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#1 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i want to go through my apartment and get rid of so much. has anyone here just gone through and boxed up things like they're moving and just gotten rid of it? that's what i feel like doing.

i'm a messy person. we're given so much from family, so many toys, so much STUFF. i can't stand it. i feel like it's owning me. i feel cramped.

how do i go about getting rid of it? how do i decide what is important enough to keep? how many toys does my son actually need? how much clothes do i need?

i'm improving...i know i've written a lot on on here about housekeeping and my problems with it, but i have improved a lot. but this still has me.
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#2 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 01:56 PM
 
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I did this once. It felt good at the time and a few years after, but I hate to admit there are things I gave away that I wish I still had.
I try to remind myself that it's good I gave so much of my stuff away because I might have helped someone who needed clothes and stuff. So, that helps. That and my total embarrassment at my materialism, that helps too.
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#3 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 02:06 PM
 
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I have dreams of getting rid of a ton of stuff, but we're doing it slowly. We moved a lot in the past which has kept the level of clutter down, but it still feels like we have too much. One book about declutter that I love is by Karen Kingston. It's called something like "Space Clearing with Feng Shiu." When I start to slow down, I reread a bit of it. Both my ILs became very ill when they were "young" (MIL had a stroke at 55 along with numerous other health issues and FIL died recently from colin cancer) and I really feel like the cluttered environment had a negative impact on their health. They have a house like I have never ever seen before. As a result, my husband doesn't like a lot of clutter, but he's a neat horder.

Good luck. We always feel so much better after we've taken a few boxes of stuff out of the house.
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#4 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 02:18 PM
 
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I am making a concerted effort to organize a garage sale by Columbus Day weekend. This week has been crazy and I hadn't planned to start yet; but I did clean out my jewelry box the other night, which netted 2 large egg cartons full of trinkets...I priced everything as I went. The same day, I bought two large storage totes; and next week I'm going to start weeding stuff, room by room. I'm going to get two more totes for each of the older kids...I've asked them to really start considering what they can live without, and that they will get the cash for anything of theirs that sells. DD got very nervous - like I was at her age, she's a collector - but I assured her that I will not take anything w/o her permission. Whatever doesn't sell in a weekend is going to the Goodwill collection drop-off.

I think you're right that a cluttered environment has a negative impact on one's health. I have NO energy when I consider our cluttered, messy house.

Let's keep this thread going and update how things are going, throughout the fall.

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#5 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 02:19 PM
 
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I over the years have lost many things that I dearly wish I had now (I had to run in the middle of the night from my first abusive relationship and most all of my stuff stayed) so I miss my "memory things"

....That being said, I am one of those awful hyperorganized persons. I have a rotating system so that every area of my house gets gone through regularly. If I haven't used it in the last six months (and it isn't a seasonal item) I consider getting rid of it. I don't keep clothes that don't fit or that I don't love to wear. I only keep reference books, books that my daughter may read when she gets older, and my Star Trek Collection. I only keep toys and videos that my daughter really loves and uses regularly (occasionally I will keep a "younger" toy and put it in her memory box. (I don't have any of those things from my childhood and I wish I did) I keep only clothes for her that she hasn't grown into yet or that have particular meaning for her memory box.

There are some areas where I am bad at purging (craft supplies and sheet music immediatley come to mind) but even with those, if I don't have a place for it, out it goes. My motto is a place for everything and everything in it's place, or out it goes. Keeps dh in check too, cause if he starts piling stuff up around the house I put all his piles in a box and he has to go searching for his things.

I also have to be very strict about clutter becaue my toddler has PDDNOS and if she can throw it, hurt herself or others with it, break it, etc. she will, so we don't have much in the way of knick knacks, etc....

Hope this helps.
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#6 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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skellebelle, sounds good.

this might be a mistake, but i keep reading not to get too rushed, not to get carried away and to take it slow...but that's not how i work! i really think i could do so much with a few boxes and some time to tear into it...

i just now ordered two karen kingston books, sara
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#7 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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that does help, mommytomjm, thanks. i love talking to super-clean people. i'm constantly asking them questions. i'm sure they think i'm crazy though
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#8 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 02:28 PM
 
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Quote:
i really think i could do so much with a few boxes and some time to tear into it...
That's how I am... I go in spurts. It's much easier if I wait for the mood to hit me, and I'm able to just plow through STUFF and get rid of what I don't need. If you feel inspired to declutter, then do it when the mood strikes. Don't wait for a book to arrive, or to learn more about the "right" way to do it... just do it NOW (says the chronic procrastinator)

I've found that a big part of simplifying has to do with what I'm bringing into the home, as well. Although I'm trying to work on decluttering, I've been able to make a big difference by making a conscious effort to bring less into the house. I don't buy something just because it's on sale. And I question myself each time I go to the store about whether I really NEED what I'm buying. Staying out of stores really helps, too. Be a smart consumer.

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#9 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 03:03 PM
 
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I did it Mamaley! and now my house is always clean!

Sometimes I just had to kind of close my eyes and not think too much about it, kwim?

A good rule is if you have more than one of something, pick which one is best and get rid of the rest. This can apply to clothes, kitchen utensils, kid's toys etc.

Try to get rid of all the clothes that you never wear or don't really need. Do that with the kids too. Anything that's not in perfect shape, just toss it. It helps lessen laundry.

With the kid's toys, try to get rid of as many stuffed animals as possible. Any books that aren't in perfect shape toss. Any toys that are not really nice just get rid of them.

I even went through my kitchen and got rid of dishes. I would look at my plates and say, "OK, I'll never have the need for thirty five plates at one time. I'll never have that many people in this tiny house at once. So, I narrowed it down to twelve, or something. Got rid of the mugs that I wasn't so attached to etc.

So, definately go for it! Just put the stuff in your car as soon as you bag it up or you or your kids might start unpacking it again. :LOL

It was so funny, for a while I think the thrift stores I was donating to must have thought I was robbing someone to keep bringing in so many things. :LOL It's a lot easier now for sure. Just remind yourself, you don't need all this stuff and your kids don't either, kwim?

Good luck.
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#10 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 03:44 PM
 
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I go thru and declutter **everything** twice a year. The first two times were tough, and now it is really easy.

There is a good LLL book called "Shelter for the Spirit" on making your house a home. There was a quote in it that says something like 'If it isn't necessary for life or beautiful to the soul, toss it!' There is another saying from somewhere that most people use 20% of their stuff 80% of the time!

What I do is to make a list of every room in the house, and then write under it the name of the areas of the room. Like under bedroom, I would write- under bed, in dresser, clothes in closet, boxes in closet, decor, and whatever else is in there. By breaking it down as much as I can and getting to cross it off, it makes me feel I am getting a lot done and am not missing anything.

Then I ruthlessly go thru everything! If I haven't used it in a year, it's gone. If I don't really like it, it's gone. If I'm sick of cleaning around it, it's gone.
For clothes, I just keep what I actually wear- what I feel good in and what fits nicely. No pretty sweater from grandma that is one size too small, etc. For toys, we only keep simple things- so we just have a selection of wooden classic stuff. I toss anything plastic or that needs batteries or that is cheap with a million little parts.

I think it's kinda fun and so do my DC. We just start filling up garbage bags and DH delivers them to a thrift store when he gets home.

The things that I keep are either really sentimental (my wedding dress for DC someday, love notes from DH, a few pictures from DS) or really practical (nice baby clothes to hand down to my next one).

My house is really clean 99% of the time, and I bet I only spend 1/2 hour a day on housework most days. It is just so easy this way.
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#11 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 03:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaley
that does help, mommytomjm, thanks. i love talking to super-clean people. i'm constantly asking them questions. i'm sure they think i'm crazy though

Feel free to ask away, I promise not to think you are crazy!!!
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#12 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 04:14 PM
 
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Decluttering can be so theraputic. This is why I love to move in the military. My moms house was always full of junk growing up. Partly bc she was a single mom and part was because she was lazy. I never wanted to be this so I make it a priority to get rid of junk a few times a year. Garage sells are great because you get something in return. I don't do them simply because I want it out right then or it will slowly creep back into our home. Also, they are only allowed a few times a month and you have to haul it to a certain location-too much work IMO!

I definitely would love to hear all your ways of decluttering. I can always use the advice!
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#13 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 08:36 PM
 
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I'm trying to clean out my house too. We have WAY too much stuff. It's embarassing
I've been using Free Cycle to get rid of some stuff. I love giving things to people who really need them. If someone's looking for something and I have it, out it goes.
There's so many, many things that I don't use every day. I went thru a bunch of stuff in my kitchen to get rid of and I need to get back in my room and go thru it again.
Thanks for writing this post. You're getting me motivated!! It can be so liberating to get rid of STUFF!

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#14 of 36 Old 09-17-2004, 10:47 PM
 
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I LOVE Karen Kingston's "Clear your clutter with Feng Shui" I have the audiobook and I listen to it while I declutter. It is very inspiring.

I don't have tons of stuff anymore, though I still struggle to keep organized with what I do have and the excess creeps up on me. Especially toys for dd.

I am going the "Holday Grand Plan" on www.organizedchristmas.com and it has a 12 week to to bottom clean/declutter house plan while getting ready for the holidays.

Our lifestyle is pretty simple, so that helps. Don't let the ddddc fool you, I'm no Martha Stewart. It doesn't come naturally for me, but I do a pretty good job. It is important to me.

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#15 of 36 Old 09-18-2004, 11:12 AM
 
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I declutter the kids toys a couple of times a year. Big stuff, little stuff...sit it out to the curb with a "FREE" sign on it and it's usually all gone within a half hour around here.
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#16 of 36 Old 09-18-2004, 11:22 AM
 
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I just got rid of 15 bags of toys. STuff that just was NOT being used, and brought them to goodwill. Now the kids are playing with the toys we DO have, because it's not so overwhelming anymore.
Mamaley, do you have storage room?
I'm going to be boxing stuff up that is just taking up space in our living area, but that I don't want to get rid of. So I am boxing it all up, labelling the boxes, and storing them in our basement. That way, some years down the rd, I can go thru the stuff, and have a memory trip, and you know, have a memory trip

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#17 of 36 Old 09-18-2004, 08:11 PM
 
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Mamaley, I've spent the last week going through stuff and decluttering. If only I could get DH into it, it would be sooo much easier. I did the kitchen, my half of the closet, the kids' closets, and am seriously eyeing the garage. A lot of the stuff has been out there now for a year and serioiusly needs to go away.

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#18 of 36 Old 09-18-2004, 08:37 PM
 
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When we moved alot our clutter was mostly under control, but we have been here awhile and it is just overwhelming. I HAVE to get busy and just start...but I am afraid of the spiders in my basement. You all are inspiring me! I'll get some gloves, wear long sleeves and start digging... And yes, I agree a cluttered environment is depressing and could have an impact on your physical and mental health.

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#19 of 36 Old 09-18-2004, 10:16 PM
 
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This is a good mantra for people who are simplifying:

Possessions are a burden...possessions are a burden...possessions are a burden

Just think how much time is spent caring for, cleaning, putting away, protecting, and storing possessions. Have you seen the show "Clean Sweep"? I haven't, actually, but I did read an essay about it. It sounds fascinating. The clean sweep team comes to a cluttered house and dumps all their possessions into one space and forces the family to sort it out. One thing they tell people is that memories are in your head, not in your things, which gives you freedom to get rid of useless stuff that you're hanging onto just because it reminds you of something.
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#20 of 36 Old 09-20-2004, 01:12 AM
 
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I am sooooooo wanting to declutter my life. We just moved in February to this great place, that I fell in love with so quickly. But just like our old apartment, we have serious clutter problems and it's building up! Both me and DP are hard pressed to throw things away and we have no idea to stop this from getting worse.

I really want a system of orginization in my house besides throwing everything thing on top of eachother on any surface! Any ideas!

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#21 of 36 Old 09-20-2004, 01:18 AM
 
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We try to donate a trunk full of stuff (clohtes, toys, household goods) at least every couple months. I don't know where we get all this stuff, because I keep doing this and our house is still FULL.

 

 

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#22 of 36 Old 09-20-2004, 09:34 AM
 
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We did a serious de-clutter last month and I feel sooooo much better now. One thing we focused on that I had never really purged was the linen closet. Got rid of lots of old holey sheets, sheets for bed sizes we no longer have, and old ratty towels. We also got rid of a lot of baby stuff, since we're done having children, and even if we did somehow end up with another, we know what we *really* need and what's just sucking up space.

One thing that helped me was getting rid of all the boxes and organizers and baskets we had because we would just fill them with crap. This was especially true in the bathroom. I got rid of tons of stuff in there, and realized that I had a lot of things that I had no idea I had (like 3 half-full sticks of deodarant, oops!).

Good luck!
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#23 of 36 Old 09-20-2004, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i just got my karen kingston books in the mail i really like them. off to the feng shui thread i go!

i love that mantra--possessions are a burden. i want to get rid of it all!

whateverdidiwants, i was just thinking that today, i haven't been through my linen closet in forever. it's on my list.

oh yeah, speaking of, i made a list. kingston suggests it in her book. i went through the house and made a list of all the clutter areas. then i put them in order from smallest job to biggest job. it says to do what is bothering you most first! just take it one thing at a time, marking things off as you go.
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#24 of 36 Old 10-04-2004, 04:48 PM
 
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2 bags of garbage and 4 boxes of garage sale stuff later...I started!!! Woo hoo!!!

I was late starting my declutter - after I posted my whole family got sick and it's taken me two weeks to get ANY energy to do anything.

I reorganized the mud room cupboards, put away all the summer stuff, paired up all the winter gloves/hats/scarves, got out the jackets & snowpants, organized all the sports equipment, swept down the cobwebs, and mopped the floor.

I still need to CLEAN the playroom, but I threw out TONS of broken toys, games with missing parts, dried-out markers, scribbled papers, and ripped books.

Last weekend I went through my clothes and Miss BB's clothes - donated some stuff and gave the rest to family/friends.

Tonight I'm pricing stuff, and omorrow I'm tackling my office

This coming weekend, I'm having a garage sale. Hopefully, after that - before it gets too cold - I can start organizing the attic for a spring sale.

btw - just a reminder, I have some nice clothes on the TP and I'm willing to negotiate prices/trades...

How's everyone else doing w/the fall decluttering?

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#25 of 36 Old 10-04-2004, 08:04 PM
 
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RE: TOYS

We just moved cross country, and I threw out every stinking toy except books, wooden puzzles, playsilks, real mini conga drums and wooden blocks. I mean everything--I sold em all and donated the rest. And you know what? DS has not missed a single one. In fact he is using his playsilks, puzzles and imagination more than ever.

I am not sure how old your kids are, but I would cull the toys in AT LEAST half. I found my DS was overwhelmed too with the # of toys. He seems much more free without them all, and he has an easier time playing and exploring.

Of course I did this with my ENTIRE House. I was the crap collector of the world. If it was on sale and it MIGHT be useful one day, I had it. Every kind of tape, every kind of battery, every kind of freaking adaptor, three can openers, 67, 000 bottle openers. I had it all :LOL And now with NONE of it--I feel so free and liberated. Like I can do anything and not be tied down.

Good luck. It was VERY hard for me, but I finally just did it.

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#26 of 36 Old 10-04-2004, 09:19 PM
 
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You are all so inspiring!!! I wish I had the time and energy to declutter. DS is so high needs and dh works a zillion hours a week -- I have enough trouble just keeping up with food prep and laundry. We have so much stuff. We're both pack rats and on top of that, my basement has become the collection point for other family member's stuff b/c they've moved out of a house with storage so they're using my basement as storage. Ugh.

But, I do have a plan. Come Jan. 1st, we are going through the basement and every other room in the house and we are purging or packing away (like baby clothes that we'll need again someday, I hope) all the stuff. And in April/May/June, we're having a garage sale. And whatever is still around after the garage sale, gets donated or given away. I'm sick of this. I want a sanctuary!

Thanks for the inspiration!
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#27 of 36 Old 10-04-2004, 10:54 PM
 
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Clutter really weighs me down and sucks my energy.

We have a large house, and all the clutter and mess has turned me into a zombie. I used to be SUCH a consumer - buy, buy, buy! And now I have the overcrowded attic full of junk to prove it. Now, I'm more careful about how I spend my hard-earned $$$...I buy myself quality stuff instead of quantity stuff, and way less of it!

Oh, I was SO energized by getting those two rooms done! Before supper, I went up and tackled the 4-year old's room while she watched a video downstairs. After supper, I'm usually ready to slip into a fatigue coma, but not tonight...I went back upstairs and decluttered 7-yo DS's room. He is very enthusiastic about getting rid of stuff, and let me take several big items out of his room. I think he gets overwhelmed by the stuff, too...he has Asperger's and is perfectly happy to have just his Thomas trains and a box full of Matchboxes and Hot Wheels. (And his stuffed lovies for bedtime )

While I was doing that, 14-yo DS collected a box of stuff from his room, too.

The only one I can't convince to let go of anything is my 11-yo DD...and where was she tonight? Out birthday shopping w/Grandma, getting more "stuff". :LOL

I cannot get over all the stuff I am getting rid of.

I feel so free...I swear, if I can get my office done this house will almost be floating on air! I might have to tether it down once I get the attic cleaned out.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#28 of 36 Old 10-04-2004, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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go skellebelle!

meco:
" We just moved cross country, and I threw out every stinking toy except books, wooden puzzles, playsilks, real mini conga drums and wooden blocks. I mean everything--I sold em all and donated the rest. And you know what? DS has not missed a single one. In fact he is using his playsilks, puzzles and imagination more than ever."

wow! that is so inspiring. this is exactly what i would love to do, have everything go except his trains, art supplies, and a few other things. i'm sure it was hard to do...it would be for me, emotionally. but i'd think it would be worth it. i'm sure there are many who would flame us for thinking this way though! he isn't even playing with his trains hardly anymore. he hardly knows what he has, and this is post decluttering! sounds like i have more work to do

henry's mom, my advice to you is to just take 5-10 min a day, while your little one naps, sits in a sling, or plays on the floor, and go through a little pile of clutter. throw away some things, give away some things (stuff it in a sack for goodwill or some place like that) and put the rest where it goes. you will be shocked by how quickly you can do that stuff. if you do just 5 minutes a day, more or less, from now till jan 1, you're job in jan 1 will be much easier, and by then you'll be on a roll. believe me, it's addictive!

ladies, i have gotten rid of around 15 boxes and trash bags of stuff. my home has never looked this good--and it's far from perfect, believe me--but it just feels better. and i'm still going! i have so much to do, but it's not overwhelming (well, usually not).
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#29 of 36 Old 10-04-2004, 11:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaley
ladies, i have gotten rid of around 15 boxes and trash bags of stuff. my home has never looked this good--and it's far from perfect, believe me--but it just feels better. and i'm still going! i have so much to do, but it's not overwhelming (well, usually not).
Oh, you are so inspiring!

My ultimate goal is to lose that overwhelmed feeling I get every time I walk into my own home (not to mention that cringning feeling I get when somebody drops by unexpectedly! ).


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henry's mom, my advice to you is to just take 5-10 min a day, while your little one naps, sits in a sling, or plays on the floor, and go through a little pile of clutter.
Yup. Bring a garbage bag and a box (for stuff you want to donate/sell) into a room. Start at the doorway and work your way clockwise around the room. Once you start, you won't want to stop until you're finished...I'll admit I'm obsessive and simply cannot do the 5-10 minute thing, I HAVE to work until I'm finished!

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#30 of 36 Old 10-04-2004, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"I'll admit I'm obsessive and simply cannot do the 5-10 minute thing, I HAVE to work until I'm finished!"

:LOL me too!
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