Author Topic: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!  (Read 1322649 times)

Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1700 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 #1701 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 #1702 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 #1703 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 #1704 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 #1705 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 #1706 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 #1707 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 #1708 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 #1709 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 #1710 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 #1711 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 #1712 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 #1713 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 #1714 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 #1715 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 #1716 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 #1717 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 #1718 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 #1719 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 #1720 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 #1721 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 #1722 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 #1723 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 #1724 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 #1725 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 »

PMG

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1726 on: May 24, 2015, 02:01:02 PM »
My mother, who lives several states away, is spending the next couple months working at a summer camp 40 minutes from me.  In order to help her pack lighter I told her I would supply her with toiletries. I've been an experiencing a glut of toiletries.  I cant seem to use them up as fast as I am gifted them. I don't want to throw them away, they are nice and organic and lovely... but  I'm bored and ridiculously excited to give what I've been using to Mom  and start into something new that's been sitting in my cupboard, gathering dust and taking up space!

wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1727 on: May 24, 2015, 02:36:36 PM »
I am reading the Konmari book right now.  She says that de-cluttering all at once means taking about 6 months which sounds reasonable to me.  I go in and out of feeling overwhelmed by stuff and right now I feel overwhelmed.  It is not so much the stuff but the doing things to the stuff that enervates me. It is the scanning, repairing, sewing… I think I am going to reduce the fabric extensively and be ruthless with the paper and perhaps toss a bunch of unrepaired stuff (lamps, tables, etc.)  The wear and tear on my wellbeing is getting too much.  And face it, once that stuff is repaired where is it supposed to go?  Into my almost cleared out house?  I don't think so!

Watch this space.

Cookie78

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1728 on: May 25, 2015, 10:53:42 AM »
My efforts last night to declutter were a failure. Round 2 might be harder than I expected, or maybe I just wasn't in a decluttering headspace. I found 3 baby blankets I made about 15 years ago for future babies. Never had kids, and I don't need more blankets, but they are nice and unused and hard to just donate randomly. My brothers are likely done having children. I could wait for some friends to have kids and give to them, but that might be awhile. Or I could just suck it up and donate them, along with half a dozen other small blankets I have taking up space in the closet.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1729 on: May 25, 2015, 01:52:46 PM »
Depending on the fiber, could you donate them to a maternity hospital? Or children's hospital?  Some do take blankets to send home with the baby/small child.

My efforts last night to declutter were a failure. Round 2 might be harder than I expected, or maybe I just wasn't in a decluttering headspace. I found 3 baby blankets I made about 15 years ago for future babies. Never had kids, and I don't need more blankets, but they are nice and unused and hard to just donate randomly. My brothers are likely done having children. I could wait for some friends to have kids and give to them, but that might be awhile. Or I could just suck it up and donate them, along with half a dozen other small blankets I have taking up space in the closet.
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RetiredAt63

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1730 on: May 25, 2015, 01:58:21 PM »
I had to put some knitting away a while ago because the pattern had disappeared.  I found it last night while I was decluttering an area.  Not only is the area decluttered, but I can get this project restarted.  And my past self was nice to my present self, I could see exactly where I had stopped (marked on the pattern) so I can start without any difficulties.  Win.
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Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1731 on: May 25, 2015, 02:48:43 PM »
wintersun, I hear ya! The way I see it: if I did without the unrepaired item for a dog's age, then I don't need it. It's lived its life with me. Now it can move on or be recycled into something else by someone else. Good luck!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 04:46:26 AM by Nancy »

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1732 on: May 25, 2015, 04:35:15 PM »
Visited my parents over the weekend. My sister and I dragged mom upstairs into the attic. The goal was to clean it out some.

We know what's in the attic! We know what mom won't get rid of. We also know what either my sister or I actually want.

There's various (large) items that could go away immediately, except for the fact that they're just too big for us to get them out of the house. This is annoying, but at least we know they can just go. Two large metal kitchen cabinets, 2 full size metal filing cabinets, a formal sideboard from the dining room, 2 houses (and 25 years) ago, two miscellaneous chairs.

Then there's all the stuff that mom won't get rid of. 3 sets of good dishes, at least 2 sets of crystal. Various items of furniture that have been in the attic for 20 years, some of which have been ruined by it. 15ish boxes of books that should be cut down to at most 5. A very heavy box of old dress-up clothes and halloween costumes. A large box of puzzles that no one is going to do again.

Tossed out some ancient window screens that we doubt even went to that house, and some other random crap that was in the attic.

On the bright side, we did go through a ton of old papers. They still had tax returns going back to the 1970s! In the end there was a box of paper to be shredded (literally, a box of paper), plus a bunch that was just tossed. All in all, about 300 pounds of paper cleaned out. I somehow avoided papercuts too.

Basically, my sister and I had a chance to evaluate the future pain of clearing out the house, and to rough out a plan for our parent's future care. Now to continue laying the groundwork so we're ready when the SHTF. And it will - dad is early stages of dementia, so it's just a matter of time.

tariskat

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1733 on: May 25, 2015, 08:49:24 PM »
Sibley, what a bummer :|  It's great that you have a road map now, though -- it will be that much easier in the future.

I spent some time on the corner in my office of stuff I was deliberately ignoring going through for a month or four, that was left over from the last time I had gone through a bunch of childhood stuff boxes.  Tossed some, will recycle some, and actually had a less left than I thought I did.  I use the UFMH method on stuff like that and only commit to 20 minutes, and almost got it all done! woo.

ZiziPB

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1734 on: May 26, 2015, 07:27:53 AM »
I brought another large bag of clothes, shoes and bed linens to Goodwill along with a lamp and a magazine holder.  It was around noon on Sunday.  The guy accepting the donations told me they got so much stuff that they were running out of room and were planning to stop accepting donations in the afternoon!

I guess we are not the only ones cleaning and tidying up!



I'm a red panda

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1735 on: May 26, 2015, 07:49:03 AM »
2 bags of clothes going to the consignment store today. 

I'm not sure if they will take them, as they are super picky and this isn't high brands, but if not, they just go to Goodwill and I stop trying to consign things at all.

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1736 on: May 26, 2015, 08:05:52 AM »
2 bags of clothes going to the consignment store today. 

I'm not sure if they will take them, as they are super picky and this isn't high brands, but if not, they just go to Goodwill and I stop trying to consign things at all.

I find consignments stores so strangely picky. Mine says "designer only", but I took some Versace jeans (from old spendy days) and she said, "Jeans don't really sell, I'm going to pass on these", and some Boden tops, which she was really pleased with and took straight away. Mail order is not designer to me... but what do I know. I had about £50 waiting for collection last I checked, so she obviously knows what sells and what doesn't, I guess. Good luck with your trip!

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1737 on: May 26, 2015, 08:56:16 AM »
Three plastic grocery bags stuff full of outgoing shirts today.  Probably 20 items.  I think I'm mostly done with shirt purging.

I'm hanging on to slightly more than I otherwise might, because my life is changing so much.  For example, I've worn one pair of shorts one time in the last 3 years, which suggests all the shorts, or certainly all but one or two, can go. However, I'm moving to a totally different climate and a somewhat different lifestyle.  So I'm having on to some stuff because I'm just not sure.  But overall, I'm pleased with my progress!

acorn

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1738 on: May 26, 2015, 01:50:27 PM »
Selling a few pairs of shoes as a lot through craigslist. Such a pain. Had someone who was interested a few weeks ago who then flaked out after a few emails. Then she emailed again last week asking about it and haggled from $50 to $30. I was so tempted to ignore her since she flaked out last time but well maybe she'll show up this time. At least she's picking it up from my place and I'm not wasting time meeting her somewhere. Next time, think I'll just stick to ebay/goodwill, I feel like there are some many flakes and ridiculous hagglers on craigslist.

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1739 on: May 26, 2015, 02:43:00 PM »
Selling a few pairs of shoes as a lot through craigslist. Such a pain. Had someone who was interested a few weeks ago who then flaked out after a few emails. Then she emailed again last week asking about it and haggled from $50 to $30. I was so tempted to ignore her since she flaked out last time but well maybe she'll show up this time. At least she's picking it up from my place and I'm not wasting time meeting her somewhere. Next time, think I'll just stick to ebay/goodwill, I feel like there are some many flakes and ridiculous hagglers on craigslist.
+1 I've stopped selling on Craigslist except for furniture/really large items I can't take to Goodwill without help due to the LARGE number of flakes and the ridiculous bargains they ask for... I get it you want a good deal but asking it for next to nothing when its practically new is a shame.

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1740 on: May 26, 2015, 02:54:12 PM »
I brought another large bag of clothes, shoes and bed linens to Goodwill along with a lamp and a magazine holder.  It was around noon on Sunday.  The guy accepting the donations told me they got so much stuff that they were running out of room and were planning to stop accepting donations in the afternoon!

I guess we are not the only ones cleaning and tidying up!

I brought 2 carloads of stuff to Goodwill this weekend - 1 load on Saturday, the other on Sunday. There were so many people donating on Saturday, I had to park on the street to wait for a place in line!  It was nuts! I wonder if Memorial Day weekend is just a convenient time for spring cleaning and decluttering. The donation area had mountains of stuff. I added to the piles and bins and left wondering just how big is the second-hand/used goods retail sector.

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1741 on: May 26, 2015, 03:06:54 PM »
I brought another large bag of clothes, shoes and bed linens to Goodwill along with a lamp and a magazine holder.  It was around noon on Sunday.  The guy accepting the donations told me they got so much stuff that they were running out of room and were planning to stop accepting donations in the afternoon!

I guess we are not the only ones cleaning and tidying up!

I brought 2 carloads of stuff to Goodwill this weekend - 1 load on Saturday, the other on Sunday. There were so many people donating on Saturday, I had to park on the street to wait for a place in line!  It was nuts! I wonder if Memorial Day weekend is just a convenient time for spring cleaning and decluttering. The donation area had mountains of stuff. I added to the piles and bins and left wondering just how big is the second-hand/used goods retail sector.
I went to our local Goodwill this past Saturday too, and the employee taking the donations said he had expected it to be a slow weekend but instead they were swamped with donations. I live in a small town but there were 3 others donating at the same time as me.

Gumbo1978

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1742 on: May 27, 2015, 09:33:26 AM »
We have a facebook page for our section of the city (charlotte, NC) which acts kind of like facebook.  I like it better b/c the posts are tied to a facebook account and you have to meet in a public area (within a 5 mile radius).  We've started taking pictures of clutter and then selling it that way.  Made $600 in the past 2 weeks cleaning out our garage/attic.  Have really enjoyed decluttering.  Gives a similar rush to purchasing.

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1743 on: May 27, 2015, 09:42:51 AM »
Took 2 bags to the consignment shop tomorrow.  I don't know if they accepted anything. But I signed for them to just donate it if they don't, so either way, it is out of my house.  I rarely itemize this type of deduction anyway, so doesn't matter to me if they get the write off instead of me.

But if they do accept stuff, and I get some money- I know where all my bags are going in the future!

Mikhial

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1744 on: May 27, 2015, 09:53:19 AM »
I went through the kitchen yesterday. I ended up with a small pile to toss. I'm not sure if that means I'm in a decent spot with how much stuff is in the kitchen, or if I'm too attached with what we have.

Part of the problem is I know my boyfriend won't be completely down with pairing down too much. He saw the pile I set aside and half-jokingly said we can't throw anything out. For each thing he didn't want to throw out, I asked him when the last time he used that item and when the next time he was going to use it. He put up a fight, but when I asked him what he wanted to keep only a couple of items made it back. To be fair, what he put back aren't mine to throw away.

JLee

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1745 on: May 27, 2015, 11:00:20 AM »
60+ books/DVDs/random things are getting donated. $295 writeoff plus I now no longer need a DVD rack, and I also have a shelf or two free that didn't used to be. :D

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1746 on: May 27, 2015, 11:42:55 AM »
I went through the kitchen yesterday. I ended up with a small pile to toss. I'm not sure if that means I'm in a decent spot with how much stuff is in the kitchen, or if I'm too attached with what we have.

Part of the problem is I know my boyfriend won't be completely down with pairing down too much. He saw the pile I set aside and half-jokingly said we can't throw anything out. For each thing he didn't want to throw out, I asked him when the last time he used that item and when the next time he was going to use it. He put up a fight, but when I asked him what he wanted to keep only a couple of items made it back. To be fair, what he put back aren't mine to throw away.

Partners are tricky waters to navigate.  I generally leave his stuff alone, hoping I'm setting a good example, and then after a while when I suggest he clear out his things, he's more willing.  But he's got a complete blind spot for books - and this coming from someone who is reluctant in her own right to get rid of many.  As far as he's concerned, one should never release books back into the wild.

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1747 on: May 27, 2015, 01:34:22 PM »
I went through the kitchen yesterday. I ended up with a small pile to toss. I'm not sure if that means I'm in a decent spot with how much stuff is in the kitchen, or if I'm too attached with what we have.

Part of the problem is I know my boyfriend won't be completely down with pairing down too much. He saw the pile I set aside and half-jokingly said we can't throw anything out. For each thing he didn't want to throw out, I asked him when the last time he used that item and when the next time he was going to use it. He put up a fight, but when I asked him what he wanted to keep only a couple of items made it back. To be fair, what he put back aren't mine to throw away.

Partners are tricky waters to navigate.  I generally leave his stuff alone, hoping I'm setting a good example, and then after a while when I suggest he clear out his things, he's more willing.  But he's got a complete blind spot for books - and this coming from someone who is reluctant in her own right to get rid of many.  As far as he's concerned, one should never release books back into the wild.
Hahaha!  I need to have your sense of humor about my husband's book "hoarding" tendencies. 

I'm also struggling with getting our possessions down because most items aren't mine or ours.  I moved here in a car.  He moved an entire 3,000 sq ft house.  While I'm thankful for all of the things we didn't have to buy, I'm also resentful because our 1,000 sq ft house and garage are bursting at the seams.  I still have a bit more whittling to do with my clothing, but my husband has at least 4 times the amount of clothing that I have. 

Any tips for getting your partner to give up his things?

It's a tough one.  As they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

There are a variety of successful strategies, which vary based on personality:
Asking.  Spouse complies with a simple request.  We are all jealous.
Logic.  You explain to the spouse (see below for an example) of why decluttering makes sense.
Modeling.  Spouse sees the joy of decluttering and free space.  Spouse has their "own idea" to also declutter.  You never contradict spouse on this point.
Emotional.  Spouse is happy to make you happy once you explain how very important it is.  Tears may be involved.
Bargaining.  You agree to get rid of your ugly broken item if he agrees to get rid of his ugly broken item.
Bribes.  You offer favors (chores?  NSFW favors?  Get out of visiting a mother-in-law card?  Remote control privileges?) in exchange for going through and culling items.
Sneak.  Desperate, much like you might with children, you hide away unused items and gradually they "disappear" or are "lost" after a time passes with no one noticing.
Threats.  You inform your spouse it's you or the [ugly broken item].
Professional.  You call in professional help.  Optional: Blast issue on a reality tv show.

As you can tell, the list devolves as you go down it.  Let's call it the "CommonCents Hierarchy of Decluttering Your Partner"

Logic:
Pick one area (e.g. clothes).
Ask him how much he thinks would be an acceptable amount of clothes (or space to take up).  If he won't say, ask if he would agree it is reasonable that you share the closet space for example, 50/50.
Then tell him how much he has.  e.g. Did you know you have 104 t-shirts? 
Ask him whether you can set aside time on a weekend to go through them together to decide what is too old, worn, stained etc.  (Don't phrase it as "culling".)
During this time, make piles of keep, get rid, maybe.  (When going through the maybe pile for final disposition, accept he'll keep some for unreasonable sentimental reasons.)
Key to success: Asking questions, getting agreement

4alpacas

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1748 on: May 27, 2015, 01:39:23 PM »
I went through the kitchen yesterday. I ended up with a small pile to toss. I'm not sure if that means I'm in a decent spot with how much stuff is in the kitchen, or if I'm too attached with what we have.

Part of the problem is I know my boyfriend won't be completely down with pairing down too much. He saw the pile I set aside and half-jokingly said we can't throw anything out. For each thing he didn't want to throw out, I asked him when the last time he used that item and when the next time he was going to use it. He put up a fight, but when I asked him what he wanted to keep only a couple of items made it back. To be fair, what he put back aren't mine to throw away.

Partners are tricky waters to navigate.  I generally leave his stuff alone, hoping I'm setting a good example, and then after a while when I suggest he clear out his things, he's more willing.  But he's got a complete blind spot for books - and this coming from someone who is reluctant in her own right to get rid of many.  As far as he's concerned, one should never release books back into the wild.
Hahaha!  I need to have your sense of humor about my husband's book "hoarding" tendencies. 

I'm also struggling with getting our possessions down because most items aren't mine or ours.  I moved here in a car.  He moved an entire 3,000 sq ft house.  While I'm thankful for all of the things we didn't have to buy, I'm also resentful because our 1,000 sq ft house and garage are bursting at the seams.  I still have a bit more whittling to do with my clothing, but my husband has at least 4 times the amount of clothing that I have. 

Any tips for getting your partner to give up his things?

It's a tough one.  As they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

There are a variety of successful strategies, which vary based on personality:
Asking.  Spouse complies with a simple request.  We are all jealous.
Logic.  You explain to the spouse (see below for an example) of why decluttering makes sense.
Modeling.  Spouse sees the joy of decluttering and free space.  Spouse has their "own idea" to also declutter.  You never contradict spouse on this point.
Emotional.  Spouse is happy to make you happy once you explain how very important it is.  Tears may be involved.
Bargaining.  You agree to get rid of your ugly broken item if he agrees to get rid of his ugly broken item.
Bribes.  You offer favors (chores?  NSFW favors?  Get out of visiting a mother-in-law card?  Remote control privileges?) in exchange for going through and culling items.
Sneak.  Desperate, much like you might with children, you hide away unused items and gradually they "disappear" or are "lost" after a time passes with no one noticing.
Threats.  You inform your spouse it's you or the [ugly broken item].
Professional.  You call in professional help.  Optional: Blast issue on a reality tv show.

As you can tell, the list devolves as you go down it.  Let's call it the "CommonCents Hierarchy of Decluttering Your Partner"

Logic:
Pick one area (e.g. clothes).
Ask him how much he thinks would be an acceptable amount of clothes (or space to take up).  If he won't say, ask if he would agree it is reasonable that you share the closet space for example, 50/50.
Then tell him how much he has.  e.g. Did you know you have 104 t-shirts? 
Ask him whether you can set aside time on a weekend to go through them together to decide what is too old, worn, stained etc.  (Don't phrase it as "culling".)
During this time, make piles of keep, get rid, maybe.  (When going through the maybe pile for final disposition, accept he'll keep some for unreasonable sentimental reasons.)
Key to success: Asking questions, getting agreement
Thanks!  I'm going to try clothing this weekend.  I have a few things to get rid of too, so I hope it will be a productive day.  Currently our guest bedroom is full of my husband's clothes.  To be honest, my clothes are in the guest bedroom closet....because my husband has the closet in our bedroom. 
x2
Plus two large dressers in a small guest bedroom. 

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1749 on: May 27, 2015, 02:00:38 PM »
I went through the kitchen yesterday. I ended up with a small pile to toss. I'm not sure if that means I'm in a decent spot with how much stuff is in the kitchen, or if I'm too attached with what we have.

Part of the problem is I know my boyfriend won't be completely down with pairing down too much. He saw the pile I set aside and half-jokingly said we can't throw anything out. For each thing he didn't want to throw out, I asked him when the last time he used that item and when the next time he was going to use it. He put up a fight, but when I asked him what he wanted to keep only a couple of items made it back. To be fair, what he put back aren't mine to throw away.

Partners are tricky waters to navigate.  I generally leave his stuff alone, hoping I'm setting a good example, and then after a while when I suggest he clear out his things, he's more willing.  But he's got a complete blind spot for books - and this coming from someone who is reluctant in her own right to get rid of many.  As far as he's concerned, one should never release books back into the wild.
Hahaha!  I need to have your sense of humor about my husband's book "hoarding" tendencies. 

I'm also struggling with getting our possessions down because most items aren't mine or ours.  I moved here in a car.  He moved an entire 3,000 sq ft house.  While I'm thankful for all of the things we didn't have to buy, I'm also resentful because our 1,000 sq ft house and garage are bursting at the seams.  I still have a bit more whittling to do with my clothing, but my husband has at least 4 times the amount of clothing that I have. 

Any tips for getting your partner to give up his things?

It's a tough one.  As they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

There are a variety of successful strategies, which vary based on personality:
Asking.  Spouse complies with a simple request.  We are all jealous.
Logic.  You explain to the spouse (see below for an example) of why decluttering makes sense.
Modeling.  Spouse sees the joy of decluttering and free space.  Spouse has their "own idea" to also declutter.  You never contradict spouse on this point.
Emotional.  Spouse is happy to make you happy once you explain how very important it is.  Tears may be involved.
Bargaining.  You agree to get rid of your ugly broken item if he agrees to get rid of his ugly broken item.
Bribes.  You offer favors (chores?  NSFW favors?  Get out of visiting a mother-in-law card?  Remote control privileges?) in exchange for going through and culling items.
Sneak.  Desperate, much like you might with children, you hide away unused items and gradually they "disappear" or are "lost" after a time passes with no one noticing.
Threats.  You inform your spouse it's you or the [ugly broken item].
Professional.  You call in professional help.  Optional: Blast issue on a reality tv show.

As you can tell, the list devolves as you go down it.  Let's call it the "CommonCents Hierarchy of Decluttering Your Partner"

Logic:
Pick one area (e.g. clothes).
Ask him how much he thinks would be an acceptable amount of clothes (or space to take up).  If he won't say, ask if he would agree it is reasonable that you share the closet space for example, 50/50.
Then tell him how much he has.  e.g. Did you know you have 104 t-shirts? 
Ask him whether you can set aside time on a weekend to go through them together to decide what is too old, worn, stained etc.  (Don't phrase it as "culling".)
During this time, make piles of keep, get rid, maybe.  (When going through the maybe pile for final disposition, accept he'll keep some for unreasonable sentimental reasons.)
Key to success: Asking questions, getting agreement
Thanks!  I'm going to try clothing this weekend.  I have a few things to get rid of too, so I hope it will be a productive day.  Currently our guest bedroom is full of my husband's clothes.  To be honest, my clothes are in the guest bedroom closet....because my husband has the closet in our bedroom. 
x2
Plus two large dressers in a small guest bedroom.

Oh, I almost forgot!  It worked really well when I did this with a friend (who wanted to declutter, but had a tough time doing it), and I asked her how many of X item she thought reasonable to keep.  For example, how many jackets are reasonable.  We then went through them and I pointed out she had told me that 15 were reasonable (I can't remember the exact number but it was around here or higher!), and yet there were 18 on the keep pile and another 10 on the maybe pile - so maybe she could keep this in mind while going through the maybe pile...  That actually let her keep on 2 of the maybes, which we both considered success.  The key in this is that the other person is setting the limits, not you.  Psychologically, they are more keen to stick to them because they've set them.  (And less apt to get mad at you for being controlling!)