Tuesday, September 15, 2020

De-Clutter and Help Others

 My home - so full of stuff!  I am slowly and deliberately getting rid of stuff.  I am making progress - albeit slow progress.  Main floor is coming along pretty good.  When done there, then it will be the dreaded basement.  There is so much storage down there - things that haven't been touched in years.  WHY?????

Well I have decided to donate things instead of selling them.  I thought about a yard sale - but not many are happening this year, and that is just way more work than I care to do.  I have a wonderful place that is close to donate to and they are thankful.  Last load I took in - they started going through the boxes before I left the shop (I was looking around) - and they just kept saying how nice it all was and how easily it would sell.  They have 3 different locations in and out of town and they do good for the communities.  The money they raise FEEDS people!  That is a win in my book!

They also receive loads of different kinds of breads, bagels, donuts, etc.  every week that they give to ANY ONE that needs it for FREE.  No need to buy anything - just go in and get bread.  
Most clothes and knick-knacks are .99 each.  They do have a boutique area for extra nice clothing, coats and specialty household items that cost more - but still very affordable.

My thinking lately:  How many small appliances do I need?
How many things do I want to clean?
How many things that I have never used nor will I use - do I need to keep?

I have a set of china that was Glen's paternal grandmas.  We received it like 25 years ago and never used.  I won't use it.  I contacted his only aunt on that side of the family (she has several kids and grands) and asked her if she wanted.  She was so excited - she didn't know where it had gone.  Packed and ready for her.  It needs to stay with his Dad's family.

I donated an electric orange/citrus squeezer.  Haven't used it in years - I buy OJ in concentrate.
I donated a veggie steamer.  I have a colander that fits over a pan.  All I need for me.
I donated blender.  I donated an electric chopper - I have a Ninja that does everything.
I donated an electric sandwich maker.  I use a griddle to grill sandwiches.
I donated lots of odds and ends of glasses and cups.  I kept the nice ones - and have plenty.
I donated odd and end dishes - only need one set.
I donated old mismatched and dinged up Tupperware.  I have plenty of nice storage containers.
I donated a ton of storage lids that went to nothing I have anymore!  (Really - why in the world?)
That's just the kitchen!!!!!!

I kept my George Foreman grill (thinking of getting rid of outdoor grill I don't use), I kept waffle iron and Quesedilla maker and of course my NINJA which mixes, blends, chops and does dough.  (I use the Ninja every day).
I have my crockpots (2 big and a tiny).
Most  items can be used for more than one purpose - it is time to get back to simplifying life.

I can also cook over a fire outside if need be.  I have no problem with that.  I can chop, and mix anything I want the 'old fashioned' non-electric way!!!  I have an egg beater, knives out the wazoo, and cooking spoons of all types. My can opener is manual.  
GOOD GRIEF we are spoiled.  SO many gadgets.  I am taking a stand to go to a more simplified life.

It just amazes me as I go through closets, drawers and cabinets.  I keep saying WHY did I keep that?  WHY did I buy that?  Why did I ever think I needed that?

I have decided to bless others with these things.  Someone out there can't afford to get a new --------.
Maybe they can't afford a gift.  Maybe their hands don't work good any more and they need something to make life easier.  Maybe they are starting over.
Whatever it is - maybe my contributions will bless them.

The money the store makes will bless those who are hungry.  The store gets reduced rent and only pays utilities - all workers are volunteers.  They don't need much to operate and it all goes to food pantries for those in need.  ANYONE in need at NO cost.
(I have seen them GIVE a coat and gloves to homeless many times)

Not only is this doing good for others - BUT I am getting older.  Someday, someone will have to come in here and clean this place out!  Been there and done that - oh my.  It is no fun.  The more there is, the more work you cause and the more someone wonders "what were they thinking"!

Have you thought about what a blessing your excess could be for others?
Things that may not be useful for you - could change another person's life.



  1. Oh wow, that is so neat that the thrift shop was delighted to get your items, Cheryl. I think that's a great plan to donate to them rather than have a yard sale. They ARE a lot of work!

    How neat that Glen's aunt is getting the China! That is the perfect place for it.

    I think we have three or four GF grills. We bought the really big one, then the really small one, then the one with the removable plates. We need to get rid of at least half of them! That way I can get my cabinet space back.

    Best wishes in your continued efforts to declutter. I think what you're doing will bless others.

    1. Thanks. I think the store may get a lot of junk and was happy to get nice stuff.
      I have the lg. GF - nothing removeable - but it is what I have and I will use it.
      I hope to keep on going.

  2. Bravo! Right now, I am dealing with my 89 year old mother who has a 4 bedroom house and a two car garage full of 'valuables' that she can't let go of. Each time we leave her house, she tries to force outdated appliances, a chandelier, even a dismembered violin. If we knew where this stuff came from, might be different.
    She got a call from the senior citizens high rise. They have an apartment for her. She needs to sign a lease in two weeks. We get daily calls from her, screaming that we need to come down there (50 miles) and help get rid of the stuff.
    I'm 69 and already worried that I have too much. I've been taking donations to the thrift store each week.
    I'm so glad that you found a home for the China. Good luck on your transition!

    1. I was happy the china was going back myself.
      I would just take the things (working or not) and donate or trash them if need be. That way she thinks she is doing good and you don't have to keep it.
      I hear you - I am almost 66 and I don't need more stuff.
      I hope you get her settled and find good homes (not yours!) for her things. Best of luck.

  3. I've done this off/on for many years having done a major purge 20y ago when we did the entire house carpet replacement in 2 weeks! We had to touch EVERYTHING and take it into the garage room by room. So we made decisions then on what came back in. To this day we still have empty spaces in our home.

    BUT.....I still fill a box or 2 each year of items no longer used that still have a useful life. Right now? I am rereading each book in my bookcase and then it goes in the Thriftstore box if I know I won't reread it again in the future.

    And I discovered a No-Buy Facebook group for my region of town. Members can post a NEED or post a GIVE. In just a week I have filled needs with: 6 planter pots for indoors, large bag of Iams catfood (miss Kylie throws up every time she eats it and 3 days was enough), a gifted bottle of Amaretto (I don't like it) and a small enclosed compost bin we outgrew many years ago. LOVE THIS GROUP!

    The only thing I can think of I regret? I had 2 semi-dressy tank tops last summer and I haven't found them anywhere. I can't imagine I took them to the thrift store but apparently I did :-( Everything else hopefully has a new life being used in another home!

    1. WOW - you have done well. That is discipline!
      I think we have one of those groups - I am just leery of having people come to the house to p/u something - nor do I want to lug it somewhere for them.
      I hope you didn't get rid of the tops and you find them.

      The old adage - one man's trash is another's treasure!!!

  4. I have volunteered at a food bank for a decade. It is partially supported by a thrift store. For years I have been donating all my excess to the thrift store. This year I decided to change things up and put some stuff into a Buy Nothing group. On my very first listing, the first two people flaked out on me. The second one even set up a time to come over and never showed up. Mind you, this stuff is all for free.

    Now, I'm back to taking stuff to the thrift sore.

    1. Thank you for volunteering at the food bank!
      That is another reason to donate - I don't want to wait around or worry about weather. Just kind of scary to me.
      At least you know where the proceeds go!

  5. We recently moved to our forever home and having purged before we moved I find that I still need to get rid of things that we have not even touched in the last five months. My problem is that the only thrift stores around are Goodwills and I do not wish to donate to them. Every time I go in there they have raised their prices sometimes more than Walmart. When we moved in we had to take five large carloads of stuff that was left in our home before we could move our belongings in. Because of the covid mess, we have not met many people to give things too. We are in a lake community where most of the residents are "weekenders. Our family is too far away and they were blessed before our move by things we no longer wanted/needed.

    1. I don't do GW either - too expensive (like new prices here) and I just don't like the fact that they pay millions to their CEO. Not why I want to donate!!!

      Maybe you can just keep boxing things or setting them aside and then next time you go out of town you can find another place to donate. Or offer for Free on one of those neighborhood sites.
      I hope you can find someplace to donate - sounds like someone needs to start a local thrift store/give away location.

  6. This is so smart, we call it Swedish Death cleaning. Thrift stores love good stuff.

    1. LOL - OK that is a different name!!!!!!
      Yes, they love good things for sure.

  7. The thrift store supporting our local food pantry disbanded, but I still give to (and shop at) St. Vincent dePaul. We did the major clean out a year ago. Bags and bags to St. Vinnie's. The only thing I have missed is the hair cutting kit. Who knew we'd not be able to get Husband's hair cut for months?

    1. Isn't that the way? The one thing you never dreamt you would need. It is really refreshing to purge!!!!!!

  8. I just can't be bothered to do a sale, so donation is always the way I go. I have a couple of small bags that could be taken now, but I want to add to them.

    God bless.

    1. It is time consuming and in some areas just not safe any more, sadly.
      I will donate too.

  9. I went through a similar process in the months after I retired. At the time I thought I'd be here in this house for about a year, and then move into a much smaller place. Well, as you know I haven't but I haven't missed all of the stuff I donated. I did try having a yard sale, but it did so poorly that I just said to heck with it and called the collection company. Since then I regularly keep a box or two in the garage to collect items as I come across them. Simple is definitely better.

    The only thing I have not downsized is my craft supplies. Maybe someday but I spend lots of time working on various projects so for now will keep it all.

    Take care and stay well!

    1. I understand completely. I think everyone has a ton of U F O's (un-finished objects)!!! at least with craft supplies there is the possibility of doing something new with them.
      I will probably stay right here until I can't take care of the yard.
      Take care

  10. I only recently took GW off my list to donate. Though there was room inside, they left bunches of boxes and small appliances outside. I figured that if it wasn't important enough to take in, they didn't really need it. We dropped off one box and I watched the guy put it on the outside pile! It had 3 brand new pairs of shoes that I was never able to wear after a foot injury. Good shoes, but not supportive enough.

    Now, we're herding it all into a basement corner for when our yearly church rummage sale resumes or to a recommended thrift in the city. It's not nearby but at least it's valued.

    We're doing that thinning out thing, as well. Thankfully the garage only holds cars, tools, and garden stuff. The basement is huge, but not stuffed at all. We have a few boxes worth going thru. Cheryl, bring up one or two per week and you'll be amazed at how fast it all gets done...painlessly!!!

    1. Oh my, I don't blame you - such disregard for donations. That is awful.
      Good idea to help the church.
      Good idea on a box or 2 a week. Baby steps and little bites and I will get there!

  11. I went thru this agony when we moved my parents to assisted living from an 11-room house. Painful. And Mom couldn't understand why we couldn't take her stuff. Our houses were already full!! Anyway, I am continually purging--and our house is still full. Goodwill here just built a huge building...bought and tore down a bank to build it. Last straw for me...nope...and you are right---prices are too high. I went in to check out the new digs... some woman was trying to negotiate a lower price on an item and they wouldn't budge. It is so close and handy---but I need to find a true thrift store which helps people.

    I am now re-inspired to take another look at my kitchen storage :)

    1. Glad to have inspired you. It can be difficult to get rid of things - but someone is going to have to do it someday - and I would rather it be me than someone else.
      Yes, find another place - surely there is someone out there that truly helps others.

  12. I love my local thrift store. It's an agency focused on helping troubled youth. They have a living facility with a lot of counseling help and activities as well as teach life skills. They also function as an adoption agent for pregnant teens whom they serve. The prices are stupid low on most things. The staff in the stores are always upbeat and seem to enjoy working there. I simply love their overall philosophy and the fact that every penny not needed to pay the staff goes to the kids.

    1. What a wonderful organization - we need more like that.
      I have donated to the local homeless shelter and to the women's crisis center many times as well. Always good alternatives.

  13. I am impressed with your cleaning out and donating! Think about how much room you will have now. Will have to check out Humble Impressions.

    1. Humble Impressions is in Beech Grove, Greenwood and there is one north of Columbus in Edinburg. Most things are .99 each.
      I am giving it the good old college try!!!

  14. I love it! Blessing others is a great feeling. I like to put things on our local free site and the people I have dealt with are always happy and grateful. Makes my heart happy thinking of fulfilling a need for someone else. Thanks for your blog. Take care.

    1. Blessing others is one of our most important missions in life. Love one another, bless one another and help one another.
      Free sites are great.
      Thank you for your kind words.

  15. I thought I had read this and commented..must have been looking forward to reading it. I never was one for many gadgets...someone gave us a cheap electric can opener when we were young. I dont remember what happened to it.. inhaled much rather do it with manual.

    We have had a blender. Not used. Remember those hor dog makers...back when were were in our 20s...I did have one of those. Long gone of course. I use my mixer and big old mixer Roger's mom gave me when she got a new one.

    I have been trying to get rid of all excess for quite a while now. Since before Rogers stroke. You would not believe how much stuff I have taken to Good Will ...no place else to donate. Which the keep several employees so guess that is somethong.

  16. I am on phone...in first paragraph meant to say I had much rather donit with hand held.

    Forgive the rest of the mistakes!