Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Boglegirl81
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Boglegirl81 »

Marie Kondo’s method is the only thing that has worked for me.
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roamingzebra
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by roamingzebra »

Isabelle77 wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:32 am My sister read a book years ago about house cleaning that had a multi step process. On the first day all you did was clean your sink until it shined. And then the book added more tasks each day. She found it helpful.
I agree that with cleaning it's hardest to get started; once started, one gets into the flow.
I would think that decluttering could use a similar concept. Start in one room and clean out one closet. Be honest about what you use and what is truly irreplaceable. When that closet is perfect, move on to the drawers in that room, etc.
I have tried this trick of decluttering a little at a time. What I found is that it did result in some things to discard, but it also resulted in finding things to repurpose. I think my inclination to squeeze as much value out of everything leads me to consider repurposing before discarding.

I also found during this process that the lack of clear storage boxes (instead, I was using plastic bags with labels that frequently fell off or were not visible from the angle I was looking at them) resulted in "discovering" a lot of things I forgot I had. I think in my case it may make sense as a first step to move things into clear storage boxes. Then, once I know what I have, I can go about the task of decluttering.

Basically, the rule I see here (for myself) is to Take Inventory of what I have before making any discard decisions. One can't really take inventory unless things are already somewhat organized or at least visible

Some may argue I'm just postponing the inevitable, but I think it fits under the category of doing a multi-step process.
IowaFarmWife
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by IowaFarmWife »

Isabelle77 wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:32 am My sister read a book years ago about house cleaning that had a multi step process. On the first day all you did was clean your sink until it shined. And then the book added more tasks each day. She found it helpful.

I would think that decluttering could use a similar concept. Start in one room and clean out one closet. Be honest about what you use and what is truly irreplaceable. When that closet is perfect, move on to the drawers in that room, etc.

Like anything, break it into manageable tasks.

Living without a basement or attic has been very helpful for us. Pretend you don’t have them :)
The book you're referring to is from the FlyLady- great website and it was very helpful to me and my family when I began a major purge/reorganization a few years ago. The website is Flylady.net.
“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” —Will Rogers
Stick5vw
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Stick5vw »

Random Musings wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 1:16 pm "When in doubt, throw it out"

RM

+1
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roamingzebra
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by roamingzebra »

coynerone wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 11:01 am All this throw it out after a year is perpetuating the purchase cycle

I think this is an important point (which I'm taking a bit out of context of your post), but in isolation I think resonates with some of us who tend to hoard.

I don't consider myself a consumerist. I have a computer that's over 15 years old and works fine for most stuff. The computer is well-made and the price I paid back then won't get me anything near the quality if I bought a replacement now.

Also, some of the clothes I've hoarded are well made in comparison to things I've bought more recently. Basically, discarding now and being forced to constantly renew the purchasing cycle can result in lesser quality as well as a time drain. Like how many hours do we spend on Amazon reading reviews?!

I'll also bring up here something that was mentioned in another post where the husband and wife had a strategy of deciding which clothes to keep and which had to go. It reminded me of my parents. My mother was a stylish dresser and whenever she didn't like what my dad was wearing, she'd surreptitiously throw the item out and most times he wouldn't even notice. ;) But that perpetuated the buy cycle.
Jags4186
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Jags4186 »

Consider jettisoning entire categories of product. There isn’t a single CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, cassette tape, or vinyl record in my house. Business cards are scanned into my phone as a contact and dumped. We have 1 small filing cabinet (I could pick it up with everything in it) for hard paper. Try on all your clothes. If they don’t fit they go. Buy small furniture without lots of cubbies. If you have drawers you want to fill them up.

Consider items you have multiples of and ask how many you could legitimately use simultaneously. Do you need 6 wooden spoons? 20 kitchen towels? 10 sets of sheets? Pick the 2 or 3 best ones and keep them and dump the rest.
Last edited by Jags4186 on Sun Jul 04, 2021 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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roamingzebra
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by roamingzebra »

CAsage wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 11:01 am The key is to view this as ongoing, not once and done. My best personal "trick" was to mark one page per month, 30 lines per page in a spiral notebook - and then write down one thing that "left the premises" for each day. One can work ahead or behind, but the key is steady progress over years - get rid of one thing a day and provide measurable positive feedback.
Love that idea. It seems those sorts of schemes involving committing things to writing and getting measurable feedback are actually based on science/neuroscience.
The last tip I got from a friend: Everything must have a place to be stored. If you pick it up, can't figure out where to put it away because it won't fit or there's no room, start there. Nothing should live on the counters or tops of furniture!
Looking around my place right now I realize COVID has made things more cluttered than they should be. I have bandanas and masks sitting out in the open, as well as packages of paper towels and toilet paper. I don't have good places for them right now and will have to work down the paper goods and wail till the pandemic is over before putting the face coverings away. But I'll work on finding homes for some of the other things "living on horizontal surfaces".
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LilyFleur
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by LilyFleur »

My extra paper towels and toilet tissue are in bedroom closets and in the garage (I only have a one-car garage, but I keep it de-cluttered), and my extra masks are in the pantry. My current mask is hanging on a chair by the front door.
fposte
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by fposte »

roamingzebra wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 3:24 pm Also, some of the clothes I've hoarded are well made in comparison to things I've bought more recently. Basically, discarding now and being forced to constantly renew the purchasing cycle can result in lesser quality as well as a time drain.
But nothing says you have to replace them. Your current number of possessions is not a set point that needs to be maintained.

If you’re wearing those well-made clothes regularly, then great, you have a wardrobe you like. But if you’re keeping stuff that you don’t wear, its quality is irrelevant and you don’t need to replace it once you get rid of it, so that’s a red herring.
mrc
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by mrc »

The way I did it was take a section of a room and make four piles:

keep
donate
recycle
trash

Physically moving items to a different location (the pile) makes a difference. Clean the empty spots.

Then do that again the next day for the keep pile.

Then place the keeper back where they belong, prep the donate pile, and put everything in heavy duty trash bags to donate, recycle, or trash.

You need a lot of trash bags to make this work. But it takes some of the stress out of the earlier decision making.

I use to have a fifth pile, the second one, sell. But ebay isn't worth the hassle any more.

Some rooms have a dozen sections. Other days I can do two rooms at once.

Edit: The donate and recycle piles take some of the sting out of letting some items go, and importantly, remove these items from the keep pile.
By the time you know enough to choose a good financial adviser, you don't need one. | bogleheads.org is my advisor: The ER is 0.0% and the advice always solid.
kelvan80
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by kelvan80 »

roamingzebra wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 3:07 pm
Isabelle77 wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:32 am My sister read a book years ago about house cleaning that had a multi step process. On the first day all you did was clean your sink until it shined. And then the book added more tasks each day. She found it helpful.
I agree that with cleaning it's hardest to get started; once started, one gets into the flow.
I would think that decluttering could use a similar concept. Start in one room and clean out one closet. Be honest about what you use and what is truly irreplaceable. When that closet is perfect, move on to the drawers in that room, etc.
I have tried this trick of decluttering a little at a time. What I found is that it did result in some things to discard, but it also resulted in finding things to repurpose. I think my inclination to squeeze as much value out of everything leads me to consider repurposing before discarding.

I also found during this process that the lack of clear storage boxes (instead, I was using plastic bags with labels that frequently fell off or were not visible from the angle I was looking at them) resulted in "discovering" a lot of things I forgot I had. I think in my case it may make sense as a first step to move things into clear storage boxes. Then, once I know what I have, I can go about the task of decluttering.

Basically, the rule I see here (for myself) is to Take Inventory of what I have before making any discard decisions. One can't really take inventory unless things are already somewhat organized or at least visible

Some may argue I'm just postponing the inevitable, but I think it fits under the category of doing a multi-step process.
It was probably Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley or Chaos to Clean. She's the FlyLady I mentioned earlier. Her system is phenomenal even though her website got a bit cluttered for me over the years.
bluebolt
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by bluebolt »

mrc wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 4:59 pm The way I did it was take a section of a room and make four piles:

keep
donate
recycle
trash
I also make a "shred" pile for sensitive documents.
Saving$
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Saving$ »

Force yourself to move.

If you are not moving to another house, force yourself to switch closets, move everything about, etc. For things you cant move, take everything out of kitchen cabinets and drawers, and put in boxes. You don't have to pack the boxes. Then clean the cabinets (or reline them or whatever)
a. Some things you will want to discard immediately upon removing and not put in the boxes for restocking. Put those in donate boxes now. Get them out of the house.
b. On the first evening of putting things back, put back (take out of boxes) only the things you know you will use in the next week
c. On the second evening of putting things back, put back on the things you have used in the last year (or, due to Covid, in the last two years)
d. On the third evening of putting things back, get rid of anything you really don't want to put back.
e. On the third evening of putting things back, also try to put everything that is left in a single cupboard or area. If you happen to use something from that area, it gets put back in a different place.

The next time you do this, the items in e. above, in the single area, should be items you have not used since the last time you did this. For many, this makes it easier to get rid of those things.
Fat Tails
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Fat Tails »

If you have a partner, have them declutter your stuff and you declutter theirs. Of course, that might declutter your relationship as well, but I guarantee, that you will have a lot less stuff. :D

Seriously, I can’t remember regretting getting rid of anything.

Good luck!
“If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.” ― Benjamin Franklin
NS_Bane
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by NS_Bane »

Atilla wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 1:28 pm Decluttering is like losing weight. It will happen once you decide to make it happen. Otherwise you will have 1,000 excuses why it's "not working".

Be ruthless - toss it, sell it or give it away.
+1. Do you think your neighbors live less fulfilling lives because they don’t have the stacks of cooking magazines from years ago piled in a corner that have colorful pictures of recipes you might one day cook?

No. They have more fulfilling lives because they don’t have the mental load of managing the vast inventory of crap you’ve accumulated and will never use.

(This is what I tell myself when I need to be ruthless with myself)
Isabelle77
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Isabelle77 »

IowaFarmWife wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 3:16 pm
Isabelle77 wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:32 am My sister read a book years ago about house cleaning that had a multi step process. On the first day all you did was clean your sink until it shined. And then the book added more tasks each day. She found it helpful.

I would think that decluttering could use a similar concept. Start in one room and clean out one closet. Be honest about what you use and what is truly irreplaceable. When that closet is perfect, move on to the drawers in that room, etc.

Like anything, break it into manageable tasks.

Living without a basement or attic has been very helpful for us. Pretend you don’t have them :)
The book you're referring to is from the FlyLady- great website and it was very helpful to me and my family when I began a major purge/reorganization a few years ago. The website is Flylady.net.
Yes! That was it. :)
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StevieG72
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by StevieG72 »

I have this problem myself, especially with my garage. For example I had some old metal fence posts that had been in my garage for over 15 years. Recently they became very useful to secure some wood fencing and a retaining wall. Drove them straight down in the ground and screwed the metal post to the wood post for support, worked amazingly well! Another example is some old be frame brackets, 15 + years old, happened to be the perfect size to secure a tree that had split, got some long wood screws from the hardware store and put a bracket on each side of the split as high as possible. Tree is now secured and parts were available when I needed them. A little unsightly, but you wouldn’t see it unless you were looking for it.
Now neither of these items would have cost much to purchase, but it was nice to have something readily available that I could use.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
Carousel
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Carousel »

1 They say everybody regrets getting rid of _something_, but nobody regrets decluttering. Don't be too frightened of regret. (& with your concerns I just wouldn't worry ... with me it's always sentimental items that I think I might regret giving away)
2 Can you set minimalism/empty space in bookshelves, closets and drawers as a positive desire? So it's not always keep/throw, it's maintain empty space/overcrowd yr spaces. Otherwise they fill to the limit.
3 I like Marie Kondo's "thank it for its service and then send it on" ritual. When you drop the sturdy old vacuum off at Goodwill, think, "This workhouse is really going to help someone who needs a vacuum!"
4 Can you be really daring in one area--like, strip a closet down to the basics that need to be there, paint it, put in a touch-tap LED light so it's nice and bright in there, and then give yourself a month to enjoy that beautiful closet. You may find you much prefer a nice closet to a stuffed closet (where you can never find the things that are in there anyway), and all the other areas might be much easier with that success behind you.
5 For sentimental items, just take pictures of everything.
Wild Indigo
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Wild Indigo »

Some tips that have worked for me:

1. Sort by category and save sentimental items for last. I had to sort through my parent's stuff and my grandfather's stuff. By the time I got to the sentimental items it was easier.
2. View it as managing inventory. For some people they set a number per item (e.g. two flashlights) others find it more helpful to organize by space (e.g. I can only keep the number of dishtowels that fit into this space/container).
3. When in doubt if I haven't used it for a year or more and i can replace it for under $25, it goes (donated, recycled, trashed). Set whatever dollar amount you are comfortable with.
4. If you think its valuable and want to sell it, set a sell by date and if you don't sell it by then it gets donated.
5. Label pictures, cords, chargers, and keys when you acquire them.
6. For items that may be valuable if #4 doesn't work, consider how much would you sell it for and is that dollar amount significant enough for you continuing to have to manage the item or going through the process to sell it. If its not, donate it.

I found that as I decluttered, the process became easier. I was also less likely to bring in more items and it was easier to let go. The best thing was that daily life became easier because my home was easier to manage and required far less of my attention.

i now have a designted donation spot and as I run across items that i no longer need they go into the box which gets dropped off a couple of times a year. Good luck.
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roamingzebra
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by roamingzebra »

StevieG72 wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 4:29 pm I have this problem myself, especially with my garage. For example I had some old metal fence posts that had been in my garage for over 15 years. Recently they became very useful to secure some wood fencing and a retaining wall. Drove them straight down in the ground and screwed the metal post to the wood post for support, worked amazingly well! Another example is some old be frame brackets, 15 + years old, happened to be the perfect size to secure a tree that had split, got some long wood screws from the hardware store and put a bracket on each side of the split as high as possible. Tree is now secured and parts were available when I needed them. A little unsightly, but you wouldn’t see it unless you were looking for it.
Now neither of these items would have cost much to purchase, but it was nice to have something readily available that I could use.
Good story. Here's a recent one of mine:

Due to constant usage 24/7, I recently overheated my laptop and for the very first time, the fan started whining. Time for a new laptop? Or time for improvisation. The latter.

I turned the unit over, blew away some dust then pondered how I could raise the computer so it would have better air circulation. Two words: door stops. I never USE door stops and don't even know why I have them. I probably would have discarded them during a decluttering purge, but they were the perfect answer. I put a door stop at each back corner of the laptop, and the fans have been quiet since. I felt a sense of pride at being so clever. ;)

The laptop cooling solutions one could buy were nothing compared to door stops. But I since learned that special laptop "door stops" are indeed sold. So I'm not the only one who realized their value in this role.

And for those wondering, sure I could have just bought door stops had I thrown out the originals. But I wouldn't have even thought to use door stops had I not seen them in a box next to my tools.

This isn't going to convert anyone to favoring clutter, but it does show the sense of pride one can get from even the simplest of repurposing. But of course, it has to balanced against the sense of inner peace that comes from a decluttered house.
phxjcc
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by phxjcc »

Two year rule....

If you have not used it, played with it, read it in two years, then toss.

Then, the one year rule.

That organic chemistry text? You can toss it.
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Flobes
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Flobes »

Joshua Becker has some great YouTube videos. Check out
20 1-Minute Habits to Keep Your Home Clutterfree and
Top 10 Things to NOT Declutter First.
MadHungarian
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by MadHungarian »

Normchad wrote: Sat Jul 03, 2021 6:05 pm If you haven’t worn it in the last year, get rid of it.
But after 15 years, i finally lost a bunch of weight, and those old shirts i kept in the back of my closet unused for all those years finally fit me again and now i'm wearing them again! I didn't have to buy new shirts. The packrat's dream come true!

Ahem, let us not consider the fact that the cost of storing those shirts for 15 years was probably more than the cost of dumping and then re-buying the shirts again. I estimate that each square foot of my house has cost me about $200 over the last 15 year period, and those old shirts consumed two square feet.
MadHungarian
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by MadHungarian »

phxjcc wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:01 pm . . .
That organic chemistry text? You can toss it.
Never! I absolutely need every single one of my 4000 books!
Smaug would understand.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

I used : Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. Problem was it turned out to be too good and got rid of things I now regret.

The idea as I recall was to determine what was relevant to your life now. Remove those that aren't, remove items with negative associations and so forth.

Now, however, I am re-cluttering...Its not going to be my problem to declutter, that's on my heirs and this summer, I am going to yard sales again.
carolinaman
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by carolinaman »

Normchad wrote: Sat Jul 03, 2021 6:05 pm If you haven’t worn it in the last year, get rid of it.
+1. Good advice. I use 2 years instead of 1. I clean my clothes closet out at least once a year and give stuff to Goodwill. Not as good with storage building (16x12 with high ceiling and shelving all around) but I do clean it out at least once every 2 years.

We have lived in same house for 48 years. DW is somewhat of a packrat. I cannot imagine what it would be like moving.

I have always heard the adage "you cannot have too many closets". The reality is you can because they allow you to clutter more.
rennale
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by rennale »

Get a good friend and a bottle of wine.

- Open the wine and have a glass.
- Get the friend to tell you what to throw away.
- Don't argue.
- Any mistakes (and there won't be many) can be repurchased later.

Quick, easy, effective, painless, and fun.
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roamingzebra
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by roamingzebra »

Mr. Rumples wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 6:30 am I used : Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. Problem was it turned out to be too good and got rid of things I now regret.

The idea as I recall was to determine what was relevant to your life now. Remove those that aren't, remove items with negative associations and so forth.

Now, however, I am re-cluttering...Its not going to be my problem to declutter, that's on my heirs and this summer, I am going to yard sales again.
I once gave away a whole slew of paperback books. I was glad at the time but there were a few that I regretted and so I bought them back just for the sake of nostalgia. Trouble is, the original covers were no longer available and that was what I was nostalgic for. It's hard to know in advance what you're going to feel nostalgic for later.

One way I overcame that is to "collect" book covers online. I can just download pictures of the covers and that brings back nostalgia. Still not the same as having the original books with the original covers though.
duffyinvestor
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by duffyinvestor »

The truth is your "stuff" will be a burden to someone someday so best to keep it to what is actually useful and that you love. Very, very little of what you own has any substantial value.

I want "stuff" to be used so if it's not being used (within a year or so, depending on the category) I sell it or give it away. I'm in a Buy Nothing facebook group and it makes me happy to give away something I'm not using.
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blueblock
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by blueblock »

Google "Swedish death cleaning."
Jim Beaux
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Jim Beaux »

Stop the source of clutter. Told my family not to buy me gifts. I have so many useless items...coffee mugs, booze I dont like, plaques telling me Im the greatest, colognes, and tee shirts, etc.

I tell them if they just need to spend money , donate to the local food bank or Salvation Army...my preferred charities. This rewards both of us.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by LilyFleur »

Jim Beaux wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 11:44 am Stop the source of clutter. Told my family not to buy me gifts. I have so many useless items...coffee mugs, booze I dont like, plaques telling me Im the greatest, colognes, and tee shirts, etc.

I tell them if they just need to spend money , donate to the local food bank or Salvation Army...my preferred charities. This rewards both of us.
Yes. I have a family member who loves clutter and loves to give gifts that are clutter. Finally I convinced her to buy me books which I end up making my bookclub choice, and then I donate to the library. She picks really good books, so it works well.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

roamingzebra wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 11:19 am
Mr. Rumples wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 6:30 am I used : Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. Problem was it turned out to be too good and got rid of things I now regret.

The idea as I recall was to determine what was relevant to your life now. Remove those that aren't, remove items with negative associations and so forth.

Now, however, I am re-cluttering...Its not going to be my problem to declutter, that's on my heirs and this summer, I am going to yard sales again.
I once gave away a whole slew of paperback books. I was glad at the time but there were a few that I regretted and so I bought them back just for the sake of nostalgia. Trouble is, the original covers were no longer available and that was what I was nostalgic for. It's hard to know in advance what you're going to feel nostalgic for later.

One way I overcame that is to "collect" book covers online. I can just download pictures of the covers and that brings back nostalgia. Still not the same as having the original books with the original covers though.
Exactly right. I had someone buy all of my albums; they drove up from Raleigh for the covers. I then got rid of most of my books...I regret both decisions now.
hvaclorax
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by hvaclorax »

Yes, I’ve decluttered with the best of them. Nonetheless, I do believe that there is a limiting factor. We keep what we have storage space available for. IE: if the clothes closet is not cluttered then stop. No need to go below that. The space is paid for.
One other thing, along the same principle, I keep things that I might use as long as I have space. Recently I refurbished a credenza for DD. Zero cost. Also stained decks, three of them, using stain left over from many years previously. One cashed stain was 15 years old. Fix bikes with old parts on hand. Repurpose lumber for deck board replacement. RE Store is your friend, specially during pandemic. I won’t consider starting a project without first checking the Habit for Humanity store. Bruce 3/4 inch flooring used as a countertop. Etc.
Moral is keep what you might use if you have the space. Otherwise “store it at the RE store thanks HVAC.
RudyS
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by RudyS »

steve roy wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 12:49 am Wife and I have a saying: “We can toss this treasure NOW, or our kids will toss it after we die.”
+1
vg55
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by vg55 »

Vtsax100 wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 11:28 am Pro tip: Don’t let the things you own, own you.
+1

I have always felt this way. Things are the barnacles of life, they stick to you and weigh you down. shake'em off. Live free of things. Keep only what brings you joy.
a
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by a »

How to declutter?

Get older, and have a goal, something you want to do with your life that you start to think might take longer than the time you have left. Then you won't be able to help but trash anything that stands in the way of that goal - like extraneous stuff.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

BH_RedRan wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 1:12 pm
Electronic parts etc. (My weakness)
I'm still working on this. Does anyone need a 7401? How about an 82S100?
I have been able to toss/recycle all older PCs except for a very old IBM Thinkpad which is a beast.
Search for an electronic scrap yard in your area. I scrap electronics for a hobby and some extra cash. When I have enough and happen to be going near the scrapyard for other reasons, I bring a carload of electronic stuff separated out plus materials (aluminum, brass, copper, wires) and typically walk out with between $20 and $400. If you don't know where one is, look at the craigslist wanted section. There's always someone who is willing to come take stuff for free. At the moment, steel and aluminum prices are in the toilet as are most electronic board prices. But it's more than zero. My escrap yard will take complete "things" like laptops or computer towers and pay a lower per pound price or if you put in the work and separate out boards, steel, wire, aluminum, the price per pound is much higher. Copper and brass are still quite high.

I even scrap out printers when there's nothing else I can find. They're garbage with a couple garbage low grade pc boards, a little wire, steel and a bunch of plastic to get rid of. But pulling stuff apart is fun for me, so worth the effort.
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roamingzebra
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by roamingzebra »

OP here. Thought I'd give an update.

I took the most cluttered closet and started to pull things out. I immediately noticed that due to the crowded conditions along with a semi-humid climate, items had started to deteriorate. Not only did that give me some things to discard immediately, but I realized there needs to be air space around items in storage to keep them in good condition. To that end, I purchased some wire rack shelving which allows for air around each item and easy manuevering of contents on each shelf.

Another thing I realized was that on the upper shelf of the closet, the problem was less an issue of too many things and more that I couldn't tell what I had, and thus frequently re-bought items I already had. Easy solution: Lazy Susans! Really easy to tell what you have when you just have to spin a turntable.
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Sphinx
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Sphinx »

Glad you're making good progress, OP. :sharebeer

I caught Decluttering Fever years ago when my spouse lost a passport in a sea of stuff. After months of decluttering, we excavated the passport. I've read a lot of books on decluttering/hoarding by different authors, but I keep coming back to these three books:
  • The Art of Discarding by Nagisa Tatsumi (2000)
  • The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story by Marie Kondo and Yuko Uramoto (Illustrator) (2017)
  • Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki (2015)
I prefer the first and third books in audiobook format, and I love the illustrated format of the second book on my Kindle. I also liked Marie Kondo's cheerful and positive Tidying Up with Marie Kondo show on Netflix. Our home isn't clutter-free yet, but we're working on it. :beer
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Jazztonight
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Jazztonight »

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard and read all of this before.

Some of it is really true and worked for DW and myself--we downsized from a big house to a big apartment (no attic; no basement; no storage in the garage) and got rid of a LOT of stuff. Some of it I crammed into a van that I had driven by a young couple from CA to Cincinnati where my son lives, and now it was HIS problem (lol).

I'd read Marie Kondo's book years ago when we were vacationing in Hawaii and I actually took a bunch of items that I'd brought on the trip, put a "free" sign on them, left it all on a picnic table, and it was gone in an hour.

Some problems that arise have to do with your partner's "stuff" and jointly owned stuff--it's often easier to see what the other person should part with than what you yourself should get rid of. Good luck with that.

When my parents died, I took a car-load worth of their stuff home, and gave virtually all of it away on Craigslist (free). My sister, who has a 3 car garage and only 2 cars, filled the remaining space in her garage with lots of my parents' stuff, furniture, boxes of items. That was 4 years ago and all that junk is still driving her crazy. I tried to warn her.

My dad left 3 boxes of slides from their vacations (OMG). I paid a hundred bucks to have most of them scanned onto a DVD, got rid of the slides, and made copies of the DVD for the grandchildren. Do you think anyone has looked at those DVDs? NO!! Not even myself.

I've been collecting my personal correspondence, clippings, articles, reviews, programs, etc., since I was a teenager, and recently paid ~$300 for "archival boxes" so I could store it all on the bookshelves in my study. It looks great, people think the room is "so neat," and so on. (I'm wondering if I'll ever go through all of that paper collection.) In the end, it's still the same amount of paper that I had before, and someday my heirs are going to do "something" with it. But then it will be their problem, not mine.

However you choose to declutter, it's going to be a large or small nightmare. I wish you the best!
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche
RevFran
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by RevFran »

From august through October of last year, a friend and I committed to get rid of one item a day. We texted each other to say what the item was. Of course, some days we wound up getting rid of 15 items. It was great!
carolinaman
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by carolinaman »

There are some great ideas posted and I intend to use some of these for myself.

I am guilty of cluttering to some degree but my wife is a pack rat who clings onto to things that she has not used for years and never will. The result is a lot of clutter in our home of 48 years. She occasionally gets motivated to dispose of stuff but 6 months later it seems the same as before.

Any suggestions of how to motivate her to declutter?
RudyS
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by RudyS »

Jazztonight wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:02 pm Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've heard and read all of this before.
...
My dad left 3 boxes of slides from their vacations (OMG). I paid a hundred bucks to have most of them scanned onto a DVD, got rid of the slides, and made copies of the DVD for the grandchildren. Do you think anyone has looked at those DVDs? NO!! Not even myself.

I've been collecting my personal correspondence, clippings, articles, reviews, programs, etc., since I was a teenager, and recently paid ~$300 for "archival boxes" so I could store it all on the bookshelves in my study. It looks great, people think the room is "so neat," and so on. (I'm wondering if I'll ever go through all of that paper collection.) In the end, it's still the same amount of paper that I had before, and someday my heirs are going to do "something" with it. But then it will be their problem, not mine.

However you choose to declutter, it's going to be a large or small nightmare. I wish you the best!
We are all different. I too converted lots of slides to digital. Now on my computer. Every once in a while I think of a great vacation shot to post on Facebook. But the boxes of slides are gone! And interestingly I was able to sell the empty carousels on eBay!

I also had a pile of souvenirs, info, etc., from my school days and summer jobs. Since we were drastically downsizing, I sorted through all that stuff, and selected just that which would fit into one scrapbook. It was fun for my grandkids, who are now just about college age, to see what grandpa did at a similar point in time to compare with their experiences.
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Sphinx
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Sphinx »

carolinaman wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:17 am There are some great ideas posted and I intend to use some of these for myself.

I am guilty of cluttering to some degree but my wife is a pack rat who clings onto to things that she has not used for years and never will. The result is a lot of clutter in our home of 48 years. She occasionally gets motivated to dispose of stuff but 6 months later it seems the same as before.

Any suggestions of how to motivate her to declutter?
As a teenager, Marie Kondo got in trouble for decluttering her family members' things without their knowledge or permission. She then focused solely on decluttering her own things. Her own room went from cluttered to tidy and spotless. Her personal example ended up motivating her family to declutter on their own.

If you declutter your own things and your own space(s), you might inspire your wife to follow suit. Good luck! :sharebeer
Ldnr
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Ldnr »

For me, I found these thoughts helped:

If I had not used the item in three years, it should go.

If my house burned down or had to flee it suddenly, what things would I really miss?
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Dottie57 »

LilyFleur wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 11:48 am
Jim Beaux wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 11:44 am Stop the source of clutter. Told my family not to buy me gifts. I have so many useless items...coffee mugs, booze I dont like, plaques telling me Im the greatest, colognes, and tee shirts, etc.

I tell them if they just need to spend money , donate to the local food bank or Salvation Army...my preferred charities. This rewards both of us.
Yes. I have a family member who loves clutter and loves to give gifts that are clutter. Finally I convinced her to buy me books which I end up making my bookclub choice, and then I donate to the library. She picks really good books, so it works well.
I have a small collection of Civil War books. I think donating to the library is a very good idea indeed.
Swimmer
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by Swimmer »

MoonOrb wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 12:39 am
7eight9 wrote: Sat Jul 03, 2021 6:04 pm You might want to read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
+1

Loved this book.
+1
Marie says if it doesn’t “spark joy” you don’t need it. There are also books on Swedish Death Cleaning. Sounds morbid but what a freeing feeling when you finish. I’ve just spent three months doing it. I know many less fortunate than I have benefited. A side benefit is that you can find the things you need easily.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by LilyFleur »

Swimmer wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:10 pm
MoonOrb wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 12:39 am
7eight9 wrote: Sat Jul 03, 2021 6:04 pm You might want to read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
+1

Loved this book.
+1
Marie says if it doesn’t “spark joy” you don’t need it. There are also books on Swedish Death Cleaning. Sounds morbid but what a freeing feeling when you finish. I’ve just spent three months doing it. I know many less fortunate than I have benefited. A side benefit is that you can find the things you need easily.
Finding things easily, I think, is very practical as we age. It's a waste of precious time to have to dig through a bunch of junk. Life's too short!
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roamingzebra
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Re: Any Pro tips to help with Decluttering?

Post by roamingzebra »

Any ideas on what to do with spare household extension cords? I currently keep them in a tangled mess in a basket.

I have different lengths and colors depending on what they're needed for, so I don't intend to throw any of them out.

I've seen videos on YouTube where they teach special techniques for winding, but I don't have any patience for that. I'd just like a storage solution that allows for easy retrieval and storage and that doesn't look too messy. Ideas?
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