Author Topic: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!  (Read 772896 times)

PMG

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1750 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 #1751 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 #1752 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 #1753 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.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1754 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.

Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1755 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 #1756 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 #1757 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 #1758 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!



iowajes

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1759 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 #1760 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!

Villanelle

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1761 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 #1762 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 #1763 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.

Lian

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1764 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 #1765 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 #1766 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.

iowajes

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1767 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 #1768 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 #1769 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 #1770 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 #1771 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 #1772 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 #1773 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!)

iowajes

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1774 on: May 27, 2015, 02:02:53 PM »
I'm pretty sure my husband sometimes just gets rid of things for me.  And then either pretends he doesn't know where it went, or begs forgiveness if I notice something is gone (sometimes years later...)

4alpacas

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1775 on: May 27, 2015, 04:03:26 PM »
I'm pretty sure my husband sometimes just gets rid of things for me.  And then either pretends he doesn't know where it went, or begs forgiveness if I notice something is gone (sometimes years later...)
Haha!  I'm not comfortable with getting rid of my husband's things, but it is tempting. 

CommonCents, I think the number thing will work out.  Logic rules his thinking process, so I think we can be rational about the process.  I hope. 

If the closet (+guest bedroom) clean-up goes well, the garage will be next.  My husband thinks everything will fit if we buy more organizational tools (i.e. pegboard, storage boxes, etc.).

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1776 on: May 28, 2015, 06:01:32 AM »
Have been extremely busy, but we culled another garbage bag of clothes from the kids. Also a few pairs of pants from me. Slowly getting there... I haven't even tackled my closet yet. That needs to happen.
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midweststache

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1777 on: May 28, 2015, 06:42:09 AM »
I took some books I'm never going to open again back to my department. They're books I had for coursework, so I figured I can leave them in the grad student office and perhaps a future grad student can use them for a class or project. Better that than dumping quality editions off at the thrift store... plus, I purge 10-15 books, easy! (Books continue to be the single most clutter-y thing in our home, which... well, there are worse things).

(I also resisted the urge to buy a new book for an upcoming trip, and thus adding to the clutter. I'm taking a hard copy of one I already own that I haven't read, and DLed a new library book to my Kindle.)

I'm also taking a pair of boots that refuse to get gone out of town with me to give to my sister in law (or her equally slim mom)! Get them out of the apartment!

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1778 on: May 28, 2015, 07:59:25 AM »

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

Great stuff from CommonCents. The other thing I'd add that I've had success with is to ask which ones he wants to keep, rather than which he wants to get rid of. This is an easier proposition, and can also help them see they don't actually value much of it. 

For us, it went like this:

  • Having watched me (silently) declutter for about 5 months DH suddenly says, "I think I'll get rid of some t-shirts"
  • He lays them all out on the bed.
  • I offer a prompt: 'Why don't you pick out the ones you love and put them back in the drawer to start'
  • He picks out maybe 4 (out of 20), puts them away
  • He looks at the pile and realises, hey, I obviously don't like these much...
  • He puts a few more away, and gives me the rest to get rid of.


In my opinion the success, as many others have mentioned, was down to modelling. I tried nagging - not lots, but occassional mentions of 'Why don't you get rid of some t-shirts, and then you're drawer might close' for a few years, it acheived nothing.

In January I resolved to shut up and get my own house in order. He was amazed at how much I got rid of... Worried I wouldn't have anything to wear, and when I said, "But I wasn't wearing any of it anyway" just conversationally, a lightbulb seemed to go off.

We've now had lots of conversations about how we've realised that we didn't have anywhere to put anything because all of our 'storage' spaces (dressers, shelves etc) were neatly storing... things we didn't use.

He's now pretty much totally on board with decluttering, and has since done other areas, though I still wouldn't touch anything of his without checking with him, and I try not to preach.

Whereas before I'd say, "Why don't you get rid of this sock, it's full of holes" (in a judgemental and exasperated tone), now we are on a similar page, I keep all holey socks when I do laundry and say (factually, and without intonation, just as a simple question), "These socks are holey. Is it alright with you if I get rid of them?" and so far, touchwood, he has agreed every time.

The more you both get rid of, the more you realise your life becomes better, not worse, and the easier it is to let go of other stuff. Good luck.

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1779 on: May 28, 2015, 08:11:04 AM »
Well, of 28 items I dropped off, the consignment store took 8.
I was surprised they didn't take any of the Lands End polos. They were in great condition.  They also didn't take either of the two Banana Republic shirts, which were in season and good condition.

But my old tennis shoes got priced at $20 (they are Nikes, but that is crazy).

If things sell, I'm hoping I will take home between $5 and $15... 


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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1780 on: May 28, 2015, 09:29:08 AM »
Well, of 28 items I dropped off, the consignment store took 8.
I was surprised they didn't take any of the Lands End polos. They were in great condition.  They also didn't take either of the two Banana Republic shirts, which were in season and good condition.

But my old tennis shoes got priced at $20 (they are Nikes, but that is crazy).

If things sell, I'm hoping I will take home between $5 and $15...

Recently I took clothes to a consignment shop - the owner told me button down shirts (ladies) are not a good seller.  She took my two almost new banana republic button down shirts but warned me they probably will not sell.  Sure enough at the end they did not sell (but I did pick up a cheque for $92.50 for the other items!). 

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1781 on: May 28, 2015, 10:03:42 AM »
Great progress, everyone! I'm still following the throw/donate one thing a day (since life is super busy and I don't want to stop the decluttering) and have cleaned up our magazine rack, our disposable containers and some extra furniture. Win! I'm now done with the low hanging ones and now have to make time to start looking deeper.

Does anyone feel that the house is still full of stuff even after getting rid of things? How do you keep yourself motivated?

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1782 on: May 28, 2015, 10:09:52 AM »
Regarding helping others declutter...

Ask them which they would prefer. That they go through and do it.

Or that they force their surviving loved ones to have to go through a whole bunch of stuff that doesn't matter in order to get to the things that do matter, while under incredible emotional stress.

Because either way, the stuff is gonna go.

4alpacas

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1783 on: May 28, 2015, 10:24:37 AM »

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

Great stuff from CommonCents. The other thing I'd add that I've had success with is to ask which ones he wants to keep, rather than which he wants to get rid of. This is an easier proposition, and can also help them see they don't actually value much of it. 

For us, it went like this:

  • Having watched me (silently) declutter for about 5 months DH suddenly says, "I think I'll get rid of some t-shirts"
  • He lays them all out on the bed.
  • I offer a prompt: 'Why don't you pick out the ones you love and put them back in the drawer to start'
  • He picks out maybe 4 (out of 20), puts them away
  • He looks at the pile and realises, hey, I obviously don't like these much...
  • He puts a few more away, and gives me the rest to get rid of.


In my opinion the success, as many others have mentioned, was down to modelling. I tried nagging - not lots, but occassional mentions of 'Why don't you get rid of some t-shirts, and then you're drawer might close' for a few years, it acheived nothing.

In January I resolved to shut up and get my own house in order. He was amazed at how much I got rid of... Worried I wouldn't have anything to wear, and when I said, "But I wasn't wearing any of it anyway" just conversationally, a lightbulb seemed to go off.

We've now had lots of conversations about how we've realised that we didn't have anywhere to put anything because all of our 'storage' spaces (dressers, shelves etc) were neatly storing... things we didn't use.

He's now pretty much totally on board with decluttering, and has since done other areas, though I still wouldn't touch anything of his without checking with him, and I try not to preach.

Whereas before I'd say, "Why don't you get rid of this sock, it's full of holes" (in a judgemental and exasperated tone), now we are on a similar page, I keep all holey socks when I do laundry and say (factually, and without intonation, just as a simple question), "These socks are holey. Is it alright with you if I get rid of them?" and so far, touchwood, he has agreed every time.

The more you both get rid of, the more you realise your life becomes better, not worse, and the easier it is to let go of other stuff. Good luck.
Thank you for all of the advice!  I've just started reading Marie Kondo's book (http://www.amazon.com/Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering-Organizing-ebook/dp/B00KK0PICK/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1432830113).  After reading the first chapter, I realize that I'm going about this process in the completely wrong way.  My husband agreed to read 1 chapter of the book, and we will both sort through our clothes on Saturday.  I'm already planning a trip to Goodwill!  I'm very excited! 


iowajes

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1784 on: May 28, 2015, 10:41:26 AM »
Well, of 28 items I dropped off, the consignment store took 8.
I was surprised they didn't take any of the Lands End polos. They were in great condition.  They also didn't take either of the two Banana Republic shirts, which were in season and good condition.

But my old tennis shoes got priced at $20 (they are Nikes, but that is crazy).

If things sell, I'm hoping I will take home between $5 and $15...

Recently I took clothes to a consignment shop - the owner told me button down shirts (ladies) are not a good seller.  She took my two almost new banana republic button down shirts but warned me they probably will not sell.  Sure enough at the end they did not sell (but I did pick up a cheque for $92.50 for the other items!).

They weren't button down though. They were summer tank tops with crocheted lace necklines.

No biggie. I told them to just donate whatever they weren't selling. The important thing is it is out of the house.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 10:45:22 AM by iowajes »

LiveLean

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1785 on: May 28, 2015, 11:22:17 AM »
Can't believe I found an actual VCR still in our house this morning in an armoire (that itself needs to go).

Tossed the VCR on the pile of crap I had going to electronics recycling.
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AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1786 on: May 28, 2015, 11:31:29 AM »
Can't believe I found an actual VCR still in our house this morning in an armoire (that itself needs to go).

Tossed the VCR on the pile of crap I had going to electronics recycling.
We have one too, it's been on the floor of our closet for several years! SO doesn't want to get rid of it until we make a list of our VHS tapes so we can, some day, replace the ones we like with DVDs. I hope we get time to do this soon!

AerynLee

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1787 on: May 28, 2015, 11:58:22 AM »
Another good reason to declutter:

My in-laws had a house fire 2 weeks ago. They've lived in the house for 20 years raising 6 kids, are already pack rats and due to a string of boomerangs had at least some of 3 of their kids junk in the house. The house will likely be a total loss and identifying everything in it would be impossible. Within days the insurance company wanted an inventory of what was in the house in order to determine what they would pay out.
Even though my house is fairly clutter free and I'm not currently dealing with that kind of stress I would be hard pressed to give an semi-accurate inventory of my belongings right now. Luckily they have replacement value insurance because if it was current value they would have to come up with estimates of when they bought them, how much they paid, the current condition, and what it would currently be worth.

horsepoor

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1788 on: May 28, 2015, 12:33:26 PM »
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

Dang, I haven't gotten to any of these.  The weather has been great, so I've been gardening and riding instead.  I was ready to load the boxes into the car and take them to the  Goodwill, but I realized that I am missing my gold necklace, so now I need to go through the boxes with a fine toothed comb to make sure I don't accidentally donate actual diamonds.  OTOH, I had an unexpected day at home today due to a last minute change of plans at work, so I've been decluttering outdoors.  So far I have the truck loaded up with old broken windows I had planned to make into cold frames, some materials that were too weathered to use for anything, a broken screen door and some nasty old Adirondack chairs that aren't worth scraping and re-painting.  I've also got an old A/C unit, 6 patio chairs and two plant pots out at the curb with "free" signs on them, and burned up a pile of yard waste that has been visual clutter in my line of sight from the kitchen window since last fall.

starbuck

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1789 on: May 28, 2015, 01:53:29 PM »
We have one too, it's been on the floor of our closet for several years! SO doesn't want to get rid of it until we make a list of our VHS tapes so we can, some day, replace the ones we like with DVDs. I hope we get time to do this soon!

What about taking a picture (or several if necessary) of the VHS tapes? Then you'd have a record of what you used to own. You could still figure out what you want to replace, but don't have to keep the pile of stuff around to do it. Win, win?

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1790 on: May 28, 2015, 02:47:51 PM »
Tomorrow I start tackling cocktail and evening gowns.  This one will be hard for me.  I do wear these things, anywhere from 2-5 times a year, and I'm likely to start wearing them a bit more often.  Also, my size varies so I have a range of sizes (normal size and up and down one). 

I love these.  They are so beautiful.  And I do wear them.  And I hate wearing the same dress to more than every couple of years to these events.  Not entirely rational, but that's where I'm coming from as I tackle this.

This one will be a real struggle.  I probably have 25 or more.  Uggh.  I'm trying to decide what is reasonable.   This will be my first big challenge I think. 

1967mama

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1791 on: May 28, 2015, 03:09:39 PM »
Ugh! I have a bunch of fancy party dresses too!

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1792 on: May 28, 2015, 05:05:27 PM »
Just wanted to give a general Thank You, fellow MMM declutterers! Reading what you're all up to is keeping me going when I hit a slump. eBay sales have slowed but I'm still shipping a few items a week. I gave up on some and just donated them. It looks like my rental house sale is going through, so I'll soon be free of that big burden (though there are still others, one less is a good thing!). And I just lowered the price on my collectible car for sale on CL.  I agree about the lowballers and scammers.  Geez, because I have a vintage Mercedes for sale, I'm now being targeted not only by foreign scammers, but by local massage practitioners!! Happy ending anyone? Sure, just buy my car, lady. That will give me the happy ending I'm looking for. ~They disappear quickly when they find out I'm a straight female. Lol
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 05:08:11 PM by Practical Magic »

tofuchampion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1793 on: May 28, 2015, 06:08:03 PM »
I haven't done much of anything since I last posted. I have a pile of clothes that I intended to try to sell on eBay, but I've realized that I'd make so little from most of them that it wouldn't be worth it. So the whole pile is going in trash bags tonight and to Goodwill tomorrow. I did sell a few baby clothes on eBay, but didn't make much. I have $26.20 pending in my Paypal account, and paid $14 total for shipping... so that's $12.20 for 6 pieces. Plus the hassle of making the listings, going to the post office, etc. No thanks.

On the topic of spouses, Mr Tofu has given me permission to get rid of some things that have been cluttering up our closet - 2 old, nonworking computer towers, and a bin full of random bike parts. He also has a bike that needs work that he intended to fix up but never did, and he said that can go on craigslist. His DVD's, he said can go in our closet. He is basically acknowledging that no one ever watches them, but he spent so much money on them, he's still not going to get rid of them. Just put them away where they'll definitely never get watched. I don't understand this, but whatever. I'm actually planning to go through all of our movies, pull out the ones that get watched (mostly the kids' stuff), and leave those downstairs, then put the rest in the closet.

I think I need to go through my clothes again, too...
There are no impossible obstacles, there are only stronger and weaker wills. (Jules Verne)

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1794 on: May 28, 2015, 06:35:21 PM »
Now that I have moved, I have a big pile of stuff in a box by the front door to go to goodwill/ free cycle. There was some junk left in the house to go also, and I already checked in with the old tenants.   There were some things I was keeping to see about our new house, but now they can go. But I can already feel myself sliding into the phase where there is so much clutter, junk and boxes everywhere that I don't see it as much anymore. My eyes glaze over. How do I get going again?


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FrugalShrew

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1795 on: May 28, 2015, 08:03:11 PM »
It has taken me a few weeks to read through all 37 pages of this thread, but I am finally caught up & excited to get on board! 

Many, many pages ago there was a link to a website about why people hang onto things. Unfortunately, I identified with several of the categories: 1) not wanting to waste things, 2) keeping things that I may need or want someday in future, 3) sentimentality, and 4) feeling guilty about getting rid of things that were given to me as gifts. There is some logic to each of these positions, but they add up to a life governed by stuff and being surrounded by things that weigh me down.

This thread was just the inspiration I needed. I am currently feeling quite overwhelmed by stuff, clothes and papers in particular. I recently moved into an apartment with a small closet, and I have clothes overflowing everywhere in my room. I've never had a problem with this before, but I used to just add more storage if I needed it, and now I don't have room for that. I'd like to move more towards the minimalist wardrobe being discussed in another thread -- having each piece in my closet be something that fits, that I love, and that I would want to wear all the time.

The rest of the apartment could all use a trim, too, but it's all livable right now. The bathroom is actually amazing because there is no linen closet, and at first I found it so frustrating, because: where do I put all my stuff?? But now I LOVE it's lack of storage. There is a small medicine cabinet that I share with my roommate that houses my true essentials, and I keep my towel hung on the back of the door. That's it. I keep extra towels in my dresser.

horsepoor

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1796 on: May 28, 2015, 08:51:04 PM »
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

Dang, I haven't gotten to any of these.  The weather has been great, so I've been gardening and riding instead.  I was ready to load the boxes into the car and take them to the  Goodwill, but I realized that I am missing my gold necklace, so now I need to go through the boxes with a fine toothed comb to make sure I don't accidentally donate actual diamonds.  OTOH, I had an unexpected day at home today due to a last minute change of plans at work, so I've been decluttering outdoors.  So far I have the truck loaded up with old broken windows I had planned to make into cold frames, some materials that were too weathered to use for anything, a broken screen door and some nasty old Adirondack chairs that aren't worth scraping and re-painting.  I've also got an old A/C unit, 6 patio chairs and two plant pots out at the curb with "free" signs on them, and burned up a pile of yard waste that has been visual clutter in my line of sight from the kitchen window since last fall.

The Craigslist leaving things on the curb for the first person who gets it, and then deleting the ad thing works wonders.  I posted the ads, peeked out the window about 30 minutes later, and the stuff was there.  Then the doorbell started ringing while I was on a conference call.  Peeked out the window again and the stuff was gone, and a second person had come right behind them, apparently.  I deleted the ads, then a third person came by hoping to get the chairs.  All this in about an hour.  I feel a tiny bit guilty about the people who come by and don't get the item, but it's gone and out of my life.

Now to go through the boxes to check for my necklace, and get them in the car so they get dropped off tomorrow.  I have a couple books to add to the pile as well.

Villanelle

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1797 on: May 29, 2015, 04:12:51 AM »
I stood in front of the closet, staring at the dresses for about 5 minutes, reordering them, pulling one out and putting it back, etc.  Then I gave up and worked on another section of the closet.  20 pants and blazers in a donation bag.  Blazers are an area where I'll need at least one more pass (L. Ron,  I have so very many clothes!).  Not what I intended and I didn't tackle the scary dress project, but not bad for a day's work, either.

I love the idea of setting a number of X items that seems reasonable.  How many cardigans/swimsuits/pairs of boots is it reasonable for me to own.  If, after a purge, I'm at 150% of that number, clearly there's more work to be done.  Thanks for the great suggestion!

Another project is a major shoe purge.  When I was working in an office, I wore fancy heals almost daily.  I still want that life and imagine it for myself, so getting rid of work clothes is a tough sell mentally.  But I need to accept that it isn't my life.  If shoes haven't been worn since I move to Japan (5 years ago, and I'm in Germany now), clearly they need to go.  If I have the professional life I want again someday, I can buy more shoes.  I've acquired a lot more comfy, casual shoes, because they better fit my life, but I never got rid of the ones that fit my old life. 

It's amazing to me how much mental baggage gets opened up.  They may be just shoes, but to me, they are a symbol of the professional life I sacrificed to move.  Getting rid of them means accepting that difficult change a bit more fully.    Sometimes, a shirt is just a shirt, but other times, there's so much more meaning behind the Stuff.

ZiziPB

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1798 on: May 29, 2015, 05:13:44 AM »
I stood in front of the closet, staring at the dresses for about 5 minutes, reordering them, pulling one out and putting it back, etc.  Then I gave up and worked on another section of the closet.  20 pants and blazers in a donation bag.  Blazers are an area where I'll need at least one more pass (L. Ron,  I have so very many clothes!).  Not what I intended and I didn't tackle the scary dress project, but not bad for a day's work, either.

I love the idea of setting a number of X items that seems reasonable.  How many cardigans/swimsuits/pairs of boots is it reasonable for me to own.  If, after a purge, I'm at 150% of that number, clearly there's more work to be done.  Thanks for the great suggestion!

Another project is a major shoe purge.  When I was working in an office, I wore fancy heals almost daily.  I still want that life and imagine it for myself, so getting rid of work clothes is a tough sell mentally.  But I need to accept that it isn't my life.  If shoes haven't been worn since I move to Japan (5 years ago, and I'm in Germany now), clearly they need to go.  If I have the professional life I want again someday, I can buy more shoes.  I've acquired a lot more comfy, casual shoes, because they better fit my life, but I never got rid of the ones that fit my old life. 

It's amazing to me how much mental baggage gets opened up.  They may be just shoes, but to me, they are a symbol of the professional life I sacrificed to move.  Getting rid of them means accepting that difficult change a bit more fully.    Sometimes, a shirt is just a shirt, but other times, there's so much more meaning behind the Stuff.
This is so true! I recently got rid of some fancy handbags  and clothes that I used to wear in my prior job (5 years ago!).  The hardest part for me was the acknowledgment that that chapter of my life is now irrevocably closed. I almost turned back on my way to the consignment store. But after a day or so I started feeling better about it and now I almost feel ready for the here and now and the next chapter... Almost, because I still have a few dresses I hang on to for sentimental reasons. I need to screw up my courage and let them go. Soon...



iowajes

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1799 on: May 29, 2015, 06:12:24 AM »
Tomorrow I start tackling cocktail and evening gowns.  This one will be hard for me.  I do wear these things, anywhere from 2-5 times a year, and I'm likely to start wearing them a bit more often.  Also, my size varies so I have a range of sizes (normal size and up and down one). 

I love these.  They are so beautiful.  And I do wear them.  And I hate wearing the same dress to more than every couple of years to these events.  Not entirely rational, but that's where I'm coming from as I tackle this.

This one will be a real struggle.  I probably have 25 or more.  Uggh.  I'm trying to decide what is reasonable.   This will be my first big challenge I think.

If you wear 2-5 a year, you don't like to repeat except every few years, it seems rational to keep 15, 5 per year, for 3 years.

So I'd combine the advice of the above post, and pare down to at most 15.

Then, I'd do a long term "hanger turn"- rather than move them to storage (do you have a storage building? I'd get rid of that!) Hang them with the hanger the wrong way, when you wear them, turn it around.  If after 3 years any are still the wrong way, get rid of them too.  Clearly, those weren't your favorites, and you didn't need as many dresses as you thought.