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Author Topic: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".  (Read 20065 times)

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guihong

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #60 on: December 06, 2012, 10:59:38 AM »
Thanks to this thread, I just went through the plastic tubs and lids cabinet under the sink  :o.

DH takes a lot of spaghetti to work in his lunch, so the tubs eventually get pretty stained.  But I've been loath to even recycle them because "they just look bad, they still work"  ::).  Or, if they don't have a lid: "I can use it somewhere else in the house"  ::).

I removed every tub and lid that wasn't a part of the brand-new 24-piece set I just bought with the locking lids (so they don't get all over the place).  I still can't bring myself to put them in the recycling because "they're so good for little things"  ::).  I'll bite the bullet, though.

And how many dishcloths do I really need, if we use a dishwasher 95% of the time?

The other day, I went through the pots and pans cabinet.  This one had pans without lids, lids from pans I scorched long ago and tossed, and the lid to the slow cooker that didn't have a handle but "I saved it because I can just pry it up with a spoon"  ::).  I tossed it, especially considering I had yet another slow cooker lid that fit but was to another one that I tossed. 

I also need to call a halt to souvenier cups from the fair or fast food places that take up so much dingdangity room.  The McD's glasses are pretty nice, though.

As for DH, we have an ongoing battle over his bag of wires and cords.  He'll look at three at a time before hyperventilating.  He's afraid that whatever appliance or electronic thing the cord is for will turn up, and if we toss it, we won't have a cord for it.  So far, he's tossed two cords for things we no longer own  ::).  But I'm the same way with unidentified keys, so I can't talk too much.



Luci

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #61 on: December 06, 2012, 11:57:18 AM »
Once you bite the bullet and recycle that first margarine tub or glass jar, it becomes easier and easier.

I did kind of wean myself, though, because I only kept margarine tubs of a certain brand so they would stack better, and then Cool Whip containers got to be really thin and cheap, so they were easy to get rid of. Now I'm good with just the purchased containers, and I don't use margarine anymore, so the tub dies, gets recycled, and it's not replaced!

Now my problem is toilet paper tubes. I read to slice them lengthwise and use them around rolls of wrapping paper to keep the paper rolled, so I started saving them. I have plenty, but can't stop! By the way, it does work, but I still need to use a rubber band, but the tubes protects the paper for getting wrinkled by the rubber band. Oh, the horror of those wrinkles!

Lynn2000

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #62 on: December 06, 2012, 12:28:01 PM »
This is such an interesting thread, and really inspiring for more decluttering on my part... On the "it might be useful someday" front, I think there's a delicate balance. Plastic grocery sacks, for example--if I'm at my parents' house and I'm helping my mom put the groceries away, she's like, "Give me all those sacks. Don't let your father get any, he'll just keep them forever." And she immediately stuffs them in the trash and puts something icky on top. I mean, they have sacks of sacks in the garage that he's gotten a hold of. And you would never want to use them for anything because they're all dusty and dirty. So he would claim they might be useful someday, but actually they aren't, due to the way he "stores" them.

Always wary of this tendency in myself (I feel nature and nurture working against me), here's my own plastic bag situation. I do actually find them really useful, for garbage bags in small cans like the bathroom, for bringing lunch etc. to work, for gathering up recyclables/trash so I don't have to lug a big bag around, etc.. I keep them in a shoebox in the kitchen--nice and clean. I only keep them if they didn't get wet while transporting groceries or don't have holes. And once the shoebox is full, I stop collecting them. I'm not gonna stop grocery shopping, so I know that I will be able to get plenty more once I use up some of the ones I already have. Some people are no doubt reading this thinking, how obvious, but it actually took me a while to come up with this limit.

So I try to apply this to other things. Empty folders? Yes, useful, keep some. Don't need to keep three dozen that are beat up and torn with five different crossed-out labels on them. Old pairs of shoes, after I replace them? Keep the most recent, just in case something happens and I need them. Don't need to keep the other five pairs of increasingly old, worn shoes.

It's a tough thing, because my dad is very much a "saver" of things, and my mom almost fanatically throws things away (probably the only way the house is still livable), and I feel like I want to be more in the middle.
~Lynn2000

RegionMom

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #63 on: December 06, 2012, 04:55:53 PM »


Always wary of this tendency in myself (I feel nature and nurture working against me), here's my own plastic bag situation. I do actually find them really useful, for garbage bags in small cans like the bathroom, for bringing lunch etc. to work, for gathering up recyclables/trash so I don't have to lug a big bag around, etc.. I keep them in a shoebox in the kitchen--nice and clean. I only keep them if they didn't get wet while transporting groceries or don't have holes. And once the shoebox is full, I stop collecting them. I'm not gonna stop grocery shopping, so I know that I will be able to get plenty more once I use up some of the ones I already have. Some people are no doubt reading this thinking, how obvious, but it actually took me a while to come up with this limit.


And that is my current problem-
my city/state is phasing out plastic bags.  I have been saving extra from the store, and when they ask, "Would you like you milk in the bag?" I say "yes" when I used to say "no" since I am stockpiling for the coming shortage.

Also, that leads me to another issue of mine--which bags should I use when no plastic bags are allowed?  Canvas?  Washable?  Sturdy plaxstic?  Bottom inserts?  Color-coded so meat only goes in one kind? 
Not too big, not too heavy, does my bag make a fashion statement, so should I choose it like I choose a purse? 
Oh my...what a first would dilemma. 
So I am collecting bags from yard sales and businesses, wondering which ones will suit my grocery shopping needs best.  And hopefully, the bags I choose not to use, I will be able to part with!
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Amara

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #64 on: December 06, 2012, 04:58:25 PM »
As I mentioned earlier, it is easy for me to get rid of things with few exceptions. This morning, for example, I took a lot of magazines, about sixty or seventy pounds worth (maybe more)--Elle Decor, Metropolitan Home, and Architectural Digest--to the recycling center.

A couple of weeks ago a woman put an ad on Freecycle saying she  had a lot of these magazines and she hoped to give them to someone who would appreciate them. I answered her ad because I do love interior design magazines. I, however, have them all neatly stored in the bottom closed cabinet part of my dining room hutch and nowhere else. I'm not there yet but a couple of the magazines are reaching the point where I will have to start tossing the older editions as new ones come in because I refuse to keep any more than can fit neatly in there.

The woman who gave them to me didn't do that. She kept them all. I swear that when I stepped foot in her condo I thought I had stepped into an episode of Hoarders. Seriously. I didn't have to crawl over things but it was close. It took some effort not to blurt out "Holy cow! What a mess!" She had issues going back to the early 1980s (and that was just the magazines).

I took all of them intending to fulfill her request to treasure them. What I didn't realize is just how many there were! Numerous trips out to my car alarmed me because they filled up my entire (large) trunk, and when I got home I was able to take only about three or four dozen into the house.

Realizing how much there really was, and knowing that I was unwilling to turn my laundry room into a magazine overflow area, I decided to toss every one that was 1999 or older. I did. I still had an unmanageable mess. I changed the criterion to everything that was 2005 or older. Still unmanageable. And by this time mind-boggling. I switched to deciding that 2009 and newer were the only ones I would keep with the exception of going back to 2008 for Met Home (which is now out of business).

It is now much better. And it will all fit in its designated place. I am sorry I couldn't keep my promise to her but I am thoroughly unwilling to make my home into a storage unit. I was so relieved to get them all out of my car this morning. And I suspect that people who enjoy going through the magazine recycling bin at the center will relieve them of quite a few. So they will undoubtedly be treasured. Just by more than one person.

Luci

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #65 on: December 06, 2012, 05:36:41 PM »
Ah. The plague of National Geographic! At least they have an index and libraries have most copies.

Lynn2000

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #66 on: December 06, 2012, 09:02:33 PM »
Ah. The plague of National Geographic! At least they have an index and libraries have most copies.

And now there's "The Complete National Geographic--Every Issue Since 1888" on DVD-ROM for something like thirty bucks, at Amazon. Though I personally prefer leafing through the paper editions... but not every one since 1888, stored in my own house!
~Lynn2000

BarensMom

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #67 on: December 07, 2012, 07:51:24 AM »
Ah. The plague of National Geographic! At least they have an index and libraries have most copies.

And now there's "The Complete National Geographic--Every Issue Since 1888" on DVD-ROM for something like thirty bucks, at Amazon. Though I personally prefer leafing through the paper editions... but not every one since 1888, stored in my own house!

The Richmond High School library had every issue of National Geographic, Time, Life, Newsweek,  and other, now defunct (even Liberty) magazines going back to the 1920's.  I used to love to go into their back room and just read about FDR, Churchill and other historic figures in the (then) present tense.

Luci

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #68 on: December 07, 2012, 08:23:01 AM »
Ah. The plague of National Geographic! At least they have an index and libraries have most copies.

And now there's "The Complete National Geographic--Every Issue Since 1888" on DVD-ROM for something like thirty bucks, at Amazon. Though I personally prefer leafing through the paper yueditions... but not every one since 1888, stored in my own house!

The Richmond High School library had every issue of National Geographic, Time, Life, Newsweek,  and other, now defunct (even Liberty) magazines going back to the 1920's.  I used to love to go into their back room and just read about FDR, Churchill and other historic figures in the (then) present tense.

My point was that when I was a school librarian, at least once a year some kind soul would be decluttering and proudly offer his collection of National geographics. We had to gently explain that we had them all and didn't have room for more, thank you for thinking of us. Then their faces would fall because we really were rejecting a valuable, kind, and genuinely thoughtful offer. It made me sad.

They really were a valued resource, particularlly when the indexes were published.

I thought every library had that problem, which is the reason I flipped it off that way. I apologize.

SCAJAfamily

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #69 on: December 07, 2012, 09:27:26 AM »
Quote
And that is my current problem-
my city/state is phasing out plastic bags.  I have been saving extra from the store, and when they ask, "Would you like you milk in the bag?" I say "yes" when I used to say "no" since I am stockpiling for the coming shortage.

Also, that leads me to another issue of mine--which bags should I use when no plastic bags are allowed?  Canvas?  Washable?  Sturdy plaxstic?  Bottom inserts?  Color-coded so meat only goes in one kind? 

I live in San Jose which now "plastic bag free" for 11 months now.  I'm still terrible at remembering to bring my bags.  I have one attched to my purse so I always remember at least one.  I had a huge stash of plastic bags at the beginning of the year but they are almost gone now.  I keep my cloth bags by the front door.  That helps me remember a bit.
SCAJAfamily = dd S 24, ds C 17, ds A 14, dh J and myself dw A

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #70 on: December 07, 2012, 09:35:26 AM »
I have a bunch of different ones.  I like cloth ones for groceries that I can throw in the washer.  I've been given some sturdier ones that are wipeable but not washable.  I use those more for clothing purchases and other non food items.  I might use them for boxes of cereal but not for produce or meat.

Whenever I buy raw meat, that bag goes in the wash immediately.  I don't buy meat that often so it works out.  If I was buying it more often, I'd designate a particular bag for it.

The other thing I have are plastic bins for groceries.  They have strapping handles on them and you can easily carry two at a time.  They are also washable, which is great.  These are designated for my CSA veggies now, though.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

workingmum

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #71 on: December 08, 2012, 02:44:39 AM »
This thread has inspired me to go through mine and DD's clothes! I have recently updated my wardrobe due to a change in job and size and have kept hold of all those old "around the house" shirts that i will probably never wear because either the arms are too long or they are too tight on the chest but are good for wearing while cleaning. Somehow I never do wear them for cleaning  :) DD is 9 and a terrible hoarder.. she still has a jacket I made her when she was 3 because she "can't bear to get rid of it".

I already have 2 bags full of clothes in near new condition to donate. Unfortunately I dont have anyone near to my size to give them to, so off to Red Cross they go!
"I sold my soul for freedom - it's lonely but it's sweet" -Melissa Etheridge

Just Lori

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #72 on: December 09, 2012, 07:49:56 AM »
I once read that when you're decluttering, ask yourself - If I were moving, would I keep this or get rid of it?

I would much rather get rid of things than pack them, so this works for me.

BarensMom

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #73 on: December 09, 2012, 09:03:10 AM »
Quote
And that is my current problem-
my city/state is phasing out plastic bags.  I have been saving extra from the store, and when they ask, "Would you like you milk in the bag?" I say "yes" when I used to say "no" since I am stockpiling for the coming shortage.

Also, that leads me to another issue of mine--which bags should I use when no plastic bags are allowed?  Canvas?  Washable?  Sturdy plaxstic?  Bottom inserts?  Color-coded so meat only goes in one kind? 

I live in San Jose which now "plastic bag free" for 11 months now.  I'm still terrible at remembering to bring my bags.  I have one attched to my purse so I always remember at least one.  I had a huge stash of plastic bags at the beginning of the year but they are almost gone now.  I keep my cloth bags by the front door.  That helps me remember a bit.

First, San Jose, then San Francisco - the bag bans are creeping closer to my town.  It's a good thing I already have cloth bags.  Now if my DH would just leave them in the car.

VorFemme

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Re: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of "stuff".
« Reply #74 on: December 09, 2012, 10:21:07 AM »
Now if VorGuy and VorSon would just remember that the reuseable bags aren't to be absent-mindedly tossed away when they finish emptying them.

I swear that the reuseable bags that don't pack flat (rip stop nylon or similar THIN fabric) and go in my tote bag or purse vanish, forever, if I'm not the one unpacking them.  They have no memory of what happened to the ones I used in 2008 to take food to the resort where we spent our vacation (we had four more people joining us for most of the vacation and two extra coming by for meals on the weekend, but sleeping at a hotel as there weren't enough beds....).  Same group plus a new baby were invited for 2011 - but things didn't work out. 

VorGuy prefers NOT to buy the staples - and I picked a different "hill to die on" - at least as long as we drive a mini-van instead of a smaller vehicle.  We have space - might as well take the brands that we KNOW we like.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?