Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cutting down and clearing out

The new year approaches, and now is a logical time for me to get rid of junk/crap/clutter/stuff. As I type I have a group of boxes in my living room labeled donate, not sure, cords, etc. I have yet to be successful in this task.

I do not want to go the minimalist route, but I wish to drastically cut down and live more lightly. Please share with me your favorite clutter removal and life lightening tips.


45 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

I blow up all my links and clear out my browser history from time to time.

You survived the cut.

Gotta change the predominant obsession. The internet gets a little neurotic.

deborah said...

We survived the cut...you old softie :)

Trooper York said...

I cut this place I used to hang out in that became a massive pain in the ass.

Don't miss it in the least.

The best thing I did all year.

Trooper York said...

Oh and by the way...only Filipino chicks can call Shouting an "old softie." Just sayn'

Sixty Grit said...

I moved a few years back and that helped - I just recently saw some pictures that I took during that process. Huge mounds of stuff were hauled to the curb, put in the burn pile, recycled at the recycling place and stuff was otherwise disposed of.

Now, in my new house, I am constantly reevaluating the boxes of stuff that I moved. My goal is to look at every object and figure out it's disposition - eBay, Goodwill, gifts for friends, and so on.

It's a constant struggle. Stuff ultimately wins, am I right? Not on my watch, baby!

deborah said...

lol Sixty. Yes, one of my boxes is labeled 'find mate' which means find the other glove or the other soccer shin guard from when my son was 5.

Trooper, I've made the same decision...except today I went over to try and find out how to spell Zmrisek, or however it's spelled. Couldn't find it.

bagoh20 said...

Always make sure your garbage cans are full on collection day.

bagoh20 said...

When people come to your house, ask them if there is anything they see that they would like to take with them.

Sixty Grit said...

I got rid of my first wife that way.

The ultimate in regifting, if you know what I mean.

deborah said...

Regifting, or pulling a fast one?

Bago, that's how you get rid of dogs, not junk :)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Put your stuff in boxes and place it all in a storage facility for at least 8 months. Forget about it.

We did this when we were building our house some years ago, and were living in a small workshop on the same property. Pared ourselves down to the bare minimum of what it took to basically camp out in the workshop.

Once the house was built and we started unloading the boxes, I realized there were things that I had not missed one bit. Things that I even FORGOT that I had. If I didn't miss it, forgot about it.....I don't need it.

We had a huge garage sale. Made lots of money....and then, bought stuff with the proceeds that we "think" need more. Kinda counterproductive in some ways. /shrug

The short story is hide your things away from yourself for sometime and later you will find out what is important.

bagoh20 said...

I actually do this all the time. My responses usually go something like:

No
No
No fucking way
Are you serious?
For free? Bite me.
Sure, take that piece of shit.
How about these cargo shorts, and a Pit bull?
How about this can of Garbanzo beans, it's still good.

bagoh20 said...

You have to invite your poorest friends to these events. They are much better at this game.

bagoh20 said...

I think I mentioned it before but putting stuff on the curb with a sign that says "Free" works really well. I've had piles of absolutely useless junk disappear in just a couple hours. People can't resist free stuff.

marion said...

My wife has a 2 year rule for stuff.
Ain't been used in 2 years and out it goes.

That's why I don't sit down much at home.

marion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

Great idea, DBQ, but luckily, I'm fairly far along on what I want to keep. I've been making hauls to Good Will of and on. Now it's just getting everything shifted around into place, boxes, and the last that needs donated.

I just noticed a stack of patriotic material in my fabric closet...I'm never getting around to making that picnic quilt...I'm putting it in the donation box. BAM!

deborah said...

lol Marion, you are wise.

Bags, I heard that's how it is in the city. If you put it on the curb it signals free stuff. Have you ever brought anything home from the curb?

Sixty Grit said...

I got my air purifier when a neighbor threw it out. When I asked him about it, he said he lost the remote. I use it when I am sanding and it has saved my lungs.

Got the Aeron chair when another neighbor threw it out - I got there just before the trash men did.

Got a chainsaw, too - it's a small one and once I get a new bar the plan is to use it to carve some wood.

john said...

Its not the back end (getting rid of stuff) that's the problem with most people.

It's the front end, buying stuff. That's what (all of us) need to work on to simplify our lives.

I read somewhere that doing a big haul to Goodwill or having a garage sale triggers something that makes us want to go shop again. I can verify that in our family.

sakredkow said...

When people come to your house, ask them if there is anything they see that they would like to take with them.

Beware the answer, "Can I just have the cash instead?"

edutcher said...

When in doubt, if you know you're not going to use it, give it the old heave-ho.

bagoh20 said...

"Have you ever brought anything home from the curb?"

Oh, absolutely. I understand the compulsion too. When I drive past a yard sale, I always take a good long look at what they have. I don't stop anymore, because I finally realize that I don't need anymore junk, and I too am constantly trying to have less stuff not more, but for a long time I always stopped and shopped for other people's junk. I think the drive is some basic thing in the primate brain. Junk / treasure - it's all mixed up. Just like Sixty Grit's first wife - somebody else thought that she was just what they needed, and to him she was brand spanking new. Ahh, the free market. One man's ball and chain is another's Gothic plaything.

Anonymous said...

For clearing your mind and paperwork of clutter as well as old stuff, I recommend "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.

He's got a four-step process you loop to clear your life and organize. It looks like this:

It's powerful. I was amazed how I felt after I munched through a big backlog and cleaned out my study as well. I'll be getting back to it when I'm back home after New Year's Eve.

I've been through a bunch of books and classes on getting your life together, but Allen's is the only one I found worked at all for me.

ndspinelli said...

My bride has been on a 10 month throw away 3 things a day mode.

George Carlin did a great bit about "stuff" and how important it is to us. I'm in the lowest stanine as far as stuff. I hardly ever shop anywhere but food stores.

sakredkow said...

I'm motivated to "deaccession" my possessions by my desire not to burden anyone with having to clean up after me while I'm gone.

deborah said...

Well, my son's ecstatic the Eagles are going to the playoffs.

John, I have the opposite feeling when a take a load of stuff to the Good Will. It's like, wow all that money spent on stuff that's junk now! Makes me try to be more discerning.

Thanks creeley, I'm always up for looking at a new system :)

phx, yes!

sakredkow said...

Not while I'm gone...when I'm gone.

One of my happier typo/grammatical errors, IMO.

deborah said...

Guys, thanks for the tips...it helped me in my moment of need for motivation...you are good buds :)

Lydia said...

Going forward, how about donating stuff on a regular schedule, maybe once a month, and every time you buy something new, throw something old out.

deborah said...

Spinelli, great idea of your wife's. Couple that with whenever you buy something, you donate something, you can reach stasis :)

Christy said...

What worked for me was an every other day decluttering of 27 items. The first rounds were the easy ones, of course. But each round eased the next. The slow approach showed me how much I didn't miss the released items and made the next batch easier to choose. Stuff I would not have gotten rid of in a marathon Saturday cleanup was easy to throw or give away months into the process.

The other advantage in making it a months long process is that knowing I was tossing stuff regularly made me think more carefully about every thing I brought into the house. After a while that careful consideration became a habit, as did the regular decluttering. Bottom line: For me habits take time to instill. Shortcuts don't work. YMMV

Good luck.

bagoh20 said...

Let's not forget the ease of arson as a quick effective solution.

Michael Haz said...

Bags, don't call it arson. Call it "Italian lightning".

Yeah, 2014 is going to be a de-cluttering year at casa Haz. I'm at the point in the housing arc where a much smaller home is a good idea, so this house will be sold. Before that, though comes the clearing out of decades of accumulated stuff.

I don't like to have rummage sales, so my stuff will go on Craigslist or be donated to a good cause. The Salvation Army does good work in setting up households for people who have lost their homes through fire, flood, tornadoes, etc., so that's where a lot of my stuff will go.

AllenS said...

I have six buildings. Can you imagine how much stuff I have?

deborah said...

Allen, maybe American Pickers should swing by.

Christy, are you a fellow FLY Lady fan?

Unknown said...

If it stresses you out, do it in stages.

Make piles.
charity, to sell, trash etc...

Unknown said...

Good job everyone. I'm impressed.

Amartel said...

Just do it. Be ruthless. It's just stuff. Don't stop in the middle to ponder. Load it up and take it to Goodwill (or whatever)before you have second thoughts.

Unknown said...

When it comes to clothes, use the 1 year rule. Ask yourself - "Did I wear this even once this year?"
If the answer is no - pitch it.

Christy said...

Yep. I'm a FLYbaby.

deborah said...

Neat! She's a treasure.

deborah said...

Thanks, April. I am planning to really pare down.

deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

Armatel, if I could do that, I wouldn't be in this pickle :) But I get what you mean.

By the way, I don't want anyone to think I'm a hoarder...just the opposite. I can be ruthless about most things.