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Old 12-18-2009, 11:48 PM
 
5,747 posts, read 11,453,877 times
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Here's an idea for those of you with young Lego collectors:

My son is in the second grade, and he has a bunch of themed sets: Star Wars, Speedracer, Mars Mission, Ferrari, etc. The other day, a bunch of moms were standing out on the playground lamenting the Lego disasters in our kids' rooms when somebody had the great idea to start a Lego lending library. The idea is simple: we take apart the models, account for all the pieces, and pack them up in Ziploc bags with the instruction books. The boys can check out a Lego set from a friend for a period of one month before returning it to the owner. It's a win-win situation because the boys who participate get to build and play with a new Lego set every few weeks, and we parents get a break from the constant whining for more Legos as the kids get bored with their current projects.

Of course, this wouldn't be an issue if we had all stuck to our guns and refused to buy the durned themed sets and stuck with the basic building blocks in the first place. Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20.

BTW, here's a blog I think may be excellent reading for those of us who need inspiration and encouragement to keep at it: Unclutterer.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 12-19-2009 at 12:01 AM..
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:42 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
1,272 posts, read 2,168,795 times
Reputation: 719
First Marylee I wish you luck in your decluttering and packing to move.
I know from experience how quickly stuff accumulates and how it seems at times to be impossible to get started.
Just keep the mantra in your head that it will get done and it will be fine.
Each day tackle something. It could be sorting out a closet or simply cleaning out the kitchen junk drawer. But each space you clear out and organize is one more chip off the block.
Just set yourself up to succeed. Trying to do it all at once will overwhelm you quickly.

You can still go to goodwill but now go to drop stuff off. Umm that means no more "it was so cute I couldn't pass it up" items. Keep a list of what you drop off and get receipts (tax deduction).

As you sort each area set up three boxes or containers.

1. keepers
Since you are still living in the house you need to look at these items
and determine what you need for daily use and what to pack.
Get boxes or rubbermaid containers for each room and as you sort/declutter begin packing the items you know you are taking but won't be using right now. (seasonal clothing)
Color code each box with markers and numbers.
I.e. master bedroom box might be MB and the color is red.
So all boxes for this room would be labeled MB1, MB2, MB3 etc marked in red ink.
Keep a list of what is in each box as you pack and seal it up.
This will make the unpacking go easier on the other end.
Like others said use your own items to cushion and pack fragile items.

2. donations/ebay/yard sale
These are items which are still in good shape and you won't be taking with you in the move. Pass them on to someone who can use them.
You mentioned goodwill so they would be a good place to go as you already know where one is located.
Ebay and yard sales are an option but they take work to organize and set up. As decluttering is still such a major obstacle I would stick to the donation route. Take donations to drop off or be picked up weekly.

3. toss/trash
Self explanatory but keep up on it. Once an item becomes trash then follow thru and get rid of it. Don't keep these things around so you begin to feel remorse over getting rid of them and have to 'save' them.
If other family members keep rescuing the trash then tell them that for each item you toss and they save, then they have to toss out something in it's place.
When I go on ruthless cleaning missions my favorite thing is the outdoor pop up trash can. I take it to the room I'm working in, pop it up, line with a contractor (heavy duty) bag and fill it up.
Soon as liner bag is full I pull it out, tie it up, and take immediately to the curb. As to paperwork I toss all papers to shred into a rubbermaid as I'm sorting them. Then I shred in one big shredding session. I do like the idea of taking it all to a main place but that also involves keeping on hand bins of 'to be shredded' paperwork until you have quantity to make the trip to a central place. Possibly easier to do it daily at home for half hour a day.

The hardest part of any move is where you are at now.
But hang in there you are already well on you way.
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:05 PM
 
1,450 posts, read 4,005,508 times
Reputation: 976
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseykat View Post
First Marylee I wish you luck in your decluttering and packing to move.
I know from experience how quickly stuff accumulates and how it seems at times to be impossible to get started.
Just keep the mantra in your head that it will get done and it will be fine.
Each day tackle something. It could be sorting out a closet or simply cleaning out the kitchen junk drawer. But each space you clear out and organize is one more chip off the block.
Just set yourself up to succeed. Trying to do it all at once will overwhelm you quickly.

You can still go to goodwill but now go to drop stuff off. Umm that means no more "it was so cute I couldn't pass it up" items. Keep a list of what you drop off and get receipts (tax deduction).

As you sort each area set up three boxes or containers.

1. keepers
Since you are still living in the house you need to look at these items
and determine what you need for daily use and what to pack.
Get boxes or rubbermaid containers for each room and as you sort/declutter begin packing the items you know you are taking but won't be using right now. (seasonal clothing)
Color code each box with markers and numbers.
I.e. master bedroom box might be MB and the color is red.
So all boxes for this room would be labeled MB1, MB2, MB3 etc marked in red ink.
Keep a list of what is in each box as you pack and seal it up.
This will make the unpacking go easier on the other end.
Like others said use your own items to cushion and pack fragile items.

2. donations/ebay/yard sale
These are items which are still in good shape and you won't be taking with you in the move. Pass them on to someone who can use them.
You mentioned goodwill so they would be a good place to go as you already know where one is located.
Ebay and yard sales are an option but they take work to organize and set up. As decluttering is still such a major obstacle I would stick to the donation route. Take donations to drop off or be picked up weekly.

3. toss/trash
Self explanatory but keep up on it. Once an item becomes trash then follow thru and get rid of it. Don't keep these things around so you begin to feel remorse over getting rid of them and have to 'save' them.
If other family members keep rescuing the trash then tell them that for each item you toss and they save, then they have to toss out something in it's place.
When I go on ruthless cleaning missions my favorite thing is the outdoor pop up trash can. I take it to the room I'm working in, pop it up, line with a contractor (heavy duty) bag and fill it up.
Soon as liner bag is full I pull it out, tie it up, and take immediately to the curb. As to paperwork I toss all papers to shred into a rubbermaid as I'm sorting them. Then I shred in one big shredding session. I do like the idea of taking it all to a main place but that also involves keeping on hand bins of 'to be shredded' paperwork until you have quantity to make the trip to a central place. Possibly easier to do it daily at home for half hour a day.

The hardest part of any move is where you are at now.
But hang in there you are already well on you way.
Great suggestions, sounds like you've been there!

This Christmas season I'm really not into the holiday stuff, I'd rather use the time off from work/school to get a handle on our environment. I told my family what I really want for a "gift" is dignity in my environment---free of embarassing clutter, and the stress it creates. Really, de-stressing your environment can add years to your life!
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:09 PM
 
1,450 posts, read 4,005,508 times
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I'm actually starting to see results---in the master bedroom! Finally have one chest of drawers cleared out, got rid of boxes of stuff.

Now this may sound silly, but since our target date to move is about 4-6 months away, those cleared out drawers will just fill up again---NOT! I took some painter's tape and actually sealed those drawers shut--it might look a little silly, but no one really sees it but us. That keeps me from tossing stray items in it and having them fill up again, then I'm right back where I started from. Once its empty, eiter get rid of it or seal it up!
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:04 PM
 
5,747 posts, read 11,453,877 times
Reputation: 4505
Quote:
Originally Posted by marylee54 View Post
I'm actually starting to see results---in the master bedroom! Finally have one chest of drawers cleared out, got rid of boxes of stuff.

Now this may sound silly, but since our target date to move is about 4-6 months away, those cleared out drawers will just fill up again---NOT! I took some painter's tape and actually sealed those drawers shut--it might look a little silly, but no one really sees it but us. That keeps me from tossing stray items in it and having them fill up again, then I'm right back where I started from. Once its empty, eiter get rid of it or seal it up!
Good for you! Now, if only I could be similarly inspired and take that wedding china to the thrift store.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
3,442 posts, read 6,116,778 times
Reputation: 4032
Some great ideas on this thread. I have 3 little soft cover books I would recommend for inspiration.. Every time I look through them I end up getting rid of a few things. I am not moving in the forseeable future but just don't want to get burried in clutter.

"Clear Your cluter with FENG SHUI" by Karen Kingston 1999

"Living Simply" by Sara Orem & Larry Demarest 1994

"Keeping Life Simple" 7 Guiding Principles, 500 Tips and Ideas by
Karen Levine 1996

These may have come out int the 90's but the ideas never change

I love the idea of taking pictures of things not used anymore but that have sentimental value.

For books that are hard to find or out of print - check out the site on line Prolibris.com

Last edited by Newdaawn; 12-19-2009 at 03:31 PM.. Reason: added something
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:45 PM
 
15,909 posts, read 16,932,110 times
Reputation: 13596
throw it all away and start over. if you have that much clutter you couldn't find what you need when you need it anyway. if you haven't used it or seen it in a year throw it away. you won't miss it. do not move crap with you to your new house or it will end up looking just like the one you are leaving.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Colorado Plateau
1,201 posts, read 3,828,345 times
Reputation: 1261
Quote:
Originally Posted by marylee54 View Post
If you move you could bike to the new place! Go Green! (ummm.........)
Sometimes I'm tempted to get rid of everything that doesn't fit in my 4 bike panniers. Except that we have 2 cats.....
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:02 PM
 
1,450 posts, read 4,005,508 times
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Hurray! We've completely cleaned out our son's room! He's off visiting cousins this week, best way to clear out stuff is when he isn't here to argue it. Also, got rid of all junk collectors, such as drawers, etc, just left one small chest for necessary items. Spent two solid days doing it, but its done! One room down, 4 more to go!
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:56 PM
 
1,450 posts, read 4,005,508 times
Reputation: 976
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newdaawn View Post
Some great ideas on this thread. I have 3 little soft cover books I would recommend for inspiration.. Every time I look through them I end up getting rid of a few things. I am not moving in the forseeable future but just don't want to get burried in clutter.

"Clear Your cluter with FENG SHUI" by Karen Kingston 1999

"Living Simply" by Sara Orem & Larry Demarest 1994

"Keeping Life Simple" 7 Guiding Principles, 500 Tips and Ideas by
Karen Levine 1996

These may have come out int the 90's but the ideas never change

I love the idea of taking pictures of things not used anymore but that have sentimental value.

For books that are hard to find or out of print - check out the site on line Prolibris.com

Thanks for all the excellent suggestions! Especially high on my reading list is the "Clear your clutter with Feng Shui". It is a know fact that environment affects mental and physical health. I plan to add years to our lives by addressing our environment.
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