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24 February 2007 @ 04:53 pm
A good article to read...  
I came across this article in Reader's Digest today and it reminded me of a lot of people I know and have known. I thought some of y'all might want to read it. It's about our tendencies to clutter. And for those of you who just like quiz/meme content, they also have a quiz.

I hope the article helps someone. No one specific, but that's my goal.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: "Raspberry Heaven" - Closing theme to Azumanga Daioh
postrophe on February 25th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
And I know several people with the opposite tendency: every once in a while, they just have the unfightable urge to get rid of everything, even things they currently use, just to not have all that stuff...
Frittersfritters on February 25th, 2007 07:06 am (UTC)
It's pretty liberating to reduce your stuff. I understand that. But you remember how the house on White Oak looked most of the time, so you know which direction we lean on this equation...
lironesslironess on February 25th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
The newspaper thing reminds me of my ex, Robert. He insisted we save them because he had watched the consipricy movie with Mel Gibson, and was going to "flip" through them some day. So we had stacks and stacks of old newspaper...

He also saved the cardboard rounds from the bottom of pizzas, 1/2 napkins with the "dirty" part torn off, the styrofoam trays from under meat to use over, as cutting boards, and when his daugher moved in and we cleaned out his stacked crate shelves we found all kinds of weird stuff including old fast food bags with taco sauce packages in them. He also decited to help his parents out and move all of the boxes that they had put into storage when they moved into a motor home, ON MY PORCH. About ten at a time.. I had to go through them and consolidate the stuff and try to stack them like a tetris game. He also wanted to store boxes of crap in front of the house on the walkways. The landlord finally showed up one day with a friend and informed me that I was not going to work that day, she and I were going to clean it all up. We condinced it as much as we could.

Later, not to long before me and his daughter kicked him out, I went through both sheds, and put all of his crap in one, and mine in the other, so I could lock mine up. He left a lot of stuff at my house that I moved to his friends storage.....it was unfreeken believable. I think it is all gone now though.....

The thing that got to me was the trash and old food and "sauces" that he had made and wanted to save....I could see that it was hard to throw away the boxes of his parents personal posesions, but it was CRAZY to save trash like that...

Right now my house is not perfect, but I can vacuume the carpet (meaning that it is not covered with stuff), and little by little I am getting into the "dead zones" the drawers and cupboards and sorting and organizing and tossing what I can. I am rescovering things that I had forgotten a long time ago, which is almost as much fun as buying new stuff....

Now I just need to learn how to use Craigs list and E-bay....Woo Hoo!
Fritters: TT SF Blushing by Frittersfritters on February 25th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC)
We used to save sauce packets but we've finally gotten (mostly) past that. I remind myself if we're ever so broke we need soy sauce and ketchup we can go get MORE free packets.

Most of our house is okay, but our dead zones just keep trying to edge out. I need to go through all three of the closets again. One of the top shelves is actually threatening to collapse.
lironesslironess on February 25th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)
The weird thing about Robert's sauce packets is that he had them buried, in a bag, totally unuseable. Not even in the fridge.

I still save Arbys horsey sauce because I can't find anything that tastey horseradish wise in a jar, but I throw them out after a while. I only go to Arbys about three times a year. I use it on chicken sandwiches and in tuna...

I am purging stuff at my bosses house too, I just dumped his sauce packet shelf bin in his fridge. I took off and kept the top layer then threw away the rest, a whole grocery bag full, and cleaned the bin. I also tossed some bottled sauce that expired in 2002.

I did my closet floors a couple of weeks ago.....it is amazing what you can find in there... then I emptied the bathroom closet and now hang only the clothes that I have just washed in there...when I am looking for something to wear I look in both, but only what I actually wear makes it to the "clean" closet. Hopefully this will help me to figure out which clothes I NEVER wear, and I can get rid of at least some of them. Tomorrow I am going through and purging my belt rack...I bet one fourth of them actually fit and the rack is UUUGGGLLYYY. But you know, if you can't see it, you don't wear it...perhaps when it is lighter I will attach it inside of the door on the "clean" closet.

Oh, I definatly hoard "Flame Broiler" teriaki sauce, it is soooo good and they are limiting how many you can ask for at the drive through. I also use it in tuna and on chicken.... but that is the thing, turnover.....
Fritters: TT SF Blushing by Frittersfritters on February 25th, 2007 08:52 am (UTC)
Clothes are my biggest problem. You could take half the hangers out and none of the clothes would fall because they're packed that tight. The problem is I really do wear most of that stuff at least a couple of times a year. How do you throw out things you're still using?
postrophe on February 25th, 2007 06:18 pm (UTC)
Krystal keeps costume and other once-in-a-while clothes in those plastic bins that stack... it's more compact than when taking up closet space, but she says there are downsides to this trick.
Fritters: Ed Nodding by Frittersfritters on February 26th, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
That would probably help out our spare closet a lot. Good idea, thanks.
lironesslironess on February 25th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
I used to use my portable closet for my off season clothes to make room so I could at least move the clothes to pick something out. I have about 4 inches of bar in there right now. I have also used those plastic thingies that you hang on the bar and each holds about 6 hangers. They help a bit and I would only hang like clothes on each one, like all sweatshirts or all turtlenecks, etc. They do help but do not solve the problem. I would say that you could go through your closet and of it is not flattering, getting old, or too big/small you should get rid of it.. My thing is that some of my clothes are costumey and can only be worn to certain places or events that I seldom attend, but want to have SOMETHING to wear when I do get a chance to go. And some are too small but too cool to get rid of as like most Americans, I am planning to lose a few pounds....:)
Fritters: TT SF Blushing by Frittersfritters on February 26th, 2007 02:23 am (UTC)
I would say that you could go through your closet and of it is not flattering, getting old, or too big/small you should get rid of it..

I could probably get rid of a few less flattering things, but it's hard since I can layer a lot of them. As for things too big, I LOVE wearing things too big. I tend to occasionally buy things specifically because they ARE too big.

Yeah, I'm really bad and avoidant about the clothes thing. I also do the whole "I can't give it away because _________ gave it to me" thing, too. The only thing that really helps me get rid of things is when I stain them. If there's even a tiny stain I se it and feel it every time I wear it. I suppose I should be more sloppy in my eating.

It's funny to look back on those paragraphs and see my avoidance excuses.

And yeah, I've got the "it's too cool to get rid of" thing, too. I need to clean out the spare closets so I can move my less day to day stuff out.
lironesslironess on February 26th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC)
I really like having one closet for my just washed and often worn stuff....plus this gives me some place to put the clean clothes instead of leaving them hanging on the iron rack in the laundry room and blocking the door....I used to have to rearrange my whole closet just to put the clean stuff away.....

But one time this was kind of cool. Because the door in that room did not used to seal very well, and one day I needed a shirt so I was flipping through the clothes and on one of the shirts clinging to the fabric nice and warm (beginning of winter) was a copper colored baby aligator lizard.... I was raising baby anloes at the time, so I put him in an old aquarium and put some tiny crickets in it and he ate them....so I raized him too through the winter then let him go....I just love babies!
lironesslironess on February 25th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, the sauces that he had made were flavored vinegar dipping sauces, with garlic, fish sauce etc. added. He never used the same one twice, they were NASTY and he wanted to store them in the fridge forever I guess. So I had stacks of containers with about 1/4 cup in each that just sat there....*shudder*....
lironesslironess on February 25th, 2007 11:37 pm (UTC)
Update, more of the belts still fit than I thought (3/4), so the rack stays where it is because I don't want to break the hinges on the closet door, but now they are dust free and organized by color, and the purses, (may get moved to costumes) are arranged as well....looks better, but I wish I could get it off of my wall....it is visual noise....but I need to either wear them or get rid of them....so I can't hang them with the clothes. Perhaps I will make a new rack inside of the door out of nails and only put the ones I use in there....but hey...I will still have that ugly rack.....
perlee_grace on February 25th, 2007 07:42 am (UTC)
Oh man... this article described my late mother-in-law to a T. More than once we had to go into her apartment and clean up after her--I hated it so much, we couldn't move for tripping over her junk, and she refused to get rid of it. When she died and we moved her belongings out from the seniors home she was in, I was stunned at just how much stuff she had. Even in a small bedsit. I counted over 30 pair of pants. Just pants. Dozens of shirts she'd bought and never wore.

My hubby kept saying it was because she grew up in the Great Depression, when they saved absolutely everything. But we both knew 3/4 of her stuff was trash. Hubby's a hoarder too, but not nearly as bad. I'll get rid of things as sure as I'll keep them.

There was an article in a recent Oprah magazine, about a woman who compulsively collected everything. By the time she realized she needed to clean out her house, there were mice living in the junk. She threw out some 160 bags of trash and went through an industrial dumpster. So much of her stored items were absolutely ruined by mildew too. It was sad, really.
Fritters: TT BB ergh? by ellonwyefritters on February 25th, 2007 08:54 am (UTC)
My friend Joy who died recently? Her garage was filled with boxes of stuff to the rafters. Her drawers were pretty bad, too. Since my mom was executrix I'm hoping this makes her realize what a chore leaving a big pile of stuff to someone else can be.
postrophe on February 25th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
I keep thinking of the Niven/Pournelle version of Dante's Inferno, where they run into a fan who collected books but couldn't take care of them and they rotted... he wound up damned as both a hoarder _and_ a waster...

My aunts Amy and Ana lived in a real nice little house in NoHo, and filled it with stuff. When Ana died Amy couldn't take care of it any more, and when she herself died a few years later the family had this major headache and heartache to sort through everything in 7 rooms and a garage in less than a week before the property sold - and ever since my parents, mom specifically, are very concerned with "not leaving behind a pile of junk" for the family to deal with. Every now and then I go over and sort through a box or two of my own old stuff - and I know there's lots more to go...
Fritters: TT BB ergh? by ellonwyefritters on February 26th, 2007 02:10 am (UTC)
I think this is a nice little wake up call to a lot of us that eventually our loved ones WILL have to go through our crap and none of us want to burden them. I know it's certainly hard enough on people around Joy already. I think it's great your parents are being careful about that. you and I should go through our stuff more often, too. It's not like people our ages never gack.
hackmeisterhackmeister on February 25th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
Astrophysicists talk about Dark Matter, matter that exerts gravitational influence on the rest of the universe but remains unseen. It's supposed to be a big mystery.
Fritters: Muttley Laugh - I have no idea who madefritters on February 26th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC)
postrophe on February 26th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC)
I thought that was old National Geographics...
hackmeisterhackmeister on February 26th, 2007 09:29 am (UTC)
I think you have something there. The mass of old NG's in attics around the world is sufficient to close the geometry of spacetime.
postrophe on February 27th, 2007 05:42 am (UTC)
I remember something about NGs driving plate tectonics... supposed sea level rising is actually continental plates being driven under as the weight accumulates...