Author Topic: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!  (Read 774747 times)

acorn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3200 on: January 30, 2016, 05:50:16 PM »
Strange thoughts swirling in my head as I was going through various items today....  For example, I have a long black wool coat that has been on the donation list for several years now, yet every time I pull it out, I end up putting it back into the closet.  Every time, the thought in my head is "what if I need it to wear it to a funeral?".  And some other things that I'm debating getting rid of make me think along the same lines, what if I need these some time in the future?  So I'm trying to think through these thoughts logically.  I'm telling myself that I have plenty of money to buy anything I need at any point in time for any special occasion (which is absolutely true).  However, once I think all this through to the end, it turns out that I am scared that the money will disappear in some catastrophic event, that there will be a war and we will all be cold and hungry, and that my woolen coat (or whatever other item) will be very handy...  Seriously?!!  I think I have a problem - an irrational fear of becoming a bag lady!  Anyone else in the same boat?


I don't know. It you know that you will want to have a black coat for any winter funeral that may come up, and you have such a coat now, why would you throw it out and plan to spend money later on a new one? It seems to me that's the irrational ideas and unmustachain to boot. Of course, I'm of an age that funerals are becoming more frequent, but people are also more likely to die in winter if they're ill, so...

Could you wear the coat during winter? A black coat seems very versatile. I try to minimize special occasion clothing by incorporating them into my daily wardrobe.

ZiziPB

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2187
  • Location: CT for now...
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3201 on: January 30, 2016, 06:13:29 PM »
Thanks, Acorn & Rural, for the suggestions. I haven't worn this coat in a few years. I have a couple of other winter coats that are more comfortable for everyday wear. And I'm trying to reduce stuff in preparation for major downsizing in a couple of years. But the other coats are not dressy. I'm still undecided, I guess.



Squirrel away

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3202 on: January 31, 2016, 03:15:19 AM »

Strange thoughts swirling in my head as I was going through various items today....  For example, I have a long black wool coat that has been on the donation list for several years now, yet every time I pull it out, I end up putting it back into the closet.  Every time, the thought in my head is "what if I need it to wear it to a funeral?".  And some other things that I'm debating getting rid of make me think along the same lines, what if I need these some time in the future?  So I'm trying to think through these thoughts logically.  I'm telling myself that I have plenty of money to buy anything I need at any point in time for any special occasion (which is absolutely true).  However, once I think all this through to the end, it turns out that I am scared that the money will disappear in some catastrophic event, that there will be a war and we will all be cold and hungry, and that my woolen coat (or whatever other item) will be very handy...  Seriously?!!  I think I have a problem - an irrational fear of becoming a bag lady!  Anyone else in the same boat?

No, I have had the same fears. I've read (a Suze Orman book maybe) that a lot of women have “bag lady syndrome".

ZiziPB

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2187
  • Location: CT for now...
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3203 on: January 31, 2016, 04:35:16 AM »

Strange thoughts swirling in my head as I was going through various items today....  For example, I have a long black wool coat that has been on the donation list for several years now, yet every time I pull it out, I end up putting it back into the closet.  Every time, the thought in my head is "what if I need it to wear it to a funeral?".  And some other things that I'm debating getting rid of make me think along the same lines, what if I need these some time in the future?  So I'm trying to think through these thoughts logically.  I'm telling myself that I have plenty of money to buy anything I need at any point in time for any special occasion (which is absolutely true).  However, once I think all this through to the end, it turns out that I am scared that the money will disappear in some catastrophic event, that there will be a war and we will all be cold and hungry, and that my woolen coat (or whatever other item) will be very handy...  Seriously?!!  I think I have a problem - an irrational fear of becoming a bag lady!  Anyone else in the same boat?

No, I have had the same fears. I've read (a Suze Orman book maybe) that a lot of women have “bag lady syndrome".
Good to know I'm not the only one!  I need to work on getting over these fears - any suggestions?



Squirrel away

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3204 on: January 31, 2016, 07:03:28 AM »
I decided to stop wearing clear nail varnish so I found some more clutter to discard today. I think it is fairly pointless and my fingernails keep breaking (and I work from home!) so I will see if they improve going natural.:)


Strange thoughts swirling in my head as I was going through various items today....  For example, I have a long black wool coat that has been on the donation list for several years now, yet every time I pull it out, I end up putting it back into the closet.  Every time, the thought in my head is "what if I need it to wear it to a funeral?".  And some other things that I'm debating getting rid of make me think along the same lines, what if I need these some time in the future?  So I'm trying to think through these thoughts logically.  I'm telling myself that I have plenty of money to buy anything I need at any point in time for any special occasion (which is absolutely true).  However, once I think all this through to the end, it turns out that I am scared that the money will disappear in some catastrophic event, that there will be a war and we will all be cold and hungry, and that my woolen coat (or whatever other item) will be very handy...  Seriously?!!  I think I have a problem - an irrational fear of becoming a bag lady!  Anyone else in the same boat?

No, I have had the same fears. I've read (a Suze Orman book maybe) that a lot of women have “bag lady syndrome".
Good to know I'm not the only one!  I need to work on getting over these fears - any suggestions?

I still think about it when I wake up some nights so I'm not sure! I do try to look at it in a practical way and realise that I am very well off compared to most people in the world, I have savings in the bank, I live in a country with a good social safety net etc...

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1180
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3205 on: February 01, 2016, 07:19:54 AM »
Re: bag lady fears, I don't really experience this, so I'm lucky in that regard but I wonder if you could look for the positives in being prepared for a bad situation eg. if there is an economic downturn, you'll be more ready to move for a new job, unencumbered by stuff. You would be able to take opportunities others can't.

By not having much stuff (and bringing no more in) you are saving a lot and therefore less likely to ever be in that situation.

Each thing you get rid of makes you more resourceful and self-sufficient (eg if you only have one hat and it gets a hole, you would darn it), which would be good preparation.

And finally, hanging onto old stuff or not won't affect wether said terrible event is going to happen in the first place. You are not preventing anything bad from happening by keeping it. You are just ensuring that your life up to that point will be more stressful and draining and tiring, worsening your health, which would be the most important thing you could take into a disaster zone. I see is as kind of self-care. Making your life good and happy now puts you in the best stead for later adversity.

Oh, and also, one more moth-eaten old coat isn't going to help much, really.

MsPeacock

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1363
  • Location: High COL
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3206 on: February 01, 2016, 08:31:09 AM »
Major book purge this weekend. Charity pick up is coming in a week. I had five 6 foot tall bills bookcases. They,were each 3 feet wide. I a, down to three 3-foot high and wide book shelves now. When I started the book purge several months ago it was very slow going. Now I just grab handfuls and toss them into boxes. I have a much better sense of which wants I actually want to keep. I need a few more boxes because the remaining books won't fit on the shelves, so more have to go. I ran out of boxes last night, but I can get some more today.

As a lifetime hoarder of books, a keep every book I read person, a maybe I will reread it, maybe my children will want it, maybe it will be valuable, maybe sometime I wil.have time to read it person - I am kicking butt getting rid of books.

ZiziPB

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2187
  • Location: CT for now...
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3207 on: February 01, 2016, 08:55:25 AM »
Re: bag lady fears, I don't really experience this, so I'm lucky in that regard but I wonder if you could look for the positives in being prepared for a bad situation eg. if there is an economic downturn, you'll be more ready to move for a new job, unencumbered by stuff. You would be able to take opportunities others can't.

By not having much stuff (and bringing no more in) you are saving a lot and therefore less likely to ever be in that situation.

Each thing you get rid of makes you more resourceful and self-sufficient (eg if you only have one hat and it gets a hole, you would darn it), which would be good preparation.

And finally, hanging onto old stuff or not won't affect wether said terrible event is going to happen in the first place. You are not preventing anything bad from happening by keeping it. You are just ensuring that your life up to that point will be more stressful and draining and tiring, worsening your health, which would be the most important thing you could take into a disaster zone. I see is as kind of self-care. Making your life good and happy now puts you in the best stead for later adversity.

Oh, and also, one more moth-eaten old coat isn't going to help much, really.

Thank you, theadvicist.  What you are saying is very reasonable and logical.  Bag lady fears are totally irrational, however, and are not easily influenced by logical thought :-)

Case in point: I logged into Fidelity yesterday to look at my accounts and for some reason my 401k was not displayed and excluded from the total number.  A brief moment of panic - what do I do?  How do I prove to anyone that I actually had a 401k?  And how can I prove what was in it? What would I ever do if, say, Fidelity told me that they have no record of my accounts?  After all, my NW is just a number displayed electronically on the screen.  What if it just disappeared one day???

As to the coat, I read a book last year about the siege of Leningrad during WWII and how the inhabitants of the city dealt with the cold and hunger.

This is all tongue in cheek of course, but you see how crazy we can drive ourselves with thoughts like that...



theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1180
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3208 on: February 01, 2016, 09:20:25 AM »

Thank you, theadvicist.  What you are saying is very reasonable and logical.  Bag lady fears are totally irrational, however, and are not easily influenced by logical thought :-)

Case in point: I logged into Fidelity yesterday to look at my accounts and for some reason my 401k was not displayed and excluded from the total number.  A brief moment of panic - what do I do?  How do I prove to anyone that I actually had a 401k?  And how can I prove what was in it? What would I ever do if, say, Fidelity told me that they have no record of my accounts?  After all, my NW is just a number displayed electronically on the screen.  What if it just disappeared one day???

As to the coat, I read a book last year about the siege of Leningrad during WWII and how the inhabitants of the city dealt with the cold and hunger.

This is all tongue in cheek of course, but you see how crazy we can drive ourselves with thoughts like that...

I get what you're saying about how irrational it all is, but... the only think you can counter that with is being rational. Or maybe therapy. I'm not being facetious - I had therapy for something unrelated, and we touched on how I held onto things (for other reasons). It took some work but we reprogrammed my thinking from, "This might be useful some day!" to, "the space and the peace of mind is useful TODAY". So I was just throwing some ideas out there to see if they might hold any sway with you.

When it comes to the markets all crashing etc (and to some extent Fidelity losing all their records) I tend to think, "we're all in the sh*t anyway, so it won't make any difference", but I understand others might find that more scary than comforting! If it's just a small computer glitch, no need to worry because they will have that covered with backups etc.

Am I helping or should I shush?

ZiziPB

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2187
  • Location: CT for now...
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3209 on: February 01, 2016, 09:26:56 AM »

Thank you, theadvicist.  What you are saying is very reasonable and logical.  Bag lady fears are totally irrational, however, and are not easily influenced by logical thought :-)

Case in point: I logged into Fidelity yesterday to look at my accounts and for some reason my 401k was not displayed and excluded from the total number.  A brief moment of panic - what do I do?  How do I prove to anyone that I actually had a 401k?  And how can I prove what was in it? What would I ever do if, say, Fidelity told me that they have no record of my accounts?  After all, my NW is just a number displayed electronically on the screen.  What if it just disappeared one day???

As to the coat, I read a book last year about the siege of Leningrad during WWII and how the inhabitants of the city dealt with the cold and hunger.

This is all tongue in cheek of course, but you see how crazy we can drive ourselves with thoughts like that...

I get what you're saying about how irrational it all is, but... the only think you can counter that with is being rational. Or maybe therapy. I'm not being facetious - I had therapy for something unrelated, and we touched on how I held onto things (for other reasons). It took some work but we reprogrammed my thinking from, "This might be useful some day!" to, "the space and the peace of mind is useful TODAY". So I was just throwing some ideas out there to see if they might hold any sway with you.

When it comes to the markets all crashing etc (and to some extent Fidelity losing all their records) I tend to think, "we're all in the sh*t anyway, so it won't make any difference", but I understand others might find that more scary than comforting! If it's just a small computer glitch, no need to worry because they will have that covered with backups etc.

Am I helping or should I shush?

Oh, you are definitely helping!  The strange thing is that I am generally a very rational, well organized and logical problem solver, so these kinds of thoughts are totally out of character for me...  And I am not a hoarder by any means.  My house is very well organized, very neat and I know exactly where everything is. Yet, sometimes I hit a wall with some things...



riverffashion

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Age: 33
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3210 on: February 01, 2016, 02:21:58 PM »
I will admit to having regrets about donating quite a few of my books, but still can rent most from the library so no big deal! Hav ordered one of my favs to reread.

NoraLenderbee

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 966
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3211 on: February 01, 2016, 03:43:47 PM »
And finally, hanging onto old stuff or not won't affect wether said terrible event is going to happen in the first place. You are not preventing anything bad from happening by keeping it. You are just ensuring that your life up to that point will be more stressful and draining and tiring,

"If I keep this old coat, that will prevent me from being thrown out onto the streets where I would need to use it as a blanket. "

I'm guilty of this kind of thinking, not so much about things, but in relation to worry. If I *worry* about a potential disaster sufficiently, that will prevent it from happening. If I fully anticipate every possible problem (in vivid detail and at length), those problems won't happen.

The result is that I constantly experience worry and fear, anticipating all sorts of terrible things that are not likely to happen.  Of course this completely destroys any feeling of peace or joy in the present. It's like filling your mind with stuff you hate. I've been doing this for years without even realizing it. Now that I know, I can try to control it (though it's hard).
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 10:04:46 PM by NoraLenderbee »

firelight

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 789
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3212 on: February 01, 2016, 07:06:05 PM »
I worry a lot about disasters too. My solution to this is to build a proper emergency kit (radio, flashlight, dry food, etc). That way, when I have bag lady fears, I take comfort that I still have my emergency kit and it is OK to let go of this one.

Astatine

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2434
  • Location: Australia
  • Blah. Blah blah blah.
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3213 on: February 02, 2016, 12:31:14 AM »

Strange thoughts swirling in my head as I was going through various items today....  For example, I have a long black wool coat that has been on the donation list for several years now, yet every time I pull it out, I end up putting it back into the closet.  Every time, the thought in my head is "what if I need it to wear it to a funeral?".  And some other things that I'm debating getting rid of make me think along the same lines, what if I need these some time in the future?  So I'm trying to think through these thoughts logically.  I'm telling myself that I have plenty of money to buy anything I need at any point in time for any special occasion (which is absolutely true).  However, once I think all this through to the end, it turns out that I am scared that the money will disappear in some catastrophic event, that there will be a war and we will all be cold and hungry, and that my woolen coat (or whatever other item) will be very handy...  Seriously?!!  I think I have a problem - an irrational fear of becoming a bag lady!  Anyone else in the same boat?

I'm late to this discussion but, yes, I've struggled with these thoughts too. What helped me get over the worst of these fears was:

- work out why I have this fear (for me, it's a combination of being estranged from family = no family safety net, being brought up with a feeling of scarcity not abundance)

- realise that my city is DROWNING in secondhand stuff, to the point where the recycle shed at the rubbish tip gives away clothes for free, the op shops sometimes say no to donations because there is so much stuff and so much stuff is given away on freecycle, so I can always get stuff cheaply or for free if the worst happened

- this is the most important one for me - building connections and community. I learnt to be more giving and generous (feelings of abundance, not scarcity) to my friends, acquaintances and to the general community. And learnt to accept things from my friends and acquaintances (this is HARD and a work in progress but I am improving :)). And then I realised, if the worst happened, I do have people to lean on and people do care about me.

Not sure if any of that is relevant to you but it helped me a lot.

Squirrel away

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3214 on: February 02, 2016, 01:38:43 AM »
I suddenly feel like my house is almost the way I want it to be in terms of clutter and it's mostly maintenance now. Getting rid of two coffee tables has made my living room feel a lot more spacious and it's easier to vacuum.

What helped me get over the worst of these fears was:

- work out why I have this fear (for me, it's a combination of being estranged from family = no family safety net, being brought up with a feeling of scarcity not abundance)


Yes, I have the same reason for anxieties over money and security.

ZiziPB

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2187
  • Location: CT for now...
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3215 on: February 02, 2016, 04:00:35 AM »

Strange thoughts swirling in my head as I was going through various items today....  For example, I have a long black wool coat that has been on the donation list for several years now, yet every time I pull it out, I end up putting it back into the closet.  Every time, the thought in my head is "what if I need it to wear it to a funeral?".  And some other things that I'm debating getting rid of make me think along the same lines, what if I need these some time in the future?  So I'm trying to think through these thoughts logically.  I'm telling myself that I have plenty of money to buy anything I need at any point in time for any special occasion (which is absolutely true).  However, once I think all this through to the end, it turns out that I am scared that the money will disappear in some catastrophic event, that there will be a war and we will all be cold and hungry, and that my woolen coat (or whatever other item) will be very handy...  Seriously?!!  I think I have a problem - an irrational fear of becoming a bag lady!  Anyone else in the same boat?

I'm late to this discussion but, yes, I've struggled with these thoughts too. What helped me get over the worst of these fears was:

- work out why I have this fear (for me, it's a combination of being estranged from family = no family safety net, being brought up with a feeling of scarcity not abundance)

- realise that my city is DROWNING in secondhand stuff, to the point where the recycle shed at the rubbish tip gives away clothes for free, the op shops sometimes say no to donations because there is so much stuff and so much stuff is given away on freecycle, so I can always get stuff cheaply or for free if the worst happened

- this is the most important one for me - building connections and community. I learnt to be more giving and generous (feelings of abundance, not scarcity) to my friends, acquaintances and to the general community. And learnt to accept things from my friends and acquaintances (this is HARD and a work in progress but I am improving :)). And then I realised, if the worst happened, I do have people to lean on and people do care about me.

Not sure if any of that is relevant to you but it helped me a lot.
These are such good points, Astatine.  Thank you.  I am not estranged from my family but I do live on a different continent from them, so effectively, I do not have a safety net here.  And since my divorce, I only have only myself to rely on.  Thank goodness my FIRE plan is to move back to the town where I grew up and where my family is - I'm sure it will help a lot!  And yes, growing up, we didn't have much.  We were never hungry or cold but we lived in a communist country where there wasn't much stuff overall.   

And yes, I think the world overall is drowning in second hand stuff!!!



thestoicstudent

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Location: NJ
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3216 on: February 03, 2016, 01:35:00 PM »
Has anyone used http://www.cdrecyclingcenter.com/ for disc recycling?

I have old CDs, DVDs from computer software and I'm trying to find the best way to rid of it all. Also, does anyone where I can recycle electric toothbrushes? I received two for free but both broke a few months later.

ZiziPB

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2187
  • Location: CT for now...
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3217 on: February 04, 2016, 04:36:29 AM »
Of my original list posted last week, the CDs still remain unsorted.  I have been so tired the last few days that I was in bed around 8 pm so have not done a thing around the house.  Hopefully I can get my act together and do some stuff this weekend.  So it's probably time for a new list :-)

- sort through the CDs
- bring the stuff I am donating to the donation center (I have 2 bags of stuff ready to go and some miscellaneous crap in addition to that)
- go through the shelves in the basement
- KonMarie shoes and clothes



Squirrel away

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3218 on: February 04, 2016, 05:46:16 AM »
I just read this on Rockstar Finance and thought it was relevant considering the discussion we were having about feeling anxious about having enough money or worrying about becoming homeless one day.

http://www.moneyaftergraduation.com/2016/01/04/why-you-should-practice-poverty/

ZiziPB

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2187
  • Location: CT for now...
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3219 on: February 04, 2016, 07:16:44 AM »
I just read this on Rockstar Finance and thought it was relevant considering the discussion we were having about feeling anxious about having enough money or worrying about becoming homeless one day.

http://www.moneyaftergraduation.com/2016/01/04/why-you-should-practice-poverty/

Interesting but I'm not really sure that this experiment is really that helpful or realistic.  After all, I would still be sleeping in my very comfortable bed, living in my lovely house with all the mod cons, and not really worrying whether I have enough money to pay my next electric bill...  And as a somewhat mustachian individual, I only read library books anyway, I don't eat out or buy coffee at Starbucks and my food budget IS about $50 per week so rice and beans are my staple :-)



riverffashion

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Age: 33
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3220 on: February 04, 2016, 12:38:25 PM »
I just read this on Rockstar Finance and thought it was relevant considering the discussion we were having about feeling anxious about having enough money or worrying about becoming homeless one day.

http://www.moneyaftergraduation.com/2016/01/04/why-you-should-practice-poverty/

Interesting but I'm not really sure that this experiment is really that helpful or realistic.  After all, I would still be sleeping in my very comfortable bed, living in my lovely house with all the mod cons, and not really worrying whether I have enough money to pay my next electric bill...  And as a somewhat mustachian individual, I only read library books anyway, I don't eat out or buy coffee at Starbucks and my food budget IS about $50 per week so rice and beans are my staple :-)

Agreed. As a mustachian (not as much as some) I live this way most of the time- inexpensive groceries, usually eating what I hav before purchasing more at the lowest rates, almost never eat out, read library books everyday, do not shop for clothing or for fun etc.

FrugalShrew

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 620
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3221 on: February 04, 2016, 01:15:05 PM »
If you practice poverty through this poverty simulation you might not be as comforted:

http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2015/02/what-i-learned-from-a-poverty-simulation/385190/

 

sobezen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 312
  • Age: 888
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3222 on: February 04, 2016, 02:54:17 PM »
I start annually by selling furniture and other large items in every single room. I recently sold the desk, couch, dining table, side bedroom dressers, and a storage tower in the bathroom. I find the less large items I have it makes where I live feel so much larger, safer and cleaner too! :) Then, I move onto anything I have not touched and actually 'used' within one year. I find it helps to keep this in mind when I carefully examine my possessions. Some of the worst offenders are books/article print outs I no longer review, suits I no longer wear, and foods in the pantry. Usually all of this makes its way to donations and then after one quick trip it is all gone. It might seen extreme but I've lived for years with just one bed, one desk, and a few articles of quality clothing. I find with the reduction in possessions I take better care of what I do keep too. Your mileage may vary. Good luck cleansing and decluttering your life. Cheers! :D
The best thing money can buy is financial freedom.

riverffashion

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Age: 33
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3223 on: February 04, 2016, 03:35:52 PM »
If you practice poverty through this poverty simulation you might not be as comforted:

http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2015/02/what-i-learned-from-a-poverty-simulation/385190/

This sounds a hell of a lot more like real poverty than the Rockstar link.

Squirrel away

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3224 on: February 05, 2016, 02:25:59 AM »
I know I'm not in the situation when I was a young teenager with a single mother and she thought we were going to lose our home, but the idea of being in poverty again still haunts me. I'm almost 40 years old, and obviously not even close to being in that situation, but it's hard to overcome fears if they have been with you for a long time.

I vacuumed yesterday and mopped all the floors and would like to have less furniture on the floor to make it even easier. I have two storage boxes that I use to store cat litter and I managed to move stuff around so I could fit one storage box in our main cupboard but I will have to try and find a place for the other box today. I'm not sure it can be done but I may as well try and look to see if there is anything else that can be thrown away or recycled.:)


theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1180
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3225 on: February 05, 2016, 02:33:19 AM »
Another car load to the charity shop! Unbelievable. A couple of things were gifts, and items won at a charity raffle. Some was Christmas decorations and things I cleared during the new year break.

I was so pleased to have the donate box and my car finally empty! Nothing hanging over me! Yay. Then I came home to a parcel from my mother (bless her for thinking of me, etc), and a dead houseplant. So now the contents of said parcel, and the plantpot are in the donate box! Argh, IT JUST KEEPS ON COMING.

That said, my house is looking and feeling so good! Shelves have breathing room, because stuff I want to keep has been put 'away' and drawers now contain items I actually want and use instead of being a repository for items I don't like / need and regret buying or keeping.

I spent most of my day off getting the house straight, packing stuff up for charity, and at the end of the day, I thought, I've spent an entire day dealing with 'stuff'. Rearranging shelves and drawers, tidying my wardrobe etc. No more. That was the last big session and now it's just maintenance and diligence about what comes in. I hope...

acorn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3226 on: February 05, 2016, 06:35:54 PM »
Gave away a vase today. I won it in a raffle two years ago, but I've never used it because I don't have a habit of buying flowers. I've kept it because it's really pretty and I liked it (even if I didn't use it) - I've even moved with it twice. But I'm moving again and enough is enough. I put up an ad for it and a nice lady came by to pick it up for her daughter's wedding. Her daughter loves blue, and she was so happy to pick up a blue vase to add to the wedding. That gave me warm fuzzy feelings going into the weekend. I'm glad that the vase will find new life in someone else's home. :)

Eirene

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • Age: 47
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3227 on: February 09, 2016, 05:48:08 PM »
Donated about 25 books and 20 CDs to the library yesterday.

Sold a book and a CD on amazon.

Listed a bunch of DVDs on craigslist - if they don't sell by 20 Feb will donate to the library as well.

I'm moving at the end of the month so the more stuff I can get rid of now the better.

Reading the second Marie Kondo book and steeling myself to tackle the komono category which is basically everything that is not clothes, books, papers or sentimental items.
Journal here, much easier for me to find it as it doesn't get updated often  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/mostly-on-budget/

Blog coming soon(-ish) eventually perhaps

FausseBourgeoise

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3228 on: February 09, 2016, 06:39:51 PM »
Just Konmari'd my closet. 5 bags of things to donate. It took less than two hours with the help of a friend.

Rebecca Stapler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 907
    • Stapler Confessions
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3229 on: February 11, 2016, 09:00:22 AM »
I sold a bag of maternity shirts ($16, not too shabby!), packed up a bag of clothes to consign with ThredUp (we'll see what they offer for them), have another bag of clothes to donate, and an entire box full of clothes that are ripped or stained. I love my closet now! Today I'm wearing a shirt that I had completely forgot about until I dug it out from the back of my closet last weekend.
Digging out of Debt with Frugal Living and Free Batteries: http://staplerconfessions.com/
Saving on Groceries: http://makinglemonadeblog.com/5-ways-to-save-money-on-groceries/
Make Money while Clearing out Clutter: http://makinglemonadeblog.com/turn-your-spring-cleaning-into-cash/

norabird

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4480
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3230 on: February 11, 2016, 09:24:00 AM »
Brought some stuff to a clothing swap yesterday and took a LOT home but most of it is being shipped off to Thredup. bwahahah.

Astatine

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2434
  • Location: Australia
  • Blah. Blah blah blah.
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3231 on: February 12, 2016, 09:40:57 PM »
DH and I decided we will do a run to the recycle shed at the tip and the book donation spot tomorrow. So that's prompted a bit of decluttering beyond the box of stuff that's been sitting next to the front door for ages.

So far:

- dead modem, will get dropped off at the e-waste recycling spot at the tip
- cat tunnel (takes up space in the lounge room, one cat uses it every few months or so)
- 4 small plastic containers (bought a lot of cheap Tupperware late last year at a fundraiser - the actual Tupperware, not the generic name for plasticware that Americans seem to use - so the old cheap and nasty stuff can go)
- magazine and word puzzle book (will go to medical waiting room at my next appt)
- 2 literary magazines
- a craft book I won in a raffle (very pretty but I will never use it to make stuff)
- metal water bottle (used it throughout chemo, now has nausea associations)
- clothes from a clothes swap that I didn't end up wanting to wear
- weird spatula thing that came free with our silicon bake sheets from Ikea

The kitchen plasticware cupboards also got rearranged a bit so it's a) easier to find stuff and b) less likely to trigger a plastic-landslide-of-doom when we reach in to get something.

Edit: I also threw out a few Christmas cards, a couple of prescriptions that went out of date last month and a few pieces of paper. Plus some paper that's been on the lounge room floor solely because the cats like sitting on them.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 09:44:32 PM by Astatine »

riverffashion

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Age: 33
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3232 on: February 13, 2016, 04:51:46 PM »
DH and I decided we will do a run to the recycle shed at the tip and the book donation spot tomorrow. So that's prompted a bit of decluttering beyond the box of stuff that's been sitting next to the front door for ages.

So far:

- dead modem, will get dropped off at the e-waste recycling spot at the tip
- cat tunnel (takes up space in the lounge room, one cat uses it every few months or so)
- 4 small plastic containers (bought a lot of cheap Tupperware late last year at a fundraiser - the actual Tupperware, not the generic name for plasticware that Americans seem to use - so the old cheap and nasty stuff can go)
- magazine and word puzzle book (will go to medical waiting room at my next appt)
- 2 literary magazines
- a craft book I won in a raffle (very pretty but I will never use it to make stuff)
- metal water bottle (used it throughout chemo, now has nausea associations)
- clothes from a clothes swap that I didn't end up wanting to wear
- weird spatula thing that came free with our silicon bake sheets from Ikea

The kitchen plasticware cupboards also got rearranged a bit so it's a) easier to find stuff and b) less likely to trigger a plastic-landslide-of-doom when we reach in to get something.

Edit: I also threw out a few Christmas cards, a couple of prescriptions that went out of date last month and a few pieces of paper. Plus some paper that's been on the lounge room floor solely because the cats like sitting on them.

I'm curious what you're referring to as what Americans typically use - are you saying there's a brand called "Tupperware " that's different than what we have he  or that we use entirely different plastic wear that we call Tupperware?

Prodigal Daughter

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Location: The Great Plaines
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3233 on: February 13, 2016, 06:13:24 PM »
Two large garbage bags filled with newly shredded, old financial documents.

Taxes filed.

Wild Saturday night.

acorn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3234 on: February 13, 2016, 06:24:44 PM »
I'm curious what you're referring to as what Americans typically use - are you saying there's a brand called "Tupperware " that's different than what we have he  or that we use entirely different plastic wear that we call Tupperware?

Tupperware is a brand name that's commonly used as a product name, kind of like Velcro, Post-its. There are a lot of them actually.

winostache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Location: NE USA
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3235 on: February 13, 2016, 07:04:48 PM »
You guys have made so much progress, I love reading this thread and you've motivated me to clean a few things around my place :)

I'd love to hear how you all handle clutter-attracting hobbies.  My SO is an engineer and tinkerer, who likes to build his own electronics.  It requires a lot of measurement gear, tools, and parts, so a lot of flat surfaces got covered - especially if a project is in progress (which can last for months).  We live in a 600 sqft condo, so there are no places like a basement or garage to banish him to.  The clutter also seems to turn invisible to him after a time and if he decides to drop the project, tons of parts, drawings, and half-done work gets added on top.

Anyone have their own rules, approaches, or thoughts on how to sort through this mess?  What do you do if you decide not to complete a project?  How do you keep clutter from turning invisible?  It's probably already been covered, but how do you get the SO on board? (He knows it's a mess, but he gets overwhelmed by the amount of effort it would take to dive in.  Too bad he's the only one who knows what's important to keep.)

PMG

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3236 on: February 13, 2016, 07:18:35 PM »
I thought I was done!  I've been on maintenance mode...

Today I got rid of a stack of clothing I rarely wear but kept in with my daily wear stuff.

I'm (painfully) getting rid of some worn out favorite pants and socks too.

I sorted through my half bin of clothes in storage to get rid of the things that are too small... only to be surprised when they fit!  My old dress pants fit beautifully!  My smallest jeans were snug... a little too much muffin top, but they fit enough to keep. There is reasonable hope that I'll wear them this summer.  This is so great.  If I can work up the self discipline to lose 5 pounds (and the self confidence to rock my wobbly bits) I won't have to buy a new swim suit for my 2 month Euro travels.

12 items ready to go out the door, two are bulk sweaters.  6 more packed up out of sight for a few weeks to see if I miss them. Cut clutter and my shopping list.  A little self confidence and motivation gained.

Researching dying brown linen pants black.


Astatine

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2434
  • Location: Australia
  • Blah. Blah blah blah.
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3237 on: February 13, 2016, 07:38:31 PM »
I'm curious what you're referring to as what Americans typically use - are you saying there's a brand called "Tupperware " that's different than what we have he  or that we use entirely different plastic wear that we call Tupperware?

Tupperware is a brand name that's commonly used as a product name, kind of like Velcro, Post-its. There are a lot of them actually.

Yep, this. It took me ages to realise that when Americans say Tupperware, usually they seem to mean any plasticware. I'm happy to be corrected if I've misunderstood.

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5306
  • Location: Australia
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3238 on: February 13, 2016, 07:52:59 PM »
Just packed up a big bag of clothes that are either big for me now, need ironing (I have renounced ironing!) or don't work within the 'uniform' of clothes I consistently wear.

Also clearing out crap from the junk room. It's stuff that I could've thrown out months ago, but Mr Happier does better with time to get used to something being set aside for disposal or donation.

Zaga

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1368
  • Age: 37
  • Location: North of Pittsburgh, PA
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3239 on: February 13, 2016, 08:22:11 PM »
A small thing, my niece was visiting and I gave her (and her siblings, who didn't visit today) about half of my remaining stuffed animals.  About a plastic grocery bag full.

The other half will probably be mostly thrown out, they were pretty dirty, yuck!

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5306
  • Location: Australia
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3240 on: February 13, 2016, 09:35:26 PM »
Just sorted through a giant pile of paper clutter. I swear this stuff breeds when I'm not looking.

Squirrel away

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3241 on: February 14, 2016, 02:35:52 AM »
You guys have made so much progress, I love reading this thread and you've motivated me to clean a few things around my place :)

I'd love to hear how you all handle clutter-attracting hobbies.  My SO is an engineer and tinkerer, who likes to build his own electronics.  It requires a lot of measurement gear, tools, and parts, so a lot of flat surfaces got covered - especially if a project is in progress (which can last for months).  We live in a 600 sqft condo, so there are no places like a basement or garage to banish him to.  The clutter also seems to turn invisible to him after a time and if he decides to drop the project, tons of parts, drawings, and half-done work gets added on top.

Anyone have their own rules, approaches, or thoughts on how to sort through this mess?  What do you do if you decide not to complete a project?  How do you keep clutter from turning invisible?  It's probably already been covered, but how do you get the SO on board? (He knows it's a mess, but he gets overwhelmed by the amount of effort it would take to dive in.  Too bad he's the only one who knows what's important to keep.)

Can you section off an area in the condo to give him an office/workroom to contain his clutter? Our house is only about 650 sqft and I have tried to divide our house and especially our main living room into sections to make it more workable.

riverffashion

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 884
  • Age: 33
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3242 on: February 14, 2016, 06:42:24 AM »
I'm curious what you're referring to as what Americans typically use - are you saying there's a brand called "Tupperware " that's different than what we have he  or that we use entirely different plastic wear that we call Tupperware?

Tupperware is a brand name that's commonly used as a product name, kind of like Velcro, Post-its. There are a lot of them actually.

We have that brand here, although there are also several other high or low quality brands I think you're referring to. We hav a set of pyrex we usually use.

Prodigal Daughter

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Location: The Great Plaines
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3243 on: February 14, 2016, 08:12:25 AM »
Just sorted through a giant pile of paper clutter. I swear this stuff breeds when I'm not looking.

Story of my life.

winostache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Location: NE USA
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3244 on: February 14, 2016, 01:01:11 PM »
Can you section off an area in the condo to give him an office/workroom to contain his clutter?

It was a table, but the table became so cluttered, it couldn't be a workspace.

Actually, today he cleaned it up significantly because I told him that if he wanted to move to the next project, we needed a place to put it.  He wants to build floor standing speakers, so we need floor space if we'll ever use them!  I hope this '1 for 1' project idea sticks :)

wintersun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3245 on: February 14, 2016, 05:44:38 PM »
You guys are so inspiring. I finally dealt with the one place in the house that I have been putting off sorting for a long time. What a relief (almost). It is spotless and tidy but some of the donations have not gone and that hangs over me.  Tune in next week...

Squirrel away

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1027
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3246 on: February 15, 2016, 01:57:57 AM »
Can you section off an area in the condo to give him an office/workroom to contain his clutter?

It was a table, but the table became so cluttered, it couldn't be a workspace.

Actually, today he cleaned it up significantly because I told him that if he wanted to move to the next project, we needed a place to put it.  He wants to build floor standing speakers, so we need floor space if we'll ever use them!  I hope this '1 for 1' project idea sticks :)

Good.:)

thrax

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3247 on: February 15, 2016, 05:01:25 AM »
Hi All.
I'm a bit of a lurker on the MMM forums, don't have anything of financial import to say so I tend more to watch from the sidelines.
Also my partner & I tend to share online accounts for various things so you may see posts by this user name signed by Mark - nothing to worry about and we haven't been hacked.

Anyways, I've not read the entire 60-something pages of this discussion but wanted to add my bit. I'll go back and read more when I have time.

We both got the FIRE bug while touring Europe, in Lisbon, Portugal actually and came home with plans to straighten ourselves up etc.
Initially we were planning on staying in our house but after 3 months back in Australia, I realised that it was more of a burden than anything else so clearing up and selling is now the plan. (We plan to spend our first year of FIRE in Chiang Mai, Thailand, after that who knows.)
Doesn't sound hard, you say, well.....

My house was built in 1929. By my Grandparents. Who managed to raise 4 children through (and just after) the great depression without them noticing any kind of deprivation.
So my family has lived here for 87 years. (Don't get too excited, anything even remotely valuable has been claimed by relatives)
On top of that, my mother passed away about 7 years ago. I swear she wasn't a hoarder - she was just prepared for any situation :). Oh, and she liked collecting vintage and antiques.

So I inherited my grandparents fully furnished encumbered household and then all my Mums' stuff as well. Oh, and I inherited the hoarding tendency too. Lucky me.

I've been intermittently selling stuff on eBay - I've sold maybe $500 worth in the last 4 or 5 months.
I try to make it policy to fill our rubbish bin every week - better than piling up stuff and then paying for a skip (assuming I can fit it in the bin, of course)
I shred anything that looks even remotely like personal information - the shredded paper is used either as packing for fragile eBay items being posted or to line the nesting boxes in the chook house.
If I find anything that belongs to friends/family etc I try to get it back to them. There's not a lot but every little counts.

The biggest impediment, I feel, is my emotional attachment to most of it. And the need to pass it on to someone who might use it.
Intellectually I know most of it is dirty, dusty, possum-piss-riddled rubbish but....

Anyway, I thought I'd drop back into this thread every so often and share whatever progress I may have made. All encouragement gratefully received :)

First Installment:
Sold 4 items on eBay this weekend for a total of $51.50
Tried to return old singer sewing machine to ex friend - she doesn't want it back after all so I'll eBay it soon.
Failed the wheelie bin challenge as I was working most of the weekend and didn't get around to it.
Gave an unsightly folding table and some old shelving to my elderly frugal neighbor. (he's currently using the chipboard shelving as a plant pot holder, go figure)

That went on for longer than I intended, sorry about that.
De'ana

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1180
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3248 on: February 15, 2016, 05:19:13 AM »
Hi De'ana.

Regarding the sentimental stuff, it's just that, stuff. You're not giving away / throwing away the memories. Those are yours to keep forever.

With things like that I sometimes take a photo, if I think I need the visual reminder to bring back the memories.

But at the end of the day, they are just things. You can honour your family and history and past in many ways that don't include holding onto everything, and allowing that to impact your life and your dreams.

Hope that helps a bit, and well done with all your progress so far!

misshathaway

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Massachusetts
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #3249 on: February 15, 2016, 06:41:20 AM »
I shred anything that looks even remotely like personal information - the shredded paper is used either as packing for fragile eBay items

What a good idea! Thanks for that.

I am going through the same thing. Currently I'm on sets of dishes. There are 2 sets of china and 2 sets of everyday. I think one set of china must be from grandparents since I never remember it being used. Then there are scads of cut glass serving thingies from a more genteel era. I can't even figure out names for some of them. Now is this a "relish dish" or a "butter server"?

I've had a couple of shedding-stuff instances where the recipient was clearly delighted with their item. That helps. I had vintage fur coats which are really hard to get rid of. Listed them on Craigslist without much hope, and a bohemian-looking girl in her twenties took all of them - some to refashion for herself to wear and some to make in to blankets and other art projects. She was absolutely thrilled with her find, and that made me happy.
Passed ER first year anniversary - settling in