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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 10:05 AM   #21
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

My lesson was easy.

My maternal grandmother was a bona-fide hoarder. The first time I ever visited her scary and disgusting residence - I left with a deep fear that I might be like that someday.

I held several yard sales - netting nearly $1,000. I rent a room in a townhouse these days - and my only "furniture" I possess is my great grandmother's hope chest, a few storage cabinets/shelving units for clothing and my Mary Kay inventory, and my two nightstands. When I get my "own" place again, I'll decorate as I see fit (good stuff without paying full retail)

I still purge stuff regularly. I still need to toss all my recruiting awards (but not the big/special ones) Maybe after my mil retirement next year
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 10:10 AM   #22
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

I recently moved back to my original country and it was very stressful, and I figured out why. It was mainly due to clutter, I was sorting what to take and resorting...., ultimately throwing most of the stuff. In retrospect, if I had thrown out the stuff earlier, my moving stress would be several magnitude less.
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 10:20 AM   #23
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

I think one of the reasons that people accumulate a lot of valuable spare parts junk is because we remember when we couldn't find any left-handed countersunk Phillips-head drywall screws 15 years ago to patch a wall.

Now I'm able to go to Home Depot and buy any of three or four different items, made out of better material, at less cost.

Time to clean out my baby-jar collection of miscellaneous-size screws. And I still have the bracket that holds the visibility flags that kids used to put on their bikes 35 years ago... guess I'm probably not gonna use that either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
We're going to have to try Craig's List or some other way to get this stuff to people who can use it.
FreeCycle and a lotta patience.

It helps if you can put items out at the curb for FreeCyclers to pick up. "First come first served before the next trash pickup" seems to work a lot better than "Well, I think I can make it next Tuesday between 3:30 and 4 PM if my kid's soccer practice is on time..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
BTW--our county recently added a "document destruction" service to the other waste programs. Every two months they bring in a couple of trucks with document disintegrators. You take your stuff to the center, hand the guy your boxes of old papers, watch the guy dump them into the maw of the beast, and you are done. It is much easier than feeding them into a home shredder. And, the paper gets recycled later. It might be worth checking to see if something similar is offered where you live.
A Shredex franchise rocks!

My last active-duty job was a training command where, among other things, lieutenants studied reactor plant manuals for an engineering exam. We maintained 23 sets of five-volume books that filled over 150 feet of shelving. It's all classified material so it can't just go into a trashcan.

Due to the submarine engineering environment (bilgewater & hydraulic oil), the pages are literally printed on Tyvek. Naval Reactors is constantly improving their process, and the volume of change paperwork is impressive when you have to replace Urgent Change 2 with Advance Change 3, knowing that next month Interim Change 5 is on the way... 23 times.

Can't burn that stuff, even if the EPA wasn't concerned about smoldering Tyvek. Shredders choke on it too after a while because the military can't afford to buy the biggest, most modern, & toughest shredders.

A Shredex (franchise) truck would come to our building about once a week to help us work through a 200-box backlog of destruction. It was most impressive.
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 10:40 AM   #24
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

The original post primarily was about throwing away old paper work.

I figure you've got stuff that you definitely need to keep (birth certificate) and stuff you definitely need to throw away (barbie doll receipts). The problem is with dealing with Mr. In-Between.

Here's one option that might help: Scanning

If you have a multi-sheet feeder scanner, and an application (I use the free DocsVault), you could take some of those questionable items, load em up in the feeder, and run the scanner. For example, you take all the old medical insurance statements that you're pretty sure you'll never need, and scan them into one multi-page PDF document entitled "OldMedicalInsuranceStatements.pdf"

Might be too much trouble. I put all the Mr. In-Betweens in a box labelled something like, "Removed from filing cabinet, 3/14/2005," tape it shut, and put it in the attic. I don't think I've ever had to access one of those.
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 10:43 AM   #25
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

We downsized in 1995. Got rid of everything. Kept a few special dishes and some momentos. Also the laptop, cameras, binocculars and cell phones.

For two weeks we had a contents sale, we free cycled at the curb, then had a 2-day garage sale, followed by a trip to the dump (3x). I have some oil paintings in storage but nothing else.

When we do home exchanges, I feel sorry for the swappers who have all their accumulated stuff still with them. I think they will leave feet first rather than deal with it all. Talk about their footprint on the planet, staying in 4 bedroom homes just to have room for the stuff. Two-car garages with no room for cars.
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 10:56 AM   #26
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

Quote:

Mostly trophies, plaques and other awards for what in retrospect appear to be trivial accomplishments.
Thanx for the reminder ... I spread out a vast collection framed "awards" on the TOP of the trash cart. Still remember co-workers stopping to dumpster dive ... looking wide eyed to see who's trashing the gems. A couple where stripped for the frame ... otherwise they received the burial they deserved.
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 11:00 AM   #27
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

I have thought about a new rule....if you bring something into the house...you have to take something out

Actually...isnt "declutter" and organize, one of the first stages of ER....
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 11:18 AM   #28
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

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Originally Posted by Maddy the Turbo Beagle
Actually...isnt "declutter" and organize, one of the first stages of ER....
Yep. Followed by anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Wait! I've got it all wrong. Those are the steps someone goes through when they realize they will never be able to FIRE....

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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 12:04 PM   #29
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireup2025
When I get my "own" place again, I'll decorate as I see fit (good stuff without paying full retail)
This may suggest a new thread- but I would be very interested in what you mean here. What are some good strategies for going beyond particle board crap and still not paying a lot of money?

In the Bay Area I had a friend who ran an antique shop. It burned down. Within a few weeks he was able to stock another store with nice stuff. But I missed how he did it.

Ha
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 12:05 PM   #30
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

We've lived in our house over 20 years. One of the things we loved when we bought the house was the attic. It's the space above the 2 car attached garage. Easy access from the upstairs hallway. We even changed the half height door to a full height door so we could store an extra double bed in there. But then the problem was that we had such easy access and SOME members of the family started saving everything. My husband is one of those guys who saves every box, just in case. I have to admit, when he sells an electronic on eBay, the original box and packing material is very handy. But he saved far too much. Over the years the attic became so disorganized and jam packed full that there was no longer space to put your feet down or move to a spot to look for something. Last year I started a job and needed my Social Security card and spent 2 hours trying to find the right box in the attic and gave up. It was easier and less dangerous to go spend a half day at the Social Security office and get a new one.

Our city has been slowly moving to standardized trash containers. Once your neighborhood gets the new can, you have to have all your trash in the new can, nothing can be left outside, except for appliances and they have a special pickup. We were one of the last areas who still hadn't gotten the new cans, but I knew it was coming soon. So last December we tackled the attic. We all had a week off at the same time and we used the Keep, Toss, or Sell method from the TLC "Clean Sweep" TV show. We kept about 10 % of the stuff and tossed about 90%. We had practically nothing to sell as we had had a few garage sales over the years and my husband sells stuff on eBay. This took us about 4 days, bringing everything down from the attic and sorting in the living room and dining room. We made multiple trips in the truck to Goodwill and used contractor bags (heavy duty large trash bags) to bag up the rest.

Trash day came and the scrap guys came and took anything metal and the city took the rest. What a wonderful cleansing experience!! We all felt a sigh of relief and now anyone who needs to store something has plenty of space. But we learned our lesson. Don't let it get that bad again. We don't need to keep everything, it becomes a burden.

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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 12:20 PM   #31
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy the Turbo Beagle
I have thought about a new rule....if you bring something into the house...you have to take something out
Now that's a great idea.
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 12:41 PM   #32
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
What are some good strategies for going beyond particle board crap and still not paying a lot of money?
Patience and daily reading of Craigslist/FreeCycle (or whatever's online in your area).

Spouse patiently stalked Craigslist for a couch for nearly a year.

It had to be a particular size, height, color, material, and from a nonsmoking/cat-free environment. We drove to about a dozen false alarms (usually to luxury neighborhoods like Kahala, Hawaii Kai, & Aina Haina) but each trip helped her refine her criteria.

So when the guy ran a Craigslist ad for his liquidation sale at the Asian gallery warehouse in Kakaako, the kind of neighborhood that's normally wrapped in CSI's "Police Line-- Do Not Cross" tape, she was ready to pounce.

It's very nice. But, dude, it's a couch.
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 01:22 PM   #33
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

Its not the prize but the thrill of the hunt.
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 02:10 PM   #34
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

Ha -

I will not just walk into a furniture store and "buy" what I feel like. I'll find my "designer" rooms in magazines, and then hunt (see posting on the thrill of the hunt)...looking forward to it! (toss in some IKEA things for great storage solutions, and it will look great!) Design chic cheap
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter
Old 05-21-2007, 02:47 PM   #35
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Re: It's hard clearing out the clutter

Thanks all-

ha
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