Monday, January 9, 2017

how long til it turns to diamonds?

Just a random question.
How long does it take stuff  to form diamonds?

We have put stuff in the basement for years. It piles up getting deeper and deeper, layer by layer. An archeologist would have a field day down there.

I'm afraid of it, as if it's quicksand. Don't get too close!!

I go down, avert my eyes from it in order to get to the washer. Eeeek! Don't look! Medusa!

Or breathe.

We need to do a major excavation. I tried that a few years back and it was amazing to find lost objects

I mean, when I got married and dh got a position "way up north" we had a moving company pack us up. Everything went into boxes and when I got here I went through them.   Most of them. Not all of them.

A few are still in the basement.

We've only been married about 22 years so they obviously haven't decomposed yet. Right? 

The ones I went through held what felt like old friends.
I'm sentimental, I am.
And forgetful. It takes stuff to remind me of my life before this one. It's not true what they say, if you haven't used it in years you won't miss it.

I'd miss it!

But... we want to move and we want more space and we want less clutter. Can't I just let go? 
Thing is, most of it would be considered collectible junk by people. Unnecessary to life. But to a person who has had a lot taken from her over the years including her good health, stuff counts. It's part of my humanity and history. It matters. Like, we don't NEED art but it brings us joy. 

That might have to be my yardstick, a joyometer. How much happiness does it bring VS how much discomfort at letting it go away.  
How do you value a memory? 
or 80's clothes? 

How do you let go? 



  1. If you figure out the solution to this age old problem it may make you rich! I have areas of our little house dedicated to storing 'memory boxes' and we really need to go through that too! It's a daunting task, but a necessary one. I like the idea of using shadow boxes to store and display some of my most cherished memories. I have one dedicated to our wedding with my dress, his tie, our vows and some dried flowers. I also like the idea of making a quilt from old/beloved clothing, but hasn't tried that yet.

  2. The best advice I've heard is to unpack the things, set them out, and have a photographer document the items along with some sort of recorded history (oral or digital). The photos and documentation can then be turned into what for you could be called The Book of Joy (which would take up far less space yet retain the memories within those boxes). I've tried it with a few groups of things and it does work, but on the scale you're describing you might need a videographer (to record audio and video at the same time).

  3. Good question. reminds me of the chicken egg situation. moving is one a great way de clutter, unload and pare down. giving to charities the useful items you don't/haven't used.moving to a smaller space allowed me to give up two sewing machines and a ton of fabric. i made a fun game of it by color bundling assorted sizes and gathered them up in a ripped 2' strip of fabric in a bow!.

  4. I haven't let go either. I have a basement storage area with big deep shelves. And those shelves are still full of boxes and bins full of "stuff". I feel the same way you described . . . Almost afraid to look too deeply, and pretending it isn't there when I go in there for something. I did make a bit of a dent in those boxes last winter, but really need to go through more.

  5. Oh, dear, the M-word. It strikes fear into the hearts of the strongest. All I can tell you is that letting go can be very freeing. It helps to think of your things going on to bless someone else and bring them some happiness. It also helps to know that you're not throwing things out, but passing them on. I'm willing to come down and help!

  6. Mom always said - three moves is as good as a fire. And there was certainly a lot of stuff that didn't make my latest move because the thought of packing and moving it was more than the desire to keep it!

    I do have my share of gifts or old memorabilia that's hard to get rid of - but for the most part I come from the use-it-or-lose-it school of thought. My ancestors tended to be packrats; I've heard the stories from my mother and aunts that dealt with the estate aftermaths of great aunts and parents. I'm trying my darndest not contribute towards the next generation (although they make for fantastic stories!). :-)

  7. When we were getting ready to move up here, my daughter was brutal and made me get rid of a lot of stuff. Every once in a while I say a swear word in her direction because there is something I need that I HAD, but she made me get rid of it. Then I have to wait to do what I wanted with whatever it is I needed until I can go tot the store and buy another one. To me it's just wasteful!
    I used to keep things people give me so I wouldn't hurt their feelings if they noticed. 90% of the time they don't remember what it is they gave you! So if I don't use it, someone else will and I donate it.
    I also had to start the clear out of my father's home after he passed. There were about thirty pairs of drug store glasses some broken, scratched, missing lenses...I can't do that! It was the same with NEWSPAPERS!!! I toss things as soon as I get a replacement for it.

  8. I have a problem with some things of the past... I still have the overpriced jacket I bought with my first own money (yes, it's 100% 80's lol) and I have a giant thermos flask my grampy got with his first brandnew tractor... and I also have...well... tooooo much stuff ;o)

  9. I think you've got the right question: How much happiness does it bring VS how much discomfort at letting it go away? You want the happiness and joy that will come from moving and having more space and less clutter. If an object you own isn't getting you there, you have your answer.

    When I know the answer but it's still painful to get rid of something, I pack it up in a box and put it in "purgatory" in the basement. If I want it or need it in the next year or so, I pull it out. But most of the time I forget all about it. Every now and then I just take the boxes out to Goodwill without even opening them again.

  10. 5 years ago we had to move out of our house, in a specific limited time frame. I got a girl friend to help, who had moved more times than she had years of life. (how traumatic is that?) As we got to boxes in the basement, similar to yours, some had been stacked next to the outside wall (concrete), and sprinklers in summer had wet the wall, seeping in and ruining what was in the boxes. At that point I just could not look at what I had lost, and they went directly into the big dumpster we had rented. I cry over that still sometimes, but we do have to let go of stuff. Two large horse trailers of other stuff was donated to our local thrift store. Useful, but underfoot, best to share and let go.

  11. I recently found a box of old craft projects and fabric pieces. It was a great waltz down memory lane as I went through them. Some even dated back to the 70's when I lived a million miles away, both figuratively and literally different from my life now. I'm getting better about letting go, especially of things I clearly haven't 'needed' just need to up the speed at which to go through stuff. Visual clutter makes me nuts so that helps too. Good luck as you pare down. I've found being ruthless is the best way to go. It's like removing a band-aide. It only hurts for a second. πŸ˜– person's 'trash' is another person's 'treasure.' And remember, it's better to give. Donations soothe the soul. So did putting stuff out next to the dumpster. πŸ˜‡

  12. Things not only have memories, but they have weight. I learned just last year that whether I have some things or not, it doesn't affect the memories I have. I could finally let go of some of my mom's clothing that I had saved. And I passed down her jewelry. Old craft things have weight. It is freeing to give them up if you know that you will likely not go back to them. And if you did, wouldn't you want NEW? If you are up to it and have time, sell some of your stuff in an Etsy shop. I did that, and it was fun. And when I was tired of it and wanted the rest of it gone, my cousin who was forced into early retirement opened an Etsy and took it all as "inventory". There is someone for everything, and it doesn't have to be you. Donating is pure joy!

  13. Quite the question, quite the thing to deal with! There have been books written about sorting, down sizing, decluttering. If you take less with you you'll have more room to fill later! Creating new memories! Some things are just as nice in a photo album....take a few pics and create a book of an era. Is the cost of taking it with you worth it...baggage allowance is a strong contender! Now this house her is rather full and I should do a bit of thinning out too! Who you are doesn't really change where one lives :) Success!

  14. Oh boy. Tough decisions. I won't be much help because I've got boxes from a move over 31 years! But my husband is worse than I am. He collects political campaign memorabilia and while some of his "stuff" is valuable, a lot of it is not. And he is not willing to get rid of any of it. I could consider moving to a warmer climate, but I'll never get him to clear out his stuff, so I guess we're stuck here until the NY taxes drive us out.

  15. My husband and I are in the process of downsizing, I am not having as much trouble letting things go as my husband is, he wants to leave so many things to the 3 children and they don't want them! My hardest decisions were the children's papers and report cards, I asked my children if they wanted them and they said, "what for?" LOL! I have already started thinning out my fabric stash, patterns, notions etc by giving them to other sew it's who were delighted to receive them. 😊 The photos we are going to put on the computer. In my kitchen I have done the dreaded Konmari, and if it doesn't bring me joy, away it goes to the Sally Ann! Good luck!

  16. I don't mind the mounds of hobby things both Brad and I have's the clothing hubby collects. It's overwhelming. When we got married 20 years ago, he still had some clothes from high school (and he was in his 40s then). I do have to say, except for quilts and fabric, I find purging to be rather therapeutic. And I like to find things I had forgotten about! Let us know how it goes!!

  17. I'm terrible at it. Of course if I throw that little trinket away, the next week I find a perfect use of it.

  18. It was fun to read your post, and also all of the comments, too! I am probably in the middle of a "saver" and a "get rid of it-er"! Now that I am in the mood to do some work in our basement to clear things out, I am back to not having the time because of my MIL being in the hospital. But a little bit at a time seems to help me feel like I am accomplishing something. When I put away our Christmas, I took a box of Christmas items that I hadn't used in years to the local ARC store, and felt pleased as can be about that. Someone else can have a chance to love my old things that I am done with!

  19. Take photos of the things you release. Set up a real photo shoot area beside your destashing area. Lights, various colored backgrounds. Do little vignettes, write about them lovingly, then give them to Goodwill or Waste Management. I let go of a lot of my daughter's school projects and artwork that way. Took a photo of her with the item so we knew what she looked like when she did which science fair project. I'm tossing out, too and taking a few photos as I go. Not all of it is even worthy of a photo. :)

  20. Sally's mom must have known my mom 'cause she said the same thing! Joymeter - absolutely.