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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since coming on here and finally getting motivated, things are really starting to look good! I'm so proud that I have been able to part with things, esp when I realize that they are just stressing me out!<br><br>
The problem is I haven't been super green about getting rid of stuff. I know I should be better about it, but find if I think about ways to reuse something, I start to make a new pile of "stuff" that ends up in a box and never really leaves. I have to put it in the trash or directly in the car to go to goodwill. I know giving stuff to goodwill is a better choice, but feel really guilty about not resuing/repurposing some items.<br><br>
I also keep holding onto things to sell. I feel like I deserve to get some of my money back. But again, they just end up sitting in a box, taking up space and not going anywhere. I could use the cash, but it may not be worth hanging onto them. ugh.
 

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Yeah, the sorting and organizing is just half the battle. Getting it out of your house is the final and most difficult step in my opinion. I find myself in the dilemma of having stuff that is too good for the garbage (IMO) but not good enough to sell or donate. So it just sits.
 

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unfortunately I find myself in the same place a lot of the time. I threw some stuff away the other day that probably could/should have been repurposed, but I've been holding on to it for nearly two years now. It just wasn't happening. I even tried given it away to no avail. It wasn't really suitable to give to someplace like Good Will either. Finally it just *needed* to leave.
 

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Guilt doesn't really serve you in the long run. I propose you give up the guilt and reframe your thinking. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Focus on the good feelings of providing others with items your family no longer uses. How you get those items to those people will change over time, if you choose. Or not, your choice.<br><br>
Also, more importantly, IMHO, is choosing how you bring items INTO your home. Reducing what you bring in from the get-go will make a big difference down the line. Buying items in the least packaging, for example, reduces your trash/recycling output on a regular basis. Buying less stuff overall will mean less stuff to repurpose and/or sell and/or give away later. And so on....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sunnysandiegan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15420106"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Guilt doesn't really serve you in the long run. I propose you give up the guilt and reframe your thinking. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Focus on the good feelings of providing others with items your family no longer uses. How you get those items to those people will change over time, if you choose. Or not, your choice.<br><br>
Also, more importantly, IMHO, is choosing how you bring items INTO your home. Reducing what you bring in from the get-go will make a big difference down the line. Buying items in the least packaging, for example, reduces your trash/recycling output on a regular basis. Buying less stuff overall will mean less stuff to repurpose and/or sell and/or give away later. And so on....</div>
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Excellent point!!! I'm doing better at this, I haven't shopped (except grocery) at all in the last two weeks!
 

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I think that trying to be green with the main declutter can be counterproductive.<br><br>
Once your house is decluttered and running smoothly, that may give you time to be green - to use cloth produce bags that have to be washed, and glass-bottled milk that has to be rinsed and returned, and cook instead of buying a lot of packaged food, and wash reusable storage containers instead of using and tossing plastic bags, and make your own iced tea instead of using bottles, and find new owners for your possessions when you do small maintenance declutters, and think long and carefully before making new purchases, and so on and so on and so on<br><br>
But as long as the house is hard to deal with, you're not going to have time for that. And in the end, most of your decluttered possessions _are_ going to end up in the landfill. Maybe they'll have one more owner before that happens, maybe they won't, but they're probably going to end up there either way.<br><br>
My view is that by decluttering fast and then developing green habits for your newly decluttered house, you'll probably be greener than you would be by decluttering perfectly and over a long period of time and still having a frazzled life whie you're doing so.<br><br>
So I say grab the trashbags and get it done.<br><br>
Crayfish
 

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Unless you are actually going to sell them sometime soon I would just take them to charity centers. It can really feel better to have it gone than waiting for someone to want and then actually come and pick up your decluttered items. Maybe have a last minute garage sale?
 

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for me, time is money.<br><br>
by that, i mean that it is my most valuable currency. part of the reason that i live minimally? so that cleaning takes a minimal amount of time and i have TIME TIME TIME to do what i want to do. i run my business the same way--i set it up so that it runs itself, and i then have time time time to do what i want to do.<br><br>
so, when i look at an object--say i paid $80 for it. i think, well, i can at least get $60 for it. btu to do that, i have to take a picture, put it on craig's list, field emails and phone calls, meet with people who want to see it, etc etc etc. it takes at least a few hours of my time all said and done.<br><br>
now, when i do work, my time is worth $100 per hr. i teach a private yoga lesson--$100. teach classes--$100. consulting--$100.<br><br>
so, here i worked to sell a$60 object for at least an hour or tw (and usually an verage of four or five), and thus i didn't make any money at all on the darn thing. seriously, i paid to have it taken away. if i spent two hours selling it, that's $200 worth of my time. and i only got $60 back. that's a $140 loss.<br><br>
thus, i don't bother. unless i'm selling a LOT of stuff, i just give it away to charities. if i'm selling a lot (like some furniture from my house, plus other items)--i sent them to an auction house that picked it up, sold it, and sent us a check.<br><br>
for me, it's just about getting it out the quickest way possible. good will, church/community rummage sales that benefit a non profit (eg, a big one here supports the catholic schools, so i would often donate to that), the homeless shelter, etc etc.
 

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Yeah, Thank you all for affirming my hope for the future. I'm "striving for simplicity and peace" in my life, house, marriage and family. I feel more spacious and open when things are decluttered. I struggle a bit with all the collecting: for charity...so much has been taken to Goodwill et al., sorted for friends and family, attempted to repurpose, saved for good cause etc. Sometime I just have to toss it.<br><br>
Lets not dwell on the guilt. Just become aware when we acquire things.
 

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Have you heard of <a href="http://www.freecycle.org?" target="_blank">www.freecycle.org?</a> Everything is free. You register with your local group and just post what you are trying to get rid of. Many people do porch pickup, so you don't have to wait around for anyone to pick stuff up.
 

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I might be in the minority here but I have adopted a policy that I will do whatever I have to do to get stuff out of the house and worry about being green later when my home is clean, organized and comfortable. If my partner puts up a fight and wants to Freecycle something, he has one week to make the listing and get it picked up or I will throw it away. Same with selling something. One week and it's gone. Keeping things because they are "useful" or "worth something" when no action is being taken to put the things to use or sell them is just allowing the clutter to spread and keep taking over, IMO.<br><br>
I am nine weeks pregnant and in the process of combining two packratty households in one house, though, so your mileage may vary. I just don't have the time or energy for the guilt right now.
 

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What about just sticking it out by the curb with a "free" sign?<br><br>
I am lucky in the sense that I live two doors down from a Salvation Army Thrift store...I often stick boxes of free stuff there after the close for the night and it's all gone before the next morning. There are always people walking by sorting through the stuff and taking what they want/need.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Crayfish</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15420257"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that trying to be green with the main declutter can be counterproductive.<br><br>
Once your house is decluttered and running smoothly, that may give you time to be green - to use cloth produce bags that have to be washed, and glass-bottled milk that has to be rinsed and returned, and cook instead of buying a lot of packaged food, and wash reusable storage containers instead of using and tossing plastic bags, and make your own iced tea instead of using bottles, and find new owners for your possessions when you do small maintenance declutters, and think long and carefully before making new purchases, and so on and so on and so on<br><br>
But as long as the house is hard to deal with, you're not going to have time for that. And in the end, most of your decluttered possessions _are_ going to end up in the landfill. Maybe they'll have one more owner before that happens, maybe they won't, but they're probably going to end up there either way.<br><br>
My view is that by decluttering fast and then developing green habits for your newly decluttered house, you'll probably be greener than you would be by decluttering perfectly and over a long period of time and still having a frazzled life whie you're doing so.<br><br>
So I say grab the trashbags and get it done.<br><br>
Crayfish</div>
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Wow, I think you're right. I have the same problem through trying to increase the "lifecycle" of stuff but I've never really seen it the way you were expressing it. Maybe I should frame this and display it near my "notorious spots"!
 

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When you are struggling to declutter your own home, give yourself <b>amnesty</b> to toss stuff out, even good stuff. You do not have to wait until you find the perfect way to donate/recycle/reuse/etc. That's because you are not saving the world from more stuff going to the landfill by turning your own home into an extension of the dump. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I just went through a ton of crap that was just taking up space... I can believe how much stuff just went right into the garbage..... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
Oh well.
 

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Freecycle and Craigslist can be so hard to manage-- a ton of email requests, no shows, etc... it is great when it works. Sometimes stuff just needs to leave.<br><br>
One thing that helps me for stuff that is emotional in value is to take a pic of it with my digital camera. I do scrap things and someday I might put a picture of the cute hat I had in college in a photo book with a story or whatever, but if I have a picture of it, I have a much easier time getting rid of it. I find I can let go of the item and I'm content that I have the reminder. I'm not committed to even doing anything about it, but to just have a 'copy' just in case is enough. I suppose it might backfire if you would feel anxious about then needing to do something with the photo.<br><br>
I hope once I declutter and move and truly try to find a 'spot for everything', I can keep things more organized and THEN will be able to be mroe green about things. Right now it is whatever works is good enough... lol<br><br>
Jessica
 

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A very wise friend once gave me a perspective that has really helped me release possessions back to the world (whether through donations to thrift stores or Freecycle or whatever) without feeling anxious.<br><br>
His analogy is the way a sailboat uses wind. We are all little sailboats and our journey over the water is analogous to our life. A sailboat requires wind to travel and our lives require money and possessions in order to move forward. But just as a sailboat doesn't own the wind that moves it, so we do not own our money or our possessions in the long run because our lives all have expiration dates. Once our possessions have served their purpose in our lives we need to release them once again so that they can fill the sail of someone else's boat. I remind myself of that often.<br><br>
p.s. I love what Crayfish said; I couldn't agree more
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just wanted to thank everyone for the replies, I am feeling better about just getting rid of stuff. Of course I do my best when things can just be donated, it's more the hanging on to stuff to try and give it another life, it doesn't solve my clutter problem.<br><br>
I have been reading "clutter busting" and love it! Totally makes me understand how and why the clutter seems to become so important. I also got "radical homemaking" in the mail today, can't wait to read it!<br><br>
We have already been doing some green changes that I hadn't really thought about: glass milk bottles, reuseable sandwhich bags, cloth dipes, cloth mama pads, so this helps balance the other areas where I can't be so green right now.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BreatheMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15423735"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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Lets not dwell on the guilt. Just become aware when we acquire things.</div>
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Well said! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 
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