Stashes and Reusables and the need for a vision

My husband’s grandmother refused to let anyone throw away gift wrap, ribbons, boxes, cards…  My husband’s first wife was disinclined to even after her grandmother-in-law passed on.

A few months after we married we spent five weeks dedicated to preparing his house for my stuff to move in the following summer.  First went the carloads of his deceased wife’s clothing and accessories to the thrift stores.  Then, my husband asked me to “make some sense,” if I could, of the mountains of Christmas stuff piled into boxes and bags.

As nearly as I could tell, each Christmas for twenty or thirty years, presents were opened after which all that year’s gift tags, wrappings and disposables were tossed into a bag which was tossed onto the heap forevermore out of sight and out of mind.  And so I began to work through the archeological dig.

I spent a week separating gift wrap from cards from tissue paper from ribbons from gift boxes from stuff intended as secret Santa gifts from half-eaten canisters of peanut brittle, open boxes of candy canes and an occasional pipe cleaner or evaporated bottle of perfume.  I sorted the wrapping materials into “that which is hopelessly defaced” and “that which could conceivably be reused if we live long enough.”  In the end I had it all sorted into “keep (for now)” and “utter garbage among which I am grateful I found no mice carcasses.”  The indisputable garbage was removed.

Five months later it was time to sort my own belongings for the great move.  Among other things I had a mountain of yarn.  And in the midst of the gathering of homespuns, dreamy stuff and  projects-in-process (or at least firmly in mind) there were skeins I’d intended, thirty years ago, to knit into vests for my brothers, piles of sale yarn in odd colors, yarns of various fibers I later discovered I hate to work with…

Don’t throw anything away.  It’s GOT to be good for something someday!

I have two friends to whom I am deeply indebted.  Between them they took banker’ boxes full of all of my collected “I don’t know about this stuff” yarn.

I got to work finishing up two big projects to send off to other friends.  In the end, the stash I sent across the country is yarn-with-vision; materials for which I have plans — and projected timelines — already firmly in mind.

The featured image of the day is about two-thirds of the stash I sent across the Great Plains, a desert and two mountain ranges.  You’re looking at some prayer shawls and socks to be…..

Author: American Declutterer

I've had three careers, moved among thirteen states, and cleared four houses after loved ones moved on. Sometimes you just have to look at all the stuff and laugh. Then get back to discarding.

One thought on “Stashes and Reusables and the need for a vision”

  1. I read a few of your entries about decluttering. I collect photographs and I am very fortunate that we have a digital age now and I can store thousands on an external disk. If anyone has trouble letting go of something, take a really cool picture of it, and you’ll always ‘have’ it. Photography and videography is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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