Author Topic: What stops you decluttering?  (Read 10724 times)

deborah

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What stops you decluttering?
« on: November 16, 2014, 04:04:24 AM »
I am gradually decluttering my house, and I am finding that decluttering is not for everything - for instance:

I have more clothes than I actually need. Assuming that I have finished decluttering in this part of my house, the clothes are all worn every so often, and each piece will eventually become worn out. So there is no need to declutter further even though I may have 7 pairs of identical trousers rather than just one pair. Note that I make my own trousers, and have been wearing the same pattern for at least 20 years, and cannot see myself changing.

I have more books than I actually need. However, I find that the library doesn't have many of my favourites that I re-read every so often (particularly SF - where many titles just don't stay around for very long), so it appears that I need to keep many books I could otherwise borrow.

I have a record and cassette tape collection. Some of these should be decluttered. I am in the process of acquiring a means to transfer these to digital media. Once that is done, do I need to keep the original, to prove I am not a pirate? Also, it will take many hours to transfer the pieces I want to keep to digital media, and I think I should declutter this as I do the transfer (otherwise I am being inefficient). Is it really worth decluttering these things?

There are also things I use several times a year, but this is highly seasonal. However, the decluttering gurus seem to say you need to only keep things you use at least once a month - what about clothes for winter, or bathers which are only used in summer?

Do you have instances of things that you don't declutter, and why? Ir things that are difficult to declutter, and what your decisions are about those things?


lakemom

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2014, 05:44:15 AM »
I think many decluttering "gurus" go too far.  I personally do not 'declutter' my canning supplies which are only used for a couple of months per year then sit the rest of the time.  The same for my big roaster pan that is only used 2-3X per year for holidays.  What I do is when the canning gear is out I rethink everything, decide what I 'do' use and pass along anything I'm not using/planning to use.  Same with holiday décor, clothing, sports gear, etc.  While I am naturally a minimalist (I don't care for clutter and shelves full of decorative stuff) I don't go in for the whole must have only 2 outfits and 3 pans idea of minimalism.  But on the other hand I don't own 47 wooden spoons either just the few I use frequently. 
So, do what's right for you regardless of what others feel is right for them.

As for the books, can you get a kindle or nook and gradually get all your favorite books onto there?  It would mean repurchasing them in digital format but then you'd have one small item instead of a bookshelf full.  There may even be a gadget or ap to convert print books to digital but I don't know about that.

Retired To Win

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2014, 05:55:03 AM »
One person's clutter is another one's treasures.

I have over 300 history books in a shelved and cared-for collection.  I love libraries, so it gives me visual satisfaction to have my library around me.  And I do refer back to the ones I've already read.

I have over 200 movie DVDs, also nicely organized and shelved.  Every one is a movie I enjoy watching again and again (once enough time has passed since its last viewing).  And having them to watch keeps the cable-tv monthly bill out of my mailbox.

Needless to say (I hope), all those books, DVDs and bookcases have been bought at big discounts with money from my Discretionary Fund.  So, for me, it is all good.

begood

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2014, 06:46:39 AM »
I have book series that I've loved so much I bought both paperback and hardcover copies. I'd keep the hardcover and loan out the paperback, the better to pimp my friends and family to the things I love!

Then we moved from a BIG house to a little one with no closets and few walls (lots of doors and windows, though!).

The books went first. I donated them to a bookstore run by volunteers, with all the proceeds going to the local senior center. I did buy a few for the Kindle, so I can read them whenever I want. But as an example, I'd started to buy all of Lee Child's Jack Reacher books in order. I'd gotten to the fourth book in the series when some wonderful person on here clued me in to the Overdrive eBook section of the Free Library of Philadelphia, which I joined for free because I'm a PA resident. They have ALL the Jack Reacher books. I can check them out whenever I want and they come straight to my Kindle. Same with Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. I discovered a new series I'd never heard of thanks to FLP, and now I'm in on book 4 of 7 (the Will Trent series by Karin Slaughter - BRUTAL but good).

I moved a box of Harlequin romances (I read a couple thousand, kept a couple hundred of my "favorites") FIVE TIMES before I finally ditched them. Even then, the only reason I did it was because they'd started smelling mildewy. I kept four as representatives - but I'm getting ready to downsize our last bookcase, and I don't think they are going to make the cut.

For the DVDs, if we hadn't watched a movie in five years or didn't have a plan to watch it (we have some flicks we save for Xmas every year), we sold them. I put the cases in a box in the attic and keep the discs in a wallet case that takes up very little room.

And then I sold the bookshelves, which had the added benefit of freeing up wall space for art! :)

My next declutter item is our college notebooks -- all the papers we wrote way back when, notes we took in class. Why do I feel so attached to my own words? I have literally NEVER looked at them since I threw them in a box before our first move 25 years ago. It's time to just... let go, right?
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 06:48:37 AM by begood »

lpep

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2014, 08:32:51 AM »
I say definitely a good idea to de-clutter the cassette tape collection (records are up to you - they still make record players, so you could still use them.). You're going to run out of ways to play them soon enough, so this is helping your future self out.

And don't worry about the piracy thing. Not only do they track these things through the Internet - and you're not downloading music - but the burden of proof is on the gov't, and you've done nothing wrong. (Source: I pirate things all the time, but it's not a crime in VN!)

MayDay

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2014, 09:02:24 AM »
The biggest thing stopping me is the other 3 people in the house!

Actually I am sure some people would say I should declutter the kitchen more. I doubt those people make 3 meals a day from scratch for 4 people though! If I lived alone I probably would only have 2 pots.

I hate storing all the seasonal stuff but I'm not willing to get rid of it entirely, so I try to just declutter it every time that holiday rolls around.

I have significantly cut my craft supplies, books, clothing, knick knacks, and childhood momentos. I was hoping it would inspire the hubs, but not so much.

greenmimama

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2014, 10:12:00 AM »
I have Fiestaware for my dishes and I currently own about 22 place settings, I'm not going to get rid of them, because when we host Xmas, or other parties we use them, they are already mine.

They do take up a lot of space, but my kitchen isn't tiny, so not a big deal, I am working at decluttering lots and lots of other things though.

ltt

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2014, 12:23:17 PM »
I'm a SAHM and am currently de-cluttering (after 14 years in our home).  What stops me--same as what another poster mentioned--4 younger ones in our home and not having long stretches of uninterrupted time--although this is getting better.  There's always something that comes along (such as normal cooking, cleaning, banking, bills, grocery shopping, etc.), and then the de-cluttering gets pushed to the backburner.

Is there anything that I don't de-clutter, no, but there are items that I simply just can't get to due to lack of time.

Goldielocks

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2014, 12:43:09 PM »
I am stopped when I start to think about how I will use that item in future, or not knowing where to a start with eBay and deciding on a garage sale that never happens.
 I hate donating things I can get money for.  I start adding up the pile and knowing it is worth $50 at a garage sale makes it harder.

My DH does not like giving up items, so that is hard too.   If it is his DVD collection that has not been watched in 5 years, can I really donate it?  If I ask he says no.  If it disappears, he won't notice, but that is wrong, isn't it?

One good thing is sorting items I own, so I stop buying more of what we have.  And keep it it better condition.  School supplies, cd's and books.  Clothes too.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 12:44:59 PM by goldielocks »

plainjane

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2014, 01:13:57 PM »
I hate donating things I can get money for.  I start adding up the pile and knowing it is worth $50 at a garage sale makes it harder.

My DH does not like giving up items, so that is hard too.   If it is his DVD collection that has not been watched in 5 years, can I really donate it?  If I ask he says no.  If it disappears, he won't notice, but that is wrong, isn't it?

Sometimes I find that giving things away that could be worth money is good, because it's a pain point to remind me in the future to think better before I buy stuff.

For your DH, on the DVD collection, can you get agreement to putting a series of DVDs in a box?  And that anything still in the box in 6 months can be disappeared without asking him again?  (Similar to the behavioural economics approach where they get people to agree that they'll bank future increases, instead of asking them to increase their retirement savings at the time)

karaishere

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2014, 02:14:47 PM »
Do you have instances of things that you don't declutter, and why? Ir things that are difficult to declutter, and what your decisions are about those things?

I am pretty ruthless on decluttering things that are sitting around not being used or bringing me enjoyment. Clutter bothers me a lot. However there are exceptions even with me.

- I never declutter my husband's things. They are his, thus they are his decision to let go of.
- I go through seasonal items (holiday decor, clothes, etc.) once a year when those things are useful. It's easy to see what decorations aren't being put out for Christmas or which clothes don't fit right anymore.
- Sentimental items are the hardest things for me to to let go, so I only go through them every once in a while. If there's something in the box that I wonder why I kept it, that's when it goes into the donate/sell pile. I also try to eliminate keeping duplicates of things. For example, I had several old fashioned perfume bottles from my late grandmother, but I only needed wanted to keep my favorite one. In the future when I look again, I may be less attached to it and will let it go.

justajane

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 06:35:17 AM »
I'm a SAHM and am currently de-cluttering (after 14 years in our home).  What stops me--same as what another poster mentioned--4 younger ones in our home and not having long stretches of uninterrupted time--although this is getting better.  There's always something that comes along (such as normal cooking, cleaning, banking, bills, grocery shopping, etc.), and then the de-cluttering gets pushed to the backburner.

Is there anything that I don't de-clutter, no, but there are items that I simply just can't get to due to lack of time.

This is what I was going to come on here and say. Decluttering takes a tremendous amount of energy and time. I also find that it takes emotional energy, which is in short supply for me right now. I have an infant along with two other young kids, so I am cutting myself some slack, but I do sometimes fantasize about a time in the future when I will have longer blocks of time to slowly get rid of all the clutter in the basement.

CatchingFire

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 06:58:53 AM »
Do you have instances of things that you don't declutter, and why? Ir things that are difficult to declutter, and what your decisions are about those things?

I am pretty ruthless on decluttering things that are sitting around not being used or bringing me enjoyment. Clutter bothers me a lot. However there are exceptions even with me.

- I never declutter my husband's things. They are his, thus they are his decision to let go of.
- I go through seasonal items (holiday decor, clothes, etc.) once a year when those things are useful. It's easy to see what decorations aren't being put out for Christmas or which clothes don't fit right anymore.
- Sentimental items are the hardest things for me to to let go, so I only go through them every once in a while. If there's something in the box that I wonder why I kept it, that's when it goes into the donate/sell pile. I also try to eliminate keeping duplicates of things. For example, I had several old fashioned perfume bottles from my late grandmother, but I only needed wanted to keep my favorite one. In the future when I look again, I may be less attached to it and will let it go.

We are decluttering twins.  I'm ruthless.  Just this weekend, we pulled everything out of our front closet (it's about a 6 x 8 walk-in).  I would estimate we eliminated 3/4 of the "things" that were in there.  One thing that I've had to come to terms with is that most of it has no real-world value.  Most of it is not worth trying to sell on eBay.  That was a big stumbling block for me before.  Now I just have donate and dump cans to fill.

I've been doing project 333 (33 pieces of clothing for 3 months) and it's been an eye opener for how much I can really do without.  Gone are all of the pantyhose (worst clothing ever!), spanx (second worst clothing ever!), and fancy socks (give me wool!). 

Sentimental things are hardest for me, but I've made some progress in getting some of them out of storage and into my house and being used with a purpose.  As an example, my grandmother's pitcher is now holding utensils on the countertop.  Getting rid of all of the other clutter on the counter makes it a focal point and I really feel like I'm honoring her memory by actually using the things she loved.  :)

I can actually find what I need when I need it now in the rooms we have decluttered.  I am head over heels with decluttering!!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 07:00:39 AM by CatchingFire »

CommonCents

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2014, 07:12:13 AM »
I read a great article about stopping decluttering - not decluttering for the sake of doing so. I find it takes time to declutter. So I declutter for mental piece of mind looking around the room and to clean less stuff, but there's a point when the time to declutter isn't worth the benefit I get from it. And then it's time to stop, even if it's only "80%" done then. (It's often a moving target anyways as you exercise the decluttering muscle.  And the last 20% of the effort each time takes 80% of the time and mental energy.). Seems to me you feel guilt over not following arbitrary rules "They" say you should. Stop and think about why you are decluttering instead, to see if you're at a stoping point.  (Note too that "They") vary widely in "the rules" too.)

Also, it's really hard to get DH to go through his items.

Jessa

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2014, 09:54:02 AM »
It stresses me out. I'm not entirely sure why...when I was a kid, we donated some of our toys to Big Brothers and Big Sisters and I realized too late that one of my favorite toys got put in the bag...maybe I'm traumatized for life?

Partly there's just so much stuff, it's overwhelming.

Partly I'm not sure what to do with it...some of it is perfectly good stuff that I just never use, but I'm not really sure there's a market for it on Craigslist. Or it's a perfectly good thing that I don't really know if anyone else would WANT. I'm not sure where to donate things other than books or clothes, and like Goldielocks said, I hate the idea of donating something I could get money for, even if it's just a few bucks.

Partly there's the disconnect between what I PLAN to do and what I ACTUALLY do. The painting project that I started 3 years ago that is unfinshed, the years of scrapbooks that are only half done, the quilt I started in 2005 that is pieced together but needs to be actually quilted...I have all the supplies for these things, and I don't want to let them go, but I do question on some of them if I really will finish it...

BlueMR2

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2014, 09:58:18 AM »
There's just too much stuff that I *do* user periodically, that's really hard to replace.  I only do microcontroller work every couple of years or so, but if I get rid of all my gear, it'd be a nightmare trying to get back everything I need again.  I have many hobbies, so the end result is that I have a lot of gear...  I struggle with this constantly.  I'd love to sell some things and free up the space, but I do use it all.  I think I've decluttered as far as I can go right now.

jeromedawg

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 10:12:57 AM »
For those of you on the "techy" side, do you 'declutter' your hard drives? Meaning, do you go through and organize/delete/move files and folders for clean-up purposes?

I just started doing this with pictures especially, and boy it's overwhelming. I've found a ton of duplicates (from multiple backups I've taken when moving stuff between computers or backing stuff up elsewhere at the time). It's such a mess and not sure it's really worth much more time. I've pretty much moved everything over to a centralized storage location and am also backing that up using Crashplan. It's a lot of gigabytes of information!

As far as decluttering, I keep having that voice in the back of my head saying "but you might need this later" - 9 times out of 10 I don't though. It's just hard letting go of something you got for a specific purpose because most of the time you really hold onto it and rationalize keeping something you might need but will probably never use again. I feel like my life is a constant process of 'decluttering' - just at my own pace and my own terms :D

Pigeon

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2014, 10:33:14 AM »
I would love to get rid of a ton of my husband's stuff, and he'd like to do the same for my stuff.  ;) 

We are a cemetery for dead musical instruments. Dh has a habit of wanting to learn how to play an instrument, so he buys the damn thing, tinkers with it a bit and loses interest.  Eventually, they need repair for some reason.  We have a dead guitar or two, two ukuleles, a saxophone, a dulcimer, a concertina, a thumb piano and a few others that escape me now.

I have too many clothes.  My weight has fluctuated over the years.  I've lost quite a bit this year, and have a bunch of clothes too big for me.  I get rid of some, but I'm afraid I'll gain the weight back. 

We both have inherited crap that we seem to be unable to part with, him more than me.  He had relative die and he got a ton of junk.  There's nothing particularly valuable, but for some reason it's hard to part with.  I've got a chest full of hand made linens, but they're not particularly well done and many are stained or worn.  I've got a bunch of pressed glass and odd pieces of not valuable, but inherited china I can't seem to figure out what to do  with. 

He is unable to part with a huge collection of LPs.  They gather dust and we have no use for them. I bought a turntable that will digitize them, but he's never opened it.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 10:53:28 AM by Pigeon »

Zikoris

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2014, 10:36:27 AM »
I managed to fit all my cluttery stuff into an extra closet. Not much motivation to get rid of stuff when it's invisible.

epipenguin

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2014, 11:37:03 AM »
I have been decluttering for a few years. I find that I go through stages with things and after an initial declutter, I am reluctant to part with any more items. Then after a while, I realize that I still have more than I need, and go through the exercise again. I don't have the fortitude to get rid of a large number of items all at once, so the iterative process has worked well for me.

For example, you mentioned pants/trousers - when I first started, I had maybe 4 sizes of clothing in my closet. Getting rid of the "fat" size was fairly painless. Then I stopped for a while as I still felt I could possibly lose weight. But a while later, I realized that the smallest size was unreachable without significantly more effort than I was willing to put in at the time, and those pants were looking a bit dated so I probably wouldn't want to wear them even if I did get back down to that size. So they all got pitched. Another pause, and then eventually I pitched the next lowest size. Currently I only have pants that fit and that are worn somewhat regularly. But I must admit, some are worn more regularly than others so I could easily do some more culling. But at the moment I'm working on papers in the office and then will be attacking cardigans and jackets, and after that, dresses. Books and music are probably due for a reorganization too. So pants get a reprieve for a while. Right now I do have a "laundry limit" in that I don't want to HAVE to do laundry too often, and want enough clothing to get through 2 weeks. So I don't think I'll ever get down to just 3 pairs of trousers. Who knows, though, as the good thing about doing this constantly is that each time I realize I can always do with less.

plainjane

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2014, 02:44:52 PM »
Partly there's just so much stuff, it's overwhelming.

It feels like you are looking at decluttering as an all or nothing thing.  It totally doesn't need to be.15 minutes one day to identify a couple of items.  15 minutes another day to put those couple of items up on craig's list or kijiji or freecycle.

And it isn't fiscally the best move, but I'd also seriously consider why you aren't willing to pass up a few possible dollars in order to decrease the number of things you need to manage/store/keep clean around your house.  If you did end up needing item X, would it cost you more than $20 to replace it?  We imbue things with value because we own them, but the rest of the world really doesn't agree, and neither would you once you let it free.

And don't start with the difficult stuff, do the stuff that is obvious.

lpep

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2014, 07:09:44 PM »
For those of you on the "techy" side, do you 'declutter' your hard drives? Meaning, do you go through and organize/delete/move files and folders for clean-up purposes?

I just started doing this with pictures especially, and boy it's overwhelming. I've found a ton of duplicates (from multiple backups I've taken when moving stuff between computers or backing stuff up elsewhere at the time). It's such a mess and not sure it's really worth much more time. I've pretty much moved everything over to a centralized storage location and am also backing that up using Crashplan. It's a lot of gigabytes of information!

As far as decluttering, I keep having that voice in the back of my head saying "but you might need this later" - 9 times out of 10 I don't though. It's just hard letting go of something you got for a specific purpose because most of the time you really hold onto it and rationalize keeping something you might need but will probably never use again. I feel like my life is a constant process of 'decluttering' - just at my own pace and my own terms :D

Photographer/videographer here! Yes, absolutely go through and organize your photos. Don't do it by date, do it by category, i.e, "family," "holidays," "NYC trip 2009," I find that makes it kinda fun, and it's useful since "March 2008" means nothing if you don't remember what happened in March 2008. But if you don't want to do that now, then start doing it with every new bunch of photos you take, and soon enough it'll make a difference! Keep everything in one place and it'll start to be more head-wrap-around-able.

DragonSlayer

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2014, 11:22:36 AM »
The thing that stops me is that the high wears off! I'll start, go all out for a couple of days, feel really proud and productive and then wham, I hit the wall. Then it's time to stop because I'm not making good decisions at that point. I'll go a couple of months and then the urge will hit again and off I'll go. Things that looked like keepers no longer look that way after a few months.

Even when I'm not actively decluttering, I do keep sort of a mental list of things that I think might be next on the list. Then, when I do start working I'll look at them and say, "I marked that as a maybe two months ago. Have I used it?" If the answer's no, out it goes.

I just try to remind myself that I didn't accumulate all this crap in a day and I can't expect to get rid of it all that fast, either. Steps toward the goal.

jeromedawg

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2014, 01:13:09 PM »
For those of you on the "techy" side, do you 'declutter' your hard drives? Meaning, do you go through and organize/delete/move files and folders for clean-up purposes?

I just started doing this with pictures especially, and boy it's overwhelming. I've found a ton of duplicates (from multiple backups I've taken when moving stuff between computers or backing stuff up elsewhere at the time). It's such a mess and not sure it's really worth much more time. I've pretty much moved everything over to a centralized storage location and am also backing that up using Crashplan. It's a lot of gigabytes of information!

As far as decluttering, I keep having that voice in the back of my head saying "but you might need this later" - 9 times out of 10 I don't though. It's just hard letting go of something you got for a specific purpose because most of the time you really hold onto it and rationalize keeping something you might need but will probably never use again. I feel like my life is a constant process of 'decluttering' - just at my own pace and my own terms :D

Photographer/videographer here! Yes, absolutely go through and organize your photos. Don't do it by date, do it by category, i.e, "family," "holidays," "NYC trip 2009," I find that makes it kinda fun, and it's useful since "March 2008" means nothing if you don't remember what happened in March 2008. But if you don't want to do that now, then start doing it with every new bunch of photos you take, and soon enough it'll make a difference! Keep everything in one place and it'll start to be more head-wrap-around-able.

Thanks for the idea! My wife actually began organizing our photos but did it the other way, where she ordered everything by date. We may need to rethink this strategy though. I think things like "Christmas 2008", "Disney Cruise 2014", "Mexico 2010" make much more sense. Maybe this can be *her* project...! hahaha

BTW: do you use a specific program to help you organize? Or just do it all in Windows Explorer, or Finder if on Mac? I've been doing all this via Windows Explorer. I still need to figure out how to locate all the duplicates without actually deleting legit photos. I think I may have already deleted some legit photos already while trying to eliminate duplicates. It's such a monstrous task...

hybrid

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2014, 02:42:05 PM »
Oh yikes, the book discussion again. As a ruthless declutterer of books (just found some more headed for the library this week), and the spouse of a DW that really struggles here, I will offer this (as I reach for my armor and shield for the multiple arrows sure to come my way).

There will always, always, always be more and new books to read! Stop consigning yourselves to hoarding your precious reruns! I have yet to see the bookcase full of old books that didn't belong to someone whose life view wasn't somehow always looking back on their stuff and their memories of pleasant experiences from the past (a little or a whole lot). The very worst clutter is the clutter you've somehow convinced yourself really isn't. Clutter is the pretty girl who treats you badly but you just can't see it because she is so damned pretty. When she's finally gone the Aha! moment comes. The same is true of books. I haven't met a soul who purged their book collections and wasn't ultimately happier for it, even if there are a few regrets down the road. They don't equal the peace of mind that comes from, ahem, getting that shit out of the house! ;-)

Clutter is the devil that invisibly saps the mind from its full potential, it should be ruthlessly banished. I have yet to meet a declutterer that wasn't much happier for the experience, or that felt they went to far and went back to their old ways. Even DW was saying to me this weekend that we really needed to simplify a lot more with some major career changes on the horizon. 

Spondulix

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2014, 11:41:51 PM »
I've changed the question, and that helps figure out what I should do. It's not about "do I need this?" As much as, "could someone else use this more than me?"

If the answer is yes but I don't want to give it away, then I ask why I'm holding onto it. It's usually one of these three: sentimental, price (paid for it but haven't used it enough), or function (is it easier to hold onto than get again).

If it's price, I make myself use it or donate it. Or, I think about the tax write off I'll get for donating it. If it's sentimental, then it probably needs to be stored somewhere else.

lpep

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2014, 01:00:15 AM »
Thanks for the idea! My wife actually began organizing our photos but did it the other way, where she ordered everything by date. We may need to rethink this strategy though. I think things like "Christmas 2008", "Disney Cruise 2014", "Mexico 2010" make much more sense. Maybe this can be *her* project...! hahaha

BTW: do you use a specific program to help you organize? Or just do it all in Windows Explorer, or Finder if on Mac? I've been doing all this via Windows Explorer. I still need to figure out how to locate all the duplicates without actually deleting legit photos. I think I may have already deleted some legit photos already while trying to eliminate duplicates. It's such a monstrous task...

Since I'm usually working with 400+ photos and editing them down, I use Adobe Bridge to help me choose (but only because it came for free with my other Adobe software, I actually don't recommend it. If it were up to me, I would use Photo Mechanic or possibly Lightroom to help me edit my photos down). Then, I make copies of the best photos and move them to another folder I call "edits." This way, I have a backup of the original photos in the folder with the rest of the shoot. Then, I edit again and might take the photos into Photoshop. Then they're saved as final jpgs in another different folder, so I have a full-size copy of the edited version as well as an edited photo in the size and format (jpg, saved for web, png, etc) that's needed. So my sorting goes Pictures -> Project name (i.e., "1404 Cat Ba," where 14 is 2014 and 04 is April) -> Raw (all photos) / Edits / Finals. Yours probably won't look like this, but I've found this workflow really works for me and creates backups along the way!

So you would help yourself by getting a photo sorting program. Lightroom can even do some light editing and might be a good option for you! It's like Photoshop lite, with a sorting feature built in. Then, the rest is done in finder. You could easily setup your system to look like mine.

As for people who say you should organize by when and where - yeah, you could do that. But think about why you go back and look at photos. If it's to show family where you went over the summer when they come at Thanksgiving, then sure! If you're going back to those photos because you want to see a wide variety of them, i.e. making a scrapbook or a wedding video or something, I think categories work well. Hope this helps!

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2014, 04:00:19 AM »
I'm a freakish declutter zealot, but I stop short of:

-anything we'll really use in a year (seasons, yes)
-legal requirements (e.g., 6 years of tax records)
-documents that will help me get money or other good stuff
-stuff my kid is really attached to (sports equipment! so big! so bulky!)
-some sentimental stuff (photos, small original art stuff, etc)

My "use in the year" criteria is not wildly generous. For example, we layer summer clothes to make a winter outfit and so on. But it does let us keep ice skates.

I just posted our current belongings here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/2014-goals-sole-provider-for-self-and-child/msg457709/#msg457709

Cassie

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2014, 01:01:36 PM »
If I donate something that cost a fair amount of $ & I rarely used it this is a vivid reminder to be really careful that I actually need/want the things I am spending my $ on.  Yes it can be painful but it is a great lesson.

Spondulix

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2014, 09:39:08 PM »
If I donate something that cost a fair amount of $ & I rarely used it this is a vivid reminder to be really careful that I actually need/want the things I am spending my $ on.  Yes it can be painful but it is a great lesson.
Good point! The opposite of "out of sight out of mind" really.

brian313313

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2014, 08:14:43 AM »
I better be careful my wife doesn't see this thread. :) She's an anti-hoarder and declutters continually.

I have recently rid myself of quite a few of my larger items. I find that it's a lot of work when you are down quite a bit already and not much to be gained space-wise. We live in a 2BR condo so there's not a lot of space to clutter to begin with. I'm the bad one though because I have some OCD and my hobbies change regularly. But they do go back. I have regretted getting rid of things quite a bit afterwards. However, I try to remember that living in a small space more than saves the money to replace something later.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2014, 06:16:04 PM »
I keep a cardboard box of cables, power strips and tools. While I may not use any particular piece very often, I probably pull something from there once every month or two.

I think the whole decluttering thing is a good philosophy- even if you don't throw away everything you don't use every X months, it forces you to think critically about what you do have and makes you justify it. It's the nastiest thing to see junk just pile up and then people go buy more organizing containers, shelves and door racks just to accommodate that crap.

jeromedawg

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2014, 06:44:07 PM »
Thanks for the idea! My wife actually began organizing our photos but did it the other way, where she ordered everything by date. We may need to rethink this strategy though. I think things like "Christmas 2008", "Disney Cruise 2014", "Mexico 2010" make much more sense. Maybe this can be *her* project...! hahaha

BTW: do you use a specific program to help you organize? Or just do it all in Windows Explorer, or Finder if on Mac? I've been doing all this via Windows Explorer. I still need to figure out how to locate all the duplicates without actually deleting legit photos. I think I may have already deleted some legit photos already while trying to eliminate duplicates. It's such a monstrous task...

Since I'm usually working with 400+ photos and editing them down, I use Adobe Bridge to help me choose (but only because it came for free with my other Adobe software, I actually don't recommend it. If it were up to me, I would use Photo Mechanic or possibly Lightroom to help me edit my photos down). Then, I make copies of the best photos and move them to another folder I call "edits." This way, I have a backup of the original photos in the folder with the rest of the shoot. Then, I edit again and might take the photos into Photoshop. Then they're saved as final jpgs in another different folder, so I have a full-size copy of the edited version as well as an edited photo in the size and format (jpg, saved for web, png, etc) that's needed. So my sorting goes Pictures -> Project name (i.e., "1404 Cat Ba," where 14 is 2014 and 04 is April) -> Raw (all photos) / Edits / Finals. Yours probably won't look like this, but I've found this workflow really works for me and creates backups along the way!

So you would help yourself by getting a photo sorting program. Lightroom can even do some light editing and might be a good option for you! It's like Photoshop lite, with a sorting feature built in. Then, the rest is done in finder. You could easily setup your system to look like mine.

As for people who say you should organize by when and where - yeah, you could do that. But think about why you go back and look at photos. If it's to show family where you went over the summer when they come at Thanksgiving, then sure! If you're going back to those photos because you want to see a wide variety of them, i.e. making a scrapbook or a wedding video or something, I think categories work well. Hope this helps!


Thanks! I'll have to give a whirl sometime...whenever that day comes lol. BTW: are there any free alternatives to Adobe Lightroom, etc?

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2014, 08:48:28 PM »
I've had to declutter in stages.  Some things I sell/donate/trash with now emotional battle whatsoever, others take more time.  I like to start a sell/donate pile or tub, and when I get the purge bug I let it rip.  Then maybe a week or so down later I'll take something out.  After a month or more, if it's still in the pile, out it goes. 

My rock climbing gear took awhile.  I'd look at it and think of all the fun I had with it and all the fun I could have in the future and I'd shut the tub up and put it back on the shelf in the garage.  It moved into and out of the purge pile many times.  Eventually I realized I won't be climbing again for years, and when my toddler and infant are old enough to climb, we'll buy the gear we need then.  I don't need to store this stuff for years and years. 

Tools took awhile also.  I used to be in construction/electrician work.  Now I'm in the military and I don't do any of that, and because I rent wherever I'm stationed, I cannot tinker with my houses.  I slowly consolidated one small toolbox that has tools I need to do most common household jobs, and sold the rest.  I have many neighbors with tools, and access to ALL automotive tools through the auto hobby shop on base.

Everything I own that I am 'saving' to use in the future emotionally wears me down as I wait.  There's the rock climbing gear I'd love to use but I don't have the time, there's my tools for woodworking on projects I don't need and don't have time to make, etc.  Now that I've purged a great many things I enjoy the space and freedom of a mostly empty garage.  Now I look at the space and feel good and free.  When I get to a point in my life that I want to pick up a hobby, I'll obtain what I need then and use it.  No need to store it forever.

Also, recently read a MMM blog post about 'storing' things on Craigslist.  I have already seen this over the years, certain things sell for the same price used everywhere all the time... I don't need to buy that good deal now, because there will be a similar deal again someday when I'm really ready to use that thing.  Now when I sell things I know that I can get the things I need back when I need to buy them...no need to store/maintain all that junk for years.

Can't seem to get rid of a few of my firearms.  They are one category of things I will probably keep through all purges even if I rarely shoot them because of the expense.

lpep

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2014, 04:02:16 AM »
Thanks for the idea! My wife actually began organizing our photos but did it the other way, where she ordered everything by date. We may need to rethink this strategy though. I think things like "Christmas 2008", "Disney Cruise 2014", "Mexico 2010" make much more sense. Maybe this can be *her* project...! hahaha

BTW: do you use a specific program to help you organize? Or just do it all in Windows Explorer, or Finder if on Mac? I've been doing all this via Windows Explorer. I still need to figure out how to locate all the duplicates without actually deleting legit photos. I think I may have already deleted some legit photos already while trying to eliminate duplicates. It's such a monstrous task...

Since I'm usually working with 400+ photos and editing them down, I use Adobe Bridge to help me choose (but only because it came for free with my other Adobe software, I actually don't recommend it. If it were up to me, I would use Photo Mechanic or possibly Lightroom to help me edit my photos down). Then, I make copies of the best photos and move them to another folder I call "edits." This way, I have a backup of the original photos in the folder with the rest of the shoot. Then, I edit again and might take the photos into Photoshop. Then they're saved as final jpgs in another different folder, so I have a full-size copy of the edited version as well as an edited photo in the size and format (jpg, saved for web, png, etc) that's needed. So my sorting goes Pictures -> Project name (i.e., "1404 Cat Ba," where 14 is 2014 and 04 is April) -> Raw (all photos) / Edits / Finals. Yours probably won't look like this, but I've found this workflow really works for me and creates backups along the way!

So you would help yourself by getting a photo sorting program. Lightroom can even do some light editing and might be a good option for you! It's like Photoshop lite, with a sorting feature built in. Then, the rest is done in finder. You could easily setup your system to look like mine.

As for people who say you should organize by when and where - yeah, you could do that. But think about why you go back and look at photos. If it's to show family where you went over the summer when they come at Thanksgiving, then sure! If you're going back to those photos because you want to see a wide variety of them, i.e. making a scrapbook or a wedding video or something, I think categories work well. Hope this helps!


Thanks! I'll have to give a whirl sometime...whenever that day comes lol. BTW: are there any free alternatives to Adobe Lightroom, etc?


Not that I know of :)

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2014, 05:57:22 PM »
OK, I'm going to fess up:  laziness.  I really dislike going thru all of the junk.  It is usually dusty and then I get a stuffed nose and a cough.  UGH!!

But I am working on it bit at a time.  After putting it off most of the day, I spent about 2 hours clearing out and either recycling, throwing away and cleaning stuff for the Free-cycle list.  Cleared some space but no one but me will ever notice because I was clearing out a closet. 

I started my Flat Surface Recovery Project a couple of years ago but soon realized that I really needed to clear closets, drawers and cupboards first.  The stuff that is easy to reach is the stuff I use.  I have managed to clear and mostly keep clear a couple of the surfaces that always had stuff on them.

At least today, I filled up the trash bin and about half of the recycle bin.  For awhile I tried to make sure the trash bin was full every week but that has long ago ceased. 

Anyway, I'm going to congratulate myself on the progress and just keep plugging away at it when the mood strikes.

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2014, 06:15:14 PM »
I find that getting rid of clothes is the easiest part of de-cluttering for me. Over the years, I have developed my own style and only keep the things I wear and I know fit me well. It's the rest of the stuff I struggle. Like household goods and kitchen stuff (what if I do make those artichokes one day for a party? so I need to keep those special artichoke plates), the stuff the kids make, gifts. Might be the fact that I grew up in a country where people don't buy a lot, but when they do, they keep it forever, reusing, repurposing. Even though I really do end up reusing some of the old stuff, I still hold on to it, in case I need it for something later.

scrubbyfish

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2014, 06:17:23 PM »
...today, I filled up the trash bin and about half of the recycle bin. [...] Anyway, I'm going to congratulate myself on the progress and just keep plugging away at it...

Excellent! I congratulate you, too :)

For some of us, decluttering is a game, sheer joy, super fun, an emotional need... so an even bigger congrats is due those for whom it's more challenging psychologically than it is for us.

deborah

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2014, 07:37:04 PM »
I find that getting rid of clothes is the easiest part of de-cluttering for me. Over the years, I have developed my own style and only keep the things I wear and I know fit me well. It's the rest of the stuff I struggle. Like household goods and kitchen stuff (what if I do make those artichokes one day for a party? so I need to keep those special artichoke plates), the stuff the kids make, gifts. Might be the fact that I grew up in a country where people don't buy a lot, but when they do, they keep it forever, reusing, repurposing. Even though I really do end up reusing some of the old stuff, I still hold on to it, in case I need it for something later.
By crikey ARTICHOKE PLATES! You learn something new every day. I don't think Miss Manners has artichoke plates.

Firefly

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Re: What stops you decluttering?
« Reply #39 on: November 30, 2014, 09:18:40 AM »
@ deborah - yep, believe it or not there is such thing - it was given to us as a gift :)