Author Topic: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips  (Read 31131 times)

Hopalong

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DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« on: November 24, 2006, 08:48:32 PM »
I think anxiety, depression and OCD (and probably other things) can all be expressed in a disorganized and messy personal environment. I've posted on this elsewhere, as have others, and I thought it would be nice to have a thread where people could vent, share, etc., about the issue of STUFF or DISORGANIZED STUFF. It's a big handicap in life sometimes. Here's a starter link (which I discovered while wasting time on Google, but I did stop to put half my laundry away...)  :?:

http://www.creatrope.com/blog/2006/06/17/top-decluttering-tips/

Hops
« Last Edit: December 07, 2006, 10:24:56 PM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Hi all,
I've copied below an email newsletter I get (it is an ad). I actually believe wholeheartedly in the power of using tapes, etc., because that's esssentially self-hypnosis, which saved me from cigarettes lo' these many years. Anyway, this one sounded so helpful that I'm thinking of ordering it and I wondered if it might help you too, GS, and anyone else who struggles with clutter/disorganization/financial chaos.

If anyone has already used these tapes (Mike Brescia's) I'd love to know what you thought.
thanks,
Hops
----------------------
Today's story highlights the sad truth about us humans...
namely that we can be educated, we can know WHAT we should do,
we can know HOW to do it, we can know 100 reasons WHY we should
do it...

And we still won't do it.

Take being organized, for example.  The whole concept is pretty
simple and there are hundreds of life-altering benefits to being
a well-organized person, but when compared to what most people
are capable of, hardly anyone even comes close.

Consider:

An organized person can excel in sports: They have more time to
practice, train, etc.

An organized person can earn a whole lot more dough: Gets
things done faster and with fewer mistakes/delays; Researches
good investments opportunities, etc.

An organized person can have more and closer friends:  Has more
time to work and play with them.

An organized person can be in better health: Takes time to eat
healthier food and exercise/play sports; worries less about
things that aren't done/less negative stress, frustration and
anger.

An organized person is a more effective parent and
spouse/significant other:  Isn't rushing around with no time to
spend with their loved ones.

An organized person can get more promotions/raises at work:
Employers reward those who get the job done.

I can't tell you how many people email telling us that they've
read every book written on being organized and they STILL are
not with it.

This reminds me of a saying I heard years ago...

"To know is to do.  Not to do is not to know."

======

In today's mailbag, April Davis from Callie writes about how
she became more organized.

Dear Mike,

I am a great organizer.  I have a talent.  I can take anything
and make it work...everywhere but in my home. 

I have also thrived on the philosophy that I can do it
tomorrow.  I have always excused my mess with sound reasons, "I
have 4 kids, we only have 1100 sq. feet, it'll only get messy
again, etc" When I would clean my house, and get close to
getting it organized, I would panic.  I turned into the super
beast.  I got so uptight from having a clean house, that I would
literally shut myself down and sabotage the place, it wound up
looking worse that it did before I started.  I have tried
everything from FLYlady (which I love) to Sidetracked home
executives, etc, but I was fighting it from the inside.

I had been doing research for a while, looking for something,
anything that could help me.  My husband, although not good at
helping keep it that way, is a neat freak.  He hates life when
everything is not in its place, and makes it very loudly known.

So about 4 months ago, I bought Think Right Now for Windows
- http://www.thinkrightnow.com/trnwindows.htm
- End Procrastination Now!
- http://www.thinkrightnow.com/audios/procrastination.htm and
I am Organized
- http://www.thinkrightnow.com/audios/audioorganized.htm

I cannot tell you what a difference they have made. 

I began by putting the CDs on my MP3 player so that I could
play them continually at night.  I listened to one or the other
disk in the car every chance I got.  I entered the sayings from
the two audios into the windows software, since I do medical
transcription, I am at my computer a lot. 

Within 1 1/2 weeks of beginning the program, I had found that
everyday I was finishing something else.  I got through filing
that had been piling up for 5 or 6 years.  All of the bags of
clothes were gone through, the left-overs given to charity. I
textured my wall in my family room, painted it, and finished
that room. It had been a work in progress for literally 2 years.
I laid the tile in my kitchen which had been a gaping hole of
concrete for almost a year.  I found every closet, cupboard and
drawer in my house clean and organized, My desk is clean almost
every night, usually before I even get up to go do something
else.  My dishes are done, and my family room has not been a
mess since the day I finished it.  I have found that I have a
peace that I can't explain.

I can no longer walk past something without picking it up.  I
feel a peace from having a clean house that I NEVER imagined
would be possible.  There are still a few projects that remain
to be done, but the major ones are done.  My husband is happier,
I am happier, my children are happier, and the stress has left
my home. 

My best friend and I have been friends for over 20 years, she
told me one day, April, never quit using that program.  I have
always loved you, but I love talking to you now.  You are so
positive and upbeat now.  Anything that makes that change in a
person has got to be good!  My mother is constantly telling me
now how proud she is of me (this is huge as I didn't receive
that praise when I was growing up).  But, more important than
that, I am proud of ME.  It really doesn't matter what they
think.  I have found a sense of who I am. 

We are now expecting baby #5, and for the first time ever, I am
not stressing over all the projects I can't do due to my high-
risk pregnancies.  There is a calm assurance that all is well.
Your programs are the answer to my prayers. I tell everyone I
know about your programs, I have bought several others and lent
them to friends.  Thank you for waking up one day and deciding
to follow your dreams.  I am working on becoming that person.  I
still have a ways to go, but I know I can do it!!

April Davis
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Gaining Strength

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2006, 10:04:24 AM »
WOW Hops.   :shock:Sounds too good to be true.  I am interested.

 I still want to hear about your new job! - love to you - Gaining Strength

insomniac

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2006, 01:14:24 PM »
I've been really struggling with this lately, but I do have a wonderful site that I haven't been using but should have.  It has helped a lot of others, though:

www.flylady.net

October

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 01:49:56 PM »
I think this issue of clutter has to do with emotional connection.

My Nmum has a real problem throwing anything away.  She is a compulsive collector of any old tat she can find, whether silver spoons, stamps, thimbles, dolls houses, books, miniature houses; you name it, she collects it somewhere.  She does this for herself, and does not share her hobby as you might expect; she buys stuff and hides it away in cupboards.

As a counter to this, my ob went the opposite way. He always wanted to throw everything away.  When I was fourteen or so he 'encouraged' me to throw away a series of diaries that I had kept for about seven years, together with a book I wrote at school and won a prize for.  He always wanted me to justify anything I wanted to keep, and unless it was being used currently, he wanted it gone.  So I threw that stuff away, and lost part of myself when I did it.

Because of this, I think, I do not find it hard to throw anything out.  Nothing is mine, or feels connected with me.  I find it very easy to give anything to anyone.  As an example of this, I had a rosary which I loved; my favourite one.  I took it to an uncle's funeral this year and used it to help me stay grounded, and prayed with it.  So it is very important to me.  But a good friend was at my house, and admired my rosary collection, and I said, I have lots and lots, you can choose which one you want.  She chose that one.  And I felt a tug, but thought, she is more important than the rosary, so she can have it.  Part of me mourns for the prayers that went into that rosary, but mostly I think it has gone to a good home, and was only here in passing.  And I still have lots more left.

This is not to say I have a minimalist house, but I noticed that when my ex left, my d became very clingy, and found it very difficult indeed to disconnect from any of her toys from babyhood and childhood.  I thought it was best to allow this to follow its natural course, which has meant the house becoming rather more cluttered than I would really choose it to be, but I can't just clear out things which mean so much to her, when she has already lost so much.  So it is a compromise at present.

Every now and then I go through my stuff, though, and aim to clear out about a third of everything I have.  As long as I know it is going to a good home (ie the charity shop mostly) then I don't mind moving out the less needed stuff, to make more room for d's stuff to gradually take over every room.   :lol:

Gaining Strength

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2006, 06:17:09 PM »
I love flylady!! Though I haven't looked there in a couple of years.

October, I absolutely agree about the emotional connection.
I have been interested in this odd healing process based on accupuncture pressure points
called EFT.  I read an article by an EFT practitioner who is a member of a national organizers
organization and she clearly saw emotional issues prominent in her clients.

Gaining Strength


gratitude28

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2006, 07:14:56 PM »
OCTOBER...
It was exactly the same in my house. My mother hoarded, my dad forced us to throw out everything. I still remember one move when he was so mean I just gave up and threw away things that meant something to me (granted, it was probably junk... but you know how kids are attached to some things for various reasons). For years I lived totally minimally. Not a single knick knack. No animals. No mess, no personal anything. It is only in the past three years that I have gained clutter. Now I fight with it... on one hand, it is the projects my kids and I do... on the other hand, I am dreadfully embarrassed to have any clutter. I am cleaning through all closets and drawers now... one or two a weekend. I think I am mostly balanced. Our house is small now, though, and I can never get everything quite right enough to feel secure. Things are better, though, lately, as I have been able to paint some, which means I am not too stressed out by it.
Thanks for letting me ramble. Thanks for the topic.
Love, Beth
"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable." Douglas Adams

SilverLining

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2006, 10:26:06 PM »
I must be schizoid, because I like collecting things, but I also like getting rid of them.  It's fun to search, shop, compare, decide, learn about new things.   But then having them around seems to quickly become more of an annoyance than a pleasure.  So every so often I sift through and unload, which is just as much fun as acquiring in the first place.   I don't have much of an attachment to the stuff.    It's rare I ever miss anything I have gotten rid of.   

This is in contrast to many others I know who seem to just keep loading up junk until the attic floor collapses.  Many of my immediate relatives are the pack rat type.  Every object is assigned special significance and so they have a reason to never let go of anything.

I like to believe I  am following the middle way.  :D Breath in, breath out.   And I think about what JC said concerning attachment to worldly goods. 

October

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2006, 09:56:28 AM »
Now I fight with it... on one hand, it is the projects my kids and I do... on the other hand, I am dreadfully embarrassed to have any clutter. I am cleaning through all closets and drawers now... one or two a weekend. I think I am mostly balanced.
Love, Beth

Do you think that this balance is just a balance between mom and dad in your head, or is it actually you being happy with who you are, and the space you are in?

I am not meaning to create insecurity in you, but I think a lot of the time when I am cleaning my house, I am doing it because I think that the dad part in me will be happy because of it.  And of course, he never is, because it is never clean enough to get a well done.  Just as my brother was never satisfied with what I threw away before, because there were always things left. 

One thing he insisted on throwing out was his old carrycot from when he was a baby.  He made mum and dad throw it away, because he hates anything that reminds him of the past; his own past.  The carrrycot was worth nothing, and would not meet safety standards today, so could not be used.  But I still wish he had not thrown it away.

Some things are worth keeping.  But if you keep everything, then you have nothing of value.

In terms of my Nmum, she knows the price of everything and the value of nothing, so she hoardes indiscriminately.  This devalues everything.  She has embroidery worked by my grandmother, long departed.  And yet she will buy embroidered tablecloths at car boot sales, and store them together, so that nobody but her knows which are the heirlooms, and which are the tat.  The only end result of this will be that ultimately all will be discarded together.

I think this is partly why the reaction against hoarders is to disconnect from every possession, and throw everything away.  You cannot allow anything to have power over you, as possessions do over some people, and to prevent it you clean out too much.  Maybe it is the equivalent of the alcoholic's spouse going teetotal, because it is the only thing left for them to do.

October

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Re: De Cluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2006, 11:25:46 AM »


But what do you do when you and your hubby can not throw anything out..................????????


I would try a 'pending' box.  Put stuff in it, and anything you think of during the year, take out and use.  Anything still there 12 months later, throw away.  Or if 12 months is too short, then try 2 years, or three.  Anything that works.   :D  Same with the wardrobe.  If you haven't worn it in five years, throw it out.  (Wedding dress excepted, of course!)

SilverLining

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2006, 01:42:05 PM »
  I find it very easy to give anything to anyone.  As an example of this, I had a rosary which I loved; my favourite one.  I took it to an uncle's funeral this year and used it to help me stay grounded, and prayed with it.  So it is very important to me.  But a good friend was at my house, and admired my rosary collection, and I said, I have lots and lots, you can choose which one you want.  She chose that one.  And I felt a tug, but thought, she is more important than the rosary, so she can have it.  Part of me mourns for the prayers that went into that rosary, but mostly I think it has gone to a good home, and was only here in passing.  And I still have lots more left.




Last night I read a story which reminded me of your comment.


A wise woman was traveling in the mountains when she came upon a beautiful clear stream.  Thirsty she cupped her hand, reached in, and brought the water to her mouth.  After she had drank, she noticed a precious stone in the palm of her hand.  She held it high and it glittered in the sun.  Delighted, she tucked the treasure into her bag.  The next day the wise woman met a hungry fellow traveler, and without hesitation she opened her bag to share what food she had.  Immediately, the traveler caught sight of the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him.  She did so without the slightest hesitation. 

The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune.  This stone was surely worth enough money to provide a lifetime of security.  But only a few days later, he came back, his brow furrowed, and returned the stone to the wise woman. 

"I've been thinking," he said.  "I know how valuable this stone must surely be, but I've brought it back to trade for something even more precious.  Please give me what you have within you that enabled you to freely give me the stone". 


This was in a new book called the "Trance of Scarcity"

October

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2006, 03:14:19 PM »

"I've been thinking," he said.  "I know how valuable this stone must surely be, but I've brought it back to trade for something even more precious.  Please give me what you have within you that enabled you to freely give me the stone". 

This was in a new book called the "Trance of Scarcity"

That is a beautiful story.  Thank you, tjr.  I will print that one out to think about.  ((((((((hugs)))))))

gratitude28

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2006, 07:33:36 PM »
October,
You brought out so many ideas I don't even know where to start...
But as to whether I clean in some sort of homage to my father - yes, I think you are totally right. It is some way, I think, also, of saying I am on 'his side,' if that makes any sense. It seems to me there was a ton of 'taking sides' in my house and that was one of them. I never have really thought this through...
Also, you are so right about the price of everything and value of nothing. My mother is truly that way. When I was reading about children I realized that too much clutter keeps them from being able to enjoy the things that are special and from which they might truly learn. I have also made myself absolutely stick to the rule of "If you bring something into the house, something has to go." And I get rid of stuff (for the most part) that hasn't been worn in a year. Honestly, I am amazed I didn't get rid of my wedding dress. I probably will. I hold very little value in things and always have. And I can't believe that my mother doesn't have a spiritual bone in her body... that there is nothing that holds any true value for her. She just DOES NOT see things that way (and I don't think she ever will).
Thanks, October, for the food for thought. And thank you everyone else for the great additions to the topic here. To me this is very important and something I really appreciate input on.
Love, Beth
"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable." Douglas Adams

Hopalong

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2006, 08:23:31 PM »
All of these posts make so much sense to me.

I think what's going on with me isn't about stuff.
It's about not wanting to be responsible for myself.
It's about wishing my dad were back (he took meticulous care of paperwork and finances.)
I don't spend. I don't consume. I don't collect. I don't spend.

I JUST DON'T PICK UP MY STUFF AND TAKE CARE OF THE PAPERWORK BUSINESS OF LIFE.

Yoicks. Sorry for the caps but I am embarrassed to say it at all so I said it loud to get it out.

It's very odd that I'm so focused and responsible at work, I accomplish a lot, and I'm the same way in taking daily care of my mother.

But when it comes to taking care of my own space, my own paperwork/mail/all that...

I escape. And it ain't good.  :oops:

Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

gratitude28

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Re: DeCluttering: Inspiration, Success Stories, Tips
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2006, 08:30:05 PM »
But hopsy,
You have identified the problem... so WHY are you still doing it???? Do you want someone to save you????? What is the result you are fishing for (dig deep... you know it's in there).
Love, Beth
"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable." Douglas Adams