Friday, January 17, 2014

What a Waste... To Save Unused Things

I hate being a "pack rat," but just the thought of going through everything to reduce the mess and clutter....

Not long ago I was in a home visiting, not a large home, but the home of a very large family.  I've always wondered how so many people could fit into that house...  Yet, when I went in it seemed so empty and spacious.

My house is now the home of just me and my husband.  All of our kids, married or not, have moved out ages ago.  They moved out, but they all left lots of things, possessions.  Two of the three children's bedrooms have been rearranged so far, and what they didn't take have been stored in the attic. Every few years somebody does a search for something, not always finding what they want but usually throwing out something.  During the big blizzard I offered shoes to a neighbor whose shoes were soaked.

But honestly, I can't blame my kids.  My husband and I have the biggest mess/collection of things including clothes we should either throw out or give away.

Back to that friend who manages to keep a large family in a small home with comfort...  The other day we were talking about shopping and giving and receiving.  She said that she's always receiving clothes from others, and she's always passing things to others, too.  There's nothing extra, unnecessary in her house.  They have everything they need and nothing they don't.

If it's toys that aren't played with, she gives it away to a preschool, play center or someone who will appreciate it. It doesn't matter that in a few months, maybe one of her younger kids will use it.  She trusts that if it'll be needed later on, it'll somehow come back.  She's right and I'm wrong.

There was a time when we all fit in this house, my husband, five kids and I, and we always had room for guests.  Now it's a hassle to get even one bedroom of the three "empty ones" ready for guests.

I should start with the clothes and the books I used for teaching English.  I haven't had a student for months. Also the curriculum keeps changing so that even though English is English, some of the books are out of date.

I stopped saving "light reading" books years ago.  When a "borrow" from a friend, I always ask for "disposable books," those I can just get rid of after reading.  And when I get books to review, I give them away after reviewing them. My sister-in-law gets all of the cookbooks. She doesn't mind that my gifts to her didn't cost me anything. Other books are given to neighbors and the coordinator of "senior citizen" activities. She has instructions to do whatever with them, read and then offer to the group, which has a lot of English speakers.  It's nice to give gifts that don't cost money. They are my donation to that local group.  Having "book swaps" is a nice way to clean up and also get what you want.

It's a waste to keep unused things.  There's always someone who can make use of it.

Making myself an example of clearing out unneeded things would be the best gift for my family.


7 comments:

Rickismom said...

I think that there needs to be a good balance...not to keep things that never get used...but uf you will need in a few month so keep. I also have to cut down on junk. The problem is the stuff kids left behind. And if your spouse is a pack rat...

Batya Medad said...

rm, exactly...

Netivotgirl said...

Get rid of the clutter Batya! My husband and I BOTH grew up in homes with 'pack rat' Moms and hated it! I pass on/ throw out everything not needed. And according to the Zohar things you don't and won't need apparently 'yonek' from your soul and health so it's not good to hold onto them! (I heard Rav Ben Tzion Mutzafi say this.) So this Pesach, pick up each item and say, "Has this been in use during the past 5 years? Will I need in in the foreseeable future?" If the answer is no- pass it on or dump! You'll be thrilled with the results, Be'H!

Quilting Corner said...

I agree 100% except for 100% cotton items. Be it fabric or clothes that are not wearable but still good. My group of ladies use this fabric to make quilts for sick children in Betar Illit. Please keep us in mind. We would pay for the shipping.
zahavaquilters.blogspot.co.il

Batya Medad said...

Netivotgirl, please help me do it, keep coaching me!
QC, that's good to know, thanks!

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
I've been sorting clothes - and clutter - lately too. I have a friend who receives all of our outgrown boys' clothes and another one who receives the outgrown girls' clothes. Now that my youngest is in pre-school I finally have time to sort everything that I should have sorted BEFORE we moved into the house, but couldn't because I barely had the energy to pack.

QC, unfortunately not much today is made out of 100% cotton, but I'll keep you in mind when I sort.

Batya Medad said...

QC, Now I don't have to keep all those holey towels. Please send me a reminder in 3 weeks when I'm back from the states, thanks.
Hadassa, we used to give the kids' clothes away, too, but now they are all grown up.