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How to sort out junk?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Currently I have adverts to get rid of my old computers that are in the basement for a very cheap price. I also have a few things that need to go up on ebay, such as new shoes that i never worn, and clothes i have never worn (tags still on them).
Two weeks ago i donated 3 big bags worth of clothes and shoes to the red cross and i felt very proud!

Thing is, my basement is still full of stuff, alot of things I cant let go, such as children books, (i say that they will come in very handy when we have children), Teddy bears, Dolls and toys from back in the 80s that i got as i was 2 - 3 years old. I also have alot of stuff such as Pot plants and cables, that I don't want to get rid of. Due to the high costs these days of buying new things.

I also have a few memory boxes that i did each year and they are very valuable to me even though I know i wont open them or even look at them for the next 50 years.

I just dont know what to do, Trav tells me to get rid of my dolls and toys as when we will have children we will buy new ones, but what if we dont have much money when we have children to buy them new toys?

Should I just pretty the dolls up and clean the other toys and bring them to an orphanage for christmas?

I know you all probably think I am crazy, but ever since I lost my child i've been emotional and feel a bit lost.

How would you just part with special things?
post #2 of 7
I used to be such a pack rat when it came to stuff.

One day I decided to start getting rid of things. I don't bother trying to sell stuff on ebay or on private sites or in the newspaper etc. I just box it up and call a charity and have them pick it up. It benefits them and frees up space for me and I don't have to worry about strangers coming into my home to look at stuff or having to ship things out etc. I'd rather make the minimal effort to get rid of excess.

It depends on what it is, but for the most part if I haven't used an item for 1 year it goes! I don't keep things in the event of "what if" or in your case "when I have kids they can use it" etc.

If it's sitting in a box or a closet or a storage room gathering dust for a period of time, there is a good chance that I really have no need for it anymore and away it goes!

In fact I have an old dresser that is falling apart that I have been wanting to get rid of. It's stuffed with 'stuff' that I haven't used in years. Next week I have plans to go through the draws and get rid of things and then break up the dresser and cart it down to the dumpster in order to free up some space in my bedroom.
post #3 of 7
The best way to de-clutter: obtain 3 large boxes, trash bags, containers, whatever you have. On each one, tape a sign: 1. Keep 2. Trash 3. Donate.
Don't try to to the whole house in 1 day--this will only frustrate you, and most likely, leave the work undone. Take 1 closet (great accomplishment-builder, as they are small, and you're more likely to get it done fast), for example, or 1 room each day of de-cluttering. Set a timer--I'd allow 60 minutes at first--and only work on the clutter in that time frame. Your goal is to only sort stuff the first day (into those boxes). I find it's best, when it's the "donate" and "trash" box, to SEAL THEM WITH TAPE RIGHT AWAY--this way, you're not as tempted to pull out stuff. I'd afraid you have to be ruthless--very hard when it's sentimental stuff. But, if you're not, you'll be back to square one. Good idea: take a pic of the item, and get rid of the item, but keep the pics to remind you of it. Pictures take up a lot less space! Another trick (I don't recommend it, as it means you have to keep the stuff lying around): put stuff in a sealed box; mark the date on it. If you haven't used it within 6 months, you probably don't need it.

Also, it's good to reward yourself when you're done--this can be your incentive--but not with more junk! :-)

Donating: do you have a Goodwill nearby? Also, so veterans' organizations will, by appointment, come and pick up stuff (calle 1st to see what they take). Some junk-persons will come, and you pay them to haul away a large load of stuff (you'll probably won't want to do this in your situation, as your items are sentimental, and not "junk"). Some people, for a small fee, will clean out a basement/attic (they take the stuff, and re-sell it, and are looking for antiques). I often donate gifts I can't use to the Goodwill. I often get jewellry I can't wear (I have a metal allergy), but I feel guilty--so, I figure, this way, someone else can have the joy of using it.

Another option, which I've done: give it to a consignment shop. Can be a pain, as you may have to price each item, give them a list, and pay a very small annual fee. You usually get about 2/3 of the price, if the item sells; they get the rest. The one I dealt with donated their moeny, apart from operating costs, to local charities. They often have flaky rules about what you can donate, though, and you still have to haul the stuff there.

Good luck! Trust me, you'll feel better after de-cluttering (I apologize for calling your stuff "clutter", as I know most of it means a lot to you).

Now, the REALLY hard part: keeping your home de-cluttered after de-cluttering! It's like losing weight--losing is easy (I've done it), but keeping it off is really the hard part! :-)
post #4 of 7
Perhaps you could decide which toys, dolls, books mean the most to you and keep them. Are any of this items still available anywhere in case you get rid of them and want them in the future??
post #5 of 7
I went through quite a bit of childhood stuff a while ago. I've kept my Model horse collection (which is better now that it's repacked). And a few stuffed animals that had a lot of sentimental value. I donated my Cabbage Patch Dolls to the Salvation Army. I thought some other little girl should enjoy them. I've heard they let people in need look through the stuff before it goes to the stores, so I felt they would be more likely to end up with someone who would play with them. I didn't want them to end up sold on ebay.

We have some more decluttering to do ourselves. We just moved and as we open boxes we find ourselves asking "why did we move this?" We even got rid of a good amount of stuff before we moved, but still feel like we need to get rid of more.

I use Freecycle and Salvation Army for a lot of my donations. Goodwill if I can't get to the Salvation Army (sometimes we had stuff to take in on a Sunday, and Salvation Army wasn't open).
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
Perhaps you could decide which toys, dolls, books mean the most to you and keep them. Are any of this items still available anywhere in case you get rid of them and want them in the future??
No this is why i dont want to get rid of my books, these books are a old donald duck mickey mouse series that you could only get in England at that time. My dad invested a fair bit of money into those books, so I will be taking them with me..

I am more concerned about my Dolls and toys, I actually have no clue where I should be taking them to here in Germany. I know I could make a few children happy this Christmas as there are lots of people who are poor at the moment. But i'm not quite sure where here in Frankfurt..

I just decluttered my waldrobe a few weeks ago, so I wont be doing it again, untill we are ready for our move.

Its my basement im decluttering because currently i cant walk through it!
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by fwan View Post
...I also have alot of stuff such as Pot plants...
Is that legal? Just kidding!

Your kids aren't going to want your old dolls. The girl(s) will want new dolls that their friends have or that they see on TV. If they are plastic they won't age well. Books... that's a different matter - I would save the books, and also any wooden or cloth toys.

Get an empty box and tell yourself you can keep sentimental items but only what fits in the box. Get rid of everything else. You will feel so much better and not weighed down! If it takes up space it is costing you anyway.

We have a rule: if you don't use it or display it, get rid of it. (Except for the sentimental box.) The extra stuff is a burden.
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