January is the perfect time to clear out the old, and reduce the size of the
stash resource center before it gets out of hand. Seeing as I have stashes of different things in several storage areas, I have tried to concentrate on just one area at a time. I’ve been watching a lot of hoarder shows on TV (yes, a guilty pleasure, LOL, don’t tell anyone, OK?). Hard to say if that is motivating me or not, but I have slowly begun to reduce some of the stuff. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am downsizing like a few of my blogger friends have done, but I am reducing some of the stashes. So, maybe if I talk about my plan, I’ll be more accountable to actually doing it. If you are in the mood to clear out a bit this month, here are a few of my previous posts on de-cluttering and figuring out what you really want and what can go. First, Clearing out the Stash Closet Resource Center, sometimes you have to make a mess first before you can clear out the unwanted yardage and organize the scraps.
But apparently this didn’t ‘take’, as I had to do more the next January. January Scraps Clean Out. See my solution for the overflow baskets. I’ll be taking a some of my patriotic fabrics to the QOV Sew Day, so that will help. The stash does keep growing, and I need to do another bit of purging this year.
If you enjoy cooking, see how I organized my recipes from years of magazines in this post – Getting Organized Saving Recipes. I have kept up with this so no more stacks of paper and magazines just sitting around. I have tried to stop looking at the magazine exchange at the library too. Difficult for me sometimes!!
I cleared out my spice and herb cabinet that same year. Would you believe that some of these things were so old that they didn’t even have a date?
Two years ago, I went through my linen drawers and cleared out the things I never use, and threw out some things too stained to use anymore. January Clean Out Project also saw some dishes go to the thrift store (and a few that came home with me, sigh). I need to do this again, with much more ruthlessness this year. I don’t see myself doing much in the way of dinner parties anymore, no one else around here seems to do those. Everyone just wants to go out to eat. So I just don’t need as much stuff. I still see having a nice table for us to eat our meals (and perhaps the occasional luncheon with sewing buddies), so some decisions need to be made. I just donated the parfait glasses I got at the thrift store and showed on that post. I had them for three years and only used them a half dozen times.
I tried to clear out a box of papers and finish cleaning out the office closet, but it didn’t last long. That closet still holds boxes of papers and detritus from my childhood and maybe this year it can go. But I was able to clear some old records and photographs in Cleaning Out. All my mother’s records are still there, and it has been ten years since she passed away. I think they can all go through the shredder now, so that is on my list for this year.
For the past several months, I have made an effort to donate books I have already read. I rarely re-read anything anymore, so keeping a library has become less important. Here is the ‘before’ of just the library shelves. Stuffed, with no room for anything else, I need to pare down. I have tried reading on a Kindle borrowed from the library, but I just don’t care for it. Sometimes I like to go back to earlier pages as I read to refresh who is who, or a description of a place, and that is much harder on an electronic device. With a real book, I usually remember about how far back I need to go, and which side of the page the description is on. My plan is to finish off what I have yet to read, then borrow books from the library.
Last week I did pretty well, I donated about 50 books (mostly from the paperback shelves) and only came home with four. It looks a bit nicer with fewer books and more display space for crystal and other pieces. But I still have a long way to go. I need to donate a set of gardening encyclopedias, and pare down the cookbooks to just the cookbook shelf near the kitchen. Then I need to decide if I am ever going to go back and re-read all the Mary Stewart books or the VC Andrews books, and perhaps donate those too.
Here’s the ‘before’ pic of the office bookshelf. The paperbacks are stacked two-deep. Almost all of these are cozy mysteries (over 200 on this shelf), and I am tired of the genre. Some of these are already gone in the donation last week. But there are a lot left. My Goodreads report says I read and reviewed 35 books last year, but the real number is closer to 50. I just don’t bother reviewing cozy mysteries anymore as they are pretty much all the same.
Once again this spring, I’ll go through my closet. What’s In Your Closet? involves taking a hard look at every item, deciding what can be repaired or altered, what is stained beyond use and should be thrown away, what no longer fits and can be donated, and what to keep. There is detailed wardrobe analysis information on that post, applicable to clothes lovers like me, and to the nothing but t-shirts and jeans crowd, too.
So, there is my dirty little secret, out in the open. Hi, my name is Carole, and I am a bona fide pack rat. (Thank you, I did hear some saying hello, Carole!) I need to clear out more books, more dishes, more stuff in general. Some of the costume jewelry, collectibles and dishes will go on ebay soon. I’ll have to tackle the two large bookshelves full of quilting, sewing, crafting and stamping books in the sewing room as well. I’ll give you all first crack at those, then they will go up for sale and anything not selling will go to the charity book store Books For Good. Now that I am doing my own designs, I just don’t have time to do the pretty quilts in most of those books. Nor do I have the space anymore either, as my quilt shelves are overflowing and the guest room cannot hold any more. My sample sale helped that, and several more quilted items were donated to charity auctions. I still have two more to get rid of, and I’ll see where they can go soon. I think this year I’ll concentrate on wall hangings and smaller projects that sell more easily after the design work is done. Although, naturally I have decided to do the queen size of Scrap Dance Twist Mystery. That mystery quilt along begins on Friday.
Do you have a goal for cleaning something out this month?
Sharing at Tuesday Turnaround,