What Do You Have Too Much Of?

by Katy on May 13, 2013 · 52 comments

Fiestaware Plates

My name is Katy and I am a recovering packrat. It’s been two weeks since my last thrift store excursion.

I have spent the majority of my adult life stalking garage sales and thrift stores for diamonds in the rough. That perfect Fiestaware platter, that perfect vintage tablecloth. The thrill of the hunt, and the subsequent display of my fresh kill.


Fast forward 20 years and that perfect Fiestaware platter is now in the way, and that perfect vintage tablecloth? Lost among a sea of other perfect tablecloths.


How much kitchenware does a girl need?!

I’ve slowly been winnowing down my collections, but I can still host a party for 30 without even entertaining the thought of a paper plate.

Letting go of belongings is not easy for me. I remember where the object came from and often how much I paid. But I have to remind myself that the important word here is “object.” It’s a thing, and it has no feelings.

The garage sale that I held a few weeks ago was extremely cathartic. To witness the clutter of my life leaving my house, with the added bonus of money in my pocket was an intoxicating blend. I am now viewing my belongings as potential moneymakers, (after years of Goodwill donations) and I plan on having another sale before too long. Because yes, I unfortunately have enough stuff to stage another big sale.

As my house has slowly decluttered, my life and frankly my time have become much more free. I’m spending less and less time cleaning and organizing, and more time doing, well . . . whatever I want.

Which brings me to the question:

What do you have too much of, and how does that affect you?

Is it books, thimbles or painted Mrs. Butterworth bottles? Is it ceramic owls, picture frames or comic books?

Please share how you’re dealing with your stuff in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Holly May 13, 2013 at 8:36 am

Oh, yeah. Dishes, definitely dishes. Even after the unexpected happened and I needed to come up with more money quickly to pay the mortgage — shipped two sets of dishes off to Replacements and made the payment. I still have plates for 20 (and a real weakness for Corelle!)


dusty May 14, 2013 at 2:58 am

i have some corelle on ebay if you’re interested.


Vicky May 13, 2013 at 8:50 am

Chairs!! I love old chairs. We have more than enough room to sit…


Reese May 13, 2013 at 8:57 am

Ok, if I’m wracking my brain, I probably don’t have too much of something right now right?

I should remedy that 😉

I have an awful lot of bakeware. And also knives (I got a set for my wedding that I’m just not a fan of. I cut myself on the TOP of the knives…). But they aren’t JUST knives for cooking. I mean..if an intruder came in, these knives could save my life. Plus they’re colorful and pretty. And when I get fed up enough by cutting myself too many times, I’ll give them away.

I wish I had more plates though…


Jane in Seattle May 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

I have never had any luck at garage sales. My daughter gave a couple of boxes of baby stuff to the next door neighbor at his urging to sell. He literally gave them away. Another time my daughter sold a brand new 300 dollar suit for twenty bucks. She APPARENTLY did not hear my EXCEPT WORD. I have had thousand dollars worth of jewelry stolen from my space at work and put thing in consignment shops that I never got paid for, The art supplies I put n Craig’s list haven’t moved, even though they are priced at fractions of their original price. I give up, I’m not meant to sell stuff. Until I feel rich enough to give my stuff away, I’ll keep the good stuff.


Carolyn May 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

Although I am a professional organizer, my house is teaming with kids’ toys, but that’s my kids’ clutter, not mine, right? 😉


Alison May 13, 2013 at 9:44 am

I held a yard sale over the weekend to de-clutter my garage. I was completely sold out by 11am! I have never had that happen. I packed up the remaining half filled box of stuff and took it directly to the thrift store. Although I don’t care for doing yard sales, I am pleased to have a clean garage again!


marie May 13, 2013 at 10:09 am

Oh, I love the fiestaware! I’d buy it from you.
My weakness is
1) handbags
2) Lamps,I have at least a dozen but won’t count
3) Books. Other than the one’s for paperback swap, nothing else is going, don’t even ask!!!


Coral Clarke May 26, 2023 at 9:30 pm

I felt that way about my books, for years! When I was downsizing I decided to SET FREE the books I wasn’t going to use as references, or reread , and that felt SO good.! I wasn’t getting rid of my lovely books, I was sending them out into the world to be read and loved again!6 years later, and I have only once wished to read one again, and I borrowed it from the library!!


Lynnette May 13, 2013 at 10:15 am

Just recently went through our whole house and donated @ least 10 bags of items to the local thrift store that was running a special 30% off coupon for every 2 bags donated. We got rid of a lot of unnecessary items and in return I got discounts on items to sell in my Etsy shop!


Louise May 13, 2013 at 10:28 am

I have too many records … as in LPs. You know – those old fashioned vinyl records that music used to come on. 400+ … finding the valuation and trying to sell them seems so daunting, but finding a place for them (even in a large house) is just as overwhelming. Just thinking about them makes my brain all twitchy!


Michelle H. May 14, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Amen! We have about 5 boxes of records that I have been trying to throw out for years. My husband is convinced they’re worth something (they’re not) and keeps holding onto them.


erin @ dfmi designs May 13, 2013 at 10:29 am

Umm, I seem to have a problem collecting furniture. Mostly dressers. I have a garage full and my husband is getting a little annoyed that there is no room to actually use the garage for repair projects or working on cars. Now in my defense, most of my items are cast-offs that I have found for free on the side of the road and lugged home. I think I may need to part with some things though. I recently toted some random odds and ends to the end of the driveway and it’s totally therapeutic to see them get snatched up by others. Bonus for freeing up space in a already small house. 🙂


A. Marie May 13, 2013 at 10:39 am

Clothes, definitely. It’s not as if either DH or I are skinny fashion plates; it’s just that I can never resist the lure of a secondhand bargain. I really feel that if I stopped buying clothes tomorrow, we’d have enough in our wardrobes to carry us through to the Last Judgment. (Notice I said “tomorrow,” not “today.” Just picked up a new-with-tags pair of black Chicos jeans at one of my favorite haunts. Grin.)


Jenny May 13, 2013 at 10:45 am

Shoes, definitely shoes! In part because I like them, a lot. And in part because of my difficult feet- even some of the most sensible shoes (even ones recommended by podiatrists) just hurt and I don’t figure that out until I have broken them in.


AmyW May 13, 2013 at 11:27 am

I own about 15-20 plus pair of designer boots- most from clearance from a store in Mpls called Opitz Designer- 70-90% off… And, then I own at least 20 leather designer and/or vintage leather jackets. Umm, a friend of mine just gave me bins of her clothes after moving back from Amsterdam so I now have about 20-25 cotton hippie looking, white hand embroider shirts and dresses from some cool shops in Amsterdam. And then I have about 3O belts in my closet, most are the wide leather ones that are worn for embellishment. I have been buying them for years because they never go out of style. We live in an OLD house with small closets, so I am continually bringing things in and out of the house. When I bring in “new” clothes I try and pull at least one piece for donation or consignment. Thrift stores in Mpls/St Paul are ridiculous. On any given day I can walk I and find at least 20 near-new contemporary pieces like Zara, True Religion, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Free People etc. I buy for myself, but mostly re-sell at least half of what I purchase. I also buy for family because it is fun. I send out Roxy, Hollister, North Face etc. clothes to my younger nieces because it is fun. Our closets are actually very organized and you would not know about this clothing fetish… The rest of our house has a place for everything and there is no clutter, any “piles” or drawers will a million things crammed in them.


Erin May 13, 2013 at 11:06 am

Hi. I’m Erin and I’m a bedding addict.

Each bed in my house has four sets of sheets (kids have 2 cotton and 2 flannel), a down blanket, a down comforter, two duvets w/shams, 2 mattress covers, and at least one quilt. And that’s after a major purge before our move to PA. I even have two sets of sheets for the air mattress!

Much of it was purchased used, though, at either yard sales ($8 Eddie Bauer king down comforter!) or thrift shops (400 thread count queen sheet set for $4.99!). As long as the overflow doesn’t annoy me and I can store them well, I won’t be getting rid of any bedding any time soon. I find great comfort in it. 🙂


Sheila May 13, 2013 at 11:19 am

Books, just books.


Vivian May 13, 2013 at 11:40 am

Books, 8 Year old’s toys, my shoes and clothes. Most of these are either years old and or brought at thrift stores. I have some new things bought in the last couple of years but by no means do I buy new even on a monthly basis. I have to purge or I am not have room for us in this house.


Linda M May 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Old paperwork, books, clothes and knickknacks. Doing much better than past years…still a work in progress!


Kelly May 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Costume jewelry – for sure!


Kate in NY May 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Black t-shirts. It’s insane!


Rowen G. May 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Not too many books, too few book cases. . . however, I can thin the fiction collection again, and the telly is about to go away, which should make space for 1 or 2 more book cases. (Haven’t “watched tv” in over 10 years, and if I want a movie (the excuse for keeping it this far) I can watch one on the computer. I sold a lot of my fabric stash to other historical reenactors, so I’ll just need to deal with old paperwork and some boxes of family this and that from my parents’ house.


Trish May 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm

My only hoard is my sewing stash. I have been sewing since I was 13, and have been collecting fabric since I was 19. I am 55. Amounts to bankers boxes full of fabric. 25 of them. All labeled and stored indoors so they don’t rot or get buggy. Also have a 6 drawer low dresser full of supplies, and 1 6′ tall bookcase full of plastic shoe boxes with trims, elastic, buttons, etc. All labeled as well. I had a sewing room until my daughter moved in with me, so we are going to reorganize this weekend. I work and go to school full time, so it has to wait for my weekend off.


Susan May 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Dishes, linens, cookware, Pyrex, books, Fiestaware, and the list goes on and on. I am salivating over the Fiesta plates as I type!!


Jen May 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Plastic pots! I just counted 28 empty ones between my shed and porch. Granted, I am putting many of them to use as we speak covering the vegetables I planted a little too early. My mission is to start by getting rid of half and then going from there.


denise May 14, 2013 at 7:01 am

ditto on the plastic pots. it’s ridiculous but i absolutely cannot throw one away.


Jean May 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm

We moved into a 600-sq foot inlaw from the 1800 sq ft main house. We have had 2 dumpsters, a yard sale, donations and still I have too much stuff. I have fabric, fibers, threads, buttons and patterns and books. I have 3 tables (mom’s, nana’s, and my own). We recently gave away 7 chairs. Stuff is a trap, a weight. I don’t do yard sales, I avoid stores. I look at pictures of decorating and try to recreate from what I have.


Constance May 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Fabric…too much fabric and clothing, “I can make something out of that”…ya right. My husband would probably say I have too many mixing bowls, serving dishes and plates


Debbie May 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I’ve also moved into a 600 sq. ft. home two years ago. I can honestly say that i don’t have a bunch of clutter. I work constantly on keeping it out; there’s just no room and i don’t want to clean around it. It’s a time suck, in my opinion. My husband has more paperwork/art work/photography supplies/tools than i think he needs, but i don’t say too much about it. We all need to figure out our own comfort level when it comes to living with stuff. I just need it put away unless it’s in use.


Diane C May 13, 2013 at 5:15 pm

This post made me laugh. I phoned my favorite aunt on Mother’s Day. Her daughter was helping her sort through a collection of inherited egg cups. There were sixty cups. She had decided to winnow it down to ten. She laughed when she discovered Goodwill tags on a number of them. This beloved aunt has a very large home and every closet, cabinet and dresser are filled. I guess egg cups are as good a place to start as any.


Jennifer @ Little Blog in the Big Woods May 13, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Money…I have WAAAYYY too much money. LOL! I kid of course ;-P


cathy May 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Drowning in paper. Old files, receipts, bills. Most of it is past the point of usefulness and just needs to be shredded. Of course, I have to go through it all to determine what to get rid of. Can you say “Procrastination”?


CoralClarke May 26, 2023 at 9:43 pm

Me too! I am doing 5 minutes a day, having ascertained what needs to be kept for legal/ tax purposes.I downloaded a scanning app to my tablet ( which is beside me for those 5 minutes.) and scan anything that might be nice to look back on/ have useful information , apart from original birth/ death marriage Certificates, family memorabilia., which goes, Willy Nilly for now, into a seperate box. When I get around to doing ( as I have promised myself) some family research, I will have head start on it, now it’s in one spot!


tna May 13, 2013 at 10:29 pm

I don’t have much of nothin. But I do love soft pima cotton t-shirts and right now I have 4.


Renee CA May 13, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Jars. I cannot throw away a good jar. With a good lid.


Karen May 14, 2013 at 1:41 am

Craft supplies, especially for embroidery. Now will not make anything that I do not already have supplies for.


Jo@simplybeingmum May 14, 2013 at 2:08 am

Sentimental-paper-clutter… I’m such a hoarder in this area!


dusty May 14, 2013 at 3:06 am

After cleaning out my mother-in-laws condo (she went to live in an assisted living facility) my house is now full of her stuff. I donated quite a bit and have a lot of items on Ebay. I was discouraged at first but now things seem to be selling. What does not sell I will put on Craigslist and if I still can’t sell it I will give some to friends and some to the local SPCA thrift store. I don’t really have any clutter to speak of, I try to live a minimalist life. Occasionally I will get overwhelmed by paper but then I get out the shredder.


Suzanne Percy May 14, 2013 at 5:19 am

Baby clothes and food in the freezer. I don’t even know what’s in there!


Jessica May 14, 2013 at 5:36 am

I have a lot of books but almost nothing else. I like my house to be almost bare. My kids’ room is somewhat cluttered but that is mostly because no toys are allowed in the rest of the house. I own no dressers or superflous furniture.


Alexandra May 14, 2013 at 6:16 am

If you haven’t seen this youtube music video about shopping at thrift stores, watch it. Very amusing and excellent advice!


Vickie May 14, 2013 at 7:55 am

Now that’s funny!!


Vickie May 14, 2013 at 6:17 am

Books…and LOTS of them. I’ve had a book obsession since I was able to read. I realize now that it will take me years to read them all and some of them, I probably won’t read.
After I “came to” and realized I have a problem, I decided I need to go through them and keep only what I will read and what will fit in my bookcases.
I think some of them I can list on Amazon and actually make some money off of them, but others just need to be donated. I’ve quit going looking at them when I go to the Thrift store – I now have a specific need in mind when I shop there. My clutter took over my life until last Fall, when I started reading books about decluttering and the mental causes behind it. I’m now in declutter mode, so if something comes in, several more things must go out. For me, it’s time to simplify and quit letting “stuff” take over my life!


Cindy May 14, 2013 at 6:23 am

I am a food hoarder. I have a very well stocked or should I say over flowing pantry and freezer. I also have a fondness for glass stemware.


Diane May 14, 2013 at 7:15 am

PYREX! Love, love, love the Pyrex. I sold a ton on Ebay when I moved into a tiny house with my entourage – me, 4 kids, 3 dogs, 2 guinea pigs and 2 lovebirds. I also love any linens – vintage tablecloths, embroidered pillowcases, even duvets, etc. I think that stuff makes me think of a bygone era – when life was simpler. 🙂


Michelle H. May 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Mason jars. I use them for storage all over the house, and still have a bunch left in a cabinet that I need to get rid of. But they’re old! With the glass tops! And I keep holding onto them. I think my Christmas gifts to the family this year are going to be jars full of candy, and hopefully they won’t give them back.


beth December 30, 2015 at 7:29 pm

Art: Historic buildings, landscapes, naturalist…mostly local artists and surely not valuable. Judaica, orphan plates, things made in England. But I havent bought in a long while, just have. I dont work and that curtails buying.


joanna December 30, 2015 at 10:25 pm

Baby clothing…all bought used or hand me down of course, but it’s still too much. This is my first baby so I’m boxing things up for an eventual second baby and I already have 3,5 cardboard boxes full of her outgrown clothing (she’s 9 months).


Judi May 27, 2023 at 7:25 am

Some people might say I have too many books but I say, nah! I recently invested in three Ikea bookshelves to organize books, games and make a little bar area in my dining room. Very happy with the results. As long as my books have a home there are not too many and I do get rid of any that I’m sure I will not read again. But I do reread or plan on rereading. I like it when I’m talking to someone and a passage from a book comes to mind, I walk over, grab the book and can quote the passage. I am working on putting them in order so I know where the book I want is. I did get rid of some books during this process, but still have lots.


Judi May 27, 2023 at 7:50 am

I’m not a regular thrift store shopper but one thing I find hard to resist is china. My last purchase was a set of Johnston Brothers dishes with butter, cream and sugar and salt and pepper. They are our everyday dishes. I also have a large set of Royal Copenhagen White Pot I found I a thrift store. It cost less than .25 per piece. We use these a lot as well. And I love blue and white china, I have several different patterns displayed in a cabinet in the kitchen. I gave away one pattern of china that I was collecting, when I decided to purchase a 12 setting set of Hungarian china. (second hand). I also have a 10 place set of Memory Lane. Everything fits in my china cabinet (as well as the set my daughter inherited). We do use all of them.


Judi May 27, 2023 at 7:58 am

Crafting supplies, books, fabric, thread, needles, even sewing machines. I now have a dedicated sewing space but it doubles as a guest room so I invested in a wall bed that came with a storage cabinet. Sewing machines and serger fit on the bottom shelf, I have two machines in cabinets (one is a treadle in the sun room) and my large embroidery machine sits on the work space which is a door resting on three wall supports with storage underneath. I was on a self imposed no more fabric diet when my daughter and I went to a craft fair and the first booth was a lady selling all her fabrics for next to nothing. I think she wanted $30 for the lot and I bought them (I gave her $40). Now I have more than I can fit into my fabric bins but I have been using the fabric I bought. My solution will be to make more quilts! I’ve inherited yarn and sewing supplies as well because I am almost the only one in my family who sews. I have my mother’s large sewing cabinet in my living room, and smaller ones from my mil and husband’s aunts family in the bedroom and family room. I like when a project comes to mind and I have everything I need to start.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: