I need guidelines for a major purge - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-20-2008, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
mackysmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SHHH... I'm reading Harry Potter
Posts: 1,665
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I need to get my house ready to sell in two weeks! We are moving, into an apartment from a house but will buy another house in a year. I'm okay with using a storage space why we are in the apartment but I don't want to fill it with crap. I plan to have a garage sale and I plan to donate stuff.

So, I started with my bookcase. I got rid of 7 bags of books but now I have hardly anything left, not even some of my favorites. I think I overdid it. :

So, before I tackle my kids' bookcase and toys, I think I should have some guidelines in place so I don't strip them of their childhood. What questions should I ask myself before it goes in the "go" pile?

Thanks!
mackysmama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-20-2008, 09:39 AM
 
pibblestiltskin@ma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 470
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not sure how old your kids are, but if they are old enough to be involved I have had good luck asking them to choose items to keep rather than items to get rid of. I am always surprised by the things that are important to them.
pibblestiltskin@ma is offline  
Old 11-20-2008, 03:46 PM
 
flowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Some wise soul posted these on the forum (sorry can't give credit not sure who):
Quote:
The Decluttering Questions:

Do I love this item?

Have I used it in the past year?

Is it really garbage?

Do I have another one that better?

Does it have sentimental value that causes me to love it?

Does it give me guilt and make me sad when I see it?

What does this represent?

Why am I afraid to get rid of it?

How long am I going to carry it around?

Does it bless my fmaily? Could it bless someone else's family?
Books are hard to let go of, but keep in mind that your library almost certainly has any book that you need . I think it just feels really uncomfortable to let go of stuff, even afterwards.

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
flowmom is offline  
Old 11-20-2008, 04:36 PM
 
SuzyLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,542
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I try to get rid of a %- like I need to get rid of 50% of the books and 25% of the toys... or whatever. Also, if you have the space, keep a back of maybes and think on them for another week.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
SuzyLee is offline  
Old 11-20-2008, 05:03 PM
 
ellee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Try reverse-cleaning! It works really well if you're moving Pack up everything you LOVE, NEED and can't bear to part with. Put it in boxes and seal it off. Then tackle the leftovers - Trash, Give away, Sell, Replace.

The trick is you can't have any of your good stuff until you have an empty room, meaning all the other items were dealt with. It was really enlightening when I pack up all the clothes I actually wear and my closet still looked full! It isn't the most comfortable living situation but it's very interesting.
ellee is offline  
Old 11-20-2008, 05:32 PM
 
starling&diesel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: West Coast, Canada
Posts: 3,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
  • if you haven't used an item in 6 months, get rid of it
  • if you haven't used an item in 1 year, definitely positively get rid of it
  • have a one in / two out rule ... for every new acquisition, get rid of two things
  • have limited storage space (smaller bookshelves in our case) and don't keep more than you can store neatly
  • it's ok to have empty closets or drawers
  • ask children to choose five things to keep, five to give to charity and five that are broken or have pieces missing that will go in the trash/recycling, do this on an as needed basis
  • go through your bathroom and utility storage spaces, weed out expired meds, empty hair gel containers, cleansers you bought but don't like, etc
  • don't do it all at once, set the timer and do what works for you, say fifteen minutes ... or do your decluttering while listening to your favourite radio show
  • always have a give away box around so you can just toss stuff in when it occurs to you that you don't need it
  • when you think that you need something new, write it down, put it in an envelope and set the envelope aside for one month, if you still NEED it then, then make a plan to acquire it ... this way you avoid impulse shopping
  • when you need something, take a good look around your house at your abundance to see if something that you already have can be repurposed or refinished for the job

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
starling&diesel is offline  
Old 11-23-2008, 01:46 AM
 
flowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellee View Post
Try reverse-cleaning! It works really well if you're moving Pack up everything you LOVE, NEED and can't bear to part with. Put it in boxes and seal it off. Then tackle the leftovers - Trash, Give away, Sell, Replace.

The trick is you can't have any of your good stuff until you have an empty room, meaning all the other items were dealt with. It was really enlightening when I pack up all the clothes I actually wear and my closet still looked full! It isn't the most comfortable living situation but it's very interesting.
You know, I really like this idea because it's giving the energy to what you want/need rather than focusing on what you don't want/need. I would be really interested in whether this helps people to declutter from a psychological point of view. I would guess yes, because people almost never declutter as ruthlessly when they stay in a home and "get rid of stuff" as when they are doing an expensive long-distance move where there may be drastic limitations on what volume/weight of stuff you can take. In the latter situation you are getting down to brass tacks: "can I live without this thing?".

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
flowmom is offline  
Old 11-23-2008, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
mackysmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SHHH... I'm reading Harry Potter
Posts: 1,665
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
You know, I really like this idea because it's giving the energy to what you want/need rather than focusing on what you don't want/need. I would be really interested in whether this helps people to declutter from a psychological point of view. I would guess yes, because people almost never declutter as ruthlessly when they stay in a home and "get rid of stuff" as when they are doing an expensive long-distance move where there may be drastic limitations on what volume/weight of stuff you can take. In the latter situation you are getting down to brass tacks: "can I live without this thing?".
This approach felt good to me too and it's what I've been trying. For example, I had to pack up my kids games the other day and I was surprised to get rid of SO many of them. But, I felt really good about the pile of games that we did keep. I know they are our favorites and, because of that, we won't miss the others.
mackysmama is offline  
Old 11-23-2008, 09:55 AM
 
oneKnight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
With clothes (I just did the closet)

I ask myself Do I like or love this shirt?
Does this shirt make me look good/does it flatter what I need it to (does it make me look like I have boobs?)
Do I really need x many "regular/grungy/everyday" T-shirts?
Do I actually wear this item? Some things I like when looking at, I still never actually wear.
Do I like wearing these jeans or do I reach for a different pair?
Do I like the fit/style of these jeans or do I avoid them till it's the last pair clean?

With books I simply ask myself if I would ever re-read it. DH re-reads his but I almost never do. I compromise by donating some of his to the library, that way the book is still avaliable to check-out if he ever thinks I MUST read it again.
oneKnight is offline  
Old 11-23-2008, 02:26 PM
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 43,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Remember that, if you're going to be renting a storage space, it COSTS MONEY TO KEEP THINGS!!! Sometimes it really is cheaper to give something away now, when you don't need it, even if it means buying it again in a few years. Every single one of your "favorite books" is replacable, and very likely available at the public library. If you give away kids' clothes or toys that older ones have outgrown, but younger ones may or may not use when they grow into them- you'll be able to get stuff "new" (or fresh from a thrift store) for the younger ones that are truly what they want, not just a pile of handmedowns. "I might use it someday" is NOT enough reason to keep something!

I agree with the idea to ask the kids to pick their favorite things to keep and then you can go through and donate the rest.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
Ruthla is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off