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Sparking joy?

Skier31

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
My parents are in their 80’s and have lived in the same house in Florida for 30 years. They need some assistance but are able to live independently. My dad loves to take care of a yard and would be miserable in a condo or assisted living. The cost of assisted living is astronomical. My husband and I bought a house in Glenwood Springs where my mom and dad will live full time and we will live part time and can give them the support they need. We may hire additional people to help if necessary.

I spent quite a bit of time cleaning out their Florida house in preparation for the move.
It was one of the most emotionally heartbreaking things I have done. They are not hoarders nor were things dirty but there was just an incredible amount of stuff. I donated as much as I could and had to trash quite a bit. I felt horrible getting rid of some of their stuff but the reality is that it will not be used in the new house and I do not want it.

When I returned home, I bought the Marie Kendo book and got to work on my condo.
I do not have alot of stuff in my condo (or so I thought) but when I followed her method, I was amazed at the amount of stuff that went in the relocation program.

I am about 75% done. I feel amazing. I love how my closets and cabinets look. I realize that I do need some new work clothes.

I think the more important message for me is to really think more than twice before buying something and to not be reluctant to get rid of things that I do not wear or use.

Anyone else done this? Thoughts?
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I can definitely relate. We used to own two houses: a vacation home in Vermont and a full-time residence in Pennsylvania. Twelve years ago we sold our house in PA and moved full time to VT. Since our place in VT was already fully furnished, we found ourselves with a house-full of stuff in PA to get rid of. A lot of it we donated, some of it we sold, and a small fraction came with us. I'm not sentimental about stuff -- a lot of people are -- so it wasn't too hard for me. And really, it made me feel cleansed. Purified. I loved it.

Some of you may also remember that a few years ago I went through a "Year of Going Without," where I resolved not to buy myself anything. I wrote about it in my blog here and here. A good experience.

So yeah, since going through both of these things, I find myself thinking a bit more critically before I make any purchases. I mean, how much crap do we really need?
 
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Tvan

Angel Diva
#3
We have been working through the house, decluttering and purging. We had a dumpster for several weeks last year and it was WONDERFUL to be able to purge. We are about to embark on another round of Reno (replacing carpet with wood floors on our main level), and I’m as excited about the dumpster as I am about the anticipated finished rooms.

I haven’t followed Marie Kondos method specifically, but I am pretty ruthless about what to keep and what to divest. I use her folding method for shirts and sweaters, and it is VERY useful to be able to see every garment in the drawer at once.

Do we still have too much stuff? Yes, but I’m confident that we’ll get to a much more open feeling house as we continue to declutter.
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
Konmari is a great way to declutter and think about what you really need. I did my and DD's clothes closets 2 years ago, and randomly do areas of the house (kitchen and bathroom drawers, linens etc). The life changing magic of tidying up book is sitting displayed in my closet as a reminder.... while my underwear is not always folded and in color co-ordinated order, I think doing this once a year is a great idea. Just went thru tons of (DHs') books and the shelves feel so much lighter.

There is such an unburdening and simplicity of owning less.
 
#6
A friend of mine just gave away 5 big garbage bags filled with her clothes. Some of it had never even been worn. Inspired by her example and my overflowing t-shirt drawer, I have cleaned out my drawers and my closet. I have also attacked my jewelry boxes with fervor. So far I have 2 pretty full give-away bags.

Going along with this, I have resolved to think hard about any new clothing or jewelry purchases. I have a couple of events in the next month, and I'm pleased to say that I have not purchased anything new... except for one necklace / earring set that I absolutely needed to go with my long dress. OK, so I backslid a bit, but I'm new at this game, and I love shopping for new jewelry.

I still have too much stuff and have a long way to go. In addition to my stuff, I want to review all of our knick knacks. Some should just be trashed because they are collecting dust, some should be given away, maybe some can be sold. And a lot will remain with us for the foreseeable future.

We also have too many skis and too many bikes. My husband plans to sell several bikes, and I intend to sell at least 2 pairs of skis next winter.

I have not heard of it before this, but I plan to investigate the Marie Kondo book.

@Skier31, I want to avoid precisely the situation which you have described. I am only 65, but I have to face the fact that we may not live in our house forever, and we need to start to declutter. We have no children to help us when we get old, so now is a good time to start. Thanks for your post.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#7
I purged during my move this month, but still......where did all this come from? I'm going to grab that book and read it.

As of yet I don't have a dresser, so it's like living in an episode of hoarders....boxes and wire baskets everywhere. But before any of this goes back into a dresser it's going to be looked at hard!!

In fact since it's raining, I'm going to start on the 2 trunks in the corner that have all the Christmas decorations. Not the tree stuff, house decorating stuff! Geez...2 plastic trunks!!
 

Abbi

Angel Diva
#8
I purged during my move this month, but still......where did all this come from? I'm going to grab that book and read it.

As of yet I don't have a dresser, so it's like living in an episode of hoarders....boxes and wire baskets everywhere. But before any of this goes back into a dresser it's going to be looked at hard!!

In fact since it's raining, I'm going to start on the 2 trunks in the corner that have all the Christmas decorations. Not the tree stuff, house decorating stuff! Geez...2 plastic trunks!!
I totally get the multiple boxes of Christmas stuff! And I only have a condo in RI and an apartment in VT to put any of it. I’m using less and less of it but I’m having a hard time giving up a lot of it. The sentimental stuff does get to stay, no question.
 

Skier31

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
I purged during my move this month, but still......where did all this come from? I'm going to grab that book and read it.

As of yet I don't have a dresser, so it's like living in an episode of hoarders....boxes and wire baskets everywhere. But before any of this goes back into a dresser it's going to be looked at hard!!

In fact since it's raining, I'm going to start on the 2 trunks in the corner that have all the Christmas decorations. Not the tree stuff, house decorating stuff! Geez...2 plastic trunks!!
I think that was the surprising thing for me. I do not buy much stuff. The harder items are/were things that I have gradually accumulated and thought I might use as well as mementos, photos, greeting cards etc.
I think Marie does a great job of discussing the mental attachment to these items and recognizes the difficulty in discarding.

Some of her recommendations seem a little corny but it does deal with the psychological aspects of why we keep too many things. Also, she points out that when the problem is “too much stuff” no amount of organizing is going to work. You have to discard before you can organize.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#10
For years I've watched these programs about people moving into "tiny homes" from some great big honkin' house. They get a laundry basket to put everything they need into it. That's what I need to do.
A couple of seasons ago, a ski buddy, suggested that I look at the clothes closet like this:
1. Does it fit?
2. Do I love it?
3. When was the last time I wore it?

I ended up with 3 bags then. So it needs to be done again!!
 
#12
Went through the downsizing and de-cluttering three years ago when I bought my beach condo - much smaller than my place I lived in for 25 years. I was joyful getting rid of stuff - sold some furniture, gave away some, got rid of clothes I never wear plus all work stuff as I had recently retired, made about 25 trips to Goodwill.
I don't get super attached to anything so was quite happy to get rid of things. It was wonderful starting fresh! As far as clothes, I do have a (bad) habit of buying things for an occasion, then never wearing again.. So do I keep it or take to consignment store or give away? Hmm there's probably about a half dozen dresses in my closet from the last few years that have been worn (ouch) once and paid way too much for.
 

DeeSki

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
I’m moving in three weeks to a much smaller house so this is me at the moment. I’ve gone through all my clothes and the kids’ old stuff I think I’ve gotten rid of about 7 big bags. I’m now on handbags and shoes. I have identified some things that I might be able sell, so I’ll give that a go too. Also went through the massive pile of “artworks” by my children! I’m holding off on the spice cupboard and the 100 open bottles of different kinds of hot sauce until last. This apartment is going to be perfectly organised the day before we move. Except it won’t because Mr DeeSki’s office could feature in hoarders.
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
My SO came home yesterday and told me the women at the senior center make T-shirts into shopping bags to donate to the local farmer's market. I haven't bought T-shirt's in years but every time I do a bicycle tour I get one. I thought I did a good cleaning a few years ago. I spent this morning going through my remaining shirts. I collected 35 shirts I don't wear and don't need. Some easily went in the pile, some I had some attachment to. None of them fit. All to big. I kept about 20 others, some for sentimental reasons, some because they fit. At least now they are a manageable size and if they don't get worn they will get donated. Now I have a shelf to store my workout equipment.

Earlier this summer I purged summer clothes and shoes. Some were barely worn. Realistically, we could use a smaller house. We don't use our living room, family room or guest bedroom. We can't afford to downsize because the cost of housing here is so expensive.

We moved here 13 yrs ago and did a good purging then. Now we have so much stuff. Where did it all come from?
 
#17
Flylady is good for learning how to declutter, too. She is really good at breaking down into small manageable chunks.

I sort of get the toss it if you haven't worn it in a year but there are lot of exceptions IMO. Dress up clothes for one. LBD for another. I tend towards classic, not trendy.
 

SallyCat

Moderator
Staff member
#18
I just moved from 2,000 to 600 square feet of living space and I recycled, donated, and trashed a TON of stuff when I moved. Books were mostly recycled, I gave away a lot of redundant outdoor equipment and clothing, and donated a great deal of just houseware-type things that I didn't use and was just keeping because I had the space.

I thought that space would be tight in the new place, but it isn't at all. With just a bit of clever attention to storage, I have more than enough room for everything I need, but not enough to acquire things without serious consideration.
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
#19
We were very close to making an offer on a house in VT, but just decided to not proceed at this time. Long story... house is in perfect location but needs a ton of work, and use as interim rental would not have been financially beneficial. I’m a little heart broken at letting it go, but the upside is that I’m channeling renovation energy into the house we currently live in. I had our dining room decluttered before breakfast this morning, and took 14 boxes of books to goodwill yesterday along with a couple of boxes of housewares and a couple bags of clothing.

Dumpster will be arriving in the coming weeks.
 
#20
I personally couldn’t tolerate Marie Kendo’s style, but there are hundreds of decluttering books and websites. I think I don’t need a new method (a box for trash and another for donate, going through everything that’s stored). The hard part for me is decades of paperwork. I don’t mind getting rid of it, but I have so much I have to haul it away for professional shredding. The personal shredder just overheats! Maybe if I used it more frequently, I would have a manageable amount now!

I shredded old client records ( we need to keep them 7 years) before I moved the last time - 12 file boxes full! I have at least that much in old bank records and the like. Ugh.
 

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