We are both packrats! Neither of us can get rid of anything. It’s easy for me to blame Vince for the excess and for the fact that it took two 40 foot gooseneck trailers and two 26 foot U-Haul trucks to get us here. Vince has big, heavy stuff – tools like saws, drill press, hand tools, and papers! He can’t get rid of any papers.
For me, it’s mostly fabric and yarn and I can justify that because it doesn’t weigh much. Also, if you need a certain size screw driver, shouldn’t you need just one. You generally aren’t using your hands and feet to screw or unscrew something so one of each size seems like it should be suficient. With fabric, you don’t just need a blue piece of fabric . . it might be a blue green or a sky blue or a navy blue or a small print or a solid or an almost solid so one should have at least 40 blues, right? And what if it’s a backing fabric you need . . and you’re having to piece it? Eight yards should be the minimum, right? Thanks! I knew you would all see it my way.
I do have fabric I’ll never use but . . you never know! Last weekend Addie decided she wanted to make towels for her dolls so we went downstairs, she found fabric she liked, I cut it all, serged the edges and we made about a dozen doll towels. It was kinda like beach towels she was wanting so those weird colors that I would have thrown out were the ones she wanted. Addie loves choosing fabric from the stash for all her little ideas. That alone makes it worth keeping. One thing she’ll probably always remember is that Granny had an amazing fabric stash. She’ll also remember that Granny had too much of everything else!
As we open boxes, we’re both laughing and I think it’s laughing to keep from crying.
Yesterday Vince brought in a tote and he said “Here’s all your silverware.” It’s just that metal container that has silverware and I think it looks like mostly knives. When I would try to throw out knives, I wanted to put them in a small box and tape it shut so no one got cut accidentally. That had to be done while Vince was away because he never wanted to throw out even an old knife . . never know when you might need it outside for something.
Half of those knives will be thrown out. It’s much easier for me to throw out stuff here because we have trash pickup so Vince doesn’t have to take everything out of the big trash toter, put it in the back of his pickup and go to the landfill with it.
It isn’t just knives or fabric or yarn . . it’s everything! Unpacking is not fun. I hope we remember all this STUFF as we’re wandering the aisles at T. J. Max, Target and places like that.
I will say that I keep a set of basic tools upstairs and a set downstairs, so I don’t have to go to the basement every time I need a screwdriver or hammer. If you have room to store it all, I won’t judge. You have to know what amount of fabric works for you. 🙂 I know I need to purge a lot of my craft supplies, because my yarn room is so over-full that I feel stressed just walking into the room. Ugh.
Why don’t you think about donating to a thrift store that is for a charity? Goodwill, Salvation Army. We have the Texas State Hospital that has a thrift store sale once per month. Our county has a women’s shelter that has a couple or so thrift stores. Maybe there would be a volunteer who would pick up at your house.
My nephew just dumped his whole collection of old radios in the dumpster because it was easier that driving 5 miles to the women’s shelter thrift store. It was just sick about it.
Judy Laquidara says
The Goodwill here is very specific on what they will take and when it may be dropped off. Plus, they’re in one of the worst traffic areas of Joplin. Once we do a little investigating, I’m sure I’ll find other places but a lot of what we have has served it’s purpose and needs to be tossed. A lot of the knives have broken handles (that Vince had planend on fixing). These are inexpensive steak knives. We donated a ton of stuff before we let Texas.
Suzette Harris says
Yup just let it go instead of looking for the right place to give!
Sue Edberg says
That sounds like us. We are both packrats but my husband is much worse than I am. If 3 of the same tool are more than enough, why does he have 5 and can’t find any of them when he needs it. He’ll go get a new one instead of looking a little harder to find what he has. I have trouble throwing out or giving away any craft items even if I haven’t used any of it for years. As to papers, I have to keep everything as a record. My husband has stacks and stacks of old papers sitting around his office (don’t move anything because a stack might fall over) and he can never find anything when he needs it. At least I’m a little bit more organized and use a file cabinet. You just don’t know when you’ll have to prove something. I keep trying to toss things, but all I ever do is move things from one pile to another! We are not hoarders, just collectors!
My mom would say that she is just an archivist because she kept so many papers. She wrote a note to me to apologize that she had left so much stuff for me to go through.
I’m lucky that I live in an area that has easy drop off points to donate. I can take books to the library for their annual sale. Goodwill has trucks in parking lots (Lowes, etc) that has people to help take the stuff out of your car, or just go to one of their stores. Finally, there are some charities that will call when they have a truck in the area. I always try to have at least 1-2 bags every month, just to keep them calling! But, you have to be in an area with enough people to justify having pickups and drop off points,
Sara Fridley says
You’re not alone in this. Last time we moved I filled a whole box with discarded knives and flatware and small kitchen gadgets. The whole box went to Goodwill, with the hope that someone would get some use out of them all and it wouldn’t just end up in the landfill.
I have fond memories of my grandmother who lived in Wisconsin. She had an attic that none of us were allowed in because it was packed with so much stuff she was afraid that we would make fun of her if we went up there. But every now and then she would pull down something that we thought was a treasure…my mother’s old violin, a stack of my mother’s book (many of which I still have), a glass mug that said “Dog ‘n Suds” on the side and I would take some of them home with me. The best part of visiting was getting up early in the moring and playing games with her. I found out later that she and my great-grandmother quilted, I now have some of their quilts! Addie will have such great memories of you, your stash and your stuff…and she’ll remember them when she’s a granny too! They’ll be treasures to her someday…so don’t worry about what you have!