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Clutter Crazy

July 22nd, 2010 at 06:54 am

Took a trip to the library yesterday and hit a bonanza for newer magazines! Woo Woo!

I refuse to subscribe to a multitude of magazines for two reasons -- cost is one, but also, after reading them, what to do with them? I recycle them, but it seems such a waste. We get one magazine and it comes once a week -- a news magazine. After hubby reads it, I read it and then it goes into the recycling bin. Hubby said that although it is an interesting read, he doesn't want to renew the subscription. Fine with me!

However, what I really want to write about is the article in the "Saturday Evening Post" about clutter. The author said that we, as Americans, have more stuff than ever before. It was thought that perhaps we, in our minds, equate success with stuff and happiness with goods.

Good point, don't you think?

I think many people who lived during the Depression don't equate happiness with stuff, but survival with items. So many had so little and it is a fear they don't want to have again.

My parents would always say to me, "Don't get rid of that...what if we have another depression? You'd be happy to have it." It certainly taught me fear. Fear of being without.

I guess the key is to have a happy medium -- enough stuff to enjoy, but not too much.

I am working on decluttering at this house. We certainly have more things than we need. In fact, I'm kind of ashamed of all the stuff we have. I took some items to the auction last week. Not one item could I live without...raised $55.57 for my stove fund!

The article suggested as a decluttering idea was for every item you bring into your house, you get rid of two. I've heard the one for one equation...you buy something, you get rid of something. Maybe this twofer is a better idea.

As with all things...moderation!

6 Responses to “Clutter Crazy”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    The article sounds right on target to me. I'm actually pretty good at decluttering. It is a constant at our house. I do find myself saving items that I want to keep out of the landfill to try to find another use for. Right now I have a plastic inner tube that has a hole in it....what to reuse that for? It will likely get thrown out in a few months if I don't do something with it. I dislike clutter more than saving the landfill.

    Congrats on the sale of your clutter!

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    I hadn't really thought that much about it (current day de-cluttering versus post-depression era hoarding), but it's kind of interesting look at how much our psychology has changed over the decades.

    It feels like de-cluttering is the frugal backlash to the new millineum Joneses. The more time I spend in stuff-filled houses, the more I want to go home and de-clutter.

    The end goal is kind of the same. I just want life to be simpler. My grandparents just want to be prepared in case of hard times. The manifestation of these similar goals are completely opposite. It's interesting if you think about it.

    Of course, having kids just means, stuff, stuff, and more stuff. I am disgusted by whoever invented happy meals and goodie bags. Might have been a good idea at one time or another, but now I am constantly throwing out little toys that I didn't even buy. I feel like I have to de-clutter just to stay afloat. Outgrown clothes and toys and gear is just constant, and we do keep it on the simple side. But it's still contant.

  3. retire@50 Says:

    I think it has some to do with where you are in life too. When you are just starting out you often don't have the things you need, but somehow make do. As you get older you accumulate stuff until eventually you have more than you need and you start getting rid of things. Right now I'm at the point where I'm happy with what I have. I don't have a lot of extra stuff, but keep an ongoing goodwill box in the closet for things I do decide I don't want any longer. If I get more stuff it has to fulfill a need, it needs to replace something that broke or is used up or really touchs me in some way or saves me money or makes my life easier.

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I took three small bags of items to Goodwill yesterday. I knew as soon as these things were given me that they were headed to donations. Sometimes I feel like I get caught in the flotsam and jetsam of the greater culture around me. Coming at me is stuff, stuff, stuff that I never wanted in the first place. An acquaintance sometimes even drops stuff off on my doorstep when I'm not even home. I suppose she is trying to reciprocate computer help in a friendly way, but just as much, I think she is looking for a way to dispose of her own clutter. Big sigh!

  5. HouseHopeful Says:

    I think some of the clutter issue is generational, some is situational and some is personality Smile Personally, I've received a LOT of hand me downs and I get guilt from my family if I get rid of things. Therefore, I have furniture in my basement I plan on waiting another year or so before selling. In terms of stuff, I don't have a lot of clutter though. My mom is a semi-horder and shopoholic and I think that I need my house to be clutter free to cope with years of living in her house.

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    Decluttering always feels great to me.

    My ultimate goal would be to have NOTHING, not one item in my house that does not have a specific use or purpose, unless it's kept for sentimental reasons. In other words, pare things down to only what I really use. That, to me, is the essence of decluttering.

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