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Quill

S/o Getting Rid of it All

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Oh my goodness, you all. I inadvertantly found a way to get me from the mental note, “Next time I do a declutter, I’m taking that Guitar Hero thingy...and that clock we all hate because it ticks so loudly...and that spare landline telephone...” to actually stuffing it all in my car and driving there immediately. 

We have a HELOC that came due; we had to either pay it off or refinance it, so I have sent paperwork in to refinance and dh has spoken to the loan officer there several times. Well, last night, dh starts a discussion with, “Now, don’t freak out...” Due to cancer treatment and the slow yet relentless tide of stuff, I feel as though my house has never been a bigger disaster. That was his reason to warn against freaking out. 

I freaked out anyway. An assessor is coming here next week. AAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH! Luckily, I had already nagged my kids while they were all home to go through certain clutter nooks, and I serendipitously just put my home office in order yesterday. So I had a jump on it. But still.  ALL the junk - in the car you go. No more dithering about where the optimum declutter recipient shall be; I’m just getting rid of it all. No more waffling about whether that read-in-bed prop thingy should really be kept or decluttered. Out it goes. 

And I hear a beautiful sound coming from the basement stairs - ds vacuuming. 

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I have a love hate relationship with decluttering. Actually getting it done is the worst and I happily put it off. But once it's done it is the best feeling.

I was at the house we're going to buy for 4 hrs today during the inspection and I just kept thinking, " I really need to get rid of a lot of stuff while packing so the new house can stay this visibly peaceful." So, as I go forward with packing I'm going to constantly remind myself how nice it was without all the clutter

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One of my goals for this year is to take every Amazon Prime box or Sam's Club delivery box and fill it up and take it to the donation center...BEFORE I can use what just came in the box. Hopefully it'll stick but so far, it's both made my house less cluttered AND saved me money since I have a chore added to ordering things online now 😄

 

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10 minutes ago, MeghanL said:

One of my goals for this year is to take every Amazon Prime box or Sam's Club delivery box and fill it up and take it to the donation center...BEFORE I can use what just came in the box. Hopefully it'll stick but so far, it's both made my house less cluttered AND saved me money since I have a chore added to ordering things online now 😄

 

Wow. I just bought an elliptical...wonder if I could fill that box up.... 😄

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10 minutes ago, alisoncooks said:

Wow. I just bought an elliptical...wonder if I could fill that box up.... 😄

“Honey, where are my snow skis? Matter of fact, where are my fishing rods and my tackle box? And, now I think of it, I haven’t seen my tennis raquet, either.”

”Ummm...it was a big box the elliptical came in...I made a rule...” 

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My friend is the queen of decluttering. She says to just fill the box and donate. Don't sort things to take to different places or you'll never do it. 

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1 minute ago, ashfern said:

My friend is the queen of decluttering. She says to just fill the box and donate. Don't sort things to take to different places or you'll never do it. 

the problem with that is if I take it all to one place I know things will be thrown away.  for ex, the goodwill near my sister doesn't sell kids toys unless they are brand new, so they trash any toys they get.

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40 minutes ago, ashfern said:

My friend is the queen of decluttering. She says to just fill the box and donate. Don't sort things to take to different places or you'll never do it. 

Yeah, and generally, that is my thought, too. BUT! One thing I’m decluttering now is tons of homeschooling books and materials. My sister has younger kids she plans to homeschool, so some things I want to pass on to her. But I also have a friend who is heading up a homeschoolers lending library and I want to give a bunch of things to her as well. This is why I have a bunch of piles on the floor of my homescho9l room, going to neither...

It’s also hard to admit to myself I don’t have the whatever-it-is to sell my perfectly good materials. On the one hand, I tell myself I am blessing another homeschooler with my materials, but on the other hand, I feel like I’m ignoring an obvious source of recouping some of my investment. So I get stuck there as well. 

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

It’s also hard to admit to myself I don’t have the whatever-it-is to sell my perfectly good materials. On the one hand, I tell myself I am blessing another homeschooler with my materials, but on the other hand, I feel like I’m ignoring an obvious source of recouping some of my investment. So I get stuck there as well. 

Can you look at it like you invested in your child and the curriculum served it's purpose by preparing him for xyz. Therefore, you've already recouped your investment.  Maybe..

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You Guys!

This group actually lets you know when they'll be in your neighborhood. It only works in about 1/3 of the states -- and they really only want clothes, household items, books (but no text books) -- but they distribute to families in need.

I leave everything by my mailbox the night before and by 7 a.m. the next day, it's gone!!

Maybe they're in your state? Contact Charity Clothing Pickup at 770-564-2641 or Contact Form.

Alley

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We used to have a rule, that we'd invite people over every couple of weeks and that would force us to clean.😏 good luck with the rushed decluttering. 

 

I ended up taking several loads to Goodwill over winter break, it felt so good. 

 

As for homeschooling materials, if you live in an area with lots of them, do consider donating. I used to scour thrift stores and search for titles of books or texts that were discussed here. One reason I was able to continue homeschooling when we were flat broke was because of materials I bought at thrift stores. Some days I would literally be crying happy tears that I found things that would work. 

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3 hours ago, WendyAndMilo said:

Can you look at it like you invested in your child and the curriculum served it's purpose by preparing him for xyz. Therefore, you've already recouped your investment.  Maybe..

That’s true, but there are always the duds which were expensive. (Looking at you, MCT...) Hundreds of dollars invested, ten-cents-worth of use. I find those the hardest. 

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3 minutes ago, Quill said:

That’s true, but there are always the duds which were expensive. (Looking at you, MCT...) Hundreds of dollars invested, ten-cents-worth of use. I find those the hardest. 

Could you “thank it for what it taught you about your child” as Marie Kondo would say and then donate it? 

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2 hours ago, Alicia64 said:

You Guys!

This group actually lets you know when they'll be in your neighborhood. It only works in about 1/3 of the states -- and they really only want clothes, household items, books (but no text books) -- but they distribute to families in need.

I leave everything by my mailbox the night before and by 7 a.m. the next day, it's gone!!

Maybe they're in your state? Contact Charity Clothing Pickup at 770-564-2641 or Contact Form.

Alley

I have used something like this in the past. Most times, though, in order to get past Another Person who lives here who would have a cow seeing “perfectly good” stuff set out for donation, I stuff it all in the car and then drive directly to the GW. I can’t even get a pile going, because the pile would attract attention and I prefer to go with the “ask for forgiveness, not permission” strategy of decluttering. So it’s generally tabbed in my brain until I make one run of decluttering. 

I live with someone who would never declutter anything were it up to him. 

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21 minutes ago, Quill said:

I have used something like this in the past. Most times, though, in order to get past Another Person who lives here who would have a cow seeing “perfectly good” stuff set out for donation, I stuff it all in the car and then drive directly to the GW. I can’t even get a pile going, because the pile would attract attention and I prefer to go with the “ask for forgiveness, not permission” strategy of decluttering. So it’s generally tabbed in my brain until I make one run of decluttering. 

I live with someone who would never declutter anything were it up to him. 

Quill: You actually made me laugh out loud. I live w/ "have a cow" people too!! 🤣

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I'm decluttering this week.  I'm stuck in the bathroom closet (not literally for which I'm grateful).  Just so much stuff.  Extra this, extra that. Ugh.....

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When my fellow homeschool friend purges her homeschool supplies she'll let all of us know and we can come over and take what we want. I don't know what she does with what's left. I also live with a bunch of people who won't get rid of anything. I asked one child to collect at the Littlest Pet Shop creatures so I could take them to GoodWIll since they never play with them. She told me I was destroying her childhood. I'd call and see if there's a shelter that would want the toys if the GoodWIll won't take them. Or see if another location will. We have one location about 5 minutes away but there are at least two others in my county.

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2 hours ago, peacelovehomeschooling said:

I love decluttering!   I love finding things to get rid of.  It is such a good feeling!   My daughter and i just took a huge bag of stuff to Goodwill today.

I do, too.  It really acts like a drug for me.    The feeling gets addicting though.   I’m decluttering, but am starting to run out of stuff to declutter.  😪

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3 minutes ago, Thatboyofmine said:

I do, too.  It really acts like a drug for me.    The feeling gets addicting though.   I’m decluttering, but am starting to run out of stuff to declutter.  😪

Come over here...

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Just now, Quill said:

Come over here...

I’m flying up to Maine next weekend.  I’ll have Southwest open a back door and drop me down for a visit.   😆

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2 hours ago, peacelovehomeschooling said:

I love decluttering!   I love finding things to get rid of.  It is such a good feeling!   My daughter and i just took a huge bag of stuff to Goodwill today.

In the past, i have always been a declutter queen. I literally wrote a book on this subject. But I have changed in some ways in the past five or so years. I’m more reluctant to get rid of things. 

A lot of it has to do with closing chapters. So, for example: while I was still in the thick of raising kids, it was easy-peasy to declutter a whole bunch of toys that were not their favorites, were too hard to use/set up/play, that had grown ugly or unappealing, etc. It was not even hard for me to move along homeschooling materials, books, manipulatives. It was easy so long as it was simply getting the excess out. But the meaning has changed; now, it is about closing those chapters of my life. And it is hard. 

I have beautiful Usborne books that have CDs with them. My youngest adored them. It doesn’t make much sense to keep them, as far as future grandchildren or such are concerned. Listening to a book CD is dying out. Even if I gave this to my sister for her young kids, I don’t think it would be cherished by them, and something about that is just unbearable to me. So I will probably keep them, even though they are serving no purpose except that they’re there, and the are so lovely. 

Anyway...all that to say, decluttering when it is ending an era of my life is different, harder. It’s harder to objectively come to grips with, “well, I don’t need this at all, and the younge moms will want something more modern than this.” 

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

In the past, i have always been a declutter queen. I literally wrote a book on this subject. But I have changed in some ways in the past five or so years. I’m more reluctant to get rid of things. 

A lot of it has to do with closing chapters. So, for example: while I was still in the thick of raising kids, it was easy-peasy to declutter a whole bunch of toys that were not their favorites, were too hard to use/set up/play, that had grown ugly or unappealing, etc. It was not even hard for me to move along homeschooling materials, books, manipulatives. It was easy so long as it was simply getting the excess out. But the meaning has changed; now, it is about closing those chapters of my life. And it is hard. 

I have beautiful Usborne books that have CDs with them. My youngest adored them. It doesn’t make much sense to keep them, as far as future grandchildren or such are concerned. Listening to a book CD is dying out. Even if I gave this to my sister for her young kids, I don’t think it would be cherished by them, and something about that is just unbearable to me. So I will probably keep them, even though they are serving no purpose except that they’re there, and the are so lovely. 

Anyway...all that to say, decluttering when it is ending an era of my life is different, harder. It’s harder to objectively come to grips with, “well, I don’t need this at all, and the younge moms will want something more modern than this.” 

Thank you for saying this so well! I totally relate. It is really hard to get rid of those last bits if babyhood over here. And I do get attached to things. I love the feeling of a clear space but I still find it so hard. 

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7 hours ago, Thatboyofmine said:

I do, too.  It really acts like a drug for me.    The feeling gets addicting though.   I’m decluttering, but am starting to run out of stuff to declutter.  😪

Man, I hope I get t run out some day!!!
My "basic" declutter is almost done. I have 3 cabinets in the kitchen left, and then my bookcases.
After that, I still have other homeschool stuff that needs a more critical sorting, photo boxes that need more time, and a 4-drawer filing cabinet that needs to be ruthlessly cleaned out! And that's before the weather gets nice enough to decluttter the 12x16 shed. I've already been decluttering for nearly 2 months, in a house that didn't have nearly as much stuff as the people on television, lol.

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8 hours ago, Thatboyofmine said:

I do, too.  It really acts like a drug for me.    The feeling gets addicting though.   I’m decluttering, but am starting to run out of stuff to declutter.  😪

This is exactly how I feel about it.   And yes, I am running out of stuff to declutter as well.  It should be a good feeling but it is actually frustrating me.

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8 hours ago, Quill said:

In the past, i have always been a declutter queen. I literally wrote a book on this subject. But I have changed in some ways in the past five or so years. I’m more reluctant to get rid of things. 

A lot of it has to do with closing chapters. So, for example: while I was still in the thick of raising kids, it was easy-peasy to declutter a whole bunch of toys that were not their favorites, were too hard to use/set up/play, that had grown ugly or unappealing, etc. It was not even hard for me to move along homeschooling materials, books, manipulatives. It was easy so long as it was simply getting the excess out. But the meaning has changed; now, it is about closing those chapters of my life. And it is hard. 

I have beautiful Usborne books that have CDs with them. My youngest adored them. It doesn’t make much sense to keep them, as far as future grandchildren or such are concerned. Listening to a book CD is dying out. Even if I gave this to my sister for her young kids, I don’t think it would be cherished by them, and something about that is just unbearable to me. So I will probably keep them, even though they are serving no purpose except that they’re there, and the are so lovely. 

Anyway...all that to say, decluttering when it is ending an era of my life is different, harder. It’s harder to objectively come to grips with, “well, I don’t need this at all, and the younge moms will want something more modern than this.” 

It is interesting to hear your thoughts on this, because, those same chapters are closing for me as well, yet I am more than happy to let them go.   Maybe it is because I started my family very young and there is a huge age gap in my kids, but it feels okay to me to be moving on.   Though my youngest is still here, I homeschool her, and since she is in 8th grade I have a few more years of her at home.   Who knows how I will feel in a few years when she is ready to move out.

I used to keep far more than I keep now.  The older I get the less sentimental I am.

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3 hours ago, peacelovehomeschooling said:

It is interesting to hear your thoughts on this, because, those same chapters are closing for me as well, yet I am more than happy to let them go.   Maybe it is because I started my family very young and there is a huge age gap in my kids, but it feels okay to me to be moving on.   Though my youngest is still here, I homeschool her, and since she is in 8th grade I have a few more years of her at home.   Who knows how I will feel in a few years when she is ready to move out.

I used to keep far more than I keep now.  The older I get the less sentimental I am.

Interesting. I think some of it for me is tied to regrets and things that did not work out as I imagined so long ago. In my twenties, the future held such expansive possibilities. But now the future is narrowed a lot by the paths not taken. Eventually, many of those paths get overgrown and they aren’t options any more. I think I mourn that to some degree. 

I am more sentimental now than I was when I was young. It is a lot harder now for me to discard something that represents a person no longer living or no longer capable of creating that item. For example, I have a framed cross stitch of my son’s name my brother and his ex-wife made me. I cannot display it any longer because it is suited for a baby’s room. It sits inside ds’ closet. Younger Me would have given that away, since there are other people who could have hung that in their baby’s room, but I don’t want to do it now because it is irreplaceable. The point is that it was made by my brother and his wife. But they are no longer together and that will never happen again. And, of course, I reason it isn’t taking up much space; just don’t worry about it. It’s not hurting anything. So it stays. 

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12 hours ago, Quill said:

In the past, i have always been a declutter queen. I literally wrote a book on this subject. But I have changed in some ways in the past five or so years. I’m more reluctant to get rid of things. 

A lot of it has to do with closing chapters. So, for example: while I was still in the thick of raising kids, it was easy-peasy to declutter a whole bunch of toys that were not their favorites, were too hard to use/set up/play, that had grown ugly or unappealing, etc. It was not even hard for me to move along homeschooling materials, books, manipulatives. It was easy so long as it was simply getting the excess out. But the meaning has changed; now, it is about closing those chapters of my life. And it is hard. 

I have beautiful Usborne books that have CDs with them. My youngest adored them. It doesn’t make much sense to keep them, as far as future grandchildren or such are concerned. Listening to a book CD is dying out. Even if I gave this to my sister for her young kids, I don’t think it would be cherished by them, and something about that is just unbearable to me. So I will probably keep them, even though they are serving no purpose except that they’re there, and the are so lovely. 

Anyway...all that to say, decluttering when it is ending an era of my life is different, harder. It’s harder to objectively come to grips with, “well, I don’t need this at all, and the younge moms will want something more modern than this.” 

A practical note on those books with cds. Maybe import them to iTunes or wherever you store music and store the files that way. Then, when CD players are no longer available, your grandchildren will be able to share in them.

On the paths closing down, I totally get what you are saying. I’ve realized over the past few years that I am honestly never going to grad school. It makes me sad. I will be in my mid fifties before last kid is done homeschooling and at that point, it would be pointless.

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33 minutes ago, Quill said:

Interesting. I think some of it for me is tied to regrets and things that did not work out as I imagined so long ago. In my twenties, the future held such expansive possibilities. But now the future is narrowed a lot by the paths not taken. Eventually, many of those paths get overgrown and they aren’t options any more. I think I mourn that to some degree. 

I am more sentimental now than I was when I was young. It is a lot harder now for me to discard something that represents a person no longer living or no longer capable of creating that item. For example, I have a framed cross stitch of my son’s name my brother and his ex-wife made me. I cannot display it any longer because it is suited for a baby’s room. It sits inside ds’ closet. Younger Me would have given that away, since there are other people who could have hung that in their baby’s room, but I don’t want to do it now because it is irreplaceable. The point is that it was made by my brother and his wife. But they are no longer together and that will never happen again. And, of course, I reason it isn’t taking up much space; just don’t worry about it. It’s not hurting anything. So it stays. 

I completely understand where you are coming from.  You make many good points.  For me,  the last 12 years have been far more tragic than good.  In processing all that happened in a shorter period of time (within roughly a 2-3 year period of that 12 years),  I did a whole lot of-- looking back---dealing with regrets--grieving what could and should have been.  As a result of both the trauma,  the therapy, and my own head work,  it left me looking differently at......well everything.    In order to manage all that I have mentioned and the PTSD I was left with as a result of what happened,  I have detached myself in many ways from a lot of my emotions.   Truly, I am probably not expressing any of this well, and due to privacy I am not explaining anything in any kind of a cohesive well spoken way.  But hopefully the main point is understandable!

All of this to also say....we are all different and how we manage all of life's changes and issues is different.  I think the key is to know how you (meaning each of us) deal with thing and what you are comfortable giving away and keeping.  No one needs to keep or get rid of anything because some person/book/ideology tells them to.    If you (again meaning each of us) is comfortable with how you are managing your things, then that is absolutely all that matters.   But I do think it is important to know the "why?" behind it.  You are doing just fine and I hope you keep every single thing you want to keep and feel like you need to keep......because life is hard enough and being guilted into getting rid of something that you don't want to get rid of just plain sucks and is not fair.

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3 minutes ago, peacelovehomeschooling said:

I completely understand where you are coming from.  You make many good points.  For me,  the last 12 years have been far more tragic than good.  In processing all that happened in a shorter period of time (within roughly a 2-3 year period of that 12 years),  I did a whole lot of-- looking back---dealing with regrets--grieving what could and should have been.  As a result of both the trauma,  the therapy, and my own head work,  it left me looking differently at......well everything.    In order to manage all that I have mentioned and the PTSD I was left with as a result of what happened,  I have detached myself in many ways from a lot of my emotions.   Truly, I am probably not expressing any of this well, and due to privacy I am not explaining anything in any kind of a cohesive well spoken way.  But hopefully the main point is understandable!

All of this to also say....we are all different and how we manage all of life's changes and issues is different.  I think the key is to know how you (meaning each of us) deal with thing and what you are comfortable giving away and keeping.  No one needs to keep or get rid of anything because some person/book/ideology tells them to.    If you (again meaning each of us) is comfortable with how you are managing your things, then that is absolutely all that matters.   But I do think it is important to know the "why?" behind it.  You are doing just fine and I hope you keep every single thing you want to keep and feel like you need to keep......because life is hard enough and being guilted into getting rid of something that you don't want to get rid of just plain sucks and is not fair.

I get you. I think I know a bit of your story from other threads and I figured you would understand where I’m coming from. 

I do think you are right in that each person needs to determine his or her own needs and not, say, pare down books to only thirty because that’s what Kon Marie says is “the most” someone should need. 

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13 hours ago, Quill said:

In the past, i have always been a declutter queen. I literally wrote a book on this subject. But I have changed in some ways in the past five or so years. I’m more reluctant to get rid of things. 

A lot of it has to do with closing chapters. So, for example: while I was still in the thick of raising kids, it was easy-peasy to declutter a whole bunch of toys that were not their favorites, were too hard to use/set up/play, that had grown ugly or unappealing, etc. It was not even hard for me to move along homeschooling materials, books, manipulatives. It was easy so long as it was simply getting the excess out. But the meaning has changed; now, it is about closing those chapters of my life. And it is hard. 

I have beautiful Usborne books that have CDs with them. My youngest adored them. It doesn’t make much sense to keep them, as far as future grandchildren or such are concerned. Listening to a book CD is dying out. Even if I gave this to my sister for her young kids, I don’t think it would be cherished by them, and something about that is just unbearable to me. So I will probably keep them, even though they are serving no purpose except that they’re there, and the are so lovely. 

Anyway...all that to say, decluttering when it is ending an era of my life is different, harder. It’s harder to objectively come to grips with, “well, I don’t need this at all, and the younge moms will want something more modern than this.” 

I have the opposite problem. I never could properly purge while my kids were at an age tonuse those things. I just didn’t want to make them sad if they changed their minds and wanted to play with x after all. 

Once they aged out of a category of things, it was so much easier to unload YEARS worth of stuff at once. I no longer feared upsetting them. I was able to clear out over half of my basement this summer. My youngest turned 18. Nobody was bothered. No one said it, but our agreement seemed to be that I could dump anything I wanted as long as I didn’t pull them into that project. They stayed out of my path and ate loads of takeout for a solid MONTH. 

It felt so good in the end. I gained a functional space in my home and increased my living space on the above-ground levels. I think I was too project-focused to worry about nostalgia. Also, I’ve never minded leveling up with phases of life. I miss my babies, but not their paraphernalia. 🤣

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On 1/17/2019 at 7:45 AM, ashfern said:

My friend is the queen of decluttering. She says to just fill the box and donate. Don't sort things to take to different places or you'll never do it. 

 

Well, not true, I FINALLY got things to where they needed to go.  Ok, so it took a while, but.....

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23 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

Well, not true, I FINALLY got things to where they needed to go.  Ok, so it took a while, but.....

I meant to donate to different places. Great on getting your stuff done.

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13 minutes ago, ashfern said:

I meant to donate to different places. Great on getting your stuff done.

 

I did mean getting it to different places!  I took the Homeschool stuff to one place, clothing to another, music stuff to a friend, etc....

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I don't bring anything new into the house these days without taking something out of the house ahead making a new purchase. That is another way for me to keep the decluttering going - because we have limited space and putting something new inside the house means something already there needs to leave. The most trouble I have is all the kid furniture that has no takers, all the old car seats that cannot be reused etc.

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On 1/18/2019 at 3:58 PM, ScoutTN said:

Culled the DVD drawer. 

I had the kids do this when the big kids were in for winter break. Also video games. I didn’t even oversee what they put in the outgoing box. The only criteria was that all three kids had to be okay with the culled items. 

I felt great relief when I dropped that pile off at GW. 

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