Donating My Stuff After Konmari.
This is part-three of my de-crap-a-thon.
If you missed: Part One, and Part Two.
As I discarded stuff, I piled it in the dining room.
We lived with Mt. Crap in the middle of the house for months.
I have saved all of this stuff because the idea of discarding it gave me paralysis… questioning that paralysis has been transformative for me.
Also, it works for everything.
When I identify that something is giving me RANDOM UNNECESSARY CRAZY… I ask why.
And if the reason is NO REASON.
no thank you get out.
The disco balls went to the dance studio— I am finished with them.
Books would have gone to the central branch of our county library— they have a massive bi-annual book sale. (Not old library books, patron donations.) Your library might have one too! I’ve discovered some of my favorite books at that sale— they are cheap so you can take a risk.
However, my books did NOT go to the library because I took them along with all my other stuff to Animal Lifeline thrift store in Warrington, Pa… they do great work supporting spay and neuter in Bucks County, and they have a cat rescue in the same shopping center.
Spay and neuter saves lives and prevents suffering.
Every year in America, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized… these statistics are from the ASPCA; they also tell us that newborn kittens are at the greatest risk.
Baby kittens, put to death at animal shelters, are born to the stray, feral, and unfixed cats who live in our neighborhoods.
WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
TNR, community education, fostering.
I expected to drive away with an empty van and an abundance of residual anxiety about having ABANDONED MY THINGS.
But instead, I felt fine. I felt SPACE. I felt a pang of wishing I had known SOONER.
I see now that STUFF is emblematic of the problem with my brain— I do not differentiate between important and unimportant, so my solution is ALL.
I see now, that in my brain:
1. unwanted stuff is clutter;
2. clutter is suffocating noise.
Learning this about myself is so incredibly helpful.
Now we have come to this:
The Parable of the Sharpie.
I was addressing a box to take to the post office… I pulled a sharpie out of the pen-container— the tip was smashed and not good for writing. I recapped it, put it back, got a different one– ALSO smashed, I recapped it, put it back, got a different one…
But then I froze.
Do you see what has been revealed to me?
I can CHOOSE a life of no-crap-sharpies.
My brain gears smoked and screeched.
WHY HAS THIS INFORMATION ELUDED ME?
I dumped out the entire pen container and THREW AWAY pens I hate.
I was MAD while I did it.
WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THIS SECRET TO LIFE?
WHY DID I NEED SOMEONE TO?
WHY ARE THE OBVIOUS THINGS NOT OBVIOUS TO ME?
What I’m reading:
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming.
All humans should read this.
The writing is extraordinary.
Also, we need a place to live.
May 15, 2019 @ 11:32 am
Thank you for continuing to post about TNR! I TNR throughout West Philly and love it – it’s easy, it makes an immediate impact on cats’ lives, I get to chat with people and get outside. Until I saw how it worked, it seemed like a bit of a mystery and too challenging – could you show people how it works?
Also, I had no idea that thrift shop existed. I am definitely making a trip out there.
May 15, 2019 @ 11:39 am
I too discovered that hated pens can be tossed – Eureka! It took me longer to realize the same for pencils. Pencils are more needy and I felt like I was abandoning them to a friendly purgatory if I let them go. So I took them to the library and quietly left them on the tables for others to rescue. Thank you for the purging inspiration.
May 27, 2019 @ 2:28 pm
I do the same with our half used pencils! There are actually little containers with scrap paper and half pencils throughout the library for patrons to jot down notes, so I just put short pencils in our library bag and then quietly add them to the containers. I’ve been known to slip pens in there as well on occasion 😉
May 15, 2019 @ 11:45 am
I am not in the place you are yet. I want your unwanted crap. CRAP is STILL like gold to me. I am 66 years old….I probably will NOT change.
May 15, 2019 @ 12:02 pm
Is the kitchen finished? Waiting to hear.
May 15, 2019 @ 3:35 pm
Me too !!! What about the KITCHEN ?
May 15, 2019 @ 5:31 pm
me too, what about the kitchen?
May 16, 2019 @ 4:53 pm
Please, kitchen news. I’m dying here.
May 15, 2019 @ 12:13 pm
Thanks for sharing, I look forward to the relief of letting go. I’m currently packing my life: my girl’s 44 year old Jenny Lind crib in the attic, Barbies, and antiques that I started buying at 18! I actually have enough tableware for a few hundred – not joke. The decision making is about to put me over the edge, but I’m hanging on by the thread of one of my hundreds of doilies. In my 60’s and downsizing from 3000+ s.f. to maybe 1000 requires some serious review. I haven’t read Marie Kondo, I’m just flying by the seat of my (many, many thrifted) Levis. YES to flat lenses! My prescription aviator sunglasses never worked for reading, only driving. I later learned that they had not been made properly, because non-flat lenses have to have compensation in the prescription.
May 15, 2019 @ 12:40 pm
Send me your Barbies! Ha, I want your crap.
It’s a process!!!
May 15, 2019 @ 12:17 pm
yes, to everything. Love you lots
May 15, 2019 @ 12:31 pm
It really is not just a de-cluttering of your physical environment when you clean your home, but also a de-cluttering of your mind. A person’s physical space is so important. A few years ago I had two professional organizers come and help me clean out my parents’ cellar. I could have never taken it on by myself. They had lived in the house for 50 years, so you can imagine what it was like. One couldn’t even get from one end of the room to the opposite end. Now I have only a few things that are really important to me, much more space, and a sense of calmness.
So good to hear from you, Elizabeth…and yes, how is the kitchen coming? How is Paul and your feline menagerie?
May 15, 2019 @ 12:43 pm
Can we assume that while you have been on your “decrapathon” that Paul is working away finishing your glorious kitchen?! We’ve been waiting so long to see the amazing space you will have created. Also, is Paul thrilled with his “new wife” who is “decrapathizing” his life? Or do you only do YOUR things and leave his alone? Enquiring minds want to know!
May 15, 2019 @ 1:02 pm
Watch out. Open space becomes addictive. One round of decluttering is never enough.
May 15, 2019 @ 1:18 pm
So happy to hear from you again!
May 15, 2019 @ 2:11 pm
We recently cleared out home library, weeding it down to one bookcase of books we really love. For the rest, we contacted the librarian at the local jail, who came and picked them up. It’s a place I would never have thought of, but feel really good about donating to. If anyone has books they don’t know what to do with – contact your local department of corrections – they may be able to use them.
May 15, 2019 @ 2:19 pm
Whilst on the topic of Sharpies I now only purchase double-ended Sharpies. Fine on one end, ultra-fine on the other. They have changed my life. I will never purchase anything else. Also the perfect gift for everyone over the age of 10 that can be trusted to not draw on the walls.
May 15, 2019 @ 3:35 pm
Me too !!! What about the KITCHEN ?
May 15, 2019 @ 4:03 pm
I just finish my Konmari Certificate training in NYC. Your revelations are wonderful and are the ideas I am trying to spread. Just because you own something, it does not mean that you should. That something is taking up rent in your brain and once the space has been cleared you can devote that mental space to something incredible. Thank you for sharing!
May 15, 2019 @ 4:19 pm
My husband and I have a saying where we are on a quest for less. We moved from a large home in PA with a full basement into our dream villa in FL in a beach town. We took only what we could fit in our car and sold the rest. It was so freeing! It is kind of crazy addicting. We now have our home furnished with gray, blue & white (seriously, 99% of our home’s belongings are this color) and love it. Congrats on your new found knowledge!
Marianne in Mo.
May 15, 2019 @ 5:19 pm
I really need to get rid of a lot of stuff, mostly home decor fabric. I worked at a home decor store for 10 years and they went out of business. So I bought TONS of fabric for a new house we were building at bargain prices, like $10 for a 10 yard bolt of drapery fabric!!! But I ended up not using any of it, because it was all wrong for the house!!! Sold a lot at a garage sale once, but the remainder is still haunting me! I honestly don’t know where to go with it, so I still keep it. I’m proud of you for discovering that you can let go and be free!
May 15, 2019 @ 9:02 pm
I wonder if a woman’s shelter could use them for clothing,decor for the shelter-throws for unattractive furniture or covers for beds. Even a small piece of pretty fabric on a bed can be cheering and more homey. Just a thought. I have a suspicion that decision indecision may have impacted the conclusion of the Kitchen. I just bought a full kitchen last night with Caleb at Cabinets to go in Richmond Va. He worked with my lame pictures and amateur diagram and came up with something that looks great!
I can’t believe I did that and second thoughts are kicking in-huh? you did what? Are you nuts? like that. Fingers crossed,it all comes flat packed next Tuesday. Yowza and holy mackerel!
May 16, 2019 @ 12:28 am
We have a recycled-for-crafters outlet nearby, and it has proved a godsend for the craft supplies of my late mother — definitely of the “she who dies with the most fabric wins!” school!
May 15, 2019 @ 7:12 pm
OMG NOT THE BOWS. I see them in that bag! NOT. THE. BOWS. WHY??????
May 16, 2019 @ 3:08 pm
I KNOW! When I saw the bows, I thought OH NO!! I just last Christmas saw the DIY how-to for making those big bows…I got the ribbon and made a FABULOUS bow for my wreath on the front door. the best bow I have EVER made. All thanks VEB who said things like when you think it is falling apart– it will work out. and it was….
May 15, 2019 @ 8:48 pm
One more comment praising getting rid of things. About 9 months ago I was overzealous with The KonMari-ing and I keep looking for things that I want to use only to find I got rid of them-the exact predicament I dreaded, that kept me hanging onto too many things for too long. Except instead of the horrible tragedy I thought that experience would be, it turns out that i can actually just shrug my shoulders and say, yeah, it turns out one day I would want to make a recipe out of that old cookbook. But I gave it away to have more space, so I’ll make something else. Even if I want the thing later, I will completely survive without it AND get to have the space back! That was just as freeing a revelation as getting rid of the things in the first place.
May 16, 2019 @ 12:29 am
Who’s your furry friend?
May 17, 2019 @ 3:56 pm
I was wondering the same thing!
May 16, 2019 @ 6:07 am
I just brought one home from the shelter’s TNR yesterday! I am lucky in Fayette Co KY, it is free. They have done several for us!s