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Old 05-24-2015, 03:24 PM   #61
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Of course, nothing is static, and stuff continues to flow into the house. We are getting ready to apply the principles in Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" to reduce the accumulated clutter. Like karen1972, we found that when we only had what we really loved, we appreciated it more and it felt new and even luxurious.
I have that book in my checkout list at the local library. I think when I last looked I was 187 in the queue, so I guess I am not the only one with too much stuff.

I get the idea, though, of only keeping what you love. We've been applying it room by room, slowly but surely. It has been kind of exciting at how much better the house looks by taking things away for the most part instead of buying new stuff. Going to estate sales had really opened our eyes to not wanting to end up with a lot of clutter. My husband pointed out at one of the last ones we went to the house and yard were filled to the brim with stuff, including three sets of good china.
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:03 PM   #62
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We've been slowly decluttering for months now, most recently was selling a small boat and a motorcycle. I was a bit surprised at how much space the boat stuff took up in the basement - an entire corner is cleared, and I hadn't used the boat for at least three years. And yesterday I donated several books to the library. Every time I think about buying something I stop and think "Is this something I'll want to have to pack and move in a few years?". That has really put a brake on spending.

So we're making progress.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:35 PM   #63
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We're in the midst of moving from a 2300 sq ft 2-story home in the SF Bay area to a 2500 sq ft single story home near the sierra foothills, so while we're not downsizing, we're moving to a lower-cost area (relative to the SF Bay area, anyhow). And although we'll have a bit more room, we're being brutal with the decluttering -- the ladies at the ACS Discovery Store are getting accustomed to seeing us walk up to the donation desk with yet another pile of boxes & bags.

As I mentioned in another thread, we're finding boxes that we brought with us when we moved into our current house 18 years ago that we tucked away in shelves & closets and never opened. Crazy.

I was able to check out Marie Kondo's book from the library, and it's been a great help. I need to return it soon so I may spring for a copy of my own -- the Kindle version, at least then I won't have another book to move ...

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It has been kind of exciting at how much better the house looks by taking things away ...
We're seeing that, too.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:10 PM   #64
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We unexpectedly sold our 3600 sq ft home a year before retirement and were forced to move to a small 1200 sq ft rental home. We had been de-cluttering, but boy that fast transition was an eye-opener. A year later, we retired, and moved from expensive NY to a great community in SC. The house is about 2200 sq ft and it was a joy to furnish with what we had left and then add a few items as needed. We don't miss all the mystery boxes of stuff that filled our other home. Too much stuff wears on a person. Keep it neat and clean and enjoy the space. We have a great neighborhood and activity groups galore, so retirement is WONDERFUL!
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:20 AM   #65
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I've got that book on hold at the library, too! And I'm 67th on the list, lol!
I have a hard time parting with cards, letters, and little memorabilia. I have a vintage suitcase under the guest bed, and it all gets thrown in there. I figure I'll have to do something about it when the case is full, but until then, I'm focusing on other stuff. Clothes are a big thing, and there's that regret and guilt over buying something that you just never wear, but hate to toss. Five bags went out this month, to a friend doing a yard sale fundraiser for her medical mission trip to Nicaragua.
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:26 AM   #66
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Too much stuff wears on a person.

Yes, but what about when the "stuff" is "hobby stuff?"

We're fairly well under control with day to day living "stuff," but hobby activities take up a LOT of space in our smallish home.

Here's the problem list:

1. DW is a quilter and sewer. Of course I can't see the value in any of it , but she's given me the tour of the quilting table, sewing table and three cabinets she occupies and insists it all adds valuable entertainment to her life. Her quilting girlfriends militantly back her up 100%.

2. I'm a ham radio operator and have been for 50+ years. I have a small collection of vintage gear which means a lot to me (3 cabinets). And my electronics workbench and modern station setup take space too. My hobby buddies think my pile-o-stuff is pretty modest by their standards and can't comprehend why DW complains about it.

3. We both like outdoorsy activities. There are a kayak and a canoe hanging from the garage ceiling and totes full of paddling and camping gear stacked along one wall. Racks of fishing rods occupy another garage wall. And the shelves of tackle boxes and misc fishing doo-dads add to the cluttered appearance. We just barely get two cars into the two car garage in the winter and leave one car out in the summer when "stuff" spreads out a bit since it's being frequently used. We pay to store our camper in a nearby storage lot.

We'd like to have less clutter. But neither of us have any intention of dropping activities (quilting/sewing - her, ham radio - him or fishing/camping/paddling - both) in the near future.

What to folks do when the stuff that's cluttering their lives is the same stuff that supports activities frequently engaged in?
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:33 AM   #67
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youbet, I think the hobby stuff CAN become a problem if you hoard. I have 8 oscilloscopes....6 of them I have not even turned on in three years. Most people don't even need one oscilloscope (most people don't even know what an oscilloscope is!).
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:46 AM   #68
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youbet, I think the hobby stuff CAN become a problem if you hoard. I have 8 oscilloscopes....6 of them I have not even turned on in three years. Most people don't even need one oscilloscope (most people don't even know what an oscilloscope is!).
Threw out two older Teks with plug ins. Part of me ached to see them go but the power supplies were out and the caps had started leaking. Still have two HP's that are combo logic analyzer/scopes. Tempted to treat myself to one of the newer digital scope/logic analyzers and free up the cart space! Sometimes you just have to let them go.

In hindsight, I really should have at least sold the plugins on ebay!
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:52 AM   #69
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youbet, I think the hobby stuff CAN become a problem if you hoard. I have 8 oscilloscopes....6 of them I have not even turned on in three years. Most people don't even need one oscilloscope (most people don't even know what an oscilloscope is!).
Yes, hobby stuff can become a problem. It is at our house! But neither of us will sign up to dropping the activities associated with the "stuff."

I have one scope and admit it's seldom used. I'm sure if I looked at every piece of test gear on the bench and noted when last used, several things would go. But that would just leave me with lightly populated shelves over the test bench instead of densely populated shelves! To really improve things, I'd need to decide I'm not going to "tinker" with vintage gear any longer and toss/sell the whole test bench and related shelves of instruments.

The collection of vintage gear is a big question mark too. Most forum members won't know what I'm talking about here but you will. I really enjoy setting up different stations with vintage Collins, Drake, Hallicrafters and Johnson gear accumulated over the decades. I'm sure some of the stuff only sees the light of day every couple of years, but it's always a joy when it does. Is Jay Leno's collection of vintage cars a problem or a joy?

The root cause of our clutter problem is having a diverse set of activities that are usually supported by owning stuff. I suppose having a smallish house and perhaps not using space efficiently adds to the problem.........
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:02 AM   #70
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Threw out two older Teks with plug ins. Part of me ached to see them go but the power supplies were out and the caps had started leaking. Still have two HP's that are combo logic analyzer/scopes. Tempted to treat myself to one of the newer digital scope/logic analyzers and free up the cart space! Sometimes you just have to let them go.

In hindsight, I really should have at least sold the plugins on ebay!
Probably 10% to 20% of my "electronics stuff collection" belongs in the garbage. I've been pretty good the past 2 - 3 years about tossing/selling/giving away not working or not used goodies.

Still, having multiple, diverse hobbies seems to be the root of the issue as opposed to just needing to tidy up and trim down a bit. Neither DW or I feel comfortable throwing in the towel on our individual or shared activities.

Probably should just stop worrying about it. Other than the massive organizing in the garage every autumn so we can get both cars in for the winter, the "stacks-o-stuff" aren't too awkward to have. There're just an eyesore when we step back and look at them.
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:36 AM   #71
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Threw out two older Teks with plug ins. Part of me ached to see them go but the power supplies were out and the caps had started leaking. Still have two HP's that are combo logic analyzer/scopes. Tempted to treat myself to one of the newer digital scope/logic analyzers and free up the cart space! Sometimes you just have to let them go.

In hindsight, I really should have at least sold the plugins on ebay!
I hear you. I have a pristine Tek 7104 1Ghz BW with loads of plug ins but I always reach for my 200Mhz Agilent MSOX3024 with it's lovely full color screen, four channels, built in waveform generator. I keep the Tek hanging around just in case I need to see some fast pulse but I always seem to make do with the Agi. It would probably cost more to ship the 7104 than it is worth.
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:38 AM   #72
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The root cause of our clutter problem is having a diverse set of activities that are usually supported by owning stuff. I suppose having a smallish house and perhaps not using space efficiently adds to the problem.........
I think it saves money in the long run to have hobby gear at home that can get used over and over vs paying for membership fees, classes or one time experiences. To me, items like golf clubs, canoes, craft supplies, archery equipment and bikes are great investments when I consider how much each hour of entertainment costs. Our last canoe we bought used and sold for almost the same price, and had many days of fun in-between.

Most of the clutter we are getting rid of are things we never use or use once a year. We got rid of the 6 foot Christmas tree as often we go on vacation or visit relatives over the holidays anyway and replaced it with a couple of table top trees.
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:03 AM   #73
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One thing you could do hobby-wise is make a project out of organizing your hobby in a compact manner. If you have a place for everything and everything in it's place, you might see some "extra" stuff that just doesn't fit in, and feel more comfortable downsizing that bit.

Some guys have an entire garage stall dedicated to their brewing gear. I've got mine squeezed into a 1.9 car garage, and we park both cars in there too.

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Old 05-25-2015, 11:23 AM   #74
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Thanks for that sengsational! I know close to zero about brewing, but just seeing your setup expand from its compact storage configuration to in-use configuration was inspirational!
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Old 05-25-2015, 01:54 PM   #75
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I have that book in my checkout list at the local library. I think when I last looked I was 187 in the queue, so I guess I am not the only one with too much stuff.

I get the idea, though, of only keeping what you love. We've been applying it room by room, slowly but surely. It has been kind of exciting at how much better the house looks by taking things away for the most part instead of buying new stuff. Going to estate sales had really opened our eyes to not wanting to end up with a lot of clutter. My husband pointed out at one of the last ones we went to the house and yard were filled to the brim with stuff, including three sets of good china.
I bought mine in hardcover from Amazon for $8.59, daylatedollarshort, because I wanted to write in it, highlight it, turn down the corners, hand it off to my husband. We started on my side of the closet today and ended up with two stuffed-to-the-brim bags of clothes to give away and one bag of trash.

I kept two clothing items for "sentimental" reasons: the shirt I was wearing when my daughter was handed to me (we adopted her at age 8 months), and a knitted jacket that my mother wore as a young woman working at a department store in the early 1950s. My daughter now fits in it!

Next up: shoes and bags.
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:17 PM   #76
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youbet, I think the hobby stuff CAN become a problem if you hoard. I have 8 oscilloscopes....6 of them I have not even turned on in three years. Most people don't even need one oscilloscope (most people don't even know what an oscilloscope is!).
I only have one 'scope - a Tek 465 that was gifted to me a few years ago by a benevolent local ham. He was looking forward to seeing what use I would make out of it. I feel that I have let him down, as I have barely used it. The only piece of test gear I need for my simple home-brew projects is a $25 manual DMM.

I'd quite like to pass it on to someone else who can use it (I know the guy who gave it to me would be OK with that) but then there's the "cool" factor of having a 'scope on the bench and the nagging feeling that if I got rid of it, it would guarantee that I would need it shortly after!
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Old 05-25-2015, 03:57 PM   #77
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I bought mine in hardcover from Amazon for $8.59, daylatedollarshort, because I wanted to write in it, highlight it, turn down the corners, hand it off to my husband.
I am glad you like the book. I still buy hard covers, too, because I do the same with dog earring and highlighting them. I love books. I might buy it if I like the library copy. Currently I have an assortment of books from library book sales on topics like Feng Shui and decluttering, so I was waiting to see if this had unique to me content.
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:38 PM   #78
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Of course, nothing is static, and stuff continues to flow into the house. We are getting ready to apply the principles in Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" to reduce the accumulated clutter. Like karen1972, we found that when we only had what we really loved, we appreciated it more and it felt new and even luxurious.
This is a wonderful book (I bought it on Kindle). I got a lot from it and did a few posts about it on my blog. I don't think I can link to those posts here (I could link to a post on someone else's blog, but not to my own) but I can show how my closet and drawers looked like after I was finished.

Full Closet.jpg

Drawer Clothing.jpg

Sock Drawer.jpg

Note that when I started, the socks alone took up one entire drawer and were always hard to find anything. Storing items vertically rather than horizontally saves a huge amount of space and you can see everything.

One of the key things in the book is to not declutter by room, but go by item. So, when I was doing papers, for example, I went around the house and gathered papers from everywhere and did them all together. Same for clothes, etc. For the kitchen, I took everything out and put it all on the counters and island and table and put like things together. When I was finished decluttering, then I organized everything.



When I was done we went from very overcluttered drawers and cabinets to having a couple of cabs with nothing in them.

Also, the concept in the book is not to keep something unless it sparks joy. This was a big help for me for clothes and decorative items. I had to think how to apply it to functional items. For them, I thought of sparking joy as to how well they served a function for me. Something I never use, doesn't spark much joy because it does no function for me. Something that does it function poorly, sparks no joy. But, some utilitarian items do things so well they become very satisfying to use. That is also a kind of joy.

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Old 05-25-2015, 07:08 PM   #79
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Kats, I'm frankly most intrigued with the socks. A) you have very colorful socks B) what are the lone rangers at the top and C) looks great!
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Old 05-25-2015, 07:38 PM   #80
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One thing you could do hobby-wise is make a project out of organizing your hobby in a compact manner. If you have a place for everything and everything in it's place, you might see some "extra" stuff that just doesn't fit in, and feel more comfortable downsizing that bit.

....

ARRGH! Now I need to build a bigger, better brewing setup! I was happy with just a couple big pots and a 5 Gallon glass water bottle!
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