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Quasimodo
30-05-10, 17:13
http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/3060/clutter.gif

Just about every summer I go on a de-cluttering spree. Are any of you decluttering and reorganizing your spaces, too?


My dad and I both have lots of hobbies, and my mom is very sentimental and likes to collect candles, picture frames, and other chotchkies. This translates into quite a lot of stuff in our wee little home.This morning I went through the closets and boxed up 10 handbags to take to Goodwill. I figure I only need to keep two. What a shocking amount of stuff! Next I'll be rounding up shoes and clothes...

I watch shows (http://www.aetv.com/hoarders/index.jsp)on people with hoarding syndrome (with morbid fascination) and read about people who have been found dead under their clutter (http://www.channel3000.com/news/23667845/detail.html)and it just makes me itch all over. Typically you'll see hoarding tendencies among people who grew up during the Depression (my dad was raised by his grandparents) or folks with lower incomes. When I was younger, I was particularly fond of retail therapy, but not so much anymore. Pretty much all the stuff I'm boxing up now was bought back during that time.

If you think about it, there's quite a lot stuff in the world, particularly in America. Before you say, "Duh, Heather," I mean stuff people don't want or need anymore. Think of all the yard sales, Craigslist and Ebay listings, and thriftstores just overflowing with things being sold for a fraction of a fraction of their original worth. And yet we want to acquire more! It's mindboggling.

Here are some interesting articles on the subject:

The high price of too much stuff (http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/TheHighPriceOfTooMuchStuff.aspx)
Storage scares me.

On the one hand, it's a normal part of life: You move, you get divorced, your fortunes change; you need a place to park your stuff.

But the mammoth expansion of the self-storage industry in recent years reflects something disturbing about the way Americans acquire stuff and then cling to it: how much we buy, what we save, what we think we need.

Consider this: The self-storage industry grew from about 289 million square feet in 1984 to nearly 2.2 billion square feet by the end of 2007, according to the Self Storage Association.

And it probably wouldn't surprise you that the spike in storage happened to coincide with one of the most profligate, credit-crazy times in America.

It's not that people shouldn't pay for storage if they need it. But these uneasy economic times demand a long, hard look behind those corrugated doors: Can we afford the storage lifestyle?

Stuff (http://www.paulgraham.com/stuff.html)
I first realized the worthlessness of stuff when I lived in Italy for a year. All I took with me was one large backpack of stuff. The rest of my stuff I left in my landlady's attic back in the US. And you know what? All I missed were some of the books. By the end of the year I couldn't even remember what else I had stored in that attic.

Aranara
30-05-10, 17:18
Reorganizing my room is my own little hobby no one understands xD
I love to give away stuff I don't need. My sister on the other hand loves to keep everything. And Mum wonders why my room looks so empty and why her room looks like it's overflowing with things.

And the thing that annoys me more is hen my sister doesn't have more space in her room and occupies my free space with her stuff. :pi:

I usually reorganize my room once every 2 weeks. :)

EmeraldFields
30-05-10, 17:19
About every six months or so I end up going through my room and throwing things away. I always ask myself, "Will I use this in the near future?" and "Does it have any sentimental value?" and if the answer is no to both of these, it ends up in the trash. :p

lara c. fan
30-05-10, 17:20
I tend to keep my stuff in ever-expanding drawers. I have no clue how it works, but it does.

Quasimodo
30-05-10, 17:22
About every six months or so I end up going through my room and throwing things away. I always ask myself, "Will I use this in the near future?" and "Does it have any sentimental value?" and if the answer is no to both of these, it ends up in the trash. :p

I do the same thing. I scare myself a little sometimes when I think "Oh, I could cut x off this to make a new y later" (I like to sew and craft). Promptly in the bin it goes!

Kelly Craftman
30-05-10, 17:25
Every month theres a charity pick up for clothes you've put grown or just don't want. So my wardrobe is thankful for that.
Other stuff i just put in a box and keep under my bed and once it over flows it goes in the attic

sandygrimm
30-05-10, 17:32
Lucky for us we have a basement. I tend to keep lots of stuff for sentimental reasons or that I think might have a value some day, such as my mother does, but my room is always empty looking, and still I give tons away to others, yet always it's the same quantity left.

CiaKonwerski
30-05-10, 17:41
I know I will be starting on the 17th. :D

Liara
30-05-10, 17:42
I rarely tidy up or de-clutter my place simply because I don't keep junk around... pretty much ever. :D I take after my mom so my room looks pretty minimalistic all the time. A shame my sister is the exact opposite when it comes to this...

I don't have that much stuff with sentimental value, if I really think about it. I just keep a few childhood toys in a box and some stuff I wrote ages ago inside a drawer.

Encore
30-05-10, 17:45
Wow, I was talking about this with my mom over lunch :eek: :vlol:

I had to de-clutter when I moved my room to another part of the house (the one that was previously my sister's), and also my parents had to recently de-clutter the basement because you could hardly even move in there anymore. Both times I was shocked with how much utter CRAP is accumulated over the years.

I have no idea why we do this. Some of those things represent something, like a memory of a place we went to or something we did. But I wouldn't say that's the majority. The majority of the clutter is just that ultimately worthless crap that either got too old to be of any use anymore, or that we thought looked awesome when we bought it, and ignored it's total lack of function. :p

It's a good thing my room is now smaller, I really have to keep focus on what to fill it with. :pi:

Quasimodo
30-05-10, 17:52
It's a good thing my room is now smaller, I really have to keep focus on what to fill it with. :pi:

It's strange how one can be so much happier with less, particularly less visual clutter. I actually feel calmer when I clear a lot of shortcuts off my desktop :p Now I understand why clean-lined, modern style is so popular with interior design. One of the authors of a clutter essay I read thinks it's something to do with how we keep a mental tally of our surroundings - so children aren't as bothered by clutter because they aren't as perceptive.

Draco
30-05-10, 18:15
I discovered that living a nomadic lifestyle makes it easier to not build up clutter.

IceColdLaraCroft
30-05-10, 18:32
I'm very good at "letting go" if I haven't used something in over a year I'll chuck it, but a friend of mine goes to the extreme!

There's this website called "fly lady" and it's all about cleaning/decluttering and my friend is religious about it. The site says "set your timer to 15mins and do something" basically saying make baby steps and my friend does this with almost EVERYTHING and tries to get me to follow, but I don't buy into that :cen: because I'm a completion-ist. If I start a project i'm going to finish it not stop halfway b/c of some frackin' timer going off.

Everything about her life is scheduled and listed. She prints off a check list every night and even says when she needs to lay out her clothes for the next morning.

It's like 'oh come on!' LIVE your life for :cen: sake It's the other extreme of keeping a bunch of crap around.

She's gotten to the point of actually telling me "i saw something in the store that I thought you'd like, but I didn't buy it b/c I figured it'd just be something you'd eventually throw out,...but i was thinking of you"

and it's like "whats the point in telling me?"

xXhayleyroxXx
30-05-10, 18:35
I actually have hoarding syndrome - but i like tidyness as well :p I HATE throwing anything out and everything has sentimental value - i think its also because I grew up with both parents on a poor income and so i appreiciate everything I got and kept it, and also because my parents broke up and it affected me badly -- so I keep anything that lets me have the childhood I never had :/

My mum on the other hand lieks to throw all this sentimental clutter out when im not aware :pi: The most annoying being my mulan doll, the whole collection of animal ark books and birthday cards i've had since forever :pi:

Buffy87
30-05-10, 18:54
I have to say that I am awful for hoarding things. I collect X-Men comics so I have literally cupboards and one full wardrobe full of comics, trades and random X-Men books/toys and other goodies.

Then I have my collection of all things Marilyn Monroe and all things Leonardo DiCaprio. I have all sorts, cardboard cutouts, one off dolls that I have had made, t-shirts, purses, pencil cases, files, Marilyn Barbies, film cells, DVD's, CD's...videos. I am awful for collecting them - especially when I have no space to put them anywhere.

If that wasn't bad enough I also have boxes and boxes full of Boyzone memorabilia. (For those who don;t know they are an Irish boyband.. although technically I guess they are more of a manband now!). I have boxes full of CD's (of which I have every possible buyable version including Japanese/European imports etc), official magazines, magazines with articles of them in, dolls, keyrings, tour stuff, t-shirts, hoodies, vest tops, tour brochures, autographs, pictures etc etc etc. I think last time I sorted them I had 55 boxes full.

Then I have clothes that I haven't worn in years but manage to convince myself that I just might wear them again, not to mention I have enough DVD's to stock a rental shop. Toys from when I was a kid that I convince myself I may need if I ever have kids. I have more books than God knows what - and I keep buying more and more.Then there is my guitar stuff, I have 6 guitars in all plus all the necessary musical stuff. I am just awful for hoarding...my spring clean consists of moving things into neater positions and leaving them there :D

Is that the question?? I dunno.. but I am awful for hoarding stuff - I just cannot bring myself to part with any of the things I have sometimes. Especially when I have collected them and they mean something to me.

IceColdLaraCroft
30-05-10, 18:59
I used to collect comics. I had 9 long boxes. Every uncanny xmen issue from about issue 162 to 500. every Xmen (1991), Generation X, limited series, TPB....gave them all away to a local comic shop for free. Who then gave most of them to a local children's charity.

I never read them and I know I *could* sell them on ebay, but no one is going to pay for an entire collection and breaking it away piece by piece would've taken forever & might have been impossible.

it felt good to let go of them.

Lemmie
30-05-10, 19:01
I have a lot of stuff that I don't need to keep around, mainly books, magazines and newspapers. Lately I've got better at throwing things out, although in some respects I'm still a hoarder at heart. :o

Rai
30-05-10, 19:08
My flat definitely needs a sort out. I have far too much stuff. I do actually clear out stuff periodically and yet I still manage to not have enough space, especially the bookcase. I just can't bring myself to be brutal. Some of the overcrowding could be solved with a shelf or two - but my DIY skills are dire. Any volunteers? :p

Buffy87
30-05-10, 19:12
I used to collect comics. I had 9 long boxes. Every uncanny xmen issue from about issue 162 to 500. every Xmen (1991), Generation X, limited series, TPB....gave them all away to a local comic shop for free. Who then gave most of them to a local children's charity.

I never read them and I know I *could* sell them on ebay, but no one is going to pay for an entire collection and breaking it away piece by piece would've taken forever & might have been impossible.

it felt good to let go of them.


See I think I could let go of some of the toys and random stuff like posters, action figures, Wolverine plushy toys (oh yes that's quite an amusing one) and stuff like that. I would be quite happy to send them to a charity shop or whatever but at this moment in time I could not bring myself to part with the comics themselves. I have pretty much a full set of the English Essential X-Men reprints I'm missing about 5 issues, and those start at Uncanny X-Men 300 but they collect other X-Men series as well, stuff like X-Men Unlimited, New X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, Classic X-Men etc etc. Then I have a few of the comics from the 1970's through the 1990's. Currently I'm only collecting the English Essential X-Men though which is at the beginning of X-Men Legacy and at around issue 500 of Uncanny. So meh, right now I love them too much to give them away, as sad as that may be :D. That said , you say you never read yours I do read mine and although I keep them in nice little cases and they are well looked after, I keep them for myself and my enjoyment of them rather than just collecting them to have a collection, if that makes sense. Meh I am going off topic slightly. But I am a hoarder!

Gregori
30-05-10, 20:14
I like to reorganize my stuff so there is no visual clutter..... not get rid off it :)

irjudd
30-05-10, 20:30
Last month I went through closets, the attic and various places and got rid of two pick-up truck loads worth of "objects". I had a yard sale, and then what didn't sell went to a local charity. I actually ditched nearly all of my "childhood" memoribilia. Overall I guess it feels good to have done that. Now the next time I have to pack up and scram, it should take a bit less time.

tonyme
30-05-10, 20:43
I somehow find it so hard to part ways with my stuff, even useless, old stuff...

da tomb raider!
30-05-10, 20:46
I'm a hoarder. In the past I've gotten rid of way too many things that I'd later find out that I actually wanted to keep (like half my VHS collection! :( ), so now getting rid of pretty much anything just doesn't feel right. I'd rather keep it all instead of risk wanting to iron my hands a few weeks later. Still, it doesn't bother me. I manage to keep things perfectly organised by stuffing all of the junk around my home into bags and subsequently stuffing the bags into the closet. Problem solved. :D

Capt. Murphy
31-05-10, 05:10
This decluttering thing. I must must must do it! :pi:

One problem... I don't have a work-shop and have worked on projects in my living room near my (heating) stove. So I have some scrap lumber and panels laying around next to my coffee table. I could use them for something else, but what? -I don't know.... yet.

I try to recycle anything that I know where to take said stuff to by recycled, and I have bins for that stuff, but there are times I need to also sort that stuff before I get too much of it. Plastic bottles, paper (junk mail especially), cardboard, plastic bags, aluminum cans, glass jars, tin cans, tin foil, etc.

I don't use a trash pick-up service and burn most of my unrecyclable refuse, but for the unburnable... That's usually metal things like staples, batteries, burned out light-bulbs, old/dull shaving razors, or whatever. I need to find what I can do with that stuff.


Sometimes I think that if I didn't have a computer and the ability to get online and post in forums... :D

I wouldn't have this problem. :o


It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential. -Bruce Lee

Glašon
31-05-10, 05:14
I don't have a lot of "junk", but I do have stacks and stacks and stack of video games and clothes (I used to be addicted to buying t-shirts :p)! There is literally not a space in my room not filled clothing. Including the floor :tea:

rowanlim
31-05-10, 05:20
The end of every study year is a time of realization...that I've accumulated stuff that I don't need! :p

Now that I brought everything home, I have yet to finish reorganizing & assimilating all my stuff into the home stuff.

It's gonna take a long while. I don't know why I am often gripped by worry that I never know when I will need that & buy it regardless if it's already at room/home :o

spikejones
31-05-10, 07:20
I just deleted a bunch of useless contacts from my facebook profile. does that count?

In terms of material stuff, I have way more stuff than I really need. I have a stack of clothes I've been meaning to take to Good Will or the like, and a bunch of trinkets and such. I've got a bunch of stuff in storage at the moment too because theres no place to keep it here. I tend to hang on to stuff that has sentimental value to me though. Oddly though, the sentimental stuff is in storage and the not-so-important stuff is in the house. I could probably clear out the storage unit by bringing that stuff here and trashing a bunch of crap I have here.

collection of DVDs... don't watch em anymore
collection of mediocre video games... don't play em anymore

all this material **** I have, I don't need. The only thing I really use constantly is the computer because its my link to the world. I tend to value human connections (however virtual or physical they may be) moreso than material stuff. thats part of the reason I've been contemplating converting a diesel van (biodiesel ftw!) into a "mobile home" and take to the road for a while. I'd just bring my surfboard, snowboard, skateboard, guitar, myself, and the laptop. I can always pop in at a place with free wi-fi to catch up with people if I needed to.

Glašon
31-05-10, 07:33
I just deleted a bunch of useless contacts from my facebook profile. does that count?



Definitely. I just did the same, but instead of deleting them, I added them to my "limited" profile. They can't see my details, or the posts of my other friends; or any status update I make unless I choose to make it viewable to them too.

It's fantastic. This way, there's no symbolic "de-friending"

spikejones
31-05-10, 07:38
This way, there's no symbolic "de-friending"

well I did that to the people who never said anything back to me when I tried talking to them, and these were people who asked me to be friends on facebook, not the other way around. talk about a sham! and I knew they'd be logged in since facebook has that list of who is online. after that purging of phonies I made my status as such:


What is a friend? Friends are people who do things together. Friends have conversations with each other, even over silly things. Friends don't ignore each other. Friends are people who are there for each other when they need it. I'm not interested in having 200 "acquaintances", I'm interested in having real friends. If you're in my "friends" list and don't want to fit that bill, gtfo.

Glašon
31-05-10, 07:55
:tmb:

Yup. Most of my "friends list" made it to my limited profile... mostly just because I feel I've moved past them, or they never really knew me anyway and I don't want them having access to me and anything I choose to say about myself or my friends, much worse, if any cute guys happened to start writing on my wall :cln:

robm_2007
31-05-10, 08:41
My mum on the other hand lieks to throw all this sentimental clutter out when im not aware :pi: The most annoying being my mulan doll, the whole collection of animal ark books and birthday cards i've had since forever :pi:

i also keep every birthday and christmas card i get. some i have lost over time, but i still have some that are all the way back from 2000.

xXhayleyroxXx
31-05-10, 10:41
i also keep every birthday and christmas card i get. some i have lost over time, but i still have some that are all the way back from 2000.

unfortunately i have to start all over again due to my dearest mother :pi: I think its nice looking back over them :)

robm_2007
31-05-10, 10:48
unfortunately i have to start all over again due to my dearest mother :pi: I think its nice looking back over them :)

you should stash them away, and hide them. imagine if you are acting suspicious with a shoe box in your room, and you hide it as soon as she sees it. she might think its something bad, like drugs or a dirty magazine, and when she opens it: theres some animal books, birthday cards and other mementos you had to hide away from her:p