Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's Time to Start Getting Rid of the Clutter

Spring cleaning is just around the corner, but that doesn't mean wait for Spring.  Why not start now?  A house can be cleaned out, weeded and de clutterized at any time of the year.  It should be a regular practice to clean things up.

When you are in your house, do you constantly see things sitting around collecting dust that you don't use?  I know I do.  It feels really liberating to get rid of things that I don't use.  I have been cleaning out my house in the whole two and a half years since I have been in my new apartment.  In the beginning, I had tons of stuff in it.  I wanted to keep everything under the sun and realized I had a small apartment and needed to clean house.

I guess I would have been one of those people that you see on Hoarders or one of those other shows.  I'm an artist and a writer.  The artist in me collected lots of props for my drawings and I went through a phase where I collected lots of porcelain dolls, doll parts and almost any kind of doll.

Well, this year, I have even been attempting to get rid of a good amount of my doll collection.  I have a few drawers and a chest of my favorite dolls that I won't give up and a curio cabinet of some of my most expensive ones.  But I have desired to get rid of a bunch and just have digital pictures of them instead.  My sister heard this and said, "Are you feeling okay?"  When she heard I was getting rid of even the dolls she was surprised.  I've drawn dolls for years and taken lots of photos of them.

A few of them, my cats broke and I had to throw out one of my favorites.  This gorgeous Shay doll by a well known doll artist.  She was a wedding doll.  I also have a smaller doll of her that I wouldn't get rid of and three other doll heads of her in a little doll trunk of my mother's.  Julia wanted to see what was inside the trunk a few weeks ago.  Probably nothing too interesting for her.

Sometimes the cats have knocked over a vase or one of my lovely tea cups.  They knocked over an old one of my grandmother's.   I was a little upset by that one.

Look around your house and inspect anything that sits around collecting dust and you do not use it.  If it hasn't been picked up in years and is taking up space, it probably isn't needed.  But if it was handed down to you by a relative, it probably has sentimental value and should be kept. 

The things you can't really throw away are all the boxes of pictures.  Although, earlier last year, I did go through all my 90 photo albums of the kids and pulled out a lot of my favorites.  And the albums went to my kids house.  They are going to someday get them anyway.  My son, Sean was interested in finding pictures of our camp we used to have.

That was a sad thing to give up, but when it finally sold it meant that I got more alimony.  That was nice.  But we often miss the family camp.  It had been in my family for about three generations.  Last camp on the end of a dead end road and we would walk down the wooden stairway to the beach and the lake.  So many fond memories though.

So photos should definitely be kept.  But nowadays who needs all those negatives when we are suddenly into the digital world?  I've gone digital, so I suddenly didn't need all my negatives.  I've been taking digital pictures of all my favorite photos and I have stuff saved to a back-up.  The only negatives I have kept are my Nana's old negatives of when my mom was growing up.  Those are priceless.

Just think of all those knick knacks that we women attempt to accumulate over time.  And even in a short amount of time, we can gather quite a collection.  We shop at stores and buy new things, we go to yardsales and used clothing stores or even Goodwill.  I will admit I have shopped there too. And lately I have boughten stuff to sell on Ebay and sometimes it ends up not getting sold and I am either stuck with it, give it to my kids or it finds it's way into my yardsale or back at Goodwill.

But that is going to be the way of that, when I am buying stuff to sell.  I am going to win on some things and lose on other stuff.  It's all about taking a chance.

And if you would like to make some money on some of your stuff, Ebay is a good way to make some money off your stuff.  And if it doesn't go, bring it to Goodwill.  Give some of it away to relatives if you think they can use it. Sometimes kids clothing is a great thing to pass down to the cousins if you have younger cousins who can wear your kids stuff.

But when you are weeding out, make sure you save certain things.  Kids artwork is great to save, unless if you have an abundance of it.

Keep your favorites.  I always liked saving some of the kids baby stuff.  I might look through some of it though and see if there are any that I can cut up some circles for the yo yo quilt.  That would be a neat thing to do with some of the clothing.  It's a creative way to recycle stuff.

I've saved lots of my art stuff, supplies and all that stuff.  I'm still going to have a lot of time when I'm going to want to create more paper dolls or some drawings.  And I've got the artwork project for my video game idea.  Passions Unleashed a game for adults.  A game of mystery, sex and murder.  I'm writing the scenarios and drawing all the walls of my rooms.  That one will take years to do, and if I never get someone to actually turn it into a video game, at least I will have my idea all created in case someone wants to attempt it when I'm dead.  I've gone the lengths to copyright it so nobody will take my actual idea or at least my drawings and my original stuff. 

I mean, I'm sure I'm not the first person to ever come up with a sex and murder video game, but at least nobody could plagerize my stuff.  If they did, they would get in trouble.

But most artists and writers want to create their own stuff.  But we are always inspired by other people.

But when you are searching for stuff, you will find out all kinds of things.  Even our outfits.  How many times have you tried something on and it doesn't fit you anymore.  Or you try it on and suddenly you think it makes you look fatter.  Or that leather jacket is hanging in the closet and you haven't touched it in years. Or anytime something has a hole in it, trash it.  My mom, husband and  I used to laugh about holy socks.  We used to joke to my Mom and say, "Darn them."  Who has time to sew up a holy sock in this day and age?  I guess I would say really thrifty moms.

I guess I would attempt it if I had a favorite sock that I didn't want to throw out.

If you have a chipped cup or dish, get rid of it.  Unless it is the very last dish of your mother's best china or something like that.

Has anybody ever tried making a mosaic out of old dishes?  I did that once and made some mosaic trays.  I gave one to my sister and my sister n law.  They were quite pretty.  Some people have made beautiful tables out of that stuff.  That is a fun craft for some people to try doing.

Just don't linger too long when you are throwing things away.

Go through paper work periodically too.  Even that stuff builds up over time.  Throw out catalogs that are piling up.  I usually throw that stuff out right away.  I only save one of the most recent ones of my art supply catalogs.  Everything else gets tossed and not even looked at.  Some mail, you know is crap and shouldn't even be opened.

And your magazines that you buy and look at, pass them on to someone.  Also the local libraries usually have a magazine swap.  That's a fun thing to do.  I'm going to drop off a bunch of my People, OK and Star magazines tomorrow and see what they have.

Sometimes other places do a magazine swap too.  If you participate in a local art league, they usually have an art supply swap table too.

Or if you are part of a knitting group, maybe you want to swap some of your patterns if you look through them and don't want to keep them.  I am saving some of mine for my girls in case they want to do it when they are older.  I got rid of a few on Ebay but am saving a good pile of my nice books for them.  And someday I might want to attempt knitting again.  But I did it for a long time and got tired of doing it.

There are always things to get rid of.

And if you are someday thinking of moving, like I am then you want to have to move less things.  I'm just waiting for my boyfriend to ask me to move in with him.  But it is still early and sometimes it is good to take our time.  I wouldn't want to scare him away and be someone who is going to pressure him too soon.  That's a big step and we should do it when we both are ready.

Any relationship can get scared away if women or men are pressuring the serious stuff too soon.  It's nice for it to happen someday.  Most couples want that long term relationship to happen someday.

I could talk more on that subject, but that is another post all together.

So no time like the present to start kicking that clutter out of your house.  You will be happier because of it.

Unless if you throw out something cherished by accident.  Have you ever thrown out something that you wished you hadn't gotten rid of?  I've done that before in my haste to have the item gone.

I could kick myself for getting rid of so many things at Goodwill, when I could have made some nice money with it on Ebay.  But you can't change the past.  We can only live in the present and look forward to the future.

Have fun cleaning.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted January 19, 2012

This is a picture of my boyfriend's cup he has on his desk.  I thought it would make a fun picture.

Cups are fun to put pencils and stuff in.  We often like to hold onto baskets and different containers to put things in.  Creative organizing like that helps to also neaten things up even when we don't want to get rid of things.  At least a basket, photo box or other type of container keeps things hidden, so when company comes over, they aren't seeing all the clutter.

If anyone likes paperdolls or knows someone who likes paper dolls, check out my paperdoll post on each of my blogs where my paper dolls are for sale:  The Official Paper Doll Blog 


  1. Getting rid of sentimental items is hard. My favorite dolls from when I was little were Cabbage Patch dolls. I inherited all of my sisters and kept collecting. Year sales goodwill and ebay. I had so many I could never display them all especially in my 1 bedroom apartment. They ended up in bags piled in the corner of my room. They were always in my way and I felt embarrassed about the clutter. One night I finally asked my boyfriend if he would help me sort through them. I felt silly having so many we opened the bags and piled them up in the living room. The pile was huge and I felt even more embarrassed and overwhelmed but he was great about it. I sat on the end of the couch and he picked up each doll one at a time and handed it to me. I looked over each one one at a time and decided how important it was to me. I saw how many of them were not in good shape for display or resale. They were scuffed missing clothes or had rips or tears. The special ones I put in a box the rest I handed back to my boyfriend and he would put it in a garbage bag and move on to the next. It took hours but I got the pile of over 100 down to about twenty. In hindsight a few sentimental ones did get thrown away including my first one. He was in rough shape so I gave him to my boyfriend to put in the garbage bag. When I had a change of heart a few days later it was already too late the garbage truck had already come and taken them away but at least I have some pictures of him and my boyfriend made a nice display for the 20 I kept.

  2. I remember the Cabbage Patch dolls. I never had them, but some neighbors girls had them. Then when my son Jake was little, I bought him two boy cabbage patch dolls. They were cute. I remember they were very popular during their time.

    Yes, we do have to sift through them and pick out our favorites.

    That's how I feel with my dolls. I've been getting rid of a bunch of the breakable, but don't want to get rid of all my dolls. I'm sentimental about some of them. The Blythe dolls are really cool, and I won't get rid of them.