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Any decluttering happening out there?


Ali in OR
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I'm feeling really good about cleaning out our master bathroom drawers yesterday. Most went directly to trash. Dh saves every free plastic contact lens holder that comes with his contact lens cleaner. Lots of old makeup, expired meds, thin hair ties, etc.--all trashed.

 

Decluttering in general is a slow, ongoing process here. We had a garage sale in August and didn't make much money (it will probably be our last ever), but we did get rid of some big stuff. Basketball hoop gone, train layout gone, some electronics gone. Lots of stuff that didn't sell went straight to Goodwill. Got the attic about half cleaned out--there are so many empty boxes up there, old papers to go through and get rid of, and 4 car seats that are too old to even give away. Dh gets the gold star for selling the old play structure in the back yard, dismantling it, and getting it out. I have 3 boxes of homeschool books that I need to figure out how to get rid of. Don't mind donating some to library book sale, but it would be nice to sell some of it.

 

Anyone else decluttering? Inspire us and share!

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Yes! I'm going through another round of decluttering.  We downsized considerably two years ago.  I've been going through the house and looking at what has not been used since we moved here.

 

The last of our toddler toys and baby books left this week, to the same family we gave our chalkboard easel, jr. poang chair, etc. Both of our families are equally delighted.

 

I went through our kitchen this weekend.  Our ice-cream maker, one of our plug in griddles, our dehydrator, my trifle jar, and a number of things that somehow I thought I really needed are all on their way out.  I was finally able to arrange our water bottles in a cabinet, rather than having to dig around to find them.  I can also now access my large stockpot. It's a huge functional difference!

 

I'm finishing up going through our books.  I donated about 100 to a school library that was wiped out, and took several boxes of books to a used bookstore.  I was able to get rid of one more bookcase. I'm back under 1000 books in our total collection (which is still a completely crazy amount), and my librarything account is up to date.

 

I'm going through the kids' bedrooms next.  It's a great time to assess wardrobe needs, junk broken things, donate others, and make a running list for Christmas ideas. 

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We just started another decluttering sprint last weekend.  The previous one was in December.  This year I want it all done before our leave starts as I don't want to give up vacation days to decluttering again. 

 

My 13yo has decided that she no longer wants the last remaining toys that were in her room.  

We also cleared out the closets and filled three trashbags of clothes - I was really amazed at how much extra was still in there.

And I've listed about 40 homeschool books for sale.

 

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I'm about to do a massive overhaul/decluttering. We've played with the idea of getting rid of everything, buying an RV, and touring the country as a family.

In order to do that, I must massively REDUCE. Most of it's my junk, anyway. So I'm going to start by putting everything I THINK I want/need into two big boxes

then scale down from there. Everything else will be donated or thrown away. We'll see how that goes!

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Fall is my "slow" period (around homeschool, harvesting, canning, dehydrating and normal kid activities) so it's when I make my most progress.  I'm on year 3, I initially figured it would take 4 years to get through everything (I've been a "I'll hold onto this just in case" type of person my whole life but the whole Kon Mari concept inspired me to let go of things).  I'm expecting by the time I make it through, I'll need to start another round.

 

My most recent project has been to go through the kitchen.  We have two lazy susan corner cabinets which I hate.  They've always been used to jam pantry supplies.  Last week I completely cleared one and moved my small appliances to it.  Emptied out every single drawers and went through which items I actually used, then I identified what storage area was closet to where those things are used and shuffled everything to fit that criteria.  We're still adjusting to things in new homes but the work flow is much smoother. Cleared a shelf in my upper cabinets and bought Tupperware so all the baking supplies are neatly stored on a single shelf and bought some other storage containers for things like bags of beans, pasta etc.  The containers have given me so much more storage space in the kitchen that I'm able to move things from the hallway closet that I've been using as a pantry.  I still have to finish a couple more cabinets and then the hallway closet.

 

I'm also in the process of emptying a storage room downstairs to turn into a bedroom for my oldest so we can shift the other kids around upstairs.  That's a huge work in progress because there is so much, of I need to move x but before I can move x, I have to clear out y, but y stuff is going where z stuff is and I have to sort and purge z first.  

 

But the good news is everyone in the house can actually see the progress I've made over the last 3 years and it's much easier to get the house clean.  All of this has inspired the kids to let go of a few more things because the easier it is to clean the house, the more often they get to invite their friends over.

 

I just wish it wasn't such a long process!

Edited by cjzimmer1
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Decluttering is a normal part of my existence-something is being worked on at once every couple of months. Right now it is my laundry room which seems to be serving as a catch all for everything that doesn't fit anywhere else. I live in 800 square feet with a family of 4, so it has to be done constantly. I need to do better at not bringing things back IN to the house.

 

I also love moving furniture and cleaning places I can't get to regularly. We just did the floors and baseboards behind the washer and dryer, which are visible the way my laundry room is set up. I smile every time I walk past it and look behind the appliances...that was really bothering me!

Edited by CaliforniaDreaming
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I just did before surgery. I got rid of a whole trunkload of artsy supplies to dd's 4th grade teacher. A load to Goodwill, a 2nd to them waiting for me to be able to lift. A load of scrap metal from our house remodeling projects, a couple of bags of clothes, a big bag of fabric to my quilting group. There is a bit more I can do with our storage room, but we made a large dent.

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I'm trying really, really hard.

 

My mom died over 2 years ago. I'm still trying to get through all her stuff. (I have an overly large house with too much storage space.) Every time I do it, I cry a lot. I make some headway. But it's ENDLESS.

 

2 weeks ago, I spent most of a few days finally going through the big closets of her clothes. I'd done it in small bursts for a couple years, probably purging about half of it previously. I finally went all in and did it *all*. I had mountains on her bed. (She lived with us.) It is a mountain. About 300-500 items. 

 

I had put about 10% of the items on a side table/shelf thing. These were the things I didn't know for sure that I wanted to wear, but think I might, and I'd tried every dang item on . . . and some sentimental items . . . and so I'd sorted out those few items to deal with later. (Once I'd emptied her clothes closets of stuff I knew I didn't want to keep, I figured I'd consolidate remaining non-clothing items and put back these few clothing items to deal with later.)

 

Today, I asked dh to help me for an hour to drag all the piles into the dining room so I could sort into piles of pants/sweaters/etc, count, photograph, bag, and pile into my car. He kindly agreed. 

 

I've *got* to do this complicated process, as it's probably going to be about a $3000 tax write off, and so I need more evidence than the random blank receipt from Goodwill. (These are all like new, high end brands, some still with tags, and there's TONS of it, probably average cost $60-100 per item, many were much more. Mom was a crazy clothes horse.) 

 

So, I gave dh careful instructions  . . . just hold my hand while I do this . . . for one hour . . . I needed the moral support to get through this step so I don't fall apart. 5 minutes into the process, he asks, "Oh, were the items on the side table not supposed to come out?" I was like, "NO, OMG, NO, and there in the middle of the piles is the t-shirt I made for Mom with my babies' feet prints all over it. FUCK FUCK FUCK."

 

He'd mixed everything up that I'd sorted out, and there's no way I can remember/know which was which w/o going through it ALL OVER AGAIN.

 

Now, instead of being able to complete my process and get it out of my house.  . . I am a mess, the piles are all mixed up, and I have to START ALMOST ALL OVER. (It's not really all over. It's really just maybe 20% do-over. But every try-on and think-through BREAKS MY HEART into a million pieces. I was supposed to be DONE with that stage. That's why he could finally help. He could just help carry shit around and hold my hand while I stacked/bagged/tagged. Then he could bag and carry to the car. I just wanted the moral support. He is totally with the program and supportive. He just made a little mistake . . .

 

I am so upset. I hate being surrounded by all this stuff. Mom had SO MANY beautiful things. They aren't junk. It's good stuff. She loved her things. They meant something to her. I can't just toss it all.

 

But, my entire house feels like a shrine to my mother. We added on/remodeled (massively) for her to move in with us when she was sick. Then she died much faster than we expected, before construction (hell) was even over. (I actually seriously considered selling our now-amazing-perfect house when she died because it depressed me so much, as I really made it fabulous for HER, much nicer than I'd have wanted for just myself.) Her beautiful art, antiques, dishes, and just STUFF is now nicely integrated with "my" stuff . . . but, for God sake, I need to get rid of more of it. I needed to get rid of the clothes that we'll never wear. (I've still got hundreds of items of her clothes and shoes in my closet, both my girls' closets, several of my good friends' closets . . .) I needed to get this "big one" done. I need to be DONE with this step. 

 

Now, I have to go back in her damn room and sort it all out again. 

 

This time, all by myself. Dh (who is sweet and regretful) and dd14 (who is seemingly always mad at me lately and who I just couldn't face another outing today with her disapproval in my current state of mind) are out for two hours to dd's newest activity . . . and I've got to go get it all done, myself, right now, or I will lose my ever loving mind. 

 

That means I have to re-try-on the piles of clothes that are now in the was-sorted-now-not-sorted piles . . . Because Mom literally owned 10 or 12 pairs of nice dress grey slacks, 10 or 12 nice black slacks, etc . .. and I'd ALREADY TRIED THEM ALL ON and pulled out 4-5 pairs of dress slacks that looked good on me . . . and that I was gonna' put in a closet for "just in case I suddenly find myself needing to dress up more than once a year" . . . (because, you know, I might turn into a practicing attorney or maybe a stock broker any day now, uh huh)

 

I'm so sad. I figure I just have to dive in, cry as needed, GET IT DONE, and pile all that shit in my car because I just can't have it hanging over my head any longer. 

 

And, this is just the clothing. 

 

 

OMG, I just hate this. Last week, when I was in stage 1 of the great clothing purge, I found my own MS thesis in Mom's stuff. I printed just 2 copies (other than those that went to the university) . . . one for me, one for Mom. Only a mom would keep a 20 year old thesis on Nitrogen cycling in high elevation spruce-fir forests. Mom. 

 

I miss her. 

 

THIS IS WHY DECLUTTERING IS SO HARD for me. It's not greed. It's not fear. It's sadness and an inappropriate connections between things and people. 

 

OK, I'm heading in. Wish me luck. 

 

 

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I feel like I'm constantly decluttering. Although, truth be told, there's not much left to get rid of. It doesn't feel like it though, it's just that so much *stuff* is required for various sports around here that it looks (to my critical and minimalistic eye) like excess for parts of the year. And of course those aren't corners I'm allowed to organise....

Edited by MEmama
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I'm trying really, really hard.

 

My mom died over 2 years ago. I'm still trying to get through all her stuff. (I have an overly large house with too much storage space.) Every time I do it, I cry a lot. I make some headway. But it's ENDLESS.

 

2 weeks ago, I spent most of a few days finally going through the big closets of her clothes. I'd done it in small bursts for a couple years, probably purging about half of it previously. I finally went all in and did it *all*. I had mountains on her bed. (She lived with us.) It is a mountain. About 300-500 items.

 

I had put about 10% of the items on a side table/shelf thing. These were the things I didn't know for sure that I wanted to wear, but think I might, and I'd tried every dang item on . . . and some sentimental items . . . and so I'd sorted out those few items to deal with later. (Once I'd emptied her clothes closets of stuff I knew I didn't want to keep, I figured I'd consolidate remaining non-clothing items and put back these few clothing items to deal with later.)

 

Today, I asked dh to help me for an hour to drag all the piles into the dining room so I could sort into piles of pants/sweaters/etc, count, photograph, bag, and pile into my car. He kindly agreed.

 

I've *got* to do this complicated process, as it's probably going to be about a $3000 tax write off, and so I need more evidence than the random blank receipt from Goodwill. (These are all like new, high end brands, some still with tags, and there's TONS of it, probably average cost $60-100 per item, many were much more. Mom was a crazy clothes horse.)

 

So, I gave dh careful instructions . . . just hold my hand while I do this . . . for one hour . . . I needed the moral support to get through this step so I don't fall apart. 5 minutes into the process, he asks, "Oh, were the items on the side table not supposed to come out?" I was like, "NO, OMG, NO, and there in the middle of the piles is the t-shirt I made for Mom with my babies' feet prints all over it. FUCK FUCK FUCK."

 

He'd mixed everything up that I'd sorted out, and there's no way I can remember/know which was which w/o going through it ALL OVER AGAIN.

 

Now, instead of being able to complete my process and get it out of my house. . . I am a mess, the piles are all mixed up, and I have to START ALMOST ALL OVER. (It's not really all over. It's really just maybe 20% do-over. But every try-on and think-through BREAKS MY HEART into a million pieces. I was supposed to be DONE with that stage. That's why he could finally help. He could just help carry shit around and hold my hand while I stacked/bagged/tagged. Then he could bag and carry to the car. I just wanted the moral support. He is totally with the program and supportive. He just made a little mistake . . .

 

I am so upset. I hate being surrounded by all this stuff. Mom had SO MANY beautiful things. They aren't junk. It's good stuff. She loved her things. They meant something to her. I can't just toss it all.

 

But, my entire house feels like a shrine to my mother. We added on/remodeled (massively) for her to move in with us when she was sick. Then she died much faster than we expected, before construction (hell) was even over. (I actually seriously considered selling our now-amazing-perfect house when she died because it depressed me so much, as I really made it fabulous for HER, much nicer than I'd have wanted for just myself.) Her beautiful art, antiques, dishes, and just STUFF is now nicely integrated with "my" stuff . . . but, for God sake, I need to get rid of more of it. I needed to get rid of the clothes that we'll never wear. (I've still got hundreds of items of her clothes and shoes in my closet, both my girls' closets, several of my good friends' closets . . .) I needed to get this "big one" done. I need to be DONE with this step.

 

Now, I have to go back in her damn room and sort it all out again.

 

This time, all by myself. Dh (who is sweet and regretful) and dd14 (who is seemingly always mad at me lately and who I just couldn't face another outing today with her disapproval in my current state of mind) are out for two hours to dd's newest activity . . . and I've got to go get it all done, myself, right now, or I will lose my ever loving mind.

 

That means I have to re-try-on the piles of clothes that are now in the was-sorted-now-not-sorted piles . . . Because Mom literally owned 10 or 12 pairs of nice dress grey slacks, 10 or 12 nice black slacks, etc . .. and I'd ALREADY TRIED THEM ALL ON and pulled out 4-5 pairs of dress slacks that looked good on me . . . and that I was gonna' put in a closet for "just in case I suddenly find myself needing to dress up more than once a year" . . . (because, you know, I might turn into a practicing attorney or maybe a stock broker any day now, uh huh)

 

I'm so sad. I figure I just have to dive in, cry as needed, GET IT DONE, and pile all that shit in my car because I just can't have it hanging over my head any longer.

 

And, this is just the clothing.

 

 

OMG, I just hate this. Last week, when I was in stage 1 of the great clothing purge, I found my own MS thesis in Mom's stuff. I printed just 2 copies (other than those that went to the university) . . . one for me, one for Mom. Only a mom would keep a 20 year old thesis on Nitrogen cycling in high elevation spruce-fir forests. Mom.

 

I miss her.

 

THIS IS WHY DECLUTTERING IS SO HARD for me. It's not greed. It's not fear. It's sadness and an inappropriate connections between things and people.

 

OK, I'm heading in. Wish me luck.

:grouphug:

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StephanizeZ, that must be incredibly hard.

Hugs.

 

I am dreading having to deal with my parents' possessions one day. They have a house full of stuff, and my father resists every attempt my mother makes to reduce their belongings. He has already told us that he won't declutter a thing, and when time comes to move out of the home because he is too infirm, he will simply lock the door. Arrgh. He has nothing to do all day and could organize his darned stuff at leisure. Dumping it on my sister and me is inconsiderate.

 

This is a great motivator for minimalism. I strive to keep few possessions and not saddle my kids with mountains of stuff. It's bad enough to deal with the loss of a parent. I will strive to make it easy and not bequeath them tons of earthly possessions.

 

 

Edited by regentrude
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I'm trying really, really hard.

 

My mom died over 2 years ago. I'm still trying to get through all her stuff. (I have an overly large house with too much storage space.) Every time I do it, I cry a lot. I make some headway. But it's ENDLESS.

 

2 weeks ago, I spent most of a few days finally going through the big closets of her clothes. I'd done it in small bursts for a couple years, probably purging about half of it previously. I finally went all in and did it *all*. I had mountains on her bed. (She lived with us.) It is a mountain. About 300-500 items. 

 

I had put about 10% of the items on a side table/shelf thing. These were the things I didn't know for sure that I wanted to wear, but think I might, and I'd tried every dang item on . . . and some sentimental items . . . and so I'd sorted out those few items to deal with later. (Once I'd emptied her clothes closets of stuff I knew I didn't want to keep, I figured I'd consolidate remaining non-clothing items and put back these few clothing items to deal with later.)

 

Today, I asked dh to help me for an hour to drag all the piles into the dining room so I could sort into piles of pants/sweaters/etc, count, photograph, bag, and pile into my car. He kindly agreed. 

 

I've *got* to do this complicated process, as it's probably going to be about a $3000 tax write off, and so I need more evidence than the random blank receipt from Goodwill. (These are all like new, high end brands, some still with tags, and there's TONS of it, probably average cost $60-100 per item, many were much more. Mom was a crazy clothes horse.) 

 

So, I gave dh careful instructions  . . . just hold my hand while I do this . . . for one hour . . . I needed the moral support to get through this step so I don't fall apart. 5 minutes into the process, he asks, "Oh, were the items on the side table not supposed to come out?" I was like, "NO, OMG, NO, and there in the middle of the piles is the t-shirt I made for Mom with my babies' feet prints all over it. FUCK FUCK FUCK."

 

He'd mixed everything up that I'd sorted out, and there's no way I can remember/know which was which w/o going through it ALL OVER AGAIN.

 

Now, instead of being able to complete my process and get it out of my house.  . . I am a mess, the piles are all mixed up, and I have to START ALMOST ALL OVER. (It's not really all over. It's really just maybe 20% do-over. But every try-on and think-through BREAKS MY HEART into a million pieces. I was supposed to be DONE with that stage. That's why he could finally help. He could just help carry shit around and hold my hand while I stacked/bagged/tagged. Then he could bag and carry to the car. I just wanted the moral support. He is totally with the program and supportive. He just made a little mistake . . .

 

I am so upset. I hate being surrounded by all this stuff. Mom had SO MANY beautiful things. They aren't junk. It's good stuff. She loved her things. They meant something to her. I can't just toss it all.

 

But, my entire house feels like a shrine to my mother. We added on/remodeled (massively) for her to move in with us when she was sick. Then she died much faster than we expected, before construction (hell) was even over. (I actually seriously considered selling our now-amazing-perfect house when she died because it depressed me so much, as I really made it fabulous for HER, much nicer than I'd have wanted for just myself.) Her beautiful art, antiques, dishes, and just STUFF is now nicely integrated with "my" stuff . . . but, for God sake, I need to get rid of more of it. I needed to get rid of the clothes that we'll never wear. (I've still got hundreds of items of her clothes and shoes in my closet, both my girls' closets, several of my good friends' closets . . .) I needed to get this "big one" done. I need to be DONE with this step. 

 

Now, I have to go back in her damn room and sort it all out again. 

 

This time, all by myself. Dh (who is sweet and regretful) and dd14 (who is seemingly always mad at me lately and who I just couldn't face another outing today with her disapproval in my current state of mind) are out for two hours to dd's newest activity . . . and I've got to go get it all done, myself, right now, or I will lose my ever loving mind. 

 

That means I have to re-try-on the piles of clothes that are now in the was-sorted-now-not-sorted piles . . . Because Mom literally owned 10 or 12 pairs of nice dress grey slacks, 10 or 12 nice black slacks, etc . .. and I'd ALREADY TRIED THEM ALL ON and pulled out 4-5 pairs of dress slacks that looked good on me . . . and that I was gonna' put in a closet for "just in case I suddenly find myself needing to dress up more than once a year" . . . (because, you know, I might turn into a practicing attorney or maybe a stock broker any day now, uh huh)

 

I'm so sad. I figure I just have to dive in, cry as needed, GET IT DONE, and pile all that shit in my car because I just can't have it hanging over my head any longer. 

 

And, this is just the clothing. 

 

 

OMG, I just hate this. Last week, when I was in stage 1 of the great clothing purge, I found my own MS thesis in Mom's stuff. I printed just 2 copies (other than those that went to the university) . . . one for me, one for Mom. Only a mom would keep a 20 year old thesis on Nitrogen cycling in high elevation spruce-fir forests. Mom. 

 

I miss her. 

 

THIS IS WHY DECLUTTERING IS SO HARD for me. It's not greed. It's not fear. It's sadness and an inappropriate connections between things and people. 

 

OK, I'm heading in. Wish me luck. 

 

 

I wish you luck.

 

 

 

And thank you for sharing this!

 

 

I think it means that the decluttering stuff externally process can also have internal grieving (and I hope healing too) process along with it.

 

In different ways, I think that applies to me too.

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Thanks for the well wishes and sympathy. I really appreciate the kind listening. 

 

I'm done. It's all in the car. 294 items bagged and ready for me to haul tomorrow to GoodWill. $3543 value according to Goodwill's pricing. That's probably 1/10 of what she spent on all that stuff. Good God. 

 

I can't even stand to think of the money my mom spent on clothing. Had to be close to 6 figures in the last decade of her life, her retirement years . . . and to think that all her lawyer-suits and other dressy work-clothes were donated a decade ago . . . It was her hard-earned money, and she enjoyed shopping and enjoyed clothes, so while she was alive, even once my brother and I were caring for her due to her dementia, we never tried to stop her shopping . . . but, man, what a waste. All those damn clothes! ugh! SO many!

 

We need less stuff. I'm going to keep at it. So many more things to thin out . . . This step really lightens my mental and practical load, as we emptied several closets. . . and let go of so many emotionally laden items . . . But, so much more to do . . . 

 

Some folks are gonna' have some awesome shopping finds at GoodWill in the next week or so. I hope it brings some happiness. 

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I need too. Or should I say dh needs too. The boys are in 1 bedroom and our 3rd is dhs computer/junk room. Dd doesnt have a room or bed. We cosleep, but with #4 on the way he just needs to not be a hoarder and make a bedroom for #3 & #4.

 

2nd trimester is coming on. Dh better watch out, I turn into a decluttering crazy woman when I get my energy back.

Edited by Elizabeth86
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Preparing to move but current home has not sold yet so taking the time to clean out and declutter since we'd rather pay not move so much stuff 450 miles. We've gotten rid of stuff at a town-wide yard sale, taken a truckload to the donation centre, loads to the dump, and I am slowly giving away or selling homeschool stuff since my youngest is now taking most of her courses through DE..

 

It feels good every time I have an empty bin.

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Stephanie, :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

We did the same thing with my mom's clothing. She was a clothes horse and had beautiful things. I was fortunate to have my sister to help me.

 

I also felt the waste. I had trouble buying things for myself for a few years afterward. I also consoled myself with the thought that others would love finding her things at GoodWill.

 

It's so hard. I'm sorry you've had to go through it. I'm glad you got through it! :grouphug:

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StephanizeZ, that must be incredibly hard.

Hugs.

 

I am dreading having to deal with my parents' possessions one day. They have a house full of stuff, and my father resists every attempt my mother makes to reduce their belongings. He has already told us that he won't declutter a thing, and when time comes to move out of the home because he is too infirm, he will simply lock the door. Arrgh. He has nothing to do all day and could organize his darned stuff at leisure. Dumping it on my sister and me is inconsiderate.

 

This is a great motivator for minimalism. I strive to keep few possessions and not saddle my kids with mountains of stuff. It's bad enough to deal with the loss of a parent. I will strive to make it easy and not bequeath them tons of earthly possessions.

Both of my parents died when I was 24. I held on to far too much of their stuff for far too long even though we had an estate auction and sold TONS of it after they died. But, I kept a lot of my mom's knick-knacky type things because *she* had valued them. My mom was bad about holding on to things "just in case" and also had a love of clothes and fluctuating weight (so wardrobes in several sizes). Even though we hired an auction service it was still difficult emotionally and a lot of work sorting through it deciding what to keep. I absolutely do not want to burden ds with a bunch of stuff he does not want. We sold our house and most of our belongings last spring. Most of those things I had kept of my mother's were sold then. We've been renting an apartment and couldn't be happier. We LOVE small-scale living. We do not miss the stuff or the space. Much easier now that we are empty nesters, however. My dh finally got me on board about not maintaining so much space that we weren't using. Our long-term plan for retirement is a beach condo about the size of this apartment.

 

I have a friend whose dad sounds like Regentrude's. Her parents have two homes, and when she talks to him about purging he just laughs and says, "Someday this will all be yours."

 

This article is pretty depressing, but I found it motivational in letting go of so much: http://www.nextavenue.org/nobody-wants-parents-stuff/

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I haven't had to really face dealing with other houses of stuff after death (except, a little bit, with my grandparents' homes), but I have always been touched by this essay from The Minimalists website (about how he dealt with his mom's death & her stuff that was left behind). I have no idea how I will handle things when they come for me to deal with, but it is something I think about.

 

In the meantime, I keep trying to declutter, declutter, declutter. I have family members that are hoarders/borderline hoarders & I don't want to be there. I read a lot about decluttering & hoarding, partly in an attempt to understand & partly in the hope that there is not some genetic component that will kick in for me. I want simple. I want less to maintain.

 

I read one of Don Aslett's books this weekend (Weekend Makeover), where he strongly urges you to declutter now. As in right now. Today. This weekend. Don't wait for free time, or time during your retirement, or whatever. The correct time is now. It is your stuff, you are the owner & one in charge of it, & ultimately it is you who needs to deal with it. It will not evaporate, it is unlikely to be stolen, & no magic fairy will show up to remove it. So, don't put it off. Make decisions, move stuff out & give yourself space now. I had already decluttered some recently, but after reading the book this weekend, I have more bags here that will be going out the door to Goodwill & books to the library used book center. He also has lists in the book of areas to think about when decluttering & I think those are very helpful. It is so easy to be clutter blind & not even notice stuff you aren't really using. After seeing some of his lists, I realized there are various athletic equipment pieces in our garage that can go. I don't notice them daily since they're not front & center, but it's time for them to find a new home.

 

Kudos to all of you working on this. Decluttering is a hard, long, ongoing job.

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I'm already thinking that I don't want to burden our kids with too much stuff. That's one motivation to decluttering now (and this will be going on a long time--I can't handle too much at once). It feels good to be traveling a little lighter, but just as we cleared out some stuff, dh was talking to his parents who were going to sort through things of dh's uncle who passed away last summer. Mostly family history stuff. They asked us what we wanted--we love family history but don't want anymore stuff! StephanieZ, I feel for you. That's a lot to go through, physically and emotionally.

 

For those moving, I remember both of our big moves I thought I decluttered well beforehand, but then found myself opening boxes in the new house and saying, "this all needs to go to Goodwill."

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Yep. Today we started 2 weeks of fall break.  I've been decluttering this year because we'll likely be downsizing next year. (Not soon enough for me.)

I got rid of 2/3 of my books in two stages-one during the spring and one during the summer.  Youngest is no longer elementary aged, so there's no point in keeping those things. I'll probably cut down what's  by half in the not too distant future.

Today I finished up the pantry organization which includes our emergency preparedness supplies.

I have recipe books I need to go through and cut out recipes I want to try and get rid of the books.  I have 2 recipe 3 ring binders: one is for recipes I want to try and the other is for tried and true recipes.

Tomorrow I start on the garage. I have camping gear, a couple of boxes of seasonal decorations and some craft items to declutter.  I'm only keeping 3 craft projects total so I can switch between them when I'm bored with one. I won't buy new supplies for a new project until I have finished one unless someone close to me has a baby or gets married.   I did buy a quilt pattern and fabric last month and all the women folk got together last weekend to make our niece's/granddaughter's baby's quilt.  It will be done by next month when he's born, so I don't count that as one of my 3 projects.

One of the other projects is a set of Christmas ornaments made from my grandfather's old, large print KJV Bible with the Apocrypha that I inherited. The spine is broken, the pages are brittle,  and a section of the NT is missing, so before throwing it away I'm reading the gospel of John aloud and then making the ornaments from it.  My grandfather was a terrible person.  If he ever read that Bible, he never applied it, so I decided that I would salvage something lovely out of it.

I'm donating my silver rimmed coffee cups and saucers because I don't need them. They came with the place settings I do need for holiday gatherings. I don't need mugs that can't be microwaved. I decluttered a lot of the kitchen in the spring and love the results.

I'm donating more clothes, accessories, and shoes because I lost some weight and have a case of plantar faciitis which means I can only wear shoes that fit my orthotic inserts or that have excellent arch support.  That combination moved me into a minimalist wardrobe more than a year ago.  I absolutely love it.   Even though my weight has stabilized there's no way I'm going back to a large wardrobe.  I love that most everything is mix and match.  I love strategizing  about the over all wardrobe and the individual pieces before I shop so I can buy confidently.  I love having the option of buying more expensive pieces because I'm buying far fewer of them.  It suits my personality, my lifestyle, and some of my goals.

Oldest just got her doula certification so we're having a reception for her.  I'm doing reusable fall decorations that will work for Halloween and Thanksgiving too, which I'm hosting this year. The LED candles will be used for Christmas and year round. I don't do much in the way of holiday decor, but what I have needs decluttering because it's seen better days. Our fake Christmas tree is going too.  The top piece has to be wired on.  
 

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I went through our boys' wardrobe last night and pulled out their cooler weather clothing. One boy had one pair of jeans that still fit. The other had two pairs of sweatpants and three shirts. 😳😭 I ordered a mini capsule wardrobe for each from Target last night so we can get by until I have time to thrift shop a bit. On a happy note, I have quite a bit to drop by at the thrift store this afternoon.

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I went through our boys' wardrobe last night and pulled out their cooler weather clothing. One boy had one pair of jeans that still fit. The other had two pairs of sweatpants and three shirts. 😳😭 I ordered a mini capsule wardrobe for each from Target last night so we can get by until I have time to thrift shop a bit. On a happy note, I have quite a bit to drop by at the thrift store this afternoon.

Yes! We did this a week or two ago.  Two HUGE trash bags of clothes that don't fit....one measly pair of sweatpants for my 11 year old to keep.  Gah!  (And the older she gets, the harder it is to find good clothes at our fave thrift store. :()

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I started in on the "under the stairs" area of our townhouse last weekend. My plan is to get it cleaned out along with tidying the living room adjacent on Friday for DD's Saturday birthday party. There are still boxes (mostly books) under there that got shoved there when we moved in over a year and a half ago and never opened.

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Thanks for the well wishes and sympathy. I really appreciate the kind listening. 

 

I'm done. It's all in the car. 294 items bagged and ready for me to haul tomorrow to GoodWill. $3543 value according to Goodwill's pricing. That's probably 1/10 of what she spent on all that stuff. Good God. 

 

I can't even stand to think of the money my mom spent on clothing. Had to be close to 6 figures in the last decade of her life, her retirement years . . . and to think that all her lawyer-suits and other dressy work-clothes were donated a decade ago . . . It was her hard-earned money, and she enjoyed shopping and enjoyed clothes, so while she was alive, even once my brother and I were caring for her due to her dementia, we never tried to stop her shopping . . . but, man, what a waste. All those damn clothes! ugh! SO many!

 

We need less stuff. I'm going to keep at it. So many more things to thin out . . . This step really lightens my mental and practical load, as we emptied several closets. . . and let go of so many emotionally laden items . . . But, so much more to do . . . 

 

Some folks are gonna' have some awesome shopping finds at GoodWill in the next week or so. I hope it brings some happiness. 

:grouphug: So sorry you are going through this!  I lost my mom in 2001 and it still hurts -- she was my best friend.  My dad is still in the house I grew up in so it will be hard when he moves or passes and I have to go through it all and figure out what to do.  I'm trying to do some of that with him why he is still here.

 

My DH is going to have a rough time going through his parents stuff/house when they pass.  They are 91.

 

I also don't want to burden my kids with our stuff and am being more brutal.  I am better able to go through my mom's stuff since it has been awhile.  DH is not want to get rid of anything...

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One of the other projects is a set of Christmas ornaments made from my grandfather's old, large print KJV Bible with the Apocrypha that I inherited. The spine is broken, the pages are brittle,  and a section of the NT is missing, so before throwing it away I'm reading the gospel of John aloud and then making the ornaments from it.  My grandfather was a terrible person.  If he ever read that Bible, he never applied it, so I decided that I would salvage something lovely out of it.

 

Rabbit Trail:

Could you please link to an example of these ornaments?  This sounds like a wonderful, meaningful gift! 

 

(I'm just thinking I could even photocopy Luke 2 & do something just with that passage?!?)

 

And this thread has been such an encouragement.  I did take before/after photos of the boys' closet on Saturday, which has all their stored clothes in it.

We all were thrilled to get it narrowed down to what they actually will (likely) wear in the future . . . so others are now blessed with HMDowns.  :)

Edited by Beth S
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I would love to declutter, but I don't think there is anything left.

Except DS's room, but that's his stuff which he will let go when he is ready for it.

This is not helpful, IMO.

 

What if the thread was: Is anyone trying to lose weight? and your response was:

 

"I'd love to lose weight but I don't think I have any to lose."

 

Or:

 

Is anyone trying to cut out time - wasters (like being online or running too many errands in different days) and your response was:

 

" I'd love to, but my schedule has no time-wasters. "

 

Why post? If just appears like a brag.

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I started decluttering my basement in late spring.

 

Some things that helped:

 

Before, during and after pictures. These helped when I got discouraged and didn't feel like I was making progress...I could open the photos and SEE there was actually less stuff.

 

The realization that I am a slow starter. Early in the day/process I was less likely to let go of stuff. Once I realized that, I knew to go back to stuff I had sorted earlier and was able to let go of more of it.

 

Reading short article on simplfying and Looking At photos Of Simple Spaces.

 

Ugh...sorry About The Caps!

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I have been decluttering the master bath.  That doesn't sound like a big deal, but wow, did we have a lot of stuff in there!  There's a linen closet, as well as the usual cabinets, and it was full, full, full.

 

Next up is the basement.  I am dreading it, but it must be done.  It's a finished basement, but when we moved in 2 years ago, we didn't really set it up the way we intended - it's always the project that gets put off.  So I have 2 rooms full of homeschool materials all boxed up, still, from the move, to sort, and mountains of toys.  And books.  Probably 35 boxes of books.  And then, all of the boxes and boxes of things from my mom's attic. It's ridiculous.  Someone save me...

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Most of my clutter seems to be paper. Piles of spiral notebooks and printer paper that my girls have drawn in/on. And all are Necessary (in a keep-or-toss sense, according to them).

 

DH has tons of paper from work, and it is in stacks and piles, all around our house. Every now and then, I gather it all up (in frustration) and dump it all in an old Amazon box...and there is sits, in the corner of our living room, until the end of time. *sigh*

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I went through four plastic bins of varying sizes (average size a small file box) of Mom's papers/desk type stuff. This stuff was what was "left over" after a coarse purge a couple years ago. I managed to get rid of two bins' worth, so culled about 50%. It's a win. One big kitchen garbage bag is in the dumpster . . .  but every paper/card/etc was hard won, so it's more of a win than you'd think, lol.

 

I found a bunch of the "social business cards" that Mom had printed when she retired . . .  and on the back of the one in her wallet was In Case of Emergency contact info, with both my old numbers on it. Before I even carried a cell phone regularly . . . just work and home.  And in an old wallet, photos of my kids. Of course. These things seem so simple and painless on the surface, so why does every paper, every picture, slay me years after her death? 

 

I'm telling myself that it's best to just plow through because each thing I purge is gone forever, but each thing I keep will be painful time and time again as I re-purge every so often. The trick is to COMPLETE the purge by carrying it to the curb or hauling to Goodwill. Gotta' get it gone, gone, gone. 

 

I found $3 in cash and at least $10 in coins and another $5 or so in stamps. Bonus points for finding cash and cash equivalents buried in the junk.

 

What's the most cash/cash equivalents that anyone has ever found in their decluttering and cleaning purges?

 

I'm thinking of taking the 2 gallon jar worth of change I've got accumulated and getting it counted and put on my Amazon account. (My kid told me you can do that, fee-free, but I haven't tried it yet.) That'd be some fun Xmas shopping money. 

 

 

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Stephanie, great work!  You're an inspiration today!

 

I understand the painful purging all too well.  You have a good take on it, that it will hurt next time around too, so just get it done.  That's so true.  I'm going to keep that in mind as I head to the basement, when it's time to tackle the sentimental stuff. ...a few years ago, decluttering other things, I finally had to just tell myself, over and over, that "she's not in this [insert whatever item]" to be able to release some things.  You don't sound like you're having that particular trouble, though, which is great.  (My purging then was not my mom's stuff, either, it was my dear friend, whose child I fostered).

 

I am diving in now, taking my cappuccino and heading to the depths.  If I'm never heard from again, you'll all know I was swallowed by a mountain of old homeschooling manipulative and out-dated science kits... 

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