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Let it GO! Decluttering (simplifying) your life of (people, places or things) success stories?

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  • Gisel2015Gisel2015 Member Posts: 3,389 Member Member Posts: 3,389 Member
    Hello everybody. I was thinking in bringing this thread a life, and @snoo61 and @RubyRed427 beated me to it. Thank you ladies!

    I finally got to work in the office stationary closet. I did a lot of cleaning and shredding, and my two DILs got a lot of hanging folders and clean papers that they can use at school. They are both teachers. The closet looks much cleaner and organized, but I still have the upper shelf to take care off. I am short so I will need to get a ladder to tackle that chore.

    I also cleaned two storage furnitures in the garage and last week Habitat for Humanity came to pick up them up. Things are looking better but having a big house to take care off doesn't give me much time free for extra organizing.

    My kids and their families are not coming for Christmas this year and we may not put the Christmas tree up since there will be no gifts under it. Everything will be mailed. I was thinking in using that extra free time for de-clutting and organizing the garage a little bit more. It would be a holiday gift to myself :D .

    Glad that you ladies are plugging along. Good job and congrats to all of us!.
  • Gisel2015Gisel2015 Member Posts: 3,389 Member Member Posts: 3,389 Member
    I agree with the above comments about Christmas. I wish I could be more of a "minimalist” around the holidays but there is a lot of push back from the family, since we still have younger/preteens grandchildren. However, in the last few years I have asked the older grandchildren and my own kids for their Christmas wish list, and I only get them what they really want, but not all of it.

    Most of the time, I will give them a gift card for the store of their choice or money, and maybe a small wrapped gift to put under their Christmas tree. They can buy whatever they want and need after the holidays, and they will probably get it cheaper due to the after Christmas sales. We have asked our kids for gift cards for us, either from a restaurant or to Home Depot or Lowell’s since I used them to buy plants for my garden.

    My husband and I still exchange gift but they are very practical. I get a facial for my birthday in December and a massage for Christmas, or if I do need something special a gift card. My husband likes gift cards from the barber shop and sometimes I get him an Amazon gift card or one for a local restaurant.

    I know that many people find the giving of gift card or money cold and not personal, but I love them and I think that they are better than gifting something that people doesn’t want or needs to be exchanged.

    We do have a good recycling program in town. Our garbage collection company provides and extra bin for all recyclable items and I donate a lot of unwanted items, including clothing, to local resale boutiques. I only dump clothing that are not longer usable. Is good to read and see that many people are doing their best to keep the environment clean and safe.
  • cory17cory17 Member Posts: 613 Member Member Posts: 613 Member
    Christmas has downsized dramatically for me. Put up a manger, no tree (excuse is the dog might try to pee on it), stopped cards years ago, and really only do gifts for the grandkids that live near. There's nothing anyone needs, and everyone already has so much, the new just blends into all the stuff. So I prefer dh to do something for me, or fix something I need done, an action. Sometimes he'll buy a bag of mangoes (which I could stuff myself with but try not to). So what do you give dh when he's the one saying we have too much and get rid of it? Not interested in doing or going anywhere - that's what am trying to move the grandkids toward - experiences.
  • katshearekatsheare Member Posts: 1,109 Member Member Posts: 1,109 Member
    PAPYRUS3 wrote: »
    I'm letting 'Christmas Go' this year...and probably every year after that too.

    I was in the mall the other day and it totally made me depressed. SO MUCH STUFF! I couldn't help think most of stuff bought will be in a landfill within the year and what happens to all the crap not sold? And just the amount of plastic bags people had from the stores they purchased their stuff with will absolutely be in the landfill within 24 hours...

    Made me sad for our world...and my soul!

    I'll be decluttering my holiday this year...I'll be baking my gifts this year and making cards with the decorations I already have (I do have a 'crafty' box full of stuff). I will, however, be purchasing wine to go with my homemade goodies....and that will be that.

    I live in a highrise condo and see all the garbage people don't recycle in our building. It's crazy. Literally just today, I saw a huge pile of plastic and cardboard boxes sitting by our 'landfill' garbage...the recycle bins are just a few feet away too...

    I feel like I will actually enjoy this season this year :)

    If I do decide to purchase some gifts...It'll be from locale, little shops. It's a struggle beyond belief in my city right now...little shops are closing it seems like every day.

    There is something I love about seeing what others think I will like, but Christmas for us is of necessity small (we have one small child, partner has 1 sibling (who also has a small family) and my whole family are on another continent) so it's maybe 4 gifts total being opened. And I'm genuinely interested in what comes, but that could be because we keep things so small.

    (Possibly worth mentioning that our waste - either recyclable or not - is considerably less than most of our neighbours. Walking on the night before curbside pickups is always a bit eye-opening to me. But we're also huge Freecyclers - both wanted and on offer (mostly on offer), and if Freecycle doesn't want it, it goes to the charity shop.)

    And when I do get things for others, they are from our local shops. We are having the same problem of shops closing at an appalling rate.

    I call decluttering 'winnowing' (from this story) and while I don't do it in the way the Mrs Schuping does, I do like a good thinning of the stuff every now and again.
  • weatherking2019weatherking2019 Member Posts: 846 Member Member Posts: 846 Member
    I've been doing my "Gifting" differently for awhile now.
    Instead of materialistic gift, I give EXPERIENCE. Last year, I took my kids to LA and stayed with my friends. Gave them an opportunity to see LA and on Xmas day, gave them a ticket to Universal Studios. We played together all day and spent the day making memories... The year before was a BIG trip to Hawaii. We have all these experiences together and pictures from the trip. That to me is a GIFT that we keep 4ever (without clutter!)<3
    edited December 2019
  • PAPYRUS3PAPYRUS3 Member Posts: 7,271 Member Member Posts: 7,271 Member
    Love to hear of how you and your family are celebrating the season. I too love the idea of 'experiences'...that's what we will remember...not the slipper socks 20 years from now lol!

    Also, my niece just emailed the family how she is not wanting any gifts this year for her nor her husband. She's hosting a Christmas 'potluck' and wishes that the family bring a dish.

    Not sure what the rest of my family thinks about all this...but I'm glad I'm not 'alone' in this change in our family!
  • GreenValliGreenValli Member Posts: 975 Member Member Posts: 975 Member
    We are moving the end of the December, this month. Our landlord is moving back into their house. It is their old family home that they have had for generations. I hate moving and we are going from a 4 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom condo. My husband insists we need to rent a storage unit. I am struggling with working and trying to pack and declutter. I was hoping we would have more time so I could get rid of enough stuff to be comfortable in the new place so we would not have the expense of a storage unit and why do we need to store things if we are not using them.

    I must admit that it is hard getting rid of some things but it helps when I know the items are going to places where someone is likely to need and use our cast-off items.

    What do I do with our broken chair? What do I do with the twin mattress that our son-in-law brought over to store in our garage temporarily?

    I am stressed out about all of this. I am thankful for the opportunity to post this. It is more than I can handle and I need order and neatness to function.
  • hiparihipari Member, Premium Posts: 910 Member Member, Premium Posts: 910 Member
    I’ve been doing a Christmas cleaning this month. I only have one big Ikea bag of wedding stuff left, I started with 4. Everything was either donated or sold, so nothing but literal trash (scraps of fabric and wine corks we used for decoration that started to smell) went to waste. I have one bag and two drawers left to go through and sell, which I’ll do right after the New year, when I’m guessing next year’s brides will go into full bridal mode and start scouring for stuff. My wedding was in August so this stuff has been sitting here for a while, but at least there’s progress.

    Today I also reorganized my workout clothes, and I definitely do NOT need any new stuff until I need a smaller size. The only thing I’m considering is new clean running shoes to use on a treadmill instead of outdoors.

    I also cleaned the pantry today. Threw out a lot of stuff that had gone bad (crackers really do go stale when there’s a half-opened box sitting there for a year). I’m taking some stuff to the office that’s still good and unopened, but nobody in my house wants to eat.

    Every year, I’ve bought a bunch of christmas chocolate boxes and gift-wrapped them all, using them as a decoration until I opened them on Christmas Eve and feasted on all the chocolate. I live in a 2-person household and we used to have probably 10 boxes of chocolate. This year, I think I’ll limit the amount to 3-5, max. I also want to buy less physical presents in general and focus on experiences, for both myself and others. The only exceptions so far have been a Christmas tree ornament for my cousin’s 2-year-old daughter, and presents to donate to a Christmas Tree charity. Local companies participate widely and donations are gathered in our office also, and the presents go to children and teenagers who are customers of the child protective services or other social services, so before Christmas the charity and social workers go through all the donations and decide who gets which gift. I bought three gifts to teenagers, and I have zero issues with buying more stuff instead of experiences when it’s a donation to a child or teenager who would otherwise not get any presents.
  • fitqueenbessfitqueenbess Member, Premium Posts: 371 Member Member, Premium Posts: 371 Member
    Wow, this is inspiring and reminds me of a saying in Spanish that says, "The Good Life is not the most, the richest or the finest. The Good Life is that which is adequate." (sounds prettier in Spanish) This is so true! Whether in food choices or stuff choices, we only need that which will enrich our lives!

    Sounds like a good new year's focus: Get rid of the stuff I don't want so I can find the stuff I do want.
  • tianaquizhpitianaquizhpi Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    Thank you for an insightful share!! Best wishes to everybody on this journey.
  • laurenq1991laurenq1991 Member Posts: 384 Member Member Posts: 384 Member
    PAPYRUS3 wrote: »
    I'm letting 'Christmas Go' this year...and probably every year after that too.

    I was in the mall the other day and it totally made me depressed. SO MUCH STUFF! I couldn't help think most of stuff bought will be in a landfill within the year and what happens to all the crap not sold? And just the amount of plastic bags people had from the stores they purchased their stuff with will absolutely be in the landfill within 24 hours...

    Made me sad for our world...and my soul!

    I'll be decluttering my holiday this year...I'll be baking my gifts this year and making cards with the decorations I already have (I do have a 'crafty' box full of stuff). I will, however, be purchasing wine to go with my homemade goodies....and that will be that.

    I live in a highrise condo and see all the garbage people don't recycle in our building. It's crazy. Literally just today, I saw a huge pile of plastic and cardboard boxes sitting by our 'landfill' garbage...the recycle bins are just a few feet away too...

    I feel like I will actually enjoy this season this year :)

    If I do decide to purchase some gifts...It'll be from locale, little shops. It's a struggle beyond belief in my city right now...little shops are closing it seems like every day.

    I know what you mean. I've never been a fan of Christmas for personal reasons, and I feel even more "over it" this year. We have our tree up (it's a 2-foot tree, since that's what we have closet space for). We had a small and simple Thanksgiving dinner that took about 90 minutes to make. Not sure if we will do much for Christmas. We might even go out to eat instead. I didn't ask for any gifts and haven't purchased any yet. I'll get something for my husband if he asks for something specific. We're childfree so that takes a lot of the "keeping up with the Joneses" pressure out of the holidays.

    It just seems like most holidays in the US just turn into reasons to stress people out on their limited days off. They feel obligated to buy a bunch of stuff, spend hours cooking, spend time around relatives they may not even necessarily like, etc. It feels like it's about control more than anything else. And few people think about what effect this is having on the environment, and whether any of this is remotely necessary or even enjoyable.
    edited December 2019
  • LoveyCharLoveyChar Member Posts: 1,147 Member Member Posts: 1,147 Member
    PAPYRUS3 wrote: »
    I'm letting 'Christmas Go' this year...and probably every year after that too.

    I was in the mall the other day and it totally made me depressed. SO MUCH STUFF! I couldn't help think most of stuff bought will be in a landfill within the year and what happens to all the crap not sold? And just the amount of plastic bags people had from the stores they purchased their stuff with will absolutely be in the landfill within 24 hours...

    Made me sad for our world...and my soul!

    I'll be decluttering my holiday this year...I'll be baking my gifts this year and making cards with the decorations I already have (I do have a 'crafty' box full of stuff). I will, however, be purchasing wine to go with my homemade goodies....and that will be that.

    I live in a highrise condo and see all the garbage people don't recycle in our building. It's crazy. Literally just today, I saw a huge pile of plastic and cardboard boxes sitting by our 'landfill' garbage...the recycle bins are just a few feet away too...

    I feel like I will actually enjoy this season this year :)

    If I do decide to purchase some gifts...It'll be from locale, little shops. It's a struggle beyond belief in my city right now...little shops are closing it seems like every day.

    You are such a sweet, caring person. I try to recycle everything and tell my kids I'm trying to save the world. No one person can do it alone, obviously. Lazy people that can't walk an extra few hundred feet to a recycle area disgust me. Last year we found baby toys, good baby toys out at the curb waiting for trash pickup. Seriously there wasn't anything wrong with them, nothing! They are in my house and my little guy plays with them all the time. Geez, donate them! Even if they're dirty, someone would be happy to clean them up and use them and save money, especially this time of year. I don't understand people!
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