Can we talk about clutter, some more?

lavender_lassNovember 20, 2010

Well, I thought I was doing pretty well with the downsizing, over the past few years, but now I'm not so sure. After spending the spring and summer gardening (my new passion) I'm realizing that the house is a mess! I'm giving it a good cleaning this week (before the holidays) and I still have too much stuff.

So, as I go from room to room, I need to be brutally honest about what I love, what I need, and what I really want to keep. I just keep telling myself "think how much easier it will be to keep things clean next spring!"

Am I alone? How is everyone else doing with their downsizing?

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look at it in a positive light...i do. I figure if anyone breaks in to steal from me they'll look around and say 'someone beat us here...'.

or their eyes will get dizzy from looking at all of the stuff and pop out of their heads.

i have lots and lots of beautiful things - way more than I can keep out or use. I plan to pack up a box for each kid when I move and i'll keep some things in the backroom in a box/on a shelf and part way thru the yr I'll rotate them with what I've had out. I'll get to enjoy more of the pretties - just not all at the same time! I'd like to have glass across the tops of the kitchen cabs for display. It isn't a shelf I can reach anyway.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 8:31PM
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lavender_lass, I feel for you. I am there too. No matter how much I feel I get rid of I keep wishing I did not have as much out as I do. Yet I love the things I still have out and not willing to part with what is left. Like Steph said I am rotating many things and have simple storage for what is not on display at the moment.

I have cut my kitchen stuff down over and over to only the things I use all the time. I keep appliances except coffee maker and microwave put away. I cut down on counter clutter as much as possible. This way when the counter is cluttered I know it is time I put things back where they belong.

My biggest problem is I am really liking the de-cluttered look and the more that goes away the more I want gone. When I go back and look at pictures of 5 houses ago coming to now I can see my process of de-cluttering happen. Very interesting. Even three houses ago I would feel really uncomfortable living in all the crap I had then and I loved that crap. LOL

Peel it off in layers slowly and it is not as painful. LOL

I just spent a couple of days organizing my studio so I have the glass and things I work with at my finger tips and yet not all piled on my work table. It cost me a little bit of money for the perfect shelf to hold these supplies in this way. I lucked out and did get it half price. Still it would have been worth full price for the convenience it will be to me.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 9:33PM
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I think something happens to us as we get older and we not only don't have the energy anymore to keep it all up, it does become less important to us. to me anyway.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 12:16AM
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It is a ongoing project with us. It does feel better though letting go of 'stuff'. I agree with desertsteph, it becomes less important, and not enough energy to keep up with it all.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 6:06AM
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Can someone with energy come help me I can have the energy to keep up? My creative side keeps me in trouble, but have let a lot go through the years and some with regret. I could ask the 4 kids everyday if they wanted what needs to go away, but they are of no help. Does their opinion say anything about what is being kept?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 7:46AM
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Earlier this year A&E ran a weekend marathon of their program "Hoarders". I watched about three episodes back to back then got up and started throwing stuff away!

My biggest problem area is paper. Bills, financial records, magazines, newspaper clippings, all things I tell myself I am going to refer back to someday. That day has only happened occassionally for one or two of those items and never for the rest of them. I am currently in the market for a fax/copier/scanner as a business tool for my part-time endeavor, but I also plan on using the scan function to electronically store some of this paper I can't seem to let go of. I have a friend who owns 12 rental properties and he has done an amazing job of electronically storing records relating to his properties and eliminating mountains of paper. He keeps the paper version in a 3 ring binder for only 12 months and every quarter he goes back and shreds the oldest quarter. He also regularly burns a backup onto a dvd and throws that in his safe deposit box at the bank so the most he could ever loose is a month or two. I am going to try to follow his model.

I am 50 in 2011 and have a paper copy of every tax return I have ever filed and the backup documentation for them as well. Why am I holding on to these?

Next on the electronic storage list is photographs. You know, those 3 by 5 glossy paper rectangles with images on them that you used to go down to the drug store to pick up about a week after you dropped off a little metal canister? I have lots of those paper photographs from my younger years and time and chemistry has taken it's toll on them. I need to convert them over to digital images before it's too late. Not to mention once stored digitally, I can pass copies of all of them on to my sons rather than dividing them up.

Family history is also on my digital list. Several years ago, my uncle with multiple degrees started researching our family tree and gave copies of his work to my dad. Dad in turn gave me copies. Again it's time to store that information digitally and back it up on a disc that is stored in a safe location.

Outside the house, I am a gardener too, or at least I think of myself as one. I have an over abundant collection of pots both plastic and terra cotta. Most of those have sat empty for the past 4 years. It is leaf raking time. A time of year when I make several trips to the dump station to get rid of mountains of leaves. I am going to thin out my collection of pots this year too.

Wish me luck!


    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 9:30AM
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Best to you , Scott! I got a good giggle about having all those tax records. You are worse than I am! (I only have about 15 years)

We have a huge clutter problem in our "non-public" rooms. Sometimes it is caused by bad habits, but that is usually compounded by lack of places to put things. I went nuts last year, buying metal storage cabinets. I have a tall one with drawers and a door just outside the laundry room door into the garage. It is holding all those cleaning tools that you occasionally need - the Webster, scrub mops, wax applicators, squeegies, plus bubble wrap, thick packing paper I want to keep for under messy projects, potting soil for houseplants. Then I got another 4 ft high shelving cab with doors that I have in the laundry room. Dog things like pee pads and Simple Solution, the iron and its accessories, light bulbs - all live there. Then I went whole-hog and got about 16 ft of old lab cabinets and counter top for the garage. TOOLS! Finally, a place to organize painting, plumbing, and other household stuff that I can get to! For five years this stuff has been in the basement in boxes, unorganized and impossible to find. It is exasperating to tell DH (the one without handyman experience here) that I know that we own a red drain snake, but he cannot find it in the basement.

All of these storage solutions were found used on Craigslist. The two cabs were used office equipment.

I have a friend who is on disability for her mental health problems. She really needs small jobs because she cannot live on her income. She is more physically able than I am, so she has been a wonderful help in decluttering, and organizing the tools and basement. We have made an initial pass and put real obvious things away. Next spring we can start on the second round.

Next, however, is my clothing closet. I really have to own up to the fact that I really do not wear a lot of those clothes and donate them. Then put warm-weather stuff away for winter and make room for sweaters in my drawers. Why the heck am I wasting a huge tallboy drawer on the clothes that do not currently fit me? I have probably a dozen bathing suit tops and bottoms from size 30 to 22 sitting new in bags there. (Lands End clearance sales) If I am wearing the 30s and 28s, I bet I can put the 22s away for a while! As I unpack kitchen bins, they become available for clothing. Now is the time!

I have never, in my adult life, not had at least one junk room. We cannot afford such things in our small houses. I have never, in my adult life, had a house that was completely painted or decorated by me - and not some former owner. We have gotten a start with the kitchen and family room. Next is Dad's bedroom. I pulled out the carpet and started peeling of wallpaper. I plan to paint it to go with the gold rugs I had in the family room. The new lino clashed with them. I also hope to try installing a wood floor in there, to see if we can do the three bedrooms and halls ourselves, or if we need to hire Jim to do it. Then I will get a nice old bedroom set from the 1920s to 1950s for thee, and we will have a guest room. And those dresser drawers can hold extra linens and blankets and the hall closet will not be so darned overflowing!

Too bad it is not as easy to do all this stuff as it is to imagine it all.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 11:27AM
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Ahh, LavenderLass, I truly understand your dilemma.
Even if we were not clearing out preparing to sell this Cape and then combine what is left from this much larger house into our existing stucco cottage (2 br) in Alabama, we would still need to down size.

This problem is compounded by it being HIS house, HIS things, and my eye is not as sentimental over HIS old stuff. I am not emotionally tied to the detritus of 50 years in one house.

In fact, he got very angry with me the other day, when he was coming down with a cold and generally feeling out of sorts. He told me he was going through the trash and pulling out HIS stuff that I was tossing away. My gosh, we have martini glasses already, and I'm using them for plant containers in Alabama, we sure do not need to take EIGHT MORE? And the glass mugs that service stations gave away with a gas purchase years ago, my heaven, I have abundant nice mugs out the yang-yang already, and those are expendable. The things that were "nice" dinnerware, etc, I've given to his kids already; what remains, if we cannot use it, they do not want, and he will NOT consider a garage sale, then they get tossed. On the other hand, he says NOTHING WILL BE MOVED SOUTH....but I have NEWS for him on THAT. Which is why restoring or recreating our now-derelict garage is so important this winter.

I am all for downsizing, but I refuse to let go of the things which are an integral part of things I enjoy doing. I love to sew, to paint (walls and pictures and furniture), and I need a good place to do it without creating a mess of the whole place. He needs somewhere to do his tinkering and repair work and building. I need a place for my growing collection of container plants, and my parrot paraphenalia.
One tiny house with no family room does not give us space enough. I don't want to just simply PACK STUFF UP OUT OF THE WAY, I WANT TO HAVE SPACE TO USE IT TO ADVANTAGE.

In Japan, I read, they rotate their treasures. Things like vases, statues, other art work. Their storage is tailored so that the seasonal stuff is kept in a secure and tidy way, while the current season display is out. Now, I realize that there is quite a space issue in Japan now, so this concept may be archaic to a city apartment dweller, but it does represent a principle of Japanese design. I like to TRY to achieve a Zen calmness.

I find it helps me to achieve a clean environment if I am listening to calming music while cleaning and organizing. Recently I discovered on the cable network a bunch of music channels, and now I can choose from smooth jazz or calm classical or show tunes or whatever. With no picture to distract me from my chores, I am getting more done.

Now all I have to do is get DH past his bottleneck to clearing out closets and shelves and drawers....especially when he wants to get rid of the furniture pieces which contain all that STUFF. For somebody who admits to me that he does not like things changed or even moved around, he is coping fairly well. He SAYS he wants to move south, but there is many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. One factor in his desire to move away from Massachusetts is the recent law which will not renew driver licenses for anyone over 75. It is being contested in court now, but is scheduled to go into effect come Jan 1. Even insurance companies say it is absurd, older drivers are much safer drivers with fewer accidents, but the law is another example of the tail wagging the dog, and flies against reason.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 11:58AM
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ML- Tread lightly :)

Men can be very into their clutter, although they call it stuff, which makes it sound like they don't care...but they do! LOL

We have the old farmhouse next door, where my husband puts most of his stuff, so except for our bedroom and his office, most of the clutter is mine.

Now, I don't have TONS of clutter, in fact, it's pretty streamlined, compared to a few years ago, but I still think it takes too long to dust and clean...especially when I'm gardening. So, more organization, more storage and more stuff to donate/throw away.

One thing that takes some cleaning is my toy collection, but that's very cute (at least to me) and I don't have anywhere to store it, where it doesn't get dusty. We do live on a farm! And, although I say it's for the nieces and nephews, I do think all the pinks, purples and greens in the Fisher Price fairy treehouse and castle are pretty cheerful! :)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 12:56PM
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"One thing that takes some cleaning is my toy collection, but that's very cute (at least to me) and I don't have anywhere to store it, where it doesn't get dusty. We do live on a farm! And, although I say it's for the nieces and nephews, I do think all the pinks, purples and greens in the Fisher Price fairy treehouse and castle are pretty cheerful! :)"

Lavender_lass, I can not tell you how many hours of my 61+ years I have spent dusting I have tried to dream up a way to just be able to hose it all down a central drain in the house. Pulleys to raise upholstered furniture up how to protect what can not get wet and so on. Imagine the joy of it all.

Just a second dear I need to dust. Rain coats optional.And the hose would be fire hose capacity.OK ducking out to dust for real now. Sigh


    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 1:45PM
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Most of my 'clutter' is limited to the garage, but boy, do I have stuff! I'm a life-long tinkerer, with a penchant for old mechanical stuff. I have parts to about 4 old tractors, I have about 10 vintage/antique outboard motors in various stages of restoration, a '64 Ford pick-up buried in the middle of it, and every tool known to man. I have a lot of stuff left over from when I had my own machine shop, in hopes that I will again have a small (hobby) shop in SC. This stuff is all HEAVY! Getting rid of it would mean admitting that I'm getting too old for all these silly hobbies, which of course I'm NOT!

The truck needs to go; I've decided to buy another one in usable condition once we move. I could definitely thin the herd with some of the other stuff, too. Sigh....

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 1:48PM
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Oh boy, I think this thread is like THERAPY for us small homers. It does help to know I am not alone when I feel challenged by STUFF. It does make me feel bad about myself, that I have one more very human flaw that I seem unable to control...or better yet, eliminate.

Well, for all the folks with DUSTING issues, I have a dishwasher. When I do not have a full load, I look around for STUFF to wash and thus fill out the load. And also, another technique that I use is to pack STUFF and not really exercise a lot of care....if it doesn't quite make it to its new location, then oh well, it was not meant to be. You'd be surprised how very STURDY some things are. They can take a lot of punishment, like the old Timex watches, that kept on ticking. But also, I suggest that you consider what the Wedgewood china people did with their rejects. They saved them and when some employee was feeling stressed out, that person could go out back where the rejects were piled up, and throw them against a brick wall. I think they knew that breaking dishes is a great way to release hostility. So there, I've listed about three very effective ways of dealing with clutter.

And Scott, paper is a big worry. I know you love to garden. Buy yourself a shredder, I got one that will do even credit cards (good way to get rid of those nasty things) or maybe 8 sheets of paper. Then I have a whole container of really nice shreds which will make good compost mixed into the ground up leaves. Waste not, want not.

Aside from scanning documents, I get statements online and no paper copies of BILLS. With taxes, I scan them and keep the files on my computer external drive. Those paper files I keep for five years, which is I think the legal requirement. Of course, everything before that time was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, so too bad if they want to go back further. I no longer itemize, so that simplifies things....actually I don't make enough to spend enough to have anything to list!!

And Jay, of COURSE you're not too old for your heavy duty hobbies. I wish you luck finding a home for that truck. My DH is currently working on HIS garage stash. In fact tonight we drove a lot of it over to his son's house...things like clamps and really old old tools which had belonged to DH's dad, and before that to some earlier generation carpenter. The son is into making fine furniture and also is a history buff, so the old tools are most appreciated there.

When it comes time to part with stuff, the best we can hope for is that someone we love is GLAD to have it!! I think it is a good idea to give stuff away while you are alive and the persons who get it can say THANK YOU, or WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS!!! One man's trash is another man's treasure...and vice versa. USUALLY vice versa.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 8:00PM
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So what were the plans for the Ford? Trash hauler, true to factory restoration or street rod? You mention the vintage outboards so I'm guessing you would be the full restoration type. Was she a fleetside or step bed?

My son turned 16 recently and the thought of a mid 60's project car passed through my mind and quickly faded. In SC Air Conditioning is a must have. That's hard to come by on a classic restoration. Then there are brakes, suspension, steering, all those things that the manufacturers have improved so much over the past 40 years. Times change and to tell the truth, he would prefer less horsepower and more megabytes. A totally automated Kia Soul with a one terabyte hard drive responding to voice commands would be a better description of his dream car.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 8:02PM
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Ahh, Scott, your son is a man of the new millenium. I too could use one of those tiny little cars that we saw in Italy, I think two could park side by side in our driveway. I also like features like a built in GPS and voice commands for Garmin Nuvi 880, which is now considered old at 2 years, can read books to me, slideshow my photos, give me gas prices at the closest stations, dial the phone connect with Bluetooth to my cell phone, and reroute me if there is bad traffic problems. And if I want to give it voice commands, I activate that feature with a button on my steering wheel, and tell it what I want.

BTW, tell your son about an online site for data files containing unbelievable amounts of POINTS OF is mostly free.

Here is a link that might be useful: POI FACTORY

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 10:17PM
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"Too bad it is not as easy to do all this stuff as it is to imagine it all."

if 'imagine' worked, all of my work would be done... plus more! lol! I can plan out my next day while attempting to fall asleep - and the next day 'life' happens and all of my plans are shot to heck! just like today.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 12:10AM
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"look at it in a positive light...i do. I figure if anyone breaks in to steal from me they'll look around and say 'someone beat us here...'. "

Here too.

Right now, my house is worse than normal with a bit of remodeling going on in the kitchen and laundry room and all that stuff just piled in available spots.

However, this past weekend, I sold 8 dining chairs, a rolling pin, and a sewing machine in cabinet. I also loaded up a few bags of clothes and other odds & ends to take to the thrift store. Not that it seems to have made a dent in the clutter.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 1:11PM
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Marti, what I love is the ROLLING PIN......
I have a friend down in Alabama who takes all my blue wine bottles, for her BOTTLE TREE and for turning upside down as a flower bed border. (FlowerLady, are you listening? :) )

But up here in Massachusetts, nobody is around who wants those perfectly lovely blue bottles. I hate to put them in the recycle bin, and so it has slowed down my consumption of wine, to say the least. But at home (meaning in Alabama) I have some really fine ornamental liqueur bottles that I cannot even think of parting with. Maybe some point in the future, I'll use those blue wine bottles to line a flowerbed in my own garden.

Today I sorted through the upstairs closet in one bedroom. I packed up the fabric and bedding to bring to Mobile. I stacked up the old pillows to toss, and blankets/comforters to give to Salvation Army or whatever organization they have in this small town. And bagged up the big table cloths and cloth napkins to give to either household of DH's kids. We only have small dining tables now.

Then I went to the basement and began stacking up the STUFF that can be used in our garage project in Alabama. Like the two ceiling fans in boxes. A set of 12 volt yard spotlights with transformer. My special Christmas ornaments which remind me of my son's favorite carol, Little Drummer Boy.

The 9-foot tall skinny tree in its bag, which we will never use again, so what do I do with it? Truly, does anyone have any idea that SOMEONE SOMEWHERE might want that? If not, I will toss it NOW and save the bag for other purposes.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 1:00AM
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ML if you could get that tree to a thrift store do it. Some one will use it. Even if they have to cut it down a bit.

Sounds like you are making some good progress.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 1:18AM
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Hey ML, I'll take all the blue wine bottles you have!! I'm in southern NH but my friend works all over MA and we could arrange to come get them!!! Let me know if that works for you. I have the guy at our town's dump keeping an eye out for them, but they are few and far between.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 8:38PM
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OH Yah I forgot to ask what kind of wine comes in the blue bottles. I would love to get my hands on some myself. Currently my wine comes from a box. Heheheh so tacky but it really is good. LOL

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 12:41AM
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I want to know what wine comes in blue bottles too.

Dh & I worked on the garage all day. All. Bloomin. Day.

We took everything on the floor and took it outside, cleaned the floor (where I had spray painted something) and then started putting stuff back. As we came across stuff we didn't want anymore, I listed it on CL. So far, the only nibbles are on an old Dr. Pepper sign. I also see that it's mostly my stuff that isn't brought back in. Still a lot of paint cans, wood scraps, and other stuff on the deck to go through, and then all the shelves.

So much junk. So little time. Tomorrow, Christmas decorations are going up though.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 9:18PM
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Last weekend I sent my stepson and his missus off with an entire pickup load of furniture, lamps, rugs and whatnot. We downsized (and completely changed style from 1920s antiques to MCM in a glass box) three years ago. The decluttering has come in stages. First, we had a booth in an antique mall for six months (the moving van made a stop at the antique mall, then went to the new house). That got rid of a lot of furniture and some decor. I finally had a yard sale this fall and got rid of a little. But what didn't go got shuttled back into the barn. I couldn't stand it and put out the call to DH's two boys that it was first-come, first-serve. Little by little, we're making this house lighter!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 11:48AM
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DH finally cleaned out the space underneath the stairs. It's wonderful!

In the 15 years that we've lived here, I've always referred to that space as the "pantry" because that is what it was meant to be....but it has always been packed to the ceiling with a jumbled up mess of everything. There was stuff in the back of it that we had not seen in 15 years! In the back of it, I found Christmas gifts that had never been given because they had gotten lost in there!

Now all the junk is gone, everything is tidy and organized and on SHELVES instead of stacked on top of each other on the floor.

It just makes my heart go pitty-pat every time I look in there now. :)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 2:24PM
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That is wonderful oldgardner!!! So happy for you.

Today I finally used up the last of a big bag of fiber fill making a kitty bed project.Woo hoo a bit gaping hole in my studio closet. No buying that kind of stuff. If I need stuffing I will buy a bed pillow for the stuffing. Less expensive and stores in it's own bag. LOL

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 3:37PM
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Ok, sorry I lost this thread for a few days, Rafor and Marti.

The current brand is a German riesling. Made by Schmitt Sohne. It has on the back label that it is a Mosel, which is a river appellation in the Saar region historically fought over by Germany and France. I believe the French call it a Mosel wine, and more recently they are saying it is a riesling.

When I became familiar with it, the brand was Zellerschwartzenkatz....which translates as "Black cat in the rat cellar." The labels in those days had a wine barrel with a black cat, back and tail raised up like a Halloween cat. The flavor is "crisp and fruity." I always say that I can taste the green grape, and other ingredients.

Up north here, I usually find it at the N.H. state liquor stores. The glass is definitely a lovely blue. Recently they began putting screw caps on the bottles, a real bummer, but the taste is still the same.

I don't drink very much these days, but I will save the empties for you, Rafor. When we return I'll notify you to come get them. Very pleased that someone finds favor with them.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 12:34AM
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This thread has helped me dredge up the energy to attack the scariest part of my house: the dreaded closet under the stairs.

Shamefully, part of the reason I need to clean it out is to add more stuff to it--my dad passed away this summer and I got a few of his things I need to keep for my own kids when they are older. One box, one suitcase; not too much, but where to put it?

Even though we only moved here two years ago, and I go through that closet just itching to throw things out at least once a year, I found more things I was willing to part with today. Hooray. Off to the thrift store.

So, once it's warm out, I'll need you all to do another thread about garages....

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 1:43PM
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You mean I won't outgrow the clutter problem? Rats!

What I find funny is how different types of clutter bother the two of us in our home. DH is bothered by things that are out. I'm bothered by the clutter of the piles he creates (and shoves in unmarked/unsorted boxes, forever to be lost to me).

Almost a year ago, we packed a HUGE portion of our belongings up for storage, in anticipation of listing the house. At the time, I threw out much and donated even more. Still, I look at the house and the storage unit and just want to dump it ALL and start fresh. If only...

Our home is a collection of whatnots that we grabbed along the way, not a representation of things we love or selected together. That bothers me. I'm tired of having a house. I want a home.

If someone breaks in, send them my way next! :)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 8:52PM
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OldGardener says,"DH finally cleaned out the space underneath the stairs. It's wonderful!
Now all the junk is gone, everything is tidy and organized and on SHELVES instead of stacked on top of each other on the floor.

It just makes my heart go pitty-pat every time I look in there now. :) "

I can sympathize. It doesn't take much to keep us Smaller Home folks happy, does it?

And Leafy, we'll wait for spring on the garage bit. If I have my wish this winter our garage will be rebuilt just in time to move all of DH's house contents (what we don't give/donate anyway)into it TEMPORARILY. That makes me super nervous, because inanimate objects tend to STAY INANIMATE.

This is a great thread. New folks are stepping in to participate, and prompt us all to look in even more places to get rid of our stash/trash. Way to go, everyone!!!!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 8:53PM
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ML that would be great! Just let me know and we will come get them. Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 10:14PM
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Clutter - there always seems to be too much of it. My house is still in upheaval because we aren't done our reno yet, but when we're done I really wonder how much I'll unpack. It's nice not having so much to dust. The downside is, when I look at old pics of my house it looks (to me) so much cozier and warmer than it is now. I guess maybe I need to just find a balance somewhere. I just don't want to be weighed down with 'things' but those same things seem to add character and warmth to an otherwise sterile room.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 10:17PM
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Prairie-girl, I know how you feel about not wanting to unpack, because it is easier to maintain a house with breathing room. I'm beginning to realize that if I don't miss it, don't remember I have it, then I can do without it. I never thought of myself as a "collector" or "hoarder" either. But I have a friend who religiously throws out EVERYTHING, and she thinks I keep too much around. It made me self-conscious. So now I box things up and if I cannot remember it, then next time I open the boxes, I weed things out.

Most folks could live in one of our smaller homes, and do not need to add on to their home. That was the case with my mother, who added a 20 x 20 building for her craft work, then filled it up and had everything in the house packed too. It sure detracted from her enjoyment of her living spaces. So when I watch DESIGNED TO SELL or the other show with Sabrina Soto on HGTV, the first thing they do is DECLUTTER. But that is to make the home more sellable. It does give a sense of spaciousness.

What I'm wanting to achieve is a nice balance between storage and function. I want space enough to store the things that I like to USE, and have them within easy reach. I like to sew but have no good spot to keep projects out unless the house looks ugly. And I like to paint with acrylics and also paint furniture, but you cannot put those things back into a cabinet if you have limited room.

When you took the pics of your house and it was cozy and warm, it was probably between projects when everything was put up. Looking nice and working on a project make us all walk a fine line.

Hmmmm, I have an idea for a thread, and I'll post it pretty soon. Thanks for giving me the idea, Missy! :)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 12:15AM
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