That is a great idea. Brining something that can be used!!
Still plugging away at this. Shredded a huge box of old CC statements and other papers today. Also packed up two more boxes of stuff for GW.
Posted something on eBay this afternoon that has sold already. YAY!
This is a great idea. When my friends moved into their new house, I got them green painter's tape, lightbulbs, and toilet paper - not all that pretty, but definitely useful.
Oooooh, painter's tape! I love.....
I can't believe I just got rid of all my architecture/design/travel magazines... I have been dragging them along 3 different apartments for the last 10 years. I stopped buying magazines in 2009 btw...
Now I have to get mr lily to do the same with his magazines :O
1. Take pics of those items, file them in an album or save to disk (disk takes up less space, so it's better). Get rid of the items. I no longer worry about who gave me what. My best friend died in 2002; I prefer to remember her smile, all of our weekends together--instead of a keychain, stuffed animal, etc. I did keep the few letters she wrote to me, as I'll never see her handwriting again. And they take up much less space than the other things. Let go of the guilt! Remember the person instead of keeping their clutter.
2. Can you go through your papers, highlight points you honestly think you'll need, then extract those, and file them in some easy-to-find way?
3. Get 3 big boxes. Write TRASH, KEEP, DONATE; one word on each box. Then go to it. No peeking in the boxes once you've made the decision.
Don't try to do too many rooms in one day. Start with a closet or small room. Set aside an definite block of time to work on it. Don't try to bite off more than you can chew. That's just asking for trouble. And the room will remain unfinished. Don't stop to gaze at each item and think about it too much. If you go down Memory Lane, you'll NEVER get rid of anything, plus you're wasting valuable time. Go with your first gut reaction. "I don't use it; "I don't remember who gave this to me.", etc. If that's your first reaction, TOSS THE ITEM.
I know this is a really old post, but I really want to thank you for your words of wisdom. I am still in the process of getting rid of clutter/chotchkies and I always find an excuse why I can't get rid of something (someone gave it to me and I don't want to hurt their feelings or I may need that some day).
I always used to tell myself I didnt have a hoarding problem, I just had a lot of cute stuff lol. I also used to tell myself I just didnt have enough room but after moving into a bigger place, it got filled up just as quickly.
My problem is I believe everything either has value or can and will be used for some sort of purpose, even if the average person would just throw it away without a second thought. During the last year my problem has spiralled a bit. DH has been getting annoyed and asking me to get rid of a lot of things and slowly I have. I wasnt really embarrassed about it until MIL came to visit for the first time since we moved and she just kept looking around saying: "You have so much stuff...." over and over lol.
I am the opposite when it comes to gifts.. those are the easiest to throw away for me because they have no sentimental value and the person generally will not know whether or not you threw it out. We have a lot of useless gifts given to us by family members that I want to get rid of but DH has sentimental attachment to it simply because it was a gift. But they are not things I even care about.. figurines or clothing that he wont ever wear. Shamefully I sold a gift MIL bought us, a coffee maker, because we already had one. I didnt need two coffee makers so I sold it brand new in package. She never would have known had DH not opened his big mouth... lol. This really makes me rethink what I buy for people.
My biggest problem now is hoarding baby stuff. We plan to have another child, just not sure when exactly. So Ive kept a ton of clothing, toys and pretty much everything else you'd need for a baby to a toddler in storage for if/when the day comes.. babies are expensive and I know if I threw away or even sold all those items I would deeply regret it if/when we have another child. I dont know if Im being realistic here or what.
I too see those plain houses.. a few pieces of furniture and maybe a plant and a simple painting in a room, it looks so beautiful and I envy it. Im trying to work my way towards that now.
I'm about to start getting rid of some things, its necessary. I have lots of things i'm never going to use or wear that just should go.
Hubby is a hoarder. You can't walk in the basement...you have to snake around all the clutter. Many arguments for years. Finally hubby has seen the light. He is ready to clean out the clutter. I have done so much in the past with him going through what I was throwing out and taking things out of the bags to keep. Well this past week he is just letting me throw out and pack things for Goodwill . Not upsetting him in any way, he is cleaning his own stuff too. Now that I can a finally sit on the couch down there I realize it isn't as bad as I thought because there are more empty plastic bins and lids thrown around which take up more space. Most of the clutter is in bins and boxes so it is organized clutter of things saved forever that can finally find it's way out of the house. I am so happy. I never thought hubby would finally see the light. I figure if I cean two hours a day it will come together soon. Finally we will be able to have a finished basement to live in and not for storage.
I just wanted to share this article I found...the way this woman organized is amazing and gorgeous - for free!
YAY! That is so exciting. My dad is a serious hoarder, and it drives my mother insane (and drives me crazy whenever I go home, because we have a beautiful house but it's overflowing with stuff). Why did your husband finally see the light? The only thing that got my dad to clean out the basement was termites.
Ha, that is great. She won't be convincing me to display grocery items, but that's pretty ingenious. And I used to fold my jeans like her tshirts, and I roll my towels like those blankets. I think I will be doing that with more of my clothes when we move into the new place.
I'm going to start rolling. I was reading how to organise linens and the idea was to have one set per bed...remove on laundry day, wash, dry and remake the bed.
I have no idea why hubby is letting me get rid of things now when it has been a battle for years with him even going in garbage bags and taking things out. But he is not bothering me at all so I am going to keep throwing or giving stuff away. I have been working on my deask, files, ect.... shredding so much paper. I like to be organized with my files and it always seems like I can go through them and still find papers to get rid of.
I liked the storage ideas from that post above. I have been rolling my towels and blankets for years. I find rolling the towels words better for me then folding them. My friend folds her shirts and clothes in her drawers but when she or her hubby take things out they kind of pull and more stuff comes out so she seems to always have a big mess. It amazes me that it takes her about two minutes to fold one t shirt.
I still think doing a major unclutter is the only answer in having a organized house because even if you are super organized you can still have too much stuff. My one friend is very organized but has bins and bins of things she will never use or need but she saves them just in case. I have been trying to go through every drawer/cabinet or piece of funiture room by room and getting rid of anything that serves no purpose in my life. It really feels great to let go of so many things.
Because the kids are getting ready for back to school I have been working on their closets and made a decent dent in getting rid of things. My problem is that I always have a few projects that I want to do at the same time and have to concentrate on one. For instance if I am cleaning the bottom bathroom cabinets I then want to paint the bathroom which gives me more work.
I am just going to work day by day and I have a list room by room of what needs to be done and what I want to add to it. Hopefully I can keep on a schedule and get this house together.
I thought this would be relevant here--it's a brief opinion piece by Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project among other books) about clutter and nostalgia.
By GRETCHEN RUBIN
WITH all the supply lists, school clothes and emergency contact sheets required before September begins, I can barely keep track of everything I have to buy, fill out or turn in. The new school year means that a bunch of new stuff will pour into our apartment and I still havent figured out what to do with all the stuff from last year.
I recently pulled down from a shelf a large, wooden art project that my 7-year-old had made and tried to decide its fate. On the one hand, I couldnt imagine throwing away this precious relic of her childhood. On the other hand, I live in Manhattan, and I needed to make room for her new creations. Paralyzed with indecision, I shoved it back on the shelf.
This is the cultural dilemma that supports a multibillion-dollar storage industry: we love our stuff, and we also dream of being free of it. According to the Self Storage Association, 1 in 10 American households rents a storage unit. And still our closets, attics, basements and garages are jampacked with stuff. The Department of Energy estimates that 25 percent of people who have two-car garages dont park their cars inside.
All this clutter can drive people to desperate lengths. I know a guy who recklessly deleted every e-mail in his in-box to achieve the ecstasy of in-box zero. Another acquaintance celebrates New Years by tossing out every single item in her fridge. Even a bottle of ketchup thats still half full? I pressed. Everything, she answered. Theres something about getting control over stuff that makes us feel more in control of life. While were constantly bombarded with messages of More! and Buy now! were also offered the tantalizing promise Youll be happier with less!
But simplicity is complicated. (Even Thoreau, in his famous admonition Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! couldnt limit himself to a single simplicity.)
Id argue that, because we dont want to think of ourselves as materialistic or preoccupied with acquiring things, we too often deny the importance of our possessions and dont spend enough time thinking about how possessions can boost happiness. The things we own exert a powerful influence over the atmosphere of our homes. My large library of childrens literature, my friends collection of Maine paraphernalia these contribute to, and reflect, our sense of identity. Objects received as gifts commemorate important milestones like weddings, births and graduations. Photos remind us of those we love. Possessions cant make us happy alone, but they can indeed play an important role in a happy life.
The key to resolving the contradiction at the heart of ownership the battling lures of accumulation and elimination is to cultivate a true simplicity, in which were both surrounded by useful, beloved things and free from the oppressive weight of meaningless possessions.
TO do this, it helps to consider, first, the endowment effect: once we own an object, we value it more. I may not have particularly wanted that ceramic beer stein emblazoned with a law school crest, but now that its on my shelf, I find it weirdly hard to give it up. And the longer I own it, the more I value it. For this reason, it pays to be wary of hand-me-downs, tag sales and promotional swag. The innocent-looking gimcrack you pick up on a whim may root itself in your home for years.
The second consideration is the charm of procrastination. Fact is, its easier to keep my daughters art project than to decide whether and how to get rid of it. When I was helping a friend clear out her closets, we discovered a cache of dusty business suits left over from her days at an investment bank. Um, why exactly are you saving these? I asked. Well, my daughter might want to wear them some day, she answered. Theyre really nice suits. Youre nuts, I said kindly. Theres no way your first-grader is ever going to wear a decades-old business suit.
The third consideration is the tug of nostalgia what I like to call the college T-shirt effect. I find this one particularly powerful when I associate an object with my daughters childhoods. (Because of its associations with the teething stage, I recently struggled to throw away a half-used tube of Orajel.) To deal with this impulse, I exploit the power of the nostalgia effect by deliberately curating and preserving memories.
Heres how it works: Once I decide that this art project is the one thats truly worth keeping, I place it prominently on a shelf, and this action frees me to toss out most of my childs other creations. I can cherish one first-grade art project, but I cant cherish every art project. One of my secrets is this: Someplace, keep an empty shelf, and someplace, keep a junk drawer.
We all need simplicity, order and enough room to accommodate new possibilities. But we also need luxurious abundance and collections of things that are precious to us. By mindfully deciding what to put in, we know what we can leave out. As Frank Lloyd Wright cautioned, To know what to leave out and what to put in; just where and just how, ah, that is to have been educated in knowledge of simplicity.
Gretchen Rubin is the author of the forthcoming book Happier at Home.