The Big Decluttering

My little sister Lauren and I have been on a big decluttering spree lately. And we’re not done. But in the meantime, here are a few of the things I’ve gotten rid of:

My crockpot. Heresy, I know. But when I do slow-cooked meals, I just pop ’em in the oven at 250 or so. Usually, it’s on a Sunday, and I’ll put it in the oven around seven o’clock, go back to sleep for an hour, leave for church, and then I come home and it’s done. And no, my house has not burned down.  Not even once. Neither has my mother’s, and she’s been doing this for over twenty years.

All my plastic cups. I like my vintage Wexford glasses. They’re cheap. And they’re hard to break. But if one does break, I’m out $2. I don’t like drinking out of plastic. So I got rid of it. (This threw my mother for a loop the other day when she went in the kitchen to get a drink and could only find my “good” glasses when she had planned to use an “everyday” glass.)

Specialized greeting cards. I discussed this in a previous post.

My furniture polish. A damp rag works just fine.

My second overlock sewing machine. Yes, I know most of you aren’t crazy enough to have two sergers sitting around. I had it back when I had planned to sew full-time, as a backup machine. But guess what — like my favorite Lipscomb University fashion professor, I actually don’t use the serger that much (I do use it for swimwear and very “ravelly” fabrics). And if anything were to happen to my Janome serger — let’s face it, I’m going to get it repaired rather than use the backup machine. So my Singer serger went home with a very nice Craigslist lady this morning.

My tabletop oscillating fan from college. I cheated on this one.  I replaced it with a much smaller, much sturdier, c. 1940’s vintage Kenmore fan, bought for a (near-miraculous) $12 at the Nashville flea market from my friend Mr. Butler. The Kenmore only has one speed. But honestly, when was the last time you used a “low” setting on your fan?

My electric blanket. Let’s face it, when I get cold, I’m just throwing an extra blanket on the bed. Justifiably or not, the idea of plugging in a blanket has always somewhat unnerved me.

Most of my clothes. And I’ve made a rule that I don’t buy anything unless I really love it.

All of our cable TV. (Yeah, I know, not a tangible item. But we were spending money on it, so it counts.) We’re just fine with our Netflix.

Paper plates. I hate ’em. They make me feel cheap. And since we have a dishwasher now, I use my Blue Willow even for sandwiches. So when the last paper plate got used up, I didn’t buy any more. Ditto with plastic silverware.

All my plastic storage dishes, minus one old decorative margarine tub that I like to use to take chicken salad to work. And one Cool-Whip tub in case anyone needs to take some leftovers home with them. Besides that, I just reuse vintage and new jars, and have four glass Rubbermaid dishes with plastic lids, that I use for taking leftovers to work.

Most of my office supplies.  Most of the things in the office supply box had been there since college. And if I haven’t used them in almost three years, then I don’t think it’s happening. I just kept a few.


Things I buy a lot less of:

Paper towels. Unless I’m drying an iron skillet, patting grease off a pizza (don’t laugh at me. I can’t help it), or cleaning up something truly vile, I try to use rags instead. While being “green” is a side benefit, I actually do this because I’m a cheapskate. And paper towels take up more than their fair share of space.

Paper napkins. Unless we’re eating spaghetti. We’ve been primarily using cloth napkins (bought used at an estate sale) instead.


A few things that I insist on keeping:

My popcorn popper. It takes up a ridiculous amount of space, but I use it almost once a week. I just like plain, no-frills popcorn (probably because we couldn’t afford “fancy” popcorn when I was little).

Many pairs of scissors. I have the stork embroidery scissors. The little Ginghers. Two pairs of nice Fiskars, sacred to cutting only fabric. One pair of Wiss pinking shears (I got ’em new for $4.50, can you believe it??). A pair of food scissors (used for opening food packages, cutting pizza, and other kitchen things). And about four other pairs. I don’t like to having to hunt for scissors. And I refuse to relent on this.

Several cookie sheets. They stack together. And I like having options in cookie sheets, whether I actually need all of them or not.

My antique doorknob collection. It’s weird, wacky, and fun for me.

My antique treadle Singer that I bought for $35 at an estate sale. It works, but I never, ever use it. And I don’t care that I never use it. I like it and I’m keeping it.

About Charity

I have an inexcusable number of cookbooks (and like to experiment with them), have worked in architectural antiques, and have been sewing most of my life. I recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Apparel, Merchandising, & Design from Iowa State University. Doing household things (except for cleaning!) and hunting for antiques are my favorite pastimes.
This entry was posted in Mrs. Armstead's Household Guide, Organization. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Big Decluttering

  1. Jenny says:

    Of course, my addiction to plastic cups and paper plates might have something to do with small children who break all manner of dishes . . . . 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s