Author Topic: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!  (Read 1023664 times)

mara

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2200 on: July 16, 2015, 12:34:08 PM »
I love the idea of a backyard studio I bet you can make it a beautiful and inspiring space :-)

Melody and Sarah, thank you for the encouragement. I think I can make this work. The cabin does have window AC and electric baseboard heat. The water pipe is broken (and not winterized), so I'll have to wash my brushes up at the house. Not a big problem.

I do have a question, though. It may sound a bit odd, but I am serious: With my current buffed-up anti-stuff attitude, how do I justify making art? Where do I put it? We already have too much art and too many photographs to hang on the walls in our house. Even good art doesn't always sell. Isn't art just more stuff, most of which would probably end up in a landfill?

I would love to read what other artists and non-artists think about this.

simmias

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2201 on: July 16, 2015, 02:35:25 PM »
He even agreed to part with my grandmother's set of the Harvard Classics
Sacrilege!

MoustacheKnittah

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2202 on: July 16, 2015, 03:13:49 PM »
Quote
I do have a question, though. It may sound a bit odd, but I am serious: With my current buffed-up anti-stuff attitude, how do I justify making art? Where do I put it? We already have too much art and too many photographs to hang on the walls in our house. Even good art doesn't always sell. Isn't art just more stuff, most of which would probably end up in a landfill?

I would love to read what other artists and non-artists think about this.

Quote
I'm a knitter and I've struggled with this as well. If you hang around knitting fora a lot, you'll hear people describe themselves as product (I knit to have a sweater) and process (I knit because I like to knit and the sweater is incidental) knitters. Is there something similar for art? If it's the process of making art that you like, do you care if you keep the final product? Could you do something that uses less stuff (sketching)? Could you use waste materials (the back of scratch paper) so you feel like you aren't creating waste?

Shockingly, I am also a knitter :) I think for knitting/fiber crafts it's pretty easy, because there are a lot of charities for babies, homeless shelters, etc. that accept handknit/handsewn goods. So it's pretty easy to give things away if you're a process knitter. Photography, wall hanging, pottery, etc - yeah that gets a little trickier. At some point, your friends/family have enough of your beautiful art hanging in their houses, so it's hard to give away as gifts. I think electronic display of photographs has come a long way in the last few years, so that's an option to keep the collection "fresh" without creating any more physical objects. I don't have a good answer for pottery and other art that creates things that sit around on tables and shelves (and things where the only purpose is just to look cool and be interesting). I will have to ponder that one...

swick

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2203 on: July 16, 2015, 03:43:59 PM »

I do have a question, though. It may sound a bit odd, but I am serious: With my current buffed-up anti-stuff attitude, how do I justify making art? Where do I put it? We already have too much art and too many photographs to hang on the walls in our house. Even good art doesn't always sell. Isn't art just more stuff, most of which would probably end up in a landfill?

I would love to read what other artists and non-artists think about this.

I don't wrap my identity up in "being an artist" just like I never identified myself as "being a gallery/art center manager" I have always looked at it as "being a creator" The act of creating is what is important.

The art is the outcome of the creative process as are MANY other benefits - self-expression/confidence/stress relief...

Just because what you produce could be considered "just stuff" to you suggests to me that the "creative process" is more important to you then the finished product. If so, awesome!

Sell what you can. Donate to non-profits and fundraisers you care about. Hook up with women's shelters and bring some color and beauty to their walls. Donate pictures to hospices and end of life care facilities. If the value for you is in the creation - seek to connect with others who will value your end product. Even if you don't get paid for it, it will be doing some good in the world and inspiring others....Also if you do want to sell more of your work, this is a great way to get your name out there and build community good will.

You could also create your art and then let the originals go and use copies to make products people could use...Journals, planners, note cards, heck even downloadable wallpapers which will earn you a bit of cash and pretty up peoples computers without them having to have a physical "thing" in their home.

Art doesn't have to "be junk that ends up in a landfill" once you have fulfilled your purpose in creating, let it go to someone else who might need the beauty or inspiration in their life.

Melody

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2204 on: July 16, 2015, 04:51:25 PM »
I love the idea of donating to women's shelters and the like. My mum offers her art to local businesses for free (cafes etc) so this is an idea too.  Also I think if you sketch and paint then your art doesn't take up much space and over time you will find loving homes for these items. My personal art forms are photography and music so these don't take up space, and I sew (the items get used). Sometimes I sketch and I have a few sketch books. If I like it I keep it if not I tear the page out. I don't feel wasteful and I don't think you should either if it brings you joy.

swick

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2205 on: July 16, 2015, 05:01:16 PM »
I love the idea of donating to women's shelters and the like. My mum offers her art to local businesses for free (cafes etc) so this is an idea too. 

This is a popular thing for artists in Canada except they usually offer them for sale and split the proceeds with the cafe.

Another thing you could do if you have a huge body of work is an "Art Rental" where you approach local businesses and offices and offer them art on their walls for x$ a month and you change it up every so often (swapping your art between different clients) They get new art to enjoy, you make some money for it.

mara

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2206 on: July 16, 2015, 06:56:07 PM »
I love the idea of a backyard studio I bet you can make it a beautiful and inspiring space :-)

Melody and Sarah, thank you for the encouragement. I think I can make this work. The cabin does have window AC and electric baseboard heat. The water pipe is broken (and not winterized), so I'll have to wash my brushes up at the house. Not a big problem.

I do have a question, though. It may sound a bit odd, but I am serious: With my current buffed-up anti-stuff attitude, how do I justify making art? Where do I put it? We already have too much art and too many photographs to hang on the walls in our house. Even good art doesn't always sell. Isn't art just more stuff, most of which would probably end up in a landfill?

I would love to read what other artists and non-artists think about this.

I'm a knitter and I've struggled with this as well. If you hang around knitting fora a lot, you'll hear people describe themselves as product (I knit to have a sweater) and process (I knit because I like to knit and the sweater is incidental) knitters. Is there something similar for art? If it's the process of making art that you like, do you care if you keep the final product? Could you do something that uses less stuff (sketching)? Could you use waste materials (the back of scratch paper) so you feel like you aren't creating waste?

This is an interesting response! I think it is a little bit different for artists than knitters, but there are definitely some similarities. I'm not sure what direction my work will take next, but I love your idea of taking responsibility to be aware of limiting waste.

mara

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2207 on: July 16, 2015, 07:09:18 PM »
He even agreed to part with my grandmother's set of the Harvard Classics
Sacrilege!

:-) Not really. He gave me permission to give them to one of our kids.

mara

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2208 on: July 16, 2015, 07:16:07 PM »
swick and Melody, thanks for the great ideas! With all those options, I don't need to worry about it anymore.

norabird

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2209 on: July 17, 2015, 03:12:27 AM »
Speaking of clutter and donating, extra bathroom supplies (lotions or whatever) can go to shelters.

Melody

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2210 on: July 17, 2015, 04:56:45 AM »
Sorting through some of the office supplies tonight. I could write a bazzilion university essays and still have too many pens. Some are going to my dad, I know he'll use them, and some to work (yes I could take new work stuff from the stationary cupboard but better to use up something I already have) and keeping some of it stored neatly for using on job applications etc.

MsPeacock

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2211 on: July 18, 2015, 11:24:55 AM »
So... Do I really need to save old tax records? If for some unforeseen reason I needed them, aren't they available from the IRS? I needed them for my divorce since as a means of harassment the other side asked for my tax returns going back 400 year or so. And I had them. But that is over, and aside from that I've never needed my old taxes.

Thoughts? Getting rid of them allows me to get rid of an entire file cabinets. (I"m also tossing old closing records and such on prior houses that I no longer own, etc.).

swick

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2212 on: July 18, 2015, 12:05:44 PM »
So... Do I really need to save old tax records? If for some unforeseen reason I needed them, aren't they available from the IRS? I needed them for my divorce since as a means of harassment the other side asked for my tax returns going back 400 year or so. And I had them. But that is over, and aside from that I've never needed my old taxes.

Thoughts? Getting rid of them allows me to get rid of an entire file cabinets. (I"m also tossing old closing records and such on prior houses that I no longer own, etc.).

It depends on the statue of limitations set out by your government. In Canada you can amend (and they can reassess) back 7 years, so that is required. If you were to be audited and didn't have your documentation, I'm not sure they are required to provide you with their records? Or if their records are different from yours, you have to be able to provide supporting documentation as to how you came up with your numbers.

wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2213 on: July 18, 2015, 01:18:08 PM »
MoustacheKnittah,

Quote
I have absolutely been trying to tie together theses aspects of my life! Call it minimizing, optimizing, maximizing efficiency, whatever you like - but I am trying hard to focus on streamlining all of these things to free up mental energy, time and money.

I will be curious to hear more  of your progress including the lows and the highs.  I am getting a taste of the freed up mental energy already and I want more and more.  I spent part of this morning looking at areas where I complicate things and thus overwhelm myself and found some useful ideas.  I will put them in another post.

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2214 on: July 18, 2015, 01:43:16 PM »
So... Do I really need to save old tax records? If for some unforeseen reason I needed them, aren't they available from the IRS? I needed them for my divorce since as a means of harassment the other side asked for my tax returns going back 400 year or so. And I had them. But that is over, and aside from that I've never needed my old taxes.

Thoughts? Getting rid of them allows me to get rid of an entire file cabinets. (I"m also tossing old closing records and such on prior houses that I no longer own, etc.).

It depends on the statue of limitations set out by your government. In Canada you can amend (and they can reassess) back 7 years, so that is required. If you were to be audited and didn't have your documentation, I'm not sure they are required to provide you with their records? Or if their records are different from yours, you have to be able to provide supporting documentation as to how you came up with your numbers.

So that is what I am trying to answer - do I actually need to save them? In the highly unlikely event that I was audited on records from x years ago (lets say 6) - I assume the IRS would have to provide a copy of my filings if I request them. I mean, I can request them *now* so I doubt they could refuse my records to me if I were being audited. I just feel like I could go back and get bank records and pay stubs (which I haven't saved anyhow) if needed and I am trying to see why this would be any different. I really want to toss all this paper!

wintersun

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2215 on: July 18, 2015, 01:54:16 PM »
I have been de-cluttering bit by bit for many months.  As I go along I have been separating out things we are not using (that are broken/need scanning or typing) and putting them aside to deal with later.  We are nearing that point and I am realising...

Why repair/mend/read/scan/type/photograph all the detritus?  Why not just say goodbye instead and feel the benefits now?  Why not allow someone else to enjoy sewing that pretty fabric or planting those seeds? Let's face it, I am no longer as enamored of these things as I was when I acquired them.

Toss out/Donate:

All the fabric for sewing into clothing
All the supplies for crafts other than the two I love the most
All the unused health supplements
All the seed packs for flowers
Empty picture frames
Some of the broken furniture
Ripped bags and clothing in the mending pile
Lamps that need wiring but we do not have room for
Jewellery that is broken and will cost more to mend than it is worth to me
Old prints that are in the closet

I see that up until today I was still harboring the idea that I must keep commitments to objects, and that not doing so was wasting the money originally spent.  How great will it be to end this burden this week?

Part of my issue is excess clutter in my mind.  Those broken things take up a lot of room in my head.  I do not love them.  In fact today I feel a huge urge to toss them out the window.

Watch this space...






iknowiyam

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2216 on: July 18, 2015, 03:04:51 PM »
So... Do I really need to save old tax records? If for some unforeseen reason I needed them, aren't they available from the IRS? I needed them for my divorce since as a means of harassment the other side asked for my tax returns going back 400 year or so. And I had them. But that is over, and aside from that I've never needed my old taxes.

Thoughts? Getting rid of them allows me to get rid of an entire file cabinets. (I"m also tossing old closing records and such on prior houses that I no longer own, etc.).

It depends on the statue of limitations set out by your government. In Canada you can amend (and they can reassess) back 7 years, so that is required. If you were to be audited and didn't have your documentation, I'm not sure they are required to provide you with their records? Or if their records are different from yours, you have to be able to provide supporting documentation as to how you came up with your numbers.

So that is what I am trying to answer - do I actually need to save them? In the highly unlikely event that I was audited on records from x years ago (lets say 6) - I assume the IRS would have to provide a copy of my filings if I request them. I mean, I can request them *now* so I doubt they could refuse my records to me if I were being audited. I just feel like I could go back and get bank records and pay stubs (which I haven't saved anyhow) if needed and I am trying to see why this would be any different. I really want to toss all this paper!

Yes! Save them forever, especially if you own a home. Find a friend with a decently quick scanner (if you don't have one), and save them on a backup drive or even a thumb drive. Shred and recycle the paper.
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riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2217 on: July 18, 2015, 03:21:51 PM »
I have been de-cluttering bit by bit for many months.  As I go along I have been separating out things we are not using (that are broken/need scanning or typing) and putting them aside to deal with later.  We are nearing that point and I am realising...

Why repair/mend/read/scan/type/photograph all the detritus?  Why not just say goodbye instead and feel the benefits now?  Why not allow someone else to enjoy sewing that pretty fabric or planting those seeds? Let's face it, I am no longer as enamored of these things as I was when I acquired them.

Toss out/Donate:

All the fabric for sewing into clothing
All the supplies for crafts other than the two I love the most
All the unused health supplements
All the seed packs for flowers
Empty picture frames
Some of the broken furniture
Ripped bags and clothing in the mending pile
Lamps that need wiring but we do not have room for
Jewellery that is broken and will cost more to mend than it is worth to me
Old prints that are in the closet

I see that up until today I was still harboring the idea that I must keep commitments to objects, and that not doing so was wasting the money originally spent.  How great will it be to end this burden this week?

Part of my issue is excess clutter in my mind.  Those broken things take up a lot of room in my head.  I do not love them.  In fact today I feel a huge urge to toss them out the window.

Watch this space...

Lovely. Good for you .

Practical Magic

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2218 on: July 19, 2015, 09:15:37 PM »
So... Do I really need to save old tax records? If for some unforeseen reason I needed them, aren't they available from the IRS? I needed them for my divorce since as a means of harassment the other side asked for my tax returns going back 400 year or so. And I had them. But that is over, and aside from that I've never needed my old taxes.

Thoughts? Getting rid of them allows me to get rid of an entire file cabinets. (I"m also tossing old closing records and such on prior houses that I no longer own, etc.).


It depends on the statue of limitations set out by your government. In Canada you can amend (and they can reassess) back 7 years, so that is required. If you were to be audited and didn't have your documentation, I'm not sure they are required to provide you with their records? Or if their records are different from yours, you have to be able to provide supporting documentation as to how you came up with your numbers.

So that is what I am trying to answer - do I actually need to save them? In the highly unlikely event that I was audited on records from x years ago (lets say 6) - I assume the IRS would have to provide a copy of my filings if I request them. I mean, I can request them *now* so I doubt they could refuse my records to me if I were being audited. I just feel like I could go back and get bank records and pay stubs (which I haven't saved anyhow) if needed and I am trying to see why this would be any different. I really want to toss all this paper!

It's not just the returns themselves that you'd need in an audit but the receipts and backup (W-2s, 1099s, etc) proving what you claimed on the return. A few months ago I scanned over 20 years of documents and put them on a high capacity thumb drive with a backup clone. But also we have rental properties, so it seemed like a good idea to just scan everything. The shredding or burning afterward is highly cathartic!
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 09:17:17 PM by Practical Magic »

HappierAtHome

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2219 on: July 19, 2015, 09:23:26 PM »
I did well on the weekend, getting through several piles of paper, most of which is now in the shredding bin.

I was also able to set aside another two bags of clothes for charity - do my clothes breed and multiply when I'm not looking?!

theadvicist

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2220 on: July 20, 2015, 05:02:51 AM »

I seem to have spent several years blindly stocking up on body fat, spare toilet paper, lotions and toothpastes, crafting supplies, useless boxes of paper, health supplements and broken things.  And, I am seeing that as the fridge gets clear I rush out to buy more food so that once again we have an abundance and once again I struggle to eat it all before it rots.  With craft supplies, fancy lotions, fancy health supplements and shoes I get them and never use them.  It is as though having them is soothing and if I use them up I feel an anxious urgency to restock, not in order to get a good price but to ease my anxiety.
 

Wintersun, I too was overwhelmed by all the lotions and toothpaste etc, yet, when I started running out, wanted to purchase more. Here's how I dealt with it.

I just let the feelings sit, but I didn't give into them. I decided that if I gave into the anxiety and purchased more, I was just feeding the cycle. So, I didn't buy replacements, except the things I was genuinely using up. So, for example, the cotton wool pads I just wanted to see gone, I didn't repurchase (even though I felt the urge) because using them up had felt like a chore. The facewipes I use every day I did repurchase, because using them up was just... neutral. I wasn't 'trying' to use them up, or trying to keep them. I just needed to take my makeup off, and that was how I did it.

So, I allowed myself to repurchase neutral things I was using. Anything I had had to 'work' to use up, I did not repurchase, even though I thought, oh my goodness, what if I need x.

And things where I was nearing the end, and thought, "I don't want to finish this, because I know I'm not going to repurchase and I might need it", I finished, by promising myself that if I finished it, and then later needed it, I could repurchase. But I did not allow myself to repurchase for stock - only if the need arose.

What I found is that most things could be substituted. This wasn't my intention at all, it was just something that was revealed to me. I've run out of one potion, oh, I'll just use another. A lot of 'first aid' type stuff also had duel uses I found by reading the label. Something I bought to ease nasal congestion can be used a wound disinfectant, so, since I no longer have the congestion this can be my go to disinfectant when the Savlon runs out and I won't repurchase.

Anyway, that was a long way of saying my advice would be thus. Acknowledge the feeling of wanting to stock up and rebuy, but don't act on it. Try not to judge that feeling, just accept it. "I want to rebuy that, even though I also want to rid of it", or whatever. Don't give in to it, or you are just feeding the cycle of anxiety.

It's hard, but it gets easier. Resisting the first time is much more uncomfortable than the 20th time. And I found that as stores depleted, and I realised how little I used any of the stuff I had got rid of, my anxiety lessened significantly too.

Increasingly, I am happy not to hold onto things in that way. For example, the other day I was packing for travel and I needed a toothbrush to take, as my electric one is too bulky. I had a freebie from a flight in a drawer. I thought, "I don't want to take it! Then it will be gone. I might need it someday". And I thought to myself, "Yes, I do need it someday - I need it today. It has fulfilled it's purpose by providing me with a toothbrush when I needed one". Somehow this now feels -even better- to me than keeping it. Using things up, allowing them to fulfil their purpose.

My husband told me off for getting out the 'good glasses'. I told him, no, I want to use them. Hell, I want to -break- them all (in time!), because I want to know that I have had the use out of them, enjoyed them fully, and they have served me completely. I want to wear things out, so I can let go of them knowing they've served me well, and I've used up all that joy they contained. Does any of this make sense, or do I sound raving?

MsPeacock

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2221 on: July 20, 2015, 05:17:48 AM »
So... Do I really need to save old tax records? If for some unforeseen reason I needed them, aren't they available from the IRS? I needed them for my divorce since as a means of harassment the other side asked for my tax returns going back 400 year or so. And I had them. But that is over, and aside from that I've never needed my old taxes.

Thoughts? Getting rid of them allows me to get rid of an entire file cabinets. (I"m also tossing old closing records and such on prior houses that I no longer own, etc.).


It depends on the statue of limitations set out by your government. In Canada you can amend (and they can reassess) back 7 years, so that is required. If you were to be audited and didn't have your documentation, I'm not sure they are required to provide you with their records? Or if their records are different from yours, you have to be able to provide supporting documentation as to how you came up with your numbers.

So that is what I am trying to answer - do I actually need to save them? In the highly unlikely event that I was audited on records from x years ago (lets say 6) - I assume the IRS would have to provide a copy of my filings if I request them. I mean, I can request them *now* so I doubt they could refuse my records to me if I were being audited. I just feel like I could go back and get bank records and pay stubs (which I haven't saved anyhow) if needed and I am trying to see why this would be any different. I really want to toss all this paper!

It's not just the returns themselves that you'd need in an audit but the receipts and backup (W-2s, 1099s, etc) proving what you claimed on the return. A few months ago I scanned over 20 years of documents and put them on a high capacity thumb drive with a backup clone. But also we have rental properties, so it seemed like a good idea to just scan everything. The shredding or burning afterward is highly cathartic!

Apparently the federal statute of limitations on tax stuff in 3 years. States vary. There would be no reason to save stuff past the statue of limitations. 3 years I can deal with.

MrsPfennig

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2222 on: July 20, 2015, 05:28:10 AM »
We cleaned the top of the book shelf. Finally! We already decluttered the book shelf a couple of weeks ago but put papers on top that we needed to through. Now its all gone!
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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2223 on: July 20, 2015, 05:44:47 AM »
Apparently the federal statute of limitations on tax stuff in 3 years. States vary. There would be no reason to save stuff past the statue of limitations. 3 years I can deal with.
You need to save documents for three years after the last time they appear on a return. For example, if you buy a house in 2000 and sell it in 2012, you need documents about the house through 2015, not 2003, because the paperwork affects your tax calculation in 2012. It's not safe to just shred all your documents from 2012 or before - you still need some.

Cookie78

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2224 on: July 20, 2015, 08:01:45 AM »
I got a good start on the garage on Saturday. I did more sorting and cleaning than decluttering, but I did get rid of a few things and it looks so much more manageable.

I also cleared away the donate pile and a couple other piles of library books and paperwork in preparation for having a dozen friends over for dinner. As soon as I did it I realized how much better everything looked and that I still have some work to do to keep those spaces clear permanently. :)

Does any of this make sense, or do I sound raving?

It all makes perfect sense to me. It's something I'm also working on, especially 'what if I need this someday? ...yes, like today' lol.


CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2225 on: July 20, 2015, 08:05:05 AM »
Apparently the federal statute of limitations on tax stuff in 3 years. States vary. There would be no reason to save stuff past the statue of limitations. 3 years I can deal with.
You need to save documents for three years after the last time they appear on a return. For example, if you buy a house in 2000 and sell it in 2012, you need documents about the house through 2015, not 2003, because the paperwork affects your tax calculation in 2012. It's not safe to just shred all your documents from 2012 or before - you still need some.

+1
Although it can be longer than 3 years (up to 7 in some cases for federal returns) that you need to retain records.

This is for businesses, but still helpful:
http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/How-long-should-I-keep-records
amusingly, they tell you to keep them forever if you've made a fraudulent return!
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 08:15:22 AM by CommonCents »

Practical Magic

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2226 on: July 20, 2015, 11:25:18 AM »
If you've had very simple tax returns and don't have a 401k or other retirement plan or securities, nor own any real estate, then only keep 3 years' worth. But if you have any of those complications, you might want to read up.  A couple easy reference links below.

* The IRS has six years to challenge your return if it thinks you underreported your gross income by 25 percent or more.

* House/Condo Records
From six years to permanently
Keep all records documenting the purchase price and the cost of all permanent improvements -- such as remodeling, additions and installations.
Keep records of expenses incurred in selling and buying the property, such as legal fees and your real estate agent's commission, for six years after you sell your home.

Holding on to these records is important because any improvements you make on your house, as well as expenses in selling it, are added to the original purchase price or cost basis. This adds up to a greater profit (also known as capital gains) when you sell your house. Therefore, you lower your capital gains tax.

* Retirement/Savings Plans
From one year to permanently
Keep the quarterly statements from your 401(k) or other plans until you receive the annual summary; if everything matches up, then shred the quarterlies. --->Keep the annual summaries until you retire or close the account.

http://apps.suzeorman.com/igsbase/igstemplate.cfm?SRC=MD012&SRCN=aoedetails&GnavID=20&SnavID=20&TnavID=&AreasofExpertiseID=17

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/how-long-to-keep-financial-records.aspx

Practical Magic

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2227 on: July 20, 2015, 12:52:05 PM »
David at Raptitude has a new post about decluttering and he too has discovered the Marie Kondo method.

http://www.raptitude.com/2015/07/out-of-sight/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Raptitudecom+%28Raptitude.com%29
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 10:30:12 PM by Practical Magic »

acorn

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2228 on: July 20, 2015, 01:11:52 PM »
My husband told me off for getting out the 'good glasses'. I told him, no, I want to use them. Hell, I want to -break- them all (in time!), because I want to know that I have had the use out of them, enjoyed them fully, and they have served me completely. I want to wear things out, so I can let go of them knowing they've served me well, and I've used up all that joy they contained. Does any of this make sense, or do I sound raving?

Oh hell yeah. +1000

I used to be like that. I would have clothes/bags/shoes/notebooks/insert-random-item that I couldn't bear to use because then they'll get used and no longer be pristine and *gasp* might even break! Then I realized that I was using my B-list things daily while hoarding my A-list things in their pristine conditions. Like. Why am I doing that again??

So I got over it and started using all the good stuff, because they were meant to be used. I get more joy out of using them rather then keeping them in the closet. In fact, now that I'm actively minimizing, I almost want things to wear out so I can get rid of them by attrition.

FrugalShrew

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2229 on: July 20, 2015, 02:06:32 PM »
My husband told me off for getting out the 'good glasses'. I told him, no, I want to use them. Hell, I want to -break- them all (in time!), because I want to know that I have had the use out of them, enjoyed them fully, and they have served me completely. I want to wear things out, so I can let go of them knowing they've served me well, and I've used up all that joy they contained. Does any of this make sense, or do I sound raving?

Oh hell yeah. +1000

I used to be like that. I would have clothes/bags/shoes/notebooks/insert-random-item that I couldn't bear to use because then they'll get used and no longer be pristine and *gasp* might even break! Then I realized that I was using my B-list things daily while hoarding my A-list things in their pristine conditions. Like. Why am I doing that again??

So I got over it and started using all the good stuff, because they were meant to be used. I get more joy out of using them rather then keeping them in the closet. In fact, now that I'm actively minimizing, I almost want things to wear out so I can get rid of them by attrition.

I have been learning this lesson myself. I always used to save up my "special" items, thus losing out on the opportunity to use them and enjoy them.

What's even worse is that I completely wasted some things because I saved them past their shelf life (like some lotions and makeup that my mom got me when I was younger that dried up). How counterproductive is that!

Sibley

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2230 on: July 20, 2015, 02:36:59 PM »
I love the idea of a backyard studio I bet you can make it a beautiful and inspiring space :-)

Melody and Sarah, thank you for the encouragement. I think I can make this work. The cabin does have window AC and electric baseboard heat. The water pipe is broken (and not winterized), so I'll have to wash my brushes up at the house. Not a big problem.

I do have a question, though. It may sound a bit odd, but I am serious: With my current buffed-up anti-stuff attitude, how do I justify making art? Where do I put it? We already have too much art and too many photographs to hang on the walls in our house. Even good art doesn't always sell. Isn't art just more stuff, most of which would probably end up in a landfill?

I would love to read what other artists and non-artists think about this.

I'm a knitter and I've struggled with this as well. If you hang around knitting fora a lot, you'll hear people describe themselves as product (I knit to have a sweater) and process (I knit because I like to knit and the sweater is incidental) knitters. Is there something similar for art? If it's the process of making art that you like, do you care if you keep the final product? Could you do something that uses less stuff (sketching)? Could you use waste materials (the back of scratch paper) so you feel like you aren't creating waste?

I needlepoint (similar to cross stitch). Traditionally, you make seat and cushion covers and pillows by needlepointing. You can also do some Christmas stuff.

I neelepoint because I enjoy it. There's somethings that I make that are used - drink coasters (just made 50 this year for Christmas gifts to friends). Brick covers (door stops). The rest just ends up sitting in a drawer forever. I will at some point get it from my mom's house, take pictures, then just toss it all. Rarely do I want the finished pieces.

Melody

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2231 on: July 20, 2015, 04:45:12 PM »
+1 for using up the good stuff.

Zaga

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2232 on: July 20, 2015, 06:11:48 PM »
Yes, use the good stuff!

I have a story about that.  My grandmother had an entire floor on her house that was designated "the good part".  She would keep it pristine but never use it.  When she had a party she would spend hours cleaning it, then have all her guests in the basement.  Never made sense to me at all!  Why have it if you're not going to use it!

Extreme example of course, but it does show the silliness of saving the good stuff too long.

Now we have the house.  You know what?  I use the main living areas, cause it's the nice part!

Mrs.LC

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2233 on: July 20, 2015, 09:43:38 PM »
Yes, use the good stuff!

I have a story about that.  My grandmother had an entire floor on her house that was designated "the good part".  She would keep it pristine but never use it.  When she had a party she would spend hours cleaning it, then have all her guests in the basement.  Never made sense to me at all!  Why have it if you're not going to use it!

Extreme example of course, but it does show the silliness of saving the good stuff too long.

Now we have the house.  You know what?  I use the main living areas, cause it's the nice part!
Interesting story about your grandmother. We live in our house and use everything. If it's too good to use we don't own it.
Loving the early retired life!
MORE WITH LESS

www.loosechangeliving.com

horsepoor

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2234 on: July 20, 2015, 10:23:14 PM »
I currently have 39 items listed on eBay, and bids on about a quarter of the stuff, for almost $950 so far.  It will be really nice to get that stuff packed up and shipped out, but the place is a wreck in the meantime.  Would LOVE to have it all sold, as that would mean nearly $5K in my pocket, but some stuff is sure to no-sale.  Next, I really need to Craigslist my espresso machine and aquarium.  I don't have time for the aquarium any more, and it sucks electricity and creates mental clutter (oh no's, that tetra is all alone, and I need to clean the tank!).  The espresso machine lost its countertop space to the blender and Instant Pot, so it gets zero use.  Oh yeah, we have a printer that needs to hit road too.

I was thinking about hoarding/retaining clutter (hoarding lite?) while driving yesterday, and it seems like it is just a more primitive form of saving.  After all, having a cache of supplies is a much more tangible way of preparing for the future, than saving money, which is, after all, a pretty abstract concept.  So it makes sense that many of us are trying to make the mental shift from hanging on to stuff towards hanging on to intangible dollars in accounts.  When we were in Peru this spring, they were talking about how some Incas were able to make it through multi-year droughts because of their hoard of dehydrated potato.  It probably felt pretty good to be an Incan with a huge pile of 5-years' worth of dehydrated potato, but it's kind of a leap of faith to believe that some numbers on a screen are equivalent to 5 year's worth of basic needs.

CommonCents

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2235 on: July 21, 2015, 09:16:13 AM »
I dunno, I think the reasons for keeping things are closer to fear of needing it later, sentiment or laziness/inertia (it takes effort to go through things, and stuff constantly seems to flow in rather than out).

EllieStan

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2236 on: July 21, 2015, 11:24:00 AM »
Decluttering the electronics!

- Getting rid of my old laptops and a few computer towers we do not use. I kept them for years because I didn't know how to retrieve data left on the hard drives, but my IT/geeky spouse helped me over the weekend. We'll bring everything to an ecocentre.

- I'll also try to sell my VCR and DVD player. My goal is to get rid of all but a few DVDs I particularly enjoy. We mostly use AppleTV to watch movies/series in streaming. After it's done, we'll be able to get rid of/sell our media tower.

I am wondering, though: is it worth trying to sell DVDs and CDs via Amazon or Ebay? I'm thinking about the multiple trips to CanadaPost just to send one $5 item at a time, and it doesn't seem efficient. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 11:27:11 AM by EllieStan »

MsPeacock

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2237 on: July 21, 2015, 02:29:11 PM »
Got rid of the random box of cables and cord this weekend. My lovely techy boyfriend went through it and identified cords that go w/ various electronics (e.g. the really old video camera that uses tapes). Paired things up appropriately with intent of donation. Tossed the rest. I am trying to be good now able putting labels on new cords as they come into the house (e.g. "kindle charger cord"). I feel like a messy pile of cables is this eras equivalent of 1950s pile of twist ties or the junk drawers.

Ready2Go

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2238 on: July 21, 2015, 03:59:16 PM »
Another successful round of uncluttering completed. Persuaded DH to part with 95 DVDs.  Removed 2 ikea cabinet towers from our family room.  After DVDs and old school papers and unused board games cleared out, DH and the kids conceded that maybe open space was better than mostly empty cabinets!
Also sent 4 more boxes of clothes to donation center.   Only 2 closets left to clear.    Three hoarders vs one minimalist makes for slow going.


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riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2239 on: July 21, 2015, 04:17:09 PM »
Well I am on vacation (100% free) and still downsizing .hahaha. One book and one magazine out . realizing more and more how much I really dislike magazines.. The only time I read them is at the gym, because my books are a little precarious. This particular magazine I was hoarding for a few months to look at, and thought I might enjoy it for the trip. Nope. One of those things ( even if just one ) I was holding onto for "someday", as a " should ". No more.
I think I mentioned before I packed most of my wardrobe for this 2 week trip because my clothing is so minimal, and there are at least a few items that I was feeling like I " should" keep. Rethinking this now as I continue to avoid wearing them... I'll likely rid myself of a few more things before I head home, but I'll keep you posted.
And I find myself coming up with more things to donate at home! Hilarious. The decluttering mindset is strong :). There's a glass table that I like but is taking up space.. Hmm.. I almost didn't even bring it when I moved recently. We'll see.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2240 on: July 21, 2015, 06:02:15 PM »
I've been on a decluttering binge for most of the year. It has levelled off a bit now because I've tossed so much, but I'm constantly on the lookout for things that can go.

This morning I tossed a t-shirt. Straight into the bin. Most of my clutter has been donated or sold on eBay, but not this. I bought it on a trip two years ago and quickly discovered it was the softest t-shirt ever made, so I proceeded to sleep in it constantly. It then developed two unfortunately-placed holes that have been getting bigger and bigger, and I could no longer wear it without something underneath it.

This morning I admitted it no longer serves a purpose and threw it out.

Someone else mentioned Project 333, and while I haven't been that brutal, I have slowly been piecing together a quality capsule wardrobe. The stress it has saved me is invaluable and (though it's somewhat un-Mustachian), I have no problem paying a little bit more for a good quality item that I love.

In the past 10 days I've had a wedding and a funeral. I thought about buying a new dress for the wedding just because it is freezing here, but ended up wearing a dress I've had for four years with the good trench coat and dressy black flats I wear to work. To the funeral I wore a black shift dress I wear to work, with the same trench coat and same shoes. No-one noticed, no-one cared, and I was packed for the (unexpected, out-of-town funeral) in five minutes.

Previously I bought clothes because I felt good about myself when I bought them (i.e. they were cheap) but then I hated the clothes/myself when I wore them. Now I am mastering the art of buying clothes I feel good about wearing, and actually feel OK about buying because I know I will have them for years.

Melody

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2241 on: July 21, 2015, 06:28:58 PM »
Decluttering the electronics!

- Getting rid of my old laptops and a few computer towers we do not use. I kept them for years because I didn't know how to retrieve data left on the hard drives, but my IT/geeky spouse helped me over the weekend. We'll bring everything to an ecocentre.

- I'll also try to sell my VCR and DVD player. My goal is to get rid of all but a few DVDs I particularly enjoy. We mostly use AppleTV to watch movies/series in streaming. After it's done, we'll be able to get rid of/sell our media tower.

I am wondering, though: is it worth trying to sell DVDs and CDs via Amazon or Ebay? I'm thinking about the multiple trips to CanadaPost just to send one $5 item at a time, and it doesn't seem efficient. Thoughts?
Can you list the DVDs in bulk lots? Group them by similar genres (e.g action etc). May not net you the highest price but you would get something for them. Or list everything at on the same day, set yourself a long shipping time frame so you have time for everyone to pay up, then you can do it all with one trip to the post office. Re list only one time before donating.

Melody

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2242 on: July 21, 2015, 06:30:10 PM »
Decluttering the electronics!

- Getting rid of my old laptops and a few computer towers we do not use. I kept them for years because I didn't know how to retrieve data left on the hard drives, but my IT/geeky spouse helped me over the weekend. We'll bring everything to an ecocentre.

- I'll also try to sell my VCR and DVD player. My goal is to get rid of all but a few DVDs I particularly enjoy. We mostly use AppleTV to watch movies/series in streaming. After it's done, we'll be able to get rid of/sell our media tower.

I am wondering, though: is it worth trying to sell DVDs and CDs via Amazon or Ebay? I'm thinking about the multiple trips to CanadaPost just to send one $5 item at a time, and it doesn't seem efficient. Thoughts?
Can you list the DVDs in bulk lots? Group them by similar genres (e.g action etc). May not net you the highest price but you would get something for them. Or list everything at on the same day, set yourself a long shipping time frame so you have time for everyone to pay up, then you can do it all with one trip to the post office. Re list only one time before donating.

Zaga

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2243 on: July 21, 2015, 07:48:53 PM »
I've been on a decluttering binge for most of the year. It has levelled off a bit now because I've tossed so much, but I'm constantly on the lookout for things that can go.

This morning I tossed a t-shirt. Straight into the bin. Most of my clutter has been donated or sold on eBay, but not this. I bought it on a trip two years ago and quickly discovered it was the softest t-shirt ever made, so I proceeded to sleep in it constantly. It then developed two unfortunately-placed holes that have been getting bigger and bigger, and I could no longer wear it without something underneath it.

This morning I admitted it no longer serves a purpose and threw it out.

Someone else mentioned Project 333, and while I haven't been that brutal, I have slowly been piecing together a quality capsule wardrobe. The stress it has saved me is invaluable and (though it's somewhat un-Mustachian), I have no problem paying a little bit more for a good quality item that I love.

In the past 10 days I've had a wedding and a funeral. I thought about buying a new dress for the wedding just because it is freezing here, but ended up wearing a dress I've had for four years with the good trench coat and dressy black flats I wear to work. To the funeral I wore a black shift dress I wear to work, with the same trench coat and same shoes. No-one noticed, no-one cared, and I was packed for the (unexpected, out-of-town funeral) in five minutes.

Previously I bought clothes because I felt good about myself when I bought them (i.e. they were cheap) but then I hated the clothes/myself when I wore them. Now I am mastering the art of buying clothes I feel good about wearing, and actually feel OK about buying because I know I will have them for years.
Good for you on the t-shirt!  Super soft t-shirts are something special :-)

I work at a consignment shop, and when asked for my opinion I'm always honest with the ladies.  I want them to be just as happy with their purchase months later as they are the day they buy, so if something is a bad color for them or just doesn't fit right I am not shy about telling them that. 

Then of course I go and pull something better off the racks that looks fabulous!  :-)

acorn

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2244 on: July 21, 2015, 09:32:20 PM »
I've been the same size since high school (today I wore a skirt that I wore at my fifteenth birthday party).


riverffashion

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2245 on: July 21, 2015, 09:34:06 PM »
I've been the same size since high school (today I wore a skirt that I wore at my fifteenth birthday party).



I'm smaller than I was in highschool (& no, I was not large). I don't hav any clothing from then though. I wore the hell out of all those rap and metal t-shirts, along with the dark and distressed getups- think black lingerie and combat boots (I was pretty Gothic back then, so I likely wouldn't wear any of it even if it were still around).
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 09:40:35 PM by riverffashion »

horsepoor

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2246 on: July 21, 2015, 09:51:42 PM »
I dunno, I think the reasons for keeping things are closer to fear of needing it later, sentiment or laziness/inertia (it takes effort to go through things, and stuff constantly seems to flow in rather than out).

Depends on what it is.  I was thinking more of the discussion above about things like toiletries.  Like, is there really a fear of running out of toothpaste?  No, but it's somehow comforting to see a cache of consumable goods, whether they'll be used/needed or not.  It reminds me of those stockpiles some of the extreme couponers have.  They'll likely never use those 117 bottles of shampoo, or 78 jars of mustard, but somehow having them in the basement gives them a sense of security, kind of like having a big fat 401(k) might be to a Mustachian.  I actually don't have a problem getting rid of stuff that doesn't get used, but still fight a strong urge to "stock up" on stuff like food and cleaning supplies.  I get a deep sense of satisfaction/security from seeing my little basement pantry stocked full of canned goods and storage vegetables that I just don't get from looking at my TSP balance on Mint, even though it's not like I'm going to survive long on a jam, tomato sauce and a few potatoes.  Money, OTOH, is an abstraction, but is much more versatile for fulfilling uncertain future needs, assuming that our economic system doesn't collapse, of course.

Melody

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2247 on: July 22, 2015, 04:06:37 AM »
I am also still my highschool size. I weigh about 4kgs more but am 2inches taller so clothing size it's a wash. However two inches taller and a different body shape means I haven't actually hung onto any high school clothes bar a raincoat, some pjs and some track pants. Other things that may have still fitted me today wore out long ago, it's not like I had the money to spend on super high quality stuff back in school.

Melody

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2248 on: July 22, 2015, 04:10:03 AM »
When I have a fear of needing something in the future I always ask myself how many 're buys I have had to do. The only one I can think of would be a printer (done with university... Goodbye printer... Never thinking I might need it for job applications a couple of years down the line) and a few bits of sports equipment here and there (I give up the sport only to take it up again). Given there have been so few "fails" I feel quite confident in my ability to assess if I need something again. Sports equipment tho, I will now proceed to keep forever and ever ;-)

MsPeacock

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Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2249 on: July 22, 2015, 05:38:09 AM »
Part of my desire to have a lot of stuff on hand - consumables - like shampoo, laundry detergent, etc. - is that I cling to the hope that by doing this I will magically have to go to the grocery store less often. Or Costco less often, because I most def do not enjoy doing a Costco run.  For me the laundry detergent et. al. falls in a different category than say books, excess clothing, DVDs, and general clutter. I can tidily store my extra shampoo in the cupboard in my laundry room and it is put away and not 'clutter.'