Is it time to let the hand-crank slicer go? (Long) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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(I need some encouragement.)

I'm doing the 2011 in 2011 decluttering challenge and it has been going very well, but now it's becoming more difficult. I've decluttered almost all the obvious things, and now my house is orderly, there is very little clutter (just a couple of hot spots where dh puts his things that I have no control over), everything has a place, etc. But now I want to do the harder work of simplifying and making the house more efficient.

Right now I am reorganizing kitchen cabinets so that what I use most often is easy to reach and put away. As I pull things out of one of the cabinets in particular, a very deep one because it runs into a corner, I'm finding things that we don't use but which are potentially useful, and which are mostly in good condition.

I'm having a hard time letting them go for two reasons:
1) money is tight and I think we'll always be pretty low income...it's just the way it is where we live, the salaries are just low...and I worry that some day we will really need some of these things.

2) where we live, there are no second hand stores or charities that will take items other than clothes, linens, shoes and bags. There might be in the large city an hour away from here, but I don't drive and dh is not as into purging stuff as I am. Very few people here have computers, let alone an internet connection, so putting things up on freecycle  isn't going to work. I even checked and there's no chapter here, though there is in the nearby city, but it's looks to be pretty inactive. This means that if I want to be rid of something it has to go in the trash. 

Most of what I'd like to let go of are things we haven't even bought. They are things that were already in this house; they belong/belonged to my dh's family. So we have more flat white sheets that we could ever use (I've had some success reducing the numbers by repurposing them), a mind-boggling number of crystal goblets and wine glasses that we never use because they are 'good,' multiple sets of plates, the list could go on and on. There are things I can't get rid of, like the crystal, but there is stuff that even dh is not too jazzed about, but because of the trash issue, I find it so hard to let that stuff go.

Today I am looking at a hand-crank slicer, as I have looked at it every other time I've tried to toss it, and I know that we do not need it, and there is a part of me that knows that we will never use it, but then I think, "but it's a hand-crank slicer! When we're so destitute that we won't have electricity, we can use this to slice cured meats." Sigh.

 

And what about the hand-mixer? The immersion blender? These are things that we don't use, we never use, but they work and are in good condition. Even if I convince myself that we won't ever need them, how can I in good conscience toss them in the trash?

Thank you for reading this.

(Somebody please tell me I can at least let the hand-crank slicer go.)

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#2 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 01:57 AM
 
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Hugs, i too have a really hard time just throwing away things which work fine and are potentially useful but just unused.

 

I think if i were you i'd put them in a box and put it in the attic/garage/wherever you have space UNTIL you're going somewhere you can donate, or someone who can take them and donate them visits (have you called round local charities/churches?  Sometimes they will collect such stuff on spec to give to needier families..?).  IF the box sits there for a year (or 6 months, or 2 months, you set the limit) untouched and you don't manage to do anything with it, you bin it.  I know a box in the garage is still technically in your house and not "gone", but at least you've moved them into a liminal setting, whereby you're "warning" them and yourself that their days are numbered.

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#3 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 02:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

I think if i were you i'd put them in a box and put it in the attic/garage/wherever you have space UNTIL you're going somewhere you can donate, or someone who can take them and donate them visits (have you called round local charities/churches?  Sometimes they will collect such stuff on spec to give to needier families..?).  IF the box sits there for a year (or 6 months, or 2 months, you set the limit) untouched and you don't manage to do anything with it, you bin it.


I think this is what I will have to do with things like the mixer and blender. Though the slicer used to be in our downstairs storage room, and I actually brought it up to the kitchen. eyesroll.gif 

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#4 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 05:38 AM
 
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Why not take photos and post them on ebay?  Instead of individual items you could package them together: an entire set of glassware, a collection of kitchen gadgets, etc.  You might make a bit of cash and you'd give them to someone who would use them.

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#5 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I did think about ebay for a time, but the postal service here (Italy) is so unreliable and packages often go missing or turn up with items missing. So I worried about that. I also don't know what's involved with getting a paypal account here, though I know it's not impossible. There could be quite a bit of red tape involved, as taxes are supposed to be collected on every sale, even used items, so it probably wouldn't be as simple as just applying, I might have to get some sort of vendor license. I'm a member of an expat forum, so I can ask there if anyone has experience selling on ebay. I do know that there are people on there with paypal. I wish we could just have a garage sale, but they're not allowed here.

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#6 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 08:07 AM
 
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Do you attend a church or other community events?  Perhaps if you just ask around, you might find someone who would want to take them off your hands.  You might discover that your neighbor's mom is looking specifically for a hand crank meat slicer and would love to take it off your hands.

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#7 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 12:36 PM
 
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wow no garage sales huh?

 

what about a big table of things in front of your house that says "if you feel inclined pay. if not just take away" and sit there with a small coffee can if anyone wants to put some money in it.   that way you might make a few dollars or not.  but you still get your stuff out of your way.

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#8 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post

wow no garage sales huh?

 

what about a big table of things in front of your house that says "if you feel inclined pay. if not just take away" and sit there with a small coffee can if anyone wants to put some money in it.   that way you might make a few dollars or not.  but you still get your stuff out of your way.

 

Yeah, I heard that the govt. even shut down the garage sales Americans in the military were having on the bases! I'd be afraid to ask for any money at all if I didn't do it through an accepted channel like ebay, someone might report us to the finance police...but our door opens right onto the street (narrow, and no sidewalk,) so I wouldn't be able to put a table out anyway. Years ago, when I first moved here, dh and I threw out a whole bunch of stuff, mostly junk, but we left the useful stuff out next to the dumpsters and lots of people came to have a look and they took it all. But now there are no dumpsters because we have door to door garbage collection, so there's no way to set out good stuff with a sign that says, free, please take.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

Do you attend a church or other community events?  Perhaps if you just ask around, you might find someone who would want to take them off your hands.  You might discover that your neighbor's mom is looking specifically for a hand crank meat slicer and would love to take it off your hands.

 

You're right, I need to rethink the way I've been trying to donate things. When I lived in the U.S., I knew what to do...but here things are different and I need to take a different approach. I'll start asking at church, someone there might even know of a charity I'm not aware of.

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#9 of 11 Old 01-22-2011, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had a breakthrough with the slicer. I decided to stop asking myself why I should keep it, and ask why I should toss it instead. I looked it over carefully, which I've actually never done before. I noticed that the paint on the metal part is starting to chip and that there's a little bit of rust. It's old, so I don't even know if the paint is safe. The blade is slightly bent and a little rusted, so it needs to be replaced. I've never seen hand-crank slicers for sale, so I think it would be hard to find replacement blades. I've realized that it's not a useful (or even good) thing for us to have, and I don't think it would be good or useful for most other people, either. I'm going to toss it.

 

I think I need to look at things with a more critical eye. I need to ask myself whether I/we really want or need something and whether anyone else would. Many of the things I'd like to get rid of are in excellent condition, like the hand-held mixer and immersion blender, and are even in their original boxes, but there's other stuff that maybe isn't really good enough to donate. Not having a place to donate these kinds of housewares has led me to lump all this stuff together uncritically, but I need to stop doing that. I have to sort out the good stuff and find a way to donate it, and discard the rest, instead of treating it all as stuff I don't know what to do with.  Doing that will make the task of finding a way to donate the good things less overwhelming too, as there will be fewer things.

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#10 of 11 Old 01-22-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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Do you have any community group, group of friends, etc. that you could get all together? Ask everyone to bring a box of items they no longer need, and everyone can feel free to 'shop' (for free) amongst the items & take what they want. At the end of the afternoon, whatever doesn't get taken gets tossed (or perhaps someone would be willing to volunteer to drop them off at some donation site 1hr away -- might be worth the trip if there are tons of boxes, you know?) If you are in this situation of 'nowhere to donate' I'm sure that many of your friends might be too!!

 

I also wonder if there are other places that might take the items -- are there any homeless or DV shelters? How about programs to help people get on their feet, get settled in a new apartment, or rebuild after a fire/natural disaster? I am horrified at the thought of nowhere to donate items lol. I don't know what I'd do if it weren't for freecycle, craigslist, and tons of thrift stores.

 

Another idea -- check in Finding Your Tribe and see if there is a local MDC mom who would like some items?

 

I LOVE my immersion blender, I can't imagine not using one...

 

And yes, be brutal, if it's not something you would use & not in good enough condition for someone else to want to buy it, then throw it out... Do you have recycling there? You could at least put things in plastic/metal piles to be recycled...


Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#11 of 11 Old 01-23-2011, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really like the swap idea, but I don't think I'd be able to organize anything like that here in town. I have only one friend here...I'm also a foreigner and the culture here is very closed...people are just not open to new and different things, especially if it's a foreigner suggesting it. Sigh. I think it's something that could be organized among other expats, the only thing is I'm pretty isolated from other expats where I am. But I'm a member of a forum that has gtg's sometimes and a bigger gtg would be a great venue for a swap. I know that at their last big one that had a book swap. The next time they arrange a big one, I'll suggest it. I know that there are other expats who have trouble donating stuff, so I think there could be interest in doing that kind of swap. Thanks for your suggestion!

 

ETA: We do have recycling, if we didn't I think I'd be even more reluctant to get rid of stuff. I do take things apart to recycle what I can, that really helps.

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