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Have you ever taken decluttering/simplifying too far? :)

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
My family of 2 adults, 2 young kids, and a dog are moving from a 2400 sq ft house to an 1100 sq ft apartment. I have moved many, many times and I'm an expert packer and an enthusiastic purger (hence the tagline under my username ).

Well, even though we didn't seem to have that many extras, or at least it was all tucked away tidily in one of the many large closets in this place, I'm taking van load after van load to the thrift store. We've sold half the furniture. To describe my emotional state at lightening our literal load before the move...well, the best word is "gleeful". I don't think I'm quite as happy as when I'm getting rid of stuff. I named one of my kids after a person on Clean Sweep. (What? We liked the name! )

Seriously, though, have you ever taken decluttering or simplifying too far? Have you ever had to replace something you got rid of in a fit of cleaning? Just curious and thought it would be fun to read what others had to say. (I'm going through the holiday decorations today and hope no one misses that awful felt reindeer from 1967...)
post #2 of 43
nothing expensive, and nothing I needed, like, a few days later. So I guess, I've never (purposely) thrown away anything I regretted. Once I accidentally threw away $1000 worth of money orders while cleaning out the car, but I was able to get a refund for them, minus $12 apiece processing fee. It took a while though, and that did suck.
post #3 of 43
Only once. I'd made myself a "medieval woman's outfit" when I was in college, and for some strange reason I only have half the outfit. I have the outer dress, that laces up the bodice, but I no longer have the chemise that goes underneath it (and the top piece doesnt' fully close in front underneath the bodice, so the calf-length "nightgown styled shirt" really is an essential component to the costume. I may have given it away because of its bulk, or I might have had it mixed with maternity nightgowns and accidentally given away, while the outer dress was safely packed away with costumes. I'll never know for certain, and one of these days I may sew another one.

Other than that single incident, I've never given away anything that I truly missed or that was hard to replace. It's not a big deal to give away a ton of stuff, then realize "oh, darn, I need a bathmat but I gave away all the spares! I'll buy another 2nd hand bathmat the next time I go to the thrift store to drop things off."

I have had kids looking for a specific costume or "dress up clothes" months after donating it, but who knows if that specific item would have still fit by then anyway? Nor am I certain that these items were donated to be used by somebody else, or if they were lost in one of the many floods we had when we lived in a basement apartment. I had to throw out many, many boxes of mildewy papers, clothes, etc.

What I have experienced, however, is HAVING tons of stuff in the house, but it's so cluttered up that I can't find anything when I need it. Then I go out and buy another one, even though I'm pretty sure I already have one, somewhere. Usually I find the item again a few months after I've replaced it. This has happened to me numerous times. I'm likely to need to buy a replacement if I need the item, whether I give it away or not!
post #4 of 43
there have been a few things i couldn't find and then realized i got rid of them and a few things i have wished i would have kept...but the good news is that i don't recall anything i have actually had to replace.
post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by reducereuserecycle View Post
there have been a few things i couldn't find and then realized i got rid of them and a few things i have wished i would have kept...but the good news is that i don't recall anything i have actually had to replace.
:

Though I have had to replace certain things years later that were more out of circumstances than anything. Example: I gave away a chair that I couldn't take with me, but could have used.
post #6 of 43
Yes, I have regrets. When we were moving from apt to apt to apt, I got rid of my yearbooks and my Sweet Valley High collection. I think about those books a lot! And having the yearbooks would be nice too. Otherwise, except for a couple outfits, no I am good.
post #7 of 43
I have never been a "saver" of sentimental things. Well, a few days before my wedding, as I was making room for my husband's things to join mine in our apartment, I threw away our marriage license. BEFORE THE CEREMONY. I didn't realize what it was for until the pastor asked for it to sign at the rehearsal. Uh oh. We had the JP meet us the next morning (a Saturday) to give us a new one.

Story doesn't end there...

My sweet nanny, knowing I had thrown it out, went through my garbage while I was having my hair done the morning of the wedding (after getting a new license.) She found it in the trash! So, now I have (yes, still have) two marriage licenses -- only one signed by the minister.
post #8 of 43
DH would say that yes, I have gone to far.

I would counter that he really didn't need hot pink gym shorts with the tags still on 5 years later.

In reality, yes there have been a few things, but few and far between. I can't even remember anything off the top of my head so they must not have been too important!
post #9 of 43
When dh and I moved to America we came with 2 suitcases (clothes for 2 adults and 2 children) and had 4 boxes shipped over. I really regret having to say goodbye to 80% of our possessions including larger wedding gifts, books and some decorative items. We had little choice though.
post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunAround View Post
. I named one of my kids after a person on Clean Sweep. (What? We liked the name! )
So is it Peter Walsh, the hot construction guy or one of the cutie hosts?
post #11 of 43
We can't find the charger for our cordless drill, and I'm afraid it may have gotten donated/recycled or something. Then again, we could have just lost it too in the bad old days. We take much better care of our stuff now that it's organized and there's less of it.

Oh, and on buying the replacement because you can't find what you already have? Ask me how many rolls of scotch tape and how many AAA batteries I have right now. It's ridiculous.
post #12 of 43
Yes, my middle child's birth certificate. It was a in a pile of papers on the desk that I kept asking dh to take care of. I got sick of looking at it and went on a decluttering spree and threw it away.
post #13 of 43
my bathrobe. i can't find it and I'm afraid I donated it.
post #14 of 43
I once freecycled our perfectly good queen size guest bed to make a playroom for the kids when we lived in a very small house. When I realized this was a big mistake, I found another queen size guest bed on freecycle, convinced dh to rent a uhaul to go pick it up, it was horrible, with stains and obviously more used than the poster described, but the people who gave it to us were scary looking, so we were afraid to say, no, nevermind, took it anyway and then re-freecycled it.
When we moved to a bigger house we had to buy a new one.
post #15 of 43
I think I have, I'm pretty sure I've tossed papers that are really important (as in I've been tearing my house apart for 6 weeks now and still haven't found them) when I was in a serious purging frenzy. I've only done it to things I didn't know I was tossing...like an important document was mixed in with other papers that I tossed.
Sara
post #16 of 43
I have donated clothes that I thought I would never fit again then had to re buy in the same size. That said it was a couple of years before I would have fitted them again

I also freecycled our steam cleaner because I didn't use it much. It was slightly broken so to attach the hose you had to unscrew the casing. We couldn't store it all set up so I got rid of it. I didn't miss it until we planned to move house, fortunately I found another identical one for £5 this summer so I will be steam cleaning the carpets when we move in a couple of weeks.

I have no doubt that there are going to be some other things we re buy when we move but we simply do not have the space to store them here. I'm convinced that the decluttering has helped us sell the house so for me it is a price worth paying (and hopefully we can replacae most stuff through freecycle anyway)
post #17 of 43
Yes, my worst give-away were the pants to my DH's $500 suite. We didn't realize I had donated them until 11:00 p.m. the night before a very nice weekend. My DH is a very hard fit for suites - he was mad, but we laughed about it by Monday.

I also went crazy giving away kids clothes, and wished I would saved just a few more of my favorite outfits from the kids. Oh, well.
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
What I have experienced, however, is HAVING tons of stuff in the house, but it's so cluttered up that I can't find anything when I need it. Then I go out and buy another one, even though I'm pretty sure I already have one, somewhere. Usually I find the item again a few months after I've replaced it. This has happened to me numerous times. I'm likely to need to buy a replacement if I need the item, whether I give it away or not!
I hear you there. I'm finally to the point that I would rather re-acquire something because I decluttered it last month than have to break down and purchase something I know I have but can't find in the piles.
post #19 of 43
I have lost count of the number of books I have given away and then gone looking for on the shelves months or even years later.

I felt like I should be purging them, because they were dated, or I'd read them already, or I already had six shelves full, etc. But for me, books are not clutter and they are important to me, so I have vowed to hold onto them all from now on!
post #20 of 43
I got rid of my crockpot because my diet changed a lot and I was never using it. About a year later my dh requested we get a new one lol. I feel bad that I got rid of a handmade blanket a friend made for my daughter. It was a HUGE trapezoid blanket crocheted with three strands of really scratchy yarn. It was falling apart where the ends were weaved in. I am so thankful she took the time to make it for my daughter but it was a mess!!

I purged 50 bags of stuff to charity in 2008 and I am at 15 for 2009..... For me it has become obsession and nothing is safe!!
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