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All TopicsForum: Moving Beyond Cancer → Topic: Not quite a horder - decluttering

Topic: Not quite a horder - decluttering

Forum: Moving Beyond Cancer —

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 02:00PM - edited Feb 21, 2012 01:21PM by suzwes

suzwes wrote:

 

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


Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 13, 2018 10:39AM Teka wrote:

Note to self: I don't have to take this day all at once, but rather, one step, one breath, one moment at a time. I am only one person. Things will get done when they get done.
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May 13, 2018 08:45PM Zillsnot4me wrote:

That's my child! She loves gift bags, boxes, laundry baskets, etc.

Took me a couple weeks but ...

Three bags of trash. Seven bags of stuff, a box of household goods to schools yardsale. I'm still not finished but it needs to go now. Tired of it cluttering up but my children don't notice toys underneath the piles.


Liver 1/ 2016, Xgeva 9/2015, Bones 4/2015, Lungs 4/2013 Dx 4/2013, 4cm, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/29/2013 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 5/23/2013 AC Hormonal Therapy 10/2/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 11/6/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 9/25/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/7/2016 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 1/7/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy 2/4/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/24/2017 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 11/16/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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May 13, 2018 11:28PM Jazzygirl wrote:

Zills- you are making progress. Congrats on the trash and things for the yard sale. I hope things feel freeing for you in the process.

I have been working on paper work and filing things this weekend (along with finishing some closet stuff and more bags for donations going soon). I keep a notebook with business cards which is something I began back in my early career days. I now have them for all kinds of things, professional connections, for contractors, businesses I patronize, etc. With the advent of social media like Facebook (where you can like business pages like stores, restaurants, etc.) and Linked In for professional connections (I have like 600 plus currently), there is less need to keep a lot of cards anymore. Although I have found not everyone uses social media.

Today I purge hundreds of old cards (who are these people anyways, I sometimes wondered?) and reorganized to have the ones I need to refer to regularly for my business, home, medical care handy and up front. It was a little tour back through time, but some of this stuff goes back decades (as we know it does when de-cluttering). Another task done!

Happy belated Mothers Day to all the moms and mothering types out there. Hope your day was special!

Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/7/2013 Breast Radiation Therapy 2/25/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 16, 2018 10:01AM octogirl wrote:

Hi all:

I've been lurking on this thread for a long while, time to speak up: hubby and I will shortly be moving and downsizing from a house of about 2800 sq ft to a condo of about half of that amount...honestly I can't wait! We will have a garage, but much smaller, and we want space for both cars in it.

When we started looking for a retirement home I really wanted something that was small, but big enough for two of us and occasional guests, with low maintenance. Amazingly, hubby agreed, and we found and bought a great condo, in a town where I have family I want to be closer to, about four hours drive from here.

There is lots to go through, sort, get rid of, and deal with...even though we've only lived in this house for about nine years. As was mentioned by someone earlier, we have boxes in the garage packed and never looked at from our move nine years ago! We also have more furniture than will ever fit into the new place. Some of it is high quality, so hoping I can sell those items. Anything I can't sell with be given or thrown away. Both of my adult children live a long distance away and don't want anything big for their homes right now (the highest quality stuff will go with us and they will inherit it someday).

So, I hope you all will help keep me honest and on track. We'd like to finish this process of emptying this house, moving in to our new place, and putting the big house on the market to sell by August 15th or so at the latest..AND it gets hot here in the summer so the sooner we can get stuff done, the better.

Will check back in with my progress! We are going up to the new condo this weekend and having the interior painted there next week, so after that we can get serious about moving furniture. In the meantime, we will take both cars filled with boxes of dishware and winter clothes that we really do want to keep. If we haven't used it in six months, it isn't coming along.

Wish me luck!

Octogirl

Dx 6/18/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/16/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/9/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/15/2015 Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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May 16, 2018 11:14AM - edited May 16, 2018 11:18AM by mustlovepoodles

All i can say, octogirl, is START NOW. It takes longer than you think it will. We did our downsizing in two stages. First stage involved making decisions about what things we DEFINITELY wanted to keep. I secured a 10'x10' storage unit and whatever we wanted to keep had to fit in there, no exceptions. Movers took the big stuff and about 25 boxes to the storage unit right off the bat. That freed up a lot of floor space at the house. Second stage was consolidating rooms--emptying one room at a time and moving stuff to another staging area. From there we made decisions to trash, thift, or keep. Still, the process took several weeks-to-months.

The thing that really helped us the most was getting all the rooms empty in anticipation of putting the house on the market. We kept only the minimum required to live in the space, so we really had an open feel, and deep we cleaned EVERYTHING. Took all the pictures down, filled in the holes, and repainted. It was so preeeeetty! Must have worked because the house sold within 2 weeks. Then we had the movers come back and get the remaining stuff. They were really experts at packing it all in there--I bet you couldn't slide a piece of paper into that storage unit now!

My plan is to keep the storage unit for 2 years. At the moment we are living in our RV and totally happy with that. But I wasn't ready to get rid of everything, just in case we decide we want to come off the road and live in a house again. Not likely, but you never know. We have just about enough stuff in the storage unit to outfit a 1Br apartment/condo.

Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/19/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/2/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/3/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/18/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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May 16, 2018 02:21PM Wren44 wrote:

I totally agree with start now. We haven't moved in a long long time and I dread going through everything and deciding where it should go. It's too expensive here to stay and we're looking around for somewhere to go. DD lives in the next town and DS lives in Oregon. He has the little kids and is likely to stay put for 6 years until the youngest finishes high school. We've agreed that neither of us wants to live in the house without the other, so it would make sense to find a condo now.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.
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May 16, 2018 02:27PM DivineMrsM wrote:

Octogirl, congratulations on making that step towards moving into a condo. You have started and that is great!

Mustlovepoodles, you had such a terrificly thought out plan of attack! And even tho it was quote time consuming, the plan no doubt made things a little less hectic!


found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex~ "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
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May 16, 2018 03:45PM MinusTwo wrote:

Octo - welcome. Glad to see you here. Yes, this group will listen to your woes & try to help keep you on track.

I'm so jealous of the way Poodles was able to do her move. It really would make it easier.

Wren, I agree - great time to move to a condo. My family was from the SF Bay area & I could never afford that now, so I understand the prices in Washington. I had such a good visit on the Olympic Peninsula last year.

This week I've been working on clothes. Unfortunately I have truncal & Breast LE since the last surgery & wear a compression bra 24/7. Most of my tops are wide or boat neck & I won't wear them with the ugly bra straps showing. Well to be honest - I'm old enough that I wouldn't want any kind of bra straps showing. But each top has a corresponding jacket - perfectly matched. Sigh. Probably time to get rid of all of it since it's unlikely I'll be working back in an office that requires jackets again. Just snatching a half hour or so every day before I get dressed to try things on and the pile on the guest bed is growing.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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May 16, 2018 04:47PM Jazzygirl wrote:

Octgirl- welcome to the thread. You can do this!

My suggestion to folks when cleaning out is always this:

A dumpster
Bin for paper recycling
Bin for paper shredding of sensitive documents (take to Staples or the like and it is inexpensive by pound)
Places you know you want to donate to up front (causes/orgs you like)- do ask if they do pick up in case you have a lot or bigger items you need to have taken. Many have trucks and happy to do pick up
Consignment places (I live in a place with many consignment stores and do well with bringing some clothing, or household items)
Decide if you want to deal with a tag sale/yard sale/garage sale and be sure to have plenty of help if you do

One quick idea, if you have things that have been packed away for 9 years you have not opened, start there. If you have not used those in 9 years, chances are you can take those right to some place to donate. But if they contain family mementos, heirlooms, etc., definitely take time to sort through them. I went through some boxes we moved from our mom's home last year after 15 years and kept a few more items and donated the rest.

Good luck, let us know as you go along any stumbling blocks you have so we can help you through

Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/7/2013 Breast Radiation Therapy 2/25/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 16, 2018 07:25PM octogirl wrote:

thanks all! Great tips so far....I started today with a bit of packing of things I know I want to take (to go up with us tomorrow). It was exhausting just to pack a few boxes. I can see this will all be good exercise!

We did buy a few pieces of furniture that are up there because we didn't have exactly what we wanted, so why pay to move it if we don't like it? Specifically, we bought a new bedroom set because our old bed is getting well, old, and a new (used) dining table and chairs because the old set was too big and heavy for the smaller space. A new small kitchen table for the same reason. So, we can feel more or less comfortable going back and forth as we move, once the painting is done.

I live in a college town now, so while I may try a garage sale later on I've been told that some of the student classified items listserves (there are at least two) are a good way to sell furniture. Faculty and staff buy from them too...

I did already throw out/recycle the contents of a small desk I want to take. Yay. and I like the idea of not even looking in the boxes from nine years ago, but I will take a quick peak to be sure there aren't any heirlooms, as was suggested. Many are filled with books. We have a ridiculous number of books. Our old house has lots of built in bookshelves, all full (apparently the house before that had even more bookshelf space!). Any best ideas for where to donate books? We will have to very picky about what we take, given the space limitations....and I think we have at least 1000 or more (I do plan to toss all of hubby's old software/computer books. I don't care if they are old enough to qualify as museum pieces!)

Thanks again.

Octogirl



Dx 6/18/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/16/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/9/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/15/2015 Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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May 16, 2018 07:43PM - edited May 16, 2018 07:44PM by Jazzygirl

Octgirl- I find thrift shops are the best place for old book donations these days. Some of the ones I go to here to donate have whole rooms of them and book lovers will go spend hours there looking for new books, especially retired folks that may not have bigger libraries in their locations.

I do suggesting calling to ask what books they won't take as many won't take old textbooks or computer training books. I just threw mine out.

Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/7/2013 Breast Radiation Therapy 2/25/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 16, 2018 09:04PM MinusTwo wrote:

I like to take used books to the local library. What they want, they put on their shelves. What they can't use, they sell in their yearly or bi-annual book sales. Any profits go to the library so they can buy books they need or set up new computer centers.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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May 16, 2018 09:34PM Teka wrote:

I buy cozy mystery paperbacks then donate to the local library.

Note to self: I don't have to take this day all at once, but rather, one step, one breath, one moment at a time. I am only one person. Things will get done when they get done.
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May 17, 2018 08:58AM mistyeyes wrote:

Books!!! I think they multiply! I was going to have this humongous house with a library that friends and family would come to stay and go into the library to get a book to read at night. Well, that dream is not going to happen, and I don't want it to happen anymore. I am going through my books and will donate them. When I was young I got my books from thrift stores. Now, I try not to buy books anymore, I use the kindle or go to the library.

Good luck with the move Octogirl, you are making it sound so exciting.

IDC right- Stage IIA, Grade 3,ER-,PR+,HER2+ Dx 11/15/2016, Right, PR+, HER2+
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May 17, 2018 01:05PM Wren44 wrote:

We mostly use the library. Books have become very expensive with paperbacks costing what hardbacks used to cost.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.
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May 17, 2018 11:21PM MinusTwo wrote:

I have a used book store not too far away. I take in a for 1/2 price credit & get a book for 1/2 price with a small handling fee. And every 5th book is free.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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16 hours ago - edited 16 hours ago by Zillsnot4me

Congrats! You've got a plan but yes it takes way longer than expected, even without the cancer fatigue.

You can ask at a nursing home or senior citizens center, donate to a library or sell at half prices books. Your grands might love gift cards to there. They buy all sorts of books, manuals, music, movies.

My weakness is children's books. Our school donates books and pjs at Christmas. Between me and another teacher, we usually have enough books. I'm trying to get my son to donate some of his books to either the public library or any school.

Our local school has a yardsale during the 400 miles yardsale in two weeks. Yikes! I need more to go! It's gets it out of the house without the hassle. There's also school resource that might take household goods. My mom heard of someone that had a fire and she loaded them up with the basics.

Good luck. Keep us posted. We'll cheer you on and prop you up!

My bedroom is a disaster. My youngest had her room stripped for being disrespectful. Today she's being "kindful". I have piles for vacation, piles I can't wear but want too, curtains to hang. Waiting for a big Memorial Day coupon to get four triple rods. But I did get bed rails and a new headboard. That should inspire me.

Liver 1/ 2016, Xgeva 9/2015, Bones 4/2015, Lungs 4/2013 Dx 4/2013, 4cm, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/29/2013 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 5/23/2013 AC Hormonal Therapy 10/2/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 11/6/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 9/25/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/7/2016 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 1/7/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy 2/4/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/24/2017 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 11/16/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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14 hours ago MinusTwo wrote:

I've managed to get 6 more good sized boxes filled with clothes over the weekend & today. Not to mention 10 or 12 good jackets & blouses that I left on hangers. Tomorrow I'll drop them off at for the battered women. Lots more to do but I've made another good sized dent.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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6 hours ago NativeMainer wrote:

Zills--wow, are you busy! Keep up the good work!

MinusTwo--Yeah! Every dent adds up!

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." Audre Lorde Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/15/2007 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/29/2007 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/10/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/5/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/25/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/15/2008 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/21/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap

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