Thursday, November 14, 2013

Physical and emotional decluttering

Well, the Mr's work project that seemed to go smoothly blew up in the afternoon which meant I'd be on my own for a workout again.  I hate that.  It's different when you know you're going to be working out alone and you can plan for it but when it's hurry up and wait and no ETA as to when he'll be home, it throws a wrench into things.  I went ahead with the workout planned for the night, Turbo Fire 45 and made dinner.

Fish taco and brussels with 1/2 slice of bacon.

The past few months have been quite a whirlwind.

I have taken on so much with trying to keep up on many things that I feel I'm failing at many of them, including here.  I opened an antique shop on Etsy and part of that requires that I keep the items I sell all boxed up and ready to ship.  That beautiful office I redid looks like a box and craft store blew up in there.  I do crafts on the table in the dining room so there's a constant presence of Mod Podge, glitter and string which makes the Mr twitch.  I look at it all and I get overwhelmed and I don't want to do anything.  I want to clean but there is nowhere to put it all that doesn't make it look horrible.  I sometimes want to shut the door to the office.  I did that once but fully expected that if I peeked in, it would be like Carol Anne's room in Poltergeist where all of her crap was floating around.

I want to move stuff to the basement but the basement needs cleaned.  (Seems like we just did that but nope, it looks like crap again.)  So yesterday I went down and cleared off two shelves on a bookcase.  One whole shelf was taken up with this huge boom box my grandparents got me a few years ago.  We had one in our bedroom that had detachable speakers and when it died, we wanted to replace it.  My grandparents got it for me that Christmas and then we found something a fraction of the size the following year.  I felt horrible and it was probably the last gift they got me that Grandma picked out on her own before people had to start helping her shop.  I kept it out of guilt even though it was taking up valuable storage real estate.  I've had to let go of that guilt and appreciate that she wanted me to enjoy it, we did and I know she doesn't even remember getting it for me.  I will keep handwritten notes and cards but something I don't use?  I can't do it anymore.  My sanity is more important right now.  I got the shelves stocked with smaller items waiting to ship and it made the office look better....not tons but progress.

I wish I had the patience for a garage sale but I don't.  We just donate a ton of stuff and hope someone else gets use out of the stuff we don't use anymore.  I want to work on this stuff over the next few days to get a sense of organization and try to make room for things to go in their new home.  I only have so much space to display things but I have such attachment to things because if I get rid of them, it's inevitable I'll need it right after I do.  Some things, no.  Like the black octagonal serving bowls I got when we first got married.  I've upgraded since then and while they're in a donate pile, they haven't made it to Goodwill yet.  It's baby steps when you're dealing with a pack rat.  I'm looking at about 100 CD's in our armoire and I will probably move them to the under the bed storage we have with our other CD's.  I want to maybe put shelves in there or something so I can put something decorative instead of using it to display our dinosaur discs.  I know the likelihood of me following through on that is somewhat low though.  Or if I do it'll be when I repaint them in the spring/summer.  (I know the Mr just cringed reading that.)

I think cleaning up some of the physical clutter will go a long way in cleaning up emotional clutter.  There's no doubt that when you come home to a clean house, you feel less stressed.  I want that to trickle into all aspects of my life.  I know this isn't the time of year to be digging into the closets and getting to that point of "it gets worse before it gets better."  We'll have people coming over periodically and I want to keep the place as clean as possible so I'm not having to do a big clean sweep every other day. Day 1 down.

Do you have clutter you need to tend to?

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23 comments:

  1. You did a very good job of making a dent in the guest room and I am with you on decluttering. Also, I just cannot see myself running a garage sale. It seems like I'd be insulted at some of the low ballers even though I probably don't even care much about the actual amount of money I would get for something. I feel like giving that stuff to goodwill is better since someone who needs it more than I do can get it at an affordable price. At least I think that's how it works.

    But the end result of getting the clutter out is definitely a more relaxing home so no matter how we do it, as long as we get there it is worth it.

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    1. Thanks hon. I tried! :-)

      I agree. I think the lowballers would piss me off and I'd chase them out of the garage with a weedwacker. I like to think karma takes care of us because we donate. (The tax write off doesn't hurt either)

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  2. I'm happy to report a few weekends ago I took two car loads of clutter to the thrift store. It had been ready to go for a long time and I just needed to do that final step of taking it (and the thrift is only two blocks away, so there was no excuse for not doing it).

    Sadly, I have a lot more clutter I can get rid of but I need to sort it first. For now I'm going to rest on my laurels and feel all proud about the heap I already got rid of (and try not to buy any new junk to replace it!)

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    1. Go you!! It feels so nice to drop that stuff off. We don't have a problem doing it with clothes when we need to but actual kitchen or other stuff is harder. Just enjoy your pride and the other stuff will get there...eventually. ;-)

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  3. I have so much clutter! My basement is proof that gravity works... all the crap sinks to the lowest level of the house. The room my niece lived in is pretty clear, and I've made it into a workout are of sorts. I still want to get those interlocking foam pieces for the floor, but I have my treadmill set up and a place to put my laptop for workout videos or netflix to watch while on the treadmill. But my guest room... YIKES! Plus every other room of the house has like twice as much stuff in it as it can really hold, but I can't get rid of everything. My rooms are tiny, but that doesn't mean I can do without a toaster, a coffeepot or a crockpot. I always feel better when we declutter, but it never lasts. We're both packrats and my son is the same way. Plus my hubby can't say no when people offer him things. "we might want/need it, it might be worth something, they wouldn't let me not take it, etc." and I just want to scream. Sometimes it good stuff, but mostly it's stuff that we could totally do without and have no place for.

    I'm not a host a garage sale person either, but when there is a garage sale held for a fundraiser I try to take my stuff there or just donate it.

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    1. Preach it girl! That's where a lot of our stuff ends up too. I still have my elephant toybox from the 1970's. WTF am I going to do with that!? But he's so cute! My grandpa's wife was like "there's nothing from Sur La Table on your wish list this year. Where am I supposed to shop!?" I said "kitchen is full! No room!" You need your basics regardless of the room available. I'll have to check around and see if any churches are having rummage sales. That's a great idea!

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  4. Oh yeah....lots and lots of clutter....that is so very hard to get rid of. At this point, I just reason that I will let the kids sort through it all after I am gone. My youngest son, who at 27 is still living with us, often complains about both Du & I, that we never want to throw anything out. He tosses stuff he should save, drug insurance cards, etc. So I pay no attention to him. Besides his abode is in the basement, where he has a nice big family/rec room, a bedroom, a bathroom, and the laundry room is also down there. He's got lots of room. He has crap everywhere. Only his bathroom is semi tidy. So who is HE to judge ME??? I hate garage sales. I don't even like going to them, I figure I've got enough crap, I don't need to be buying somebody else's crap.

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    1. HA! Yeah he hardly has room to talk, does he! ;-)

      Yes, 70% of garage sales are someone elses crap but there are some where someone decides they are tired of their current decor and get rid of some pretty good stuff. I'm VERY picky about what I buy and restore because I only buy stuff I would want in my own house. Some people will buy anything and it shows. I don't have room for that.

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  5. I feel you. I've been a packrat all my life, and if you could see my office right now you'd think a grenade went off in my filing cabinet. It doesn't help that my hubby drags stuff home from the thrift shop faster than I can take stuff there. You just have to think of it as the law of entropy, and keep decluttering when you need to. I found a great deal of help and inspiration at flylady.com, though I had to turn off the notifications because they were driving me crazy. So now I have a reasonably well-organized house with pockets of hidden stuff that I haven't been able to bring myself to get rid of yet. I'll get there. Once you've been to a few estate sales, the thought of the kids having to do that is a huge incentive. Even more of an incentive for you guys--who will do it for you? Just say no to more junk!

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    1. Yep, we get rid of stuff to get new stuff. I don't think I could ever be a minimalist. I tried Flylady once and got irritated then I don't think I ever got past the "clean your toilet bowl and swish your sinks every morning so you're always ready for company." LOL

      Oh we have family members we're close to who will inherit our crap whether they like it or not. Luckily for them, we have a list of the things that are worth more than we paid for them. I will encourage them to keep at least one thing to remember us by and give them names of estate sale companies they can use to get rid of the rest.

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  6. We had a HUGE garage sale last spring that made my life 20 times better afterwards. It was a total hassle, but so worth it after! We also donated about 10 or so bags of stuff to local thrift shops. Still have clutter, but now we can more easily go through it (and more slowly) and make decisions once the bulk was out!

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    1. I envy you. I wish I had the garage sale gene. My aunt usually has one on Memorial Day but I can't wait that long. LOL That's great that you've got it down to manageable clutter! :)

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  7. In my area, the DAV will come to your house and take donations of stuff, and you don't even have to be home when they come to get it! See if there is a charity in your area that will come pick up your donations. It saves the extra step and logistics of taking it to a donation facility yourself.

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    1. That's a great idea! I'll have to poke around and see if I can schedule a pickup!

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  8. I am quite a cluttered girl. I mean I don't need to be on an episode of hoarders, but if I have room to keep something, I do have trouble getting rid of things. My Mr has NO such qualms and loves to throw things out right and left (I have been known to glance through the garbage after he's been tossing stuff).

    I used to craft for a boutique ... before the Etsy era. I know I wouldn't be good at shipping stuff out though, which is why I shop on Ebay but have never sold anything there.

    Speaking of Poltergeist ... my oldest son was watching Halloween movies while the kids were trick-or-treating. I really dislike the horror ones (which is what he had on) and suggested he watch Poltergeist. I remember it really freaking me out when I was his age. I wonder how it has aged, if I saw it again ...

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    1. Right. I'm the same way...no Hoarders but looking for more room. I wouldn't blame you for checking the trash! LOL

      With Etsy, you have to have stuff boxed up to calculate shipping so when something sells, it's all pretty much ready to go except for the label. USPS will even let you schedule a pickup at your house so super easy! :)

      I thought Poltergeist aged pretty good for the most part but the face melting off scene that used to scare me made me laugh my rump off! That didn't age well!

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  9. Oh girl....I'm a bag full of clutter. I just started sifting through it again and it's overwhelming. One day at a time....at least that is what I keep telling myself. :)

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    1. It is overwhelming. I'll clean a space and show the Mr and I can see in his eyes that he does see the progress I've made it's deflating. I wish my metabolism would workout for me so I could continue cleaning while it burned calories and took my shower afterward...and cooked my dinner. I don't think that's too much to ask! :-)

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  10. Oh yes, I totally know that feeling. I actually feel like I can't concentrate or think straight when the house isn't clean. Well, I guess my problem isn't cleanliness, it's more clutter--the dining room is an explosion of napkins and table linens, my office has paperwork everywhere. You know what we need? BIGGER HOUSES. Surely that is the answer, right?

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    1. Bigger houses is exactly the answer! With lots of storage that when you start to run out, you discover a new crevice with more storage ready to use. Totally plausible! :-)

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  11. I have constant clutter. Papers galore and just "stuff". I've probably given away half my house to charity and yet, things still look the same. But something I've recently begun to do is just one box or bag a week. A box or bag either has to go out with the garbage or to charity (and actually GO to charity, not just sit in a lumpy bag in the corner...it must leave the house). I'm finding that just tackling one box or bag a week doesn't overwhelm me, but builds a sense that I'm actively working through the maze. And at the end of a full calendar year, I will have gotten rid of 52 bags/boxes!!! THAT gives me some perspective because I can visualize what 52 boxes looks like in my basement. It's progress, not perfection, and it really does lend to a calmer sense of "home".

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    1. That's a great way to make slow but sure progress! Great idea!

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  12. I'm a flylady.net fan as well. I don't get all the emails anymore. I love being nearly clutter-free, it is so liberating! Like getting healthy and weight loss, its a lifestyle change. Enjoy ur day!

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