The Rules

Here are my guidelines:

  1. Each week, pick a box, a shelf, or a stack. Go through it. It’s important to consider what to do with things, but equally important to see what I can learn. Why was this kept? What does it tell me about Bob or about me?
  2. Don’t throw anything away. Donate, share, use, sell, trade, recycle. Explore ways to find the best destination for each object.
  3. Start with what I can see. If I clean the closets out first, I’ll just put stuff in them instead of getting rid of it.
  4. Always heed the “look at it once” rule. Look at something once and decide what to do with it… don’t put it back where I’ll have to spend time on it yet another day.
  5. When friends offer help — say yes.

 

 

28 thoughts on “The Rules

  1. Great ideas. I especially like number 3! You’re right, though I never thought about it before. If we don’t do that area first, it will just get stuffed into closets, and have to be dealt with later! lol!

  2. I’m a hoarder but mostly books and articles etc. I bought some new cupboards so at see least i can’t see piles of paper everywhere all the time. Definitely relate to the challenge you have embarked upon. Thanks for following. Cheers Pip

    • I’m way too detail-oriented to be quick, plus, I’m picky about getting things to the right new homes. But every time I think about changing my ways and just getting rid of something without taking a closer look, I run into something I’m really glad I noticed. So, the answer is: my progress is slow but steady.

  3. Great wisdom in this. We do have too much stuff. I wrote the rules in my little black book, and this weekend I’ll start with, I don’t know where – maybe my office.

    Sorry for your loss of Bob.

  4. I love doing things methodically, taking time over them and enjoying the process. I may be doing something slow, but that thing has to be interesting to have an impact over my life.
    I think you have taken on a very big project and are doing it in the best possible manner. It is easy to just throw out stuff, which, till now I thought was how it should be done. Am wiser now and inspired. I am going to write down your rules some place.

    • Ah, the closets! I finally started to work on them a little, even though the basement still has many boxes. I guess I’m technically breaking a rule, but I was frantic to find a book a friend had loaned me. (Yes, I have a bookshelf in the closet, I know it sounds silly but — I found the book)

  5. What about the antiques and collectibles? I have trouble with them. And all of the things that hold sentimental value? How do you decide? I like the rules and donating is the only way to go for me. I can’t see things go to the garbage. It seems too wasteful. Thanks for the advice.☺

    • For me, it’s really hard to let go of things that belonged to people I loved. I just have to stop and give myself a lecture on how “it’s just stuff” and letting it go doesn’t mean I’m disrespecting my loved ones who have passed. On antiques, if they’re small and wrappable, I sometimes sell on eBay. I like to think that if someone wants the thing enough to buy it, then it’s going to a good home. And yes, ‘no’ to the garbage, always! Thanks for commenting — Sandy

  6. I saw these tips just at the right time! We’re about to start cleaning and organizing our garage in time for it to be usable (it’s not at all right now) for the new year.

    • Garages are so hard to keep clean. Mine keeps filling up with things I’m trying to get out of the house — it’s a natural place for staging boxes of donations that are ready to load into the car to be delivered. Best wishes on your clean-up!

    • Thanks for even thinking I’m inspiring – seems like this is going on a lot longer than I planned. On the bright side, I just stopped at the antique mall and felt NO temptation whatsoever. (it looked like a good place to give some stuff away though)

  7. Two things help me.
    1) when I don’t have a specific plan, a question that always helps me when I show-up in a room to
    purge is: “what are the possibilities here?” Even one little item that is dealt with is considered a
    success for me.

    2) an “Easy Button” from Staples. (or Amazon) If you’ve never used one or even seen one, you’re
    in for a real treat. I hit it every time I do something that supports my vision. Even if it’s just a
    teeny-weeny minute step. That little button always makes me laugh and feel accomplished —
    AND I always end up doing more than I originally planned. It’s a great motivator and one of the
    smartest investments I’ve ever made.

    • What good ideas! The “what are the possibilities” question reminds me of dreams in which I find a room I’d forgotten about, and in dreams it’s always a room that lends itself to possibilities dearly hoped for but that I’d nearly given up on. The “easy button” sounds like a hoot! Thank you…

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