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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Throw It Out Thursday: Kitchen Table Linens (Supposedly) Drawer

One goal of mine has been to eliminate Junk Repositories from my home. I detest cutesy Crap Containers, so-called Organizers, any flat surfaces designated for detritus to accumulate, and all manner of Clutter. Part of the reason is that we have a very small house; another is that I am home now for a large part of the day and have to deal with it/look at it.  (I dream of getting rid of my coffee table, but we do use it.)

When we went to set the breakfast nook table for our Informal Thanksgiving, the Kitchen Table Linens Drawer quite simply exploded. In the search for tablecloth and matching napkins, (and a placemat for Zydrunas's dishes on the floor), stuff was rooted through, and only with superhuman effort would the drawer begrudgingly close again...almost. Rick and I rarely use an actual table for meals now, opting for more casual dinners on the couch while watching the evening news. The Drawer, therefore, had become neglected, and while I was aware that it needed editing, I was unaware of exactly what had been squirreled away in there of a decidedly Non-Linen nature.

Here, then, is what got Thrown Out of the Drawer today:


First of all, that Lowe's receipt is so old, you cannot even read what the item was or how much it cost.  It was stuffed way in the back.  The little plastic tub was not in the drawer, but it is overflowing with the doodads that somehow found their way into the linens:  screws, a plastic bag of hooks from before my subway tiles were installed, a key safe, a light timer (like for when you go away and want burglars to think someone is home), a broken cover for my refrigerator's water filter, a partial tube of silicon adhesive, some hooks for my pot rack, and a slew of other stuff, including a ceramic cow's ear for a cow I no longer have in my collection.  Rick will have a little sorting job to do.

(I'm sorry to see that cow hook up there get tossed.  I love it, but I have nowhere to put it, and while the repair is an easy one to make, it will also be easy to see.)

And yes, those are actual linens from the drawer I'm either tossing, donating, or selling cheaply at the next garage sale.

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23 comments:

  1. Cleaning out drawers like that is so therapeutic. I love it. I cleaned out our linen closet upstairs AND the linen closet downstairs this summer. They're starting to get unruly again, though. Sigh.

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    1. J@jj--Oh, I agree! Even though November's Blog Blast is over, I'm going to keep up with my Thursday Toss Out. It's painless, not very time-consuming, and really gets something done that needs doing in an easy, workable chunk.

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  2. Our linens are in a chest that we can’t even really get into very easily. We have TOO MANY CHESTS! I don’t know what to do about it - most of them have sentimental value: My Lane upholstered “hope chest,” the one I brought back from Zambia, TWO that my father-in-law made, and one cedar chest that Mike’s aunt pretty much made us get out of her house after we moved down here. That one I would definitely like to get rid of.

    We have a couple of junk drawers that we clean out a couple of times a year, but obviously we don’t get the breeding females in the drawers because they fill right back up. What the heck!

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    1. Bug--Well, aren't you chesty!?

      Time for a yard/garage sale! Think of all the things you could sell, and you'd add to your nest egg a little bit.

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  3. Cleaning out drawers isn't even in the same world as therapeutic. It makes me feel guilty that I've either tired of something and/or wasted money on something that I want to donate or toss. Or I'm too sentimental to part with an item and it goes right back in, and let's not even talk about the things I just KNOW I'll need again. More power to those of you who can bite the bullet and actually like the way it tastes.

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    1. Jean--Guilty? Oh, my dear--were you raised Catholic? ;-)

      I understand your feelings, though. Rick is Profoundly Sentimental. If he tosses something that one of the boys or his grandpa gave him, he honestly feels as if he is throwing out a piece of them in some way. I'm a little more Sentimentally Autistic. I look at the item, perhaps have a bit of a Memory, and then out the thing goes. I'm 58! I waited a long time to Be A Grownup and to Do What I Want; it's time to Live The Dream!

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  4. One of the things I hate most about this house is the lack of storage. If I only had enough drawers that had things I no longer use! I don't have enough drawers/cabinets for the things I DO use. And with a family of four, there is just TOO MUCH STUFF and nowhere to put it. I am currently looking at my printer, which is messily stacked with papers from school. Ugh.

    I really do need to just throw things out. But then I have things like all of my daughter's IEP documentation as well as all of her medical records, and that alone is a large plastic tub's worth of paper.

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    1. Gina--Stuff Overload is a common problem. Every single day, I feel like I am holding something and asking, "Why do I (still) have this? Can I just pitch it?" When we had a dishwasher put in, we lost an entire bank of drawers and had to consolidate. Lots of stuff had to go.

      Right now, you have more stuff because Kids Generate Tons Of Stuff. Period. It's a sad fact of Life With Children: They Breed Tons Of Collateral Crap. I had two sanity-saving mantras that got me through 30 years of teaching and child-raising, and they were magic for me. Notice, however, that I said FOR ME.

      (Being a teacher is like having hundreds of part-time kids!)

      If you ever want a few hints, let me know. But when you're In The Trenches, the last thing you might want is More Stuff, even if it's Intangibles.

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  5. I used to keep tablecloths and napkins in the same drawer...then I got too many and the tablecloths moved to another drawer in another room. But, we do use them - daily. We sit at the table for dinner (with a cloth on it and candles lit at this time of year) and we mostly use cloth napkins. However, I probably do have too many. Not sure I'll get to cleaning these spaces in the near future...busy purging other areas! So much purging to do and so little time - lol.

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    1. Vera--Your dinners sound very lovely. We are under a Candle Ban here at the Dept. after Rick was an estimator for a company which cleaned up and rebuilt after fire damage. A preponderance of those fires was due to a candle left unattended, knocked over, or something else Candle-Involved. It spooked him, so we avoid the whole thing by just not using them, period. He feels much better, and I don't care one way or the other.

      You do have the luxury of Storage for your linens, and you use them, so you're fine!

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  6. Decluttering is therapeutic and somewhat of a mystery game, as your Lowe's receipt proves. I've been doing lots of cleaning out, letting go, tossing away this fall. I probably should write about that soon. In the meantime, you enjoy your newfound tidiness and the feeling of a job well done.

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    1. Ally Bean--Oh, it is a little silly to find the white elephants hiding in the nooks and crannies of some of these cluttery spots!

      Looking forward to hearing your own Success Story.

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  7. When we moved out of the city house we had a giant yard sale. My father arrived to survey the operation and immediately started pulling things back out. Then my daughter arrived and SHE started pulling things back out, while my father gifted her with some of what he had rescued'.
    Now I keep it secret when I declutter. Or give stuff to the grandkid while the other daughter fumes.
    One of the things I would like to declutter is sending money to the cemetary fund where my maternal and paternal relatives both are buried. None of my cousins pay the least attention (or any money) to this. But I feel guilty if I do not contribute yearly. How do you declutter guilt?
    Please do keep on with the Thursday catalogue of new tidiness. Love it.

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    1. Mary G--I understand all of this completely. I often Declutter Clandestinely. Things get tossed in the trash almost daily, and no one is the wiser. My Basic Standard is "If I have not seen anyone use this in the past five years or mention it, out it goes." Sometimes, The Thing is broken anyway, or it is so covered in dust and ick that I don't even have to apply the rule.

      Not once has anyone said, "Hey...where's that So-and-So? I need it."

      Your cemetery maintenance issue is a thorny one. I, too, would probably feel some resentment toward the rest of the relatives if they had the means to contribute but don't bother. I suppose it depends upon your own conscience and how you feel about cemeteries and your relatives.

      My recent spate of Six Days A Week blogging is done for. It was a Bit Much. I will try to get back to more-frequent-than-before postings, but certainly NOT at that rate. It was a bit much.

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  8. One time when son Jerry was about 5 years old, he bought his Dad a C-clamp (Sort of a small vise) for Christmas. He spared no expense and paid 19 cents for it. Dad made a giant fuss over it on Christmas morning.

    Fast forward about 6 months and Jerry came to me and said, "Mom, is this the junk drawer?" I answered,"Well, yes, it is full of junk so I suppose you could call it the junk drawer." He started crying his eyes out and flung himself on the sofa sobbing " The C clamp is in the JUNK DRAWER ".

    Roy had to reach pretty deep for an explanation on that one. I took the high road and remained quiet and let him squirm out of it all by himself.

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    1. Nancy--And there you have it! If this isn't a perfect reason against a Junk Drawer then I don't know what is:

      GOOD HEAVENS! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

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  9. That cow hook is pretty fantastic.

    We don't have much in the way of nice linens here. We just have a small, wooden kitchen table from Ikea, and we put our plates directly on it when we eat. All we really have are hand towels for the kitchen and bathroom, though we have More Than We Will Ever Need. That's the problem when you have four people living in a house and two of them see a good deal.

    Your Throw It Out Thursdays have inspired me to throw more of my crap away. I took three bags of clothing and one bag of old DVDs to the thrift store on Saturday, and I threw away three bags of crap yesterday. Sadly, the difference is barely noticeable. But I think that if I'm a bit more diligent over the next few weeks, I can make a sizable dent before I head away for winter break.

    And alas, I think a coffee table is a necessity.

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    1. Mikey--Bravo for all of your decluttering. You will notice a difference as you start looking for things and getting dressed. It will be so much easier without moving all that unused stuff aside.

      We have too many hand towels and dishtowels, too. I've noticed that we keep using and laundering the same ones, never really reaching the bottom ones of the drawers.

      I'm really impressed with your efforts since you have to walk or find transport to take your donations, unless you've suddenly become a licensed driver (or I've forgotten all about it).

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  10. Right now our abode feels like one huge junk drawer. I keep telling myself that during the "hols" when I am not teaching, I will go on a toss-it-out marathon. Of course, it never happens. Because... there is always admin work to do. And I feel like I deserve a break. But really, I know it is because I am setting impossible goals and want to get too much done in one go. So I will try to institute "Throw-it-out-Thursday." Apart from the clarity of mind and soul that I know it will bring, my current mind set, at my age, also fills me with guilt thinking of The Dreaded Subject: what happens when Mr. O. and I are gone, and some poor family relative has to deal with all of this crap? I remember when my mother died all those years ago and my sister and I spent endless hours playing the "Keep This, Toss That" game. *sigh* The upside to this morbid mentality is that it does keep us from impulse buying. Because: Is this today's knick-knack and tomorrow's garage sale item? Will this mean skipping a meal when we are both fully retired? Even small dollar amount purchases really add up. So these days, when I am tempted to indulge in retail therapy, I ask myself if this is really, really something vital that I will often use. Usually it isn't. lol.

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  11. Ortizzle, please do not take this as a commentary or a critisism of your home. I will say that when my house feels to messy or cluttered, these lyrics (Wallflowers, 'One Headlight') come to mind...

    "Well this place is old
    It feels just like a beat up truck
    I turn the engine, but the engine doesn't turn
    Well it smells of cheap wine & cigarettes
    This place is always such a mess
    Sometimes I think I'd like to watch it burn"

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    1. j@jj: LOL. I totally get that, although I have never really felt like I wanted to watch it burn. I have fought clutter all my life because I am such a collector of knick-knacks. Or was. Now, much less so. But I still have to fight the nagging impulse to hang on to things because 'I might need them one day.' My sister is the polar opposite, and lives in a super minimalist environment where a flea farting would shatter the sound barrier and cause a depreciation in the value of her house. Somewhere between us there is a healthy happy medium. :-)

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    2. Ortizzle and J@jj--Firstly, how I miss the Wallflowers! "One Headlight" is such a great song; I'm going to download it from iTunes today and put it on repeat for probably an hour. While I try to come to grips with the fact that there is, again, a tree inside my home and it is forcing me to relocate pieces of furniture, activating my Stress/Illness-induced Anxiety/OCD.

      I absolutely can advocate for Throw It Out Thursdays because it is such a manageable chunk of decluttering. And I make it immediate--a luxury for me, I know--in that I toss stuff or drive it at once to the Salvation Army or put it the Garage Sale Carton which is stored away in a closet. And let me tell you, that carton is about to go right to the Salvation Army because I am feeling a little put-upon by its mere presence and the knowledge that the ROI of that stuff is scant at best.

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Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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