Saturday, April 2, 2011

organization :: mental roadblocks

Yesterday was Friday, and I was supposed to post my progress on Throwing Out 50 Things. However, John had just gotten home from being out of town for a week, and I wasn't interested in spending my time on the computer. I'm sure you understand.

I'd like to say that I got rid of SO much stuff this week, but that's not true. What I can tell you is that I made a ton of progress in organizing and "mentally" preparing to move. That definitely is true.

While John was gone, I cleared some shelves in the garage and packed and moved a few boxes to the SLO house.

 I also hit a bunch of roadblocks. Mental roadblocks.

What do you do with things that you don't use, but it was a gift from a friend or family member? Do you get rid of it? What if you really, really don't use it? Like, ever?

I really want to know: What do YOU do with these items?

***UPDATE: I just stumbled upon this fabulous post at Design Build Love. In the article, she summarizes 25 tips for decluttering, originally from Better Homes & Gardens. For anyone in my predicament, it's a must-read.


  1. So funny you posted this...I just unpacked two cute little glasses that my sweet niece gave us as a wedding present. As I pondered putting them in the 'donation' pile, I realized that I just couldn't give them away. I'm going to get creative with these little gems the next time we have guests over. I will put a flower bud in them, or candy or nuts or SOMETHING! She was only 8 when she gave them to us.

    On the flip side, I just can't, CAN'T bring myself to unpack the box labeled "junk drawer stuff". I haven't needed anything in there for 4 months...and why would I want to put it back IN anywhere? I'm considering throwing the whole box out!

    I purged pretty well before our remodel, and it is pretty liberating to continue as I put stuff back as well. Keepsake stashes have their place, too.

  2. I was hoping to read what all you threw out, because I need to purge! You may want to start a link up party of all the stuff people threw away for the week.

    Back to your question-If it is sentimental item (something really special like what your 8 year old niece gave you) then I would keep it. Like Shannon noted, I would get creative with it.

    We still have boxes unpacked from our move, and seriously-if I didn't need it -why do I think I need it now? My best friend came over before I moved-she is a huge type A-and just started tossing stuff left and right. She was ruthless, but it was fantastic. Freeing up stuff is good for the mind. It is just stuff. Ok-you have reinvigorated my drive to get rid of 3 boxes this week. I'm going to do it.

  3. P.S. I must have missed this detail-do you still have your old house, or when you said you are mentally preparing to move, are you moving again after the renovation?

  4. @ Shannon~
    Some things have sentimental value, but some just don't. I do try to keep the sentimental value ones, but even those add up after a while... But I've come across several items that do not hold s. value, we don't *need* it, nobody *uses* it,... that means toss it, right?

  5. @ My Beautiful Life~
    I'll be sure to post my weekly purge on Friday...I promise. Keep track of your stuff, and you can link up in the comments! :)

    To answer your question (in the shortest way possible...) we are currently renting a house, while we renovate the S.L.O. house. That means, unfortunately, that we have been paying rent on one house + a mortgage on another one = ouch! We plan on moving into the slo house (the one that is being renovated) by the end of May.

    After that, I don't plan on moving for a very long time. :)

  6. @ jason~
    Oh good, because almost everything comes from you! Just kidding.

    But seriously. I continue to be amazed at the amount of 'crap' that we have. (And just wait until you have kids... it gets worse.)


  7. No sentimental value = Toss it!!!

  8. A gift from a *friend* of a family member? Not even an actual family member? Oh, it's gone. I mean, I get rid of stuff from actual family members without thinking twice. My rule is: if I don't like it, I don't use it, and it can be pretty easily replaced if I ever really want it again, I get rid of it. I try not to be sentimental about too many things, because I know quite a few people who think *everything* is special, and they are totally trapped by their stuff. It's sad. I'd rather be ruthless.

  9. @ Kim~
    Actually, you caught a typo: I meant to say "friend or family member." Usually, I'm pretty ruthless; but ot some reason, I'm having more trouble this time. Erg.

  10. Hey Karen! Thanks for the blog-love shout out! I've actually taken a cue from that article and just don't keep the stuff that I get but don't need or want. I DO feel really bad sometimes, but I just don't want to live a cluttered life! If it's a sentimental item, I let the person know that I don't have a fit for it in my home and ask if there is someone else that might benefit from it. Another thing I do is give items away to others who I know can use them.

    Hope that helps!

    Also, I went ahead and added you to my blogroll! Thanks again for the shout out!

  11. @ Ashley~
    No problem. I loved the article and thought it was super helpful. I love your blog, too. :)


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