Monday, February 17, 2014

How to lose 3,000 pounds

We moved from the Northwoods to Tennessee in May of 2008.

We reversed directions and came back in December of 2013.

The weight of the moving truck on the way back north was 3,000 pounds lighter than it was on the way down.  And we bought some living room and bedroom furniture once we got to Tennessee.  Which came with us to Wisconsin.

How did we do it?

  • Our former home had a definite Northwoods feel to it.  Our new Tennessee home  was more formal and well, new.  Right from the get-go we got rid of some things that didn't  'fit in'.  We sold a desk, a trunk and several smaller things on Craig's List.
  • I volunteered at a women's shelter that also had a Thrift Store.  They needed things more than I did. It was very gratifying to be able to let them sell my stuff and use that money to help people.  Much better than allowing it to take up space in my closet.
  • I read this blog.   Although there is some Buddhist philosophy in it (which I don't agree with), there is a lot of common sense advice about how our stuff owns us.
  • I informally participated in this project.  Realizing now that I don't need a walk in closet full of clothes, I keep my wardrobe pared down to about 30 items.
  • I basically stopped shopping.  I've never been much of a shopper, but now it holds no thrill for me.  At all. There are many better ways to spend my money.  It is far more gratifying to use our resources to help others than to fill my closet.
  • I set limits.  How many dishes does one need?  Will I ever feed 30 people at one time?  Probably not, so the extra dishes went to someone who will use them.
  • We got rid of one full filing cabinet.  It was very full.  Very.  Those things weigh a ton.  Or at least a couple hundred pounds.
  • We switched out my piano for a clavinova.
  • We sold a large computer desk and our patio set.
  • We gave away our bed.
I could go on, but hopefully the above ideas are helpful to anyone who wants to bust their clutter.  I haven't missed or regretted getting rid of anything that we donated or sold.  Instead I feel a great sense of freedom.  Our rental condo is 33% smaller than our former home, so I'm thankful we got rid of what we did.

How do you tame your clutter monster?

3 comments: said...

Hi, Cheri. Love your post here. From time to time, I do the Fly Lady's "21 Thing Fling." It feels great and is a fantastic stress reducer! Whenever I'm out of sorts with the world, I clean a closet or two and fill a thrift donation box. And every January I aim to sweep through every nook and cranny of the house sorting things and putting it all in order.

NEDP said...

I don't have a clutter monster, I am a clutter monster. ;) Moving every 4 years or more has kept me pretty pared down. The weird thing is when we moved into this huge home and I started putting up Christmas decor and it faded into the background. Very strange.

In my too big house I really suffer with clutter because there are rooms I won't enter for weeks on end. It's a very strange sensation! I hope next time we move we can find a smaller place although these long winters aren't so hard in a house big enough everyone can get away from each other!

My hangup: family heirlooms. I don't know how to say no. I hope that eventually my brother will get a house and I can hand some off to him!

Cheri said...

Yay for stress reducing, Kelly! Your home has always felt orderly and neat to me.

Clutter monster! You crack me up Norma! Yep, family heirlooms are the hardest and we seem to be the repository for most of Pat's side of the family's heirlooms.