any photos in the last year or so and it is freeing!

                One way to see photos on the computer is to set them up as a slide show on your desk top, that’s quite fun and effortless. (I don’t know how to do it but my husband does.) Occasionally he changes over to another folder and we enjoy another holiday or whatever.

                • I am the same with my scrapbook albums although they did come in handy this week when I was trying to remember when certain events happened. The where, what and where of scrapbook pages come in handy sometimes.
                  As for screen savers, I never use one because I have a laptop and I just shut the lid when I am not using it. I must admit I think of screen savers these days as a waste of electricity. Decluttering has made me far more environmentally friendly.

          • How the heck do you turn off the predicated text feature on the iPad??? It’s only after I submit a post do I then realize the text got changed by the auto predicated text feature. argh!!

            • Hi jane I fixed the problem and will ask my son for you when I see him how to turn of predictive text. It is infuriating at times isn’t it. I have the same problem with my cell phone because I don’t go back to make sure it reads what I meant it to say. My son is often poking fun at me for the garbled messages I send him.

          • I rarely look back. My friend Holly makes photo books of their travels and leaves them on the coffee table. They get looked at quite a bit. (She uses blurb.com)

          • Jane,
            I am actually viewing my pictures I think every second month. I dont know why, sometimes I am in search of a good picture that I can give as a gift, or use for a calendar or just use as my new desktop background.
            I find it very (!) satisfying to declutter pictures (colleen made me do that) and therefore I go through my “projects” (couple of hundred pics I took just to learn how the camera operated) on a regular basis.

            I do not however look at holiday pictures so often. Mostly because I get a bad feeling of desire to go on vacation again. and being stuck in front of the desk for the next months is killing the urge to go into holiday mood.

  7. I think many items of my clutter have carried an element of shame for me…
    Shame I didn’t use it more,
    shame I wasted my money on it,
    shame I let it clutter up my house for so long before getting rid of it,
    shame I used to be that materialistic,
    shame I chose so unwisely,
    shame I got so carried away buying craft supplies,
    shame I was so environmentally irresponsible…

    but then there is the gladness…
    Glad I have seen the error of my ways,
    glad I have released the item so someone else can use it,
    glad I looked after the stuff so it was in good condition to pass on,
    glad my house is not crammed with stuff any more,
    glad I have learned to be more responsible towards the environment,
    glad to have started this blog about decluttering and met all you wonderful people…

    We all make mistakes but so long as we learn from them and move on then life is good.

    • Yep!

    • Well said and I agree 🙂

      Oh Colleen, whilst I have been sorting my photos I have found pics along the way of my ‘STUFF’ that went out the door in one way or another. I think I will make the time to scan it and then I will send a compressed pic to you and you can laugh at all of my ‘what the’ items that I have discovered on my journey to Less!!

      🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Hi Dizzy,
        I think you should write me a guest post to go along with those pics so we can share them with the rest of the gang. Are you up for it? 😉

        • Colleen, I think you just wrote a post right here!

        • Wait till you see all the pics, there may not be enough room in cyberspace for it all hahahaha.

          I just can’t believe all the stuff I’ve had/have and I am such a tidy ‘Packratty’ honestly my ‘Stuff’ (good items, un-used, all donation worthy or sell worthy) is so nicely stored.

          “NOT ANYMORE OUT IT COMES AS OF TODAY” Sorry for shouting but I feel so much better!!! Thankyou 🙂 🙂 🙂

          • Don’t worry about how many photos there are one can get imaginative about condensing them down into a collage if necessary. I use Picasa to edit my photos and it has a collage option that makes it easy.
            Just haul that stuff out of there Dizzy.

    • Hi Colleen, What a wonderful list! (“shame” and “glad”)… the “verses” you wrote here are deserving of a country music ballad… I could admit to most of the things on the list myself… Glad for any and all who have realized their clutter errors and started turning things around, totally grateful for your great encouragement to all 365’ers 🙂

  8. ohhhh. just until last year I had a calendar I was making for a friend. She is one of my oldest and closest friends and we have experienced a lot together, so I though I can make her a monthly wall calendar, with pictures, letters, flyer and tickets of concerts we went, etc… I kept it for 5 years, before I decided that if I havent done this in 5 years, I will probably not do it tomorrow. so I trashed it (no reusable things in there). you know, although this thing is gone now for over 6 months, everytime I think of it (and I basically do that everytime I rearrange my shelf – because it lived there for such a long time) – I feel a mixture of bad and good. bad that I had to surrender to a project I could have easily been doing, and good because I had the guts to be honest with myself and throw it out. shame. what a ugly feeling it is.

    • Lena, don’t think of taking a stand and tossing the project as surrendering to it – getting rid of mental clutter and its physical source is a victory! I don’t think it’s bad that you didn’t finish. You still have the friend, and that’s what matters! 🙂

      I didn’t realize it for a long time, but having a lot of unread books around used to cause me a lot of shame and anxiety. I am a graduate student now and have cleared out any and all books that aren’t necessary for right now. There’s always enough work to do that I don’t need to add any extra on myself. 😉

      • oh Kristen, dont get me wrong, I am happy that I got it out. but the shame is still lingering a bit there. the thing is: I really believe the ability to remember shame – and therefore feel it again – keeps you from doing it again. simple as that. so it might actually not be bad to feel bad about past things. 😉

        Books are also for me an issue. but with the help of colleen, cindy and the readers I actually got to the point of NOT getting new books in. So I adapted the “use it up” challenge on books. I will read them and then either bring them back to my mother – who is also a book-junkie – or sell/donate them again. Right now I am also graduating and I really cant read as a leisure activity anymore, because I spend the days reading/writing/reading/writing 😉 But summer will come and I will once again read more than two books a week and I will enjoy the ones I have saved for that occasion.

        • I believe you are right – shame remembered can help prevent future and worse shame later on! It’s a good way of turning something negative into a positive too. 🙂

          I “used up” my books last year, and it helped boost my morale so much. Last year was my first year as a grad student, and the work could be so overwhelming at times! Now I’m about to finish my final project a month early, because I was better able to focus on that work after getting rid of “should-do/should-read” clutter! Good luck on your work – the summer will be here soon! 😀

          • AH – a month early? how the heck?!? I have the feeling that I can write on this thing forever – turns out I am a perfectionist after all… and that takes time. but good for you! its amazing when you get things done so efficiently

    • I kinda felt that way about ‘Baxter’ all that time in the garage and he took 15mins to complete. It’s just nuts but hey we live we learn.

      By the way ‘Baxter’ Is lounging by the register at the Op Shop, I think they may be auctioning him for the Church Fete! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • I am glad you clarified the Baxter name. I must have forgotten the bear had a name between now and yesterday. Here is the funny part though when I read what Lena said I thought she was referring to Dexter from the TV series. You know the one, he is a cop who secretly kills the bad guys by dismembering them and dumps their body parts at sea. Under the circumstance you must surely understand my confusion.

        • haha. I have never seen Dexter, maybe I should start watching it, sounds quite interesting. And as I cant read the good books, I can at least watch some stories that are absolutely unrelated to my daily work.
          I am happy, that Baxter will find a new home!

        • I thought exactly the same thing Colleen!

  9. I’m trying really hard to put any ‘projects’ on the to do list, and get them done. Rather than let things niggle and linger… Only five more titles to do in my brother’s 21st Album (needed by the end of the month). Simply black pages with photos stuck in, and some water colour titles. And my parents have looked at it at least twice in progress, and the last 21st album I did was shown to the new gf (other brother), so I feel vindicated that someone looks at it, more so than when it is in boxes.

  10. Cindy, I had a similar memory book from my wedding. You were supposed to fill in ideas and thoughts, put in scraps of fabric, a copy of your wedding invitation, etc. I finally just tore out the two pages I had written on and recycled the rest of the book. And it only took me 23 years!

    • I did this with baby books for the kids and another book about myself that was meant to be for the kids. I bought a similar book for my mother and she said it made her cry every time she trying to fill it in. Sometimes her childhood wasn’t so happy.
      You can find my book as the declutter item of the day on January 13 2012.

  11. This is really interesting. I have 3 kids and have noticed that I’m taking less and less photos as we repeat lots of the same things. Plus we were burgled recently and they took all our camera equipment and we don’t have camera phones. So I’ve been to a couple of things recently where I couldn’t have taken any photos even if I’d wanted to and it was interestingly freeing. It doesn’t change the memories. My kids know I was there with them, experiencing it, even if we don’t the obligatory photo to prove it.

    • Sorry to hear you were the victim of a burglary LJayne. That is not the way one want’s to declutter that’s for sure. I am glad however that not having the camera had given you the freedom to be completely present in those activities with your kids. It is very liberating.

  12. I have so many “to do” projects myself and yes they include scrapbooks. But isn’t so much of our clutter in our mind? Have you all read the book by Ma Jaya The 11 Karmic Spaces? Some of our “clutter” might be part of our Karma thus we can’t be free and live in the present and now. Just a thought. Karmic Spaces has become a “go to” guide for me as I travel through life. Here is a link so you can look up some of the readings. http://blog.kashiashram.org/

  13. I can really empathise with this; I have three empty journals that I received as gifts – one for planning my wedding, one to record my pregnancy and the last to chart my baby’s progress. I do feel guilt that I didn’t fill any of them in – the pregnancy and baby ones in particular – but they were too aspirational and I was worried about not doing them justice. You’ve inspired me to donate them to a charity shop (when I finally unearth them from under the rest of the clutter!).

    • Hi Marianne and welcome to 365 Less Things. I see from your blog that you are doing well with the decluttering. Good work. I had some of the those books you speak of and I didn’t do a good job of filling them out either, like you I got rid of them and felt better for it.

  14. ive finally started putting together some proper scrapbook pages, as I find photos and themes to suit I pop them into a page in a scrapbook I like for a time when I want to scrapbook. So far have done some nice pages, not a lot, but a few.

    I decided to put all of my daughter Holly’s school photos into a scrapbook for her to take with her when she’s an adult. So she has a page per year of school with the class photo on one side and a small individual photo of her on the other side, and a certificate from that year, teacher’s name and anything else special I can find, or want her to remember from that year.

    So far I’ve only completed one page but all of the photos are cut up and in the right pages, ready for sticking on.. so this is good and I’m now utilising all her photos. I’ve decided to also keep the larger individual photos of her every year for a scrapbook for myself too for memories and then keeping some smaller ones for her dad too (we’re not together, haven’t been since she was 9 months old and she’s 10 now). I feel so much better knowing she will have something special I have made her from her school years to remember the experience by. 🙂 Plus I’m not wasting the money I spent on getting her school photos every year

    • Hi Chatterbox and welcome to 365 Less Things. I will draw Cindy’s attention to your comment as this was her post so she may want to respond in person. I was amused that considering the subject of your comment that your username is the brand name of a scrapbook supplies company. I need your enthusiasm to rub off on me because I have done four or five years of my kids school scrapbook pages but that is it so far. One child is 5 years out of high school and the other is in his final year at university. About time I got onto it I would say.