It's always easier to throw away other people's "stuff". I wish I could throw away my stuff more readily.
You are correct. So can you swap duties with a friend?
So you give your buddy some sorting criteria, put her in your house and close the door. You do the same at her place. At the end of the day, you go back to see what she has decided should go.
I think there was a reality show like this where friends (with the DIY show gurus' help) redecorated each others' places.
My dad is moving and I had to get all my crap that I was storing at his house. I have a 500sqft apt. with no storage. I kept a few must haves, but donated all the rest about a van full of books, clothes, art, purses, shoes that I dont wear because of my bad leg. etc. All and all about a grand worth of stuff. I donated it to a thrift store who's profits go to the animal shelter in town. Makes me feel good, I passed along some nice stuff that I dont need any more and I help the community.
It does feel good, doesn't it! They were so excited that I had non-expired, non-crashed car seats and strollers. They were on the phone to the people on the waiting list before I even left at the community organization I dropped it off at.
Our home is for sale right now, so I had to do a major clean up and declutter as part of the staging process. We put all the things we wanted to keep in rubbermaid containers, and took the rest to the dump. House is bare, and I love it! Out of sight, out of mind. Put your stuff in boxes and wait a while. After a few months, go through the boxes and donate what you no longer want. It's amazing how un-attached you'll be once you have that stuff packed away!
"My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”
― Anna Sewell
If there is a Freecycle in your area, please use it.
I cringe when I hear about people throwing away stuff - unless it's truly not reusable.
Just went through my fall/winter clothing tubs to swap out spring/summer. Have a bagful of clothes for Freecycle and turned a bunch of hopeless tshirts into cleaning rags.
Have a little room in my house that's supposed to be a dining area and it's become the junk room. Going to work on that next week. Want it done before Christmas. The problem is, there's a large buffet in there that must be refurbished and I have no room to do it in. There's the downside of moving into a TINY house!
In an effort to not add more stuff to do *something* with, I bought a Kindle. LOVE it, I have maybe 14 books on it right now and the device is tucked away in my work bag. That's 14 books I don't have to chuck or keep and look at in 5 years!
How about the shop for a 200+ year old farm? There's a lotta stuff stuff in it. Couple hundred draft sized horse shoes, harness, old tractor parts, new tractors and gear for them. The shed on our farm would be like an archeological dig through the layers of history on this farm.
No kidding - I don't even try to deal with the stuff that was here even 1 generation ago, nevermind 3 or more.
BUT, I did learn a few things from my exDH. One is cleaning a room. Get some heavy duty trash bags and fill them quickly. You can make gross groups (clothes, bank statements, etc) and make one an actual trash bag - for things like bread ties or the grocery receipt from 3 weeks ago. But do NOT think 'oh should I save this, or keep it". It ALL goes in a bag, in about 15 minutes.
Then put the bags somewhere while you do your project. When done with project, if you're motivated, unpack the bags and sort then. Otherwise, don't until you need something and use that item. You'll find that in about a month you don't need or want those items and they can just go right to good will - or the trash/recycling.
One of my spare bedrooms is 100% empty, the other has a twin mattress on the floor and two tupperwares of clothes, mine has a mattress on the floor and clothes in the closet.
The living room contains:
a coffee table, a chair, a sofa, a floor lamp, a card table w/ four chairs, a cabinet with a camera,CDs and lap top computers inside, and a small drawer unit, and a few books in the small built in book case.
The kitchen is tiny and has a few plates/glasses/mugs in the cabinet and enough cooking utensils to make a meal, plus a microwave. The kitchen pantry has dog food, the recycling bin, and cleaning supplies.
There are some coats on the coat hook in the front hall and my riding boots.
There's the inventory of my whole house.
And still I have a small pile of stuff that is waiting to get taken to the Salvation Army to GTFO.
Love it! (and this new easy-quote feature!)
The kitchen is tough for me. I LOVE mason jars (I aim to store as little food in plastic as possible) but need to organize them better (and their lids!). However a week or so ago I got really fed up with all of the plates and silverware (my boyfriend picked out SO many pieces at Goodwill!) and packed away all but one plate, two knives, one fork, and one spoon for the both of us. So much easier.
We are using spacebags currently to store our winter clothes (there was a bed bug "scare" in our complex) and I'm not a big fan of them. But they work for now.
The boy can't understand how I can get by with so few shirts...I don't really see the point of keeping camping supplies when we have no car (had a car at our old place for monthly camping) or really anything that we "might need".
As you can tell...I really have to be talked into new (to us) items for our house! Do not regret our cute kitchen table and chairs though!
In July we packed up all of our stuff (seriously reduced for my SO, as we had emptied his storage locker this past spring) in our old 1973 Dodge van and roadtripped from California to Seattle (visiting relatives) to our new place in Texas. In Salt Lake City our van died. So we scrambled and rented an SUV.
We then emptied EVERYTHING from the van (equivalent of a fifteen passenger size) at a KOA and started re-organizing stuff into the SUV and on the roof. I'm shocked that things fit! We ended up giving a bunch of things to the guys at the campsite next door. They liked that.
Here in Texas our stuff went in storage while we waited for our new apartment to be ready...SUV --> storage locker (the tiniest one!) --> rental truck two weeks later --> 3rd floor apartment. That was quite fun.
Awesome to see there are other people into de-cluttering too! I found an amazing pair of jeans at the local Savers so I have no probably saying goodbye to that pair of jeans that didn't fit so well!
Karosel-is there a market for scrap metal? And you might be able to sell the tractor part on Craigslist or something local.
I have finally accepted reality, and if I don't wear it I rehome it. It makes no sense to waste time and effort moving, storing, and living with stuff you don't wear, don't like, or doesn't fit. Once you buy something that money is gone, so keeping it because someone spent money on it is false economy. Getting rid of stuff you don't need is so liberating, and there is truly no point in storing stuff because someday someone might need it. Unless you have the Hope Diamond or Mona Lisa in the spare room, then get rid of it.
If you have a bunch of junk in a storage locker for a long time, or stuff in the attic or spare room forever and never use it-get rid of it! I know people who moved a long time ago, and never unpacked rooms of boxes-if you haven't used it in years then drag it to the curb and get rid of it. If you have junk you're storing for someone because 'they'll want it someday' get rid of it, because if they don't want it now or want to store it, then they never wanted it and never will. If you're saving a bunch of old baby clothes, or toys-lots of this is unsafe and never will be used. A lot of older toys have choke hazards, some lead paint, and people usually buy newer stuff, so get rid of the bad stuff, donate the good, and clean out. Life is too short to have to store, shift, move and put up with stuff no one wants, or someone else could use.
I think I should move every five years just to keep my spending in check! I remember the days when all my wordly posessions fit in a Corolla. Then it was a Pickup. Then a Pickup with a horse trailer.
We even had a spring garage sale to clear out years of remodeling leftovers and outdoor clutter. I think we beat everybody else to the punch in early March, and we had a huge turnout. The sale filled three large garage bays. We made just under $2000 and bought new lawn furniture.
I hope all of you are happy. Because of this thread I went and got out the container of my size 10 jeans, and they are for donation now. If I ever fit in them again I believe they sell them at the stores and can be replaced, so why I was keeping them is a mystery.
Karosel-is there a market for scrap metal? And you might be able to sell the tractor part on Craigslist or something local.
Yes, every so often my dad and brother will go through things and take the scrap metal to the local scrap yard.
Recently they did some cleaning and sold some old cutters/sleighs and wagons to someone who will restore them and put them back into use. So that brought some more order, a little cash and a nice feeling that these things are being restored and actually used again instead of slowly decaying in the storage sheds. All the harness and leather goods are beyond saving at this point I think.
Well I DO live in Texas now so these are my basics.
But I just spent a year living in NorCal and wore a sweater pretty much every damn day. Hated that.
So I just checked again and it's more like 3 t-shirts, 5 tank tops, and three sweaters (one zip up hoodie and one pullover hoodie). And I can think of one or two tank tops that I could part with no problem! I counted last night and I have roughly 25 items in my wardrobe that get constant use.
Recently they did some cleaning and sold some old cutters/sleighs and wagons to someone who will restore them and put them back into use.
I've been toting my favorite sleigh around for YEARS. Last time it was hooked to a horse was....1987? Is now in it's fourth storage spot, in the way. I even picked up a team pole and evener that fits it at an estate sale as if I would ever learn to drive double. Drove all the way home to measure, and then back to the auction to bid. Hmmmm wonder where THAT is hiding?
Karo-if the leather and such is trash, then call for help, separate the metal that can be sold out, and the rest that's junk can be trashed. Just do it when you have help if you can, because it's so much easier when several people are working on a project.
And from watching some of the Hoarder shows, and reading about it, there is a difference between having too much stuff and being a hoarder. Hoarders go up to level 5 (the tv show ones) and continue down to the mildest level where they have piles of stuff, but you can still walk past it. Keeping a bunch of stuff you don't want or need around is a drag on the spirit, hard on you because you can't clean easily, and you can move around when there's a bunch of stuff clogging up your space and your life. Having to take care of stuff you don't even like, but just haven't gotten rid of is a pain, and it's so liberating to get rid of stuff you don't care about. And if someone gave it to you, and you don't like it, then rehome it-you aren't under any obligation to keep a bunch of stuff in your life that you don't even like. Start small with garbage bags for give aways, trash, and keep only what you want and use. There is nothing wrong with keeping things that are pretty or bring you a sense of enjoyment, but if you don't like it or use it then get rid of it.
The kitchen is so easy to stuff full of items and gadgets you don't use, so start there. Match all storage containers to the lids they go with, discard ones that don't match up or aren't size you'll use. Match all cookware with lids and make sure they are something you need or want, and if you never use a particular pan or size of roaster, then I bet someone else will want it. If you have spoons or gadgets you never use then decide if you really need those either. I bet the drawers and cabinets will be much roomier. If you have sets of dishes or silverware someone gave you and you never use, or you don't like then rehome them. Have a bunch of appliances you never use? Craigslist or other sales sites might be a good way to make some money. Get rid of linens you never use, mismatched sets or bedding that doesn't fit the beds you have now. I have two sets of sheets for each bed, and got rid of the rest. If you have decent towels, but still have the old ragged ones, then clear them out, or if you have sets that you'll never use, then rehome them. Many animal shelters would love to have usable towels, blankets, and such.