We wanted to do some major decluttering over the Christmas-New Year break, so hired a jumbo bin for the period. You really cannot get an idea of the size of this thing from the photos – but that is a bed in one corner, and you can see my car parked behind it in one of the photos. It is BIG!!! And it is nearly full; it will be completely full when it is taken away.
In our defence, not all that rubbish is ours!
A couple of years ago, a few months after my father-in-law had passed away, my mother-in-law moved into a rest-home. My husband and I, and 2 of his siblings and their partners, gathered at the house to clear it out. At the time, we got rid of 3 jumbo bins of “things” and the rest somehow ended up in our garage.
So for the past 2½ years we have literally not been able to get into our garage, there was so much stuff. And now we are throwing it away. With very few exceptions, it is all just being thrown away.
The cautionary tale… Mum-in-law was (is) a master hoarder. She kept everything. She also bought lots and lots of stuff by mail order (they didn’t drive and lived a fair distance from any shops, so shopping expeditions were done by the bus. Mail order was her friend!).
If you are a bit of a hoarder yourself – please re-consider. Do you want your sons and daughters to have to cope with a whole house-load of trash? Do you want them to have to sort through cupboards of old linen, and plates, and mouldy old craft items?
Or if you are the sort who makes do with old things while new ones lie in their packaging untouched, again, please reconsider. We found piles of old stained holed towels and tea-towels which they were using, while new ones were stacked up in cupboards. We found the kitchen full of beaten up old cutlery, chipped plates, and dented pans, with new ones stored in their garage.
We found things purchased by mail-order, where the box had been cut into to see what was inside, and then put away untouched. We found old electrical appliances that had been kept even though there were rusted and useless.
Most of the still-useable things have found new homes, but really, nearly everything has been thrown away. I have been quite sad, throwing away all this stuff – some of it truly rubbish, some of it things they had treasured but which means nothing to others.
If you have new things put away for “special occasions” or just to be used ‘later” – use them now. Use them. Enjoy them. Get rid of the old stuff which is cracked and chipped and holed and broken. By all means, keep some mementos and reminders of past good times, but don’t keep everything.
Use those silver napkin rings, even if it’s with paper napkins and take-outs. Or give them to someone who will use them, or sell them.
Use that fabulous big cutlery set. Why should it be kept for special occasions only – it was made to be used – use it! Use the new sheets on your bed, and the new towels in your bathroom. What is the point of keeping them unused?
Why not use that lovely dinner set often? Yes, a plate may get broken, but at least it will be enjoyed. How much enjoyment do you get from it while it is sitting in the back of the cupboard?
Why continue to use a tatty old handbag when you have some new ones just sitting there? At the first sign of disrepair, throw it away. Use the nice ones and throw away the old ones. Don’t keep them in case you want to use them again. You won’t! Throw them away!
Your sons and daughter will thank you for using the nice things and throwing away the old ones.
End of todays’ lesson.