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2021 Decluttering Thread

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  • disneysteve
    replied
    Originally posted by scfr View Post
    disneysteve I'll see your 2012 car purchase papers and raise you by every bill and receipt from 1996 on.
    Oh it goes back well before that. I found the car before that (2000 maybe) and I'm not all the way through that file yet. Did you miss the part about the papers from the 1975 car purchase? I'm guessing I will ultimately find every car he's ever owned in there.

    He moved from Philadelphia to Florida in 2011 but there is still a ton of paperwork and bills and such from his old house. I can understand taking some of that with him when he moved because it was still recent at the time, but he still has it 10 years later.

    He's got paperwork from accounts like banks and credit cards that he closed 10 or 15 or more years ago.

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  • scfr
    replied
    Today's declutters:

    DH traded in 3 old golf clubs that have served their purpose and got a really cool pair of golf shoes.

    My mom gave me a gift of a bracelet that I gave to her 30 years ago. And she gave me a piece of family silver to ship to my sister as a gift. My sisters & I asked her to stop buying gifts for us and instead give us items of hers that we like or consider family treasures that she no longer uses.

    I hauled a huge tub full of stuff from mom's place to Goodwill, after persuading her that I did NOT need to leave it for her to "look through one more time." Now that we're both at maximum protection from COVID and I can get back in to her place to resume the decluttering efforts, I've surveyed the new piles, developed a plan of attack, and dusted off the Serenity Prayer. disneysteve I'll see your 2012 car purchase papers and raise you by every bill and receipt from 1996 on.

    Leave a comment:


  • disneysteve
    replied
    Originally posted by kork13 View Post
    I wish I could convince my wife of this... It's an uphill battle, and most of the time I feel like I'm definitely losing. Our house isn't overwhelmed by junk, but we just have SO MUCH random stuff, most of which doesn't get used. She's the sentimental sort, and has plastic bins filled with keepsakes from her childhood. With kids, it's way worse -- toys, clothes, random school papers, "saving it" for future kids.... ugh.... I've yet to find anything reliable to motivate her to go for any sort of decluttering purge, except perhaps visiting her (definitively hoarding) mother's house, and each time we move with the military.
    What I'm finding in my cousin's case is an abundance of unnecessary paper. For example, he kept every auto insurance policy dating back 15 years. Me? When I get the new one, I shred the old one. I only keep the most recent active policy. If he got a bill that came with a return envelope for your payment, even though he paid electronically, he still saved that return envelope along with the bill. He also saved any flyers that were in with the bill advertising other services. So he has every bill just as it came. Me? I pull out the actual bill and toss everything else in the recycling bin right away.

    He has all of the paperwork from purchasing his last car (not his current car), and the one before that, and the one before that. I even came across the paperwork from his 1975 Ford purchase. I realize he may have kept that one for sentimental value as it was probably his first car purchase.

    He had a Vanguard account, as do I. Buy like my mother, he saved the monthly, quarterly, and year-end statements. Me? When the quarterly one comes, I shred the monthly ones. When the year-end comes, I shred the quarterly ones.

    So yeah, there will be lots and lots of shredding happening and very full recycling bins.

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  • kork13
    replied
    Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
    Please do your loved ones a huge favor and declutter now while you're alive and able to do it. And stop saving crap you don't need!
    I wish I could convince my wife of this... It's an uphill battle, and most of the time I feel like I'm definitely losing. Our house isn't overwhelmed by junk, but we just have SO MUCH random stuff, most of which doesn't get used. She's the sentimental sort, and has plastic bins filled with keepsakes from her childhood. With kids, it's way worse -- toys, clothes, random school papers, "saving it" for future kids.... ugh.... I've yet to find anything reliable to motivate her to go for any sort of decluttering purge, except perhaps visiting her (definitively hoarding) mother's house, and each time we move with the military.

    Leave a comment:


  • james.hendrickson
    replied
    Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
    And stop saving crap you don't need!
    Totally excellent advice.

    Leave a comment:


  • disneysteve
    replied
    As I've mentioned elsewhere, my cousin in Florida passed away last week. I arrived at his house Wednesday evening to start cleaning it out and settling his affairs. In just 48 hours, I have already put out 3 full bags of trash and have a 4th bag started. I filled both recycling bins last night (one for paper, one for glass/plastic/cans). Today I took 4 large trash bags of clothing to the thrift shop. I have a growing stack of papers to be shredded. I've already dumped one more batch of papers into the recycling bin (recyclables were picked up this morning so the bins are empty again).

    All of that and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.

    Please do your loved ones a huge favor and declutter now while you're alive and able to do it. And stop saving crap you don't need!

    You don't need travel itineraries and hotel bills and rental car agreements and boarding passes from trips you've taken in the past. You don't need every monthly and quarterly statement from financial accounts once you have the year-end comprehensive statements. You don't need the paperwork that came with every device and appliance you've ever purchased, including ones you no longer even own. You don't need all of last year's holiday greeting cards, and the year before, and the year before that. You don't need computer software CDs from programs you haven't used in many years and won't ever use again (like TurboTax 2013!). When you are done with something, GET RID OF IT. Don't bury it in a file drawer or closet to be unearthed years later when someone is clearing out your belongings, or even while you're still around but maybe have decided to move and have to debulk everything.

    I can honestly say I'm not nearly as bad as he was. I thought I held onto things I didn't need but I only do a fraction of what he's got. He had a whole stack of junk mail from Sirius radio trying to get him to sign up and it was from the car he bought in 2012. He doesn't even have that car anymore. I have no idea what possessed him to save all of those mailings. He had another stack of mail from the home warranty company. He bought his house in 2011 and it must have had a 1-year warranty so there were a couple dozen solicitations trying to get him to buy the extended warranty. He obviously didn't so why did he keep all of the offers?

    And just to be clear, he was not at all messy or a hoarder or anything of the sort. Everything is pretty well organized and filed. I just have no idea why he had much of it in the first place.

    At least I feel like I've made some good progress so far and it's only been 48 hours. Lots and lots more to do.

    Leave a comment:


  • scfr
    replied
    Updating my "Ignore List" has decluttered my Saving Advice feed nicely. Life is short.

    Leave a comment:


  • jenn_jenn
    replied
    We took a bunch of stuff to the dump today!

    We did some remodeling the past 6 months and had quite the collection of rolled up carpets and cabinets and other junk in the garage.

    It took us way too long to get that knocked out (we’re still navigating our new area and the dumps around here won’t take these items so it took a few tries) but it feels so good to have it done!

    Leave a comment:


  • disneysteve
    replied
    My wife and I just went through all of the books on one bookshelf and got rid of 35 books and a whole stack of old service booklets from our synagogue (special services from Men's Club, Sisterhood, youth group, etc.). The result is we cleared off about 1-1/2 shelves out of the 3 shelves. I'm going to check with our rabbi if he would like any of the Judaic books. Anything he doesn't want, and any of the non-Judaic books, will get donated.

    All 3 shelves were completely filled. Now it looks like this.

    Last edited by disneysteve; 04-24-2021, 01:31 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • disneysteve
    replied
    Not much has happened lately but this afternoon I listed 4 items on out Buy Nothing group. Three of them have people interested. I'll respond to them later and hopefully they will pick up the items in the next couple of days.

    I also went through the rack of CDs near the computer and tossed about half of them. They were old software discs and other stuff that we just don't need anymore. Most of what remains is photo backup discs.

    Item by item it gets better.

    Leave a comment:


  • LivingAlmostLarge
    replied
    Originally posted by GrimJack View Post
    Oh, man - I really need to get rid of a lot of stuff. Time for freecycle and ebay. I make glass things but have not gotten rid of any so they are accumulating all over my apt. Hell, I even have 24 unused medium moving boxes. I had a couple guys over to haul sh*t out just before the pandemic hit but it is getting back to overwhelming, sigh. At least the 40 year old forest green leather couch has been replaced by some new furniture.

    sometimes, it gets so overwhelming that I can't even figure out where to start.
    This is often how I Feel when I stare at our garage of crap.

    Leave a comment:


  • disneysteve
    replied
    I was just digging into my ebay account info looking how to change a particular setting and I found a field saying my total sales have been $6,384.12. I'm not sure what time period that covers. I know it isn't since I joined because that number is well into 5 figures, but for whatever period they're reporting, that's still a good number. That represents a lot of stuff getting cleaned out of the house.

    Leave a comment:


  • ua_guy
    replied
    Sold a bed that we no longer needed. $200.

    Also got my husband to sort through a giant tub of childhood memories that's been following us around for 3 moves and almost 10 years. He ended up discarding most of it. Progress. lol

    Leave a comment:


  • disneysteve
    replied
    Originally posted by GrimJack View Post
    sometimes, it gets so overwhelming that I can't even figure out where to start.
    That's a very common problem that I'm sure many of us can relate to. I certainly can.

    My advice is to focus on either one particular area or one particular category of items, and start small.

    For example, maybe set a goal to declutter one closet this week or even one drawer. Don't worry about anything else in the house. Just focus all of your attention on that closet/drawer.

    Or, do the Marie Kondo thing and pick a category to focus on. Maybe it's t-shirts. Take every t-shirt you own and spread them out on your bed and decide which ones to keep and which to toss.

    Sometimes you feel like you're not making any progress but if you do it little by little, pretty soon the progress starts becoming obvious, and I always find the best motivation to keep at it is starting to see the progress.

    Leave a comment:


  • GrimJack
    replied
    Oh, man - I really need to get rid of a lot of stuff. Time for freecycle and ebay. I make glass things but have not gotten rid of any so they are accumulating all over my apt. Hell, I even have 24 unused medium moving boxes. I had a couple guys over to haul sh*t out just before the pandemic hit but it is getting back to overwhelming, sigh. At least the 40 year old forest green leather couch has been replaced by some new furniture.

    sometimes, it gets so overwhelming that I can't even figure out where to start.

    Leave a comment:

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