Thank you for the lovely comments on the maternity top in the last post. I really appreciate reading every one of them and I am determined to try and reply to comments but at the moment it is a slow process.
After a cold-induced pause my declutter mission has been continuing. Oddly the house is still a total mess though. Hmmm...how does that work?
4 x out of date lens solution - recycling
3 x out of date make up
old suncreams and aftersun creams x 3
3 pairs girl's trousers
4 pairs outgrown children's pyjamas
6 assorted babygros
Bin bag of scraps x 2 - recycling
2 x tee shirts
1 shoe horn (just one, not a pair)
1 pair Mr M's broken shoes - recycling
sewing kit - present to friend
1 broken unmendable cushion - recycling
2 old sweatshirts - cut up into cleaning cloths
2 curtains - sold on ebay
Total = 45/90, plus previous total of 35 = 80/90
I cannot believe how much crap we accumulate. There is something about having lots of stuff that scares me. I don't know why, I know some people are reassured by having lots of possessions butI find it oppressive. (The above declutter list was been done with me hardly venturing near the kids' toys. How easy it would be to chuck lots of those out but how much trouble would I be in?)
This scary photo is of my bags of childrens' clothes to go in the loft, plus Mr Minnado's spare cable collection. I am trying to get him to sort it out.
All this sorting and decluttering has led me to a few thoughts. Of course I am going to share them with you! I was further prompted to write these questions after reading Eleni's recent post over at Seamless.
I am lucky in that we get given nearly all the clothes we need for my two children. They happen to have cousins a little older so we get their cast offs. We also have some friends with girls who give us their cast offs. However, and I am not ungrateful here, we get clothes sometimes two or three years in advance, so I have a fairly laborious storage system...we also sometimes get so many girls' clothes that I have shared them between three other little girls as well. This can call for sessions of mass sorting and storage. I think we are lucky to get these clothes, so I cannot really grumble at having to sort. I was also given two binbags of baby clothes last month which I have weeded out and sorted, resulting in a bin bag of excess baby clothes for the charity shop.
A fortnight ago, I had a huge session, sorting bags and piles into seasons and age groups, ready to go into the loft. By the end I had a bin bag of girl's clothes to go to the charity shop. The excess was partly because we get so much. I found myself wondering how many pairs of trousers one age 4 girl really needs...also there are some things my daughter cannot wear, for instance trousers are often too big round the waist.
As I sorted through the stuff others had given me and also sorted through my own possessions to declutter, it made me think a bit about the etiquette of charity shop donations and passing on possessions. Do you pass on stuff and do you have rules? I mean would you put lots of unmatched, odd dirty socks and tights in a bag of clothes for a friend? I have received this before now at the bottom of a bag of other clothes. As someone is being generous enough to pass on their things I don't grumble. But I don't think I would pass on odd dirty socks to a friend.
I try and only pass on clothes in decent and clean condition. I try and think about what I would like to receive myself. I also tend to think about whether I would want to put my hand in a bag and sort through the items in it. I am not fussed about paint or pen stains on kids' clothes so I would pass those on to someone who also is not fussy. Anything that is too stained or holey I tend to put in a separate rag bag. My local charity shop gets paid for rags so I give them my rag bags. I assume they get recycled for cleaning cloths or go into fabric recycling, but I don't actually know! Sometimes my son's school do fundraising where they get paid by weight for old clothes and other textiles. I am again not sure what happens to these clothes after the school gets its percentage. Do the clothing collectors sell them on, are they the clothes that you hear end up in markets in Africa? Does it really bother you where your old clothes end up and who profits from them? And do you have an etiquette for what you give away?
I know several people who volunteer to sort donations in charity shops and hear stories of grubby underwear (eek) and other unsavoury items in donation bag...