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Thread: to throw away or not

  1. #1
    Senior Member sall's Avatar
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    I spoke to my cousin a few days ago, who has had the decorators in. She started doing a bit of clearing out, and found she still had her 21st birthday cards (she is 70). When her daughter called, the question she asked was (qoute) "If I dropped dead tomorrow what would you do with all these cards and things" reply from her daughter. " I would just throw them all out". I suddenly realised that I still had my 21st cards and loads of other cards such as invitations, thank you cards etc and realised that my children would do exactly the same. Looking at my 21st cards ( I am 75) I cannot remember who some of the people were. Well this then started me on a clear it all out spree, and I cannot believe the junk I have kept over the years. I have one spare single bed, and would you belive, I have 4 duvets for that one bed, and six covers for the duvet, and I might add that the bed is only used occasionally.The charity shop is due for a car load of goods from me next week.
    Are we all like this, or are many of you more organised. I must add that I am exhausted after bit all.

  2. #2
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    I have two sons and recognized after we had a few talks that there were many things they would not want. I have methodically gotten rid of those things and feel more free. Good for you for doing this for yourself and them.

  3. #3
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    I find the thought of getting rid of my stuff to be overwhelming. I want the stuff gone but where to start. As always I put it off until tomorrow.:) I have a quilt to make!

  4. #4
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    I think we're all like this, just to different degrees. I try to clear out a couple times a year. My rule is if it hasn't been used in the last two years, out it goes. Except for my stash, of course. Some things are just sacred!!

  5. #5
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Every now and then I get into a dump it mood...and take advantage of it.... ;-)
    I have 2 sons, also...and know for a fact that 85% of my treasures would hit a dumpster soon after my demise. I try to dump some things everytime I get to doing a deep cleaning of an area.

  6. #6
    Super Member isnthatodd's Avatar
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    Hubby and I have been working on decluttering this last month. We started with a shelf or a drawer and are doing it slowly so it doesn't seem so overwhelming. Our library is having a used book sale, so we are sorting out the books and have taken several bags of books we know we won't read. Next is to gather a bag full of
    DVDs, CDs, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and a few old 8-tracks to donate. I have been sorting my stash as I rearrange my fabric room, and have discovered a lot of stuff that can't be used for quilting that was given to me. So off it goes to someone on Freecycle. I figure it will take a year or so, but we will get there.

  7. #7
    Super Member MissM's Avatar
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    Don't forget though some of these item's that you toss may actually be collectible items.

  8. #8
    Super Member Connie in CO's Avatar
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    sall i think your great.I have 11 years before I'm your age.

  9. #9
    Super Member valsma's Avatar
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    I don't have birthday cards or stuff like that, but I know somewhere out in the garage there are totes and boxes with stuff in them that I haven't seen in years. I don't know why I keep them, I'm not even sure if it is stuff that I have a feeling about. Just stuff. I know I should get rid of it, but the task is so daunting I guess it is just easier to leave it alone.

  10. #10
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    It is hard to start throwing out the old stuff for some of us... but once you get the hang of it, wooo hooooooo!!! I cleaned out the children's bedrooms, closets, dressers, built-in shelves, under the window seat... etc.... this summer and it feels and looks GREAT. It was so very cathartic. Daughter's stuff went into some plastic totes and out to the garage for her to go through next time she comes (she teaches abroad). Son's stuff went to him to go through with his sweet wife... I'm pretty sure he'll throw 99% or more out out out!!

    Here's one person who has now got the hang of it... Basement, here I come!!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member doll-lady's Avatar
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    i love old cards. i collect them and put them in albums. the older ones are alot cuter than alot of what you get today. i love old valentines too and keep those. i declutter on other things. lol i used to hold onto old magazines but i have let most of them go now.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissM
    Don't forget though some of these item's that you toss may actually be collectible items.
    My DH's aunt (a teacher) kept every valentine she ever received from her students. After her death her kids had an auction of the contents of the home. These valentines were very popular, and sold for some of the largest amounts. So, those birthday cards....?????

  13. #13
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    50 year old greeting cards might sell on ebay. I have sold some from the 1920's.
    But in general, WOO HOO for clearing things out!!

  14. #14
    Super Member BluegrassGurl's Avatar
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    I have spent the last year going through my basement.... which had become a "catch all" for the past 7 years. Yes that's right.... 7 years of off loading anything and everything to the basement. I am a very organized person... and little did I know how this mess was tearing me up on the inside.

    I have went through every box, tote, bag, corner and crevice. Many times.... when I began to get that overwhelming feeling.. I just had to walk away. I kept telling myself... a little at a time. This box today.... tomorrow another box. Additionally, my kids have conveniently deposited many of their things to be stored in Mom's basement... lol.

    I am very happy to say that it is very, very close to being complete. I never dreamed that it would take me one year!!! Holy smokes. But I just kept trudging along... a little at a time. I work full time and could not devote full days to the task. And... I did not beat myself up over taking soooooo long.

    It is so worth it. Everything has a place... and everything is in its place. It is a happy place now and not a place of dread.

    For anyone else that may be facing a daunting task like this.... I encourage you to take the first step.... go thru one box. Be prepared to let stuff go.... have a "throw away" pile.... "give away".... maybe "yard sale" pile. It is so liberating.

    Happy decluttering!!!

  15. #15
    Super Member Vicki W's Avatar
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    Postcards are also collectible. I am slowly downsizing my stuff but anything that has a family connection gets saved (I am a genealogist, and am thankful for scraps of paper from my ancestors...)

  16. #16
    Senior Member jean1941's Avatar
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    Have been working on getting rid of junk for a few years and I think one more go through will just about finish it up and will only have my fabric left I am even giving most of my photos to each child and grandchildren I just want it all gone.

  17. #17
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    A fun site to check out is: www,flylady.net. She has declutter ideas, cleaning, cooking, etc. :)

  18. #18
    Senior Member MisDixie's Avatar
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    When we moved MIL to the nursing home it was time to clean out her house. Little did we know that she saved everything. And I mean everything! Had household reciepts from the day they got married, every card every letter, clothing, games toys you name it, she saved it. It was overwhelming to say the least. I go through my house and clear out a lot. (except the fabric, lol) Got a big pile of stuff going to the thrift store today.

  19. #19
    Senior Member MisDixie's Avatar
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    Sorry, double post

  20. #20
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    This is kind of spooky, I was just thinking an hour or so ago that I better start getting rid of things so that my spouse and kids wont have to through it all out....

  21. #21
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    be careful not to through out anything that may be related to property (old servays) or any legal papers no mater how old! My Mom had a disagreement on the property line for her place they were going to make her move a 30 by 20 foot block building, they said it was on the right of way, Mom still had the original servay from when her father baught the place. Over the years the county kept widening the road, only on her side LOL now the neighbor on the other side is having a battle because county wants him to move a fence so they can widen the road the way they should have years ago. Same neighbor isn't happy that Power Co. and Phone Co have poles on his side of fence(those co. know where the right of way is)Those orignal papers showed where in the old books to find correct info. When computers became used for recording a lot of the very old information was not entered, just the most recent al lot of mistakes were made.

  22. #22
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    I am sitting her laughing! I have done the same thing........saved and saved. Then I had a health problem and realized the things I wanted family and friends to have, would probably be sold or thrown out. That brought me to my senses. I gave a niece her Grandmother's wedding ring. Then I divided other pieces of jewelry between my 2 daughters.

    As far as those greeting cards.....just think of all the money used to purchase them. I declared a moratorium on greeting cards. NO MORE! I have had enough to last a few life times.
    they went to recycle into crafts and other uses.

    Then the family photographs. I sat on the floor for days and sorted into piles, one for each child..(4) and when it was finished, each one got a packet of baby pictures, school photos, etc., to do with what they pleased. If they threw them out, it was their choice.

    All that stuff is OUT of my house and I am glad. Now I have to deal with the other collectibles....glassware and trinkets. Some are gone already, returned to those who gave them, or just put in the box for a charity Thrift store.

    Cleaning out has to come one day...and I would rather be the one to do it than to leave it to my children to do. If they do not want it now, what makes me think they will want it later?

    Happy cleaning to all you hoarders! It has to be done!

    June in Cincinnati

  23. #23
    Senior Member flowerjoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sall
    I spoke to my cousin a few days ago, who has had the decorators in. She started doing a bit of clearing out, and found she still had her 21st birthday cards (she is 70). When her daughter called, the question she asked was (qoute) "If I dropped dead tomorrow what would you do with all these cards and things" reply from her daughter. " I would just throw them all out". I suddenly realised that I still had my 21st cards and loads of other cards such as invitations, thank you cards etc and realised that my children would do exactly the same. Looking at my 21st cards ( I am 75) I cannot remember who some of the people were. Well this then started me on a clear it all out spree, and I cannot believe the junk I have kept over the years. I have one spare single bed, and would you belive, I have 4 duvets for that one bed, and six covers for the duvet, and I might add that the bed is only used occasionally.The charity shop is due for a car load of goods from me next week.
    Are we all like this, or are many of you more organised. I must add that I am exhausted after bit all.
    I have moved so many times between the ages of 20 and 63 (now) and once from a house to a sailboat that many, many things have been thrown out during those years. I do not like clutter so tend to throw out those things that do not get used. A rule of thumb I go by: if you have not used it/looked at it, etc. in a year - toss it out. This has worked for me and I never remember/miss what was tossed.
    Oops... but I NEVER throw out my son's baby clothes, old report cards, team shirts, etc.

  24. #24
    Super Member OHSue's Avatar
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    I am good at the occasional purge. Funny part is my son is the one who wants to keep stuff. He is 14 and I just recently got him to toss out the salt map he made when he was in fourth grade. He kept saying, I remember working so hard on that. But his memory is wrong, as I remember having to do a most of the work. At the time another mother and I were discussing how this was usually a parent project, mixing, having to find a map to trace, food coloring, finding the cardboard, carting that giant thing into school, etc.

  25. #25
    Super Member OHSue's Avatar
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    OOPS, duplicate.

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