I want to de-clutter and get rid of our HUGE accumulation of junk, BUT I CAN'T!! As hard as I try to "de-clutter" and "donate" I never get more than a laundry basket full. I feel like I have emotional attatments to things like cat figurines. *LOL* I'm just having a really hard time and the more I read these threads, the more I want to de-clutter and simplify. I guess I'm looking for a little advise? Motivation? Anyone out there, that was as bad of a pack rat as me, and got over it? I've been this way since I was a child and it's a habit I just can't break!
It is hard, but the junk will take over unless you get to it first. Anything that can't love you back is fair game. That is my motto. It also helps to donate whatever to goodwill, that way you someone else can get use of it.
Look at it this way, do you love the things enough to seriously sit down and figure out a good home for them where they'll be seen and enjoyed? Do you love them enough to arrange a rotating display area and a space for neat boxes of all the non-active displays so that they'll be seen and enjoyed on a regular basis if not all the time? Do you love them enough to neatly pack them away with a careful label to await the time when you will have space to display them or find the perfect person to give them to?
If you don't love them enough to do that, you don't love them enough to keep them and they should go to a new home.
Yah yah, I know I got to do that. It seems like I will pick something up and hold it for a while and think about wether or not I need it and I feel like I will end up regretting it. Thing is, I'll probably regret NOT giving it away because we have started to accumulate SO MUCH STUFF! We are cancelling our cable at the end of this month and giving away the T.V.'s because I feel they suck us in and do us no good. That is the first time in my life I think I have decided to give something up, HA. But I can tell you I feel so good about it and I can't WAIT to get rid of them!! (we are waiting for our cable lease to end this month).
Do you guys keep all your old baby stuff, or give it away? I'm torn because probably 75% of my stuff was given to me, the rest from garage sales, so I feel like I HAVE to give them back, to return the favor ya know?? Dh and I are planning on trying to concieve again in the next 6 months and that is why I'm so hesitant to give everything away...At least I know by now what stuff I didn't use and won't ever use, so I CAN give that stuff away.
As far as giving away baby stuff right now I can't either because I plan to have another soon and it doesn't make much sence to give away/sell.
As far as decluttering. . . I myself am a packrat. Currently I am trying to figure out wether or not to get rid of my barbies. Yes, my barbies, somthing I think is a TERRIBLE product for children, nevertheless I have wonderful memories of hours and hours of fun that I had playing with them.
After my son was born every morning at 10am I would pump milk and watch that show on TLC "Clean Sweep". I found much inspiration on various aspects of choosing what to keep. 1/2 the show is dedicated to paring down. . .you won't be having cable though. (Congradulations on that!)
Anyway. . . I'm rambling. . . One thing I learned (actually from a book, not from the show) that might help you is (yay! here's my point FINALLY) Take a picture of the object to which you are attached that otherwise serves no purpose. The picture should spark the same brain pathways that bring you the positive emotions that you associate with the cat figurine- then you can get rid of the bulky-pointless object and just have an album of stuff you liked.
As far as other things. . .things that you are afraid are useful. . .ask yourself the question "Have I used this object in the last 12 months?" (I'm being generous here- really 6 months is a better length of time) If you will theoretically "need" that harmonica/wad of string/broken keychain with WWF's Goldberg on it- then I officially give you permission to replace that object IF you ever need it replaced. We generally end up buying the object over again anyway just because we don't want to dig thru a box of keys-to-our-old-apartments/magnets/costume-jewlery-that-needs-repair to find the needed object anyway.
My vote is JUST LET GO (fight club style) and give that box of odds and ends to a neighborhood kid without opening it. As for the figurines I say take pictures and give them away or ebay them as a big lot. Afterall- the objects are NOT improving your life- they are just adding stress (as evidenced by your need to post about paring down).
Ok ok ok. . . I felt a little hypocritical after my last post and I looked at a big, clear, sterilite container of odds and ends. I see the first ceramic pot/cup I ever made and a candy dish that was my grandmothers. I just can't (lol) get rid of those. So instead of challanging you to get rid of the crap sight-unseen I rechallange you to take 1 or 2 hours to go thru one box. Anything that you can't IMMEDIATELY place in an official-permanant- home goes. If you feel attachment take a picture and get rid of it. NO exceptions.
If it doesn't deserve to be on display or otherwise doesn't serve an immediate function YOU DON'T NEED it.
My "rule" for decluttering is that anything I decide to keep in the house should be:
And even within those categories there are ways to cut down on clutter. All my pots and pans are "useful" but it's not really useful to have 4 sauce pans that are all about the same size. (For me, anyway.)
All of dd's baby clothes are "meaningful", but I have just a small grocery bag of a few favorite items. I created more meaning out of the other things by letting them go so they could be used again by someone else.
If you have things that aren't adding beauty to your home, then finding a better place for them - i.e. someone else's home - will allow them to be beautiful again (in that new space, for that person).