Striving For A More Simple/Minimalist Life in 2010 - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 230 Old 02-20-2010, 12:39 AM
 
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i forget where i read it but here is how i decide what stays in my house:
is it used frequently? keep it
is it beautiful? keep it
is it precious/heirloom? keep it if it fits the two above.
Thanks, this is a nice, simple, useful method for parsing out "the stuff"! I like it.... can't wait to get started!

Joining this thread .... really hoping to make a dent in this direction this year. My mind definitely feels cluttered by all this stuff!
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#122 of 230 Old 02-20-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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LOL, zoebird, someone's in the honeymoon phase of emigration!
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#123 of 230 Old 02-21-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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We have had 3 houses and all three have been good investments so far. Selling the first two for a profit.

Having said that I think Vancouver's housing market is very inflated right now. All Olympic city's end up with inflated house prices peaking at the time of the Olympics and declining afterwards.



I would sell the condo BEFORE the housing prices drop and rent the co op and then when the housing prices stop dropping look at buying a new place.
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#124 of 230 Old 02-22-2010, 07:34 PM
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i don't know if it's a honeymoon or not. we are happy to be here, and there have been some pretty extreme realities hit us.

for example, our visa didn't come through when expected--it's still on hold. thus, we are currently living on savings until the visa does come through. with luck, it will be by next week. DH is freaking about money--and i can understand that. I figure that once we start working, we will be able to slowly build it back up.

though admittedly, right now we are very, very unhappy with the current owners of the business because of the shennanigans. but that's another story.

we have put a stop to all purchases except for food, of course, and then when we are bringing in income, we will minimize again to scrimp and save. we are pretty good at that when necessary.

i do need to get a rolling pin.
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#125 of 230 Old 02-24-2010, 01:54 AM
 
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That's scary, to not have your visa yet.

http://www.lossesintranslation.com/s...mmigration.php
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#126 of 230 Old 02-24-2010, 03:02 AM
 
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I'm so in on this. We moved into our current (rented) house five months ago. My goal is to get rid of 30-50% of what we own. I am currently going through boxes of books to purge. We did a thorough inventory of boxes when we moved out of our 2 bedroom apartment and we had nearly 150 boxes of stuff. That's ridiculous. Unfortunately my dh is a bit of a packrat and has a hard time letting go of things - mostly books and papers. I mentioned a pair of pyjamas that in our seven years together I had never seen him wear. He very grudgingly let me get rid of them.

I am learning a lot about decluttering. Specifically I am trying to incorporate the following into my process:
-assess my emotional reaction to items and recognize which cause me stress.
-get rid of things that create negative energy (guilt, anger, remorse)
-recognizing that my memories of people are not contained in things. Trying to choose a single special item that reminds me of special people.
-finding unique and meaningful ways of disposing of items that are hard to let go of.

We plan to move again in the next 7 months into a townhouse that will likely be around 1200 square feet, so I'm very motivated.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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#127 of 230 Old 02-24-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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I would sell the condo BEFORE the housing prices drop and rent the co op and then when the housing prices stop dropping look at buying a new place.

Here's hoping that's how it goes! We haven't heard from the co-op, which leads me to think that they selected another family. So we can apply to other ones and wait, or put the condo up for sale and enter the rental market. We'll see!
Your two cents are big, smart ones!

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!
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#128 of 230 Old 02-24-2010, 09:08 PM
 
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I am more for living comfortably and having my basic needs and wants satisfied.

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#129 of 230 Old 02-24-2010, 11:21 PM
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i don't know if that is a pro or anti minimalism statement.

i live comfortably and my basic needs and wants are met. i find that what i want and need is pretty basic and minimal, and that i also want and need to be minimal in order for my mind to stay uncluttered (i also meditate for this purpose).



anyway, we got the visa, we buy the business on monday. they are being jerks and want to pull out, but now they are legally obligated to sell to us because we have turned over the money and performed on every part of our duty that we can. if they refuse to sell, we will go to tribunal here--and our legal aid attorney and our real attorney and their attorney says that we will win.

but, i tell you, they really, really broke faith with us. they want to continue work there, but they have a lot of repair work to do.

so, anyway, minimalism still moving onwards here.
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#130 of 230 Old 02-25-2010, 10:33 AM
 
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Hi all, just popping in to say hello. Our house has been on the market for almost one month. We've had FIVE showings, which is a really good sign. One of those, the people came back a second time and were close but I'm not sure if they decided on another house or are still deciding. I'm just soooooo anxious!!!!!!!
I know we are having some action and I should just be thankful for that, and I am, but I really want it to be over with, yk? I just worry endlessly, that the house won't sell and I will never get to realize all my plans for downsizing, simplifying, etc. I'm trying to stay positive but we are so anxious it's not even funny. My anxiety is eating me alive. The pressure of keeping the house clean (realtors call like 20 min before they want to show it!), the worries of if we're even going to sell it, do they like my paint?, is my furniture crappy looking?, all that.

But other than that I've donated tons of stuff and have plans for further simplification once we can move. We will move from a 2000+ 4bd, 2car garage home to a 2bd/2ba apartment (w/1car garage). Basically halving our living space, storage, and belongings.

Wish me luck! Thanks!!!

Living Simply and Enjoying Life
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#131 of 230 Old 02-25-2010, 06:58 PM
 
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Good luck! Here's good luck dust for the sale of your house!

AFU: Right after I posted about not hearing from the co-op, they called. We have an interview tomorrow, so we'll see what we think after that.

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!
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#132 of 230 Old 02-25-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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I was on such a tear a couple weeks ago. I was going through closets, donating bags and baskets of stuff, eliminating clutter....

...and then we went on vacation.

I've completely lost my focus. I've been so busy doing "after vacation" stuff (grocery shopping, laundry) that I haven't had time to spend decluttering and organizing. Hopefully after the weekend (in-laws in town AND a baby shower to attend) I can get back on track.

---Jessica---Livin' my life from A Peace.gif(1/05 ) to Z  jammin.gif(4/08 ).....and z babyf.gif(3/11)

 

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#133 of 230 Old 02-26-2010, 02:14 AM
 
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I was on such a tear a couple weeks ago. I was going through closets, donating bags and baskets of stuff, eliminating clutter....

...and then we went on vacation.
I find I can only do this work when I'm in the right mood. If I'm not I just wander around looking at stuff.

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#134 of 230 Old 02-26-2010, 04:10 AM
 
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We heard from the co-op people and have an interview tomorrow, so we phoned our real estate agent and arranged for her to come around today at 4pm to appraise our condo in case we decide to take the co-op and get out of the housing market.

It's my birthday, so we were out most of the day celebrating ... we were at the park and I checked the time and it was 330pm. I thought we better wander home and tidy up for the real estate agent. It took us about ten minutes to walk home from our favourite park, and another five to tidy. At 345pm we were sitting on the couch reading books, waiting for her.

That's all it took to get our place show-ready! Our real estate agent said she'd be happy to bring in clients anytime! The only things we'd have to do to complete the 'staged' look is tuck the toybox away and put the bath toys out of sight. Everything else is ticketyboo! What a pleasure ... and so low stress!

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!
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#135 of 230 Old 02-27-2010, 08:09 PM
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that's awesome! i hope the sale goes through quickly.

we are desparate to settle on the business here. we are in line to do it tomorrow (ready to preform). so, hopefully that wil be settled before 10 am tomorrow. whew!
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#136 of 230 Old 02-28-2010, 03:08 AM
 
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I wish we'd hear from a co-op. We put our application a year and a half ago and haven't heard a thing.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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#137 of 230 Old 02-28-2010, 03:33 AM
 
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I wish we'd hear from a co-op. We put our application a year and a half ago and haven't heard a thing.
I hear ya ... we've had several in for many years. It feels fruitless. And as we haven't heard yet, my hopes are waning ...

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!
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#138 of 230 Old 02-28-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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I've always had the goal of decluttering and organzing, as well as simplifying life, but two years ago it was a conscious decision to declutter and downsize.

So, I went through everything that was mine in my house, and donated or got rid of anything that I didn't truly need or want.

I was tired of not having enough storage space for things to keep things tidy. And I didn't want to stress about how to afford storage for all the things, and never end up buying storage items for all those things that really don't even cost as much themselves as the storage to neatly store them.

So, anyway, my success is that I've completed decluttering and organizing of pretty much everything I can individually call my own and also about 50% of household items that I had DH's permission to get rid of.

I've also done it for baby items...anything my child has outgrown has been donated, as well. I've decided I'm just not going to keep baby items around...I don't have the space and I likely won't be having another child.

The problem left is DH. He is a packrat, and a packrat of mostly junk. He has a room, a basement, and other spots in the house full of ridiculous junk and collections. None of it is really sorted or organized, or all that useful. And he adds more to the piles.

He doesn't have the same spiritual or life changing draw to decluttering as I do. It makes him feel panicked and he doesn't want to part with his things, even if it's his college notebooks from 20 years ago. I'm serious - he hasn't looked at or referenced his college notes in about 20 years, and yet he's kept them...boxes and boxes of his old notebooks from his college classes. And all his materials, books, binders and binders full of things. And they just collect dust and sit in boxes. He literally hasn't touched them in years.

Has anyone successfully convinced a significant other to move past things they don't even use that they are just keeping for the sake of keeping?
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#139 of 230 Old 02-28-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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Has anyone successfully convinced a significant other to move past things they don't even use that they are just keeping for the sake of keeping?
Could you really use his storage space for something to better the family? An office, a playroom, etc? The only way I can nudge dh into decluttering his stuff is if I convince him we could really use that space for something better, and then he agrees that maybe he doesn't need the stuff he hasn't touched in years. It especially helps if I need the room for our kids- who wants to deny their kids free space for the sake of holding on to ten year old books that have never been touched?

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#140 of 230 Old 02-28-2010, 11:25 PM
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we moved to the other side of the world. DH got rid of just about everything he owned and is now reformed. seriously, that's what it took.

otherwise, i recommend you find a way to organize it that you (and he) can life with. prior to our move, i had bins with labels that had his various 'collections' in them. then, i would just stack them in the closet. as a new pile formed in the dining room (on the book case and table there), i would pick a "final" date for it, and then i would organize it. we would agree on that date. he would pull out that which was necessary to continue with his project in the immediate, and i would then take the rest of it and put it into the bins in the closet.

eventually, we ran out of closet space, and so his mother stored it. when she decided to clear out, he had to go to her place and go through the bins. what was surprising is that he was willing to let most of it go at that point, and managed to bring only a bit home, which i reorganized into our closet bins.

when we went to move, he went through each bin. each thing was questioned--do i want to haul this to the other side of the planet? most of it, he noted, did not need to be moved. so, he was able to let go.

but what surprised him was the volumn. i think he had 10 or more rubber maid bins of just old 'stuff' that didn't have importance. he didn't know why he clung to it "just in case." it was just an emotional thing, and something he didn't want ot face. but once he did, and once he had a reason to let it go, he was able to do so.
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#141 of 230 Old 03-01-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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i think he had 10 or more rubber maid bins of just old 'stuff' that didn't have importance. he didn't know why he clung to it "just in case." it was just an emotional thing, and something he didn't want ot face. but once he did, and once he had a reason to let it go, he was able to do so.
Thanks for sharing, and relating. Sadly, 10 Rubbermaid bins is nothing compared to what my DH has. Boxes, bins, walls stuffed with things of all nature. Things he hasn't touched or thought of in 10 plus years, except when responding no to my question of whether we can donate or get rid of it. That's the only time he's thought of it. Ugh.

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Could you really use his storage space for something to better the family? An office, a playroom, etc? The only way I can nudge dh into decluttering his stuff is if I convince him we could really use that space for something better, and then he agrees that maybe he doesn't need the stuff he hasn't touched in years. It especially helps if I need the room for our kids- who wants to deny their kids free space for the sake of holding on to ten year old books that have never been touched?
Oh, yes, we could use the room. We have a home with enough space for an office or a playroom or a guest room. (not for all those things, but for each of those options).

Instead, we have DH's room. We don't have a guest room, a playroom, or an office, and never have. "Extra" space has always been a room unto DH himself for his collections and hobbies.

Also, we could definitely use the space in the basement, not so much to finish it off, but to open up some running around space for our little one. It would be great to have a clear indoor space to accommodate play on rainy or cold days. But, DH's crap is down there.

I've brought up the conversion of space ideas, and DH just doesn't see a guest room as a necessity and he thinks toys in the living room corner is a more ideal situation than say a playroom.

It's his personality.
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#142 of 230 Old 03-01-2010, 03:17 AM
 
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Question for you ThatIsNice,

Do you think he'd be willing to consolidate it all into one space? Like saying, "I'm not trying to get rid of your stuff, lets just put it all in one room (agreeing that you would then not mention it since it would be "his space") so that we can open up some space for DC to run around in downstairs?". Do you think that seeing it all in one space, and how much room it takes up collectively, would impact him at all? Do you think he'd be more willing to part with any of it if, the next time he wanted to add something to his pile, it literally wouldn't fit into the room?

Just throwing some ideas out there...oh...and my last thought...present it to him as a choice:

"Would you rather consolidate all of your stuff into the extra room or down in the basement?". That way, whichever one he chooses, you win some extra room...

Me my DH 4.5 year old DS and who just arrived on the scene 6/10 Excited to be blogging! Decluttering in 2010: 2010 / 2010
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#143 of 230 Old 03-01-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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Question for you ThatIsNice,

Do you think he'd be willing to consolidate it all into one space? Like saying, "I'm not trying to get rid of your stuff, lets just put it all in one room (agreeing that you would then not mention it since it would be "his space") so that we can open up some space for DC to run around in downstairs?". Do you think that seeing it all in one space, and how much room it takes up collectively, would impact him at all? Do you think he'd be more willing to part with any of it if, the next time he wanted to add something to his pile, it literally wouldn't fit into the room?

Just throwing some ideas out there...oh...and my last thought...present it to him as a choice:

"Would you rather consolidate all of your stuff into the extra room or down in the basement?". That way, whichever one he chooses, you win some extra room...
Hey thanks. These are good suggestions, actually.

It is funny to imagine putting all DH's stuff in one space. It would all fit in the basement, but if I moved it all to his room, it wouldn't fit, and it would become immediately apparent just how much stuff he has.

The thing is most of his stuff is stuff he doesn't even use on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis.

When it comes to things like clothes and items he would use daily, DH is minimalist, I suppose (other than videos and video games).

The bulk of his items are things like all his college text books from 5 plus years of school. All of them. He never got rid of, gave away, or sold a single one. He's not just keeping the books from his major, he's also keeping books from his electives, like a western civilization class he took freshman year almost 20 years ago. And the notes! He has all his college notes and notebooks from every class he ever took. It's ridiculous.

We have moved many times since college to different apartments and different cities. He's never touched those notes or referenced them, and he's not going to. I think if you haven't used something in 20 years, recycle the paper!!

He isn't a person who throws things away though, and he's very proud of the fact that his lineage is that way too. He has collectors and packrats in his family.



Part of it (most of it?) is just sheer laziness on his part. He doesn't want me to do it for him because there might be a "gem" in the mix that he's forgotten about that I won't know is important to him, and he'd rather just keep everything he has, just in case he needs it at some point.

The other thing he has is casette tapes from when he was a teenager. Like really old casette tapes, and dubbed copies. Hundreds of them, if not thousands. First of all, I don't think we even have a working tape deck anymore! I mean, he's had all this and we've gone through at least two media changes...cds and then mp3s/digial. Maybe time to get rid of the old casette tapes.

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#144 of 230 Old 03-01-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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Hey Simple/Minimalist Mamas...I could use your advice. I just posted a thread asking about a possible move that would be downsizing quite a bit for our family of 6. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the matter if you have time

~Rebecca~
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#145 of 230 Old 03-01-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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Well, after the past few comments I feel better about my dp's habits.

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#146 of 230 Old 03-01-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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I find I can only do this work when I'm in the right mood. If I'm not I just wander around looking at stuff.

Or pulling it out and making more mess.
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#147 of 230 Old 03-01-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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Hey Simple/Minimalist Mamas...I could use your advice. I just posted a thread asking about a possible move that would be downsizing quite a bit for our family of 6. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the matter if you have time
Can you link it?

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#148 of 230 Old 03-01-2010, 06:49 PM
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this last purge was after his first big purge 5 years ago. so, we got rid of a lot of stuff then, and then over the years, i would encourage another purge.

but the real key that i wanted to share (that i suppose got lost) was simply finding a way to organize his stuff in a way that you can live with. for me, it was putting it into our closets (two) and then storing it at his mother's. that was the only space we had, because otherwise it was "out" in the rooms and cluttering them up. and that was a no-no for me. *i cannot live like that.* so, he did have to compromise.

that being said, the idea of putting it all in his room might motivate him to go through it. one of the things that i did to indicate to DH the difficulty of his piles (before our first purge 5 years ago where he did get rid of a lot of stuff), was begin to pile all of his stuff in and around his work space.

you see, i was cleaning out the spaces in the house to make them how i could live with them, becuase i couldn't live as we were anymore. i told him this, and i told him that i would put all of his stuff in his space. his space was the dining room table and a corner with the book cases. this is where he prefered to work, even though i'd created an 'office' for him that he put his junk in but never used because it was too junky.

i told him i was creating it into a guest room, and using the guest room as a yoga room, because i needed clear spaces in our home. i had already cleared out our bedroom (this was before children, btw). and, we often had guests over and they needed a space.

he agreed to this, and so i told him that anything that didn't fit in the closets i would put in his space in the dining room.

very soon, he began to see how his *stuff* actually affected him too. by never going into the office, the clutter never bothered him. and the "minimal" clutter that he had in the dining room was what he liked (he likes to be able to "see" things and doesn't necessarily like how minimalist and clean i prefer to be). though he prefers a "zen" look--or so he tells me.

anyway, i began to pile his things up all around him--the dining room table, the dining room chairs, the window seat, the shelving, and then on the floor next tot he seat where he worked. he began to moan and fusss--"This is impossible to work in! it's too cluttered! why are you doing this to me?"

and i informed him that i wasn't doing anything to him. he was doing it to himself. he was choosing to hold onto that stuff, and he agreed that it would go in his work space so that common spaces (bedroom, yoga/meditation room/guest room/living room and kitchen) would be open. we lived in a condo, so all we had were closets--no basement, no attic.

it was then that he agreed to go through that stuff--and the stuff in the closets--and decide what he wanted to store in the storage space that we had or ask his mother to store for him.

after that first purge, he was partially reformed. every year i would force him to purge again so we would have space for his new stuff. it upset him, and he would fight, but i would remind him of our past life (i took photos of it) and he didn't want to go back.

now, having lived minimally for the last 3 months, he *loves* it. he won't go back. he purges daily.

they can be reformed, but they also ahve to be willing to face their emotional attachments to things.
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#149 of 230 Old 03-01-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
they can be reformed, but they also ahve to be willing to face their emotional attachments to things.
This can be so hard, even hard to watch.

When DH and I were first married we couldn't bring up all our childhood stuff from our parents houses but one of the things he took was a box of old wrestling magazines. I've always been really into decluttering and I kept bugging him to sort through his stuff. He finally decided that since he never read his magazines he could sell them on Ebay and make a little money, well he found out they were worthless. Completely worthless, he couldn't even DONATE them somewhere. He was absolutely heartbroken, I'm talking real tears from a grown man, and I felt awful, like it was ALL MY FAULT. At that point the box moved out of the apartment and into his car, that was all he could manage. It wasn't until the magazines were damaged from a leaky window in the car that he was able to toss them (this was over a year later). And that was so hard for him to do, and just as hard for me to watch.

Now he still has a hard time getting rid of some things, but when I start paring down my stuff and if there is a box sitting out of things to give away he will toss his stuff into it too.

I guess what I am trying to say is it isn't fair of us to criticize our DH's stuff because it really is important to them even if it seems totally nuts to us. What we can do is move it somewhere or arrange it so we can live with it. For us, that means most of DH's baseball card collection lives in his old room at his Dad's house. I also have chosen to get rid of my things to make sure his fit in the space we have.

I think as the common living spaces clear out, and they see how excited you are about really appreciating the few things you chose to keep, eventually they will begin to reach that place where they can start letting go too.

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#150 of 230 Old 03-02-2010, 01:37 AM
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hmm. "it isn't fair of us to criticize our DH's stuff because it really is important to them even if it seems totally nuts to us."

i will say that i have been guilty of this. there are many things that i don't get--like keeping movie ticket stubs.

but, i do understand things like collections. but let me rephrase that. i actually do not understand collections at all. but, i do understand that people have sentimental attachments to them and want to keep them. whether it's base ball cards ot magazines or whatever else. i do get that.

and for my own part, the majority of what is in storage for us is collections--books and magazine collections, DH's action figure collection, and our remaining travel trinkets (also some paperwork such as taxes for the last 7 years). it is the stuff that is truly most important.

but i do think that it is important for us also to ask our DH's--just as they can ask us--to create space for the rest of us or figure it out.

here's what got my husband on the first purge. We were doing renovations to the house--paint, floors mostly. not major stuff, btu still. so, to do this, we needed to clear things out, and then we would put things back away. it's a great opportunity to purge.

well, we started to go through the closets, shelves, stacks and piles. and DH just kept shuffling his stuff room to room with each purge.

finally, i told him that we couldn't just keep a room of piles of stuff. I wanted to be able to use every room in the house, and he needed to figure out what to do with that 'stuff.' and i gave him two options: purge or get a storage room.

my husband was adamantly against getting a storage room because he didn't want to pay to store his stuff. he felt that he should just have a room for it in the house. i noted to him that i didn't have a room of stuff, that i was purging to create more room for his stuff, and to allow us to have useable spaces.

ultimately, he had all of those piles in the dining room, and he complained that not only could he not use it for his creative endeavors, but we also couldn't use it as a dining room if we invited friends over. it was also right inside our front door, and so he was embarassed to ahve people over because of the "mess."

he had to acknowledge that it was his mess, his stubborn behavior to not get a storage room or not purge that had created that situation.

and that motivated him to purge.

but here's the real upside for him--he felt emotionally free once he did. he got rid of old papers from highschool, college, and graduate school. he realized how oppressive that stuff was to him. he felt liberated from it. he got rid of what he truly didn't need anymore, but he was just carrying due to some sense of obligation.
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