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mlktwins

So over clutter and stuff!!!

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I am in the process of cleaning out my dad's house of 50 years.  He doesn't have boxes and stuff laying all over the floor, etc., but he has A LOT OF STUFF!!!  SO MUCH STUFF!!!  I am ruthlessly purging my house when I finish with his!!!

Needed to vent somewhere.  That is all....

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I am there with you!  I feel like I could get rid of half of the stuff in my house.  I'm not even certain how it got this way.

I will definitely  try to be purging before Christmas!

 

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I've often said that one of the perks of moving more often is that the need store useless things is less  of a problem.  As hard as it has been to move, it may work to our advantage when we hit our twilight years.

Watching Hoarders is another good way to get myself in the mood to purge. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Okra said:

I am there with you!  I feel like I could get rid of half of the stuff in my house.  I'm not even certain how it got this way.

I will definitely  try to be purging before Christmas!

 

I think it’s because people tend to fill up whatever space they have.  

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I’m right there with you and I don’t tend towards clutter. It’s just that stuff accumulates and we have not moved house or done anything that requires ruthless purging. I also agree with Hoggirl; the more places there are for things to go, the more those places just fill the hell up. 

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10 hours ago, PrincessMommy said:

Watching Hoarders is another good way to get myself in the mood to purge.

We're living parallel lives.  Anytime I need to reorganize, deep clean, and/or purger I watch Hoarders.

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Did the same thing in May and June.  My mom had her floors redone and all her STUFF had to go in a pod.  I was so overwhelmed with it all and how she didn't want to let go of so much that needed to go.  I donated a bunch of my things to DD's cheer yard sale for a fund raiser.  Such a good feeling!

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10 hours ago, Quill said:

I’m right there with you and I don’t tend towards clutter. It’s just that stuff accumulates and we have not moved house or done anything that requires ruthless purging. I also agree with Hoggirl; the more places there are for things to go, the more those places just fill the hell up. 

I so agree with this.  My ILs lived in the same place for decades.  And when FIL passed 2 yrs ago...omg, the stuff.  So much of it was just stuff of life.  It wasn't like.....a collection of baskets, or 50yr old painted plaster molds or anything.  I mean, some was, but so much was just......stuff of life.  MIL liked to sew and had accumulated sewing stuff like thread, cutting mats etc....and FIL just never did anything with them when she passed.  They had adopted a dog shortly before MIL passed and FIL kept the dog for a few years, but the dog became too sick and had to be let go about a year before FIL passed.  He just never dealt with the dog's bed, the dog biscuits in the island cupboard, etc.  And, OMG the amount of paperwork a financially competant couple has when the oldest is 71 when he passes.....multiple life insurance policies, stuff is transferred around, pensions, wills and death certificates from passed on relatives, paperwork from the mortgage on the house, etc etc etc.  The entire office was full of paperwork to sort.  

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I don't like clutter either, but clutter still happens.  Now that we're empty nesters though, I'm determined to get rid of 75% of what we own.  (Well, not counting furniture.) I think I'm making good headway, and it feels so good!  My parents chose to do it differently.  They're 91, and still have a big house FULL of junk, but also full of very special things.  They've made the decision to wait to get rid of anything, and now it feels too overwhelming for them.  That's okay.  At this point, it'll be easier for us "kids" to quickly go through stuff after they're gone.  (That sounds very morbid, and I love parents and am definitely not in any hurry for them to go -- and neither are they!  But I'm also pretty practical.)

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This past January I moved my Dad from two states away to a senior living place near me. Dad started this process in 2010, but this time he was actually ready to move, and was ready to give up most of his stuff.  We (my 16 ya daughter and I) brought him down with only what would fit in the bed of my pick-up (plus some framed pictures and luggage we sent UPS).

It was a nightmare.

We abandoned a storage unit (garage-size) full of stuff.  He had paid rent on that unit for 35 years.  It had furniture, fancy Japanese porcelain dishes from the 1960s, and lots of "treasures" from my and my siblings' youth.  The door was frozen shut and we decided we weren't going to try to get into it but would just let it all go.

He had already relinquished his hanger at the local airport and given the contents to a young man who breathed aviation like my Dad did.

Dad had a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with an attached single-car garage.  For over 25 years Dad had been dealing with the after effects of a traumatic brain injury, and over those years the stuff got away from him.  He has always been proudly independent, but he just couldn't keep up.  He took to keeping people from seeing his place, instead going out to see them.  This included us when we would come to visit.

The key this time was Dad feeling ready to move, though now I wish I had insisted on being let in years before.  It cost us $5700.00 to hire a clean-out crew to come in after us, after my daughter and I spent weeks searching the place to retain or destroy sensitive papers and to pull what clothing and possessions Dad wanted to keep.  every room, including the garage, was full of stuff.

Dad also said he was ready to give up driving, which was a good thing.  The odd little spells he had been having but kept failing to tell his doctor about (and he loved his doctor) proved to be transient ischemic attacks, short-term strokes.  Dad's minivan was promptly sold to a junkyard because we couldn't find the title.  It was in rough shape anyway, though it still ran well.  It took two hours for my daughter and I to sort through and empty out all of the stuff Dad had in that van, and that was working "quick and dirty" because we were standing out in the cold in Colorado in January. 

Dad never intended nor expected his place to get to that state.  When my parents divorced Dad packed up what he could and moved, focusing on rescuing what he thought us kids would want saved (and us kids claimed to want to keep).  He put that stuff into a storage unit until us kids were ready to claim things, and until he had time to sort through the rest.  Over the years my sister and I claimed several things, but our brother died, so more went back into that storage unit.

Dad was an airline pilot, and he kept a decent household on his own, though he tended to accumulate books faster than he could read them.  After the TBI Dad had a spell of recovery, then spent many years running a retirement business of delivering airplane parts across the country, picking up a lot of business at air conventions.  Stuff slowly piled up at home as Dad had so much fun running around.

Dad aged, and gradually slowed down.  He had the time and inclination to attend to his stuff, but he tired easily and would rest and read.  He bought more books, but would get tired or distracted before putting them away.  He would rest, then wake and go do stuff, and the books would sit in their shopping bags, forgotten.  Days or weeks later Dad would buy the same (and other) books all over again.

As Dad slowly declined he went through many stages and several health issues.  He remained fiercely independent, and was very unpleasant to my sister and me for some years.  This made it hard to notice and realize Dad's decline, especially from 1200 miles away.

I am describing all of this to give one example of HOW a person could accumulate so much stuff, including a person who for most of his life managed just fine.  Adults have the right to determine their own lives unless a court can be convinced to rule otherwise.  If they keep their kids and loved ones at a long arm's length away it can be very easy for those kids and loved ones to be unaware of the state of things, and the individual is left to his or her diminishing abilities to manage his or her own things, as he or she insists on doing.  While the end result can surprise and appall us, working to understand HOW this result came to be can be enlightening.

I can see the seeds of the same situation developing in my own house. 

I have a storage unit of my own, to hold many of the boxes of stuff that I have not yet found the time to deal with.  Most of that stuff is papers and photos, important and crucial items mixed in with outdated stuff and junk that had not yet been culled out.  Each individual box is a fearsome and daunting task, taking hours to get through.  I work on a box now and then when I can, but Dad's medical issues have taken so much of my time, energy, and brain power.  I have not gotten through many boxes since moving Dad here, and more mail and other stuff keeps coming into the house, especially since I am now Dad's Power of Attorney and managing all of his affairs.

There are many other boxes, though, that contain "family treasures" I have been "entrusted with".  And many other such treasures fill my house.

I have tried to explain to my kids the importance of not letting things accumulate so much.  My daughter who helped move my Dad has taken this more to heart.  She decided to give her American Girl doll and accessories to a younger cousin, and Grandma (who originally gave DD the doll) suggested to DD that DD keep it for her own future child.  My DD responded that she has learned from my dad's and my examples that holding onto stuff for years "just in case" or "for the future" can be a big trap.  She has also willingly decluttered away other outgrown stuff.

I have also told my kids that when/if it comes time to clear out their dad's and my stuff they should keep certain documents, but all else can go.  They are NOT to feel like they have to hang onto something just because it belonged to someone else.  They should not feel the family guilt and pressure to turn their own homes into an archive of other people's lives.  It sounds harsh, but being the recipient of this family guilt for so long, the "blessed inheritor" of things no one else in the family wants to house but refuses to let go out of the family, I am determined to NOT visit this curse upon my own kids.  It stops here

Which means if I am going to prevent my kids from dealing with the type of situation my DD and I dealt with when moving my own dad I have a lot of work to do.  I have 2-3 decades.  It might be enough time.

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We rented a dumpster in the spring, and I already feel like we need another one.  To be fair(ish), the dumpster was mostly about large items like old furniture and construction junk, but I didn't get nearly enough time (or space) to do enough small stuff purging.

I live with 6 people who see nothing wrong with clutter.  Or other messes for that matter.  They do not understand the genuine toll it takes on me.

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20 hours ago, PrincessMommy said:

I've often said that one of the perks of moving more often is that the need store useless things is less  of a problem.  As hard as it has been to move, it may work to our advantage when we hit our twilight years.

Watching Hoarders is another good way to get myself in the mood to purge. 

 

 

 

9 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

We're living parallel lives.  Anytime I need to reorganize, deep clean, and/or purger I watch Hoarders.

 

See, and for me, when I watch Hoarders, I look around and think, "DANG, my house is actually pretty clean!"  and then I go out for coffee......

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22 hours ago, mlktwins said:

I am in the process of cleaning out my dad's house of 50 years.  He doesn't have boxes and stuff laying all over the floor, etc., but he has A LOT OF STUFF!!!  SO MUCH STUFF!!!  I am ruthlessly purging my house when I finish with his!!!

Needed to vent somewhere.  That is all....

:biggrin:

 

My parents live in a retirement center, but they do have their own house.  I dread the day they either need to move to assisted living or they pass away.  I actually dread assisted living more, since my mom, if still alive, will make the process painful.  She will be too weak to go through stuff but won't want anyone touching ANYTHING without her being there and telling us exactly what to do and how to do it.  And we will not have time to deal with that.  They live across the country and we will have to take time off of work to be there.  

If my parents have passed away, I will be getting rid of 95% of their stuff to the local thrift store.  I will keep photos and mementos and get rid of the rest.

I think I have mentioned before that my mother is writing a book.  Now, lest you think this is all methodical and neatly done, let me paint you a picture.  She has never used a computer in her life and hates typewriters.  So......she writes on paper.  And then, after she writes, she thinks of more to add, so she writes all over the margins, pretty illegibly, and then takes that piece of paper and tosses it into a huge box, with all her other papers.  She does put a number on it.  Then she starts again, on another piece of paper.   It is not chronological, it is more stream of consciousness, chaotic.......and she expects ME to publish it when she dies......yup!~ She sure does.   #simplynothappening

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ave also told my kids that when/if it comes time to clear out their dad's and my stuff they should keep certain documents, but all else can go.  They are NOT to feel like they have to hang onto something just because it belonged to someone else.  They should not feel the family guilt and pressure to turn their own homes into an archive of other people's lives.  It sounds harsh, but being the recipient of this family guilt for so long, the "blessed inheritor" of things no one else in the family wants to house but refuses to let go out of the family, I am determined to NOT visit this curse upon my own kids.  It stops here

 Which means if I am going to prevent my kids from dealing with the type of situation my DD and I dealt with when moving my own dad I have a lot of work to do.  I have 2-3 decades.  It might be enough time.

Your whole post is full of wisdom, AMJ, but this last part in the way you described your dad’s situation is very similar to how my MIL’s belongings are playing out. (FIL was also a hobby pilot and airplane craftsman and we have his hangar.) Farmhouse, horse arena, barns, shop, garage - all filled with “stuff”, some things amazing, some total junk, but all will have to be dealt with eventually. 

And I see certain things accummulating for us, too. I want to sort it all and purge it all, but yes, some of it is truly just daunting. I am doing other things and it becomes difficult to feel the urgency to bore through boxes of papers when there are so many better things I could be doing. Yet it does hang over my head, because I know how this goes. 

And yes, most of it is simply the stuff of life, as a PP said (I think happysmiley?) It’s not that I have collected tchotchkies of owls or clowns or whatever. It’s just that we have excess boxes of tea from when DD was on a tea kick or we have all the number candles from years and years of kids birthdays and God knows, plenty of books and materials for teaching everyone from preschool age to high school. (I also now have an absurd amount of yarn and knitting looms! Both because I bought many and because now people give me these things when they declutter! AHHH!) 

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OP here!  Just want you to know I'm reading all of these and will comment more when I get back.  I am heading over to my dad's now for a day of purging and sorting :blink: !

I'm sorry we are all dealing with this.  This move came about in the last month and he was NOT moving and leaving his "stuff."  Now he is ready to go, excited about the future, and I think very relieved to be leaving behind the care and maintenance of his house and "stuff."  I think he was very shocked when I said I don't want most of what is in the house.  Now the "stuff" he said he had to have he doesn't want to take with him -- LOL.  The good news is I only have to get ready to move the stuff he is taking with him.  3 rooms full of furniture, electronics, kitchen stuff, clothes, and a few things to hang on the walls.  He is giving up the floral bedding my mom had picked out (many years ago) and I'm getting him some masculine bedding and bathroom stuff -- LOL.  Then I have several months to clean out the rest and get the house fixed up and sold.  Then I will just have to deal with keeping control over the clutter and "stuff" in the new place.  He will be 10 minutes from me and me and my boys will go visit a lot and I'll keep up with things this time.

I have all the family photos already except for the framed ones sitting around the house.  That is what I want most to keep.  And a very few small knick-knacks and pieces of artwork.  My sister will get her pick of what she wants and then it is all going.

Hang in there everyone!

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4 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

If my parents have passed away, I will be getting rid of 95% of their stuff to the local thrift store.

Are you sure your local thrift store will take all of it?  Many are so overwhelmed they have lists of what they will and won't take.  I hope you find somewhere to take it all.  I dread the day I have to fly across the country and get rid of all the stuff at my IL's house.  It's all carefully and neatly packed into every single freaking square inch of their house and garage/workshop.  My mother has tons of stuff too at her house.  At least my dad keeps things down to what's currently in use so clearing out his house won't be hard and we've got a place where we can take his 100# tortoise.

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8 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

 

See, and for me, when I watch Hoarders, I look around and think, "DANG, my house is actually pretty clean!"  and then I go out for coffee......

Sometimes I got into the "our house is looking like gotta toss stuff"   But most of the time this ? is what normally happens to me.

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4 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Are you sure your local thrift store will take all of it?  Many are so overwhelmed they have lists of what they will and won't take.  I hope you find somewhere to take it all.  I dread the day I have to fly across the country and get rid of all the stuff at my IL's house.  It's all carefully and neatly packed into every single freaking square inch of their house and garage/workshop.  My mother has tons of stuff too at her house.  At least my dad keeps things down to what's currently in use so clearing out his house won't be hard and we've got a place where we can take his 100# tortoise.

 

My parents say they will, but who knows.  I live over 2,000 miles away from them.  I will pay to take it to the dumpster if I have to.  I will not cart is 2,000 miles back here if we still live here.

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We are not hoarders. Ok we are not hoarders to the extent of the ones on tv.  I am well aware we have entirely to much crap.  I am so ready to get rid of stuff.  I want to keep only stuff that we use or truly makes us happy.

I am more ready to get rid of stuff now than I have been in the past BUT  then I start going through stuff and thinking "what if I need this" or "well I could use this".

A friend told me "if you can go to the store or order it.... get rid of it.  Then if you ever do need it again you can just go buy it."  But I keep thinking "what if I can't buy it again"  Dh lost his job (place closed).  He got another job but he makes WAY less.  

 

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4 hours ago, Baseball mom said:

We are not hoarders. Ok we are not hoarders to the extent of the ones on tv.  I am well aware we have entirely to much crap.  I am so ready to get rid of stuff.  I want to keep only stuff that we use or truly makes us happy.

I am more ready to get rid of stuff now than I have been in the past BUT  then I start going through stuff and thinking "what if I need this" or "well I could use this".

A friend told me "if you can go to the store or order it.... get rid of it.  Then if you ever do need it again you can just go buy it."  But I keep thinking "what if I can't buy it again"  Dh lost his job (place closed).  He got another job but he makes WAY less.  

 

 

I completely get it.  And even though we do have jobs, I hate spending more money just to replace something I used to have.

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14 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

 

See, and for me, when I watch Hoarders, I look around and think, "DANG, my house is actually pretty clean!"  and then I go out for coffee......

 

I thought I was the only one who did that! ?

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43 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

 

I thought I was the only one who did that! ?

 

Let's meet for coffee!

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On 10/13/2018 at 9:24 AM, mlktwins said:

I am in the process of cleaning out my dad's house of 50 years.  He doesn't have boxes and stuff laying all over the floor, etc., but he has A LOT OF STUFF!!!  SO MUCH STUFF!!!  I am ruthlessly purging my house when I finish with his!!!

Needed to vent somewhere.  That is all....

:biggrin:

I always purge after visiting my mom. It’s Stuff Overload. She has it all decorated, but she’s got THINGS in every possible corner. I think it bugs her when she visits me and I have empty corners. She sees it as a wasted opportunity. ?

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I told my mom that there’s nothing I want badly enough to go through a house full of stuff. My mom and grandmother are still living. By the time mom passes I KNOW I won’t have the energy to deal with someone else’s junk. My brothers and sister can have it ALL. 

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My mother has been decluttering for years.  It takes that long.  She still has a ton of stuff though.  It’s like every drawer and closet in her house is a mini-tardis—they’re all bigger on the inside.  I don’t ‘know how she manages to fit all the stuff she has into all those drawers.  It doesn’t seem like she has a lot until she opens a closet where you see her collection of 50 nutcrackers, or 40 stuffed bears.  

And she lives 2500 miles away.  We visited her this summer and I looked around thinking, “Would I want any of this? Enough to pay to ship it 2500 miles?”  Other than a couple of pieces of furniture and two pictures hanging on the wall...no.  I wouldn’t.  My house already has too much stuff in it.

Decluttering is hard when there are 4 of us in the house. It’s my hope that when the kids move out that I can do some serious decluttering.  But when there are four people in the house, you just need more stuff.  More toiletries, more dishes, more canned goods, more towels, more everything.  When there are just two, you can halve so many things.  

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This is awful, but I'm going to say it anyway.
The house I've always feared being "responsible for", an actual hoarding situation, was finally foreclosed, and the majority of the contents were unsalvageable.

I've been freed from another 10-20 years of (that particular) stress!

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11 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

I completely get it.  And even though we do have jobs, I hate spending more money just to replace something I used to have.

I agree... I hate wasting money more than I hate holding on to stuff.  It's a difficult balance.  

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21 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Are you sure your local thrift store will take all of it?  Many are so overwhelmed they have lists of what they will and won't take.  I hope you find somewhere to take it all.  I dread the day I have to fly across the country and get rid of all the stuff at my IL's house.  It's all carefully and neatly packed into every single freaking square inch of their house and garage/workshop.  My mother has tons of stuff too at her house.  At least my dad keeps things down to what's currently in use so clearing out his house won't be hard and we've got a place where we can take his 100# tortoise.

The goodwill in FIL's area offers estate services.  We cleaned out all the trash, sorted out what we wanted to keep, and then prepped the whole thing for a 2 day estate sale to get rid of the rest.  We managed to sell most of the furniture in the estate sale, but there was still a LOT of stuff left.  Cookware, DVDs, VHS, the furniture that didn't sell (like the multiple computer desks) that sort of stuff.  We called up Goodwill estate services and they showed up at the appointment time a day or two after the sale.  They carefully wrapped and packed EVERY SINGLE THING left in that house and hauled it away.  The only things left were cleaning chemicals and some garage chemicals like oil and such.  Every single other item-each dvd, each computer mouse, EVERYTHING.  In 1.5 hours the entire house was empty.  It was amazing and wonderful.  There are also other companies that do that sort of thing. They clear it all out, take it to whereever their warehouse is, sort it and then sell it on like ebay and so on.  

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3 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

The goodwill in FIL's area offers estate services.  We cleaned out all the trash, sorted out what we wanted to keep, and then prepped the whole thing for a 2 day estate sale to get rid of the rest.  We managed to sell most of the furniture in the estate sale, but there was still a LOT of stuff left.  Cookware, DVDs, VHS, the furniture that didn't sell (like the multiple computer desks) that sort of stuff.  We called up Goodwill estate services and they showed up at the appointment time a day or two after the sale.  They carefully wrapped and packed EVERY SINGLE THING left in that house and hauled it away.  The only things left were cleaning chemicals and some garage chemicals like oil and such.  Every single other item-each dvd, each computer mouse, EVERYTHING.  In 1.5 hours the entire house was empty.  It was amazing and wonderful.  There are also other companies that do that sort of thing. They clear it all out, take it to whereever their warehouse is, sort it and then sell it on like ebay and so on.  

That's great! I sure hope that's available when I have to do it for 3 sets of parents who love stuff.

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I try and take my mom as a model. She is utterly fantastic. Her 2nd husband was a terrible packrat, and when she divorced him, she purged. her. house. I mean, she has this big shed in the back yard, and all that's in it are a few bins of holiday decorations. Her house isn't super large, but is open and uncluttered, and pleasant because of it.

I have yet to make that happen in my own home. We're a clutterfest. I'm setting a terrible example for my kids.

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2 hours ago, Ravin said:

I try and take my mom as a model. She is utterly fantastic. Her 2nd husband was a terrible packrat, and when she divorced him, she purged. her. house. I mean, she has this big shed in the back yard, and all that's in it are a few bins of holiday decorations. Her house isn't super large, but is open and uncluttered, and pleasant because of it.

I have yet to make that happen in my own home. We're a clutterfest. I'm setting a terrible example for my kids.

It is hard to declutter when time is at a premium; in addition to the actual time demanded I find a fair amount of mental energy is required.

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One year, I decluttered one item a day. One could always declutter two or three items a day if one wanted to.  If it was natural to declutter a number of items at a time, I counted that as my one item a day, like if I decluttered 6 old vases in one swoop, I counted that as my "one" item for the day.

If you do that, by the end of the year, you'll have gotten rid of 365 or 730 or even 1095 things.  It's easy at first, but gets harder as the year progresses.

When there isn't the energy to tackle everything at once, you can pop open a box (or a drawer) and find 1, 2, or 3 items in it to get rid of.  Then the next day, take out 3 more.  And then 3 more.  Eventually that box/drawer will be done and you can move on to the next one.  

I'm pretty sure I did my daily declutter in conjunction with a few big decluttering sessions, so it was a mixed bag.  The idea was to spread the job out into tiny increments consistently (daily), plus doing a big declutter once or twice a year, like while the kids were at VBS in the summer.

For fun, I kept a tally on FB of the things I was decluttering.  When I was decluttering some children's items, a FB friend who collects gently used children's toys to take to impoverished kids contacted me and asked for my kid stuff.  It was nice to know my old kid stuff was going somewhere needed.  

The items that I decluttered were put directly into the car and then dropped off at Goodwill whenever I was in that part of town.

 

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I don't think I'm ever going to have to deal with a relative's clutter. My grandparents managed their own downsizing/decluttering when they moved from long term homes to smaller places to be near family. My parents have spent a life time moving every few years and other than books just don't collect much stuff. My in-laws were already fairly minimalist and then their home flooded due to hurricane Harvey. FiL now lives in an apartment with just the bare basics and is quite happy with that.

I really want to be minimalist but haven't figured out how to make it work with nine people in the home.

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3 minutes ago, maize said:

I don't think I'm ever going to have to deal with a relative's clutter. My grandparents managed their own downsizing/decluttering when they moved from long term homes to smaller places to be near family. My parents have spent a life time moving every few years and other than books just don't collect much stuff. My in-laws were already fairly minimalist and then their home flooded due to hurricane Harvey. FiL now lives in an apartment with just the bare basics and is quite happy with that.

I really want to be minimalist but haven't figured out how to make it work with nine people in the home.

Nine!  And I cringe at the four of us.  ?

I can't decide if I want to live in a cozy, cluttered professor's library in a cottage by the sea with a messy garden, or in a sleek modern high rise in a city.  Right now, I'm living in the cluttered cottage.  But I dream of the sleek high rise.  

I need to do my "declutter one item a day" project again.  It's been about 6 years and things have accumulated.

Edited by Garga
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18 minutes ago, Garga said:

One year, I decluttered one item a day. One could always declutter two or three items a day if one wanted to.  If it was natural to declutter a number of items at a time, I counted that as my one item a day, like if I decluttered 6 old vases in one swoop, I counted that as my "one" item for the day.

If you do that, by the end of the year, you'll have gotten rid of 365 or 730 or even 1095 things.  It's easy at first, but gets harder as the year progresses.

When there isn't the energy to tackle everything at once, you can pop open a box (or a drawer) and find 1, 2, or 3 items in it to get rid of.  Then the next day, take out 3 more.  And then 3 more.  Eventually that box/drawer will be done and you can move on to the next one.  

I have decluttered like this for years, but this summer I changed my approach and found it so much faster and efficient:

I empty the drawer/box/cupboard and choose which items I really like/need/use and put only those back. Everything else goes.

Changing the approach from weeding out unwanted things to selecting which items I actually want to keep really changed how I view possessions. And greatly reduced their number.

Edited by regentrude
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28 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I have decluttered like this for years, but this summer I changed my approach and found it so much faster and efficient:

I empty the drawer/box/cupboard and choose which items I really like/need/use and put only those back. Everything else goes.

Changing the approach from weeding out unwanted things to selecting which items I actually want to keep really changed how I view possessions. And greatly reduced their number.


Y'know, this is kind of brilliant.  I have a bunch of junk drawers that overwhelm me - I think this might well be a much better way to deal with them than trying to sort through and take things out...

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3 hours ago, regentrude said:

I have decluttered like this for years, but this summer I changed my approach and found it so much faster and efficient:

I empty the drawer/box/cupboard and choose which items I really like/need/use and put only those back. Everything else goes.

Changing the approach from weeding out unwanted things to selecting which items I actually want to keep really changed how I view possessions. And greatly reduced their number.

I love this idea

 

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On 10/13/2018 at 11:04 AM, PrincessMommy said:

I've often said that one of the perks of moving more often is that the need store useless things is less  of a problem.  As hard as it has been to move, it may work to our advantage when we hit our twilight years.

Watching Hoarders is another good way to get myself in the mood to purge. 

 

 

Unless  you are my husband.  And then the crap  stuff  just keeps moving with you, multiplying in the process

Edited by SereneHome
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On 10/14/2018 at 4:38 PM, Baseball mom said:

A friend told me "if you can go to the store or order it.... get rid of it.  Then if you ever do need it again you can just go buy it."  But I keep thinking "what if I can't buy it again"  Dh lost his job (place closed).  He got another job but he makes WAY less.  

 

I think about this too and think one good approach is to imagine what your real basic needs would be should you find yourself in a situation where have no disposable income. You would need to be able to replace your winter coat and boots (in some areas), warm bedding, your basic pots and pans and kitchen utensils, simple tools, etc. So you could justifiably have doubles for items in this category, keeping the highest quality (most long lasting) of the ones you own. So I would have no qualms about holding on to two quality winter coats and two sets of boots and a backup frypan, baking pan, and pot, two hammers and two pliers, etc., but anything that isn't absolutely necessary to function (like 16 sets of sheets) you could choose to get rid of if the clutter became too much. If you can sell some of the items at a yard sale, all the better.

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I’ll be in this boat eventually. For all of my inlaws bragging about “downsizing” and how all of thier moves have made them declutter, they have a ton of stuff. As long as they can make it all fit they seem to think they are streamlined. But I helped them move. I’ve seen the two of them pack the space in a large walk in closet with more clothes than should have fit in there. I guard my closet from mil’s eyes because I’m sure that if she sees it, she’ll redouble her efforts to buy me clothes. ?

Edited by SamanthaCarter

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Someone I knew had a rule "one item in, one item out".  She said it helped tremendously. 

That would never work in my house, as long as I am married to the person I am married, but it sounded like a great idea!

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