Friday, May 01, 2015


Some years ago I was given a beautifully illustrated booked called 'The Quiltmaker's gift', one of those books that appeals to children of all generations. Not wanting to spoil the story for anyone I'll just say that it is about the pleasure in giving things away. A pleasure I've been relating to quite a bit lately.

As part of my current de-cluttering I've been finding new homes for a number of things by sending or giving them to people who I think could and would use them and appreciate them. It takes a bit longer, but it is far more satisfying than just taking them to the nearest op/charity shop. It started because I had a t-shirt campaigning against cuts in Early Childhood Education (ECE) that I used to wear for work but that had sat in my drawer unworn since I left kindergarten. I thought about passing it on to a former colleague but the only ones who it might've fit were either on or heading for maternity leave and weren't their usual size or shape or were looking like they weren't heading back to ECE any more than I was. It wasn't cheap in the first place and so it made sense to pass it on to someone who could wear it as part of their work where it meant more, so it got posted to one of my fellow Grad Dip students and she was delighted to get it.

So after that when I came across something that had a bit of a story behind it, or was somewhat out of the ordinary I put it to one side where I could see it in my room until the right person came to mind. Mostly I've gained my inspiration from Facebook posts, but some have involved a bit of indirect research asking.

I like how the process gets me thinking about the people I know. But rather than the usual run of birthdays and Christmas where you have a list of people and then have to come up with presents, I have a box of things and have to come up with people who are so far all folk who don't make it on to the annual gifting list. As I'm not doing the 'pay it forward' crafting challenge this year this re-homing has filled that slot nicely.

Another bonus is that when I am faced with another box or drawer to clear out instead of opening it with a sigh, wondering what on earth I can still have to 'get rid of' after all these years of clutter clearing I approach it with an attitude of more excited anticipation wondering what treasures I can pass along knowing their time with me is up and it is time for them to be enjoyed elsewhere.

There is still a pile of stuff mounting up to go to the SPCA or Salvation Army, but that is 'stuff' that you'd have to know someone really well to know that they needed it - like a set of measuring spoons, or an over-door hook, and other such odds and ends that really aren't likely to make anyone's day to find them in the mail box, but could, in the right place, still be useful. I'm being fairly ruthless with divesting myself of plastic stuff that I either already have or could easily replace with an alternative when the time finally comes for me to need them again (should that day ever come!): a large bundle of coathangers, various tubs, the aforementioned measuring spoons etc. Yes one day I may need to equip a kitchen on my own, but where it is worth hanging on to my rather nice saucepans for another decade if need be before needing them again, the same really can't be said for assorted paraphernalia that can be found in most kitchen drawers, and also in most op shops should I find I do need it after all!

It's amazing how much further I've managed to cut back on my possessions, although I know there are still more boxes to be tackled in the shed at Pukepoto. I may yet fit it all in my room here which is my goal. I also need to use up more of my material stash, but that is a whole different (set of) project(s)!

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