July 6, 2008

EXACTLY, Michelle

Good night's sleep, little chocolate-creamered coffee, things look a little happier now.

OMG, were those Pay it Forward contests SO FUN!? I do indeed seem to have a little case of what Michelle aptly terms "post-holiday letdown," but I think it will pass. It was just so fun to wonder who would win each contest, and then so fun to put together a box for SaLy, and then.....now that part's over! Sad! No more gifties to buy!



I am reading a book about clutter-reduction by that guy who was on Clean Sweep. I don't know if I can give him my full attention, since one of the episodes I saw of that show had him mocking a woman who was saving handmedown baby clothes. She had a toddler and they were planning to have at least one more baby. He made her play some stupid competition game for the privilege of keeping such a ridiculous, frivolous, space-hogging item as perfectly good baby clothes for a soon-upcoming baby.

Still. Clutter. A problem. So, I'm giving the book a chance. Paul doesn't always understand about saving baby clothes, either: he's all, "These take up so much space! Why do we even HAVE all these clothes!? You're only 6 months pregnant! Is it really worth it to save the clothes when we're not going to need them for SO LONG?"

I can already tell that one of my biggest problem areas is going to be "stuff that's too good to throw out, but I have no one to give it to." I might have a free yard sale: I HATE managing regular yard sales, but I can put stuff on my lawn and let other people take it away. Or I can do Freecycle, but it drives me crazy the way people will say they're coming to get something and then they never show. And I think in the future we should do another batch of Pay it Forwards, this time for "stuff that's too good to throw out."

31 comments:

Bikini said...

Any chance you would coordinate a list of posts for people to show what they won?

Good luck with the de-clutter!

Danielle-lee said...

I'm in on the pay it forward/recycle thing. I have GOT to get rid of some stuff. :)

Also, Dynamita is the winner of my contest, so I need her email address please.

Lizzie said...

Another great clutter book is Clutter's Last Stand. My husband and I live by the "Awesome" rule: if it's not absolutely awesome and used all the time, we don't have room for it. It's worked for us - although with the addition of plastic baby things, we might be thwarted...

Jenny H. said...

Who gets rid of perfectly good baby clothes? I'm of the You-never-know philosophy. Plus, I think that when you get rid of that stuff it puts a jinx on you. And whammo. You need it.

As an aside- I just wrote a post about flavored creamer. I had to laugh when I saw the first part of your post. I don't care for plain chocolate flavored creamer. Now mix ANOTHER flavor in there and I am on it. Like a duck on a junebug. But just chocolate? Not so much. But I guess that means there is more for you!

MzEll said...

I think the stuff that's too good to throw out PIF is a great idea. I have toys that NEVER get played with, they are like new!

minnie said...

I am determined to get rid of my clutter. DETERMINED. because already, two days after being back from vacation, my blood pressure is rising and i have trisket crumbs on the bottoms of my feet.

Here's my question: How does on have a neat and tidy looking bookshelf for reals. I'm so sick of the magazine pictures of peoples NOT REAL bookshelves. I want photos of real peoples bookshelves. Can you help Swistle?

Swistle said...

Bikini- I'll give that some thought. I'd considered doing something where everyone who was SENDING a package would send me a photo of it; then I could post all the pictures with no identification and everyone could wonder which package was theirs.

Danielle-Lee- Emailed!

Minnie- Linda did something on SundryBuzz awhile back...hang on while I see if I can find it. Here it is. I think that looks pretty cool, but I like my own books in clumps by author and/or by type (comic strips, fiction, baby care), so my own bookshelves look like a total mess.

beach mama said...

Oh I have a bin of 0-3 month baby clothes, knowing that I would have another one day and my son will be FOUR in 2 weeks and I still won't need those clothes until Sept. And I have a bin fo every size and season saved..just in case! Some are hand-me-downs if they were really nice when I got them, otherwise I just passed them on when my son outgrew them.
I have a clutter problem too. There are just not enough closits in my house and top it off with construction going on so most of my stuff is in boxes. ugh. Drives.Me.Crazy.

Stimey said...

I've been decluttering too. And blogging about it at The Junk Pyramid.

I've given A LOT of stuff to various organizations that come to pick it up off of my porch. I am going to start selling some old baby furniture and stuff on craigslist.

AndreAnna said...

I'm having a seriously SERIOUSLY hard time getting rid of ANY of my baby girl's clothes. I'm having a boy this time and we have no plans for more kids.

But MY baby wore them. Or didn't wear them. The stuff I saved is in perfect shape. But STILL.

And what's worse is...who is worth that little girl stuff? How do I part with something so special to me even though I have no need for it? Is anyone I know worthy of such a huge piece of my heart? As I type it, it sounds so silly, but I'm so attached to those little shoes and dresses.

But the reality of saving them all (I literally have ten tupperware bins full) is dumb. I should go through it, pick out a few sentimental pieces, and pass the rest on to someone who could use it. Logically I KNOW this, but at the same time, it's so hard.

Wow, I just wrote a whole post of my own - sorry. :(

Kate said...

I like that show, but I agree that sometimes he makes people get rid of things that they really will need and have a certain value-sentimental and monetary that are hard to replace. That said, he does have lots of good points about other stuff. Do I need my 8th grade dance corsage? Um, no. Throw it OUT. And all the other stuff that's too good to throw out? We make piles and put them in bags and then take them to the St. Vincent de Paul shop down the street.

And by the way, I would love to read the book but unless the library has it, I'm not going to. I have too many books already (Minnie, I have very messy cluttered bookshelves) and it just seems wrong to bring something more into my house when I'm trying to get things OUT. I feel the same way about Real Simple magazine or Budget Living.

Kate said...

P.S. The library DOES have the book. I just reserved it. I need some help. My project this summer is cleaning out all of our crap. We've done well lately and we're doing well with not bringing in new stuff. We're just hoping for a baby and if that happens, we want to get all of our stuff contained before we get inundated with a pastel wave of stuff.

Alice said...

i've gotten WAY better about throwing out / giving away stuff i don't need (helps when you move every freaking year - i have to decide if i want something enough to lug it to a new house) BUT i am still a sucker for sentimental items. i think those don't even count, of course you need to save them :-)

pseudostoops said...

My friends and I do a "too good to throw out" swap of clothes from time to time, where everyone brings the stuff they don't wear anymore, anyone can take anything they want, and the rest gets donated to goodwill. If you're not really disciplined you can end up taking home more than you brought, but it's nice to see stuff you like so much going to someone you know. I kind of like the idea of turning it into a community "free garage sale" too.

jonniker said...

Getting rid of BABY CLOTHES? That's just mean. I mean, I'm all for not saving your skinny jeans for when you lose weight, because honestly, what are the chances they'll still be the same style when you finally lose those 30 pounds (happened to me THREE TIMES)? But BABY CLOTHES? Come on now.

As for freecycle, I couldn't take the e-mails. I could NOT TAKE the constant, "But I deserve it more!" "But you promised it to ME!" "But I'm POOR!"

Once, no shit, I saw someone post that they were looking for a new car. And another person was seeking frequent flier miles for an upcoming Caribbean vacation. This was Naples, FL, but STILL. Oh, it made me nuts.

jonniker said...

Also, to be clear, it's not that I begrudge someone who's poor, it's that they would use it as an excuse EVERY TIME they didn't grab an item right out of the gate, and after a while it started to feel like we were all being terribly manipulated, you know?

Just to clarify, lest I sound like an asshole.

Michelle said...

Swistle, I was going to suggest a pay it forward of things you can't bear to throw away! Great minds think alike :)

But again with the post holiday / pay it forward letdown, keep in mind that there are going to be a LOT of pay it forward contests coming up. I won a contest, so I know I'll be hosting one at some point next week, ditto with lots of other winners!

Swistle said...

Jonniker- I know what you mean. On our list, there's a problem with milking it on the Wanted posts: lonnnnng sob stories about how they need a new bike because, you see, their child's one Christmas present---scrimped and saved for with extra shifts and secret night work---was stolen on Christmas Eve. That kind of thing.

Kelsey said...

About once every two months we get calls from organizations like AmVets who want to come pick things up from our house. I always say that we'll have something and I've not yet had trouble putting a bag together. We are far from clutter free, but that does help.

You know what else helps? Having a basement. Then you can at least move the clutter out of your living space!

Omaha Mama said...

I hope you'll review that book a little if you finish it, I'm curious if it will be at all helpful to you. He has another book called Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Big? that I would like to read, but haven't.
I subscribed to your blog initially because I really liked your Digging Out posts, which inspried my Keeping House posts.

Eva said...

I just put a TON of stuff on freecycle and it felt so great and cleansing. I saved a couple of boxes of clothes for my BIL & SIL (boy and girl, of course), a few keepsakes for the kids to not care about one day when I say "you wore this once" and then got rid of 18 months of clothes. Plus the gear that none of my friends wanted. Plus a TV. I'm too lazy to ebay/craigslist. Only 1 no show. Though a commenter was right, the # of emails was INSANE, I needed an excel file just to track it.

And, makes me crazy, because 2 hous after someone picked up the diaper genie, a "gently used, looks like new" diaper genie appeared on our local craigslist for $7. And we live in a small town. Coincidence? I was tempted to email them from a different email to see if it's the same person, but decided to let it go (and if they're going to all that trouble for $7, they clearly need the money more than I do).

Amy said...

My husband drives me batshit crazy about saving baby clothes--but in the opposite way of yours. He wants to save EVERY single thing. WE. ARE. DONE. There are no more kids coming. Why do I need these? He thinks our children's children could use them one day. Seriously???

For now, I have him placated by passing them on to teachers at my school with the understanding that the last one using them will return them. I hope they just keep having kids!

Opus #6 said...

I'm in the slow process of decluttering too. Last Thursday they truck came and picked up some stuff of mine from the curb. But it was way too small a dent. I have so much more work to do. Keep going and we can cheer each other on.

Swistle said...

Eva- That makes me a little crazy, too, because when I decide to use Freecycle, I really DON'T want them to sell the items: I want to give them for free to someone who can USE them.

shoeaddict said...

Hey, just wanted to say that I'm having a giveaway at my blog! Just in case anyone is interested...

All Adither said...

I hate clutter. But, more than that, I detest it when people want you to sweep away Really Useful Stuff. Even if it's not useful right that very second.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

I'm with you on the de-cluttering. I had a MAJOR declutter before baby #2 arrived since we live in a teeny tiny house. I found that emailing the neighbors with the list of stuff that's too good to throw out was an excellent way to get rid of them. They would email me what they were interested in and pick them up or I would drop them off. The bonus was that it started it's own chain and we got some really cute used baby clothes out of the deal, Dora dolls, and an ivy plant. I can't throw out baby clothes either. Maybe I'll look into those vacuum bags...

EMama said...

I'm a big fan of the goodwill. My sweet husband is a big fan of Stuff He's Had Since Highschool That Looks Like Crap To Me But If He Can Fit It In His Closet . . .

Mindy Richmond said...

I read that book and loved it! Oh, how I hate clutter. It's a lifelong process to get rid of it and keep it from piling back up, but it feels so great to be clutter free. And it makes everything easier to clean!

squandra said...

I'm disappointed in Peter! He always seemed reasonable, but I didn't watch regularly.

Also -- I LOVE the "awesome" rule so much!!

Kate said...

do tell if the book works well. I seem to throw out, give away, donate, etc....and the heaps of clutter look back like some toothy monster and, in obvious defiance, seem to grow bigger.