Declutering, but how do I get rid of things I "may" use?? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-12-2005, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am overwhelmed with our house right now and I'm 6 mo. pregnant. We have way to much clutter, our house is very old and needs lots of work. My main problem is I want to get rid of about 1/3 of the stuff we have. But I'm having trouble with certain things, like clothes...I have a couple bags of dh clothing that need zippers or buttons. I do sew, and I use to make a lot of patchwork goods to sell, something I want to start doing again. I also have a ton of my old clothing, but most of it is very unique stuff I could cut up and use *someday*, like nice velvets, cord, etc. I also have a large collection of new fabrics. It's like I'm all gung ho about throwing stuff away, until I look at it! What should I do? We are trying to live more thrifty, so I hate to through away stuff I could use to make $ with, but what am I supposed to do with it! Any advice? If baby's going to be born into an old house that needs work, I atleast want it to be clean and organized! :


*erin*
#1 edd 10/29/05

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Old 07-13-2005, 12:10 AM
 
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If you really could put those things to good use in the near future (not 15 yrs from now but realistically in a year or so) could you at least store them neatly somewhere? I have lots of girls clothing from dd1 and dd2 and just found out that I am having a dd3 so it doesn't make sense for me to give stuff away but I have them organized in big totes and labeled in my basement so I know what is there and what season/size it is when I need it. I do go through the stuff before I put it away and make sure it is in rewearable condition for the next baby or if not I toss it or donate it depending on what it is. Maybe you could put aside a small amount of things that you could do right away (ie.sew some buttons or fix the zippers) and then organize the rest so that once you are more settled you can chip away at the piles. Then maybe reassess the situation in a year or so and if you don't see yourself ever using some of it, then donate it. Good luck! I am 5 months pregnant and getting totally overwhelmed myself -- I have a whole bag of books ready for donation and have been cleaning out the kitchen drawers :LOL
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Old 07-13-2005, 12:37 AM
 
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Sit down and establish rules.
Like if I haven't worn it in 2 years = it goes.
If it has stains or looks worn - it goes.
If I can replace it for cheaper than to store it, wash it, move it.

Decide how many of any item you 'need':
You 'need' 10 pairs of underwear if you do wash once a week.
5 pairs if you do it twice a week.

The kids 'need' 4 pairs of pants, then you go in and pick out the best ones and get rid of the rest - really they like us like to wear their favorites.

Use dark garbage bags when sorting to give away. I sometimes keep the bag for a week to reassure myself I don't need it.

And get some help get a friend, mom, sister over to enforce the rules.
Also too remember keeping old clothing around it might get musty, mildewed, moth eaten. If you want to do crafts pick a few really neat ones, and put them aside.

I limited myself to ONE box of sewing material...it was hard but I did it.
And the more stuff you have the less you can buy

And how long has it been since you really fixed some of those clothes?
I have never missed anything I tossed yet and I love my crap
Alison

8 might be enough
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Old 07-13-2005, 12:58 AM
 
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Ditto on the limiting. I have ONE tote of fabric that I am allowed ot have and that is it. If I am actually using the stuff up then it isn't a problem. When my mom died she ahd boxes and boxes and boxes of fabric. I have her genes. If I don't limitmyself I will fill a room.

Of course right now it isn't an issue as I am on "everything probation"
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Old 07-13-2005, 04:34 PM
 
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"Everything Probation" :



*sigh* me too. . . . .
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Old 07-14-2005, 03:39 PM
 
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I mainly use my intuition when "de-cluttering" the house. It rarely fails. I also pretty much get rid of anything that is broken and not getting fixed, and anything that is ugly/useless/bringing my energy down. Do you have space for storage, or can you get a storage shed? The clear plastic bins with lids are wonderful for stuff you *may* use someday. And, if you can store them somewhere, you only have to see them when you want to. Good luck!

Happily parenting our snuggly wild child since 2007 and her little brother since 2011!

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Old 07-16-2005, 12:46 AM
 
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You hit on my great conundrum with home management. My thrifty side warring with my organized side. If you've read "Tightwad Gazette" and other such "thrift as a lifestyle" books, they advocate saving *everything*. I've finally decided that this might work if I lived in rural Maine and had a big barn to put all this stuff in. But it also means being a slave to all that stuff because stuff is useless if you don't know where something is when it's time to use it.

So now I realize that being truly thrifty is more about not acquiring new stuff and doing my best to use up the old stuff. Am I going to use all that fabric I bought during my quilting frenzies? Probably not. So I donated it to my church and they're using it to make wonderful things to sell at their churchfair. I kept some of it though, because I *might* use it.

I'm doing the same with clothes now too. I kept a bunch of my work clothes because I *might* need them again someday. Well, it's been about 7 years since I worked in Corporate America. Time to admit that I'm not likely to go back anytime soon. And if I do, most places are business casual now. If I were honest with myself, I'd admit that I were about 5% of my clothes on a regular basis. That doesn't mean I'm getting rid of 95% of them, but there has to be a better ratio than that.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's a balance. You'll have to find the right mix of decluttering and thrifty retaining based on your storage space, organizational abilities and energy to spend tending to your stuff. Good luck!

Sharon
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Old 07-17-2005, 01:08 AM
 
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I think I could have written that post myself (including the 6 months pregnant part). I have a hard time getting rid of things until I see members of my family that have tons and tons of stuff they will never do anything with. Sometimes I feel so bad getting rid of things that I had planned to use, make something out of, sell, etc., but usually after it is gone, I never even think about it. It feels better to give it away. Sometimes I just have to look at things and convince myself that if I donate it, someone will find it at a thrift store and use it and be happy.
It's still such a struggle for me - and I have way too much stuff and I'm really wanting to be simplified and organized for when the new baby arrives here. Maybe you (and I) could just start out getting rid of some things that you really don't love all that much. Best of luck!
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:35 PM
 
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Totally, totally, totally!!! Except I am 7 months pregnant, LOL! Sharondio hit the nail on the head: "You hit on my great conundrum with home management. My thrifty side warring with my organized side." I can't remember what decluttering guru said it, but basically I'm starting to realize the truth in the concept of "If it came your way once, it will come your way again when you need it." In the meantime, I'm working on what another previous poster mentioned--getting rid of stuff that's bringing my energy down. (I have so little of it nowadays as it is!)

And I figure for the small amount of stuff I get rid of that I will truly need again, the extra money is worth saving my sanity in the meantime.

Melissa (former lurker )

Melissa, a homeschooling, caffix.gif-guzzling, SAHM of two: reading.gif (11) and joy.gif(8)
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Old 07-19-2005, 02:15 AM
 
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I've decided that the best way to ensure that when the day comes that I need some*thing* I have the means(financial or otherwise) to aquire it, is to build up good 'stuff karma' by releasing all this extra stuff into the world where it can find a place to be useful.

Part of this is definitely the fact that getting it out of my space and off my mind frees me from a large amount of stress! When I am not wasting my energy knowing where it is, moving it around, cleaning around it, reorganizing it, feeling guilty for not using it yet, I free my energy to put toward much more useful activities and thoughts. Which makes me more creative. Which makes me more likely to find a good solution if something comes up where I need a *thing* I don't have handy.

Like the clothes that need buttons and zippers and stuff. Obviously if they've been in a bag so long they aren't missed all that much right? And you probably(I'm ASSuming here so bear with me) feel weighed down whenever you happen to come across that bag or think about it or look at it or have to move it around? Do you feel like oyu can't go ahead and do other cool projects because you'should' take care of those htings first? My advice would be go ahead and donate those somewhere that would take them and not mind that they need a little fixing up, and free up that energy for other stuff. WHo knows, maybe when you don't feel like they have to first on the list you have the freedom to feel creative enough to make something way cooler for you dh.

Just an example, but it illustrates the way I look at these situations. If you don't see yourself using those old clothes for fabric anytime soon, go ahead and donate or sell them. When the time comes and you are ready to get back into your fun projects fabric will be available for cheap on sale at sewing stores, in clothing at a trhift shop, etc..

The important hting is to trust oyur ability to get what oyu need when you need it and remove the stuff weighing your energy down so when you need to find stuf oyu are able to think clearly and feel good about your home and life nad all that.

Hope this is somewhat coherent. Good luck.
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Old 07-24-2005, 02:41 AM
 
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You may actually never use them.
Especially if something were to happen to you, Goddess forbid....
-then someone else is stuck trying to take care of all that..
- and in the meantime, your daily life now if affected emotionally and
spiritually by the heaviness of that clutter.

Be free, let it go...
~L
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Old 07-24-2005, 03:31 AM
 
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You could try selling some of the nicer fabrics on eBay or the trading post.

You could box them up and put them in the basement or attic- write the date on the box, and if you haven't opened up the box in 6 months (or 2 years if that's more realistic for you right now) then give the stuff away. If you really find you want/need something from the box, it's available, but not in the way.

If it's stuff that you might want for a home business someday, it's worth storing in an accessable but not "in the way" kind of place, in clearly labeled boxes, so you can easily get to it if/when you're ready to start sewing again. If you don't have that kind of storage space, then it might be worth it to let go of most of the fabrics now and re-build your stash when you're ready to do it.

For dh's clothes- if it's something he's managing quite fine without, you could probably give away the entire "mending" pile without feeling the pinch at all. You might want to hang onto some of your clothes, since your size is still rapidly changing- but once the baby is 6mo or so, go through your clothes and let go of anything that no longer fits or flatters, unless it's a classic style that's really worth hanging onto (and it's only slightlytoo snug!)

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 07-24-2005, 10:30 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Ruthla]You could try selling some of the nicer fabrics on eBay or the trading post.

QUOTE]


What is the trading post?

This is a tree on fire with love, but it's still scary since most people think love only looks like one thing instead of the whole world. *
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Old 07-25-2005, 01:00 PM
 
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Here is the trading post here at MDC:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...play.php?f=107


:

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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Old 07-26-2005, 12:08 AM
 
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ty ty

This is a tree on fire with love, but it's still scary since most people think love only looks like one thing instead of the whole world. *
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Old 07-30-2005, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! You mamas gave me so much perspective on the clutter! I like the idea of "stuff karma", your so right, when I need it, it will come around. Well today I went through my closet and got rid of 5 large trash bags of my old clothing and shoes!! Some of the thing that I decided to keep (like a couple of my moms dresses from the 70's and a hand made renaissance costume) I am going to get dry cleaned and keep them in the plastic, rather then crumpled up in a box some where. I got rid of so much! So many cute things that haven't fit in 5 years! It is a good start! Most of dh stuff that needs repair I'm going to get rid of. The fabric I am keeping, but going to organize it better. Thank you again!

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