Thursday, August 9, 2012

Decluttering tip #25: Find a kid who likes Elmo.

We started phase I of the Great Closet Cleanout (I'll post about that later). Among the many oh-so-interesting things we found were:
Baby clothes
Baby bottle and accessories
Baby shoes! Oh they're so cute.


Does my closet know something I don't? No, it doesn't. Sorry to get you excited!

Friends of ours moved abroad last year and left their son's outgrown things with us, knowing we were planning on having kids sometime soon-ish. They don't take up much room so I'm content to hang on to them. Unless I find someone else who needs them or would enjoy them. 

The box 'o baby stuff also contained this:
Item 135, an Elmo book.
As it happens, our next door neighbor's 16 m/o son is CRAZY about Elmo. All he can manage to say is "Memo" instead of "Elmo" but close enough. I took one look at the book and knew it needed a better home. 

And you know what? It was the best thing that happened to me all week. I walked next door and presented the little guy and his moms with the book. He squealed "Memo! Memo!" and gave me the biggest wide-eyed, toothless toddler grin I've ever seen. He toddled over to me as fast as his little legs could, took it from my hands, and instantly dropped down onto his diapered rear end and started reading. His moms were pleased and I had one less thing in my condo. 

But really, I don't care that I got this book out of the closet. It hardly took up any space. But it made a kid I like a lot really happy. 

Today's decluttering tip is simple: look at the stuff you own and figure out if any of it would make someone else genuinely happy. I mean falling-on-their-rear-end-and-squealing-like-a-toddler happy. As soon as you see someone's face light up you'll find yourself with more motivation to declutter than you've had in a while. 

What have you decluttered that made someone else really happy?


  1. A few months back, we had a yard sale. Some friends of ours showed up, and while we were ending the morning sale I decided to give one of my friends a bag of foreign money I had been collecting for many years- all of it given to me.

    It was just stuffed away in a drawer, and I felt like I had all the enjoyment out it that I was going to get. So I gave the bag to my friend and he was overjoyed- because he too loved to collect foreign money. He commented that he felt like it was his birthday!

    That bag was one of the first sentimental items I once loved and could never think to part with that I instantly gave away.

  2. I'm trying to think of things we've gotten rid of to others that made them happy. But I do often receive things from my family's decluttering, like a crock pot from my mom and TV from my sister. We have given toys to friends, and for me, the best part is to see how our boys react with kindness about it all. It's so cute when our 4 yr old will show the new owner what a toy does or how to play with it. LOVE!

  3. I recently did this when I was weeding my massive bookcase before moving a few months ago. I had held on to a bunch of children's books for sentimental reasons and now that I have a nephew, I knew that they should be given to him instead of taking up space on my shelf. I also gave a few of the girlier books to my sister in law's nieces. It must be the librarians in us that gets such joy out of sharing books with others :-).

    1. Oh, absolutely. Somehow giving someone an e-book just doesn't give me the warm fuzzies that giving someone a physical book does!

  4. I gave a co-worker a bassinet my parents bought us when we had our first child. We used it for both our babies, but since we're done with newborns the bassinet has been crowding the basement. I had thought of trying to sell it, but felt much better about just giving it to my co-worker instead. This way, I know it's gone to a good home, and will soon cradle a baby this month! That helps with the sentimentality of giving away something related to my own babies.

    1. I think knowing that someone else raised another human with the gift that they're getting is what makes these gifts so powerful and so meaningful. It's not just passing along an object, but passing along the human tradition of motherhood.

  5. I am a paper hoarder, I mean crafter, and I have way more paper and stuff than I need. I often bring paper and other crafting items to my craft club that I want to get rid of. However, unless I have something for a specific person that I know they will love I do put a small token price on my things. And that is because I want someone to take it who truly desires it rather than someone who takes it just because it is free. I guess not really what you are asking.


Please be kind :o)

If you try to advertise your online business by writing a comment on this blog, please don't bother because I will delete it.