Author Topic: Looking for Inspiration  (Read 1773 times)

SunshineGirl

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Looking for Inspiration
« on: November 17, 2014, 11:39:18 AM »
We are in the process of remodeling our master bedroom and bath, somewhat frugally. Today we are having some drywall work done changing the configuration of our closet, so over the weekend we completely emptied it out. I have long thought I didn't have many clothes and didn't have much unnecessary junk in my life, but I guess I didn't realize how much stuff I was cramming into that closet.

I'd be grateful if y'all could offer encouragement and advice to help me minimize to a far greater degree than I have. Specifically, here is what I will be weeding through:

1. A few "memory boxes" full of stuff from when my kids were little. Several times I have begun going through them and paring things down, but I never seem to finish. I probably have four banker's boxes of things. I also have one or two of my own stuff, and one with stuff saved from my dad. My reluctance has more to do with time than anything.

2. Books. I am fairly committed to not having more books than will fit on the two built-in bookshelves in my living room, and yet part of the remodel includes creating a reading nook on our stair landing, so I'm fine with having a few books there as well, but I don't want an open bookshelf. Any creative ideas for book storage for a few books (25 or so)? I was thinking of using a really old hardback suitcase, because I love the look of them and I also plan to have an old typewriter in the nook as part of the decor. Other thoughts? I have been storing books in my closet that I have either not wanted out for public perusal OR that I've wanted to save for my reading nook.

I do have a Kindle, but still greatly prefer books, and many of the books I plan to keep are older history books, or not ones I'd want to purchase for the kindle. As in, they aren't worth it to me to replace them, but they're worth keeping for a few years. 

3. Clothes! This is what surprises me the most. Earlier this year, I did some sort of challenge where you pick thirty items and wear only those for some period of time. I loved it and donated a lot of clothes as a result, because by forcing yourself to choose what you *want* to wear, you're left with things you have already self-selected as not your favorite. And yet I still have a ton of clothes! Good quality ones, too, which is why I think I'm having a problem donating them even though I seldom wear them. Some also nearly fit but not quite, and so I optimistically think they'll fit down the road -- this has mostly to do with pants. Jeans and good dress pants, or off-season things. I start out all gung-ho to donate things after trying them on, and yet still end up thinking, "I'll just set these aside for now...." Not completely, but of the things I don't currently wear, about half have gone to the donation pile and half to the "maybe someday" pile.

4. Same thing with shoes, although I am pretty committed to donating any shoes that aren't 100% comfortable, so I don't think I'll have a problem getting my shoes down to a reasonable number.

5. Old paperwork, mostly tax-related. I set aside two banker's boxes of material that can be shredded because it's past the point where we can be audited, but I still have several of these boxes.

The good thing is that a couple years ago, I did sort everything into banker's boxes, and so it's all neatly stored, but help me understand how much of it is necessary! And maybe it's also just that much of the boxed stuff can be moved to the attic so it's not in my day-to-day line of sight.

Help! Encouragement/advice/tips!!! I hope to post in the badass section in a couple weeks boasting about how much I pared down, but at the moment, it seems very overwhelming.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 11:42:17 AM by SunshineGirl »

nereo

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Re: Looking for Inspiration
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 12:10:43 PM »
Quote
1. A few "memory boxes" full of stuff from when my kids were little. Several times I have begun going through them and paring things down, but I never seem to finish. I probably have four banker's boxes of things. I also have one or two of my own stuff, and one with stuff saved from my dad. My reluctance has more to do with time than anything.

2. Books. I am fairly committed to not having more books than will fit on the two built-in bookshelves in my living room, and yet part of the remodel includes creating a reading nook on our stair landing, so I'm fine with having a few books there as well, but I don't want an open bookshelf. Any creative ideas for book storage for a few books (25 or so)? I was thinking of using a really old hardback suitcase, because I love the look of them and I also plan to have an old typewriter in the nook as part of the decor. Other thoughts? I have been storing books in my closet that I have either not wanted out for public perusal OR that I've wanted to save for my reading nook.

I do have a Kindle, but still greatly prefer books, and many of the books I plan to keep are older history books, or not ones I'd want to purchase for the kindle. As in, they aren't worth it to me to replace them, but they're worth keeping for a few years.

3. Clothes! This is what surprises me the most. Earlier this year, I did some sort of challenge where you pick thirty items and wear only those for some period of time. I loved it and donated a lot of clothes as a result, because by forcing yourself to choose what you *want* to wear, you're left with things you have already self-selected as not your favorite. And yet I still have a ton of clothes! Good quality ones, too, which is why I think I'm having a problem donating them even though I seldom wear them. Some also nearly fit but not quite, and so I optimistically think they'll fit down the road -- this has mostly to do with pants. Jeans and good dress pants, or off-season things. I start out all gung-ho to donate things after trying them on, and yet still end up thinking, "I'll just set these aside for now...." Not completely, but of the things I don't currently wear, about half have gone to the donation pile and half to the "maybe someday" pile.

4. Same thing with shoes, although I am pretty committed to donating any shoes that aren't 100% comfortable, so I don't think I'll have a problem getting my shoes down to a reasonable number.

5. Old paperwork, mostly tax-related. I set aside two banker's boxes of material that can be shredded because it's past the point where we can be audited, but I still have several of these boxes.
1)  memory boxes.  The sentimental may be the hardest, but you've said yourself that time is probably the biggest factor here.  Set aside 2-3 uninterupted hours and a goal of combining the boxes from 4 to 2 (or even 1).  If your children are old enough, offer to give them their memories. Digitize any photos worth keeping.   If it's stored in a box in a closet and only sees the light of day every few years (as opposed to on a shelf somewhere to be admired) that's probably a good indication of it's true sentimental worth.

2.  Books.  Use a library to store your books.  Think of it this way - books in your closet aren't used for more than a few hours every few decades.  That's pretty wasteful.  If you aren't going to read it within the next 6 months and it isn't a rare book, give it to a charity/library/used book store.  If/when you want to read it again you can just drop by your local library and borrow it for a few weeks.

3. Clothes.  I've had this same problem.  Here's how I handled it.  I first counted all the clothes I had an divided it up into subcategories like t-shirts, casual pants, dress pants, etc.  Then I set a limit for the number of each category I was allowed to have (the limits were a lot lower than what I already owned).  I printed that out and put it in my (overflowing) sock drawer.  Then I prohibited myself from buying any clothes in any category until I had dropped below that number ("nope, I can't buy any sweaters until I have fewer than 10, and I still have 14").  You can choose to give away clothes you have or wear them until they wear out.
An unexpected bonus for me was that I started naturally selecting more versatile pieces, since I didn't want a sweater that could only be worn with a specific pant or shirt.

4. Shoes.  I've never really had a shoe problem.  I suppose a similar strategy for "clothes" should work (i.e. "2 pairs of athletic shoes, 3 pairs shoes for work...")

5.Old Paperwork.  Shred it (or if you have a fireplace, use it to get some free heat!).  You already said most of it is past the audit-date - it serves no function now.  Also, any paper manuals can be found online if/when you actually need them, so recycle those unless you look at them more than a couple times a year.