Author Topic: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!  (Read 984996 times)

riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1500 on: April 22, 2015, 08:59:50 PM »
I "declutter" every six months or so but after finishing The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up this weekend, I felt itchy to take another pass at it. 

Wow! Very inspiring. I agree with your thoughts on the "Konmarie" method - putting everything in piles really helps !

Whoa. 

There really is something to the idea of putting all like items in a pile and then determining which ones really matter.  Things look different when they aren't on a shelf.  I boxed up 72 volumes!  (Would have boxed up many, many more except that the SO is not on board with decluttering, so I could only donate books that are 100% mine.)  I was so excited that I tackled the craft closet and gathered two big bags of miscellany that were meant to be projects "someday."  It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1501 on: April 24, 2015, 11:27:04 AM »
We made more progress at home this past weekend. I spent a lot of time talking with the wife about the growing clutter in our house, most of which is from our three youngest kids leaving stuff everywhere.

She basically had a nervous breakdown because of the clutter, so we sat and discussed.

I basically described how our kids have unlimited stuff and free time (to them). When you have unlimited money, it doesn't matter how you spend it... and our kids have more stuff and time than they know how to manage. Just like giving a 13-year-old a million dollars, they waste it and don't manage it well. They have to start with nothing and work their way up. They don't work as a team, and are constantly sloughing off responsibilities, too.

I suggested we remove everything that's not essential to their school (and my wife's sanity) and as they learn to manage, slowly give some of it back. They would have to show us they can manage small things before they moved on to bigger and better things.

I'm not sure we're out of the woods yet, but I will push it some more and see what I can get away with. As far as I'm concerned, they can ditch everything and it wouldn't hurt my feelings.
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handsnhearts

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1502 on: April 24, 2015, 02:09:00 PM »
We made more progress at home this past weekend. I spent a lot of time talking with the wife about the growing clutter in our house, most of which is from our three youngest kids leaving stuff everywhere.

She basically had a nervous breakdown because of the clutter, so we sat and discussed.

I basically described how our kids have unlimited stuff and free time (to them). When you have unlimited money, it doesn't matter how you spend it... and our kids have more stuff and time than they know how to manage. Just like giving a 13-year-old a million dollars, they waste it and don't manage it well. They have to start with nothing and work their way up. They don't work as a team, and are constantly sloughing off responsibilities, too.

I suggested we remove everything that's not essential to their school (and my wife's sanity) and as they learn to manage, slowly give some of it back. They would have to show us they can manage small things before they moved on to bigger and better things.

I'm not sure we're out of the woods yet, but I will push it some more and see what I can get away with. As far as I'm concerned, they can ditch everything and it wouldn't hurt my feelings.

This is so inspiring, but I need to do it for me.  DD stuff is still pretty manageable, but it could be cut back.  If people would stop giving her the damn stuffed animals!  If it is special, great, but factory made from polyester in China by little kids fingers is not special IMO. 

I just read this blog post

http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2012/09/14/why-i-took-all-my-kids-toys-away-why-they-wont-get-them-back/

(and this one) about getting rid of kids stuff

http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2013/09/13/why-i-took-my-kids-toys-away-one-year-later/

FunkyStickman

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1503 on: April 24, 2015, 02:13:36 PM »

This is so inspiring, but I need to do it for me.  DD stuff is still pretty manageable, but it could be cut back.  If people would stop giving her the damn stuffed animals!  If it is special, great, but factory made from polyester in China by little kids fingers is not special IMO. 

I hate stuffed animals!!! They're EVERYWHERE! I have 3 daughters...

I just read this blog post

http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2012/09/14/why-i-took-all-my-kids-toys-away-why-they-wont-get-them-back/

(and this one) about getting rid of kids stuff

http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2013/09/13/why-i-took-my-kids-toys-away-one-year-later/

I've read those. It's very inspiring... those kids are pretty young, though. I have teenagers, and they don't like cooperating about anything, especially when you're talking about taking away their indulgent lifestyle. I expect resistance. But it needs to be done for my wife's sanity.
"There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means." -Calvin Coolidge

"Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities." - Mark Twain

Cassie

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1504 on: April 24, 2015, 02:45:39 PM »
I also declutter regularly & didn't think I had anything to get rid of until I read the Tidying book. In 2 days filled my car with thrift store stuff, the huge recycling bin  & our huge garbage bin.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1505 on: April 24, 2015, 07:24:57 PM »
Speaking of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the hosts of this podcast talk about it in this episode.  I love their podcast so much and really liked this episode - probably because I'm right there, too, with the toys.

http://www.girlnextdoorpodcast.com/2015/04/simplifying-lawnmower-shrapnel.html

I actually used them as inspiration today and culled a bunch of my babe's toys.  Little by little we will get there . . .

Zaga

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1506 on: April 25, 2015, 11:38:37 AM »
Today we are (finally) getting rid of the 1970 era pepsi machine in the garage.  Called one of those people who junks old appliances for free.  Yes, I know he's making money off of the machine, and I'm glad that someone can do so and get it out of my garage!

We've also been tearing out the basement, and I've held aside metal things instead of throwing them in the dumpster.  So the junk man is having a lucky day!  He also gets aluminum molding, some copper pipes, and a really old and ugly (and broken) stainless steel range hood.

kander

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1507 on: April 26, 2015, 02:38:43 AM »
Tomorrow it's kingsday, a day that the Dutch people celebrate the birthday of our king. At this day it's allowed to sell your clutter in parks. So I have collected al my clutter.... Let's hope it will find a new owner tomorrow ;)
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Practical Magic

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1508 on: April 26, 2015, 12:43:48 PM »
Tomorrow it's kingsday, a day that the Dutch people celebrate the birthday of our king. At this day it's allowed to sell your clutter in parks. So I have collected al my clutter.... Let's hope it will find a new owner tomorrow ;)

That's a fun thing to know about, Kander. Hope you do well at your King's Day sale!!

Anatidae V

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1509 on: April 27, 2015, 07:15:45 AM »
My daughter is looking forward to "In Which The Bedroom Is No Longer A Fiber Storage Room".

If my life was an old-fashioned novel this chapter would be entitled, "In Which They Discover That the Kitchen is Not Too Small".  I finally cleared out all of the stuff we don't need or want to move and it's taking up half the dining room table.  Trying to sell it, but if no one wants it we'll give it to the charity shop and see if they can find any takers. 
Our kitchen now is not only cleaner, it's downright spacious!  Who knew?

I feel this way about my garage, and I've only just begun! :D
I'm looking forward to the chapter in my book titled " In Which The Craft Room Can Be Used Again"

I quite enjoyed my own 'Hey I Can Actually Enter The Spare Bedroom Without Tripping Over".
I haven't reached the craft room but this weekend we got through the chapter "In which they discover their house has a gym". It was lovely when the floor was clear and the recycling bin was full. Now my mat's on the floor and I don't have to move it! Exercise equipment can now live next to it as well.

kander

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1510 on: April 27, 2015, 08:33:05 AM »
Tomorrow it's kingsday, a day that the Dutch people celebrate the birthday of our king. At this day it's allowed to sell your clutter in parks. So I have collected al my clutter.... Let's hope it will find a new owner tomorrow ;)

That's a fun thing to know about, Kander. Hope you do well at your King's Day sale!!

Yes, it went well :) We have sold a lot of things for a little money, but that is no problem. It's better than nothing, right? ;)
I speak and understand English, but my writing is not so good. I'd like to learn to write better so if you see a mistake that is really stupid, PLEASE tell me so that I can learn from it! Thank you very much :)

BananaPants

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1511 on: April 27, 2015, 11:07:49 AM »
And... confession... I've been holding on to some "smaller" clothes for years now with the hopes of getting back in them.  Post cancer (tamoxifen) i gained 30lbs and then i had a baby on top of that.   I'm not getting in those clothes.  As hard as it was, I put all of them in the donate bag last night.  Will be making another pickup load donation this weekend. 

I did this and found it very freeing.  I was hanging onto "skinny" clothes from 10 years ago, several sizes smaller than I've worn in the last 8 years (and definitely the last 5+).  I've had two babies and even if I did get back down to that weight, my body shape has changed enough that I don't know if they'd fit the same, and the styles were already outdated.  They weren't even high-end or high quality brands - we're talking Old Navy, here!   So I finally let go of them and donated them all.  I still have a goal to lose the weight but my reward will be to buy myself a new wardrobe! 

I'm going through my maternity clothes soon.  We're 50/50 on having another baby, but around 1/3 of my maternity clothes were given to me by a friend who lives in a different climate and has a more casual work dress code.  I never even wore most of the clothes that were given to me, and it's highly unlikely that I would at this point!  I also found that after wearing some items through two pregnancies they're starting to look worn, so even if I am pregnant again I'll still need to buy some new maternity clothes.  So my goal is to pare down the maternity wardrobe substantially and get the unwanted stuff out of our house. 

Clothing is our family's big issue in general.  We were the last in his large extended family to have children and our younger child is the youngest in the family with everyone else being decidedly DONE with childbearing, so we're constantly getting hand-me-downs dumped on us.  We recently started sorting those hand me downs and immediately donating 90% of them (often the items are not a style we'd choose for our kids, wrong size/season, or are worn or permanently-stained).  Plus my mother was a bit of a shopping maniac for our older daughter and bought us huge wardrobes in each size from 3 months - 3T, ostensibly so we wouldn't have to do laundry more than once a week.  Right now my husband and I are sorting through our kids' clothes and paring them what we're keeping in storage, selling what we can at the local children's consignment store and then just donating the rest that we don't keep.   We're keeping a basic wardrobe in each size in case we have a third child (and it's another girl) but we are not keeping ALL of this kids' clothing! 

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1512 on: April 27, 2015, 04:08:54 PM »
So I did a huge KonMari style purge all last week and was so happy thru the process. I mean, like, giddy with joy at getting rid of all that stuff I don't need.

But now....I'm sad. I can't really explain it other than, I just feel kinda sad. Not specifically about my stuff, and not in any way that makes me want my decluttered possessions back. I just feel rather empty, like maybe I was looking for more life changing and what I got was....just a tidier house? Or maybe it's just a natural comedown after the mission-like focus of the decluttering? I don't know.

Has anyone else ever experience post-tidying melancholy? Is this a normal thing?

1967mama

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1513 on: April 27, 2015, 04:36:51 PM »
@Erica, Maybe the "Life Changing Joy" will come in a few days when you don't have a messy house to cleanup? I would love to be have a non-messy house <sigh>.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1514 on: April 27, 2015, 05:53:51 PM »
@Erica, Maybe the "Life Changing Joy" will come in a few days when you don't have a messy house to cleanup? I would love to be have a non-messy house <sigh>.
I don't know....the promise is a house decluttered, and the book delivers on that 110%. But as I was mopping and vacuuming last night I was kinda facing that less stuff =/= less cleaning. Maybe less dusting with knick-nacks and things, but I didn't have so many of those anyway. But my home still has the same square footage to wipe, scrub, vacuum, mop and dust. We will use and dirty the same number of pots and they will have to be washed. I don't want to suggest it's a letdown....because this book made an incredible impact on me, but it's almost one of those, "wherever you go, there you are" kind of realizations. Living vibrantly is messy. Less stuff only marginally changes that.

Practical Magic

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1515 on: April 27, 2015, 06:01:43 PM »
@Erica, Maybe the "Life Changing Joy" will come in a few days when you don't have a messy house to cleanup? I would love to be have a non-messy house <sigh>.
I don't know....the promise is a house decluttered, and the book delivers on that 110%. But as I was mopping and vacuuming last night I was kinda facing that less stuff =/= less cleaning. Maybe less dusting with knick-nacks and things, but I didn't have so many of those anyway. But my home still has the same square footage to wipe, scrub, vacuum, mop and dust. We will use and dirty the same number of pots and they will have to be washed. I don't want to suggest it's a letdown....because this book made an incredible impact on me, but it's almost one of those, "wherever you go, there you are" kind of realizations. Living vibrantly is messy. Less stuff only marginally changes that.

Where I'm noticing a big difference is with clothes, shoes and jewelry. I feel actual joy when I open a drawer or closet now. I can see what is there and I appreciate all of it. I wear all of it, I clean it and put it away with mindfulness. Meanwhile, its discarded brethren are earning me money at a consignment shop or through tax deductions from being donated. There are no more piles of drawer-musty items whose identity I can't really make out. Ahhh, I really love it. But then again, I saw myself in Marie Kondo's OCD description of herself as a young girl, lol. ~Maybe it is elsewhere in your home where tidying would make a bigger impact, Erica? Like a garage or office or...?
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 06:25:58 PM by Practical Magic »

Practical Magic

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1516 on: April 27, 2015, 06:15:41 PM »
An add-on to Erica's comment about feeling a letdown post decluttering...What I have felt is an incredulousness, like 'WTH, there is still more stuff??" I've felt this mostly in the areas of decorative, paperwork, and sentimental items. It's unbelievable how much stuff there still is, after all my efforts! So when I discover more stuff, I take a deep breath, let it out and then tackle it. More papers to scan, items to list on ebay or amazon? Well okay, here we go. I will not let the stuff beat me. Grrrr
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 06:22:34 PM by Practical Magic »

riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1517 on: April 27, 2015, 06:56:55 PM »
So I did a huge KonMari style purge all last week and was so happy thru the process. I mean, like, giddy with joy at getting rid of all that stuff I don't need.

But now....I'm sad. I can't really explain it other than, I just feel kinda sad. Not specifically about my stuff, and not in any way that makes me want my decluttered possessions back. I just feel rather empty, like maybe I was looking for more life changing and what I got was....just a tidier house? Or maybe it's just a natural comedown after the mission-like focus of the decluttering? I don't know.

Has anyone else ever experience post-tidying melancholy? Is this a normal thing?


Theres an excersize maybe half way through her book where she has you list the top 5 reasons why you wish to declutter. Then she asks you to ask why you wish for the thing that is the reason - an example to clarify - one reason one might wish to declutter is for a more peaceful home environment- one might want a more peaceful home so they have a clearer mind- one might want the clearer mind so they will make better decisions- one might wish for better decision making so they can move forward toward a stifled dream , etc.. she asks us to break down each reason four or five times. for me, the five reasons ended up ultimately leading to two root issues I have been avoiding facing..
She also writes of how when we seek to begin working through these things in our lives,  we unconsciously are compelled to tidy first, then we are able to face these things..
so, I don't know if that's applicable to you, but it made sense in a way when I read it.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1518 on: April 27, 2015, 06:59:32 PM »
An add-on to Erica's comment about feeling a letdown post decluttering...What I have felt is an incredulousness, like 'WTH, there is still more stuff??" I've felt this mostly in the areas of decorative, paperwork, and sentimental items. It's unbelievable how much stuff there still is, after all my efforts! So when I discover more stuff, I take a deep breath, let it out and then tackle it. More papers to scan, items to list on ebay or amazon? Well okay, here we go. I will not let the stuff beat me. Grrrr
For sure. I have that too. "I got rid of all this and ALL THIS is still here?" And once you start the letting go process you realize how little of the stuff actually brings value to you.

But with a few more hours to process this feeling, I think where I am is the conflicting feeling that our home is more than we need. It's just too much. I love my home. We built it, it's in the (to me) perfect location, and it's (most importantly) attached to my garden. But the house itself is 30% too large. I can't ignore that now. The many now-empty drawers, shelves, storage areas, etc. are witness to a life designed to a scale larger than I need.

I don't know how to deal with that. It's an internal conflict. Eventually, I will make peace with it, but for now the in-between space is uncomfortable.

Emilyngh

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1519 on: April 27, 2015, 07:11:27 PM »
An add-on to Erica's comment about feeling a letdown post decluttering...What I have felt is an incredulousness, like 'WTH, there is still more stuff??" I've felt this mostly in the areas of decorative, paperwork, and sentimental items. It's unbelievable how much stuff there still is, after all my efforts! So when I discover more stuff, I take a deep breath, let it out and then tackle it. More papers to scan, items to list on ebay or amazon? Well okay, here we go. I will not let the stuff beat me. Grrrr
For sure. I have that too. "I got rid of all this and ALL THIS is still here?" And once you start the letting go process you realize how little of the stuff actually brings value to you.

But with a few more hours to process this feeling, I think where I am is the conflicting feeling that our home is more than we need. It's just too much. I love my home. We built it, it's in the (to me) perfect location, and it's (most importantly) attached to my garden. But the house itself is 30% too large. I can't ignore that now. The many now-empty drawers, shelves, storage areas, etc. are witness to a life designed to a scale larger than I need.

I don't know how to deal with that. It's an internal conflict. Eventually, I will make peace with it, but for now the in-between space is uncomfortable.

Yup, me too.   Our house is at least 30%, possibly 50%, too big.   I am mad decluttering, but then I just have empty space that reminds me that we have too much space.

We're planning on down-sizing in the next couple of years.   And while I don't love the location of our house too much (rural farm house in fields), we've really fixed the inside up to a point I love, it has character, it's in very good condition, and it's still really not expensive.   We could probably save a little by down-sizing, but especially considering the risk of the unknown problems of a new house, I think the margin's too small to probably shave off much.   

So, I'm torn between wanting the efficiency of smaller and hating the excess of bigger, but not looking forward to all of the work and hassle of moving with little financial benefit and added new risk.

But, in the mean-time I can't stand the clutter, so it's going anyway.   Maybe I'll grow to love the empty space (just in time to down size and not have it anymore ;) )

BTW, I love your blog.   

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1520 on: April 27, 2015, 07:31:16 PM »
Yup, me too.   Our house is at least 30%, possibly 50%, too big.   I am mad decluttering, but then I just have empty space that reminds me that we have too much space.

We're planning on down-sizing in the next couple of years.   And while I don't love the location of our house too much (rural farm house in fields), we've really fixed the inside up to a point I love, it has character, it's in very good condition, and it's still really not expensive.   We could probably save a little by down-sizing, but especially considering the risk of the unknown problems of a new house, I think the margin's too small to probably shave off much.   

So, I'm torn between wanting the efficiency of smaller and hating the excess of bigger, but not looking forward to all of the work and hassle of moving with little financial benefit and added new risk.

But, in the mean-time I can't stand the clutter, so it's going anyway.   Maybe I'll grow to love the empty space (just in time to down size and not have it anymore ;) )

BTW, I love your blog.
Hey, thanks!

It's actually really valuable to hear other MMM folks in this conflict. It's like, we're supposed to go for the BIG WINS, right? And housing is the biggest win there is. But for me at least, our house is, for the deep joy and value it gives us, not so expensive on an ongoing basis. I feel this deep emotional connection to my place and space, and there's the practical aspect of moving being a pain in the ass. So I doubt I'd be actively happier in any other space.

And yet I'm aware that in mustachian terms, I am not optimized. So that's this nagging irritating burr in my side - that I could do better. At the end of the day, I just need to make peace with being under-optimized. Basically, I think I need to tell the perfectionist in me to shut the hell up.

Thanks for letting me talk this out. I can't even tell you how valuable it is. One thing about that KonMari method is it DOES lead to some introspection. Whether you want it to or not. :D

Emilyngh

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1521 on: April 27, 2015, 08:31:42 PM »
Yup, me too.   Our house is at least 30%, possibly 50%, too big.   I am mad decluttering, but then I just have empty space that reminds me that we have too much space.

We're planning on down-sizing in the next couple of years.   And while I don't love the location of our house too much (rural farm house in fields), we've really fixed the inside up to a point I love, it has character, it's in very good condition, and it's still really not expensive.   We could probably save a little by down-sizing, but especially considering the risk of the unknown problems of a new house, I think the margin's too small to probably shave off much.   

So, I'm torn between wanting the efficiency of smaller and hating the excess of bigger, but not looking forward to all of the work and hassle of moving with little financial benefit and added new risk.

But, in the mean-time I can't stand the clutter, so it's going anyway.   Maybe I'll grow to love the empty space (just in time to down size and not have it anymore ;) )

BTW, I love your blog.
Hey, thanks!

It's actually really valuable to hear other MMM folks in this conflict. It's like, we're supposed to go for the BIG WINS, right? And housing is the biggest win there is. But for me at least, our house is, for the deep joy and value it gives us, not so expensive on an ongoing basis. I feel this deep emotional connection to my place and space, and there's the practical aspect of moving being a pain in the ass. So I doubt I'd be actively happier in any other space.

And yet I'm aware that in mustachian terms, I am not optimized. So that's this nagging irritating burr in my side - that I could do better. At the end of the day, I just need to make peace with being under-optimized. Basically, I think I need to tell the perfectionist in me to shut the hell up.

Thanks for letting me talk this out. I can't even tell you how valuable it is. One thing about that KonMari method is it DOES lead to some introspection. Whether you want it to or not. :D

Yup, yup and yup :)

happy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1522 on: April 27, 2015, 10:34:33 PM »
Quote
Our house is at least 30%, possibly 50%, too big.

Yes I'm in the same boat

Quote
Hey, thanks!

It's actually really valuable to hear other MMM folks in this conflict. It's like, we're supposed to go for the BIG WINS, right? And housing is the biggest win there is. But for me at least, our house is, for the deep joy and value it gives us, not so expensive on an ongoing basis. I feel this deep emotional connection to my place and space, and there's the practical aspect of moving being a pain in the ass. So I doubt I'd be actively happier in any other space.

And yet I'm aware that in mustachian terms, I am not optimized. So that's this nagging irritating burr in my side - that I could do better. At the end of the day, I just need to make peace with being under-optimized. Basically, I think I need to tell the perfectionist in me to shut the hell up.

Thanks for letting me talk this out. I can't even tell you how valuable it is. One thing about that KonMari method is it DOES lead to some introspection. Whether you want it to or not. :D

And I'm here also.  I love my place and space deeply, but its excessive, and with the joy comes a burden to care for. And I'm still scarred from  the stress of my last house move.. …. and actually I'm not sure where else to go.

She does say the process helps define your identity, values etc….I'm still a work in progress I guess.

Journalling at Happy Aussie Downshifter

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1523 on: April 27, 2015, 11:33:58 PM »
I took two bags of old clothes to H & M for recycling and got two 15% off vouchers. Yay!

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1524 on: April 28, 2015, 03:05:22 AM »
She does say the process helps define your identity, values etc….I'm still a work in progress I guess.
Aren't we all! :)

wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1525 on: April 28, 2015, 04:41:08 AM »
I have had a combo of the joy of less clutter with the sadness of realising I have signed on for more than I want in the way of house size.  The feeling of clearing the clutter is incredible, I still feel such a lift when I look into certain rooms and see clear space instead of piles, but, now that I do not have that hanging over me, I realise that underneath all of it was an overwhelm at maintaining too much house.  It is as though I have glimpsed freedom and it is still beyond my reach.

Without the stress of stuff to occupy a chunk of my mind the stark reality of extra cleaning, repairs, etc is more apparent.  I think that is why decluttering is such a big deal, because once you have done it you are left with what is left, and it may not be what you want.

When people talk about shopping and acquiring being an addiction to fill an empty hole inside us it is partly about this.  If we are paring down in every way, that can mean paring down rental houses that require too much time spent repairing, etc, it can mean losing extra weight and the clothes that went with it, it can mean clearing out toxic relationships or people, it can mean clearing calendars and diaries and, suddenly, coming face to face with ourselves and our real values.  And it can be raw.

I am finding this.  What do I want in life?  If I am not overwhelmed by a never ending list of things to do (such as decluttering that never gets done) then my mind opens and there is space ahead, and that can mean change. 

As Mary Oliver says  'Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?'



madgeylou

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1526 on: April 28, 2015, 04:54:59 AM »
Over the weekend I hosted a clothing swap with 3 of my friends who are around the same size, and I tell you it was perfect. We all brought huge bags of stuff, and left with much smaller piles of new-to-us stuff. One of the participants even offered to take all the leftovers to the donation center -- 5 big contractor garbage bags worth!

My closet is very tidy! And I also culled my makeup and accessories and shoes. Where I'm struggling is letting go of (awesome) vintage fabric, and letting go of a couple of semi-expensive items ($100 boots, a $300 necklace that I can easily resell but need to send back to the maker for a small repair first).

I don't just want to give this stuff away, but so far I have been a little too lazy to do the work needed to sell things. Maybe I can be a little less perfectionist about it -- sell the fabric in a lot on Craigslist or eBay instead of listing each piece separately on Etsy, sell the necklace as-is ... It will mean less money but I will actually DO these things, whereas taking pictures and measuring and listing and describing dozens of pieces of fabric I will likely never get around to ...
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 04:56:32 AM by miss madge »

wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1527 on: April 28, 2015, 05:10:14 AM »
As I put into effect some MMM style changes I am finding there was mental clutter in places I was unaware of.  Each of the following has cleared a section of my brain:

Tracking our spending rather than stressing about the unknown and being freaked by unexpected bills
Losing weight and therefore getting rid of clothes and also working to accomplish an old, old goal
Getting rid of piles of paper (still recurring but getting there)
Emptying 90% of my computer files, emptying my email folders, having an empty email inbox most of the time, unsubscribing from email lists
No longer receiving junk mail and credit card offers, in fact rarely getting mail now
Changing to online bills instead of physical mail
Choosing to not engage with toxic folk
Belonging to fewer organisations which require attendance at regular functions
Keeping less food on hand, fewer clothes, fewer books, fewer cleaning supplies, fewer crafting things, fewer tools, fewer shoes

Unconscious Living:
Living without attention to the details of my life was stressful. 
Living with constant clutter is mentally enervating and can numb me to the rest of my life, sort of like an addiction.
Things that stay on the To Do list for years suck me dry.

Conscious Living:
Awareness ( I know where our money goes and what is in the house and where things are and what state my health is in)
Choosing rather than reacting
Keeping things clear and simple with nothing hanging over me for more than a brief time
Clearing out the tumbleweeds of years means I can get on with actual living and conscious decisions in every area.

And even though I am not there yet, and still have areas to deal with, the question is arising:  'Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?'

Who knew that the simple act of committing to clearing some papers would lead to this?


Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1528 on: April 28, 2015, 05:25:22 AM »
I have had a combo of the joy of less clutter with the sadness of realising I have signed on for more than I want in the way of house size.  The feeling of clearing the clutter is incredible, I still feel such a lift when I look into certain rooms and see clear space instead of piles, but, now that I do not have that hanging over me, I realise that underneath all of it was an overwhelm at maintaining too much house.  It is as though I have glimpsed freedom and it is still beyond my reach.

Without the stress of stuff to occupy a chunk of my mind the stark reality of extra cleaning, repairs, etc is more apparent.  I think that is why decluttering is such a big deal, because once you have done it you are left with what is left, and it may not be what you want.

When people talk about shopping and acquiring being an addiction to fill an empty hole inside us it is partly about this.  If we are paring down in every way, that can mean paring down rental houses that require too much time spent repairing, etc, it can mean losing extra weight and the clothes that went with it, it can mean clearing out toxic relationships or people, it can mean clearing calendars and diaries and, suddenly, coming face to face with ourselves and our real values.  And it can be raw.

I am finding this.  What do I want in life?  If I am not overwhelmed by a never ending list of things to do (such as decluttering that never gets done) then my mind opens and there is space ahead, and that can mean change. 

As Mary Oliver says  'Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?'

This is a beautiful piece of writing, and so true. "Who am I if I'm not the person who...had these things, had this career, had this education with these books, had these trappings of success?" And to sit in the vacuum of that quietude is certainly raw.

Thank you for the Mary Oliver quote, too - I'm going to check out some of her books of poems at the library.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1529 on: April 28, 2015, 05:34:51 AM »
As I put into effect some MMM style changes I am finding there was mental clutter in places I was unaware of.  Each of the following has cleared a section of my brain:

Tracking our spending rather than stressing about the unknown and being freaked by unexpected bills
Losing weight and therefore getting rid of clothes and also working to accomplish an old, old goal
Getting rid of piles of paper (still recurring but getting there)
Emptying 90% of my computer files, emptying my email folders, having an empty email inbox most of the time, unsubscribing from email lists
No longer receiving junk mail and credit card offers, in fact rarely getting mail now
Changing to online bills instead of physical mail
Choosing to not engage with toxic folk
Belonging to fewer organisations which require attendance at regular functions
Keeping less food on hand, fewer clothes, fewer books, fewer cleaning supplies, fewer crafting things, fewer tools, fewer shoes

Unconscious Living:
Living without attention to the details of my life was stressful. 
Living with constant clutter is mentally enervating and can numb me to the rest of my life, sort of like an addiction.
Things that stay on the To Do list for years suck me dry.

Conscious Living:
Awareness ( I know where our money goes and what is in the house and where things are and what state my health is in)
Choosing rather than reacting
Keeping things clear and simple with nothing hanging over me for more than a brief time
Clearing out the tumbleweeds of years means I can get on with actual living and conscious decisions in every area.

And even though I am not there yet, and still have areas to deal with, the question is arising:  'Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?'

Who knew that the simple act of committing to clearing some papers would lead to this?
You are inspiring! The point about the To Do List is well, well taken. I tell people "it's on my list, but it's a long list."

I don't want to live like that. I want time with the few in-person people I love, my family and friends. I want to take my kids to the beach for a whole day without feeling pressure to "do" other stuff.

The final frontier for me is, I think, the digital clutter and there is huge amount of fear that goes with that for me ("Who am I if I'm not nwedible.com.....").

Ohmygod. I might need to declutter my smartphone. Heresy. Gotta think about that one.

Hey, this service is really cool! I used it yesterday and un-enrolled from 124 subscriptions: https://unroll.me/

wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1530 on: April 28, 2015, 05:40:19 AM »
As Erica said, writing about this is helping me to see some things, thank-you Erica for this discussion.

De-cluttering for me brings to light the broken, the undone, the never used, the abandoned, the things that were purchased but were not quite right. It brings to light the years of depression and overwhelm when everything was too much.

The main thing that is evident to me now is that clutter in the form of physical objects, unmanaged finances, longterm unaddressed goals, broken things staying broken, no longer needed computer files, etc. seems to fill the conscious part of my mind 24/7 and stops me from being aware of or addressing the real issues in my life.

What will my life be:
Without a million household repairs and jewellery repairs and clothes darnings and more hanging over me? 
Without every surface heaving with yet to be attacked clutter?
Without all that unused fabric shouting at me?
Without the decades old goal of losing weight and all the attendant anxiety and drama? 
Without invisible stress as I see piles and files and miles of the great undone at every turn?
Without feeling guilty about not doing the things I promised?
Without feeling bad about never getting things done?
Without the self recriminations this all brings?

What will it be when my future is clear and...?  I started to add to that sentence but it felt to scary. A work in progress.




Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1531 on: April 28, 2015, 05:54:09 AM »
As Erica said, writing about this is helping me to see some things, thank-you Erica for this discussion.

De-cluttering for me brings to light the broken, the undone, the never used, the abandoned, the things that were purchased but were not quite right. It brings to light the years of depression and overwhelm when everything was too much.

The main thing that is evident to me now is that clutter in the form of physical objects, unmanaged finances, longterm unaddressed goals, broken things staying broken, no longer needed computer files, etc. seems to fill the conscious part of my mind 24/7 and stops me from being aware of or addressing the real issues in my life.

What will my life be:
Without a million household repairs and jewellery repairs and clothes darnings and more hanging over me? 
Without every surface heaving with yet to be attacked clutter?
Without all that unused fabric shouting at me?
Without the decades old goal of losing weight and all the attendant anxiety and drama? 
Without invisible stress as I see piles and files and miles of the great undone at every turn?
Without feeling guilty about not doing the things I promised?
Without feeling bad about never getting things done?
Without the self recriminations this all brings?

What will it be when my future is clear and...?  I started to add to that sentence but it felt to scary. A work in progress.

I'll take a stab at it.

...truly yours.
...free.
...lighter.
...open.
...filled with love and not fear, regret and guilt.

I know about depression and overwhelm; you have my warm understanding. I stare daily at a gouge in a cabinet door from when it was all too much and I lost my shit and threw a fork across the kitchen.

You know, I think I'll have that gauge professionally repaired now. It's time.

You might really like the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up if you haven't already read it. I felt this book made it FAR easier to let go of guilt things.

wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1532 on: April 28, 2015, 05:56:46 AM »
Hi Erica, your replies came through while I was writing.  Thank-you for the compliment about my writing, that feels good to read.

You are so right, if I am not these things, then who am I?  To what do I attach my identity and what happens when that thing is gone?  Do I try to get it back or do I step forward into the unknown?

You will, I think, love Mary Oliver.  She writes a lot about nature and self.

Thanks for the unroll me link.  What a wonderful service. 

I see myself de-cluttering in waves.  I do a big chunk, and love it, and then need to pause and assimilate.  And sometimes clutter will return to a particular spot, showing me that I do not have a system in place yet for that type of clutter (can you say paper?).  I am losing weight in the same way, in stages rather than one long even path ( And... sometimes fat will return to a particular spot, showing me….).  There are so many emotions hidden in this web that when I reach each stage I need to just be with the enormity of the shifts thus far.

Wow, I have written a lot this morning. Food for thought for me.


wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1533 on: April 28, 2015, 05:59:41 AM »
Quote
...truly yours.
...free.
...lighter.
...open.
...filled with love and not fear, regret and guilt.

It is painful to read that.  And wonderful. 

I will read that book, it seems to be helping so many on here.

Repairing the gouge sounds like letting go.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1534 on: April 28, 2015, 06:05:35 AM »
Wow, I have written a lot this morning. Food for thought for me.

Thank you for the side conversation. (I hope our thread hosts don't mind!) :) It is really rewarding to hear that other folks are working through the emotional side of letting go of stuff, too.

Good luck with it all, to us both! I think I will go for a walk now. I have a little fat that's returned of late, too. :)

Zamboni

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1535 on: April 28, 2015, 06:17:10 AM »
Erica, I had the same epiphany about my house the other night while reading the book. My house is just way too big.  I have two large rooms that I never use, two more that I seldom use, and another one that could be half the size. Selling and moving is a depressing prospect as I hadn't planned on doing that for at least a half dozen more years.

And another thing struck me that I had to really pause and process: I do not want most of the furniture in my house. Pretty much all furniture I own falls into three categories:
1) My ex- got to pick it after a drawn out disagreement about what style to get in which I finally gave up (in one case it took us an entire year to finally purchase a kitchen table and chairs.) All of this furniture is large and was extremely expensive; not just something I should haul down to the junk yard, although part of me wishes I had the truck and manpower to do just that.
2) Family gave it to me (old, not in very good condition) with the stipulation that I can never get rid of it or sell it, or
3) I needed something after the divorce (couch, chairs), so I just got whatever I could get that week on Craigslist.

I really don't like the style at all of any of the furniture.  I never have. It seems like such a minor, petty thing, but now it is really bothering me.  The divorce was years ago, but I still have these things I don't want for lack of an easy substitute. I do know what I would like instead, but the thrifty in me resists spending the money.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 06:24:19 AM by Zamboni »

ender

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1536 on: April 28, 2015, 06:18:26 AM »
This thread is SO AWESOME to read.

We have a 1BR apartment, hard to have too much clutter there ;)

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1537 on: April 28, 2015, 08:25:21 AM »
Erica, I had the same epiphany about my house the other night while reading the book. My house is just way too big.  I have two large rooms that I never use, two more that I seldom use, and another one that could be half the size. Selling and moving is a depressing prospect as I hadn't planned on doing that for at least a half dozen more years.

And another thing struck me that I had to really pause and process: I do not want most of the furniture in my house. Pretty much all furniture I own falls into three categories:
1) My ex- got to pick it after a drawn out disagreement about what style to get in which I finally gave up (in one case it took us an entire year to finally purchase a kitchen table and chairs.) All of this furniture is large and was extremely expensive; not just something I should haul down to the junk yard, although part of me wishes I had the truck and manpower to do just that.
2) Family gave it to me (old, not in very good condition) with the stipulation that I can never get rid of it or sell it, or
3) I needed something after the divorce (couch, chairs), so I just got whatever I could get that week on Craigslist.

I really don't like the style at all of any of the furniture.  I never have. It seems like such a minor, petty thing, but now it is really bothering me.  The divorce was years ago, but I still have these things I don't want for lack of an easy substitute. I do know what I would like instead, but the thrifty in me resists spending the money.

My responses to your furniture problem:
1. Sell the ex-purchased furniture. Replace as needed with furniture you like.
2. If you like it, fix it up. If you don't like it, tell the family that unless they take it back by x date, you will dispose of it as you see fit. You're not keeping it.
3. Sell on Craigslist, replace as needed with furniture you like.

Take money earned from selling said furniture and use it to buy stuff that you like and need.

I also deal with the family piece. In my case, I don't take anything from family that I don't actually want, so I head it off at the beginning. However, eventually my sister and I will be stuck with a lot of stuff from our parent's house that neither wants. Family will have an opportunity to take what they want. The rest will be disposed of in some manner.

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1538 on: April 28, 2015, 08:26:31 AM »
The side conversations were enlightening. I'm still in the process of decluttering (and still can't see the light at the end of the tunnel) but I'm glad to have a peek at the next stage of decluttering.
Btw we have a two bed apartment and that feels big since we use the second bedroom more for guests (and junk!! Ugh!) than for everyday use. When I'm done, I'm hoping it just remains a guest room and not a junk room.

Cookie78

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1539 on: April 28, 2015, 08:33:59 AM »
The side conversations were enlightening. I'm still in the process of decluttering (and still can't see the light at the end of the tunnel) but I'm glad to have a peek at the next stage of decluttering.
Btw we have a two bed apartment and that feels big since we use the second bedroom more for guests (and junk!! Ugh!) than for everyday use. When I'm done, I'm hoping it just remains a guest room and not a junk room.

I have the same problem with my second room. Right now it's a junk/craft/storage/computer room. It's getting better a little bit at a time, but it's easily the most cluttered room in my house currently, the garage being a close second. Some day I hope I can either rent it out, or use it as a guest room.

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1540 on: April 28, 2015, 08:57:41 AM »
How do you deal with sentimental things, from relatives?  I have a lot of random items like delicate handkerchiefs from my deceased grandmother (or great grandmother), which I've had since I was about 10, but never use.  I find it very hard to purge sentimental items so those are the things that tend to clutter up my drawers, cabinets and closets.

Erica, I had the same epiphany about my house the other night while reading the book. My house is just way too big.  I have two large rooms that I never use, two more that I seldom use, and another one that could be half the size. Selling and moving is a depressing prospect as I hadn't planned on doing that for at least a half dozen more years.

And another thing struck me that I had to really pause and process: I do not want most of the furniture in my house. Pretty much all furniture I own falls into three categories:
1) My ex- got to pick it after a drawn out disagreement about what style to get in which I finally gave up (in one case it took us an entire year to finally purchase a kitchen table and chairs.) All of this furniture is large and was extremely expensive; not just something I should haul down to the junk yard, although part of me wishes I had the truck and manpower to do just that.
2) Family gave it to me (old, not in very good condition) with the stipulation that I can never get rid of it or sell it, or
3) I needed something after the divorce (couch, chairs), so I just got whatever I could get that week on Craigslist.

I really don't like the style at all of any of the furniture.  I never have. It seems like such a minor, petty thing, but now it is really bothering me.  The divorce was years ago, but I still have these things I don't want for lack of an easy substitute. I do know what I would like instead, but the thrifty in me resists spending the money.

My responses to your furniture problem:
1. Sell the ex-purchased furniture. Replace as needed with furniture you like.
2. If you like it, fix it up. If you don't like it, tell the family that unless they take it back by x date, you will dispose of it as you see fit. You're not keeping it.
3. Sell on Craigslist, replace as needed with furniture you like.

Take money earned from selling said furniture and use it to buy stuff that you like and need.

I also deal with the family piece. In my case, I don't take anything from family that I don't actually want, so I head it off at the beginning. However, eventually my sister and I will be stuck with a lot of stuff from our parent's house that neither wants. Family will have an opportunity to take what they want. The rest will be disposed of in some manner.

I have this as well.  I had a bad breakup about 8 years ago where the bad feelings came alive again last year when a friend had his life damaged by the ex as well and reached out to me.  Although I've since met and married my husband, it was in buying a new dining room table set a few weeks ago that I realized how much I need these pieces - particularly those I never liked - out of the house.  4 years ago I gave a friend the coffee table and side table.  A year ago, I threw away most of the bookcase.  And yesterday, I listed the kitchen table for sale on craigslist.  Once I find a spot to store or get rid of the stuff on it currently, the bath cabinet hanging out in the basement goes on craigslist too.  So yes, sell the furniture you don't like!  Bad memories create bad energy in the house every time you see it.  Sell one item at a time, starting with the most hated, and see how much happier you are.

former player

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1541 on: April 28, 2015, 09:27:47 AM »
How do you deal with sentimental things, from relatives?  I have a lot of random items like delicate handkerchiefs from my deceased grandmother (or great grandmother), which I've had since I was about 10, but never use.  I find it very hard to purge sentimental items so those are the things that tend to clutter up my drawers, cabinets and closets.

I'm struggling with this one too, as I'm currently clearing out my late mother and aunt's house, which contains their things plus things inherited from my father, grandparents (and earlier ancestors) and two predeceased aunts.  I'm going to keep the few things I can use or keep with love, and the rest will be donated/sold.

Could your some of your handkerchiefs be beautifully arranged, framed in a case and hung on the wall?
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1542 on: April 28, 2015, 09:40:47 AM »
How do you deal with sentimental things, from relatives?  I have a lot of random items like delicate handkerchiefs from my deceased grandmother (or great grandmother), which I've had since I was about 10, but never use.  I find it very hard to purge sentimental items so those are the things that tend to clutter up my drawers, cabinets and closets.

I'm struggling with this one too, as I'm currently clearing out my late mother and aunt's house, which contains their things plus things inherited from my father, grandparents (and earlier ancestors) and two predeceased aunts.  I'm going to keep the few things I can use or keep with love, and the rest will be donated/sold.

Could your some of your handkerchiefs be beautifully arranged, framed in a case and hung on the wall?

That's actually not a bad idea.  I'll look into it... 

riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1543 on: April 28, 2015, 10:24:13 AM »
Erica, I had the same epiphany about my house the other night while reading the book. My house is just way too big.  I have two large rooms that I never use, two more that I seldom use, and another one that could be half the size. Selling and moving is a depressing prospect as I hadn't planned on doing that for at least a half dozen more years.

And another thing struck me that I had to really pause and process: I do not want most of the furniture in my house. Pretty much all furniture I own falls into three categories:
1) My ex- got to pick it after a drawn out disagreement about what style to get in which I finally gave up (in one case it took us an entire year to finally purchase a kitchen table and chairs.) All of this furniture is large and was extremely expensive; not just something I should haul down to the junk yard, although part of me wishes I had the truck and manpower to do just that.
2) Family gave it to me (old, not in very good condition) with the stipulation that I can never get rid of it or sell it, or
3) I needed something after the divorce (couch, chairs), so I just got whatever I could get that week on Craigslist.

I really don't like the style at all of any of the furniture.  I never have. It seems like such a minor, petty thing, but now it is really bothering me.  The divorce was years ago, but I still have these things I don't want for lack of an easy substitute. I do know what I would like instead, but the thrifty in me resists spending the money.

My responses to your furniture problem:
1. Sell the ex-purchased furniture. Replace as needed with furniture you like.
2. If you like it, fix it up. If you don't like it, tell the family that unless they take it back by x date, you will dispose of it as you see fit. You're not keeping it.
3. Sell on Craigslist, replace as needed with furniture you like.

Take money earned from selling said furniture and use it to buy stuff that you like and need.

I also deal with the family piece. In my case, I don't take anything from family that I don't actually want, so I head it off at the beginning. However, eventually my sister and I will be stuck with a lot of stuff from our parent's house that neither wants. Family will have an opportunity to take what they want. The rest will be disposed of in some manner.


Yes , I agree. this is an excellent solution . its a much better feeling to have items you really enjoy . when I divorced, I only took the furniture I really love - all of which is stuff I had picked out and purchased (or had been handed down from family) pre-marriage. the stuff we purchased together was always more his style (and his idea in the first place. e.g. 2 leather sofas -really nice actually but totally extravagant IMO totaling $7000 , and we paid off in PAYMENTS! , plus so much interest. bad idea). Anyway, its great to have only pieces I love :) .

riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1544 on: April 28, 2015, 10:32:31 AM »
How do you deal with sentimental things, from relatives?  I have a lot of random items like delicate handkerchiefs from my deceased grandmother (or great grandmother), which I've had since I was about 10, but never use.  I find it very hard to purge sentimental items so those are the things that tend to clutter up my drawers, cabinets and closets.


Common Cents- I have received SO many things from relatives, I only brought home those which I love. It can be hard tp let go of items that have sentimental value, but knowing that their memory lives on in you, not the item is helpful- or maybe keeping one small item from each relative (something special).
I do a lot of sewing , so I use all the lace, needlepoint, embroideries that I especially love , in my quilting and other projects . That way they are saved and in new form :) .

Zamboni

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1545 on: April 28, 2015, 11:40:42 AM »
Thanks, all, for the selling suggestion. That is what I need to do with the stuff from the ex. It will be a hassle, but it needs to happen. The Craigslist stuff probably just needs to be donated or free-cycled.

The family stuff is another can of worms entirely. My aunt foisted some of this on me and she is the one who has this "it has to stay in the family" mentality.  She stored it in her garage for years. She convinced me to take some of it, mostly because we had the room and it "matched" the other gigantic dark antique-looking stuff my ex had picked out. I paid to have these things moved several states and restored (fixed, refinished, reupholstered, etc.) Now I'm realizing it's all just too big, impractical, and not my style. One of the reasons that I have such a big house now is that I had to find a house that had a big enough dining area for the enormous table, for example.

Last year I tried at a family reunion to get one of her sons, or anyone in the family, to take the large dining room table and chairs.  Nobody wanted anything to do with it. I said to her that I am moving to a smaller place and just really won't have room for it. I'm happy to keep the stuff in the family, but no one wants any of it. With great exasperation she said "Well I supposed I can take back that table, chairs and the serving dishes and all of the table linens of various sizes that go with it." Those linens were nasty, threadbare, yellowed and stained with at least a hundred years of gravy stains when she gave them to me, and she seriously thinks that I still have them? In any event, she's four states away.  I'm not paying to move this stuff back to her. Sibley, I might have to take your advice, but it will not go over well.

Please let this be a lesson to all of us not to put the strings of guilt on items we gift to people. If you really don't want someone to ever sell or dispose of something you give them, then just keep it.

SisterX

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1546 on: April 28, 2015, 01:08:20 PM »
Reading the comments from Erica and others has been eye-opening.  I rent an 800 sq. ft. apartment so I don't have the problem of feeling like we have too much space, but it is helping me to realize how little space we need as a family to be happy, when we do finally settle in one place.  When we look to buy a house, I will know how much space we realistically want and that is a great feeling.
You've also been helping me to realize why I've been getting happier and feeling lighter as I declutter.  In many ways, I'm letting go of my aspirational self.  Am I the kind of person who wears clothes like that?  No, I'm not, and I'm just fine with it.  I like to knit and crochet, and I've been doing them since I was 9 so I feel like that's part of my personality, to be a crafter.  But do I actually make enough time for it to justify all the half-finished projects and the yarns and fabrics waiting for me to get around to them?  No, I don't.  It's so freeing to let go of those projects which, realistically, I will never get around to.  I've given myself permission to let go, and the lightness I feel is the weight of my own self-expectations dropping away.
Because I packed up to give away the projects I realized I'd never do, or the yarn with no specific project in mind to begin with, I actually completed one small project.  I turned two stained, ripped old t-shirts into nightgowns for my daughter.  :)  Non-useful items were turned into useful items, and now I don't need to buy summer jammies for my daughter.  Additional bonus: midnight diaper changes are ridiculously easy.

We've reached the chapter entitled "In which we can reach the baby's closet".  A couple of items will be headed to the dump next time I need to drive somewhere, but some of the cleaning was simply because I packed up items from that closet.  People who brew beer, where do you keep all the stuff?  My husband does and he really enjoys it but I'm finding that it's really not a space-efficient hobby.  So many bottles need to be kept, and in a small space like ours, it's been taking up most of the space in my daughter's closet.  Even with the clearing out of our kitchen, we don't have space there to keep it, nor do we have the right size of shelves for the giant pot and whatnot.  So where do you keep your beer-making supplies?  I'd like to come up with a better solution for wherever we end up.

Am trying to decide if I should try to get Marie Kondo's book here (we leave the state in about a month, and might be leaving our town before that) or wait until we get to where we're moving.  Apply her principles so that we don't move as much, or realize that I probably won't have time to get through the book before we go?

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1547 on: April 28, 2015, 01:38:29 PM »
And another thing struck me that I had to really pause and process: I do not want most of the furniture in my house. Pretty much all furniture I own falls into three categories:
1) My ex- got to pick it after a drawn out disagreement about what style to get in which I finally gave up (in one case it took us an entire year to finally purchase a kitchen table and chairs.) All of this furniture is large and was extremely expensive; not just something I should haul down to the junk yard, although part of me wishes I had the truck and manpower to do just that.
2) Family gave it to me (old, not in very good condition) with the stipulation that I can never get rid of it or sell it, or
3) I needed something after the divorce (couch, chairs), so I just got whatever I could get that week on Craigslist.
I agree with the other suggestions to just sell/donate/toss these huge, bulky items that surround you. You do not need them. Like, literally, you could sit on the floor until you find something you love at a price you are comfortable with. If people think that's weird, they can take you shopping on their dime. Screw 'em.

Quote from: Zamboni
Last year I tried at a family reunion to get one of her sons, or anyone in the family, to take the large dining room table and chairs.  Nobody wanted anything to do with it. I...Please let this be a lesson to all of us not to put the strings of guilt on items we gift to people. If you really don't want someone to ever sell or dispose of something you give them, then just keep it.
Your aunt is being unreasonable. She is coercing you with guilt to be her free storage unit so she doesn't have to deal with the guilt over letting these items go. Honestly? Not your problem. I'd give her a deadline to pick the items up, have them packed and delivered to her (on her dime) or have them transferred to a storage unit she pays for. It's unreasonable for these ghosts of family guilt past to take up residence in your home. Time to evict them. Bon courage!!!

riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1548 on: April 28, 2015, 02:34:27 PM »
And another thing struck me that I had to really pause and process: I do not want most of the furniture in my house. Pretty much all furniture I own falls into three categories:
1) My ex- got to pick it after a drawn out disagreement about what style to get in which I finally gave up (in one case it took us an entire year to finally purchase a kitchen table and chairs.) All of this furniture is large and was extremely expensive; not just something I should haul down to the junk yard, although part of me wishes I had the truck and manpower to do just that.
2) Family gave it to me (old, not in very good condition) with the stipulation that I can never get rid of it or sell it, or
3) I needed something after the divorce (couch, chairs), so I just got whatever I could get that week on Craigslist.
I agree with the other suggestions to just sell/donate/toss these huge, bulky items that surround you. You do not need them. Like, literally, you could sit on the floor until you find something you love at a price you are comfortable with. If people think that's weird, they can take you shopping on their dime. Screw 'em.

Quote from: Zamboni
Last year I tried at a family reunion to get one of her sons, or anyone in the family, to take the large dining room table and chairs.  Nobody wanted anything to do with it. I...Please let this be a lesson to all of us not to put the strings of guilt on items we gift to people. If you really don't want someone to ever sell or dispose of something you give them, then just keep it.
Your aunt is being unreasonable. She is coercing you with guilt to be her free storage unit so she doesn't have to deal with the guilt over letting these items go. Honestly? Not your problem. I'd give her a deadline to pick the items up, have them packed and delivered to her (on her dime) or have them transferred to a storage unit she pays for. It's unreasonable for these ghosts of family guilt past to take up residence in your home. Time to evict them. Bon courage!!!


Great advice on both IMO.

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1549 on: April 28, 2015, 02:55:53 PM »
Thanks, all, for the selling suggestion. That is what I need to do with the stuff from the ex. It will be a hassle, but it needs to happen. The Craigslist stuff probably just needs to be donated or free-cycled.

The family stuff is another can of worms entirely. My aunt foisted some of this on me and she is the one who has this "it has to stay in the family" mentality.  She stored it in her garage for years. She convinced me to take some of it, mostly because we had the room and it "matched" the other gigantic dark antique-looking stuff my ex had picked out. I paid to have these things moved several states and restored (fixed, refinished, reupholstered, etc.) Now I'm realizing it's all just too big, impractical, and not my style. One of the reasons that I have such a big house now is that I had to find a house that had a big enough dining area for the enormous table, for example.

Last year I tried at a family reunion to get one of her sons, or anyone in the family, to take the large dining room table and chairs.  Nobody wanted anything to do with it. I said to her that I am moving to a smaller place and just really won't have room for it. I'm happy to keep the stuff in the family, but no one wants any of it. With great exasperation she said "Well I supposed I can take back that table, chairs and the serving dishes and all of the table linens of various sizes that go with it." Those linens were nasty, threadbare, yellowed and stained with at least a hundred years of gravy stains when she gave them to me, and she seriously thinks that I still have them? In any event, she's four states away.  I'm not paying to move this stuff back to her. Sibley, I might have to take your advice, but it will not go over well.

Please let this be a lesson to all of us not to put the strings of guilt on items we gift to people. If you really don't want someone to ever sell or dispose of something you give them, then just keep it.

And I think we can have a takeaway too, not to accept items that come with strings.  The aforementioned ex items?  After he left me to move to London in a 3 week time period, we originally discussed and agreed upon a "short term" and "long term" loan items.  These were things I'd hold onto for a short bit till he came back from London in less than a year versus much longer.  After he went crazy and got pissed that I gave away a few empty boxes we jointly had to a friend who was moving, that friend pointed out that this was a really bad idea to remain connected like this, particularly if something happened to my ex's stuff.  [At the time, I just knew he moved to London to be with the girl he met on the business trip, which was enough reason not to stay connected.  I didn't know then he had lied about basic life details such as the houses he showed me he grew up in or the high school he attended or how he did.  And he hadn't yet cheated on his wife with the wife of his best man.]  I ended up buying a bunch of the furniture from him instead.  Strings in any format are not good.  I've now turned down other items that have come with strings, and I've done better on giving away items string-free.