I find it sooooo hard to get rid of ___________

alisandeOctober 30, 2007

Negatives! I'm still putting photos in albums (3,000 pictures filed and labeled so far...and I culled the bad ones), and I keep putting envelopes of negatives aside to store later. It probably makes no sense to keep negatives these days, since the advent of scanners. And I have a very nice one. But I grew up with an excellent amateur photographer (my dad) who neatly filed his negatives. As a result, I have them today to digitize or whatever. It really bothers me to think of throwing my own negatives away. What are your thoughts on this?

And what do you find soooooo hard to get rid of??

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My negatives are labeled and filed in a cool dark location. And I HAVE had occasion to pull them out for reprints! I probably will never get rid of them....

I have trouble getting rid of my Agatha Christie collection.... around 100 books!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 3:55PM
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My sister and I have exsxhanged negatives of our family photos. . I keep them safe in a box. We libe 500 miles apart, so any natural disaster would not reach us both.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 9:47AM
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Hehe. I put the negatives in a box in a closet and leave them there and forget about them. So they aren't causing me any grief. (But they aren't gone either.)

Now the old camera, with even a roll of film in it (no pictures taken on that roll), now that was tough. It's not like I use it anymore. I think I did manage to toss it into the give-away bag.

I also found I was carefully collecting all the paper clips and safety pins from the junk drawer. Ooh, can't let one of those go to waste! It was ridiculous, and I knew that while I was doing it, but ... making it stop is another matter.

Catalogs. "Oh, I might want to buy that later." Nyet, nyet! You can find the same stuff online. You do NOT need to keep that catalog. Still I hesitate to toss 'em immediately!

Jean Marie

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 10:33AM
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Birthday cards from family and close friends and ANY card from my hubby! I've been saving them for 20 years.....

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 10:46AM
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I have every card and letter ever sent to our address for 30 years. They're all in one box in the garage and I still keep adding to it. But these are memories and I have no thoughts about having to get rid of it.

For years I was saving every plastic food container which ended up taking up space and was always a mess. The day I bought the Smart Spin (excellent item), I got rid of every free container I owned. Now I throw them out. I also used to save every supermarket plastic bag. I have a special container for them and now if this container is even half full, I just throw the new ones out. I know I will always be bringing home more.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 1:28PM
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I find it sooooo hard to get rid of shoes!

We had this discussion on the Decorating Forum...I have many expensive shoes from another life and I am really challenged to get rid of them even knowing that logically it doesn't make sense to keep them fashion wise and considering the space that I could reclaim. This is half of my shoes...

RE: Cards-I am brutal when it comes to greeting cards; I toss them as soon as I have read them. I wish I could muster the same level of courage to rid my closet of shoes.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 5:14PM
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I once had a closet organizer that held 30 pairs of shoes, and it was full. It got ripped and I threw it away. Where did those 30 pairs of shoes go? Well, I now own one pair of sneakers for every day, 2 pairs of waterproof boots (high and low),one pair of dressy black shoes, and bedroom slippers. That's all. I keep them together under my bed. Oh, the boots are in the front hall closet.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 8:36PM
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My compliments to you alisande, you ask the most thought provoking questions! It helps me because then I take a look around to locate what it is I may have been unwittingly collecting!

Used to be twist ties, I'd keep the new ones that came with the box of garbage bags (I knot my bags), and I'd keep the used ones that were wrapped around the top of the bags I buy my vegetable/fruits in at the grocery store. And I would never use the new ones, always felt I should use the old ones first! Never ran out of the old ones though, my drawer was getting too full. Now the old are tossed, and I maybe use a new one once every two weeks. Dumb eh?

My biggest problem is dealing with the guilt of throwing something out (that can't be recycled because it is very old/broken/ripped beyond repair) and I feel guilt for it taking up the space in the landfill. I found myself keeping those things around in an unused area in the house to delay that guilt. Just this morning I took off the bottom zippered portion of my son's 2 pairs of shorts/pants, because they have big holes in them and the pants are now too short, but I can save the top portion for him to wear as shorts next year (or give to charity if he's outgrown), but feel guilty to throw the bottom leg portion (which is more ripped than useable fabric) out into the garbage. It's also a polyester/nylon type fabric, so dh can't use it as a rag since it's not very absorbent. I've steeled myself anyway, they are in a bag by the back door, yet I feel bad (because I am also thinking of the really worn out winter coat that is also wrecked because someone grabbed his hood while he was walking past and it ripped practically the entire length below the zipper on the coat side, and the stuffing has come out, and I don't want to invest the time it would take to sew it up (and it would not look good patched up) to try and make it salvageable at the charity (meaning people wouldn't pay $1 for that!).

Any words to help me deal with this guilt I speak about?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 11:43AM
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Kioni, I know nothing about quilting but couldn't fabric that couldn't be used as rags be good for quilters? I think you just have to find a way to give items away to people who will put them to good use.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 12:44PM
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I have a hard time getting rid of old towels. Because I rehab wildlife, I always tell myself to keep them, incase I need them for that...but I seldom do. Last I counted, I had over 80 towels. I gave about 20 to my friend and about 10 of the best ones to my daughter. I ended up keeping the old raggedy ones...and since I get towels donated to me all the time, now my stash has grown again. Actually, the towels donated to me are usually the nicest ones I have!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 10:17PM
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Sheet music of basically two subcategories:
1. Photocopies of music. I have quite a bit of this stuff, and I hate to throw it away because someone paid to copy it and it's possible I could use it. The problem is, it's hard to file away.
2. Music I will probably never use (collections of music I don't like, orphan parts from string quartets, books with pages missing, duplicates).

I keep the music I use regularly or plan to use on a bookshelf in alphabetical order. I keep other music in a legal-sized file cabinet drawer. Some of it I haven't touched in 20 years, but many pieces are classic repertoire for the instruments I play.

I guess the best way to deal with this would be to start a box of what I know I don't want and donate it or Freecycle it when it's full.

The photocopies could go in "photocopy" folders in the file cabinet, maybe by genre (folk, orchestra parts, solo, etc.).

Just thinking by typing here. This actually helps. Thanks, alisande!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 1:15PM
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Remember that photocopies are in all probability illegal copies--outside copyright restrictions. You can make photocopies of music you purchased legally sometimes--perhaps so you can doodle all over one copy and keep a pristine one, or if you like to tape them together in a big sheet so you don't have to flip pages.

But most other reasons--because you have one copy, and three instruments--are actually not kosher.

So while someone paid to photocopy them, if you keep them long-term, you're guaranteeing you'll never pay the publisher the money you probably should have.

And if you try to put them in someone else's hands, you are definitely violating copyright.

Will that help you get them out of your house? If you haven't played them, recycle them.

If you *do* keep them, you keep them the same way people keep multiple copies of any music. At my church, the multiple-copies-for-the-choir are in a file folder, labeled, and divided up according to occasion (Christmas, Easter, general praise, etc.) You might divide by instrument, and then by composer, or by genre/time frame. Or by difficulty, or by number of instruments (quartet music in one spot, larger ensembles in another).

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 2:37PM
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Size 12 clothes that I think I'll be able to wear when I stay on a diet long enough.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 5:37PM
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We moved and I "exited" 2/3 of my clothes. What didn't sell at a yard sale got taken to Goodwill (along with everything else) the next morning. I did it by trying not to even look at them. Now 2 years later I still feel that I have too much and am really glad that I got rid of the things I did before the move. And the interesting part is that I can hardly remember the ones that are gone. So now that our remodel is over the clothes in boxes in the storage locker are going to be unearthed. I think I will give myself a numerical limit. So many dresses, skirts, etc. And make this number fairly small. My thing is that I actually like to not have many clothes, shoes, etc. I only wear a few anyway, no matter how crowded the closet. And somehow I wear a greater variety the fewer I have. The getting rid of moment is hard but it is somehow wonderfully freeing for me. I don't need to be tied to all this stuff. I can select and let the future take care of itself.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 11:01PM
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Recipes, and I have a huge container of them!

Sat down so many times to go through them, all I do is sort them by type of food. OK the really sad thing is my hubby is the cook!!!!!!!! I'm thinking maybe some day I will be able to get in the kitchen and try them. And for all of you who might think how lucky I am, no I am not. He is so messy and what he cooks it what he likes!
I get to clean up and eat around his stews and meat.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 11:19AM
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I found myself keeping those things around in an unused area in the house to delay that guilt.

You're not delaying that guilt--you're PROLONGING it. Because you feel guilty every time to look at them, and you'll feel guilty whenever you eventually throw them away.

I have this philosophy: "Everything ends up in the landfill eventually"--whether it's this year, or 80 years from now. It's just a matter of how much good or evil it's doing along the way.

That stuff you are saving is phenomenally evil right now--it doesn't even have a PRAYER of doing good, bcs it's worn out. ("Stop me before I kill again," it is pleading!) And it's like a cancer in your home. Send it to the landfill, thinking of it as showing the item mercy.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 4:57PM
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Clothes. Hands down the hardest thing for me to part with. It seems like every time I pitch something, it comes back in style. I've been burned so many times.

On the negatives -- I would keep those. My Mom has made the mistake over the years of pitching negs ... and then making collages with the prints! So many lost images. And, while you can scan a print, I've found the quality is never as good as scanning in the negative. I suppose if you wanted to, you could pay to have all your negatives scanned to discs and then just keep the discs.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 11:42PM
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Family papers -- just all the memoribilia that got saved, like settlement papers from real estate long sold, report cards, letters, etc. Some of it goes back 100 years or more! I just have no idea what to do with it. It doesn't seem right to throw it away. It's not organized, either -- just piled in random boxes. Looking through it is like sifting through an archeological dig.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 12:46PM
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Stuff i still have when i was involved in various direct sales businesses--the paperwork stuff i pitch --it's all that inventory i paid for or got stuck with--thankfully i do/have been using up as i can-which is helpful---just having it around is a pain--even if most of it is in bins in a storage facility. I've tried the yardsale, fleamarket & outright donation way--still so much stuff. everything fm candles to makeup to artwork........

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 7:51PM
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To the OP:

I think you're torn because if you decided not to file them like your father did, you will probably think you're turning your back on your father and a lesson he taught you. He neatly filed them because, well, there were no alternatives, right? I really think it boils down to that.

But when it comes to family photos, I'm a bit nervous about the possibility of losing them--after all the natural disasters we've seen over the years, and seeing people on TV just bawling because their wedding photos, their photos of their parents were destroyed, I want a backup system. I copied the originals on one of those Kodak Picturemaker things and put the originals (there are not hundreds of them, maybe a few dozen) in a box with my home inventory stuff, which is kept somewhere other than my home. I know my sisters have some of the same photos, but the things that I'd grab in an emergency? Photos would be number 2 (number 1: my dog).

Scan the negatives and put them on a disk or hard drive or whatever. And I think that once you do that, you can touch-up or crop or whatever, right? (Some of my photos sure could use something to take that thumb off the bottom left!)

Also, even though you CAN make reprints off negatives, they eventually become like videotapes--brittle, color fades (I noticed that when I made prints from slides taken nearly 40 years ago--and my Dad shot with professional-grade film, too).

Now, what can't I get rid of? Old Tupperware that is permanently stained red from tomato sauce. Maybe it's finally time.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 10:35PM
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*family mementos* this is so hard. Especially coming from a family with lots of mementos/stuff. I want to hold on to a few, meaningful items, but I'm going to have to draw the line. I have to. My family is already starting to talk about this and that and why it is so special (hidden meaning: why it needs to be cherished forever). I understand some things have a valid historical/sentimental value, but I refuse to be guilted into keeping an ugly plastic crocheted doll just because great-grandma made it. Sometimes, I wonder, had my relatives known that this (insert item here) would be given sacred status some day, what would they say? I like to think that they would laugh and say, make your own memories and choose (whatever) that is special to *you*.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 11:36PM
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Do you have a genealogist in your family? Or extended family? Odds are that you do. They would TREASURE those 100 year old papers! Please don't toss them without looking for someone who has the drive to sift through and archive them.

That "ugly crocheted doll that great-grandma made" could be given to someone who would appreciate it. I have nothing of my great-grandmother other than two photos. I would treasure anything she had made no matter how ugly.

I have the same problem with family mementos. I have two boxes of things that my late MIL treasured. I've given the two boxes of letters to the daughter of the man who wrote them. I've given photos to DH's cousins. But there are some things in those boxes that have no sentimental value and DH doesn't care. I cannot,yet, bring myself to give them to the thrift store...

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 1:05PM
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Among other things. . . glass jars. . . When my grandma passed away we cleaned her basement. I remember thinking: "What it the world would one woman ever want with so many glass jars?". . .Thirty plus years later. . . I am that woman. Like Grandma, I can garden produce (probably more than she ever did). I'm sure I have more glass jars than she ever had! I give them away (sometimes full) but always get more from friends/family. When I die my kids will have their hands full (of jars!). Life goes on. . . .

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 2:40PM
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