Different approaches and tricking the mind.

trilobiteOctober 14, 2010

The "Toss Ten" thread got me thinking about this.

Sometimes I need to toss ten, which tends to mean you're moving a lot of "easy decision" stuff quickly.

Sometimes I need to set a timer and work for fifteen minutes. If one object takes up the entire fifteen minutes, that's okay, that's part of the process.

Also, kind of a related subject. If you were previously a clutterbug and have made good progress in changing, do you find it very easy to let go of new stuff acquired with new attitudes, but the old stuff acquired as a clutterbug to be really difficult to get rid of?

I find this for myself and I think it's really interesting how it's very difficult to use the new ways when relating to old stuff, but the newer stuff goes right out the door.

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I'm just the opposite. I would rather keep my new stuff and get my money's worth out of it. Letting go of stuff I've had for years is getting easier and easier. Some of the items I couldn't bear to part with a year ago were actually easy to pack up and move out recently. And I felt such a sense of accomplishment at being able to let them go.

I'm also finding it easier to re-evaluate items before I buy them. I could be an impulsive shopper but I am forcing myself to question my purchases before I get to the checkout counter. Most often, I end up putting back half of what I load up in my cart. I really like my neater, more organized, more minimalistic home, and I just refuse to clutter it again. So for every item I carry home, I make sure to get rid of a similar item. I buy a new blouse; I get rid of an old blouse. I buy a new tv armoire; the old entertainment center must go. I buy a new set of sheets; an old set goes out the door.

I'm also finding that I'm not "attached" to much of my stuff anymore. I'm not sentimental about most things anymore. I remember years ago I had over 1000 novels in my house. I kept every book I ever read and had huge collections of my favorite authors and moved them from house to house over the decades. A few years ago, I finally asked, WHY??? I've read them, probably won't read them again, they're taking up more time and space than they're worth. I donated them all to the public library.

I also collected music CDs and have had shelves full of them. I gave most of them to my son a couple of years ago. And I've culled out another 40 CDs to get rid of, keeping only about a dozen of my favorites. I love having the free shelf space. I love being more organized and being able to find what I want when I want it. I remember a couple of years ago I bought yet another palm sander because I had one I couldn't get to. When I cleaned the tool shed out last year, I found that I actually had FOUR palm sanders! Bought a new one each time I needed one. What a waste!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 12:28PM
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One way I "trick" myself is to limit my cleaning time in each room. I'll get up at, say, 8 am, allow myself one hour to clean the kitchen. At 9, no matter how much or little I've done, I move to the bathroom. My bathroom is super-easy to clean. One long marble vanity, drop in sink, toilet and bathtub. Grab the towels and get them in the washer. Then I move to another room. I can be finished by noon if I move quickly. Another "trick" for general clutter is pick up five items and put them where they belong, sometimes even the wastebasket. I cleaned a horribly cluttered dresser in one month by moving just 5 items a day. I had "estimated" there were 150 things on the dresser, that's how I came up with 5 a day, 150 divided by 30 days in a month. Two tricks that work for me.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 11:23AM
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Jannie, I may start doing that.

I find I really need to have starts and finishes. It's all too possible to spend entire days organizing one small space. And yes, the space looks great! But the rest of your home then looks terrible. :)

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 12:22PM
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One way I "trick the mind" is by pulling out several items that I think I can live without. I move them to some shelves I built in my laundry room where they'll be "out of sight, out of mind". If they're something I'm not sure I can let go, I leave them on the shelves for a while. If they're something I can let go, I either sell them or freecycle them immediately.

By storing iffy items in the laundry room, I'm able to enjoy my new space and also to see if I can live without the items. I can change my mind about getting rid of them if it really hurts too much, but almost always, after they've been stored for a month or two in the laundry room, I'm ready to part with them. Once or twice, I've reintegrated something back into my living space, but 99% of the time, I end up letting it go.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 1:56PM
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I sometimes take one garbage bag and move through the house and don't stop till I practically filled it. Half empty bottles of shampoo that never get used,
mismatched socks that have been sitting in a basket on the dryer for 6 months,
misshapen candles kept just in case, chipped dishes, food items that I can't remember when they were bought, etc.....

I recycle as much as I can, but if I'm in a ruthless mode, all bets are off.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 9:00AM
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I recently had to throw away a lot of random things in my house to make room for some new furniture I bought. I kind of just wanted a new start. I think you just need to be honest with yourself and see how often you actually use something. There are so many things that I think I always use, but in reality I use very rarely.

Here is a link that might be useful: Furniture

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 4:55AM
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jannie, I think I've posted something like this before, but I do a variation on your dresser thing and plantlady's laundry room thing, by moving all the stuff on my desk or table top to a box or large tray, then trying to put away or discard 5-10 things at a time, including putting back the several things that do go there, or deciding that they don't belong anymore. Somehow it seems easier to deal. Of course the problem is, you could develop a group of "time capsules" of stuff if you don't actually deal with it over the next week or 2.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 12:20PM
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I've been practicing "preventative" decluttering. If you keep it out of your house in the first place, it won't turn into clutter. Several tips : Don't vist 99 cent and dollar stores . Don't visit garage sales. Open mail next to a wasre basket-throw out stuffers and advertising. Just keep bills and correspondence, etc.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 2:13PM
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