Monday, January 15, 2018

What to Do with Stuff Post

Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Tis the season after Christmas when I ask myself where in the world can I stuff all the new stuff into drawers and closets already bulging with all the old stuff.
It's major stuff overload.
I could buy a bigger house, rent a storage unit, or build an outbuilding, but eventually, I'm sure we'd fill that up too.

So, the uncluttering begins. 

-It's a good rule of thumb that if you haven't used, or worn something in a year, you probably don't need it. Clear it out.
-If it doesn't fit, get rid of it. We all tell ourselves that we'll lose the weight one day, and hopefully we will. But instead of holding onto a bunch of stuff that depresses us and reminds us that we've gotten chubbier, I say toss it and when you lose the weight- buy new stuff. You deserve it.
-When you buy something new, get rid of something old it. Buy a new shirt? Out goes an old one. Get something new for the kitchen? Something in the cupboard has to go to make room. *I like this because it also slows down my impulse shopping.
-Clear things out when no one is home and they can't see what goes. This has obvious repercussions if someone misses an object within a year-- after a year, you can honestly say, "I got rid of that over a year ago and you never missed it."
-Use vacuum bags for items you'll be storing long term. (Also great for packing for a trip when there is limited room in the trunk!) I put all my boys' baby blankets in one and shrunk it to a few inches thick rather than a large stack.
-Take movies and video games out of their cases and put in multi-disc binders. That frees up a lot of space.
-Have a "re-gift" party. This year for Christmas, my extended family added re-gifts to the gift exchange, My niece had a set of Christmas dishes that were my mother's that she didn't need, but I did. Genius idea. I'm glad she thought of it.

Another way to make room is to find some incentive to purge. A friend of mine runs a charity that helps cancer fighters. They have a yearly auction and everything I get rid of helps raise money for a great cause.

And here's a site I found this summer that is helping shrink the closet clutter. is an online consignment shop where you can sell unwanted clothes and some other assorted household items like books, toys, etc. Make an account. Request a box. Fill it up. Mail it in. And they do the rest of the work. I've sent in two boxes full of stuff. It's taken about a month and a half for my items to be placed for sale, but I've been getting email notifications of which of my items are selling. The first $13 goes to pay for my shipping and then the sales are split with

If none of this motivates you, watch an episode of Hoarders, the tv documentary that chronicles the life of people who become consumed by their stuff. That always motivates me to purge.


  1. All pretty good ideas Liz. But why are you saving baby blankets?

    1. I saved the ones that were hand made by friends and family. If the boys never want them for their own hypothetical kids, I'll have them made into a quilt for my old age.

  2. I kept baby blankets too. LOL So many memories!

    1. I also saved the baby and toddler clothes that were "iconic", lol. I know a lady who will turn them into teddy bears, etc. so one day, I may do that with them.

  3. Hi Elizabeth - all good ideas ... before I left the UK my excess stuff went to the local hospice, and some other stuff to some people who were in dire need through abuse ... I do recycle ... cheers Hilary

    1. I never thought to mention nursing homes. After my mom passed away, I donated her clothes to the nursing home that cared for her and they were greatly appreciated. Dittos on board games, books, movies, craft items. There are so many good places that need donations, why keep it as a dust collector?

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