Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some Thoughts on Decluttering

The Out Pile Alan and I have to be the laziest people on earth when it comes to moving.  We'd far rather sell or give stuff away than have to go to all the trouble of packing, labelling and moving it.

Of course, some stuff is necessary to a smooth-running life.

Which begs the question: WHAT?  What stuff do I need to keep and what stuff should I get rid of?  There's an entire industry devoted to helping people answer those questions and still there are more self-storage facilities sprouting up all the time.

Here are just a few thoughts on how I deal with the stuff that clutters up my life.

Start with the easy or obvious stuff first.  For me that's things like magazines and the clothes I haven't worn this year.  It's easy to leave them alone when you've got the space to stash them.  But come moving day, I'll really resent having to cart them to the new place.  So I recycle the magazines (and vow, yet again to quit buying so many.  Sigh) and donate the clothes.

Next up?  Duplicates.  How many pens/towels/strainers do two people really need?  Out go the extras.

Slightly more difficult, but really satisfying is to get rid of the supplies for projects I haven't gotten to in years and aren't likely to in the near future.

I've sent off my paints, canvas and a thick stack of art paper to the auction.  Yes, it's good stuff.  But I really have no idea when I might get back to my painting.  And when I do, that stuff could well be too degraded to use.  I might as well sell it to someone who can put it to use immediately and then replenish as I need it.

When we sold the B & B a few years back, I got rid of all my knitting supplies.  They just took up too much space.  In the four years since, I really haven't missed them at all.  Sacrilege to some people, but it comes down to being really honest with yourself.  Will you use it, or is it just lying in wait to make you feel guilty?

If it's the latter, do yourself a favour and let it go!

Tomorrow, we get to the hard stuff - the family heirlooms and all those precious mementoes.



kimmomofeight said...

I love the purge...bring on the purge! You will need to come and revel with me when my time to purge comes along!

Barb McMahon said...

I am so there!

dr.d. said...

of course i love ya, barb...

did the art stuff go to Stocks, because it may find a new home closer than you think.

Barb McMahon said...

It hasn't yet, but it will soon...

Emily said...

Hey, just found you through BlogHer! I love your thoughts on decluttering. I can't wait to dive into your archives and see some of your house projects. We're remodeling our home on a dime so I have a feeling I'll enjoy a kindred spirit!

Barb McMahon said...

Don't you just love a challenge?

Thanks and welcome, Emily!