Author Topic: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!  (Read 773720 times)

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1700 on: May 14, 2015, 05:46:37 AM »

Awesome job, advicist! Would love your face cream recipe. Sounds delicious!

Sure, it's really easy. Excuse how I've mixed up weights and volumes, it's cobbled together from various recipes and I keep meaning to convert it by working out a volume for the beeswax.

Melt together in a double boiler:
10g beeswax
2 tablespoons each: Coconut oil, sweet almond oil
A few drops rose essential oil
2 Vit e capsules (squeeze the contents out, discard the outer)

(the EO and Vit e capsules are optional really. It was an investment buying these so I didn't use them until I was sure I was going to keep making my own, and everything turned out fine. I use Rose because I have dry skin, you could change for whatever suits yours).

Allow to cool. As soon as you start to see beeswax solidifying at the sides of the bowl start whisking (by hand). This is to evenly distribute the beeswax, otherwise it will form lumps.

When the mixture is fairly cool, but still a little warm to the touch, whisk in (in stages):
1/2 cup Aloe Vera Gel.

You do need the gel. It was easy to buy online and I've seen it at health food stores. Do not mix it in while the oil mixture is hot, or later on it will separate out. But if the oil mixture is totally cold the shock of the cold Aloe will make the beeswax solidify in clumps. You want the oil slightly warm, the aloe at room temperature.

Whisk together until cool. Doesn't take long. Makes two decent sized jars, probably 1 1/2 cups.

Hope you like it! It's quite rich, but not greasy. The aloe was the magic ingredient for me. Every other recipe I tried was so greasy I had to wash my hair after applying it! The aloe vera gel makes the greasiness evaporate away somehow.

starbuck

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1701 on: May 14, 2015, 06:36:25 AM »
I'm trying to let go of some old beauty magazines and am surprisingly having a hard time. They've gone back and forth from throwaway to consider pile. I'm not sure what is making me keep them.... definitely not joy, since once they are in consider pile, I put them out again. But when I see them in clutter pile, I pull them back. :( does anyone else have this issue with anything else? How did you tackle it?

Rip out the pages of things you are interested in keeping.  Throw away the rest.  Later, go through the pile of pages, and realize you don't need any of it :)

I used to do this, but managing binders of ripped out pages was a PITA. Now when there's something I want to refer back to in a magazine, I take a picture of it with my phone and upload it to Pinterest. Or I find the article on the magazine website and add THAT to my pinterest board.

I've also stopped subscribing to magazines...

Emilyngh

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1702 on: May 14, 2015, 06:51:14 AM »
I am enjoying reading all the stories on here.  Yesterday I got rid of two shirts, two dresses and a fancy skirt and reorganised my closet again. 

With the capsule wardrobe are there a winter and summer set of clothes or 33 pieces total?


Up to 4 sets of 33 pieces (33 pieces that you can switch out every 3 months).   Most people probably repeat most items, so they don't have nearly that many, but one could.

Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1703 on: May 14, 2015, 07:21:38 AM »

Awesome job, advicist! Would love your face cream recipe. Sounds delicious!

Hope you like it! It's quite rich, but not greasy. The aloe was the magic ingredient for me. Every other recipe I tried was so greasy I had to wash my hair after applying it! The aloe vera gel makes the greasiness evaporate away somehow.

Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!

plainjane

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1704 on: May 14, 2015, 07:27:27 AM »
With the capsule wardrobe are there a winter and summer set of clothes or 33 pieces total?

For the capsule, it would probably depend on your weather and personal tolerance for washing.  AFAIK the original 33 pieces was from the 333 wardrobe - 33 pieces for 3 months.  Technically that would be 4 sets, but you're probably going to reuse some pieces in all your capsules.  If I was following this to the letter, I'd probably have two core capsule wardrobes with moderate overlap, and mix&match for the two transition seasons.

You'll also find when you dig into this that some people include shoes, others do not.  Some include workout gear, others not.  To a certain extent to me it's like the discussions here about whether or not you include your house in your net worth calculation. :)
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CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1705 on: May 14, 2015, 07:36:28 AM »
Got rid of my "fancy" dresses that I don't wear anymore:
- one I wore to my brother's wedding in 2006 and never again
- one I wore to my masters in bioethics graduation in 2007 and never again
- one I wore to my *cough, don't laugh* law school prom in 2007 and a wedding a few months later and...you guessed it, never again.  Tried this one on last night and it still fits, but it doesn't look as good on me now.  I also noticed it has a stain or yellowing mark on the front somehow that I doubt I'm going to be able get out at this point. 

All of these were hidden away in a giant zip up bag to keep away moths.  Out of sight, out of mind apparently.

Note to self: Don't buy formal gowns or at least only have one at a time.  My only consolation was the last two were fairly cheap.

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1706 on: May 14, 2015, 07:37:44 AM »
For my papers, I have a file box with hanging folders. About once a year I go through and clean it out, but since even when it's "full" the box is only half full, I don't care that much.

I do need to go through clothes. I ran out of hangers after a shopping trip (Goodwill!), and while I need the stuff I bought, I don't need other things that I've had for years.

handsnhearts

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1707 on: May 14, 2015, 07:38:33 AM »
Thanks. This is a wonderful recipe. Does it turn out fluffy like whipped cream?  I just bought some new face cream to replace my old one and I tried something cheaper. I don't like  it as much. Your recipe sounds much nicer.


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iowajes

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1708 on: May 14, 2015, 07:41:18 AM »
So I picked two areas of my house to declutter last weekend. They were possibly the smallest areas I could have picked, but I got them done: the hallway closet and my makeup drawer.

Makeup drawer: I now own NO makeup. I did not have any makeup that I had purchased in the last year. I had some that was purchased in the mid 90s!!!!   It is all gone, and the things left in the drawer (nail polish, nail clippers, hair ties, combs) are all neatly organized.

Hall closet: We got rid of 5 old coats/jackets (well, they are in a Goodwill box, but we have enough storage space that we will hold onto that in a specific location until it is nearer to the season where Goodwill needs coats.).  We moved a few sentimental items to a different storage location that makes more sense.  I threw out an old vacuum that is broken. We broke down 12 cardboard boxes (mostly empty) and put them out for recycling.

Small progress, but I'm pleased.

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1709 on: May 14, 2015, 08:12:56 AM »
Got rid of my "fancy" dresses that I don't wear anymore:
- one I wore to my brother's wedding in 2006 and never again
- one I wore to my masters in bioethics graduation in 2007 and never again
- one I wore to my *cough, don't laugh* law school prom in 2007 and a wedding a few months later and...you guessed it, never again.  Tried this one on last night and it still fits, but it doesn't look as good on me now.  I also noticed it has a stain or yellowing mark on the front somehow that I doubt I'm going to be able get out at this point. 

All of these were hidden away in a giant zip up bag to keep away moths.  Out of sight, out of mind apparently.

Note to self: Don't buy formal gowns or at least only have one at a time.  My only consolation was the last two were fairly cheap.

Your post just gave me an idea... We get invited to a lot of charity dos that are black tie. I live in fear of needing a formal dress at short notice, and keep a few on hand, but as we often go with the same people, I try not to repeat too much. Well, reading what you read, I checked on ebay, and sure enough... I'm watching a couple of GORGEOUS dresses I might be able to pick up for 99p plus postage! I will get one to have 'on hand' and watch for more. I'm never paying full price again! I don't know why I didn't think of this, I've been buying all handbags, shoes, boots, and work suits from ebay for ages. Thank you!

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1710 on: May 14, 2015, 08:19:12 AM »
Thanks. This is a wonderful recipe. Does it turn out fluffy like whipped cream?  I just bought some new face cream to replace my old one and I tried something cheaper. I don't like  it as much. Your recipe sounds much nicer.


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Whipped cream is an excellent description of the consistency. I like my cream fairly thick as I have dry skin. I think it's one of those things where you have to try it, and then adjust to your liking. So more beeswax = more balm like. More oil = greasier (or slippier, depending on how you look at it!). More aloe = more soothing and evaporates more quickly.

Try half the recipe first and go from there. I had a lot of trial and error at the beginning. I had one big batch that separated, so after a few days water started pooling on top of the oils. Gross. That's why I avoid any recipe with water.

Also, this is very important - write down (or make a computer document) what you use and what you do. Especially if you are substituting things, or altering quantities. I then go back and add my thoughts on how well it turned out. I have a document that says things like:

November 2014 - lists full recipe - too greasy.
February 2015 - full recipe - amazing! Love it! But up next time EO as smell is faint.

When the next time comes I copy and paste the recipe but up the EO amount, as I know I'll forget whether I did it and by how much. This is the only way I made improvements, before each batch was different than the last but unrepeatable, whether it turned out good or bad.

handsnhearts

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1711 on: May 14, 2015, 08:30:36 AM »
Thanks. This is a wonderful recipe. Does it turn out fluffy like whipped cream?  I just bought some new face cream to replace my old one and I tried something cheaper. I don't like  it as much. Your recipe sounds much nicer.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Whipped cream is an excellent description of the consistency. I like my cream fairly thick as I have dry skin. I think it's one of those things where you have to try it, and then adjust to your liking. So more beeswax = more balm like. More oil = greasier (or slippier, depending on how you look at it!). More aloe = more soothing and evaporates more quickly.

Try half the recipe first and go from there. I had a lot of trial and error at the beginning. I had one big batch that separated, so after a few days water started pooling on top of the oils. Gross. That's why I avoid any recipe with water.

Also, this is very important - write down (or make a computer document) what you use and what you do. Especially if you are substituting things, or altering quantities. I then go back and add my thoughts on how well it turned out. I have a document that says things like:

November 2014 - lists full recipe - too greasy.
February 2015 - full recipe - amazing! Love it! But up next time EO as smell is faint.

When the next time comes I copy and paste the recipe but up the EO amount, as I know I'll forget whether I did it and by how much. This is the only way I made improvements, before each batch was different than the last but unrepeatable, whether it turned out good or bad.

Yes, this is good advice (from the advicist:)  I always ( or most always) track what I'm doing with stuff like this.  I even did it when I was making yogurt. 

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1712 on: May 14, 2015, 08:53:46 AM »
handsnhearts I've learnt to start doing it with recipes too! Sometimes something that seems so obvious at the time (of course I'll halve the salt!) isn't obvious when you try to recreate something. I have a batch of lipbalms I made from one internet recipe or another, assuming I'd be able to find it in my bookmarks. I have no idea which one it is... and now, without a lot of trial and error, I won't be able to make it again :(

BriarRose111

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1713 on: May 14, 2015, 11:14:17 AM »
After a little bit of a stall out in Feb and Apr (no items recorded on my purge log), I am back in the game.  I am a little more than 1/3 way there to get to 365.  Though I neglected to record some incoming items. 

I'm trying to look at this as being a slow and steady initiative versus doing it all at once.  Slowly but surely, I am getting rid of some unneeded stuff (mostly clothes - it is amazing how much one can accumulate through the years. I'm going to blame my job)

SisterX

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1714 on: May 14, 2015, 11:31:03 AM »
SisterX, how did you get it down to one accordion file of paper?  Do you keep any bills, etc? 

No, I don't keep any bills.  All of those are online only.  I have all my bills set to auto-pay, with the statements coming to my email so I see how much it is, then double-check the amount paid with my credit card statement, also online.  It takes far less time to do that than it did to deal with paper bills, and now I don't have all that paper cluttering up my house, nor do I have to take it to work to shred so it saves me even more time/effort.
I don't keep any receipts, either, because I check it all online.  My parents asked me a while ago how I can possibly keep track of all my spending that way and my first thought was to ask, how much do you think we spend?  Beyond bills and groceries, we don't spend much, so it's easy to remember what we spent and where.  When you only go out to eat once every couple of months, it sticks in your mind.  When you only go shopping when enough of your clothes are falling apart to make (thrift) shopping worthwhile, it sticks in your mind.  Receipts are unnecessary.


On Marie Kondo's advice I went through my second folder, the one full of manuals, and got rid of almost all of them.  I kept just a few which I thought might come in handy at some point, but I could probably get rid of those, as well, and be just fine.  I'm ok with keeping 3 manuals around, though.

BriarRose111

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1715 on: May 14, 2015, 05:32:29 PM »
Every spring and fall, my city has a "clean-up" week.  Residents can bring all kinds of stuff to dump for free. They even unload for you.  Got rid of a few more bulky items today.  This really is a nice benefit.   

Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1716 on: May 15, 2015, 04:49:22 AM »
Any quilters/crafters have tips for decluttering patterns, unfinished projects, and fabric/materials? Sorry if this has already been covered. My issue is a quilt I started for a nephew, who is now nearing 2 years old. I keep saying I'm going to get to it, but I haven't sewn in about two years (other than patching). I just don't want to do it, and I'm not sure if I'm even able to do it, but I feel bad not making him a quilt. Also, I'm hesitant to give away all my other supplies because I have a cyclical pattern with hobbies where I'll do something for years then take a few years off then do it again for years. Anyone else in this boat?

swick

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1717 on: May 15, 2015, 05:02:17 AM »
sooo...a MAJOR stumbling block to my cleaning up and getting rid of crap plan was that we had to consolidate two offices and a hobby room when we moved. So I have been stumbling over boxes and random electronic hobby parts, butchered computers, spare parts and having no idea how to organize them or what is important.

Mr. Swick came into the office last night and said" I want to get this space cleaned up so we can use it!" This is not like him, he is more comfortable in clutter the I am. I JUMPED on the chance and we have at least three boxes of e-waste that we can dispose of! Once I find a place that takes it that is. Soo happy! It's a GOOD day!

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1718 on: May 15, 2015, 08:46:28 AM »
Any quilters/crafters have tips for decluttering patterns, unfinished projects, and fabric/materials? Sorry if this has already been covered. My issue is a quilt I started for a nephew, who is now nearing 2 years old. I keep saying I'm going to get to it, but I haven't sewn in about two years (other than patching). I just don't want to do it, and I'm not sure if I'm even able to do it, but I feel bad not making him a quilt. Also, I'm hesitant to give away all my other supplies because I have a cyclical pattern with hobbies where I'll do something for years then take a few years off then do it again for years. Anyone else in this boat?

I do needlepoint, as does my mom. I specifically plan projects to use materials I (or my mom) already have. This is mostly yarn. I also don't buy canvases in advance. My mom is the only one who would buy me a canvas, which helps. Mom has also been trying to use up some of her yarn supply. Between the two of us, we've reduced it by about a third in the past several years (we still have 2 garbage bag-sized cloth bags full of yarn). This is a work in progress clearly.

The next step we need to take is to weed out the yarn that has degraded and isn't usable. Mom is not going to go for this, so I'm just leaving it. It's in her house. I have a huge bag of odds and ends at my house that I'm using for a project, so will get rid of the really small/bad stuff before I give the rest back.

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1719 on: May 15, 2015, 09:10:41 AM »
Any quilters/crafters have tips for decluttering patterns, unfinished projects, and fabric/materials? Sorry if this has already been covered. My issue is a quilt I started for a nephew, who is now nearing 2 years old. I keep saying I'm going to get to it, but I haven't sewn in about two years (other than patching). I just don't want to do it, and I'm not sure if I'm even able to do it, but I feel bad not making him a quilt. Also, I'm hesitant to give away all my other supplies because I have a cyclical pattern with hobbies where I'll do something for years then take a few years off then do it again for years. Anyone else in this boat?

1) Recognize what you won't complete for whatever reason.  Sometimes I start a project I think will be interesting, but isn't and I lose interest and it's hard to finish.  If you almost done you can soldier on, but if you're not, consider confessing to  your sister or brother and offering it to them if they want to finish it.  Otherwise, you can give away to a quilting group that donates quilts.  e.g. my mom makes quilts for her church that they give away to those in need of comfort (just had major surgery, etc.) or in need (they donate to Lutheran World Relief).

2) Cull out scraps not really good for anything (too small or unsuitable).  Cull out fabric you no longer like.  Give away on craigslist or to a friend.

3) Set a project for what's left and slowly work through it.  It should be more enjoyable because it's material and projects you're more interested in and enthused about.

4) Impose a moratorium on new materials coming in until you've worked down what's left.

I find I go in cycles of working on projects.  So I'm ok taking a lengthy break (it's been a few years since I've done cross-stitch, but I've made 3 quilts during that time), but I don't allow myself to buy anything new in the meantime then until I've finished the old projects.  This helps cut down on the stockpiles.

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1720 on: May 15, 2015, 05:54:30 PM »
Thank you! This is exactly what I needed. I didn't know people would finish partially completed quilts. I feel better knowing the beautiful fabric will get used up and will potentially go to someone in need. Also, it's liberating to think about allowing myself to give up on the quilt, to say that I don't always have to be a super duper producer if it doesn't match what I want to be doing.

AerynLee

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1721 on: May 16, 2015, 02:29:28 PM »
I found a great way to get rid of garage chemicals. I had stuff like starter fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, and new and used oil that our old roommate left that we don't need and some old gasoline. A local small farmer took all of it to use on his tractors. The used oil will be used to seal wood, they said it was better than chemicals made for it like Thompson's Water Seal.

We're just about done sorting through our stuff in anticipation of our move. We've sold some of the items worth the trouble of selling online and have set aside the rest of what we'll try to sell. I'm thinking we'll do a garage sale the last weekend of May. I've never done one and don't think we'll get much but DH wants to try so we'll give it a shot and see how we do. So far we've made $220 which isn't too bad considering I didn't think we had much of anything worth selling

Squirrel away

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1722 on: May 17, 2015, 04:53:34 AM »
I read the Kondo book too. :) I followed a lot of her ideas and my house is far less cluttered. I am thinking about moving house so we have packed some stuff into boxes ready to move and everything feels a lot more organised. I love her samosa carrier bag idea!

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1723 on: May 17, 2015, 05:14:51 AM »
New to the thread.

We've got an international move coming up in less than 4 months, and another one 8 months later, and I'm trying to really organize and purge. 

Every week day, I do at least one area--costume jewelry or one shelf in the linen closet or my warm weather sweaters.  Sometimes I'll end up doing 2 or 3, but committing to one area keeps me from feeling overwhelmed. 

The pile of "donate" is growing faster than I can haul it out.  Still tons of progress needed, but this feels a little different than past efforts where I end up getting rid of a few sweaters with holes and a kitchen gadget I've never used. It's less of a struggle for some reason, and I don't feel like I'm sacrificing or forcing myself to get rid of stuff.  I look at a thing and feel nothing as a toss it. 

Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1724 on: May 17, 2015, 08:32:32 AM »
Sold a wireless keyboard today and listed a bunch of other stuff to sell and donate. I didn't realize how many individual items we had until I started listing stuff for sale and on freecycle. I also noticed that a lot of the posts on Freecycle are offers as opposed to wants, and I'm not getting as many responses as I used to for excellent items. Perchance a sea change in consumption habits? One can hope.

horsepoor

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1725 on: May 17, 2015, 10:26:27 AM »
I did a bit more purging yesterday.  We just got home from two weeks in Peru, and like the previous poster living in the Philippines said, seeing people who have little to nothing really makes you realize your excess.  For some reason I had a box of 5-year old Lowe's receipts and the random keys that came with our house and don't fit any locks. Getting rid of more clothes and shoes, magazines, and a small hydration backpack that I used once when training for a long-distance race.


swick

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1726 on: May 17, 2015, 10:52:59 AM »
I have been enjoying the "life changing art" but there is still stuff that doesn't spark joy that we need to keep - and there is stuff that does that really, I don't need and would probably spark joy for someone else too. I have been using that plus the 80/20 rule as my litmus and it seems to be working really good so far.

Ina  nutshell, we use 20% of our things about 80% of the time. It might not be a perfect 80/20 split, but that isn't really the point. The more I look at using things, the more true I find this, from spices and kitchen utensils, to board games and books. The flip side of this is about 80% of what we own does not spark joy or is not being used.  I have found that using both concepts cuts down on the grey areas and makes purging easier.

PMG

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1727 on: May 17, 2015, 11:38:40 AM »
I froze an inch of water in the bottom of a cottage cheese container.  I sewed up a useless decorative linen "dishtowel" my mom got for me, just made it into a pouch.  I placed the disk of ice inside, smacked it a few times with my kitchen hammer then made myself an iced coffee with my cold brewed coffee and some homemade rum vanilla.  My foodie brother tells me that my ice smashing bag is called a "Lewis bag".  I'm pleased to use what I had on hand and not buy and store and move and throw out another item.  I don't use much ice, but I do love iced coffee.

PMG

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1728 on: May 17, 2015, 07:51:48 PM »
out:

lipstick (yuck)
jewelry cleaner (I used it once, 10 years ago)
eye make up remover (i'll use coconut oil)
throat spray (expired)
emptied and tossed another spool of thread.

Cleaned out the car, loaded it for goodwill. Bags and cooler ready for greocery run. Prepped for trash day.

shew.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1729 on: May 17, 2015, 09:47:09 PM »
Another big load of stuff to the thrift store + another giant trash bag finished the garage cleanup. The garage is our dumping ground, but also one of the biggest workhorse rooms in the house for garden and productive home storage. So when it becomes a complete disaster, there is this knock-on effect. All the unsold crap from the garage sale plus even more purged items have been sitting there for 2 weeks. After a good afternoon of cleaning and tidying, our garage is now, like, a place I'd hang out and spend time. Is that weird?

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1730 on: May 18, 2015, 05:28:53 AM »
Any quilters/crafters have tips for decluttering patterns, unfinished projects, and fabric/materials? Sorry if this has already been covered. My issue is a quilt I started for a nephew, who is now nearing 2 years old. I keep saying I'm going to get to it, but I haven't sewn in about two years (other than patching). I just don't want to do it, and I'm not sure if I'm even able to do it, but I feel bad not making him a quilt. Also, I'm hesitant to give away all my other supplies because I have a cyclical pattern with hobbies where I'll do something for years then take a few years off then do it again for years. Anyone else in this boat?

Yep. I have an elaborate embroidery I started when a niece was born... she turns 4 soon. I don't know WHY I don't like it and want to give it to her, I just don't. It's really almost finished, but I just cannot bring myself to finish it off and send it. Maybe I'm worried she won't appreciate it? That would be a ridiculous reason. And even more ridiculous to throw it in the bin because it might not be appreciated - it definitely won't get that at the dump.

Anyway, the point is it makes me feel bad - to look at it, to think of finishing it and giving it to her. So I am going to get rid of it. Thank you for making me think about it.

As for my craft stash, I am getting much better at only buying stuff I *love*. I don't buy stuff because it's cheap, or useful, or whatever. But I have given myself permission to buy ANY fabric I absolutely love. And that has (strangely) made me buy much much less. Because I know if I can buy anything I want, I don't need to get this 'just in case'. I can wait, and as soon as I see something I absolutely adore (rarer than I thought), I get it.

I've been concentrating on using up the fabric stash. For me, that meant pulling out fabric, a pattern, and cutting it out NOW. I don't have to sew it up now, but having it all cut out (and in my new 'work in progress drawer') feels so good. It also means when I want to sew I can get straight to it (I generally dislike cutting out).

I've also been through the stash and sold (on ebay) anything that 1) I bought when I was new to this and didn't understand what I liked / what was good fabric 2) anything I bought online which wasn't what I thought. I recovered about half the cost, and a lot of peace of mind, it was definitely worth it. Good luck taming the craft monster!

tmac

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1731 on: May 18, 2015, 07:10:49 AM »
I witnessed a clutter trainwreck this weekend that I thought I'd share. Maybe it'll be inspiring to someone.

My mother's friend, an artist, is moving -- downsizing from a fairly large townhouse into a small apartment.  So far, so good.

The sale of the townhouse closed on Saturday morning. She needed to be out by the following Friday, which I thought was pretty generous of the new owner. I went over that morning to pick up a drafting table she was giving away. We'd been looking for one for my daughter. All good.

I walked into the seemingly empty house, and turned the corner to see that the floor of her art studio was still covered with stuff -- frames, paint, finished canvases, easels, etc. No place to walk. And the three large closets were full to the ceiling.

Her husband is 90 years old and not able to help, and I couldn't bear to leave my mom and her friend there to deal with it alone, so I stayed. Six hours later, we'd cleared the closets and a 10 x 5 foot space on the floor. I had a load in my car for the Goodwill. My mom's car was full of art supplies.

At 5pm, the new owner called and says she's changed her mind. She needs to be out by the very next day. Much stress. It'll never happen.

As we left, my mom offered to take her painting bag to her house, so she could still paint while getting her own studio set up. The woman turned to me and said, "This'll be great! As long as I have that bag, I'm all set! That's all I need!"

I just slowly turned around and looked at the rest of the stuff in the room. My mom laughed and said, "Oh, you're going to regret saying that! Now she's going to make you get rid of everything else!"

I'd already pushed her enough and the clock was ticking, so I didn't, but it was ridiculous. She could be doing just fine with just that bag and a much smaller stash of supplies. Instead, she has this hugely stressful situation. She was going to have to rent a truck, kill herself to get it loaded and unloaded, then pay for a storage unit because the new place is too small for all of it.

I told my mom later that she is on notice. When she and my dad are ready to downsize, she better have decluttered first. I'll even help. But there's no excuse for this kind of silliness.

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1732 on: May 18, 2015, 08:56:04 AM »
Someone's brain waves hit me yesterday! Out of the blue, I sat down and went through my file box. Shredded about 3 inches of paper, threw out another 3 inches.

Then I finally got around to swapping winter for summer clothes (been meaning to do this for several weeks). While I was at it, started setting aside everything that I haven't worn, and knew I wouldn't wear for whatever reason. 3 bags of stuff ready to go to Goodwill, just gotta get them into the car and drop them off.

Hopefully this will continue - spending Memorial Day weekend at my parent's house. My sister will be there too, which is excellent because we're planning on going through the attic and helping to declutter. I'm sure there will be a ton of stuff that will not be eligible to go, but even a car load will help.

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1733 on: May 18, 2015, 09:14:25 AM »
Small steps...  I went through my underwear and culled out the uncomfortable (but free) Victoria's Secret items that are too small.  (Why they can't have consistent sizing, I do not know.)  Also culled old items.  Went through my socks and removed a few pairs that were getting threadbare or had holes.  Started going through our closet, and put away tools that were still lingering up there from a project.  Convinced DH to get rid of flip flops given at a wedding.  A very nice idea, but somehow the sizing got terribly off between what the guests told the bride and what we received.

Villanelle

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1734 on: May 18, 2015, 10:01:23 AM »
Worked on the basement today.  I tossed a bunch of old gift bags.  I reuse them, but living away from family, I mail all our presents.  So I've been hauling this bags around for 3 countries and 5 years.  Out!  A few other odds and ends either tossed or added to Mt. Donate, which is quickly becoming quite the landmark in our basement. 

Maybe it's counter-intuitive (or even counter-mustachian), but I find that if I remind myself, "you can always buy another one", it makes it much easier.  If I need a wall clock to replace the one I donated today, and which I've had since college and haven't used in 2 years and probably cost $9.99 at target, I can buy one.  *When I actually need and will use it.*  And that frees me from the "but what if I need it someday?  I'll have wasted $9.99" mentality that causes me to hold on to stuff. 

Zamboni

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1735 on: May 18, 2015, 09:43:47 PM »
I read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying up book and went to work on my own closet since that is where she says to start. Clothes seem like the least of my problems so it was really easy to sack up and donate about 2/3 of my wardrobe this morning. I did keep most of the shoes. Now I just have to get what is left here completely put away . . .

Hooray I also sold 3 old bikes!  One is already boomer-ranging back (made a separate thread about that), but it felt good to unload them.

Books are next on the chopping block.

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1736 on: May 19, 2015, 03:57:24 AM »
Worked on the basement today.  I tossed a bunch of old gift bags.  I reuse them, but living away from family, I mail all our presents.  So I've been hauling this bags around for 3 countries and 5 years.  Out!  A few other odds and ends either tossed or added to Mt. Donate, which is quickly becoming quite the landmark in our basement. 

Maybe it's counter-intuitive (or even counter-mustachian), but I find that if I remind myself, "you can always buy another one", it makes it much easier. If I need a wall clock to replace the one I donated today, and which I've had since college and haven't used in 2 years and probably cost $9.99 at target, I can buy one.  *When I actually need and will use it.*  And that frees me from the "but what if I need it someday?  I'll have wasted $9.99" mentality that causes me to hold on to stuff.

I think it's very mustacian! Wasn't it MMM who said, "Let Craigslist store it", or some version of that?

If you keep stuff in your house 'in case' you are paying in mortgage / maintenance / opportunity cost for the space that is holding the stuff. Less stuff = smaller housing costs = mustacian. And since we mustacians only buy used anyway, the cost to rebuy would likely be small (and therefore smaller than the cost of having unused assets sitting around).

All that to say, I find that very liberating too. I also read on a great blog (A Slob Comes Clean), that if you wouldn't know you had one, or where to look for it, get rid, since you'd only buy one when you needed it anyway. A tip from there that has REALLY helped me is, when you want to give something a home, don't ask, "Where should I keep this", but ask "Where would I look for this if I needed it".

I don't know why this was such a breakthrough for me, but I always know where I would LOOK for something, but I struggled over where to put things. No more.

handsnhearts

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1737 on: May 19, 2015, 07:48:21 AM »
I reads slob comes clean too!  Good stuff, but I'm finding this thread and KonMari more useful right now. But I like Noni's perspective on things.


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Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1738 on: May 19, 2015, 08:40:39 AM »
Thanks, advicist! I feel the same way about my unfinished projects as you! Feels good not to be the only one. I love your stash busting ideas: cutting out and reserving is an excellent idea, since it's also my least favorite part. Thanks for turning me on to A Slob Comes Clean. She's funny!

I've been trying to give away fabric for free, but no one will take it (is everyone decluttering?). I didn't list out specifics, just big bag of fabric, which probably isn't helping. I'm going to try and sell it on ebay since it's nice stuff.

I sold a backpacking backpack that I had for nearly a decade and used once. Feels so good to be rid of it. It's too large, and if I ever do become a camper/vagabonder, I'd want a smaller pack. Goodbye aspirational self!

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1739 on: May 19, 2015, 09:01:42 AM »
Glad you liked A Slob Comes Clean nancy. I was put off at first by the terrible (sorry, Dana) web design, but in the end read it start to finish because we have the same brain! I seriously get so excited when she posts! Nearly as excited as when new MMMnew posts come out.

And thanks for the kind words, I love all the back and forth on this thread, it's helping me so much.

Villanelle

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1740 on: May 19, 2015, 10:14:52 AM »
Today's progress is barely noticeable, but every little bit counts.  I have 2 cases (like a tackle box) of old makeup.  Nothing wrong with it.  Colors I ended up not liking, products I didn't care for, etc. I threw out probably 80% of it. 


Less than 4 months until the move, and there's lots to be done, but I love that every day I know I am closer--either a little or a bit more--to being where I want to be. 

I continue to struggle with small appliances.  Currently, we live in Germany so we bought (used) 220v appliances for the stuff we use regularly (microwave, fans, crock pot, water kettle).  All our 110v stuff is in a pile in the basement.  It will go into storage (government paid) while we are in the States for 8 months, and once we get to Japan, it will get used.  But for now, I have all these appliances.  In this case, I don't think it makes sense to sell and re-buy, but it is a damn lot of stuff to store.  Similarly, we have all the 110v extension cords, adaptors, power strips, etc.  Just sitting in a pile, taking up space.  It would be silly to purge them, as they have a concrete use in a set amount of time, but it's a pain to work around them.

In about 3.5 months, I can start selling the 220v stuff.  I'm willing to take a hit on price if I can find someone willing to take all or most of it, rather than having to deal with a couple dozen $10 sales, people flaking, etc.  I'll give away stuff like the lightbulbs (new and used), but some of the rest of it has a decent amount of value. 

And I'm off to check out A Slob Comes Clean!
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 10:22:46 AM by Villanelle »

1967mama

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1741 on: May 19, 2015, 12:02:25 PM »
We got a reminder phone call today that TOMORROW the truck is coming to pick up our clothing, bedding, toys, books, dvds, small appliances and small electronics for the thrift store. Such a good kick in the pants to get me going on decluttering! I have each of the kids in their bedrooms with a garbage bag and will do mine after my morning cup of tea.

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1742 on: May 20, 2015, 10:44:11 AM »
Decluttering has crawled to a stop due to work and other commitments. But I'm trying to throw away one thing a day. With that strategy, I've cleared up our magazine rack completely. 20 items thrown that would be cluttering my home otherwise.

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1743 on: May 22, 2015, 02:51:32 AM »
Got rid of two eyeliners. I was still using them, but they are the pencil kind and when sharpened the wood was leaving splinters. Not a good idea near eyes, I didn't think! Will not replace them for the time being - I have another one which I will use up.

Finished making a dress for a wedding this weekend, I'm quite pleased with it. I'm mostly pleased that it means I can move onto other projects - I've got three dresses finished except for hemming but I didn't have room to do it before this one was finished. Love getting stuff out of the sewing drawer and into the wardrobe.

I've been doing the 'hang the hangers back to front' thing and realised I had a lot of stuff I wasn't wearing, so out it has gone to make room!

Squirrel away

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1744 on: May 22, 2015, 04:00:42 AM »
Got rid of two eyeliners. I was still using them, but they are the pencil kind and when sharpened the wood was leaving splinters. Not a good idea near eyes, I didn't think! Will not replace them for the time being - I have another one which I will use up.



I have exactly the same problem with mine, it's really annoying. Terrible design!

horsepoor

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1745 on: May 22, 2015, 09:04:48 AM »
I have four days off, so I'm laying out a couple challenges for myself:

  • Actually get the latest box o' crap delivered to the thrift store
  • Go through and organize file cabinets
  • Get rid of two remaining fish and decommission the aquarium
  • Hang the curtains in the basement and clean up the hardware/crap that is hanging around there
  • List at least 5 items on eBay
  • Re-work a broken horse jump that's in the back yard using stuff I have on hand, and take it out to the stable

Anatidae V

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1746 on: May 23, 2015, 08:13:27 AM »
I picked a smaller movable box for filing papers that we have to keep, and am scanning&shredding paper as I move each folder across. Great way to keep track of where I'm up to, and the smaller box should mean we don't have the option of overfilling it too much! I love my doxie scanner and giant shredder.

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1747 on: May 23, 2015, 08:33:33 PM »
This weekend I'm attacking my T-shirt collection. I have two big boxes of t-shirts, mostly ones I used to wear and ones I've gotten free at work events and meetups. 80% of them should be discards with almost all the remaining ones can be used inside home or for puttering around. But the boxes intimidate me and I'm determined to conquer them this weekend. Wish me luck!

SisterX

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1748 on: May 23, 2015, 11:54:55 PM »
Holy crap, we're moving in the next week.
I took one rather large load of give-away items to Value Village a couple of weeks ago, but of course we've got more.  Some items will go to the homeless shelter.
Have discovered that our blankets are, apparently, breeding in the closets.  It's the only explanation for why we have so frickin' many.  Packed up a bunch, am already regretting one that got packed (it was found under some other items, completely forgotten about for how many years now?) and considering opening that tote to pull it back out and add to the donate pile.  It's a nice down blanket, I'm sure someone at the homeless shelter would love it. 
Will be giving away our electric blanket to a friend, since we won't need that in the place we're moving to. 
Went through the bathroom and got rid of a whole bunch of shit, did the same in our fridge.  I found condiments that had expired in 2009!!!  Realized that they were left here by an old roommate and we just never bothered to clean them out.  *Facepalm*
Have also gone through magazines, pulled out the two recipes I still thought looked good and added them to my own recipe book.  Dumped the magazines.
Still need to go through my music, but that shouldn't take too long, since I'm going to be keeping pretty much all of it.  :)
Can't wait to start taking furniture to the transfer station.  There's actually a "free" section, so almost all of what we have will be unloaded there.  People will pick through it and whatever's not taken will eventually go to the dump.

I feel truly awful about the amount of garbage we've been creating lately.  Usually we only have to take the garbage out once every 2 weeks or so, lately it's been more like 1 1/2-2 bags per week.  And that's with us donating/freecycling as much as possible!  Blech.  Even more incentive not to be this stupidly wasteful in the future, although I'm realizing that a lot of the stuff we're getting rid of were gifts from people.  Cute set of cards from a friend which I liked, but never remembered to use.  Things like that.  Or, they were things we bought for a single use but had to buy in a large pack because there was no other option.  It's irritating.  Glad I'm moving to a place with more choices, actually, so that I can get single use items in single use quantities.

Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1749 on: May 24, 2015, 11:35:09 AM »
Nice work SisterX! I'm reading an academic book on food waste that gets into the  infrastructure of proivision, specifically this issue where consumers aren't able to choose quantities, so a lot of  food gets wasted or is perceived to have spoiled before it can get used.  I think it translates to other shopping areas (giant packs of monochrome socks come to mind).
« Last Edit: May 24, 2015, 06:43:57 PM by Nancy »