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Old 12-16-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 12,044,870 times
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You'll get more of a sense of accomplishment if you focus all your efforts on one room (or closet, or cabinet) at a time. Completely move everything out of the room, clean it, and then move back in only what is staying. Then sort and store or get rid of what's left over. When you are done you can see the great improvement in at least that room and that helps to keep you motivated to tackle the next area.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
You'll get more of a sense of accomplishment if you focus all your efforts on one room (or closet, or cabinet) at a time. Completely move everything out of the room, clean it, and then move back in only what is staying. Then sort and store or get rid of what's left over. When you are done you can see the great improvement in at least that room and that helps to keep you motivated to tackle the next area.
Trouble is, there's no place to move it to! Its a 5-bdr house, every room is crammed to the max! I'm sorting the small stuff first, I've found smaller items take more time, simply because there's more of them. I want to scream with all the papers! Right now my system is one big box for keep, one for shred, then sort the keep papers into a system yet to be devised.
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 12,044,870 times
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Quote:
Trouble is, there's no place to move it to! Its a 5-bdr house, every room is crammed to the max!
I know the feeling, although it was on a smaller scale. We had been in an apartment for many years and there was stuff squirreled away everywhere. When I first looked around and contemplated moving I felt like crying because there was just so much stuff to deal with.

I moved stuff into the hallway, the living room, the porch - anywhere I could fit it, because it was only there for a few hours while I worked. Then it either went back in the room or out the door to the trash or Goodwill. If it is unreasonable to move the furniture out then just clean around it. If there are lots of little things, especially stuff like knick knacks that you might need to wrestle with yourself to get rid of them, just throw them all in a box and sort them later when you are watching TV or something.

If you can focus on completely clearing and organizing one closet even, that will give you a home base to clear out from. I found that it was easier for me to sort through items when I had moved them out into a different area - something about doing that seemed to divorce them of their context and helped me to see them more objectively so I could more easily decide what I wanted to keep and what to let go of. Papers are in the category of small things I would just gather to sort through later so that I could concentrate on the big picture.

Of course, everyone is different, you'll do it your own way. This is how I did it before our recent move. It was very rewarding to me to be able to make a big change in an area - it made me excited to tackle the next spot. I started with my bedroom closet and then swept out from there. It is so nice to be at the new place without all that clutter hanging over our heads. Good luck in your war on clutter.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:17 PM
 
5,747 posts, read 11,453,877 times
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Default Three moves is as good as a fire!

Quote:
Originally Posted by marylee54 View Post
We plan to move sometime the first half of next year. Accordingly, I've been trying to sort out all the clutter, seems I'm just making matters worse, at times it looks like a bomb went off in here!

10+ years of living does accumulate a lot of stuff, but I should be seeing some progress. Every day I haul off several bags/boxes to Goodwill, a ton of trash, still, don't see any results, it seems more cluttered in here than ever.

My main problem is paper. Whey do we have so much paper? I've spent hours sorting/shredding, seems not to make a dent. Just unearths old issues I thought were buried years ago. Do I really need to keep kids old report cards, drawings from kindergarten, etc?

So, just grousing here, but would like some support. Does it ever reach a point where it becomes manageable? Or do I just pack it all up and sort when I get there?
I don't suggest that you pack it all up to sort once you arrive. It's much easier and less expensive to declutter before you move. Furthermore, a house that's full of clutter is difficult to sell even in normal markets, much less one that's slow.

As far as the report cards go, just keep the last report card of each year because it provides a summary of your child's progress. Regarding artwork, we usually allowed the kids to select three special pieces to keep at the end of each year, and discarded the remainder. Once, we even sprang for professional framing. It was a self-portrait, and it was adorable. In the case of three-dimensional art, we usually took a photo of our child posing with the creation and threw out the original.

Here are a few more tips from someone who has moved from one side of the country to the other and everywhere in between over the last twenty years:

* Moving books is expensive, and so is moving exercise equipment. Whittle down your collection of books by donating them to a library, keeping only your very favorites. Sell weights and exercise equipment through a sports consignment store. On the other end, check resale shops if you want to replace them.

* If you have multiple sets of dishes, try to settle on just one and donate or sell the rest. Moving is notoriously hard on fragile items, so chances are that a few won't get to your new home in one piece. Choose the set that is easiest to replace in case you have breakage.

* Basements are places where unnecessary items go to die. If you have no clue what's inside that plain brown box, chances are that you don't need it. Carry it, unopened, directly to the donation bin.

* If you have kids who've already flown the coop and have left stuff in storage at your house, get tough and tell them if they don't come pick it up, you're throwing it out. Give them a deadline and stick to it! No excuses.

* Consider hiring a small dumpster from your trash company for a few days. It's well worth the money!

Last edited by formercalifornian; 12-16-2009 at 05:54 PM..
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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Do it now - else you will never do it.

Get a big bin for the paper to take to a document desctruction place. It's worth every penny. You don't have to remove staples or paper clips.

Once you move - vow to never get in that bind again.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:26 PM
 
6,764 posts, read 21,061,132 times
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We've moved many times in 17 years. The one big move, abroad, really axed a lot of of our junk. I was a major paper hoarder. I had every note and scrap of paper someone wrote to me since I was little. I had a ton of books. We threw out lots of papers, I gave my books to the library (still sad about that...I had a majorly nice library on a few subjects dear to my heart).

Still...moving forces you to get rid of stuff...We had a storage unit for a year and a half I finally persuaded my husband to get rid of. At $60 a month we were storing CRAP. We got rid of some of it, and the rest he crammed into our apartment.

In the end, you realize (when you store things) how very little you need to live on (clothes, some dishes, your personal stuff).

Donate what you can to charity or a shelter. Give to preschools, the library. Some places will pick up. Yes, maybe someone unscrupulous will make $$ from it but that sin is on them (what I tell my husband when we bring clothes to the local thrift store or homeless shelter).

You should see the 'good stuff' some people throw out in my complex when they leave (or they abandon in their apartments). I bet the maintenance guy gets a pretty penny on Ebay or on the side for some of it.

Good luck to you Mary.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:49 PM
Status: "Functionally obsolete" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
44,038 posts, read 54,900,895 times
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I have stopped all but one newspaper (I can't enjoy it online), and all magazine subscriptions. I try to touch a piece of paper only once..deal with it as it comes into the house..toss it, pay it or file it.
Try to deal with things in small, manageable bites, so they don't seem overwhelming. Clean out one drawer a day, or one closet. Give yourself little victories. Don't make the mistake of ripping apart a bunch of things at one time.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:29 PM
 
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I'm seeing the light! My office was the worse room---papers crammed everywhere! I finally have one empty corner---and several empty boxes! When I said sort the stuff when I get there I wasn't joking--last move I underestimated the time it would take to sort, had to pack up a lot and sort when we arrived. That was back in the days when the company paid for everything, I still sorted like crazy, got rid of tons of crap--but couldn't believe the stuff we thought was important and took with us. when you open the box on the other end you can't believe you packed that!

Ok, so, for 25 years I've lugged a 144 piece setting of Lenox china around the country, used it about 3-4 times. I would never invite 12 people to dinner, anyways, and if I did, I'd use paper plates! Time to sell that!

Biggest problem--how to move 5 cats! We lost one cat to illness, but ended up adopting another shelter kitty!
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
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I live in a 1 br apartment. I've lived in the same apt for nearly 10 years, and when there aren't any extra rooms to put junk, you don't have the ability to accumulate as much clutter as with a large house and extra rooms. I still attack clutter a little bit at a time. Get rid of clothes that are no longer being used. Donate paper back books that were read ages ago and won't be read again to the public library.

My worst clutter enemy is sports equipment. I live in southern california but I still have loads of winter downhill ski and cross country ski stuff from when I lived in northern california, not far from the Sierras. I haven't been skiing much in the past decade, but I would hate to give away such good stuff. And then there are my bicycles, five of them at present. I bike ride thousands of miles a year and bike commute to work every work day of the year, plus run errands around town and go on some weekend rides here in Orange County. I know I could get rid of a couple of them, but each bike has a purpose and gets used. And a few have a lot of sentimental value. One bike is intentionally a low end clunker sort of a bike, which is what I use to pedal to the train station (to take the train to downtown Los Angeles once or twice a month) and lock up outside there. Don't want to lock up a nice bike at the train station and have it stolen. So yes, there is a reason for 5 bikes. But I'll keep working on the other clutter.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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I've found what you really need is time to yourself to sort. Don't let anyone "help" you, or you will go crazy with the suggestions. Have a yard sale, sell it on Craigs list, Ebay, people just don't understand---you're trying to get RID of the stuff, not raise extra cash. I simply don't have the time or patience to squeeze every penny out of used stuff.

I will sell my Lenox china, and try to sell some furniture items at a garage sale, that will come later. Right now I'm concentrating on old crap--knick knacks, souveniers, ie junk! I have boxes of stuff I'm going to put into scrapbooks some day, well, that's been pruned a lot. But its a personal thing, only you can decide what to keep and what to toss. For example, I've been trying to get rid of my college graduation hat for years, every time I toss it someone rescues it for me! Really, honestly, it doesn't mean anything more to me than a dixie cup I drank out of at the graduation, I didn't save that! I've been trying for decades to get rid of that thing, each time someone fishes it out of the trash and say oh, look what you almost threw away! So, yesterday was trash day, I waited until I heard the trash men coming, then, stuffed that thing in a bag and ran out and tossed it. Hurray, its gone! Now to get rid of the 99,999 other such items! Well, its a start! The trash men are going to think I've gone goofy!
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