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Old 10-23-2013, 02:41 PM   #1
lilylove
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I am drowning my family with my "stuff"

Can someone please tell me I will be ok with getting rid of most of my stuff and working towards being a minimalist. We are drowning in all these things and I don't know how to get rid of them. I come from a family that never wasted anything and I always feel like I could make some money on my things. I feel like I am chained to my things, they hold me down. Every day I come home and get this black cloud over my head about the mess. We don't even use the stuff we have everywhere but I still hold onto it. Sorry to go on and on. I guess I just need someone to tell me I will be better off when the stuff is gone, that it is worth it to get rid of it even though I won't make money on it. The emotions are so crazy. I feel like I just CAN'T get rid of stuff. I always think what is wrong with me. Why do I hold on to this stuff that is destroying my family. I have boxes everywhere and my husband has so had it with our things. He could live with a toothbrush and pair of underwear and be happy. I just want to get rid of it all.......why do I feel so guilty about letting it go? Anyone else go down this road?

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Old 10-23-2013, 03:25 PM   #2
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Re: I am drowning my family with my "stuff"

Yes, you will be ok.

Start by donating 2 things and for every 2 things, you can keep one that you think you could get money for, and by money I mean at least $20, anything less than that isn't worth it, if you are truly drowning in stuff.

Then every night list at least 3 things, either on Ebay, or craigslist or something similar.

You can do this, baby steps, just keep plugging along!
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: I am drowning my family with my "stuff"

If you feel like the things are chaining you down, then is it really worth whatever money you might recover to hang on to them? Clearly, it is impacting your family life. You will most likely be much happier releasing some of it and focusing your energy on your family.

Since this is really overwhelming for you, I would recommend starting with the really easy stuff. Is there something you don't feel very emotionally invested in but have a lot of - maybe clothes, books, or shoes. If so grab anything in that category in sight and get rid of it. Sometimes you need some momentum. Also, I would recommend focusing on one area at a time, even if it is one cupboard, complete the cleanout rather than moving around the house and getting frustrated. Good luck! While I've never been in your shoes, I can say that the more I have simplified my stuff and home, the happier me and my family are!
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:31 AM   #4
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Re: I am drowning my family with my "stuff"

Let it go.

Your time and your mental health have value, too.

I only sell things that I know I can get a good price for and that will also sell easily. I donate almost everything I get rid of.

Start small. Do the 40 day challenge (http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2012/...ered-home.html), or start by purging very obvious things (stuff that is broken, clothes that don't fit or are stained, duplicates of kitchen items, etc.). It will happen in layers as you adjust to letting things go; you do NOT have to do it all at once! A lot of it is also learning to change your thinking and shop differently to prevent bringing clutter back in.

You won't miss it. You gain so much when you simplify. I'm not a minimalist but I have decluttered our house a lot and it has made such a difference. Even my packrat husband has thanked me and changed many of his ways.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:31 AM   #5
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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I'm having the same problem I know I should be able to let go of things, but it's just so overwhelming! DH & I just had a talk about it yesterday..now with 3 kids adding to it I really need to work on getting rid of things(lots!)
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:08 PM   #7
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Re: I am drowning my family with my "stuff"

It takes a long time to get to the minimal place you want to be. So be prepared for that. But every one of us started somewhere. Start small. Easy stuff first, then after you get into the habit of making quick decisions about things, it is easier when you get to the hard stuff. And don't feel like you have to get rid of stuff just to get rid of it. It is perfectly acceptable to hold onto things in a 'not yet' area for awhile until you are ready.

Can the kids get on board? Hubby? Not sure how old your kids are, but get them involved. Many hands make light work.

You won't regret it, I promise. You will love how free you feel, how easy it is to upkeep, and how much more time you have for family stuff.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:58 PM   #8
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Re: I am drowning my family with my "stuff"

I can totally relate to what you are going through right now. I always have a donation bag for goodwill waiting by the door that I fill with things that I know are not worth my time to list. I've told my husband many times that I am going to just fill the truck and take things away because I just do not want to have it in my life anymore, but he always talks me out of it.

I put myself through college by selling on ebay so I feel like everything is an asset now and it's hard to get out of that mindset. What has helped me clear the clutter has been to focus on the kids rooms and main living areas. Find a spot to hold stuff for a garage sale, set a date and stick to it. If you truly want to sell stuff then do it, but don't beat yourself up for not having the energy to do so. Selling is a lot of work, but sometimes when you see the money coming through and the stuff leaving the home you feel good. It is absolutely okay to just let it go. If you die, and someday you will, the stuff will eventually go, but your husband and kids will be the one sorting through it all and that's never a fun burden to have placed on the ones you love.

Baby steps... a bag a day can clear the clutter away!
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:20 PM   #9
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Re: I am drowning my family with my "stuff"

And to address the aspect of selling....I, too, prefer to sell over donate. I have a goal in mind for the money I make. Right now, it's private school tuition. I keep all the stuff I want to sell in one area. I don't sell all the time, but I go in spurts. A couple of weeks of selling, a couple off. Keeps me from burning out.

It's a little late in the year for a garage sale, but if it's warm in your area, maybe worth it. What doesn't sell can be donated. Then you get the best of both worlds. We do a garage sale once a year. We've figured out the optimal location (as in, whose house gets the most traffic) and the best weekend (for us, the one right after Memorial Day). And we also do better on weekdays rather than a Saturday. Not sure why, though.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:40 PM   #10
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Re: I am drowning my family with my "stuff"

I agree with the others, you will NOT regret it.

Once space is cleared up, you will feel calmer too, or at least I do. Start with a few things donated and go from there. You'll pick up momentum and get on a roll.
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