July 10, 2010

Soapbox Saturday - clearing out the clutter

Sometimes when you guys leave comments and I have a little extra time I check out your blogs, too.  Sometimes I comment and sometimes I'm kind of busy so I don't.  Well, I came across something this week that I really loved and I wanted to share it with you.  It's a site called You Are What You Keep where Tabitha is ridding her life of 2010 items this year.  Isn't that cool?  You can track her progress.  Some things are being sold, some donated, some thrown out. 

I think the idea is so empowering.  Simplifying.  Ahhhh!  It made me think about different things I have in the basement....decorations that I don't use but convince myself I'll use someday, boxes full of who knows what, things I've kept for memory's sake but never ever even look at.  You know what I mean?  And really, who wants to be that loony who is on Oprah because no one can physically walk through her house with all she's stored up?  (It kind of reminds me of that part in Cinderella where the cute, cubby mouse named Guss-Guss tries to carry all that cheese, but he keeps dropping it, but he won't let it go even though the cats coming.  Finally he loses it all while running for his life.)

So, I think Tabitha's idea is gold.  It's really a win-win.  Donate it?  Someone else gets to benefit from it.  Sell it?  Who couldn't use a little extra cash these days?  Trash?  If it's not useable why let it fill your home?

While I can't say I'm going to purge 2010 items, I am going to go through my basement today and simplify.  What about you?  Are you a pack-rat?  How do you keep things in control in your home?  I'd love to hear your take on things.

And thanks Tabitha, for "not minding visits."  I think some people will be checking out your blog today.  You rock!

19 comments:

  1. My kid's toys have taken over, and so I've been thinking the "simplify" thing now for a while! :) Other than that, I don't let much stick around that isn't necessary, or very sentimental. I like that we've moved a couple times since we've been married, so it's really helped me purge of the stuff that doesn't really matter. And I'm pretty good about throwing stuff out. With the kid's crafts (which I know can be hard to get rid of...) I take a picture of it, then hang it to display for a month or two, then throw it out. BUT, I make a photo album of their artwork, so we can look at it. And actually, they LOVE looking at that picture album. :)

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  2. You know I love this idea. I do it all the time around here. You go Cher!

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  3. I am LOVING the show "Hoarders". I can't imagine living like that. Makes me feel better about my minimal clutter. Anyways, every year I make my girls each pick a few stuffed animals and a few books to donate to "poor kids". We seem to accumulate books and stuffed animals for some reason. I also try to purge McDonalds toys whenever possible. But 2010 items...that's a challenge. And I LOVE that scene in Cinderella. Oh, also Target always has cute containers by the Dollar Spot section. I am always snatching up buckets, bins, etc. At least if it is organized, it doesn't feel so cluttered.

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  4. I am sitting at my garage sale right now wondering how my garage can be so full of stuff and yet the house is still full of stuff!

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  5. Toy story 3, it is a great movie, made me want to giveaway all of my baby things. We are done having kids and "the baby" is two now and it was time for it to go. That was sure hard to do, but by donating the items someone less fortunate can use them and hopefully feel the love that we felt when used the pieces for our littles. I love the idea of taking pictures of the artwork, I definitely have a problem tossing all of those little love note from my kiddos.

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  6. That is a great idea. I live in a house that is a bit to small for my family and the only way I have been able to make us all fit in here is to get rid of things. I give my kiddos a box and its their special box - they get to pick what to keep of their school work and artwork and such but they only get to keep what will fit in that ONE box. Man the trash can add up.

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  7. We moved a the end of may to Nantucket, a really fabulous place to live full of beaches and cape cod charm. It's also a really expensive place to live. So we ended up downsizing from a three bedroom, two bath house to a one bedroom, one bath <800 sq ft house (with a tiny den that we use as our daughter's bedroom) for $100 more per month. At first I wasn't really sure how we would get through the move because of how much stuff we had to get rid of: bedroom furniture, office furniture, living room furniture, holiday decorations, books, baby items, clothes, DVDs...the list went on and on. And we got rid of even more after moving here, too. I'm sort of [correction: really] a pack rat by nature, so it was very hard on me. But, now that we're living in our new house in a fabulous place, I'm realizing just how little that stuff matters to our day-to-day happiness. And that it's more about the people and the place than stuff.

    Now we're planning to do a once per month "clutter check up," to make sure our little space doesn't get overwhelmed, along with a yearly purge.

    http://aucouer.wordpress.com

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  8. This is exactly what I have been trying to work on. Both me and my hubby are pack rats and I have to fight to keep thing looking nice. I've gotten a lot better this year but hubby is the same old pack rat. I just don't want my sons to do this so I have to change.

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  9. Thanks so much for the plug, Cheri! I really hope my little quest helps others realize their potential for a clean, clutterless life! :o)

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  10. i acutally did this last weekend in the garage..i still have to go through my daughters room..and plan on having a yard sale...

    going to visit her site ...

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  11. I have the opposite problem of a pack rat. I obsessively throw things away. I become more so two years ago when my grandfather was sick and it was obvious he was either going to die or never return home. I would go several times with my mother to Ohio as she passed through. I would get such panic attacks sitting in his house looking at all the stuff. 90% of it wasn't his but he's estranged wife's. I believe I vowed to get rid of everything. I no longer have draws without a purpose (and even those get a once over every month) and I have no coffee table for junk to pile up on.

    But because I obsessively organize and clean, I have lost/tossed some important things.

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  12. Thanks for setting the tone for my day! This is what I totally needed!

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  13. I find that if you don't get rid of something while it is still in style or usable you will end up throwing it in the garbage and no one gets it. I don't know about you but that is when I feel really selfish!
    Alice

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  14. Check out FREECYCLE on yahoo if you decide to get rid of things. I gave away a t.v. today on Freecycle. Feels good to get rid of something you don't need/use and it finds a home of someone who can use it!

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  15. The idea of getting rid of stuff really appeals to me - simplifying. Until I get to the basement. Then I emit a long, mournful groan as it looks like a completely impossible, never-ending task.

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  16. I do agree in principle -- I really do! I'm not a packrat. But about two months ago I donated a clippy swing-arm lamp and an over-the-door ironing board that had been sitting COMPLETELY UNUSED for over five years. Then I started sewing, creating a little craft nook in our bonus room, and thought, "It is really dark in here. I could seriously use a light that would shine RIGHT where I want it to at any given time." And then my next thought was, "It is a total pain in the butt that my iron and ironing board are all the way downstairs." You see where I'm going with this.

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  17. I'm in the process of "trying" to simplify my life right now too. I have a tendency to collect things, and have a propensity to like to pull things out to reminisce by. It's not easy for me to let things go, but with 2 little ones growing...and some tight finances, I'm finding more reason to let go of things clogging up my life. I'm excited to go read the blog you mentioned now & see how she's doing. Maybe I will try to make a similar commitment.

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  18. I just bought Peter Walsh's "It's All Too Much" and I'm on a decluttering mission, too. I saw Tabitha's blog on another blog, and am joining the challenge! AND, my husband just came in from farm chores and said, "Maybe this afternoon we could de-clutter the garage." Woot! I even have him on board!

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  19. THANK YOU for sharing this site. It reminds me of all the clutter I possess - no, hoard! I'm reading a German book at the moment which is called "Simplify Your Life", and a big part of it addresses the topic of decluttering. I REALLY need to free my space to get my mind free...

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