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    2017 Decluttering thread

    Happy New Year everyone.

    Let's stay on the decluttering mission together. I'm purposely posting this thread to General Discussion rather than Everything Else because I believe that getting rid of clutter is absolutely a financial topic. The most direct way is when you sell things that you are getting rid of on ebay or craigslist or wherever. I made hundreds of dollars last year as a result of my decluttering. So please post any time you make money due to getting rid of clutter.

    Another way decluttering is financial is when you find something you've been looking for so that you don't need to go out and buy another.

    A third way is when you donate items to charity for a tax deduction. Over the course of 2016, we probably gave at least 15-20 cartons of stuff to Goodwill and will deduct all of that on our taxes soon.

    So get to it. Go through the drawers, closets, piles, boxes, files, etc. and get rid of everything that you don't use, don't need, doesn't work, doesn't fit, or just plain doesn't belong in your life anymore.

    I started today by taking a box full of DVDs to the garage to be given away. I had tried to sell them online and just got no interest so they will be going out. There are about 20 of them. I also threw away an old battery charger that I haven't used for years. I cleaned up a few random other things and put them where they really belong.
    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
    I recycled my wall calendar from last year. I also have a large box of donations that I found in December that I need to drop off at Goodwill. I also expect a few more things to be added to that pile, as I know some items received for Christmas were replacements for worn out items that probably can be donated.
    My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

    Comment


      #3
      Just sold an old car stereo deck on CL and made $30. Gave away 2 bags of clothing, older bed sheets, gas leaf blower to Salvation Army. Threw out some scrap wood from kitchen re-model, an old backpack, older xmas wrapping paper that was crushed.

      Also got a list of some older collectibles to post on eBay and CL. Otherwise in the last 2 months I've got back just over $1000 in mostly electronics.
      "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

      Comment


        #4
        Donated 7 bags of clothing to Goodwill. I don't wear sweaters any more, and a bunch of the old pants I had were just a little too tight. The good news is that as I was sorting through pants in my closet (I fold and stack them on shelves), I found 4 pairs that I had forgotten about or let settle to the bottom because they were too loose. Now they fit fine, and after a wash, they look like new!

        Also tackled the front closet and thinned down a lot of clutter there. We "inherited" my inlaws' receipt box, including gems like an electric can opener instruction book, with receipt stapled, and price/store annotated. They kept EVERYTHING, some going back to 1955.

        Comment


          #5
          I sold the treadmill today! I'm in the mood to just pack everything up and give it away, but I also really want the money

          I also sorted through a bunch of papers while negotiating with Sirius on the phone a few days ago. Before I knew it, I had a 3" stack of papers to shred.

          Comment


            #6
            Spending some time today in our computer room/office. I'm realizing that there are a bunch of things I saved when I did the last round of cleaning that I still haven't touched many months later. Clearly, I just don't need this stuff. If I ever actually do, I'll just go out and buy whatever it is. It isn't worth taking up shelves and space for years and years just on the off chance that someday, I might possibly need these things.
            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 sorted through everything in our basement storage/workroom. 90% of the space in this room was taken up by camping equipment, "keepsakes" like childhood toys, leftover remodeling supplies, painting supplies, and Holiday decorations. We did this as a family. My kids sorted their old toys to determine what was trash, what should be kept for posterity, and what to give to their younger cousin. My DH and kids also sorted through our camping equipment. I sorted through all of the home improvement supplies (think partial cans of paint; leftover tiles, grout, wallpaper remover, caulking, etc.) that I had been keeping in case we needed to patch, repair, etc. down the road. I finally gave in to my DH and got rid of almost all of the leftover paint. (It's now in the garage for my DH to treat for proper disposal). I also looked through the box of tax documents and put things older than 7 years in the shredder pile. And, I sorted and consolidated all of the Christmas decorations to be put back into the room. We ended up with several boxes of items to be donated, a couple of bags of trash, and many empty bins and shelves.

              We do this about every 5 years. I think it's important to give the family full say in what is needed and what can go. It also makes things go faster!

              Comment


                #8
                We took down our Christmas decorations this evening. I parted with two ornaments, and some no longer scented pinecones. There were seven items we didn't put out this year. Three children's picture books, two porcelain figurines, and two tree shaped candles. Everything else we didn't put out I put in our donation box at the beginning of the season.

                My daughter gave me her two pairs of jeans and pajama pants that we just replaced.

                It's about time to get these items dropped off at Goodwill.
                My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I managed to sell the treadmill and a few smaller items. I put a few more things on bookoo.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    For SA participants who wish to declutter, you might try new ideas offered by Marie Kondo who, after studying methods for 20 years, wrote a book called" The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' known as 'konmari' It requires a leap of faith as there is an overlay of Japanese culture and it is conducted category by category rather than our N American room-by-room style

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21sWodZgFxM

                    Comment


                      #11
                      We were away from 1/6 through 1/15 and I've spent the last week getting caught up, but it's time to get back to decluttering.

                      I spent about 2 hours in our bedroom closet tonight going through everything piled on the floor. I found a number of items that went in the trash, a few things that went on the Goodwill pile, a very good music stand that I messaged a musical friend of mine to see if he or someone he knows can use, a pair of hiking shoes that I don't even recall ever buying but they are my size, fit perfectly, and are very comfortable so I got a nice new pair of shoes out of the effort.

                      In my younger years, I used to collect/hoard various coins. I've never gotten rid of them but they no longer hold any special appeal or meaning to me (hence my thread asking if there are any coin collectors here). I literally have several hundred dollars worth of coins that I'm ready to part with and convert to a more usable form of money. I did a few ebay searches and all of the items I have in the closet are worth more than face value, some considerably more, so in the near future, I will start listing them for sale.

                      Our daughter goes back to college tomorrow and once she's out of the house, the cleaning and decluttering can move forward more seriously as we won't be focused on spending time with her.

                      My wife started going through a bunch of stuff this past week in our bedroom and has made good progress with that, so it's definitely a joint effort. We just need to keep up the momentum.
                      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


                        #12
                        Great topic - the husband and I have decided to declutter even more than we already have. We previously did the Marie Kondo method and reduced our belongings a great deal. But this year, I'm actually creating a spreadsheet of every single one of our belongings, as well as what we paid to acquire them. And then we're taking an axe to them. The plan is to go minimal(ish). I just finished our kitchen, where we amazingly still managed to have well over 400 items (not counting consumables), and we have agreed to reduce that number to 262 items. So we'll be either selling or donating 182 items from just that one room. Probably more can go too, but I think that's great for a first round.

                        We're also finally starting the experiment to get rid of our car. We're going to pretend we do not have a car and start walking to the grocery store. Whenever we are forced to drive, I will track how much Uber would cost, and in a few months we will compare and make the decision as to whether to keep the car or not.

                        Why? First, because the less stuff I own, the happier I get. Second, we love to travel and could see ourselves being full time travelers (living out of a suitcase going from country to country) or possibly choosing a country like Japan to move to. Either one of those scenarios means we need less stuff.

                        Whatever all the rationale, I'm super excited to log every one of our possessions and see how much crap we own. And then see how much crap we still think we need.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by HundredK View Post
                          I just finished our kitchen, where we amazingly still managed to have well over 400 items (not counting consumables), and we have agreed to reduce that number to 262 items.
                          Does the 400 number count every single dish separately? So if you have service for 8, that's 8 dinner plates plus 8 salad plates, plus 8 bowls, etc.

                          How did you arrive at the 262 number?

                          We did Marie Kondo but only on a couple of areas (so far). For us, it was drinking glasses, my t-shirts, and something else I think. We got rid of nearly 100 pieces of glassware and I ditched 25 t-shirts.

                          For some things, the Kondo method is more difficult. Like the stuff I did in our closet last night. I had no idea going in what I was even going to find on the closet floor. It was a very varied collection of items ranging from total crap to somewhat valuable collectibles and many things in between. For that, I still prefer the location-based method although still approaching it with her mindset of "does this bring me joy?"

                          I've said many times that decluttering often needs to be done in layers. First get rid of the trash and stuff you definitely don't care about. Once you've done that, you can go back and attack with a sharper blade and really narrow down the possessions to the things that really matter to you.
                          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
                            Does the 400 number count every single dish separately? So if you have service for 8, that's 8 dinner plates plus 8 salad plates, plus 8 bowls, etc.

                            How did you arrive at the 262 number?
                            The 400 (444 to be exact) does count every single dish separately. But does not include anything consumable. So, for example, a coffee maker would be counted, but not the filters or actual coffee.

                            We landed on the 262 number because that happened to be the amount of things left that we just couldn't stand the idea of parting with (yet). We didn't aim for that number at all, it's just where we ended up. As we go through the rest of the house, we may circle back and get rid of more. So, our dishes, for example - we actually kept just two of each kind of plate and 2 of each kind of flatware. When we see friends, we go out and don't ever host people at our house (we are both really quite introverted). It wouldn't be the choice of most people to do that, but we're all different. Then there are other things we kept that a true minimalist wouldn't keep. Some art on the wall, a couple of trinkets, some single taskers like our rice cooker, things like that.

                            I totally agree with you, Steve, about this being a layered process. When we did the Kondo method, we couldn't really imagine getting rid of much more at the time - but then here we are realizing we still don't need all our stuff.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              As a Marie Kondo 'Konvert', I think her premise that we have much more stuff than we use is accurate. I suspect it would be more revealing in Japan where living quarters are small by North American standards. I don't think I could make the effort to list items but mention my favorite way of identifying what is used and needed is to corral items similar items like hand held, non electric kitchen tools in a shoe box and as each item is used return it to it's drawer or counter crock. Those items remaining in the box after 6 weeks goes to a storage shelf in the laundry room. If those items are not retrieved for use by the time the next donation box is filled, ready to go to a Thrift Shop, items remaining from the kitchen drawer clean-out project, out they go. I'm confident if I needed one of those gizmos in the future, stores will have an even better version.

                              Backstory ... I take contracts in SE Asia which typically includes accommodations as a benefit . constantly set up and tearing down 'home' every two or three semesters. Everything I bring must fit in two suitcases including teaching materials, office products, clothes, housewares, personal products and grooming as I am in earning mode. I limit buying to consumables and anything that breaks or wears out and possibly one 'treat.'

                              If you want to try out minimalism with little downside, I suggest renting a 24' type C, RV and travel secondary roads to visit every village in your state and adjoining to experience minimalist living, having fun, meeting wonderful, warm, kind America not depicted on media.

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