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Remember my Huge, Huge, Huge Decluttering Problems???

Sunday, October 06, 2013



I must have prayed hard enough because I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

I'd say I am about 50 % on my way to being decluttered!

I am not sure quite how this happened. Yes I have been chipping away at my problem. But I have gone to bed many nights wondering how my move to my family can possibly happen. It might happen!

These were (are) major clutter that need dealing with:

1. The huge basement here is still filled with things from our other house! It was a huge house with a pool and 2 acres of lawn! and we are now in a condo. (because DH is in a motorized wheelchair after his stroke in 2006). I was moving all by myself so I did the best I could but many, many things just got moved here. I, myself, sold the lawn tractor, hubby's car, a utility trailer, pool equipment, skiing stuff, other sports stuff, etc.!!!!!

2. A workshop full of tools, both my husband's and many of his father's ..and grandfather's!

3. Books and more books. We are 66 and are both readers. What can I say... emoticon

4. Handicap equipment gathered over the last 7 years. It is hard to say how this stuff accumulates!

5. Probably 40 years worth of his and my clothes and shoes.

6. Some of daughter's things.

7. Furniture that won't fit upstairs in the condo. (first floor--we have no second floor)
Matresses, dressers, a couch, chairs, a huge metal desk, wood from Dh's woodworking hobby,
his hunting stuff (mostly gone I think)...


I have managed to accomplish these tasks in the last year:

1. I just gave $900 worth of used clothing to the Salvation Army! That is probably 1/2 of what I have. I'd better wait till 2014 to give the rest or they will audit me!

2. All Dh's big woodworking machines are gone! Yeah emoticon but sad emoticon , too. I bartered with a former health aide. He is starting a business with his father. They needed equipment badly. So those two are dong carpentry and some handyman stuff here to get ready to move. They already fixed holes in walls( the big wheelchair made holes!). I let them figure out prices and haul the stuff away. They were thrilled. Even fixing prices was overwhelming me. I trust them both and feel we both benefited.

3. Now those 2 guys will refurbish my wood floors. After 6 years they are only a little worn but not good enough to impress a condo buyer. Two bedrooms, a hall, and a huge open living/dining room area. I will owe them only $400 for labor after bartering with them!! I think it is a great deal.

(Um and yes I was a full time teacher till a little over a year ago. And I have depression and fibromyalgia. So I have often gotten help from friends and a little help from family who live far away.)


MY HUGE PROBLEM RIGHT NOW: how can they refurbish the floors with us here. I wanted to go to a motel for 2 nights. But taking care of DH in a motel is practically not possible. I have done it twice. Once for a wedding and once for my own family's reunion. I really don't want to go through that again. And he is harder to transfer now. We use a lift all the time.

I am boxing up condo stuff so the guys only have to move boxes and furniture to refurbish the floors. . But it is still overwhelming . emoticon At some point I will probably ask my daughter (31) to help but honestly, it is easier doing it with strangers and by myself. i have resigned myself to that.


You folks have supported me through these years. You have no idea how much I have benefited from your encouragement and ideas.

If we move within the next 2-3 years, it will be wonderful. I sort of wish my family lived in a a more temperate climate than Buffalo. emoticon

chris

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMEMINE1 10/9/2013 9:44AM

    You are doing good. We just moved and that is what I am doing. Getting rid of stuff. emoticon

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DIETER27 10/8/2013 4:32PM

  emoticon you did a lot of decluttering. great job!

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CAROLIAN 10/8/2013 4:20AM

    You are doing GREAT with the declutter
I too have been doing this as my kids wouldn't want it when i am gone and a lot of it was from days when I bought because it would come in handy days ha ha
My main clutter was knitting wool books and baking tins
My baking days are finished so my 2 girls got the cooking stuff as they both do home catering and my ED works at a community centre so there went the baking trays and catering size pans
The smaller kitchen gear went to homeless people setting up home for the first time so did excess bedding curtains etc
My wool stash has dwindled to 2 drawers and a big box in the wardrobe which I am knitting things to sell for charity fundraisers
It must be an enormous task for you while looking after DH at the same time along with your health problems though as you say there is light at the end of the tunnel it will get brighter as you go emoticon emoticon


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SAMMIESMOM13 10/7/2013 11:02AM

    Oh, my gosh. You are and have been doing great! It sounds like you are very strong, I have confidence you can do this. It will be hard, but you will get thru it. You're seeing that light for sure! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WHYNOTJ1 10/7/2013 9:33AM

    Keep up the great work decluttering!

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NANCYPAT1 10/7/2013 6:43AM

    Good for you - decluttering is a BIG job.

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LECATES 10/7/2013 6:19AM

    Great job on the bartering! Keep only those books you will reread and love! Maybe you could check with medicare and see if your dh can stay at a place for a couple of days so the fumes, etc won't affect his health---you could be with him during the day and then get a break at night for yourself. Keep plugging away at this! You have made amazing strides.

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1STATEOFDENIAL 10/7/2013 4:55AM

    emoticon Keep it up! It's a big project, but doing small amounts at a time is getting it done.

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SHIVAMOON 10/7/2013 1:42AM

    I love decluttering...it feels so good. All those things start to own you and demand your attention, whether it's needing to dust them or just always thinking about how they are in the way.

With books...I agree with all the others, sell them to a used book store or give them to a library. We have some wonderful "friends of the library" groups around here. I can donate books, dvds, cds to them and buy something different for almost nothing. That way, I can keep the new books as long as I want, keep the ones I really love, and take anything I'm done with back to them. I move them out and know someone else will have a chance to enjoy them.

For all those other things...don't let them own you and get in your way. If you can't sell them, organizations like the Salvation Army and United Cerebral Palsy will come and pick them up at your house. UCP does not take furniture, but will accept household goods, etc. Salvation Army will come and pick up furniture if you make an appointment.

You are clearly (pun!) doing a great job on your own. I'm rooting for you.

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2HAMSDIET 10/6/2013 10:25PM

    emoticon You are doing great. I too seemed to be left with the task of downsizing and moving. It was over whelming and I did have a husband with medical issues to deal with. I commend you for your stick too it spirit. My move has left me with the realization that it is only stuff and not that important. I do feel for you moving into a snow belt. Time for good boots, hats and coats. emoticon

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FLAMENM 10/6/2013 9:07PM

    Great job on decluttering!

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LINOVER 10/6/2013 9:06PM

    You have been able to get rid of a lot of things if you consider that you were working fulltime until just a year ago! You have done emoticon so far and I know you will continue to do well in dealing with all this!

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MADAMES 10/6/2013 6:18PM

    Glad that you can see progress. I have had to move many times, and I have been frustrated to tears many times, so .I can relate! Keep chipping away at it. It will get done.



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CINDYWAGNER1 10/6/2013 5:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KATSTEAM 10/6/2013 5:31PM

    emoticon


The Lord can give you the desire & strength to keep on going emoticon

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DS9KIE 10/6/2013 5:20PM

    emoticon job, just keep it up

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PROVERBS31JULIA 10/6/2013 5:11PM

    Lots of ways to get rid of books - bookcrossing(dot)com , donate to libraries (many larger libraries have a "friends of libraries" volunteer group to sort out and resell the books for fundraisers for that library. Senior centers or schools might want books. I have a bunch of cookbooks I need to sort and get rid of.


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COCK-ROBIN 10/6/2013 5:11PM

    I'm glad you're rid of that clutter. And that was a hilarious picture!

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COCK-ROBIN 10/6/2013 5:11PM

    I'm glad you're rid of that clutter. And that was a hilarious picture!

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FROSTY99 10/6/2013 4:57PM

    You deserve a emoticon for all that you have accomplished. Sorry you aren't able to get more help but as you said, sometimes it is easier to deal with strangers.
Have you thought about seeing if a used book store would buy some of the books from you? I know you won't get nearly what you paid, but it would move the books out of your way.
If you don't think you will need the furniture, you might try advertising it and see if you could make some $$ off of it. I don't know about you but once retired, income isn't going up so what little we can make helps--maybe a meal out or buy something that doesn't fit in the budget.
Pat

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PYNETREE 10/6/2013 4:42PM

    Every step gets you closer to your goal!


You are seeing progress..because you are moving forward! You'll get there.

If you are not sold on moving closer to your family, have you thought about buying into one of those Assisted Living Apartment/Condos?

Tough road no matter how you look at it!

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ARTJAC 10/6/2013 4:18PM

    YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB emoticon emoticon

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DEE797 10/6/2013 4:03PM

    With everything that has been happening in your life, you still managed to do quite a bit. WTG on the bartering to get your floors refinished...Awesome! emoticon emoticon

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NPA4LOSS 10/6/2013 3:50PM

    You have a big job but you are doing very well. emoticon on all that you have accomplished! emoticon

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MARITIMER3 10/6/2013 1:22PM

    You've accomplished a tremendous amount. Getting ready to move, and especially to downsize, is a difficult, frustrating, sometimes heart-breaking job. It isn't so much the things as what they represent. Dreams accomplished and dreams that never reached fruition. Books that you love and want to read again and again. Clothes that you absolutely love, even if you know you will never wear them again. Things that remind you of people who are no longer around. Memories from your childhood.

I know that you will push on, but I also know that it won't be easy. Be kind to yourself and to your DH when he wants to keep things that don't make any sense to you (that's the situation I'm in with my DH. He has much more trouble than I do getting rid of things, so that 80% of our clutter belongs to him, and I wouldn't dare get rid of anything.

Gail

Comment edited on: 10/6/2013 1:23:29 PM

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STITCH4EVER 10/6/2013 12:49PM

    I THINK YOU ARE DOING AMAZINGLY WELL. WE HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM HERE. WE WENT FROM A 12 ROOM HOUSE TO A TWO BEDROOM CONDO. I HAVE NOTHING AT ALL STORED BUT ONE BOX OF CLOTHING THAT WAS VERY GOOD STUFF BUT IS NOW TOO BIG. I WILL ONLY KEEP IT FOR ONE YEAR AND THEN GIVE IT AWAY. IF I HAVEN'T BEEN PUT IN A WHEELCHAIR BY THEN, I THINK I CAN TOUGH IT OUT. BEING IN A CHAIR WOULD MEAN A WEIGHT GAIN AGAIN SO I DON'T WANT TO GIVE AWAY THE GOOD STUFF UNTIL I KNOW I WON'T HAVE TO REPLACE IT. BUT DH! OMG! HE NOT ONLY HAS ALL HIS OWN ACCUMULATION OF "HOARDERS" STUFF, BUT HE HAS HIS PARENTS AND BOTH SETS OF GRANDPARENTS! I AM SLOWLY TRYING TO GET RID OF SOME OF IT. WHAT I AM GETTING RID OF IS MOSTLY PAPERS. WHY KEEP CANCELED CHECKS FROM THE 50'S. THESE PEOPLE HAVE ALL BEEN DEAD FOR MANY, MANY YEARS. WHY KEEP THE STUFF? IDENTITY THEFT HE SAYS! PHOOEY! IF I SHREAD THE PAPERS, NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW. NOW HE HAS TAKEN TO JAMMING HIS SHREADER SO I CAN'T USE IT. HE UNJAMS IT WHEN HE GETS HOME. SO I GIVE UP! AND WHEN HE SAYS, "WELL WHAT ABOUT YOUR STUFF"? I CAN JUST LOOK AT HIM AND SAY, "WHAT STUFF"? I CAN PACK EVERYTHING I OWN AND BE OUT OF HERE IN LESS THAN HALF A DAY. THAT TELLS YOU HOW MUCH STUFF I HAVE.
ERIN

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DONNABRIGHT 10/6/2013 12:36PM

    I am so impressed with what you have accomplished so far. One suggestion for the books - donate them to your local library. Most libraries will take them and if they cannot use them they sell them to raise money for books they do need. I'm going through mine and re-reading everything. My daughter takes the classics (she is a high school English teacher) and the rest go to the library. I being about a bag a month. I only keep the books I truly love and will read again and again. I wish we lived closer - I am a born organizer.

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ALIHIKES 10/6/2013 12:26PM

    Congratulations Chris on all the progress you have made with decluttering. I think you will have to move out when the floors are being refinished, but I know it will be hard. Is there a care facility for DH where you also can stay? (My mom is in a nursing home, like your DH she needs a lift and needs total care. When I visit, if available I stay at a separate guest room at the same facility. They have 4, and they are much less expensive than a hotel in that area of California)
Alison

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WILDFLOWERMA 10/6/2013 12:09PM

    You are amazing - that is quite a lot of progress. I hope you take time to care for you somewhere in the midst of all the hard work. I've been grumbling about the decluttering I still have to do - moved to a much smaller space. You've certainly put that into perspective for me.

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SANDRALEET 10/6/2013 12:05PM

    Some how some way all gets done If nothing else hire some one to get rid off whot is left

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IOEINC 10/6/2013 11:33AM

    We need to do some serious decluttering too. We had enough to declutter 10 years ago when both my mom and mother in law passed away and we moved a lot of their stuff into our basement. My kids were at least able to use the furniture but there are still boxes and boxes of stuff to go through. You have inspired me to get moving on it!!

emoticon

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THOMS1 10/6/2013 11:32AM

    emoticon Honey you are doing a super job. Is there a facility that you husband can stay at until the floors are finished? I wish you luck and my prayers are with you. emoticon

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CELIAMINER 10/6/2013 11:31AM

    Primary caregiver AND a successful declutterer? You should be nominated for a Super Woman award!

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DISCOVERLLH 10/6/2013 11:24AM

    Wow, you are doing a great job! It was funny, because when I read about all the books you have, that really struck a chord with me. I thought to myself, "Ha! You should see all my books!" I'm a certified teacher, but I haven't been able to find a job. I have tubs and tubs of children's books as well as books of my own because I, too, love to read. When I continued to read your blog and saw that you had also been a teacher, I thought, "That explains it!" Congratulations on getting so much of your decluttering done. That is really impressive! Keep up the great work.

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SUGARSMOM2 10/6/2013 11:23AM

  You are doing a great job . Clutter just seems to build up and add to its self over time it has a life of its own . growing without aid .

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LIS193 10/6/2013 11:18AM

    emoticon

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JAZZYGF 10/6/2013 11:07AM

    wow I am impressed and when I listen to you trying to get rid of stuff I am in that position also.
Hubby and I trying for 3 years unpiling our trophys of clutter. Our kids 4 of them 6 grandchildren don't want this junk as they call it
We can not ask for our kids to help tried that not possible.I have hugs piles from attick in garage next bag and send to good will emoticon

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DRAGON-CHICK 10/6/2013 11:02AM

    Wow!
emoticon emoticon

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