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What kind of clutter do you have?

What kind of clutter do you have?

  • piles of paper

    Votes: 11 61.1%
  • old magazines

    Votes: 10 55.6%
  • books you haven't opened in the last 5 years

    Votes: 9 50.0%
  • clothes that don't fit

    Votes: 12 66.7%
  • expired food or spices

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • expired meds or cosmetics

    Votes: 6 33.3%
  • electronics or appliances that have been broken for over 1 year

    Votes: 5 27.8%
  • mystery cords and cables

    Votes: 10 55.6%
  • toxic relationships

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • other

    Votes: 8 44.4%

  • Total voters
    18

Faith

Some assembly required
Go on, admit it. You've got clutter lurking somewhere in your life... at home, at work, in your relationships with other people.

Clutter is anything that doesn't serve you well, stuff that you don't use or don't love, that's broken or outdated or doesn't fit anymore. Clutter is also too much stuff, verging on hoarding.

If you prefer to stay anonymous, just check your choices on the poll. Or be brave: post a reply and tell us about it.
Either way, confession is good for the soul. :yes:
And who knows, it might be the first step to getting rid of the clutter that's clogging up some part of your life.
 

Faith

Some assembly required
"piles of paper"

Paper is the biggest broadest clutter category of all. It might include...

expired coupons
unopened mail
junk mail
catalogs
old newspapers
last year's calendar... or 2,5,10 years before that
photographs
the empty scrapbooks you meant to fill but never got around to it
instruction manuals for appliances or electronics you don't own anymore
service records for vehicles you don't own anymore
expired insurance policies
veterinary records for pets that died years ago
every piece of artwork your kids ever made
old school papers... your kids or your own college papers
old lecture notes
old greeting cards
ticket stubs
concert programs
flyers and brochures for expired events you meant to go to but forgot
old business cards for people whose names you don't recognize
articles you tore out of a magazine but never read
recipes you tore out of a magazine but never cooked
unpaid bills
unpaid parking tickets
receipts for unfiled tax returns before 2013
countless old paper bags and boxes "just in case" you might need them "someday"


What else do you have that I left out?
 

Mebel

OWYM AG 29 yrs
my art; huge drawings,papers, painted/ pencils sketches etc.
my old agenda's(= schedule books) 2008-till 2013;
in which i draw as a way for me to remember what happened or what to do/did that day/week.

Backstory(2008; my life changed 180 degrees ->Kev came. Happy ''me-venus' arised again, so I did a 2-day cleanse, and literally 'teared to pieces'' al my diaries and journals and schedule books. And so with it, years of my thoughts, reflections & intensions and time tables. Why?! Because whenever I read it again, it made me cry, or feel the sphere in which i was at that moment in time. So for me it became functionless. And It was for my eyes only, and honest and with memories, drama and hope and despair and life lines , and what ever!)
Still glad I got rid of it!
 
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G

gorillagirl

Guest
home repair stuff (garage) and "piles of paper" is the worst of it for me.
yesterday i found a receipt from 2009 that i needed (auto body repair warranty for a part which failed) and it was in the exact file cabinet folder where it should be. hooray...but in general, the paper is out of control.
 

AmandaAlice

New member
The only paper stuff I really have is my papers from when I got my Veterinary Assistant certification, the dog and cat's vet records, the important papers like birth certificates, soc. cards, divorce papers, etc, and a small box full of years worth of old cards that the kid and I got for holidays, birthdays, etc. No idea why I saved em, I should cut the fronts off and send em to that St Judes card recycling program. Oh, and there's a manila folder with all the guides that go with the stove/fridge/water system/etc/etc. Have to keep those. All other paper gets tossed, I don't save any mail or catalogs or anything, and all bills and stuff get tossed as soon as they're paid. My mom yelled at me for that, she saves all bills, bank statements, anything and everything for at least 7 years. I save none of that. The electric company has the record that we've paid, so no need to save em. Bank statements, no need to save those, if for any reason we need one, we can go to the bank and request a copy of the month in question.
The paper I do have that needs worked on is a small box with about 6 months worth of a few different magazines in it. My mom gives me her old magazines when she's done, and the ones I have no interest in go in a box to take to the library, they use em for crafts and stuff, and what they don't want, they put in a Paper Retriever bin and it's like a fundraiser, they get so many cents for so many pounds of paper. But, the ones I did save to read got shunted aside while we moved to the new place, and the box is under the living room table, but I haven't made any reading progress yet. The ones I do get read go to the library too when I'm done.
I have well over a thousand books, but that to me is not clutter, they are my beloved collection, and when I look at them I feel like Gollum, all 'my preciousssssss'. I re-read a lot, so the ones I loved I keep. The ones that didn't impress me, if they are in good shape, I put em on paperbackswap.com so I can trade em for new ones, and the ones that are in not so good condition go in the yard sale box. We do a huge yard sale every summer over at my grandparents, so that's where most of the stuff I don't want anymore goes. My OM probably doesn't see my collection like I do, but oh well. :tongue2:
The other answer I checked is the cords and cables. I have one of those plastic tote boxes full of extra cable, extra cords to the Playstation, extension cords, random USB cords that I don't know what they go to or came with, extra ethernet cable, and so on. I did manage to offload a bunch of em last summer, but I still have more than I should have.
Otherwise, I'm pretty good at keeping up with stuff I don't want no more. Old food gets tossed right away, I don't let anything moulder in the fridge. Clothes that don't fit me I get rid of right away, either yard sale or one of those drop boxes in the grocery store parking lot. The kid's outgrown clothes all go to the yard sale, and then whatever doesn't sell my grandma takes to the county clothing center.
Oh, one more paper thing I just thought of... I have about four or five Sunday papers worth of coupons stacked up I need to go through and clip out. They fell behind the cedar chest and I forgot about them. More than half are probably expired by now, so it shouldn't take me too long. :rolleyes:
 

Harp girl

New member
My paper
- teaching materials
- music books. I know I don't own a piano currently, but I can give up my collections of Mozart and Beethoven sonatas. Oh and harp music too. A whole shelf of music.
- Various paid bills and paperwork that need to be filed.
- Old tax records for the last 14 years. I know that the IRS sometimes doesn't believe that overseas ex-pats earn under their cut off rate and ask for proof that you didn't earn more than you said.
- I just found a box of old letters. They are the best of the best letter's I've received over my life. I can't seem to let them go quite yet.

Other
- unfinished sewing projects
- pictures
 

Faith

Some assembly required
Interesting replies!

Chris, I'm so glad I hung on to my skinny clothes, even though it took me years... and a lot of keeping the faith... to finally fit in them again. Then the hard part was letting go of the clothes that were now too big. I was still stuck in the mindset that I had "paid good money" for them, with a sprinkling of "what if I get fat again." I had to declutter those two thoughts big time... they were huge obstacles, taking up as much head space as the big clothes were taking up closet space.

Mebel, I love how you released your old self, and now rejoicing in the new you... "me-venus" :)
Some people hang onto old journals and papers from sad times, to remind them to never go down that road again... but it's bad to keep them. The negative energy in those papers is toxic and should be anihilated.

MM, the ownership and care of collectibles can be so demanding, even if they just sit innocently on a shelf. You have to dust them, and every time you touch them, you reinforce your attachment to them. Are you a scrapbooker? All those cute little bits and bobs of crafting are fatally alluring.

GG, I feel ya on the paper. It's a brute. :(

AmandaAlice, it's so great that you've learned such good decluttering habits early in life. I hear that St. Jude's stopped taking donated cards for a while, but now they're accepting them again. I had a stack of old cards set aside, but I went ahead and recycled them. Oh well.

Harp girl, my hobby used to be sewing... can you believe I still have yardage for unsown projects that I purchased last century... and I mean, way deep back in last century. But I paid good money for them! :eek:
 

Faith

Some assembly required
- Old tax records for the last 14 years. I know that the IRS sometimes doesn't believe that overseas ex-pats earn under their cut off rate and ask for proof that you didn't earn more than you said.

Yes, you are absolutely right about that. Forget the "7 years rule"... US citizens living abroad are vulnerable to scrutiny and surprise attack by the IRS. So it's best to play it safe and keep ALL your tax records so you can show your income history. Also, as MM mentioned on another thread, issues such as homelessness or being below poverty-level are red flags for the IRS, and they can and will dispute returns for an indefinite period! The IRS has disputed 3 of my past returns, and even though my Social Security Disability income is pathetically far below poverty-level and I am categorized as "uncollectible", the IRS says they can and will keep those years open indefinitely in case my finances change and I become "collectible"... that is, if I don't die first! I have to report to them every year, and it is a long stressful process. :( Unfortunately I'm so poor I can't afford to hire an Enrolled Agent to make an "offer in compromise" and close those 3 disputed years. Oh how I would love to get rid of that depressing clutter hanging over my head.
 

SheLikesKitties

OW/YM 21YR GAP
The reason I have very little clutter is because I do not have a whole lot of room for clutter. My apartment is not that big, and it has relatively small closets. Hence I have a rule that for every item of clothing that I buy, I must dispose of one item of clothing (shoes, handbags). I have a few old things that I do not consider clutter, because they have a place and are valuable, for example, a set of lead soldiers from WWI. And two iron balls from Spanish cannons.
I normally toss bills, because I pay them all automatically from my account, and I checked the DO NOT MAIL BANK STATEMENTS option.
I am very strict about not having expired food, because I have a very small pantry, so everything gets used.
So really, I only keep odd cables, because you never know when you may need one.
 

Faith

Some assembly required
SLK, your "1-in/1-out" rule is very smart. :yes:

I saw a paper-decluttering article that said you should apply that same rule to maintaining your files...
Every time you open a file folder to put in a new piece of paper, you should flip through and take out one old needless paper and throw it away.
 

MissMuffins

New member
MM, the ownership and care of collectibles can be so demanding, even if they just sit innocently on a shelf. You have to dust them, and every time you touch them, you reinforce your attachment to them. Are you a scrapbooker? All those cute little bits and bobs of crafting are fatally alluring.

Faith,

I sew. I also crochet, do embroidery and preserve fruit using the water bath technique. My "clutter" includes my sewing machine, notions, patterns, fabric, crochet hooks, yarn, needles, floss, heat transfers, canner, jars, etc.

I was very attracted to scrapbooking when it first came out (mid 90's), but never really got into it. Now they've got digital scrapbooking, which produces a better product in my opinion. After I reach a certain financial goal, I intend to buy a computer & software for that so that my photos make the transition from camera card to album.

My collectibles reflect my niche interests, and not all of them are on display at once. Those on display now include a small selection of blue glass, a small selection of enamel ware, and 8" dolls (vintage "Lucy/Pam" from the 50's) with vintage Strombecker furniture. I bought the dolls and accessories when my friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, because we needed something to talk about other than her cancer. Now with Lovey's diagnosis, they're kind of hard to put away.

MM
 

SheLikesKitties

OW/YM 21YR GAP
Interestingly, I also try to keep a de-cluttered computer.
For my text documents, I have a folder called Borrar (delete) and another one called No Borrar, so I save most of my work in the Delete folder because once I get paid, I can erase the document. If it is something that may have future value, such as glossaries, resumes, and templates, I will save it to the No Borrar folder. In the office we have to keep everything for five years, by law. I only have 5 containers for dead files (one per year). Every January we take the files from 6 years ago, and use the same container to store the files of the year that just ended.
 

Faith

Some assembly required
"clothes that don't fit"

Most clothing clutter falls into the "doesn't fit" category. It sits in your closet taking up precious space for years and years, because it's either too big or too small*....

the jeans you can't zip up, not even lying down
the blouse you can't button because it pulls across your bustline
the jacket that's too tight on your upper arms
the belt that won't buckle around your waist
the skirt that still needs hemming... for years
the pants that are so loose, they fall off (this happened to me! :eek: )
clothes with the tags still on them... from stores that have gone out of business by now
the shoes that kill your feet, but you "paid good money" for

Then there's the worn-out shabby stuff....

the holey socks
the tattered underwear
the sweater that's mostly pills
the ragged t-shirt
the sad old saggy bra
the stained anything

And the "just in case" stuff...

the stretched-out maternity clothes in case you get pregnant again
your old wedding dress in case... ???

What else can you think of that I left out of these lists?

Oh yeah... the clothing you haven't even tried on in YEARS. Do it now, I dare you... one by one, try on each piece of clothing, each accessory, each pair of shoes, and stand in front to the mirror. Do you love how you look? Does it make you feel good? If you had your money back, would you buy it again?
Is the answer Yes?... then WHY don't you wear it?
Or is the answer No? Then give it away. Make room in your closet and dresser for clothes that look and feel good NOW.

Clutter Busting with Brooks Palmer: Clutter Busting Your Clothes


* N.B. ~ Unless you are making true progress on losing weight, it's crazy to keep clothes that are too small. Why? If (and that's a big IF) you finally reach your weight goal, chances are those old clothes will be outdated anyway. Then what better reason to go shopping? :tongue2:
 

MissMuffins

New member
the shoes that kill your feet, but you "paid good money" for

Then there's the worn-out shabby stuff....

the holey socks
the tattered underwear
the sweater that's mostly pills
the ragged t-shirt
the sad old saggy bra
the stained anything
^This right here!

I hit that stuff about 5 years ago, but omg it was hard. I could still cut that up for rags!

It's *still* hard. Once a year, I go thru my socks and undies and get rid of those items who need to be put out of their misery.

Oh yeah... the clothing you haven't even tried on in YEARS. Do it now, I dare you... one by one, try on each piece of clothing, each accessory, each pair of shoes, and stand in front to the mirror. Do you love how you look? Does it make you feel good? If you had your money back, would you buy it again?
Is the answer Yes?... then WHY don't you wear it?

I didn't wear it because I felt I didn't deserve to look that good.

MM
 

MissMuffins

New member
Wha...??? :eek:

Yup.

My emotional affect tanked as a result of workplace bullying and receiving extraordinarily low compensation. When your supervisor is allowed to be nasty to you, it's tough to not let it get to you. When you're poor, society at large treats you like you don't "deserve" anything; pretty soon, your start to feel that way, too. I went back to wearing jeans, Tshirt and sneakers instead of skirts, blouses, "dress shoes" accessories, etc.

A friend saw my closet and lovingly confronted me with, "You have all this, and you wear that to work?"

I think, too, reverting to that mindset is a defense mechanism: if I make myself less attractive, I won't receive unwelcome attention and won't get assaulted.

I believe it also has its roots in being forced by my mother to dress casually/unattractively after the abuse started...that way I wouldn't look quite so appealing to my abuser.

MM
 

Faith

Some assembly required
I think, too, reverting to that mindset is a defense mechanism: if I make myself less attractive, I won't receive unwelcome attention and won't get assaulted.

Oh dear. :( I can relate, though. I had a hard time letting go of the bag-lady look, as it had served and protected me during my most vulnerable time.

This book is helpful:
Clutter Busting Your Life: Clearing Physical and Emotional Clutter to Reconnect with Yourself and Others: Brooks Palmer: 9781608680795: Amazon.com: Books
 
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