For my in-laws’ sixtieth anniversary, we went on a cruise with them and other extended family.
We’d saved for the cruise, but we were on a budget.
While everyone else went on fun excursions ziplining through the jungle, Hubby and I shopped. We walked the streets of Cozumel, experiencing touristy shopping at its best. We bargained for souvenirs.
Hubby chose, for his souvenir, an item to make this Declutterer proud. A useful item. Combining memories with useful stuff is great, right?
Might as well treasure something you also need.
How cool to shade your face with the hat that takes your mind back to a fun experience!
Except, obviously, we didn’t treasure it. I say “we” because it’s likely it was my pile of stuff in the garage that crushed this beloved hat.
But honestly, how beloved is it if it doesn’t actually have a spot?
So, even though I was beyond irritated with myself for letting something treasured get ruined, I chose to view this as proof that the item, while really cool, wasn’t actually treasured.
Sure, I wish I’d realized that before it was undonatable, but at least it’s gone.
Oh. You’re wondering about Hubby’s reaction to his hat getting crushed and then thrown away?
Me too. Let’s see if he reads this post.
Wow! Living on the edge! I always hope my husband doesn’t notice stuff has been decluttered.
This post lifted the blinders of my Slob Vision, and I realized that I have a similar hat on the shelf in our coat closet near the front door: not totally similar in design, a feminine version with a meshy/non-straw section and a decorative sash tied around it, but extremely similar in its condition b/c it has been buried under a towering stack of gloves, mittens, scarves, winter hats, and thermal vests. . . . And this squashed hat was A GIFT FROM MY MIL, who is coming from out-of-state to visit next month for the first time in decades. (We usually visit her impeccably tidy home.) So, the hat is now out of sight and in rehab with scarves stuffed into it, in hopes of restoring its shape. I think the meshy material has rehab potential that straw wouldn’t have.
I don’t know if your hubby has seen the post, but I’m very glad that I did! Thank you, Nony!
Dana White says
I hope it works!!!
In thinking about this situation, I began to wonder how the hat got so extremely squashed. Then I remembered that it used to be under even more items: various sweatshirts and hoodies that are now in my stacks of laundry-to-be-done. I’m on track with keeping up the kitchen, but when it comes to laundry, I probably need to get on board with the laundry-day system.
Secondly, it occurred to me that, fortunately, my MIL didn’t give this hat to me as a formal wrapped gift. When we were visiting once on a sunny day, she first lent it to me and then insisted it was so perfect for me that I should take it home. It’s probably a re-gift that she wanted to get out of her aforementioned impeccably tidy home, into a distant out-of-state home where the gift-er wouldn’t see its fate. Or, perhaps she had plans to tell the gift-er how perfect is was for her DIL, hence, she had parted with it.
Given the re-gifty aura and current condition, I think I’ll end up discreetly taking this item to the Salvation Army in hopes that a more skilled rehabber will be able to salvage it or at least its decorative sash. I doubt that anyone will notice its disappearance.
However, I could save it to use as a textbook illustration of Slob Vision! It was in the closet that contains my shoes for outdoor wear so I was viewing the contents multiple times every day. I’m tall so the squashed hat was right in front of me. And, I’m in the midst of my weeks-long pre-MIL’s-visit cleaning and organizing spree. But, I didn’t notice that hat until after I read this post!
Given what you just wrote, it’s possible she doesn’t even remember the hat. Or that you could have worn it out since you brought it home. Or forgotten it while you were out somewhere. Or , it’s put away with your summer stuff.
Your MIL doesn’t know where it usually goes, so she’s not going to know it’s missing from there. And there’s no reason for her to assume you’d keep it forever, as the statements above show. So… Relax. Your MIL is there to see you. Not to follow up on every item she gave you on a whim.
Thank you, Andree, for the comment, and Nony, for the link to your “Permission to Throw it Away” post in the email today. This hat is likely to go out with the trash on Wednesday morning.
“Me too. Let’s see if he reads this post.”
^^LOL! This line illustrates exactly why I am sure we could be great friends! (That, and the fact that I know you wouldn’t judge me and my oft-trashed house. 😉
Love, love, love this post and how it made me laugh that you wondered “out loud” if hubby would read the post and find out that you’d decluttered something of his. I rarely get away with decluttering my hubby’s things. But I try!
Keep up the great work!
I’ve tried to steer clear of decluttering my hubby’s things and check with him on mutually acquired items, such as various phone directories that have been dumped in front of our door. I never know what he might have a particular interest in, especially since he missed a few pieces of Tupperware that it turns out were his from way back in the day. I never would have thought he was going to miss certain Tupperware! I’m also very cautious with gifts from his family. He has less of a tendency toward clutter than I do, but since I’ve dramatically decreased mine his is standing out more. Lots of obsolete textbooks! There’s also a considerable cache of Christmas gifts from his family that we’ve never used. Fortunately, last year one of his sisters proposed a dramatic cut-back of the Christmas-gift exchange and everyone agreed.
Mary Stephens says
I have this practical streak in me that sometimes tells me that souvenirs should be something that we’d use. I’ve found out to my sorrow that those are not always the “treasured” things after all. Sometimes I end up wishing I’d bought one pretty thing that I really liked and would have put on the wall, or whatever, instead of the less-than-satisfying practical thing(s). :-/ I have a mug I bought in Australia that turned out to be made from china (fragile). I’m either going to have to just put it the cupboard and use it and not worry about it being so breakable, or I’m going to have to gift it or donate it. It wasn’t what I expected it to be in the “practical” moment I bought. :-p
I buy Christmas ornaments as souvenirs. I get to enjoy them and the memories for two weeks, then pack them up until next year. And Christmas is the only holiday I decorate for, so I do value my ornaments and sentimental items my mother made to decorate with.
Old post, but commenting anyway because it reminded me of something.
I decluttered my office this past year and came across a number of items that I treasured, but that clearly weren’t treasured. And they were weird items: three Madam Alexander dolls based off literary characters, two music textbooks from my college days, a Jane Austen action figure, a decorative bag with a pretty stone in it, a set of tarot cards I don’t use, and three filled bullet journals that I still use pages from for reference.
And after decluttering the bookshelves, I found I had an empty shelf. So I made a display shelf. The textbooks and tarot cards laid sideways became display levels for the dolls. The stone and the bag sit center stage. The journals are accessible, but also guarded by Jane Austen. It makes me so happy every time I see it. Now my treasured items actually get to be treasured!