What Items Can You Not Let Go But Have No Use For?

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

In decluttering your home, what have you found that serves no purpose, yet you can't part with it? Was it a gift? Is a wonderful memory attached to it? It's it broken, moldy, damaged, etc? Perhaps it's an item that could be useful to someone else, but you just can't let it go. Maybe if you post it here, some of us might help you learn to let go of it or maybe we can repurpose it, make it over into something that could be useful to you.

My item is a ceramic "cat bag" a friend made years ago. I inherited it when she dies of cancer. It's really pretty and I love it. For a while I used it put my paint brushes in, but the smallest ones would get lost in it. For the last couple of years, I've filled it with potpourri. But the cat really doesn't match any of my decor, so I just can't figure out what to do with it or where to put it in my house. I'd love to keep it; it's beautiful and I love it for sentimental reasons too. But how can I make it a useful piece of decor?

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Whew! Thank goodness you qualified it with the words "no purpose". I try to make use of anything I'm attached to that doesn't have a specific purpose.

How about putting some pencils or pens in your cute cat face? Then put it in a room where it will match the decor.

We were given two lovely blue vases, years ago, but the only blue here is in the half bath and they'd be out of place there. So they remain in a box, sad.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

There's no room on my desk for the cat filled with pens or pencils. Besides, most of the pens would drop too far down into the cat and wouldn't be visible or easily accessible.

Does any wallpaper border or drapes have a hint of blue in it? Maybe you could use a vase to pull that blue out. Or maybe you could find a way to use them in the new utility room you plan to build. Or maybe out on your porch or sunroom? They sound too pretty to hide away. Isn't there some blue in the rug in your living room? Or maybe a tiny hint of blue in your sofa? The vases might be a pretty splash of color sitting in the bay window with your coleus. When you wanted to root cuttings of the coleus, you could put a few in the vases perhaps?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

This room used to be blue but I doubt it will happen again. No blue on the porch, bedrooms, living or dining room. They're tall so I can't use them for cuttings.

Could your cat bag be used for holding stakes for plants?

Burien, WA(Zone 7b)

I would plunk a plant in the kitty, but that's just me. Something spiky.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I hadn't thought about putting a plant in the cat. I was thinking about taking a some sanseverias to the office. Maybe I could find a pot that will fit in the cat and fill it with different sansv and take it to the office tomorrow. That's an intriguing idea! I'm going out to the potting area to see what I can find that will fit in it. It would be kinda cute on my desk there! I just volunteer there one day a week, but I keep warning them that I'm moving in soon. I guess they'll believe it tomorrow, huh? LOL Thank you, Shune! I think we've found its purpose!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

If you show up with a pillow, blanket and sheets you'll show them you're serious!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Too funny, Pirl!!

Well, here's my new and improved cat, which I'll carry to the office tomorrow. I really like it now!!! I wanted to put some creepy-crawly sedum that would spill out of the pot, but all of my sedums are dormant right now. When they show themselves again, I'll get a red-leafed one to add to this arrangement. The cat contains four different dwarf variety sanseverias.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Great job, NancyAnn!

Burien, WA(Zone 7b)

Very cool. I'm excited I could help with something!

BROOKFIELD, Australia

Can you use it as a vase or a plant pot? Put in a couple of drill holes for drainage and plant your favourite plant, place it in the garden.] Sorry, didn't notice the comment, but it looks great with the Mother In Law Tongues - well done.



This message was edited Jan 24, 2011 8:42 PM

BROOKFIELD, Australia

My husband and I have just spent three weekends and copious hours on a whole house garage sale. I have to say that purging is a wonderful feeling. Now we are left with all the "treasures" that no-one wants!

This collection is the combination of 40 years marriage, four kids and never throwing anything out! I have learned my lesson.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Just spotted that you are a new subscriber, biddy. Welcome to Dave's Garden!

Saugerties, NY(Zone 5a)

I think your kitty planter is adorable, nicely done :>)
Christine

Crozet, VA

I too love what you have done with the kitty. That will be so cute on your desk at work. It sure seems the type of thing to bring a smile to any grump that happens to walk by. Thanks for sharing this BC.

I too want to welcome Biddy. I would love to hear more about he whole house garage sale. What made you decide to do it? How did it do this time of year? How did you advertise it? Inquiring minds want to know. Tell me to mind my own business if you'd like but I find it interesting that you undertook this major project at this time of the year.

I just saw this thread today. I am sure that with a little thought I can come up with all sorts of things that I hold on to that are currently serving no purpose but I can't let go of yet. I know that one thing I do with colorful and shiny objects that catch my eye and I just have to have. I often buy the suction cup hooks that stick on windows or mirrors and hand up ornaments of all sorts and I like to refer to them as being either wall or window jewelry. hahaha

I have a small garden window in my small kitchen and it seems to be home to a lot ornaments that I have collected over the years. I have things hanging there now and when rifling through some desk drawers last week found a supply of the same sorts of things that I took down some months ago to wash and didn't put back, but stuck in a drawer. I won't be getting rid of them and will probably end up changing the different ornaments around from time to time.

Anyway, this is a fun topic and I will look forward to seeing others post some things here to get some ideas from all you creative and artsy women.

Ruby

BROOKFIELD, Australia

Thank you Pirl - it is all very interesting.

BROOKFIELD, Australia



Hi Rubyw: My husband and I moved to an apartment back in May last year. We have been trying to sell every since - houses are moving slow in Qld, Australia. No probs with wet feet, but we were cut off north and south by flood waters.

Our son was living in the house for a while and we didn't have a chance to do the garage sale last year because of it. It is slow now, so it was a good time.

The apartment was fully furnished, so I only took what I wanted from the house plus added things I needed in the kitchen. Not a lot of storage space unfortunately. So everything in the house had to go - beds, fridges, washing machine, dryer, bedding. Four kids and 40 years of marriage - one does seem to collect things. Sadly, we moved from Vic to Qld 10 years ago and brought most of it with us! What is left will get collected by our local recycling centre and then we can start painting and cleaning up the place. However, I cannot get rid of photographs.

I just saw this thread today. I am sure that with a little thought I can come up with all sorts of things that I hold on to that are currently serving no purpose but I can't let go of yet. I know that one thing I do with colorful and shiny objects that catch my eye and I just have to have. I often buy the suction cup hooks that stick on windows or mirrors and hand up ornaments of all sorts and I like to refer to them as being either wall or window jewelry. hahaha

Mosaicing is another way of using things up. Biddy52

I have a small garden window in my small kitchen and it seems to be home to a lot ornaments that I have collected over the years. I have things hanging there now and when rifling through some desk drawers last week found a supply of the same sorts of things that I took down some months ago to wash and didn't put back, but stuck in a drawer. I won't be getting rid of them and will probably end up changing the different ornaments around from time to time.

Anyway, this is a fun topic and I will look forward to seeing others post some things here to get some ideas from all you creative and artsy women.

Ruby

[/quote]

Crozet, VA

Thanks Biddy. I just realized you were in Australia. Duh!!! It is summer there isn't it? I was wondering why someone would choose the middle of winter to hold what I refer to as a yard sale. Very interesting what you are doing as you downsize. Thanks for sharing.

Speaking of photographs. At some point I have a major project in sorting through and archiving fity plus years of photos. In my shed currently there are numerous boxes and photo albums that I bought in the past but have never really sat down and taken the time to give the proper respect to the photos I have. It has been one of those things that I keep telling myself that I will address someday.

Biddy, next time I have my camera out, I will take some pictures of my wall and window jewelry.

Ruby



(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Last year I spent an entire month going over old photos, Ruby. It's a huge task but I did get rid of thousands of envelopes of photos but didn't bother with getting them into albums. It would be massive work and who would want them when we're gone? I gave my daughter many of the photos I have taken of the family and she does keep them in albums. My son, forever single, has no room for photo albums.

I kept all old photos, from 1962 to 1988 in perfect order in albums so that's not a problem.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Just wondering, isn't there a way to convert photos to digital form (like vhs tapes and movies) or do you have to start with digital? Sure would take up a lot less space...and I've seen some of my daughter's digital albums and how easy it is to do.

BC I love your cat! Those mini MLTs look very whisker like.

Welcome Biddy. This is quite a group. Hope you'll stick around. Is where you live considered rural? Glad the floods spared you. Scary. One of the things I'd try to grab in a like emergency are some photographs. I could spend hours just looking thru old family photos: each one was like reading a book to me We've done some printing of photos on to fabric projects like T shirts for our family reunions or as quilt pieces. My daughter does a calendar for the Grand parents each year with pics of grandson's.. I really enjoy that.

Judy

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Going through old albums, with the kids (46 and 41) around me, is such fun!

Crozet, VA

Oh gosh Pirl, you scare me with talking of working with the photos for a month. Hopefully I can get through mine quicker than that. I don't know though, we will see. I too used to keep photos in albums but it has been ages and ages since I have done that. I actually asked my hubby for a photo album for Christmas this year and he obliged. He even bought it in my favorite color which is purple.

Gosh Judy, sounds like your family does a lot of very crafty things with photographs. Cool. Good to see you posting.

Need to run. Am needed by the grand children. Have a good evening all.

Ruby

Crozet, VA

Oh yeah, cross posted with you Pirl. I was going to say that in the past I have often spent hours and hours looking through old school year books. They are a lot of fun too.

ruby

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

You can scan your photos and convert them to digital that way. Or you can snap pictures of the photos with your digital camera and load them on your PC that way. My scanner takes forever and is such a pain that I usually snap photos of photos. I have to watch the flash so it doesn't ruin the new picture. Then I can enhance the new photos and make them look better than the originals.

I converted a bunch of old black and white family photos to digital and then made CDs for my siblings. I'm the picture taker at family events (weddings, family reunions, birthday parties, etc) and I put those on CDs and make copies for my siblings too. Then they can print the ones they like best and still have all the others on CD. One day I want to make nice DVDs set to music that will fade in and fade out to the pictures...one day.

Almost all my pictures have been scrapbooked. I've been a scrapbooker for years. All my pictures are now archived safely, avoiding acid as much as possible to prevent fading and cracking. People and events are labeled so my great grandkids will get the full story of their ancestors. For my brother's 50th birthday, I scrapbooked his whole lifetime and presented him with the scrapbook. He loved it! Different family and friends contributed pictures. Even his ex-wife joined in and gave me pictures of their life together many moons ago. He was so amazed to see people he hadn't thought of in decades and couldn't remember their names, til he saw them in print in the scrapbook. Scrapbooks are an incredible way to preserve your memories and tell the story of your family for future generations.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Yes, thanks BC I suppose that there are places I could hire to digitize my photos?

Or, say I have 50 photos or a "shoe box" full. How long would it take me to scan or rephoto that amount? How many fit on a CD? The reason I ask is that I might be quicker/more efficient to sort them on my computer with a mouse click than to physically go through each and every one and decide what organizational category it fit in best (on computer I can create duplicates , etc with another click and delete, move, etc and save as many versions as I want without getting caught up in the emotional attachment I have to each photo...)

Or, I could clear a space, collect all my collections of photos and begin 'sorting' them like the pieces of a 10,000piece puzzle ! without edges or corners or the picture on the box to go by.!

Can you all see how quickly me enthusiasm for this "to do" has waned? Or how subtely I stopped myself before I began by saying "clear a space" and then for good measure threw in 'collect' my collections? And if that weren't enough of a stopper I painted an image in my minds eye of a massive challenge , full of frustration and doomed to failure that could sit in judgement and climb on the guilt trip bandwagon anytime I think about photos, let alone run across one or, god forbid, want to take one.

As I wrote the above I became aware of how easy it is to turn a good idea, fun activity, new adventure into something I really don't want to do, a can of worms not worth opening.

Now, I can go back and see if I can debug my process

Reflecting for a moment, I think what I really want is what Pirl posted above, the simple statement that going through albums with my kids around me is such fun!

Later, Judy

Baytown, TX(Zone 9b)

I have a lot of pictures also. I hope that soon I can get some organization to them. I started several years back before I had a digital camera just having CVS develop the film and make a CD. I saved money and room by just having a CD and not 24 or more pictures that I did not need. This way if I wanted I could pick out any I wanted copies of and have them make prints or put them on my computer and look at them.

I am coming along really well on decluttering. Have more to do but have a whole lot behind me.

Sleep well everyone.

Crozet, VA

Oh gosh.....addressing my issues with my plastic bin (size large) full of photos is a ways down the list for me. As those of you who are currently working with yours, I am sure I will be back at some point asking for advice for choosing what to do with mine and any hints or tips to make it go quicker.

Yep Judy, I see that you are very human in your thought processes. Many of us are the exact same way. We can take something that would bring us pleasure and think about it too much till we work ourselves out of doing it. I would think that the addressing the photo issues is much like any other area of our homes or our lives that need our attention. Once we get started and take the very first steop in doing it, we find it isn't the boogey man we imagined it to be.

I am sure that once you start, the ladies here who have successfully already done their thing with their photos would be glad to give pointers on how to get it done quickly and pleasurably. Bet you a dollar. hahaha I am hoping so anyway. I have warned, I will return at some poiint and need you gals to walk me thorugh whatever process I decided to use.

Coleup, it took me a couple of months at least of coming here and reading and having the idea to possibly begin addressing my clutter before things began to sink in and I actually started taking action on it. No one is here to shame you in to doing anything at all. Hopefully the group will be able to serve you as well as it has me. I know that left to my own devices, I don't get much done. If I feel as though I have the support of others with my efforts, I tend to be able to do the job at hand.

It always feel great to come here and share whatever I have been up to that particular day and have others tell me that I am doing well. That is all I need in order to motivate me to do more and still more. You will get it girl, no rush. Just keep reading and posting. The clutter bug will get you and you will begin making progress. I for one and very pleased that you are joining in on the chat.

Anyway, I will repeat her what I have said in the other places I have posted today. You folks all have a great weekend. See you soon.

Ruby



Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

Really good advice here for dealing with photos. The Clutter forum could use a thread devoted to photos...

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I had the photos, 20+ years worth, in boxes on the shelves of my 8' wide closet here in the guest room and they always loomed as a huge job. I started with just one box and, when I saw how easily I could go through and eliminate the less than outstanding photos, it was FAR easier than it first appeared to me.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

One of the BEST ways that we have to save tips here at DG is to click on the 'post # blah blah" under the person's name and when that post enlarges, to click the manila file folder in the upper right hand corner and name the post and save it to our DG Tagged posts. When we want to look up that plant, article, post, we only need to go to the top of the page in the line under Guides and Info and click on "My Info" and go to our tagged pages.
This is how I 'tagged' ButterflyChaser's post about how to organize photos that she had written back in October.
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=8169375
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1126959/#post_8169375 I don't know which one of these will work, so I put both of them.

Someday I am going to do this....Like with anything; getting started is the hardest part of the job. I have built this up to where it is just too hard for me to do. ^_^ ♫♪Some day♪♫ had better get here soon!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Great idea. I always wondered how to tag pages so thanks for the help.

Do just one envelope of photos. Make it your limit for the day as far as photos go. You'll soon see you're cheating and doing three, four or five envelopes and then go from there. It's a good hobby for five minute time slots.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

Five minute time slots!♥Wonderful!♥ Do-able!♥ SO much better than being buried by the mountain of work that I have in mind!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You'll find some envelopes that take more time than others and you'll find photos and wonder where you took them or why you kept them.

I did the opposite of what I suggested to you and filled my bed with boxes after I saw how fast I could get through one box. I had quite the mess for a month! It was worth it since I couldn't garden in the snow.

Good luck!

Crozet, VA

My thoughts run much like Juney's.....such a large undertaking. Thank you Pirl for the encouragement that by breaking the BIG job down in to smaller bits, it can be done and probably a lot of fun to do. I can recall past photos that I would love to have now to display or at least put somewhere that I could find it later. Maybe some of these will show up whenever I get around to organizing my pics.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Oh, Ruby! This has been SO worth it. While going through still another pile of mainly dismantled photo albums, a few enlarged photos, some mats, etc. I found yet another bag of good jewelry. I hate keeping everything in one spot for fear that IF someone ever broke into the house they'd get all the good stuff in one convenient spot.

Even found my class ring!

All went went at the thrift shop but for all the volunteers inside just walking around you'd think one or two could have come out to help the people in the three cars giving them donations. Had my jacket open and wasn't cold at 26 degrees outside since it's so sunny.

(Ended up keeping one large heavy vase for flowers outside. Other vases just aren't heavy enough to stand up to the summer breezes. You can tell I'm dreaming of warm weather already.)

Crozet, VA

You are so cute Pirl. So glad you got the stuff gone. I am with you on the staff members. I too would have been a bit miffed if no one had offered to come to my aid. I suppose that the physical condition I am finding myself in isn't all bad. I have begun using a walking cane when visiting stores recently. I am not accustomed to folks going out of their way to hold a door for me or to offer to help me. It feels kind of strange and then I remember, oh yeah, I am crippled up.

Anyway, I am enjoying hearing about your journey in to de-cluttering. Every time one of us accomplishes something I want to stand up and yell rah, rah, rah. Good work girl. On to the next project....but remember to take a much needed time out in order to recover from this one.

Ruby

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My time out before the thrift shop was for a CT scan, then the thrift shop, now home for coffee, then a mammogram and bone density test 30 miles away, followed by fun shopping and then a "donation" of Christmas Spode to my daughter!

Crozet, VA

I was with you, rooting you along until you spoke of Christmas Spode. Please tell me what that is?

Ruby

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It's Spode's 'Christmas Tree', dinnerware:

http://www.spodechristmastree.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/spodechristmastree.jpg

Crozet, VA

Very pretty and thank you for solving the puzzle for me. I have one plate very similar to that. I use it to sit sweets in when setting the table during the holidays. A whole set is really great.

Ruby

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