Author Topic: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!  (Read 1339817 times)

Cookie78

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1838
  • Location: Canada
    • Cookie's Goals
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2200 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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2201 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

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 88
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2202 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

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 88
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2203 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

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2204 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

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2205 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

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3134
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2206 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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1089
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Australia
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2207 on: July 20, 2015, 04:45:12 PM »
+1 for using up the good stuff.

Zaga

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1658
  • Age: 38
  • Location: North of Pittsburgh, PA
    • A Wall of Hats
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2208 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

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
    • Loose Change Living
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2209 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.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2828
  • Location: At the barn
  • I earn it, my horses eat it
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2210 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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2211 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

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 153
  • Location: Canada
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2212 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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1482
  • Location: High COL
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2213 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

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 121
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2214 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.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

riverffashion

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 888
  • Age: 34
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2215 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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2226
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2216 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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1089
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Australia
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2217 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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1089
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Australia
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2218 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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1658
  • Age: 38
  • Location: North of Pittsburgh, PA
    • A Wall of Hats
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2219 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

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 373
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2220 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

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 888
  • Age: 34
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2221 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

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2828
  • Location: At the barn
  • I earn it, my horses eat it
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2222 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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1089
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Australia
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2223 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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1089
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Australia
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2224 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

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1482
  • Location: High COL
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2225 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.'

Villanelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2179
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2226 on: July 22, 2015, 06:05:31 AM »
Our dishes are chipped and looking pretty awful, and it is time to replace them.  I was assumign that once Stateside I'd cruise thrift stores, TJ Maxx and place of that ilk, and sales until I found something I liked.

Then I realized I have two sets of dishes in storage (gov't paid, due to overseas moves, not due to excess stuff).  One is my grandmother's china, and the other a lovely Mikasa set my mom gave me.  And yet I'm considering buying dishes to use?  The Mikasa set isn't 100% my taste, but I certainly don't hate them.  And given that they will generally be underneath a pile of pasta or a slab of meat and some potatoes, it doesn't much matter.

I've also started going through the two bins (large shoebox size) of "travel products" I have soaps, shampoos, toothbrushes, sewing kits, eye masks, etc.  I grab them thinking "this will be nice to have" or intending to donate them, or thinking I'll use them up with my every day grooming.  But I don't.  I'll empty the nicest of the containers because I do find it very helpful to have 3-4 travel size bottles, but everything else will either go in the shower to be used, or get tossed. 

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3134
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2227 on: July 22, 2015, 08:58:57 AM »
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.

Keep it up! You're making progress with them too.

CU Tiger

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 461
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic USA
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2228 on: July 22, 2015, 04:16:33 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.

I helped my Mom and Aunt clean out Grandma's house after she died. She had MULTIPLE sets of beautiful towels, unused and stored all over the house, while the towels in the bathroom, the ones she used, were so threadbare you could read the newspaper through them.

It made me sad. She had nice things that she never used, because they were "too nice" or because she needed to use the old things until they turned to rags and dust in her hands. So she died and those towels were given away to be enjoyed by strangers. I came home and stopped saving the "good" things for some magical future time. If I have it, I use it.

Mrs.LC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
    • Loose Change Living
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2229 on: July 22, 2015, 07:39:44 PM »
Took a trip yesterday to see our son and girlfriend. We took along a few items they were in need of and we weren't.  I call that a win-win!!

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1455
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2230 on: July 23, 2015, 05:49:36 AM »
Took another load of items to the dress agency (consignment store) yesterday. I knew I'd taken all the best stuff already, but since I made so much money from what I was just getting rid of I thought I'd try again. She didn't take anything! But she did send to charity for me, so it was worth a try, and it's saved me carrying it around to drop off myself. 

I also did a big charity drop off (and I mean parking right outside and making four trips in and out!), with stuff that I have been decluttering over the past few weeks.

And I put three more items of clothing in the donate box when I got home.

I've also found space for my jeans in my drawers, so they are not stacked anymore, but folded Marie Kondo style. I didn't weed them as thoroughly as I should have. I have too many pairs, I know. The empty shelf is staring down at me and I love it!

Anatidae V

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8138
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Fourecks
  • Nullus Anxietas
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2231 on: July 23, 2015, 07:30:47 AM »
I have moved all of my craft stuff out of the room and back in again about a month ago, sorting into 3 categories - tools, projects and supplies. All the wedding projects are taking up the available bench space because they are the most urgent and important. Worked out quite well, except that I now had a spread of stuff I needed to go through that took up the whole floor (room is MAYBE 2m by 3m at most). Turned out that the cupboard has a mould issue again, so I had to move everything off the floor for the handyman to get in tomorrow (love renting). Now I've sorted about 1/3 of the stuff, and taken 2 grocery bags of rubbish out of it - yay! Plus I think that I have all the wedding information in one place again, so it can be accessed easier for the minor amount of things that we need it for (logistics only at this point). I'm moving nicely towards my goal of having the majority of the supplies sorted into projects :)

wintersun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2232 on: July 23, 2015, 08:24:24 AM »
Serpentstooth,

Quote
I hoard consumer goods because my lizard brain thinks we'll all be safer if I have a nice big cache of diapers and dish detergent. It's obviously irrational, but I still get all happy looking at the diaper closet.

Do you have kids? :)

wintersun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2233 on: July 23, 2015, 08:35:42 AM »
Wow, the paper piles are almost gone! 

I am going to have three binders: one slim one for important docs, one for need-this-year-papers  and one in a cupboard for Archived Papers Which I Am Choosing To Keep.  I am keeping new computer paper in drawers now that the drawers are so empty.

We have destroyed (by ripping, shredding or burning) two large boxes of personal papers. Phew.

Now to deal with the random bits that are left.

Question:  With investment reports,  do I need to keep reports from years ago or do I just need this year's reports? I don't actually understand the whole report but can decipher the top two pieces of paper.  Is there any reason I need a record? should I keep the top sheet from each quarter?



Mrs.LC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
    • Loose Change Living
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2234 on: July 23, 2015, 10:14:54 AM »
Wow, the paper piles are almost gone! 

I am going to have three binders: one slim one for important docs, one for need-this-year-papers  and one in a cupboard for Archived Papers Which I Am Choosing To Keep.  I am keeping new computer paper in drawers now that the drawers are so empty.

We have destroyed (by ripping, shredding or burning) two large boxes of personal papers. Phew.

Now to deal with the random bits that are left.

Question:  With investment reports,  do I need to keep reports from years ago or do I just need this year's reports? I don't actually understand the whole report but can decipher the top two pieces of paper.  Is there any reason I need a record? should I keep the top sheet from each quarter?
Are the investment reports available online? If so then you can burn the paper ones.

expectopatronum

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Location: Texas
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2235 on: July 23, 2015, 02:17:50 PM »
Soooooo. Today we are finishing our downsize from a 2600sqft house to an 800sqft apartment (plus a 8x10 storage unit). Celebratory post is coming - but oh. My. Gosh. We had so much stuff. My husband was definitely hanging onto a lot more things than me, and there are some things that we moved that could probably go...but we'll be going through them once we are back from vacation.

I was so proud, though. Here are some of the things we got rid of:

- Crafting supplies that hadn't been used in >2 years.
- Two glass chess boards (we don't own chess pieces...)
- Wedding decor (gave to a friend)
- Cheapo IKEA coffee table (gave to a friend)
- Cheapo Halloween decor
- Cheapo 4th of July decor
- Cheapo Christmas ornaments (non-sentimental)
- Cheapo mini bookshelf and desk chair from college
- Extra kitchen table and chairs (gave to a friend)
- Chocolate fountain
- About 150 plastic hotel key cards. They weren't even unique! Some of them had Pizza Hut ads on the front! There were tons of duplicates! WTH!
- Husband used to have about 75 polos, 75 T-shirts, and basically cut it in half.

We took two SUV carloads full of stuff to Goodwill, and that's just from the last week. Over the last few months, it's been even more than that!

We also produced an incredibly shameful amount of trash.

Moving into a smaller place is definitely going to help us keep the stuff to a minimum and think twice about buying something. I'm still on the waiting list for Marie Kondo's book but looking forward to reading it.

riverffashion

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 888
  • Age: 34
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2236 on: July 23, 2015, 02:22:40 PM »
One book & T-shirt donated. One pair of shorts beyond repair to trash.& one super scratched pair of sunglasses trashed.

dorothyc

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 251
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Los Angeles
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2237 on: July 23, 2015, 05:05:43 PM »

- Husband used to have about 75 polos, 75 T-shirts, and basically cut it in half.


They won't do him much good like that, except as crop tops. j/k ;)

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2428
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2238 on: July 24, 2015, 06:41:03 PM »
I feel like people might appreciate this:
http://www.jspowerhour.com/comics/178

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2891
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2239 on: July 24, 2015, 06:53:22 PM »
I normally don't buy stuff to pour into another, decorative container. I just use the original container. But a few years ago family gave us a jug for olive oil.mimhad been pouring it into the jug. The jug was opaque and I never knew how much was in,it.

Today I just got tired of re pouring, and I tossed the jug. Now I'll use the olive oil in its original bottle. We use it up fairly quickly so there never was a real need to keep it refrigerated.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2828
  • Location: At the barn
  • I earn it, my horses eat it
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2240 on: July 24, 2015, 10:59:47 PM »
First major load of eBay stuff gone to the post office today.  I have a few more paid items packed up and ready to leave on Monday.  So in the last three days, I've sold $2,270.02 worth of crap!  OK, not crap, but horse gear I don't need and have not been using.  I'm going to relist the stuff that didn't sell, and hopefully double that number.  I've sneaked some clutter out with the boxes too, like wrapping the saddle I shipped today in a big wad of quilt batting that's been kicking around for years taking up way too much space.  There are some other things around here that I'm motivated to get sold now too, as I watch all this cash pile up in my bank account.

Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2311
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2241 on: July 24, 2015, 11:43:48 PM »
First major load of eBay stuff gone to the post office today.  I have a few more paid items packed up and ready to leave on Monday.  So in the last three days, I've sold $2,270.02 worth of crap!  OK, not crap, but horse gear I don't need and have not been using.  I'm going to relist the stuff that didn't sell, and hopefully double that number.  I've sneaked some clutter out with the boxes too, like wrapping the saddle I shipped today in a big wad of quilt batting that's been kicking around for years taking up way too much space.  There are some other things around here that I'm motivated to get sold now too, as I watch all this cash pile up in my bank account.

Nice work! And yeah, quilt batting is a space hog.

Ready2Go

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 121
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2242 on: July 25, 2015, 02:56:54 PM »
Big win today.   Going through a pile of old papers and found $100 of Amazon gift certificates and $200 of LLBean gift certificates!!   
My thanks to whoever started this topic.

riverffashion

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 888
  • Age: 34
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2243 on: July 25, 2015, 02:58:04 PM »
Big win today.   Going through a pile of old papers and found $100 of Amazon gift certificates and $200 of LLBean gift certificates!!   
My thanks to whoever started this topic.

Excellent. I love finding money.

Practical Magic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 88
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2244 on: July 25, 2015, 10:15:18 PM »
Wow, the paper piles are almost gone! 

I am going to have three binders: one slim one for important docs, one for need-this-year-papers  and one in a cupboard for Archived Papers Which I Am Choosing To Keep.  I am keeping new computer paper in drawers now that the drawers are so empty.

We have destroyed (by ripping, shredding or burning) two large boxes of personal papers. Phew.

Now to deal with the random bits that are left.

Question:  With investment reports,  do I need to keep reports from years ago or do I just need this year's reports? I don't actually understand the whole report but can decipher the top two pieces of paper.  Is there any reason I need a record? should I keep the top sheet from each quarter?

From what I've read about keeping tax-related documents, you're supposed to save everything relating to investments until you sell it (real estate, stocks, mutual funds, securities, etc), because it's proof of your basis & resulting profit or loss. Annoying, I agree. And really it's all sort of a gamble. What are the chances you'd ever be audited? Maybe slim. But I just went ahead and scanned all the paper statements I had kept, then threw them away. Once or twice a year I will download online statements to the same thumb drive where the scanned docs are saved. They don't make them available online for more than a year, usually, so it's good to get them while you can. 
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 10:24:48 PM by Practical Magic »

babysnowbyrd

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
  • Age: 32
    • My Journal
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2245 on: July 26, 2015, 07:52:03 AM »
I'm only starting this thread, but I've recently lost my job and moved. I netted over $500 in two yard sales. My stuff has been greatly reduced, but I bet I can still reduce it by another 50%. I love the progress I've made, but still feel burdened by the many things I still have.

One of the hardest challenges for me to get rid of my stuff is the scarcity mentality I have. Interestingly, when I had lost my job and started getting rid of things, it was much easier. I was very stressed out, and the things were just mostly clutter to me and I was happy to get rid of so much. I still ended up with a lot left over but no time to go through it more thoroughly, so I boxed up everything that was left quickly and moved.

Now I'm in my new place, which is a lot smaller than what I had before, and I make WAY less money than I used to, so the feeling of scarcity is coming back in full force. I can't throw away some stuff I've had for over a year and haven't used, and will 90% most likely never use in the near future, but I literally can't bring myself to throw it out. Because I paid money for it, and I feel so "poor" now I'm convinced that in the unlikely event that I *should* need it later, it will be too much of a purchase on my limited budget.

I find it ironic that this mindset was hardly present at all when I had no job and no money coming in and no other job lined up, but now that I have a poor-paying job I feel poorer and can't let go of things. Most of my stuff is still in boxes because I'm avoiding clearing things out because I'm struggling so much to make decisions on the first box.

Ugh. I'll start churning through the rest of the thread and see what I learn...

PMG

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 978
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2246 on: July 26, 2015, 09:41:40 AM »

Ugh. I'll start churning through the rest of the thread and see what I learn...

babysnowbyrd,
Starting at the beginning is great, but in the last several pages of thread there have been some great conversations and resources about the emotions and psychology behind keeping and leting go.  The entire thread is littered with these things, but the recent conversation might resonate with you.

 As for me... I just put the deposit down on a 290sq' studio apartment in a city 3.5 hours away.  It looks so much smaller than my current 400 sq'.  I'm panicking a little.  I know that my belongings will fit, but I don't want them to squeeze in!  I'm doing some packing this weekend.  I haven't found much to purge.  Feels good to know what I've got to work with.

I have about ten dinner plates.  I never use ten dinner plates at once.  They are mismatched hand-me-downs from my great grandmother, so I might keep them all but every time I open that cupboard I wonder why I have so many plates. 



wintersun

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2247 on: July 26, 2015, 01:00:04 PM »
Thanks for the ideas on what to do with investing papers.  I am dumping all except the latest and the earliest.  The company who manage our investments have copies.

I am feeling so FREEEEE after getting rid of so much this week including a huge donation to a charity where the staff were over the moon to receive the stuff.  What a great feeling to know that it will be used and appreciated. 

And another person came over and remarked on how clear and open the house feels now. That makes about 4 people who have commented.

Every time I feel close to the end I realise that there is a box or two hiding somewhere else.  But I am definitely on the winning stretch.  The big final parts will be going through the sentimental papers and then scanning. 

In total, more than ten car loads have gone to the dump in the last year, and ten have gone to charity. 

Once the final scanning is complete I will do a quick overview of each room and closet and chest to see if anything else is begging to leave.










riverffashion

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 888
  • Age: 34
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2248 on: July 26, 2015, 01:17:38 PM »
One book & T-shirt donated. One pair of shorts beyond repair to trash.& one super scratched pair of sunglasses trashed.

A second book, a sunglasses case, a dress donated. An old baseball hat trashed.
And all while still on vacation!
Looking forward to continue clearing out the clutter at home soon.... :)

mustachepungoeshere

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2226
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Getting rid of stuff / Clearing out clutter!
« Reply #2249 on: July 26, 2015, 06:54:34 PM »
I normally don't buy stuff to pour into another, decorative container. I just use the original container. But a few years ago family gave us a jug for olive oil.mimhad been pouring it into the jug. The jug was opaque and I never knew how much was in,it.

Today I just got tired of re pouring, and I tossed the jug. Now I'll use the olive oil in its original bottle. We use it up fairly quickly so there never was a real need to keep it refrigerated.

Feeling rather embarrassed now. I'd been thinking about asking for one of those bottles for my birthday later in the year!

We buy olive oil in 4L tins (cheaper in bulk), then re-fill a supermarket bottle, but the bottle wasn't designed to be refilled and it's quite an art to detach the plastic pourer.

But, with this in mind, I shall do the mustachian thing and persist!