a list of things you *can* have less of

talley_sue_nycSeptember 2, 2013

I found this link via Pinterest, and when I was reading it, I could feel my anxiety levels just spike.

Which means, he's right!!

I'm trying to get up the nerve to pick three of these categories and then go eliminate a bunch of things from each from my home.


(I tried to edit the URL so it would work.)

Here is a link that might be useful: 101 Physical Things That Can Be Reduced in Your Home

This post was edited by talley_sue_nyc on Fri, Sep 6, 13 at 15:16

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I had to do a search when I got to his site for that particular article. Here is his list of 101 physical things.

Kitchen gadgets
Kitchen appliances
Pots / pans
Mixing bowls
Water pitchers
Over-the-counter medicine
Barretts / hair clips / ponytail holders
Cleaning supplies
Personal beauty appliances (hair dryer/curlers, electric razors)
Bottles of shampoo/conditioner
Photography supplies
Sewing supplies
Craft supplies
Scrap-booking supplies
Decorative items
Audio/visual components
Audio/visual cables
Computer equipment
MP3 players
Video game systems
Vdeo games
Video game accessories
Shirts / shorts
Clothes hangers
Winter gear
Linen sets
Candle Holders
Items on your bulletin board
Home office supplies
Old batteries
Rolls of duct tape
Phone books
Sporting good supplies
Sports memorabilia
Aluminum cans
Glass bottles
Automobile fluids
Scrap pieces of lumber
Garden tools
Plant containers
Empty cardboard boxes
Board games
Decks of cards
Unused wedding gifts
Baby clothes
Baby supplies
Old schoolbooks/papers
Army men
Bath toys
Toy balls
Toy cars/trucks
Toy musical instruments
Stuffed animals
Plastic toys
Childrensâ old school papers
Processed foods
Christmas / seasonal decorations
Cable channels

I have a few items on this list that need to be limited. I need to go through my Christmas decorations and purge. We moved three years ago and we moved again this year. My 'needs' keep changing. I have zero use for the five outdoor wreaths that I used last December on the front porch of my old house. The lighted outdoor figures can probably go too, but I need to wait until Christmas to make sure. I'm still unpacking, but I'm dropping all of the Christmas stuff off in a room upstairs so I can go through it. If it doesn't work and isn't something of particular sentimental value, it is going.

I have too much "Tupperware". I bought a bunch of it when my kids were taking school lunches. They don't do that as much now. I use mainly baggies. I could probably stand to donate at least half of it.

My third would probably be crafting supplies. I've actually been using that stuff again after a long hiatus. I think my goal there is not buy anything that I won't use immediately.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 10:41PM
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Ha! for one thing, the LIST needs to be decluttered, or at very least consolidated.
Rakes, shovels AND garden tools? Really? Why don't trowels, clippers and twine get their own categories?
Just saying.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 9:17PM
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lol jayemvee.

Interesting article, and I'm sure everyone has things they can get rid of, and it would be a different list for everyone.

My first thought, sexist as it may be, is that I wondered if living minimally is easier for men than women, or single people over families. The author there has a family and has been able to reduce but I know it would be a lot easier for me if I didn't have to consider dh too.

Oh, and if anyone wants to see his list without doing a search, use the link in the first post and close the space in it.

This post was edited by marti8a on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 22:26

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 10:23PM
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(FYI--that space isn't there in the post when I try to edit it--and I've retyped the word about 6 times, and it's still there when I post it.)

I may print this out and hand it to my DH, and see if we can tackle some of this together.

This post was edited by talley_sue_nyc on Fri, Sep 6, 13 at 15:18

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Can't get rid of my Army Guys. My granddaughters (ages 18 months, 2, 3, 5, 7) love them!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 7:35PM
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This is a mixed bag. While I agree with some, others just aren't going to happen . . . not in my house anyway.

- I don't have enough glassware to part with any substantial amount. My cookware is fairly well streamlined as well.
- Cookbooks, yes. I have so many cookbooks that I'm keeping for 1-2 recipes. I'm trying to copy them over to my notebook and get rid of the book itself.
- OTC meds are divided into category boxes, and they're pretty well streamlined.
- I use the same cleaning supplies over and over in all rooms.
- Barrettes. Really? Tossing a couple barrettes is going to make a difference in my life?
- Totally agree with books. One of the best things about the advent of e-readers is that you can have over 1000 books . . . in your purse.
- I could absolutely cut down on craft supplies. In fact, I have things from years ago that I planned to use . . . and didn't. I should declutter this area of my life.
- We have tons of CDs and DVDs, but we tossed all the plastic packages and store them in those zippered cases. They're arranged by category, and we have an organizing notebook that tells us at a glance where everything is. MUCH less space is necessary.
- I don't see how you can downsize an MP3 player. Isn't one of its big positives the fact that it's already tiny?
- Lots of people can downsize towels and linens. I can't. I've never bought into the you-should-have-three-sets-of-sheets-for-each-bed concept. Except when my children were tiny and occasionally had bedtime accidents, I've always had one set of sheets per bed. And four towels per bathroom.
- Old batteries? Dude, that's called trash. Ditto for glass bottles, aluminum cans, and phone books.
- Baby clothes -- my girls are teens now, and I saved exactly one box of baby clothes (and a few other small items -- a blanket, a couple feeding items, etc.) for them to have for their own children. Enough to be sentimental, not enough to be clutter.
- Christmas decorations -- A couple years ago I bought 8 Rubbermaid tubs (in red). That's how much Christmas stuff I can have. Total -- ornaments, wrapping, stockings, everything. If I get something new, something old has to go.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 3:54PM
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I think it also depends where you live. We're building our new house 20 miles away from any city, so we do need more of some things than we would if we lived closer in. A few weeks ago, my dh needed to take a salad for a work potluck. I went to our local stores to look for an inexpensive salad bowl (in case it got broken or lost). Nothing. No premade salads in our small town grocery, either. Most of our dishes are in storage while we rent. 20 miles may not be *that* far, but if you are in a hurry or the roads are bad, it helps to have some extras on hand. So dishes, tools, batteries - the practical things are valuable to us.

But - some things can be tossed, I agree. Cookbooks - why keep many? I have a few that I use often, but I use Allrecipes often because it lets me look for recipes using certain ingredients.

Mementos and pictures - a few, yes. Especially if they are displayed, not tucked away in storage boxes where they tend to stink and are often rarely enjoyed. Dh has an antique sextant - we'll display that, also his ceremonial sword from Annapolis (very impressive looking!).

I don't want to clutter our new house with stuff. If we're going to possibly use it, then yes, we'll keep it. But otherwise, it goes.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 4:44PM
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re: the MP3 player
I wonder if what he means is that it's not terribly uncommon for people to end up with more than one of them. I know my son has 3--an early non-Apple one, the Shuffle 3G that got wet and years later started working; and the Shuffle 4G that got its screen broken.

I have my iPodTouch 2G and my new 5G.

Somehow, it seems that we've kept them all.

Oh, and Mrs.Pete, with your "one set of sheets per bed"--I don't think he's talking to you. He's talking to most people--the ones who bought into that "3 sets per bed" idea. (I have 2 sets per bed, because sometimes people throw up in the middle of the night, or kids wet the bed. Or the bed's started to smell but I don't have time to wash the sheets right now).

These are all categories that a great many people (but of course not everybody) have a tendency to collect to much of. (just like him and his garden tools and rakes)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 9:28PM
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I have a bunch of miss-matched wine glasses taking up a full shelf in my kitchen cabinet. It's just hubby and me and we rarely drink wine. I could keep 2 glasses and toss/donate the rest. Honestly, do charities even want wine glasses?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 8:16AM
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We just finished a kitchen remodel, and I was determined to not put junk away in my beautiful new cabinets, so I've already tackled a few things on the list.

I was amazed at how many glasses and mug we had, once they all got put into one place. No way do we need all of them.

Plastic containers - I have a smaller (but more convenient) space for them now, so I organized the ones that fit well in a drawer. Others have been stashed in less handy locations - if it turns out I don't really use them, they're gone.

Magnets don't stick to my new fridge. We used to buy souvenir magnets when we traveled - no there's no place to put them. Oh well!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:00AM
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Annkh, if you really want to keep the souvenir magnets going, you could mount a sheet of steel inside a cabinet or closet door.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 4:40PM
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At first I thought this list included everything you could possibly have, but I've thought of a few more things i could do with less of:
Fat cells
Dust bunnies
Gray hairs
Chin hairs

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:28PM
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TripletMom, I love your list! Yeah I could declutter all that stuff.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 7:03AM
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The only way I can have to many books is to run out of shelving. I have at least 400. I have always wanted my own library so when I found like new hardback books at the local Goodwill for a dollar, I started buying. Even if I never get around to reading all of them, I still enjoy see and know they are mine. I also like to look see all of the pretty colored covers on the shelf.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Nice that all those books make you happy, Emma... I know having something to call your own is important.

...but I am just the opposite when it comes to books.

I LOVE books, and even volunteered in a library for 18 years!
I feel that books are meant to be read, to be enjoyed, to be shared. Books on a shelf that never are even opened are sad, sad things to me. That was not why they were created.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 4:09PM
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Oh I read them and if I find one I don't like I pass that one on to friends. I also pass on the duplicates. I have always wanted to keep every good book I have read, but since I started reading in the second or third grade that would have been impossible. I also read the good ones over and over.

As far as having books that are not read, it makes feel good to see them in my home. I collected dolls, starting in the 70's and you would not have thought that was bad because little girls weren't playing with them.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 11:08AM
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" I collected dolls, starting in the 70's and you would not have thought that was bad because little girls weren't playing with them."

Actually, I would. Never saw the point of doll collections - especially as an adult! But that is just me... and that is fine.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 2:06PM
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What do you do for fun, interesting, hobbies. I suppose travel to exotic places to you is a total waste of money. Is every thing for you serious? (:-)))

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 9:33AM
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LOL! You suppose wrong. Travel experiences are wonderful things, and so life-enriching.

I live a good life, doing lots of things with lots of friends and family, especially family. We are very close with our kids and their spouses, and we enjoy each others company!

And I fail to see how disliking doll collections makes me a serious person! I just don't see the appeal in all those beady eyes! Plus all the upkeep... I'd rather have less IN the house so I could spend more time OUT of the house, doing fun stuff with friends and family.

And having less IN the house IS the topic of this thread....

This post was edited by LuAnn_in_PA on Wed, Oct 2, 13 at 9:57

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 9:49AM
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Maybe I think serious because that is the kind of people I am surrounded, serious family, serious and scared old people in my HOA development. I hope I didn't offend you. I enjoyed the discussion whether it is appropriate here or not.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 4:23PM
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Speaking of books, there's a restaurant near where my Mother lived that "decorated" its' walls with bookshelves full of -yes-books! Once when I was eating there, I pulled one out and started reading. Great way to pass the time if you are waiting to get seated at your table. There are several book drops in my neighborhood. Even one in the library parking lot. I know they had a problem with people donating old books. I was there one day when a maintenance man put all the donated books in the trash. Sad. An old folks home maybe could have used them.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 7:18AM
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O got rid of all but two cookbooks: Betty Crocker and Better Homes and Gardens. I cleaned out office supplies and kept almost nothing. I got rid of 2/3 of the kitchen gadgets.
I've been letting the extra shampoo, soap, etc run down. Now, I just buy replacements when one gets low.

I LOVE IT.I love not having a bunch of STUFF in closets and drawers!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Mommabird, I am with you on that score. I love clean/bare cabinets and other areas, so much easier to clean. I went through mine and got rid of my large pans, cookie sheets a few utensils, Betty Crocker and Better Homes and Garden Cook Books which I had since my 20's. That touched me in a funny way like my life was ending, but it was not an unpleasant feeling. I am just at another stage of my life. I had to buy a few things like extra glasses after my husband passed away because I ran out before the dish washer filled. I put plastic boxes in varying sizes under my sinks to keep the bottles upright and to prevent the "rings" that always seem to be where bottles of cleaners sit for years. They are under the plumbing joints where leaks are more common, hoping to spot a leak before damaged happens. When the plumber came I just pulled out the boxes, so easy and clean. I went through my office and got rid of a lot of cables, old extension cords, etc., etc., etc. and I feel so good when I am done. I use shampoos that I don't like to clean the stool.

Tripletsmom, I love the chin hair.....how about to many chins???? LOL

This post was edited by EmmaR on Thu, Oct 17, 13 at 6:49

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 6:39AM
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I could do with fewer fat cells....but I digress. :-)

Seriously though, if you haven't used it in a year, toss it. Every season has passed within a year, so if you didn't use at all in the past year, odds are you won't pick it up in the coming year either.

I am an extreme minimalist. I must utilize every item in my environment or I have to toss it -- it's a compulsion. I buy very little and still feel I have too much.

I'm bad about letting food items expire, especially dry goods that are in the pantry (I do really good eating what's in the fridge before it goes bad). I get bored with stuff easily and stop eating it......even though I hate to waste things.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 12:14AM
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Oh my gosh I got that awful feeling while reading the list too. Some of which I recently bought container to store them in! Great! Now I have to rethink this and start all over. Thanks! LOL Just kidding. It really is a good idea to limit all the stuff one has. And when you donate it to a worthy organization, like our counties food bank thrift store, it makes you feel good.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 12:48AM
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