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Free Yourself DeClutter Challenge:New Year 2014-Vernal Equinox aka Spring-Mar 20.

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Old 01-28-2014, 03:19 PM   #46
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How I wish I had known there was a thread here! This was one of my New Year's resolutions -- which has somehow become derailed! Like a few of you have stated, I truly believe that my unhappiness with my cluttered HOUSE is impeding my weight loss -- or at the very least, making it more difficult to stay on plan. I started the new year on a good note -- cleaned out a few drawers and a few boxes of clothes (which barely made a dent in a closet), then -- stopped. Not easy to get de-cluttered when you are married to a pack rat, but I can't blame him for everything, can I, lol? He's not the one who has boxes of fabric from my sewing years, the boxes of books that "I can't bear to get rid of", the closet full of old paperwork from my Mom's last few years (she passed away FIVE years ago!) So here I go again -- thanks for the inspiration! By the way, some of you have mentioned "flylady", which is a great resource. Have you visited "Be More with Less"? Another fantastic site when you're needing a shot in the arm. That lady is amazing!
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:03 PM   #47
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Good evening declutterers! Is that a word?

Anyway, my sisters and I are working with Mom, to get through all of the issues with taking care of cleaning out Grandmothers house, and helping Mom with her clutter.

It is an odd situation. Grandma is a clean, tidy person, even now, in the nursing home, fussy about her clothes, hair, makeup and everything just so. Mom, is a hoarder! My sisters and I while some days, life gives us a full trash can, and laundry here and there, and sink full of dirty dishes, it never lasts very long. 2 days, max, and gotta clean sweep. We don't have the time to be unorganized.

Mom has actually been pretty good about not wanting to move all of Grandma's stuff to her house, so that's a win.

But trying to convince Mom, that her house need to be cleaner and more clutter free, not so much. She just does not care.

I could handle a bit of clutter, but it's to the point, that for her, at her age it's a health, and safety issue. The house is a fire trap! Not to mention a food, health hazard!

Sisters and I are practicing patience, while encouraging Mom to let us help out more. She is getting more receptive, but it will be a time consuming project.

So, for those of you who do struggle with the clutter issue, could you help me with advice, on how, is the best way to go about helping an older, and somewhat, disabled family member, who has entirely to much "stuff"?
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:54 PM   #48
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Hello all!
I started the new year by cleaning out my room. I put a new coat of paint on the wall. What is great is that I didnt realize how a new fun color paint can have you put a new look on things. I also got a new dresser to replace my awesome 3 drawer rubbermaid bin that i have been using for the last 3 years. I love it!
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:23 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shcirerf View Post
But trying to convince Mom, that her house need to be cleaner and more clutter free, not so much. She just does not care.

I could handle a bit of clutter, but it's to the point, that for her, at her age it's a health, and safety issue. The house is a fire trap! Not to mention a food, health hazard!

Sisters and I are practicing patience, while encouraging Mom to let us help out more. She is getting more receptive, but it will be a time consuming project.

So, for those of you who do struggle with the clutter issue, could you help me with advice, on how, is the best way to go about helping an older, and somewhat, disabled family member, who has entirely to much "stuff"?
shcirerf, I can only share my experience w/my mom...she traditionally had alot of stuff and just kept bringing it in. Siblings tried for years to clean up and haul out just to have more come in. Finally, at 92, she's quit bringing stuff in which helps. Finally accepting I could not change her behavior brought me to the point where I decided to really deal with my own home issues. That said, my moms house is not, in my opinion, a fire, health or safety hazard. It's not real clean, I don't like to cook/eat over there but there is a difference with what you're describing. If your mom's place IS a health,fire and safety hazard and she is resistant to change (I don't know her age) you might need to seek professional help....perhaps counseling for you and siblings or a clutter specialist. I just don't have any other ideas. Since this thread is for individuals working on changing their own personal behaviors it's about the only area I'd be able to help with. I have learned I'm powerless to change anyone else.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:56 AM   #50
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shcirerf, what excellent news that your mother doesn't want to import any of your grandma's stuff!

My uncle (87) has things in his house which should go but it's not a health or fire hazard (but see below). If he gives me anything to get rid of I call it a victory. I don't judge and tell him what has to go but I stand around helpfully. I'm his (will) executor so at the end of the day it'll be my duty to sort out his things. I'm finding 'being' with his things quite helpful in that regard.

When I'm in the area (I live a few hundred miles away) I go round when I'm going to the tip for my mother and ask him if there's anything to go. Sometimes there is. He's given me a handful of plastic carrier bags. Or some packaging. Or one or two glass jars. Once we had a lovely time in his box room going through an old wardrobe and reminiscing - and lots of things went that day. He specially likes it if my son (13) comes with me because he was very helpful, running up and down stairs, that day with the wardrobe.

There was a fire hazard for some length of time. Everyone could smell gas except my uncle but no-one rang the Gas Board. I did, long distance, and the engineers came and condemned his fire and his cooker. I've never told any of my family who all think it was an amazing coincidence that the engineers called that day. I think if it's seriously dangerous then one has to override one's elders and betters!

Like Debbie, I can see that it's impossible to change anyone. I've also learnt that the strangest things hold important memories which we can't go trampling over.

I suggest trying the, let's call it 'slip-streaming' method which I've used. That's when I'm taking some of my mother's stuff away and I try to get the same from my uncle. I have tried focusing it a bit more narrowly: "I've got loads of old newspapers in the car to go - do you have any?" And with this approach, I have to follow up with very careful comments of the 'this is from last week, have you read it?' kind.

If your mother is a little disabled, could you work on making the house more accessible for her? As in less clutter so less likely to fall or trip? You could perhaps move things out of the way first and then if they're in a different place (even out of sight) she might see them differently.

I know there are two (at least) chamber pots far under my uncle's stairs. When we've looked in there, I've said that's what I think they are and that we don't really use them any more, do we? But they're still there, wrapped in newspaper.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:44 PM   #51
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Hello Declutterers:

I've been out of town for the past week or so. Working in the print studio out of town it was clear to me that I can be very organized and very systematic, though it was a fight as I had to constantly course correct. I came home woith a renewed need to get my studio (outside my home but nearby) into good working order. I threw away two large garbage bags of stuff and soent 2 days organizing it and I came back to the same issues again and again and so I rented a very small storage locker, with DH's blessing, to hold my completed artwork and art materials that I will be using but not right now. In 6 months I will revisit the need/use of that locker but for now it has allowed me to empty my studio and it is *almost* completely ready for use. I have 2 rubbermaid bins and a large wooden crate that I need to go through and then I need to remove them once that's done. I ma dedicating myself to my artwork over the next 2 years and a studio that is ready for me is a big part of that. of course, having it be 1 degree when I arrive and having the temperature rise to 8C in 39 minutes and then 13C in an hour, all due to my new ceiling mounted heater, it's actually hopeful as my old heater raised temp by about 8 degrees. I am hopeful that with them both on, if the fuse doesn't blow, it will be a comfortable space.

At home I cleared the fridge of all expired stuff. It came to almost a garbage bag full. Geez. I didn't wipe down the shelves or anything else but that will come soon. I have also been working to keep up with the laundry, as I do mine and my mom's, and the pile of clothes/stuff in the bedroom is now half size. I will clear it away over the weekend. Also on the agenda is unearthing my kitchen table so I can read the paper at it in the morning and continuing with opening and sorting those boxes. Not that many to go. My sister will be coming for a visit at the end of February and it is a goal to have to cleared away by the time she arrives.

Bye for now.
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:15 AM   #52
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Thumbs up today

Today I am taking several items from my apartment to my storage locker and to my studio. Once I come home I will move/sort the items that are preventing me from using the kitchen table. My goal is to be able to sit at the table with coffee tomorrow morning. I will keep that in mind as I chip away at it later today.

Update: I moved the items to the studio but held off on placing them into storage. One look at my studio and I know I can consolidate and toss a bit more. The weather was turning worse (freezing rain) so I didn't stay away as long as I had wanted to. As it was I saw two cars who couldn't manage very small hills or tight turns. I took it as a sign to get home.

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Old 02-04-2014, 08:58 PM   #53
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I'm going to try to get a daily streak and log going again. It's the only thing that has every worked for me!

4: disassembled the Wii and got it in a pile (was hoping for a box but need some input from DH first)
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:28 AM   #54
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Decluttering Folks, Hello!

My studio is now fully functional and cleared out and inviting. Yesterday I spent a good 5 hours in there and it's feeling the way I want it to. That small storage locker has really helped. In the end I had 3 carloads of supplies/displays that are not disposable go there. I am ready to get down to some complicated challenging on-going projects now. I also started to display some of my inspirational objects: a postcard of Ai Wei Wei, (Chinese artist), I put up an extra shelf. I hung my giant woodblock carving on the wall to inspire me to make more of those, I put my white board up and put the cup hooks up at ceiling height to enable me to put up a clothesline to hang my prints on so they will dry. Now, the weather really needs to warm up! I wanted to paint one of my new dry-walled walls with chalkboard paint but the can says you need between 10C and 30C to cure the paint properly. When I go into the studio it is 1C to 3C and with my heaters it goes to between 13C and 18C, but that's so long as the heaters are going. It goes back down to 1-3C pretty fast after I leave so I can't really paint the walls. Sad! I have another 6 weeks probably to wait. I am very impatient these days. So, very happy to report a completed project here.

On to completing the apartment, getting rid of box mountain 2.0 and opening up the kitchen once again.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:23 AM   #55
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gardenerjoy, onebyone, great to see you both back!

I got up this morning and worked my way through the house. My coffee maker takes 12 minutes and I always challenge myself to see what I can get done while it brews. I got the kitchen picked up and as I headed upstairs with the laundry basket I recognized that this morning essentials routine is really a form of exercise. When I do it everyday it adds up. My scale reading was really good this morning-further proof to me that keeping my home decluttered/clean and organized really does have a positive effect on my weightloss goals. credit.

Today I'm going to measure in the basement for insulation. It's so cold right now and I'm realizing that it would be quite simple to start working on this project a little bit at a time. I hope to bring home a "bale". When that's put up I'll bring another. Baby steps!
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:10 PM   #56
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Thumbs up yes to baby steps.

Hello everyone

I took the day off except for cooking from scratch. I managed to get all the garbage bagged and to the curb and I got a few blogposts done, the first in 6 weeks, so that's helping me declutter my mind! The day was just a washout plan-wise. Major snowstorm here disrupted my ceramic studio plans until tomorrow so I just did other enjoyable stuff. I need to have an active plan/schedule written down to get me moving so yeah, I need to do that again.

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Happy to hear from you! which basement is getting insulated? One of the rental units? How are all your projects going and have you been able to get to those hot springs lately??
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:29 AM   #57
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Hi Lexxiss and onebyone! And, anyone who's lurking. (Jump on in!)
It makes me feel so happy, onebyone, that your studio is functioning!

4: disassembled the Wii and got it in a pile
5: moved Wii downstairs, clearing a small table in my study for something wonderful (that I don't know what is yet)
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:07 AM   #58
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I overcame procrastination yesterday and went to bigbox and purchased insulation and the tile I need for another project. credit. This morning I've cleaned the sink and did some refrigerator rearranging. Trash is bagged for removal and I'll do my essentials.

gardenerjoy, yay for baby steps and excited for your Wii. When life calms down I, too, may invest. Did your filing get finished?

onebyone, we're starting work on rental #3 today. It's the one which had a water leak in the bathroom so we have some demolition before we see the extent of the damage. Even so, this is far smaller a project than the last. The insulation is for our home. We have a unfinished basement and there's no insulation in the floor joists. If I'm in the kitchen and it's dark I can tell if I've left the basement light on. Lol. I can also see the dining room lights when I'm downstairs. These renovation successes have really motivated me to do some extra work at home. We went to the hotsprings for 4 days last week-the last visit until this project is finished.

So I reflected for a moment on my essentials this morning.
Bed made-I notice how much nicer it is to crawl into bed at night AND it provides the perfect spot for daily laundry folding. I noticed this morning as I folded the laundry instead of leaving it for later.
Laundry-It felt good as I folded my "waitress" clothes this morning. They are put away and I don't need to panic when Saturday morning comes. I don't run out of stuff(socks/undies) and I know where everything is. I decluttered my drawers/closet so that there is a "spot" for everything. It goes there as soon as it's folded. I have 2 baskets-one for dirty/one for clean. No overflow anymore which makes it simple. When I'm looking at clothing to bring home I constantly ask myself how much do I really need. I used this same line when decluttering-how much do I really need.
Dishes done-sink cleaned-I find much less frustration in cooking OP when I keep up with this. As soon as it starts to get cluttered, I find myself less motivated to cook/eat what nourishes.

I'm grateful to continue to "make time". I can head out to work today and it's comforting to know I can come home, make dinner and relax. credit.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:59 PM   #59
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Thumbs up taking the time now makes time later

Hello

Lexxiss your check-in of your routine had me thinking the line "take time now and you'll make time later". You're totally on the button with that. It's not like I procrastinate on the extraordinary things, which I will do at times, but they come and go a few times a year. What FILLS my mind, takes my energy, and leaves me feeling less-than are all the small day to day things that go on and on and on in my avoidance of doing "right now". So, to turn your phrase around, they take my time now AND later... they don't go away and I can look forward to feeling BAD about myself cause I know I have to do it and haven't.
Now what sane person would willingly live like that?

Maybe I have finally hit some magic age/number that I know I don't have time to waste feeling bad anymore. Or having my precious mind and creative energy zapped by the dishes or not knowing/not deciding what to do with my own crap. Really, what a waste of time. Thanks so much to you, Lexxiss, and gardenerjoy and silverbirch and all the others who have joined in and posted on these on-going declutter threads. You guys all give me a measure of what to do and how to keep moving forward. Honestly whatever I have accomplished comes from my continued involvement here.

I have to get to bed. G'nite all.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:09 PM   #60
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Lexxiss: no, the filing is still waiting to be done. Getting back to that is tomorrow's goal!

onebyone: Have you read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin? She writes a lot about how resolving what we feel bad about is a key to happiness -- lots of people who appear to be sane have a hard time resolving things.. She says that happiness takes thinking about what makes us feel good, feel bad, and feel right in atmosphere of growth. I've been able to get thinking on that to work well for me.

4: disassembled the Wii and got it in a pile
5: moved Wii downstairs, clearing a small table in my study for something wonderful (that I don't know what is yet)
6: straightened up for cleaning crew
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