Old 04-03-2016, 09:29 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default Dealing with clutter

I think most of us struggle with this. Some of us had a natural tendency to too many things anyway ( I certainly did / do). Add on top of that the new things we need/ accumulate- equipment, different clothes, lots of paperwork , the PALS lessening ability to do household tasks and the CALS overwhelming workload and things can get out of control.

A while back I read a little book on tidying by Marie Kondo. I expect a number of you have too? It was fun to read and she is a little quirky. Since she advocates one big " tidy" which is humanly impossible for me I did nothing. I have just reread her first book and am in the middle of her second. Still can't do what she says but decided to try just her folding method since I was putting away clothes anyway. I have to say they look better and take less room so maybe I can chip away at things a bit. Her criteria for weeding out possessions are different too.

If you are now planning to downsize or CALS in the future when you are restructuring your household give at least the first one a read. I got both through my library system. I don't think you need to own them
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:59 AM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

Nikki, thanks for the suggestion about the books. I will try to read them.

I had to get rid of a tremendous amount of clutter last spring when we significantly downsized and moved to a one level house. We had accumulated 24 years worth of clutter and I had to be brutal when deciding what to get rid of/donate. Adding to the difficulty of doing this all by myself, my husband was attached to literally everything we owned. He would ask "why are you getting rid of this?" hundreds of times and sometimes this would be because I was donating his fishing poles and tennis rackets and he had no use of his arms at all!. This was one of the few times during our long marriage that we argued. I ended up trying to pack when he was sleeping.

I really don't want this house to end up as cluttered as the last one was.

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Old 04-03-2016, 10:12 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

I can imagine how difficult it was for both of you. It is so hard to give up the items that were part of our previous lives even though we know their usefulness to us have passed. My closet still holds a pair of tap shoes ( with high heels no less!).

The first book is a quick read. Read it first. The second is longer and more detailed ( for example has diagrams on how to fold different types of clothing instead of just explaning the basic method.

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Old 04-03-2016, 11:00 AM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

Nikki, I'm with you.
There's no way I'm EVER getting rid of my taps...

They do make me sad when I spot them, but also remind me of a lot of fun times.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:17 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

I read them Nikki. I used the folding method for everything. Things are neater, easier to find, and spaces fit more
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:37 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

I haven't read these books (but I will now that I know they exist!). It will help me get rid of even more stuff, and organize what we have left. Part of my "process" when I was going through my diagnosis last year was to get rid of many of the things I had accumulated over the years. While I was not able to part with my beloved and very battered looking rollerskates, I did manage to get rid of all my helmets, uniforms, sports protective gear, sewing and lace making supplies and all the things either poor motor control or fatigue no longer allowed me to complete or enjoy. It was actually very cathartic- and helped me feel better by not having it all sitting in closets making me feel like I should just be able to pick it up and push through.

I have this feeling of panic that I will not be able to get things organized before I am no longer unable to do things for myself. I have always been the do-er, cleaner and organizer in my family, and now that I lack the energy to take on large tasks, everything seems to be falling apart (-in my mind. My husband and 16yr o son seem content to live in clutter and mayhem).
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:54 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

I think you will like her philosophy Fiona. Good for you to release all those things.

Gooseberry I am absolutely amazed at what a difference the folding method makes. I have started refolding drawer by drawer ( NOT what I am supposed to do I know!) but you are so right less space used and much neater and easier. I am about to pack for a 2 week trip. I have great hopes for 1 more space and 2 easier unpacking/ repacking
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:58 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

Ooooh I think I will enjoy reading her because I hate clutter.

Chris was a hoarder.
After being diagnosed with ALS I knew he should clean his stuff out. But even when we put the property on the market and he was at home all day he wouldn't even make a start. He soon lost use of his hands altogether.
His children didn't want to go through his stuff either.

At least Im one that can cull. Every few months I would go through another wardrobe or big box. So a lot of old stuff (I'm talking big boxes and wardrobes jam packed of stuff that had never been touched in the 5 years we had been in the house) went to the dump, some to charities and a huge carload to one of the kids for them to sort out as they wanted.

Finally one his kids came and took all the stuff in an entire china cabinet at Easter. It had all belonged to their deceased mother's grandmother.
I had a great time filling the cabinet with stuff I wanted to see in there
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Old 04-03-2016, 03:31 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

My PALS Krissy saved everything she even got from birth to death, so I had to rent a small dumpster.

Buy a "Bagster" for about $30, fill it with 3000 pounds, and call a pick up company--about another $90.

Four years on, I still can't get rid of two night shirts. One was from Prague (her favorite) and the other we bought in a drive in movie theater (they still had those in Germany) called the AutoKino (my favorite).

This not only gets rid of clutter, it also changes the personality of the house. With different memories around the house, it refocuses your thoughts and emotions.
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:18 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

I think it's nice to have a few keepsakes though Mike.

I have one plastic crate that I have some keepsake things in. It helps me keep the general clutter down because I have some few things that really give me joy to look at every couple of years or so, and lots of other stuff can just go.

It was really funny when we bought this property and were preparing to move house. We lived in our own separate houses at that point. I'd been in my current house only 7 years, but we were going to be combining in a smaller house, and there would be 4 of us. So I got Chris to park his trailer in my garage and I started ruthlessly cleaning out my house. I loved the feeling of piling clutter into the trailer, and the feeling of a new adventure made me quite ruthless.

Finally I was done and off we went to the local dump.

As we started unloading, every second thing Chris would pick up he would say 'oh, hang on why are you throwing this out?' and he would get a look of longing in his eye. I stopped even looking at him after the first couple of times and would just firmly say - 'no, throw it FAST'. We only brought back a couple of very small things

I agree Mike, it does totally change the feel and personality of the house!
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:58 PM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

Tillie, your story made me smile. Thanks.

All my life until recently I've moved every year or so. For decades, I kept a 'go' bag packed. As soon as my youngest graduates, I plan to take a backpack to Italy and live there for a year. So I'm seriously removing some clutter now.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:09 PM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

I guess I have some work to do.

I just can't bring myself to part with stuff that I know I will never be able to use again. As I think about my skis, bikes, climbing gear, etc., I just don't think I am ready to let go of them.

There is no rational reason to keep them, but the emotional attachment is significant.

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Old 04-03-2016, 08:40 PM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

Steve, she says you should only keep what gives you joy. If those things give you joy then it is right to keep them. I think every PALS here has things about which they feel the same way
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:06 PM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

Steve, keep it. Each of us is in a different place with different sources of joy. Your own morale is the most important. I really believe that.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:37 PM #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dealing with clutter

Sheila Chandra also wrote a great book called Banish Clutter forever - how the toothbrush theory will change your life.

She was an incredible singer who lost the ability to speak, and of course sing, due to a neurological condition.

I agree, I haven't yet read the one Nikki brought up, but it's not for anyone to say what you do or don't keep, it's about deciding what gives you joy to keep

Chris, in true hoarder fashion would say to me, I just feel joy knowing I have all those things, even if they are in boxes or cupboards ...
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