STREAMLINE – Trash,Treasure or Transfer


Now you have bitten the bullet and everything is out of the room, cupboard or drawer that you have chosen to work on. As I mentioned yesterday, the first thing is to focus on the space you have created.  Although it is not strictly part of the decluttering process, I am sure you will want to clean the space.  Wipe out the cupboard or drawer. If it is a whole room you will probably set aside some time to give it a really deep clean. Notice how easy a room is to vacuum or dust when there is no ‘stuff’ in it.  Keep this in mind and remember that cleaning and general housework become much easier when you are not fighting the ‘stuff’ on a daily basis.  On of the great attractions of a minimalist lifestyle is the reduced time and effort spent on routine housework. Contents of cupboard Time for a bit of show and tell.  This is what was in the cupboard. 3 trays 1 carving platter 1 long basket 2 serving trays 3 bowls These items have been part of our household for many years.  They all fitted in the cupboard easily and were only used rarely.  Without the prompt of the doors being opened frequently (which I discussed yesterday) inertia would have dictated that the status quo remain.  However, when I took them out of the cupboard (their comfort zone) and laid them on the bench I saw them in a different light. TRASH – nothing went in the rubbish as these are all perfectly functional items.  However, I needed to decide what would be transferred – that is – rehomed. The easiest decision was the long basket.  This was used for serving a baguette cut and prepared as garlic bread.  How very 70’s!  I cannot remember the last time I served bread in this manner yet the basket lived on.  I have other containers which would do the job admirably if I ever serve bread with a meal in the future.  Since I eat a gluten-free diet that is fairly unlikely. The 3 wooden bowls also screamed 70’s, and while there is nothing wrong with that, it does give you an idea of how long they have been lurking around.  The set originally included the large serving/salad bowl and 4 smaller bowls.  There were also a set of salad servers which, from memory, were fairly useless.  The large bowl is somewhat misshapen but still is used occasionally for serving potato crisps or corn chips in a party situation.  This was useful when there were young children around as it is unbreakable, however, I have plenty of other options.  Time to move these on. The most difficult was the timber tray because of the sentimental value.  It belonged to my grandparents and it was one of several items that I chose to keep after my grandfather died (over 25 years ago).  There were 2 other trays in the cupboard and I knew that I could not justify keeping all 3 of them as they are rarely used.  This was the least practical as it is oval and has very little capacity for carrying things which should be its prime purpose so it was time to say goodbye. Transfer pile What made the cut? Trays These 2 trays are being kept.  The wooden one is a practical item for taking food and utensils from the kitchen to the outdoor eating area.  I do not use it enough and I have reminded myself of its existence and will use it more often in the future.  The striped tray is not all that good for carrying things as it has not defined handles nor sides and is quite slippery.  However, it can be used as a large,unbreakable serving platter so it stays for now. Other stuff The carving tray belonged to my parents and is used occasionally.  The other criteria when decluttering is whether an item could easily be replaced in the future.  I do not believe that this could be replaced by anything approaching the same quality, therefore it definitely stays. Finally, the 2 stainless steel serving trays are used on a semi-regular basis for social afternoon teas to serve sandwiches, slices or cake.  The fact that they are not breakable makes them a good choice for ‘bring a plate’ events as well. The result?  5 items to go and 5 to stay.  I have halved the contents of one cupboard and know that I will not miss the ones that go.  I also know that I am more likely to use the remaining items more often since I have clearly identified the reasons that I have them. I hope this has helped you in your own attempts to sort out the trash, treasures and things to transfer. You need to make sure that complete the task by actually putting the rubbish (if any) in the bin and moving the transfer items on to their new homes.  That may be via eBay (or similar), Freecycle or the local donation bin. I would love to hear how you go. In this post I have actually addressed the “R  – Reason for each item” as well. Tomorrow – “E – Everything in its place”.

12 thoughts on “STREAMLINE – Trash,Treasure or Transfer

  1. Very interesting indeed, because you could have quite easily kept most of the items. None of them were broken, and they all had a use, even if you didn’t regularly use them for such. Reminds me that I don’t have a tray! Not that I’ll be going out to buy one, mind you!

    • You are right, Sarah. I could have kept them but I don’t use or need them, Therefore I have decided that it is better to move them along to someone who can use them.

  2. Looking at the contents of your cupboard is like looking into mine. Very similar contents. I love the way you talk your way through each item, and you are right when you say so many items no longer suit your lifestyle. I have guessed which items go and whether they are trash, treasure or transfer. I wonder whether I am right?

    • The treasures are back in the cupboard, nothing will go in the trash and I just need to work out where the other stuff will be transferred to. Keep watching for more details…………

  3. Thanks Fairy, I love your blog. Everything you discuss is something that is real in my life too. While I am not a hoarder I still need to make the time to do some more decluttering. My plan was to tackle a drawer, shelf or small space each weekend and I was doing that for a little while but somehow life got in the way and I haven’t done any for a few months. Thanks for your encouragement and ideas.

  4. Well, I couldn’t have parted with Grandparents tray. I would have found some use for it. I have 2 of those wooden bowls. I didn’t know they were 70’s. I use them to serve salad in quite often. Nice and light to handle and so easy to clean or just wipe out.

    • It is interesting how different things appeal or are important to different people. I am sure that someone will absolutely love that tray and have the perfect use for it.

      I have other items that belonged to my grandparents which I truly love and use. It is important to remember one the the underlying principles of a minimalist life is that you do not need ‘things’ to preserve memories.

  5. I went through all of our cupboards last winter and did something similar – it feels good to be rid of all of the unnecessary items finally (they were donated). My new resolve is to make sure that no more unnecessary stuff sneaks into our lives.

    • Great work on the clean-out of the cupboards. There is great satisfaction in being able to donate things that were otherwise just taking up space. Someone else is able to benefit so we all win.

      Stopping the sneaky stuff is an ongoing problem and one about which we need to be constantly vigilant. There will be more about that in one of the later posts in the series.

  6. You brought up a good point. Even if an item is used less often the quality of it and whether or not it could be replaced by a comparable one in the future should be taken into account. There are many things in my house which aren’t used as often but I can’t get rid of because they are of superior quality to what is being sold today. One example is the blender I have. It was my grandmother’s, everything is glass and metal with the exception of the lid.

    To have cleaned out one cupboard and cut your belongings in half is amazing. I made similar choices when I looked at my kitchen items. Bowls were one thing that I cut down on knowing I could use one or two several ways and get rid of the rest.

  7. Quality is just one of many points which need to be considered when decluttering. From what I have read, I sometimes think people are too ruthless in their approach and wonder whether they live to regret it.

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