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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » All Saints   » Decluttering support thread (Page 49)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Decluttering support thread
The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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We started at 9.30 on Wednesday at A Famous Scandinavian Furniture Store, buying storage units for the study*, plus some further ones to match those displaced from the study into the garage IYSWIM.

*25 years ago when we moved here it was described as 'spacious' - the cat when we had one always gave it a wide berth, from which you may infer that the builders' idea of spacious did not chime with ours. Also it had one (1!) electric point!

Two carloads of cr*p have been taken to the dump - sorry, the Household Amenity Recycling Point - and the garage has been tidied. When, or do I mean if, we get rid of the 5 boxes of books/DVDs/vinyl that Master S has foisted on to us till he buys a house, why then, all manner of things will be well.

The study, on the other hand, only looks tidy because Mr S, whose domain it is, has just stuffed Stuff into every available drawer, cupboard and storage box - and will now have to take it all out again and organise it. Preferably on Monday when I'm visiting the Dowager [Devil]

Even then it won't be finished, as we'll have to take everything out again and decorate - and that will be down to me (the decorating, not the moving everything out) Oh happy day.

Mrs. S, definitely no longer as young as she used to be [Eek!]

--------------------
Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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Still shredding - the cardboard recycling bin is full!

[Yipee]

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Huia
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# 3473

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Good work Boogie!

Today I found:

My favourite top which I thought I had left in Wellington,

My other pair of walking shoes, which means I don't have to buy more for winter (this is unusual because normally I wouldn't have found them until after I had bought the replacements.

A rather nice shirt that only needs the buttons on the cuffs to be taken in and it will be wearable.

It was like going on a spending spree - without it costing me anything.

Huia [Yipee]

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I am charmed to report that someone on Freecyle has posted a plea for pieces of lumber. Oh, honey! Do I have a gift for you! Busily gathering a box full of lumber for her.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Huia
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# 3473

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I love freecycle. I've found someone who is very thankful for the NZ history books I gave my Dad and another who has relieved me of all the WWII ones. They get first refusal on any that turn up as I go about decluttering.

It feels so much better giving them to people who are enthusiastic about a give topic than just dropping them off at the Op shop.

The local SPCA shop collects old sheets, towels and blankets for use with dogs, so even the most disreputable bedding can be useful to someone.

Huia

[ 27. April 2017, 20:46: Message edited by: Huia ]

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Ethne Alba
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# 5804

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Our Shed has almost been emptied....was tidied up all day.....and is now resplendent in organised wonderfulness.
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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Yes, old linens and towels are always needed at vet offices and pet facilities. The Freecycler came and took away half a carload of odd bits of wood. The only difficulty was prying them out of my husband's hands.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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I'm glad Freecycle works for someone - round here it seems totally populated by timewasters! [Mad]

Mrs. S, less than gruntled

--------------------
Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Penny S
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# 14768

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My friend has just decided to walk to the church before lunch, which gives me time to do a spot of sorting in the garage, which is holding a large number of bags of detritus from his mother's house. Sorting other people's stuff is so satisfying, as it is totally without any sentimental value to me!

I have a number of large cardboard boxes which have inside them large plastic sacks for a) recycling, b) dumping, c) clothes needing washing, d) shoes, e) stuff in good nick for personal sorting and some boxes of paperwork, which I did sort initially but got overwhelmed by.

Rubber gloves and radio at the ready, I'm off.

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Piglet
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# 11803

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I'd be scared of sorting somebody else's stuff in case I dumped something that looked knackered but had bucketloads of sentimental value.

I'm even wary of sorting anything of D's, because what I'd call a load of scrap paper, he'd call an invaluable reference tool ... [Roll Eyes]

Having said that, someone's set up a "library" - a little covered cabinet for book-exchanging - beside the bank of letterboxes at the top of our road, so we might be able to offload a few excess tomes.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Uncle Pete

Loyaute me lie
# 10422

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Especially over the last few years, I have a hard and fast rule for decluttering. Much of the hard work is done, but in the last week I managed to declutter and surplus one large dresser and a lot of stuff of sentimental value only to me. My decluttering and rearrangement of other pieces have brought to light two items which are packed for a family trip this weekend. It is amazing how much easier my bedroom and study are to move about now, Pictures have been re-positioned, one fairly sturdy end table has been re-purposed and one end table from the 30s has been rehoused.

Some more things to do still, but for sure my surviving family will not be faced with a mountain of clutter.

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Even more so than I was before

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Penny S
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# 14768

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I have antennae for the stuff which may look like junk but has sentimental value. Things have been said in the past which are intimations. I wouldn't chuck, for example, a paper with the marriage of Chas n Di in it. Some things kept to pass on to relations may have got out, but I suspect they will have been forgotten. And, if not, nice printouts can be obtained from the source publisher.
It is a problem that things to be kept (a book I lent, for example, now back on the shelf) have been bagged in precisely the same way as empty cans.
And every little scrap of unintelligible handwriting is kept even if it just looks like a shopping list.
I forgot about food items going in a bucket to be put on the compost heap (the mouse I startled in there last week must be delighted.) And though I empty jars, I draw the line at out of date tins with dirty outsides. I am not going to open them to compost the contents and recycle the metal. Though it hurts. I don't have the time.

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Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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Every once in a while (unfortunately, not often enough) I get an "urge to purge." This past week I have had one of those. I took a large box of clothing (all better stuff) to a rather "upscale" thrift store that supports a lot of good causes (and I think almost entirely by volunteers). Another larger box is on its way to Goodwill. I'm putting aside non-clothing items for our church auction; and books, CDs, and DVDs for the Library book sale. And I want to keep going.

So why hasn't this made more room in my closets and bookshelves?

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Piglet
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# 11803

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It's a variant of Boyle's Law: like a gas, one's Stuff will always expand to fill the space allotted to it.

edited for stupidity

[ 04. September 2017, 23:29: Message edited by: Piglet ]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Huia
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# 3473

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I borrowed The life-changing magic of tidying up out of the library - and promptly lost it in the wilds of my bedroom. [Roll Eyes]

Huia - a hopeless case.

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Huia:
I borrowed The life-changing magic of tidying up out of the library - and promptly lost it in the wilds of my bedroom. [Roll Eyes]

Huia - a hopeless case.

[Killing me] :


I continue to declutter, about 15 minutes a day. What a slow process but I promise to come here and report when all is complete.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Ethne Alba
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# 5804

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Reporting back in: We have a self storage unit! Gloriously NOTHING is allowed into this unit unless we want to keep it + we are emptying the house, shelf by shelf, cupboard by cupboard, room by room.

Excruciating. And not cheap either! But it's working
[Smile]

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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I decluttered six or seven mugs that were constantly needing to be bleached - put them straight into the dustbin [Yipee]

They were however replaced by new ones...not sure that's what decluttering means!

I also went to the Household Amenity Recycling Point (aka the dump) with a bootful of stuff from one of the storage cupboards at church. Sadly the more storage you have, the more cr*p appears to fill it [Frown] Also - tangent - how come children have so many coats these days, that six can have accumulated at the back of church and no-one feels cold?

Mrs. S, puzzled [Confused]

--------------------
Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Huia--
quote:
Originally posted by Huia:
I borrowed The life-changing magic of tidying up out of the library - and promptly lost it in the wilds of my bedroom. [Roll Eyes]

Huia - a hopeless case.

IME, sometimes the best way to do a lot of clearing is to lose something and try to find it--especially something for which you have to pay fines, or desperately need.

Good luck! And you're not hopeless. (From Unf*ck Your Habitat--and that's spelled out, so maybe NSFW.)

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17742 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:
... They were however replaced by new ones...not sure that's what decluttering means ...

Perhaps you need to repeat Declutterment: Module 1. [Devil]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 19429 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Huia
Shipmate
# 3473

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Thanks Golden Key, I had come across that in the past, but had forgotten it. I love the idea of making your bed first so it's there to collapse into. It's much friendlier than FlyLady who is a bit rigid and, I feel could probably command a battalion if the Army ran out of Officers.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Huia--

LOL. Yes, I'm not into Fly Lady, either. Looked over her site, years ago, because Shipmates found her helpful. But she didn't really allow for (or believe in?) disabilities--even those of her own mom, whose disabilities she blamed on clutter, and not the other way around. (Clutter certainly can impact health; but health problems and disabilities can make it extremely difficult to manage housekeeping and clutter.)

BTW: The author of the UYH site to which I linked used to have a hard time understanding, too, and that's reflected in some of the earliest articles. Author thought in terms of laziness, including their own. Then they gradually learned better (e.g., depression can cause clutter), and some site users taught the author further. In the "Life Matters" section, there's an article about doing all this with chronic pain or illness.

Just FYI. [Smile]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17742 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Huia
Shipmate
# 3473

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Today it was beautiful and sunny so I decided to declutter the lavender planted along the drive of the weeds strangling it instead of working inside. There are plenty of rainy days coming up for inside decluttering.

Besides which working in the early spring sun lifts the spirits more than being inside.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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lily pad
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# 11456

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Huia, I think I need to visit you for your summer and then you are welcome to come here for ours. I'm trying to make the most of each minute outside without heavy clothes on. We've been enjoying warm temperatures but winter will be right around the corner.

I came here to find this thread because I just found myself automatically clearing off the dining room table instead of adding more clutter. That's the first time in a long time. I'm going to take it as a sign of health and maybe try to clear off some other surface that has gained extra items lately.

I generally have to make routines or be like FlyLady and be rigid in my intentions to tidy or nothing gets done. I think "normal" people must have a gene that I am missing whereby they actually notice things out of place and tidy automatically. [Smile]

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

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Huia
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# 3473

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quote:
Originally posted by lily pad:
I came here to find this thread because I just found myself automatically clearing off the dining room table instead of adding more clutter. That's the first time in a long time. I'm going to take it as a sign of health and maybe try to clear off some other surface that has gained extra items lately.

[Overused] [Overused]

Having been rained off, (as they say here for sports matches) I have now come inside and am not at all interested in the decluttering, but it's Sunday and the recycling and rubbish bins are emptied tomorrow so, following lily pad's excellent example... sigh...

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Jane R
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# 331

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I decluttered the linen cupboard at the weekend.

I. DECLUTTERED. THE. LINEN. CUPBOARD.

I feel purged. Also, we can now find all the sheets and towels we actually use because they're not tangled up in an amorphous mass of things that we don't use or need.

Next job: decluttering the garage... where all the things we don't want are currently residing.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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That's a real achievement, Jane!

Can I offer you one suggestion that I SO wish someone had given me, while we still had a use for both single and double bedlinen? You sort all your linen into sets - duvet cover, bottom sheet, and appropriate number of pillowcases, and then you put each complete set into one of the pillowcases!

How clever is that? No more unfurling sheet after sheet to find they are all doubles when you need a single, or foraging for two matching pillow cases that have dropped down behind the hot-water tank [Overused]

Also, it makes stacking them on shelves much neater [Big Grin]

Mrs. S, who snaffled that idea from the Telegraph years ago

--------------------
Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Jane R
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# 331

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That's a clever idea, but I'm not sure a set of kingsize bedlinen would fit inside a pillowcase... not without creasing, anyway. We have them in three piles: single (for Daughter), kingsize (for our bed) and the double-sized things for the spare room are on the top shelf which is too high to reach comfortably, so they are unlikely to get mixed up with the others.

We had a small fit of nostalgia when we found Daughter's pink fairy curtains. Not enough to want to keep them, though (she's a horse-mad teenager now and Does Not Like Pink).

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Piglet
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# 11803

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Another fifteen years or so and she might have a daughter who wants pink fairies ...

I'll see myself out. [Big Grin]

[ 18. September 2017, 23:20: Message edited by: Piglet ]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 19429 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Jane R
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# 331

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Or a son who likes pink fairies, why not? But she will have to buy some new pink fairy curtains for him, because the old ones are gone now.
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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I will add that if you have unwanted sheets or towels, take them to your vet. They always need linens for the animals, and will accept your donation with tears of gratitude.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Jane R
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# 331

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I have a large bagful of old towels to take down to the local RSPCA (animal shelter) later, in fact. I'll ring them up before I go and see if they want the old sheets and duvets as well.
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Jane R
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# 331

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It's even better than I thought - they want the old duvets as well! [Yipee]
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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Yes, every time I have to take the cat to the vet I declutter some linens.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Or a son who likes pink fairies, why not?

Why not indeed.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 19429 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

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Here's an interesting take on decluttering: as a gesture to your heirs. I will say that my parents were very good at this.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Piglet
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# 11803

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My dad made a (very) half-hearted attempt at this a few years after my mum went into hospital (where she remained for 10 years before she died), but as far as I know it didn't really get beyond dividing her jewellery between me and my sister.

As I've said on this thread before, what we're going to do with the wardrobe-sized cupboard that's full to the brim with photographic slides of 50-odd years of holidays and VCR tapes of all Dad's favourite television shows, Heaven only knows. [Eek!]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 19429 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Here's an interesting take on decluttering: as a gesture to your heirs. I will say that my parents were very good at this.

Washington Post won't let me read that, but I assume the gist is to declutter now, rather than leave a mess for those who come after you.

My sister died unexpectedly, leaving me as the only remaining member of my family. She lived across the country from where I do, and when I arrived to deal with her funeral, legal stuff, and cleaning out her stuff, I had less than a week, thanks to my boss who couldn't understand why I needed more than a couple days off! Her apartment was wall-to-wall stuff, in no order whatsoever. As soon as I got back home I started organizing (especially paperwork), and decluttering. There won't be any family to deal with this when I die, so it's up to me. (It will also be a help to me when I move to senior living in 8-10 years.)

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Polly Plummer
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# 13354

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When we cleared up my mother's chaotic stuff after she died (a few years after my father) I swore I'd never leave our kids to go through a similar experience, and have been gently chucking stuff out at intervals since - and trying to keep things tidier.

Now we are clearing out MIL's flat after she went into a home. She still has all her marbles but has lost interest in stuff. Everything was tidily put away but with no order or logic: in a way, more difficult than clearing Mum's things. And of course we worry that she will suddenly want something we've just recycled/binned. So our spare room is full of things she may need some time: not the ideal decluttering process!

Posts: 542 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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My parents steadily downsized themselves in the last few years of their lives. The big jump was moving to assisted living; they had to shed most of their furniture. It was then that I hauled all their rugs home. They also had the sense to digitize all the albums and family photographs, and then ditch the originals. That was hard.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5473 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
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# 1468

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Heard about this, and thought it might be helpful for those clearing out after family members, and/or those wanting to avoid causing someone else to desperately clear out after *them*:

"Everything you need to know about 'Swedish death cleaning'. It's about so much more than dusting and sorting." (Country Living UK)

It's about the book "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter".

YMMV.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17742 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas Aus
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# 15869

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Our possessions were returned to us a week or two ago following house repairs after bushfire damage.

My wife and I have agreed that no box or bag will go back into a location unless it has been opened, checked and unwanted items disposed of.

So far that has led to two car loads of items to the parish opshop, bags of ballet costumes and other clothes to be given to studios and amateur theatre, and quite a quantity of stuff to be dumped.

Compared to previous efforts at decluttering, this is major progress.

Posts: 354 | From: Hunter Valley NSW | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Heard about this, and thought it might be helpful for those clearing out after family members, and/or those wanting to avoid causing someone else to desperately clear out after *them*...

Thanks, GK. I glanced at it and bookmarked it to read later. Sounds like what I've been doing. (Maybe because I'm 1/4 Swedish!)

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

Posts: 9359 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ethne Alba
Shipmate
# 5804

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Death Cleaning....

So THAT's what we are doing! [Razz]

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Nenya
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# 16427

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Trying to get going on this again. [Help]

Receipts are bad enough, but what do people do with those annoying offers that come out of the tills - save £1 the next time you spend £10, that kind of thing, all with a fairly short life on them? Mine generally simply clog up my purse until I get round to sorting them, by which time they're out of date.

And receipts... what do you do with them? When my brother died his partner had to deal with carrier bags full of the things, so hoarding them is clearly genetic. I've just folded up the latest wadge and tucked them into a small cash bag. I know this isn't a longterm solution. [Hot and Hormonal]

And filing systems. Lever arch? Boxes? [Ultra confused]

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They told me I was delusional. I nearly fell off my unicorn.

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Zoey

Broken idealist
# 11152

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I used to spend (/waste) time matching up individual receipts to entries on my bank statements. I've now come to the view that errors on my bank statement are likely to be rare and life's too short. When my purse is too full of receipts, I sort them - petrol receipts get stapled together in case my employer ever wants them to support my mileage claims (every few months, a new wodge of stapled petrol receipts replaces the old one); big-ticket item receipts are filed in case I want to get a refund or claim while the item's under guarantee; all other receipts go in the paper recycling without too much worry or fuss. I skim bank statements to check that they still consist of my normal direct debits and transactions I vaguely recognise from the past month (e.g. there might be over a dozen uses of my debit card at Sainsburys, which I'm going to assume are correct without checking the exact amounts against receipts, but shopping at Waitrose is not my normal routine so I should remember the trip there if it's on my bank statement). I'm starting to come to the conclusion that most of the paper vouchers from supermarkets are not worth my time (the ones I get tend to be worse value than £1 off £10 - more like 20 nectar points (worth 10p) if I spend £6 on tinned fish). I skim those when the checkout spits them out and leave the ones I don't want on the checkout (I use the self-service checkouts unless my shop is unusually big). The supermarkets are the ones trying to foist these vouchers on me in an attempt to keep my custom, so I figure they can have the hassle of recycling them rather than me carrying them home and putting them in my recycling.

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Pay no mind, I'm doing fine, I'm breathing on my own.

Posts: 3080 | From: the penultimate stop? | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Nenya:
Trying to get going on this again. [Help]

Receipts are bad enough, but what do people do with those annoying offers that come out of the tills - save £1 the next time you spend £10, that kind of thing, all with a fairly short life on them? Mine generally simply clog up my purse until I get round to sorting them, by which time they're out of date.

And receipts... what do you do with them? When my brother died his partner had to deal with carrier bags full of the things, so hoarding them is clearly genetic. I've just folded up the latest wadge and tucked them into a small cash bag. I know this isn't a longterm solution. [Hot and Hormonal]

And filing systems. Lever arch? Boxes? [Ultra confused]

I’ve spent twelve months sorting out the paperwork. It used to be in big filing cabinets which we just kept adding to. So now we have A4 boxes with A4 plastic files inside them (the ones with a popper). When the box gets full the bottom papers are shredded.

It works [Yipee]

I’ve put a photo on my ‘room’ blog.

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 12601 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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Every so often (usually just before I go on holiday or occasionally just after I come back) I'll go through my wallet and handbag and ditch any receipts that are lurking there.

Vouchers get binned unless I think I can use them before the expiry date*, but even then they get forgotten in the aforementioned wallet/handbag.

Like Zoey, I keep receipts from Big Things (especially Big Things that might go wrong), along with instructions and/or guarantees, although TBH they're just chucked into what we've christened the Important Things drawer.

* Last time I was home, I bought something in Boots that earned me a voucher for money off their make-up. As I quite like it, I treated myself to some eye-shadow, which earned me another voucher ... not an awful lot of use when I live several thousand miles from the nearest branch.

I think I ended up giving it to my sister or one of my nieces.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 19429 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged



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