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yet another decluttering thread - Page 2

post #21 of 56
Well, maybe I can serve as a role model.

I got on board with the decluttering thing a few years ago when I moved from a house to a small 1 bdrm apartment. Over the years of living in houses (with roommates) I had accumulated SO much junk.

It was hard the first time, until I felt that liberated feeling!! We actually got a dumpster and put SO much stuff in there (what couldn't be donated to charity that is).

Then, I moved to a new country (the US) and could only take with me what I could carry on the plane. I stored important stuff at my Mum's. My DH and I have moved around tons since we got married, and none of it "paid for" by employers. So, with money being a factor, we've really learned to pare things down. Most things are not worth the cost to move cross-country.

Over the years of doing this, I have become very good at deciding what stays and goes. For sentimental things, I pick a few items and ditch the rest. Whether it's baby clothes, childhood drawings, etc...

It's really amazing how much it becomes a part of you. We are looking to settle down soon, maybe buy a place of our own, and I don't want to start with the cluttering again. I think I have a handle on how it gets started, and decluttering has become part of my routine, so I think we'll be okay.

One thing we like is living in small spaces. No houses for us anymore. We like condos. A 2 bedroom for about 1000 sq feet would be plenty room for us. I find the less space you have, the less places there are for things to build up.

Anyways, good decluttering vibes to all of you!!
post #22 of 56
Piglet, I hear you! We moved from a 1900 sq foot home with a huge basement and garage to a 1000 sq ft condo - the cleansing was unreal!

But, alas, we have accumulated more junk.

I'm so happy to have the reminders about eBay. I hold on to things, saying, "Oh, I'll put this on eBay" - it is a pain in the patootie and not worth the hassle of having to stay on top of emails, etc. Yes, yes, yes. Goodwill it is.

I'm motivated now! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
post #23 of 56
I thought it might help me to just articulate what I have to get done in the next week just to prepare for new paint and floors that are being installed on 7/23-7/26. I am not sure I will make it through the next week! : None of this is in order and I will be back to edit it. I am getting ready to paint and put wood floors in the livingroom and hall- rest of the house will come later. All of this is a DIY project.

1. Clean out livingroom closet. Purge non-used items and store what comes back in the house.

2. Wash walls and scrub baseboards.

3. Move all of the furniture into the garage.

4. Fill nail holes and any other wall defects.

5. Cut carpet and pad into strips and put on the curb.

6. Pull up wood that carpet was nailed into.

7. Label and pry up 1/4 round from base boards. Sand lightly and pull nails.

8. Sand all door frames and baseboards lightly and front door.

9. Clean up the dust/dirt on the linolium (I can't spell but the 40 yr old flooring under the carpet).

10. Concrete patch the front door where concrete is missing.

11. Clean out hall closet. Purge non-used items and store what comes back in the house.

12. Tape off ceiling, trim, baseboards and front door for painting.

13. Put together table saw and miter saw.

14. Go to Lowes/Home Depot way too many times.

: Oh I am scared!
post #24 of 56
Thread Starter 
Good luck with that, greenbean!

I so agree with eBay being a hassle. I know many people do it, but for me selling is not worth the hassle. I've sold a few things and it was a big headache. I give things away or donate them to Salvation Army.

Piglet, a condo sounds so attractive me sometimes. I don't like the yard work or time spent maintaining. I LOVE gardening, but if there was a community garden available, I'd prefer that. We used to do that when we had an apartment.

Well, I gave away 80 percent of my books. Our storeroom is emptying out. All the closet shelves are bare except dd's art supplies and minimal miscellaneous crap in the spare bedroom- like the vaporizer, first aid kit, etc.
post #25 of 56
Here's a way to deal with those piles of clothes you'd get peanuts for on eBay that's actually kind of fun...

Have a naked lady party! Invite all your girlfriends over for an evening (white wine and canape's even!) and ask them to bring all the clothes they're tired of or outgrown and trade them amongst yourselves. It's a kick to come home with a bunch of new-to-you clothes and you feel good sending yours on to someone else who may actually love them like you did for a while. If y'all have kids in descending orders of age it's a good time to pass the kid clothes on, too.
post #26 of 56
That is so funny!!
I have many decluttering goals!
What has helped me so far is reading the book 'clear your clutter with feng shui by karen kingston, I think....hmmmm, don't quote me, lol and joining flylady for the 2nd time. Some of the routines are sticking!!

We have a service in my area where 'big sisters' will send a truck to your home to pick up household donations, they are a group home for teenage girls or something, anyway, they even give you a receipt to use for your taxes! They will call you when they're in the area and they called me yesterday, so my current goal is to get as much stuff together before they come, on Mon July 26th

My biggest problem is my business stuff(bath products and fabric) but in general in my whole house, everyone is used to things falling!! Which is bad! Nothing breaks, lol, but I shove stuff in cupboards and quickly close the door, oh I am sick, I am a sick sick cluttered person, I do need help, help me!! lol

I try, but I guess I need to try harder!!
post #27 of 56
LaLaLuna, I have been to naked lady parties! What fun! I forgot!
post #28 of 56
Pretty sad but out of my LONG list #14. Go to Lowes/Home Depot way too many times, is the only one I managed to complete this weekend.

I did manage to start preping the walls by filling nail holes and sanding the previous attempts of sheetrock repair. I wrapped up the artwork and it is now stored until the walls and floors are complete. I threw out 2 hanging things that I can only describe as hideous.

I cleaned out 3 storage bins down to one and threw out my 1960s curtains/rods.

I started on the front closet but shut it promptly because it is just scary! So my goal tonight is to use the empty bins to sort and store the contents of the 2 closets until the hall and livingroom are complete.

I did get 5 loads of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away on Sunday. I have at least 5 loads left to wash, including diapers. I put in one load before I left for work.

I feel pretty stressed out. I need to be at the point I can start cutting strips of carpet out Thursday night. Please send me your positive vibes that I live through all of this. I wanted to take off work Thursday but I have a meeting at work I am required to be in. :
post #29 of 56
Greenbean: Good luck with everything! Sounds very stressful, but I'm rooting for you.

As for us, we just got back from a week of vacation last night (at 12:30am, mind you), so my decluttering goals for this week are being shelved in favor of getting the suitcases unpacked and everything put away, preferably before our NEXT vacation...

post #30 of 56
Originally Posted by singermom
Greenbean: Good luck with everything! Sounds very stressful, but I'm rooting for you.

As for us, we just got back from a week of vacation last night (at 12:30am, mind you), so my decluttering goals for this week are being shelved in favor of getting the suitcases unpacked and everything put away, preferably before our NEXT vacation...

Thank you! I really need the extra push!

And unpacking is considered de-cluttering in my house. I cannot tell you how many times the suitcase has become a temporary fixture in our livingroom because I don't have enough umph to get them unpacked and stored!
post #31 of 56
One of the big problems I have with decluttering is the question, "What did you ever do with that XXXX I gave you for Christmas in 1988?"

Seriously, my mom never, ever gets rid of anything (she has valid psychological reasons for this, in my opinion, but she has never even attempted to deal with them). She'll give stuff to us and then get upset if, years later, we outgrow it, use it up, change our decor, have a boy instead of a girl, experience a life change, whatever and pass it along. She seriously went off on my sister a few months ago for donating a suede skirt that she had been given for Christmas in 1985! "If you didn't want it you should have given it back to me!" she shouted over and over.

So everything I pick something up to pass along or donate or ebay or whatever I always have this little voice inside my head (sounds just like my mom!) telling my I'm an ingrate. She doesn't buy at all the concept of freeing up space in your life for abundance, only that the person with the most stuff wins.

How do you overcome something like this?
post #32 of 56
Chalupamom- I have a similar problem with my mom; not as extreme, but it still drives me nuts. My mom is a garage sale/thrift store junkie (hey, no problem- so am I!) and one of the main ways she expresses love is to give me stuff; 75% of the time it's junk I don't want or need.

I did end up talking to her (difficult as her first response is always defensiveness) about it and she does recognize that we have a very tiny house and not much room for all this junk she gives us- she doesn't give us near what she used to but it's still a lot!

I'd start by talking to your mom about it- maybe write a letter if talking is too difficult. A gift is not a gift if there are strings attached; maybe approach it from that angle, that if you can't decide how/when to pass something she's given to you along then perhaps she could refrain from giving it to you in the first place. If she wants to give you gifts maybe something more practical would be in order, like gift certificates to the grocery store or some other place you regularly shop.

I don't know- the way she went off on your sister sounds pretty exreme to me- maybe there's no clean way to communicate to her on this subject. In that case maybe the only thing you can do is change your own thinking; recognize that it's her who has the problem and you can't do anything about her reaction; you can only do what you have to do to keep sane (and clutter free!).
post #33 of 56
Great response Lalaluna. Chalupamom- I have had a similar problem until my mom started helping me remodel and she can now see I just don't have the space for all this stuff. I threw out a pile the size of my big boat of a car and she called me to make sure I didn't throw out some suits she gave to me that are too small. Well I didn't but that is beside the point!

Last night I didn't get SQUAT done! I watered the trees, washed 2 loads of laundry and made supper. : I wanted to get the carpet up in the hall and clean out the hall closet but DH and I had a 2.5 hour discusion about money. ( "Discussion" is a subjective word in that sentence!)

So tonight I am not telling anyone when I leave work and I am coming home to get these things done!

The front closet went pretty well (OMG I am so tired I don't remember what day I did it or if I already posted about it I threw out a 33 gallon bag of trash, stored one bin, had a 33 gallon bag for donation, and all those suites were shuffled until I can move them to my mom's house!
post #34 of 56
Thanks for your suggestions about my mom. I'm not sure what I'm going to do but it's nice to know that I'm not crazy or ungrateful.

I actually had a bit of a breakthrough last night while talking to her. I told her how I was cleaning out my son's closet getting ready for fall clothes and taking an inventory to see what he needs. I mentioned that a friend had given us a bunch of size 4 and 5 pants and jeans so he now has NINE pairs of pants for the winter and that I also bought him a couple turtlenecks but that's about it.

"So he needs shirts then?" she asked. YES! Shirts....not toys, not videos, not special kid plates with cartoon characters (seriously, she has bought him three different sets!). This is an idea I hope she runs with - practical, non-cluttering and actually needed.

If this works I'll have to share the technique with my sisters. They'll be thrilled!
post #35 of 56
Chalupamom~I feel for you. My mom gives us tons of junk, but she doesn't pay enough attention to what it is to remember what she gave us (luckily ). Now, 90% of what we get either gets returned to the store immediately (she gets most of it at one store these days) or goes into the garage sale box.

We put it off, but this weekend is our first garage sale. I'm so excited to get rid of this stuff and get money to help pay our vet bill.

We rent our house out for 2 weeks in the summer, started Aug 5th -- I'm sort of bummed because we're not going to be able to clean out stuff for that whole time (I think clothes are next).
post #36 of 56
THANKS SO MUCH for this eBay wake-up call!!

I'm trying to think of how much I'm "getting paid" per hour doing ebay, and it's probably only about $4 or $5! I wouldn't take a job making that amount - why should I continue to spend even just a few hours a week NOT doing the really importants stuff, like radical de-cluttering and spending time with the fam.

I made about $120 last month selling clothes and CD's and I was so excited, but I realized that I was losing some of that money to ebay fees and paypal fees, running to Staples to spend some of it on mailing envelopes, dragging dd around to the post office 2x a week rather than to the park, drowning the area around our computer with boxes labeled "ebay" that are getting filled faster than I can empty them, etc.... I'm still planning to hold on to a few of the really pricey things to sell, but I have to stop looking at every piece of crap in my house with dollar signs in my eyes!

Thanks Mamas for reminding me that I have more important things to do!
post #37 of 56
Yea Kamilla626! Now how freeing is it to be away from the ebay trap?!?!

You have my permission also! You can just say kiss my to the folks at ebay and thier $5 an hour.
post #38 of 56
I just need to put signs up around my house as reminders:

"You need the space in the house and the peace of mind more than you need the money."
post #39 of 56
Just chiming in to say that I never really got fully into the whole E-bay thing--just didn't have the time to get started with it. Recently, I had thought I might try it, but now hearing your stories, it sounds like it is really better just for biggish things, and only occasionally...

I'm happy to report that I am making progress on those suitcases! Although a couple of them are still taking up floor space, I've promised myself to do a little bit each night, and so far, I have not weasled out on my promise! I also got all of the vacation laundry finished this week (still have some to put away, however...seems like that is never done : ). I'm in a big-time "place for everything and everything in its place" mode right now, so am on a rampage to get everything where it belongs. Other than that, I haven't gotten far on my overall decluttering goals : .

Keep up the good work, all, and keep those success stories coming! They do inspire me!

post #40 of 56
Thread Starter 
I'm stuck on the kid's toys! I decluttered the baby toys- no problem. But they play with everything we have now- it's just too much for me to look at or pick up. Plastic plates, fish, stuffed animals -- it all gets used. They're into building houses out of stuff and filling the house with all the small toys from the toy box (as well as all the books from the shelves) -- but the junk piles up and they don't pick up much. It's driving me crazy! As a kid we had hardly any toys- how did we survive :LOL How do you get rid of it? Will they have enough to pretend play with?
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