Thursday, March 6, 2008


Raji and Indrani have written to say they have problems actually deciding what is junk?

I don't think we see what we keep and keep as junk. We hang on to a lot of things out of sentimentality or because we think it 's going to come in useful one day.

The old rule used to be 'If you haven't used it for 7 years, then throw it out'.
Now its more like if you haven't used it for one, then throw it out. This could apply to our clothes especially. We have piles waiting for us to shrink into them.
I liked a rule of Sudha Murthy's. When you buy a new one, give away an old one.

I used to think that having more cupboard space was the answer. But the more shelf space we have, the more we tend to fill them. I’ve been doing my best to get rid of clutter lately. My maid is carrying away stuff everyday now that we’ve been painting and have had to turn out every cupboard. Still, the rest?

We all like to give away things. But feel it must reach the right people.

-I’ve been sending clothes to our local municipal school. It gives me a real kick when I visit the school and see my duppatas being used to cover computers and tables)

-Reducing the piles of carry bags, paper bags and gift paper that wrapped the gifts ) to strict limits. We save each one, and very often, don’t use them.

-Took a bag of old spectacle cases ( my husband even had lenses saved from frames that broke) to the local charity eye hospital .

-Cut out the pics I really wanted from piles of old Inside outside and femina etc and donated the feminas to the beauty parlour and the mags to friends on condition they never return them.

-Donated fiction we re never going to reread to the library.

-Am trying to get a friend to start a book bank for college students so I can leave the crates of text books there. Computer texts especially get so outdated its better someone uses them now. Both my kids are finishing college this year. So they are sure to come back with piles of books and other things I have to store uselessly for years or get rid of them right now

-Coming down strongly on my habit of keeping sweaters, shoes, books, games for guests. They come only once a year and they can manage somehow.

-The Reader’s Digest , Indrani are going to a friend. Her husband leads a semi retied life at home so he is happy to get them. Maybe a Retired People’s association in your neighbourhood?

I found a box of brass items which I’d stored so as to rotate the display stuff periodically. Of course I never did any such thing. Now I know I don’t need them at all. But who can I give them to?



All good suggestions, especialy Sudha Murthy's which I have been assiduously following for the last so many years.
And anyway, in my case I find that the minute I give something away, I need it the very next day.

Indrani Ghose said...

Good tips, only it remains to be seen now how well I apply it.

Maddy said...

toughest thing to do...letting some of that stuff go is heart wrenching...