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Clearing the Way to Spring: Jan 1/Mar 20, 2013 Decluttering Challenge/Support Thread

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:29 PM   #136
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osaunt!

Regarding papers/paperwork....what has come in that isn't going out? Do you have a business or just personal stuff? Give me a quick rundown on your issues/needs and I'll give you a rundown on my system. Do you have years accumulated that you need to purge in a big way?
I've done the big purge and my system is based on getting rid of the "not neededs" right away then finding an easy filing set up for our personal stuff AND my mom's business stuff, which I keep track of.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:35 PM   #137
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osaunt.... Glad you came out of lurking. We are just a bunch of gals/guys in the process of changing. Good luck with the paper monsters. I will be watching and learning.


Debbie: I so enjoyed your story about the gloves. Yes- You do deserve it! I am jealous of them because of the fingertip Iphone feature. Thanks for giving voice to buying other people's junk. I am guilty as charged as well.


Julia: Thank you for the empathic connection. I especially loved your statement: "I guess what I am trying to say is that some people aren't good parents but we can love them just because they were our parents even if they disappointed us." Great truth for me to embrace. Yes, delegating is awesome and yes, it counts. I have been working with my DD on doing certain tasks weekly. It helps me to know that I don't have to clean up after everyone since I am not the only one who makes these messes.

OnebyOne: I like about what you shared ....."But, more importantly this might be the third or fourth month I've donated stuff to them so that's good persistent work. *credit*" Reminds me to keep my weekly or monthly donation process going.

NightAngel: Welcome and share you journey with us. We are here to cheer you on or listen to your struggle/ process. All experiences are welcome! Now is the time if you don't want those things to have to move with you. Sounds like you have made good progress.

Zanioc: Hope you are feeling better. I am impressed that you took committed action toward your office paperwork. Wow! That is a Beck- Do it anyway card.

Getting ready for Friday Happy Hour---that means out of these work clothes and plopped in front of the fire place to watch TV and chat with my hubby. Who knew so much pleasure could be experienced by wearing fleece!
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:31 PM   #138
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Lightbulb aargh.

Hello

Lost my last post. argh. Of course it was detailed and fantastic but it's gone.

So a recap then:

*was out today with two new friends at a store called Snob http://www.snobstuff.com/
K bought a piece of pottery and I bought 11 porcupine quills. They are used for decorating in the context of the store, but in the context of my life, they will be used for drawing and writing with. Just a hunch but I think they'll be great. I have zero regret buying them as they are rare and unusual. And 5" long....

*could see myself with new furniture/new styles/new environment more and more as we visited a few more furniture/design stores in the area. Was taken with the thought that my home really can be a reflection of my own choices. Imagine. I can choose my life--I need only do the work to bring it into existence --hello weightloss parallel....

osaunt Welcome to the group. Paper clutter is a big bad bugaboo for me too. I need to track my receipts. Do I? 60/40. I used to have a shoebox. Now I shove things into pockets! I am devolving with that. These days I am more focused on my pile of boxes in the dining room Probably I should do a bit of both.

znaoic*credit* for acknowledging the steps you take with dealing with your clutter and BIG CREDITS for deaing with it while not feeling 100%. I am glad this group is helping you feel supported.

NightAngel26 Welcome as well! I started the decluttering thread here over two years ago because I had to move from a 3 bedroom townhouse to a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 closets and it was all on me to do it. have never been able to "keep house" and I am an artist who works in a variety of mediums and I tolerate chaos and clutter pretty well. In the end I was still shoving things into bags and boxes and overfilling the car at the eleventh hour. My primary clutter today are the boxes I moved here with--still not all unpacked--but I did do 5 o them this week so we keep movng forward. I believe there are several of us here dealing with whole houses of clutter --Lexxiss even had MORE than ONE house to deal with (yikes. She's a STAR!!!!). For me, a list was my best friend. I broke every area into small bits--smaller than I believed I would do--like for babies I thought--and I crossed off each area as I did it. Most of the house was dealt with by moving day--but like I say there was still some panic. Since then, I've been around 2 others moving and both of them had the last minute shoving in bags/panic set in so I suspect that's pretty common. Please stay in touch and vent vent vent and pack pack pack. We're here for you.

helping rachel I can relate to your feelings re: family/father. In the end, we do look after ourselves. I do not know why people make their own choices. I do, however, have to live with the choices I make. I choose not to subject myself to no-win situations too often. These days I don't fight for that stuff much anymore. I try to let them go and be whoever they are. Hard, not ideal, but, sadly, not worth it either.

Lexxiss to the woman who saw and did nothing about your beloved gloves. However, happy to read you got new ones, the ones you wanted and deserve to own. *CREDIT* I went through the same process yesterday with a kettle for pete's sake! I wanted tea. I had used a cordless kettle at the guild over xmas. Remembered I liked it. With DH's on-going flu (wk 3) and the cold weather I was wanting some hot tea and I have been using my coffee maker to make the odd pot of tea (clean filter/add water/tea bags into coffee carafe. I know. Not pretty.) So after WW I went to the grocery store beow the meeting and bought food, and socks and wandered to the appliances and saw a $12 kettle-nice and a $27 cordless *illuminated* kettle. ooooo! aaaaahhhhhh! But twice the price of the perfectly good $12 kettle? What about the free process of using the microwave to heat a cup of water? Or the coffee maker? That works. I confess, the illuminated body on that kettle really had me in its grip. I waffled so much and bought the $27 cordless illuminated (blue!) kettle. I've already had two cups of tea with it and feel great about it. I didn't clear the toaster or the foreman grill off the counter yet but will tomorrow. My kettle needs room of its own

I was contemplating my day today and unexpectedly realized that in choosing my food, and choosing to declutter and committing to a life of my own choosing -- it is happening. AND I feel hopeful about it. I don't want a second rate life or a second choice anything if I don't have to have it. I think that when I can go for it, the thing I really want, I usually do and now I can take that and apply it to my body, my health, my appearance and my home. It is incredible where this decision to "lose weight" leads you if you stay with it.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:45 PM   #139
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Just popping in to say hi. I had a busy day so I'm going to just curl up with my book and give myself a pass on the clutter/mess.
I'll be back tomorrow.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:33 PM   #140
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BBL...just heading out the door. I did want to report completing my jig this morning especially since I was resisting a bit.
old clutter-pulled out some cardboard boxes from the shed which I've "been meaning" to recycle for at least two years!

current clutter-did dishes, made bed and did a general pickup.

clean-scooped poop outside and dumped my bathroom trash. Washed out the compost bowl.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:00 PM   #141
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OnebyOneThe tea kettle sounds cool. You need to reward yourself sometimes with something you really want.

Today's plan:
Old clutter: Today DH and I are starting on the basement family room. (a room from he!!. It has collected lots of crap for lack of a better word. It's supposed to be a room for peace and relaxation. It's not.
Current clutter: I will clean off the stuff on the kitchen counter that accumulated over the last day. Attend to the kitchen table if time allows.
Clean: I think I'll start the dishwasher
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:43 PM   #142
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Hi Ladies:

Taking the last of the christmas decorations down. Outside garland and lights, wreaths....you get the picture.

I need to clean off my kitchen table as it has been a catch all.

I will ask DH to help me carry a small hutch to the downstairs area. I plan on painting it when it gets warm it is just taking up space in a high traffic area right now.

My husband came home last night and we went out to dinner. We went to a Italian woodfire grill restaurant. It was cozy, warm and we enjoyed 2 glasses of Italian red wine while nibbling on prosciutto,coppa picante,mortadella (sausage with pistachio, goat cheese, riocotta with olives and gorgonzola cheese. The servings were only 2oz each but such a change from what I have been eating since Jan. 4. We also ordered a gluten free sausage and fresh mozzarella pizza. It was over the top good. I really enjoyed a night out and I am back on track today. I think for awhile my DH was thinking he was watching Sally from the Movie, "When Harry met Sally", as I was groaning at the taste of some of the food.
Made my heart smile and I enjoyed a change of scenery.

I have to watch the slippery slope of enjoying food too much as I can lose my footing rather quickly. I wrote my meal plan for the day and I am following it.

I went to Whole Foods today and bought coconut cocoa tea. It is so good. I about choked when it ran up $10.99. I then realized that it will make 36 cups.

Off to move my body to get this house in better shape. Ciao!
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:44 PM   #143
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Thank you all for the kind welcome

I going to post my planned 1-2-3-4 for today. This week it's been a struggle to keep my energy and momentum up and I'm determined to push through the slump I'm in. Oh and I added a #4 to my dance steps to include conscious movement. If I take the time daily to go on a walk, the gym or just dance around the house it really helps to keep the blues and the blahs away!

Old clutter: I put all the random piles of paperwork in the living room together on the table and will purge most and file the rest.

Current clutter: Fold laundry, empty and reload dishwasher, pick up LR and clear off accumulated clutter on kitchen island.

Clean:Stove top and microwave

Movement: dance central(guilty pleasure) & walk the dogs

Lexiss - To answer your question,I have a fair amount of paper clutter - some years old I get anxious when I go through it so I frequently put all in a bag to deal with later but of course that day never comes. I really want to get over this because logically it does not make sense. I'd love to hear about what works for you.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:12 PM   #144
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osaunt, since it is the beginning of the year it could be a somewhat simple task to set yourself up to keep this year's paperwork in order while you made a plan to deal with prior years stuff. That is how I got started and I have kept several years organized while I went through numerous years of old stuff.

My mail/paperwork area is my upstairs office. I have a large petfood bag for recycle and a large trash can for shreddables. The trash can is under my office table...kind of hidden.
I made a deal with myself that all incoming mail would come upstairs for opening.
Before opening any important mail I sort through and all the junk goes directly to recycle. Then I open the mail sorting all the extraneous stuff to recycle.
What's left is important it is:
1. either ready for filing or
2. needs something else done with it.
I have a box on top of my office table next to the computer. It's 4 main files are labeled:
2013-Statements
2013-Credit Card
2013-Bills Paid
2013-Tax Stuff
~If it's taken care of (I pay lots online) or it's a bank statement it goes right into those files. I'm careful to have the oldest in front and add the newer stuff to the back.
~If it's not taken care of I set it to the left of the computer...deal with it then file it as above. That means no current stuff is floating around with the old stuff. The idea of filing right after I deal with it seems key...otherwise stuff seems to get all mixed up.

For the old stuff...depending on how much you have...ideas
~start with the oldest since you would not have to keep much but would just have to determine what needs to be shredded and what doesn't. You could set aside boxes for stuff that needed to be shredded. What I did was get rid of as much as I could through recycling. Alot of times I would tear items so as to minimize the amount needing to be shredded.
It's helpful in reducing the clutter to come up with a plan for the old stuff. Alot of areas have "free shredding" days. I personally paid to have a bunch of old travel agency stuff shredded. It was pretty inexpensive and enabled me to load 5 or 6 boxes in the car and say "bye" instead of spending days shredding AND then having to get rid of bags of shredded stuff.

So I just pulled out my 2012 files that I mentioned above. I took 20 minutes to sort each file....each credit card and each bank account ...just to make it easier to find something if I had to. I went through my "bills paid" file and got rid of things immediately that I don't need to keep for 7 years....water and gas bills, etc.... I bound up all the 2012 stuff in one file and took it to a basement file. It can sit there for 7 years.
What's left my 2012 Tax file. I put anything I needed for taxes in there....also stuff I'd like to keep longer since I tend to hold on to the tax files....property tax stuff...renovations on the house, etc.

In addition to the yearly files I have started several other files:
~dentist
~dog medical stuff
~our medical stuff (blood tests/etc)

I have one bank bag now that contains all the stuff for the safety deposit box.
~all titles to vehicles
~all property related papers
~jewelry
~passports
~birth certificates
~some valuable coins
These are all the things my DH would want to locate if something happened to me.

Stuff I'm really careful about right now, as I actively declutter...
~magazine subscriptions
~junk mail
I had two magazine subscriptions last year..one healthy for me and one woodworking for DH. I looked at mine...took anything out I wanted (I made a healthy notebook) and the next month I took magazines to the local eye clinic. I decided not to renew this year..(either one) DH never even looked at his mags but won't let go of them.
JUNK MAIL-I used to get so many magazines. I've either called or emailed and have gotten off mailing lists. I don't get any catalogs anymore and it's so wonderful. They used to be everywhere. The reality for me is that it's all on the internet why do I need to have all the wasted paper coming in my home.

Anyway....that's a brief synopsis. I still have several cupboards/drawers with old stuff I just don't know what to do with yet. That's ok at some point I will.

I've enclosed two pictures
~pet food bag is kinda cute and is very strong. I fill it full and it never breaks
~pink mini file cabinet is cute and has a lid to cover it when it's not in use

Perhaps you could find one or two ideas to help you get going!
Best wishes
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File Type: jpg photo1.jpg (51.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg photo2.jpg (38.3 KB, 7 views)
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:23 PM   #145
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Great post Lexxiss-Debbie! Thanks.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:17 PM   #146
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Hi

Just popping by to report I moved the toaster and the foreman grill under the counter and DH's dehydrator isn't away yet, but is off the counter. My kettle and crockpot, both used regularly, now have their own space.

Have a good evening.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:07 AM   #147
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My dear declutter friends,

I have great success to report. DH,DD and I all worked on the basement family/TV room today. It is nearly done with the exception of some dusting and vacuuming. The detailed Old Clutter written out is for my own satisfaction.

Old Clutter: Box ready to donate to the library (They have a fundraiser yearly and sell donated stuff) with old books and some DVD's. Several Bags to donate to good will. Discarded many old manuals, outdated computer disks and obviously old papers that were laying around. Made decision to take some old banana chairs to the dump. The saver part of me wanted to take them to goodwill thinking someone might be able to recover them. They are in such poor condition, it would be an insult to donate them . Sorted DS's xbox games, PC games, some books, wrote an inventory to e-mail to him so he can tell me what he wants and what we can take in for possible sale/donate/discard. (We have a chain bookstore/video/music store that buys used books/music/DVD's and resells as used). If they won't take them and DS doesn't want them, they will go to the dump or to goodwill. Sorted DVD's to keep and resell/donate. Tomorrow we will make a run to the dump, goodwill and the library donation location. I am really tired now so I'll finish the vacuuming and dusting tomorrow. I'm laughing at some of the stuff that we held on to for ???? reason: a bowl of keys to who knows what, tiny padlocks that are useless, parts of the ping-pong table we gave away 2 years ago, a bag of screws for the pool table we donated 2 years ago and sooo much more.

Current clutter: cleared the stuff that accumulated on the kitchen counter over the last day

Clean something: the TV room obviously.

There is so much more to do but what a good start. The little things are going to add up but it was good to make good use of this winter day to tackle that nasty room. I looked in the closet of that room. It is so stuffed with ???? that the door barely shuts. That is a project for another day.

Lexxiss, thanks for the helpful post to help with paperwork.

OsauntI smiled at your description of putting the stacks of paperwork into a bag for later and later never comes. I do the same only I use a box. It makes me anxious too. Good work today!

JuliaWhoWillSleepWellTonight.

p.s. A funny at the same time annoying thing-DH put some old floppy disks aside to run through the computer to see if it's anything he needs or wants. Big groan-are you kidding? What the heck could be on it that you need, it's been sitting there for YEARS unneeded. I need to be careful as I put aside some things that probably baffle him.

How do you all deal with other peoples junk that you see as useless that they balk at getting rid of?

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:25 AM   #148
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What should we name this little decluttering mascot? Is there a better one in smiles that we could use. I am inviting you to choose a icon and give it a name for this thread. Bring it ladies, I know you have some good thoughts about this!


OnebyOne: Having a counter cleared to be able to use the things you love--sounds wonderful.

Julia: Make no mistake girl, when you said "The detailed Old Clutter written out is for my own satisfaction." It is for my satisfaction as well. I love to hear your process as well as others. I learn from what you are doing. I haven't touched our cd's/dvd's and I think it is time to go through them or at least get them on the list.
I loved the list of things you have kept that didn't have to do with the "NOW" action in you life. (Past keys, parts to ping-pong table). A while back I took a picture of an old bowling trophy that we had been saving for my son. He neither likes bowling or took pride in that activity. We saved this item that had
no value to any of us. It's nice to "laugh at the items" --makes the process a little more enjoyable. Or maybe I think it deflects my craziness about not making decisions on junky - outdated stuff.

Hope you enjoy your new clean area. You definitely lost "lots of clutter weight" in the basement. Your house must feel lighter. We have a 1/2 price book store that I love to take my books, cd's and dvd's to. Books are my hobby....ok let me get real....addiction. So I have been weeding them out, fired up my library card and only allow one new book a month. Big change in my office area. Love that feeling of having Space-opens up the creative flow for me.

Lexxiss: I am taking notes on what you have shared, in regards to paperwork. I will be implementing parts of your list this week. Thanks again for taking the time and sharing your wisdom in this area.

Osaunt: I do the same thing with paperwork. That is how I ended up with so many boxes in my office. One of the best lessons I have learned from this thread is learning to make a decisions and taking simple baby step actions. Day in and Day out.

Hi to all the other declutters out there, drop in and let us know what you are up to.

Grateful for the rain last night. It is supposed to rain all day. Very happy for the farmers and their efforts to bring us our food supply. I hope it rains for several days.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:54 PM   #149
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Hello declutterers!

everyone! Yay for basements overhauled...kitchen counters freed....for paperwork piled for purging

I agree with Tami (helping rachel) the sharing of what each of us accomplishes is very motivating.

I spent alot of time working on a puzzle this morning...something I didn't used to have space for. credit.

Today:
old clutter-almost finished 2012 federal taxes
current clutter-put away the above mentioned until next time
clean-vacuumed bedroom/bathroom and wiped windowsills in both rooms.

Well today's success IS with the taxes. I had everything I needed in my file (which I traveled with), with exception of a W-2 still coming from my employer. It took only a few hours to determine what I'll need to pay(federal) and what I'll get back(state). For years I have filed extensions right down to the bitter end. I can really see how this accomplishment will relate to my having "time for dieting" and provide me with a more calm and stable personal space.

Now I'm running right to the wire...we're going to head to church. BBL
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:33 PM   #150
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Hello everyone
Many great ideas here.
I cleaned my kitchen, yeah,
One more bag ready to go to diabetes, I still need to remove so much clutter from this house.
Emptied dishwasher
I am just placing one foot in front of the other, it will all fall in place.
Have a great day and thanks for all the great info, sharing, and openness.

Take Care
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