In our last couple C.R.U.D. instalments as well as this one, we examine the netherworlds of broad categories of C.R.U.D.; a departure from sullying the viability of individual objects. Most of our clients are members of the ‘cling-on’ persuasion as opposed to the chucking variety. A good deal of their indecisions can be attributed to personal loyalty. When something is given to such clients, particularly if the donor has taken the trouble to make instead of purchase, there is generally strong resistance to dispose of the present, no matter how objectionable it may be. Many feel that tossing or re-gifting would be disrespectful, given the efforts the creator had expended. Or if that person is deceased or disappeared from the recipient’s life, the object remains as a touchstone – a physical means by which to preserve a memory. More often than not, many of these under-appreciated hand-made gifts continue to live in the home simply out of guilt.
Like almost all of the examples of C.R.U.D. (completely ridiculous useless debris) we provide in this blog, there is a strong element of universality. We see them everywhere we go; knitted dish cloths and tea cosies, crocheted toilet paper covers, doilies, framed needle points and embroidered handkerchiefs top the list of hand-made contributions from older female relatives. While they rarely see the light of day, we find these abandoned creations wrapped in tissue paper, incarcerated in their permanent purgatory.
Friends weigh in too, supplying sweater vests, real beeswax candles, stained glass dangles and jars of antipasto or jams with hand-printed labels lovingly produced in their kitchens. Kids do their part with the seemingly endless capacity to produce tubular pasta sculptures and other craft projects that require saving.
Will parting with these mementos threaten your eligibility for entering the pearly gates? We think not.
There are no easy answers for dealing with such emotionally volatile belongings. Each item has to be evaluated on its own merits, both aesthetic and potential, for wreaking havoc if jettisoned. If you are fortunate enough to have siblings with big houses and unlimited storage, you may be able to palm some of the finely wrought needlework on them. Yes, the ancestor’s work is still preserved, remaining with the family, just not in your attic anymore. If the person who gave you the hand-made item is an ex, for example, you have free reign to donate. You just need to decide which you value more: the space this unwanted stuff is hogging or another pair of lime green fingerless knitted gloves.