I think i have a purging problem - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Organize & Declutter > I think i have a purging problem
transformed 12:52 PM 04-01-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by socialworkmamma View Post
How, please tell me how you ladies all do this??? How is nothing sacred? I really need to know. I want to purge and declutter, but everytime I start to make some headway, my sentimental attatchment kicks in, and I freeze. Any and all advice appreciated.
I start with thiniking of the things I want to have in my house, not the lack of stuff that I want to get rid of.

For example, A year ago I decided I only need 4 place settings. I am thrilled with that decision. I have 4 plates, 4 bowls, etc.

I decided I need 2 spatulas, and 3 whisks.

I have one extra set of sheets for each bed.

(Make sense?)

Decide what you do need.

Everything else can GO!



(dontcha love smilies. )

Jyotsna's Avatar Jyotsna 06:03 AM 04-06-2008
I have three kids, and all three of them have done something special along the way, in school, and now while homeschooling. I really want to keep it all, but the other part of me wants to toss it. I would feel so guilty tossing it. However, sitting by my back door right now is a pile of the above mentioned, and it's really bugging me, since I don't have a place to keep it. What do you do with your children's artwork and essays?

Thanks
sunnysandiegan's Avatar sunnysandiegan 06:44 AM 04-06-2008
Jyotsna - I have one child, but here's what we do:

She puts her artwork/whatever on the fridge first thing when it comes in the door of our home. When the next one comes in, she takes down the current one. Decision time: Do I love this soooo much I need to keep it? If so, she puts it in her bedroom in a specific place. If not, she decides to either throw it out or send it off to a relative. If *I* love it and she does not, then I put it in my 'to be scrapbooked' envelope.

When the next item is loved so much it goes up to her bedroom, she has to decide about the current item. Decision time: Do I love this soooo much I want to keep it? If not, it either gets thrown out or mailed to a relative. (If *I* love it, then I put it in the 'to be scrapbooked' envelope.) If she does love it, I have her write something directly on it (details about the item or why she loves it or whatever seems appropriate at the time) or on a separate paper (depending on the item) and it then goes into the 'to be scrapbooked' envelope.

I keep three 'to be scrapbooked' envelopes per year now. They are not evenly distributed by months, but rather by amount of 'kept' items over the course of time. (For us, these time frames are 1/1 through DD's birthday/party, whichever comes last; day after birthday/party through day before school starts; day school starts through 12/31.) I used to keep these envelopes in the closet with the 'to be scrapbooked' photographs and so forth. However, that resulted in a big pile on my desk all the time. So, now I have the envelope in our paper trays on the computer desk. DD & DH know where it is and add things on their own.

For oversized items, I have a separate large envelope for flat art in our office and bulky items go into a clear box (for me) or file box (DD's items) in our master bedroom closet. The contents of my box have been pared down to only the most sentimental items I own. I got it at The Container Store on sale last year around this time. I believe they call it a magazine box. It isn't very deep, but it holds record albums at a slight angle. I have less than a dozen items in my box now.
MommyHawk's Avatar MommyHawk 09:55 PM 04-06-2008
Hey, I'm thinking of moving to Temecula!!!

And I too have the same purge-problem. I'm actually looking forward to this coming week - purge week!!! I do in-home daycare and at times I feel I should keep all the toys...but when they don't treat them with respect and break/loose pieces or don't even 'play' with the stuff (just dump them on the floor) I get sooo fed up with it all! There is just NO need to have this much stuff. I love to purge, looking forward to doing it with the toys this week, and wish I could just 'let go' of some of the personal attachment so I could REALLY purge!

Maybe we could get together for ideas of what else to purge
Surfacing's Avatar Surfacing 02:43 AM 04-07-2008
: subbing to come back and print out the questions
hellyaellen's Avatar hellyaellen 03:06 AM 04-07-2008
not that i don't still have work to do in my own home but....

this weekend i visited my dad and i was so tired when i got home. from mentally de-cluttering his house

i do have to buy kurt some more undies though so i can toss the holey ones.
Bad Horse's Avatar Bad Horse 04:12 AM 04-15-2008
I was wondering the same thing as the OP a while back there, and I was actually going to my friends' houses and organizing their stuff. I ended up taking a few paid jobs doing it, too.

Then I got pregnant and between the exhaustion and morning sickness of the first trimester and severe SPD and just less energy I even let my house go a little. I'm at 25 weeks now and I think some nesting is starting to kick in.

Right now I have a big pile of stuff in my living room that has been purged over the last few days, and have had a few things already picked up that were freecycled. We purged our bookshelves, which is so nice. I was able to move an entire large shelf from the dining room that was taking up way too much room into the boys' room to replace their very small bookshelf since we got rid of so many books. I worked a bit on my closet (I have to keep up on that, it's amazing how quickly it accumulates stuff!) About a month ago I purged my clothes, all the office clothes I had and pre-pregnancy stuff I didn't absolutely love. It ended up being a good 1/2 of what I owned or more. AND I was so proud, I got rid of most of my shoes, I only have about a dozen pairs left

It feels SO good to get rid of stuff. I used to be a bit of a packrat, and had a lot of stuff I was emotionally attached to. Then I just got tired of all of the clutter and made a huge change. What an emotionally freeing experience this has been! It makes you feel so much lighter.

Someone mentioned the Oprah a while back that was about compulsive hoarding. I saw that! One of my closest friends has this issue, which he's just not willing to deal with at all, and gah! I can't stand being in his home. It's so oppresive and you can just feel the weight of it all.
emdeecee_sierra's Avatar emdeecee_sierra 05:34 AM 04-15-2008
OP, I have the same problem! I am so glad to read I'm not the only one who thinks about "what's next!?!" and even goes back over things I've recently purged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larablue View Post
Why don´t you start helping others? Friends, family, single moms..
Might want to be careful of this, though, as it can be easy to hurt someone's feelings with the offer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by es1967 View Post
I feel the same way too. Always, looking for more to declutter. Today I watched Oprah about the hoarding problem this woman had and it really put things into perspective for me again. Everytime I see how bad people have it I feel so relieved I am just the opposite. Makes me feel so organized. Sometimes if I visit other peoples homes I come back feeling so thankful for my place.
I do this too. So happy to come back home. But then I actually always have to purge something at home. Almost like the feeling built up so much while I was at the other house I need an outlet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by farmlife View Post
Purging issues over here. Dh asked that I keep the toothbrushes Funny thing is I notice lately he has gone through and purged through his items. House is easier and easier to keep clean.

I love what someone said earlier about nothing is sacred anymore - I obviously have some sort of issue in that I have items that cause me stress. Can't get rid of that cause it was from so and so issues. Well, I'm letting go of that and boy does it feel good. Palpable stress out the door with said items!

I love that this thread and forum is here.
When I start to feel bad about junking something because it is from someone I remind myself that getting rid of the item does not mean I feel any less for the person, or they for me, that it is merely an item.

Quote:
Originally Posted by socialworkmamma View Post
How, please tell me how you ladies all do this??? How is nothing sacred? I really need to know. I want to purge and declutter, but everytime I start to make some headway, my sentimental attatchment kicks in, and I freeze. Any and all advice appreciated.
Amys1st's list is terrific. Another question I ask myself (and am teaching my DC to ask themselves) is: if the house burned down tonight, would I be in tears tomorrow for this lost item? (Would losing it affect my life in any way? Would I even remember that I owned this item?)
larablue's Avatar larablue 06:18 AM 04-15-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by emdeecee_sierra View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by larablue View Post
Why don´t you start helping others? Friends, family, single moms..
Might want to be careful of this, though, as it can be easy to hurt someone's feelings with the offer.
Thanks for your input.
You are right- some people might be hurt. I come from a quite unorganized family and no-one ever felt hurt by such an offer, everyone was welcoming it and I help all the time, but other people might feel different.
notwonamesalike's Avatar notwonamesalike 01:09 PM 04-15-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danidama View Post
If no one here has read the book It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh, go get it right now! It's the best book ever. I absolutely love it. I just finished reading it for the second time in 6 months (I never remember books and movies; my brain just does. not. like to store them for some reason.). It goes through every room in the whole house and everything you need to do to clear it out of all the stuff you don't need, use or love. This book is SO much fun to read!

I agree - but get in an e-version and then you don't have another book cluttering up your bookshelves.

I've re-read this book 3 times myself.
Danidama's Avatar Danidama 02:32 PM 04-15-2008
heh-heh, I love that book so much that it is one that I feel I must have irl. I've gotten my book "collection" down from almost 300 books to 23 (my own books, not dh's or dd's), and am very proud of that... but It's All Too Much is one of my favorites, and I like to have it in my hands to read it. Every time I get on the pooter I'm always surprised about it because I spend so little time on it (my dd is 27 months)- so it's easier for me to have my favorite reading stuff irl. So my point is that I need to work on purging my rambling babbles, and then my posts would be oh so nice and simple, yay. :-p
hellyaellen's Avatar hellyaellen 04:24 PM 04-15-2008
i've actually tackled a few problem areas at work. i did the breakroom and the food cabinet.
akmeg's Avatar akmeg 02:41 AM 04-16-2008
I'm so jealous of all of you! I'm in the middle of getting ready for a move in two weeks, and since I'm packing I'm also trying to purge at the same time. My problem isn't usually deciding what to get rid of, it's what to do with it once I've decided. Right now I have a huge pile of old books, textbooks, and manuals that I know no one will want. What do I do? I freecycle some things, but I get so frustrated with people not showing up and taking forever to pick up their things, sometimes it feels like it's not worth it. Do you all just dump stuff off at goodwill? Do you just give in and toss some of it? What's the best and fasted way to get rid of things once they make it into your purge pile?
Thanks!!
mamamelia's Avatar mamamelia 07:11 AM 04-16-2008
i suffer from the purging too much disease too.... we don't even have a dining table to sit at.... i have sat there at other people's homes looking around at stuff that i think would totally go in a minute if it were at our house. this after i'm bored with the conversation and have just drifted off into space....

it's sick and i don't know how to stop myself. my dh tells me that i just want to get rid of everything in sight. LOL. i'm working on it though. were getting another dining table soon....... only this time it's going to be small and simple. the one we had before seated 8 ppl which was just too much at the time.

i'm not a labeller though.... i think my dh would have a fit if i also started labelling what few possessions we still had. LMAO @ the sock drawer being labelled.
hellyaellen's Avatar hellyaellen 08:57 PM 04-16-2008
i do just dump a lot at good will. (and um sometimes i do toss stuff in the garbage.... ) :

in the case of books what i would do is see if theres a used bookstore that will give you cash for them. probably not more than a dollar or two for a hardback in good condition but stilll.....
lillydilly's Avatar lillydilly 11:05 PM 04-16-2008
I take ours to what they call a Tender Centre, that we have here in Aust. People put tenders in on your stuff, like a silent auction, and what doesn't sell, you can leave there to be donated to charity, or pick it up.
They take a fair bit of commission, but they also do all the work for you. I just leave what doesn't sell for them to donate.
Clothes and books I donate straight to our Thrift shop, after my friends and family do a scrounge through.
I have one bag for clothes and one box for donations in an empty closet, that I just add to as I find stuff I don't want, and when they're full, out they go.
When our family comes home to visit, they just go through and take what they need from the "Give away Box".
SAHDS's Avatar SAHDS 05:38 AM 04-23-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamelia View Post
i have sat there at other people's homes looking around at stuff that i think would totally go in a minute if it were at our house. this after i'm bored with the conversation and have just drifted off into space....
I do the same thing. My cousin has me come over every so often and go through her house to get rid of things for her. I love decluttering and purging! I hate clutter, 'stuff' and waste. Messy houses drive me insaaaaaaaane.

As for what I do with the stuff, I donate it to Value Village. Actually, I donate it to a charity that sells the items to VV. I shop there too so it's a win-win

Actually, a charity just left a bag on my doorstep last week to fill up. We're moving in a week, so they really hit the jackpot with us. I need to leave that at the curb tomorrow morning...

Quote:
i'm not a labeller though.... i think my dh would have a fit if i also started labelling what few possessions we still had. LMAO @ the sock drawer being labelled.
I'm not a labeller either, that seems like clutter to me
Danidama's Avatar Danidama 09:51 AM 04-23-2008
In the past two years, since I started getting rid of everything I didn't want or need, I have donated everything. I don't drive, so I've had salvation army and vietnam veterans (vvapickup.org) pick it up with their trucks every few months (they have scheduled pick-ups in nova, and I would get 'flyers' in the mail; that's how I found out about them). We just moved to Arlington last weekend, and in the past couple months I've also just left things out in our driveway with FREE signs and -everything- was carted away by neighbors! I always hear of craigslist and freecycle and whatnot on here, and that obvs works for some ppl, but I don't have the patience for that-- I don't even have the patience to wait for the donation pick up trucks now! This year I just started putting things out by the street, like I said, and that is because I couldn't stand to have donation stuff waiting inside my house for whatever date guys were supposed to come pick it up. So I guess that's all I have to say about that.

have fun
aweynsayl's Avatar aweynsayl 04:16 PM 04-23-2008
ahhh, great thread! i think i may have started a similar one a year or so ago... if not, i sure thought about it. i worried for a while what would happen when i ran out of things to get rid of! i would OBSESS about what was next, and have dark thoughts that some secret box of stuff was hiding somewhere waiting to reveal itself to me (in other words, that i wasnt really done decluttering!).... shortly after that, a secret box did reveal itself (from mom's house.. deep dark depressing depths of clutter......)! some day, i do have mom's house and dh's folks house to ... "look forward to...."

for now, though, i actually am "done"!
Danidama's Avatar Danidama 12:53 AM 04-24-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by aweynsayl View Post
i worried for a while what would happen when i ran out of things to get rid of! i would OBSESS about what was next...

for now, though, i actually am "done"!
TOTALLY. That is exactly how I feel. And for the past few weeks, since there's been nothing else I could possibly do over again (for the sixth time), I've just wished there was, because it just makes me so happy, heh. Are we weird? For sure. But it's a good weird, 'cause we just love to have our homes in perfect, simple order. I've become a total minimalist and I love it. I now know exactly what we own and could tell someone exactly where any one thing is! That's a good feeling. I don't have a bunch of little random things in our home anymore. No rubberbands or wee emergency band-aid kit from the drugstgore, or pens out of place. The miscellaneous drawer went bye-bye about a year ago (my daughter was almost 1; coincidence? Nah. :-p But also, I read in It's All Too Much - no junk drawer! heh.). Everything we have is something we use almost every day. And there is nothing "out"- everything has a (pretty much empty) cupboard or drawer to go in.

Side note, I love the Zenhabits site that ppl have linked to on occasion. Great start for reading about minimalism and decluttering, etc. :^)
mumkenna&lucas's Avatar mumkenna&lucas 06:57 AM 04-24-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toady View Post
I wish I had you problem!
Thats definately what I was thinking!
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