I need advice and encouragement on dealing with physical stuff.

RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
All of us know about the concept of 'spring cleaning' so I need help with that. It's spring like in Texas so I'm starting now. We had winter about 2 weeks ago, for 3 days. So, it's spring here or almost summer. Last month, we also sold my mother in laws house and much of her stuff wound up with us. And, since our three children have moved out, a lot of my MILs stuff is now in their rooms. Point is, we have far too much stuff, junk to me, but useable for someone. How do all of you manage an excess of things, not trash, as I said, useable things, but not to me. I have several boxes for Goodwill, I have stacks of stuff destined for the trash pick up but a lot of things are just in that category of 'too good to throw away' or 'I may need this sometime (unlikely)', or 'somebody can use this, but who?'. We have a lot of paper products, like notebook paper, file folders, notebooks, school or craft type stuff and my wife says 'I can use that for a project', (not happening or hasn't happened in 42 yrs of marriage), car cleaning products (I don't clean my car anymore, not since I was 17, rarely then). Just 'not good enough to use/keep' but 'too good to throw away.' Plus, personality wise, my wife never throws anything away. Her motto is 'save it or keep it.' I'm much better but I struggle with throwing away perfectly good and useful items. It's wasteful and bad stewardship. But not everything has a use. So, can anyone relate to this? And how do you deal with it? My goal is a simple, clutter-free house and life.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
One idea is to make a list of items that are to good to throw away, etc. and give kids a certain amount of time to come and claim. Then perhaps there are those at church who could use (maybe offer to pastoral staff and those serving first) these items.

Maybe garage sale for rest?

World wife be open to prayerfully cutting 1/4 or 1/5 of paper products?
 

alisani

Well-Known Member
Agree with EL. Also, schools can use almost any office supply items you have on hand. Homeless shelters will take coats, clothes, socks, storage bags. Also furniture. There are social service non-profits who take furniture to help those with new places (think single moms trying to resettle after leaving an abusive relationship for example) and no furniture. Many times you can call and make arrangements for them to pick your items up too. They're usually happy to do so because they see the need for those everyday items every day.
 

RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
Women's shelters are good. My wife has a phone number to contact because they prefer to come to a neutral site. Furniture that is in good shape we just leave by the curb and someone will pick it up for reuse or scrap. I'll thin my wardrobe soon so that's to Goodwill. Paper? How much construction paper can one have? It's trash, good or not. Intact notebooks/binders etc. I'll donate to the local school or to Goodwill.

Household products that we'll use....keep. Mementos?....hide, then dispose? What about the kids sports plaques and awards? I'll ask them but I doubt if they want them. (Best leather goods in Youth Fair 1998?).

Here's a related question. When I get through the first round of disposal, how do you organize your kitchen? That is, where do you put appliances that you use infrequently? Maybe that turkey platter you use only at Thanksgiving? We have limited cabinet space above the kitchen countertops and we have food/dishes in there. I'm thinking that it makes more sense to have the canned/non-perishible goods in the laundry/pantry room off the kitchen and only the perishable and boxed items (mice) in the kitchen cabinets. We have cabinets under the bathroom sink. What goes down there? Who ever looks down there?

And this thought. I went to Lowe's a little while ago to get some of that wire type shelving, the adjustable kind. I'm going to add more of that in the garage for various cleaning, repair stuff that doesn't need to be in the house. Anyway, the shelving that used to cost about 5.00 is now 8. Thank you Brandon! And they didn't have the size I needed.
I come back with more questions as they develop. Thanks all. Except for you Brandon.
 

Lovin Jesus

Well-Known Member
All of us know about the concept of 'spring cleaning' so I need help with that. It's spring like in Texas so I'm starting now. We had winter about 2 weeks ago, for 3 days. So, it's spring here or almost summer. Last month, we also sold my mother in laws house and much of her stuff wound up with us. And, since our three children have moved out, a lot of my MILs stuff is now in their rooms. Point is, we have far too much stuff, junk to me, but useable for someone. How do all of you manage an excess of things, not trash, as I said, useable things, but not to me. I have several boxes for Goodwill, I have stacks of stuff destined for the trash pick up but a lot of things are just in that category of 'too good to throw away' or 'I may need this sometime (unlikely)', or 'somebody can use this, but who?'. We have a lot of paper products, like notebook paper, file folders, notebooks, school or craft type stuff and my wife says 'I can use that for a project', (not happening or hasn't happened in 42 yrs of marriage), car cleaning products (I don't clean my car anymore, not since I was 17, rarely then). Just 'not good enough to use/keep' but 'too good to throw away.' Plus, personality wise, my wife never throws anything away. Her motto is 'save it or keep it.' I'm much better but I struggle with throwing away perfectly good and useful items. It's wasteful and bad stewardship. But not everything has a use. So, can anyone relate to this? And how do you deal with it? My goal is a simple, clutter-free house and life.
Maybe for the school stuff give your local elementary school a call and see if they could use donated items for a classroom. I know from volunteering in school for my grandkids most teachers have to purchase alot of supplies for their classroom out of pocket due to little funding from the state so maybe you can donate the school stuff to an elementary school.
 

Kerbluey

Well-Known Member
I’d put it all on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace for free to whoever wants to pick it up and/or put it in your driveway with a Free sign. I’ve done the Free sign thing several times. One man’s junk is always another man’s treasure. As for a clutter free life let me know if you ever succeed!
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
I’d put it all on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace for free to whoever wants to pick it up and/or put it in your driveway with a Free sign. I’ve done the Free sign thing several times. One man’s junk is always another man’s treasure. As for a clutter free life let me know if you ever succeed!
When we were packing up our last house to move here, I put all kinds of stuff in front of our house with “free” signs. I did this everyday, and I soon started noticing more cars driving slowly past our house looking for “stuff”.
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
Get a bunch of cardboard cartons. UHaul/similar small work well and don't get too heavy. Line one with a very large garbage bag (lawn leaf works well) for garbage/trash. Label other cartons with keep (kitchen), keep (living room), keep (bedroom), donate church, donate thrift shop, sell, family member name, family member name, unknown parts/pieces, etc., etc., etc. Ensure the labeled boxes are labeled on all four sides plus the top.

Put one of each kind of box in a room with the stuff that needs to be sorted and disposed of or kept. Sort into the boxes. If a box gets full, move it out of the room and replace with an identically labeled box. Do not seal. When a room is finished, tell family members they have x number days to pick up his/her box(es) and go through the boxes labeled donation or the bags of trash. After the deadline, take the donation boxes to the church, thrift shop, etc. Individual family member boxes, hang onto and "encourage" them to pick up their boxes.

Repeat for each room with the superfluous stuff.

It's easy and allows family members to rescue stuff that they want but maybe no one realized.

There may be things that should go to a museum.
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
I'm much better but I struggle with throwing away perfectly good and useful items. It's wasteful and bad stewardship. But not everything has a use. So, can anyone relate to this? And how do you deal with it? My goal is a simple, clutter-free house and life.
Yes, first off, I'm a dejunker for many years now. George is a reforming pack rat. He now appreciates the joys of decluttering but it took a few decades.

Perfectly good useful stuff. It isn't wasted if you give it away to the charity of your choice with a prayer that God will give it to someone who really needs it and if that person doesn't exist, you thank the Lord for the privilege of owning it for the time you did and if you need to repent of buying it, you do so, and don't look back because God's forgiveness covers all our sins and shortcomings.

And I do my declutters little by little. I get rid of the trash first, some things are too far gone for the poor charity to pay to haul away so I toss those first.

Next I look at the stuff I don't use and imagine someone's joy at finding it in the charity shop as an answer to their prayers. Because that most likely will happen at some point of your giving journey.

Here's how it works. You buy something you don't need. You hang onto it. You aren't sure why you did it, and you regret it. Just before the person God intended to have it starts looking, you get the urge to purge and it goes in your charity box or bag.

Now that might not happen all the time, but often enough. You hear people talk about their thrift store "finds" and how blessed they were.

I have a few YouTube people I watch, one is a young army wife with 2 soon to be 3 little ones, she's a Christian and she shops at the thrift stores and facebook marketplace for just about everything except food and cleaners. She prays and God supplies. I doubt the person who donated the kids clothes, the dress or the top she's wearing realizes what a blessing they passed on.

Furniture, toys, clothes you name it.

But none of it would happen if someone first didn't buy it then not need it and eventually gave it away or sold it on facebook marketplace or the like.

If it's all worn out and you toss it in the trash that is ok too. I often remind myself, my home is not a landfill.

I just purged a bunch of outdated medication--and some expired cosmetics in the last week. It was painful seeing the money tied up in it, but I was glad to have it at the time, and if I didn't use it all up, it's still better to go where it belongs than keep it in my home. If it stays it just keeps reminding me of my mistakes long after I've gone to God for forgiveness.

I've had to downsize a couple of times, and we've moved 7 times since we married, and even after I purge before a move, I find more stuff to let go of. I don't beat myself up over that either.

I did a major purge last year and I'm doing another right now. It's like peeling the layers of an onion.

Hope my philosophy helps some.
 
Top