May 20, 2010

When Is It Time To Declutter?

by

Awhile back I wrote a post about things we save and hide away, never to use the because the time isn’t right. This evening I had a few of my blog-world friends over and as I was putting things out I was realizing that I have so many things I never use – cups, platters, bowls, chairs. Then, as CycleGuy was helping me wash and put things away I was handing him some glasses and asked him why we don’t use them everyday.

It’s not like they are super fancy or crystal or anything like that. They’re regular drinking glasses. He just looked at me and said ‘Because you’re saving them for some reason’. He didn’t say it in a mean or rude way. He was just matter of fact. And he was right.

I have all kinds of things hidden up in the pantry and cupboards and even in the closets, just waiting for the right occasion. We used to entertain a lot more, but when you have a young child it changes up your schedule. And, well, our friends also have young kids too so they wouldn’t come anyway. Or, that’s how I saw it and thus rationalized my actions.

Why do we have things we don’t use? I often think of my friends who live in New York whose entire apartment would fit in my living room and wonder if they have stuff they don’t use. But, I wouldn’t think so. When you have 500 square feet you don’t really have a lot of room for ‘stuff I only use one a year or even less’. Maybe they share with their friends? How else could they live without eleventy billion serving platters or glasses or table cloths?

Some days I want to move solely for the fact that I’d have to get rid of things. BabyGirl’s French teacher is moving this weekend into a larger home and we got to talking about how excited she was to finally have all her stuff out of storage. It’s been in storage about a year. At the same time she wonders what in there she really needs since she’s lived without it for an entire year.

I know I have stuff I haven’t used in a year. At what point do I just get rid of it? If I could get rid of (as in sell for cash!) some of this stuff, I might have enough money to do something cool and worthwhile.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has stuff filling her house that doesn’t get used, so, tell me, why do you keep your stuff instead of getting rid of it. Maybe you have good reasons and I’ll just co-opt them as my own. Ok?

Sara

{ 4 comments }

Honey May 20, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Hi Sara,

Great post tonight. I always love visiting your blog because I know I am going to find something thought provoking.

Okay, so my question is not, “Why am I keeping my stuff?” but rather, “Why am I not using my stuff?”

So, why am I not using my stuff? I don’t know. I will need to think on that. I am always saving for someday, I guess.

Blessings
Honey

Sara May 20, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Hi Honey,

You are so right! It really is more about why am I not using my stuff. With all the nice things we all have sitting in our homes, we could all be enjoying so many beautiful items.

Sara

Angie @ Many Little Blessings May 22, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Many years ago, we had a storage space for about a year or so. It’s funny – we actually moved out of a 500-ish square ft apartment (in my university’s married student housing) into an apartment that was around 900 sq feet, but because of the different layouts, we actually had less room, it seemed. Anyway, after a year in storage, we ended up getting rid of almost everything in storage. I vowed that I would never throw away money like that again.

Now, my husband did have a storage area for a year, but he had been living with a roommate and then moved back home for a year before we got married. So, it did make sense in that situation. But, I can’t think of a whole lot of great situations to use them.

Sara May 22, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Angie,

Thank you for coming by and sharing your story and insight. I’ve never had a long-term storage but I guess if you can live without something for a year then it’s probably worth a second look to determine if you should really keep it.

I’m terrible in that I keep all kinds of things under the strange belief that I have plenty of room. Only thing is that with that attitude I’m quickly running out of room to store the things I don’t use but won’t give away.

Storing things in a public storage b/c you are in transition is necessary. Can’t just toss all and start over. But, it makes you realize how much you really can live without.

Thank you, again, for stopping by and sharing.

Kindly,
Sara

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: