Thursday, December 18, 2008

Other People's Junk

I have a big problem, and I'm hoping you (yeah you Stimey) can fix it!

Dear Stimey,

Even though I am a longtime stalker at Stimeyland, I am a new reader of The Junk Pyramid. I am in need of your decluttering wisdom.

Because we are in close proximity to family and friends, we often accumulate other people's junk. I'm telling you, it knows where we live, and it knows how to find us! We have so much of other people's clutter in our house: food containers that eventually get washed that once contained the in-laws' leftovers we never asked for (or ate), toys that were 'borrowed' from a friend to ease a transition (and avert a temper tantrum), magazines and books that I supposedly have to read (but never will), clothes that were needed after an unexpected puking or expected mud puddle incident (I think those got laundered? hmmmm), and of course the fine-accumulating library books and movie rentals.

So we have all of this clutter we can't get rid of until we remember to return it. Yeah, that remembering part is hard. And the locating of the junk is even more difficult in the off chance we do remember.

So what do we do? Donating it all to Goodwill is not an option. I did that last year and the tax write off did not balance out the fines and tsk tsks. The couch won't work, because that's where we put the clean laundry that my mother-in-law folds sometimes. The kitchen won't work because that's where all the shit we have to keep goes. My office? My bedroom? A spare room or shelf or table in the hallway, you say? Nice try.

Please share your wisdom. I'm sure I could put my children through college by saving on the fines alone. And my sanity would be much improved if I had a way to organize borrowed clutter (at least I tell myself that in one of my many voices).


the borrower of other people's trouble (and crap)


Stimey said...

I am ON it. I have some thoughts about this. Let me compose myself and I will post a response. And then I'll come back here and post a link.

(Seriously. Flatter me by asking my advice and I'll walk through fire for you.)

Niksmom said...

Damn, you're clever! I have often thought of asking Stimey for advice but never quite get around to it. Can't wait to see what she comes up with!

Anonymous said...

The books from me can be pitched. They were just for them to enjoy. I have a problem with clutter, too, and I am sure it ljust materializes here. I often find things that I know I have never seen before in my life.watestu

Ange said...

This is more about stuff that I need to give back to people. Stuff that I have borrowed (or children borrowed). The stuff people want back, but tends to accumulate and get lost before I can get it back to them. The other clutter, I use until it loses its usefulness and then I donate it and freecycle it. but books are never clutter--they're a collection. ;)

Kelley said...

I have no words of wisdom, I have the same problem.

I don't borrow books anymore cause we always forget to return them on time or have to replace them because Boo has eaten them...

Good luck babe, you have inspired me to get my butt over to Stimeys other site and get my sh*t together!

Stimey said...

I've solved your problems! Or at least I've written a post about your problem. :)

Dear Stimey—Ange