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Old 12-16-2009, 09:11 AM
 
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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?
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:14 AM
 
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And what is the best way to get rid of stuff---garage sales, donate to charity, freecycle, all of the above? We had a garage sale once and hardly sold anything, wasn't worth the effort, people expect you to give stuff away, might be better just to schedule a charity pickup, better than paying for a junk dealer to haul it off. I've already decided much of our stuff isn't worth moving, such as old dishes, pots & pans, cheaper to buy new than pay to wrap, ship, and store.

So, do you have garage sales, or just dump the junk?
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
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Paper: Buy a scanner and scan your stuff. Where I work we have a scanner feeder. So I take stacks of papers (real estate related, kids school stuff, etc) and convert them all into PDF documents.

Getting in order: Put everything in it's own box. In my garage and storage area I have boxes for everything including auto parts, plumbing, audio-visiual, computers (I have three computer boxes), electrical, cable, phone, old glasses, books I want to keep, holiday junk, pumps, miscellaneous hardware, outdoor lighting, PVC.

Now, don't let what happened to me, happen to you. I had all my stuff neatly organized as described above and the jerk movers just dumped the contents of multiple boxes into one of their packing boxes. I was so pissed. Make sure you tell these guys to keep your stuff intact - don't mix boxes.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,343 posts, read 88,459,203 times
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I put ads in for Free Stuff on craigslist. A huge heavy workbench and outdoor patio furniture went in an hour or two.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:24 AM
 
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It's just "stuff" toss, shred or burn what isn't tax related or current loan agreements. Get a storage container and label it with your child's name and put in school "keepers." Clutter adds to chaos and a sense of suffocation IMO. Bravo for donating to Goodwill - keep it up and live with just the necessities, it's liberating and peaceful.

You have approximately 6 months before the move, put ALL of your loose paper in a box and commit to sorting at least 1 hour a night - smalls bites.

Keep 2 changes of bedding for each bed and get rid of the rest. Same with towels 2 or 3 per person and 2 sets of guest towels put away for guests.

We don't need all the gadgets either, appliances or knick knacks.

We are planning a retirement move in about 5 years, going from a 5 bedroom to a 2 or 3 bedroom and are considering selling our large home with the furnishings. I've been de-cluttering for the past couple of months and really like the tidy, uncluttered feel of the house. I believe my mental health has improved just not having to deal with all the clutter.

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:28 AM
 
304 posts, read 851,385 times
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I will never have a garage sale again! Waste of time and energy - just donate it or sell it to a second hand store that will pick it up... keeping the best stuff out until the other stuff has been carried away - stipulate!
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:33 AM
 
Location: In the woods
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OP, I had the same problem but it was 20 years worth of stuff!! To me, it too felt like a never-ending process. But it will end and you'll be glad once you get the old stuff out of your life and have organized what remains.

As everyone has mentioned -- Keep, Donate, Toss. Put it out on the curb, Craig's List it, put the word out to anyone who wants things for free. Donate to Goodwill/Salvation Army or just give it away to people who need things. I even once saw a post on the City-Data Cities Forum where someone (newly arrived) was looking for free stuff because they had nothing.Things you keep should be kept together and well-labeled. I even managed to get certain items in similar boxes (i.e. all boxes for the Master BR were the same size, files in file boxes, etc.).

As far as paper, lord I do not want to live that way ever again. I found old checks in our storage area from a bank that no longer exists!Paper files from previous jobs. I wondered why I even kept all these things????

However, if something is precious to you, then by all means keep it. Just keep it in an organized fashion. Good luck and just keep things moving - it isn't easy but hang in there!
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:41 AM
 
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It always gets worse before it gets better. Just keep at it and be ruthless. If you haven't used it/looked at it/needed it in a year - get rid of it. Goodwill will take just about anything and it's a tax write off. You''ll love it when everything gets pared down to the necessities.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:46 AM
 
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I like the idea of putting all unsorted paper in a large metal box or two. Then sort as time permits. right now I have various piles, in categories, keep getting them mixed up, boxes and stacks all over the place. Get them all in one place, then sort as time permits, free up floor space. My home office looks like a disaster area! I find that I eventually shred 90% of old papers, anyways. Much of what I keep is ow online, anyways, don't need 10 years worth of insurance receipts!

Its depressing, all this mess! I swear, we will never again have so much stuff. Also, getting rid of my kids junk, got to do it while they're still in school. They don't want to part with a thing, including stuff that hasn't fit for 2-3 years, I've been trying to get rid of a sequined blouse of my duaghter's for months, she keeps rescuing it from the GW bag, although she can't even get it over her head! They just keep clinging to old crap, including old games that are missing half the pieces. Today was trash day, a lot went out with the trash, they will never notice.

It is liberating to free yourself of the clutter, I didn't know the carpet was two-toned---parts that clutter has covered up are several shades lighter!
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:53 AM
 
1,450 posts, read 3,986,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
Paper: Buy a scanner and scan your stuff. Where I work we have a scanner feeder. So I take stacks of papers (real estate related, kids school stuff, etc) and convert them all into PDF documents.

Getting in order: Put everything in it's own box. In my garage and storage area I have boxes for everything including auto parts, plumbing, audio-visiual, computers (I have three computer boxes), electrical, cable, phone, old glasses, books I want to keep, holiday junk, pumps, miscellaneous hardware, outdoor lighting, PVC.

Now, don't let what happened to me, happen to you. I had all my stuff neatly organized as described above and the jerk movers just dumped the contents of multiple boxes into one of their packing boxes. I was so pissed. Make sure you tell these guys to keep your stuff intact - don't mix boxes.
I will never again let movers pack my stuff! They just pack helter-skelter, and they will wrap anything to make a box and charge you. Last move I spent weeks sorting, etc, had it right down to just what I wanted to move, those idiot movers wrapped a roll of paper towels! We put our stuff in storage for several months, impossible to know what was in each box until we opened it, just labeled bathroom, or kitchen, etc, I went to open a box that had been in storage for months, found a half empty roll of paper towels, an old microwave container with a few slivers of soap, a roll of toilet paper, all packed with a ton of wrapping paper. The box alone cost $20, more charge for the paper, and labor, they charged per box, not to mention paying to store it, had several boxes with similar nonsense, never again.

Our company is reimbursing us $5000 for moving, which is quite generous for today's economy, many comapnies don't reimburse anything. Still, that's not much to move an entire household. We could quickly go over if not careful. I plan to get rid of anything not absolutely necessary, then pack myself, except things I want insured, like TV, computer equipment, china, etc.
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