~I'm in but I don't what goals to set for myself. I like working in timed bursts more than slow and steady all year. So I'll probably do a big Spring and Fall Fling(50+ bags each)and then regular cleaning decluttering the rest of the year(about 5 bags a month). So that's about 160 bags over the year(grocery bags). So I'll aim for 200 bags to make it a challenge. :D ~
01-02-2015, 04:41 PM
Worked on the spare bedroom AKA Jaxsons room my baby grandsons room for when he comes. Also has my desk area in it and 2 closets. Made one closet for all of his stuff and the other cleaned out a bunch of stuff for the garage sale. DH is home today and went through what was his and most of that went to the trash.
Next on the list is the computer area! That will be fun going through all of the files and deciding what needs to be saved and what needs to be shredded and what needs to be kept ( for this go around anyway may go next go around) we need to rid this place of almost 85% of our stuff in the next 3-4 years if we plan to go through with moving to Hawaii. if we don't go we need to downsize anyway this house is large for just the 2 of us.
01-03-2015, 07:39 PM
As I took down the holiday decorations in the house today, I put three into the goodwill box. Tossed out a broken light set.
Next on the list is to organize and weed out jewelry boxes. Got a nice over the door hanging one as a holiday gift so as I move items from the dresser drawers to it, I will get rid of items I never wear or no longer find attractive.
01-04-2015, 06:05 AM
I need to join this challenge! We've brought in so much more stuff lately. We've been helping DH's sister's son with the house that he wants to put up for sale. DH's sister C, DH and I have gone through stuff. Sister J that died did flower arrangements, weddings, etc. C promised her that she wouldn't let BIL just through away all her flowers, etc. so we had to sort through all that stuff. C and her DH took it to their house in TN where she hope to have a big sale this summer. She has a wedding to do in May that she promised J she would complete for her. We went through J's clothes and I got a lot of them. Son and his wife went through kitchen stuff and got what they wanted, C, sister R and I took what we wanted, etc. Son wants DH to go through all the garage stuff and basement hardware and take what he wants, get rid of the rest. Big job there!
Now with DH's mom dying, there is that house to go through. C and her DH are there with R working on it. DH has already brought some stuff home that he wants. So we absolutely need to purge and organize more than ever before.
I don't even know where to begin! I'll have to think about it.
01-04-2015, 01:01 PM
I finally went through all my canning jars and purged two dozen wide mouth quarts, about a dozen half pints, and some small round jelly jars I might use to make a little storage system for the sewing room. I've been dreading that job so I'm glad it's done for now. The quarts I'll give to one of Husby's co-workers who has a large family and cans a lot. The smaller stuff will go to GW.
Now I have room to put away the 16 vintage blue quarts I bought a while ago.
Daylily, when we went through my mom's house, I tried to stick with some rules during the sorting process. My mom is still living, so I realize that's different than having to deal with some of the emotional stuff when there's been a death, although having Mom there during the sorting created its own set of issues. But here are some guidelines that worked for me:
~If it was something like dishes or pots and pans or bedding or everyday stuff like that, if it wasn't better than what I already owned, then I didn't bring it home. If it was better, then I got rid of my own stuff to make space.
~I tried to bring home only stuff I really loved. I had added pressure because Mom didn't want to get rid of stuff by just throwing it away or donating it, she preferred that I bring it home and love it. I just couldn't do that with everything, and I had to be firm with her and myself. It was hard sometimes, but I managed not to drag too much home.
~If it was an item that would create more work for me, such as furniture that needed to be repaired or refinished or reupholstered, I had to ask myself if I had the time and desire to add to the workload I already had, and whether I had space for the item when it was repaired/refinished/whatever. That included things like partially finished craft projects or even yard goods. If the answer was no, I didn't bring it home.
~If it was something I did not have any immediate use for, such as yard goods, I said no. I tried to keep in mind what I already owned that would serve the same purpose, and also what I already had that was part of my workload, and that helped me keep from adding to it.
~If I was going to bring something home, I had to know where it was going to live before it came in the door. That was often a challenge.
~If possible, I kept one thing that was representative of a whole set. Offhand I can't think of an example of my own, but my mom did the same thing when she kept the sugar bowl and creamer from a set of china that had been my grandmother's. She let the rest of the set go to save space. The sugar bowl and creamer are plenty big to hold all the memories. :)
~For furniture, due to limited space it had to earn its keep. So I said yes to the single bookcase secretary that had lots of storage, and no to the small corner cabinet that took up a lot of space but offered very little useful space. In short, I said no to things that were the least useful to me. And then I had to decide if what Mom wanted me to take was nicer than what I already had, and if so, what I could get rid of to make space. So I ended up taking the beautiful old oak wardrobe for my sewing room, and getting rid of the useful but ugly 1980's particle board dresser I had been using.
~Instead of trying to keep everything that belonged to my mom or grandmother, I chose just a few things that had meaning to them and which I also loved myself. I couldn't see any reason I had to save things they might have cherished but I didn't. I'd have needed to buy a warehouse to keep it all in. It's like the creamer thing I mentioned above, one or two or a few small things are plenty big to hold my memories. I realized I didn't need a whole houseful of things I didn't have space for.
I've regretted very few of the items I didn't bring home. Even with trying to limit things, we still had a big mess to deal with in our own house and no time or energy to deal with it till well after we were done with Mom's place. If we hadn't laid down some guidelines for ourselves we'd have ended up with an enormous mess, much worse than what we had. It hurt letting some of the stuff go, but in the long run it was much easier than trying to deal with it later in our own house.
I wish you luck with working through those houses. I know what an ordeal it is. It takes a physical and emotional toll. Just remember the best you can do is the best you can do. Mistakes will be made. Give yourself permission to make them and not beat yourself up later.
01-04-2015, 01:33 PM
SD, thanks so much for the good tips! I'm going to share your thoughts with DH and his sisters. Their mother's house has three floors that are ALL packed with stuff.
01-04-2015, 02:56 PM
It's not easy to purge stuff in that situation and it's very tempting and also easy to find a way to justify keeping more than a person really should. Especially when there's been a death and everything reminds you of the person who has been lost and everything you let go of is a little bit like letting go of the person all over again. I won't say I didn't make any exceptions to my personal guidelines, but overall I think we did very well keeping the stuff coming into our house to a minimum.
I did bring home my mom and dad's wedding china knowing we'll probably never use it, but with the intent of getting rid of parts of the IL's three china sets to make space. Their stuff has a lot of pieces that are chipped or cracked and I'm going to dump those and probably unload all the cups and saucers, or at least most of them because they'll never be used even if we use the rest of the set. I still have to do that but in my defense, they haven't been easy to get to till a couple weeks ago. Now that they are accessible, it's too cold to work in the unheated room where they are, but I was just saying to Husby a little while ago how much I'm looking forward to going through that stuff and purging a lot of it. We don't really entertain so do we need FOUR sets of china, each of which has service for at least eight? I don't think so. I'm sure MIL is rolling in her grave but she's not here to try to find room for all this stuff, so I hope she doesn't get too dizzy. We can't allow ourselves to keep stuff just because someone else loved it.
To remember my grandmother, from the stuff my mom had I kept only a set of carnival glass tumblers with a matching pitcher that were Grandma's. They don't take up much room and are display-worthy. I think of her whenever I see them. To me that means more than having so much stuff that either it can't be displayed, or it's displayed but in a cluttered situation where nothing can be really singled out and appreciated. I do have some unique, useful pieces of furniture of my grandma's, too. Those came directly from Grandma's house, another hard situation to deal with and make decisions about.
I did think of one thing that was very hard for me to let go of at Mom's house: Cookbooks. She had a huge wall of bookshelves completely filled with cookbooks, all kinds. So interesting and tempting. I brought home about four of them, and most of those were for things I owned that I needed more cookbooks to help me learn to use my stuff, like the dehydrator. I brought one or two that will always remind me of Mom, and which are representative of the ones I didn't bring home. She was fairly upset because she thought I would want all her cookbooks, but I have limited space for them and I've been very strict with myself about not letting my cookbook collection overrun its allotted space. I just couldn't bring them all home.
My mom told me while we were working on her house, and I appreciated this attitude very much, that she knew there was an end to the possibility of each generation taking home everything the previous generation leaves behind. At some point, there just isn't space for it all to keep everything from several generations before. We had our moments but overall she did amazingly well letting 90% of her stuff go.
01-04-2015, 04:30 PM
I worked in the office today. Emptied a drawer in the file cabinet and organized a bunch of other crap. I wrote up a grocery list and sent hubs to the store. I'm cold and feel unmotivated and that I want a shower. But I should keep going. One more drawer.
Also turned in my change for direct deposit, printed new insurance ID cards and downloaded our new mobile banking stuff on my devices.
I think once I eat a little lunch I'll feel better.
01-05-2015, 01:08 PM
My goal this year is to get rid of 1000 items. Last year I got rid of 1600 items. (Where did I get all this stuff?) This will be my 5th year of de-cluttering, so it's getting harder to pare down. Most of the items to get rid of, I want to try to sell. My goal for January is to start getting stuff ready for a consignment sale, and to list at least 15 things on Ebay. (Started the year out badly, as I brought things home when I went to visit my daughter after Christmas. These are outgrown kids toys and clothes, to sell at the spring consignment sale. I know she needs the money, so I don't mind helping her out, but the extra stuff is depressing.)
01-05-2015, 05:44 PM
I'm taking 3 large bags of "stuff" over to the condo tonight. My plan is to unpack them near a trash bag and an empty box. If it's anything like the kitchen stuff I've unpacked so far, more will go in the bag and the box (to donate) than in the condo :) My current debate with myself is how many beach towels a family who doesn't go to the beach anymore actually needs, lol!
01-06-2015, 10:48 AM
~Working on financial papers today. One of my kids decided to "borrow" all my containers where my papers were separated and stored. Now they are in a big pile all together. :/ Just the last 4 years though so not too horrible. But now I get to sort all that again. Fun. :P But at least this way I can re-evaluate what is really a save need. Hoping to pare down by at least five shredder can loads. :) ~
01-08-2015, 05:29 PM
Sorted out jewelry and donated a few necklaces and earring sets. Ones I never, ever wear anymore but are still nice enough for someone with taste different than mine is now.
Also unloaded the TV caddy ( stuffed moose that sits on arm of chair to hold the remote) that I have never, ever liked. LOL
01-09-2015, 09:57 AM
Stuffed a few more things in the bag from my closet clean out and dropped it at the thrift. Cleaned out all the expireds from the bathroom...a bag full! and tossed about a dozen things from the kitchen utensil drawer that we never use.
01-09-2015, 10:58 AM
Sold a big creche that belonged to my mother for $25. Not much, but it's out of the house. It was entirely too big for us and sat on the piano over the Christmas season. I did not particularly like it, so I am glad it's gone. We can replace it with a more reasonably sized one for us.
01-09-2015, 11:30 AM
I put two books in the GW box this morning, which mostly fills the box so we can get rid of that tomorrow.
I dragged out some parts today too, and I think I have everything I need to make the Matchbox cars from Husby's childhood into a clock for his office. I guess I can't count that till it's actually done, though. I was going to surprise him and have it all done today when he gets home, but he has 22 cars and I only need twelve for the clock, so he will have to choose which ones he wants on the clock.