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Thursday, May 19, 2022

More Out Than In

No, I'm not talking about our social life or cash flow! I'm talking about the perpetual need to declutter, minimize, manage household inventory or whatever you call it.

I am resolute that we send at least as much out the door as comes in unless consumable lol. In the 5 years since we moved here we have acquired a fair amount which is not surprising considering how we minimized so as to have less to move. Still, it adds up and lives in cleaning/organizing chores, in visual clutter or too many decisions to make.

In addition to going through storage areas that are frustrating to me because they house things never used or are cluttered, I've also come up with some key questions to ask in different situations.

For example, our lovely maple cutting block has developed cracks and warped which makes it both potentially unsanitary and frustrating to use as it wobbles. Our instant thought was to shop for a similar new one but in the meantime I pulled out a smaller pressed wood one that we rarely use. Some research showed that type never cracks and rarely warps but if it does it can be fixed easily most of the time. So it seems we already have something we can "use instead" so now we just have to figure out how to dispose of a heavy hunk of maple.

I'm finding the "What can I use instead?" question be one of the most useful to ask before replacing something or adding something new. 

Another question that is helping right now is "Would I buy it again?" which has been particularly helpful with my less loved or worn clothes. In the case of a pair of shoes that were hurting my feet, the answer was yes and I ordered the same ones. In the case of a few tops that I have never reached for first, the answer was no and they went to the thrift store without being replaced or were cut into rags if too worn for that.

And then there is "Would any one be happy if I gave it to them or kept it for later?" which is most helpful for those things you feel you should keep but don't use or put out to enjoy. I have a trio of those right now all antiques that might work for stage props or delight just the right person but I don't want to look at or care for them anymore. 

How do you approach the ongoing editing of belongings?

12 comments:

  1. Try researching similar cutting blocks for sale on Facebook or NextDoor if you have that app. I sold my old, cracked cutting block on Facebook for several hundred. Old and worn doesn't really matter with these with cutting boards. What is worn out to you could be a character piece for someone else. I had a lot interest in mine.

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    1. That's great. It must have been one of those large ones on legs. This is simply a countertop cutting board.

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  2. I am afraid my decluttering has hit a bit of a snag. I am taking a break and then hopefully removing items from the house will be easier.

    God bless.

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  3. Just yesterday I removed all my unused cookbooks (about 10) from a pantry shelf. I took pictures of them and posted on Facebook for Buy Nothing in my community. Seven of the ten were claimed. The other three will go in a book drop in our small downtown area. I actually enjoy the process of rehoming and donating.

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  4. It sounds like you have a solid plan, Juhli. Hub and I still cannot believe that we really have not missed anything that we let go, before our move 6 months ago. I can't believe how much stuff I had packed into closets, cabinets and totes at our old place. It feels so much better to have less to deal with now. I don't think you'll have any trouble getting rid of your butcher block. We continue to donate what we don't really like and use. I used to tend to save things for my kids to have, when I'm gone. Neither of them have the extra space or interest in most of those items, so, unless it is very meaningful. That has really set me free to dispose of things more freely.

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  5. I have found a non-profit store nearby that takes donations of arts & crafts supplies. Due to lack of space, they only accept them by appointment, and their appointments fill up very quickly! Hobbyists have a lot of stuff. :)

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  6. I will have my apartment painted in June. Before then, I would like to go over my clothes, bed linens, comforters, towels, the contents of my sideboard/buffet and a few other areas. Since I am semi-retired, I need way less than I used to, in the clothes department and my needs are significantly different. I have two winter boots and they are all I need. I do not go out more than once a week when the winter weather is particularly nasty. My orthopedic problems force me to wear a particular kind of shoes and I got rid of several pairs of shoes since wearing them would hurt me. I had a sandwich maker that I had to get rid of and I did not replace it because, I am trying to cut down my bread consumption. On top of that I re-claimed the counter space. Less is always better.

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    1. It seems your apartment will be very nicely refreshed soon.

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  7. It seems it is never ending this process of decluttering. For me, since I've decluttered most everything that wasn't useful or beautiful, it's a matter of re-looking at things and reevaluating things. There is still a level I'd like to get to but I'm not sure exactly what that is. Recently, I gave away a vintage typewriter( Underwood) and 2 1940's fans. i love stuff from that era, but I've had these long enough that I knew I had no place to display them. I found I like giving these things to our local Assistance league Thrift store. It goes to a good cause and not just for Goodwill resellers to get.

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    1. It is nice when you can find the right place to donate your items.

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  8. I have the continuous need to declutter too. Even when I go with the "place for everything" I still feel like I have too much. I like the what can I use instead. I'm going to put that into practice.

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