More great readers comments.

Christina

Loved reading your bio, add another 20 years and we are almost identical, yes I am outspoken too!

My de cluttering occurred because we have lived in this home for 35 years and unlike friends and family have had no need to declutter due to moving house. I decided I didn’t want to leave unnecessary “stuff” for my 2 adult children to declutter when the time eventually comes ( we are determined to live until we are at least 90!) So I am religiously following your de cluttering advice on a daily basis, with a few extras of my own.

This last week I decided to attack my sewing /craft room, as our two granddaughters are now 8 and 10 they no longer want to do as much craft as previously so that was the first box to be de cluttered , old dried up paints were binned,some paints in little pots were washed out and the pots used for the beads which I was able to consolidate from the different cupboards and drawers. Next was my material/ lace stash, I rang a school teaching friend and she was thrilled with my offer of a huge box of very usable material, she has her students make clothes for a children’s charity as an assignment.

I regularly take a box of usable stuff to my local Salvos and they are always very appreciative, so what my friend couldn’t use will go to them.

My only dilemma has been decuttering the box of greetings cards, some from my childhood are 60 years old. Advice here please? I have collected a box of some of the cards from my children, they didn’t want them! To be donated to the local kindy for craft. What about the letters from and to my boyfriend, now my husband (of 47 years), they are the poignant writings of 18 year olds! I have followed your advice and photographed many documents and transferred to my computer. If we dispose of all of this memorabilia, will future generations not have anything nostalgic to reflect upon?

Thank you for reading this and for your weekly decluttering advice.Today’s Mini Mission

From Delores

Here is a reflection from my crazy day yesterday (names changed of course):

Yesterday I experienced an amazing contrast.  A friend, Jill, was moving out of town.  Another friend, Rocky, is contemplating a move shortly.

Over the course of several days, Jill sorted and boxed.  She was travelling by ferry and could only take what she could carry.  That meant a lot of paring down and choices as to what was important.  I helped find outlets so her castoffs would not end up in the dumpster.  The last day, I arrived to load her give-aways into my vehicle, not sure how many trips I might need to make.  We filled my vehicle, once.  There were still a lot of boxes in her apartment.

The next thing she said stunned me.  She decided to keep her 40 suits, figuring she would never have to buy another suit.  I was speechless.  I am 61 and I don’t think I have owned 40 suits over my lifetime much less all at once.  She boxed them up and was willing to carry the extra baggage.  Later she texted me that instead of a taxi she had needed a ten passenger van to take her to the terminal.

That same afternoon I met Rocky and some friends for coffee and conversation.  He is retiring soon and hopes to spend time in another country for an extended period.   We quizzed him about visas, insurance, and travel plans.  Someone asked what he was taking.  One suitcase for clothes and a briefcase with his laptop. Period. All he needs.

I am somewhere between those two extremes in my life but the contrast of those two persons on the same day will stick with me for some time.

“If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” — Unknown


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. My advice to Christina is to leave the box of cards for now and to move onto something easier. If it is imperative that she sorts thru that box now, I’d recommend the KonMarie idea of holding each one in her hands individually and deciding which ‘spark’ joy and which do not.

    My guess is that if these were left to adult children to eventually sort, a few would be looked at but likely the box would be treated as one item and dumped. I’d suggest that the most precious letters and cards be kept in a way that indicates that they were treasured memories. It brings to mind the scene on ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ when the Great Grandmother opens her small box of treasures and you just know that that small box holds her most precious possessions.

    Delores friend Jill – 40 suits? Wow. Twenty would cover an entire working month. Rocky sounds like he knows what he is doing. My aunt and uncle decided a few years ago to move to Australia in their late 50’s to be closer to their only child. They got rid of everything and boarded the plane with a suitcase each. As they’d always been quite settled and never shown any minimalist leanings, this was quite a surprise for me but a pleasant surprise, that a ‘fresh start’ and ‘grand adventures’ aren’t just for the young generation.

  2. Hi Christina, when I was decluttering my craft stuff (I’m not a crafter, I just kept stuff from projects when my kids were little) I was lucky to have a local art school to donate to. I kept some beads in case the grandkids (or me) want to make anything, but the beads are now all sorted by type, size, & color (It took me days to do that!). I also have a button collection which has been sorted. If I don’t find a use for the buttons, they will go too. But the beads and buttons don’t take up much room so I’m not fretting about them 🙂

    Hi Delores, I like the “Rocky” way better than the “Jill” way… not sure how I would fare, though, if I had to pare down drastically… I just this week found out who made a piece of pottery we received as a wedding gift 33 years ago! I met a potter and mentioned that I had this signed piece but didn’t know who the signature represented. She gave me a possible name and I confirmed everything via Facebook. So now that I know its provenance, I’m less likely to part with the (functional) piece. At least I travel light LOL

    Hi Moni, I like your comment too, especially the part about your aunt and uncle… There is hope for all of us!

  3. Christina, I agree with Moni and her reference to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. Aim for a smaller collection of your most treasured memorabilia remembering what is important to you may not be to your children.

    Delores, Rocky and Jill are complete opposites on the clutter scale. I strive to be in-between, in balance. Like Goldilocks and the three bears. Not too hot, Not too cold….just right 🙂

  4. Happy Mother’s Day ! May you enjoy your special day and take a day off from decluttering 🙂

  5. Christina

    I’d personally keep the letters from your husband. Not only are they special to you but may be of sentimental value to your children or grandchildren when you are gone (many many years from now of course) As long as the box they’re in is of manageable size that is. If it’s huge, then select the cream of the crop to keep in a smaller box. I’m sentimantal & I have all my hubby’s 20 year old letters in a shoebox. Although he wrote in pencil that is fading, so I’m slowly scanning them to the computer.