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Old 11-24-2010, 05:01 AM   #41
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Converting paper images to electronic media is a good idea.

I don't understand why you guys just don't stop buying stuff you don't need and start using up / wearing out the stuff you already have.

About 10 or so years back we did a major addition (we added a level) to the house. I did allot of the work myself so the place was a mess for several years. We rented a self storage cage for about a year to store our stuff while the major work was under way. About half the stuff we stored we discarded shortly after moving it back home. I think the cost of storage was just over $100 a month..a big waste of money..
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:27 AM   #42
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Converting paper images to electronic media is a good idea.
I am not entirely convinced, for instance, that is true for photographs. I wonder if there will be devices available fifty/hundrd years from now with which to view them. I have no such fear that human eyesight will become obsolete.
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:22 AM   #43
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Confession: I have been a hoarder all my life...

I think my question is two-pronged:

1. What criteria do you use to decide what to keep and what to get rid of? Haven't used in the last 1, 3, 5, 10 years? Don't anticipate using in the next X years?

2. If you are married to a hoarder, what can you do to try to convince your spouse to de-clutter? Or, how do you reach some kind of compromise? (e.g. your room is yours to clutter up, but don't pile junk in the common space?)

--Pulling my hair out in frustration
Aren't we all [hoarders] ?

1. Criteria to send my junk on a long walk off a short pier...
Have I used it lately ?
Is it of sentimental value?
It is in my house for a reason (function) or it is something I like to look at (form) ?

2. Married to (or SO of ) a hoarder?
Pick a room designated solely for storing stuff, out of the main living area, and divide it in half. Put some masking tape on the floor to create a visible "line not to cross" or
If either encroaches on the other's "territory", out the door it goes. Keep it light hearted and no raised voices. Honor the boundary at all times. The room and the masking tape will create a finite space for the stuff and get it out of the main living area.
Good luck!
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:36 AM   #44
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I am not entirely convinced, for instance, that is true for photographs. I wonder if there will be devices available fifty/hundrd years from now with which to view them. I have no such fear that human eyesight will become obsolete.
I'm assuming all the photos I have stored on HD's, CD's and DVD's today will need to be converted to some other format within a decade. I'll be old enough then that I'm not sure I'll have the interest and energy to do so. Therefore, we still keep a sampling of photos in paper form mounted in anti-fade albums.
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:46 AM   #45
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Dw is a hoarder....it stems from the fact she grew up and had almost nothing............if it was up to me my house would have 2/3 less than it does in it, but so far no luck with that.......
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:32 PM   #46
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Harley, I think if I throw away DH's D&D stuff and Star Wars figures, I will be in a permanent doghouse...
Hey, if he's got the Rocket Firing Boba Fett or the Telescoping Light Saber Darth Vader, I can't blame him.

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I am not entirely convinced, for instance, that is true for photographs. I wonder if there will be devices available fifty/hundrd years from now with which to view them. I have no such fear that human eyesight will become obsolete.
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I'm assuming all the photos I have stored on HD's, CD's and DVD's today will need to be converted to some other format within a decade. I'll be old enough then that I'm not sure I'll have the interest and energy to do so. Therefore, we still keep a sampling of photos in paper form mounted in anti-fade albums.
What I've been doing off and on for a few years (winter boredom months) is scan and toss the vast majority of our photos, but keep paper copies of the best ones in albums for the future. I don't really need all 32 rolls of pictures from our trip to Italy back in '90. The few with one or both of us in it are interesting, as well as a few other personally meaningful shots.The dozens of the Coliseum or the Circus Maximus are just poor versions of what you can see in a book or online. Scan and toss, scan and toss, rinse and repeat...
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:27 PM   #47
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Hoarding stuff? A problem for sure. Hoarding animals? A tragedy for people and the animals. We just had a huge animal hoarding case in my community. Tragic for the ladies who had way too many pets and for the animals they believed they were helping.

Bad news: not all of the animals can be saved. Good news: lots of people stepping up to help save those who can be saved.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:39 PM   #48
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These statements rung a bell.

Pierre Omidyar, the eBay founder, lives on Oahu. A few months ago the local media profiled him and mentioned that he has at least one warehouse on the island stocked with food and other emergency supplies for his family/staff, and that he does so at other residences.

So somehow you and your grandmother are hoarders, but he's just ensuring his family's food security...

Maybe he is Mormon and just having his 2 yr supply of food storage?
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:31 PM   #49
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Another thought on decluttering/dehoarding, have a yard sale to get rid of things. Until BigMoneyJim said "It's more annoying to have crap in my way that I could easily buy if I actually need it in the future."I hadn't realized that that applies to me. All my life I've scrimped and saved and now I finally don't need to. Thank you!!!!
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:10 PM   #50
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I bet the ER crowd has a higher than average tendancy to hoard. There are many similar behavior traits shared by LBYM and hoarders. The accumulation phase certainly appears similar to hoarding. So hoarding is not necessarily bad, except in it's extreme forms. The thing I learned by watching the TV show is that many of those folks were managing thier clutter fairly well until some emotional event pushed them over the edge.

As for actually unhoarding, I pick an area and go through it quickly and put everything in 4 piles.....Trash/ Goodwill/ Keep/ Undecided. Items to be kept must be suitably labeled and stored. I get a lot of satisfaction in donating Goodwill items since I assume they will be put to good use instead of being "wasted" by nonuse. It's deductable is Amazing!

Repeat in 3-6 months. Anything in the Undecided pile must go into another category on the next cycle.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:43 PM   #51
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........... Items to be kept must be suitably labeled and stored. ...........
Right, like my box labeled "pieces of string too short to keep"
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:22 PM   #52
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What I've been doing off and on for a few years (winter boredom months) is scan and toss the vast majority of our photos, but keep paper copies of the best ones in albums for the future. I don't really need all 32 rolls of pictures from our trip to Italy back in '90.
Scan and toss, scan and toss, rinse and repeat...
I was surprised how much closet shelf space we had dedicated to negatives storage.

I came across some golden-oldie high-school slides that I'm going to have to scan and print out, but I don't see us saving any slide trays either.

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Maybe he is Mormon and just having his 2 yr supply of food storage?
I think he can't figure out where to spend his money, so having the ultimate hurricane-food storage site suddenly seems like a reasonable goal.
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:52 PM   #53
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Flylady is a good online alternative to the pro hired way. LBYM! Small progresses, one space at a time. I had to work on my own hoarding instincts before I could point to my dw. She's much better than me but she has her triggers too.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:04 PM   #54
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One thing that I noticed in the past couple of years is this. I can clean out a closet, donating or giving away everything that I don't absolutely need. Then six months later, not having added anything to the closet contents, I can go back and do it again. I didn't really need all the stuff that I thought I needed.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:05 PM   #55
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I guess I've never been a hoarder in the same class as you, but I used to hang on to things I think I might use someday or might want to, especially tools and hobby supplies. Moving it around to new apartment homes two or three times without using it really helped me lose the desire to hang onto things. Getting financially in shape has helped a lot, too. It's more annoying to have crap in my way that I could easily buy if I actually need it in the future.
I don't have a firm rule, but I'm thinking if I haven't touched it in a year or two, then it's probably time to throw it out.[/QUOTE]


Quick question: Does your "rule" applies to clothing as well?
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:15 PM   #56
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For me, the rules with clothing were:

(1) Does it fit, or is it at least within 1 size of fitting?
(2) Will I have occasion to wear it? (Of my formal meeting clothes for work, I only kept one black dress to use in case of unexpected funerals).
(3) Is it frayed or worn looking, but not something I plan to wear only around the house? (out go the favorite, but very worn casual work clothes)
(4) Will I be happy to wear it and really WANT to wear it? (I actually threw out those shirts with my agency's logo, because I don't work there any more).
(5) Do I really wear this type of thing? (out go the ball caps with company logos)
(6) Does it make me feel happy and pretty?
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:29 PM   #57
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(6) Does it make me feel happy and pretty?
I'm with ya there W2R. I definitely get rid of anything that doesn't make happy ..... and ..... pretty. Like this ragged ole black sweatshirt I have on right now. I'm happy and I am sooooo pretty. There's something about a sweatshirt that's been through the laundry 100+ times to bring out the best in a man's appearance!
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:33 PM   #58
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I'm with ya there W2R. I definitely get rid of anything that doesn't make happy ..... and ..... pretty. Like this ragged ole black sweatshirt I have on right now. I'm happy and I am sooooo pretty. There's something about a sweatshirt that's been through the laundry 100+ times to bring out the best in a man's appearance!
Maybe I should have said "happy and/or attractive." Or, "Do I look forward to getting a chance to wear it?" I do have some oversized men's t-shirts with holes in them that I like to wear when doing projects by myself around the house. They are comfy and make me feel happy (but not pretty).

Nothing that I wear outside the house can be all comfy and ugly with holes in it (or frayed), though. It has to make me feel pretty.
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:00 PM   #59
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Right, like my box labeled "pieces of string too short to keep"
Had any emotional events lately?............just askin.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:21 AM   #60
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I am not entirely convinced, for instance, that is true for photographs. I wonder if there will be devices available fifty/hundrd years from now with which to view them. I have no such fear that human eyesight will become obsolete.
Think about who will actually want to look at your photos in 50-100 years. I went through a little mental journey when trying to work out which photos to get scanned, at what resolution and how hard I should work to preserve as much of the original quality as possible. (I went the DIY route and bought a good photo scanner.)

Long story short, I realized that most of the photos I like, I am the only one that cares at all about them. A photo I took of the Grand Canyon or Mount McKinley or Isla Verde are pretty, but there are better photos readily available. Nobody cares about the ones I took except for me because they put me back there rather than just show me a flat photo. Photos of people, however, have interest to others.

So my plan is to focus on scanning non-redundant photos of people for sharing, and I can either take a nostalgic trip through my photo box every now and then or go through the trouble of scanning it all in if I get tired of having the photo box around.

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Quick question: Does your "rule" applies to clothing as well?
You made me look. Yes, actually, I have apparently cleaned the closet out a couple of times. There are some specialty clothing items like a suit and a life jacket, and come to think of it the suits might be reviewable to see if they still fit and look ok. There are two long sleeve patterned shirts that I never wear, perhaps it's time to throw those out. I always think I'll wear them for work in cold weather, but I just don't like long sleeves and haven't worn them. I also have a few old patterned work shirts with missing buttons. Perhaps it's time to toss them since it hasn't mattered enough to get them fixed. Also just 3 ties.

For the most part I have gotten rid of too big / too small stuff, but a couple of months ago the Dillards outlet had a crazy sale and I bought a bunch of shirts, many for under $5 each, but most of them are just a tad too small for me right now. If they don't fit in a few months I expect I'll get tired of looking at them and toss them.
-----
I sorta kinda hoarded documents, specifically paycheck stubs, bank statements and investment account statements (but not credit card statements...those went into a 12-month rotating file). I bought this document scanner largely to declutter work documents, but used it to great effect on my files. I went from 3 crates of files to one, and I figure I can reduce that by half with some more effort. The linked scanner is expensive at $400-$450 relative to most home scanners, but it takes all the hassle out of document scanning. I can stack letter-sized paper and receipts, and it handles them quite well. It scans both sides of the document in one pass, no flipping it over. The included software (full version of Acrobat, too, by the way) can do many things with the scans, but I put everything in searchable PDF. When I get a new piece of paper I want to image, I just open the top, press the button, and zip it's scanned, the paper goes in the trash. Now the challenge is to maintain a backup system, although copies on two hard drives in the same house is more robust than one paper copy in a file.
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