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Help with Eliminating Clutter

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  • Help with Eliminating Clutter

    I like solving things myself but I've done
    Dissolving limiting beliefs
    Soem terrific timeline therapy (which was amazingly energizing)
    dozens of other things

    and I'm still nervous about selling car because bluntly, if I need to acquire a car, it's quite a bitch to do so.
    but The entire reason I flew back from aus was to eliminate junk and move out of the apartment, so I'm definitely feeling bound to my junk and it's drowning/keeping me locked in a dangerous place in a sense.

    The most problematic items (I think because of their potential financial value) or that I used them quite a lot are

    2 surfboards
    dad's inheritted suits
    old clothes that are in great quality but that I rarely wear

    I can't seem to get rid of/sell those items but I haven't used the bike in over 2 years. I've only used 1 surfboard once. I guess the suits and clothes I could potentially use if/when I get to a place that's more professional....

    I'm moving out of the country so eliminating those things "Guilt-free" (meaning with no regrets nor qualms) is vitally important. I've seriously wracked my brain about this. Packing up the 7 suits (all of which I've worn probably only a couple dozen times at most in total) in suitcases, unpacking them, changing the hangers, trying to decide if I should keep 1 or 2....tried selling furniture multiple times on ebay. The bike has a big market and will be easy to sell but (i'm still in good shape) if I decide to start biking again, I'd want the bike. But This is like trying to unravel why I got into biking in the first palce and realizign it may have been "just a phase"??? I don't know. Same goes for surfing. Those things were VERY important activities in my life maybe 3-4 years ago (that's all I did practically) but now, it's just not that much of an interest and that I find disturbing . So meanwhile I'm stuck with the remnants of this kind of "old" shell of an activity and am stumped on what to do with the remains in a sense primarily because I'm not sure if surfing and/or biking are things I have retired for swimming and running and soccer etc. Biking was very cheesy with the repairs and it was Horrendous for posture, made me nervous, horrendous for my nerves. Running and swimming and parkour are MUCH better for the body in terms of agility. I don't think I liked biking but I did hundreds and hundreds of miles biking and for many many years...that's astounding. bollocks....

    I've read books on this (it's all too much GTD etc).

  • #2
    You will buy the new, better and cheaper stuff when you'll need it.

    Just get rid of everything that you don't use regularly. You will buy the new, better and cheaper equipment when you'll need it. Every new windsurfing board that I've bought was much better than the old one. Do you really want to wear the out-of-fashion suits?


    • #3
      Clutter can be very sticky. I hate getting rid of stuff that seems potentially useful as well.
      It sounds like you don't trust that you can get things back. If money is an issue that probably needs working on separately. It sounds like the clutter is holding you back a lot in terms of opportunity cost. Would you be happier once you can move? Would you potentially make more money? Have more friends?
      What's the other option? Taking it. What's the freight cost? Can you afford it right now? Is it worth it for something you don't use?
      Are you afraid of admitting that buying or keeping something was a mistake? If you hold on to it for that reason you keep making that mistake, except that now you should know better.
      Are you worried about your future? Are you unsure things will work out? Are you unsure who you are at the moment? Starting a new life is hard, emotionally, and physically. It's like standing on a 10-meter board. You can analyse it and psych yourself up about all you like, but at some point you got to just jump. Once you get going, things start rolling by themselves.


      • #4
        Another Viewpoint

        I know, the declutterers will cringe and moan.

        But here's another viewpoint. If the item you are getting rid of is not made in as good a quality now as the old ones were and you can afford to keep it do so even if it's only a remote chance you will use it.

        Related to your things, personally we could not live without a car, now it might make sense to sell the existing one and get a newer or better car but I can't even imagine ever being without a motor vehicle as long as I am physically capable of driving. So for me I'd for sure keep the car even if it's not used much. We have 2 a farm truck and our personal vehicle. We drive the personal one maybe 4-6 times a year but that's still enough to warrant keeping it.

        Bike - Do you have someone who does bike you could do a loan of the bike to? Perhaps a loan with option to buy it from you in future?

        Surfboards - Could you keep the best one as decoration? (hang on a wall and then if you use it later great) Sell the other or donate to a surfing school?

        Dad's suits - Try every one on. If they are classic styling, fit well and are of good high quality natural fabric, can they be tailored to fit you? If yes to all of the above I'd be tempted to keep them. A good classic mens suit in good wool should last 20+ years and there is no reason to toss one before it really wears out. Or are they either old enough or vintage enough to be worth something to steampunk fans, or LARP players or other folks who will use them? If so sell on ebay. If they are any form of polyester or nylon or worn, torn, stained or really obvious trendy styles for trends gone by, donate to a clothes closet. Good suits will find a home but the rest will become rags and be recycled.

        Other old clothes - first be sure it fits well, is a color suitable for you and is not torn stained or worn out and that it's an item you love to wear when you do wear it. If the item passes muster, and you can afford to keep it, why not? I have some sweaters I inherited from my mother, she inherited them from her grandmother and I fully expect them to still be in my closet when I die and passed on to my nieces. They are sturdy good quality wool and have lasted over 60 years so far, no reason they won't last another 20-30 at least. Sure, I rarely wear them, maybe 3 times a year (I have lots of sweaters and I like to rotate them) but I see no reason to get rid of them. New clothing is of such shoddy quality and poorly made that it's a pleasure to wear the older stuff. I have a black velvet dressy skirt and jacket. I bought it in 1990, wear it very rarely and expect to get another 20 years worth out of it. If your items are similarly classic styling, you like them even if you rarely wear them and they are in good shape then keep them.


        • #5
          I've lost a father to an illness. I've lost a slew of material things, many with sentimental value and many belonging to my father, in a bad house fire. I can tell you with confidence that material things mean nothing without a real purpose (real current use) or without real sentimental value (a watch or letters). I don't miss any of the material items. I miss my father dearly and I was lucky not a single being was hurt in the fire.

          I wouldn't keep the old suits. Give them to a charitable cause, where they can be used for someone who really needs them. You can benefit from a tax deduction and a good feeling. Same goes for old clothes. The bike and 2 surfboards can be sold. Use your photos as memories. You can buy newer models when you take up the sports again. If you need the car for any livelihood situations, I would keep it. If the cost of the insurance, storage, maintenance etc is higher than the total of renting on occasion or hiring a taxi, I would sell or donate the car.

          Other reasons for getting rid of clutter is just the sheer maintenance time and costs. Who has the extra space to store clutter? Who has the time to dust and regularly reorganize all this clutter?

          Other than using GTD to store or remove the clutter, this isn't GTD. What does pertain directly to GTD is if this clutter takes up mental space.


          • #6
            make in inventory first

            I know this will sound like an avoidance strategy but it may help you:

            "inventory everything in this place for the purpose of making a sound decision about what to do with it".

            Someone else might have a better outcome statement.

            To make an inventory you will need-a digital camera and a tape measure might help, stickers or post-its to write identifyng number and or description or note on, something to make your list with (computer, notebook, whatever).

            As you work on the inventory you will be doing the following:

            1. Collect like with like: all size 12 beach shirts together, all bike related parts and bike stuff together and manuals, etc

            2. Put things to return to other people, to places or to stores together.

            3. put any paper to shred in whatever you use for that.

            4. If you are so lucky as to locate things you know in don't want right off, put in a "donate" box.

            5. If you can discard anything go right ahead and do that.

            After you have things in categories, describe them, and
            treat the items like sub-projects-what would be the desired outcome of keeping an item(s) , what are some options for getting to the outcome, do you have the resources to make that happen?

            Do you have the time and skills to:
            have a sale?
            sell on e-bay, craig's list etc.?
            Is donation a better route for you at this time?

            I have found that in big cities it is hard to find charities that will pick up stuff but if you call nearby churches and you have something worth while, someone may come.

            As to the suits, if you think they might fit, take to a tailor and see if it is possible and the cost. Lapels can be changed, etc. If not and they are sentimental and good quality, you might find someone to cut them into squares and make you a really nice warm quilt. I one of these with 10"x 10" squares and it was fabulous. If you don't know a quilter, write up the project and post at a quilters' website or a quilt making store.


            • #7
              When you try on the suits, have someone else that you trust to give you honest, unbiased opinion to tell you if the suit fits well on you or not.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jamie Elis View Post
                I have found that in big cities it is hard to find charities that will pick up stuff but if you call nearby churches and you have something worth while, someone may come.
                My experience is the complete opposite. In the Boston area, three or four different charities have regular pickup routes. Tell them you have stuff, and they'll tell you what day they'll be in the neighborhood. I haven't lived in Seattle as long, but I've already found two or three organizations that do the same.

                Charities can be picky, though. Often, they will be reselling the donation at their thrift shop, so they may reject items that are torn or stained.