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Hoarding, OCD, and Decluttering - Page 4

post #61 of 88
Thread Starter 

Update: Attic Day!

Hey all! DH and DS1 are on a dump run, so I'm updating. The attic is just awful. For one thing, there's a lot more to keep and store, and not enough places to have a "staging area". But we have managed to get rid of quite a bit so far. I let go of most of my Stephen King and Maeve Binchey and Patricia Cornwell books. DH brought up the library book sale again today, and I said if he could get them there today or tomorrow, I was fine with it, as long as I didn't have to do anything extra.

In a way, it's easier. The attic stairs are through my daughter's room, so I am camped out on a chair and they bring things to me. It makes life easier to see things in little chunk instead of ZOMGosh, HUGE ATTIC MESS!!!!

I've cried a lot though. I've found my Anne of Green Gables books from when I was little, my childhood journals, tons of baby and wedding pics. It's just hard. We haven't fought yet today though, which is a minor miracle. Even on a normal day that doesn't involve decluttering, we generally would have had several tiffs by now.

Anyway, I'll check back later. If you think of it, send warm thoughts or say a prayer for me. This is tough stuff.
post #62 of 88
Thread Starter 
Guess what my husband got me? A LABEL MAKER!!!!! So I can label all my totes. He knows me so well...
post #63 of 88
You are a lucky woman! I would love a way to label things quickly and neatly!

"Guess what my husband got me? A LABEL MAKER!!!!! So I can label all my totes. He knows me so well..."
post #64 of 88
Great job!

I just took a bunch of really good kids stuff to Goodwill. It helps when I imagine little kids all over the city wearing DD's outgrown stuff.
post #65 of 88
it is harder to let go of the things from childhood, and it is also ok to hold onto them if you have the space to store some things. and a labelled tote is the best thing ever.

good job. it will be over soon, and you'll be onto the next phase--creating a workable space for you and your family!
post #66 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post
I just took a bunch of really good kids stuff to Goodwill. It helps when I imagine little kids all over the city wearing DD's outgrown stuff.
It is a great feeling today, isn't it?

The hardest part of today was finding out our car needs a $700 repair. We can't afford it right now. I mean, I guess we can, but it will wipe out our emergency fund. And letting stuff go when I could have had a killer yard sale or something is hard, knowing we could use the money. But I know this is best. We have to do this quickly and efficiently in order to get it done and move on.

We got about 1/3 of the attic done today. Maybe even just 1/4. Only 2 loads to the dump and 1 to the thrift store. I did save a box of books to list on paperback swap. We found 3 violins and a cello (don't ask) and are donating them to the school district's strings program. We got rid of a lot of old falling apart furniture we just couldn't throw in the trash-- an 11 year old glider rocker, a decrepit desk, some falling apart dressers.

I also managed to fill, label, and store 12 totes, 1 for each month, with seasonal and holiday decorations, books, unit studies, etc, as well as 5 more for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Birthdays.
post #67 of 88
Congrats!! You are doing awesome I had to do a MASSIVE declutter/purge on a very tight schedule a few years ago to accomodate a move across country so I have some idea of how hard it is. Major kudos to you!! And I am totally jealous of the label maker, I want one!
post #68 of 88
Thread Starter 
Just an update before bed:
2 trips to the dump by 11 AM when they closed for the holiday weekend
1 trip to the thrift store
1 trip to the library
1 trip to the recycling center

The only thing left up there are clothes. I meant to get a head start on those, but I'll admit I pooped out around 3. Everything hurts and the babies are squirming like crazy. I think they're happy I sat down!

And really, I feel stuck on dealing with the clothes until I know what we're having. If we're having two girls or two boys, then there's a lot I can get rid of and donate to the church clothing giveaway.
post #69 of 88
How long till you may be able to find out genders? Are there clothes that you would get rid of regardless or is it all things you would use if you had another baby of that gender?
post #70 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
The hardest part of today was finding out our car needs a $700 repair. We can't afford it right now. I mean, I guess we can, but it will wipe out our emergency fund. And letting stuff go when I could have had a killer yard sale or something is hard, knowing we could use the money. But I know this is best. We have to do this quickly and efficiently in order to get it done and move on.
I've been lurking in here from time to time, checking on you, and I think you and your family are amazing. You saw the problem clearly, you got help, you're dealing! Now that's a decluttered process! (And I know that includes rough spots too, but you're obviously all keeping your eyes on the prize.)

Re the car repair - I like to think that by getting rid of stuff, you are making energetic space for more funds to come in to help you out.

Congratulations! These twins are already gifting your family in a special way.
post #71 of 88
Thread Starter 
You're very sweet. My husband is a pastor and actually has 2 funerals and a wedding this week. At the risk of sounding completely calloused, that's $300 there. Plus we have $150 coming from the scrap yard for DH's old car. So that's $450. And eating $250 really isn't all that bad, especially considering the fact that we haven't really had to put any money in the car since we bought it two years ago.

I've hit a wall on the clothes. I have 2 to 4 totes in each size (one or two for girls/boys) but I still have a whole bunch of clothes sitting on the attic floor, on a rocking chair, in the boys' room. I'm really tempted to say screw it and just get rid of anything that doesn't scream "Save me!" OTOH, I will admit that I am scared to death that my kids won't have enough. The boys are really hard on their clothes and I'm scared I won't have enough hand-me-downs and we won't have money to get new stuff. I'm going to think about this tonight and see if I can let a lot of these clothes that are floating around go.

Also my children are little saints. Seriously. Not only have they agreeed to homeschooling over the summer so we can take time off when the babies come, but they also brought totes down from the attic in between assignments today. It's hot as Hades up there! But they did it mostly without complaining and it was such a help. And then my son took the filled totes out to the garage as well!
post #72 of 88
Your kids sound amazing!! I hope my boys turn into awesome people like that as they grow up I bet the help of your family is making this SO much easier. I have the same problem with getting rid of clothes, always worried my younger ones won't have enough. My most recent purge I made myself get rid of anything stained and anything that I couldn't remember putting either of my older 2 in.
post #73 of 88
Thread Starter 
I've already done that and I still have so much! My OCD standards are:
no stains
no rips
no characters and name brands or commercial stuff
natural fibers
nothing too "dated"

If I still have 1 or 2 totes per gender per size after all that, it probably is time to let some of it go.
post #74 of 88
That honestly doesn't sound that bad to me... I have one BIG tote for 0-6 months, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24 and 24 mos/2T and that is only one gender. I think at this point, if you have the room to store for a few more months, you could take a small decluttering break and wait till you know the babies genders? I mean, you could do another sweep through and get rid of anything you don't want to keep but it seems like you have done really well...
post #75 of 88
Thread Starter 

I did it!!!!!

I'm done sorting through the clothes.

We went to Target this morning, but the totes were too darned expensive there. I also managed to walk by all the great clearance stuff, including some super cute baby clothes, because I kept thinking "DH will flip his lid if I come home with more stuff with all that crap sitting in my living room." Then when we went to K-mart, they only had 5 left. So my decision to cull was kind of made for me.

Anyway, the kids brought all the clothes down from the attic. I also went through the coats kept coats for the babies, snowsuits and snowpants, and what we needed for next year. The rest went to the church clothing giveaway.

I still have shoes to go through. OMGosh, the shoes! But I've decided that I'm only keeping boots and dress shoes and sandals, because those are all a little more expensive and a little harder to come by. But sneakers, flip flops, stuff like that-- I'm letting go. I can get brand new play shoes on clearance for $5-$10 or at the thrift store in a pinch.

One thing I've realized is that at the heart of all this keeping stuff is a real lack of faith/trust (if I can get spiritual in frugality for a moment). I pay lip service to trusting God, but then I grab everything I can just in case. I'm not going to donate all our clothes, but I'm also not going to feel like I have to keep grabbing and keeping. It's hard to find the balance, but I'm hoping I'll find it eventually. I'm also committing to not buying anything new unless I know for a fact I need it to fill out a kid's current wardrobe.

I'm no where near done. There's still all the baby stuff in the attic and then I need to start going through stuff that's in the house.
post #76 of 88
Go you!!!! That is awesome This has thread has been a total inspiration... I agree with you that a lot of letting go is about trusting God to provide in the future and having faith that you don't need to hold onto everything right now just in case. I go by the 1 tote rule too... 1 tote per size, but I also only have boys so that might have to change if we ever have a girl.
post #77 of 88
sounds awesome!
post #78 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotemist View Post
So it gets bagged up in a black plastic bag, and tied shut (all the better, I don't see whats in it and "reconsider" letting it go). [...] No sorting at the last minute, no peeking in the bag. Just take a deep breath and put it in the donation box. Most times I don't even miss it.


ETA - just read your most recent post - congratulations!
post #79 of 88
Wow, so awesome. If you have any boys' shoes in size 2 (to fit a seven year old), or any baby shoes for a girl (size 12-18 months), I would be more than willing to pay some money for them, also, summer girl clothes in size 12 months since dd is pretty big for an 8 month old and we have mostly winter stuff (since it's chilly here 10+ months out of the year).
post #80 of 88
Thread Starter 
To update

The attic and the basement are finished.

The contractor came to measure the attic and get us an estimate on cost.

We made, in total:
15 trips to the dump
5 trips to the thrift store
2 trips to the recycling center
2 trips to the library
4 trips to the church with stuff for the clothing giveaway

Now I have to go through the stuff we kept, which is still a lot, LOL! I'm taking it very slowly though, because I really overdid things and have been feeling pretty rotten.

My next stuff is the craft stuff. I started going through a box of patterns, fabric, etc. It's amazing how easy it is to let stuff go once you have already practiced letting stuff go. I was able to get rid of a lot of fabric I haven't used, as well as a bunch of clothes I had planned on repurposing. I keep telling myself "It came into your life once; if you need it, this stuff will come into your life again."
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