Author Topic: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!  (Read 1062182 times)

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1900 on: June 10, 2015, 12:56:43 PM »
So far this has been a good rule for me: If I'm treating the books as if they are museum treasures, and not reading them, they have to go.

Love the visuals :)

I agree that's a good rule, except w/r/t one book - an 1800s copy of a Grimm's fairytales I own from my grandfather.  Not worthy of selling (as I did actually read it ~age 16-20 when I got it from my grandfather and despite my extreme care, the pages fell apart), but sufficient sentiment that I will keep it!

+1 on the pictures :)

I too have a book problem. My solution has been to severely limit the number of books I buy. I have a set amount of space for books, and that isn't changing. However, I am a re-reader. Books like I like and re-read, I'm fine owning. Books that I need for reference (Joy of Cooking, etc) I'll keep. Beyond that, if I won't re-read it, then I shouldn't keep it. Of course, the purges only happen when I run out of space...

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1901 on: June 10, 2015, 12:59:10 PM »
Did another sweep through the bathroom cabinets last night.  Threw out a few more items and gathered things that can be used up  like half empty bottles of shampoo or body wash.  These I put in places where I will use them.  I am feeling much better even though I still kept some questionable things that probably should be thrown out eventually.

Also started purging papers this morning while I was transferring some files to a new computer.

Question: how long do I need to hold on to these types of papers:
- confirmation of final student loan payoff from over 10 years ago
- purchase and sale paperwork for a house (bought in 2003 sold in 2012)
- information relating to a 401k that I rolled over to an IRA 5 years ago
- car accident paperwork that ended up in a lawsuit (settled by the insurance co) more than 10 years ago

I've been keeping them in case questions arise relating to them but it seems that at some point they should be thrown out?

Personally, I'd toss or shred all of those items.

ZiziPB

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1902 on: June 10, 2015, 02:00:18 PM »
Thanks to all who responded to my questions about retention of paperwork.

I will shred the accident and 401k paperwork, file house paperwork with the tax returns for the year of sale and scan the loan payoff confirmation.




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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1903 on: June 10, 2015, 02:16:38 PM »
Last night I sold 2 bulky photography props I have.  2 less things to move and $35 in my pocket :)

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1904 on: June 10, 2015, 03:14:59 PM »
I cleaned out my craft/sewing supplies last night. I went through my keep pile and asked myself if I was keeping it to actually use, or keeping it because it was aspirational stuff. Some things I really couldn't tell. I was hoping to part with more, but it's still progress.

Melody

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1905 on: June 10, 2015, 05:09:34 PM »
I am currently planning for a cross country move. So currently very motivated to declutter and looking at what I own in a different light. I wonder if thinking "would I take it with me if I moved interstate" help any of you guys to make decisions.
Like most kids I have some "stuff" ay my folks house but I am pretty certain it's stuff I may need again not just junk. (Example, my modem is there, but I currently share my neighbors connection, I will be taking this on the move as they cost $100 and I think I'll need it, unless I can find another neighbour. Other example: half my crockery - after I moved from a house to an apartment I knew I would no longer be hosting dinner parties for 8. Kind of useful to have as I do break things and this way can take from this pile as needed.) However I fully intend to go through it in detail to confirm next time I see them.

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1906 on: June 11, 2015, 02:50:58 AM »
Today I sold 3 baking pans and a fancy food warmer. I also donated a grocery bag worth of clothes and books, three pots, 5 baking pans 4 mixing bowls and a crockpot! I upgraded the pots so not entirely empty cupboards, but I did decide to get rid of most of my baking supplies. We really don't eat desserts, and if I have to buy them instead of easily make them, then we will be encouraged to eat even less.

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1907 on: June 11, 2015, 03:12:25 AM »
Some more clothes into the consignment pile, just need to find an opportunity to drop them off (and soon, because they are summer stock).

I needed a flannel, after deciding to get rid of them all! Luckily they hadn't gone to the recycling yet, so I got one (just one) out to keep.

And I cleaned out my shoebox of Christmas decorations (yeah, I don't really do much, some fairy lights and a few baubles) because I wanted the box for something else and I found a stack of cut up old Christmas cards I was obviously planning to make gift tags out of. Well, they're gone. I have loads of tags already, I don't need another half done craft hanging around. Bonus was that I could use an ever smaller shoe box going forward.

I'm getting really close to 1000 things decluttered this year!

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1908 on: June 11, 2015, 05:39:01 AM »
Today I sold 3 baking pans and a fancy food warmer. I also donated a grocery bag worth of clothes and books, three pots, 5 baking pans 4 mixing bowls and a crockpot! I upgraded the pots so not entirely empty cupboards, but I did decide to get rid of most of my baking supplies. We really don't eat desserts, and if I have to buy them instead of easily make them, then we will be encouraged to eat even less.
That's about where we are, except SWMBO has celiac disease so buying desserts isn't a real option. Still, we eat dessert like twice a month or something and the baking stuff is by far the least used kitchen equipment we own. And when we do eat dessert it's often pudding that uses the same saucepans as everything else.

Edited to add: will you need a name change now? :p

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1909 on: June 11, 2015, 07:39:56 AM »
Any ideas for what to do with an old letterman jacket?  It takes up space and I never wear it but there's still a bit of sentiment attached to it.

Villanelle

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1910 on: June 11, 2015, 08:26:25 AM »
I need to spend some time on the kitchen.  That bundt cake pan I got as a wedding present and have never used?  It needs to go.  Lots of tools and gadgets and bowls and whatever that can go. 

It's a busy summer before our move, but I really want to get a lot more stuff out before we get packed up. 

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1911 on: June 11, 2015, 08:29:23 AM »
I am currently planning for a cross country move. So currently very motivated to declutter and looking at what I own in a different light. I wonder if thinking "would I take it with me if I moved interstate" help any of you guys to make decisions.

Absolutely. I consider this question when I am deciding to keep something or not (the answer is almost always 'hell no'). I'm not planning on moving for a couple years, but it's still a great question to ask while decluttering now. :)

Rubic

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1912 on: June 11, 2015, 10:36:12 AM »
Any ideas for what to do with an old letterman jacket?  It takes up space and I never wear it but there's still a bit of sentiment attached to it.

  • Take a digital photo of your jacket.
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mleigh

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1913 on: June 11, 2015, 10:54:12 AM »
Any ideas for what to do with an old letterman jacket?  It takes up space and I never wear it but there's still a bit of sentiment attached to it.

I took the letters off mine and sold the jacket at a rummage sale.  I decided that the real sentiment was in the letters, and those are virtually two-dimensional and easily fit in the box of memorabilia I keep. 

Cookie

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1914 on: June 11, 2015, 03:45:05 PM »
Quote
Edited to add: will you need a name change now? :p


OH NO! dangit.

Anatidae V

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1915 on: June 11, 2015, 06:38:34 PM »
I am currently planning for a cross country move. So currently very motivated to declutter and looking at what I own in a different light. I wonder if thinking "would I take it with me if I moved interstate" help any of you guys to make decisions.

Absolutely. I consider this question when I am deciding to keep something or not (the answer is almost always 'hell no'). I'm not planning on moving for a couple years, but it's still a great question to ask while decluttering now. :)
This question was useless for me until we were actually considering an interstate move. Then all of a sudden a lot of things got earmarked for disposal! Several of those items are ones we won't get rid of unless we make a move because we do use them (couches) and i would simply want to get new ones at the new place. Also because I've tried selling them on Gumtree and I'm not ready to put them up for free until we move, which should be at the end of this year even if its just to a new place in the same city.

Melody

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1916 on: June 11, 2015, 07:42:17 PM »
It works really well for paperwork and clothes and sentimentals... But perhaps less well for furniture ;-) if I applied this too liberally I would be sleeping on the floor (my I got it second hand and have had it for 5 years mattress will not be making the journey).  But yeah it's been good. Also everything out and only the useful stuff back in helps at lot. I have done the bathroom and pantry scanning both for out of date items or items I will never use. If I hadn't emptied both out onto the floor first I don't think I would have got rid of as much

Mikhial

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1917 on: June 11, 2015, 08:21:05 PM »
Has anyone tracked all of their items in a spreadsheet? I'm kind of interested in doing it. I think it would be a good way to see how much I have and what I can get rid of. I do worry that tracking my items would make me spend more time thinking about them.

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CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1918 on: June 11, 2015, 08:36:11 PM »
Has anyone tracked all of their items in a spreadsheet? I'm kind of interested in doing it. I think it would be a good way to see how much I have and what I can get rid of. I do worry that tracking my items would make me spend more time thinking about them.

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Yes, I did when I was trying to get rid of 7 things a day for a month - in part to track, in part to record for donations.  I ended up getting rid of 500+ items...but sometimes pushed the envelope on number (e.g. I got rid of say, 7 tubes of travel toothpaste, or chapstick etc and called it 7.  Technically correct but a lot of small items released didn't get me far).

Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1919 on: June 12, 2015, 07:21:35 AM »
MonkeyJenga, that's some impressive tracking!

I finally got the Kondo book after six months on the library waiting list. I might write about my experience in the ol' journal so I don't clog up this thread.

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1920 on: June 12, 2015, 09:13:56 AM »
Has anyone tracked all of their items in a spreadsheet? I'm kind of interested in doing it. I think it would be a good way to see how much I have and what I can get rid of. I do worry that tracking my items would make me spend more time thinking about them.

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I printed off an excel 'spreadsheet' of 2015 boxes outlined. I just put a mark in each box as something leaves the house. Low tech, but easy to keep track of and very motivating.

Every so often my husband will throw something away and then say, "Now you can go and put a tick on your sheet!", it kind of makes it into a game.

Also, I NEVER would have guessed I would be at 950 odd if I hadn't tracked it. It's unbelievable how quickly it adds up - and how quickly I have forgotten what all that stuff even was.

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1921 on: June 12, 2015, 09:20:00 AM »
Has anyone tracked all of their items in a spreadsheet? I'm kind of interested in doing it. I think it would be a good way to see how much I have and what I can get rid of. I do worry that tracking my items would make me spend more time thinking about them.

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Yes, I did when I was trying to get rid of 7 things a day for a month - in part to track, in part to record for donations.  I ended up getting rid of 500+ items...but sometimes pushed the envelope on number (e.g. I got rid of say, 7 tubes of travel toothpaste, or chapstick etc and called it 7.  Technically correct but a lot of small items released didn't get me far).

btw, I stopped because it became too time consuming for the benefit to me.  For me, after the initial boost it provided me as encouragement to get going, it was better to look at the clean space as a market of success than lines on the spreadsheet.  YMMV

norabird

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1922 on: June 12, 2015, 10:12:54 AM »
I think I am the slowest declutterer ever. But I also don't have a ton that needs to go so that works out, I guess. Slow and steady...brought in a big bag of books today to re-sell next week, and also brought in the collected plastic bags under the sink to recycle next door to my work. Lord knows we always accrue more.

I had an interesting experience at the grocery store the other night on that note. This is a place that asks for your id every time you use a card to pay. They usually use a ton of plastic bags in packing groceries but the neighborhood is gentrifying rapidly and the other night the young woman before me and the young man behind me (and me) all had our own canvas bags. But first the plastic bags had to be unpacked because it's the default. A strange type of culture clash.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1923 on: June 12, 2015, 10:24:09 AM »
I go for the pre-emptive strike in this situation.  My fabric bag is put on top of the groceries, so the first thing the cashier handles is the bag.

They usually use a ton of plastic bags in packing groceries but the neighborhood is gentrifying rapidly and the other night the young woman before me and the young man behind me (and me) all had our own canvas bags. But first the plastic bags had to be unpacked because it's the default. A strange type of culture clash.
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norabird

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1924 on: June 12, 2015, 11:22:30 AM »
Rat63, that's good! I am often fumbling with my wallet and/r planning on stuffing everything into my main bag, but I hope one day to reach this level of preparedness...

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1925 on: June 12, 2015, 11:44:35 AM »
My laundry room is clean!!!! I know exactly what is in there (we still have some odds and ends and my husband's sports stuff) and even have some bare shelves. We don't have a garage and our laundry room doubles up as odds and ends storage. After years..... And it's not even weekend yet. I'm smiling all day now :)

chasingthegoodlife

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1926 on: June 12, 2015, 07:06:13 PM »
Go cutenila!

We loaded my boyfriends car FULL of boxes for the thrift store this morning ... then it wouldn't start :/


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chasingthegoodlife

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1927 on: June 12, 2015, 07:07:13 PM »
Go cutenila!

We loaded my boyfriends car FULL of boxes for the thrift store this morning ... then it wouldn't start :/


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riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1928 on: June 12, 2015, 07:12:26 PM »
Donated a bag of clothes & dishes to a thrift shop today and gav painting supplies to parents. 

Cougar

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1929 on: June 12, 2015, 08:22:57 PM »


Also donating some clothes to goodwill.


 And throwing out some Christmas decorations. I still have a fake tree, lights and manger display but i used to go really overboard for Christmas and am finally cutting back to reasonable.(Well, almost reasonable. Kept the 8 foot inflatable snowman. Ok, so; i've cut back on how far overboard i go for Christmas).

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1930 on: June 12, 2015, 10:35:46 PM »
This week I've made $115 from selling stuff!

Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1931 on: June 13, 2015, 06:20:14 AM »
Nice work ,Cookie! Feels good to turn your unneeded stuff into usable dollars.


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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1932 on: June 13, 2015, 02:16:15 PM »
I gave a newly-retired friend the coupons that came in today's early edition Sunday newspaper.  My coupon cloth runneth over and I know she can use them.  Less paper recycling for me to deal with too.
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Anatidae V

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1933 on: June 14, 2015, 05:52:31 PM »
SO went through all our bags with me. Got rid of 2 laptop bags, a backpack and a ratty handbag.

The best bit was that he went through a box of paperwork from school/uni and got rid of most of it. I am so pleased with our progress over the weekend!

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1934 on: June 14, 2015, 11:36:00 PM »
Sold a trailer for $200 on Craigslist.  It was one of those things that never get done - my wife bought it, so it was her responsibility, but she wanted me to sell it, because that's my job.  So, it never got done.  My backyard is looking better!  Also put 4 chairs out for free in front of our house.  Gone in minutes.  In the process of cleaning out the garage.  Realized we had an extra table, so I am no longer planning to buy a desk for the guest room/office.

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1935 on: June 15, 2015, 01:54:40 AM »
We got rid of a matraze this weekend. We have so much more space in the basement now and can access the back shelf to get rid of more clutter.
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norabird

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1936 on: June 15, 2015, 11:08:31 AM »
Well, I got rid of clothes and then brought more clothes in. But some of the clothes (free) will probably be donated as they were a bulk pick-up. And four small household things are gone that won't be coming back. Books to be taken for re-selling tomorrow.

firelight

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1937 on: June 15, 2015, 11:50:36 AM »
Cleaned up our hall closet. Crossed 1000 items either donated or thrown out. Also found five pairs of shoes/sandals that were lurking in there.

Next up, papers. Starting to get closer and closer to done and I'm getting excited at the prospect of a decluttered home.

celticmyst08

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1938 on: June 15, 2015, 02:16:06 PM »
I just got Marie Kondo's decluttering book and read it last week. Overall, I really enjoyed it. We were gone over the weekend but now I want to start going through clothes. It's intimidating, because even though we have a smallish apartment, we have still managed to accumulate tons of useless crap. I know for a fact that most of my wardrobe does not spark joy!

My end goal is I want our home to be a retreat. We've made progress but I think we just need to bite the bullet and declutter all at once. The incremental "10 minutes a day" or "one room at a time" just hasn't worked for us.
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Nancy

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1939 on: June 16, 2015, 07:00:31 AM »
I find the Kondo book whimsical and fun. I have to admit that I can't get over her generalizations and claims based on anecdotal info (I keep thinking source? Oh right, her personal experience). However, I'm trying to take it for what it is.

SO and I have two bags of clothes to donate. It was really easy to go through clothes since I do not care about them at all. Most of the clothes I have were given to me by other people. Perfectly good! Sparking joy for clothes was based on utility and comfort (do I use it frequently and is it comfortable?).

Edited to add: I was surprised at how much the book actually helped me in getting rid of clothes., particularly nice items (coats, sweaters, dresses) that I had been holding on to purely because they were expensive (relatively) or of good quality even if I never wore them or they were uncomfortable.

Also, I really enjoy how honest Kondo is about her struggle with clutter. That was unexpected for me.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 04:51:08 AM by Nancy »

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1940 on: June 16, 2015, 09:56:57 AM »
Just wondering what other's thoughts are on the issue of 'family heirlooms' or collections or such that are handed down to you. I have received some things that get little use (e.g. actual silver silverware, fancy Delftware, an extensive coin collection), but that have a great deal of sentimental value (and possible monetary value). Some of the items are potentially interesting to my children (e.g. the coins) or their future children. Other items I look at and sort of shrug - like weird tableware (e.g. some sort of fancy pickle bowl that no one ever uses any more). Nothing is taking up much space and it is all tucked away in a drawer that I can spare. I just find myself looking at it and wondering why I am hanging on to it - I can't really put it into use because it isn't the sort of thing that is useful on a daily basis and/or it is too old and fragile to be used regularly.

I have a much easier time decluttering books and clothing and misc. rubble. What do you all do about the sorts of things I've described above?

riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1941 on: June 16, 2015, 10:52:29 AM »
Just wondering what other's thoughts are on the issue of 'family heirlooms' or collections or such that are handed down to you. I have received some things that get little use (e.g. actual silver silverware, fancy Delftware, an extensive coin collection), but that have a great deal of sentimental value (and possible monetary value). Some of the items are potentially interesting to my children (e.g. the coins) or their future children. Other items I look at and sort of shrug - like weird tableware (e.g. some sort of fancy pickle bowl that no one ever uses any more). Nothing is taking up much space and it is all tucked away in a drawer that I can spare. I just find myself looking at it and wondering why I am hanging on to it - I can't really put it into use because it isn't the sort of thing that is useful on a daily basis and/or it is too old and fragile to be used regularly.

I have a much easier time decluttering books and clothing and misc. rubble. What do you all do about the sorts of things I've described above?

I also hav received TONS of heirlooms and I kept what I like & hav a heap I will sell also ( high monetary value) . maybe keep items for your kids that you think of setting aside for them , esp if you hav the space.

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1942 on: June 16, 2015, 11:32:17 AM »
Just wondering what other's thoughts are on the issue of 'family heirlooms' or collections or such that are handed down to you. I have received some things that get little use (e.g. actual silver silverware, fancy Delftware, an extensive coin collection), but that have a great deal of sentimental value (and possible monetary value). Some of the items are potentially interesting to my children (e.g. the coins) or their future children. Other items I look at and sort of shrug - like weird tableware (e.g. some sort of fancy pickle bowl that no one ever uses any more). Nothing is taking up much space and it is all tucked away in a drawer that I can spare. I just find myself looking at it and wondering why I am hanging on to it - I can't really put it into use because it isn't the sort of thing that is useful on a daily basis and/or it is too old and fragile to be used regularly.

I have a much easier time decluttering books and clothing and misc. rubble. What do you all do about the sorts of things I've described above?

I'd ask other family members if they want them before getting rid of them.  If no takers, don't feel guilty!

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1943 on: June 16, 2015, 11:33:25 AM »
Just wondering what other's thoughts are on the issue of 'family heirlooms' or collections or such that are handed down to you. I have received some things that get little use (e.g. actual silver silverware, fancy Delftware, an extensive coin collection), but that have a great deal of sentimental value (and possible monetary value). Some of the items are potentially interesting to my children (e.g. the coins) or their future children. Other items I look at and sort of shrug - like weird tableware (e.g. some sort of fancy pickle bowl that no one ever uses any more). Nothing is taking up much space and it is all tucked away in a drawer that I can spare. I just find myself looking at it and wondering why I am hanging on to it - I can't really put it into use because it isn't the sort of thing that is useful on a daily basis and/or it is too old and fragile to be used regularly.

I have a much easier time decluttering books and clothing and misc. rubble. What do you all do about the sorts of things I've described above?

I also hav received TONS of heirlooms and I kept what I like & hav a heap I will sell also ( high monetary value) . maybe keep items for your kids that you think of setting aside for them , esp if you hav the space.

I'm getting ahead of that nightmare. I won't accept anything that I don't actually want. This works out to be very little.

When my parents are gone, my sister and I have a plan of action.
1. She and I take what we want (fairly short list)
2. Offer items to specific family members (considering the family origin of the item)
3. Offer items to general family (regardless of relationship to family origin of the item)
4. Offer items to friends
5. Sell/donate items.

Mom is generally aware of this and isn't really pleased, but mollified by the offering items to family. I think she thinks the family will take everything, while me and sis think that will be limited. We're also not willing to move stuff, so the family will have to come get things (or pay for shipping).

wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1944 on: June 17, 2015, 04:56:37 PM »
I think once someone has died there is no reason for you not to do what you wish with the things which are now yours.  Freedom!

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1945 on: June 17, 2015, 06:12:09 PM »
I think once someone has died there is no reason for you not to do what you wish with the things which are now yours.  Freedom!

This seems discourteous to me if it's something someone else in the family would really want.  Why not offer and avoid any hurt feelings down the line?  (Note, I'm talking about sentimental items, not items family wants solely because it's valuable.)

Of course the onus can be on the family member to pick it up in a reasonable timeframe as agreed upon (or forfeit it).

Cookie

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1946 on: June 17, 2015, 10:08:43 PM »
Be careful about offering it to other family members. I know some people may not want it, but could get very upset to learn that you are getting rid of it. I'm not saying don't offer to family, but be able to hold strong against their pressure for you to become the museum.

former player

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1947 on: June 18, 2015, 12:47:39 AM »
Just wondering what other's thoughts are on the issue of 'family heirlooms' or collections or such that are handed down to you. I have received some things that get little use (e.g. actual silver silverware, fancy Delftware, an extensive coin collection), but that have a great deal of sentimental value (and possible monetary value). Some of the items are potentially interesting to my children (e.g. the coins) or their future children. Other items I look at and sort of shrug - like weird tableware (e.g. some sort of fancy pickle bowl that no one ever uses any more). Nothing is taking up much space and it is all tucked away in a drawer that I can spare. I just find myself looking at it and wondering why I am hanging on to it - I can't really put it into use because it isn't the sort of thing that is useful on a daily basis and/or it is too old and fragile to be used regularly.

I have a much easier time decluttering books and clothing and misc. rubble. What do you all do about the sorts of things I've described above?
I'm facing a similar dilemma at the moment.  I'm offering relatives the opportunity to take things (one cousin is keeper of the family archive on that side, so is taking papers and photos and some artifacts).   If there are likely to be disputes, offer the whole lot at once with each family member choosing what they want in turn (draw lots for the order and with people who can't be there in person making a list of preferred items) until everything is gone.  If children don't have a home of their own yet and you have room, keep things for them until they are eg 21 or 25, and if they still don't want them pass them on to other family or sell them.

I'm keeping a few things for myself that I can use and have room for, making sure I have a little something from each family member I want to remember with love. I've limited the remaining photos to three albums - for my brother, myself, and a general historic one and the rest are being burnt.

Everything else valuable is going to auction - as the auctioneer said to me "sell what you don't want and use it to buy something you do want".

If you are hanging on to heirlooms, make sure the "story" is written down and goes with them - eg "teaset given to [relative] on getting married in [year]", as this is what gives them the "family value".
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

pancakes

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1948 on: June 18, 2015, 04:06:52 AM »
Be careful about offering it to other family members. I know some people may not want it, but could get very upset to learn that you are getting rid of it. I'm not saying don't offer to family, but be able to hold strong against their pressure for you to become the museum.
This x1000

A relative gave us a lot of hand-me-down bits and pieces form her mother. We moved a few times and eventually found ourselves not needing them anymore. We checked if she'd like them back (nope she got rid of them because they didn't suit her house) and checked with other family members (also didn't want them) before donating them. When she found out we'd given them away she became very angry because they had sentimental value. I believe that it is unfair to expect another person to warehouse your sentimental items but many will get upset if you discard them.

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #1949 on: June 18, 2015, 04:42:24 AM »
The heirlooms talk is illuminating.

I cleaned out my desk drawers, which I had done before but I was more ruthless. Instead of looking at the usefulness of the item, instead I said to myself, if I didn't have one of these, would I go out and buy it? If the answer was no, I got rid.

My drawer is so much emptier! But this will only work if I completely stop impulse purchasing. So far, so good. I needed a few things from the chemist and I did not browse at all - just got what I went for. I was having something bound at Staples and thought, 'I'll have a wander about while I wait'. No. I would be tempted by all the pretty stationery (I'm looking at you, Martha Stewart). My decluttering is only going to work if I can continue to reduce what I bring in.