Managing life after a breast cancer diagnosis, including rediscovering intimacy, coping with fear of recurrence, reconnecting relationships, sharing hobbies and interests, and finding inspiration in daily life.
Posted on: Mar 21, 2011 11:00AM - edited Feb 21, 2012 10:21AM by suzwes
Okay friends, I'm updating this info. I love the picture though so I'm leaving that!! I continue to look at a very unorganized house. My friend Zogo had an idea about a thread for decluttering and I thought why not get one started.
Feel free to share decluttering or organizational ideas or hold yourself accountable to us. We have a fun group to share with and want you to jump in! Below are a few links and info that might be helpful to get you started or to review from time to time.
Fly Lady: http://flylady.net/
Wonderland shared Jeff Campbell's Clutter Rules. Go to www.jeffcampbell.com/Rules-Clutter/ for more details on each rule.
1. When in doubt, throw it out
2. Use it or lose it
3. Efficiency counts, so store things accordingly
4. Handle something once (this is my personal favorite. Another way to state it is "Touch Paper Once")
5. Recycle it
6. Pick a number and stick with it
7. Use a file cabinet
8. Do Something (another personal favorite)
9. A place for everything, and everything in its place
10. Items displayed in the house have to pass a test
11. Don't do things "later"
12. Label things
13. Call in a professional
Posts 3751 - 3780 (4,411 total)
Mar 12, 2018 10:07AM Jazzygirl wrote:
MinusTwo- that is a lot of weight you lost through treatment. I lost 40 during treatment (but had it to loose too) and another surgery I had around the same time, gained 30 back (on the aromatase inhibitors, ugh), but have lost that and going down further to a better weight. I am still getting my too-big clothing out of my closet as well. I hope you are at a comfortable weight now.
Sorry to hear about the freezer compressor going out, but you took good advantage of that to get rid of more stuff.
I have learned about a few more places to donate stuff. I end up with a lot of rubber bands from the daily newspaper (still old school with that) and read on line that the post office or schools can always use those. Old bedding stuff (old blankets, sheets, etc. that may not be in great shape) are great for animal shelters or you can take them to your local vet. It helps the animals to have comfortable bedding in their cages while they await adoption or through vet care.
Also, I have a couple old phones and going to take them to a charity I love called Cell Phone for Soliders. They used to take them by mail but trickier with the batteries you can no longer remove with some of the newer cell phones. I just discovered most cities have drop off locations. I plan to take mine over this week.
The de-cluttering continues. Have a good week ladies!
Mar 12, 2018 03:16PM MinusTwo wrote:
Jazzy - I was happy to loose the 1st 20 lbs. The next 40 made me look anoreoric. Unfortunately even tho I'm hormone negative and didn't take Als, much of the weight has returned over 3 years. Even eating one meal a day and exercising 3-5x a week - it keeps creeping back. So the clothes I'm getting rid of now are the small sizes I had to buy as I shrank. Went from a 14/16 to a 6. Back at my usual 12 now.
I like the cell phone idea. And I have some eye glasses I'm going to dig out too assuming the Lions still collect those.
Mar 12, 2018 05:08PM VLH wrote:
Mar 12, 2018 07:08PM Jazzygirl wrote:
MinusTwo- I was worried you might have gone underweight. That happens to many women. I am a size 12 now too (down from a 14 pushing into a 16). Always been comfortable at a size 12.
VLH- thank you!
Apr 1, 2018 06:45AM NativeMainer wrote:
Apr 1, 2018 09:53AM Wren44 wrote:
Jazzy, You're right about animal shelters needing towels and bedding. Our shelter has a service that brings fresh towels but we still need the donations. Each animal gets fresh bedding every morning. We have 2 washers and dryers that go full time. We also have a donated supply of small fleece pieces. Those stay with the same cat throughout their stay and go home with them when adopted.
Apr 6, 2018 12:02PM - edited Apr 6, 2018 12:03PM by DivineMrsM
Wren, sounds like such a nice, caring animal shelter!
Today dh and I went through his jeans and socks to see “what he should keep". That's how I presented it to him, rather than “give some of this crap away or pitch it!" (What I was thinking!). He keeps most of his clothes in a narrow room across from our bedroom.
He had 17 pair of jeans. (Eye roll). He willingly donated four pair to the Goodwill pile and agreed to throw out five pair that were too worn or too big (a couple years ago he lost 50 lbs but still had jeans from that time). He also willingly donated a couple pair of dress pants that he said “did nothing for him."
At Christmas, I bought him Duluth work sox, they are like the Cadillac of socks. He loved them so much, I bought another package two weeks ago. He has gone through countless other brand socks over the years as they get holes in them quickly. Not the Duluth! So he kept the Duluth sox in the narrow room dresser, and we got rid of any old socks with holes (he had a “hole"drawer full). Ones in good shape filled an empty drawer in our bedroom dresser, and I said in a year, any he has not worn from that drawer we would donate.
I had him put all jeans on our bed first and go thru and sort. Then did the same withh the socks. This took less than 45 minutes.
Empty dresser drawer was from my Marie Kondo purge last year!
Apr 7, 2018 04:30AM NativeMainer wrote:
Mrs. M--what a great way to engage DH in the decluttering process! Sometimes presentation of an idea is half the battle to acceptance. As to the Duluth sox, when you find something that works and holds up, I say go for it. Love the idea of parking stuff for a year and then re-evaluating.
Apr 7, 2018 05:01AM edwards750 wrote:Boy can I relate to the need to de-clutter DH’s stuff. My husband is a pack rat too. He’s always gonna use it some day. He’s a great handyman so he has accumulated a zillion nails, etc stored in cabinets in our garage. I don’t throw tools away of course but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve cleaned out and organized the garage. Some things H.D. hoards make zero sense so I take the bull by the horns and get rid of them. He won’t even notice - at least for now.
Apr 7, 2018 05:46AM DivineMrsM wrote:edwards, my husband is so similar! Sometimes I have to say, “No keeping this 'just in case'!" Because that is one of his hang-ups, fear of tossing something only to need it a week/month/five years later!
Apr 16, 2018 07:08AM Mominator wrote:
Hubby is so much better at decluttering than I am. He's almost a Spartan, whereas I am a sentimental saver.
We went through the shed one Saturday morning. So much stuff we hadn't used since the kids were smaller. There was a lot of chalk sticks and bubble bottles; beach toys; lots of soccer balls and other balls; an old inflatable pool; paddles and life jackets for canoeing; helmets and pads for bikes and scooters; and two Razer scooters. We also tossed a hand-me-down kitchen island that was too heavy and falling apart and some leftover wood from a construction project.
We also advantage of big trash day to help us declutter. We put the stuff out a few days early. People came by our house and picked things over. The Razer scooters disappeared within a few minutes and the canoe paddles within the hour. I was sad for the scooters that my kids didn't want them, but obviously someone else did!
I was working during the actual pickup time, so I don't know what was taken by others and what was eventually trashed. That was good. I like to think that much of it found a home. Next time, I'll also not be home during pickup time.
Apr 16, 2018 07:22AM - edited Apr 16, 2018 09:05AM by mustlovepoodles
Mominator, you did good. Our kids also didn't want our stuff. They are 25 & 31, so I guess they know what they want and don't want. Neither plans to have children. It hurt my heart to get rid of the rocking horse and the Batman toys. I gave them to a neighbor with two little boys. No doubt, they will enjoy them for many years to come.
Apr 16, 2018 08:23AM MinusTwo wrote:
My only son is 47. They are still adamant about not having children and don't want anything. I'm gradually taking some of his favorite toys to neighbors & friends small ones, but I haven't been able to part with the Playskool Blocks or the Skaneateles wooden train. And I certainly haven't been able to toss the much loved children's books.
Today my trunk & back seat are loaded to the top with things that I'll drop off at the battered women's thrift shop on the way to the Med Center. 13% of their expenses are covered by sales of the used donations. In addition there is a collection of new soaps, shampoos, toothpastes etc. from hotel stays to go directly for the women's use.
Apr 16, 2018 08:54AM Sweet_Pea wrote:
I'm in the process of going through my things, and I find it stressful at the time but then liberating when I'm done with the task or amount of time I've set to do de-cluttering. It feels great to get stuff out of the house, I feel lighter even though I haven't lost any weight in the process!
My mother is a bona finde hoarder, so I feel both guilty about throwing things away (vestiges of how I was raised) and terrified to become her. It's tough!
Apr 16, 2018 09:14AM mustlovepoodles wrote:
My mother was also a hoarder. When she passed it took 7 of us over 6 weeks to go through her stuff, weed out the immense amount of trash, and divide the rest between relatives and the thrift store. When I got home from that ordeal I immediately started on my own stuff. I'm not a "collector", but we still had a lot of extra stuff. My kids took a few things and the rest went to the thrift store. We put the remaining bare minimum into storage and moved into our camper. Thats working out very well. The big thing about RV living is storage space, or lack of. It forces us to make decisions on possessions on the front end--where is this or that item going to go and does it have a dual purpose? It's amazing how little we need to live a satisfying life.
Apr 16, 2018 10:28AM Wren44 wrote:
Sweet Pea, Very interesting. DIL's mother is a hoarder and she really doesn't want to be one. But she keeps clothing that's worn out or has holes. DS goes thru her closet and tosses these items. He says she never says anything about it. DS accused us of being hoarders until he met his M-I-L. Now he's downgraded us to pack rats.
Apr 16, 2018 01:04PM Jazzygirl wrote:
Hi ladies- there is some good work going over here. Spring cleaning and de-cluttering under way on the thread. I am back in the closets cleaning out more too big clothing to take to consignment. Also cleaning out things related to yard and garden (outside storage bench getting done this week).
Several orgs here in the area are doing recycling of electronics and shredding as part of Earth Day activities. Watch for those in your area if you are trying to get some shredding done for free and/or old computers and the like safely recycled.
Apr 16, 2018 06:14PM Mominator wrote:
Our town has had a free shredding day. They borrow a huge, industrial-size shredder and residents can bring in their documents to shred.
I found that many financial statements only have identifying information on the first few pages. I shred those pages, and the rest can go directly into recycling.
Apr 17, 2018 04:02AM NativeMainer wrote:
Mominator--putting unwanted items out beside the road is a spring time ritual in rural Maine.It is amazing what other people will find desirable. I put out a broken gas grill one a few years ago, it was gone within the hour. Same with a box of duplicate office supply items (clip boards, file trays, 3 ring binders, assorted small items)I put out. Box and all went! Best part is not having to pay the fee for the big clean out pick up and tag all the items.
Poodles--so nice to find someplace where once cherished toys will be loved again!
MinusTwo--Wow, 13% is a big chunk of operating costs to be covered by thrift store sales!
Sweet Pea--I can't imagine how hard it is for you to be struggling against the way you were raised and not wanting to become a hoarder. Keep picking away at it, you'll find balance. I use the timer method a lot, too, it's really helpful!
Poodles--I can't imagine living out of a camper, and am so amazed that you are doing just that! Great idea about looking at items before bringing them in, having a place for it before buying it, taking items with more than one use. I'm going to have to try to use that approach.
Wren--I come from a family with hoarding tendencies, and was taught never to throw anything out that might be useful."Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." was heard often in my home and both of my grandparent's homes. Both grandmothers would never throw out an item of clothing until all the buttons, any zippers, and any "good trim" was taken off. "Good trim" included the hooks and eyes off bra backs. Yeah, really. Before bc I would cut the hooks and eyes off the backs of bras before tossing them. Probably still have a box of them in the sewing room. Can't wait to run across them and toss them. I haven't worn a bra since recon surgery!
Jazzy--I'm doing something I never thought I would do before--a spring closet clean out, not of clothes that don't fit or aren't fit to wear, but of clothes that fit, are good, but I DON'T LIKE TO WEAR! A year or so ago I joined a service that sends clothes to the house to try on, and have slowly gathered a wardrobe of quality clothes that fit my 3x body properly, and have been able to let go of a lot of cheap stuff, and now am winnowing down to the items I really love to wear. And I don't feel like I'm wasting money by not wearing the less liked items.
Apr 17, 2018 07:32AM DivineMrsM wrote:It’s nice that our decluttering is ramping up again with spring (somewhere) in sight!
Apr 17, 2018 09:41AM - edited Apr 17, 2018 09:42AM by Vargadoll
I am loving reading the post on this thread. I came from a family of "savers' as well. A worn article of clothing was striped of anything valuable. I remember the wide band on the top of men's underwear being cut off if it were use able. I remember Momma sewing it the the corners of sheets to make them fit tighter and sTay tucked under the mattress. Times have definitely changed and I have heard the term "wasteful nation" before. There are so many convenient things now with zip lock bags in every size imaginable, bottled water and all those take and toss containers....
Apr 17, 2018 09:44AM Jazzygirl wrote:
NM- good for you girlfriend with the closet clean out! I find having less in the closet makes finding the items I love more accessible. So glad you are enjoying paring down process too. Along with consignment, I donate the things that can still be used by others, I throw out a lot of stuff to that is stained, too worn, find those surprise holes in, etc.
Divine- I bought a large entertainment center three decades ago and remember the work to move that thing around with a few moves, and setting it up every time. They used to make sense with the super large and heavy TVs but with flat screens now, no one needs those anymore? I ended up selling mine when I moved west again in the mid 1990s with a big yard sale, and don't miss that thing at all. I have a smaller hutch now that can be used for many other things, but is red and ends up being a nice storage space (which we struggle for out here with no basements or attics?) I found Big Brothers and Sisters still takes the old style heavy TV's though, as long as they work. Shelters and the like can use them here for their community rooms.
Okay, it is always fun to share a prize I get on consignment credit. The rule of thumb is if I get items at consignment (especially smaller sized clothing), I cannot take out more than I bring in. I happened to be in the store last week, when someone brought in these fabulous gold and aquamarine earrings. This stone is my birthstone and hard to find anymore, but as she was showing the owner some nice things, I asked if the earrings were in fact aquamarines? She said yes, also her birthstone but she does not wear them anymore. I told her I would give them a good home. Such a fabulous find and more than enough in my account for them. Whoot! I got rid of a lot of stuff I don't want or can't wear and came away with these (and they take up very little space too!)
Happy de-cluttering ladies. Keep it going......
Apr 17, 2018 09:56AM Zillsnot4me wrote:
awesome swap jazzy!
Question. Newly divorced but with kids. What do I do with all that wedding stuff? Mainly pix? Do you just toss photos?
Apr 17, 2018 10:21AM - edited Apr 17, 2018 10:32AM by Jazzygirl
Zills- I am sorry to hear about the divorce sister. Although I have not been in that place, I will share that I have had to ask myself questions sometimes about gifts from people who are no longer a part of my life. I also had to do so with items from our mom's house when we cleaned it out when we had to move her (including things from her wedding days).
Things like wedding dishes and the like, photos, may be something your kids want some day, if too young to know now? They may want to have those memories. Maybe wait on those. There may be a lot of other things that have less sentimental value and may be easier to pass along to donations (kitchen items you may not be using, etc.) I like to use the rule of thumb"is this stuff or is it something I love and have sentimental attachment to?"
Finding places to take things can sometimes help the process too. Finding charities you like where you feel like you are passing things along to a good use are a real plus. I love to take things to shelters, Habitat Restore, etc. It always makes me feel good to donate things to places that are doing good work in the community and the world?
I will say depending on how things end, if not well, I am always wanting to quickly get rid of the reminders. I was seeing someone last year for awhile, and decided we were not going to be anything longer term. I had a few things from him he gave me during our time together. Two things I have already donated, but one thing I am keeping because it is a nice reminder of a fun time we had together last year- an amber necklace he gave me that I wear and still like.. I still like the necklace and will keep it for now. Smaller decision than you need to make, but the process can work the same.
A tip on better jewelry too. If you have some nicer things, often a local jeweler may be willing to buy them and resell them, or do something to remake them in to something you may like and wear now? Sometimes women like to save their wedding rings, especially if passed down in the family, for children.
Start slow and it may be hard to start, but usually gets easier with time. Letting go of the old makes room for the new chapter underway in your life.
Hope this helps?
Apr 17, 2018 10:21AM mustlovepoodles wrote:
Zillsnot, I don't think I'd be too quick to toss them. Your kids may want to see them later. Maybe just put them aside for now.
Apr 17, 2018 10:22AM Wren44 wrote:
NM, My mother removed the zippers and buttons too. I used to love to play with her button jar. Talk about never throwing anything away, when Mom died we found a net heart under her bed with all the bows off my shower presents. This was 20 some years after my marriage.
I've decided hating a garment is a plenty good reason for tossing it. I'm a little nervous about my summer wardrobe, however. If I stay this weight I won't have any summer pants. I'm thinking about buying or making some loose palazzo pants for hot weather.
Good find Jazzy!