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Old 08-24-2015, 09:28 PM   #81
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Projects without external deadlines sometimes take longer.

It has been hard to "see" progress in the chaos. Still a ways to go, but we may have turned the corner. We are now far enough along to be in the stage of make-ready where we are thinking, "This looks like a nice house. Why don't we buy it and live here?!"

'Fess up. How is your decluttering project going??
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:14 PM   #82
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Projects without external deadlines sometimes take longer.

It has been hard to "see" progress in the chaos. Still a ways to go, but we may have turned the corner. We are now far enough along to be in the stage of make-ready where we are thinking, "This looks like a nice house. Why don't we buy it and live here?!"

'Fess up. How is your decluttering project going??
Great. When I moved into my dream house this summer, I threw out or donated two trash bags full of stuff for almost every box I packed. I still had 53 boxes packed to move.

In unpacking them, I still saw a lot of stuff I don't need. Luckily this house has more storage space than any house I have ever seen, so there is plenty of room for everything.
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:04 AM   #83
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Still working on it, but have done 3 stages so far. Moving from 2700 sf house to 1400 sf apartment, got rid of mass quantities. Moved to HI in 2 suitcases each. Still working on old apartment to get rid of stuff not used in past 8 years. Long way to go but have really made progress. In short, stuff owns us - not the other way around, but YMMV.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:27 AM   #84
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We're heading back to my Mom's again today. Going to try again. We've got an appointment with a woman who will haul away and auction off a lot of the stuff. She gets a cut, and we'll donate the rest of the money to the dog rescue place my Mom supported. It will be great to get rid of so much stuff. We'll bring a few items home like her spare refrigerator, so I can have cold beers and a place to keep my condiment collection, as well as a couple of items DW wants. I'll probably have to keep a bunch of her papers (many boxes of them) to browse through to make sure I'm not getting rid of anything important. After that the place will be pretty stripped down, and I'll decide what to do with it. I'm leaning toward selling it. Nobody needs 3 houses.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:43 PM   #85
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'Fess up. How is your decluttering project going??
We are actually making slow and steady progress, by trying to fill one extra trash can a week (or the functional equivalent in donated stuff) and for the most part we are succeeding. Admittedly DW is better at this than I am but there is now noticeably more empty space than there was a year ago.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:30 AM   #86
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Keep it going declutterers ! It's been 2 years since we downsized and decluttered. I was able to go further once I ER'd (bye bye work clothes!!!). It is SO amazing to see empty storage space. I can actually SEE what I have (rather than having to find things behind other things). I love my new decluttered life and I hope you will also.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:56 AM   #87
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Keep it going declutterers ! It's been 2 years since we downsized and decluttered. I was able to go further once I ER'd (bye bye work clothes!!!). It is SO amazing to see empty storage space. I can actually SEE what I have (rather than having to find things behind other things). I love my new decluttered life and I hope you will also.
A couple of weeks ago I finished my decluttering project. The biggest reward has been that once again I can find anything immediately, instead of knowing it's "somewhere in a safe place" but otherwise having to hunt for it.
My best advice would be to have a daily to-do checklist that is not onerous (e.g., "clear out/organize left half of garage"). There is a great sense of accomplishment when one checks off a given to-do item, and over a relatively short period of time the overall progress is substantial.
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:02 AM   #88
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My set back was that during our big neighborhood garage sale weekend a friend won a free weekend at a resort and invited us to go. We went to the resort and that was fun, but we missed the garage sale as a result, and that was plan A for getting rid of a lot of the stuff I had stacked up to sell from our decluttering. I took some low value stuff to Goodwill yesterday and old monitors to Staples for recycling.

I never have enough things to bother having a garage sale, but one of my friends and his wife have combined garage sales a couple times a year with their neighbors. I just give stuff to them to sell on consignment...I let them price it at whatever they think it will get and give them a 20% commision.
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Old 08-28-2015, 05:15 PM   #89
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In unpacking them, I still saw a lot of stuff I don't need. Luckily this house has more storage space than any house I have ever seen, so there is plenty of room for everything.
If you know you own it, and can lay your hands on it in a minute or two, then having a lot of storage space is good.

Having too many places to look, though, the extra space that's holding the unneeded stuff is probably not a benefit. I guess what I'm saying is if one "curates" their stuff well, then one can have a lot of stuff, without a lot of psychic overhead. But I've got some things that I have space for, but they're poorly curated (aka I'm not really sure what's there), so THAT'S the stuff first on my list to declutter. You know it's bad when you'd rather buy a new one that dig for the one you "know is here somewhere"
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:08 PM   #90
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Carpets cleaned today. A neighbor came by to look at a bedroom suite and will bring a check next week.

Need to concentrate more on using up things on hand/ in freezer for meal prep.

How can August be over already...
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If you had a lot of stuff, how long did it take you to do a major de-clutter?
Old 08-31-2015, 11:15 AM   #91
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If you had a lot of stuff, how long did it take you to do a major de-clutter?

I retired Jan 2014 and did no purging until this month, and this thread helped. I started with the master bathroom I have a 2700 sf house and years of stuff....plus my Mom who died in 2010 lived with me and I haven't touched her area, this is a long, long, process. Thank you for the Rightsizing book recommendation and this thread.


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Old 08-31-2015, 09:09 PM   #92
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Before and after photos - what a great idea.

We're on window washing and screen cleaning. Need to see about having some bath tile re-grouted.
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:56 PM   #93
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In the process of cleaning out my Mom's house I found some slides in a drawer. Old pictures of boy scout trips, things like that. But I also found a few pictures of my old step sisters(ish) who I haven't seen since the early 70s. My mom (aunt, really, but guardian) married a guy who had two teen age daughters (I was about 14). At one point they came to live with us for a year or so. Then Mom bailed on the guy (who later committed suicide) and we moved away (again). I never saw the two girls again, and even in the age of Google haven't been able to find out anything about them. So this is a good find. I'm going to send the slides in somewhere to have them converted to digital. A lost piece of my life comes back. Pretty cool.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:59 AM   #94
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I HIGHLY recommend "Rightsizing your Life" by Ciji Ware, which I got out of the library and may actually buy. She does a great job of sorting out all the issues, including emotional ones, and there are great resources in the back of the book for donating and recycling various things.
Another THANK YOU for the recommendation....just now bought it on eBay for less than $4 delivered...looking forward to the insight!
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:13 AM   #95
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In the past year since ER I have worked on the de-cluttering issue. I have found if I pick a "subject" I do better than just trying to tackle a closet. The "subject" could be baskets (the kind you get with flower, gift baskets, etc.) or books. My most recent "subject" was photo frames. I had plenty of framed "certificates of appreciation" from w*rk, took various photos out of frames, and the frame that held my gymnastics ribbons. I had over a dozen frames for the donation box pick-up recently.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:42 AM   #96
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An update on us- we moved in early July and I'm pretty happy with the amount of stuff we sold, donated, freecycled, etc. before we moved. Since this house is a bit smaller we also have more side chairs, blankets, pillows and other items we don't need, most too worn to give to a thrift store. I may try listing them as Free Stuff on Craigslist. I also need to get off my rear and donate the used towels to the local animal shelter- apparently they can use them in cages.


We still have a healthy supply of books but don't miss the ones we gave away. I'm getting serious about keeping a clean house (was less rigorous when I was employed) and it's SO much easier when you don't have to move a lot of stuff to dust and vacuum around and under them. Another bonus: I think we bought duplicates/triplicates of things we already had but couldn't find. I'm hoping there will be less of that going forward.
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:05 AM   #97
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Will get an estimate on grout repair today. We are largely DIY people, but are willing to select some items to have others do so we can keep going on the things that only we can do.

The corner has been turned. Been through the chaos (during the "sorting out" time frame there was stuff everywhere).

And yet, there is still a long list! The list of big things has turned into a long list of little things.

How is your decluttering going??
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:53 AM   #98
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Even though we downsized and moved in Feb 2015 (from 2500+basement/garage/yard) to (1035 apartment+5x10 storage).. I've continued to downsize. So have managed to remove 6 more tubs of stuff through "scanning pics", giving away things we have no room to display,etc so this weekend moving to a 5x5 storage unit which will just hold the bikes and recreation gear.

I found a 500 page printed copy of family history I "borrowed" 12 years ago to do family research. I've scanned 200+pages to date and plan to finish the rest by next week when I finally (embarrassingly) return it, in both digital and paper format to the original owner.

I still have more pictures I want to get rid of but would like to find a charity that could auction them off as they should have some collectible value.

We are now organized enough to start thinking about spending some money on "nice organization" type products..
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:07 PM   #99
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I have found if I pick a "subject" I do better than just trying to tackle a closet. The "subject" could be baskets (the kind you get with flower, gift baskets, etc.) or books.
This is exactly what Marie Kondo (the life-changing magic of tidying up) recommends and I'd never considered that approach until I read her book. It makes a huge difference for me.

As for how long it takes -well, that depends on how much stuff you have and how much time you devote to the task, as well as how emotionally invested you are with the objects you're working with.

For example, I can make a solid pass through my closet in 30 minutes, but we moved two years ago and the garage is still hip-deep in boxes of stuff. And if you ask me to declutter paperwork (especially receipts) I functionally freeze up. But our bathrooms are very minimalist, and the minivan I drive is always tidy and well- organized.

I'm currently taking the approach that the spaces and things I use the most or spend the most time in are the ones to keep decluttered. This achieves two purposes for me: it streamlines my daily life so I get the most benefit from my purging sessions, and it helps establish what an uncluttered space looks and feels like, which makes it easier to see and deal with clutter in other spaces -sort of a bleed-over effect.

But I fear that the task is innately Sisyphean.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:55 PM   #100
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We continue to declutter after moving and downsizing 11 years ago. Since then, my parents sold their city house and I got much of their good furniture. Then they passed on and I had to declutter their lake house--another big job. My 99 year old pack rack aunt also had a big house we liquidated, and it took three 20' construction bins to get rid of her junk. But we again inherited really fine furniture. I ended up with furniture stacked to the ceiling in what was equal to 7 single car garages.

I bought my daughter a 2800 square foot house, and I intend to furnish her dining room and living room with my extras. I finally realize that if no one uses all this "stuff", I just need to get rid of it in yard sales, etc. I don't want to strap our daughter having to liquidate all our "stuff" after we're gone. That would be a burden.
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