The Trouble with Tweeners

Downsizing isn’t easy.  I’ve been working on it for over 4 years now and I’m not sure I’m making much progress.  I keep asking myself, “How did I get so many tweeners?”

Let me start by saying that I don’t consider myself to be a hoarder. I can get rid of things that I don’t need or use without a problem. The ‘go pile’ contains things that can be donated, recycled, or as a last resort, taken to the dump. They are dumpers. Yes, I know, I heard it too-the collective gasp of the tree huggers when they read the word, ‘dump’. I can’t help it-some things just have to be dumped. Anyway, I also don’t have a problem holding onto the things I definitely want to keep.  Keepers are things that I use and/or that hold personal value for me so I have a good reason for keeping them. I do, however, have a problem with tweeners; the things that are between the dumpers and the keepers.

Living and raising a family in the same house over a 26-year period played a big role in the number of tweeners I am dealing with during downsizing.  For example, in my sons’ bedrooms I found things like academic award medals, graduation tassels, artwork made in high school art class, and baseball bats used in what seemed like a million baseball games. These things marked life events, but what do I do with them?  They are not trash-worthy but if kept, where do they go?  Sure, I can send them off to the rightful owners who now live somewhere else, but what will they do with them?  Store them for another 30 years?  Show them to their children and their children’s children while telling them about the time that they won the award, graduated from school, made the piece of art, or hit the winning run? Better yet, how did their things become my tweeners?

The reality is my kids’ things are not the only tweeners that are holding up my downsizing project. Some of my own things are tweeners. My wedding dress, shoes, and purse are at the top of my tweener list.  I don’t need and I certainly don’t use them. I tell myself someone else might wear the dress, but then I realize the only place they’d wear it is to a Halloween party and for some reason I don’t want that to happen. So there it sits, nicely folded in the dry cleaner box with the ‘fra-gee-lay-handle with care’ label on the outside.  It’s not a dumper or a keeper; it’s a tweener. And there are many others.

I keep asking myself how I got so many tweeners. I think I finally found the answer. I kept ‘this’ because it reminded me of ‘that’. I guess when it comes right down to it, I am a hoarder-I just don’t want to forget.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kristi M. says:

    Hmm. My guess is you come from a long line of hoarders. I believe they handled it by 1) burning down the building and then regretting it their entire life and 2) leaving it all so that someone else has to make the decisions. Take your pick. #2 is certainly easier for you!


    1. Eliza G says:

      Oh I’ve thought about option 2. That would lead to an auction and the only thing worse than my dress as Halloween costume is having it held up for the highest bid…and then being worn for Halloween!
      Eliza G.


  2. Wynne says:

    I would have your wedding dress made into a Christening gown for your “to be” grandchildren. That way the next generation will store it for their allotted time.

    As for your children’s things, do what I did. I separated them into piles. One for each child. Then I presented their pile to each of them. One looked through his pile and threw everything out, while the other took digital photos of the things that meant something to her for future memories. She then posted the photos on Facebook and threw out the material things. Her friends had a great time commenting on memories that they shared while growing up.

    It’s a digital age. Now conquer those tweeners.


    1. Eliza G says:

      THANK YOU, Wynne! These are all great ideas. I suspect mine would throw it all out too! It’s easy for them to say they want it and another for them to do something with it! Thanks again!
      Eliza A.


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