Search This Blog

Sunday, September 14, 2014

'Guilt Clutter'...

Hopefully I'm not sounding obsessive here, as it's been a few posts now about decluttering and I've 'surfed the net' a bit too and found quite a few sites dedicated to helping people declutter some of their possessions. I've admitted on my blog that I have lots of craft 'stuff' and some of this 'stuff' is no longer to my taste...it sits in shelves, storage cubes and cupboards.
A fairly recent saying comes to mind...'a first world problem'! (But not all my possessions are craft oriented of course.)

So do I feel that 'guilt clutter' comes down to that overarching theme  of guilt caused by the knowledge that such a relatively small percentage of the world's population uses up a disproportionate amount of the world's resources??? Or is it the guilt engendered by the knowledge that  a lot of money was spent in acquiring items only to see them just pile up and not be used as intended?

Or does the term 'guilt clutter' refer to items that were gifts and even though you don't have a use for them, or you do not even like them and you feel that you don't need them, but to discard them or give them away seems to be a hurtful, ungrateful and rude gesture??

Or is 'guilt clutter', items that have sentimental value and this makes them very difficult to part with? I have lots of this type of article...and it is an emotional tie which makes me hold on to these items, but is there a fine line between 'family treasures' and clutter? Will the family appreciate these items when I am no longer the 'caretaker'; will the girls simply throw most of the items out? I think the term encompasses all those situations. 
Back in 2012 I read a book by Peter Walsh (an Aussie who had a TV series on decluttering on US TV). I found this book made it so much easier to detach myself from the emotional pull of 'belongings' and it helped change my mindset. It was a great read and I noticed that Peter is now back in Australia and working on local shows, helping hoarders 'tame' their belongings.


On the blog I'm an Organising Junkie, in the post, 'Letting Go of Guilty Clutter', Laura has a wonderful checklist of questions to ask oneself...
The post this came from, is well worth a read...
  • why am I hanging onto it?
  • do I love it or use it?
  • who am I afraid of hurting if I part with it?
  • am I holding onto this because I want to or because I have to?
  • how much space is this item(s) taking up?
  • could I be using this space for stuff I actually use on a regular basis?
  • what’s the worst that could happen if I get rid of it?
  • will someone else want this after I’m gone?
So now back to my 'elephant in the room'. Yesterday and today I sorted out some kits...

The 'Gift of the month' club at Fairies in my Garden... while I was still working I signed up for this club...each mail out was a surprise... trouble was I didn't always like the item to be made; sometimes I didn't even like their choice of fabrics...oh dear...I signed up for a second year too! lol



The kits always had a large list of items that were not provided in the kit...


Another set of kits I signed up for was the blocks for 'The Greatest Gift'; the 12 blocks designed by well known designers were an initiative to raise funds for Dr Catherine Hamelin's Fistula hospital in Ethiopia. Great idea except the style of the designs for applique are not 'my thing'...



I also signed up for 6 mailouts of project kits using Indian style fabrics from the Patchwork Angel...the fabrics were beautiful but the projects didn't inspire me to make them...

More patterns...

More kits...


Now I decided to procrastinate...I have decided to make an inventory of all those patterns that I've bought at Craft Shows and online...if I have a list, I should be able to keep track of things better. After all, 'organised' means 'not cluttered' doesn't it? lol
I've generously given myself 6 months to reassess the fabrics in these kits  and come up with a better use of them...for example, The Greatest Gift kit fabrics would make great hexies or even Dresdens. 
One last thing...
I'm going to be a bit circumspect about decluttering items that may have been given to me...

6 comments:

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Go girl....well done......

Exercising Septuagenarian said...

Maria I am finding your decluttering blog posts really timely as I am doing the same thing as you as part of my Spring Clean. Yesterday I tackled a cupboard in the spare room where I store large kitchen utensils I don't use often, but still need. All my sewing and craft is in there too, There wasn't much to get rid of, but it helped to actually go through what was in there, and label it.
The thing I know I will struggle with is 'guilt decluttering' as I deal with things that have been gifted to me.
The sun is shining and we are expecting 28 degrees today - ideal for laundering winter clothes ready to go back into their boxes for the summer. Cheers. Jean

linny said...

Oh dear Maria, are you sure you haven't opened my cupboard doors instead of yours. I've got many of the same kits, especially the Faeries in my Garden ones. I've decided they are for when hubby retires & I can't 'afford' to buy as much. There will be plenty to keep me out of mischief in my dotage. The problem is wonderful designers keep bringing out wonderful new patterns & kits & I keep on shopping.
lyn.robyn.smith@gmail.com

duchess_declutter said...

You are going great guns Maria! So many kits though - good luck with organising them. I like Peter Walsh, but disappointed that he is now selling cleaning chemicals on tv ads. He should stick with what he does best I think! cheers Wendy

Maria said...

Oh Maria like you have have lots of kits and fabrics I no longer like and will I ever use them..
Must go through my boxes and crates and reorganise too and give some away..
good luck with yours...

Vireya said...

Isn't this de-cluttering confronting at times!

As I have been packing up my house, I've found myself stalled when faced with a couple of lamps that belonged to an aunt, an old cracked mug that belonged to a grandmother, and similar items that I have no use for but feel guilty about not wanting.

I will have to try and internalise the points in the "letting go of guilty clutter" list. I don't suppose my aunt or grandmother will come back and haunt me if I dispose of their things!