As I began my fall decluttering, I had to formulate questions to help me to decide whether to trash it, share it or keep it? Do you need eight Pyrex dishes? As my friend said, “Well, if you plan to cook eight casseroles you do.” That comment made me quickly put two in the giveaway pile. This girl does not cook very much. The thought of cooking eight casseroles made me wince and immediately think of the hours that would be spent doing something I do not want to do versus something that I do want to do! The other six are different sizes that I might actually use. The word “might” will get you every time!
I started in the kitchen closet, and I moved everything that I will actually use to the bottom shelf: tailgating platters and Christmas platters and vases. The vases are for my flowers that I buy for myself. Kroger has wonderful discounted flowers. Why would you not enjoy roses/flowers for a week for $4.99? If there are no flowers on discount sometimes I have to do without, but most of the time I can find something. My pleasure is worth that much money. Ladies, do not wait on a man to buy you flowers. Buy them for yourself because as the commercials of yesteryear told us, “You are worth it”.
The beautiful cake platters which came from Mama Gat were sent to the top shelf as well as my coffee maker which was replaced by my wonderful Keurig Vue. When you throw away a crock pot which has not had a lid for several years, it creates more space.
From that spot, I went to what I use for the pantry. It is really a book case by the side of the kitchen door. The first shelf was recipe books and hundreds of torn out pages of recipes and printed out pages of recipes. If I want a recipe now, I go to Google and search for it. I do not look through all of the recipes until I find it, and I never will. Five recipe books went to charity, and the other recipes went to the garbage. I did keep a few of the recipe books that are special to me for some reason. The other shelves are for food. The 2011 hot chocolate and the 1990 baking powder went in the garbage. It is amazing how things could pushed to the back, and you never look at them.
My meds are kept in the kitchen cabinet. As I looked at the assortment, I was amazed. When I took everything out and started looking at the bottles, I understood. Saving one pill of your antibiotics is not a smart choice. I am not sure what I was thinking– maybe that one pill was going to make me better the next time I was sick. I know the next time I see my friend, Amy, (after she reads this) she will say remember to take ALL of your antibiotics this time. I chunked many old prescription bottles and out of date over the counter stuff.
How fortunate am I that I have all of this? Do I need it? We all know the answer to that question. No, I do not need 70% of what I have, but Americans tend to love accumulating things that have no correlation to their happiness.
The questions below are going to aid me in my quest:
1. Would you take it with you if you moved? Do you love it enough to move it? Do you use it enough to move it?
I moved the baking powder from Lake Piomingo to Saltillo and then to Skyline. Did I ever look at the expiration date? No, it was written on the bottom. Did I ever think of the last time I used it?
Most of the time when we move, it is in a hurry. It may start out to be well planned and organized, but when it comes down to the final day, you are just throwing crap everywhere. Here is a box so rake everything out of that cabinet into a box. I do the same with cleaning. The first room gets the most love and the best dusting. By the time I get to the last room, it gets a little love and a sparse dusting. If we do a real throw out and keep this question in mind, it will help us to dejunk our homes even if we never move.
2. Can it be replaced for less than $10.00 if you realized that you actually needed it?
My friend, Michelle, gave me this question to use. Michelle and my daughter Jade are the best people I know at throwing things away or giving things away that they do not use or like. It does not cause them pain or turmoil over making the decision to give away or throw away. Amazing!
3. Will my children want any of this stuff?
I did not realize the validity of this question or even know it was a question to consider until my mama Gat went to heaven. It took the family (especially Sue) a long time to get everything out of the house and the shop. Mama had some wonderful beautiful things, but there was so much of it. It is also such a painful emotionally time that you are thinking of things that represent the loved one to you. The memories in our head are what validate the love and existence of our loved ones. I want to make things as easy on my kids as I can when I leave for the other side. Also, most of the time they do not want your junk, or they have no room for it in their house that is already filled to the brim with things they do not need. You may have a special memory of it, but they do not.
4. Do I love it? Would I buy it again? Did I buy this item just to have something to put there?
These questions really hit home for me. I do tend to buy things because something needs to go there instead of waiting to find that special thing that I would love and want to keep.
Most of us were instructed to be thrifty and to save for a rainy day. Our parents were also instructed by their parents that grew up during the depression with very little to do the same. I think that aids us in life, but it also hampers us because it enables us to feel justified in holding on to stuff we do not need because it is too good to throw away. Giving our discarded things to a charity helps us to feel validated and not wasteful of the bounty that we have been given.
My kitchen is now decluttered. Next week I will move to the next room…
Creative Ways to Declutter http://www.becomingminimalist.com/creative-ways-to-declutter/
Decluttering the Kitchen http://www.hgtv.com/homekeeping/decluttering-the-kitchen/index.html
Organizing Life with Less http://www.organizinglifewithless.com/2014/01/live-life-you-want-to-live.html
Have a wonderful Friday!