snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > SLC Central > SLC

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 30 April 2018, 09:33 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,210
Default

Speaking as a librarian another problem with books is that many people are very reluctant to throw them away. I think they have visions of Fahrenheit 451 going through their heads. They may not think any specific book is valuable but they do think that even the oldest, moldiest most out of date publication on their shelf Cannot Be Tossed. So instead they box them up and donate them to their closest public library. Where - yes - they will indeed be tossed!
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01 May 2018, 02:08 AM
Beachlife!'s Avatar
Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
Join Date: 23 June 2001
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 28,580
Jolly Roger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
...However, the emotional impact of decluttering can be tremendous...
This is why it is so difficult for me. Somebody once referred to all of the stuff on display in my house as artifacts, which is what they all are to me. So much of what I have is attached to a story, a memory, a person or a place. Over the years, I've managed to detach more and more, but it is still very difficult for me. In some cases I find that there are only certain ways I can remove an object from my life, dictated by the object. This can range from giving it away to ritual burning.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01 May 2018, 04:10 AM
Gutter Monkey's Avatar
Gutter Monkey Gutter Monkey is online now
 
Join Date: 13 December 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,095
Default

If an object or a collections of objects isn't actively detracting from your quality of life then I feel you're under no obligation to 'declutter' it if you're happy to keep it. (Having to pack and haul them to a new house and risking putting your back out definitely counts as detracting from your quality of life.)

On the other hand, I've seen a whole bunch of TV shows about hoarders and it turns out that it's really common for people to not realise when something is detracting from their quality of life if there's underlying psychological causes that led them to hang onto those items in the first place. Many of them were suffering from severe depression or OCD or a combination which led them to gather as many items around them as possible because it gave them a sense of security and they genuinely didn't realise that stuffing their house and yard to capacity with giant mounds of random crap was genuinely dangerous. It gets especially unhealthy if the bathroom and the kitchen get so full of stuff that they become unusable and the hoarder has to come up with "temporary" alternatives for washing and cooking and food storage. Having so much stuff that parts of the house can't be accessed without a huge effort is also bad because it usually means that pests like mice and cockroaches can't be controlled.

Most of us will never get that bad but my parents always had a huge collection of useless junk and I got that habit from them as well and I've to be careful not to let things get out of control.

One of the things I tend to hoard is plants and last week when my housemates told me they'd like to start a herb garden I realised there wasn't any room for another plant collection in our yard so I'm going to have to rearrange my hundreds and hundreds of potted plants and make some room for them.
(The annoying thing is that my housemates are terrible at caring for houseplants so their herb garden is pretty much doomed to wither and die under their care and the whole endeavour will no doubt be a waste of time and space.)
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 01 May 2018, 08:08 AM
kitap's Avatar
kitap kitap is offline
 
Join Date: 20 January 2001
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 9,851
Whalephant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aud 1 View Post
I'm not sure why books get attacked first when looking to declutter. My mom is always after mine but they sit calmly on the shelf and are cataloged.
Well, in my case it is because they are really the only thing I own mass quantities of.

And yep, Lori can wrench books I hate out of my hands without my complaining.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01 May 2018, 01:22 PM
Alarm's Avatar
Alarm Alarm is offline
 
Join Date: 26 May 2011
Location: Nepean, ON
Posts: 5,751
Default

I think most people target books for decluttering because they have size and mass.

When I moved, and helped others move, the boxes that weighed the most were usually the ones filled with books. this makes them the hardest ones to handle. Boxes with dishes usually have lots of filler, spaces between, padding, etc. Boxes of books are usually completely filled, making the box a solid mass.

So just a suggestion, but if you're going to move, put your books in smaller boxes instead of massive ones!
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 01 May 2018, 01:46 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,503
Default

That's part of the inconvenience of moving them: Put them in big boxes, and the boxes will be too heavy to lift. Put them in smaller boxes, and you can lift them, but there are sooo many boxes.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 01 May 2018, 01:54 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,210
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post

So just a suggestion, but if you're going to move, put your books in smaller boxes instead of massive ones!
I was helping a friend pack and move a few months ago and she had been packing her books in big plastic totes. Yikes. I had to go out and buy small boxes and repack for her - and this was only after a lot of fast talking on my part to convince her that you just can't pack books like that and expect anyone to move them for you! Speaking of clutter and keeping things you don't need, she had stacks of wedding themed magazines that her daughters had accumulated. Despite the fact that both daughters are now married she was going to pack and move all those magazines. I wasn't exactly a Lori about it but I did refuse to pack them. I don't think she ended up keeping them but one of her reasons why she didn't want to toss them was the price of each issue. She felt like she was throwing money away.

Last edited by Sue; 01 May 2018 at 02:13 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 01 May 2018, 03:21 PM
Seaboe Muffinchucker's Avatar
Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is online now
 
Join Date: 30 June 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 18,807
Glasses

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
If everything fits tucked away in drawers, one is not, IMO, in an advanced state of clutter.
What if they're crammed into the drawers, such that when the drawer is opened, the contents spill out (or, alternatively, one can't open the drawer at all)? This is actually why I keep harping on storage. If you want your house not to look cluttered even if you have a lot of stuff, you need appropriate storage. You need to decide what you're willing to have. For example, I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't have book cases in the living room. I have CDs there, and a few video tapes, but no books. Clearly, that has an impact on the storage I have available for books, so I have to weed the collection regularly to keep it in the space I have decided it can fill.

I have a lot of stuff, and I don't feel the need to eliminate it all (yet). I do feel like eliminating enough so that my drawers have space in them and my floors are clear.

Seaboe
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 01 May 2018, 06:30 PM
Die Capacitrix's Avatar
Die Capacitrix Die Capacitrix is offline
 
Join Date: 03 January 2005
Location: Kanton Luzern, Switzerland
Posts: 3,323
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
This is actually why I keep harping on storage. If you want your house not to look cluttered even if you have a lot of stuff, you need appropriate storage. You need to decide what you're willing to have.
This. We have a wardrobe and a dresser, plus 2 nightstands' worth of storage in our bedroom. We want to get new furniture and would like more open space. So it makes sense to get rid of the standalone dresser and integrate more drawer space into the wardrobe.

This means we have to declutter the entire bedroom before we can decide what we need for our new bedroom furniture.

Maybe that means storing some of the extra linens someplace else. So first the cellar has to be decluttered. I think someone mentioned mushrooming tasks?

My advice? Same as for eating an elephant. Bite by bite. Or in this case, room by room, or even drawer by drawer. It's not possible to do it at once.

Example: I finally went through the drawer with the food storage containers and kitchen textiles. I had Tupperware which is annoying to deal with. No longer. Enough of that nonsense. And I put away the extra dishcloths. I don't need 20 (yes, 20!) dishcloths in active rotation. Yes I had the space for the extra containers and the spare dishcloths. And now I have less frustration when opening that drawer.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 01 May 2018, 07:16 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,503
Default

I've found that "pruning" closets and cupboards before I even try to pack makes things much simpler.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 01 May 2018, 11:18 PM
mbravo's Avatar
mbravo mbravo is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2015
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,302
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I've found that "pruning" closets and cupboards before I even try to pack makes things much simpler.
Could you describe this a little more? I'm going to moving out of my family house this month into an apartment and already feel a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of packing up basically my whole life (even if it's all in an 11x13 bedroom).
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 02 May 2018, 01:31 AM
Gutter Monkey's Avatar
Gutter Monkey Gutter Monkey is online now
 
Join Date: 13 December 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,095
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
Speaking of clutter and keeping things you don't need, she had stacks of wedding themed magazines that her daughters had accumulated. Despite the fact that both daughters are now married she was going to pack and move all those magazines. I wasn't exactly a Lori about it but I did refuse to pack them. I don't think she ended up keeping them but one of her reasons why she didn't want to toss them was the price of each issue. She felt like she was throwing money away.
I thought that throwing money away was just an accepted part of hosting weddings.

One of my previous housemates insisted on keeping a huge old CRT television set because one day he might want to haul out his old retro gaming consoles, so it just sat in the corner gathering dust for years. He touched it exactly twice in all the time he was here: the first time was when he was putting it down when he moved in, and the second time was when he was picked it up when he was moving out. At one point he was considering selling it and when I pointed out that it was completely worthless (opp shops refuse to take them any more because our TV broadcasts are now digital and the old TVs aren't compatible, people just dump them on the side of the road) and he got all upset because it originally cost hundreds of dollars. He just couldn't get past the "I paid a lot for it therefore it's valuable" mentality.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 02 May 2018, 01:34 AM
Gutter Monkey's Avatar
Gutter Monkey Gutter Monkey is online now
 
Join Date: 13 December 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,095
Default

My general rule for pruning is: if I didn't own this and I saw it in an opp shop for $1 would I buy it?

If the answer is 'no' then you don't actually need it in your life and you can get rid of it.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 02 May 2018, 01:39 AM
Beachlife!'s Avatar
Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
Join Date: 23 June 2001
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 28,580
Jolly Roger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gutter Monkey View Post
...He just couldn't get past the "I paid a lot for it therefore it's valuable" mentality.
Sunk cost facility can be a bitch sometimes.

One of my issues has been that I decide to sell off some of my stuff and then when I see how little its fetching on ebay, I end up deciding to buy more stuff because its sooo cheap.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 02 May 2018, 01:55 AM
dfresh dfresh is online now
 
Join Date: 11 November 2005
Location: Oxford, PA
Posts: 4,271
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbravo View Post
Could you describe this a little more?
Like someone said, you do it like you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. Don't aim to clean out and organize your entire room (or your WHOLE LIFE) at one time, just go through a drawer or closet, and keep what you really want, and toss or recycle or donate anything else. It helps since when you really are at a deadline, you have a bunch of the things sorted out.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 02 May 2018, 01:33 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,503
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbravo View Post
Could you describe this a little more? I'm going to moving out of my family house this month into an apartment and already feel a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of packing up basically my whole life (even if it's all in an 11x13 bedroom).
Just clean out each drawer/closet/cupboard without even trying to pack it. I sort things into 3 piles (keep, give away/donate, and recycle/trash), but you can modify that however you like. Put the "keep" pile away, take care of the other two piles, and when you're ready to pack, you'll only have to pack the "keep" stuff.

I found it helpful to separate the "do I need/want this?" piece from the packing piece. Also, in some cases, I could do this pruning farther ahead of the move than I could have packed.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 02 May 2018, 03:24 PM
Seaboe Muffinchucker's Avatar
Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is online now
 
Join Date: 30 June 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 18,807
Glasses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I found it helpful to separate the "do I need/want this?" piece from the packing piece.
Definitely. It's really easy to put "maybe" pieces in boxes and then just leave them there after you move. Getting rid of them before you pack works wonders.

I'm beginning to toy with the idea of leaving my wonderful house (sob) because I'm beginning to hate living in Seattle (also sob). Just toying, mind you, nothing is decided yet. Still, it's impetus for getting rid of all the old paint that's been sitting around, the light fixtures I never used, the old painting clothes that I no longer need (and which wouldn't fit, anyway).

If I don't go, then I'll have more room for the things I do want to keep.

Seaboe
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 02 May 2018, 03:40 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,503
Default

Seaboe, I hope you don't have to leave your lovely house, but I can see why you'd hate living in Seattle at this point. I'm starting to wonder how far Columbus is from that point.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 02 May 2018, 07:22 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,210
Default

One of my former co-workers mentioned another reason for decluttering that had not occurred to me. If you are downsizing due to advancing age or ill health you might be wise to bear in mind that there could be some items you currently own that you would not want your kids to see if they are the ones who have to go through your stuff. She and her husband found this out the hard way when they went through the contents of his late father's storage locker.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 02 May 2018, 08:37 PM
dfresh dfresh is online now
 
Join Date: 11 November 2005
Location: Oxford, PA
Posts: 4,271
Default

My Dad said he was trying to do me a huge favor and clean out their barn to get rid of ALL the stuff, since he knows that I will be the one to take care of their things when they die. After talking it over, we sort of decided that it might be easier to just torch the house and barn since my stepmom NEEDS all that stuff, including clothing she has not been able to wear since high school and boxes of books that she got from her parent's house when they died (boxes which have not been opened in many years). She also has quite a few boxes of photographs, dating back many decades. The sad thing is that there is nothing WITH them, no notes, no messages, no clue as to who, what, when or WHY the pictures were taken. At some point, they will mostly be tossed (or all tossed), with family history going away since no one ever took the time to label them.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.