I spent the weekend clearing out the study, as we're expecting family to stay with us in the coming week. Remember that crazy mess in there? It now looks a little better, but there's still a lot to pack. Getting started was overwhelming, since we had so much stuff! We had all these things from years back, that just got moved from our parents homes, to our homes (hubby's parents even brought down his stuff all the way from Penang). Then I was a hoarder: I can't seem to throw recyclables since I always have projects in my mind, and I have difficulty letting go of sentimental stuff. And I have alot of half-done home decor projects/items sitting around waiting to be sorted. It was a recipe for domestic disaster. Add to that my perfectionist streak, which makes me procrastinate... and well, you just have mess upon mess, and it was drowning us.
I realized I just had to get down to throwing out lots of stuff, and that going slow gets you there quicker than going nowhere. So my parents kindly took the older kids on two evenings, and I stayed up late to declutter. Throwing out all the random dusty bits and bobs felt liberating! We packed off a whole pile of books to friends, and another pile is waiting to go over to be donated to Dignity Kitchen, where proceeds from the books support the disabled and disadvantaged. (We figured Salvation Army is usually swamped by books, so we wanted an alternative!)
I've realized that its not that hard to throw out sentimental stuff, all I do is take a photo of it, before I throw it out or give it away. The one that is tougher would be certain gifts from friends or family: do you keep them even though you don't use them, or do you re-gift them? I'm still struggling with regards to this area. How about you? What do you do with stuff from others? Is re-gifting taboo for you?
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