Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Wants or needs?

Yes, there is a difference.   I am in clear out mode once again and this time it is the large cupboard in the kitchen which houses all manner of things and which has got very untidy.
Today was the day I resolved.

First of all I went into town to meet friends W and C for our usual Tuesday morning coffee.  After that I went to the shop next door but two - 'House and Home' - a brilliant household shop which has absolutely everything under the sun that you could possibly need.

What I needed was first of all a new feather duster.   Mine has begun to moult pale blue feathers every time it is used to dust the picture rails.   I chose a more expensive but obviously better choice of a lambswool one.   The other thing I wanted was some storage baskets - I have bought them from there before and they do categorise ones bits and pieces of 'householdery' ideally.

I got chatting to a chap who had some piece of 'man stuff' in his hand and was looking at it longingly.   As I passed him I said, "Do you really need that or is it that you just want it"He laughed - "The latter" he said and put it back on the shelf.   We had a little chat about how easy it is in that kind of shop to collect stuff.

Then I crossed the road and went into our general store - Milners.   Here are ladies' clothes, handbags, haberdashery, and upstairs carpets, curtains and the like.   All I wanted was half a dozen buttons for a baby jacket I am knitting - but that meant walking through the clothing department - and what gorgeous things there were.   Almost everything I wanted.   But did I need it?   What I needed was to go home and assess what I needed to top up my winter wardrobe.   Resisting temptation I came home and got the lunch (yesterday's Times recipe 'Pasta a la Norma' - delicious and easy to make.)

Then I tackled the cupboard.   Getting out my first storage basket I got out all the spice jars.   Oh dear, many of them were out of date (by a long way).  Have you checked yours lately?   You might get a nasty surprise.

Realising that the jars were recycleable but not the contents, I got a bag and began to empty the jars into it.   I was reminded of the John Masefield poem 'Cargoes'   Quinquireme of Nineveh with its cargo of 'sandalwood, cedarwood and sweet white wine' - the smell was glorious - cinnamon, ginger, cumin,
paprika, caraway seeds - they all went into the bag.   Then the jars went into the recycle box.   I was also reminded of Mr Colman of Colman's Mustard who said that he made his money from what  people left on their plate.

Now the whole cupboard is neat and tidy.   It is actually I believe a linen press but it really does make a very useful cupboard for my kitchen.

Next I shall go and look through my wardrobe and persuade myself that I really do need one or two items I saw in that shop rather than just that I want them.   I shall try hard to forget the difference because clothes are one of my passions.

25 comments:

Dawn McHugh said...

Go on treat yourself to some new clothes after all you cant it with you :-)

Dawn McHugh said...

oops that came out wrong, I was saying you cant take it with you and if you cant treat yourself now and then whats the point of saving :-)

donna baker said...

Oh Pat. You are an inspiration. I have truckloads of things to take to Goodwill. I need to get after it. I haven't bought many clothes of late as I really have enough to last me the rest of my life. It does save money and yet, I still can't get my mind off a LV handbag I want. I tell myself it is because I rarely spend money on myself; I don't go to the beauty shop nor buy many clothes and no jewelry, so I can afford that luxury. But, I know it is silly to spend that kind of money on a purse.

Terry and Linda said...

Sometimes a treat to something new to wear is really a want and a need all in one. Then whenever you look at it or wear it you feel special.

Linda

Hard up Hester said...

I remember my MIL serving spaghetti Bolognese and offering me her tub of parmesan to sprinkle on it, it looked rather grey in colour. When I checked, it was 11 years out of date!

Rachel said...

Buying storage baskets does not sound like my kind of de-cluttering, it hints that the plan is to keep stuff..

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

LOVE that poem, hated learning it at school, but have never forgotten it and loved it since. Tried de-cluttering... can't do I'm not programmed that way.
Gill

Derek Faulkner said...

For once I agree with Rachel, seems more like you are going to sort your clutter and still keep it.

Joanne Noragon said...

Declutterin appears to be a topic today. Having just removed to 1012 square feet, and despising the cluttered look to begin, I can appreciate the dilemma. I happened to talk today with a man who lives in a small house and is dealing with the last 18 boxes of family memorabilia collected by his parents, who have been gone ten or more years. The rest of the family has been begged often to go through it too, take something. No one wants it. That has happened to me with the death of relatives. Some I could donate to local museums. The rest I was cold hearted about. The movies long ago were made into digital files, no one wants the reels of film, the projector equipment. All the pictures have been scanned. I donated them, along with the vintage frames. Just donate it. Someone will use it, why am I storing it. It became easier and easier.

angryparsnip said...

I am decluttering my studio. That takes a long time. I have been going through my stacks of paper, not the good stuff but bits and pieces. The pieces I have saved for torn paper and postcards projects.
Some old paints and inks. and all the cute clutter that needs to go. I don't have baskets but small clear plastic bins that hold all sorts of bits and bogs that I use in my books. Baskets and containers for me are great for corralling all the little stuff I use. Don't even get me started on the tins I have with all my pencils, brushes and ink pens.
I like what Terry and Linda said. I would look through your wardrobe and maybe get a new sweater ? in a wonderful new color that will brighten up a cold winter day. Sometimes just one new piece is just the thing !

cheers, parsnip and thehamish

Frances said...

Dear Weaver, the title of this post reminds me of something my Dad used to say to my Mom when they entered a shop together, "Do you seen anything you need?"

I bought one of those lambswool dusters a few years ago and find it works very well, and think it was definitely worth the price.

One of my favorite furniture items is a Shaker style line press that I had made for me about 30 years ago. I keep my sweaters and other knitted items in it. Like the duster, it performs its function well.

Let me echo what others have already commented. It is good to add an item or two of clothing each winter or summer season, just for the pleasure of discovering a color you like or a new style that suits you. xo

The Weaver of Grass said...

On the clothes front - I have already indulged in one new deep
gold sweater for winter, so now need to have a think about things.

On the subject of using storage baskets suggesting I am holding on to things - I am using them for things like - storing all herbs and spices together in one basket in my food cupboard, using another for all the different oils - rape seed, walnut, olive etc. So it is really not a matter of holding on to things, rather being able to find them more quickly.

But I still have a long way to go. I have thrown out all my old mugs which were cracked and faded with dishwasher use and in their place am using my collection of mugs with hares on, which were on the shelf in the kitchen. Now all there is on tat shelf is a wooden avocet and a bowl. Today the farmer said it looked bare!! You can't win.

galant said...

Oh, that is so coincidental! I suggested to husband this morning that we buy a feather duster for the new chandelier-style central light in our bedroom! It is too delicate for a brush, but a feather duster would be perfect! Great minds think alike, eh?
But, oh, how lovely to have a good clear out. It makes you feel better, doesn't it?
Margaret P

galant said...

PS You must treat yourself to a new item of clothing! I did this last week, a coat from Phase Eight, but it's been returned simply because while I loved it, it was a colour I don't normally wear and a consequence was that it only went with black, and that is fine, but I want to wear more colours than black during the winter!
Margaret P

Sue said...

Milners! Good grief, I can remember my mother taking me there shopping a lifetime ago. Amazing it is still going strong.

Heather said...

I had a major clear out of my kitchen some months ago and you have reminded me of the guilt I felt when I read some of the use by dates of things in the larder!
As for clothes, I seem to have reached a point where I am fed up with everything in my wardrobe but daren't throw any out in case I can't find anything that I do like to replace them. I like having new clothes but hate shopping for them. I'm just 'ockard'.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

We have a new cafe opened near my flat, a community project. Curious to see what it's like, it seems to be something worth supporting

Mac n' Janet said...

Oh dear, I know some of my spices are old, very old, should I throw them out?

Alphie Soup said...

Well done Weaver, sorting out the cupboard contents and also being able to differentiate between needs and wants in the clothing store...

Alphie

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I like decluttering too - but one thing I do when considering spices and seasonings - I rub a bit between my fingers and if I get a good aroma, I keep it. I figure that the date might be for the purpose of making us buy more, too often, instead of using up what we have, which might still be perfectly good. Sometimes I'll give it a taste test too - and that might determine if I keep or toss. The one thing I find that goes off quickly is poppy seeds - I love them - but they do have to be fresh. Happy decluttering. I love to use baskets to organize.

Librarian said...

Well done! Decluttering and clearing out are things I very much enjoy, and even in my "slim" household it becomes necessary every now and then. Like for you, clothes are my passion, and I know very well that I don't actually need so many dresses and other nice things.
To sort the contents of the kitchen cupboard into baskets is a very good way of keeping the cupboard tidy and clean.
As for the out-of-date spices, I think most of them keep well long after the date on the jar. Unless it looks or smells funny, I still use mine until they are used up (which takes a long time since I mostly cook only every other weekend, when my partner is here with me, or when I have guests).

The Weaver of Grass said...

I am having a day off today as I rather overdid it and my ankle is painful - so everything is safe for a least one more day from me mania for throwing stuff out.

Thanks for joining in.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

"Wants" and "Needs" are easy to categorise; it's all those "Well-it-might-come-in-handy-one-day"s that cause all the problems!

Gwil W said...

I started to declutter and found the second or third item is something I've been looking for and thought I'd lost. End of decluttering. But that was yesterday and I was tired.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

When you have finished clearing out at your house can you please come down to Sheffield and do our house too? I will even pay your transport costs and make you a bramble pie with homemade custard.