It bugs me so I’m over it ~ A post by Peggy W

I have begun to look at a lot of things in my home through a filter of “does it bug me”?  It’s kind of the opposite of “does it spark joy”.  Like the embellished sweatshirt that I had loved for years.  One day I just realized out of the blue that things about it were bugging me!  So I took it off and threw it in the trash bin.

There is a pair of slippers that, while wearable and don’t look too ratty, I don’t especially enjoy wearing because they are hard to keep on my feet.  So they are in my sights…

Recently I found a half empty jar of jam in the fridge.  It didn’t look or smell bad but I remembered it came into the house several months ago so rather than worry about someone getting sick on it, I tossed it.  It bugged me that something potentially sickening was taking up room in the fridge.

Something I got rid of a while ago was a color photo of an old barn surrounded by fall foliage that we had had framed when we were first married (over 30 years ago).  I always loved that photo.   But it started to bug me because it had faded.  It hurt me to look at it like that, when it had been so vibrant.

We are using up and passing along extras of shampoos and lotions and the like because having so many around the bathtub bugs me.

There are some plates that were stored out of the way in our attic.  They were bugging me because I don’t need them or prefer them but they take up space.  I want our attic to be mostly cleared out because we will be too old before you know it to fetch things up there.  I am planning to offer them to our daughter who is getting married.  If she doesn’t want them & my husband doesn’t care, they will be donated.

I bought a deviled egg holder which itself was shaped like a large egg (Easter themed) years ago.  It was a cute idea but it bugged me because it never got used.  It’s outta here!

Several spice mixes found their way to the compost & recycle container recently.  It bugged me that I spent money on them but no one used them.  So, it made me feel bad every time I saw them, not like I was somehow saving money by keeping them.

Alright now you will all know that I’m crazy… I have a string of LED Christmas lights that have the “big color bulbs” like the old ones used to have.  I had them up on a beam between our living room and dining room for several years sort of as a night light (all year!).  I have loved them since I got them.  Right around Christmas 2015, I noticed that one of the “bulbs” was burnt out.  When I investigated, I found that it wasn’t fixable.  So, down came the lights.  They are currently lighting a window frame in my bedroom… They are not yet in full “bug me” mode but I see the day coming…

I feel like I am getting more in tune with my (bad) feelings about my stuff for some reason.  So, maybe you can “sniff around” your home for something that has been bugging you lately.  Some ideas:


Shoes that hurt your feet or back

Clothes that require constant tugging to hang properly on you

Underwear that isn’t “broken” but doesn’t fit right or help you look good

Socks that rub your toes or are too tight at the ankles, too loose, or have holes

Containers of any sort that are hard or unwieldy to open and/or close

Hair products or any hygiene product that you hate using

Cleaning products that you hate the smell of

Furniture that drags down the look of your home or is uncomfortable

Vacuum that forces you to go over the same spot multiple times

Blender that takes too long to blend

Frayed or stained linens

Pillows that hurt your neck

Throw pillows that annoy you

Anything that’s hard to clean

Décor that you’re tired of

Chipped or scratched plates and cookware


Here are a couple of comments made by Peggy in the past so you can get to know here better.

A use it up challenge

A impromptu declutter 

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

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Peggy – this is a great way to look at decluttering. When you look at something from a “does it bring me joy” perspective, sometimes the nostalgia of when it did bring joy will win out and the item will stay. By looking at an item from the “does it bug me?” perspective, a lot more reality enters the picture and you can judge the item on its current value to you.

    • Donna, I think you are right about this. I liked some of Marie Kondo’s ideas in her book, but if I judged everything on if it sparked joy, I would be homeless and naked. Ha! I judge more on the usefulness of an item and my need for it. Yes, I use things that spark joy for what “decor” I have, but most of my decor was beginning to bug me so there will be less and less of that!!!!!

      • Brenda you are too funny, “…homeless and naked.” indeed. I can tell you my, once again, broken down washing machine isn’t sparking too much joy at the moment and I am happy to share that lack of joy with the LG company. I am either unlucky for have bought two lemons from them in the last eight years or their make crap washing machines. Either way it needs yet another repair but I hope that isn’t so expense I have to declutter it and buy one that actually lasts. All they are good for is washing my money down the drain.

        • Hi Brenda and Colleen,

          I am laughing too about being homeless and naked haha

          We just got a new washer today since the old one only rinsed the wash water out when it was in a good mood. I would open the washer lid and everything would just be sopping wet. Other times, everything would spin as normal. So frustrating! We had 11 years out of the old one at least 🙂

        • Idgy of the North

          Not fun, Colleen. We have had great luck with our Samsung front loading washer. Our previous washer used to send forth grease onto our clothing…clothes came out dirtier after being in the washer then before (argh). We were so over that old machine.

          • Colleen Madsen

            No, not fun at all Idgy. Fortunately LG are coming to the party and fixing it for nothing out of warranty, for the second time. I’ll have to canvas all my readers the next time I need a new washing machine to see who has had success with their brands. In fact I did do a post once when my mum was considering changing from her old twin tub to an automatic. In the end she bought a front loader. It also had to be replaced during the warranty period. I hope it last longer for her than my last one did.

            • I love my Maytag washer and dryer. We’ve had them over 18 years & have never had a service call on them. Love, love, love!!!

              • Colleen Madsen

                Hi Deanna, I used a Maytag when I lived in America and in the almost 8 years I used it it never gave me any trouble. These newfangled modern machines have too many things to go wrong with them.

    • Hi Donna,

      I don’t know why I started to think this way, but it has been helping me!

  2. Hi Peggy,
    One thing that has bugged me for a long time is my stamp collection. I used to enjoy it when it was a collection of stamps I had gleaned from my travels or from corresponding with people. In the last few years it has simply become a mass of bits of colored paper given to me by other people, neatly catalogued and filed and utterly meaningless. Recently I went through and pulled out every single bird stamp and mounted them in my world bird list book. This weekend I went through it again and, GASP, started throwing out the stamps I really hate: heads of state in every color and denomination imaginable, incredibly ugly art, commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the electric toothbrush, etc. I have given myself permission to take back my collection. I haven’t yet winnowed it down to only the stamps that ‘spark joy’ but at least I have gotten rid of the ones that ‘bug me”.

    • Hi Wendy B,

      I had been gifted TWO spoon collections… because my relative remembered me liking my grandmothers 8-spoon collection when I was a kid… The spoon collections (in spoon backboards) were obligation clutter to me because I didn’t have the fun of collecting the spoons myself! Those spoon collections are long gone. I inherited the 8-spoon collection as well and not sure I will keep it 🙂

      • Oh, Peggy, I know where you’re coming from. My mother also has two displays of spoons. As the only female in the family they may come to me. If they do I will keep two – interesting pieces made from coins from Malta and in the family for over 100 years. I would feel no obligation to keep the others.

      • Peggy and Wendy B – oh shudder! I have a spoon collection phobia. My grandmother had one and she would get me to polish them. I’d suppressed that memory. She had the flying ducks on the wall too.

        • LOL, Moni! That is so funny. You suppressed your abuse of spoon polishing!

          I remember flying ducks on the wall! Were they universal ducks, Moni, or are you in the USA too?

          • Brenda – Im from New Zealand, so the ducks are Universal. I wonder what iconic item is torturing the current generation?

            • I think lava lamps are BACK!!! Ha-ha. Truly!!! I never had one, though, and won’t be getting one this round, either.

              Moni, I remember in a past post someone asked how to pronounce your name, but I don’t remember your answer. Would you mind telling that again? That is unless you’d rather just be known as “Miss New Zealand”. : ) Ah, you exotic folks from around the world! It seems so exciting! But, those ducks are everywhere!

  3. Excellent way to evaluate. This lit a fire under me a lot more than the “joy” angle. There are a lot of spices, non-sticky tape and frayed clothing on the list. Thanks for this light bulb moment!

    • Hi Kezia,

      I’m glad my post has “sparked” some ideas for your decluttering journey 🙂

  4. Thank you Peggy and Colleen for “It Bugs Me”. I have (soon to be HAD) a large framed needlepoint picture of a boat that I made 40 years ago when we were first married. It hasn’t been on a wall for at least 15 years that I can recall. When I began tidying, I kept it for sentimental reasons. This posting has allowed me to say “Thank you and goodbye” to it.

    • Hi Esta,

      I’m happy for you that you were able to make that difficult decision. Way to go!!! 🙂

  5. Great funny post, esp. “in full bug me mode” phrase. I like the bug me criterion better than joy sparking idea. Both are useful but yours is where I live. Out goes my too-many-sections purse.

    • Hi Gail,

      I’m glad you like my phrasing, haha :), and that it helped you think of something to declutter 🙂

  6. Hi Peggy! I just loved your approach! I have several things bugging me, but I had been using the “is this useful?” approach, And it has not been working lately. If you don’t mind, I would like a few ideas on a problem of mine: 24 years ago I came back to my home country; as a goodbye token I got a BIG card (70cm x 50 cm). Well, it has been in and out of wardrobes for the last 20 years. It is not useful, it is just a card. To be honest, I don’t remember most of the people that signed the card. And have contact with none of them. But it seems wrong to just trash it. Anyone has any thoutghts? Any ideas? Thanks for the post and for the help.

    • Take a picture of it and save it digitally.

    • Andreia – do you need to ask? Does it bug you? Is it serving a purpose? Would any of the people who signed it expect you to still have it? Or even recall the actual card? In the words of Elsa “let it go!”

    • deanna ar USA

      When I left one of my jobs, we were all given a framed collage with pictures of our colleagues who held the same position as me (computer software trainer). Also it had comments and signatures of other colleagues. I thought about it sometime last year and went and looked at it to see if I wanted to keep it. For some reason I did so I put it back in the cabinet. I came across it again a couple of days ago. It’s gone now. It definitely exuded the “bug me” factor!!! And besides, I hated the picture of me

    • Thanks! I will think about it a little more. I am still not ready to “let it go”, but I am keeping your advice in mind for the next days, as the card’s future is decided. 😀 😀 😀

      • Don’t think about it any more Andréia, put it in the recycling bin. Moni asked all the questions that needed asking. Obligation clutter is one of the most insidious of all clutter. It definitely comes under the heading of Bug Me clutter. Let it go!!!!

        • Hi Colleen,

          Thanks so much for letting me post, I’m having great fun reading all the comments! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Idgy of the North

        Hi Andreia,

        If you are afraid to throw out the card, take a picture of it (inside and out) and recycle the card.

    • Hi Andréia,

      I’m sorry I don’t have the answer regarding your card… I am terrible at making those kinds of decisions because I think of the history behind such an object. If I couldn’t remember any of the people, though, it might “bug me” enough to toss LOL

  7. Peggy, I love this! I think EVERYTHING started bugging me all at once, although I didn’t think of it exactly in those terms. But, I think I will use your phrase every time I’m ready to remove something! I chipped one of my favorite old platters the other day while rearranging things. I glued it back and you can’t even tell it (as far as display goes) but, it is bugging me and I am over it.
    Away it goes. I was already getting rid of the pitcher that sits in front of it. And for that matter, I’m eventually removing the whole primitive cabinet it is in because the excess furniture in the LR is bugging me. A lot of stuff is bugging me, so a lot of stuff will go. It is just taking time. I can hardly stand to take care of daily chores for thinking of what else I can eliminate!!! Ha! I think taking it out is more fun than it was bringing it in! (at the time, I thought it was fun bringing it in. I’m sure glad my mindset has changed!). Some antique dining chairs are needing gluing and they are bugging me. I’m tired of fixing up and repairing furniture. I’m tired of keeping excess chairs for once a year when company comes! I think instead of BYOB, it is gonna be
    BYOC. Bring your own chair!! Why not? Almost everyone has a fold up chair they can throw in the car. And so it goes!!!! Better be REALLY useful or special or you will be bugging me!

    • When have more people than chairs, we borrow chairs, and sometimes tables, from my husband Masonic lodge, or our church.

      • Colleen, I am sorry about your washing machine woes! I like that “washing my money down the drain” phrase, but in actuality, it is a wringer on your purse! Pun intended! I wonder if they make good washers anymore. I used my first one from Sears for a good thirty years. After talking to a repairman recently, I think it might have been a minor problem that could have been fixed. I had assumed it was too old to spend a repair bill on. Bought a new top loader, not fancy. It literally twists the clothing into a wad, just like if you were wringing out a towel by hand. I have to untwist and shake everything loose before drying or everything would have to be ironed. Hope you have success with your next repair!

        • Well……that post was supposed to be under Colleen above about her washing machine!!! I am having trouble with my old iPad not “posting comment”. Then when I started to thank Gail for her suggestion, it posted.


          Anyway, Gail, I hadn’t thought about that, but I’m sure I could borrow chairs from my church’s fellowship hall.

          • Your a day too late Brenda, my husband just sold one on ebay.

            • Colleen, I saw that you mentioned he had sold it. At first I ate my heart out, but then I realized the postage from you to USA for something that heavy might have been prohibitive anyway.

              So happy you are getting your washer going for free!!

        • Hi Brenda, good news the repair man is coming today and LG are going to fix it for free even though the warranty has run out. Lets hope I can get another 7 years at least out of it.
          Sorry to hear your new washer isn’t great.

          • Colleen – I am glad for you. A couple of weeks ago our dishwasher went kaput and as we were expecting a large crowd for a family event on the Friday, I threw myself on the mercy of the local appliance service repairman. Unfortunately what had happened was someone must of put a long knife sticking up in the cutlery basket or something too big for the dish drawer and as the drawer was pushed in, it made a nice long cut along the drawer seal thing and as the dishwasher ran thru the cycle all the steam went thru all the mechanism and computery parts that aren’t designed to be wet. Alas it cost me $800 to get it repaired, the repair man was so apologetic and gave me the option of opting out of repair and to go and buy a new dishwasher. I went with repair as it still had a useful life span and with dozens and dozens of guests arriving, I had no time to run around town trying to find a replacement as this was the last days before my daughter moved to Uni and we had tonnes of stuff to get done. (Also the cost of a replacement model was around $1800) The serviceman insisted on showing me all the parts he had to replace as he didn’t want me to think he was ripping me off and he delivered and installed it again for free.

            • Colleen Madsen

              Hang on to the repair man Moni, he sounds very honest. My last washer was going to cost $600 to fix. Given that was the second thing to go wrong with it I thought the next things was probably just around the corner so I might be better off to replace it. That really annoys me because I hate things to go into landfill when they should have been more reliable. Built in redundancies is the issue in my opinion which is why I have fought this time for the manufacturer to stand by their product. Mind you I tried that last time but without success. This time I wasn’t going to be so easily deterred.

    • Hi Brenda,

      I’m glad you’re finding things that “bug you” enough to help you part with them. Your declutter journey is sure to make your life easier 🙂

  8. deanna ar USA

    This is great, Peggy. It sure gave me some food for thought. BTW, does anybody have a My Pillow???? I’ve seen them advertised on TV lately, but haven’t seen any reviews.

    • Hi Deanna,

      I don’t know anything about My Pillow. But I have clients coming in frequently complaining that their new (expensive) pillow gave them a stiff neck! (I am a massage therapist). I get the cheap pillows and wash them as needed. When they are “past it” they either go into a pillow sham on the couch or go to the pet shelter 🙂

      • deanna ar USA

        HA! Peggy, I promise I posted my rant about pillow shams before I saw this comment…no offense intended for anyone!

        Regarding the “My Pillow,” a friend on another forum gave a VERY high recommendation for it this morning. Maybe you should check it out in case you want to tell your clients about it. You can find it at

        • Hi Deanna,

          Don’t worry about the pillow sham thing. I have gotten rid of my 2 favorite ones recently because they were getting ratty. I always get only the standard pillow size shams so they can be used on the bed or couch (back support for me since I’m “petite”).

          I looked at the MyPillow link you provided. It looks interesting and has good testimonials 🙂

  9. Peggy – your post has really made my day. Does this spark “bug”? LOL I love it! Yes, yes, yes. Finally a justification for items which are still ok but I’m just bored of.

    • But only if you don’t replace them with something else you could get bored of just as quickly, right Moni? 😉

      • Colleen – Scouts Honour I won’t! I was thinking of two terracotta pots that we’ve had probably 23-24 years and I’ve had no good reason to get rid of them, other than I was bored of them, which wasn’t really a good reason. But I will run with ‘they bug me ‘cos they’re boring looking’. I think we’ve got our value out of them.

        • Colleen Madsen

          Hi Moni, after 23 – 24 years to be finally bored with them isn’t such a bad thing. I think you got good value our of them. Pass them on to someone else and they haven’t gone to waste.

    • Hi Moni,

      I’m glad you enjoyed my post 🙂 I notice lately that I am just bored/bugged with some things that I kept because they were “practical” or not broken. I won’t replace them, just pass them along for someone else.

  10. Hi, Peggy. I like your ‘irritation factor’ concept – it’s simple yet powerful. It also ties in really well with this week’s mini missions for clutter that annoys.

    Hi, Colleen – I thought the sidebar of Peggy’s previous comments was a really nice touch.

    • Hi Nicole V,

      I’m glad you like the “irritation factor” and I hope it helps you find that bit of clutter that has so far escaped your notice! 🙂

  11. Peggy,
    You are channeling my sister whose favorite line is, “I’m so over it”. She also believes everything has an expiration date and that includes us setting the items expiration date.

    • Hi Kimberley,

      That reminds me of a friend whose sister always said “get rid of it”. I don’t think my friend listened though haha 🙂

  12. I’m mainly in maintenance mode, and after many years of decluttering I can honestly say I don’t have anything left that bugs me. Yay! Over the years I have gotten rid of many items that bugged me, and I think it’s a good way to view clutter. Thanks for bringing this viewpoint to my attention.

    My friends beg me to stop giving things away, they think my house looks bare as it is. That’s how I know I’m on the right path! Lol

    • Hi Calla,

      That is great, that you are in maintenance mode! I’m not nearly there… We have to wait until certain family members move out before we can be even close to that status. My husband and I have worked on our own items consistently, though… 🙂

  13. Hi Peggy, Thanks for this great post! I had to laugh at some of the items on your list as I recognized those very same things here in my home, like the shoes that hurt, the kitchen cleaner that smells weird, the unnecessary throw pillows. They won’t be here for much longer. I no longer have time in my life for random inanimate objects which are annoying and irritating.

    • Hi Christine,

      I get so excited when I realize that something “bugs me” enough to make me want to get rid of it! I’m glad you had a chuckle 🙂

  14. O.K. Y’all !!! I just have to give this little shout out. After talking about plastic ware yesterday (my large amount), Nicole asked me if I had any messed up pieces, etc. I said no. But, with her encouragement and this post, I got to thinking, “there’s sure some that bugs me, though!”. So, last night, I went into action. Those little round ones that won’t stack bug me! And, I don’t take as much food to my elderly aunt as I used to, so I probably don’t need as many small ones anyway. More gone. Long story short, I have a bag for the thrift store, a bag for the trash, and a bag that went to the garage that might be used for freezing this summer, or other storage. I will save them for awhile and see if they are needed. I removed half or more of my stash. It pays to rethink everything!!! I made room for all the glass refrigerator dishes with plentyof room to spare. I matched up lids and threw out any extras. Then I went through a drawer of extra pot lids and got rid of them, leaving an almost empty drawer. Little by little!!!!!

    Also, one of my friends read my post (she had not been to this blog before) and all the comments. She said she was so inspired by everyone that she was going to start getting rid of one thing a day just like Colleen started! It is contagious!!!

  15. deanna ar USA

    Speaking of throw pillows…I’ve stayed in the home(s) of friends/relatives a lot of times and they have so many decorative items in their guest room that I don’t feel there’s adequate room for my “stuff.” (I never have learned to pack light anyway.) I usually end up pushing their stuff to the back of the dresser or shelf and replacing everything before we leave. On a trip last year I was thinking about this and how irritating it is…all the stuff. So when I got home, I checked out our guest room for that problem. Yep! Sure enough. Mine looked the same way. It looked nice. I really liked it. BUT it was too much. I concluded that the guest room should be comfortable for our guest(s)…not a showroom for our stuff. I’ve mulled this over occasionally for about 3 months. Finally, today I went in to freshen up the room (dust, swish the bathroom, etc.) for a guest in a couple of days and, with very little thought, I started taking things off the walls, removing throw pillows from the bed, trying a different set of pillow shams (I think I may end up donating both sets). Did I mention that I hate visiting someone and having to remove a PILE of throw pillows from the bed. Then there’s no good place to put them. So I have to find an empty spot for them on the floor in a corner and they’re always in the way. A hotel room works for me…empty. Even then, I clear things off the tables…like catalogs of interesting sites nearby, menus, etc. I’ll usually put them in a drawer and only pull them out if I need them. I haven’t decided yet what will be donated from my own guest room. I’m going to leave it somewhat bare for awhile, see if I get used to it…maybe I’ll want to put some things back, maybe not.

    Do y’all think this bugs me…or is it a full blown rant?

    I took 5 things off one wall. It looks very bare, but the room also looks wider…a little more spacious. There’s also a quilt rack in there that holds a couple of quilts. I’d like to take that out to make it seem more spacious. I’m not sure hubby could take it. When I showed it to him today after removing stuff, he said, “It just looks bare.” We’ll see if we adjust to it.

    • Hi Deanna,

      I think the quilt rack could be useful if it’s chilly when your guest visits. The throw pillows, though, I’m with you that the guest has to figure out what to do with them. Okay to put them on the floor? In the closet? Maybe yes or no, eeks! I guess for me it would come down to what is practical for the guest and what is just in the way. Whatever you decide, at least you have put a good bit of thought into it 🙂

    • Deanna, I can tell you from experience that you WILL get used to the bare walls, the lack of pillows, or whatever else you remove! Although I have a long way to go in my journey, these are things I have already done. It always looks bare when you first remove something and it takes a little adjustment. Then, there comes that Ahhhhhhh moment of space and calmness. :).

      I now have no pictures in my living room (our only sitting room). I have removed 5 large pillows from the king size bed. Now, to make up the bed, you just pull up the comforter. I even took off the bed skirt. This bedroom suite was the first new furniture I ever had and it was a learning experience!!!!! It is so heavy I can’t move it to clean. It required an expensive bedding set because it needed a split skirt because of the footboard and the skirt needed extra length. I had to special order. I got all the beautiful pillows to match—-2 king size shams and 3 large square envelope pillows!!! Now, my advice to anyone is go with just the headboard so you can use a modest comforter and move the bed! I’m back to liking the idea of an old fashioned bedspread that tucks under the pillows! The time saved by just pulling up the comforter now is worthwhile. I have company maybe twice a year, so why does the bed have to be a showcase?

      My sofa set was bought because it looked antique and fit in with the rest of my STUFF. It has gobs of loose pillows. I won’t do that again either, because you have to rearrange them to get comfy and they wind up messy.

      That’s MY rant! I am right there with you about those pillows!! bare walls, too!

    • I remember staying with a friend once; the guest room was so cluttered with pillows covering almost the entire bed, lots of furniture with every surface covered and every drawer full. Lovely en suite bathroom, same story. I literally had to put my case on the floor in the hall outside the room. It all looked very pretty, but almost unusable!

  16. Hi Brenda,

    You are on a roll today! I am enjoying your post-worthy comments very much 🙂

    • Help! I’m talking and I can’t shut up!!! LOL

      Seriously, it’s because of your great post, Peggy!

  17. Hi Andreia, The card served its purpose the moment it was given to you. Someone took the time to buy it, people took the time to sign it and maybe offer words of thanks for your time together and wishes for good luck in the future. The gift was in the doing, not in the piece of paper that remains. It is OK to send it on its away.

  18. Brenda – I am sadly aware that lava lamps are back, both my daughters own one each.

    Moni sounds like Bonnie.

    • Moni, that is too funny that the one item I mentioned is something you are stuck with two of!

      Thanks for telling me your name pronunciation! I had been rhyming it with pony, and I thought you had previously said that was incorrect but I couldn’t remember what was right.

  19. Do you all want to play psychologist? OK for the past 14-15 years I have been involved in the local dance school and done a LOT of sewing for productions etc over the years. Both my daughters are finished with dancing now and I admit that I haven’t really enjoyed sewing over the last couple of years. I rather take alterations to a local seamstress than drag my sewing machine out. So it sounds straightforward really but there is a small part of me that doesn’t feel ready to get rid of sewing machines (yes I have two) over locker, two boxes of different colour over locker threads and a box of lace and trims. There is a tiny part of me that admires the idea of turning old wedding dresses into Angel Gowns for Prem babies but when I enquired to Angel Gowns about a year ago, I declined to be sent an old wedding dress and pattern at that stage. I think it would be an honourable thing to do but I don’t know if I have the emotional reserves at this time to see such a wee little dress. So I have this tug-o-war going on in my head – one side says to eliminate sewing from my life now before I let myself get sucked back into something. The other side is saying to just leave the decision for now and hold onto the lace and trims as I will be able to create beautiful wee gowns. The other side of my brain says to donate the lace and trims to the cause in the mean time. And it ping-pongs back and forth regularly. Share your wisdom with me.
    The main reason I initially inquired at Angel Fabrics was with a view to donating my wedding dress but they were inundated with donations. I don’t think I’d like to cut up my own dress but figured that if I got amongst it I could always arrange a swap thing with someone else. However, I don’t know if I want my home taken over by sewing again.

    I feel that this situation would have an obvious answer if I was asked this by someone else, but I can’t see the trees for the forest. Feel free to jump in with your opinions.

    • Hi Moni,

      I think Brenda gave a very thoughtful reply to your question. I agree with her that if you were taking alterations to someone else, maybe it is time to hang up your shears?

      Since I have recently taken 1 less work shift per week, and my husband and I have met the challenge of paying off our car loans, I have been asking myself what should my current personal challenge be? I have decided that for now I will pay more attention to my grandchildren and give them something to do other than watch videos. I probably should have been doing that all along, but I was overwhelmed. The point I am getting to is maybe you can think of something other than sewing that can be your new personal challenge, something that will have value to you at this time 🙂

    • Colleen Madsen

      Hi Moni, I would hold on to the machines at least. I have always had a sewing machine and overlocker and I have no plans on getting rid of either. I admit I have considered the overlocker from time to time but it does come in handy when necessary. At the moment it is in constant use, not by me but by my daughter-in-law who has taken up making way out baby clothes.
      Unlike yourself though I would much rather pull out my machine, which was made in the 70s from cast iron and weighs a tonne, than pay someone to do something I am quite capable off. I find it not only satisfying that I can do it but because of the money it save. My machine keep having trouble with the control foot dying, due to old age I guess, and I was about to take it back to Bill, my repair guy, when a similar machine arrived at the thrift shop last week. That machine was all rusted up inside and would have gone in the trash but the foot fixed my machine problem and I will donate the rest of the machine to Bill for parts. So what would have gone in the trash has now saved my machine, and possibly be useful to help save a couple more.

  20. Moni, I understand your feelings because I have been going through this somewhat with rubber stamping. I know I always want to keep a few stamps for decorating envelopes, and some phrases. But, I think in my heart that my card making days are over. So, I should get rid of the rest of my paper supply and more stamps than I already have let go. I do have them contained to a smaller area now. That said, it would be easy for me to say to let your hobby go when I haven’t done it myself. :). However, I have a large area for this and I have it pared down till it doesn’t bug me.
    If I want to rubber stamp everything is convenient and ready.

    It sounds like you have to keep your sewing machines packed away when not in use. That in itself would be a deterrent to me. I don’t like inconvenience. Do your machines perform different functions, or could you let ONE go for now? How difficult or expensive would it to be to replace your threads and laces? Often the reason I keep things is because I don’t want the expense of replacing something should I change my mind. I don’t know the term “over locker”, so this may mean something is more specialized and expensive. But, if you are taking alterations to someone else when you are a seamstress yourself, that speaks volumes. It sounds like it is bugging you and you are over it, to quote a famous author. Ha-ha.

    My opinion would be to keep your best or most versatile sewing machine FOR NOW. Let one machine and the laces and most of the threads go. Maybe keep 2-4 threads of colors you would most likely need. See what happens as time passes a bit. I think if you decided to do the angel gowns later you could just replace threads and lace as you need them. If you realize at some point you will never need your sewing machine again, you can let it all go and keep some needles and thread for small hand sewing repairs.

    That is my 2cents worth. You probably wouldn’t regret it to dispose of it all at once, but this method would be more gentle I think, and ease your mind over possible regret.

    • Brenda – Thank you – I think the real tug-of-war in my head is that I’ve just finished a long run being involved as a dance mum and my head just wants a break from being ‘involved’ or ‘committed’ – not to go throwing myself into something else just to fill a vacant spot but another part of my head likes to be ‘involved’.

      Yes a sewer who doesn’t like sewing is quite an oxymoron.

      I’ve contacted Angel Gowns and have an address to send the laces and trims to and packaged them into a courier bag and paged the courier to collect. If I do decide to sew Angel Gowns down the track I will start afresh. Good advice.

      I will give some thought to what to do with my older machine and thread. Thread isn’t that expensive and I wouldn’t need every colour of the rainbow.

    • “Overlocker” is Down Under speak for “Serger”
      Confession –
      I still have my overlocker, even though I don’t sew garments much these days.
      However, it doesn’t take up much room, and I am glad I still have it when the need arises from time to time. I did however, declutter most of the big thread cones including all the colours, fancy specialty threads and such like, and kept only a set each of the useful neutral ones.
      History note – I used to sew for $$, and did mountains of dance and gym wear too. When I stopped doing that, I kind of stopped all the other sorts of sewing too.
      For a while … then I discovered patchwork and quilting (Love!) and was extremely happy I hadn’t got rid of everything. (Cover your eyes Colleen!) Lately though I have been weeding out and passing on quite a lot more of the things I held onto. I don’t regret waiting.
      I would say sit on your hands for a bit Moni until you know what direction you want to take with your stitching. Keep what you think you might want to use again and review your choices in a couple months from now.
      My daughter now teaches dancing, to adults, and I have been helping with the odd costume from time to time – for her students!

      I have to say I love the “does it bug me?” criteria. It has made me look more closely at quite a few things that were missed on the “spark joy” pass.

  21. Hi Stephanie,

    You have some good thoughts for Moni and the rest of us, to be patient in deciding about former interests 🙂

    I’m glad you liked the “bug me” criteria and found it helpful 🙂 🙂 🙂

  22. Hi everyone! Well, I trashed the card! I had a look inside and apart from three names I had no memory of any other… They did know me, cause they described me as “the most talkative friend”. I would love to know how to use a sewing machine Moni. I think you should just give yourself sometime and at a latter date, get back to “recreational” sewing 😀 . Thanks for the help everyone!

  23. I have only just joined, and was reading some of the comments about washing machines. We are about to replace ours (an old Simpson 550, which has been fantastic, but want a front loader) and are really confused by the huge range out there?
    Years ago, we had a Gorenje Pacific freezer, which lasted for more than 20 years, and I noticed that Gorenje have front loading washing machines – does anyone have any advice on really reliable front loading washing machines, please?

    • Hi Denise and welcome to 365 Less Things. All I can say on the washing machine front is don’t buy an LG washer Dryer combo. I have not had much luck with them lasting very long. Probably wouldn’t buy another washer dryer combo. One thing I will say about front loaders is that it is handy to have a “reduce time” option. I have a 30 minute cycle that I use a lot but can only put small loads in it. I only just realised that there is a button that I can push that allows me to use the larger loads cycles for a reduced time. Our clothes are never heavily soiled so this works great for me.