I’m still in my bedroom because we have two extra dressers that serve as storage for gifts, mementos, and children’s clothes that we still have visions of someday passing on to grandchildren. It’s a little embarrassing to admit that I have two dressers worth of extra stuff and a bedroom big enough to hold them. Alas, that is the reality of a large older home that we’ve lived in for over 30 years. It was with some trepidation, therefore, that I approached the six dresser drawers this week since I knew that they were stuffed with memories. Many items were potential gifts that I had collected, often from foreign countries.

Days 365+69c ADAD Give Away1.  Give-Aways

  • 11 pieces of baby and children’s clothing (I saved the ones to which I’m most sentimentally attached in case there are future grandchildren who might use them.)
  • 11 T-shirts. Most of them got saved because they came from foreign countries. Thus, even though no one wore them anymore, they were mementos of trips. I decided that it was better for someone to wear them now, than to have them stay in my drawer.
  • 3 little purses. I love having a tiny, across the body, purse for travel that’s just big enough for money, ID, a comb, photos, and a phone. Unfortunately several times I’ve found such a perfect purse forgetting that I already had one. Eventually these do wear out, so I saved three others.
  • 2 mini clocks without batteries
  • 5 packs of sewing machine needles from a sewing machine that broke 2 years ago.
  • Men’s slippers that I was saving for guests who might need some. No one ever asked. Why not give it to someone who could use it now.
  • 1 of Jim’s sweaters. I cajoled Jim into going through his dresser. He chose two drawers and found one sweater that he was willing to give away.

Days 365+69c ADAD Throw Away2.  Throw-Aways (These were easy calls this time around.)

  • Used Boy Scout badges (I suppose I could have contacted a local Boy Scout troop and offered them the badges but they weren’t new looking and I made a ruthless decision that my time was worth more than perfection this time around.)
  • Miscellaneous obsolete papers.
  • A broken light that attaches to a book.
  • 4 dead AA batteries (put in with our stash of batteries to be recycled of course)

3.  Wait

  • Pair of long underwear.  Maybe next winter will be just as cold as this one.
  • A light that attaches to a book that isn’t broken – I think. Once I get two fresh AA batteries, I’ll see if it works. If so this should be good for reading in bed or giving away.
  • Days 365+69c ADAD Wait-KeepLots of stuff I left in the drawers that I don’t use regularly but I might some day.

4.  Keep

  • Gifts until I find the appropriate person to give them to.
  • Sewing machine thread, scissors, and other supplies.

1.  Extreme Purging Delayed
Even though I’m giving a lot of things away, I still have at least half of the contents that I’m still attached to or keeping for awhile. A true minimalist would probably give everything away (except the sewing machine supplies) but I’m not there yet. I’ve found that sometimes I need time to be ready to let go of sentimental items.

2.  Move It
I’ve created a new category called “Move It.” These are things I found that really belong in another place of the house. Most of my Move It items were trinkets that I think might be of interest to visiting children so I moved them to my “Children’s basket” which I keep handy for young people to look through and select a little treasure to take home. I have a small pang of conscience, however, as I wonder if I’m just contributing to another household’s clutter. I justify my action by figuring I’m spreading a little bit of joy to kids who enjoy a new trinket, then maybe they’ll pass it on.

3, Weighing the Perfect Vs  Time
In a perfect world some of my Throw-Aways (like the Boy Scout badges) could have been cleaned up and given to a scout troop to reuse. The extra zipper could be used – eventually by someone, somewhere. But sometimes I just made a decision not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The time it would take to refresh the badges, find the scout trip, and hope that some of the scouts were working on the same badges that my son did, wasn’t worth the time and uncertainty.