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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in less & fewer's LiveJournal:

Saturday, December 27th, 2008
5:14 pm
I've posted the latest alt.reovery.clutter FAQ to http://dsgood.wordpress.com/clutterinfo-2clutterinfo-2/
Tuesday, December 16th, 2008
8:42 am
Just a few "before pictures" from the huge purging process. They are crappy phone quality, because my camera was charging, and it takes forever. As soon as I find the card reader for the camera, there are many more.

Doesn't it always work out that you lose more than you find when you clean?Collapse )

I'll post the afters of everything as soon as I'm fully done redecorating. I still have new curtains to hang, a CHRISTMAS TREE TO PUT UP, and a little more rearranging. :D
Friday, December 12th, 2008
5:40 pm
Oh. Lord.
I just randomly discovered this community, and even though no one has posted in a while, I feel I need to express how proud I am that I've de-cluttered my house.

Let me start off by saying that I. KEEP. EVERYTHING. In my younger years, my friends and I were famous for picking things up off the ground that looked interesting and keeping them in memory boxes. As of last week I had 35 12inch x 18inch x 4inch deep memory boxes. Lost nametags, bolts, oddly shaped sticks, forgotten love letters, and deteriorating dropped photographs. You name it, we've found it, and kept it.

Along with 30 new toys every holiday from family members for my daughter, and clothes I have not fit into since I was 12. My house was so full of crap.

In the last week I have:

Emptied the INNUMERABLE contents of two desks, three walk in closets [one measuring 10 X 5], three bedrooms, one living room, which was knee deep in McDonald's toys and stuffed animals, and all my beloved memory boxes. But not before taking digital photographs and scanning everything, for a [less cluttering] Memory "External Harddrive." :D

I have used 78 30-gallon garbage bags. 42 of them were trashed, and 36 donated to the local Goodwills and Salvation Armies. I used two gallons of carpet steaming solution, taking 16 hours in all [not including drying time] to clean all the carpet in the house. One gallon of bleach and 5 boxes of 4-each Magic Erasers. [There was crayon all over EVERYTHING. I do have a two year old.] I believe I twice surpassed the 100 mark, and I am feeling very very good about myself.

Being a dedicated packrat, it was very hard for me. But extremely rewarding. I managed to cut down to about 10% of our original posession count. Now my boyfriend is another story. There are computer parts packed away from the Jurassic Era..
Sunday, October 5th, 2008
10:05 pm
The Trash Heap has spoken!
I'm kicking myself for not taking a "before" picture of my brother's old room/mom's crap storage area. It's looking marvelous now, but two days ago it was The Land Before Time in there. Some things that were either given away, tossed/disposed of properly, or (in a couple of cases) stored in an orderly fashion:

- tons of 90's Hilfiger shirts and tapered/pleated pants

- the stationary and watercolor kit I had in elementary school

- 3 feather duvets, duvet covers, a few blankets, and shitloads of pillows. Mom nicknamed the den "the bedding department" until we got it all bagged for Goodwill.

- my brother's baseball cards & G.I. Joe planes

- lots of floppy disks

- 10-ish cans of old paint, thinner, brushes, etc.

- omg, bits of paper with my junior high/high school boyfriends' phone numbers. I want to call Armondo at midnight from the chipped, beige corded phone one more time. The dials the only light in my room, everything glowing soft green.

- our baby building blocks that survived a fire in '74


- Business cards from the 70's in a tin case

- Smooshies

- A copy of Truly Tasteless Jokes

- Linda Ronstadt tapes, the soundtrack to Rocky Horror, and an LP of the "Greatest Hits" of John Lander and the 93Q Morning Zoo

And sooo much more. The sedimentary layers of my family's life. I was disappointed that we didn't strike oil in there.

A couple of months ago, I finally got mom to call a junk man to get the 20 yr old busted dishwasher out of the garage, the old lawnmower, the kid slide. Mom's place is my project for now, but I'm about to move so my apt is about to get overhauled as well.

NEXT UP: MY old bedroom! What do I do with the beloved but useless stuffed animals of my childhood? I am going to cry about this, I don't care how old I get. Mom is no help, she picks them up and makes them talk to me in sweet, squeaky voices. "What about meeee, Katie? Don't you love me anymore? I...I don't want to go in the trash." She's a hoarder and she's fucking ruthless. Uh, their sad, glass eyes. I don't know if I'll be able to do it.

x-posted to my journal
Saturday, October 4th, 2008
12:12 am
Random Item Disposal | 10.03.08

Well, now it's the 4th, but this still counts. This is just never-ending & it's such small, silly things (to me, at least.) Plus, I try to make myself adhere to the rule of getting rid of things whenever I bring something new into the house. I haven't really been bringing in new things - though there are some items I need/want - but I've already drug out my Halloween/Autumn decorations & doo-dads so it feels like I bought new stuff.
  • old Wonder Woman address book - first, I barely used it & also, I haven't used it in years; I think it was from the late 90s
  • tarot card dvd - pretty sure it belongs to a manual/book & a deck, but who knows where those are
  • lipgloss palette, 2-sided lipgloss wand & 3 lipsticks - yes, I just got rid of 7 other assorted lip products mere days ago & I could keep getting rid of more. predominantly near-identical shades of red from every brand (I know it's a problem)
  • ceramic lotion bottle with lotion in it - purchased this a while ago from TJMaxx. it's just not my style. I had a similar bottle that had soap in it, but it has also been released.
  • a plastic ball & cup game
  • a plastic desktop-sized tub of sorts that a coworker gave me valentine goodies in about 3 years ago
  • plastic pencil cup I hate - I use things like old candle cups, vases, glasses, etc. for pens/pencils now
  • 6 cheapo pens that no longer work
  • about 20 old magazines (get ready for follow ups on this one. I probably have about 20 times as much to finish getting rid of. I'm a magazine junkie, but I also use them for inspiration & collage.)
In other news, I have homemade potpourri of orange slices & cloves cooking on the stove. It smells so good in here. Have a great weekend everybody! :]
Friday, September 26th, 2008
10:16 am
yesterday I tackled the hallway...
a source of discontent for years between my neighbor and I, because we are both pack rats. he is moving back home after a summer away so I only have a few days to attack the hallway!

threw out:
- box of lace pieces that were ugly
- old scale (which passerby were THRILLED about and took right home)
- random fabric (1/100th of my random fabric collection unfortunately)
- screenprinting kit
- old magazines

on the chopping block - i.e. should I keep?
- coffee machine
- tons of old papers from grad school which will only be useful if I ever decide to teach a class, plus we have the internet now? might kill me to go back through them though.
- cans of paint, sometimes I like to paint things.

I am also going to a clothes swap next week and bringing five bags. I am only allowed to bring 1 bag home.
Thursday, September 25th, 2008
11:31 pm
Random Item Disposal | 09.25.08

This is probably boring the crap out of you, but it sure is helping me. I am taking a personal day tomorrow off from work & guess what I'm going to do? Clean out crap! Way into this now.

Here's a few more things I've parted with over the last 2 days:
  • dried out facial cleansing wipes
  • 4-year-old insect repellant
  • hard, crusty rubber bands
  • class schedule from college, too many years old to mention (okay, think decade)
  • mini plastic Narnia snow globe that came with a pack of batteries
  • plastic Darth Vader head that had candy in it from last Halloween
  • notebook-style day planner that I haven't purchased refills for since 2004


Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
9:13 pm
Random Item Disposal | 09.23.08

Tonight's list of refuse is from last night & tonight. I'm exhausted {unrelated to the item disposal} so no fun story. Just a list. Oh, & it's after 9pm, but I'm making gnocci. There, that can be the story.
  • 7 lipsticks/lipbalms/glosses
  • 1 very old, nearly dried up lip/cheek stain
  • 1 creamy eyeshadow duo
  • 1 random notebook with old company logo
  • 1 random scratchpad {it got a good home}
  • 6 packages of envelopes that belonged to holiday cards from 6 years ago
  • 1 vinyl cd sleeve that must have held a freebie from a magazine {where is the CD?}
  • 1 iPod shuffle box
  • 1 broken watch
  • 3 cheap & cheesy costume rings that have busted &/or discoloured
  • 2 removable straps for handbags {don't know which handbags they belong to & don't care}
  • 1 very old & filthy "magic wallet" from J.Crew {don't get the suede kind as they suck up your dirty skin cells & oils & it shows!}
It is feeling so good to actually toss the shit instead of continuing to be a dirty packrat. It goes in cycles, sometimes I am such a minimalist, but then I get comfy with all the crap & forget to throw things away. I'm already feeling lighter.
Friday, September 19th, 2008
8:25 pm
Random Item Disposal | 09.19.08

Well, I really sucked when it came to the 100 Things project. I sucked so hard I still have my bags/piles of stuff. I was going to be good to my fellow man & the Earth & donate a shit-ton, but it just might all end up in the trash after this weekend. I just can't deal with it anymore.

So, to get myself on better track, I am going to do what any sane grown-up should be doing: cleaning/tossing as you go along. I don't do this. I think about what I need to get rid of. I look at/play with it. I think I maybe could have some need for it later or someone else might want it. Essentially, I just shuffle the fucker (whatever it is) all around my house until I forget about it in a box, closet, cubby, bag, etc. No more! I must immediately walk myself to the trash can & let. it. go.

Tonight I have lovingly released:

  • 3 3.5" microdiskettes formatted for the AT&T WP7700 (this was a gargantuan word processor complete with monitor that I used for my college papers. according to someone on craigslist it originally cost $1000; I spent $50 second-hand)
  • 16 additional 3.5" microdiskettes - I certainly have no machines that take these anymore
  • a 2"x2" 2007 Dogs calendar - I think it was a stocking stuffer of sorts from someone at the office
  • ancient slippery elm lozenges I found in my kitchen junk drawer
  • 3 refrigerator magnets I don't like anymore - this includes a lowercase plastic letter L I found on the steps of my old apartment. why I decided I needed this & not the kid who lived downstairs who it probably belonged to is beyond me.
  • outdated bus schedule book
  • &...oh my, I am going to admit this...a cut out & Xeroxed Cathy comic. Yes, I had this on my refrigerator door. In my defense, she was totally me.
Cathy comic details cleverly hidden beneath this here lj-cut so those of who want to disown me don't really have to if you never see it...Collapse )
Saturday, August 30th, 2008
4:36 pm
Wish me luck!
Hi all! I'm new here. I just found out about this group but I'm very excited! I've been wanting to cut back severely for a long time -- in that I would like to keep 25% of what I have now, when I'm done. My parents were both packrats ("we might need it again someday!") and it seems to have trickled down a bit, although, not as badly, thankfully! 

I know I'm probably late, but I'm going to start with the 100 things... unfortunately, I can think of roughly 100 things already to give away and that's before gettting to the attic! I'm going to follow an earlier poster's example of keeping a list...not just of what I'm going to give away, but also what I'm throwing away, to see where I'm wasting my money, so I can be more mindful in the future. I look forward to reading about other people's experiences and learning from them!

Wish me luck!
Monday, July 7th, 2008
11:28 am
What are you getting rid of?
I'm curious about the kinds of things people are getting rid of, and the criteria used to determine what should go or stay.

What are you getting rid of & why?
What have you decided to keep & why?

I've been averaging about two paper grocery bags of stuff per week going out, but I'm still struggling with "There will come a day when I will need this/ wish I didn't get rid of it." While my possession arsenal has gotten smaller, it's still not small enough. Inspire me with your minimalism!
Sunday, July 6th, 2008
6:45 pm

103 things (105 including gf and dog). both easier and harder than i thought. i live pretty minimally already (me + gf + 60 lb. dog in less than 500 square feet) but still get so overwhelmed by STUFF. it was easy to pick out what didn't matter to me, but it was hard to find 100 of them. i succeeded, though, and kept finding more after i dropped it all off at goodwill.

what about you guys?
Thursday, July 3rd, 2008
10:25 am
so far as getting rid of 100 things before the end of this week,

do you think a pair of shoes counts as one thing or two?
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008
2:15 pm

I 'm Holly.  I just found the 100 things challenge and I think it is the most awesome thing ever.  See, I have a major clutter problem.  I keep EVERYTHING, and I know I have to stop.  I'm getting married next February.  My fiancé and I already live together and my clutter drives him crazy.  98% of the stuff we own came from me.  I did get a head start though.  We are moving about 5 hours away and are planning on starting over.  I sold all my furniture and gave away most of my clutter items, but some I'm still holding on to.  I'm still feeling anxiety when I think about my stuff being gone.   Everything I own is now in a room at his mom's where we are staying until the move.  I still have WAY too much, but I’m going to try the challenge and get my life together.  :-) 

11:32 am
Tuesday, July 1st, 2008
12:28 pm
recycle den

Scrap in Portland, OR, collects all manner of scrappy junk and redistributes it to artists, teachers and anyone else who might be in the market for old National Geographics, etc. If you're getting rid of a bunch of scrap metal, wood, fabric, paper, whatever, and thinking, "Someone somewhere could probably use this for something...but who and where and what?" maybe there's an establishment like Scrap in your city.

Below, post details of the places you know that might stand between your old stuff and the landfill.
Monday, June 30th, 2008
2:17 pm
I have a few tips
I posted some tips in a friend's journal and thought they might help here.

Start a "get rid of" pile. In one of our little rooms I have some laundry baskets and bags filled with things I am going to sell in a rummage sale. I add to it as I come across something that needs to go. It will sit there for a while, but I plan on having a rummage sale  in late July. If a rummage sale isn't an option, there are many thrift stores you can make donations to. I used to make regular donations (several big bags worth) every six or nine months, until I got a place that had a yard for sales.

An important tip: if you find yourself cooking, or doing whatever and you realize you put something in the sell pile, you can take it out if you're going to use it. BUT when it's time for the sale or donation, you CAN'T go through the pile again. It just has to go. Chances are those things have been sitting there for months without you using them, so you won't miss them. It's just a good way to weed things out.

I also find this tip to be particularly helpful when you have too many clothes and don't know where to start. Go through your closet and look at each piece. If you know it has to go, take it out and add it to your giveaway/sell pile. If you hardly ever wear it or you're not sure, turn the hanger around so it's on the wrong way. After 1 year (or six or nine months, I would think this depends on seasons, too) take those out and give them away or sell them, because you'll know that you haven't worn them in all that time.

I was a bit ruthless a few months ago. I got rid of those "one of a kind" polyester shirts from the thrift store. I got rid of things that didn't fit me. I tailored the things that didn't fit, but were pieces I needed, something that is so easy to put off. Then I made a list of pieces I needed to replace, carried it always in my purse, and only bought those. I'll still buy something that isn't on my list every so often, but I do this way less now. I'm also trying not to buy "throw away" pieces of clothing. Silly things from Target, etc. that are cheap quality and won't last long. I may spend more on a piece, but only if I'm sure it is good quality.

When I got rid of all of that stuff (it started in my closet, but then I went through the kitchen, and storage, and the bookshelf, etc.!) I had some friends come over and take what they wanted. They thought I was crazy but I reassured them with the truth: I still had a closet full of clothes. It's so crazy how much one person can accumulate.

I also try to get rid of one thing if I'm buying another. Like, "I need another pair of sandals, okay these that I hardly ever wear can go because I like my new ones more."

I have the Unclutterer.com blog on my RSS feed.  They have lots of great tips all the time.

Current Mood: calm
12:16 pm
100 Things

Yes, I am taking this so seriously I have made myself a spreadsheet to keep track of my decluttering achievements. It's not difficult to read, but just to explain: the item I'm getting rid of, if I choose to donate or toss it & if I choose the donation route where will I be shipping it off to for easy grouping. Happy cleaning!

10:18 am
100 Things Party
this week, get rid of 100 things. you have until friday! throw them out, recycle them, donate them, bring them in to work (this is how to disperse the 345687352 pens we probably all own), drop them off at a shelter, sell them on ebay or craigslist, post them on freecycle. even just getting things boxed & bagged up is a huge step! comment with pictures and success stories; if you think of anything brilliant, feel free to post!

last week i pulled this pile of clothes from my front closet for donation. (the top of the heap is over four feet high*.) it only took about 30 minutes; a good way to stay motivated is to play an album, even an EP, & tell yourself you MUST stay moving during that time. you can do 30 or 45 minutes easily & you'll feel much better.

if you're at work, go around your job right now & look for a couple of boxes, or ask at the supermarket, or raid recycle bins. once you have them at home it's that much easier to round up stuff with which to fill them (& also easier to stay motivated once you get home; i know how the post-work sinkhole can suck the energy right out of you).

let us know how it works! was it harder than you thought? did you come up with any tricks?

* no, the donation pile is not haunted, i was in a hurry & COFFEE'D UP
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