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Most freeing thing you've decluttered? - Page 2

post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by nymomma View Post
Hi - I am new - but something I did recently was get rid of all the dvd cases and put the dvds into nice dvd holders. We had bags of plastic. It felt so good to get that space back. I love this thread.
Oh man, I remember that. About three years ago I couldn't take it any more, and my dd and I (she was 1 at the time ) took all the dvds out of the cases, and I am still shocked at how much space all those cases took up, when they covered the entire living room floor in a huge pile! It was insane. I donated all the cases, and I gave away two garbage bags of dvds that we'd either never watched ever, just plain sucked or we'd watched once and never watched again. Now we still have tons of dvds in a couple big cases, and we have seriously watched 2 or 3 movies out of them all since I did that. No kidding! Dd's movies are a different story, though. We've watched tons of Molly movies.

I would've sold them at the time if I'd known better, but I thought it was okay to donate everything we didn't use or need. I've always been a sahm and haven't worked since I was 18 and met my husband, so at the time I didn't really "get" the money thing. He was -pissed- when he found out a year ago that I donated tons of dvds. Like, he wanted to practically get a divorce. I had donated his old clothes too, etc. I never did any of it maliciously or anything of course, I was just kind of dumb about it all, and was selfishly doing what I thought was best, without ever realizing I was being so selfish and thoughtless. I still feel terrible about it, after I found out how it made my husband feel. I've always just wanted to make our home nice and clean and clear, since the nesting business in my brain kicked in a couple months before we had our dd. I'd never thought about the "stuff" in our home ever, before then. I have learned many things and matured a lot in the last year though, and everything's cool now. I am aware of everything I think and do now! And I don't ever -touch- any of dh's things!
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray's Mommy View Post
Over the past month, I have donated over 800 pieces of children's clothing. I had enough stored to open my own "For Boys Only" resale shop! I purged 450 pieces in December & the rest last weekend. I was able to give them to friends & they will select what they want & donate to others.

I actually was so overwhelmed with the amount of clothing items, I stood in my dining room & cried. I am now the proud owner of one plastic bin of each sized needed for my son. It was super hard work, but worth all the space I gained.
That's amazing! Good job, momma.
post #23 of 43
A few years ago my big 4 bedroom + garage house was completely packed to the gills. It was overwhelming and horrific. The first major thing I decluttered was my wardrobe and master closet. I went from an embarrassing amount of clothes/ shoes/belts/purses and JUNK to hardly any. Once that was done I loved looking in my closet. The rest of the house was a wreck and while I was working on it that one organized place helped keep me motivated. I went on to declutter about %75 of our stuff and we downsized to a much smaller space. Our lives are so much simpler and happier because of that one place I started.
post #24 of 43
The one that has the biggest impact day-to-day is our microwave. Makes such a difference having that patch of counterspace which is rare in our kitchen. though I do miss the quickie meals and heat-ups. I donated it to my former office where it would get more use.

Other big ones:

highschool yearbooks- literally 50+ pounds probably, but weighed more in emotional baggage. I felt even better that I could recycle it.

wedding gown- I felt guilty having something perfectly beautiful and useful wasting away in an enormous box for the rest of my life. Went to a great cause: http://bridesagainstbreastcancer.org/#donategown

I think finding a proper home for things that are no longer appropriate in your life makes the process more fulfilling.


wanted to add:
I read an article by Gail Blanke who has a book called "Throw Out 50 Things", which I did, and having that list of 50 things to look back on was very empowering. Her website has a downloadable workbook to guide you through it
http://www.throwoutfiftythings.com/page/workbook-1
post #25 of 43
Thread Starter 
I'm loving reading everyone's experiences. Thank you!

Of recent things I've decluttered, letting go of my favorite book has been so freeing. I had read it cover to cover multiple times and referenced it hundreds of times. After a decade of use, I knew it inside out. I finally realized that I'd internalized what I was going to learn--the book was inside me and I could let it go. It felt so good!
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by nymomma View Post
Hi - I am new - but something I did recently was get rid of all the dvd cases and put the dvds into nice dvd holders. We had bags of plastic. It felt so good to get that space back. I love this thread.
Welcome to MDC!

Great thread. I feel a release and a lightening every time I donate another box full of stuff.

However, I had a particularly emotional experience a couple of weeks ago when I finally decided to donate all my old law books. They are a little bit out of date now, and if anyone is going to get any use out of them they need them NOW, not in 5 years. I haven't practiced law in a couple of years, and I am not going back to law practice anytime soon. It was a very symbolic moment for me -- the transition from career to SAHMing.

Love this thread, love this forum!
post #27 of 43
This is interesting to me because I cannot think of the specific thing which I let go of, that gave me that "aha moment"

You know, where you dreaded it so much but when you finally let it go, it felt so wonderful- and whatever the huge fear was did not happen~ like you didn't die lol

I know I had that moment, and it is interesting that I cannot remember what the actual object was...proving to me it could not have been all that important after all kwim

Great thread!
post #28 of 43
I thought of one!

Cigarettes! Quitting smoking was the all time best and most freeing thing I ever did- it was also one of the hardest
(and if you never smoked? You can count that as one of the best ever decisions you ever made!)
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by treespeak View Post
Of recent things I've decluttered, letting go of my favorite book has been so freeing. I had read it cover to cover multiple times and referenced it hundreds of times. After a decade of use, I knew it inside out. I finally realized that I'd internalized what I was going to learn--the book was inside me and I could let it go. It felt so good!
I've never read anything like that. Thank you for sharing it, because - what a concept! That will help me a lot.
post #30 of 43
A huge couch we kept because "it was worth soo much"

We ended up finding a nice free one on the side of the road...THAT DIDN'T SMELL LIKE PEE!
post #31 of 43
Speaking of high school yearbooks...

i can't get myself to get rid of mine. I want to... but it was just so fascinating leafing through my grandmother's. I don't know what I should do about that. *sigh*

Ugh. I hate stuff that comes with emotional baggage.
post #32 of 43
The emotional guilt with donating and throwing things out.

That is my biggest. I think if I was still single and kept going down the path I was on I would have been an entire episode of hoarders.

It doesn't help that we have very generous family that doesn't listen when we say STOP.

And my most recent (thank goodness it hit at Christmas) was the adage I read on here all the time...

Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
or do without

I was pretty good at wearing stuff out Not bad at making stuff do... but I was having a hard time with doing without until the last couple years. and then I was buying cheap stuff to deal. But in the last couple years I have changed that.

So it was getting myself on board with the use it up part. I would get stuff like nice soap or bath stuff or clothes and instead of wearing them or actually using the bathstuff/soaps I would keep them for some "future" time and I realized that was just silly this year. Instead the few days after Christmas I just started opening everything and putting everything to use. Now I figure I can use it up until I wear it out and then out of the house it can go. I don't have to keep it forever and I can enjoy it and then move on. It is a great great feeling.

Even better is how quickly the house is getting and staying clean
post #33 of 43
well DH is a movie whore He absolutely loves movies and therefore we literally had hundreds of DVD's and cases. About 2 yrs ago I ended up getting these disk holders that allow you to hold dvds/cds from discgear. They are awesome, we literally can store 120 discs in a box the size of a shoebox. we had several trash bags of those plastic cases that actually ended up being recycled by a garage band who needed them for their cd's...do we de cluttered and recycled We have so much more space now even though we have a ton of those boxes its not even a 5th of what space they took up plus it makes it a lot easier to find a movie
post #34 of 43
I don't remember the particular item. But it had to be when I realized that every time my mom buys me something, I don't have to keep it for some arbitrary time. My mom buys me (mostly my kids now) a TON of stuff. Mostly discounted stuff she finds on sale...and it's always been a source of stress for me. She doesn't keep track of what she's given (so she never misses anything) and even says "If you don't want this, get rid of it" to me as she gives it but I still felt guilty getting rid of the stuff. She has a shopping problem, though, so the stuff was out of control.

So when I realized that my house didn't have to be a showcase of her issues, a constant reminder of how my mom struggles with what to do with herself everyday...it was incredibly freeing.
post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by brymommy View Post
So it was getting myself on board with the use it up part. I would get stuff like nice soap or bath stuff or clothes and instead of wearing them or actually using the bathstuff/soaps I would keep them for some "future" time and I realized that was just silly this year. Instead the few days after Christmas I just started opening everything and putting everything to use. Now I figure I can use it up until I wear it out and then out of the house it can go. I don't have to keep it forever and I can enjoy it and then move on. It is a great great feeling.

Even better is how quickly the house is getting and staying clean
My mom does this. "saves" things. Summer before last, I found this awesome local honey that is sooooo delicious. She was staying at my house and she was really loving that honey (and I had other honey available for her to use, too), so I gave her half my jar. She still has it sitting at her house and uses other honey instead. One day I asked her why, and she said because it was so tasty she only wanted to use it on special occasions so it would last longer. I mean, I can understand this until you factor in the fact that it's so easy to get anytime! I told her "you know, mom, I can just get you more when you're done with it..." She still hasn't finished it, but at least she sometimes uses it now...

She does this with any "yummy" food gift that is pretty non-perishable (they ate the homemade cookies pretty quick, though ). I mean, we give her things she can "use up" because other things just sit around her house, too (and she doesn't use them) and has asked for things that she can "use up" but then they just live in her tiny and very cluttered kitchen instead

When I was pregnant with DD #1, my mom was living in a different house, but the house she lives in now was still owned as sort of a family summer home, and so I went through the kitchen (with permission). She had spices and herbs in there that were as old as I am... like, they seriously came from her grandmother when her grandmother died, and that was when I was a year old. It would have been fine, had she just, you know, been refilling them or something, but it was pretty clear she hadn't. They didn't smell like anything (I've never taken a whiff of a spice jar and not smelled *anything* before that!) and she had duplicates of all these spices. She also had some sauerbraten mixes from when she lived in germany... they came back 3 years before I was born. I don't know what she's waiting for...
post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savoir Faire View Post

We ended up finding a nice free one on the side of the road...THAT DIDN'T SMELL LIKE PEE!
post #37 of 43
well, this past year I did a "dump all of it and move" maneuver, but before that the best thing I decluttered was the mess of cards and clippings and letters (I mean like 10 boxes worth) that were sentimental keeps. I still have one box full that I could still pilfer through, but in the back of my mind there was some reason I kept some of that (dead relatives, etc). I also love microwave and tv-free living. I also started removing things from the living area pretty quickly after I would realize they weren't doing it--toys, books, etc. Oh! That's another one--books. Like a couple thousand of them. and the bookshelves. I can't tell you how many years my greatest goal was nice bookshelves. I don't need those now. And grad school research and teaching files. Endless boxes. I kept a file on every course I ever took or taught--all the notes, research, etc. It was 20 file boxes. Gone. And I don't miss anything (except for the occasional lamp or chair or something--but not because I miss the one I got rid of). It makes me a bit sad to think of how much crap I've bought-new even-over the last many years, and what a waste it was.
post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by nymomma View Post
Hi - I am new - but something I did recently was get rid of all the dvd cases and put the dvds into nice dvd holders. We had bags of plastic. It felt so good to get that space back. I love this thread.
i did that with cd's a couple years back. They are all now in a nice leather binder and a few smaller ones. We never really got into buying dvds as we've always rented from blockbuster/netflix to avoid the clutter, although ds gets about 3 or so a year and he has some hand me down vhs's but nothing too overwhelming luckily.

My most freeing thing i've decluttered: the nice bible on cd set i bought when i was in my religious kick. I just sold the thing for 15$ at a yardsale in the fall. It was barely used and i stupidly paid 80$ for it, but the guy that bought it seemed awefully excited to get it, so I hope it is getting used now.

ds's old high chair. again another full price 50$ purchase, and while i plan to have more kids, our home now has a small kitchen and this thing was annoying and big and bulky. sold that at the fall yardsale too.

I don't have many of my old college books, i always resold them back to the bookstore and about a year after i finished my b.a. i tried to sell the rest on amazon and only 2-3 didn't sell. I kept them i think, but not sure i may have gotten rid of 1-2 of them. I the only ones i actually kept to keep was the Spanish books and the MLA handbooks..

I did get my BA in english, but i rarely buy books these days, so my collection is almost frozen in time, and i occasionally get rid of 1-2, but since i don't buy more i don't really feel the need to get rid of them, kwim?
post #39 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingletwitz View Post
It makes me a bit sad to think of how much crap I've bought-new even-over the last many years, and what a waste it was.
Yes, I can deeply relate to this. I do feel hope in that I allow very few new things into my life now as a result of seeing how pointless most of my possessions have been. Little by little I'm getting it: things do not give happiness.
post #40 of 43
My second husband.


Getting out of that relationship was very freeing on a number of levels. Plus there's the normal amount of "stuff to live with" that he took with him when he first moved out- his clothes and toiletries.

Besides that, he was a major pack-rat. He would literally find stuff on the curb that others were throwing out, and bring it home. We had way more than we had space for, plus he had a storage unit (that we couldnt' really afford to keep paying for) full of junk from before we got together.

DS was just about ready to start crawling, and the house was unsafe for him because of all the junk in the house, much of it with sharp edges or unstable as DS would try to pull himself up on it. After he moved out, I was afraid to get rid of any of his stuff in case he came back for it and caused legal trouble for me as a result. So, it took several months before I was even willing to tackle the pile of junk, and then it took several days (not in a row, so actually several weeks) to get rid of all of it.
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