Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

November 7, 2012

Can You Let Go of Stuff?

I used to think I was pretty good at editing and de-cluttering.  I sort of skimmed articles and blog posts on the topic, smugly thinking, "I've got this".  What a maroon.  I'm learning that, really, we just don't have a ton of extra stuff in the first place.  Sure, I've consigned some clothes, contributed to family yard sales and donated things to charities over the years, but we don't have oodles of unwanted stuff so my ability to part with things hasn't really been tested.

A quick tour of the guest bedroom reveals a treasure trove of pieces that don't fit, but I have refused to sell.  Among them, the first piece of "real" furniture I bought: the maple armoire.  I agonized over that armoire and, even though it doesn't fit the space (it's extra deep so the layout is limited) I've held on.  I think partly because it's sentimental, partly because it was from a fancy pants store and partly because I know I won't get close to what I paid for it. 


I tried to make the layout work, but now, 6,000+ km away from the townhouse, I have been able to see the room with fresh eyes.  The piece is huge (our house is small) and the resulting layout is odd.  Another family with storage needs will love it and, once I sell it, I can get a piece that works, rearrange the room, make some side tables, maybe a headboard (can't wait!).  I can finally refresh the room, because I am finally able to sell what doesn't work.  Along with the armoire will go a few vintage teak tables, maybe some other things.  Being so far away I feel a little detached from the townhouse.  That made me sad, at first, but now I think it's a good thing.  Being a little detached means taking steps toward big changes.  Other rooms are getting major and minor overhauls in 2013 too.  I'm excited.

I feel good, if a little embarrassed about always being so glib about decluttering because it took me three years to get to a place where I can agree to sell some furniture.  I hope I can keep this commitment to change once I'm firmly back on Canadian soil.  Telling you all means you can take me to task if you still see this armoire kicking around come spring!

Do you struggle with saying "good-bye" to stuff?
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10 comments

  1. I am dealing with this right now! I have an armoire (also an early purchase that I was really feeling 'grown-up' about) and I don't know if it's right for my home anymore. I have it in my bedroom now, but I'm torn. It's in the last photo here. Sigh. Good for you that you've made a decision about your dilemma!

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    1. I can see why you're torn! That is a gorgeous piece. It is such a coincidence we are both sentimental about these early purchases and how they are both armoires! I did feel super grown up buying it. Plus I needed it - my bedroom at home was closet-less, so it was my first big step to independence (I bought it while still living at home). I like the idea you mentioned on your blog, of moving it into storage - maybe I should try that. Then I'll have no regrets if I change my mind!

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  2. I'm all about getting rid of stuff - to the point where it's a con and not a pro. I get a bit too over zealous in my cleanouts. Oh well, it means I can buy more stuff, right? :) Seriously though, there are only a handful of items I'm sentimental about - the rest is all replaceable. I'm bummed you're getting rid of that armoire though - I love it! And if that side table is going anywhere, it better be to my house... ;)

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    1. Why are you muddying the waters, my dear? Don't tell me you love the armoire - I'll be torn again! It is a GREAT piece but too big for my house. It's really super deep and I can't move the bedroom any other way or it blocks a window or won't open.

      Haha, I think my Mom might be calling dibs on the table - she has two that match it. But if she passes, you will be the first to know!

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  3. I've never had a problem with getting rid of the old. Out with the Old and In with the New... and this really does cut down on the amount of stuff you collect through the years.

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  4. Oh, I'm entirely a sentimental "keeper"--I love your armoire, and would have all sorts of thoughts about possibly using it in the future. I know I'm not helpful here:( I'm getting better about "little" things, and am glad to hear your mom has a use for that table... (I know just where I'd keep that armoire in my house;)

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    1. CINDY! You're as bad as Erica, lol. Haha! But I do feel better, knowing I picked out a good piece of furniture, even as a young-un (younger-un?). I had thought about saving it - even for basement storage in the future. But our basement is already packed, too, and we're moving in the next year or so. Not sure if I 1500km journey love this armoire . . . but now you've got me doubting my decision to sell it! Where can I stash it . . . ? ;)

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  5. I go through phases of struggling with this. I tend to hang on to small cluttered items long after I need to, but then I'll get in a de-cluterring mood and nothing is safe. I just sold a futon, a couple desks and a treadmill because they were just sitting around and not being used. I feel so much less cluttered even though those pieces were just hanging out by themselves in the basement. I used to justify hanging on to the inexpensive ikea desks for the future, but I finally realized, if I need a desk in the future - I can get a different one with more style. Funny what you realize when you get a fresh perspective.

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    1. I wouldn't have guessed you have troubles - your space looks organized and clutter-free from photos. So inspiring to hear you successfully said good-bye to some stuff! I understand about the moods: sometimes I have an easy time, and now I realize sometimes I don't. I guess certain things just seem more important, for odd reasons.

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