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2014 Decluttering Thread

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    2014 Decluttering Thread

    Ok, I'm jumping the gun by a month as it's only December 1, but hopefully we will all get on track in 2014 and start getting the clutter out of our lives.

    I actually started yesterday. I got 3 pairs of pants and one shirt out of my closet. These were worn out pants that I wear only around the house, working in the garage, etc. but I realized I had about 8 such pairs of pants and just don't need them all. These 3 were in the worst shape so out they went.

    Today, I started the year-end purging of the file drawers, aided by the brand new shredder I got as a Chanukah present. I also realized that with my daughter starting college in 2014, I need to add a file for college-related paperwork. We just made the deposit to hold her spot this morning! I've already cleaned out the credit card bills, cell phone bills, bank statements, auto insurance bills, and a few other things. I won't get to the investment statements until January when the year-end statements arrive.

    So let's use this thread to report our progress, our successes, maybe even some photos if you'd like - before and after. I know our house is in a constant state of needing to be decluttered. We seem to take 2 steps forward and 1 step back, or sometimes 1 step forward and 3 steps back - all depends on the week.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    #2
    Now, if I could only get the gf to toss all of her "papers" (she's a teacher) and bills. Junk piled up in every room. She saves even her grocery receipts. Nothing's organized. It's all in piles here and there. I think she's a hoarder.

    Comment


      #3
      Just dropped off a whole pickup truck full of stuff at Goodwill today. A whole bunch of fat clothes from my 250 lbs days. Was fun trying them on and looking all gangster. Also, DW finally got rid of a bunch of stuff that had been sitting in the basement since we moved here in 2008 and we haven't used any of it. Some of it was still new in the box. Grand total was $2,000 donation value. Win, win for me and Goodwill.

      Horse is getting appraised Wednesday and then donated on Thursday. That means a whole bunch of horse gear will get donated or sold as well. And the horse trailer. That's a lot of clutter and gets rid of a huge boat anchor on my savings.

      That's it so far.

      Tom

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        #4
        inlaws were allowed to store their stuff in my garage until they bought their down-sized house. Well it's been 2 months since they move into that house and now that it's cold I've found out that furniture and nick-nacks burn rather nicely in the woodstove I use to heat the garage
        Gunga galunga...gunga -- gunga galunga.

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          #5
          I just tossed a garbage bag of clothing items that are worn out and not really worth donating, as well as a few other junky items just cluttering up the house! It felt great! I just need to take out some time to motivate myself to do more of that.

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            #6
            I am already beginning too by selling my large 300+ CDs on Ebay. They have free listings until the 5th so I am taking advantage. They just sit in my apartment and some are worth a hundred each and I know they could go to good collector homes. So hopefully I'll have some extra money in my pocket after Christmas

            I've also gotten really into Feng Shui and it's helping bring harmony, peace, and a sense of "home" to my home

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              #7
              [QUOTE=disneysteve;373329I've already cleaned out the credit card bills, cell phone bills, bank statements, auto insurance bills, and a few other things. I won't get to the investment statements until January when the year-end statements arrive.[/QUOTE]

              Have you thought of going paperless on all your bills? This is one of the new things on my "to-do" list. I already have many bills and investment accounts set up that way, but my goal is to get them all to be paperless. This will decrease the stack of paper in my to be filed pile .

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                #8
                Originally posted by moneybags View Post
                Have you thought of going paperless on all your bills? This is one of the new things on my "to-do" list. I already have many bills and investment accounts set up that way, but my goal is to get them all to be paperless. This will decrease the stack of paper in my to be filed pile .
                I really have no desire to go paperless. Call me old-fashioned but I've found that with the few bills I get paperless, I just don't keep track of them as I should. It took 3 months before I realized that my cable rate had shot up because I didn't look at the bill every month.

                I much prefer getting a physical bill that I can sit and review even if I toss it in the shredder when I'm done.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #9
                  With all the new stuff expected or planned to come into your home via food, gifts, refurbishing, clothes, etc. I suggest making a plan to ensure new stuff in - old stuff out. Try the 'pass it forward' principle. It is so important to work with your DKS to reduce toys, games and clothes no longer used/worn, loved or needed. They can be sold, re-gifted to younger relatives/family friends or donated to Goodwill or Charity outlet of choice. There are so many families who would be appreciative of your generosity and blessing. It means there will be room/space in toy bins, closet and drawers for new, incoming treasurers.

                  If you plan to buy new winter duds, let the items that will be replaced be dispensed by those organizations that help people in the worst of circumstances. You need to make a plan - what will go, where to take that bag/box and when. It's often best to eat basic, simple, pantry meals at home since there are so many parties, specialties, rich/caloric treats at holiday events. It's ok to think outside the box, breakfast cookies [oatmeal & applesauce], tortilla 'wraps', stuffed pita, omelettes that hide leftovers or Quinoa banana bread for example.

                  Way to go DS, you are working on the clutter. Amazing how it sneaks up

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Yeah, I don't like paperless either for exactly the reasons you mentioned. We have been forced to go paperless on a few things, and it bugs me.

                    I love decluttering, so love this topic Just had a big pick up of clothes, books, canning supplies, and other kitchen misc.

                    Have a rule against decluttering in December though. Two years ago I had bags of Christmas gifts on one side of the spare room, and bags of donations on the other side. Kept having nightmares that the gifts were going to get mixed up and put out on donation day. Since then, December is only for gift prep! That's why we did the donation in November this year. Can't wait to get back to it though. DD has outgrown a bunch of clothes that we need to sort through and donate. I'd love to thin down kitchen stuff a little more too. Not sure where to start there though, but that's for January.

                    DH and DD are my biggest obstacles. They are both ones who like to keep EVERYTHING, and I am one who keeps nothing I don't love or use. Finding a balance with them is difficult. I keep focusing on getting my stuff in order and hope it rubs off on them eventually.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Frugal Fish, great job getting donations out the door in November. There have been a slew of studies that confirm we wear 20% of our clothes 80 % of that time. For that reason keep a largish, heavy duty plastic bag in each bedroom closet ready to accept shoes and clothes in good condition that we no longer need or love. When DKs were little, every 4 months or so we cleared out about 1/3 of books, games and toys to a 'change-out' box stored on a top shelf. If DSs noticed an item gone and asked about it, we returned it to their toy box. Most of the time they played with preferred stuff. When we returned missing items on the next change out it was often ranked 'favorite' with fresh play value. Books, games, toys that continued to be ignored or outgrown got an inconspicuous sticker to identify for removal at next change out.

                      When we downsized from house to condo, we agreed to the new item in - old item out principle. We all knew we would have to give up something similar to the new item so it's saved a lot of money. The unanticipated benefit was a near end to impulse purchases. It's so much easier to be able to find what we want when we want it in closets, cupboards and drawers.

                      Kitchen stuff: if it hasn't been used in a year it's likely not needed. I stick small stationary dots on rarely used items and when I clean cupboards & drawers or change-out seasonal stuff, I pitch items in a shoe box for transition. If not retrieved in 6 months, it's sold, re-gifted or donated. We've a designated shelf in the garage for party sized servers and appliances shared with relatives, friends and neighbours.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Snafu, thanks for the encouragement and great ideas.

                        DH and DD are my biggest hurdles when it comes to decluttering. I feel little attachment to "stuff" and it would be easy for me to go through the house and just thin it to almost nothing--- but they live here too and tend to want to hang onto more things.

                        I've gotten in the habit with DD of putting her old toys and clothes aside for a few months and then donating them. At that point she doesn't think about them, or remember them much (moved on to the stuff she currently uses). I'd really rather she make the decision to pass things on to others in need, but thus far that has not been the case, but she is young yet.

                        DH comes from a family that keeps anything and everything that can be deemed 'nice' even if no one ever uses it or even likes it. For example we had a set of basic pilsner glasses (maybe $10 new?) that was taking up a good deal of space in the kitchen. No one ever used them, and if anyone ever did want to, they'd change their mind because the glasses would need to be washed first. Still, he wanted to keep them because they were nice. I did eventually donate them, but wish it would have been so with his blessing. That's the sort of thing that ties my hands where kitchen decluttering is concerned. If asked, they want to keep everything even if we don't use it. I feel like it's wrong of me to quietly get rid of things that nobody uses, but if they are easily replaced (like those glasses) eventually I get to a point of doing just that.

                        On the upside, somewhat like you said, we do tend to buy a whole lot less because we already have a house full of enough stuff and they aren't interested in clearing out the old stuff. For Christmas this year, DD is getting a number of smaller things that fit in with what she already has, and no bigger things that take up a lot of room. We live in a house that has no basement, no attic (a minimal crawlspace), and no outside storage except for a garage that already has enough stuff and is used to park 2 cars. We don't have anywhere to long-term store excess stuff, and DH and DD just can't see that at times.

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                          #13
                          I took 11 items to the used book store yesterday. They paid me $3.50. I did a big purge last month, but there is always more to get rid of.
                          My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by cardtrick View Post
                            Now, if I could only get the gf to toss all of her "papers" (she's a teacher) and bills. Junk piled up in every room. She saves even her grocery receipts. Nothing's organized. It's all in piles here and there. I think she's a hoarder.
                            I'm a true believer in saving all receipts. It has served me well over the years. However, I can see how this gets out control. My method: I have two large shoe boxes in the closet. One labeled "receipts" and one labeled "bills". After a bill is paid, it goes into the bill shoe box and the receipts go into the receipts shoe box. At tax time I often break out both boxes and sort them. But 98% of the time I don't need them. Every year I have a new shoe box and I'll keep the old shoe box for a few years for tax purposes (usually I'll consolidate boxes into one for space purposes). Unless you're doing a small business and you need things organized by vendor then you don't need any other method.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              B4freedom: I've always wondered why people keep bills long paid and receipts with no tax ramifications. Cheap, easy & efficient is terrific. Items with warranties can easily be retrieved if need if stapled to the manual/pamphlet shoved in a page protector and stored in a 3 ring binder. Everyone needs their own method for storing tax related documentation. I like my vinyl folder for home improvement notes, plans, receipts, suppliers. We use an empty Kleenex box for those receipts that land in wallet, bag, pocket etc. It takes a bit of time to fish it out if you need to return something that disappoints, helpful for DH's who never remembers where he bought something but wants more.

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