I waited until the end of the day, but I did it. I set my timer and puts things away as quickly as I could. I did have a couple of little cop-out areas--one small pile that I need my husband to decide on, and a few very small items shoved into my desk drawer to be purged when I get to the desk, because I just couldn't figure it out that quickly. Everything else either ready to donate or put away. The drawer now holds only a few normal items. I plan to put a drawer organizer into it in a couple days to keep those items neat. I already have the organizer, salvaged after removing a whole set of silver wear I don't need, that is now in the donation bag!
Speaking of that, I should give myself credit for sorting out the stuff in the cabinet below the drawer, which wasn't included in the "counter" challenge. I am going to be donating a set of silverware and a set of dishes we no longer need. The stuff I AM saving is being put away with similar items elsewhere, and I was even able to throw out one old item from my regular things because it was relaxed by something from that cabinet! So I will ultimately have that entire space available to store things that are currently sitting out in the open. :-)
PS - MorningGlory!!
I am amazed every day to discover that I do, in fact, have plenty of nice and useful containers/cupboards/baskets/boxes.... they were just all full of trash!
*~*~* It's gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiney day. *~*~*
I have to admit that I LOVE being almost clutter free... or maybe I'm not, we just live in a large home where there is room for it to exist with us in harmony and 95% of the "stuff" has an assigned home. I need to work on getting all my stuff out of the garage and dealing with about 10 boxes. But I know now that most of that stuff is going out, I haven't opened the boxes in 5 months. obviously I haven't NEEDED it. It is so much fun to shop for beautiful things and know that they will be displayed and not lost in the clutter. This morning I found a cut crystal bowl. I knew that it would have a home in the dining room curio and that it would look beautiful there. What a change from the days when I would buy things of that nature only to have them get lost in clutter and perhaps broken before I could enjoy them. Now I can't wait for an "occasion" so that I can use my new bowl as a serving piece for guests.
I decluttered many times and got rid of a LOT OF CRAP each time but I never really PURGED almost everything. I clung to "I may NEED this" attitude. When I moved I tossed and tossed and tossed. I haven't missed a thing that I tossed out, in fact I am daily tossing out more. I have been able to buy new, attractive clothes and not have them lost in the piles of old rags that I was hanging on to... I was never going to wear them they were stained, or out of style, or ugly, or didn't fit right, or whatever. Looking back I can't fathom why I had a drawer full of undies I didn't wear -- some could be better classified as rags. Now I can fold my undies and they fit nicely in a neat stack and I can find the ones I want to wear on any given day. I know that a lot of us DO buy new but we don't get rid of the old. Once I started purging clothing I went crazy. And now I have a closet of clothes that FIT, and that I like wearing. I admit I have gone a little shoe crazy but they are organized and I'm having fun wearing shoes that match my outfits, even if the outfit is a tank top and shorts. I have several pairs of adorable flip flops that match my shirts. Buying those motivated me to get a pedicure so that my feet look good in them. We can't enjoy the things that we love when they are lost in the crap that is just "there". And we deserve to enjoy living.
Post by morningglory on Apr 20, 2012 15:32:07 GMT -5
Di Dreaming, your description of the good stuff being lost in the piles of cr@p, of the drawers and closets and piles of ragged, ill-fitting clothing. . .it's all so familiar! The contrasting situation you describe, of having only things that you enjoy using and that look good and that you can FIND, is my dream. The fact that you have gotten to the point that you have is super motivating. I want that.
I began moving in that direction a few years ago, with the help of the great people in this forum (at the old site). I want to keep going until I have reached my goal of being able to have people inside my home whenever I want or need to, without discomfort (theirs or mine!). I want our home to be cozy, comfortable, and pleasant, a place where the kids can bring their friends, a place to relax after an active day or work or errands. What a home really should be--instead of a place to pile up a bunch of trash because I might "need" it some day or might be able to use it for something.
Morningglory, I challenge you to toss out 10 items of clothing that you are hanging on to for no good reason and go buy yourself one new pair of jeans that fit well and a cute shirt. It doesn't have to be "fancy" for you to feel good wearing it.
For me, clothes buying is aways in the future. One of the reasons I have so many clothes to get rid of is that I cannot bear to try them on before I buy them, because I would have to look in the mirror, and that almost always leaves me feeling self-harm-ish. (I can do it at home, it's just those scary large bright mirrors that do me in.)
But yesterday, getting ready for work, I could flick through my wardrobe (NOT my floor pile!) and find a couple of nice pieces to wear. They are almost all in the wardrobe now... thanks to my tossing out aggressively campaign making room for what I do have
*~*~* It's gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiney day. *~*~*
In my case, I am truly a messy and not a hoarder.... Daye, I know we've had several conversations in various threads about decluttering at a slower pace....but I do not agree with you on this, and hope you can respect my opinion as I respect yours. Why spend one more hour in squalor than you have to?
Because, as Daye alluded to, the research into hoarding behavior shows that going too fast does not solve the problem in the long run. Because going too fast can make people burn out and stall, and then feel like a failure. Because some people will beat themselves up for not going fast enough or tossing enough stuff on the first round.
I understand that going fast and tossing aggressively worked for you (although as you have said you took a year to desqualor). And it may work for some others, but it generally does not work well for hoarders. You have said that you are not a hoarder, and yet you give advice to other people who may be or who have said that they are hoarders, and the advice goes against the best knowledge and practice for helping hoarders. My concern is that we don't make recommendations that may turn out to be harmful to others. Many of us already suffer from "not enough, not good enough, not fast enough". As long as someone is making forward movement on a consistent basis, that is good enough.
Post by morningglory on Apr 21, 2012 20:54:21 GMT -5
>Why spend one more hour in squalor than you have to?
When she says "than you HAVE to", I take into that accounting the time I need to allot to retrain my thinking, let go emotionally, etc. I am forging ahead, but I am taking all the time that I HAVE to, in order to do it right.
On that topic--I spent about 2.5 hours on the counter today! It looks SO much better already, although I still have a small bin of things to go through, and I have to wash the surfaces. (After which I will post "after" photos.) I feel so excited, though, seeing that spot that had become such a familiar stack of assorted who-knows-what looking like an almost normal counter space where I can imagine actually organizing documents that I need to keep handy!
One of our sons, regarding the dwindling pile, asked, "How did you do that? You just started working on it and now it's almost gone!" I could see that he had thought of it like I had--an overwhelming amount of work that would have to be dealt with as a project, rather than just a stack of items that could be dealt with one at a time.
MUCH of the stuff got TOSSED (whoopie!). A lot of stuff went into the kids' keepsake boxes (which they LOVED). Others had to be filed, or put in their proper places. For once I followed through with getting rid of everything I could, which pleases me.
Since I've already spent about 3 hours on the counter area, and I expect to spend about another hour, obviously I am not meeting my 2.5 hour challenge. But it really doesn't matter at all, since I am getting it DONE, and since I am learning how to work more efficiently, which I expect will help me take on the next project!
Post by morningglory on Apr 21, 2012 21:07:56 GMT -5
THANK YOU, Di Dreaming, for that challenge! Since I have been moving more and more in the direction of clearing out the bad clothing and only keeping nice stuff, I actually got rid of a number of items earlier this year. In fact, they were things that still fit and were still in good condition, but I just really didn't like the way they looked on me! That is a huge accomplishment for me, because previously I would feel *obligated* to keep perfectly good clothing that fit. (Heck, I felt obligated to keep worn out stuff that didn't fit, because it might fit eventually and I might not have the money to spend to replace it!) So when I first read your challenge, I thought, "Oh, there's no way I can find 10 items to throw away."
Nevertheless, I realize that I can probably find at least that many things that I still have hanging around my closet and drawer and other places that I could get rid of.
Do you think I should get rid of clothing that I really believe I will be able to fit into in another six months, if I continue working out and eating right? The bad part is that I have had these particular items for probably 18 years. I have been working hard to get in shape, and I have lost weight--but not actually enough to fit these items. (I gave up on the items I still own from before my first pregnancy. My daughter can wear them now, and whichever ones she didn't like I gave away! Except for a few skirts that she will be able to fit in another year.)
I am going to look through various categories of clothing and find at least 10 items, according to your challenge, and I will let you know when I have them picked out. I think I might buy something other than the jeans, though, because I already have some favorite jeans (in good condition!). I'll let you know what I do as far as that, too.
Post by morningglory on Apr 21, 2012 21:10:04 GMT -5
Hurricane--YAY for you getting your closet all done. I feel a sense of relief just from the descriptions you have posted, knowing you can walk in and not trip and see your cutie bears waiting for your big hugs! That is so awesome and awe-inspiring!
Post by morningglory on Apr 21, 2012 22:01:22 GMT -5
Moonglow, I agree that no one should be beating themselves up when the are making an effort to change!! I sincerely hope that no one reading about our attempts to toss aggressively has felt or would feel that they need to do it the same way.
There is a lot of great advice on this board, but not all of it is helpful to me. I in no way expect my method to be helpful to everyone else. As in all support groups--take what works for you and leave the rest.
And please, if anyone reading this thread has felt pressured or inadequate for needing a different approach, I apologize and send serious reassurance that getting out of squalor is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Forgive me if I gave any impression to the contrary.
Morningglory, look at your clothes from the perspective of "What Not To Wear". Are they out of date/style? Are they colors that you would be happy wearing now? Do they have "closet sag"? DO THEY HAVE SHOULDER PADS? Do they have misshapen shoulders from being on a hanger for 18 years? Do the shirts have any of those annoying darkened "grease spots"? Has the fabric discolored? Do they have "streaks"? and most important..... DO YOU LOVE THEM? Only the last question should be answered with a "yes"... If you answered yes to any other ... then after you have worked so hard to be ABLE to wear them, you DESERVE for them to be nice and for them to make you happy when you do wear them.
Regarding hoarding: I feel that I am a hoarder, I can always see things as they COULD be and I have wonderful intentions of making do, re-doing, repurposing, and being Earth friendly in all that I do. However, I don't follow through with my grand intentions. For some of us, tossing aggressively is the only way to deal with our hoard. If we take our time and deal with each miniscule thing at a rate that is "comfortable" we will be in the same place spinning our wheels and going nowhere forever, because for us, there is NO comfortable speed to deal with crud. This DOES NOT work for all, but it is a valid and necessary step for many. That's why I like this board, our situations are similar in some ways and vastly different in others. We can support each other and love each other and cheer each other on... decluttering may be fast or slow. It can be meticulous and methodical or we can toss into a box and dump.. (or even toss UNOPENED boxes) Just moving forward at any pace that you can is where you need to be. And it you toss out 1 piece of paper that you THOUGHT you needed and yet decided to release it, I will cheer you on. Each one do whatever they can and eventually we will live in a bright and beautiful and uncluttered world.
I have wonderful intentions of making do, re-doing, repurposing, and being Earth friendly in all that I do. However, I don't follow through with my grand intentions. For some of us, tossing aggressively is the only way to deal with our hoard. If we take our time and deal with each miniscule thing at a rate that is "comfortable" we will be in the same place spinning our wheels and going nowhere forever, because for us, there is NO comfortable speed to deal with crud. This DOES NOT work for all, but it is a valid and necessary step for many.
DiDreaming - thank you so much, for expressing that so eloquently.
I see myself as resourceful and earth-friendly, and I have sometimes taken trash and turned it into treasure, which gives me a lot of pleasure.
BUT - 95% of the time, it has stayed trash, and stayed, and stayed.
I've spent years going through my hoards and sorting and filing and donating, and yet the hoard just kept getting bigger, because I never felt free to get rid of things that were expensive, or sentimental, or possibly useful one day, or potentially nice if I fixed/painted/sewed/cleaned them.
That's why this board works for me. It gives me permission to just... Throw. It. Out.
Today, I threw out two jars from the fridge that still had food in them. One was a jam that neither of us like, the other was some olives that weren't fresh anymore. My old rule was that I had to compost the food (I don't even have a compost bin set up!) and wash the jars and recycle them. This time, I just threw them in the garbage. It felt really uncomfortable, but I still wanted to do it. No one is making me do it, or judging me if I don't. Now it's done, and I can forget about it and move on.
I also turfed out heaps of old makeup, and 3 of my 5 hairbrushes. Again, I felt extravagent doing that, but now I have the tools to change my self-talk, and assure myself that I don't have to keep old, dirty, nasty hair brushes, and that in time I will buy 2 nice ones, and retire the 2 I have left.
Tossing out aggressively is one of the SooS tools that is bringing sanity back into my life, where my old techniques had completely failed. That doesn't mean it will work for anyone else, and other people's things don't need to work for me.
Anyway... sorry if I have carried on a bit. I've been upset today, to think I might be hurting someone else by getting so enthused about this, because that's the last thing I want. But, I really do need this.
Please, if it makes anyone uncomfortable to read this, or makes them feel bad.... please don't... but please give me permission to keep being excited about it?
(Those last couple of paras were really hard for me to write. I'm scared of being rejected, breaking rules... that's my emotional stuff. I take things to heart too much.)
*~*~* It's gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiney day. *~*~*