I currently live in a 600 sq foot apartment so really there's HARDLY any room for clutter. But since moving in two months ago the SO and I have not found any shelving units that fit our needs and budget (although we haven't been looking that hard...). And due to being a fan of the environment/minimalism/zero waste every few weeks I get a big urge to just donate and minimize.
The boy has WAY more clothes than I do (maybe 15 t-shirts? I have...2 actual t-shirts, a few tank tops, and two nicer cotton tops) so this is always a big topic of debate around here. We have minimal appliances--just a 3 cup food processor aside from our electric stove and ancient 80s dishwasher + fridge.
I am currently trying to declutter and organize. I do enjoy it to a point. Not sure if I will be keeping my house and need to get the ball rolling, if I'm not. 20+ years of accumulating our own stuff, not to mention stuff from my parents' home, etc. I tackle a little bit every night and try to do more on Saturday/Sunday. Although I am by no means a hoarder, I do find the cable show "Hoarders" very motivating!!!
"I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy
I just chucked three large garbage bags of stuff/clothes and donated three smaller bags of decent clothes to good will. This is out of ONE BEDROOM, I still live at home! And I have more that I could go through... It's astonishing the crap one will keep, and it's worse for me because my mother gets emotionally attached to 'things' and has a fit anytime I try to pitch stuff. I hate 'stuff'!
Check out FlyLady.net
It's a site for people who want to declutter and simplify and has a lot of direction about how to go about doing this in small bites, as well as keep it up. I have followed it for years and it really made my life much more peaceful.
One of the things I remember reading there regarding clothing is to look at your closet and visualize packing a suitcase with everything you'd need for a trip involving all weather and both casual and dress up. Basically, pick your favorite stuff that you wear and feel good in, and ditch the rest. For me, that meant that I had to get real about not needing 20 "barn shirts" in my dresser drawer. Five was just fine!
Of course, getting my husband to part with some of his 30 green plaid shirts was a challenge...
I am so bad for throwing things away! I literally throw everything out...I tossed/shredded the mortgage papers to my first house! Apparently your supposed to keep things like that!! lol...
My rule is, if I haven't used it in 6 months, it's gone.
Last year, I moved across the country and brought only my clothes, my duvet, 6 pillows, my laptop and a fan.
Since then I've had a few things brought here with visiting family but not much, mostly pictures, my saddle/horse gear and my dog! (left her with a friend, didn't know where I was going to end up!)
It's a great feeling having no clutter around the house...and it takes half the time to clean!
I'm not overwhelmed with an urge to reduce clutter.
What I do find hysterical is the cutesy, artsy fartsy wall hangings or plaques that say "Simplify" aren't they counter-productive? The irony of adding a piece of junque to your collection that urges one to reduce kills me.
For some reason, I'm in a fall cleaning mode. I'm saving/earning money for a side saddle, so I have been seriously hoeing out anything of value that I would normally store indefinetly out of guilt for what it cost. I have a huge pile of stuff that is listed for sale various places boxed up and sitting on the enclosed porch. It feels great.
Why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?
~ Dave Barry
I love organizational stuff. If you go to home depot, Rubber maid actually makes closet organizers that are really well priced. His 15 shirts will be no biggie if your closet isn't organized. Most of the time, closets just have one hanging rod and a shelf and more than half of the vertical hanging space is wasted. I hate wasted space!
Red mares, I fell victim to that! Last year I bought a book about organizing and decluttering....... and there it sits on my bookshelf surrounded by a hundred other books I haven't picked up in a year.
*hangs head in shame*
It is VERY difficult for me to throw things away. Historically, I have done it, so I know I'm capable, but I just avoid it like the plague.
You can pretty much guess my current mental/emotional state by looking at my house and car. Right now.... it's not pretty.
I have an extra free day from work plus two weekend days in a few weeks during which horsey will be used for an iea show. I'm sorely tempted to go to the show at least one day and help with mr horsey..... But I know I should use that day 'with no excuse' to do some major work on the state of the house. Cleaning and purging. MrB will be gone which makes it even easier for me to clean.
I think there's a generational skip when it comes to pack rat vs chucker. My grandmother? Packrat and stubborn. My mom? Ruthless with the throwing away, and not always up front about it. She would throw things of mine away without telling me, and it kinda messed with my head! I think if she had been more forthright and included me in the process (and not made it a huge event, but a little bit here and there, like after I received new stuff for birthdays or holidays) it would have been less stressful for a mini Packrat whose stuffed animals SURELY had emotions!
I just have too many things. Not just one tank top for riding, but five in different colors. Same with tee shirts, riding and non riding. And long sleeve shirts with collars and without. LOTS of duplicates.... But hard to trash them!
(A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
(he does listen!)
We just de-cluttered two pick up trucks worth of stuff! A lot of baby stuff and a ton of clothes. After that I decided to give our closet a make over. I painted it bright white, tore out the carpet and put in pre-finished bamboo. It looks so nice and clean- I don't even want to put my clothes back. This weekend I have to paint and put up the trim and the new light fixture and move everything back in. I can't wait for my closet not to be a beige cave. Target has some cute baskets that we are putting on the shelves and it makes stacks of t-shirts look so much neater!
One of my spare bedrooms is 100% empty, the other has a twin mattress on the floor and two tupperwares of clothes, mine has a mattress on the floor and clothes in the closet.
The living room contains:
a coffee table, a chair, a sofa, a floor lamp, a card table w/ four chairs, a cabinet with a camera,CDs and lap top computers inside, and a small drawer unit, and a few books in the small built in book case.
The kitchen is tiny and has a few plates/glasses/mugs in the cabinet and enough cooking utensils to make a meal, plus a microwave. The kitchen pantry has dog food, the recycling bin, and cleaning supplies.
There are some coats on the coat hook in the front hall and my riding boots.
There's the inventory of my whole house.
And still I have a small pile of stuff that is waiting to get taken to the Salvation Army to GTFO.
I think it has something to do with the daylight hours getting shorter. As soon as it starts getting dark earlier I get the urge to declutter. Have started in the bedroom and so far have 3 huge bags full to take to Goodwill. Our house is small so maybe I just want to create more room before being stuck in the house all winter.
If only there was a rality show for husbans' shops - where they send in a professional to clean up the junk...! Yup - 35 years of valuable stuff here.
How about the shop for a 200+ year old farm? There's a lotta stuff stuff in it. Couple hundred draft sized horse shoes, harness, old tractor parts, new tractors and gear for them. The shed on our farm would be like an archeological dig through the layers of history on this farm.
My dad is moving and I had to get all my crap that I was storing at his house. I have a 500sqft apt. with no storage. I kept a few must haves, but donated all the rest about a van full of books, clothes, art, purses, shoes that I dont wear because of my bad leg. etc. All and all about a grand worth of stuff. I donated it to a thrift store who's profits go to the animal shelter in town. Makes me feel good, I passed along some nice stuff that I dont need any more and I help the community.