Wednesday, September 1, 2010

STUFF.

You know how when someone writes in all caps, you feel like they’re yelling at you?

Well, I wrote this post title in all caps so I can look back on it and yell…at myself.  ;)

First things first – I must start by telling you something very, very important…

I LIKE STUFF.

(No, I’m not yelling at you, I just like stuff.)

I like stuff around the house, I like buying stuff. Stuff makes me happy.

Not clutter, just stuff. Pretty stuff. Stuff I like. I would like to think I’m normal. (I know, I know -- that is up for discussion.)  :)

This week has changed something in me though – nothing crazy, like I’m going to live with only 100 items (I’ve read many articles about folks doing that lately – and I don’t think they’re crazy, I just know it would be crazy for ME.)

As most of you know, we lost my sweet father-in-law last week, and we started the process of going through his home to decide what to keep, toss, donate, sell, etc. The process has been a bit overwhelming – not because his house is overly cluttered, but because it’s just 50 years of STUFF. Fifty years!

It really made me stop and think – why I keep the things I do, why I’ve kept certain items for 25 years, why I buy the things I do. I didn’t really have a good answer to any of it. :)

But I was on a mission – I went after the basement with new eyes. I started the process back in January and made HUGE strides, but I still hadn’t completed it. And now I am on a get-rid-of-stuff binge like you’ve never seen. ;)

In just a couple of days, I had another car load ready for Goodwill:

I looked at our things with a whole new light – and realized some of my issues when it comes to stuff.

First – THE TOYS. Oh dear Lord in heaven, help me, the TOYS. Do I need to say more?

I never know when to get rid of them…there are toys we’ve had for years that I see the Bub play with every now and again, and I hesitate to donate them. For so long now, I’ve figured if he plays with it, we should keep it around.

A few weeks ago I did a little experiment. I packed away a ton of the little toys, (the ones that drive you a teeny bit cuckoo) and some big ones as well. And guess what – he didn’t even notice they were gone. For weeks.

Imagine that. ;)

Now there’s certain toys where this totally wouldn’t fly. But 95 percent of them are out of sight out of mind. So two lawn trash bags later, I attacked them with a new mindset:

toys

I realized something else – my son’s toys sometimes mean more to me than to him. I feel an attachment to them as well. I have NO idea why – maybe because I buy most of them? Because I remember who gave him this or that for his birthday? Because I am the one who found it for a steal at Goodwill? Who knows. I know I need to let go of them like I do anything else in the house.

Speaking of Goodwill, I realized another culprit when it comes to the stuff in our home – and it’s a biggie.

Obviously, I like to shop “thrifty” – but thrifty can get you in trouble. Anyone who knows Goodwill shopping knows if you see something you like, you’d better grab it right this second. Many times I’ve walked past something I wanted, shopped through the rest of the store and gone back to get it and it’s gone. (Curses!!)

So I grab things, buy them and always figure, if I can’t use it, I’ll return it. But the seven day return policy KILLS me – I hardly ever get things back on time. And in my head, I tell myself it’s OK because “It was only $2.99.” Or $1.99. Or $4.99. But all of those .99’s add up. :)

And then I want to hold on to each thing I didn’t return (and oh yeah, didn’t NEED it) because I paid for it! What in the world? My thought process is whack!

I love to shop consignment shops as well – and most of these shops have NO return policy. You just can’t do it. I have to be pretty positive I’m going to use something before I buy it, but there’s still items that don’t work and then I’m stuck with them.

So I keep them. Cause I paid for them, right?:

GW

You see my evil cycle yet? :)

I think the biggest issue I have is also due to the thrifty in me – the whole oh NO but what if I may need it one day syndrome. Stuff I bought years ago, and used for years…it served it’s purpose in our home. I keep it because what if one day I need JUST THAT ITEM. What if got rid of it? What would happen?!

The Earth may just fall off it’s axis.

Dear. Lord.

I found plenty of things that I’ve kept for months or years without using or even thought about using, and they were off to Goodwill with the rest of the lot:

never

And guess what – over the past few months after at least 10 car loads to Goodwill and local shelters, there’s been ONE time when I needed something I had donated. And it cost all of $5 to replace.

I have a new mantra when it comes to our stuff when I’m determining what to donate, keep and what to BUY. It must serve a purpose, be something I enjoy and currently use or will (definitely, no doubt) use in the future, and if it’s a sentimental item, it must be truly important enough to me to use up valuable storage space.

And isn’t it funny how you don’t realize something is sentimental to you until you go through the storage bins every few years? Then, it’s all awwww, I loved this insert-thing-from-middle-school-here so much! Most of the time, I don’t remember that thing I loved so much until I see it. :)

As I continue to go through the basement and the rest of the house (I’m still going!), I have been asking myself if we really need it. Then I ask myself again, NO, do we really need it?

Then I ask again -- “For reals, Sarah. DO YOU REALLY NEED THIS?”

(See? Yelling at myself. In caps. In my head.)

It’s been an emotional couple of weeks for us, and I find that going through the clutter always, always soothes my soul. I literally feel like our house is lighter when I walk in the door. I feel lighter. I know it may sound crazy, but I really believe purging stuff creates space to breathe in your house and in your head.  :)

So are you attached to stuff like me? Do you hold on to things for the reasons I mentioned? Or are you a constant purger? Do you follow the one item in, one item out rule? If so, you are my hero. I’m learning. :)

191 comments:

  1. You and I were separated at birth!!! Every thing you described I have done and thought!!! You are not crazy! Cause then I am too and I will never own up to that lol!

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  2. One item in, one item out rule?! Never! But some purging is good every once in a while! I do a deep purge at least every season change ;) I wish I lived near the goodwill that you are headed to!!

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  3. I am TOTALLY a stuff person! And it is starting to make me crazy as well! Especially because I have no garage or basement in which to store stuff I've accumulated.

    Here is what I've come up with:

    1. Toys- Found LOTS to donate, and then got 2 small tubs in which I put toys on rotation (or on vacation, as I tell my kids). These are toys that live in the attic and only come down once every couple of months. Then it's like the toys are new again! And toys that have been out get put into the tub and into the attic.

    2. My magical decluttering question: "If, for whatever reason, this item got completely ruined or destroyed, how would I feel about that?" Usually it's one of 3 answers: 1. Heartbroken. I loved it. 2. Bummed. Now I'll have to go buy a new one. 3. Oh, well. No big deal.

    If I answered #3, then GOODBYE, USELESS OBJECT! I have managed to purge many extra sheets, random toys, and many other pointless items from my house using this method. For me it works because my little head can think up all kinds of useful purposes for things, but if I envision my life without it, I realize that's okay, and I can live without it!

    Sorry so long-winded! Love your blog!!! Makes me smile!!

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  4. I love to throw stuff out. Maybe a little too much. I've tried to help my mom, and have regretted throwing out a few things, but I just get the urge every few months and I MUST throw things away!

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  5. Seriously, I have no problem getting rid of stuff! I have been working on the kids doing the same thing.

    See this:
    http://organizingmadefun.blogspot.com/2010/06/its-birthday-time-you-know-what-that.html

    It's the kids learning to get rid of the clutter :) Makes me a happy mom! Good job...you're doing the right thing!!

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  6. As we cleaned out my grandparents stuff (my grampa passed away, my gramma moved and her new place is very small), I thought to myself,

    "we spend our whole lives accumulating these "things". We take NONE of it with us. How sad that all these things that mean something to us, in the end, will be left for those who probably won't want or care about it."

    Maybe I'll remember that the next time I shop. ;)

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  7. I know exactly what you're saying with the toys - I am the exact same way. I only recently got rid of some baby toys and my son is 4. I think part of is that we are not constant new toy people. Except for the occasional Hot Wheels car for good behavior, he only gets toys on birthday, Christmas and random presents from my parents. So I spend a lot of time obsessing over what to get him - and it's kind of hard to let go. Especially when you see him playing with something (for the first time in 3 months) that you were thinking of donating.

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  8. Wow... you've described me exactly! My husband has made it his mission to help me with my "problem".

    Ok, it is kind of a problem because too much stuff around is never good. But his idea and my idea of too much vary drastically.

    I'm working on it though, little by little. Glad I'm not the only one with this "problem". :)

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  9. I've been on a purging kick and I love it!! I don't feel bad about getting rid of toys and stuff because I bought all the "big" ones from friends for cheap or goodwill. There are some things I keep that I know would be expensive to replace in the future (if we have another), but that's about it. I am ready to throw everything away in our garage right now, and that in itself would be enough to open a new goodwill store. :) It's not my fault though...hubby is kind of a hoarder. :)

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  10. I am so trying to get rid of stuff, but it's so easy when you see the potential in EVERYTHING. I have cleared out a lot, but there are days when I think... HOARDER. HOARDER. HOARDER!!!! I do have to say watching that show makes me want to throw out everything I own. That .99 thing kills me to.

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  11. Sarah you are so funny. I loved this post. I am exactly like what you are describing as well. The *light* feeling is addictive and so wonderful. Keep on going! :)

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  12. One more thing. Last weekend I cleaned out my computer pictures and desk file drawers and got the same cleaning high. I know I'm weird huh? Ha! :)

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  13. Oh my, I could have been reading this about my self!! I'm totally the same way. I don't hoard clutter, but I do love my beautiful things. LOTs of things. Even things I forgot I had! But my husband? Is completely opposite. He came from a family that got rid of almost everything. So, he's {slowly} teaching me about the value of keeping minimal amounts of STUFF, and I'm {slowly} teaching him that it's okay to hold onto the things that are sentimental. I think we'll have it figured out by the time we're 100 ;)

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  14. OH Sarah, I sooo feel yoU! I am so much the same way...my husband says my famous quote is "It was only a dollar" That I'll buy anything on the cheap. And I LOVE to the thrift, and I LOVE STUFF too, something about aesthetic appeal and I am attached to toys my kids would happily get rid of (yes, it's an illness) and I too am trying to learn to let go and ALSO, to not buy it in the first place. I have found if I can leave a store without it, then often by a few days later, I am no longer dying to have it. Or if I see something cool at a thrift store but have no need for, I think, I will leave that for some other person who DOES need it...it's a learning/growing process for sure! I'm right there with you--my sister on the other hand is a purger! LUCKY!

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  15. Wait a minute Sarah I see some things I like in your stuff pile!!!

    haha!!

    My mama always taught me to clean and declutter like your moving! I have done this since I was young! And thankfully we actually do move A LOT!! Things get tossed, broke, left behind! So I weed "stuff" out quite a bit! And it helps me!

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  16. Obviously we were separated at birth... ummm.. separated by a few years I think, me being born first, but still twins.. yep, different birthday's, different parents, and yet - twins. So there you go..

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  17. LOL.. I wrote about stuff on my blog today too! Lx

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  18. I'm a control freak more than anything else (to the point where I control my control-freakness). Therefore my pack rat tendencies are controlled through a variety of ways. 1) If it is an every day item and I haven't used it in a year, then it gets sold (craigslist!), donated, or (if in iffy condition) trashed). 2) If it is a "special occasion" item, I can hold onto it even if I haven't used it in a while, but only if I truly believe I will use it. Go purge!

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  19. Oh my word! I just saw this post pop up in my twitter stream as I was about to click Publish on my Simplifying/Decluttering post! How crazy is that!?!

    Great minds think alike! Ha!

    Part of my problem is that you're one of my idols who got me into thrifty shopping...and now I like stuff too much. LOL

    Getting rid of stuff is such a great feeling! :)

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  20. I love your new mantra, it does make so much sense! I never think about what it would cost if I need it down the road! Good thought!!! I have quite a bit of downsizing done but I know plenty more I could achieve as well! Thanks for the motivation of how to look through things differently! I know my Christmas stuff this year needs a serious overhaul, we have 7 bins of decor items! Yikes!

    By the way, one way that I have helped justify things, like decor or even nice clothing at a thrift store, if I don't end up using it, I take it to the consignment store! I have made money that way in the past finding things on clearance, buying it and then taking it to the consignment! :)

    I am so sorry to hear about your father in law. My deepest sympathy to you and your family!

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  21. For as much as I love and appreciate beautiful things, and enjoy having wonderful things around me, I find I can part with most of it very easily. It is one reason I love to move often, it is a great chance to clear out the stuff. Some things, however, I do cling to...photos, a few things from special people, my kids artwork, homework...there is a huge pile! But for the most part, if something hasn't been used for a year it gets sent to Goodwill. Janell

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  22. I hear you Sarah! I'm a stuff lover too. =)
    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one cleaning house right now. Now,I need some tips on how to let go of the things I like but don't use LOL

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  23. You know I'm wondering what you donated that you needed later right?

    ;)

    I do that too! One night I made a list of everything in the room that I was in that I didn't need to own, and I upped it a notch and put the price by everything.

    It's sick.

    When I put myself on a spending freeze it feels GOOD to me to go out and buy the tiniest thing just to spend the money. I swear I'm bonkers. Sometimes I even feel guilty going into a store and not buying anything. Nuts I tell you!

    :)

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  24. Lol I just wrote a blog about stuff too! It must be that time of year! Lx

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  25. So sorry about your FIL. I must have missed that post. I am so stuck in your pattern. And...I never get rid of something when I buy something, but I am currently in the de-crapification process. I think I have too many collections to stop obtaining stuff, although I'm trying to make better selections. Plus, when I get rid of stuff, then I think I still have it, and it drives my husband crazy b/c he has to go through all the boxes in the attic looking for whatever 'it' is. That's lurve...

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  26. Oh man! I totally would have taken that dump truck off your hands! It would be perfect for my nephew. My mom has been garage saling for the longest time, trying to find a decent truck for her grandkids. Let me know if you just happen to still have it! :)

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  27. I am a buyer. And it doesn't have to be on sale, or clearance, or at the thrift shop. If I want it, I buy it. The key word there is WANT. I have decided to change my mindset. I blogged about this yesterday actually...I am going to go the whole month of September without buying anything (groceries or needs for my boys don't count). The "wants" have got to stop. It's insane. And yes, I am a chromic purger too. We bought 3 sets of couches in 4 years before I settled on the one set that I love. It's sick. I'm sick...of it all. So yes, I get you when you say you fell lighter. It is real...I feel that way too!
    K.

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  28. I too LOVE stuff, but my problem is I see stuff in the thrift store and talk myself out of it... then two weeks later I am working on a project that I really need it for.... so I on the other hand should get the stuff when I need it... or we could do a swap where you give me stuff you don't need hahaa

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  29. I always think of you now every time I get the urge to decrapify. I have serious problems with stuff. It's nice to know I'm not the only one. But I think I need help getting rid of more. Far too many things are "sentimental" to me, though I too realize that I've forgotten I've even kept them until I find them years later in some random box. I swear it's a sickness, and one I'd really like to break, but I just don't know where to start! Come over? Haha.

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  30. Great post!

    I hate "stuff". I hate little chachkies (sp???), and collections, and anything that clutters my life.

    Sometimes I get in trouble because I give TOO MUCH away.

    But I have to agree, having just a little, just a few important things surrounding you sure makes you feel like you can breathe so much easier. Like your stress and anxiety is so much less.

    I'm trying to find the balance right now with acquiring home decor items vs. wanting to pitch it all because it makes me overwhelmed.

    I think the reason I throw too much away. The reason I donate too much stuff is because my dad is a hoarder. Growing up he would buy 20 of the one thing he wanted. Just in case he needed more.

    It drove me mad. So now I get rid of everything. If I have more drawers empty than full I'm a happy camper. lol

    But I've been shopping at thrift stores and creating crafts for the home because I want a beautiful home, not an empty one.

    It's a hard balance.

    You are doing great! Keep up the good work.

    Just think to yourself, "What if I get rid of this and I need it again in the future? Well, if I need it, I'll just buy it again because chances are I won't need it."

    I get rid of stuff that I haven't used in awhile. If on the off-chance I end up needing it again (I won't) then I'll just go buy another one.

    Christmas and birthdays stress me out big time. I get anxiety thinking about all the crap people are going to give me (I know I sound so ungrateful). I'd rather receive nothing or something that will create a memory like movie tickets or a date night than another gift basket.

    I'd rather buy vacations and memories with my family than more crap for my home.

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  31. I used to keep everything because my parents keep everything. When we bought our home I decided that I couldn't take the clutter. We have nothing in our attic except for HVAC equipment. Our shed has our tools, lawn equipment,one toybox of outside toys and a few holiday decorations. I go through the house with a vengence after christmas time because santa is generous to us. I may be the worst mom for this...I do not keep all the drawings and artwork my 2 kids make. I keep a few a year and then toss. My mom asked me recently if I have went to counceling about "hoarding" things and I haven't. I just need to let go of things I don't need.

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  32. Love this post! I've pretty much always been a 'keeper' of things, mostly because my grandma didn't let my mother keep things and so she wanted to let her kids...'save.' Some of that has been good, other times, just plain useless. Thankfully, by moving homes, we forced ourselves to purge a lot and have been doing that sooo much more often now. I'd say I'm now a happy medium between keeping the good and reasonable items and ditching anything w/out purpose, use, etc.

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  33. That was awesome!!! I loved every word! Very entertaining but also full of food for thought. I, too, am trying to find a balance. Being a lover of all things thrifty sure does pose a large chalenge as far as "minimizing" goes. If I'm not careful, I'll end up 50(hey, I still have 20 years to go!)with a house FULL of STUFF!! I hope to avoid that and with some of your tips I think I have a better chance! Thanks for the great post!

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  34. My mother thinks I am completely unsentimental. I keep explaining to her that is not the case; rather, we're a military on the move every year-3 years and we unpack it all every.single.time (thank goodness someone packs it up!). If something is going to stay stored away, it'd better have a very great value or be useful (clothing for the youngest she'll grow into)in the not too distant future. Plus, we can never count on our housing being our ideal so we never know what we'll have until we get there. All that to say, we purge constantly, and with kids I find it's a constant flow of stuff in and out of the house. We're overseas now and it's killing me not to have Craig's List or a base thrift shop to unload our extras! It does, however, help in that we don't pick up too much junk because there isn't a Target! Lastly, one way we have dealt with the toy issue (and we still have too many) is that we limit ourselves and the grandparents to ONE gift at Christmas for each child (plus stocking stuffers from us); birthdays are freebies, but we have found that they have learned to like this concept and do the same thing. And before or after big holidays like that or at the change of a season, my kids have already learned to make the keep, give away, and sell piles. :)

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  35. I enjoyed every second of this post! You are captivating with your words by the way. ;) You are RIGHT on but...I LOVE stuff too, lol. I like the guidelines you set to ask yourself before you buy.

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  36. Oh man, the struggles of stuff! I know them all too well. I don't consider myself a pack rat, well I used to be, when I wasn't the one who had to pack everything during a move. Now I've learned how to part with stuff, unfortunately I married an emotionally-attached-to-stuff man. Despite my gentle pleas to recycle all the old 'files' from his freshman college classes that he's never once looked at since, they are at the top of our son's closet.

    Good luck with your purging. I really need to work on my house as well.

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  37. I am currently doing the same thing...we downsized a year and a half ago and we are moving again. Another downsize to a house that is half the size that we are in now. I think the Lord is forcing me to simplify. It is not easy because I also love stuff. I am sentimental about lots of things, I like to decorate, rearrange and entertain and I see the potential in so many things that I get because I want to fix them up. So there you go...I prefer to call myself a gatherer rather than a hoarder...LOL! I think I shall call myself and simplified gatherer : )

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  38. I hear you!

    I'm in a similar place, right down to the toys. You're so right- I think I hang on to some of them because of what they mean to ME.

    We're moving house in a couple of months (your blog is currently inspiring the decorator in me) and I am clearing out. 2 bags of toys went to the charity shop on Tuesday, I'm starting on 'stuff' today.

    It's is so cathartic!

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  39. I swear, in another life you and I could be sisters! I just wrote a post about this VERY topic! Well, a few posts. I am moving to Alaska. Nothing like moving to make you want to purge stuff. Lucky me I get to do it every three years.

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  40. Great post Sarah! I too am a twin of yours separated at birth! When my mother in law passed away last April, my husband and his brother and sister came to town and took an entire weekend sorting through her things that she collected over the past 80-something years of her life. She had some really wonderful things that all of us will cherish, but boxes of really random stuff that just makes you feel SO bad to have to get rid of. You know it meant something to her so how could we just heartlessly give it away or worse yet, THROW IT IN THE TRASH?? The feelings of guilt were overwhelming! It made me then realize that I wouldn't want to put my family through this one day, so hubby and I immediately went through our collections of STUFF and had his mom's sister pick up truck after truck load to sell at her church's upcoming garage sale. We felt so much lighter! I inherited my dad's pack rat mentality, and coupled with the fact that my husband's company has paid for the 3 moves we've made over the past 15 years, it's sooooooo easy to just have them pack EVERYTHING up and deal with it later! Heck, WE didn't have to move it, AND maybe we'll need that box of mystery stuff someday that hasn't been opened in umpteen years!
    Well, the wheels came to a screeching halt and now that we're semi-retired and hoping to find our dream house in sunny South Carolina, our home is on the market, we've pared things down considerably. We don't want our daughter to someday have to go through what we did last April. Our next home won't have the luxury of massive his-and-her's storage areas like we have now, so if it doesn't have a functional place in our new home, if it's not sentimental, or have considerable monetary value, it's not making the trip.
    I know what you are going through dealing with your dad's estate, and it's not an easy ordeal. I can say that the best time we had that weekend last April dealing with my MIL's was uncovering the pile of cards and old pictures she collected from her family during her lifetime. It brought tears to our eyes. She saved a TON of them. I can't tell you how heartwarming it was to sit with my husband's family and see the past unfolding, reading all the cards and notes she kept dear to her heart for so many years. So, I guess, saving a few cards, letters and news clippings, in the end really doesn't take up too much room, but really filled our hearts and made for another great moment we'll cherish forever!
    Sorry for the rambling, long winded post. Why do I always feel like your wonderful blog is somewhat like therapy for us? Badly needed therapy?!
    Doctor Sarah is IN THE HOUSE!
    Thanks for sharing Sarah, and for letting us share our STUFF with you!
    Jules

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  41. I might as well have written this myself!! I feel the exact same way about the exact same types of stuff. But you're right ~ it is just stuff!! Thank you!

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  42. To a certain extent, I like stuff too. But because we moved so much, we also got rid of A LOT of stuff.

    Even better? The more kids you have, the more stuff you have, so multiply Bub's toys by 3!!

    I need someone to give me a tip on what to do with all the crayons we have, it's crazy!

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  43. You have inspired me to get to work and purge! I have a hard time getting rid of stuff due to sentimental reasons. Just like you said, I remember who gave a toy or outfit to the kids etc. My problem is my kids are grown now! Am I hanging on to these things for grandkids? It's not like I have 20 years worth of toys or anything but it's time to look through the bins and boxes and donte these things to others who are in need and let my house and head breathe!!

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  44. I'm a purger. I grew up a military brat and we would do a big house purge every year so it's been ingrained in me. My in-laws love stuff and hold onto everything. After moving them 6x in the past 10 years and it's confirmed I will NEVER be a keeper of stuff! I hate clutter! As much as I love shopping I make sure I don't buy things unless I have a purpose for it.

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  45. You are so right about the Goodwill shopping...not to mention the dollar day deals! How can I not buy a dresser, no matter how ugly, when it is only a dollar?
    Oh, and those curbside finds! My garage is full, and Hubby frustrated because can just not let free or bargain STUFF go...
    Hey, at least we are in good company, right?

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  46. Help. Need. To. Purge.
    I'll make this short...I have a 22 year old, an 18 year old and a 9 year old...and they have all played with the same toys. Does this tell you anything?!! I can get rid of anything except my boys' toys...can you say sentimental?! UGH! :-0
    Hugs!...I'm going to go see what I can get rid of now. :)
    Missy

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  48. As I'm reading, I'm thinking how right you are about the sentimental, especially the toys. Think I may have created two monsters, since they both talk about 'one day my kids will love to play with this'...so far, they are picking classic, valuable things, but still. I also want to go to your Goodwill ;-) Keep up the good work, I definitely know the purge joy...it helps to move - HA!

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  49. This is totally me! I have a huge collection of toys that mean more to me than they ever did my kids. What's bad for me though is that instead of a basement, we have an attic. I can shove boxes & boxes of stuff up there & forget all about it.

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  50. I'm a packrat myself from a long line of packrats! I have the same issues plus I'm a clutterer too. I am getting better at purging & am trying to teach Kiddo the same thing.

    I need to have a system to organize what I do have and need to keep. That is part of my problem.

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  51. I think we all go through this to a certain extent. I too have started to go room by room and weed out the things we no longer NEED! I think a lot of time it comes down to those two VERY opposite words...NEED vs. WANT. I sometimes see all the stuff and think of all the money spent and now being sent out the door for nothing...that is definitely a reality check! I have found that if there are items in question, for whatever reason (sentimental or otherwise) if I just put them aside or in a box for 4-6 mos, but at the end of that period haven't used them, missed them or needed them...then they DEFINITELY go! It is freeing to not have so much around you.

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  52. I DO like stuff! But all it takes for me is to think about how much stuff I'm going to have to deal with when I have to clean out my mom's stuff. She is the ultimate bargain shopper and could probably stock 3 Goodwill stores from her basement. The thought of hauling all that stuff out makes me think twice before bringing something in to my OWN home!

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  53. I can certainly understand your feelings at cleaning out your dear father in law's home. We went through that same thing in January and it made me really look at all my things as well. Blessings to you as you make some big decisions about STUFF. BTW, I love stuff too....TJ Maxx and Ross can always tempt me with their wonderful STUFF!!!

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  54. I can certainly understand your feelings at cleaning out your dear father in law's home. We went through that same thing in January and it made me really look at all my things as well. Blessings to you as you make some big decisions about STUFF. BTW, I love stuff too....TJ Maxx and Ross can always tempt me with their wonderful STUFF!!!

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  55. My mom has a 'shopping' problem - bad day? Shop. Headache? Shop. Bored? Shop. Mad at Dad? Shop. You get the picture...but she would justify it all by shopping clearance, thrifty, etc...nonetheless, my mom would have to have a HUGE garage sale EVERY summer to get rid of the STUFF. The garage would overflow and people would come from all around cause the knew they could get awesome deals including, yes, stuff with the tags still on it.

    But that wasn't enough - still I liked stuff. Not as much as my mom, but I had a hard time getting rid of anything.

    Then 4 years ago we moved my Grandma out of her home of 50 years and into a nursing home. She lived in a 900 sq.ft. house that was PACKED! It took us and her 3 children 3 MONTHS to empty out this little tiny house.

    That was my epiphany...it is just stuff. After 50 years no body cares. Grandma had saved all this stuff and, except for a few items, nobody wanted any of it. If you don't use it, you don't need it. If you don't wear it, don't keep it.

    Now I am a mommy of 3 and there are somethings I'll never throw - and I love to scrapbook so I am saving memories. But seriously, most of its just junk and I HATE dusting it anyhow.

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  56. I have totally come to that point myself! We are rather broke right now and I realized too much thrifting adds up after awhile. Some things I didn't love and should not have purchased! So I am also talking to myself in the store!

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  57. I am like you also. I like stuff a lot. I have come up with a system for myself... Since I seem to change around items in my home, before buying [more stuff] for one room, I will go through the other rooms and see what I can take from there to add to the new room. If I don't find anything, than I will go to my craft room and see if I have something in my large container of stuff, or something that I can re-do. If I am working on a room and I find something that just isn't in my tastes anymore, than I donate it, or change it up a bit... [changing things up prevents me from buying more stuff, which I have been really good at lately LOL].

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  58. I'm going through the same process in my own home of 32 years. My children have asked me to move just once so they aren't left with clearing out my attic. It's a great experience to clear out...just takes lots of time that I don't seem to have, but I'm doing it, one bag at a time. Here's to us all!

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  59. I'm going through the same process in my own home of 32 years. My children have asked me to move just once so they aren't left with clearing out my attic. It's a great experience to clear out...just takes lots of time that I don't seem to have, but I'm doing it, one bag at a time. Here's to us all!

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  60. i am a constant purger. my mom has a lot of stuff but is very organized. my dad is a hoarder. a paper hoarder. he has taken over rooms in their house with his floor to ceiling (no exaggeration) stacks of papers. recently he sent me an article from a 2001 seventeen of celebrities at their prom. i had graduated college by 2001. what was he doing with a seventeen? but it was in his piles that he was going through. as a result, i am a CONSTANT purger. every time salvation army calls i tell them YES i have a pick up and MAKE MYSELF fill up a bag. furthermore, people around the world are sleeping on dirt floors with NOTHING. so no, i don't need more clutter. i also don't like spending money on stuff to sit around. my house is not always cute and i don't have much to swap out when the seasons change but it's less for me store, less money i'm spending AND less for someone else to go through if/when something happens to me. i love purging and my friends ask me for help with it!!! i didn't mean for this to be a long answer. guess i love talking about it. i'm glad you had an aha moment!! yaay!

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  61. ok... My 4 yr old bub was sitting on my lap while I was reading this post, and he asked about the truck in the picture. I said that you were giving it away and he said "can I have it? It looks like the one we have outside!"
    I would have to say I get attached to certain things and others I store them for awhile and if after 6 months no one notices it's gone, I get rid of it.
    I too find it theraputic to purge my house of stuff.

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  62. I've been a purger for years now, but get this - I think when I entered blogworld a year ago, it was a bad influence in one way. I started going to Goodwill more often, inspired by others' finds. I started decorating with more clutter, simply because I got ideas for ways to use the "bargains" I found. Once we moved I nipped that habit in the bud, because I saw JUST HOW MUCH "Decor" stuff I had to pack into boxes. Good Lord. It was embarrassing. Now I'm back to purging, and would like to keep it that way. I'm only keeping the items that really mean something. You can't take it with you!

    Funny, I just wrote a post for next Monday about this same topic. :)

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  63. You know, my Mom is a stuff person. They are going to sell their house, and their realtor told them that they need to get rid of 50% of the stuff in their house to sell it. That's a lot! So now they're going to have to spend a LOT to store it while they're trying to sell.

    I think my reaction to her stuff obsession was to go the other way. Not to the extreme (I downsized my "memories" collection this spring and still have probably two bins of them) but I don't want to come to the end of my life and have "stuff" to show for it, you know?

    So sorry to hear about your loss. Sounds like you guys are celebrating a lot of great memories! That flower arrangement you got the other day says a lot about the shared times you had with your father-in-law. So sweet.

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  64. Wow! I REALLY (yelling at myself) :-) need to do this at my house & our house is teeny tiny. Good for you! And imagine all the space you'll have in your basement now! :-D

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  65. I absolutely LOVE to clean out closets and garage and get rid of stuff - mostly because my hubby is a pack rat, and if we weren't polar opposites, our house would explode. My sister in law decorates with everything she ever had and it drives me nuts. I'd rather have a few things out, that all match, and look tasteful, and don't cause me more dusting or housework, and make my home look like a home - not a storage facility!!

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  66. I've been doing the same. we're considering a move. Funny how when you think of dragging stuff half way across the country it doesn't have the same appeal. One thing I read awhile back that I try to keep in mind is asking yourself, "How hard would it be to replace this?"

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  67. Oh my gosh -- the "stuff" sounds like my house. Am going to try and donate, purge, sell, etc. -- you've inspired me!! :)

    Janet

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  68. I have the same problem with thrift store finds. Hopefully I can take a cue from you and tone it down a bit.

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  69. I think you've hit the nail right on the head and spelled out a problem MANY of us have! My attic has stuff that I'm sure I'll use again...someday. Ugh!

    One idea, though...my son is about the same age as yours, I believe (mine will be four in a couple of weeks). I saw the cutest idea that a lady did with one of her sons toys...she spray-painted it one solid color to use as a decoration. I think a big dump truck (pretty sure we have one almost exactly like the one you ahve) would be so cute spray painted completely white or the coral-red color I'm using...I'm just sayin'. :)

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  70. Oh honey! I feel like you are speaking to my soul. ;) I am the same way! Seriously, everytime Oprah has a show about orgazing and dejunking, I get a call from my MIL."Did you see Oprah today?" LOL :)

    I have been better lately at simplifying. You have made me want to get rid of even more. It does feel so good. Thanks for the motivation!!

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  71. I'm not a stuff person....I know that's weird. When I see a ton of stuff (like on Hoarders) all I can think about is 'How much money did all that cost?" - I'm a finance person:)

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  72. I'm just the opposite. Maybe it was watching my family go through the various grandparents' households at a formative age, but I'm just not a keeper for the most part. I'm not sentimental about much of anything. High school yearbook? The only reason I bought it was because my parents made me, throw that out! Old photographs? My poor husband has no idea what I looked like more than a year before I met him because I throw away old photos. Grandmother's porcelain that I inherited? Goodwill.

    But there are exceptions. I'm a book hoarder. There has, historically, been no book too old, too beat up, too useless, for me to hold onto. When the public or school libraries decommissioned books, they came to my house. I had 28 Bibles, not because I'm that religious but because they're BOOKS. I started the process last spring, of weeding out books. Just in the nick of time because my daughters' school library did the same and guess where all the old library books (seven dish boxes full) were rehomed, at my daughter's request? But I finally understood something. I'm not the Library of Congress. I'm about 1/4 of the way through all the books now and still getting rid of more than I'm keeping, but it's hard. Especially since our local library doesn't accept donations at all and most of what I've culled doesn't fit the criteria for the nearest used bookstore so I'm having to rehome my library one book at a time to individuals.

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  73. I do get attached but I also get rid of stuff if I need the room.

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  74. I CAN'T STAND unneeded junk around the house. I have a few closets right now that need going through and some of it is sentimental... other is just junk!

    Autumn weather usually causes me to clean things out and that's just around the corner.

    Di

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  75. Oh so true, I blame my mother;) But we are expecting our first one which makes me think about clearing out room for all things that come with that. Long weekend this weekend means hopefully some clearing out of boxes that haven't been opened in three moves!!!!!

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  76. I also have this problem. I either develop an emotional attachment to something, wait to find a hidden potential in an object, or just wait to see how people may be using it in their projects. It is crazy how thinking it is just $1 becomes a lot more when added up over time. My fear is to fast forward 20 years and I'll be on Hoarders. Okay, I'm not that bad but I'm sure they were not always like that either.

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  77. I like STUFF too! :) But my house is little and old so storage space is virtually nonexistent. I have had to learn that if I don't absolutely LOVE it and/or it does not have a specific purpose (hopefully more than one) that I just can't have it. Even if I might 'need it one day.' It's hard to let go of some things though! :(
    Kristy at That Good Part

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  78. I have gotten to the point where I hate, hate, HATE all the "stuff." I purge constantly, and while I don't feel like I bring in all that much, the accumulation of STUFF never seems to diminish. I know exactly what you're talking about in regards to the Goodwill phenomenon: "It's so cheap, I should buy it, just in case I want it someday, even though I have absolutely no use for it now." I find that when I force myself to walk away from those things I very rarely regret not buying them. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm right there with you sister! And this weekend is 1/2 off day at Goodwill! Say a prayer for me. ;)

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  79. I HEAR ya..and my husband is applauding you and willing me to be more like you..LOL I on the other hand want to go to your goowill and grab 1/2 the things in your picture...ahhh, my craziness will never end!!! ;)

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  80. I wish I could say that I purge stuff and don't hoard the un-necessary! I lost my job nearly 2wks ago and I am going to take some time to purge. It will be a tough process, but if I don't start somewhere...I don't want to imagine that it could get out of control. I admire you and the self thinking process you are going thru to change your behaviors. In order to get different results, you have to do something you have never done. It is so true! Thanks for the post.

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  81. Amen & Amen sister!! I know exactly how you feel. Im always afraid if I get rid of it, I will one day realize I could have just slapped some spray paint on it and re-used it. But does that "day" ever happen? ......NOPE!! We have been on a purge for about a year now-Im down to 2 rooms-but they are the WORST-I've left them for last. *sigh* . Know what works for me to get motivated? Watch an episode of "Hoarders-Burried Alive" works EVERY time!

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  82. I've got that problem too. Too attached to stuff. My grandma passed away last week, and I was good. there's only a couple things I would like to have of hers...but I didn't realize how much hoarding is in our family genes!! My aunts want everything (yes, basically EVERYTHING) to stay in the family. That's going to be awful!!!! It's just too much stuff. I've been pondering the same things as the rest of you on here. If we can't take it with us, why is it so valuable?

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  83. It seems like I've been cleaning STUFF out forever too! I also did the toy trick with my kids, and they never missed them. Thank you for sharing your story and keep up the good work!! Becky

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  85. I continue to ask my husband for an industrial dumpster rental as my Christmas present

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  86. getting rid of "STUFF" can be really cleansing. a technique i often use (because it can be tiring and overwhelming when you're in the thick of it) is to ask myself: is it beautiful? is it useful? if it's neither, why am i keeping it? sometimes removing emotion and just asking questions really helps!

    best of luck as you cleanse.
    cailen
    www.cailenascher.blogspot.com

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  87. It's like I am reading about myself. I totally have the same "stuff" problem. Sometimes when I hang onto something THEN it becomes sentimental because I have had it for 5 years. I need to be better about getting rid of stuff before I feel like "I can't get rid of it now...I have had to for x years." So silly!

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  88. You must be a long lost relative! The last two moves I made, I started throwing out...and out...and out. I've still got to go through AGAIN what I am left with after the last (and final)move into my own home - finally! The basement is looking a bit full. A good deal of it is stuff I want to have appraised (old, old stuff)in hopes of selling. However, my closet (thanks for reminding me, sigh...sigh again)needs to be purged. There's way too many items I haven't touched "because I just might have need for a special outfit"...like how many white blouses can I own?????????????? And I'll never fit into those 1970s Gloria Vanderbilt jeans again!

    You make me laugh at myself! Thanks for the noodge (my word) to get a move on!

    Ciao!
    Guerrina in Ledyard

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  89. I'm a declutter-er by nature. I learned early that "stuff" isn't what really makes you happy. It's the things that can't be packed and stored - like your relationship with your sweet FIL. That's not saying that I don't have "stuff", because I do - I just don't form the attachment to it that many people do. I tend to declutter when I'm under stress...cheap therapy, I guess.

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  90. Oh my gosh I feel like you wrote an entire entry on my OWN cluttering problems! :) I really struggle with throwing things away especially when it comes to the, "What if I need this?!!" This entry is a great reminder of what is REALLY necessary... so hopefully I'll get some things weeded out one of these days (sooner rather than later).

    Have a good day!

    Christi

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  91. I have written this same post in my head 10 times (I did one a little similar). All I have to say is YES, YES and YES. Word for word, same (we'll call it a) handicap/syndrome/obsession. So much so that I have about 15 bins of future presents for my daughters. And then I realize they have too much stuff and they don't play with them anyway, and we'd rather have "the experience" than the possessions. But it's true...I LOVE STUFF. From decor to clothes to nail polish to office supplies to shoes to...
    SARAH! Let's start a support group. I'm not kidding. We'll post each week, or at least once a month about what we got rid of or HAD to keep and then we have "x" amount of time to use it or it goes. I'll partner up with you on this. What'dyathink?

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  92. We moved into our new house in February and are STILL unpacking. The only good part about this slow process is that we are trying to weed out things that we REALLY don't need while we go through the boxes. More often then not, we forgot that we even had it....which means that we REALLY don't need it! It's easier said than done though....you always think that you will use it SOMEDAY!

    Thanks for posting about this though. It is motivation to keep going through my boxes and putting aside all of the EXTRA STUFF in our lives.

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  93. Boy did your post hit home with me! I have even read the same article about living with 100 things and I just can't do it. I am just not a minimalists. I did train myself to ask "Do I really need this?" or "Do I just want this?" I have resolved myself to making lists, it seems to help me limit the purchases, and I make my husband happy when I say "for every new thing I bring into the house, something else will have to go."

    You are sooh correct about grabbing it when you see it! Now, I am famous for grabbing, walking around with it, mulling it over in my mind, then putting it back before heading to the cash register. At least it was all mine for a little while! :-)

    Breaking up my parents household after their passing was a giant eye opener too. I didn't want to leave that kind of mess for my daughter to deal with, so I too did a major purge on my own home. I found that purchasing large Rubbermaid bins and putting items in them for those children I wanted to pass things onto, helped me to let go of even more clutter. And there will be no confusion as to who gets what. Each box has their name on it and a list with descriptions of items they are to have that are not in the box but are somewhere in my house.~ Ames

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  94. I have to say that THIS IS ME!!! My husband laughs at me (thankfully) but you just never know when you are going to need it!! And like you, I have been purging and it does feel great!!!

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  95. I heard someone say once that if you are unsure if you should keep items to put them in a trash bag and write the date on the outside and put it in your storage room for a year. If you have not had to go to the trash bag looking for anything after a year then you take the entire bag and toss it without going through it again, then you won't be tempted to take anything out that you know in your heart you will not use.

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  96. I am so NOT a fan of stuff. I like things, don't get me wrong. But it often becomes to the point where the house is getting cluttered and I have no space for living. I purge, regularly. Often with the seasons change.

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  97. Oh my gosh - we are doing the same thing!

    I too love stuff. I love shopping, finding a bargain, and enjoying the person's face when I give them something I found for them. I especially love clothes and so do my little girls!

    But I am trying hard to purge and get rid of the clutter that his around every corner. Especially since I am finding I have less to clean up if I get rid of stuff!

    Good luck in your purging. I am going to go back to sorting clothes now!

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  98. This is when I'm thankful I'm missing the sentimental gene!

    I've actually been working on a series of posts on this exact topic!

    One of the biggest reason that I LOVE living in a small home is because I can't keep too much stuff...it's just not physically possible. It forces me to go through my stuff and purge often.

    Plus I hate stuff! I just hate cleaning around little chotskies! I hate trying to organzie junk I'm not using. If it doesn't work for this VERY MOMENT...I want it out of my house. I don't want to deal with it. I don't care how much I paid for it if its in my way of a clean, streamlined home. I'm actually kind of neurotic about it sometimes. ;)

    Granted, sometimes I'm guilty of getting rid of too much. Every great once in awhile I wish I had something I had gotten rid of....but even then...I didn't die.

    Similar to you, a couple years ago I received some of my mothers old belongings...old pictures, things from my childhood she had held onto, stuff like that. I went through it and had no connection to any of it. Those were HER memories...not mine!!

    I didn't even know the people in the pictures (make sure you label pictures for this reason!!). Sure it was kind of fun to see my elementary school artwork and report cards....but seriously, not enough to want to store them and pull them back out again. If I never saw them again, I wouldn't be heart broken.

    Pictures of MY childhood were important. They were memories I had a connection to. The Disney back from one of many trips we took...not so much.

    I don't want to leave this to my child. It also made me really think about what is really important to us. Most of the 'stuff' doesn't matter in the end. It's the MEMORY of the PERSON or the EVENT that matters!

    So, take good pictures, label them well, and you'll have all the memories you need....without all the STUFF!

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  99. This is when I'm thankful I'm missing the sentimental gene!

    I've actually been working on a series of posts on this exact topic!

    One of the biggest reason that I LOVE living in a small home is because I can't keep too much stuff...it's just not physically possible. It forces me to go through my stuff and purge often.

    Plus I hate stuff! I just hate cleaning around little chotskies! I hate trying to organzie junk I'm not using. If it doesn't work for this VERY MOMENT...I want it out of my house. I don't want to deal with it. I don't care how much I paid for it if its in my way of a clean, streamlined home. I'm actually kind of neurotic about it sometimes. ;)

    Granted, sometimes I'm guilty of getting rid of too much. Every great once in awhile I wish I had something I had gotten rid of....but even then...I didn't die.

    Similar to you, a couple years ago I received some of my mothers old belongings...old pictures, things from my childhood she had held onto, stuff like that. I went through it and had no connection to any of it. Those were HER memories...not mine!!

    I didn't even know the people in the pictures (make sure you label pictures for this reason!!). Sure it was kind of fun to see my elementary school artwork and report cards....but seriously, not enough to want to store them and pull them back out again. If I never saw them again, I wouldn't be heart broken.

    Pictures of MY childhood were important. They were memories I had a connection to. The Disney back from one of many trips we took...not so much.

    I don't want to leave this to my child. It also made me really think about what is really important to us. Most of the 'stuff' doesn't matter in the end. It's the MEMORY of the PERSON or the EVENT that matters!

    So, take good pictures, label them well, and you'll have all the memories you need....without all the STUFF!

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  100. I'm a constant purger. I have NO problem getting rid of stuff. Zero zilch, no attachment whatsoever.

    I hate the clutter and as I get, ahem, older, I feel the need to have fewer better things.

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  101. I grew up in a 'keep it b/c you might need it' home, and have been working through my demons. I use my blog to help me with it. I post every Friday 5 things that I purged that week. (Doesn't matter how big/small) It kind of makes the process fun b/c I am always trying to find new and different places that I can purge from to keep it fresh on the blog.

    http://www.leslieadavis.com/category/decluttering/

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  102. Oh, dear... I WANT to throw stuff out, to get rid of STUFF... I do so want to, but but... it's H A R D !!! I admire your strength to pitch things. I'd need to get the kids off to grandma's, get a bix box of Kleenex and perhaps some chocolate chip cookies and just get to work!

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  103. I have always been a "stuff" person as well; however, the last few months have been a bit eye opening for me. What I mean is that we are a family of 5 in a small house--a small house with not a lot of storage space. This was never supposed to be a house we were going to stay in long term. Yet, here we still are. And, we're not likely leaving anytime soon. SO, I need to make this space work for us. STUFF needs to go. We have been re-arranging, re-organizing, and donating, freecycling, and tossing lots of stuff. There is still a LOT to go through. I have a very hard time getting rid of toys too.....(and baby clothes and maternity clothes...even though another baby is probably not happening). But, I don't have to do it all at once. Just because I'm not ready to get rid of it today doesn't mean I won't be next week or next month, and that doesn't negate the carloads I DID get rid of today. Every little bit helps.

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  104. Your give away stuff looks great. I wish I lived closer to you so I could buy it at a garage sale. Do you ever have garage sales? From my experience it is alot more satifying to go to garage sales than have one. Yes, I guess I like collecting things too.

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  105. I could've written this post myself! I've always had lots of STUFF and lots of CLUTTER! I finally got tired of being embarrassed everytime someone came to my house unannounced because it was always such a cluttered mess. I finally decided that every item must have a "home". If it didn't, it had to go. Or something else had to go to make space for it. I've made a lot of changes over the last year as far as my housekeeping strategies and clutter collecting and it has made such a difference! I love how good it feels to come into a house that is tidy! One thing I have learned about sentimental items...sometimes a picture is just as good as the item itself!

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  106. I love clearing out clutter! You're right that it definitely makes your head (and your whole life, really) feel more free. I love stuff, too, but only that stuff which actually has meaning for me, or which is genuinely useful. The rest has to go!

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  107. I can't tell you how many moments during your post that I found myself saying (to myself) "That. Is. Me." To a "T"! So nice to know I'm not the only one who has trouble with attachment. Enjoy your blog so much!!!

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  108. GREAT philosophy! I am hoping once winter :( comes I will do this in my house too!!

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  109. It's a great idea and definitely something I'd like to do this Winter while I'm indoors. I know a lot of my issue is that I don't want to get rid of something "because I could probably sell it" and/or "may need it". I need to get over those things and either give them away or throw them away.

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  110. I'm trying to prepare for a garage sale right now to do some purging. ( It truly is a garage sale - I'm actually going to do it in the garage and, hopefully,we will be able to use the garage for our car instead of junk!)

    Moving because of my husbands' job has been a great preventive for keeping to much stuff. I can't imagine how bad it would be if I lived in one place for a very long time!

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  111. Boy, do I hear you!
    ha ha
    Thank you for sharing the post!
    It is wonderful!
    Leticia

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  112. Hubby and I have moved SEVERAL times, and each time I bring huge piles to Goodwill. Even when we aren't moving, I still make piles. I've really, really pared down, but its an ongoing process. I hear ya about the toys, too! Thankfully our son is used to going through his things and making a pile for donations.

    When we lost my grandmother, my parents and family went through the house to clean it out...OH MY...over 50 years of junk there too. It took FOREVER! Made my parents purge a TON of stuff, so we wouldn't have to deal with all of their stuff "someday." I'm glad for that. they continue to work on it every few months, too.

    It's a constant process, I think. You need to keep up with it and donate if you can't use it. Needs change, kids grow out of things...donate it! I have another pile going right now, actually...

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  113. One day I figured out how much we pay for our house each year, then I divided that amount by the square footage of our house. This gave me a dollar amount of what it cost me to store junk. It doesn't make sense to pay $20 to store $2 worth of junk from goodwill. This helps me buy less and donate more. Although, I still think I could merchandise my own good will with extra crap in my house.

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  114. This is exactly what I needed to hear today! I am in the process, a very slow process, of cleaning out my basement storage room and purging tons of STUFF. Stuff that's just been sitting down there, all happy and tucked away in boxes taking up space and cluttering up my life!

    I had to laugh when reading your post, because yesterday I was at goodwill and almost bought a Christmas wreath because it was only $3, and even if I didn't exactly love it, I could always spruce it up a bit. After 5 minutes of back and forth, I finally put it back, I really don't need another wreath!

    Thanks for your inspiring comments, I've been re-motivated to get my tushy downstairs and conquer that STUFF!

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  115. Excellent plan! And thanks for the reminder - I have stuff building up all over that I need to donate/sell/nuke from orbit.

    And I yell at myself, too, mostly on my to do lists. For example:
    1. this
    2. that
    3. the other thing
    4. FIX THE DRYER VENT ALREADY!

    Not that it makes a difference. I am a STUFF-er and a procrastonator like WHOA. ;D

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  116. There's the Sarah I love... your back and forth banter... your thoughtful insight into normal everyday stuff....

    I also like to buy stuff just in case, or because it was a great deal and i'll get around to using it (mostly craft supplies) But.. do we "really" need it.. i mean "REALLY" need it...

    This is my current nemesis (sp) my linen closet! I will open the door and look at everything, start to take stuff out and then I freeze! I can't seem to be able to throw out any shampoos, conditioners, soaps, extra shower curtains, stuff!

    What should I do?
    Cindy

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  117. There's the Sarah I love... your back and forth banter... your thoughtful insight into normal everyday stuff....

    I also like to buy stuff just in case, or because it was a great deal and i'll get around to using it (mostly craft supplies) But.. do we "really" need it.. i mean "REALLY" need it...

    This is my current nemesis (sp) my linen closet! I will open the door and look at everything, start to take stuff out and then I freeze! I can't seem to be able to throw out any shampoos, conditioners, soaps, extra shower curtains, stuff!

    What should I do?
    Cindy

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  118. There's the Sarah I love... your back and forth banter... your thoughtful insight into normal everyday stuff....

    I also like to buy stuff just in case, or because it was a great deal and i'll get around to using it (mostly craft supplies) But.. do we "really" need it.. i mean "REALLY" need it...

    This is my current nemesis (sp) my linen closet! I will open the door and look at everything, start to take stuff out and then I freeze! I can't seem to be able to throw out any shampoos, conditioners, soaps, extra shower curtains, stuff!

    What should I do?
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  119. There's the Sarah I love... your back and forth banter... your thoughtful insight into normal everyday stuff....

    I also like to buy stuff just in case, or because it was a great deal and i'll get around to using it (mostly craft supplies) But.. do we "really" need it.. i mean "REALLY" need it...

    This is my current nemesis (sp) my linen closet! I will open the door and look at everything, start to take stuff out and then I freeze! I can't seem to be able to throw out any shampoos, conditioners, soaps, extra shower curtains, stuff!

    What should I do?
    Cindy

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  120. I think we were seperated at birth! I am in the same phase right now - I'm even taking organizing/decluttering books with me on vacation to "study". :) Thanks for a great post!

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  121. Are you crazy? Maybe you're crazy for asking if you're crazy, because you're certainly not crazy. Sounds to me like you're normal. No, you're better than normal, because you're realizing you have a thing about stuff. I'm right there with you: I have a thing about stuff, too. I keep WAY too much of it. Maybe we should all have decrapification parties!

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  122. I know the feelings! I'm really bad about getting attached! (mainly to shoes.. even ones that are so very out) I have no idea why I am like this. I do love being able to feel lighter after getting rid of things.. if only I wouldn't talk myself out of it! You're not alone :)

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  123. I have inherited the 'Keep' gene from both sides of my family.

    My maternal grandmother kept everything because it has sentimental value to her.

    My paternal grandmother kept everything because she could use it again.

    My mother keeps things because she likes having things.

    And I have inherited ALL of them! I am so bad! I have gotten a lot better though. But you definitely have to take advantage of it when you are in the mood to purge!

    And moving twice in 18 months helps too! ;D

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  124. I. Lurve. You. Totally! I am a stuff person, and I had to stop shopping Goodwill and Salvation Army and yard sales this summer b/c I realized we have way too much STUFF for our small house.

    I take toys away during naptime so I don't have to deal with tears and whining and they never ever notice that stuff is gone.

    I DO stop at SA or GW if I have something specific I am looking for (like a buffet or a TV console or something), but no more aimless stuff collecting.

    I am sooo featuring this tomorrow for my Weekend Bloggy Reading!! :)

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  125. My roommate and I just had this conversation as we were moving into our apartment last week. I love to get rid of things and feel "lighter", but she loves to hold on to things. She's always afraid that she might need that shirt that she should've gotten to wear to the one themed party that would only happen once in here lifetime...get the drift? So I started thinking that maybe I wasn't sentimental enough. Thanks for making me feel normal. :D

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  126. I love to have stuff too, but I have a BIG rule. It has to be loved, or used. I can't stand clutter at all, and often do clear outs. Knowing that they will go along to another person who could love and use them makes it easier to part with though. Good job on the clear out!

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  127. I know how this cleaning up after a loved one is gone is really a wake up call and an incredibly overwhelming process as I just recently lost my father and had to do it myself. My dad kept it all, he wouldn't sell or donate anything, waiting for when he would need it again... He lived short 61 years and did not enjoy the fruits of his hard work mainly because of the difficulties of letting go of things. It is said, but it puts things in perspective. You are lucky though, I saw the beautiful picture of your father-in-law with your baby. I do not have a picture of my father holding my son and he never got to meet the second one. Keep doing what you're doing, your things are just beautiful!

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  128. You are a woman after my own heart - especially the "but what if I need it some day?" It is very difficult for me to get rid of anything!!

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  129. Sarah - I am STUFF person too - yelling at me not you with the caps! It was an amazing piece at an amazing sale-itis threatens to take over my house.:) While I love my stuff and I think what I really love is that I can buy what I want and when I want (within reason) that makes my home feel warm and cozy and iniviting. It is something I didn't have much of growing up. My stuff feels like an accomplishment for me to enjoy. Anywho, I have started to declutter and what makes me really happy - besides donating to goodwill is to donate it to my family and friends if a certain piece would look oh so cozy in their home and if they want it of course...I haven't driven the suv to their homes and just dropped off a bag or too just yet. :) Hugs to you for all you are going through! Thanks for always inspiring!

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  130. I am thinking of my mom as I am reading your post. She says that women have been trained to be gatherers. Since the beginning of time that was the woman's job. So when we are buying/accumulating all this "Stuff" are we just naturally programed to do that? R

    Something to think about. Thank you for your post and it has been inspirational. Enough that I am getting off the computer to clean the office. THANKS!!!

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  131. I love stuff too!! I am a big shopper, and I have a hard time passing an awesome deal up, even if it's going to need 17 hours of lurve to get it to its true inner beauty. BUT, I'm also a constant purger and I don't like clutter -- I don't know if I get rid of something every time I bring something new home, but I do know that I get rid of stuff when its outgrown its welcome in my house :) Drives my husband crazy, he accuses me of constantly recyling our decor. Umm, stop complaining honey I just redecorated your office for fah-ree. Thanks. ;)

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  134. Wow, I have so much I could say about this post but this about sums it up: did you steal this from me?? I completely get what you are saying! I'm usually pretty good about getting rid of things as I go but I know I need to do it now. And don't tell but, my MIL can't let go of anything and is completely over-the-top sentimental sometimes. I keep things because I'm afraid she might get mad if I get rid of it (like, if the item was from her) and she lives 300 miles away! Ridiculous!

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  135. Great post!

    I feel like I'm always fighting the stuff monster--first in myself, then in my husband, and now in my 3-year old! The ohter day he pitched a fit when he saw a box one of his toys came in going out to the recycling. We had to take it back in. I put it in the basement where he has not laid eyes on it for almost a month and he hasn't missed it. I'm contemplating whether to sneak it out or just have him help me put it out as a hard core lesson in purging!

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  136. first of all i am very sorry for your loss. keep the good mem