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2019 Decluttering Thread

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    2019 Decluttering Thread

    Happy New Year! Time for another year of ridding yourself and your home of unwanted items. Use this thread to report your progress, your goals, your struggles, and your successes.

    For those who are wondering why this thread is posted to a saving money forum, I firmly believe that this IS a financial topic for a number of reasons. If you sell things you no longer need, you earn money. If you donate things you no longer need, you help others less fortunate and may get a tax break. If you find things you've been missing, it keeps you from spending money to replace them. And if you get used to living with less clutter, it encourages you to not spend on things you don't really need.

    I haven't done anything significant yet since the ball dropped, but I have one funny story that demonstrates what I said above about finding things. We went to Walmart the other day. As we were walking past the laundry aisle, my wife said she needed to buy Shout (stain remover). I stopped her and said there's 3 bottles of it in the basement. I had seen them when I was cleaning recently. She was surprised and when we got home, I took her downstairs and sure enough there were 3 bottles. Two were smaller refill bottles, each half used. The third was a large refill bottle, brand new, that also came with a regular size spray bottle. We refilled the empty spray bottle, combined the 2 partial bottles, and got rid of the empty one. And she won't have to buy Shout for a long time. Had I not been with her, she would have bought another bottle.

    I have started going through some files but I really need to wait until the year-end financial statements come, which should be in the next week or so.
    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
    this is a category I really need to work on we are trying to NOT buy things unless we are sure we can not go without.
    It has helped a lot in spending and I am slowly using things up around the house. we have some things we really should sell or donate I just keep putting it off I am not sure why.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Smallsteps View Post
      this is a category I really need to work on we are trying to NOT buy things unless we are sure we can not go without.
      It has helped a lot in spending and I am slowly using things up around the house. we have some things we really should sell or donate I just keep putting it off I am not sure why.
      I totally understand. We've kept a lot of things for a very long time even though we never use them and never plan to. Something just clicked for me a year or two ago and I really started to let go of that stuff. I guess part of it is getting older. Part of it is thinking about possibly relocating and not wanting to move crap. And part of it is just being tired of being buried in stuff that doesn't mean anything to us.

      One criteria I like is if it is something that you're holding onto "just in case" and you can easily replace it for $20 or less, get rid of it. That can help eliminate a lot of the smaller items. If it's bigger/costlier stuff, you just really need to ask yourself, "Do I need this? Will I ever use it?"

      Good luck.
      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


        #4
        I've decluttered a few things this year already, yay me! Last week I went through the clutter on my bedroom desk and got rid of it. I have folders of old vacations that I keep our itineraries, trip tiks, and receipts in. I pitched them! It was hard for me to do because I do like to look back on stuff periodically and see how cheap things were back in the day, but I got rid of them!

        Then today while I was putting away the Christmas decorations I made a donation box of the decorations I didn't use(although not everything, sometimes I get tired of the same stuff all the time and like to put different things out the next year). But still I emptied one 18 gallon bin and was able to fill it with other items that I do use but had been laying out. So the basement is a little more organized.

        Oh and Saturday I went through my linen closet again, I had done this earlier in 2018, but I got rid of more stuff that I didn't purge the first time. But since I've not used it in 6 mos, it's gone.

        I even got my pack rat dd to go through her clothes and get rid of a kitchen trash bag full. We're making progress, and contributing to this thread really helps to keep me motivated!

        Comment


          #5
          Put five of my old ties and a suit that I haven't worn in two years in our bag of things to take to Goodwill. Helps free up some space in our closet.
          james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
          202.468.6043

          Comment


            #6
            I just cleaned out the junk drawer in the kitchen. Threw out a bunch of stuff. Itís amazing what accumulates in there.
            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


              #7
              I have 3 bags waiting for the Epilepsy Foundation, but multiple closets to still work through. We have a junk guy down the street from us and a pile in our garage that has got to go. I did a lot of stuff from our spare closet, my closet and my teen's room, but there is SO much more work to do. I'm adopting the if you buy an item, throw out an item attitude this year. I did sell a number of items last year which helped.

              Comment


                #8
                I've never really participated on these decluttering threads, but I've always been jealous... My wife & I both have a tendency to keep things around that we don't need or use (both of our mothers were/are somewhat obsessive collectors), and honestly, having the extra stuff cluttering the house really stresses me out alot. We're not slobs or hoarders by any means, but it's just a whole bunch of little nicknacks, toys, and other junk (DW hates that word at this point) that just sits on countertops and along the walls that makes the house feel cluttered and disorganized. It's apparently gotten to the point that this weekend my wife & I actually had a [editor's note: absolutely ridiculous] shouting match/argument that basically centered around the fact that I'm stressed out by the random junk sitting around, and my wife was stressing out trying to clean things up to help me not stress, but we just weren't seeing eye-to-eye about any of it, and I didn't even recognize what it was doing to me. SOOOOO..... we've spent much of the weekend (and really, a fair part of the last month) organizing and clearing out a bunch of stuff that we don't use or want. Multiple trips to the donations shop, and alot of time just working through some of the randomness in our lives. Our kids' toys have been picked through alot, as have both of our closets. Hopefully, we can keep it going, and get our clutter under control. If anything noteworthy, I may try to actually participate here in the thread. The garage will be a challenge.

                Happy new year, and good luck on your own adventures in cleaning house!
                Last edited by kork13; 01-06-2019, 10:11 PM.
                "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Saturday I sorted through my sewing supplies.

                  Before I started it consisted of 3 "shoe boxes" (actually those little shoe-box size plastic totes), a plastic grocery-size shopping bag, and a sewing basket.
                  It now consists of 1 "shoe box" that is 2/3-full! I love those little see-through plastic totes: they keep small like items grouped and you can easily see most of what's inside.

                  The bulky items were leftover fabric and partially used spools of thread, but there were also some notions and little hand tools that I don't use anymore, and even the extra buttons that came with clothes I no longer own.
                  I sold the whole lot of what I'm not keeping on FB at a extra-super-duper bargain price, and was happy to see a young woman snatch it up.

                  These days my sewing efforts consist of mending & hemming, no full projects (although I would like to sew some pajama pants for both DH & I if I can score some free or super cheap fabric or sheets).

                  Also - I'm happy to report that my mending "pile" consists of exactly 0 items! I hemmed a pair of pants for DH, mended 2 items, and tossed 1 item that wasn't worth mending & moving.
                  Last edited by scfr; 01-07-2019, 06:29 AM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by kork13 View Post
                    I've never really participated on these decluttering threads, but I've always been jealous... My wife & I both have a tendency to keep things around that we don't need or use (both of our mothers were/are somewhat obsessive collectors), and honestly, having the extra stuff cluttering the house really stresses me out alot.
                    I love your post. First, it is so very true (but often unrecognized) that clutter causes stress. As I've shared many times, one thing that always spurs my decluttering efforts is going on vacation where we spend a week or two in a clean, uncluttered hotel room or rental property. Second, as you've encountered, in order to really tackle the problem, you and your partner both need to reach a point where you've had enough and are ready to address it together.

                    I would highly recommend Marie Kondo's book on tidying up. See if your library has it and both of you should read it. I don't think you have to go full out with her method but it can really change your mindset and approach going forward. My wife and I did use her method with a few categories of items and it made a huge difference.

                    I look forward to hearing more of your progress eliminating "randomness" from your lives. What a great term, and it emphasizes how we have a sense of a lack of control over our environment when it is filled with clutter.
                    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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by kork13 View Post
                      I've never really participated on these decluttering threads, but I've always been jealous... My wife & I both have a tendency to keep things around that we don't need or use (both of our mothers were/are somewhat obsessive collectors), and honestly, having the extra stuff cluttering the house really stresses me out alot. We're not slobs or hoarders by any means, but it's just a whole bunch of little nicknacks, toys, and other junk (DW hates that word at this point) that just sits on countertops and along the walls that makes the house feel cluttered and disorganized. It's apparently gotten to the point that this weekend my wife & I actually had a [editor's note: absolutely ridiculous] shouting match/argument that basically centered around the fact that I'm stressed out by the random junk sitting around, and my wife was stressing out trying to clean things up to help me not stress, but we just weren't seeing eye-to-eye about any of it, and I didn't even recognize what it was doing to me. SOOOOO..... we've spent much of the weekend (and really, a fair part of the last month) organizing and clearing out a bunch of stuff that we don't use or want. Multiple trips to the donations shop, and alot of time just working through some of the randomness in our lives. Our kids' toys have been picked through alot, as have both of our closets. Hopefully, we can keep it going, and get our clutter under control. If anything noteworthy, I may try to actually participate here in the thread. The garage will be a challenge.

                      Happy new year, and good luck on your own adventures in cleaning house!
                      Most people don't realize how stressful clutter is! Our brains know it's there, even if we do not consciously think about it. I'm a big believer in having less for this reason alone. I showed a new neighbor friend my cabinets one time and she was shocked at how many were empty. I buy what we need and use and if we aren't using it regularly it needs to go. And also it so much easier to move with the military without all the extras. We can unpack in one day if we had to, usually do it over three days.

                      I'll be cheering for you in 2019, kork! You won't regret it and hopefully can find a balance with what your wife wants.
                      My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                        I would highly recommend Marie Kondo's book on tidying up. See if your library has it and both of you should read it. I don't think you have to go full out with her method but it can really change your mindset and approach going forward. My wife and I did use her method with a few categories of items and it made a huge difference.
                        Marie Kondo has a television show on Netflix. I just watched the first episode yesterday where she helped a couple and their two young kids get control of their clutter. The couple seemed to have a better relationship after the process.
                        My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by creditcardfree View Post

                          Marie Kondo has a television show on Netflix. I just watched the first episode yesterday where she helped a couple and their two young kids get control of their clutter. The couple seemed to have a better relationship after the process.
                          Ooh. I didn't know that. I know what DW and I are watching after we finish Mrs. Maisel. And I can totally see how it would help a relationship. As kork said, clutter is stressful. It can often be a source of friction in the household, yelling at the kids to clean their rooms or put away their toys, spouses arguing over the mess in the family room or basement or garage, etc. And once you really get serious about clutter, you will find that you become far more discriminating about new purchases and what you're willing to bring into the house so it lessens spending too.

                          I have found one thing that is kind of a downside, though, to be honest. We no longer enjoy activities that we used to spend a lot of time doing. As collectors, we were always going to flea markets, yard sales, thrift shops, antique stores, and auctions. We would plan weekends and even vacations around doing those things. Now that we no longer are buying all of those sorts of things, going to those places has lost its appeal. The thrill of the hunt for that special item is gone. Although I like that we're decluttering, I do miss the enjoyment I derived from those activities.
                          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


                            #14
                            Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                            I have found one thing that is kind of a downside, though, to be honest. We no longer enjoy activities that we used to spend a lot of time doing. As collectors, we were always going to flea markets, yard sales, thrift shops, antique stores, and auctions. We would plan weekends and even vacations around doing those things. Now that we no longer are buying all of those sorts of things, going to those places has lost its appeal. The thrill of the hunt for that special item is gone. Although I like that we're decluttering, I do miss the enjoyment I derived from those activities.
                            I can see that being a change for you. Clearly the benefits of decluttering have outweighed the enjoyment factor, or you would still be doing it. Hope you find something that can bring back that excitement without cluttering your home!
                            My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by creditcardfree View Post

                              Marie Kondo has a television show on Netflix. I just watched the first episode yesterday where she helped a couple and their two young kids get control of their clutter. The couple seemed to have a better relationship after the process.
                              I just watched that show recently and loved it. Already requested her book from library. I've always been dedicated to decluttering but Marie Kondo showed me a lot of new ideas. She definitely takes it to a new level! So far we have 3 bags going to Goodwill and 2 bags for local Resale shop. It's not so much the decluttering but the organizing aspect as well. I feel more calm and focused when things are decluttered and organized. disneysteve - This is great discussion to start as definitely related to Finance. There's the obvious of selling your old stuff for money but also I've found, when organized we take better care of our stuff so lasts longer. And when things are organized you see what you have and don't buy things you don't need.

                              Comment

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