Two weeks ago, we threw away the worst kind of clutter. The kind that has taken up space (awkward space, significant space) for more than a decade in our home, only to never be used. Or, never be successfully used.
I bought these fishing waders at a garage sale years ago. The memory is a little fuzzy, but I think I got them when we lived in a different town. That would have been at least thirteen years ago, and would mean we packed them up and moved them twice.
If you’re not familiar with fishing gear, waders are heavy. And they don’t fold up neatly. (Especially for someone with folding-issues, like me.)
I bought them because they were a bargain price and my husband likes to fish. He’s not really a fish-in-waders fisherman, though.
But he was excited to have them. And I was excited that he was excited. They sat in our garage(s) as a possibility. As a perfect solution if he was ever in a situation where he needed to wade.
When need-to-wade situations did come up over the years, though, I’d respond to his stories with a “Don’t forget I bought you those waders” and he’d respond with an “Oh yeah, I always forget about those.”
I’m sure there were years when we didn’t even know where they were, and only had a vague memory that they were somewhere.
So a few weeks ago, when remembering and locating and needing finally all happened at the same time, I was thrilled. Thrilled that my $3ish purchase from 2004ish was finally going to be used.
And then, as I took his cute-as-can-be-to-me picture, loving the look of joy in his eyes and congratulating myself on finally making use of this amazing bargain, I noticed a little blemish/issue/please-don’t-let-that-be-a-hole in one of the legs.
Since I’m not a Expert on Fishing Waders, I hoped that maybe it was a surface wound, an aesthetic flaw that wouldn’t affect the actual function of the waders.
We needed function. He was excited to have these waders to go out deeper into the water because it was cold that day. Bitterly cold. But the man wanted to fish, and when opportunity and cold weather collide, you do what you need to do, especially if you have waders.
He left, and within thirty minutes sent a text asking me to bring him some dry socks.
That itty-bitty hole was enough to let in freezing-cold water.
That itty-bitty hole was most likely why someone else put those waders in a garage sale.
That itty-bitty hole made these bargain waders completely worthless.
We threw them away. I didn’t want someone else to go through all that after experiencing the thrill of finding them at a thrift store.
There’s a chance that hole was the result of sitting through many Texas summers in a garage that feels like an oven.
Whenever the hole happened, this is the most irritating of all kinds of clutter. For years, it was clutter because we never used it. Then, when we finally did use it (to make it not clutter), it turned out to be trash.
How could we have solved this? Using the waders. Sooner. So we could have trashed them sooner.
Misty |Simple Organized Lifestyle says
I found a great deal on a lego table & a huge container of legos at a garage sale. I bought them when my son was around 2 (now 6) thinking he would love them one day. Still waiting… while this great finds take up a lot of space and goes un-used. I don’t like clutter but I love a great deal… sometimes the two cross paths and I’m learning that the clutter makes me more stressed than walking away from the deal!
Sit down with him and show him how fascinating they are. Lego dot com has downloads of their past building sets to get you started. Our grandsons love playing with Legos. I’ve given up stressing about having them cleaned up before bed when they visit. We just sweep them under their cots so feet (mine or theirs) aren’t injured if anyone has to leave or enter the room after bedtime. This week I’m in a Sew Along making a free pattern Retreat Bag from Emmaline Bags so they can each have a Lego bag to keep their own collections contained better…they keep them here.
Oh, now that he’s six, maybe put his bed on risers and put carpet/hard floor glides under the table legs (shortened?) so it can be slipped under his bed?
Melinda J Mitchell says
All my sympathy Dana. This same exact scenario, minus waders, plus whatever randomness, has happened to me so.many.times. Someday we’ll learn, right??
Peggy Consolver says
I see from the picture you’re at the lakehouse. Next time look in the master closet. I have two pairs of waders hanging on hangers in there. Try again. We love that glmmer of excitement a fisherman gets when he’s geared up and ready. Sorry I had not mentioned them … in a while. Mom
Of course your sweet mama would not only HAVE waders but also a spot to store them… I wish we could bottle that up and sell it to people like us!
My aunt’s name is lenetta, and you are the ONLY other person I’ve heard of with that name.
And of course they’re hanging on hangars and not any of the other less organized places they could be. 🙂
Melody L. says
Yay!! Thanks to you, I’ve cleaned out two night stand drawers and tossed out a few things I could have put in a garage sale. Now I have to toss the bag in the trash before my hubby gets home from fishing. The items were mine, but some of the stuff, he bought me years ago. Not the waders, though. They’re back home in NY, hanging on a hanger In the closet.
Stella Lee says
I think my spinning wheel falls into that category. I tried to sell it and the sale fell through, but this is one thing I can’t bring myself to throw out (I’ve moved house and states with it!)
This is a great story, such a roller coaster of emotions! First you have an occasion to use the thing (you were right to buy it!), then you find the thing (amazing!!!!!!), sadly the thing doesn’t work (frustrating!), finally your mom had some all along you could have used.
How often has this happened to me? It happens to me with clothing I have stored for years– then I pull it out only to find out it is damaged and must be thrown away. Waste of space, waste of energy in dragging it around from move to move. I wish that foresight could be a big enough motivator to help me declutter things like that, but so far, no luck.
My nemesis was a very expensive robe that I saved and saved and admired from time to time, but never wore. I had a few years where I had one health issue after another and realized that my robes were not in a state to be seen on me or anyone for that matter so when I finally recouperated, I bought myself, not one, but three robes on sale. They were still pricey in my opinion, but I never wanted that company is coming by to see how you are doing, all the while I felt and looked like crap, and had icky robes to boot. Well, this winter I got sick with a lengthy illness, had my husband drag out the moderate and heavy weight robe, leaving the summer weight one hanging, only to find that a mouse had “shredded “ the chenille probably for their nest. Money wasted and I still had a crappy robe for when visitors came.
Motto: use it, or life happens and you lose it
I have started seeing you on YouTube and recalled reading a post from you about fishing waders. It stuck in my mind and I had to find it. During my decluttering process I consider valuable and useable, not just affordable and we’ll keep it for someday.