Clutter From Another Mother


rik-rak-sister KarenHere’s a post from my friend Karen over at – enjoy!

Oh yes, you know what I’m talking about. All that stuff that has been “passed down” by family. This is a Rik Rak Sister’s worst nightmare! Not only does it add to your pile of stuff, for which you need to find storage, but there are unspoken rules and strings that come attached to these items. One misstep could result in being banished from the family gift exchange. So what is the protocol for dispensing with these unwelcomed items?

1. First, assess whether on not it’s something that you’ll use and appreciate. Possessions that possess a story make great topics of conversation. Aunt Lu Lu’s bracelet made from coins she collected on her travels, a bit kitschy but kinda cool. Wear it to the company dinner giving you something to talk about when the conversation dries up. Or wrap it around the neck of a wine bottle or a candle at your next dinner party. People will wonder what it is and where you got it.

2. If you want to “shed” said item(s) from your home, contact all siblings and offer it to them first. Getting rid of an item that holds sentimental value to someone else in the family could result in hurt feelings and a major grudge. Start with the person you like best, of course. Playing family favorites is perfectly acceptable in the Rik Rak Sister guidebook. Why do any favors for your crankier family members?

3. Stick to your guns when family members try to make you feel “guilty” for not wanting an item that’s been passed to you. Let’s face it- it’s been given to you as a direct result of all the de-cluttering going on in another home. They’re sitting back admiring the clean space while you’re on the phone dealing with their old stuff.

4. If you tend to be a bit of a hoarder, you may be inclined to keep stuff whether you need it or not. A Rik Rak Sister discourages this behavior. Before you decide to keep it, ask yourself this question “will my life come to a screeching halt if I don’t posses this item?” If your answer is “yes” then it’s time for some counseling. But that’s another blog post altogether.

Just remember folks; if you don’t have it, you’ll never miss it. Live with what you need, rethink the things you want, and enjoy life to the fullest!

Karen is the co-creator of – a fun green website with a silly green monster. Follow Karen’s newest blog series – 52 Ways to Go Green, Get Lean or Die Trying! Visit Big Green Head for tips, information and a community of green conversation.


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