Friday, 3 March 2017

Lent de-cluttering challenge ~ Things That Didn't Work Out

So, continuing through Lent with the 40 bags in 40 days de-cluttering challenge.

On Shrove Tuesday I started to look at categories of clutter, with the first and most obvious one of True Junk; stuff that accumulates here and there and simply needs to go in the bin – whether that be the recycling bin, the compost bin, or down to the dump for sorting.

After True Junk, my biggest category of stuff to be got rid of is ~


Most people have a lot of these, because we tend to feel guilty for having wasted money on them and hang on to them in the hope they will work out one day after all. Usually they don’t.

This lovely Scandinavian wall sconce didn’t work out. 

There’s nothing wrong with it, but I rarely use candles – and when I do I go for nightlights in jam jars for safety reasons. I got it on eBay. I think I was channelling Innermost House or something.

These shoes didn’t work out. 

I have hard to fit feet, and the black ones are a make I know usually work for me, in the size and shape that usually fit me. Only these ones didn’t. I bought them at a very low price from a private seller on eBay (new would have been beyond my budget), no returns. I tried to sell them on through eBay – no luck. So off to the charity shop they go.  The slippers were cheapest of the cheap from China (eBay again). They fit and are nice but don’t stay on, which is both annoying and dangerous on the stairs. I’ve washed them, and off they go, too.

 These tops didn’t work out. 

I haven’t had them long, either. I got them in the last bargain-barrel-with-extra-discount-and-postage-off-thrown-in-for-a-laugh end of sale, thought they’d probably be okay, kept them long enough to discover they weren’t (wrong size) but too long to send back. I’ve listed them on eBay (here and here if you’re interested) but if they don’t go this week they’ll be headed for the charity shop.

KonMari is hot on Things That Didn’t Work Out. Her faith background is Shinto, which causes her to look at things with a very different mindset from the standard Western one. She regards her belongings as imbued with life – whether inherently or through connection with us I’m not sure. So she considers that every object that comes along has a teaching for her, even if it’s no more exalted than “I wouldn’t buy one of those again, if I were you.”

Therefore, she says that if you have an item you bought but it didn’t work out – it didn’t suit you as much as you first thought, or proved uncomfortable or whatever – you should waste no time on guilt or regrets, nor impede the flow of life by hanging on to it. You should thank it for what it has taught you, then bless it on its way because evidently its mission lies elsewhere.  

Seems reasonable.


Rebecca said...

I really like this category - "Things that didn't work out". What a kind/gentle way to part with some perfectly nice items...

Pen Wilcock said...



kat said...

I like the thought of things having a "mission elsewhere" - a good thought. See you tomorow xx

Pen Wilcock said...

Yes - see you in the morning. x

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making me think of looking for new work clothes on Ebay. I got several new shirts still wrapped, presumably things which didn't work out for other people!

Pen Wilcock said...


I think private sellers on eBay are definitely part of the informal economy, and it stops clothes going to waste.