Monday, November 17, 2014

Toys (N Stuff) Are(n't) Us


Hello, lovely Friends!

The words "declutering" and "organization" might sound so boring sometimes, aren't they? We read and heard about tips on how to get organized and clutter free all the time, all over the internet and women's magazines. Sometimes, we got so overwhelmed that we don't even want to start decluttering.

Here, let me share with you one tip that might make getting rids stuff you don't need sounds more appealing and will give you satisfaction reward very quickly. No, it's not sell it, or donate it, or anything like that. You can do all those things, but I will suggest to do one more spesific thing that will give you joy.

Give it to someone you personally know. Donate it through someone you personally know. Lend it to someone you personally know. Swap it with someone you personally know.

The keyword is "someone you personally know". When you give or lend it to someone you personally know, the satisfaction reward is immediate. I tithe and donate to shelters and orphanages and causes, and it made me feel good. Let's admit it, as selfless as helping people might sound, - and it is a good thing that the Lord told us to do -, the warm feeling inside at the aftermath is an additional motivation for doing it, right. Especially, when I feel like I have helped someone whom I personally know, then the satisfaction and good feeling level increase tenfold.

Here are some examples of what I did from time to time...

Clothing, purses, shoes

Here in Indonesia, there is no such things as thrift stores. Wearing thrifted clothes are considered tacky and for the very poor, especialy by the older generation. There are many online stores selling "preloved" items nowadays by the younger generation, the tweenies and the twenties, but for me, it takes too many effort to take picture of each item then sell them. Especially because I don't have many branded stuffs, and the ones I have, I wear for years.
  • About once or twice a year - whenever we have time and commitment - Hubby and I would clean out our closet and get out the things we no longer want and the things that we have worn out.
  • The things we have worn out, usually are recycled. I have some purses and skirts made over from old jeans. Most of the worn out clothes, I cut up into pieces for rags, especially water absorbent materials. The rest, I wrapped in plastic bags and into the trash they go.
  • The clothings and shoes Hubby no longer want but still in mint condition, he spreads the words out to the local community if someone might want them. Usually our local helpers like chaffeur, neighborhood security personnel, and gardener, would gladly accept them. Once, a friend of his who just switched job from casual environment to office, more formal environment asked if he could take whatever office wear that Hubby doesn't want anymore but still in good condition, so he doesn't need to "use my first month salary just to purchase a whole new set of wardrobe to work for that salary". Hubby gave him, I think two pair of business shoes, four formal shirts, two formal slacks, and a blazer. He knows these people personally, and he said it feels so good to know that the clothings and shoes that he had paid with good money, that had served him well for so long, that he no longer cared to wear - because even a man can get bored wearing the same dozen or so formal shirts over and over for two or three years in a row - still can be stretched for good use by his friends.
  • I wrapped my good clothing and purses and give them also to our local helpers: our child minder, our gardener's wife, etc. Some time ago, I wrapped a lot of good clothings in a box and sent it over to a volunteer friend, who then brought all the donations herself - she chartered a plane - across the country where there was a natural disaster. They needed clothing desperately instead of money because over there, they could not buy clothes, eventhough the money was available. I wouldn't know who will get the clothes, but I could be 100% sure they will reach the purpose they were given, because I personally know my friend who volunteered directly for this natural disaster shelter. Trust me, it felt so much better than donating to just a local shelter where I do not know anyone there personally.
Baby neccessities and toys

My son doesn't care for toys. He has a very limited number of toys. It's not because I cannot afford to buy him some inexpensive "decent" toys, or we're being stingy, but because he really doesn't care for them, and I don't intend to let mountains of unused, uncared toys, piled and scattered around his room, or invading the rest of the house, like I often see in houses with little children. After several attempt to entice him with toys, I gave up and let him play with whatever his heart pleased, as long as it's not something dangerous. These are among his favorites:
  • Books.
  • Used parcel cart.
  • Blocks.
  • Doctor play set.
  • Plastic spoons and real grown up spoons.
  • Plastic food containers.

  • Plastic cups.
  • Laundry basket.
  • Cereal cardboard boxes.


  • House and car keys.
  • Real car. Yes, he loves car. He loves sitting in my or his father's car and makes cute "broom broom" noises. We took him to Timezone once to play with toy car, and he couldn't care less for them. Only real cars will do.


  • His bottles of baby lotion and powder.
  • Any kind of fabrics and free magazines.
  • Any kinds of remotes: AC remote, TV remote
  • Our wireless phone. Nope, he doesn't throw any kind of electronic devices. I don't know how he knows that if he throws them, they will get broken, but he does.
  • My pantry and everything in it.
  • Groceries.


  • My drawer of bath products and toiletries.
  • My purse and everything in it.
  • Any kinds of tins and cans.

  • His Daddy. We got him toy with buttons he can press and make noises, yet somehow he prefers to use his Daddy's nose as a button and ask his Daddy to make funny noises each time he presses the "button"!

Luckily, in the office, many of my coworkers had already had babies when I gave birth to Michael. We receive many baby neccessities and toys that either have been used but still in pretty good condition, or things that have not been used at all because the parents bought too many baby clothes or dolls or toys or whatever. Michael is still playing with some toys borrowed from friends. The toys he doesn't care, I returned so they could be passed on to other children. Even until now, there are still female coworkers or male coworkers' wives who are pregnant and expecting, and the baby stuffs are still rotating from parents to parents! Isn't it great! You can also do the swaps and rotating things with your neighbors, church members, or relatives.


  • A coworker's wife will have C-section in several weeks. At first he wanted to borrow Michael's baby bathtub, but then he told me that his parents have bought them one. I reminded him that the one he had doesn't have a stand, while mine has. After C-section, it would be so much easier for his wife to bath the baby standing up instead of kneeling down on the floor with the baby bathtub. "Just take my baby bathtub with the stand. Your wife will only use it for about three months, so it doesn't worth buying it. Just return it back to me afterward, so some other new Mommies can benefit from it later on." He agreed. Now I have extra space in my house because I don't need to keep the baby bathtub and its stand, and my coworker's wife doesn't need to hurt her incision by kneeling down when bathing her newborn.
  • Michael received lots of neccessities from other Mommy friends: newborn clothes (my friend bought a dozen too many), baby spa inflatable pool, baby walker, baby toys, teether, new baby bottles (again, my friend bought too many). I have returned some of the toys that Michael have outgrown, and they are being rotated again to some other coworkers' babies.
  • A friend of mine bought a baby crib that she only used for three months because the baby cosleep with the parents afterward. She then let a coworker borrowed it. Win win solution because the baby crib, she said, takes too much space in her tiny apartment! Also, she was quite happy to help a friend!
Books and DVDs

I collect books and Hubby collects DVDs. I love reading and he loves watching movies. Have you ever had the experience of buying some books and DVDs based on stellar reviews, then after reading or watching it once, you found out you don't like them and cannot even finish the story? Raising hands, here. Guilty as charge.
  • Some books, I sold to friends and the used bookstore.
  • Some DVDs, Hubby gave to friends.
  • Some books we donated to a friend who volunteered at a local orphanage school.
  • Some other, we just brought to the office, spread the words around, and within a couple of hours, coworkers gathered around my desk and got whatever book or DVD they wanted for free. At the end of the day, I went home with no books nor DVDs that I don't care about, and my drawers have some empty space for new books and DVDs! Best of all, I no longer need to stare at those unwanted, unloved books or DVDs and feel guilty about buying them!
I am trying to find more and more fun ideas on how to declutter and get organized and frugal and not to hoard stuff. I'm not into "limit your wardrobe into ten essential pieces" or anything like that, I love my stuff! Haha! Yet, I don't want to get too attached to stuff, if you know what I mean. I want stuff to remain what they are: stuff. They should be useful to human, they should give joy, they should be enjoyed, they should be shared when it is possible. Once a possession becomes too precious, it is no longer the owner's possession. Instead the owner becomes possessed by their possessions. Scary, huh!

You might ask me, how if I don't have anyone to share with, swap with, give to, or lend to? Well... I highly doubt it, but if by any circumstances you really don't know anyone who might benefit from your stuff, then well... just do the cliche: donate, sell and get rid of. Haha!

So, will you join me in giving away stuff you no longer want or need, and save someone else you know some money, and gives you joy in helping a friend? If you do, or have done something like that, please share with me in the comment section. If you know other posts highlighting the same topic, please share also!

 
Last week's to do list:

  • Read and contemplate on Hebrews 2.
  • Start reading Gary Thomas: Sacred Marriage.
  • Read Chapter 8 of Kitami Masao's "The Swordless Samurai: Friends and Family", a historical story of how a Japanese "warrior" who could not fight rose into power and unified all of Japan with his power of mind, interpersonal skills, and shrewdness.
  • Renovation project week 11: finishing walls, looking for gate maker, start buying floor tiles, looking for other stores to buy building materials; just in case.
  • Updating iTunes on my laptop, so I can upload files from my iPhone.
  • Organize the china closet.
  • Organize our book shelves.
  • Continue organizing my personal facebook pictures.
  • Buy, wrap and send wedding gift for Hubby's cousin.
  • Send caregiver care package to Bandung.
  • Looking for new childminder. Our current one is pregnant.
  • Write one fashion post.
 
This week's to do list:

  • Read and contemplate on Hebrews 2.
  • Reading Chapter 2 of Gary Thomas: Sacred Marriage.
  • Read Chapter 8 of Kitami Masao's "The Swordless Samurai: Friends and Family", a historical story of how a Japanese "warrior" who could not fight rose into power and unified all of Japan with his power of mind, interpersonal skills, and shrewdness.
  • Renovation project week 12: paving floor tiles, looking for bathroom sanitaire equipments.
  • Sell no-longer-read books to used book store.
  • Organize book collection to two existing boxes.
  • Organize personal facebook pictures collection from the year 2013.
  • Write one fashion post.
  • Change living room decoration from Fall to Christmas.
 
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies:

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    1 comment:

    Terri Presser said...

    Thanks for linking up at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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