When my father passed over a year ago, my husband and I were faced with the daunting task of cleaning out his house to sell it. We live in another state and it took us much time and money to get this done, almost a year in fact.
After going through this I am determined not to put my children through this hardship. I have been sorting through all the stuff my husband and I have accumulated over the years. I have sold things at flea markets, yard sales, and given to our local Salvation Army. I have earned money not only by selling but finding things I probably would have bought in the near future.
I am more aware of the stuff I bring into my home now. I weigh each purchase. The best is I save time by not having to move "piles" from one area to the next. We enjoy are home more because we are not always stepping over things and battling clutter. Home is a calmer more spacious place to be.
By Pat Wilkens from Eastern PA
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After many years of accumulating things, I am in the process of that now. I have saved things from my two sons who have passed on 21 and 18 years ago as well as so many things I've collected from the kids, their school papers, gifts, scrapbook items, etc. For the first time in 47 years, I will be living by myself. No more children, adult children, their spouses and no more grandchildren.
I realize that it is better to have a few nice things that mean something to me rather then a houseful of what nots that are just collecting dust. I do not want to leave everything for my children to do.
At one point we all discussed what would be done with all my belongings and they all said "bonfire" at the same time. I realized then that I had way too much stuff and it didn't mean anything to them. I have started a tote for each child and grandchild. As I go through my stuff, I put something into each tote that I think they would like as a remembrance of me. Much has gone into the trash, sold at yard sales or donated to someone that needed it.
I understand where you are coming from and think all of us will do better by dealing with our things bedore we pass on and the kids have to make decisions at a sad time. People have so much more today then they did years ago and our children have enough of their own. A few special pieces will mean more to them then a houseful of unusable things.
Judie from Eau Claire, WI
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One thing I noticed in a movie based in Iceland that I just saw, is that there was a noticeable lack of extra STUFF in their homes and other places. We as Americans have so much extra stuff, but I am trying to use that vision of a stripped-down environment to inspire me.
If you are cleaning your closets, basement, or garage now, consider donating your unwanted items to the Goodwill, Amvets, Salvation Army, or some other worthy charity.
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Today's poll asks: Do you have problems eliminating clutter in your household? Read our readers' answers and solutions here.
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First it helps to be a disciplined person, secondly I think that with Ebay a lot of people are getting rid of the clutter and finding that they can make a little extra money too! Thirdly, with programs like freecycle.org people can get rid of a lot of stuff and know that it is being put to good use and not ending up in the landfill.
1- Deal with mail as soon as you read it:
a) put bills together with a paper clip or in a folder kept for that purpose.
b) dispose of junk mail immediately.
I have finally learned less is more. If you don't use it get rid of it. When I am gone someone else will come in and have to get rid of it so I might as well do it and save them from having to do it.
All my life people have been so generous in giving me things,treasures for ME! How do you chuck so many fond memories? 54 years of marriage and 32 years in a very small house is NOT enough room to store "TREASURES", music boxes, photo albums,and all the love with each one .We all know you can't take it with you.LOL But How to part with it escapes me.
Best solution to help me with my clutter was when I joined flylady.net four years ago. Changed how I dealt with it forever!
I'm a closet clutter type of person, sentimental clutter. I had to realize not all gifts make me smile, and that the item is not the loved one, so that helped me eliminate a lot of clutter and guilt that sometimes comes along with it.
I also do daily clutter patrols of my flat surfaces and weekly for my school paper and mail pile in my kitchen.
Go check out flylady, I learned it all from her! :)