Final Phase of Decluttering- craft supplies/unfinished projects
Ok so I have been decluttering our house room-by-room and have donated several car-loads of clothing, books, housewares, etc. to our local Human Society Thrift Shop. Here is my dilemma: now that I have given away everything that I imagine to have re-sale value, I still have A TON of clutter. Think things that are basically trash but I have held onto in order to keep them out of the trash stream. I have a bag of toilet paper rolls, a bag of corks, short pieces of ribbon, tons of wrinkled tissue paper), fabric scraps, upholstery samples, old calendars with pretty pictures, scrap book paper, etc. Not nice enough to donate (especially to a thrift store that sends all un-sellable items directly to the landfill). All things I have kept because I might make a bath mat from corks or a paper mache pinata or some other thing that sounds like a good idea but I never have any time for.
Anyway, I'm not looking for ideas as to where to dispose of this stuff. I'm going to post a "craft supply curb alert" on freecycle with pics and see what happens. My point is this weight that unfinished projects and garbage guilt have taken on my life. Most of this stuff was other peoples' garbage but it is the hardest for me to part with because I think it could have potential.
Re: Final Phase of Decluttering- craft supplies/unfinished projects
Letting go of our "fantasy self" or the "potential" thing is often the hardest part of uncluttering and minimizing. Projects that never materialize, clothing we never wear, objects we think will make us more desirable, more lovable, more acceptable, more cool, more hip, more whatever - once you can let go of whatever material possessions keep you trapped in a fantasy self that isn't actually the way you live your life or allows you to be who you really are - that's an important liberation and release from trappings and clutter.
Trish, I think you're great! You sound as if you've done a herculean job, so kudos! I wouldn't be surprised if a Freecycler has already nabbed your last bits of usable odds/ends.
I, too, still have the odd bits that seem too good to discard, but have no place in my life. Am dealing with 'em, but hopefully not adding "new" to the pile[s]. At some point I suspect there will be a "clean sweep" and what's left will have to go into the trash bin. Fine line, I'm finding, between not wasting and hoarding. Also, as with you, much of it is technically not even mine….
(A single example: we *still* have and use wrapping paper bought several years ago <sigh> Aargh.)
And it does have potential, you just are not the one to realize it. That is the thing to become comfortable with and strive to maintain their integrity so someone else may realize that potential. My own process: As I empty boxes storing things that I will never use I am refilling them with unfinished projects which I will complete (the stash of t-shirts for Recycling into bags, comes to mind). I have only 36 boxes, so it limits how many projects are in my holding pattern and using ZW as my lens serves to reduce the quantity even further by substance (good bye perler beads and acrylic yarn). I am lucky in that most of my stuff came to me from thriftstores so that is their destination once sorted out. At some point (as I complete my projects), I will reduce my supply of storage boxes but for now this is how I am sliding on 'Reduce' toward a downsized home and minimalist living.
I too am a huge crafter (as hobby and my job). I have several friends who are teachers and always looking for craft supplies like corks and paper towel rolls; what we think may be trash, they spend a whole school year collecting for crafts. Your local Girl Scout troop or Boy Scout troop may appreciate them too! Fabric scraps can be great for learning knot tying and making nets/hammocks... Thread and old fishing line as well as sewing needles, film tube, glass jars, egg cartons, and junk paper also make good tools and basics for crafting and survival training (I used them all myself as a Girl Scout).
If you are really overwhelmed make a list of everything you have and post it under the free section or community section of your local craigslist or send the list to the PTA president of your local elementary school. You may get the whole lot taken off your hands in one fell swoop!