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Carol in Cal.

All The Things, Where Do They Go?

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I am kind of frustrated with my house.

I have been working on getting rid of stuff, and I still have a ways to go on that.

But there are things that I just cannot figure out.  Things that I want to be able to do at home, but don’t know how to stash when I’m not doing them.  I do not have ‘an extra closet’.  I don’t even have ‘an extra wall for an armoire’.  All those great ideas only work for people who don’t have books, I think.  People who don’t read much, or who read library books one at a time and then take them back for one more.  SO not me.

I did figure out the kitchen stuff.  Well, much of it.  OK, not the 5 gallon overflow staples buckets with alpha seals, which I love but which I don’t really have a spot for so they are stashed along a wall on the floor, looking ugly.  And not the electric frying pan, which I just plain need but don’t have a shelf spot for, so it’s on the floor under the bin table on the next wall, looking stupid.  But at least I sorted the baking and Tupperware stuff and found homes for all that deserve space in the kitchen, and then offloaded or basemented the rest.  (We have a tiny quarter basement, not much room but I can keep a little overflow kitchen stuff in there.). I am particularly proud of figuring out that I can put stuff on top of the top of the cabinets as long as I put a decorative baby blanket or little tablecloth over and around it.  The only challenge with that is remembering that it’s there so I can find and use it.  But it’s a workable strategy and quirkily decorative.
 

But I don’t know where to put wrapping paper, boxes, and ribbon.  I don’t really have a spot for exercise gear—would love to get a treadmill but can’t figure out what to do with it.  I have free weights and they are on a bookshelf looking stupid.  I have rather a lot of yarn.  A LOT.  All kitted up in project bags, but not really with a specific home.  I have SO MANY BOOKS.  I’ve been getting rid of them, but I still have far more than I have shelf space for.  

I know that you can’t organize clutter—you must get rid of it.  And I do have that issue. 

But this stuff is not clutter.  It is stuff I use and need to organize.  And I just have no clue how to do it.

 

 

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A couple things...  you won’t find room for your essential stuff until you get rid of he nonessential stuff, or clutter.    Also, when I started purging, I stopped after a while feeling that I’d purged enough and decluttered.  Well, I guess I liked the feeling of getting rid of crap so much because after about 6 months, I purged yet again.    It was during this second phase that I actually made real progress, where I finally found space, and could emphasize the most important things in my my life.  IOW, you may have to do your thing now and then stop for a while.  Let it sink in.   And then declutter again.   

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10 minutes ago, Thatboyofmine said:

A couple things...  you won’t find room for your essential stuff until you get rid of he nonessential stuff, or clutter.    Also, when I started purging, I stopped after a while feeling that I’d purged enough and decluttered.  Well, I guess I liked the feeling of getting rid of crap so much because after about 6 months, I purged yet again.    It was during this second phase that I actually made real progress, where I finally found space, and could emphasize the most important things in my my life.  IOW, you may have to do your thing now and then stop for a while.  Let it sink in.   And then declutter again.   

This is excellent advice, and I can see that it might be true for me.  

But also, I do best when I have a vision to pursue, not just something to flee from.  So I’m trying to envision how my home will function differently along the way, and I’m just having trouble with some things.

One thing about this that has been great is realizing that functions that I want to keep don’t have to take up very much space.  For example, I don’t really need to have a TV in our bedroom anymore.  Watching Amazon Prime on a laptop is just fine.  BIG space freed up from that.  If I had not been thinking this way, I don’t think it would have occurred to me to regard our old TV as clutter.

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I got frustrated with wrapping paper organization, so I finally bought a few containers. I have one that holds rolls of wrapping paper in an upright position, and I can just stash that box in a corner of my basement and bring it out when needed. I also bought a bag for my Christmas themed paper, so that I can keep it all together, stashed on a shelf, but out of the way for most of the year. I found both of those wrapping paper holders on Amazon.

Then I bought some plastic boxes with lids to hold my ribbons, bows, and tags, and a few other boxes to hold gift bags. Those boxes stack neatly in an Ikea storage cupboard that we bought for our basement, but you could leave them on any shelf and stash them away in the basement. I used to have random piles and bags of tissue paper, and bags, and this works so much better.

If you part with enough books to make a little room on your shelves, you could intersperse some pretty (or neutral) boxes on some of the shelves to store things in.

Can you get a nice basket for your electric pan? It could be stashed in the same place but not be visible?

I have a large house (but no pantry) and still have trouble with organizing my storage items. I have found that it's worth it to me to buy plastic containers with lids, so that I can sort things in to categories and label and stack them. I used to resist buying those, but now I am a fan.

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2 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I am kind of frustrated with my house.

I have been working on getting rid of stuff, and I still have a ways to go on that.

But there are things that I just cannot figure out.  Things that I want to be able to do at home, but don’t know how to stash when I’m not doing them.  I do not have ‘an extra closet’.  I don’t even have ‘an extra wall for an armoire’.  All those great ideas only work for people who don’t have books, I think.  People who don’t read much, or who read library books one at a time and then take them back for one more.  SO not me.

I did figure out the kitchen stuff.  Well, much of it.  OK, not the 5 gallon overflow staples buckets with alpha seals, which I love but which I don’t really have a spot for so they are stashed along a wall on the floor, looking ugly.  And not the electric frying pan, which I just plain need but don’t have a shelf spot for, so it’s on the floor under the bin table on the next wall, looking stupid.  But at least I sorted the baking and Tupperware stuff and found homes for all that deserve space in the kitchen, and then offloaded or basemented the rest.  (We have a tiny quarter basement, not much room but I can keep a little overflow kitchen stuff in there.). I am particularly proud of figuring out that I can put stuff on top of the top of the cabinets as long as I put a decorative baby blanket or little tablecloth over and around it.  The only challenge with that is remembering that it’s there so I can find and use it.  But it’s a workable strategy and quirkily decorative.
 

But I don’t know where to put wrapping paper, boxes, and ribbon.  I don’t really have a spot for exercise gear—would love to get a treadmill but can’t figure out what to do with it.  I have free weights and they are on a bookshelf looking stupid.  I have rather a lot of yarn.  A LOT.  All kitted up in project bags, but not really with a specific home.  I have SO MANY BOOKS.  I’ve been getting rid of them, but I still have far more than I have shelf space for.  

I know that you can’t organize clutter—you must get rid of it.  And I do have that issue. 

But this stuff is not clutter.  It is stuff I use and need to organize.  And I just have no clue how to do it.

 

 

I would seriously consider a book purge.  I know that sounds sacrilegious to a homeschooler who spent years accumulating, however it is a waste of valuable real estate to hold onto books that you will never read again.  I'd kon mari them then start going digital. I love books too, but I did not NEED to store EVERY book that entered my home over the last twenty years.

Getting rid of clutter is huge.  You can't sort by "will I ever use this again?" You have to think "Am I sure I'll use it enough that  it's more valuable to me than real estate?" Also, come to terms with the possibility that a clean, streamlined home means you 'might' have to repurchase something you purged 5 years ago.  Even if I spend $100 on a thing I regret purging, it is WORTH living a less cluttered life.

For more storage, I'd look to the ceiling.  You can have shelves around every ceiling about a 12-18 inches down and store things in boxes or baskets.  You can raise beds and slide storage under them. Also, do you have an eat in kitchen and a dining room?  We never eat in our kitchen and that table just catches clutter.  My next organizational project is to turn the breakfast area into more counter and storage space.  I'm thinking open shelves from the ceiling to the counters and plant shelves across the top of the windows. (I have 4X6 windows that take up a lot of space in ALL of my downstairs rooms.)  I NEED more counters and pantry storage a lot more than I need a second table to pile stuff on, so re-purposing that area for how we truly live is something I need to tackle.  

After that, I'm considering storing all towels in the bathrooms and all sheets in their respective bedrooms so I can free up the linen closet for other storage purposes.  I need a costume closet and I'm tired of searching random bins throughout the house when I'm looking for a particular costume piece.  After that, I need to organize the tool storage area of my basement because every project starts with a daunting scavenger hunt for the proper tools and that's a time suck.

My newest idea is to turn the stair wall, opposite the railing, into a library.  There's no reason why that wall can't be put to good use, opened up, and turned into bookcases.  It would look cool and free up bookcase space for other things.  I also have a pinterest board with convertible furniture.  The concept of multi-purpose pieces that live in a single space fascinates me.  I'm also not above using rooms in ways they were not intended if it works for my family.  Currently my dining room is serving as an accessible bedroom while my living room is a nice, large, dining/project space.  It works for us.

I'm better at coming up with these ideas than following through with them. 😕

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13 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

I would seriously consider a book purge.  I know that sounds sacrilegious to a homeschooler who spent years accumulating, however it is a waste of valuable real estate to hold onto books that you will never read again.  I'd kon mari them then start going digital. I love books too, but I did not NEED to store EVERY book that entered my home over the last twenty years.

Getting rid of clutter is huge.  You can't sort by "will I ever use this again?" You have to think "Am I sure I'll use it enough that  it's more valuable to me than real estate?" Also, come to terms with the possibility that a clean, streamlined home means you 'might' have to repurchase something you purged 5 years ago.  Even if I spend $100 on a thing I regret purging, it is WORTH living a less cluttered life.

For more storage, I'd look to the ceiling.  You can have shelves around every ceiling about a 12-18 inches down and store things in boxes or baskets.  You can raise beds and slide storage under them. Also, do you have an eat in kitchen and a dining room?  We never eat in our kitchen and that table just catches clutter.  My next organizational project is to turn the breakfast area into more counter and storage space.  I'm thinking open shelves from the ceiling to the counters and plant shelves across the top of the windows. (I have 4X6 windows that take up a lot of space in ALL of my downstairs rooms.)  I NEED more counters and pantry storage a lot more than I need a second table to pile stuff on, so re-purposing that area for how we truly live is something I need to tackle.  

After that, I'm considering storing all towels in the bathrooms and all sheets in their respective bedrooms so I can free up the linen closet for other storage purposes.  I need a costume closet and I'm tired of searching random bins throughout the house when I'm looking for a particular costume piece.  After that, I need to organize the tool storage area of my basement because every project starts with a daunting scavenger hunt for the proper tools and that's a time suck.

My newest idea is to turn the stair wall, opposite the railing, into a library.  There's no reason why that wall can't be put to good use, opened up, and turned into bookcases.  It would look cool and free up bookcase space for other things.  I also have a pinterest board with convertible furniture.  The concept of multi-purpose pieces that live in a single space fascinates me.  I'm also not above using rooms in ways they were not intended if it works for my family.  Currently my dining room is serving as an accessible bedroom while my living room is a nice, large, dining/project space.  It works for us.

I'm better at coming up with these ideas than following through with them. 😕

Book purge is already in progress.  I have gotten rid of dozens of them.  What I keep stumbling against is the curated collection stuff, like the perfect homeschooling CA history living books collection.  I don’t want to purge those; rather, i want to *place* them.  Stuff like that.  But I’m getting better at this.

ITA about comparing what one is keeping with how valuable the space is.  That was the breakthrough that really started me on this journey, actually.

You know what, my house was built in 1922 and has tallish ceilings.  I do use tall furniture and bookshelves, with hat boxes on top of armoires and such, but you’re right, I could raise a bed and could put some under the ceiling shelves in.  I don’t have a kitchen table in the kitchen right now—rather, I have a bin table against one wall.  I’ve considered putting shelves up the wall behind it.  It’s a French window wall, so I’ve been reluctant to block it too much, but more shelves in the kitchen would be so helpful.  If I put doors in front of the very bottom shelf, and planned it right, I could keep my 5 gallon buckets in there.  We have a ‘cooler’ with screen shelves, and DH is currently laying out solid shelves to replace those screen ones and make that cabinet more functional.  We are going to close off the top and bottom screens.  It’s too hot here for a cooler to consistently work well year round, and I think it is letting in more dust than I want.  

I like your idea of putting more stuff into the bathroom, but am cautious about towels because ventilation issues can make them mildew pretty easily in an old house like mine.  However, things like extra TP could be in high bins in the bathroom instead of in my linen closet.  Great idea.  

Regarding your stair wall idea, I have seen that work great and I have also seen it make the stairs too narrow for ease of transport.  I think it’s important to get that straight before doing it.  At the cabin where we could do this, I decided not to on the main stairway because it is not all that wide to start with, but plan on some shelves in the stairwell of the basement level to main level stairs because it is a deep one and the stairs are much wider.  DH is on the hook to put a bannister on the second side of the stairs and build a sturdy stair platform for a step ladder first.

I, too, am fascinated by multipurpose furniture, but in my case since it depends on expanses of bare walls I have concluded that it’s not all that workable.  However, our dining room is also a family room.  And our living room is also a spare bedroom.  And since our main bathroom has a bathtub and a stall shower, in theory we can have two people cleaning up at the same time.  These have made my awfully small house much more workable.

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We need pictures!  

Our current house, we made more space in the kitchen cupboards by adding an extra shelf to a few and creatively moving them around, may not be possible with older cupboards, but with older cupboards if there is space there are other ways to stack things, wire racks, etc.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Classic-Cuisine-Chrome-Expandable-Storage-Shelf-Organizer-HW0500003/308945535?mtc=Shopping-BA-F_HDH-G-D29B-29_29_HOUSEWARES-MULTI-NA-Feed-PLA-NA-NA-Kitchen_Org&cm_mmc=Shopping-BA-F_HDH-G-D29B-29_29_HOUSEWARES-MULTI-NA-Feed-PLA-NA-NA-Kitchen_Org-71700000053156028-58700005102355539-92700046592911990&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=CjwKCAiAuK3vBRBOEiwA1IMhuoHczL8Phdhdi0iUbncAlmrTFN3kHbBs-VBwggqG45DOAqUV2J98xRoCps8QAvD_BwE

Pictures of each area that needs help and things you need to store, people will have ideas.

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When we downsized, I found that I had to change my whole mindset and my habits. We used to live in a big house with tons of closet space and had 5 kids at home. So we bought things in bulk, stored hand me downs, saved boxes, etc. 

Moving to a small postwar house (I envy you your tall ceilings!) I had to get rid of things but I had to think differently as well. Storage space is valuable and should be spent on only the things that matter.

Each bed in our house has one set of sheets. No storing extra linens. Next year when I no longer have a swimmer in the house, we can cut down on towels. Easier to do more loads of laundry than find space.

If I haven't re-read a book in two years- unless there is a personal inscription, it has to go. 

Craft things are the hardest for me. I have the storage I have and it is full. I have been pretty disciplined about finishing ufos and nothing comes in without something going out.

Wrapping paper is purchased for Christmas and is not saved or stored for the next year. 

All the thrifty behavior I learned, frankly, depended on lots of space to store things. Now I use up everything before I replace it. If something breaks we wait to see if we can get along without it before we replace it. 
It definitely takes a while to whittle down possessions that are not clutter- but don't have place in a tiny house. But you can do it and not miss things later.

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7 minutes ago, MysteryJen said:

When we downsized, I found that I had to change my whole mindset and my habits. We used to live in a big house with tons of closet space and had 5 kids at home. So we bought things in bulk, stored hand me downs, saved boxes, etc. 

Moving to a small postwar house (I envy you your tall ceilings!) I had to get rid of things but I had to think differently as well. Storage space is valuable and should be spent on only the things that matter.

Each bed in our house has one set of sheets. No storing extra linens. Next year when I no longer have a swimmer in the house, we can cut down on towels. Easier to do more loads of laundry than find space.

If I haven't re-read a book in two years- unless there is a personal inscription, it has to go. 

Craft things are the hardest for me. I have the storage I have and it is full. I have been pretty disciplined about finishing ufos and nothing comes in without something going out.

Wrapping paper is purchased for Christmas and is not saved or stored for the next year. 

All the thrifty behavior I learned, frankly, depended on lots of space to store things. Now I use up everything before I replace it. If something breaks we wait to see if we can get along without it before we replace it. 
It definitely takes a while to whittle down possessions that are not clutter- but don't have place in a tiny house. But you can do it and not miss things later.

See, this is exactly it.

I have a small house, and I count on frugal ways to keep me from spending money, but that takes up space.

One thing that really helped me let things go is that my church has a free exchange twice a year, similar to a rummage sale except that everything is donated and available for the taking for free, and then the leftovers (most of it) goes to various charities.  So that helped me feel like if I let something go I might find a replacement sometime.

Not really in a position to take pictures at this point.  

 

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If you google "shelf around top of room," you may get some good ideas.

There are folding treadmills that could be stored under a bed when not in use.  

If you google "decorating 5 gallon buckets," things come up.  This time of year, you could add a nice Christmas colored ribbon to the top and make them more decorative.  Some of them look cute as seating when cushions are added.

Put your free weights in a cute basket or nice box, you can decorate it with your craft material or buy something.

Edited by ElizabethB
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Choose to do less.

I chose not to keep 8x8 pans anymore. Anything I make can either be doubled to make a 9x13 pan work, or can fit into a pie plate. I chose not to make angel food cake in a traditional round pan anymore. I can make it in loaf pans. Does this idea make sense? If something isn’t used at least twice a month in my kitchen, it doesn’t justify the space it takes up. There are workarounds for many things, or I can choose to do something else.

I stock heavy white wrapping paper, and some rolls of ribbons in a few key colors. It’s my “signature look” which is code for I live in a small house. If I didn’t give presents often, I would just buy gift bags as I need to give presents and move on. I would keep nothing at home. As it is, my kids go to a lot of birthday parties.

Make a commitment from now on to only buy yarn for a project you are starting that week. But no more yarn now, and work through your backlog.

I agree with a pp that you will likely go through several rounds as you work through new thought processes and flexibly adapt.

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6 hours ago, ElizabethB said:

If you google "shelf around top of room," you may get some good ideas.

There are folding treadmills that could be stored under a bed when not in use.  

If you google "decorating 5 gallon buckets," things come up.  This time of year, you could add a nice Christmas colored ribbon to the top and make them more decorative.  Some of them look cute as seating when cushions are added.

Put your free weights in a cute basket or nice box, you can decorate it with your craft material or buy something.

I had no idea that there were folding treadmills.  Or 5 gallon bucket decor.  

Great ideas here.

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5 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Choose to do less.

I chose not to keep 8x8 pans anymore. Anything I make can either be doubled to make a 9x13 pan work, or can fit into a pie plate. I chose not to make angel food cake in a traditional round pan anymore. I can make it in loaf pans. Does this idea make sense? If something isn’t used at least twice a month in my kitchen, it doesn’t justify the space it takes up. There are workarounds for many things, or I can choose to do something else.

I stock heavy white wrapping paper, and some rolls of ribbons in a few key colors. It’s my “signature look” which is code for I live in a small house. If I didn’t give presents often, I would just buy gift bags as I need to give presents and move on. I would keep nothing at home. As it is, my kids go to a lot of birthday parties.

Make a commitment from now on to only buy yarn for a project you are starting that week. But no more yarn now, and work through your backlog.

I agree with a pp that you will likely go through several rounds as you work through new thought processes and flexibly adapt.

I really liked my kitchen a ton once I organized it so that the most accessible stuff was only things I used a lot.

I probably should go through it again now that I've lived with it for a while.  I think there are some things that I thought I would use more if they were easier to reach that I haven't actually used, and I imagine that I could let some of them go.  We have a local 'buy nothing' facebook group, and a 'loving you back to life' group, both of which are for people who want to give and receive things free.  I've placed some kitchen stuff that way, and it's been nice.  Also a bunch of clothes, earlier this fall, that were very serviceable and good quality but that I just wasn't using.  So I don't have to thrift store the extra kitchen stuff.  Time to go through it again.

I also am in the process of honing my craft focus, and getting rid of projects and materials that I have decided not to use.  I regard yarn for knitting and weaving kind of like paints for a painter--it's not a project by project purchase, but more a stocking the studio process.  But I have become a lot more selective about what I buy and also about what I just don't keep.  

Re. wrapping presents, I will have to think about that.  I've always really liked to wrap things in a variety of papers so that there is a concaphony of patterns under the tree, but maybe there is a way to systematize that more.  I keep wanting to decorate gift bags or boxes for use and reuse, but not getting around to it.  It might be time to give up that idea and streamline my stuff.  Someone upthread mentioned storage boxes for these things, and I did try one, but only some of the rolls were short enough to fit the biggest one I could find.  I guess I could set a criteria that would pick that box length as the maximum size of roll to purchase instead of looking for a bigger box.

It IS about different thought processes, at least for me.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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16 hours ago, MysteryJen said:

Each bed in our house has one set of sheets. No storing extra linens. Next year when I no longer have a swimmer in the house, we can cut down on towels. Easier to do more loads of laundry than find space.

These are big ones for me!  To be completely transparent, I do think I still have some extra sheets stored in a tub in the bottom of my closet, but they need to go.  When my youngest was still a little unreliable on the dry sheets thing, I just put an extra layer of waterproof and regular sheets on his bed. Sheet washing day has been off, wash, dry, put back for a long time now.  Before that, there was a time when I stored an extra set of my own sheets right between the mattress and box spring. There are no linen closets in my house!

My issue with towels is always about keeping some ratty ones on hand for the dog or when the kids go out in the snow and mud.  But regular shower towels don’t need overkill.  When we had too many to fit in the high capacity washer, I began to question things.  If I’m washing, drying, and folding in a couple of hours, what the heck do I need a whole bunch more sitting around for?

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I got wicker baskets from the thrift store to house so many things. They are practical, cheap and look nice. Your yarn would look so nice in a wicker basket in a corner or on a coffee table. I also got some taller wicker laundry hampers from yard sales to store things in the corners of the living, dining and entrance. They fit a lot and look nice.

Find a spot for your frying pan off the floor. I don't think it is making you happy to have it there. Maybe leave it on the stove or the counter since you use it so much, or on top of the fridge?

I don't know what you mean by "overflow buckets". Is that for a leaky roof or something like that? Can you store them outside or in the basement or garage?

Use up all your Christmas wrap this Christmas and don't buy more until next year. Go through other wrap and get rid of what you don't like or will never use until you have a minimal amount. Whatever you have left can be stored in a dresser drawer or in a flat box under a bed. Do not buy any more wrap until you use up what you have left. Get in the habit of buying only one package of wrap at a time or using gift bags.

I'm hearing you on the books. It's so hard. After you have done a major declutter, try to get rid of 2 books every week.

Thinking outside the box by getting rid of the tv off your dresser is the right way to go!
Good luck. You can do this!

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23 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

treadmill
If you don't live in an extreme weather situation, can you find a way to walk outside? No equipment is necessary. I know it's not always possible, but I would prioritize that over equipment if I coul.  Look into different ways to build muscle that use just your body if at all possible. Youtube can help.

But I don’t know where to put wrapping paper, boxes, and ribbon.

Mine are in a long flat, underbed box on the lowest shelf in my garage.  Is it that you have too much wrapping paper and ribbon and boxes?  I suggest sticking with a few solids and a few ribbons that work for multiple situations to reduce the volume:

Red paper with silver ribbon or white ribbon for Christmas
Red paper with white ribbon  for Valentine's Day
Red paper with primary yellow ribbon for gender neutral birthdays

White paper with silver ribbon for weddings and bridal showers
White paper with primary yellow ribbon for birthdays, baby showers


I have rather a lot of yarn.  A LOT.  All kitted up in project bags, but not really with a specific home.

I quilt and do other crafts like handmade Christmas ornaments. I keep 2-3 projects worth of supplies and donate the rest if I haven't finished the project in a year.  I NEVER stash supplies, I select supplies for 2-3 specific projects in specific amounts, and don't start new ones until the others are finished.  When there are leftovers I keep them for a year after I finished the project, if I haven't been using them for anything, it's b-bye.  I donate them. The exception is fabric for quilts, in which case I save up scraps from 2-3 completed projects and make them into a quilt for one of the charities that need them or as a gift.  I usually use quick assembly patterns and techniques because that's realistic for my life.

I also started regular unfinished project parties in my social circles where 6-8 of us get together for a full day, bring potluck items for brunch, order pizza for dinner, and we all help one person finish their unfinished project. We bring our sewing machines, ironing boards, tools, neutral threads (or a designated color if applicable) and we git 'r dun. It's not always a quilt or a sewn project, but whatever it is, we do what the project's owner tells us to the way she tells us to.  We open the wine after the instructions and tutorial.  It's a blast and it's a great way to fold in a new crafter, expose them to different types of crafts, and teach them new skills.  It's usually set up assembly line style.  We usually rotate the newbies through the different positions in the assembly line if they want to learn more skills in a day.

 

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ
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This is how I store my wrapping paper rolls.  In other houses, it was on a hook in a closet or the garage.  We have plenty of closet space in this house, so it's in the corner of a big closet here.  It is a portable laundry basket, I think it folds down, I don't remember.

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Edited by ElizabethB
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8 hours ago, Teaching3bears said:

I got wicker baskets from the thrift store to house so many things. They are practical, cheap and look nice. Your yarn would look so nice in a wicker basket in a corner or on a coffee table. I also got some taller wicker laundry hampers from yard sales to store things in the corners of the living, dining and entrance. They fit a lot and look nice.

Find a spot for your frying pan off the floor. I don't think it is making you happy to have it there. Maybe leave it on the stove or the counter since you use it so much, or on top of the fridge?

I don't know what you mean by "overflow buckets". Is that for a leaky roof or something like that? Can you store them outside or in the basement or garage?

Use up all your Christmas wrap this Christmas and don't buy more until next year. Go through other wrap and get rid of what you don't like or will never use until you have a minimal amount. Whatever you have left can be stored in a dresser drawer or in a flat box under a bed. Do not buy any more wrap until you use up what you have left. Get in the habit of buying only one package of wrap at a time or using gift bags.

I'm hearing you on the books. It's so hard. After you have done a major declutter, try to get rid of 2 books every week.

Thinking outside the box by getting rid of the tv off your dresser is the right way to go!
Good luck. You can do this!

I do have wicker baskets on my counters in the kitchen, in the otherwise useless corner.  They don’t match but they coordinate nicely. One is for sweets, one for savories, and one for breads.  I like the idea of displaying some yarn.

The frying pan is electric, so it doesn’t go on the stove.  I think that if I put those shelves over the French window behind the bin table I would put the frying pan there.  I don’t use it a ton, but it is immensely valuable to use for smelly things that I want to cook outside.  My husband is currently rebuilding our back deck, and I might rig up some storage for things like this out back since that is where I use it.  

Overflow buckets means, I keep sugars, flour, and beans in canisters or decorative canning jars across the back of my counters for typical use, but I like to have more than that available so I don’t have to run to the store so much and for economical reasons.  So I have 5 gallon buckets with Alpha seals, once for white flour, one for white sugar, one for pinto beans, one for brown sugar, and one for white rice, which I buy in big sacks at Costco.  I decant from them into the countertop usual use storage.  They need to be in the kitchen to be functional, but I want to hide them better.  Again, those shelves on the French window would probably be a good spot.
 

Several have mentioned putting Christmas wrap under the bed, and that will work well if I can find a flat box that is long enough for it.

I’m really doing great with the books.  I talked with DH about the TV, and he is agreeable to getting rid of it.  We are so frugal that we have never transitioned to flat screen TVs or even to digital (we have one of those boxes), so this will definitely free up a lot of space. 

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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I do actually prefer and prioritize exercising outside, but I won’t do it in the rain.  I’ve tried and I hate it so much that it will never happen.  I have a Health Rider and some free weights and a 3 by 6 foot exercise mat in the house, but what I lack is something that I can use while on the computer or reading a book; hence the desire for a treadmill.  I used to do that with my stationary bike but had to give that up because it’s not good for my hips.

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In a house where we had very little space, I took all my wrapping paper off the rolls and folded it into rectangles.  There is much less on each roll than you would expect.  You could just do this for the longer rolls if you find a nice box to fit the rest.

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2 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I do actually prefer and prioritize exercising outside, but I won’t do it in the rain.  I’ve tried and I hate it so much that it will never happen.  I have a Health Rider and some free weights and a 3 by 6 foot exercise mat in the house, but what I lack is something that I can use while on the computer or reading a book; hence the desire for a treadmill.  I used to do that with my stationary bike but had to give that up because it’s not good for my hips.

A fold down norditrack might be even better for your hips, I tore my ACL and the norditrack is better on my knees than walking after my knee surgery.  You could try out a friends' or get try out a gym for a day.  They are expensive new but people get tired of them and you can should be able to find one on Craigslist or at a thrift store or something.  Or, a fold down elliptical if they make those.

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On 12/7/2019 at 12:04 PM, Storygirl said:

I have found that it's worth it to me to buy plastic containers with lids, so that I can sort things in to categories and label and stack them. I used to resist buying those, but now I am a fan.

Me too, but I buy almost exclusively clear containers. I can see what I have, use, and need vs. what I'm just storing. All stackable or something I can put on shelving. If I am trying to slim down a particular category, I can choose the size of container I'm willing to devote to it, and then I know that once it's full, I have to purge that category, not my whole entire life, lol! 

I also organize and purge better when I can see my stuff and know what I have. It's easier to make decisions. The clear bins and containers help with that a great deal.

16 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Re. wrapping presents, I will have to think about that.  I've always really liked to wrap things in a variety of papers so that there is a concaphony of patterns under the tree, but maybe there is a way to systematize that more.  I keep wanting to decorate gift bags or boxes for use and reuse, but not getting around to it.  It might be time to give up that idea and streamline my stuff.  Someone upthread mentioned storage boxes for these things, and I did try one, but only some of the rolls were short enough to fit the biggest one I could find.  I guess I could set a criteria that would pick that box length as the maximum size of roll to purchase instead of looking for a bigger box.

It IS about different thought processes, at least for me.

Our family is using/reusing gift boxes and also making cloth bags, but I am enjoying the project, and it's something I can do with my mom when we have a chance to visit (long distance). I bring my bags, she pulls out hers--we use each other's bags. It's all good.

When I do use paper...the big rolls are nice for the occasional really big box, but otherwise, the paper rolls I most prefer are those really small rolls from Target's dollar spot. Seriously. If you want a lot of variety, you can buy a bunch of variety that stores small. I do so much less cutting and sizing of paper while wrapping because the width of the paper is just right for 90% of things I need to wrap. With big rolls, I am perpetually frustrated and have lots of long skinny tails left on the roll that I have to reckon with.

I am currently a bit annoyed because my DH bought a ton of gift wrap rolls on sale after Christmas last year. Big ones. Sigh. But I have a dresser that holds my wrapping stuff.

I can store far more cloth bags in the same space than I can paper, and I can fold them to fit whatever space I have. 

Is your kitchen storage optimized? It sounds like it's purged, but do you have things placed such that they fit in small and easily accessible spaces? If not, that might free things up. We have all our plates and bowls on a tiered rack inside a cabinet, for instance. Some of our open cabinets have been fitted with pullout shelves/drawers. We cut boards to length to add additional shelving in my upper cabinets--I have several shorter-spaced shelves where things that are all similar sizes go so that I don't have to try to stack things that don't stack well. We also utilize drawers wherever possible. 

This is an example of a plate stacker, though it's not the one I have: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Grayline-Panacea-9-1-4-x-10-7-8-x-8-1-2-White-Corner-Organizer/16661787?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=1194&adid=22222222227000843950&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=52443110591&wl4=aud-430887228898:pla-84001195511&wl5=9015622&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=112550058&wl11=online&wl12=16661787&veh=sem&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlsa2s4mn5gIVCL7ACh22ewFWEAQYBCABEgIXE_D_BwE

Good luck on the books, lol! 

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6 hours ago, kbutton said:

Me too, but I buy almost exclusively clear containers. I can see what I have, use, and need vs. what I'm just storing. All stackable or something I can put on shelving. If I am trying to slim down a particular category, I can choose the size of container I'm willing to devote to it, and then I know that once it's full, I have to purge that category, not my whole entire life, lol! 

I also organize and purge better when I can see my stuff and know what I have. It's easier to make decisions. The clear bins and containers help with that a great deal.

Is your kitchen storage optimized? It sounds like it's purged, but do you have things placed such that they fit in small and easily accessible spaces? If not, that might free things up. We have all our plates and bowls on a tiered rack inside a cabinet, for instance. Some of our open cabinets have been fitted with pullout shelves/drawers. We cut boards to length to add additional shelving in my upper cabinets--I have several shorter-spaced shelves where things that are all similar sizes go so that I don't have to try to stack things that don't stack well. We also utilize drawers wherever possible. 

This is an example of a plate stacker, though it's not the one I have: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Grayline-Panacea-9-1-4-x-10-7-8-x-8-1-2-White-Corner-Organizer/16661787?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=1194&adid=22222222227000843950&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=52443110591&wl4=aud-430887228898:pla-84001195511&wl5=9015622&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=112550058&wl11=online&wl12=16661787&veh=sem&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlsa2s4mn5gIVCL7ACh22ewFWEAQYBCABEgIXE_D_BwE

Good luck on the books, lol! 

I use a lot of clear containers as well.  Canning jars are fantastic, and I have them in many sizes.  But that’s more for food.

I agree that visual cues are very helpful.  That’s why I’m more of a flat file person than a filing cabinet one.  

I do think I have my kitchen storage pretty optimized, but I think I need to purge  it again.  The first thing I did when I moved to this house was get extra shelves for the kitchen so that I could reach several of them.  I don’t like a lot of ‘unlike’ stacking, but I do have stacks of plates and bowls that go almost up to the top of their spaces.  And my most commonly used stuff is on the lower shelves that I can reach without the step ladder.  

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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Kitchen update:  Not a complete repurge, but I decided to put the electric frying pan on top of the cabinets.  This is because it’s usually DH that uses it, and only when I suggest it, and he is taller plus does not mind climbing to the stop of the stepladder like I do.  So I will know where it is and be able to remind him, and he will get it down.  So that’s good.

Also, am moving most of the baking mold/cutter stuff out top cabinet shelf of the kitchen as it does not really deserve space there since I have not used them since giving them that spot 2-3 years ago.  I have not yet decide what to put in their place, but having the opportunity to have a blank space to fill in my kitchen cabinets is really nice.  

It’s funny how much I have to think about things like this.  It just does not come naturally to me at all.  Whereas I think others are all like ‘zip zip zip’—it’s obvious to them.  This should probably make me more sympathetic to those who have trouble with things that seem easy and natural to me.  Like doing things in the right order to get everything on the table at once when cooking a complicated meal.  

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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On 12/8/2019 at 1:36 PM, Carol in Cal. said:

Overflow buckets means, I keep sugars, flour, and beans in canisters or decorative canning jars across the back of my counters for typical use, but I like to have more than that available so I don’t have to run to the store so much and for economical reasons.  So I have 5 gallon buckets with Alpha seals, once for white flour, one for white sugar, one for pinto beans, one for brown sugar, and one for white rice, which I buy in big sacks at Costco.  I decant from them into the countertop usual use storage.  They need to be in the kitchen to be functional, but I want to hide them better.  Again, those shelves on the French window would probably be a good spot.

Is this necessary? I mean, how much are you really saving? Those are fairly cheap commodities, even when purchased in small batches. I would consider retiring this approach.

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We're 5 people in 1300sf with a one car garage. 

Wrapping paper. I don't buy it. I have one small box filled with gift bags and tissue that I tuck into the hallway closet. Wrapping paper is just too fussy and always gets squished. If I really want to wrap something with paper, I can go buy the single sheets at the store, but that never comes up. I put leftover Christmas paper into our Christmas storage bins that go up in the garage. 

Speaking of Christmas, I've purged a lot of our Christmas stuff the last few years.

I also purged linens, books, and just about everything. I have a few extra blankets under one kid's bed in vacuum bags. My exercise stuff can tuck into a corner, but I would never be able to fit something as big as a treadmill here. 

Dh and I have a bed frame with drawers underneath. Pretty much every bed in this house has stuff tucked underneath. 

We have built in cabinets and I purged any books that didn't fit into those. I recently got rid of a ton of recipe books that I used maybe one or 2 recipes from. I digitized the recipes and out they went.

Purge, purge, purge. That's 90 percent of it.

 

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11 minutes ago, sassenach said:

Is this necessary? I mean, how much are you really saving? Those are fairly cheap commodities, even when purchased in small batches. I would consider retiring this approach.

It’s a financial savings but more so than that it saves trips to the store.  That’s the real value of it.

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9 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

It’s a financial savings but more so than that it saves trips to the store.  That’s the real value of it.

Are you a prolific baker and bean eater? Certainly you go to the store for perishables more often than you would need to resupply brown sugar. 

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4 minutes ago, sassenach said:

Are you a prolific baker and bean eater? Certainly you go to the store for perishables more often than you would need to resupply brown sugar. 

Actually I am kind of a prolific baker, although not bean cooker.  If it was just the beans I’d let the whole system go, but since it’s up and running the beans don’t make any significant difference.  And actually I don’t shop very often.  My husband does most of the shopping and although he can buy white sugar just fine, the types of flour and brown sugar would not be something I could get him to pay attention to and and do right with.  Also, the other containers that I have for staples don’t really hold enough for two packages, so there is a meaningful function to having an overflow spot.  However, it does strike me that if I reduced to containers that hold two normal packages worth of these things, I could find more attractive ones (like maybe 1 gallon canning jars) and they would also take up less room.  Good idea.

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40 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Actually I am kind of a prolific baker, although not bean cooker.  If it was just the beans I’d let the whole system go, but since it’s up and running the beans don’t make any significant difference.  And actually I don’t shop very often.  My husband does most of the shopping and although he can buy white sugar just fine, the types of flour and brown sugar would not be something I could get him to pay attention to and and do right with.  Also, the other containers that I have for staples don’t really hold enough for two packages, so there is a meaningful function to having an overflow spot.  However, it does strike me that if I reduced to containers that hold two normal packages worth of these things, I could find more attractive ones (like maybe 1 gallon canning jars) and they would also take up less room.  Good idea.

We're empty nesters now but we raised seven kids. I never did the 5-gallon bucket things, but I did do large glass jars of beans and whatnot.  I'm all about saving money and trips to the store, but I needed to go every week anyway for dairy, produce, etc., so it was not a big deal to pick up whatever else was running low.

We still have a ton of books. Books are hard! I know I need to purge our shelves again. I will keep old, rare books and my very favorites, but there are so many that don't fall into those categories. Someone else can enjoy them.

We are not limited on space since the kids have moved out, but I think about the future.  I cleaned out my parents' house a few years ago. So much stuff. Stuff in all the closets and drawers and garage that no one had used in decades. I want to save our kids from as much of that as possible. I don't want to keep putting it off because someday I might be too old or ill to do it.

 

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3 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Actually I am kind of a prolific baker, although not bean cooker.  If it was just the beans I’d let the whole system go, but since it’s up and running the beans don’t make any significant difference.  And actually I don’t shop very often.  My husband does most of the shopping and although he can buy white sugar just fine, the types of flour and brown sugar would not be something I could get him to pay attention to and and do right with.  Also, the other containers that I have for staples don’t really hold enough for two packages, so there is a meaningful function to having an overflow spot.  However, it does strike me that if I reduced to containers that hold two normal packages worth of these things, I could find more attractive ones (like maybe 1 gallon canning jars) and they would also take up less room.  Good idea.

I use the one gallon cracker jars you can buy from WalMart or Target. They are squarish, so they line up neatly, inexpensive, and they hold more than one five pound bag of flour or sugar. I have a chest freezer that I don't regularly fill up, so it holds the extra flour, coffee and other dry goods. Freezers operate more efficiently when full, so win-win. 

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1 hour ago, PrairieSong said:

We are not limited on space since the kids have moved out, but I think about the future.  I cleaned out my parents' house a few years ago. So much stuff. Stuff in all the closets and drawers and garage that no one had used in decades. I want to save our kids from as much of that as possible. I don't want to keep putting it off because someday I might be too old or ill to do it.

My brother and I did that for our maternal grandparents who were local.  Thank you, God, that they weren't stuff people.  It was still a big task that had to be done while at the same time transitioning them into care and needing to meet their needs: leukemia for Grandad for 9 months and Alzheimer's for Grandmother or 3 years.  My mother was local and an only child, so she needed the next generation to help out too.  That would've been an even harder task if it they had needed the house on the market at that time.  We were able to wait about 5 years before it mom had it up for rent, then she realized what a task that is and sold it for the sake of her sanity a few years later.

My mother is a stuff person and my step-dad tolerates it.  So are my in-laws. My dad isn't-he's been clearing things as he no longer uses them.  We live across the country from all of them and my husband's only sibling is dead. I'm convinced one of the two factors keeping my in-laws from moving out here near us is the insane amount of useless stuff in their house they would have to go through but don't want to. My bio-brother and I joke we're just going to burn mom's place to the ground after she dies and not even bother collecting insurance money.  Not having to go through her stuff is plenty of pay off. She and the in-laws aren't hoarders, they're just  materialistic "My stuff makes me happy." consumerists with a big houses and lots of storage. They don't see any moral issue in making other people deal with it instead of dealing with what they can, while they can, themselves. It clearly shows they don't respect other people's time and energy and possibly money that will have to be spent on clearing out stuff someday. 

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2 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:


My bio-brother and I joke we're just going to burn mom's place to the ground after she dies and not even bother collecting insurance money.  Not having to go through her stuff is plenty of pay off. She and the in-laws aren't hoarders, they're just  materialistic "My stuff makes me happy." consumerists with a big houses and lots of storage. They don't see any moral issue in making other people deal with it instead of dealing with what they can, while they can, themselves. It clearly shows they don't respect other people's time and energy and possibly money that will have to be spent on clearing out stuff someday. 

I would bet they have never had to do a big clean-out of someone else's overstuffed home after they died. Once you do that, you realize how exhausting it is both physically and emotionally, and you don't want to place that burden on your kids' (or anyone else's) shoulders. 

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13 minutes ago, PrairieSong said:

I would bet they have never had to do a big clean-out of someone else's overstuffed home after they died. Once you do that, you realize how exhausting it is both physically and emotionally, and you don't want to place that burden on your kids' (or anyone else's) shoulders. 

My in-laws have done it twice in the last 12 years, once for MIL's parents, and for FIL's mother.

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3 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

 She and the in-laws aren't hoarders, they're just  materialistic "My stuff makes me happy." consumerists with a big houses and lots of storage. They don't see any moral issue in making other people deal with it instead of dealing with what they can, while they can, themselves. It clearly shows they don't respect other people's time and energy and possibly money that will have to be spent on clearing out stuff someday. 

Frankly, I don't see a moral issue with it either if they are not hoarders.  They are enjoying their stuff, which is what it is for, and they are not endangering anyone. If they have big houses and lots of storage, presumably they have enough money in their estate to clear things out.

Another side to that moral issue would be tossing something that someone else in the family could really benefit from having or would just like to have, for sentimental or practical reasons.  (The other side of that coin.)  

 

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3 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

 If they have big houses and lots of storage, presumably they have enough money in their estate to clear things out.

 

No.  Why are you presuming those things go together? That's a fantasy. We already have a pending crisis with too many elderly unable to retire due to lack of finances and others in long term care facilities that run $6,000-$10,000 per month draining their retirement funds at a stunning rate.   I have close family friends who just did this for an auntie in the same area my elderly relatives live in and that was the going rate for decent facilities.  So far none of the other relatives have had left over funds for hiring help. Auntie was there for several years and the money ran out but she had tons of unnecessary stuff they had to sort, move, store, (because she refused to allow them to get rid of it) sort, and dispose of, some of it at their own time and expense. No, most people need long term care, which is very common now that we treat heart blockages, diabetes, and high blood pressure.  People die slowly of long lingering illnesses now. Many are outliving their retirement savings even when they have it and family has to help, which is fine when it comes to necessary things.  Adding huge amounts unnecessary things in addition is just wrong.  My in-laws know what a challenge it is because they've done it and say it will be our problem to deal with their stuff because they don't want to.

And what about all the elderly living in economically depressed places like rural America? They bought houses when they worked at the local factory in the 70s and 80s.  Those factories aren't there anymore. Their houses are worth less and less every year.  Now that Baby Boomers are in their mid 70s, they'll be going into care and dying in droves in the next 10-15 years.  That will drive down the cost of homes in many markets making it less likely to fund hired help for The Big Sort.  

I've helped people at different income levels clear out houses for elderly relatives and even those who could hire some of the help were overwhelmed by it. It's not like a generation ago where retirees were clearing out the homes of their parents.  Now couples working full time with teens and kids in the home (people marry and have children later in younger generations) have to manage caring for older parents or finding the changing levels of expensive care they need in home and out, help them downsize, move them across the country (many families don't have relatives all living locally), all while managing their own lives and knowing  they will never be able to retire.  Families are smaller, so fewer siblings are available to help and like I said, the grandkids are often not adults yet and can't help as much, even if they live locally. 

People need to wake up to current realities. The high of acquiring stuff has them in a fuzzy headed daze unable to think clearly.  No one wants the vast majority of their stuff.  Even some second hand places won't take a lot of it.  If they had saved their money instead of buying more unnecessary stuff they would've been better able to afford more care options for longer.  It wouldn't be such a burden on their children.  And don't even get me started on the environmental impact. I was around for the last landfill fight in the city I used to live in with them.  No one wants a landfill near them. It was years of fighting to get a much needed one built and yet the same people screaming about it were the ones who were buying far more stuff than they need that will all need to go there eventually. It's crazy.

All of these things have direct effects on their adult children and grandchildren-serious, long term effects, and those who will be forced to deal with the brunt of it are entitled to voice what a burden it is and point out the moral issues involved in being forced to clean up someone else's voluntary, unnecessary, predictable  mess. It's time everyone grows up, takes a cold, hard look at reality, and adapts accordingly. Reality is a heartless b1tch. People need to take responsibility for minimizing the negative effect they have on other people as much as possible. Some of it can't be avoided, which is perfectly fine.   A whole lot of it can, and that needs addressing ASAP.

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The fact remains that they have every right to enjoy their possessions, and I would think that respectful childen honoring their parents would want them to do so, and might even appreciate a few momentos or useful items.  

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There is probably a bit of talking past one another here. I don’t think Mom in AZ expects the elderly to live like monks in a tiny house with two changes of clothes. On the other hand, consider the older couple that “downsizes” to 2000 sq feet, lives only on the first floor with two guest rooms on the second floor. The second floor is so full of stuff that having guests is a hardship for them, and so people who visit stay in a hotel. There is no true enjoyment in those possessions. 

This is what I will likely get to clean up one day. There is a (generous -that’s why all the stuff) pension but very little assets, so there will be no hired help. 

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4 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

The fact remains that they have every right to enjoy their possessions, and I would think that respectful childen honoring their parents would want them to do so, and might even appreciate a few momentos or useful items.  

I agree that people have the right to enjoy their possessions. I loved and respected my parents. They were such good people. When we were younger the house and yard were well cared for. However, as they got older things went downhill. We tried to help but we live three hours away and could not keep up. My mom had years of illness and my dad, a highly educated professional, had no clue about anything domestic. Things just piled up. He found the clutter daunting. They were not enjoying all the stuffed closets and drawers and piles, things no one had used in many years. It was not bringing them happiness. They would have had more peace in a decluttered home. How I wished that had been possible, but we could only do so much. 

After they were both gone, we spent FIFTEEN full weekends there clearing out, donating, and having a sale. A month's worth of days. It was a large house with a full, finished basement, lots of storage, and a two-car garage. Mom and Dad weren't trying to leave us with a burden but that's what happened. I'd like to avoid that if possible, and downsize now so that our kids' future burden will be lightened, with the added benefit of a more peaceful environment now.

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Would turning those huge 5 gallon buckets into seats help?  Make and attach a decorative cushion.

i second the along  ceiling shelving.  However, it can make a room look shorter or closed in.

Try to make sure that what you do have serves double duty. A sofa where the cushions lift up for storage.  Raise beds a bit for more storage.

Anything that you want to use daily should not be put away.  Leave it out ready for use. IMO out of sight is out of mind so if I wanted to use a treadmill, I’d leave it out.

Along that vein, putting many items in a garage is a great way to find out how much you really need it. I do that to start my declutter and anything that doesn’t make it back inside after 6-12 month is purged when I clean the garage. 

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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

Would turning those huge 5 gallon buckets into seats help?  Make and attach a decorative cushion.

i second the along  ceiling shelving.  However, it can make a room look shorter or closed in.

Try to make sure that what you do have serves double duty. A sofa where the cushions lift up for storage.  Raise beds a bit for more storage.

Anything that you want to use daily should not be put away.  Leave it out ready for use. IMO out of sight is out of mind so if I wanted to use a treadmill, I’d leave it out.

Along that vein, putting many items in a garage is a great way to find out how much you really need it. I do that to start my declutter and anything that doesn’t make it back inside after 6-12 month is purged when I clean the garage. 


Great idea about the bucket seats, but the layout of the kitchen kind of precludes that.  I've decided to gradually transition to big canning jars or something similar instead.  I don't really need to buy 25 lb of white flour.  I just enough enough storage for about two packages.  Ditto the sugars.  In each case I mostly want them in something that seals instead of a paper or cloth bag that is vulnerable to flour moths or mice, not that I have those, mostly, but if they ever do pop up I don't want them to be all Let's Partay!

I have never seen a sofa with storage in it but raising the beds is a great idea.  I'm already doing double duty in several key areas, which is what makes this very small house somewhat workable.  We have only one full bathroom, but the tub and shower are separate so in theory a bath and a shower could occur at the same time.  The living room has French doors into the hall, with curtains on them, and no coffee table; so we can turn it into a guest room by plunking down an air bed and closing the doors at night--hence we don't need a dedicated guest room at all.  And lastly, the family room is furnished to convert pretty easily into a large dining room, so we have space for a lot of people to eat but also are not leaving that area unused when we don't have a crowd over.  These strategies have been very helpful, but I still think I am pretty much a Big Honkin House person by nature.

 

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On 12/7/2019 at 11:38 PM, Carol in Cal. said:


Re. wrapping presents, I will have to think about that.  I've always really liked to wrap things in a variety of papers so that there is a concaphony of patterns under the tree, but maybe there is a way to systematize that more.  I keep wanting to decorate gift bags or boxes for use and reuse, but not getting around to it.  It might be time to give up that idea and streamline my stuff.  Someone upthread mentioned storage boxes for these things, and I did try one, but only some of the rolls were short enough to fit the biggest one I could find.  I guess I could set a criteria that would pick that box length as the maximum size of roll to purchase instead of looking for a bigger box.

It IS about different thought processes, at least for me.

 

I keep my rolls of wrapping paper in one of these

https://www.rubbermaid.com/en-US/shop-products/trash---recycling/indoor-waste-baskets-open/large-open-wastebaskets---rectangle

No worries about length.  If you are concerned about dust, you could tip a second can upside down or just cover with a garbage bag. I buy gift tags on the flat sheets and slide them right between  the side of the garbage can and the wrapping paper. I store gift bags and bows and ribbon in an empty printer paper box.  Nice and sturdy and no need to spend money on storage items.  Just write on the box what it is if you are worried you won't remember where to find it the next year.  

Another thought process about the miscellaneous stuff is to think about where is the most logical space in the house to store that item (without worry about whether there is actually space there).  So store the workout stuff wherever you normally use it (or in the garage if it's something you grab on the way out for a walk).  Then really examine that space and see what else is stored there.  Is that the most logical space for the items or are they just stuffed there because there was space.  This may involve rearranging a large part of your house but then everything is in places where they are used and the extra stuff is where you can focus on purging.

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On 12/7/2019 at 9:02 AM, Carol in Cal. said:

So I’m trying to envision how my home will function differently along the way

I'm THIS FAR from turning our dining room into an office space for DH so he will get off my kitchen counters and a kitchen can be a kitchen again.  If I could have the family room/kitchen area functional and tidy, I'd be so happy.  

We have a 4br house, and he has the largest room for his office and mess-around area, but mostly it is a mess, and I think the fact that it is upstairs is a barrier to his using it because it separates him from the action in the house.  So he's all over the kitchen peninsula.  :::scowl:::

My son just moved home again for 6 months while he completes a coding bootcamp (please God) and so THAT room is used up again..I had hoped to make it into my sewing and craft room.  But I'll have to wait awhile.  

I could go on, but this will be a cascading re-purposing of rooms in our house, the exception being the master bedroom and the living room which we long ago turned into our TV room because that is what works for us.  When we made this change, a lot of other stuff started making sense, and I anticipate that this will be the case as we continue to set up our house for US, not for House (kinda) Beautiful (if only it were tidy).

 

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One good thing is that at least I don't have an open floor plan, so there are plenty of walls to use, and doors can be closed, mostly.  

Super happy about miniaturization and networking!  I don't need a Big Honking computer desk.  I can curl up on the couch with my laptop, and remote print into a different room.  And I don't need those big speakers or deep TV spots anymore.  This may not be news to everyone else, but it's been 15 years since I've really taken this on, and so I have more great technology leaps than most people.  Which is nice.

One thing that bugs me is that you can't find a laptop with a DVD player anymore.  I hate having to lug a player around as an auxiliary device, but the only streaming subscription I have is Amazon Prime and I still like to be able to play DVDs through my computer at times.  That's one instance where technology has moved in the wrong direction!

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On 12/8/2019 at 7:35 AM, fairfarmhand said:

Wrapping paper fits well behind furniture and under sofas. 

So do free weights.

Unless your bunnies eat them.

I mean, I’ve heard other people say so, anyway 😳

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