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The courage it takes to just throw it away

Posted by mommabird (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 26, 12 at 11:47

I got rid of a free standing cabinet in my kitchen over a week ago. I dumped all the misc junk from the top drawer into a 40 gallon bucket at the last minute because the friend who was taking it showed up early.

That bucket sat in kitchen until yesterday. I started thinking about it - really deeply looking into my issues with clutter. I realized it would take an immense amount of courage for me to just dump that bucket straight into the trash. I could not name one thing in the bucket. I felt compelled to sort through the small stuff but I put it off for over a week. Many times a day I would tell myself, "I hate that bucket of junk sitting on the floor" but I didn't actually DO anything about it.

After I thunk on it, I mustered up the courage to dump it into the trash. The garbage truck same this morning so it's gone forever.

Maybe it's stupid, but I am proud of myself for JUST DOING IT. I know there weren't any savings bonds, bars of gold or $100 bills in that drawer. Just pens, string, junk plastic toys, etc that Accumulate in junk drawers.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

I'm terribly proud of you and wish I could do the same thing to many "spots" in my house...you inspire me and maybe tomorrow I will do something similar...:-)

Thank you for your post...:-)


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

Good for you!!! Feels good doesn't it. And you probably won't miss anything that was in the bucket. I learn this lesson over and over again so you would think that it would make it easier to get rid of the junk.


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

Thanks for sharing that. I soooo need to do the same. I have done it on more than one occasion, but need to get motivated to do it again!


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

Wow! I wish I could do that. But just hearing about it made me uneasy. My DH brought some things to the donation drop off this morning, and even though I went through everything and designated them to be donated, I still have a slightly uneasy feeling that there is something in there I should have kept. I know it's ridiculous, they were things I'd never used in twenty years!


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

Good for you! That had to be wonderful.

Now... try real hard to not let that junk accumulate again.


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

That is awesome! We recently got rid of 2 loveseats that I figured I could fix up for the last several years. I mean, we bought them new (12 years & 3 houses ago) and they had slipcovers that had been washed until they were falling apart.

I had thought, "I could sew new slipcovers if I use the old ones as a pattern and I could replace the foam in the back cushions since they are all flattened out." But finally I got the courage to call our trash disposal company & they came & took them away.

The best part is how much better those rooms feel without the un-needed loveseats (they really didn't fit in this house well at ALL). I love it. And I no longer have a 50+ hour project looming over me.

I bet it feels good to know you DON'T have to sort through the big bucket of "stuff" any more :)


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

Engineerchic, thinking of things in terms of hours, rather than dollars, sometimes works for me. I guess I getting close enough to the end that it is clear that the total number of hours available is finite.

As for tossing a bucket of stuff unsorted, even with that perspective, I admit I couldn't do it - I'd have to do at least a rough sort and scan. I have too many regrets about things in life to the extent that my motto now is "what will it take to have no regrets?" And if it takes an hour of sorting stuff (good to keep near phone in case someone chatty calls), that is worth it to me.

My internal enviromaniac is partly to blame here. If it can be recycled or composted, at my house it always is. While I have had the epiphany that in trying not to overburden the landfills I was turning my house into a landfill (those days are over, thankfully), I still have to make the effort. Gaia guilt, you could call it.

But I admire your ability to free yourself of all my hang-ups :-)

Karin L


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

hooray. mommabird!

I think you've been finding a lot of courage in the last year or so.


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

Tomorrow is trash day. I'm going to fill up my trash can and my recycling can (but not my green can because it's too hot to do real work outside).

Seems like I should do that every week...


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

Fori- trash day is such a good motivator, isn't it? DH and I joke that we want the trash and recycling guys to 'feel the love' so we try to get those bins full (especially recycling).

Some towns in our area use paid trash bags, it's like $2.75 for each one and they aren't much bigger than a kitchen bag. I love that we have the wheeled blue bin for trash. Each house gets one, if you want a second one there is a surcharge on your town taxes but really, one is HUGE.

I think the pay-per-bag would almost encourage hoarding, sadly. Or make me inclined to bring excess packaging back to the store where I bought the thing it came in.


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

We're decluttering - it's hard for book hoarders and computer builders - by considering "Would we pay storage locker fees to store this?" and "Would we pay more for a bigger truck to move this?" ... if not, it goes to local charities or is sold on Craigslist.

For books, ask "is it worth re-reading?" ... if not, why is it taking up shelf space? It gets traded for books we want, or will go in a garage sale this fall.

It didn't accumulate in a day, it will take more than a week to clear it out. But we celebrate each departure of a box of stuff, or a large object.


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

Very inspiring, momma bird!
I agree, trash day can be a great motivator. But what if the trash men won't help you out? My husband bought this big stuffed dog for our dog to play with, chew on, etc. When it got totally ratty, such that it leaked stuffing constantly, I threw it out. But after the trash men had left, there was the empty trash can, it's top partway lifted, and that blasted stuffed dog looking like he was climbing out of it! My husband rescued it, and I had to live with leaking stuffing for another few months before I finally successfully got it thrown away :)


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RE: The courage it takes to just throw it away

Eliza, that's a great story! We had a huge Red Bear somebody in our family had won at a fair at one of those tossing games. Red Bear lived in a corner in my daughters' bedroom, but wound up in the closet all ratty and sad and leaking stuffing. I put Red Bear in a black plastic bag and pout him with the trash. He's long gone but sometimes I think I should have donated him. Well,he was all shabby and dirty... No child could love him.


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