Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Five - Clutter

Today's Friday Five is about something that is a very familiar part of my life - clutter. Right now, my little corner of our bedroom is clutter free. It will probably stay this way for at least a couple more weeks, but I doubt much more than that. Then, slowly, things will start to pile up and up until I get around to de-cluttering (or at least moving) the clutter.

What things do you like to hang on to? - Things with comforting memories attached, things I think may one day be special to other members of my family, things that have been given to me.

What is hard to let go of? - Anything that was a gift, especially if I liked it; anything that reminds me of my family, especially those who are now deceased; anything that I may not be able to replace

What is easy to give away? - Clothes and shoes are the easiest, books I've already read, large items that are no longer useful and are taking up too much space

Is there any kind of stumbling block connected with cleaning out? - Yes! Memories! Cleaning out always takes me twice as long because I have to sit and reminisce about everything! And then I get attached to the items all over again and have a hard time giving them away!

What do you like to collect, hoard, or admire? - I guess the closest thing to an "active" collection I have now are my Madame Alexander dolls. I have some old figurines my mother got for me as a child that I won't get rid of. My current weaknesses are bibles, purses, and kitchen tools.

Bonus: Here are a few thoughts on de-cluttering - One thing that sticks in my mind about the "stuff" in my life is the questions "Do you need it? Do you love it? Does it make you money?" and the assumption was that if it didn't do one of those three things it didn't need to be a part of your life. On the one hand I agree. On the other hand I feel like there is something missing from this assessment. I think the thing that it is trying to get at is passion - there isn't room in life for things that don't inspire or involve passion. But there is still a little room to refine this. I'm not exactly sure how this should be refined, but I'm open to suggestions!


  1. this is such a huge area of conflict in me i didn't even begin to respond! i'm totally with you about the memories attachment to sorting & editing, so it's now my concern that my kids may have a ton of stuff to deal with whenever i pass on ! and i don't really want that for them either ! :)

  2. I moved so many times in the past 5 years that I took virtually nothing with me. I have a handful of photos from when I was at school but other than that, no "tactile memories" of my childhood.

    I hate clutter and regularly recycle anything I don't want any more. The problem is, I live with someone who is EXACTLY the opposite...>:-(

  3. Kath, you and I are in the same boat! My new husband has the hardest time parting with things that "may be useful" someday, cards that anyone ever gave him (including romantic ones from old girlfriends which is a bit of a challenge for me to accept), those mylar balloons from countless birthdays, and paper anything (receipts, old bills, etc.) I love nothing more than to give away, clear out, throw away, de-clutter! A challenge, isn't it?

  4. Sandy, I have a quote in my office:

    Have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

    William Morris

    That's how I learned to deal with gifts and memorabilia. Some things I photographed before I gave away, and I created a scrapbook page of those. One page took up way less room, and opened space for things that do match my style, needs, etc.

  5. Seeker - I have given my partner the smallest room in the house as his 'office'; I am simply going to insist that his 'hoarding' goes in the CUPBOARDS in there. He likes to collect "parts" for things - electrical items, screws etc. as that's pretty much all I allow (I don't allow cards etc. unless he wants to stick them in an album - since he can't be bothered, he lets me recycle them!). I am ruthless and he "wins" a few small battles of things I'm willing to let him keep. My rule is that if it's not been used/worn in a year, it goes.

    Also houses here are a LOT smaller than over there; there simply isn't room for hoarding!