5 yrs. ago, but they haven't changed much - except to lose the cap.
Since I’ve been doing this blog a number of people have said to me, “I hope you’re not getting rid of your husband, Jim!” We would both laugh and then go on. Jim’s a keeper, but I would like to address the issue of our adult children. Although once a parent, always a parent, none of our children currently live at home. This is fine with all of us. (Next week I will deal with the on going challenge of knowing what to do with the remaining stuff that we are still storing for our kids.)
Today, however, I’d like to muse about letting go of our adult children – in a good way. Launching them has been a bitter-sweet experience. We always await their visits with great anticipation, but there is also a relief when they leave and we can return to our normal, boring lives. Letting our children fly and take their own directions has been both satisfying and fearful. There’s way too much to say about it in this short blog. I guess you’ll just have to read the book – the book I wrote that just came out of course. It’s titled, Parenting Your Adult Child: Keeping the Faith (And Your Sanity). End of blatant plug.
PS: Of course there are other, more painful circumstances in which we must let go of people – bad relationships, lost loves, divorce, death… That’s a book I haven’t written yet.
PPS: Frustration of the week. With all my giving away last year (conveniently documented on this blog) I figured that at least I’d have some hefty tax deductions for donations. But, Aarrgh! I just found out that my donations have to be to tax-exempt non-profits. Some were, but many went to FreeCycle which doesn’t count.
I had closets scheduled for this week’s give-aways but I was getting worried since I had already gone through closets last Lent and I’m saving the kid’s closets for next week when I tackle “Other People’s Stuff.” My fears were confirmed as I searched the nine closets in our house, until…I got to the downstairs bathroom. Up till this point I had only found one extra crib sheet and passed on getting rid of miscellaneous picture frames and sorting through boxes of memorabilia on a high shelf. BUT, I found a plethora of towels of all sizes – 67 in all. I figured I could give away half (34), which leaves 33 for guests. Some of the towels were a little ratty but many were like new – probably because we never needed that many. (How we accumulated so many unused towels is more than I care to go into here.)
I also found an extra shower curtain with decorative hangers, a luffa pad and, surprise – a radio/cassette player. What was it doing with all the towels? Maybe it felt lonely since no one uses cassette tapes anymore and the towels gave it comfort.
PS: Zen question of the week: Does reorganizing extra picture frames and moving boxes to a better storage space count for anything? It has uncluttered some spots in the house and was motivated by clearing things out, but really it’s a zero sum action.
Click to enlarge
As the months roll on, I’ve gotten quite a few messages on this blog, through e-mail, and in person that others have caught the “giving away” bug. They might have caught it from me or it might have just been the right time in their life to let go of more stuff. If I have been a carrier of this bug, I’m pleased.
Building on last week’s “Being Silly” post, however, I’ve discovered that I’ve also created a copycat “silly gene.” A few days ago I received a mysterious package with a letter saying that the sender had been so edified by my give aways that he decided to imitate me. The writer explained that he didn’t think he could discard his unneeded items on his own, so he was sending them to me to dispose of as I saw fit.
Hmmmm. Sounded a little fishy but I was giving the mystery giver the benefit of the doubt. I couldn’t help laughing, however, as I uncovered the following objects:
- 9 Styrofoam cups
- 26 index cards
- 45 pieces of scrap paper
- 1 cardboard crucifix
- 1 match
- 1 pair of earplugs
- 1 pair of broken sunglasses
- 1 box of golf pencils
- 1 zipper
- 1 pair of chopsticks
- ½ bag of seeds
- a foot of ribbon
- phone cord
- plastic doll
- vanilla flavored sugar capsule for coffee (I don’t drink coffee.)
- Self –Esteem cassette tape
- empty egg carton
The letter was signed by a Harvey Kecker which didn’t ring any bells, but it had a return address of Hamden, CT and cost $3 to send.
Hmmmm. I spent the next 30 minutes sleuthing on the internet to figure out who my secret admirer was. I had a hunch which I later confirmed with a phone call to an old friend who lives in New Haven.
The moral of the story is that sillyness is contagious also, but even better is the knowledge that someone took the time and $3 to send some laughter my way. Pass it on and make someone laugh today.
PS: In the spirit of ridiculous give aways, I also found the following around the house:
- a bag of about 50 old panty hose that I had been saving as batting for stuffed animals that I might sew for our toddlers one day. (The youngest is now 26.)
- a bag of plastic bags (I have no idea what I was saving them for.)
- a duplicate, almost used up, shoe shine kit.
I will recycle these items since none are worth giving away. The question of the week is: How many stockings with runs, plastic bags, and almost empty items are enough?
Over the years a family of six is bound to have some broken bones, stitches, sprained ankles, diarrhea, constipation, poison ivy, acne, and bad hair days. I’m prepared! But perhaps I’m over-prepared. I decided that Jim and I will no longer be allowed to break a leg (except in the theatrical sense). The crutches are going. If a visitor breaks a leg, well… I’ve also decided to give away:
- 2 of 3 heating pads,
- 2 of 6 Ace bandages (This handy stretchy fabric has multiple uses.)
- 1 of 3 tennis elbow braces (After all, a body only has 2 elbows)
- 2 of 4 luffa type pads
- 1 shoe covering for a cast
- 1 ankle brace
- 9 boxed toothbrushes
- 2 of 3 portable hair dryers
- New bottle of hair gel from our daughter’s crazy teen hair days
- Synthetic hair cleaner (Maybe a place that fits cancer victims for wigs can use it.)
- Extra deodorant
- That bright pink liquid that expired in 1998 (Don’t worry, I’m throwing that away along with a few expired prescriptions and things that keep the body moving. Use your imagination.
I figure the hair products qualify as health related under the “healthy hair” category.
PS: Click on photo for up close view.
Sometimes we can take ourselves too seriously. During this year of giving things away, I have at times felt guilty, generous, virtuous, prideful, satisfied, and perplexed. I knew I was taking things a little too far when I asked myself:
- If giving away my cold or a smile would count, or
- If running out of breath was really giving something of myself away.
These are right up there with last summer’s challenge of getting rid of a smell in our garage and the deer who were eating my garden vegetables. Today, my husband is valiantly trying to evict, ie. get rid of, some squirrels from our attic. Sometimes we just have to laugh as ourselves, don’t we?
In examining several dining room shelves for more things to give away, I found 11 sterling silver pieces with varying degrees of tarnish. Silver can be beautiful but I definitely don’t want to spend time polishing it for the rare fancy occasions we might use it. I’m sure, however, that a beautiful silver coffee pot set is not something that people who frequent thrift shops want or need – except to sell it for cash. One of my blog readers recommended a local charity store called Legacies that accepts high quality merchandise for the benefit of cancer support programs. I added a couple pieces of valuable crystal that were beautiful but at high risk for breakage. I probably won’t make any money from this, but even if I did I’d feel obligated to give it away. Finding the right home for give-aways is often the biggest challenge.
PS: How much is it worth? In my ever continuing effort to be a resource to my readers, I’ve found two ways to gauge the price of something I’m considering giving away. Check prices for similar items on e-Bay.com or http://Replacements.com (for crystal, silver, china, and collectibles. With this information you can decide whether to just give an item to a thrift store or sell it and then give the money to a worthy cause. Any other ideas?
PPS: I’ve signed up for Post a Week Tags that allow you to browse my posts for common themes.
So let’s talk about recycling. Now that I’ve faced the demon of recycling electronics, what about all the more normal recycling we do. You know – the paper, glass, plastic, and cans. Recycling these things doesn’t feel as virtuous as giving a needy family clothes, dishes, or toys. Technically, it’s not really giving something away since it’s simply going into the garbage, albeit a curbside recycling container. We’ve been recycling and composting for a number of years and feel that it’s only right to do as citizens of planet earth. It may not make a huge difference but it’s one step that we hope is being multiplied by many other responsible consumers.
BUT…I keep remembering “No Impact Man” and how he tried not to create any garbage that needed recycling. We use cloth bags for shopping – most of the time. Don’t drink bottled water – except when in developing countries. We’ve downsized our garbage can. Hey, we’re good, right! But I’ve been starting to notice how over-packaged many of the things I buy are. Sometimes I can’t avoid it, but my next self-improvement and earth-saving effort I think will be to buy less and smaller, so that there is less to give away or recycle.
I knew I would have to get to electronics sooner or later. First, I surveyed our house for things that ran on electricity or batteries that we were not currently using. We have two unused TVs (a 33” monster and a 13” black and white). Since the 33” is being stored for one of our kids, I’m only free to give away the 13” one – gladly. I’m even throwing in the digital converter box. That’s the easy part.
Next I needed consultation from our local son to find out what cords and gadgets were worth keeping and what weren’t. We have two color printers that I think work. (I hook one up maybe once a year when I have to print brochures in color.) I’ll give one away. I also found 4 cell phones, 2 computer keyboards, 1 zip drive, 1 Linksys router, 1 laptop battery, 1 minolta (non-digital) camera, 1 PDA (Palm Pilot), a Play Station, several “mice,” and lots of cords. But how to dispose of all these things since I wasn’t sure what worked or how to work many of them? I also wanted to be a conscientious recycler and not add toxic elements to a land fill.
I was delighted to read a timely article in the January 6, 2011 NY Times, Giving Those Old Gadgets A Proper Green Burial. The article recommends Gazelle as an electronics recycler that will even give you money for some electronics and responsibly recycle the rest. Best Buy also takes electronics for recycling. I tried the online Gazelle route first since it seemed easy and I might make some money I could then give away. Apparently all our “gadgets” are too historic for Gazelle. The most I could get for the lot was $2. The rest just qualified for recycling. Best Buy, here I come.
…When you’re too good at hiding things. I store things so well and compactly that when I found and extracted the 300 National Geographics from their nest in an unused stairwell, I also found old history books, children’s Bible stories, children’s record albums, a cutting board, tailor’s board, kites, campaign signs, and a slide presentation about Colombia complete with slide carousel. Does anyone use slides anymore, much less vinyl records? This wasn’t a very big space but every thing (plus one son’s role playing resource books and figures) was packed into a 4’x4’x2’ space in a 2-step stairwell that we had blocked off. Maybe I should have titled it, “The Hidden Staircase.” Wait, wasn’t that one of the Nancy Drew books I gave away last week? I dare not give away the role playing paraphernalia, but the rest is going.
This is the last week I’m going to devote to books and we have eight more bookcases in our house. It’s not as bad as it sounds though since 2 hold my professional books, 2 are for Jim’s work, and 4 are our kid’s bookcases. In the interest of family harmony, I’m not going to mess with any of these bookcases. I’m conceding them as unavailable for pruning. I did, however, find books in two hidden places and those are this week’s treasures.
I had forgotten that I had 33 Nancy Drew/Dana Girls books stored away. Some of them were my mother’s and dated back to the 1930’s. I looked them up on E-Bay to see if they had any value. Since mine didn’t have dust jackets most were only worth a few dollars. I decided not to fuss with selling them on E-Bay so I took them to a local store that specializes in vintage books and got $60 for the lot. Not as much as E-Bay but I figured I wouldn’t be able to keep the money anyway since I’m supposed to be giving these things away. I decided to put the money toward a $100 bus ticket for a family we know that needs money to move a few states away.
I also found over 300 National Geographics hidden in an alcove. They date from 1973 to 1993. No book store would take them so I’m hoping some local grade school can use them for cutting out pretty pictures. I did a lot of that when I was a child. Apparently National Geographics are only really valuable if they’re from the 1800’s. I hope, however, that school kids, will recognize their value.
PS: Oops, I just found another bookcase in the corner of the basement. The books all belong to child #4 so I dare not mess with them. They are more recent novels and text books. I can’t send them to him because he’s in Singapore. Maybe if he needs some cash, he’d let me sell them.
I suppose that a pruning purist would challenge every box, space, and piece of paper in the house, but I have to draw the line somewhere. For me, I’ve decided that I simply don’t have the time or will to go through four crates (40 years) of photo albums and five file cabinets of folders. (OK, the photo albums probably only cover 30 years since the last decade has been largely digitalized.) The industrious organizer would convert all those old photos to CD’s or whatever the modern electronic form would be. I’ve scanned some photos for posterity but it’s quite a task and I’m not up to doing them all. (That would make a nice Christmas present, kids. )
The file cabinets are packed. Yes, they are organized but I admit they are overflowing to my desk, where I keep my most active files. A truly virtuous person would go through them all and pitch outdated information. It’s a daunting task and I get tired just thinking about it. Even though much of the information I use is on the computer, it would still take a lot of time to go through each file and decide what’s worth saving.
Giving away stuff is already taking over a chunk of my daily life. I think that adding photos and files would be an example of the perfect being the enemy of the good. Besides, no one else would benefit from my used papers except the paper recycling industry. Call me a slacker, but a sane slacker.
It’s book week #3 and I’m now evaluating the bookcases in the dining room. Technically this room has three bookcases but two of them are actually display shelves with stuff we’ve collected from various countries. One bookcase has books related to the continent of Asia, the second has books on Africa. Most of these are memento books and dictionaries – not really books to read. I’d feel guilty getting rid of them, so I’m focusing my attention on the catch-all bookcase.
The photo above on the right is the before photo and the one on the left is the after. Unfortunately they don’t look all that different. For the record though, out of 270 books, I’m getting rid of 45 and moving 4 to a more appropriate bookcase. Many of the books I’m keeping are books I use as resources for planning prayer services. Others are books on nature, health, household repair, and geography. Oh yes, this is also where I stash all our catalogues which I reduced by about a third. For those who care, there is a website, www.CatalogChoice.org that helps you eliminate unwanted catalogs.
A more satisfying experience today was finding a place to sell/donate all the books I collected from weeks #1 and #2. I took them to Half Price Books which is a store that sells books for half price but also buys used books, even text books, raggedy books, records, movies, etc. I took in over 250 books and got a whopping $10. Admittedly, few of the books were current or in good condition but since I was going to give them away anyway the payment was not important. The books that aren’t new enough looking to sell, they donate to non-profits. Those that don’t even meet that criteria, they recycle.
PS: I used my $10 toward buying several other books at the store
PPS: Other places to take used and books of questionable value are:
- The Friends of the Library (most libraries have this organization)
- Senior citizen centers and condos with a library like novels and classic movies
- Amazon, Powells, and other online stores buy current books in good condition but it takes a bit of work to use their systems.
I’d like to discuss the finer points of getting rid of vs. saving boxes. Recently my husband retired from serving 12 years on the Covington School Board. That meant we could finally turn in 10 large “banker boxes” (equivalent to three file cabinets) of School Board files for shredding then recycling. This left several glorious feet of open space in one of our closets. My first impulse was to put something in the open space, but since I’ve been getting rid of other space hogs in our house, I honestly don’t have any good candidates to take this open space. What a dilemma!
On the other hand, I save boxes. I don’t know if you would call it a hobby or a compulsion but you never know when you’re going to need a box for a present or to mail something. So, I’ve designated a section of our basement for various size boxes (some nested and others collapsible). I also save reusable gift bags, tissue paper, bubble wrap, and a variety of small boxes, tins, old film canisters, and pill containers. These come in handy for containing small objects and doing DIY home organizing. My husband thinks we have enough. My question is can you ever have too many empty boxes or containers as long as they neatly nest into each other?
PS: This photo may look like a mess but I can usually find the size container I want quite quickly.
Today I took on our biggest bookcase of 439 books. (One whole shelf contained sort of sorted Legos. I wouldn’t dare give those away.) I chose 193 books to give away which are pictured at right. Probably it’s more instructive to discuss what I decided to keep.
- A few old college text books: I thought this would be an easy purge. I am giving away most of them but saved a few counseling classics and 8 books on sex – all for professional purposes of course.
- High school yearbooks: I saved all our kids high school year books (even though my mom had discarded mine years ago. “Take THAT, Mom!”)
- Bibles: You’d think one would be enough but I had 6 (5 were different translations so I’m giving away the duplicate one.) There were also 5 children’s Bibles. I kept 4 since they covered different age ranges and styles. I justify both kinds of Bibles because I sometimes write Bible studies and often give talks to parents about children’s faith development. I also kept some saint books for the same purpose.
- Baby books: This is probably silly since I’m way past childbearing age but there’s no statute of limitations on grandparenting or visiting kids. I kept the Baby Names book because I sometimes like to know the meaning of names. I know, I know, I could find it online, but this is the first run through.
- Much loved children’s books: I kept these because I was directed by our daughter to do so. (I probably would have kept them anyway, Heidi.)
- Creative children’s activities. In addition to the Legos, we have “Gears-Go-Round,” a magnetic game, a rock collection, and a few other things that aren’t books but were kept near the children’s books section. Kids haven’t used them in awhile, but they are quality activities, and you never know…
…dust. One of the unintended side effects of pruning my books is that I now have some empty spaces on the first bookcase. I blew a lot of dust off the books I’m giving away, but now I realize that there was a value to having all the books crammed together – the dust was invisibly embedded on the tops of the books. Now I can see that I may have to dust those luscious spaces between books. Even if I fill the spaces with other more decorative items, it won’t be as thorough a dust hider as the books. Ah, the price of success.
I’ve procrastinated long enough. It’s now time to tackle the books in our house. I counted 11 bookcases (not counting the 2 in Jim’s office and 3 that primarily have artifacts on them, not books) and 1,339 books at last count. Surely I can find quite a few to give away although it may be painful. The challenge is to decide what criteria to use for what to keep and what to give to friends, the Friends of the Library, or a friendly used book store. First I asked the friends:
- A young adult quickly answered, “Give them all away, then re-buy any you really want for an e-reader.” I’m not quite ready for going cold turkey like that.
- Another friend said “Only save books that have information you can’t get online.”
- Several people commented that many people use what I consider obsolete books for “staging.” It can make a home more saleable or lend status to a coffee table – if you haven’t given it away.
- One of my own criteria was to get rid of novels that I’ll never read again and college text books. (40 year old texts are of little value to my every day work.)
I decided to tackle the easiest book case first – to get me in training. It had 155 books – many of them novels. I chose 64 to give away. There; that wasn’t so hard. We’ll see what next week brings.
PS to the nosy: Click on the photo to enlarge and see the titles I’m giving away.
Update: Check out Breaking the Sentimental Attachment to Books on Josh Becker’s Becoming Minimalist blog for additional ideas.
As we close out the year I thought it would be fun to survey all the useless stuff I still have hanging around the house. Should I just trash these items or could there really be a use for some of them. It all started when I found a box of 124 floppy discs. On a whim, I googled “What to do with floppy discs?” and found that indeed someone had a list of 10 ways to reuse or recycle floppy discs.
This got me thinking about other things and I came up with 10 relatively useless items that I’ve found uses for:
- Dead things:
*house plants – compost
*tennis balls – nursing homes use them on the bottom of walkers. Dog owners can throw them for their dogs to chase
*batteries – I don’t have a clever use for these but I did find out that alkaline batteries
such as AAA, AA, C, D, and 9 volts can be safely thrown away. Rechargeable ones
cannot. Radio Shack accepts rechargeable batteries.
*bike tires – use as ties (like bungee cords) to safely attach things you don’t want to mar
*cellphones/ipods – Check out Charity Guide
- Paper grocery bags – in addition to garbage can liners, I wrap Christmas gifts in them (It has become a quaint family custom.) Now that we usually take cloth bags to the grocery, however, we have to make a special effort to ask for paper at the grocery around Christmas time.
- Large glass bottles – recycling is good but we filled a couple with water and put them in the basement for an emergency (You never know when the next tornado will twirl by.)
- Diaper pails – modern parents may not even know what these are but since we used cloth diapers but no longer have babies, we have a couple large white plastic wastebaskets.
- 10 year old Lectionary of Sunday Mass readings – Since I get a dated new one each year, I was about to throw these old ones out till I remembered that they had optional translations approved by the Canadian bishops in them. I often prefer these translations.
- Used toothbrushes – sterilize them in a dishwasher or use them to scrub tiny places
- Old political buttons – use as a part of a Halloween costume
- Old political signs – use for yard sales
- Carpet samples – use with groups of pre-schoolers when you need each child to sit in one place. Tell them they need to keep their body on their own piece of carpet.
- Single socks and torn clothes – obviously, this is how one collects rags. But, is there any use for a single shoe, glove, or earing?
Can anyone suggest a creative (and easy) use for the following before I pitch/recycle them:
- Cassettes and VCR tapes – I just read that CDs and DVDs may soon be obsolete. That makes the cassettes true dinosaurs. I know you can probably convert them to a more modern medium, but I don’t know that I want to take the time and effort to do it. Still…
- Broken “Simon” game – It’s a great game for visiting children who don’t speak English since it’s not language dependent, but it doesn’t work and it’s not just the battery.
- Tarnished silver – Relatives handed several silver dishes down to me but frankly, I’m not into cleaning them for once a year use. Taking them to a thrift store doesn’t seem practical unless someone could get some money for them.
- Record albums and turn table – If tapes are obsolete, what would you call vinyl records? I like the songs for nostalgia and if I were a geek or wealthy I could convert them into some digital form. But other than using them as a platter or for an art project, any ideas?
- Misc. unidentified computer parts – I don’t know enough to know if any of these are important or valuable and don’t want to take the time to learn. The main thing I know, is that I shouldn’t just throw them in the garbage.
Useless items I don’t own and never intend to own, i.e. Susan’s pet peeves.
- Extra deep mattresses – This seems to be the rage in hotels and people upgrading their home mattress. Not only is the extra depth not necessary for comfort, it forces one to buy new sheets, spreads, mattress covers, etc. If that were not bad enough, it is also very inconvenient. For short people (like me) it means I can’t sit on the bed to put my shoes on or take them off. (My feet can’t reach the floor. ) I’m guessing that the marketing angle is to project the image that such beds are more plush or that they conjure up notions of historic high beds. It’s a blatant example of planned obsolescence and unfortunately people are falling for it.
- More than 3 pillows on a double bed. This is related to #1 above and again seems to be mostly to project a luxurious image. When I’m at a hotel or visiting I simply have to put all these extra pillows on the floor. I’m being generous with 3 pillows. If you have two people in a bed, only 2 pillows seem necessary.
- Diaper Genie – I saw this totally unecessary item given at a baby shower. I guess the idea is that it compacts disposable diapers into little pellets. Why one can’t just put it in the garbage directly is a mystery to me. I think it’s a farce inflicted on new parents who don’t know any better.
- There are many other items that I don’t have time to list now because I’m on vacation and trying not to muddle my mind with annoying trivia.
PS: Speaking of “useless stuff,” perhaps you, might be interested in the story behind the stuff we have as told in The Story of Stuff. On a lighter, albeit a little risque side is George Carlin’s classic monologue on Stuff. Well, as you can see and hear, this end of the year blog collects a lot of stuff in one place.
Some weeks I give away a lot of things; some weeks only seven small items. The most satisfying times, however, are when I can find just the right person or place to give an item to. This past week I was happy to give our son’s trumpet from marching band back to the school for another student to use.
I also noticed that there were several religiously oriented children’s books on a table in the back of our church. I guess the idea is to help keep children engaged if they get bored. I found four books to add to the collection.
We had drawn a Secret Santa tag from our parish Giving Tree that requested a hat, gloves, toy, and some books for a 3rd grade boy. I bought several new things but added some gently used books from our collection. I’ll probably end up giving a lot of books to the “Friends of the Library” next month when I tackle pruning our book cases, and that will be fine. But! This felt so much better to have an individual to give the books to. (Sorry, no photo for these books. I sent them before I could take a photo.)
As I continue to look around my home and consider what more to part with, I often feel some pride in cleaning things out or virtue in passing stuff on to those in need. As I dig more deeply into this process, however, I realize that a bigger challenge is to let go of bad habits, pride, and emotional stuff that keeps me focused on myself or feeling self-righteous. This is the more spiritual side of letting go.
Following are some things I’m struggling to let go of:
- Being right, my opinions (Spouses are helpful for tempering the notion that my way is the right way, but still, the discipline of trying to see a debate from the other side is an exercise in the “spirit of poverty.”)
- Judgments, criticisms, complaining about others (Sometimes I read or listen to programs by commentators that I strongly disagree with. I thought it would be an exercise in trying to understand other’s opinions. Actually, I just got angrier. I decided it’s not healthy for me to listen to inflammatory rhetoric. It just feeds my urge to criticize and feel hopeless. Better to focus on doing something positive.)
- Control, wanting things MY way and quickly (I experienced this with my upcoming book and wanting to micro-manage the layout, title, etc. I’m also big on saving time which sometimes means controlling the pace at which others work.)
Yet, there are some intangibles that I should hold on to:
- Complimenting others on their talents and developing my own talents
- Smiling at strangers, keeping secrets (unless someone is is danger)
- Generous Tipping (This is hard for me since I’m such a tightwad. I have to make a special effort to remember that waiters/waitresses are usually paid low wages.)
It all started because I couldn’t find the pizza cutter. As I searched kitchen drawers I found that I had to practically empty each one to make sure the pizza cutter was not hidden under other stuff. This prompted me to realize I had a lot of unnecessary items like extra pot holders and dish towels. Utilitarian as these items are, they aren’t too glamorous or photogenic. With the holidays coming up (plus I discovered a new place to give things to — our parish’s “department store” for low income neighborhood people), I decided to examine my kitchen and storage room for other useful items.
I had been holding on to some glasses and dishes for our adult children as they set up their own households. Remarkably they are somehow managing without these supplies. I decided to save a few things in case those living out of the country resettle here. I’m passing the rest on to people who can use it now. All in all, I counted 30 items including dishes, vases, a pie plate, candle holders, trays, Corelle ware, a jello mold, salt shaker, large knife and fork, and a couple Christmas knick knacks. I know this is more than one item a day, but hey! who’s counting.
PS: Click on the photo to get a closer view.