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gigi-fAugust 17, 2007

I'm so glad I found this group! Oh, hang on:

My name is Gigi, I'm a compulsive hoader/packrat who has been trying (not very successfully) to clean out, throw away, organize, put away, sell and otherwise GET RID OF way too much stuff. It's genetic - my mom has the same problem.

Just saying Hi, will add more in a bit

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Welcome Gigi. Sounds like you will fit right in.

Some folks have had luck starting small. One way is to just gather just one bag o junk and part with it. Gets you into the process and you will see the sky doesn't fall. Come back and say if it was hard or not for you.

Alternate approaches are:

to "do 12" = put 12 things away in a permanent home.

to work X minutes on a trouble spot and stop.

or, my favorite, pick a category (I did scissors first), gather them up, ditch the extras and put the cleaned remaining ones into logical and permanent homes.

Doesn't matter what method you pick. Just get started!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 3:17PM
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Yes, thanks, I have started small but now I think I have to go smaller still. I do lots of kinds of art work, lots of hobbies, read alot. I'm always busy. I have gotten rid of literally a ton of stuff (it was weighed) and I'm still going.

I set up some of those super-strong shelves in the garage (two car, no room now for even a bicycle) and divided stuff that way - kitchen, books, fabric, art supplies, gardening, tools, etc. I now have 12 shelving units and I've run out of space, boxes piled AROUND the shelves because I ran out of room ON them.

I think I'll empty the hobby room and start smaller still - divide one division into smaller parts. Every time I open a box I put on my "brutal" face and toss out half (usually). Does it ever start to show? What a mess!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 12:39PM
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Welcome to the forum!

(I *know* I wrote you a welcome earlier--it's not hear. Did I crash before I got it posted?)

I like the "do a dozen" (though I invented my version when I was putting off folding clothes, and the rule is, socks don't count, LOL!)

If you've run out of room on 12 shelving units, it's time to get rid of even MORE stuff!

It will start to show--eventually--all that tossing. But you have to be brutal for a while. Then it'll suddenly seem to speed up.

Good luck!

Come back and brag about the stuff you're tossing, OK?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 2:46PM
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It's discouraging. I swear the stuff multiples. There is simply NO WAY that this is all my stuff. Some of it is stuff I "inherited" from my mom, but there's so much more, I have no idea where it came from.

Oh, the stuff I've already tossed - let's see (the trailer is about the size of a pickup truck bed - the smaller ones, but I say it this way because it sounds like more):

One tailer full of pieces of wood, cardboard, broken pots and so on - stuff that SHOULD have gone out when it broke (weighed over 700 pounds)

Thirty lawn bags full of yarn and fabric pieces that had been in a fire (the SMELL!) (but ... there HAS to be a way to clean it)

Numerous trash cans full of paper, including magazines, boxes, those Styrofoam peanuts that come whenever you buy something, projects that never got finished or that I didn't like. (I run around the neighborhood the night before the trash gets picked up and fill all the neighbor's cans)

Expired food (inherited from mom)

One trash can full of plastic storage bowls that had no lids or where broken in some way (I have a huge box full left)

Two trailers full of recycling. (and one yet to go)

Two car loads of old clothes

At least one car load of books

A really big box full of old VCR tapes

Several broken appliances and various machines

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 4:07PM
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wow, that's progress!

I know what you mean about stuff multiplying. I haven't even had other people add their stuff to mine, and I don't have a yard or garage to stick stuff in.

and yet, I think I could throw out 20 things a day, and still take years to pare down to where I *should* be. I've been really discouraged lately, bcs of the volume of just plain " stuff" that has no value, but it's mixed in w/ stuff that does.

It just seems like all the *easy* stuff is gone, and only "hard to decide" stuff is left.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 5:00PM
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Welcome gigi! I'm sort of new too - though I've posted on other boards here.

I'm so proud of myself because this weekend I got up and ruthlessly culled almost my whole wardrobe. I had two closets packed with crap and I went through and sorted everything. Two huge bags went to Goodwill, one large bag is for a consignment shop and the rest went back in my closet or are slated to be cleaned/refreshened.

There are one or two items that I think I could have refurbished or redesigned, but I'm considering abandoning that effort and culling them.

Anyway, I'm so proud of myself. The only clothes I have left are in my dresser and in some small plastic drawers that are in my closet. I want to go through those tonight - it won't take long because most of the stuff I went through not too long ago.

And the idea of getting between 150-200 dollars back from the consignment purchases (I could easily get that back) makes me giddy.

Add to that the knowledge that I will soon sell a desk and hutch, a rug and a couple of other things, and I'm anticipating a nice cash reward for my organization and culling efforts! Whoo hoo!

The key for me was in mentally distancing myself from the culling and from doing it FAST. I put the stuff that I culled into a dark bag and NEVER looked at it again. It's like when you take a test - you just write your first answer down and most times that is the right one. That's what I did with these clothes. I just grabbed and decided - very quickly. That helped a lot.

I'm about to do my shoes next and that will likely be harder. I don't think the consignment shop takes shoes, so that will suck. I have brand new shoes that I've never even worn yet - and they'd likely sell really well - but I don't know if I'll be able to consign them there - and I don't want to do Ebay (too much work).

The other problem with shoes is that what I really want is a way to see all of my shoes on display like at a store - with those slanted shelves. That way I know what I own. But I have a lot of them so I'd probably need to store them in my other closet - OR - buy a few curio cabinets that can be retrofitted with slanted shelves so I can view them that way.

I guess we will see.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 7:54PM
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gigi, you are rolling! That is some incredible volume you are unloading.

LOL: "bags full of yarn and fabric pieces that had been in a fire (the SMELL!) (but ... there HAS to be a way to clean it)" If that doesn't capture our wacky hoarding thought process!

Hopefully soon you can carve out one subspace (a room, a side of a room, a closet - even a shelf) that is clutter free and breathing. That will help keep you going.

Sounds like you are doing great!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 10:20PM
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Gigi -- Good goin', girl!!! That 30 bags of yarn and fabric had to lighten the load!!

Expired food -- why do we hold on to it???? A neighbor of my mother's passed away and the family was getting ready for the auction. Since I do a lot of canning -- I was looking for canning jars. I enjoy using really old ones to store dry goods (nuts, pasta etc)

The family had thrown out all the canning jars. Hundreds of them. Why??? Because there was food in them --- some that had been canned in the late 40's and early 50's!!! They were scared to even open them!!!

Can't say I blame them!!!

Gigi -- Welcome to the forum and keep up the good work!


    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 7:48AM
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