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#138617 - 01/01/08 01:38 PM How do you get rid of stuff?

I'd like to know how to become more of a minalamist.I'm sure I've spelled that wrong ;\)

I have a lot of stuff.I used to move alot and people would always comment to me how much stuff I had.They'd say "wow,you live alone,but you have more then my whole family does".

I don't think I have that muc stuff now though.I've really tossed alot out and am in the process of doing it yet again.

Any tips on how I can do even more?I mean the stuff I have ready to go out is stuff I know I can't use,like toys from the daycare I had.How do I let go of the cluttery things that I have and may use someday?

#138632 - 01/01/08 02:02 PM Re: How do you get rid of stuff? [Re: ]
CountryOrg Offline
Silver Member
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 4880
Loc: A little town in Texas!
Cherry - Welcome!

I took a tough love approach to become more of a minimalist. I just plain got tired of dusting and maintaining all the decor and furniture items that I had. I've not regretted parting with anything that I've tossed or donated. For me, I just had to reach a breaking point (similar to dieting or quitting smoking - you have to be in the right frame of mind).

For me, I had to reach a point where having a clutter-free home was more important to me than worrying about "using it someday" or worrying about getting rid of an item because it was "still good." Going from cluttered to a more minimalistic approach is drastic and not for everyone, but if you're at that place in your life, it can be the most freeing and liberating thing you can ever imagine.

To start, I went thru our home and with each item, I asked myself if it was truly worthy to take up space in my home. If I didn't use it or love it, I didn't keep it. Even if I loved an item, I made myself justify keeping it (because I really did love most everything in my home).

Through the process, I discovered that less really is more - the items that I kept are now noticeable, whereas before with all the clutter, everything was competing for attention and just looked messy.

Not sure if I'm making any sense, but I wish you all the best in your journey to a less sressful, uncluttered and serene home! As you declutter, keep posting and letting us know how you're doing - we've all been there and will be happy to provide specific tips as you encounter particular situations or dilemmas.

Edited by CountryOrg (01/01/08 02:15 PM)
It is best to be honest & truthful, to make the most of what we have, to be happy with simple pleasures ...
--Laura Ingalls Wilder

#138656 - 01/01/08 02:56 PM Re: How do you get rid of stuff? [Re: CountryOrg]
abundance1956 Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 1980
Loc: Central Florida
For me, I do it in a gradual way....(except for outgrown clothes, which go to charity immediately.) This is more about nick-nacks and household "stuff". If you really feel you cannot do without something...but are tired of dusting it, cleaning it, etc. This is what I do:

Put the item(s) in a brown grocery bag. Staple the top. List on the side what is in it, and the date. If you don't get it out in a goes away to charity.

Another way, when I really get fed up with clutter and "stuff" around: Take a laundry basket, and go through the rooms that are bothering you, collecting "stuff" and putting it in the laundry basket.

Then do a combination of putting things back AND giving things away AND doing the brown bag technique above. If you look in the basket and see that you can live without anything in the basket: just let the whole lot go to charity.

I find this VERY freeing and mentally helpful to the whole de-cluttering aspect! I love it, and I don't regret it!!! I see it as helping other people out!!! and sharing in the abundance!
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”--Thich Nhat Hanh--

#138681 - 01/01/08 04:03 PM Re: How do you get rid of stuff? [Re: abundance1956]
DarleneM Offline

Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 3084
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
My hubby and I recently moved into a much smaller house - a move that has required a serious downsizing! In that process I have come across a few items with strong sentimental attachment that I knew I would be unable to keep because of the small size of our new house.

What I did was take digital pictures of those items before sending them on their way to someone else's house. This way I have the pictures to remind me of the memories but not the actual item. Cherry Cola, might that work for you for you for some of your stuff?

Secondly, I have found that it gets easier to let go as I continue to work at this process. Once I begin to see how much nicer my rooms look and how much easier they are to maintain with less "stuff" around, I find it much easier to toss/donate.

As for items that you have that you may need some day, ask yourself how easy it would be to replace each item if and when you needed it. Is it valuable enough to warrant the space that it takes up in your home? Saving things that might be useful happens to be one of my weaknesses especially when it comes to sewing/crafting supplies - I can "see" the potential in the stuff but will I ever have/take the time to work with the items?

I have to admit that when I started this downsizing process, my stuff owned me - I did not own it. I am still in process of changing that way of thinking. As many on this board have discovered - getting organized takes time, lots of time! I am a work in progress!
(the former Used2BMessy)

Personal motto: If you are coming to visit me, come any time. If you are coming to inspect my house, please wait until such time as you can set up an appointment with a real estate agent.

The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook...William James

#138692 - 01/01/08 04:37 PM Re: How do you get rid of stuff? [Re: DarleneM]
ElizabethClark Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 5353
Loc: Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
One thing I keep in mind is: how easily can I replace this if I really DO need it?

Many items might be rented or borrowed short-term (my friend borrows my pressure canner, as she doesn't use one as often as I do, so it makes sense for me to own/maintain one, and not for her to do it). Some are dirt cheap to replace (if my husband did not drink coffee on a daily basis, but I someday wanted to buy a basic machine, I could do it for $10 or less, brand new.)

Some items are easier to replace than to store (my opinion with most children's clothing... we shop resale for play clothes, particularly).

Sometimes, it's just the passage of time and the refinement and clarity of personal desires that makes the difference. You get to a point where you're ready to let go of X or Y. So you're on a great track, clearing out what you KNOW you don't want any longer... it may just take a bit longer with the rest. All progress is good progress!

#138693 - 01/01/08 04:47 PM Re: How do you get rid of stuff? [Re: ElizabethClark]
BonnieS Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 11353
Loc: Idaho
Cherry Cola, the ladies have given you some great advice on how to get rid of stuff that you "might" use or need someday. The hardest part is the decision and so if you have the space, the bagging/boxing it up for 6 months to a year is probably a good way to do it. This way you will know for sure if it's something you actually use.

When you do bag or box things up, go to the calendar and either 6 months or a year out, write on the calendar to check the box or bag. If it hasn't been opened, and you can't remember what was in it, it should be very easy to let the whole thing go out the door.

Do let us know how it goes.

God bless,
God bless,
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

#138697 - 01/01/08 05:04 PM Re: How do you get rid of stuff? [Re: DarleneM]
ChaoticKat Offline
Gold (50-99 Posts)

Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 73
Loc: Evanston IL
Hi. I find that I unclutter a room to what I'm comfortable with. A couple months / weeks later I'm able to do another trip around. For me it's a process of several layers.

This will be long, I'm a talker. I've collected a notebook of ideas or quotes that I find means something to me. Unfortunately I don't always write the author down. I hope you find these useful:

Incremental changes makes a difference. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

All the stuff in your house is there because you think it holds answers, evokes memories, contains a promise or serves a purpose.

Who you are and what you have are intimately linked. The things you buy, the items you value, the possessions you hoard are all reflections of you, your life, your relationships, your career and your aspirations. - Peter Walsh
You are not doing without, you are doing within. - fortune cookie 1997

#240546 - 01/03/12 04:48 AM Re: How do you get rid of stuff? [Re: ChaoticKat]
texasnana Offline
Bronze (Newbie)

Registered: 12/28/11
Posts: 11
Loc: Fort Worth, Tx
While moving last month I went through all my clothes even the ones I really loved but seldom wore went to charity. At least 7 dresses (I don't wear dresses) 30 blouses and 18 pants. I also made my BF and DS do the same 4 suits and 10 plus sweaters. All went to a church nearby that has a clothing closet for the needy. I felt great knowing they will be put to good use. I don't misss any of them.

Moving in the month of December is the worst, then to move to a place with little storage I had to rent a storage unit for now and I will be sorting one or 2 boxes at a time from the unit and if I don't really need it or can find a place in my home for it it will go immediately. While putting the Christmas tree and decorations away I emptied 2 boxes the only thing that came home with me was my heating pad and paint rollers that my cousin can use now. The rest was trashed or donated before coming home.

Right now it is a 10 x 10 unit and within 6 months hoping to get it down to the smaller unit with only my sons extra furniture in it and he will then be responsible for the bill, right now we split the cost.

Today I will be sorting my quilting supplies and donate what I won't be using in the next year myself to the quilt group I belong to. Many of the ladies are into the more exacting quilting I have many books that I will go thru make copies of the quilts I know at some point I will make and donate the books. A file is much lighter than a box of books.

It feels good to get rid of useless items.

#240554 - 01/03/12 08:20 AM Re: How do you get rid of stuff? [Re: texasnana]
Diane D Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 01/18/07
Posts: 1513
Everyone is right, you get to that point where you say enough is enough. I met people who had cozy homes but no clutter and I loved it (housesat for them and felt so at peace). My exh was for all intents a hoarder. He would jump from hobby to hobby. When he started something new, he got into it 500% and bought everything and then some. When he dropped that and started a new one, he refused to get rid of old stuff. A couple of years before we split, I begged him to go through his old clothes in the attic. He had a fit and came down with about 70 pieces of clothing, all of them with holes in them (his mom bought him 5 new work shirts a year and he'd faithfully put the old ones in the attic). He was never going to wear these again but was furious I wanted to get rid of them - he had them hanging from electrical wires!

When I got separated 3 years ago I had my chance. I am still working on it but I do feel better. There are a few things I regret tossing since I now have more room, but it won't kill me and I can probably replace them if I really need to.

You will figure out what works for you and it is an everchanging process. smile