General chatter - What are your rules for getting rid of stuff?




ddc
07-31-2011, 09:18 PM
My house is way too cluttered and I'm trying to rid myself of some stuff.
I've heard things like: if you haven't worn something in a year, get rid of it.
What about things like books, movies, knick knacks and general STUFF ???
This weekend, I did take a couple of boxes of stuff to the Goodwill, so I have made a light dent. I tend to think too much about what I paid for something and then I keep it, instead of putting it in the give away box. Then there's things that I've saved from childhood (I'm 46 now). Should you keep these things? Somebody will just have to throw it away when I die, right???

Thanks :)


Lovely
07-31-2011, 09:27 PM
I tend to ask myself questions...

Clothing: When will I wear this again? If never or stretching to think of a time: Is it clean & not too worn? If yes: To goodwill it goes! If no: Into the trash.

Stuff I bought: Is it really useful/do I have a use for it? If no: Is it in good care? If yes: To goodwill it goes! If no: Into the trash!

Or also I ask: Can I think of a time when I will miss this if I throw it out? If no: Toss it/Give it.

OR!: Can I replace this if I situation comes up when I would need something like it? A NUMBER of things I've given away on that basis, and quite frankly... never have missed any of them. Usually kitchen gadgets that I never bothered to use before, and have not missed a single one that I've given away.

Things from childhood that I kept for a reason: I actually have some things from my childhood that I'll likely never give away. Nothing wrong with keeping some things. As I would really, really be sad if they were thrown out/given away. Again, I asked "Will I miss this?" and the answer came up "YES!" so I haven't gotten rid of it.

Edit: I'm going through a HUGE overhaul/clean-up of my apartment so I'm going through this now.

astrophe
07-31-2011, 10:06 PM
Books, movies (store upside down) and clothes put the hangers backwards on the rod.

Then you can easily see if you use it in the last 6-12 mos or not. Then donate it.

Also the rule of "one comes in, one goes out" helps keep it more or less stable. It doesn't have to be book for book. Just something new, something else old goes away.

Summer tends to be very accumulative here and I cannot WAIT til the start of school to start getting some of this OUT of here without child underfoot "helping." In the meanwhile I content myself with one grocery bag at a time.

I'd totally love a support thread on this! Maybe this could be it? :)

A.


mhill0823
07-31-2011, 10:41 PM
About once every 4 or 5 months I go Crazy!
I start cleaning and I freak out by all the clutter and I just get rid of EVERYTHING!
Like I will have 3 bags of trash, 3 goodwill bags.. and I end up never missing any of it becuase I didn't need it and I feel relieved for doing it!:)
As fas as what to get rid of, things that don't fit, that I haven't worn in Months, thingsI don't use, things that I don't really care for

I think I'm the opposite of a Hoarder.. I get rid of it aLL!

Lovely
07-31-2011, 10:46 PM
I think I'm the opposite of a Hoarder.. I get rid of it aLL!

Funny you should say that. I was watching episodes of Hoarders when a little jolt crossed my brain...

I suddenly had to clean. I had to get rid of junk. I had to let go of material possessions. I still have a ton to do, but I was horrified thinking that if I never let anything go I'd end up in my own episode of Hoarders with boxes piled to the ceiling and small "paths" through my home. NO WAY!

Thankfully MOST of the rooms in my home are now clutter-free. It's just the two bedrooms I'm slowly working through, and one of them is 2/3rds done.

kelly315
07-31-2011, 10:54 PM
I have a low tolerance for "stuff." Honestly, I'd rather just get rid of it than hold on to it. I'd say about 90% of the items in our house are my bf's, and that which is mine is almost all regularly used. I'm a frequent traveler- in fact, I'd be a permanent one if I could afford it- and have been away from home 7 out of the last 14 months. So extra stuff simply feels like a burden for me.

When I do get the urge to shop, more often than not I'll get buyer's remorse and return the items a week or two later. But I'm also a bit of a tight wad, so I'll generally sell the things I have rather than giving or throwing them away.

ladolcevita26
07-31-2011, 11:01 PM
I watch an episode of Hoarders and that makes me want to go on a cleaning spree ;)

kelly315
07-31-2011, 11:08 PM
I watch an episode of Hoarders and that makes me want to go on a cleaning spree ;)

Oh, man, that show is scaaary. Especially the one about the woman who hoards cats (and didn't know there were several dozen dead ones under all her stuff). :yikes:

Need a change
07-31-2011, 11:15 PM
My dad recently passed away and my mom said "Get rid of stuff while you are alive because when your spouse is alive everything is just clutter that you want to get rid of, once they are gone it becomes an heirloom"

My mom is now going through her stuff and getting rid of it but yet everything that belonged to my dad I am sure will be here for years before she is ready now to get rid of it.

I have very minimal belongings which is a complete opposite of what I had before I got divorced. I hired a company to do an estate sale for me. I like this minimal lifestyle. Everything I have I love and I have no clutter and have not missed anything. It's just stuff that clutters the mind too.

SMSDREAMER2007
07-31-2011, 11:27 PM
I tend to throw everything out too. I currently own 1.5 boxes of clothes (that includes what I can wear and what has yet to fit me), 1 large box of bedding stuff. 2 bags of formal dresses from my rainbow days. 1 box of memorabilia from my rainbow days, 2 boxes from senior year. 2 boxes of books. 1 box of photos/scrapbooking stuff, etc. Honestly? That is all I own (besides my bed, dresser and night stand). Yes, when I lived on my own my apartment was empty. I had a couch and stereo, no tv in the living room my bed in the bedroom and my dresser in the closet that was it.

Nola Celeste
08-01-2011, 02:54 AM
Every 35 years whether I need it or not, I let a massive hurricane wreck the crap out of my home. It's amazing how much less clutter I have afterward.

Seriously, after Katrina did for a lot of my belongings, I simply have not kept nearly as much stuff lingering around--and I haven't missed it. There are a few things that I wish I had for their sentimental value, but a lot of other things--all my old high school and college art and notes, photos, my wedding dress, my prom dress, more books than I can count--I never needed as a physical presence.

They exist in my head where there are vast archives of stuff that takes up only a little space--about 1500 cubic centimeters or so--and not on our closet floors, under beds, on kitchen tables, and so forth.

In my head, my college art looks great; if I were able to summon it back up out of the landfill and look at it as it really was, I would note all the mistakes I made and feel embarrassed by it. So I've learned that sometimes it's better not to have mementos. As for photos, who really looks at them? You remember taking them, not looking at them; they aren't memories, they're just images of memories.

Shed as much stuff as you can now. You'll feel worlds lighter without losing a pound.

SouthLake
08-01-2011, 12:26 PM
For all of my childhood, highschool, college, memory type stuff- one bin. It forces me to really edit whats most important, since that's all the room I allow for it.

For everything else- box it up and stick it in the garage. If you haven't needed it in a month or three or whatever threshold you set, donate all of it. (without opening the boxes to look through them)

zinkemomx2
08-01-2011, 01:08 PM
I have one of the Sterilite/Rubbermade containers. Once or twice a year I go through it and reevaluate what was important. I've also started one for each of my kids.

I have maybe 2 dozen books that are mostly reference or cookbooks. My kids both have one shelf worth in their room and they rotate those out with one shelf worth in the basement. I rarely buy books since I borrow most of them from the library. We have one small video rack that holds maybe 60 and has kids movies and Wii games. I don't "do" knickknacks.

Clothes are gone through seasonally. For example, every spring anything that won't fit the kids next winter is donated. I have another of those big containers for their off season/grow into clothes. So clearly there isn't a whole lot there.

Honestly, I have a much harder time with my pantry. I feel like I am better stocked than the local grocery store, lol.

cherrypie
08-01-2011, 03:44 PM
the older I get the less crap I want in my house. More and more things I just want to be free of

FrouFrou
08-02-2011, 01:06 AM
In my old age I hate clutter! When I start getting rid of stuff I usually have two piles...one for trash and one for the goodwill. A couple of weeks ago just went thru my books and took them to the bookstore to trade. They actually gave me a good price for the books to go towards new books. Not sure that's a good thing, lol. But I did get rid of some books that I won't read again. Left the store with just a couple so wasn't bad...still have the credit for the next few visits. They won't let you use the whole credit towards your purchase. Whatever you buy you get half off, if you have a credit that is.

Someone mentoned the show Hoarders...stayed up late watching several episodes Sat and wow...I don't ever want to get that way!

gypsybeggar
08-02-2011, 01:28 AM
Well I am ashamed to say that until about a year ago, I probably could have been ON the show Hoarders lol. I just let it get too bad after 8 years of marriage and all the new little things you accumulate. But I thought, it's in the den, no one goes in there, what's the big deal? Then, in August of last year, we had a house fire. Lost about half of the house from the fire and all the water damage afterwards. I had to spend a week in that burned out house trying to go through and clean out what I could. Then it seemed like a big deal. That was the worst week of my life to date. I dwelled a lot on what we couldn't save, but I will be honest. Now, a year later, the only things I miss are my bible (that I had had since about 12, so lots of notes and things gone) and the pets that we lost in the fire. I miss them everyday. I don't miss any of the other stuff. Of course I might feel differently about my photos, but most of them were online, and the wedding pictures my mom had copies of thankfully.

wagfam
08-02-2011, 03:21 PM
Wow...I do this a lot when I clean.

Clothes: If they don't fit or are on the floor in my closet they go

Kids stuff: I only let them keep 1 toy box of items. If it doesn't fit with the box closed they have to pick something to give to other kids that don't have anything

Books: we have 4 shelves of books because my husband likes to re-read them. I personally like to take mine to Half Price books, get credit and pick something else out. (a lot of times they will give you the money if you don't have anything that you want to pick up at that time)

Stuff: I usually post my stuff on craigslist for a cheap price. That way I can either save the money or purchase something else I have wanted.

Stuff from Childhood: I found a realtively decent sized bin. Then I started putting stuff in it. If it didn't fit I put it to get rid of. This is a way to not hold on to stuff but rather the REALLY IMPORTANT things.

Hope this helps! :D

PBmama
08-02-2011, 08:01 PM
I am needing to go through stuff SO bad. I am a border line hoarder! I need some :dust: LOL

I am not as bad as the people on the show but I know if I let it go another 30 years it will be! :dizzy: I got a good tip that I will be working on as I go through my clutter. Anything sentimental like children's art work or papers from school you can scan into the computer and put them on a hard drive. That way you can keep them but they will not take up space! I thought that was the BEST idea ever! hehe Now I just need the time to do that. ;) I think I will do that will all my important documents too. Then its just a click and print away! :D

Good luck in your adventure on getting rid of stuff! :D

Wannabehealthy
08-06-2011, 09:11 AM
We have a basement full of my kids childhood memories. They are in their 40's and out on their own, but they won't take this junk with them. But they want US to store it for them. Maybe if I charged them a storage fee they would change their minds. I just know that when DH and I pass on, they will clean out the house and throw all of it away!

CArol

Sunshine87
08-06-2011, 09:36 AM
We have a basement full of my kids childhood memories. They are in their 40's and out on their own, but they won't take this junk with them. But they want US to store it for them.
CArol

I have just the opposite problem. I am in my twenties and my mother cried when I cleaned out my childhood stuff. I still have a huge box of things but I threw away quizzes and many of the art projects. I also had about 10 ceramic pots that I made in high school. I tossed 4 of the really bad ones and she dug them out of my trash and now use them as decoration in her room. She cannot help it. She made her 6 children her life.
I will finish cleaning that stuff out when I move out.

Gogirl008
08-06-2011, 10:00 PM
Love this thread! It's interesting to see what everyone does.

Cluttered house=cluttered mind. That rings so true for me. I was raised by a pack rat/hoarder. Not as bad as the show but enough for me to know that if it sits in one place too long, it's gone. I have accidently tossed usable remotes and clothes and things that people are still looking for. I can get carried away.

Clothes- I take things out of the rotation when I've been ignoring them too long. I keep a bag on the floor in my closet. I put these things in "The Bag" and after the bag is full I sort, for friends or donations. Then it goes out quickly. No room to store it or time to rethink. I have NEVER actually ended up keeping any of these things for myself, but I would if I felt the need.

Household- If it sits unused or collects dust too long it goes into the storage area in the basement and eventually gets sorted into sell or donate. Those take longer to get rid of though. Bigger and more complicated when it comes to selling.

Books- The library is my new hangout. I get movies for the fam, books, all these things are available there. I no longer feel the need to keep every book and I hardly ever buy them now. Although, the kids favorites and mine have a special place and I do keep the sentimental things.

Coming from a not so weathly background I have one question I keep in mind as I'm doing all of this-
Are there other people that need or can use this thing that I am not using? This is a big help for me when purging.

My family knows now that if they try to pass things on to me, I may or may not keep it. So it's reduced a lot of the clutter they try to get me to store!

Wannabehealthy
08-11-2011, 09:09 AM
I have just the opposite problem. I am in my twenties and my mother cried when I cleaned out my childhood stuff. I still have a huge box of things but I threw away quizzes and many of the art projects. I also had about 10 ceramic pots that I made in high school. I tossed 4 of the really bad ones and she dug them out of my trash and now use them as decoration in her room. She cannot help it. She made her 6 children her life.
I will finish cleaning that stuff out when I move out.

I can understand how your mother feels with you still being in your 20's, and you're still living at home. And these are things that you MADE. They mean something to her. It is her choice to want to keep these things. You are not forcing her to store these things in her home while your own home looks nice and uncluttered. That was my point.

Carol

Wannabehealthy
08-11-2011, 09:20 AM
[QUOTE=Gogirl008;3977404Coming from a not so weathly background I have one question I keep in mind as I'm doing all of this-
Are there other people that need or can use this thing that I am not using? This is a big help for me when purging.

QUOTE]

When I quit working, I had so many nice "office" clothes that I no longer needed. I tried to find someone who was re-entering the workforce after raising their kids, etc, with no luck. It would be hard to have to go out and buy new clothes in that situation. I ended up giving them to GoodWill, but they don't give them to people in need, they sell them.

Carol

Tanna Banana
08-11-2011, 09:24 AM
I go through clothes about once or twice a year.

A big thing for us is toys. At DD's birthday or Christmas (which are both in December) we go through all of her toys and get rid of tons before anything new comes in. It helps a lot. I sudder to think of the stuff we would have amassed from grandmas if we didn't do that!

As far as cluttery stuff, I'll just periodically go through and chuck things or donate them to goodwill. My house still has cluttery hot spots (mail, anyone?! agh!), but for the most part, it's not too bad.

DezziePS
08-11-2011, 11:43 AM
My motto is: "If in doubt, throw it out!"

I like enlisting people to help me, because I tell them not to ask me about most stuff, and just follow my motto. I don't know what I'm missing, so I won't miss it. :)

Also, I've been known to take pictures of things if I can't think of a use for them but have a memory attached to them, and then donate/throw the actual item away. Having the picture makes me feel like I can still look back and have the memory without having to save the actual thing.

PreciousMissy
08-11-2011, 01:20 PM
I like the show Clean House...it's like Hoarders light, lol.

My boyfriend and I are delaying our moving in together....because of our different styles.

If it's not functional (as for furniture) get rid of it. My place is way too small to keep anything that can't serve a dual purpose.

Clothes, I don't care if I may fit into it some day, I don't fit into it now!

His theory is, keep everything, you may need it. But it's all organized and labeled in boxes haha!

sarahyu
08-11-2011, 04:45 PM
I sort my stuff, periodically.

If I haven't used it in a year and it's still good it goes into a donation pile.

If I haven't used it in a year, but it's needed if we have company-I quickly invite friends over so I can say I still use it.

If it has emotional attachment issues, I take a picture of it. Write down everything I remember about and put in my photo album or computer scrap book. Then put the item in a box on a shelf for the next year's purge. Sometimes the photo is enough and the following year I'll donate.

Clothes-I'm bad about clothes because I fluctuate sizes so much. I have 2 wardrobes-one size 14-16 and another 10-12. I put the small size in storage, and try to donate the ones as I out grow them.


Have you check out flylady? http://www.flylady.net/pages/FLYingLessons_Decluttertips.asp


If you give to charities you can write it off as a donation for tax purposes. Just get a receipt when you donate and keep records of what you have donated. Think about all those people who may be helped by your donation.

VegDay
08-12-2011, 03:33 AM
I don't have any exact rules. When I sold my house I donated a lot of stuff. Giving it to our local PAWS thrift made it much easier. During the actual stressful move I did donate a few things I wish I hadn't, like an antique painting. But it's only stuff.

I still thrift. I'm just very very selective about what I do buy. I think less clutter is better. Don't get rid of anything you cherish.

Nola Celeste, I'm so sorry. You have a great attitude. I'm not sure I could be as positive.

WrknOnHalo
08-12-2011, 08:35 AM
"Useful, Beautiful, or Joyful"...if your possessions are any of these to you, then keep them :)