Decluttering support thread

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  • I cleaned out the hall closet. Really first time in 15 years. Put up a hanging bar below the shelves added a bag to hold vacuum attachments. Sorted out all the children's toys that my teen age grandchildren no longer have an interest in. Boxed them up for thrift store. Feeling accomplished. Now I have a whole empty shelf that I can use to store Christmas decoration instead of under the house.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited November 2018
    ebay could be an option @Curiosity killed?
  • Thanks @Boogie - I don't want to sell them, very happy to give them away to a good home, and I'm sure the museums and restoration groups could use them.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I was just thinking historical re-enactment people, or museums with antique clothes collections might be a good place to start.
  • LothlorienLothlorien Glory
    edited November 2018
    Thanks @Boogie - I don't want to sell them, very happy to give them away to a good home, and I'm sure the museums and restoration groups could use them.

    Down here there is a man with FB page, known as The Knitting Man. He also sells antique buttons, many beautiful. There used to be a shop in SOuthern Highlands for antique buttons. Someone like that could perhaps point you in the right direction.

    Have you thought of trying Ravelry? So many groups there, there may be a place suitable for a question.

  • Is there any kind of fashion design dept./school nearby? They might have fun with vintage buttons.
  • Not enough for a school, they'd need hundreds and the whole reason these buttons are going out is that they are not machine washable, or washable at all. There are 20-30 random buttons of different eras, barring the two matching very fragile mother-of-pearl buttons and three matching huge 50s/60s buttons that we can't see ourselves ever using.

    We've kept the sets, or buttons we like, some against my better judgement, because one of us can foresee a project we'd like to use them in. There's a set of five tiny beautifully made mother-of-pearl buttons, about 5mm/¼" across, for example, which my daughter thinks would look beautiful on the back neck fastening of a silk blouse, but I can't see me ever bothering to make something like that.
  • My recent wobble has convinced me that I don't have the mental bandwidth (or workshop / house space) to own as many ongoing projects as I do. So I'm hitting ebay, big time - it's quite exciting, and I intend to put the funds raised towards a charitable appeal which seems to help me do it (big barns, not cutting your fields right up to the edge, you know the kind of thing). On another thread I mentioned the key criterion 'if I needed another one of these or decided I regretted getting rid of it, could I replace it?'. There's some stuff, but not so much for which the answer is 'no', even when one includes things of sentimental value. My ebay name is the same as here, should anyone wish to fill their de-cluttered house with tools, motorbikes, music gear (harmonium, sir?) or electronic test equipment :smile:
  • I have been working on the under-the-stairs cupboard at the Dowager's house, and was able to take a brand-new artificial tree and a load of other decorations to the charity shop - hooray! The nice lady there was very pleased, she'd sold 5 (five!) trees first thing that morning :smiley:

    My other triumph was to locate my deceased brother's clarinet - I tried to give it away some years ago, but when I went to the wardrobe where it had always been, there it wasn't! Now I know why - it was right at the pointed end of the cupboard, under all the Christmas stuff. It's going to a charity that donates instruments to school orchestras, hooray.

    (again, I don't want to sell this stuff, just give it a new life)

    Mrs. S, making progress, but slooooooowly
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Hurrah for giving the clarinet to the school charity, Mrs. S. - no child should be deprived of a musical education because they can't afford it. Good on you!
  • Curiosity killed--

    FWIW, I didn't mean enough buttons for a whole design school/department. But maybe there'd be students who could use them for very special projects. Might make their finished products stand out.
  • @Golden Key These buttons are not exciting for ordinary sewing, they are mostly basic small white shirt buttons, with some black and brown buttons for jackets or outerwear. The sort of things that stick out as wrong on a restoration project because the shine isn't right, but a pain for sewing projects as they are fragile.

    @The Intrepid Mrs S well done for your decluttering. That sounds really good use of the Dowager's hoarded stuff. I'm amazed how many people are buying second hand Christmas trees. (I'm eyeing up the bay tree downstairs that needs pruning and debating helping by taking out a branch for this year, with spare dried leaves as a bonus or going for a plain white branch.)
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Not to mention the bay leaves to use in soups etc - yum!

    I love the idea of a child getting a chance to play the clarinet, and the thought of people decorating their newly acquired Christmas tree.


    I have some candles I'm decluttering following a request on Freecycle. The chidren of the family want to make Christmas presents.
  • @The Intrepid Mrs S well done for your decluttering. That sounds really good use of the Dowager's hoarded stuff. I'm amazed how many people are buying second hand Christmas trees. (I'm eyeing up the bay tree downstairs that needs pruning and debating helping by taking out a branch for this year, with spare dried leaves as a bonus or going for a plain white branch.)

    In fairness, CK, I have to add that I am also slowly filling the garage with stuff to go in the next skip - stuff completely beyond any hope of redemption! And the five artificial Christmas trees sold by the charity shop were for a grotto, presumably for Local Town's Father Christmas :smile:

    Mrs. S, hoping for a real one this year :smiley:

  • JapesJapes Shipmate
    I must have done a clearout of defunct electrical items since I moved to the current abode three years ago, though I don't remember doing so, as when I went to get them out, there was only the one (piano) keyboard, one printer, one shredder and one kettle to go. I thought there were at least 3 printers!

    Mmm - does this go on Senior Moments or Decluttering?

    I did also manage several other items from the garden shed, but not the old paint. The car I've currently got on hire was far too clean! I was going to hire a van and do a more thorough clear out of the garden shed, but colleagues reminded me yesterday the rules have changed around here and all vans, whether private or business vehicles, need to be pre-booked at our Household Waste and Recycling Centres (formerly known as The Tip.)

    Still, I feel remarkable smug I've managed some of it!
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I’ve tidied up *that* drawer - the odds and ends drawer.

    (Yes, I was looking for something - no, I didn’t find it 😝)
  • Some of my best tidying is when I'm looking for something--or after I've found it, hoping to keep from losing it again.
    :)
  • I often find things that I forgot I had. Oh look there is my old Santa cookie cutter wedged in the back of the drawer and just last month I bought a new one.
  • This morning I was looking for a fairy wing (ok, a bit of a Swarovski brooch) and decided that much of the contents of my jewellery box would be better enjoyed but someone else, so took a small bag to a charity shop. But didn’t find the wing - I’ve a vague recollection of finding a bit of “glass” but none of what I did with it. However, I did discover pieces I’d forgotten I had so I’m going to try to wear them regardless of the occasion or outfit.
  • Not so much decluttering as repurposing - it's nitheringly cold here in the Deep Dark Woods, and the door from the sitting-room into the garden is about 44 inches wide, so a normal draught excluder just doesn't cut the mustard. I have just recycled three old towels and a rather nice red velvet scarf I no longer wear into an extra-wide draught excluder!

    (I wish I could say I can feel the difference already, but my feet are frozen still and will take a while to thaw :cry: )

    Mrs.S, chilly

  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I often find things that I forgot I had. Oh look there is my old Santa cookie cutter wedged in the back of the drawer and just last month I bought a new one.

    Those things always appear after I have bought another one. :neutral:
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    edited January 2019
    It's a plot against consumers: things hide so we'll buy more of them. Whether that's a plot of the makers/manufacturers or the things themselves, no one knows...though I suspect the latter.

    ETA: perhaps a corollary to planned obsolescence.
  • Like the way my owl mug was discovered out in the wood store only the day after Mr. S ordered me a new one for Christmas?
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I always blame Georgie-Porgy.
  • The "puddin' and pie" guy?
  • I was going to read this thread to motivate me to tackle the front bedroom. But then I realised that I was actually planning to use the seven-page catch-up as an excuse to put off the front bedroom challenge. So I am going to pull my socks up, pretend I am a real adult with real adulting skills and determination, and dive into the accumulation of bits and pieces which need decluttering before I take delivery of a new bed for that room. I will read the thread as a reward after I have earned it.

    ........... you may never see me again!
  • My industry in the front room is thwarted by Millie the cat. She came in and started mewing at me frantically. I followed her into the lounge and she all but herded me into the chair and sat down beside me for a stroke.

    It's looking better in there, though, all the same. Shame I can no longer get into any of the other rooms in the house!
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Sorry Golden Key - I thought I was posting somewhere else ( :blush: my brain is melting). Georgie-Porgy fat'n'fluffy is my cat, so named because she was a stray at the time one of the George Bushs was President, and like him she invaded whether she was wanted or not.
  • Ahhh, Huia! ;)
  • As part of post -Christmas clearing up, I sorted a drawer in which I keep Birthday cards, Christmas cards, oddments of wrapping paper, but mostly it is full of previously received cards that I am reluctant to throw away, and five years’ worth of Christmas round robin letters and other items kept for sentimental reasons
    Brief forays into this drawer had revealed a few items I wanted pre- Christmas, but my tidy up yesterday revealed
    - 30 plus gift tags
    - 30+ new Christmas cards
    - The red scarf I needed for my choir’s Christmas concert.
    This will teach me to do a proper sort out BEFORE I need to start writing cards and wrapping presents next year, not after.

    I had to buy a new scarf, but was able to return it for a refund.
    I have now put the Christmassy stuff into a separate box. I just need to remember this next year.

    I have, reluctantly, decluttered a few of the treasured cards, but the task of dealing with the letters is deferred. Common sense tells me I should just throw them out without re-reading them, but I can’t just do that, can I ?
  • Re. the cards and letters, you might want to take a photo of them so that you can look back. Today, I desperately need to find my car registration and safety inspection. If you happen to know where the envelope is that I so carefully placed them into last May, just let me know. :)
  • I keep cards and letters, too. I try to keep them together--at least keep all of one sender's items together. One advantage of keeping them is that they're physical, tangible, and were touched by the sender. IMHO, that's important--and there's nothing wrong with that.

    But different strokes for different folks. Not everyone works that way. Some people compromise by scanning or taking pictures of items, then let the items go.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I keep cards for a year then sort through them.

    Special ones go to my ‘memories’ box. All others are recycled or it would get silly, storing them all.
  • I am pretty ruthless with cards, although I occasionally keep any that make my heart soar but eventually even those are likely to go. Having said that, I still have a card sent by a great-great aunt on my 9th birthday ahem-years ago. I was amazed to hear that some people keep ALL their cards.
  • I once paid a post-funeral visit to a father and son whose wife/mother had died. It was a home I had been in before, notable for its very warm small living room. This time the room felt bigger, and I must have said something. The son explained that what I had taken I be the back wall of the room (I hadn't looked closely - it is rude to go into homes and stare around you) was really a wall of cardboard boxes in which his mother had stored every card she or any member of the family (7 kids, multiple grandkids) had ever received. After the funeral he and his father had chucked the lot without opening the boxes! If you are a keeper of cards, who will do this for you?
  • Cathscats wrote: »
    ...If you are a keeper of cards, who will do this for you?

    I regularly ask myself this about many of my possessions. I have no family members to deal with whatever I leave behind, so I'm constantly donating, recycling, or just tossing.

    (P.S. I do send most of my card fronts to a church that uses them for crafts projects and ministry to shut-ins and nursing homes. There are various places that do things with used card fronts.)
  • I thought about cleaning out our second hall closet today. I did not clean it out but I did think about it. I can not do it tomorrow or the next day, but I think I can get it done Friday. Yes, I will think about it on Friday.
  • I thought about cleaning out our second hall closet today. I did not clean it out but I did think about it. I can not do it tomorrow or the next day, but I think I can get it done Friday. Yes, I will think about it on Friday.

    This is my approach to decluttering too! We put a tremendous amount of thought into it.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Cathscats wrote: »
    ...If you are a keeper of cards, who will do this for you?

    I regularly ask myself this about many of my possessions. I have no family members to deal with whatever I leave behind, so I'm constantly donating, recycling, or just tossing.

    (P.S. I do send most of my card fronts to a church that uses them for crafts projects and ministry to shut-ins and nursing homes. There are various places that do things with used card fronts.)

    I make all the suitable Christmas cards into gift tags for the following year :smile:

  • Boogie wrote: »
    I make all the suitable Christmas cards into gift tags for the following year :smile:
    I used to do this, but with no family I give very few gifts. :frowning:

  • I was obliged to clear the cupboard under the sink so the plumber could do some work there. I have not rushed to put it back as I am sure there must be things I can get rid of. Tomorrow’s job, together with the “glory hole” under the stairs.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host, Hell Host
    I've missed acres of this particular discussion, but have no time to go back and read through it all. Meanwhile, I'm having health issues that inspire me to go through the heaps and boxes of Stuff and Papers in my house that need to be cleared out. Would some charitable person be kind enough to tell me where and how to start?

    Thank you!

  • {{{{{{Rossweisse}}}}}}

    These are resources I post from time to time. Some focus on practical steps, or on the emotional stress and backstory. Others on both. They have e-mail newsletters available for free.

    --Unclutterer.com
    IME, this focuses mostly on practical steps. I notice that the "previous posts" section, towards the bottom of the page, lists one on "Scanning documents to reduce paper clutter". There's also a "Paper" category.

    --SpaceClear.com
    IME, this focuses more on emotional/thought patterns that are holding you back. Stephanie Voigt deals with that very gently. She has some classes available at the Daily Om site, on a "pay what you can" basis.

    I have a book by Erin Doland, one of the main people at Unclutterer. She had a severe clutter problem, to the point that she and her husband couldn't have anyone over. He did the coolest thing: rather than issue an ultimatum, he talked about all the fun and wonderful experiences that her clutter was keeping them from having. So she worked on getting better.

    I also have one of Stephanie's books. She also had a clutter problem. IIRC, she'd been a teacher, and had tons of paper and such related to that.

    --One Amazon Kindle book I found recently:

    "The Sentimental Person's Guide To Decluttering", by Claire Middleton. Written from her own experience. She does *not* think we all have to become minimalists, and she thinks being "sentimental" isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    FYI: AFAIK, this is only available in Kindle form. Amazon has free software that lets you download Kindle books onto other devices. I'd avoided Kindle and such in the past; but I compromised and got the software for my PC, just so I could read this book.

    I'll leave it there. Good luck!


  • Forgot one more:

    Unf*ck Your Habitat.
    Really good. Focuses mostly on practical steps.

    POSSIBLY NSFW, due to language in the URL and on site.
  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    I make all the suitable Christmas cards into gift tags for the following year :smile:
    I used to do this, but with no family I give very few gifts. :frowning:

    ditto. My cards go to the local landmark Abbey to be made into their popular recycled Christmas cards.
  • Looking through drawers in my potting table for some clippers today I came across a envelope of tiny bulbs. I have no idea what they are. I planted them along the side of the garage so I should have a nice surprise come spring. I hope they are something that the deer do not eat. I guess I need to add clean out potting table to the to do list.
  • Anyone watching Marie Kondo on Netflix ?
  • On the cards theme: I keep cards from milestone events and then I also keep cards from yearly events for a year and recycle them when a new birthday etc comes round thus ensuring that I keep the last card ever sent to me by any individual. This is sadly getting more frequent as I age and those I love die but it means I have a lovely memory of each of them without storage problems which my hoarder husband would tell you IS AN ISSUE......
  • Anyone watching Marie Kondo on Netflix ?
    Yes, but I do not see the point of rolling up the tops, I just hang mine. I find her interesting if not always helpful, but then truth be told my house if fairly neat and I am just getting rid of things because of age so I can downsize with ease when the time comes, and so my children do not have much to deal with when I pass on.

  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Forgot one more:

    Unf*ck Your Habitat.
    Really good. Focuses mostly on practical steps.

    POSSIBLY NSFW, due to language in the URL and on site.

    Thank you GK - this is great - not condescending as some are, but matter of fact, recognising challenges people face with depression etc. I particularly liked the small, positive challenges.

    I've added it to my favourites.
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