philosophy: What are you most relieved to have tossed?

talley_sue_nycJune 1, 2004

We all talk about the great feeling of freedom we get when we toss stuff. What are you most relieved to have gotten rid of?

For me, lately, its the framed and matted photograph given to me by a friend--I never hung it, and I feel tremendously guilty every time I look at it. But it was just in the way in the closet, and in danger of breaking and getting glass shards everywhere.

I feel a tad guilty about tossing it, but I also feel relieved!

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hmm, very interesting topic...and I guess by "fessing" up to what I have done (thrown out), I have finally totally let go.

My parents passed away @ 4 years ago, I had six huge totes filled with stuff. Two of them filled with 35 mm slides that needed to be sorted (22 carosels, 140 slides each)...last weekend, I went through all of them and took out the pictures of people I knew (i.e., family)...and threw the rest out. It took me four years to get that courage up...By the way, out of over 3000 slides, I wound up w/ maybe 300

    Bookmark   June 1, 2004 at 1:17PM
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Do I detect a theme here? My big toss was some photos that had unhappy memories associated with them.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2004 at 1:45PM
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My childhood scrapbook. I went through it and got rid of some things, others I was so excited to see again. I put the good stuff on an acid free pages and labeled everything. It was good to get rid of that huge, heavy thing.

I got very sad and reminiscent while doing this.Lots of good memories and many friends who truely care about us. I would love to move back home if DH could get a job there but all his contacts are here. Guess I'm just depressed.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2004 at 2:42PM
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You know, I can't really remember offhand, and that is GOOD. I know I got rid of a LOT of stuff after the move and during remodeling, but now that it is gone, I can't even recall what most of it was. Guess that means it wasn't important enough to keep. One thing that comes to mind are some crocheting and embroidering kits that I had for YEARS! Always felt guilty about not doing them -- not the guilt is gone! :) Linda

    Bookmark   June 3, 2004 at 8:43AM
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I haven't done it yet, so I hope I can still chime in:

One of my summer plans is to go through baby/toddler clothes :::sniff, sniff::: that belong to my DD and DS, now 13 and 10. Those, and many of their school papers we've acquired over the years. It will be an emotional time for me.

But I will be relieved, on two levels: 1) it will create needed closet space for each child, and 2) I will symbolically close the "Should we or shouldn't we" (have another child) chapter of my life, and be able to focus on future projects with more clarity.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2004 at 8:04PM
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I got rid of a wall clock that had been a wedding gift from a male relative who molested me as a child. Now looking back I can't believe I LOOKED at that clock multiple times a day for 16 years. Sheesh. Just because "it was a gift and it works."

    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 10:34AM
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yowza, Sylvia! My sympathies, and my congrats on ditching that clock!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 11:56PM
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I couldn't agree more. Big time props for getting that clock out of your house!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 3:30PM
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When I first saw this thread my thoughts went immediately to my living room drapes. They're actually lined tab curtains that I bought about 25 years ago from Country Curtains. I bought new ones this year--perhaps not as fine quality but certainly a lot nicer looking because the old ones have become yellowed with age and otherwise stained.

Why has it been so hard to throw them out?? I've soaked them in Oxyclean. I've hung them out to dry. I washed them again and hung them out to dry again because they picked up some dirt on the line outside. I've ironed. I've folded. I've agonized. WHYWHYWHY????

And why, when I saw your post, Talley Sue, didn't I just chuck them at that point? Oh, noÂI hung on for dear life. I've been bad about getting rid of stuff, but not usually that bad. Must be something about these curtains...maybe the fact that I'd always wanted tab curtains from Country Curtains, and these were such a treat for me. Well, they're not much of a treat now. They ended up in the attic. Isn't that ridiculous?

With your encouragement (!), I'm throwing them out this afternoon. And I have no doubt it will feel good.



    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 12:59PM
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Susan, I *still* haven't tossed the Country Curtains drapes. Why? Because I wanted them for a long time, saved up for them, finally bought them, plus they were expensive (for me). I guess it was such an accomplishment to get them in the first place. But they don't work in the new house, don't fit the windows. I will toss them this week. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 10:56PM
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I recently got rid of a cuckoo clock handmade for me by a grateful client. It was very fussy, and I never liked the looks of it. I never even used it. I just kept it in a box in the basement because it was such a nice thing for him to have done.

Finally donated it to Salvation Army. Not sure if anyone bought it, but at least it's out of my house.

I'm getting so much less sentimental as I get older.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2004 at 3:52AM
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Sylvia, it sounds like you and I were in the same boat with those curtains! I had exactly the same feelings about them. I think I tried to make them new again, and of course that rarely, if ever, works.

Joann, I'm sure someone bought the clock at Salvation Army and absolutely loved it. It wouldn't have been me, however. :-)


    Bookmark   June 27, 2004 at 8:33AM
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MATERNITY CLOTHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2004 at 3:08PM
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Oh, Mama Mahoney, that's funny...but I have to say I loved being pregnant and if I weren't so damn old I'd do it again.

Sylvia, did you get rid of your Country Curtains? I did, and I really do feel relieved!


    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 9:16PM
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Ditto on the maternity clothes. I had two difficult pregnancies and births.

And the old baby clothes, sad and hard, but rewarding. I am still saving a couple pairs of those tiny little shoes though. And no one will get me to throw those out....

    Bookmark   July 15, 2004 at 2:27PM
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I just had to bump this thread up. Four days ago as I was cleaning my sunroom/playroom I emptied 9 plastic laundry basket storage bins that have snap on bins. I bought them at least 10 years ago at Walmart at a time when you couldn't find clear boxes/totes/bins for stuff. The snap on lid was a great feature, and since these were like laundry baskets you could see into them. But, nowadays you can buy wonderful see-into totes and boxes, plus these didn't hold much nor did they work as well on my new wire shelving unit, so I decided to get rid of them just in time to hand them to the driver of the recycling truck that was going down our alley that very moment. Under any other circumstances, I would have put those baskets in a holding position in the garage for a period of weeks/months so that I could get used to the idea of letting them go. These baskets stored all my baby toys, wooden trains, etc. It was sad to see them go, but at least they'll be recycled.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 3:53PM
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Two video shelving units that house 80 videos each and the videos...Hard to dump, but Ahhhhhhh I am so glad I did!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 8:08PM
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Many, many boxes of record albums. Actually, we sold them to a used record store for $100. Perhaps there were some that are collectors' items but I never did try to figure that out during the time I had them.

I did toss many videos as well.

Unfortunately, this hasn't stopped my dh from replacing the albums with CD's and the videos with DVD's.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 11:17PM
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This has to be my biggest relief... 18 years of Southern Living!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 12:26AM
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since this popped back up, I was curious to see who had added what--I BET you're relieved, Janice!

But I wanted to share something: I read about my framed photograph--and realized, I'd forgotten I'd ever owned it!

And that I am SO glad it is gone--I've been in the closet where it was stored, several times, and not had to look at it, and all the negative emotions it brought up.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 9:59AM
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I freecycled our John Boos solid maple farm table. I'm sad that we had to give it away (however, it was very well used), but our family size has doubled since we bought it! I'm just relieved that I could let it go.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 3:33PM
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Uhhhh ... all the crap my SO's ex-wife left behind?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 9:54PM
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All my size 6 clothes:))))

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 8:12AM
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Tossed to SIL today- my coffee table and matching sofa table.They are very beautiful but way too big for the traffic flow in this house.It is a relief to have some space.I have one more over sized piece of furniture to purge.Can't wait.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 10:25PM
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A huge stack of National Geographic magazines.I held onto them for too many years.
Now if I can only get rid of that encyclopidia set thats gathering dust in the closet.
I swear it's going to happen....soon.
Hey my kids grew up with these!
i know...I know,they are usless junk now,outdated information..etc..etc.

eliza ann

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 10:53PM
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Not sure if these count, but they work for me.

I got rid of the stupid matted wedding picture wall hanging I was given. The wedding picture was a favorite pose was a given as a gift from the photographer. Some well meaning person intercepted my photos and framed it as a gift to me. I hated the stupid layout with the picture, wedding napkin, and invitation. I kept it around for a few years in the closet until reading here that Hey, I don't have to keep it around if I don't like it. I recycled the expensive frame by putting a mirror in it. I threw out the crappy invitation and wedding napkin. Getting a new frame for the picture that I really do like is on my to do list for the next time I go to a big city.

I also returned the huge family size pancake/sausage grill I got for Christmas. It doesn't fit my needs and would take up space and collect dust. Christmas, birthdays, and holidays with all the extra clutter has really been getting on my nerves this last year. I used the money to buy the coffee maker that I really wanted and needed.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 1:29AM
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Yesterday I tossed 5 bags of magazines; I was saving O magazines for a few years, why ? I do have a small pile of Victoria magazines I can't let go of.

I have days when I have no guilt at all in putting stuff in the trash;
I find that it's nearly impossible to give away things and the drop off counters have restricted days and hours where you can drop off so I get fed up and I act ruthlessly and never look back.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 5:17AM
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DD left a whole bunch of stuff at our appartment ( where she lived for 2 years on her own)- whenever I found things I thought she might want, I would save them so I could ask and show her later.

Well, one year later, she has not bothered responding to my quests except in a vague way, like, later I'll look, or maybe,
I don't know, not now, etc......

This week I tossed a whole bunch of her stuff in the garbage shute
and I never looked back......
I can be very patient but if I get up one morning and have that determined look in my eye, watch out !!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 8:18AM
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o all the stuff from my "childhood" stuff... not ALL of it, but MOST of it. did this is a purge round some 3 years ago. I'm 44 so I was holding onto for quite a long time. My parents split leaving my Grandparents to raise us so I don't have a lot of stuff from my "childhood". I did find one photo album of pictures from when I was a kid that has me and my brother so I kept that. My bio-Mom had it in a box of long unforgotten stuff that she didn't care about.. but the rest of it is gone! So I have those pictures and a few school pictures and that's it of stuff from before I was 18.

o my old beautiful Armoire. It was too big for my condo. But I'm in a house now and having a little bit of second thoughts... but when I stop and think about how big it was I'm glad it's gone. It was meant to be an entertainment center and when I setup my stereo, TV and etc stuff I was so HAPPY to be doing it on all the open shelves and modular stuff I got to replace the big ole Armoire when I got rid of it. Much easier to hook stuff up in the new place instead of having to run all that cable stuff from cavity to cavity in the Armoire. I still remember what a BIG pain that was in the past... So I don't miss it at all. I don't think I could have re-purposed it. It's best GONE.

o I've gotten rid of so much and so much of it I can't even remember what it was, so I must not miss it too much.

Although I do recall last week when I was planning my new MB closet and I was trying to recall what I had for long hanging clothes, I was trying to picture where my formal dresses had wound up (mind you everything's been in boxes for almost a month since I lived in a hotel before while my new house was getting work done it)... And then I realized I threw them all out! Or donated... don't recall which since I it happened in one of my major purging rounds when remodeling on my old condo.

So much stuff is gone and I can't really recall much of it, so it musta been the right thing to do :) Now if I could just get rid of my storage unit which I embarrassed to admit that I have one. I need to part with ALL my darkroom stuff. I'm not going back to photography anytime soon, but that's a hard one. I had so many long joyous hours and hours in the darkroom and I want to do it again one day :)

But by then I may no longer have eyes that can see so well :( Old age sucks :)

The real test of my reformed pack-rat ways is if I can get rid of the storage crap and soon without sacrificing my garage which I intend to use for actually parking my car in :) Right now it has all the gunk leftover from the re-modeling done before I moved in and after all of that is hauled off by the contractor then I'll have no excuse for not parking in my garage... I could probably now, but I have to re-organize some stuff.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 4:40PM
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I'm not tossing, but I am trading with my sister. Years ago, she gave me a beautiful Victorian rocker. It's in our bedroom, but I can't actually use it; there's no room to pull it out enough from the wall to rock. To be honest, I wouldn't use it anyway. There's really no other place in the house for it. She trading me two chairs that match my patio table (we have identical tables). DH has mentioned me getting rid of that rocker several times, but he never pushed me about it. I finally came to the realization myself.

I'm also getting rid of an antique trunk I've had since college. I've been keeping it at the end of the bed. It doesn't look bad, but it would look a lot better if it was restored. Also, I can't store linens or clothes in it because the inside does have an "old" smell that gets into things like that. It has a domed lid, so we can't sit on it. I've decided to get a storage bench for the end of the bed that we can actually use for storage & sit on to put shoes on.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 6:57PM
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I have had great success getting rid of that "Old" smell by placing a container of coffee grounds inside and leaving it for awhile. Just a half of a cup or so of coffee, new of course. Not trying to talk you into keeping your old trunk. Just something for future reference.

There is one thing I have had ,thirty years+,that I got rid of but sold it on Ebay instead of tossing it. A Christmas ornament. Was a wonderful windfall for me. Who would have thought it would have been worth so much? I used some of the money to buy those wire shelves at Wal-Mart for our pantry shelves.:^)). My husband has teased me to no end on my last round of auctions. Trying to get rid of things too good to just toss I had about 20 auctions. Sold about 10 things and EVERY one of them was flat. LOL GRRRRRRRRR Now why couldn't the bulky things have sold?? Well they are gone to donations now so I did get rid of them and have a lot more room on my closet shelf.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 7:16PM
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Yesterday I finally tossed out the jewel cases to over 40 CD ROMs, no longer needed since I bought one of those CD wallets that hold 40 CD ROMs and their direction booklets. I figure that if I buy another CD ROM, I have to get rid of an old on to make space for it. Yippeee!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 3:22PM
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Thanks, Chris. I'll try that. I do have a couple of antique picnic baskets that I plan to keep & use so I'll try that tip on them.

I have a few things that I think I'm going to try selling on Ebay. I know once I get around to decluttering the attic there are some smaller things I can try on Ebay.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 7:45AM
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I am most relieved to get rid of a bad purchase on e-bay. Every time I look at it, I get that yucky feeling for wasting money, and angry that someone unloaded something on me that had something wrong with it. A few come to mind. A black beaded sweater where the arms were too skinney to ever be comfortable, and I had my daughters (who are in grade school) try it on, and it was too skinney in the arms for them. I then brought it to my SIL who wears a size 2 to give to her, and she said the same thing. Something is wrong with the arms on this sweater. The seller refused to take it back. $70 wasted! Another black wrap dress where the arms were like 6 inches too long (and I am tall). there were a few others but you get the point.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 9:36AM
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Well believe it or not, when I came across this post, I was cleaning out my basement downstairs. Old paperback books, cake pan,dishes,magazines, decorations of the seasons etc. Why keep them, when I never use them anymore. We had a neighborhood garage sale, this fall, and all the stuff I didn't sell, I just tossed it in the garbage can. I was so tired of looking at all that junk, and it took up so much space that I truly needed. We are going to remodel our basement in the spring, and I thought now is a good as time as any to get RID OF THE JUNK I NO LONGER USE. You just have to say to yourself, I don't need this anymore!!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 9:05PM
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My mother's muskrat fur coat from 1947, wide shoulders and all. I've been hauling it around for 20 years, after she finally realized she didn't need it in Florida.... Now she's been gone for 7 years, and I still had it. I never wore it, but always remembered burying my face in it when I was little when she wore it.

Then in "Real Simple" magazine I read that the National Humane Society in Wash. DC was accepting old furs, to be cut up and sent to wildlife rehabilitators (rescuers) around the country, to comfort orphaned or sick animals. Into a shipping box and off it went. Now it can help some other young ones. What a relief!

Here is a link that might be useful: Fur donations

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 9:10PM
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Thanks, I will be sending a fur coat to them Monday It belonged to my beloved sister who passed away many years ago, she was only 33. I have been holding on to that coat for too long.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 2:59AM
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My two sisters both had new babies. I bought a craft kit of two baby bibs stamped to be embroidered. I started one but it was slow going. It was getting close to Christmas. About two weeks before Christmas, I threw out both of them. One bib partly done, the other not even started. I felt such RELIEF. I had given myself permission not to be a perfectionist, and I was free to simply purchase gifts for both babies.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 8:16PM
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I've thought about this for a couple days and can't narrow it down ONE thing that makes me most relieved.

I'm happy to be rid of lots of things we didn't need or use. Had to fight DH on lots of them, since he doesn't like to let go of things that are "still good" or "we might need someday".

I'm happy to be rid of lots of dead people's things. The people made me happy, their clutter didn't.

I'm happy to be rid of gifts, guilt-free. Just because someone gave it to me does not mean I have to keep it forever.

Like Jannie, I'm happy to be rid of unfinished craft projects.

I'm happy that my closets only have clothes that fit, though as we move through winter I'm still finding too-big clothes in there, so that's ongoing.

In fact, everything is still ongoing here. After several major de-clutters, I'm still opening doors and finding more JUNK to toss. Why did I keep it the first 5 times? LOL

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 5:55AM
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I just got rid of a large four drawer legal filing cabinet that was stuffed to the point of functionally unusable. I called a charity about one Mike away from my home and asked if they could use it since it was in great condition and we still a had a key. The director told me that she was actually looking on Craigslist yesterday for one, and was delighted at the prospect of having one delivered to the agency. Ten minutes later (it was already in our truck when I called) my son and I were unloading the file cabinet. What a win-win outcome!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:38PM
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I just got rid of a large four drawer legal filing cabinet that was stuffed to the point of functionally unusable. I called a charity about one Mike away from my home and asked if they could use it since it was in great condition and we still a had a key. The director told me that she was actually looking on Craigslist yesterday for one, and was delighted at the prospect of having one delivered to the agency. Ten minutes later (it was already in our truck when I called) my son and I were unloading the file cabinet. What a win-win outcome!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 1:04PM
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A truckload of stuff that was sitting in my garage for 15 years. Holding on to it all in case we might need it someday or in case it had some monetary value that we didn't know about --like an antique vase etc. held it way tooo long. So glad it's gone. used a professional organizer -they helped me let it go and drove it away. Doing this required help from an outsider. With the exception of organized momentos, seasonal and useful items in cupboards, there is nothing else in my garage. Feels great.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:38AM
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Don't bother about what MIGHT be valuable. My family is in antique/second hand business. When they don't know the value of an object they could sell they have a decision to make: keep it and research it quickly or sell it for more than they paid for it. Think about it. How many things are you going to store because they MIGHT be valuable? If you don't know it, how have you been harmed? If you really need the money then research it right away and sell it! I hope this helps. Meanwhile, I have a cute little cupboard that I have kept for 40 years!!! planning to "do something original" with it. It is now in the donations section of the garage. How time flies!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:17AM
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It's also a tremendous relief to get rid exercise gear you no longer use.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2014 at 3:37PM
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I'm another one who came back to see why this post had resurfaced! Several years ago I finally got rid of a pair of jeans that I had had forever. They were the smallest jeans I've ever had on as an adult. Don't remember what size they were now, but they probably fit me a month or so when ex-husband and I were going through a terrible time in our marriage. Used to keep them to remind me how skinny I was then. One day it occurred to me that every time I saw them stored in my closet it brought back a horrible time in my life.

Since that time anything that gives me a sad feeling when I see it is GONE! (brushing palms together and walking away!)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 8:09AM
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des_arc_ya_ya -- that's a great strategy.

I also toss things that make me feel guilty when I look at them.

Doing so reminds me of that serial-killer cliché: "Stop me before I kill again."

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 12:31PM
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So many things, but the first thought that popped into my mind was "an ex-husband or two."

With the first I knew by the six-month mark I should divorce him. "But what will my family/friends think?"

Four and a half years later, I did. Life is far too short to live miserably.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2014 at 10:51PM
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What was I most relieved to have tossed?

My ex husbands.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 4:38PM
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My designer dolls. I am clearing out all unnecessary things and when I checked out the value of the dolls on Ebay, $25 for a $450. doll and some didn't even sell for that. So I donated them to the Bethesda Gently used Store and they broke a record for sales the month I took them in. I am happy to know that the money will go to abused women and children. I did good.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 5:38PM
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