May 17, 2015

Clutter

I know I talk about decluttering a LOT on this blog, but it's because I always seem to be doing so much of it! You'd think with everything I've thrown out/donated in the past year we'd be down to nothing- but the truth is, bags of STUFF leave our house every single month still. Lisa shared a few articles on her blog last week all about Americans as consumers. Here's the article that really stood out to me, but if you don't have time to click over to it- here's what it boils down to- WE ALL HAVE TOO MUCH CRAP! Jared and I have only lived in this house for 4 years but it's disgusting how much stuff we have. Stuff that we forget about because it's crammed into a storage bin in a closet or stuff that we complain we have no place for, but yet never MAKE room for it by removing other items. 

My thoughts on clutter have definitely shifted in the past year. We have stopped holding onto a lot of things for their nostalgic reasons, and have let go of clothes that even though they were once a "favorite" -they're now worn out and just need pitched. It's such a freeing feeling. Piling stuff into donation boxes is truly therapeutic to me. I'm one of those people that feels overwhelmed by too much clutter, yet I often let it build up around me. As soon as a box of stuff leaves my house? I instantly feel less stressed. There's something to be said about that!

I think paying off our debt plays a part in how I feel about stuff and shopping in general now. When budgeting became a huge part of our lives and we knew every penny we had needed to go to our student loans, there was no excuse to shop- ever! I used to be way more tempted to shop. Changing seasons? I wanted new clothes. Going on vacation? I need a whole new wardrobe. Oh I don't have a silver necklace I love? Then I NEED one. No! No, no, no to all of that. I hardly ever have that urge to shop "just because" anymore and if it ever is something I feel like I need? I think it through, I comparison shop online and I really think about that decision. I never stop in at stores 'just because' or to kill time since I know it would just be a trap for me to spend money on something I don't need.

I don't think I'll ever become an actual minimalist, but it's something I strive to be more like, that's for sure. I only want to have clothes that I wear and love; I only want to keep the movies that are ones I'll watch time and time again. I don't want dozens of kitchen gadgets we only get out once a year. And I certainly don't want to add any impulse items into our house unless I've gotten rid of at least two boxes of them.

Did you know 1 in every 10 Americans rents an off-site storage location?! Because they don't have room for all the crap they've accumlated.... WOW! It seems overall our thoughts on needs vs. wants are so skewed and messed up. What about your thoughts on clutter? Some people like it, honestly. Some people can't stand any extra items in their house at all. I definitely fall in the middle but am pushing myself to continue minimizing my belongings- what about you?

38 comments:

  1. I can't believe that ppl have rental spaces. If you can't fit it in the house you probably don't need it. I would forget most of the stuff over there. We have a smaller car now so we really have to think about things before purchasing.

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  2. I'm with you 100%--getting rid of that stuff is so freeing! My family always comes up with the craziest reasons to keep things... Moving to Texas we have had to majorly downsize and we got rid of (what I felt) was so much stuff. Now that I am here and going through things we still have so much crap! And no where to put said crap! Time for another big haul...

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  3. I think I am like you...somewhere in the middle. We definitely have a TON of junk that we could cart off to the Salvation Army and never miss it...and we do that from time to time, but I'm also not a minimalist. I do like that freeing feeling of getting rid of stuff though!! Maybe it's time for a little spring cleaning...

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  4. I have become more and more hateful towards clutter since we've been married and I've seen just how MUCH crap we really have! Every season we go through our closets/lives and throw out tons of stuff....yet it always seems to be there! Ha! can't wait to spend a Sunday coming up decluttering every room! :)

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  5. I'm striving to become less and less cluttered, too. We only have a 2 bedroom apartment but there is SO MUCH stuff it's bad. The biggest problem I have is I'm so sentimental and I keep things because of how they make me feel, even if I don't wear the clothes or use the pictures. I'm trying to get better. I personally would love to be a minimalist, but I know that's never gonna happen. So I'll be in the middle and that's okay.

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  6. I can't stand clutter and if I haven't worn something in over a year...I donate it or get rid of it. My husband...he's a hoarder when it comes to this type of thing. T shirts especially...why guys have SO MANY t shirts is beyond me. I also only shop if it's for something I need. We also budget and are very money conscious so just going to the mall to stroll is not happening unless I need a new dress for a wedding or some other special occasion.

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  7. I had no idea so many people rented a storage unit - now i don't feel nearly as guilty for my closet - but I do need a good clean out!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  8. I totally know what you mean about clutter. I'm trying to use this time of moving as a good time to get rid of stuff we haven't used. I told Jordan he HAD to find at least 10 books to get rid of. He's really bad about keeping stuff, and with books he refuses to get rid of any... even if I KNOW he won't read them again! One thing that has been amazing was my recipe binder. You probably already have something similar. I was saving all these old Real Simple magazines because of 2 recipes in the back or whatever, so I stole a friend's idea and made a recipe binder. I got rid of a TON of magazines that way, because I could tear out the recipe, slide it into the page protector, and be done! I keep meaning to blog about my binder but haven't gotten around to it. It's been amazing for my meal planning, though!

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  9. I am notorious for constantly purging our home of junk. My poor husband actually has to stop me in my tracks sometimes from throwing out something that he may need lol!

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  10. I am not a minimalist in any sense, but I definitely have more than I should. Our needs change over time too, and that has to be dealt with. I weed things out all the time and I love doing it.

    I typically do not go through books to get rid of them although I probably could. I don't want to, and I have to let myself be okay with that too.

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  11. When I buy a house, I'm going to buy a little condo so I won't accumulate too much stuff... Plus, less to clean! Winning!

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  12. I know that I have been working on getting rid of stuff I dont love and we dont need. I would much rather have a closet with fewer pieces that I wear all the time than a closet stuff to the brim with clothes that I try on over and over only to reach for the same 10 tops.

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  13. I don't like clutter and really enjoy a good closet purge... and I'm amazed at how much stuff I can STILL find in this house that we don't need. Moving really gets you to take a close look at needs vs. nostalgia - and definitely gets me in a more minimalist frame of mind!

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  14. That's crazy disgusting about how many people have rental storage spaces to fit all their extra crap! As much as I love a good shopping trip, I definitely do go shopping that often. I'll pick up new pieces here and there, but I much prefer to spend my money on experiences than "stuff".

    Great post! Very eye opening :)

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  15. I'm not a minimalist but I would love to get to a minimal-ish point. we have far too much crap. we moved from a one bedroom into a 3 bedroom and both spare rooms were empty.. now they are chock full of junk. i hate it! i feel like i am always decluttering but i think i need to get in there and really get rid of the crap we never look at.

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  16. This is always such an interesting topic for me because for the last three years, I've been living in apartments and have moved three times. Through packing and unpacking, I got rid of a lot of stuff I didn't need or use and I completely agree that it's a freeing feeling. I also noticed that I hadn't touched hardly anything that I had in my storage closet since I moved there! I'm still so nostalgic, though. I save movie, concert, and sports tickets, invitations, cards, etc. and my collection of these paper items is pretty ridiculous (both in Indy and in Cincy). I just can't seem to get rid of those things or old t-shirts. Everyone has there thing, right?

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  17. I'm about to have to be doing this myself. With a baby due this fall and a room and two walk in closets full of crap, there's a lot of work to be done! But I can't wait to get it all out of my house. My only issue with junk is I feel bad getting rid of stuff that people have given us for gifts. My MIL is bad about buying the most random stuff for Christmas. She's the type to buy quantity of quality. So how do you get rid of stuff without feelings getting hurt if they notice you never use it and they never see it in your house?

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    1. I meant to say quantity over quality.

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  18. YES! Clapping my hands over here, girl. I've been in the exact same mindset lately. I love everything you said about shopping. Especially now that I quit my job, I couldn't shop even if I wanted to, but I kind of love the freedom of not being able to and realizing I don't actually NEED anything. I've been getting rid of so much stuff and just focusing on having what we love and need and nothing else. I could never be a minimalist (I neeeeed overflowing bookshelves!), but I love making steps in that direction.

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  19. Those clutter stats are insane, it makes me itchy just to read them. I'm a minimalist for sure. I love getting rid of stuff, I think most people are amazed I can even find anything else to get rid of but there's always something. Studies say it all goes hand in hand - reduce debt, reduce clutter, reduce weight. Must be the same mental exercises used for all of those things.
    Hooray for clearing out clutter!

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  20. Seriously, something has happened to me over the last year or so and now I HATE clutter. Like, can't stand it. I was never too too bad about holding on to things I didn't really need, but I definitely kept some things out of guilt for how much they cost, or nostalgia, or whatever. Now? I'm like get rid of it all! I'm not perfect, but I would be that if I counted, at least 90% of what I have in my house is something I truly need and use regularly. Once you get past the emotional attachment, it's so freeing to only hang on to the things you actually need and love and to toss the excess.

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  21. I hate clutter. We're preparing for a garage sale and I'm doing a MAJOR purging. I think a lot of it was not really knowing my style and just buying stuff because it was cute. Now I really have to stop and ask myself, "what am I going to do with this?" I find myself all the time NOT buying stuff because "I like it, but I don't know what I'd do with it." It's sad but at the same time, it's great!

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  22. Getting rid of stuff for our move last year took so long--that experience was enough to motivate me and Angel to keep our belongings pretty simple for a long time to come!

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  23. This has been so true as I start to clean out my classroom. I play the what if game...what if I need this for my new job...what if I hate my new job and have to come back...I need all of this if I ever go back. And I'm the same with clothes...oh I could use this when I'm pregnant...nope. I won't. I just need to let it go. haha

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  24. Oh man I am terrible at this. Although my idea of terrible is probably different than someone else's as in I don't have a storage unit or anything but I do keep a lot of crap. I hate getting rid of stuff because I'm convinced that one day I'll need it for something. Lately I've been trying hard to really only buy things I need or that will last. Experiences not stuff-I just repeat that over and over :)

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  25. Yes! I'm forever trying to declutter! And my parents just had me come go through my stuff at home from before I left for college- yikes! I threw away so much stuff right on the spot.

    That off site storage number is alarming!

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  26. You probably know this but you can take your magazines to half price books and possibly make a dollar or two off of them. I know it's not much, but it's enough to buy one thing in the dollar section at Target!

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  27. Holy moly this article hits home! For the past year now I've been following the "spark joy" organizing concept (I cannot remember the name of the woman who wrote about this concept) - if an item in your possession doesn't spark joy, out it goes. There should be no reason for a family of 4 to feel crammed into a 1500-square foot home, but that's our reality. Every month I feel like I am purging. I do not want to feel like my success is represented by "stuff." There is so much more to life than that!

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  28. I am terrible about holding onto things because of the memories they have or that they were once a favorite. When I moved out of my parents' house over a year ago I left A LOT of stuff behind because it wasn't a necessity for me to move at the time. Slowly but surely I'm going through it to pitch what I won't use and decide what I can donate and what I really want to keep even though I haven't seen it in over a year. It's tough. I've been shopping a little more freely lately but haven't been removing anything from my closet. I definitely like to hold onto things just in case which is something I need to work on because with my 1 bedroom apartment I don't have a lot of space to spare for clutter.

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  29. I am totally like that, too! Especially since I moved into a tiny little apartment. I feel so much better when I get rid of things and am definitely taking more care in my purchases. However, I am still guilty of letting it build up or holding on to a few things that I shouldn't be...work in progress!

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  30. As I've gotten older, the "lets go shopping just to shop" thing has left me. I don't even feel the need to buy things for my girls all the time either. They don't need more crap, I don't need more crap, we just don't need it. I need to get rid of some stuff but it's rather difficult as my husband likes to hoard things. We have costumes in the basement that I am not allowed to get rid that the girls wore many moons ago. I'm thinking that I'm just gonna have to kick everyone out one weekend & just do it! I love taking goodies to the local Goodwill, it's a good day when I can do that. :)

    Mandie ~ http://badbrewpack.blogspot.com/

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  31. I just recently had a friend tell us how much he pays for a storage unit and i was blown away. Such a waste. I love that quote about sophistication. Declutter all the time :)

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  32. I just decluttered the other day! Now I need to sell/donate everything so it's actually out of our apartment! We have a washer and dryer that thankfully a friend is borrowing because otherwise we would have had no room in this apartment for them. If she doesn't want to buy it when they move, we will sell them because I'm not renting a storage space for another year until we move again!

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  33. That is so true. It's very hard for me to let go of things (even when I don't use it anymore), but when I do, it makes me feel better. The hardest part is just the letting go, but after that, everything seems better. lol.

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  34. You are preaching to the choir! We have so much clutter and no matter how much de-cluttering I do there is still stuff EVERYWHERE!

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  35. i am literally ALWAYS decluttering the house ( i think bc i stay at home with carter now, it bothers me SO much more when things are not organized now... plus, the more stuff around, the more opportunities for carter to make a mess!)

    my bestie is the opposite. she loves STUFF. she is one of those who rents an off site storage location... and i'm very strong on my stance of NO outside storage for our things. if we cannot fit it in our good sized house, we don't need it!

    plus, the feeling after dropping off bags to goodwill or throwing out tons of recycling/trash? you can't beat it!

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  36. I'm very late in my blog reading / commenting, BUT I love your thoughts on this. I can't believe that so many people have such big houses yet STILL need off-site storage! It seems to me that everyone SAYS they want less stuff but I wonder how many people truly try to live their life to have less. Same goes with healthy eating / exercising / being debt-free... yeah everyone says that it's the ideal way to live life, but when it comes to actually LIVING that way it seems to be something we all struggle with. Personally, I'm really attempting to cut down on 'stuff' but we don't have that much to begin with since we live in a tiny apartment with limited storage space! I think that's part of the reason I don't want a bigger place - I'm afraid it would encourage me to buy more to fill it! I hope that as a culture we all become a little less consumerist and a little more minimalist. (Sorry for the mini-rant!)

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