Out of sight out of mind

Garage Cupboard

Out of sight clutter

Have you ever noticed that there is certain clutter in your home that you not only never use but you don’t even lay eyes on it for long periods of time. During that time you don’t think of it. It is like it doesn’t even exist. But the minute you unearth it memories come flooding back and suddenly it seems so precious.

I am not just referring to keepsakes here I am including all manner of clutter. That old tupperware way back in the furthermost reaches of your kitchen cabinet. The sporting equipment buried under more useful stuff in the back shed. Photographs in which you can’t even identify half of the subjects. Plush toys in the bottom of your old blanket box. Those least favourite socks in the depths of your sock drawer. The file relegated to the last hanger of your filing cabinet. Boxes in the garage that you never unpacked after your last move.

Would these items come to mind if you had to compile an inventory of your home contents off the top of your head. I bet not. And yet were you to unearth these items you would likely be struck with crazy thoughts of how precious they were to you or how useful they are or I might still use that. The memories of days gone by when these items were an everyday part of your life cloud your judgement on just how big of a waste of space they have become.

When confronted with these objects try to be logical. Everyday we create new memories and new priorities. Saving a little of the past is fine but life has a way of twisting and changing and the less stuff you have blocking your way the freer you are to live in the now and explore the possibilities of the future.

In the wise words of Dr. Suess ~ “Today is gone. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. Everyday from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

Today’s Mini Mission

I know from experience that, when overstocked, one can lose sight of individual craft items that have been drowned among the masses. Quite often when you do unearth them they are no longer to your taste. Declutter any craft supplies that you, if you are honest with yourself, are unlikely to use.

Eco Tip for the Day

Transferring cash and making payments digitally saves on trips to the bank, paper, mailing and wear and tear on printed currency. Saving little pockets of energy with each of those savings.

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

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


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Transient Stuff Much of what comes into my home these days is transient. Aside from groceries much of what does come in is free, secondhand, or both. And I have to say it makes it a whole lot easier to […]
  • What is right for you? I often get comments from people contradicting my suggestions regarding what to declutter and pleading their case on why they keep certain items or collections of things. Avid readers love […]
  • The problem is acquiring Clutter is very much about being keener to acquire than to let go. We acquire things we need or want but once their usefulness to us has expired we hang on to them. I feel that there are […]
About Colleen Madsen

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

Comments

  1. This is so appropriate for me today. I have been thinking about old snowboarding equipment in our attic that has not seen the light of day in . . . oh. . . . 14 years! BUT (here come my excuses) it was one of the first produced by Burton! And, it has a really neat design! And, it brings back some fantastic memories! Well, maybe I could at least get rid of the accompanying equipment that has no memories/value anymore.

    This morning I did again (one step at a time) go through my single shelf of cookbooks. I’m not even that adventurous of a cook! And I decluttered 6 more. There are still a couple on there that I have never cracked open. Still a work in progress.

    The Dr. Suess quote made my day! Thanks!

    • Hi Michelle,
      yours is a perfect example of what I was suggesting in this post. I think that if you decide to keep the board that you ought to mount it on a wall where you can appreciate it. My son has about a dozen old skateboard decks in our garage. I keep telling him he should display them in some way or make an art installation out of them, but alas they just sit there. He will be taking them when he leaves home though or they will be finding a new home. I am sure someone on freecycle would like to make a piece of furniture out of them.
      Glad you liked the Dr Suess reference. Did you think it was relevant to the post subject.

      • Be patient! He might get creative with them once he has moved out and realizes for the first time that furniture (as well as the filling of the fridge) doesn’t just appear out of thin air 😉
        There are so many cool ideas around the web when it comes to re-using skateboard parts as furniture! (look at this one for example http://www.wohn-blogger.de/tag/skateboard-mobel/)
        Anyway, they’ll be gone when he is whether they’ll become his cool pieces or his stored clutter – so you win in the end not matter what! 🙂

      • Colleen – my son also has a pile of skateboard decks that he refuses to get rid of. I manage to kick them every time I go into his room, so I’m going to ask Adrian to shove them under the bed.

      • Your observation of “The memories of days gone by when these items were an everyday part of your life cloud your judgement on just how big of a waste of space they have become.” Then the Dr. Suess quote to which I can slip in that tomorrow was fun too. Those times are gone, but the memories (clouding my judgment) are not, and there are good days and memories ahead. I will reexamine the snowboard issue again.

        I did think of you last night as I was looking at my bookcase of fiction. There were some car racing and western books of my husband’s that I almost put in the pile to go. I thought, Nope – Colleen says to check with the individual first. I don’t think he’d really miss them, but that’s kind of a trick and not respectful of him, so thanks for keeping me on the high road!

        • Hi Michelle, that is the beauty of all the opinions we get here in the comment section ~ they get you thinking and seeing things in other ways. One of our other 365ers, Wendy F, and I go for coffee once a week or so. When we do we always go to the antique stores and the thrift stores nearby. Wendy can tell you that I see so many things that I get excited about and regale her with my stories of them and surprise her by know what so many of the odd things are. She can also tell you how much I enjoy the experience but never take anything home.

          I am glad you chose to respect your husbands choice to decide about his own things and left his book in the shelf. He will most likely give you permission to declutter them anyway but will be glad to have been given consideration.

          • Oh Colleen, I am an antique shop fiend!!! I absolutely love to go to flea markets and antique shops. I’ve noticed lately that I’ll stare at an item and seriously consider where it would go in my home. The last time, I saw a wall plaque that I really wanted. I carried it all through the store and when I got ready to leave, I actually put it back. After consideration, I decided it wasn’t meant to go home with me.

            How wonderful that you know some of the 365ers in real life!

  2. LOL 🙂 that’s the topic I just posted on too! I’m making it a mission to dig out and objectively declutter the hidden stuff from all those “organizing solutions” I have. Like pretty bins, baskets, etc.

  3. I’ve been scanning old photos lately. The fact that I never knew the people in this photograph and can’t remember their names at the moment doesn’t make this item any less precious to me: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlcrook/8315413987/ When I scan these photos, previously all jumbled in boxes, I discover many new treasures, such as a photo of my dad as a teenager. Also, I finally tried on the snowshoes I bought 8 years ago, and I’ve been snowshoeing a little. Perhaps I’ll take many snowshoeing trips from now on; perhaps never again. But I’m glad I kept them & finally tried them. So yeah, maybe I don’t look at those photos often (more often now that they’re online), but that makes them no less precious to me.

    • This is something I need to do, scan a bunch of things. By having them on the computer I can then take time later to decide if I really need it all and in the meantime am rid of all of the paper items. I’m all for that.

    • Hi Jude, there is no doubt that photos are precious and I would never suggest to just ditch them all. But similar copies of the same thing, complete duplicates, blurry shots of no significance and caged animals in zoos can simply be a waste of space.

      I would also not suggest that everyone ought to rid themselves of all precious memory items. I still have my softball glove as a memento of my softball days and I also took it to the ballpark every game when I lived in America. It is signed by several of the Mariners players and i doubt I would ever get rid of it. However I don’t feel the need to also keep my old uniform, balls, my bat or the bag I used to carry all these things in. What I am saying is the one ought to be selective or there is no point in wishing to be living in a less cluttered environment.

      • Hi Jude, I just went over to your Flickr site to have a look. When I talk about getting rid of old photos who you don’t recognise the people in I was talking about ones own photos. The photos you have are amazing and probably ought to be in museums where they were taken. You have some serious historical photos there and I am glad you are uploading them to flickr where others can see them. You should start a blog about them. Perhaps someone will see them who can identify some of the unknown faces in them.

  4. This sounds just like what we are working on. Another area is the back of those closets where the opening isn’t as wide as the closet and you stuff things back in there and forget them. Or the top shelf of the pantry that you can’t reach and can barely see. We are after those right now. The other day our housekeeper agreed to get on a three-step ladder for us and get a bunch of things down from a top shelf in the shed. That shelf was full. It now has one box, 4 nested empty containers and one container with decorative Christmas pillows in it. I’m slowly working on Mom to get rid of even that stuff. Our shed is getting really bare. All we now have in there besides that one shelf is the freezer, my disability scooter and a shelving unit with the Christmas things. I also used up some more scrapbook supplies and put more in a bag to give away.

    • Hi Deb J, I see you understand where I am coming from with this post. It isn’t about decluttering all your precious memory stuff but to be selective about what you keep and knowing what is really actually important. There is a difference between precious memories and out and out clutter.

  5. I am struggling with some items that were gifts but have a value in that I use them – once a year or so. One is a wire holder for silverware/plastic ware for picnic use. Now, we don’t have many picnics and rarely have people over to eat in the backyard, But I like the item so it currently resides in a closet on the shelf. This shelf has become the place where gifts live that have limited use in our house and sometimes I don’t even look in there for a long time. My boss (he’s retired now) used to give us wonderful gifts – brass – treated candlesticks (which never tarnish) which I use on my dining room table. Two years ago, he gave me a minute timer (made of polished wood) that sits on my piano and a barametric pressure gauge which sits in “the closet”. My son expressed an interest in that so may pass it along to him. Anyway, the point of this is to say that even if I have not used these items in a while – or ever – they have sentimental value and I am having a hard time letting them go. They are not in my way in this closet so may hold up and continue to declutter other places and come back to this later. Some of you have said that after you declutter for a time, you find it easier to get rid of the “special things” because they become the first line of clutter. Maybe that will happen for me. I have lots of other things to work on so will get back to that closet later.

    • You have got the idea of slow and steady down pat now Maggie. Knowing these things are there and reconsidering them as time passes while you declutter other easier-to-get-rid-of things is what it is all about. However I would give the barometer to your son if he is interested. At least it would be getting used for what it was intended. No strings attached though. If he then decides to pass it on it should be his choice. Never give things with strings attached unless you tell the person they can return the item to you, without judgment, if they no longer want it.

      • Watch out for hanging onto objects for so long that in the end, neither you nor anyone else can use them. Then they’re just wasted. Share now while others are interested and while the objects are still in good working condition.

  6. Good post today, I especially liked paragraph 4 of your post. Explore the possibilities of the future, yes, indeed! Stuff can hold you back from doing what you may want or need to do. For example, wanting to entertain, but currently you do not have the room to do so or using clutter as an excuse to not take care of ourselves properly. I am certainly preaching to myself with these examples. Since I have less stuff now, it does not take as much time to tidy up, so someone stopping by at the last minute is not a big deal anymore. Now that I have less stuff to take care of, I can concentrate on more important things, like taking care of myself better. Having moved many times, I know from experience if it is left in a box, you will forget that it exists or worse yet, it could be ruined when you do go looking for it. I don’t leave anything in boxes anymore after moves.

  7. Calico ginger :

    Today is gone. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. – LOVE IT!!!

    • Me too Calico Ginger. I dare say Dr Suess might have meant it in a different context but then again maybe not but I thought it fitting very well with the topic.

  8. I definitely used to have this attachment. I’m so glad it’s dwindling.

    Thanks for your insight on this part of the decluttering journey.

    • Hi Mark. Dwindling, what a wonderful word to describe these attachments dissipating. I have decluttered some things during my journey that I never thought I would because of the “dwindling” process and I love it. To the point that I wonder what I was even clinging to in the first place.

  9. Last night my younger daughter had a big clean out of her wardrobe and drawers, she’s not naturally organised and is the most inclined to want to hang onto things. She’s finally come on board with the idea to only keep what she wears with any sort of regularlity. Courtney is inclined to rummage thru whatever is being discarded by her sister and add it to her stuff but then realises that most of it doesn’t suit her. So two big laundry baskets of clothes and shoes are in my garage waiting to go to goodwill.

    Out of sight, out of mind! Yes its so true. I’ve found that I have a few lurking in cupboards that really could go, but are there on the basis that they’ve got an uncrowded spot on the shelf and so there hasn’t been the pressure to shift them on. As I’m not having to go thru cupboards and shelves so often these days, I’m not getting tired of seeing the same ‘border-line whether to keep or not keep’ items, which inevitably resulted in them getting hiffed out.

    • Hi Moni, it is often easy to ignore these items when there is no goal affecting whether they stay or go. There is space so why consider them. I on the other hand intend to downsize and although there are still things in my home that I am sure will be ditched in a heartbeat should it not fit into our future plans I would prefer to keep chipping away constantly so that the task is small should that time arise sooner rather than later. This is good motivation for me. I dare say you do not have the same motivation. however with three teens in the house you have plenty of maintenance decluttering to keep you busy.

      • Colleen – so true. I’m sure I’ll go on a campaign before long as all the shelves could do with a wipe out, end of summer dust etc. Today all of my son’s school uniforms went to a new home and a box of books are awaiting collection from a freecycler. I may pull everything out of the bookcase on the weekend to reorganise it and consider each item. Ideally I want Courtney’s piano to go where the bookcase is sitting so its time to make some headway!

        • That reminds me Moni how is your bookcase declutter project going.

          • Colleen – I’m glad you mentioned my bookcase challenge to me as I need to get back on that pony! It is sitting where I want Courtney’s digital piano to go. So where did Courtney’s piano go when we bought it home? Well its just sitting randomly in front of it.

            The bookcase progress went backwards as it became a “I don’t know what to do with this, so I’ll put it here in the bookcase” zone. So it isn’t necessarily books, it is all sorts of flotsum and jetsom in it. As Trademe and Freecycle slow down here mid-Dec to late-Jan, I turned a blind eye and focused on getting ready for visitors over the holidays.

            Well, I started chipping away this week, but I’m thinking a big blitz is due, so watch this space!

            • Hi Moni, the question then probably shouldn’t be “How is the bookcase going?” but “Why do those things that you drop in the bookcase not have a proper home?” Give that some thought when you do go back to sorting it out.

          • Colleen – its turned into one of those ‘black holes’ that Cindy talks about. The whole family is guilty, when they don’t know where to put something or what to do with something, they just shove it on a shelf. I found a set of dance shorts and work out top stuffed in there the other day and its because one of my daughters doesn’t fit it and wants it put on Trademe. Just stuff they want out of their rooms but they don’t really know what to do with them from that point on. Of course there are still some books, not enough to warrant an entire bookcase but also ones that I have been specifically asked not to get rid of. More CD’s that surfaced post mass iTunes upload and a few more books were found in the ceiling storage November last year that Adrian couldn’t decide what he wanted to do with them. Oh and the CD player that used to sit on the little bookcase that this bookcase replaced in the spot, that my son said he wanted but I notice he doesn’t actually use.

            I will take some photos and go into battle. I think this calls for one of my ‘tornado’ culls.

            • Hi Moni,
              it sounds to me like you might need to set up a box in the garage for all of the kids decluttered items to go to until you get a chance to deal with it. At least there it will be out of the house and in an obvious place where you know it needs dealing with. I think also that it is time to question your son whether he really wants that CD player. Tell him it need to go to his room if he does. If you son is anything like mine though, it isn’t easy catching up with him.

  10. MomToBostonTerriers :

    Colleen,

    I recently discovered your blog and sat down and read all of the entries. I’m caught up!

    I started decluttering slowly some months ago, and the process is going well . . . except for those Very Expensive Items That Never Worked Well Or Are Broken And Can’t Be Fixed. I am thinking of three items that cost me approximately $2,000 US. Hadn’t used those things in YEARS, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them because they were so expensive, and well, I didn’t want to admit that I was a fool to throw away all that money.

    I decluttered those three items all on the same day. What a relief! Getting them out of the house relieved me of $2,000 of painful guilt. The money I spent to purchase those items was already lost, so why did I continue to torture myself by keeping them around and feeling bad about spending the money so unwisely? Colleen, you know more about the psychology of these things than I do, but I can attest to the fact that I am very happy to be rid of those items and the constant reminder that I should not have wasted my money by purchasing them in the first place. No more guilt for me!

    • Hi MomToBostonTerriers and welcome to 365 Less Things. Wow! that is a lot of reading you have got through and thank you for making the effort. Your story of those expensive items is a familiar one. No matter how poor the decision to buy things in the first place we always want to eventually get our money’s worth out of them. This is what has us holding on to things long after we stopped using them. You were right getting rid of them and expunging that guilt from you life. Hopefully there is just enough of a trace left to make you think twice about doing the same thing in the future. I postpone making any purchase now unless I am sure I have a use for the item. That even goes for inexpensive things, even grocery items. I noticed a can of cherries in the grocery store today and I though I could make a nice crumble topped cake with those. But the reality is I don’t even have a recipe for one as yet. I may end up googling one and buy a can one day but until I have a plan there will be no purchase.

  11. We have been cleaning out the garage and basement….so much stuff. Lately I have been wondering what to do with a lot of extra lumber from when we had our porch rebuilt. It’s stacked in a part of our basement. Love the Dr. Suess quote!

    • Put the lumber on the street with a free sign and I dare say someone will be happy to take it off your hands. Glad you like the Dr. Suess reference. Bring back great memories without any clutter. Gotta luv that!

  12. Hi Colleen! I really liked this post today. As I have decluttered most of the “on sight” clutter, I have wardrobes, bookcases, drawers and all nooks and crannies of the house to investigate and declutter. So as to not pull all my hair out, I have designated specific tasks, and I will atend each one at its own time. That being said, I have found things in my decluttering journey that brought back many memories and that I contemplated keeping. However I have resisted the urge to keep most of them. Sometimes when I “unearthed” some of these things they made me emotional and I wanted to hold on to them to those memories they brought back, but, on the other hand I didn’t even remember I had them in the first place… so why keep it?
    I found the quote very enlightening and I shall keep it in mind.

    • Hi Andréia, when you come across such items in the future you could always take photos and make one of those coffee table books out of them. Whenever you feel like reminiscing you can just flick through the book. Better one book than a house full of clutter.

  13. My worst enemy is not even the out of sight clutter IN the house (apartment) but the one OUTSIDE it aka basement and attic – I’m more and more happy with the basement though, chipping away at it constantly and consciously for more than two years now. It’s a horribly narrow and potentially moldy place anyway that either ruins things (if you cram too much in and stack it directly against the walls so there is no ventilation) or at least gives them this distinctive basement smell. I’ll hopefully have it “done” this year. The attic is a different story, narrow too and dusty and slightly moist at times but still desperately needed and kind of okay as additional storage. I hope though that it sees some significant action (purging AND organizing) again in summer as the space becomes unusable quite quickly because of the narrowness.

    • Ideealistin, once again you make me glad I have neither a basement or an attic. The garage at least is dry, clean and easy to access.

      • Yep, a garage with some shelves and a workbench and tool storage (tools currently reside in the kitchen as I don’t want them ruined by moisture and seasonal sports gear also is in the apartment for that reason, sigh) and not carrying bikes and gear like that down into the basement all the time would be perfect! But then … at least the inconveniences make me declutter more and be more ruthless than if I had too much and too nice storage space. Always look on the bright side … 😉 I think this quite small apartment with all it’s shortcomings is teaching me some valuable lessons for a simpler, decluttered life. Especially if I look at the amounts of stuff I manage(d) to cram in the available space I know I need to be glad about the limits it has set. I really was a packrat. Now I am recovering but still have much stuff. And one day I’ll hopefully be a semi-minimalist with the necessary, some beautiful and and some sentimental things and an easygoing, low maintainance home that makes my life more comfortable instead of more complicated.

        • very beautifully said. I had the experience in Denmark, when I was living in a shared flat. My room was the smallest with around 8sqm. I not only managed, I also loved the small space. and I felt like that room taught me how to live with less space, and brought me into the decluttering mode in the first place.
          I thought about the word semi-minimalist, and I think that this applies to me too. I still feel I own too much, but I dont go into the extreme anymore. this word and your description hit the idea right on the spot.

        • Hi Ideealistin, you have probably own a lot less than me but just didn’t have the space to spread it into. We shall see how I go if and when I ever move into that smaller home. I think my husband is still trying to convince me to ditch everything and just travel the world. Some days that does hold a certain appeal. I do feel I need a home base though somewhere to rest and see the family.Mind you if we came back every six months or so we could just visit family, flitting from one place to another and not having a permanent address.

  14. I have a great example of out of sight, out of mind. We had an outing to a rural area planned and Adrian was very proud of himself because he thought ahead and borrowed some camping chairs off friends so that we didn’t have to sit on the grass (or blanket). I was asked him why didn’t we just use our own camping chairs? He looked surprised and asked did we have camping chairs? I said yes, we bought them when we got the tent (years ago).
    (I will just explain here that I don’t go camping, that is my break from the family when he takes them away for a few days over the summer)
    Apparently he has been borrowing camping chairs every year and had no idea we owned a set.

    • That’s a classic Moni. Those chairs must still be in good condition. 😆

      • Maybe Colleen, but after 5 years our camping chairs rotten away even though they were only used twice a year. Ten uses total, but time broke them down. : (

        • I was just saying to one of the other readers last week how it is amazing how items that are practically identical one will last much longer than the other. I have found also that it isn’t always the one you paid the most for that is of better quality.

    • What a hoot. I love this example. I got rid of a zero gravity camping/fishing reclining chair on Wednesday. When the housekeeper and I were out in the shed I asked her if her family would like to have it and she said yes. they were real excited to get it as they go fishing and camping a lot.

  15. very good post, Colleen. I enjoyed reading it.
    I was thinking of this before. if you cant recall your possessions from memory, you might want to consider it clutter. I did this once when I was sick, and I wrote a list with my possessions without looking at the space. So although I grouped items, I forgot quite a lot of things that were obviously not that important to me. things that you replace or improvise instead, although you actually have it. like Moni’s camping chairs (classic situation). needless to say, a lot of that stuff went out in the long term. I do remember quite a lot nowadays, because I often go through my stuff with the critical eye and give it a lot of consideration. This way I remind myself of the things I own, and I am more likely to remember to use them in the relevant situation. This has not only resulted in more space and less clutter, but in organisation and efficiency on using my things, up to an optimal level.

    • That makes very good sense Lena and is the reason why having less is great. You know what you have, you know where it is and you don’t end up replacing things you already own. Even the things that I have that eventually wear out come under scrutiny and often don’t end up being replaced.

  16. Lena, I love this idea. I think I will try that at my house and see what I come up with. This is a great way to determine importance to the family and/or to me. I also remember living in a one bedroom apt when I was single that was smaller than my living and dining room at my current house. I loved the size of it and while it was crammed with my “important” things, it was cosy and I kept it really tidy because there was no room for excess things. Now, I have lots of space and am trying to “unfill” space that I thought was important to fill up. Moni, I love the camping chairs story. I know we’ve had some things unearthed from our shed that I thought were long gone or never there.

    • Maggie, your story of a one bedroom apartment brought back a memory. For about a year (many years ago) I lived in a 24 ft. camp trailer with a boyfriend, a large dog, and one indoor cat. You are right – we only had the most important things and kept it tidy. Otherwise, what a wreck it would have been! The only really bad thing was that we had a lot of condensation and some of my clothes developed mold. Yuk.

      Oh Colleen! I forgot to tell you. Last Sunday, our big city newspaper home section was almost entirely about decluttering! This is a world-wide movement, folks! 😉

      • I am glad to here that Michelle. I hope the movement is growing bigger and bigger. So much so that it become the norm. Then I will have to find some other way of being different. 😉

    • I am currently living alone in a 42m² flat, with one bedroom, a livingroom, a small kitchen and a small bathroom. No attic, no basement, no garage, no balcony, no garden, no shed. Many of my friends and family asked for the additional storage space, and were shocked when I told them that everything I own is in my living space. Compared to other people I can be called minimalistic, compared to minimalists, I own a lot of things. But I do want to get rid of more, resp. replace old with new and keep the space that way.
      I have this dream of getting a camping van for my travels. Thats going to happen for sure. maybe one day, I can also live in it, make it with the minimum and the most improtant things….

      • Lena, I think you are to be admired. People just don’t understand how a person can live in small spaces without lots of storage somewhere else. You are showing them it is not only possible but that it isn’t hard. I like the camping van idea for your travels. I’ve had the dream of someday having a small camping van and traveling & living in it.

  17. Many long years ago , when I was married to my first husband, we lived in a very TINY trailer that was attached to a truck. He and his dad were horse trainers and went from racetrack to racetrack with their horses. I loved living in that trailer and have always dreamed of having another one and traveling around the U.S. Now, that was minimalist living. Everything had to be in cupboards or tied down to prevent disaster when driving. Also, there were minimal dishes and pots and pans since the sink was very little. We did have a bathroom with a shower but not much room there either. I think we had one soap, one shampoo, one toothpaste for the two of us. Sometimes, Mike’s little sister stayed with us. Not much room for a guest but we had fun. We were divorced after a while but when Lena mentioned having a camping van, it brought back memories. How did I go from so little to so much? Guess working and getting credit cards really made it easy.
    I really like the remark about saving for things and appreciating them more. Years ago, a friend and I loved going to the movies and the only way was to save for the more expensive ones and really get excited and anticipate the event. Now, you just order online with a credit card and go. There is no build-up of excitement. Some things have become so mundane that we just don’t appreciate them as much.

    • Hi Maggie. Did you ever hear of those people who either deliberately or inadvertently (through financial disaster) were living in campers? This was a while back when the economy was tanking so bad in the U.S. I wondered if I could go back to living in a camper. We had to make very thought-out decisions about what stayed and what had to go into storage. It just seemed that it was easier to work with a very small space. We occasionally had visitors over. I could see on the wife’s face that our living situation was less than spectacular. Frankly, I didn’t care. A home and possessions don’t define me; however, I sometimes feel the seductive influence of home decorator magazines and get the “wants”. When I take a step back and rethink that, I realize I’m good where I’m at.

      I was recently at a house-warming and don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful house, but it was SO big! I said to my husband that although lovely, I wouldn’t want it. I’ve looked at a lot of homes on the internet and they are all big. I wonder if it would ever be possible for us to build our own home. That is probably not feasible. Anyway, we’re not moving anytime soon so lots of time to think on this. We don’t have a garage and always wish for one, but when I drive down the street and see garages packed to the roof with “stuff”, would we do that too?? Boy, I hope not. LOL

  18. What a great article! From now on I’m going to have a box marked “Waste of Space” as I go through my cupboards.

  19. I think Colleen gave us a new mantra “Until I have a plan, there will be no purchase” on her non-purchase of the can of cherries. At least I wrote it down and plan to use it when shopping. On out of sight, out of mind, this week we needed wintry clothes to go to a funeral, since we were having very cold weather. We found out husband’s dress shirts had collected dust, as had every long coat (3) I owned–probably hadn’t been worn in a long time, since we almost never have a need for anything this warm. Some of husband’s shirts did not come clean, and none of my coats fit. Husband has lost weight so his shirts are a little large. So I see a big pile of stuff leaving soon if further work will clean them up for donation–otherwise they become garbage. I would feel worse about it, but no one else in our town has probably needed anything this warm either. We were fortunate that it warmed up nicely on the day of the funeral, and he looked great, and I managed with a sort of dressy color corduroy jacket over a warm blouse of the same color By noon we needed short sleeves. I had real plans for going through his closet, so that really moved up my plans. As for other things, I have always been truly grateful that we have never, ever lived where we had an attic, and in this climate no one has basements.

    • Hi Nana, it sounds like you live in Melbourne. The weather is like that there ~ beautiful one minute, raining, cold and miserable the next. This isn’t a problem though because there are so many great coffee places to slip into that either choice as its advantages. However that wasn’t the point. There is nothing like an unexpected occasion (albeit not a happy one in your case) to have us scrambling for clothes to make do only to find what you have is no longer appropriate. Well done you for making it work for you. When it comes to donating the items that are no longer good for you. Don’t immediately write off the items that aren’t completely clean. Some charities recycle fabrics for rags and the like. Also the send clothes oversea where the market is not so fussy about the condition. Use your own discretion though. Anything you think is beyond use is best put in the trash.