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2020 Decluttering Thread

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    #61
    Years ago, to try to reduce clutter on the kitchen table (mail, magazines, coupons, etc.), I bought a wicker box with a lid that I keep on the floor between the table and window. it's out of the way and not unattractive. When we need the table cleared, I can easily drop stuff in there and close the lid.

    Of course, the problem became that the box got full of whatever and would then also have things piled on top and there would still be stuff on the table. Periodically, I'd go through the piles and make room in the box, only to have it build up again. And I never actually got it emptied out even when I did that.

    This morning, I went through the box (and the pile on top) and completely emptied it out. A large pile of stuff went in the recycling bin. Some stuff went in the trash. Several items went into the donation pile. And a slew of items got put where they actually belong in the house (tools, computer cords, travel souvenirs, etc.).

    So the box is just about empty except for a few items. The table is cleared. I'm making a fresh start at keeping it all that way. Wish me 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.

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      #62
      I get free samples (for doctors) of an over the counter sinus rinse product. DW uses it occasionally but we get way more than she could possibly use. We've given it to some friends a couple of times but they didn't want any more. So I listed them on the community Buy Nothing group. Someone responded and took all of them. They picked them up yesterday. That was 2 more boxes worth of stuff that's out of here.
      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


        #63
        Two of our kids have moved back home so I've been major decluttering to make room for their stuff. I took 2 garbage bags to Goodwill yesterday and today I cleaned out our coat closet and took 6 coats there.

        Comment


          #64
          This was posted by someone to a "moving to Florida" group that I belong to and I thought I'd share it here. It shows how decluttering can also become somewhat lucrative with very minimal effort.

          "A little word of advice for others looking to plunge with some time ahead of them- we are looking to list our house in April and plan to move next July.
          So in our process of purging, unable to donate anything during Covid, we began listing things on Facebook marketplace. Little silly things for $5, 10, 20. This was 4 months ago.
          We have literally made thousands listing small little things. Most of the time we just leave it outside and tell them to leave money in mailbox or in front door. Not once has anyone taken The item and not left the money.
          So much more lucrative and less work than a garage sale!
          Example- today I sold some partially filled bottles of essential oils for $5 and a outdoor umbrella for $20. My husband sold a couple other things, we came home to $50 in mailbox.
          We will earn enough to move doing this.
          We’ve actually become a bit obsessed trying to find things around the house each day to sell!
          So my advice- do it!! Fun and makes the time go by while purging at the same time!!"
          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


            #65
            Not me, but my wife has spent the last couple days helping her sister sort through all of their abundant clutter, and it sounds like they're going to be doing a garage sale soon (this weekend?). Hopefully they were able to make alot of progress -- I really like DW's sisters, but they are all very...........cluttered.........to put it kindly.

            Of course, DW first tried to help her mother do some of the same (her sisters all learned from the best), but their mother is unbearably emotionally attached to literally everything in her house (piled papers, dead plants, cobwebs, and all)... The very suggestion of a good purge will send her into an emotional breakdown. In DW's words the other day, "I'm trying to help my mom with things at her house.......We left and came to [DW's sister's] house to help her instead, because she's willing to accept this kind of help and understands she needs to get rid of things." We will all rue the day that their parents eventually pass.... I wonder if arson would be an acceptable option?
            ***Note: I'm a terrible son-in-law. Apologies if I offend.
            "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

            Comment


              #66
              I shared previously about helping my elderly mother declutter (see page 2 of this thread for my Feb 15 post if you're interested). COVID19 brought my "helping Mom declutter" efforts to a halt, but I was finally able to persuade her to let me bring some things back to my apartment to sort.

              Last weekend when I delivered her groceries I brought 3-1/2 boxes home with me and I've been going through them this week. What remains is 1/2 box of useful stuff that I'll take back to her. The rest has been recycled or set aside to take to the recycling center (shredded paper and household hazardous waste) this afternoon. The useful stuff includes blank greeting cards, office supplies, 2-1/2 sheets of Forever stamps, a couple old checks that she never deposited and can hopefully get replaced, $20 cash, and a brand new part for her CPAP that cost $48! This is stuff that has been sitting in boxes and providing her with no benefit for around 9 years.

              When you declutter, you separate the wheat from the chaff. And sometimes it's mostly chaff. And that chaff has been smothering the wheat. Anyway ... Onward!

              We're now working on getting me access to her 2nd storage unit (please God let there be no more surprise storage units) so I can get that thing emptied out.

              Comment


                #67
                DW and I cleaned out the kitchen freezer today. We completely emptied it first. That let us vacuum and wipe down the interior. It’s amazing how much dust and hair accumulates in there.

                Then we threw out anything that was freezer burned or way too old or that we just know we won’t ever use. We found a couple of duplicate packs of things that we combined. There were a few items that we moved to the basement freezer.

                finally we organized what remained so that related items were near each other. Now the challenge is to keep it all that way.
                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


                  #68
                  Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                  DW and I cleaned out the kitchen freezer today. We completely emptied it first. That let us vacuum and wipe down the interior. It’s amazing how much dust and hair accumulates in there.

                  Then we threw out anything that was freezer burned or way too old or that we just know we won’t ever use. We found a couple of duplicate packs of things that we combined. There were a few items that we moved to the basement freezer.

                  finally we organized what remained so that related items were near each other. Now the challenge is to keep it all that way.
                  Have you considered eliminating the basement freezer?

                  Comment


                    #69
                    Originally posted by scfr View Post

                    Have you considered eliminating the basement freezer?
                    Not a chance. The basement freezer is almost always packed. There are several things we cook in bulk and freeze in single portions (meatballs, chili, pot pie, etc.). There are a number of items we buy in bulk packages at BJs and we need that freezer to store those, among other things. We also make our own limoncello so there's always a few liters of that down 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


                      #70
                      Shredded a large stack of mortgage and utility statements about 4" thick from 2009-2018. Since I just refinanced recently, I kept only the last 2 years of statements going forward. Freed up a bunch space in my file cabinet. Recycled a number of cardboard boxes I was saving for shipping items, but realized I really don't have anything to sell. Consolidated a bunch of cleaning products to use up first for kitchen and bathroom for more space underneath sinks. Giving away a Swiss backpack and rifle accessories I never use. Last step is finish reading through older Kiplinger Personal Finance issues and recycle.
                      "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

                      Comment


                        #71
                        Originally posted by scfr View Post
                        I shared previously about helping my elderly mother declutter (see page 2 of this thread for my Feb 15 post if you're interested). COVID19 brought my "helping Mom declutter" efforts to a halt, but I was finally able to persuade her to let me bring some things back to my apartment to sort.

                        Last weekend when I delivered her groceries I brought 3-1/2 boxes home with me and I've been going through them this week. What remains is 1/2 box of useful stuff that I'll take back to her. The rest has been recycled or set aside to take to the recycling center (shredded paper and household hazardous waste) this afternoon. The useful stuff includes blank greeting cards, office supplies, 2-1/2 sheets of Forever stamps, a couple old checks that she never deposited and can hopefully get replaced, $20 cash, and a brand new part for her CPAP that cost $48! This is stuff that has been sitting in boxes and providing her with no benefit for around 9 years.

                        When you declutter, you separate the wheat from the chaff. And sometimes it's mostly chaff. And that chaff has been smothering the wheat. Anyway ... Onward!

                        We're now working on getting me access to her 2nd storage unit (please God let there be no more surprise storage units) so I can get that thing emptied out.
                        I got in to Mom's 2nd storage unit last week. It is at least twice as big as the 1st one.Round 1: Brought 5 big tote bins full of paper home to sort, plus an old electric typewriter to take to the transfer station. Took 9 boxes to Mom's for her to deal with; some are clothes that are decades old but she wanted to look at all of them before they go to Goodwill.

                        Comment


                          #72
                          Donated some children's toys to Goodwill last week. My kids had outgrown them and weren't using them.
                          james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                          202.468.6043

                          Comment


                            #73
                            We're unpacking our house from the move down from Alaska. After living the last 16 months out of a suitcase in hotels/small apartments, I'm finding myself even less attached to some of the random STUFF that we've got. Gratefully, it seems DW has caught the same bug, and we have 4-5 boxes so far of things set aside
                            for yard sale/FB selling/donation. Once we get everything unpacked & put away, hopefully we can rid ourselves of it all.
                            "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

                            Comment


                              #74
                              Originally posted by kork13 View Post
                              We're unpacking our house from the move down from Alaska. After living the last 16 months out of a suitcase in hotels/small apartments, I'm finding myself even less attached to some of the random STUFF that we've got. Gratefully, it seems DW has caught the same bug, and we have 4-5 boxes so far of things set aside
                              for yard sale/FB selling/donation. Once we get everything unpacked & put away, hopefully we can rid ourselves of it all.
                              Heck yeah, less stuff, more cash.
                              james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                              202.468.6043

                              Comment


                                #75
                                And...I made it to Goodwill again today. Donated one bag of children's toys and threw out a crib that we couldn't donate, sell or give away.
                                james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                                202.468.6043

                                Comment

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