I love the idea of a clutter free home. A home that has things to look at, books on the shelves and even a few trinkets. A home that looks lived in but is not overly full. The balance between too much and too little and a home in which everything that surrounds you is something that is loved. My goal one day is to have that home and slowly, very slowly, I am getting there. I go through periods of time that I get rid of tons of things and have no regrets, but then there are times that I have great intentions but can’t seem to follow through…
Moving and pursuing the dream of the bus means that we have to get rid of everything that we don’t need. We do plan on keeping a few extras to either store until we have a permanent home or tow behind us if possible but our plan is to get rid of most…
But what to do with them?
I am ready to get rid of all of the baby and kids clothes that the kids have outgrown. I have no problem giving it away to friends that need it, and I do that. But the rest… well ideally it would be great if I can sell a few items. I have 3 large Rubbermaid’s full of clothing (I used to have at least 3X as much!) Some I given away, some have sold and gone, and the rest just sits there. There are no organizations around here that I would want to donate clothes to. So there they sit…
And what about books? I read in English, there is no english library, there are little english speaking people around here which means that there are no little bookshops that I can try to hand over my books to. I have a ton of books that are perfectly fine and are great books but I just don’t need or want anymore. I also have tons of magazines… like a few years worth of Mothering and the old Homeschool Horizons magazines… what to do with them?
I have way too much clothes too.. I wear the same pieces over and over but have others that I just have trouble letting go of…
I think that some of my problem has to do with “what ifs”… What if I need it? What if I miss it? What if the kids would like it later?, some has to do with a dream that I have that is not shared by others… (like toys that I wish I would have had and I love, but the kids are not into) Some has to lack of community to pass things around to., and there is small bit that has to do with a small pang of wanting to get something back for it, especially when we are trying to find sources of money to fund our dreams.
I saw some great advice a while back from a family that sold their house and most of their belongings to be on the road. She had tried selling things and handing things away but was still having trouble and holding on to too much and then finally came to the realization that it came down to her owning the stuff or the stuff owning her. Once she realized that she was able to let go without any worries. I am way closer to that point then I was a few years ago but I am not there yet…
So how do you let go?
What would you do with things that you can’t find a home for (like books or clothes)?
Where do you draw the line of what is “sentimental” and how much of that you can keep?
No suggestions, only encouragement here. I face the same problem with paper clutter, and being organized about giving away clothes that the kids outgrew. I tell myself to discard 2-3 pieces of clothing everytime I buy something new. So I hardly ever buy something new LOL.
Would you consider putting stuff on Freecycle? I once got rid of 2 years worth of Chatelaine magazine on Freecycle. Somebody came to my door from the west side of town, just to take away my old magazines. Is there not a women’s shelter who would take your children’s clothes? Or some church group that helps in settling refugees?
simplifying is harder than we might think.
Kijiji with price FREE is magical. (probably like freecycle).
one rule that works well, if you haven’t worn it for one year, get rid of it.
but i know it,s hard, i have some trouble with the whole concept too.
but once i do it, i never look back. most of the time i don’t even remeber all i gave away.
one idea: if you have to draw the list by memory of the clothes you have and like, what would that be? then all the ones that are not on that list are not important (most of the pieces we have we don’t even remember about!)
all the best for your efforts
Kijiji is great but living nearly 100km out of Montreal makes it hard to use.. I put things on there all of the time and 95% of the responses are asking me if I can bring it to them or meet in Montreal. Around here people use LesPac but you have to pay for each ad and I don’t want to start doing that… There is also a great Facebook page and I have sold through that but there are things that just won’t sell, which is what I am stuck with.
My motto is: If we don’t use, give it to someone who will! My husband always says I’m too quick to get rid of things though! lol
But as soon as my kids outgrow their clothes I give it to someone who might need them and if I don’t have anyone I drop it off to one of those bins. There are so many places that take free things like mentioned above. Or how about an online garage sale? The law of the universe is great, the more you give, the more you really do get back!
If I can put it in a garbage bag (so I can’t see it) and it sits for three more months and I don’t miss it – in addition to the year it took to put in the garbage bag then I know I really won’t miss it.
items are so attached to our memories of a time (when the kids were young etc) and so it’s hard to let them go. I struggle with toys the kids played with for years (wooden items and felted animals )
We use freecycle, kijjiji and Value village and thrift stores to drop off items. And we stick things at the end of the laneway with a free sign. Perhaps you could send clothes to a woman’s shelter. They will take books and clothes. The women are very grateful receivers as they are starting fresh.
I wish there were organizations around here like a women’s shelter but the closest ones are actually quite far away. Also, books are hard to even give away because I only have english books… nowhere will take them.
The problem for me at the moment is that I have tons of clothes that I no longer have an emotional attachment to but don’t have a good way to get rid of. There is one place that I used to use and would still use for some things, but for clothes, I just have trouble with their employee practices and the fact that they are supposed to be for the community, but what good clothes make it into the store are priced higher then can afford in many cases.
Freecycle is not around here either and the south shore group has very little activity from what I have seen… French people don’t seem to know about it much..
how crazy is it that it’s hard to share! My biggest difficulty is what to do with arts and crafts….every little drawing. Of course I save many, but not all can be saved, and it’s quite traumatic for a young artist to find their work in the garbage or recycling bin.
Doesn’t the French library take books in other languages? Here in Belgium they have a space for foreign books.
And about Freecycle, the fact that the group has little activity is a poor excuse 😉 Even with little activity people are getting the messages in their in-boxes, all you need is one person interested 😉
Maybe you could contact places and organizations in Montreal, have it all planned in advance, so the next time you go there it doesn’t take you too much time to drop by 😉
You’ll make it I’m sure!
No, they don’t take English books and even refuse to do inter library loans to get english books. I have tried… This is the main reason that we have so many books. If we want to read something ourselves or read something to the kids we had to buy it.
As for Freecycle, Maybe it is an excuse… the south shore group has activity about 3-4 times a month and I am about 70km away… I have offered things before but no one would come get it here… As I said, I do give many things to the local organization though I have trouble giving them clothes because of some sketchy things that happened recently. The books that I have given them in the past are still on the shelves. Not my problem anymore but at one point they just throw the books out.
And yes, I could definitely bring things to Montreal but in all honesty since gas became what it is now, I don’t go often and when I do I already have little time to do what I already need and want to do. Another excuse maybe but it is what it is… and I have to qualms about it!
I think the conversation got stuck on donating clothes and books… finding a place to give things that I am already detached from. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough about me true questions…
What about toys? Not just about giving away toys that no one plays with but toys that the kids do play with once in a while and do miss when they are gone… but that we just have too much of…
What about all of the things, books, clothes, trinkets etc that you don’t use, don’t wear and don’t want to see every day but that you can’t seem to let go of but do take space. You know, the memory stuff… Things that I have in mind are old school books and papers, my dad’s books that he wanted my kids to have along with a collection of cars and motorcycle replicas. Clothes that have sentimental value like my step-dad’s army shirt and my old class shirt…
How to detach from things that you are attached to and that could never be replaced? How to detach from the dream of what things could be. Like the fact that I would LOVE my kids to be devouring all of the Nature Magazines we have, but they just don’t seem interested. They will look through them for a day or two and then they just become clutter. How do you let go of the dream of what things could be?
DO you have a list of the books you want to give away?
I will definitely work on that! someone also reminded me of amazon and ebay also if I am willing to put in the work to sell them, but I don’t know if the work would really amount to what we would get back from it.