Author Topic: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!  (Read 1330728 times)

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1550 on: April 29, 2015, 11:51:49 AM »
To provide hope, despair, and entertainment, I found this blog online about a couple who bought a hoarder's home and their cleanup/renovations. It's a view into a world that is foreign to me, and I find it fascinating. I'm hoping that no one here is dealing with this amount of stuff, so remember, this could be your house!

http://brickhouse319.com/

SisterX

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1551 on: April 29, 2015, 12:21:47 PM »

We homebrew too, but wine.  It does take up a good bit of space.  We have a fruit cellar in the basement and about half of the shelves are full of empty bottles and other supplies.  Then the current brewing space is under my sewing table next to the heating vent to keep the yeast warm and happy (for winter only of course).  Other than that we have 1 drawer full of things like corks and labels.

If we were in an apartment I could easily see how an entire closet would be taken up with brewing equipment.

Thanks for the reply!  I was looking in the closet again and realized that we actually would have plenty of room if my husband would finally clear out the "keepsake" boxes he filled up after high school and hasn't looked at since.  99% of what's in those boxes will be tossed, I'm sure, before we move.
Also, one whole box of beer bottles will either be recycled or given to a friend who brews, and we do have a box of homebrew which my husband set aside to gift to people.  So, more bottles that we won't actually be keeping, thus more space.
Last night my husband, after having been away for almost a week, noted that our apartment seemed cleaner and so much bigger, but said that other than my packed up books, he couldn't really tell what I'd done.  I said, "Isn't that sad?  We had so much stuff that we didn't really notice or care about it!"  That thought has made me re-think my book strategy, too.  Until now I've thought, of course I'll keep all my books!  They're books, they're wonderful!  But...some of them were good to read once but I'll never read them again.  Others I've kept not because I even enjoyed them, but because I studied them in school and it reminds me of that and how much I learned.  Others I've kept because they're "smart" books, frankly.  (That makes me cringe to admit!)  So, the ones I don't love are going to be culled.  No sense in dragging them across the continent if I didn't truly connect with their stories.

Cookie78

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1552 on: April 29, 2015, 12:28:12 PM »
To provide hope, despair, and entertainment, I found this blog online about a couple who bought a hoarder's home and their cleanup/renovations. It's a view into a world that is foreign to me, and I find it fascinating. I'm hoping that no one here is dealing with this amount of stuff, so remember, this could be your house!

http://brickhouse319.com/

That is insane!

When I was buying my first house I looked at one that was similar, though not as bad and it hadn't expanded outdoors yet. I just assumed whoever was selling the house would take all their stuff. Now I wonder. I didn't buy it for many reasons, but one of them was because I couldn't actually see much of the house due to boxes.

midweststache

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1553 on: April 29, 2015, 02:06:13 PM »
To provide hope, despair, and entertainment, I found this blog online about a couple who bought a hoarder's home and their cleanup/renovations. It's a view into a world that is foreign to me, and I find it fascinating. I'm hoping that no one here is dealing with this amount of stuff, so remember, this could be your house!

http://brickhouse319.com/

That is insane!

When I was buying my first house I looked at one that was similar, though not as bad and it hadn't expanded outdoors yet. I just assumed whoever was selling the house would take all their stuff. Now I wonder. I didn't buy it for many reasons, but one of them was because I couldn't actually see much of the house due to boxes.

It's like a train wreck. I'm horrified, but I'll also be watching with morbid fascination as the story progresses...

Practical Magic

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1554 on: April 29, 2015, 02:54:35 PM »
I empathize with those of you dealing with family guilt. My parents are in their 70s and both are hoarders. Even worse, they're divorced so there will be two properties to clean up at some point. At least I've already sold the excess "heirlooms" which had been given to me over the years. I finally decided I didn't want to be a museum curator for my aunt and grandma's dolls which I've been responsible for since I was a kid. Enough already.

Has anyone seen the movie Clutter (on Amazon Prime)? It's exactly the scenario we're taking about... the family home overloaded with stuff and no one's allowed to throw anything away. Funny film.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 02:57:45 PM by Practical Magic »

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1555 on: April 29, 2015, 03:11:34 PM »
To provide hope, despair, and entertainment, I found this blog online about a couple who bought a hoarder's home and their cleanup/renovations. It's a view into a world that is foreign to me, and I find it fascinating. I'm hoping that no one here is dealing with this amount of stuff, so remember, this could be your house!

http://brickhouse319.com/
Ho-leeeeeee shit, man.

Zamboni

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1556 on: April 29, 2015, 03:58:19 PM »
Ha ha, I feel better already just looking at the bins in the yard.  I haven't even had to scroll down to read about what they found inside the house.

Practical Magic

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1557 on: April 29, 2015, 05:32:49 PM »
It sure makes me never want to buy another Rubbermaid bin! It's no wonder our oceans are full of plastic, if there are people like this out there causing a false demand for its manufacture. And as I said, my own parents (dad in particular) are hoarders. My mom would call herself a collector. ~Did you read that the hoarder in the brick house wasn't even living there? He's been living in another house for the past four years and just periodically goes there to get his mail. I guess after you've filled up a house, basement and bunker, it's time to move.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 06:20:57 PM by Practical Magic »

handsnhearts

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1558 on: April 29, 2015, 06:26:07 PM »
That house is crazy!!!!  Wow!  Just wow!  I have a clutterbug tendency, but I would never get to that.  There are 2 hoarders on my street, well there were.  They were 2 old guys (80's) and they lived across the street from each other for 40+ years.  One was obvious because he hoards in the front yard now.  But one day I saw him hanging out with the guy across the street, and his garage was open, and I realized he hoarded too!  Then I saw them walking the neighborhood, scrounging in the trashcans on trash day, and carrying stuff out of a pickup truck into the stuffed garage.  Sadly, the one with the garage died a couple months ago from mold intoxication.  The police couldn't get in the house and he was dead for several days before anyone knew.  I have since spoken to his SIL and she said he lived there with his mother until she died 25 years ago, and it got really bad after that.  I know the other guy has a son in the area who comes by every once in a while, but he seems like a jerk.  I guess if people get to live how they want, but really I don't think people want to live like that, it just becomes normalized after a while.  Very sad. 

The master composter in me just kept thinking of all the worm bins those Rubbermaid bins could be...

handsnhearts

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1559 on: April 29, 2015, 06:33:47 PM »
Oh! 
Finished going through my closet!  (Except jackets, but there are only a few and I'm keeping them as I am moving to a climate that needs a jacket.  I'll go through them next spring).  My sis, who was an organizer and declutterer as a child!, helped me get rid of some work clothes that fit, but just don't make me happy or feel comfortable.  I have a hard time getting rid of something useful like that, and MMM has made this worse, not better, because now I feel like I shouldn't buy a new one if I got rid of a perfectly good one.  I do shop at thrift stores, and have for most of my life, but now I find new clothes are easier to buy because of fit issues.  And lack of time to browse.  And a desire to be more fashionable and current, which can be hit or miss in thrifting.  And I hate the fast fashion industry and what it does to the environment and the people who make it, and the people who buy it (something is wrong with you that can only be fixed by buying this thing that will make you different and socially acceptable), and our environment too!

I like to sew, and that comes back to the time/effort issue too...and it is not always super affordable.

But I finished my closet!  Yeah!  And I got rid of a bunch of things.  I think I might go count them for scale!

Now if I could just put things away...And do the shoes.

I've decided I'm having a yard sale in 2 weeks. 

Oh and I pulled the leftover wax from the tealight candles I was saving and put it in my wax jar and recycled the aluminum cases.  About 20.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 06:36:39 PM by handsnhearts »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1560 on: April 29, 2015, 07:59:07 PM »
I read the whole thing.  The pictures . . . .

I looked at the bins and thought - composters, worm bins, bins for washing fleeces, so many uses.  At least they put stuff out and it was well disposed of.

The master composter in me just kept thinking of all the worm bins those Rubbermaid bins could be...

jordanread

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1561 on: April 30, 2015, 07:14:35 AM »
Rubbermaid containers are the source of my issues lately, but learning to let go is quite powerful. I'm still well on the way with decluttering and cleaning stuff up. Managed to get rid a lot of stuff so far, and only really have stuff that I use. Cords are still my biggest issue, along with the crap in my Storage Unit (which will be gone within a month or two, now that I freed up some driveway space).

Great comments from just about everyone so far. Keep it up!!

MMMaybe

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1562 on: April 30, 2015, 10:57:09 PM »
Two more bags of tatty clothes ready to go to H & M for recycling. A bag of bed linen went out the door (to charity) earlier this week.

The good thing about living in a developing country like the Philippines is that it super easy to get rid of anything. There is always such a need for household goods and clothes that you can have them sent to a worthy cause pretty much immediately.

Seeing all this need around me has also lessened my attachment to Stuff. It is hard to justify keeping things just in case I need them one day, when there are so many people who could use them TODAY.

Plus people recycle pretty much anything, which is helping me be a bit more mindful about casually throwing stuff out, that still has a useful life somewhere.

riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1563 on: April 30, 2015, 11:39:51 PM »
There is this pair of purple pants. Many people have told me they love these pants. They are still in perfect condition even thougth ive had them for a few years, because they are a quality pair. But I cannot stand these pants!!! I loath them and avoid them when I get dressed each morning. So I donated them yesterday:) . I feel better & someone will appreciate them at last.

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1564 on: May 01, 2015, 05:28:06 AM »
@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.

I'm surprised by this actually - I think probably you didn't have as much stuff as me! I had piles of things under furniture (it was always a temporary solution, but I decided to just get rid of the stuff rather than create more storage), and now they are gone, wow, so much easier to clean. I suppose I'm actually vacuuming more space, but I don't have to wiggle round things, and get the cord caught, or move / lift / shift things all the time. Same with countertops now I can just wipe side to side, instead of either around stuff, or moving it off and on again.

Sold a handbag on ebay. I had grown to dislike it, but it had happy memories attached because I purchased it on holiday. However, I still have the holiday memories, so I decided to get over it and let it go. And now I have money too!

midweststache

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1565 on: May 01, 2015, 08:23:55 AM »
CHICAGO PEOPLE!

I just got a notification from Uber this morning that Uber drivers will pick up clothing and take it to Goodwill free of charge this Saturday (5/2) between 10am-4pm. If you have the Uber app, there will be a "Give" option at the bottom of the app to have a driver come pick up your clothes (and only clothes). If you're carless, like me, and take your clutter out in small doses, this is a great way to get your clothes out of the house in one fell swoop!

(Most of my clutter at this point is books that I'm slowly working through, but I thought this might be a nice motivator for someone to go through their closet tonight!)

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1566 on: May 01, 2015, 10:38:37 PM »
Dudes. Husband just sold a thing that was literally NEVER USED at our house on ebay for $400. I set up the garage sale stuff and made $30 from people coming by the day before the garage sale.

Will post total Sunday night or Monday AM, but my guess is this "Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" shit will net us at least $1000 before we are done selling our "tidying."

riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1567 on: May 01, 2015, 11:15:29 PM »
Dudes. Husband just sold a thing that was literally NEVER USED at our house on ebay for $400. I set up the garage sale stuff and made $30 from people coming by the day before the garage sale.

Will post total Sunday night or Monday AM, but my guess is this "Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" shit will net us at least $1000 before we are done selling our "tidying."


This is freaking awesome. And inspiring. I have things in my "to sell" pile that are worth a hefty chunk of change. yet I STILL haven't put any effort into taking care of them.

tofuchampion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1568 on: May 02, 2015, 01:27:32 AM »
How do you decide whether to sell or donate? I have a bunch of stuff I don't need, but have been hanging onto because I intend to sell it. Except, obviously, I haven't. It would feel like a waste of money to just donate it, but listing on eBay or craigslist...well, I'm procrastinating, is all. It's not hard or time-consuming.

I did take outgrown kids' and maternity clothes to a consignment shop last week. I also have some baby gear on craigslist right now (though no bites yet), and some cloth diaper covers on eBay. The clothes that the consignment place didn't want, I could sort into lots and put on eBay, but I kind of don't know if I ever will.

I also have old skinny clothes. I have a dress I bought for $125 (most I've ever paid for a dress other than my wedding dress) that needed an alteration. Never got it altered, never wore it, and it's too small now. I've had a 2nd baby since, so who knows if it'll fit even when I do lose the weight. And it'll still need the alteration. I could probably get $20-30 for it on craigslist, but I hate to think of that compared to what I paid. UGH. I need to learn to think of it as a sunk cost, price of a lesson learned.

So this week's assignment is to get stuff sold. Anything not listed/gone by next Saturday will go to the thrift shop.

I also have a stupid collection of samples of shampoo, etc. I follow a couple of coupon blogs and can't resist signing up for the free samples they link to. So I have a pretty good-size makeup bag full of probably a hundred little packets of things I'll never use. I use them when I travel, but I don't travel enough to make a dent. Those are going to the homeless shelter.

We have a couple hundred DVD's that no one watches. They're mostly my husband's, and he won't get rid of them for a variety of reasons. Obviously I can't sell or donate them, but I am going to box them up, put them in a closet, and see how long it takes for him to miss them. $5 says at least a month.

Here's another silly thing I do: I have 2 library books right now that are way overdue. I read half of one, haven't touched the other. But I have very very good intentions of reading them, so I'm racking up fines while I put off returning them. Stupid, huh?

I think I see a theme here: intentions. I have a lot of intentions of doing various things, so I hang onto objects...and then I never do what I planned, which costs me more in the long run.

Hmmm.

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1569 on: May 02, 2015, 01:03:42 PM »
I have a $50 threshold for eBay and $30 for craigslist. Below that its too much work to list items, talk to potential buyers, show them stuff, etc. Figure out your minimums and go from there.

This approach let me clear up way more from my sell-someday pile. Further I donate almost everything I don't sell immediately and have been good about getting receipts for it. Next year's tax time should be fun!

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1570 on: May 02, 2015, 01:06:12 PM »
Also I figured its OK to not make a profit (or even get back some of the cost) if it will give me mental peace. I gave away my old PS3 after no one bought it on eBay. Didn't even try craigslist but it felt good to get the console and games out of my house.... Before I changed my mind and they remained in my house unplayed for another year! So clutter out of house is the best solution for me.

jordanread

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1571 on: May 02, 2015, 03:41:02 PM »
Also I figured its OK to not make a profit (or even get back some of the cost) if it will give me mental peace. I gave away my old PS3 after no one bought it on eBay. Didn't even try craigslist but it felt good to get the console and games out of my house.... Before I changed my mind and they remained in my house unplayed for another year! So clutter out of house is the best solution for me.

I've been meaning to comment in here again to update. I'm definitely moving towards a more spartan way of living, so selling stuff is not even on my radar. I just want as much gone as possible. I do enjoy reading everyone else's journeys here.

handsnhearts

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1572 on: May 02, 2015, 03:45:00 PM »
Several more items into the garage sale box. I used the KonMari method because when I picked up the items, even though they are perfectly serviceable and fine, I felt "ick" about them. So I just let them go with thanks!  This is going better than I hoped and still there is so much stuff. Garage sale is 1 week from today, so I need to keep going through stuff now. I'm going to call a charity for a pickup early next week, hopefully Saturday or Monday. Otherwise I'll load it up and drop it off.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1573 on: May 02, 2015, 04:22:58 PM »
$433 $463 (found an extra $30 in pockets and quarters that was not originally counted) made at today's garage sale! I'm exhausted, but I've worked harder for less money in my life, so yippie! And most importantly - that shit is OUT OF MY HOUSE.

Current KonMari "Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" Get-Rid-O-My-Shit Sales Numbers

Garage Sale - $463
Cleared Ebay Sales - $574 (cleared, after selling fees, etc.)
2nd Hand Bookstore - $22
Amazon Rebate Book Credits - $55 (Amazon gift card credit)
CLEARED SALES: $1114 ($1059 in cash, $55 in Amzn credit)

Pending Ebay Sales - $36 (in flight, likely to go higher.)
TOTAL PENDING SALES: >$36

Listed Amazon Used Book Sales $545 (includes several rare and collectable books)
Listed Ebay Items, $350 (including items with reserve not yet met)
Still to list: ~$400 - ~$500 worth of furniture, housewares and musical instruments.
POSSIBLE FUTURE SALES: $1295-$1395

So, all told, asking myself if items I was holding onto "sparked joy" has led to AT LEAST $1150 in sales in the past week, with future sales reasonably likely to double that. Some of the items listed for sale are specialty items that may take some time to sell, but will be valuable to the right collector. And if they don't sell, that's ok too! The goal was to give our home breathing room, and we have! It feels wonderful.

And guys? I don't miss or regret any of it. I've got religion on this. Clear out your shit! Let it go - sell it, gift it, donate it. Life is better with less crap (and more money doesn't hurt, either.) Do it. :)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2015, 08:05:34 PM by Erica/NWEdible »

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1574 on: May 02, 2015, 04:30:02 PM »
How do you decide whether to sell or donate? I have a bunch of stuff I don't need, but have been hanging onto because I intend to sell it. Except, obviously, I haven't. It would feel like a waste of money to just donate it, but listing on eBay or craigslist...well, I'm procrastinating, is all. It's not hard or time-consuming.
Usually, I just donate. But because this was a top to bottom purge, we had enough that it was worth it to do the garage sale thing. As we culled books, my husband checked Amazon's buyback price to set aside any that were worth it to trade in. He has a pretty good idea what of his stuff is semi-collectible.

Selling stuff as a one off that isn't quite valuable - like $50ish bucks or more, used - is a pain in the ass. I would never have tried to sell my old wine glasses and dishware through craigslist. Too much work. But in a big garage sale setting, if I can sell enough $1 and 50-cent items, it's worth it.

I only mentally compare what we get for resale to $0, because mostly I just donate stuff. I try not to compare - ever - to the full value new price. That way lies madness.

tofuchampion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1575 on: May 02, 2015, 08:34:03 PM »
Holy cow, Erica, that's fantastic! My numbers are not nearly as impressive. I got $22 from one consignment shop, $13 from another, and I have one item on eBay right now with a bid of $10. So I'm at $45 so far. I have 2 things on craigslist for a total of $75, but no takers yet, and I've already lowered the prices once. If they don't sell over the weekend I'm going to take them in to the consignment shop (it's baby gear - a swing and a cosleeper). I'll get a lot less that way, but it's something, and they'll be out of the way.

My to-do list for next week (starting Monday; I work all weekend):
1. take baby gear to consignment
2. sort baby & maternity clothes into lots, post on eBay
3. sort kids' books, sell or donate the ones they don't read
4. take samples to shelter

Goal is to have it all done by the end of Wednesday.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1576 on: May 02, 2015, 09:09:00 PM »
Holy cow, Erica, that's fantastic! My numbers are not nearly as impressive. I got $22 from one consignment shop, $13 from another, and I have one item on eBay right now with a bid of $10. So I'm at $45 so far. I have 2 things on craigslist for a total of $75, but no takers yet, and I've already lowered the prices once. If they don't sell over the weekend I'm going to take them in to the consignment shop (it's baby gear - a swing and a cosleeper). I'll get a lot less that way, but it's something, and they'll be out of the way.

My to-do list for next week (starting Monday; I work all weekend):
1. take baby gear to consignment
2. sort baby & maternity clothes into lots, post on eBay
3. sort kids' books, sell or donate the ones they don't read
4. take samples to shelter

Goal is to have it all done by the end of Wednesday.
It's not that impressive when you think about how much shit I didn't need I was hanging onto from "past lives" of catering, abandoned hobbies, etc. It's, to me, cautionary. Like, I never again want to have so many things surrounding me that I can make almost $500 at a garage sale on a weeks notice. You know what I mean? I'm thrilled to recoup whatever I can of course, but more than that I'm thrilled to just enjoy life with less to maintain, consider, store and worry about.

That said, don't give up! Get it out, one way or another. :)

handsnhearts

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1577 on: May 03, 2015, 04:25:58 PM »
Oh, and I forgot to mention, we donated our beater car.  The power steering was going, and it is rusted out from the Midwest, and some a$$hole swiped it when it was parked on the street.  So, charitible donation it is.  I would have sold it cheap, but DH was really happy to donate it, so great!  A huge weight lifted off of me as it rolled away.  We are down to 1 car (except DH has a company car, but it has a lot of restrictions on it).  But moving close to the in-laws and can borrow their second car, if walking, public transport or sharing doesn't work.  Or zipcar. 

PMG

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1578 on: May 03, 2015, 09:27:06 PM »
Sorted through my woodworking bin to get supplies to make the missing pieces to a thrifted game. Did it, then got inspired to build a shoe shelf out of scrap quarter round, 1x and fabric. It's light weight. Simple. Free. Easy to take apart and lay flat to move or give away when I move in August.  I had been using a duct tape together plastic one that fell over constantly.  It goes to trash in the morning.

Cleaned and organized the entire woodworking bin. Found a few things to thrift and a whole lot of empty space!  Fit my collection of spray paint in the bin and created empty space in the laundry cupboard! 

Volunteered to supply the gift bag, tissue paper and card for a group gift.  I already had the wrappings and I made the card.  Inexpensive way to contribute and get rid of something at the same time.

Tossed worn out garden supplies.

Finished a rag rug and prepped it to mail to my bestie for her birthday.  It's huge and takes up a surprising amount of space.

Working on several sewing orders that use up supplies I already have and bring in a little money.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 09:29:37 PM by PMG »

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1579 on: May 04, 2015, 12:16:29 AM »
We are moving in a few months and are trying to declutter. I've culled the low hanging fruit and am now starting to reach into closets. However sometimes I wonder if reducing our stuff by one or two boxes is worth the effort. We'd anyway have to haul the furniture - what difference would an extra two boxes make? I know I need to declutter to have less unused stuff but I also am trying to cop out :( major reason: I dont want to spend time indoors decluttering when the weather outside is gorgeous. How do you motivate yourself?

tofuchampion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1580 on: May 04, 2015, 12:59:47 AM »
Holy cow, Erica, that's fantastic! My numbers are not nearly as impressive. I got $22 from one consignment shop, $13 from another, and I have one item on eBay right now with a bid of $10. So I'm at $45 so far. I have 2 things on craigslist for a total of $75, but no takers yet, and I've already lowered the prices once. If they don't sell over the weekend I'm going to take them in to the consignment shop (it's baby gear - a swing and a cosleeper). I'll get a lot less that way, but it's something, and they'll be out of the way.

My to-do list for next week (starting Monday; I work all weekend):
1. take baby gear to consignment
2. sort baby & maternity clothes into lots, post on eBay
3. sort kids' books, sell or donate the ones they don't read
4. take samples to shelter

Goal is to have it all done by the end of Wednesday.
It's not that impressive when you think about how much shit I didn't need I was hanging onto from "past lives" of catering, abandoned hobbies, etc. It's, to me, cautionary. Like, I never again want to have so many things surrounding me that I can make almost $500 at a garage sale on a weeks notice. You know what I mean? I'm thrilled to recoup whatever I can of course, but more than that I'm thrilled to just enjoy life with less to maintain, consider, store and worry about.

That said, don't give up! Get it out, one way or another. :)

Ah, good point; I hadn't thought of it that way. I am in the very early stages of paying off a ridiculous amount of debt, so the prospect of bringing in some cash is very appealing. That's my motivation for selling instead of donating, even for the lesser-value items. At the end of the day, though, you're right, it just needs to go.

handsnhearts

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1581 on: May 04, 2015, 01:05:49 AM »
We are moving in a few months and are trying to declutter. I've culled the low hanging fruit and am now starting to reach into closets. However sometimes I wonder if reducing our stuff by one or two boxes is worth the effort. We'd anyway have to haul the furniture - what difference would an extra two boxes make? I know I need to declutter to have less unused stuff but I also am trying to cop out :( major reason: I dont want to spend time indoors decluttering when the weather outside is gorgeous. How do you motivate yourself?

This has totally been my issue too.  However, I have had some success with looking at it this way.  Everytime I declutter, I am enjoying my house and my things more.  Happier me is a good thing.  But I go in little spurts, and I often spend time outside (or on the computer) when I should be sorting.  Its ok, every bit I do is good and one more thing I don't have to pack, unpack, clean, find a home for, feel burdened by.  I guess what I am trying to say is that doing some is fine, it isn't all or nothing.  And when I am motivated, it is amazing how much I can do in a short period of time.  The I take a break or the rest of the day off.  There is no finish line with this.  But there is progress.

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1582 on: May 04, 2015, 08:37:40 AM »
We are moving in a few months and are trying to declutter. I've culled the low hanging fruit and am now starting to reach into closets. However sometimes I wonder if reducing our stuff by one or two boxes is worth the effort. We'd anyway have to haul the furniture - what difference would an extra two boxes make? I know I need to declutter to have less unused stuff but I also am trying to cop out :( major reason: I dont want to spend time indoors decluttering when the weather outside is gorgeous. How do you motivate yourself?

This has totally been my issue too.  However, I have had some success with looking at it this way.  Everytime I declutter, I am enjoying my house and my things more.  Happier me is a good thing.  But I go in little spurts, and I often spend time outside (or on the computer) when I should be sorting.  Its ok, every bit I do is good and one more thing I don't have to pack, unpack, clean, find a home for, feel burdened by.  I guess what I am trying to say is that doing some is fine, it isn't all or nothing.  And when I am motivated, it is amazing how much I can do in a short period of time.  The I take a break or the rest of the day off.  There is no finish line with this.  But there is progress.

Also, once you declutter all the boxed stuff, what's to say you can't declutter a piece of furniture or two? I went from 4 bookcases to 2. Wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't decluttered the books.

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1583 on: May 04, 2015, 08:53:38 AM »
We are moving in a few months and are trying to declutter. I've culled the low hanging fruit and am now starting to reach into closets. However sometimes I wonder if reducing our stuff by one or two boxes is worth the effort. We'd anyway have to haul the furniture - what difference would an extra two boxes make? I know I need to declutter to have less unused stuff but I also am trying to cop out :( major reason: I dont want to spend time indoors decluttering when the weather outside is gorgeous. How do you motivate yourself?

This has totally been my issue too.  However, I have had some success with looking at it this way.  Everytime I declutter, I am enjoying my house and my things more.  Happier me is a good thing.  But I go in little spurts, and I often spend time outside (or on the computer) when I should be sorting.  Its ok, every bit I do is good and one more thing I don't have to pack, unpack, clean, find a home for, feel burdened by.  I guess what I am trying to say is that doing some is fine, it isn't all or nothing.  And when I am motivated, it is amazing how much I can do in a short period of time.  The I take a break or the rest of the day off.  There is no finish line with this.  But there is progress.

Also, once you declutter all the boxed stuff, what's to say you can't declutter a piece of furniture or two? I went from 4 bookcases to 2. Wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't decluttered the books.

Good points.  Additional thoughts:
1) This is weight you carry around for future moves, if you don't clear it out now.  So if you anticipate moving frequently (I did 6 places in 7 years once and 7 place in 10 years), you're paying a lot over time for the extra boxes.
2) Most people find themselves reducing stuff by more than one or two boxes.  I daresay for some, particularly if you've never moved before or been fairly sedentary, it's more likely 10-20+.
3) Moving provides an excellent deadline so that your stuff doesn't cost you extra, however, many declutter for other reasons than just money - remove items with negative energy (e.g. the gift you never like and feel guilty you don't use), less to clean, less "stuff" around weighting you down, etc.
4) If you sell or donate your items, the money (immediately or in your taxes) is a great "windfall" of sunk cost money otherwise, which can help pay for the move.

So I declutter in stages.  I don't try to do it all at once.  A little here or there whittles it down.  At this point, I aim for a problem area once a week.  It's much slower than many on here - and slower than I've done in the past, but it's sustainable.  And a great reward after doing an area is to go out into the yard!

For the best bang for your buck given your upcoming move, as you've already done the "easy" items, I'd suggest that you tackle the bulky or heavy items next.

Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1584 on: May 04, 2015, 01:54:17 PM »
I've been really enjoying catching up on this thread (especially Erica's posts). I've been waiting for Life Changing Magic at my library since January. Just realized I could get it through another library, requested it today, and will pick it up in a few days!

This weekend I purged another two bags of books, and it was easy for the first time in my life. We also donated a bag full of DVDs. We are DVD free now. Woot! I also brought my plastic bags for plastic bag recycling (not allowed in single stream where I live) to the grocery store. Even though I haven't gotten plastic grocery bags in years, plastic film from shipping boxes and cereal boxes really add up. I feel a lot lighter, but my tiny apartment is still overflowing with sh*&*e that I don't need and don't use. Can't wait for the book. Keep up the great work all!

acorn

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1585 on: May 04, 2015, 01:58:41 PM »
We are moving in a few months and are trying to declutter. I've culled the low hanging fruit and am now starting to reach into closets. However sometimes I wonder if reducing our stuff by one or two boxes is worth the effort. We'd anyway have to haul the furniture - what difference would an extra two boxes make? I know I need to declutter to have less unused stuff but I also am trying to cop out :( major reason: I dont want to spend time indoors decluttering when the weather outside is gorgeous. How do you motivate yourself?

This has totally been my issue too.  However, I have had some success with looking at it this way.  Everytime I declutter, I am enjoying my house and my things more.  Happier me is a good thing.  But I go in little spurts, and I often spend time outside (or on the computer) when I should be sorting.  Its ok, every bit I do is good and one more thing I don't have to pack, unpack, clean, find a home for, feel burdened by.  I guess what I am trying to say is that doing some is fine, it isn't all or nothing.  And when I am motivated, it is amazing how much I can do in a short period of time.  The I take a break or the rest of the day off.  There is no finish line with this.  But there is progress.

Also, once you declutter all the boxed stuff, what's to say you can't declutter a piece of furniture or two? I went from 4 bookcases to 2. Wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't decluttered the books.

When I decluttered books, paperwork, and worn out clothes, I ended up completely clearing out a cabinet and a desk. Which I then sold to get more floor space :) Fewer things to maintain/move with!

nikki

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1586 on: May 04, 2015, 09:39:03 PM »
Add me to the list of people praising The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

I recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and I followed the process to purge my home of unloved items. I live in a small Korean one-bedroom apartment with limited storage space, so I was already starting with far fewer items than the average American. I also declutter at least twice a year and abhor visual clutter. I was dealing almost entirely with things stored in drawers and closets.

Still, I managed to find two bags of clothes that didn't bring me joy, a 5" stack of papers, a few plastic kitchen items, and a few other random bits and bobs. I did it all in one day as Kondo suggests, and according to her, I will never have to tidy up again because I will never keep unwanted items in my home again. I doubt this is true because I have a packrat husband, but it's a nice positive thought.

To echo the summary others have shared, here's the process in a nutshell: pull each item out of its storage, handle each one individually, ask "Does this spark joy?", keep it if so, discard it if not. Before discarding unwanted items, thank them for their service: "Thank you for keeping my feet warm, socks." This addresses the energy Kondo believes resides in each object, but on a pragmatic level for people who don't believe in that, it reduces guilt for discarding perfectly functional items.

I got rid of clothing items I would wear, but not joyfully. Or maybe I felt guilt seeing them in the closet because I didn't wear them enough. There's no need to surround ourselves with items charged with intentions--just surround yourself with happiness, joy, and positivity.

That's the idea.

But the other good idea is that you do it ALL AT ONCE. I can't imagine dragging decluttering on for months like some of the frequent posters here. I'd rather rip the bandaid off and carry on with open space and lightness as soon as possible.

Like I said, though, I must have less items to begin with. That surely makes a difference, but it might also just be an excuse for prolonging the decision-making process.

What do you think about the time it takes to declutter?

riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1587 on: May 04, 2015, 09:41:05 PM »
We are moving in a few months and are trying to declutter. I've culled the low hanging fruit and am now starting to reach into closets. However sometimes I wonder if reducing our stuff by one or two boxes is worth the effort. We'd anyway have to haul the furniture - what difference would an extra two boxes make? I know I need to declutter to have less unused stuff but I also am trying to cop out :( major reason: I dont want to spend time indoors decluttering when the weather outside is gorgeous. How do you motivate yourself?

have you tried the "konmari" method - from "the life changing art of tidying up" by marie kondo.... excellent way to get a massive declutter (most likely) even if you think it'll only be a box or two:). I recommend.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1588 on: May 05, 2015, 05:06:33 AM »
Now that we have nice weather I have started on the garage.  I donated a car load yesterday.  Tomorrow will be a car load of books and office supplies (left from work, still useful) going to new homes.  DD will be home for Mother's Day so that will be a "declutter house projects that need 4 hands" and "DD will sort and donate her stuff" day.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1589 on: May 05, 2015, 05:11:13 AM »
Sadly, we've had 4 trash bags of clothes and stuffed animals in the back of my van for over a month. Just haven't gotten around to dropping them off. Wife says she's about to throw it all in the dumpster. I said "Go for it."

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1590 on: May 05, 2015, 06:28:17 AM »
My husband has obviously noticed all the changes (I haven't been trying to get him on board at all, just been focussed on my stuff) - he just decided on Saturday morning to completely clear out his closet and get rid of LOADS of clothes! Whenever I've mentioned it in the past he's hated the idea and really resisted.

So team, leading by example is the way forward if you have a reluctant spouse. Don't let their reluctance put you off starting - just get on clearing out YOUR stuff, and perhaps, like my husband, they will notice how much easier / better / happier your life is, and follow suit. I'm very happy right now!

(Also, I sold my expensive handbag, which no longer sparks joy for 120 on ebay. It cost me 143 - two years of service for 23 isn't bad in the scheme of things, and I did enjoy owning it at first. It's just after I found MMM that that joy turned to 'WTF?!')

Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1591 on: May 05, 2015, 07:23:31 AM »
There's no need to surround ourselves with items charged with intentions...

Thanks for the synopsis! This is me in a nutshell! I don't have sentimental attachment to things, but I have so many unfinished projects (good intentions). Thanks to this thread, I've gotten over the guilt of donating/recycling things that are still or could be functional (the items will/can be for someone else), which was my other big issue.

What do you think about the time it takes to declutter?

I've been one of the slow declutterers on the forum, getting rid of things sporadically for years. I decluttered my bathroom in one day, and it's been wonderful. It hasn't cluttered back up. I want to do that with the trickier rooms/items (looking at you sewing stash). I'm hoping the book will help with this when I get it. Decluttering my tiny apartment in one day sounds exhausting, and I'm afraid I'll end up with unfinished huge piles, but obviously it's worked for many people, so I know I can do it.

tofuchampion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1592 on: May 05, 2015, 08:43:41 AM »
Another slow de-clutterer here. I'd love to do it quickly, a la KonMari, but I have a 5-month-old who doesn't give me big blocks of uninterrupted time. ;) So I do a little here and there, as I can, and it adds up.

Hot_AZ

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1593 on: May 05, 2015, 08:50:40 AM »
Spent a 4 day weekend in Wisconsin clearing out my mom's estate.  This is the first trip back we didn't have to also attend a funeral so much more got done.  Had 2 friends come and assist (OMG, thank you!) and we did 8 trips to Goodwill, 2 trailer fulls to the dump, 1 trip to hazardous waste.  Then my friend took 2 carloads of stuff home to sell at her garage sale.  My brothers friend took 2 trailers of gardening and shelving units home for himself. 

all in all, a very productive weekend.  We can see the light.  At the end of the weekend we hit the Christmas decorations from our childhood and the millions of family pictures.  That was the point we "tapped out" and went for drinks.  OMG, that part is going to be hard....

Love keeping up with everyone's progress, it's SO motivating.  Now that i'm back "home" (Arizona), it's back to decluttering my own house.

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1594 on: May 05, 2015, 09:01:15 AM »
But the other good idea is that you do it ALL AT ONCE. I can't imagine dragging decluttering on for months like some of the frequent posters here. I'd rather rip the bandaid off and carry on with open space and lightness as soon as possible.

Like I said, though, I must have less items to begin with. That surely makes a difference, but it might also just be an excuse for prolonging the decision-making process.

What do you think about the time it takes to declutter?

I don't think she meant to try to do it all in one day.  Rather, to do it over a few months, but don't prolong for a year or two.  As with everything, I think YMMV.  She readily confesses to strategies that don't work for her, but do for others.  I think the speed of decluttering is one that is an individual approach.

I am decluttering slowly.  I have more stuff than you (both in terms of not being particularly minimal before, but also in having a house not a 1-bed apartment), I met my husband a bit later in life so we have more duplicates than people who met at younger ages, and I don't have oodles of free time.  My mom suddenly dropped a bunch of my stuff I hadn't even known about on my doorstep when I bought a house, which added to the stuff to go through.  (At some point we need to finish bringing my husband's stuff from his childhood home to our house.)  I also find decluttering to be tiring, so spending a whole weekend trying to do a marathon session doesn't work for me. 

What I do follow is the idea to do one area/type of item at a time.  I think she's definitely onto something about bringing all like items together and making a decision at once about them, rather than going room by room through things.  It probably would be better to do it in a somewhat shorter time frame, but I find this way helps me to always keep things from coming into the house.  And I feel like it's a never ending project already in some ways - areas I thought I decluttered I look back at and wonder why I didn't get rid of X Y or Z so I make another pass.  A gradual approach allows me to relinquish items more gracefully than an all at once approach, where I might have more regrets.

madgeylou

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1595 on: May 05, 2015, 09:20:36 AM »
They're still probably worth a couple bucks each. Idk if you could compost them but if you brought everything to half-price books you could walk out with $20 or so.
The closest one to me is about 45 minutes, but it's near a friend's house so the next time I go see her I'll try taking in the books.  I don't really care at this point, just want them out of my house!

CommonCents, I'll also look into local organizations or perhaps homeschool groups.  At least the chemistry books should be useful for something like that.

Or, next time you are in the Burgh, drop them off at Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. There are a lot of artists out there who like to cut up books for collage and alter them into art journals. Just make sure you call ahead.

You could also leave them at Red, White, and Blue thrift store (I go to the one right outside the Liberty Tubes but there's one on 65, too).

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1596 on: May 05, 2015, 10:21:46 AM »
Thanks everyone. I'm on waiting list for the book in library. I've moved my decluttering to after sun goes down. So I declutter late in the night and don't miss out on the lovely weather we've been having. Win-win!!

Threw away a bunch of papers yesterday. Also found a set of magazines - I'm going to read through them and throw one a day. Also found a couple of things to list on eBay. The donate pile is growing too.

I have a few more things to sell on craigslist and eBay - the total is now at $250 and will hit $500 soon.

I like the idea of decluttering furniture. We have ample space in this apartment and I realized I can sell one of our storage cupboards and not miss it terribly. I can always rebuy from craigslist if I need one in a future apartment. So target is to clean up that storage cupboard and put it on sale. Good to have a target. :)

wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1597 on: May 05, 2015, 10:51:15 AM »
Nikki,  As one of the people who is doing it over time, I would love to do it all at once but that would take several weeks of non-stop action and I do not have the energy for that.  I find de-cluttering to be rewarding and exhausting.  I am so looking forward to the time when each space is tidy and each thing is accessible and a regular, once a year  attack of de-cluttering will take less than a day.

You are inspiring me to get back to it.   There are very few spaces left now, so I am on the home run.  Also, I am ready to go over some previously de-cluttered spots to go deeper but want to get everything completed once first.


SisterX

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1598 on: May 05, 2015, 12:59:49 PM »
Another slow de-clutterer here. I'd love to do it quickly, a la KonMari, but I have a 5-month-old who doesn't give me big blocks of uninterrupted time. ;) So I do a little here and there, as I can, and it adds up.

Yeah, my toddler is my big excuse for not de-cluttering quickly.  I have to do it all when she's asleep or she ends up running off with the things I wanted to get rid of, and if I don't chase her immediately she hides things in unusual places.  Best to do it after she goes to sleep.
As someone else mentioned, too, this helps me avoid regret.  Not that I've actually done so yet, but if I found myself wanting something I'd put into a box to get rid of, I could always pull it out again.
Finally, I don't drive much at all, and the stuff I have to donate or take to the dump or the recycling center (damn you, lack of curbside recycling!) is far bigger than I can take in the bike trailer.  So I'm decluttering by putting things in boxes off to the side, and once we feel like we've gone through all our stuff I'll have one day in which I load up the car and take everything to where it should go.  I consider it decluttered, even though it's not technically out of my place.

In case anyone is interested, here's a picture of the nightgown I made for BabyX out of an old t-shirt.  It's on top of one of my shirts, for scale, and to show how I did it.  Super easy.  A couple of cuts (I used a onesie to figure out the sizing), turn it inside out and sew two seams.  I'll hem the bottom and sleeves when I have access to my mother's sewing machine next month, but that's probably not even necessary.
If you have a boy, you could turn it into "shortlets" by cutting out a small space for the crotch and adding buttons there.
It was a really good way to re-use some shirts which couldn't be donated (there were holes in the fabric) and which had sentimental value.  (Not the pictured one, but the other I made has a logo from my husband's high school and main sport.)  The scrap fabric that I cut off was turned into rags for cleaning.

My win of the week: went over my books again, and BabyX's books, and identified quite a few to get rid of.  Have those set aside, boxed up the books I want to keep and sold one of my bookshelves.  $100!

tofuchampion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1599 on: May 05, 2015, 06:57:47 PM »
I love the nightgown idea! I might have to make one or two for my daughter.

I haven't made it to the consignment shop yet. Our one car has been in the shop and we just got it back this afternoon. It might be a good thing, though, bc I finally got a response from the craigslist ad for the swing, and I think I might have a buyer. If so, that'll be $60 instead of the $20 (at most) the consignment shop would have given me.

The eBay auction of diaper covers ends in less than 30 minutes, and it's at $15.50. I started the bidding low - at $10 - because I figured they would definitely sell that way. They were given to me, so it's 100% profit no matter what.

Baby is sleeping on my lap; if I can put her down without waking her up, I'll take pics of some baby clothes to put on eBay.

ETA: Covers sold for $26! Assuming the buyer pays right away, they'll go in the mail tomorrow. :)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 07:17:38 PM by tofuchampion »