It feels good to be back to giving – back to reducing clutter and getting stuck into getting my joyfulgiving tally up!
Like many couples who have been in a relationship before, not only do we have our own stuff, but we have other people’s stuff. And we have stuff that represents a whole other past life. As we combine all our stuff, we are finding that often we have stuff we no longer need – or that we have duplicates.
Years ago, I invested in a V-slicer. I’d always wanted one. Really wanted one. They were German, good quality and sliced really fast (and in identical pieces). But they were expensive, and money was tight. Eventually, at some point, I bought one. I like using mine, although to be honest because it’s a pain to get down from the top shelf (and it’s super sharp so you need to be careful) I only use it if I’m making lots of something. It’s great for cutting up onions for a sausage sizzle, slicing cabbage for sauerkraut, or having thin identical slices of cucumber for adorning a platter.
Awhile back, while sorting through some boxes of kitchen stuff in the shipping container along with other things from Neil’s former house, we found a V-slicer. It was almost brand new and hadn’t been used. It was weird seeing that, as I couldn’t help reflect on how I’d always wanted one, saved for one, and now we had two.
I could have kept the second one – I could have reasoned that it was good to have a spare – but since I don’t use the one I’ve got that frequently anyway, I doubt I would use two. So I gave it away to a foodie friend.
Michele from Food and Travel Secrets is a beautiful woman and a beautiful cook. She came and picked up the V-slicer a few days after I offered it to her. She’s since used it to make this beautiful sourdough potato and rosemary pizzas.
It was a week of discovering duplicates. Maybe doubles were on my mind because as I was giving away the V-slicer, it occurred to me that I also had two laundry bags.
I splurged on a laundry bag while buying some lingerie several years back. I use it for washing my stockings in (except, I’m no longer working in an office so I don’t wear stockings so often). Last year, we had an AirBnB guest who left her laundry bag behind. We discovered it after she had left, and as she was going overseas we couldn’t return it to her. Plus I had a feeling she didn’t want it.
I kept that laundry bag and put it in the bottom of my laundry basket along with my other laundry bag. I kept thinking it would be handy to have two. But I had never used it – not once. As I was preparing to do the laundry, I thought to myself: “I don’t need this. It’s just duplicating what I already have.”
I posted it on my local Buy Nothing group, and a lovely mum with a cute little baby stopped by and picked it up. Her little one was obviously so happy to be out and about. It must be hard for little kids – they’ve spent their early years not experiencing much interaction with a broad circle of people or not being able to get out much. I was glad to have met a new friend in my community, although I was sorry to hear that she plans to move once travel restrictions ease.
Late last year, I was delighted to find a range of make-up items on sale at The Reject Shop for only $5. The only catch was that they were in sealed plastic bags and (probably because they were end of range), they came in a variety of colours.
I bought some foundation that was exactly the right colour on me. Then I bought another Revlon one that, well, wasn’t even close. I considered combining it with a slightly darker foundation, but the colour and the tone were so far off that I looked like a ghost. And not in an artistic, kind of hip and interesting way – it was just clearly the wrong shade for me.
Not having learnt my lesson, I again bought foundation on special that was the wrong colour for me. This time, I was in Woolies and found some Maybeline foundation. I remembered not to buy Ivory – or so I thought – but when I got home I found I had bought pale foundation again. I suspect I somehow grabbed the wrong shade. It happens. Or maybe I looked at the bottle rather than the writing.
I wasn’t sure what to do with this, and I had it in my bathroom for ages. I didn’t want to throw them out as I still thought that, since I had paid money for them, I could salvage them somehow. But then I was searching for something, and there was so much stuff, and I thought – honestly, I’ve already got some lovely foundation, I’m never going to use this as it’s not right for me, and at the moment I’m not really going out socially anyway.
I listed it on Buy Nothing and a lovely lady who I have gifted to before said she would try it out. I only put up the photo of the new, packaged one but offered the opened bottle just in case she wanted to try it. She tried both; but neither suited her. Both were too dark for her! She joked that she must have really pale skin.
Another lady had commented on the post that she would like to be next in line. I offered it to her. She came the next day, picked them both up, and they were perfect for her. It was like a Goldilocks and the Three Bears moment – the colour was just right for her.
Makeup is such an individual thing, as I guess are a lot of other personal items like clothes and perfumes. Just because something doesn’t suit one person, doesn’t mean the product is bad: just that it isn’t right for the person who owns it. My unwanted purchase ended up finding someone it was perfect for. And the best part of it was that this time, I really felt like I was strengthening my local community. Bargain!
Toys and clutter
This morning, we had our weekly ‘half an hour of power’. This involves my boys pairing up with myself or Neil and doing some household cleaning.
I’ll be honest and say that the half an hour of power is a bit painful. The boys groan and whinge about it, they aren’t very good and we often have to redo what they do. Oddly, they both try to pair up with Neil as they like cleaning the toilet and doing the vacuum cleaning. They dislike pairing with me as I make them Marie-Kondo fold their clothes, do the dusting, and – even worse – clean up their rooms.
Today I had a big focus on cleaning their room. In part, this is because I’ve signed up to do a free three-week toy decluttering course with decluttering and organisational coach Lauren Winzar. The course starts on Tuesday, and I guess I wanted to get a head start. You can sign up here.
I’ve already listed some things they no longer want on my Buy Nothing project group, and I’ve got plans for giving away other things soon. Stay tuned as we really focus on toys, toys, toys!
- Laundry bag; and
- 2 x foundation (make-up).
Do you have duplicates of things at home that you don’t really need or use?