Author Topic: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!  (Read 745265 times)

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1600 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 #1601 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 #1602 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 #1603 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 #1604 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 #1605 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 #1606 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 #1607 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."
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theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1608 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 #1609 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 #1610 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.
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Hot_AZ

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1611 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 #1612 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 #1613 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).
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firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1614 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 #1615 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 #1616 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 #1617 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 »
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Practical Magic

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1618 on: May 05, 2015, 07:04:26 PM »
As Mary Oliver says  'Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?'

Thank you for this, wintersun. Your posts resonate with me, and today I read Evidence by Mary Oliver...love her!! How did I get through life thus far not having read her?  Wishing you motivation on your continued decluttering. I am down to some movie memorabilia from days of working in Hollywood, and I'm hitting a wall. Not because I want to keep the stuff, but because it must have a psychological heaviness which keeps me from dealing with it. The minute I pick up one of the items, I go into zombie mode. I'm pretty sure that's the opposite of sparking joy.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 02:33:26 PM by Practical Magic »

PMG

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1619 on: May 05, 2015, 07:41:00 PM »
I've really enjoyed some of the recent conversation on this thread.  It's motivating.  For me there are layers and layers to the process.  Sometimes I'll be laying in bed and think "Hmm.. I think I can let go of that jacket now..." When just a week before I had to keep it.  It takes me a little time to think it through.   At work I might think of something at home.  I often write those things down and then when I have time a week later I find them and let them go. 

I grew up with hoarders and I keep discovering layers of complexity in my relationship with things.  Things were always feast or famine in our house.  When mom had money she stockpiled staples. 6 or 7 partial bottles of laundry soap was a good thing.  It meant we had enough to last through the inevitable money drought when she discovered Dad had signed up for another credit card in her name.  The same goes with food and clothing.  I am slowly identifying those responses in myself.  I've been on my own for years, but have had some serious transitions in the past couple that have brought out those stock piling tendencies. I'm finally beginning to convince myself that I will always take care of  myself.  I might have transitions, and money might be tight, but I will always find a solution, a new job, and there will always be great sales and coupons and discounts when I actually need the item.

 I have always kept less than my parents. I have flirted with minimalism since I was a teenager, but I am also a maker and artist. I cook. I sew and garden, so I have a few more accessories than those "travel the world with a backpack minimalists."

I currently work part time and am in school full time.  I am moving to a new city in August. I anticipate moving several times in the next 3 years.  When I moved to this house last fall I brought garden tools and canning supplies.  As I look at my plans for the next several years I realize that while I value those things they are not realistic for this stage in my life. That was a huge realization for me.  I've been able to let a lot of those things go.  When/if I again live where I can garden, then I'll need those things again, but it doesn't make sense for me to store them. It was easy to find someone to take the canning supplies, she was so happy to recieve them that it made it easier for me to give them.

Out today:
2 scarves
1 pair shoes
1 scrap book - scanned and ready to trash

Zaga

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1620 on: May 05, 2015, 07:42:31 PM »
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).
Thanks, I'll look into both of those!

Today I took several things from my closet to a consignment store, hoping to get a few bucks for things I don't wear any longer.  And if they don't sell, the owner donates them, so it's good either way!

nikki

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1621 on: May 06, 2015, 02:01:02 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. ...

Oh yes--that's one of the things I like about her writing. She's anecdotal and highlights her quirkiness, acknowledging that not everyone is like her.

But I really did think she means to do it all at once! I got the sense that if it's not in one day, maybe one weekend. She says her clients are not repeat clients because there's no reason--there's no rebound. And she's working in Japan, where apartments are my place's size or smaller.

The thing is, she just doesn't address time as far as I remember. It's an interesting oversight, or my memory's just failing me. Lots of people in this thread are reading or have read it, so maybe someone will find the passage.

I can see where the culture difference of America (for example) vs. Japan might make applying her method more challenging for people who *do* have four bedrooms, a two-car garage, a shed, an attic, a basement, and so on to deal with. I wonder if she has worked with any hoarders before.

Also babies. She doesn't mention babies.

happy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1622 on: May 06, 2015, 03:47:36 AM »
Thus far I've been a slow declutterer. Half and hour here, an hour there… and feeling like I've been just picking at it. And then poking again another few weeks later. Progress is slow but I am making progress, although I  often fail to notice.  I thought my troublesome study showed no noticeable sign of progress, but yesterday DS walked in and remarked I'd been cleaning up.

Recently after reading the KonMari method, I'd been wondering what would happen if I cleared the dairy and scheduled in a half day marathon.  Due to the size of the house, it would take me a couple of weeks if I went at it full-time, which I cannot do.
Journalling at Happy Aussie Downshifter

tariskat

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1623 on: May 06, 2015, 06:09:49 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. ...

Oh yes--that's one of the things I like about her writing. She's anecdotal and highlights her quirkiness, acknowledging that not everyone is like her.

But I really did think she means to do it all at once! I got the sense that if it's not in one day, maybe one weekend. She says her clients are not repeat clients because there's no reason--there's no rebound. And she's working in Japan, where apartments are my place's size or smaller.

The thing is, she just doesn't address time as far as I remember. It's an interesting oversight, or my memory's just failing me. Lots of people in this thread are reading or have read it, so maybe someone will find the passage.

I can see where the culture difference of America (for example) vs. Japan might make applying her method more challenging for people who *do* have four bedrooms, a two-car garage, a shed, an attic, a basement, and so on to deal with. I wonder if she has worked with any hoarders before.

Also babies. She doesn't mention babies.

I have this on Kindle and I can't seem to find a page number, but she does say that "From my experience with private individual lessons, "quickly" means about half a year." when she's talking about doing your entire house quickly.  It's location 410/2181 I think for my fellow Kindle users.

So holy speediness, batman, if you can do your stuff in a day!! 

nikki

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1624 on: May 06, 2015, 06:20:14 AM »

I have this on Kindle and I can't seem to find a page number, but she does say that "From my experience with private individual lessons, "quickly" means about half a year." when she's talking about doing your entire house quickly.  It's location 410/2181 I think for my fellow Kindle users.

So holy speediness, batman, if you can do your stuff in a day!!

Yesssss! Thank you. This is helpful for my pitch to family and friends hahah! Six months is MUCH more realistic than what I was thinking.

But ya--one day was enough for me because I'm weird and live in a small space. Mostly the weird part. But if you're on this forum, you're probably weird, too ;-)

wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1625 on: May 06, 2015, 07:47:57 AM »
SisterX, this tickled my funny bone:

Quote
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.

Thanks for the laugh.  I could see a toddler nefariously stealing bits and bobs and concealing them in secret spots!

wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1626 on: May 06, 2015, 08:23:07 AM »
Practical Magic,

I am glad my posts are resonating with you.  It is nice to know we are not alone isn't it?  So much of this in the end seems psychological: why we bought these things, why we hold onto them, how we feel once they are gone.  I can see why the KonMari method includes talking to the items, almost as a way of consciously closing out a segment of our lives that no longer serves us.

Quote
it must have a psychological heaviness which keeps me from dealing with it. The minute I pick up one of the items, I go into zombie mode. I'm pretty sure that's the opposite of sparking joy.

Zombie mode is fascinating to me, the way our minds shut down in response to certain things, and the way our limbs become heavy and too tired to deal.  I wonder whether de-cluttering can be a way to access our core issues?  The next best seller will be "Journal while you de-clutter- a guide to finding your inner self by peeling back layers of materialism".


dorothyc

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1627 on: May 06, 2015, 01:41:39 PM »
I have the Marie Kondo Kindle edition too and from one paragraph I happened to have open:

"Make tidying a special event, not a daily chore [...] tidying should be done just once. Or, to put it more accurately, the work of tidying should be completed once and for all within a single period of time.[...] the purpose of this book is to inspire you to tackle the 'special event' of putting your house in order as soon as possible."

I have read the whole book, and I definitely have experienced the realization that while before my place was organized, it wasn't tidy. Organized meaning lots of things I didn't need or care for any more were neatly stacked, boxed and sorted.

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1628 on: May 06, 2015, 02:08:14 PM »
I have the Marie Kondo Kindle edition too and from one paragraph I happened to have open:

"Make tidying a special event, not a daily chore [...] tidying should be done just once. Or, to put it more accurately, the work of tidying should be completed once and for all within a single period of time.[...] the purpose of this book is to inspire you to tackle the 'special event' of putting your house in order as soon as possible."

I have read the whole book, and I definitely have experienced the realization that while before my place was organized, it wasn't tidy. Organized meaning lots of things I didn't need or care for any more were neatly stacked, boxed and sorted.
How do you make tidying a special event that is done only once? I haven't read the book yet but for daily tidying up (every night after dinner - putting away daily use things like toys, shoes, etc) I see it happening every day. Or does she mean decluttering?

Practical Magic

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1629 on: May 06, 2015, 02:43:04 PM »
I can see why the KonMari method includes talking to the items, almost as a way of consciously closing out a segment of our lives that no longer serves us.

Quote
it must have a psychological heaviness which keeps me from dealing with it. The minute I pick up one of the items, I go into zombie mode. I'm pretty sure that's the opposite of sparking joy.

Zombie mode is fascinating to me, the way our minds shut down in response to certain things, and the way our limbs become heavy and too tired to deal.  I wonder whether de-cluttering can be a way to access our core issues?  The next best seller will be "Journal while you de-clutter- a guide to finding your inner self by peeling back layers of materialism".

There's the solution...I need to have a talk with these old items before I prep and list them on eBay!  As wacky as it sounds to some, thanking the item for its service or role it played in your life can be helpful. It is a way to thank--and in many cases forgive--your younger self who acquired these items.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 02:44:41 PM by Practical Magic »

AerynLee

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1630 on: May 06, 2015, 03:07:59 PM »
I have the Marie Kondo Kindle edition too and from one paragraph I happened to have open:

"Make tidying a special event, not a daily chore [...] tidying should be done just once. Or, to put it more accurately, the work of tidying should be completed once and for all within a single period of time.[...] the purpose of this book is to inspire you to tackle the 'special event' of putting your house in order as soon as possible."

I have read the whole book, and I definitely have experienced the realization that while before my place was organized, it wasn't tidy. Organized meaning lots of things I didn't need or care for any more were neatly stacked, boxed and sorted.
How do you make tidying a special event that is done only once? I haven't read the book yet but for daily tidying up (every night after dinner - putting away daily use things like toys, shoes, etc) I see it happening every day. Or does she mean decluttering?
What I got from the book is that if you declutter and arrange your house correctly things naturally go in their place. So you don't tidy up periodically you just operate on a normal day-to-day basis and things end up where they should be.
Do you always end up with a pile of shoes by the door? Instead of trying to keep them in a closet, put a shoe organizer by the door so as soon as you take them off where you naturally want to they get put away.
In theory putting away toys after they're done should be part of playing with the toy so there's no tidying up later. The author doesn't have kids so she didn't really address that part and the near impossibility of actually getting kids to do that.
I actually kinda found that problem with her book in general. I think she lives alone so she can't really address how you can do it when you live with other people. In my case with the shoes, DH will take his off in every corner of every single room of the house depending on the day so I can't have the shoes place just be where he takes them off. I always put mine in the same place (which is not in a closet) so that works for me but just not for him.

SisterX

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1631 on: May 06, 2015, 04:59:37 PM »
SisterX, this tickled my funny bone:

Quote
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.

Thanks for the laugh.  I could see a toddler nefariously stealing bits and bobs and concealing them in secret spots!

Yeah, we've been getting lots of laughs over this new phase too.  My husband went to pull a pot out to cook the other night and pulled a clean diaper out of our wok.  "Umm, what's this doing in here?"  "Oh yeah, I wondered what the munchkin was doing in the kitchen earlier."
I've moved our piles of stuff to get rid of into the garage, where Baby can't get to them.  :)

acorn

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1632 on: May 06, 2015, 05:07:37 PM »
In theory putting away toys after they're done should be part of playing with the toy so there's no tidying up later. The author doesn't have kids so she didn't really address that part and the near impossibility of actually getting kids to do that.

I don't have kids but I remembered someone on the forum (can't remember who) said that he/she had set up a giant playmat in a room where the kids would play and put their toys on. At the end of the day, the kids had to put all their toys back onto the mat, and if anything ended outside of the mat, it would get donated. It sounded like a really efficient way to limit the kids' clutter to just one area. Of course, I have no kids so I have no idea if this idea would fly in reality.

FliXFantatier

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1633 on: May 06, 2015, 11:35:27 PM »
What would everyone here answer to this

Why do you declutter?

My SO just doesn't really understand why I'm doing it.
I told her that I want to concentrate on things that make me happy or give my life value.
DVDs that I will never watch again give me no pleasure and just stand there in the shelf (admittedly not hurting anyone).
Things I haven't used in ages and know I wont be using again any time soon or even ever are all on their way out.
She seems to think we have the space for them so why not keep them‽
She is still of the mindset that her bookshelf looks nice even though she will never again touch 99% of the books in it.
I told her if it makes her happy by all means keep them but I won't be keeping mine.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1634 on: May 06, 2015, 11:41:52 PM »
Why do you declutter?
Because everything you own owns a tiny piece of you back.
Because I want to worry less about STUFF and more about people and ducks and great food.
Because it can go to someone who will be blessed by it and be grateful to have it.
Because dusting is a pain in the ass.
Because the sense of calm that comes from a certain space in your home is not unlike the sense of calm that comes from a well laid out book with the proper balance of text and white space.
Because I'm making a statement about what I value based on what I surround myself with.
Because life is too short to be surrounded by things, people or stressors I just don't care about.

madgeylou

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1635 on: May 07, 2015, 06:14:38 AM »
Why do you declutter?

because i'm moving this summer.

because i don't like dragging a bunch of shit around with me.

because a lot of things i own are actually owned by a person i used to be, not by who i am now ...
Be Less Crazy, my blog

Be Less Crazy About Your Body, my book

Madgecast, my podcast on resistance and resilience in 2017 America

My MMM journal

PMG

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1636 on: May 07, 2015, 06:26:16 AM »
Out:

Bag of clothing and shoes
1 vegetable pealer
1 can high heat paint
1 bag of organic fertilizer
Notes from this semester scanned and recycled
1 box books - I packed the small box I want to keep. The rest are out and accessible so I can read the this summer, they will all be donated before I move whether I read them or not.

2 sewing projects complete and ready for pickup.

midweststache

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1637 on: May 07, 2015, 06:45:45 AM »
Why do you declutter?

I want everything I own to be relevant to my life and to make me happy; no clutter for the sake of having "stuff."
Being conscious about consumption is good for the environment; decluttering helps me realize just how much unnecessary crap I've consumed.
I want to focus my energy toward people and relationships, not the things I own.
I live in 800 sq ft; if I don't declutter I'll be over-run.
^ Relevant for being a good role model for any future progeny I have.

Also:
I like a (relatively) minimalist aesthetic.
I hate cleaning, and not having as much crap means I can clean less frequently and it takes less time.
We'll be moving eventually (2-3 years), and the less stuff to haul, the better.

Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1638 on: May 07, 2015, 07:29:29 AM »
Why do you declutter?

I live in a tiny apartment with limited storage space, so extra stuff=cramped living.
I also want cleaning to be a lot easier without having to move boxes/stuff around that I don't use.
I want the things that I do use to be accessible.
Stuff weighs me down. I have a lot of unfinished projects that sort of hang over me as constant "to dos." I want to cut those loose and free myself of them, only keeping the projects that I'm happy to complete.
I'd rather someone get use out of an item, otherwise it's being wasted by me (part of my enviro/usefulness bent).

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1639 on: May 07, 2015, 07:35:20 AM »
What would everyone here answer to this

Why do you declutter?

My SO just doesn't really understand why I'm doing it.
I told her that I want to concentrate on things that make me happy or give my life value.
DVDs that I will never watch again give me no pleasure and just stand there in the shelf (admittedly not hurting anyone).
Things I haven't used in ages and know I wont be using again any time soon or even ever are all on their way out.
She seems to think we have the space for them so why not keep them‽
She is still of the mindset that her bookshelf looks nice even though she will never again touch 99% of the books in it.
I told her if it makes her happy by all means keep them but I won't be keeping mine.
Because I hate seeing stuff go to waste. If someone can use it, great!!

Because I hate cleaning!

Because I like open airy spaces.

Because I love the lightness having less stuff brings to mind - less to worry about, less to maintain and definitely less to hold on to!

Because if I have less, I find I enjoy the ones I have more. I recently went from 500+ books to 20. Guess which books get read and reread and give joy every time? Heck! I get joy just seeing all my favorites stacked in my book shelf instead of dreading the boxes of books stored in my storage.

Because it makes me badass!! Decluttering had taught me how much less I need to live a happy, full life! (And I'm barely scratching the surface... I'm sure I can live on 10% of what I have and still be happy - 50% would still be a decadent life)

Because it makes life easy.

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1640 on: May 07, 2015, 07:35:45 AM »
What would everyone here answer to this

Why do you declutter?

My SO just doesn't really understand why I'm doing it.
I told her that I want to concentrate on things that make me happy or give my life value.
DVDs that I will never watch again give me no pleasure and just stand there in the shelf (admittedly not hurting anyone).
Things I haven't used in ages and know I wont be using again any time soon or even ever are all on their way out.
She seems to think we have the space for them so why not keep them‽
She is still of the mindset that her bookshelf looks nice even though she will never again touch 99% of the books in it.
I told her if it makes her happy by all means keep them but I won't be keeping mine.
Because I hate seeing stuff go to waste. If someone can use it, great!!

Because I hate cleaning!

Because I like open airy spaces.

Because I love the lightness having less stuff brings to mind - less to worry about, less to maintain and definitely less to hold on to!

Because if I have less, I find I enjoy the ones I have more. I recently went from 500+ books to 20. Guess which books get read and reread and give joy every time? Heck! I get joy just seeing all my favorites stacked in my book shelf instead of dreading the boxes of books stored in my storage.

Because it makes me badass!! Decluttering had taught me how much less I need to live a happy, full life! (And I'm barely scratching the surface... I'm sure I can live on 10% of what I have and still be happy - 50% would still be a decadent life)

Because it makes life easy.

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1641 on: May 07, 2015, 07:44:22 AM »
Why do you declutter?

Because too much stuff sets off OCD
Because I hate having to move things in order to vacuum
Because I've seen what a horder-in-training looks like and it repulses me
Because I don't like to dust
Because I know that when I buy a house it'll be small

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1642 on: May 07, 2015, 07:52:35 AM »
Decluttering my house is resulting in some life decluttering too! I decided all the books I have been waiting to read must be read, or donated. Well, I started one, and I hate it. But my ex-literature student ego makes me want to plough on and finish it, just so I can know I have read it.

What?! Yeah, I'm going to get over myself and donate it. I don't know why I feel that reading should be hard work. It's fine to read easy novels just for fun! I don't have to have read every classic before I die just to know that I have.

AerynLee

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1643 on: May 07, 2015, 08:00:15 AM »
Why do you declutter?
I don't handle chaos very well so when all the flat surfaces are clear I'm much calmer and more at peace.

As others have said, clutter is generally a pile of to-do's; shirts that need a new button, books that need read, an item that needs repaired, etc. And that mental clutter can cause a lot of stress. When you let it go and say "I don't need to do this it reduces that continuous mental to-do list and lets you focus on the the stuff that you actually want or need to do which makes me a happier person

DagobertDuck

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1644 on: May 07, 2015, 10:42:35 AM »
Why do you declutter?
I don't want to work 5 days 9-5.
I don't want to work 'till I'm 67.
I don't want to live enslaved by a mortgage to live in a huge home.
My tolerance for chaos and stress is limited.
Therefore I must live a frugal and modest life, and decluttering/minimalism seems the way to go.

tofuchampion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1645 on: May 07, 2015, 11:03:59 AM »
Why do you declutter?

I just hate seeing stuff everywhere. It makes me feel stressed. I prefer the look of a clean space without a lot of clutter - or a lot of storage containers.
There are no impossible obstacles, there are only stronger and weaker wills. (Jules Verne)

4alpacas

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1646 on: May 07, 2015, 11:20:32 AM »
Why do you declutter?

I just hate seeing stuff everywhere. It makes me feel stressed. I prefer the look of a clean space without a lot of clutter - or a lot of storage containers.
YES!  This is my problem.  Messes and clutter stress me out. 

JLee

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1647 on: May 07, 2015, 04:45:18 PM »
I feel motivated to clean out tools today. I have two rollarounds and a bunch of other stuff - I want to pull a car out of the garage and empty both tool chests on the floor, then sort everything in a logical manner (and get rid of what I don't need).

Wish me luck. :P

handsnhearts

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1648 on: May 07, 2015, 04:53:28 PM »
Why do you declutter?
I don't handle chaos very well so when all the flat surfaces are clear I'm much calmer and more at peace.

As others have said, clutter is generally a pile of to-do's; shirts that need a new button, books that need read, an item that needs repaired, etc. And that mental clutter can cause a lot of stress. When you let it go and say "I don't need to do this it reduces that continuous mental to-do list and lets you focus on the the stuff that you actually want or need to do which makes me a happier person

This!!!!

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1649 on: May 07, 2015, 05:21:41 PM »
I feel motivated to clean out tools today. I have two rollarounds and a bunch of other stuff - I want to pull a car out of the garage and empty both tool chests on the floor, then sort everything in a logical manner (and get rid of what I don't need).

Wish me luck. :P

Tools, the one thing I will never get rid of or pare down.