Celebrity decluttering: Barbra Streisand

Singer-actress extraordinaire Barbra Streisand will be auctioning off more than 500 of her belongings October 17-18 and the proceeds of the auction will be going to charity. CNN reporter Kareen Wynter asked Barbra why she chose to purge her things:

Barbra Streisand: We really never possess anything — I mean, not forever. We borrow things and then we let them go and be used and shared and enjoyed by the next generation and the next generation. So if you can’t really use something anymore, even though it belonged to you for a long time and you loved it, it’s great to pass it on.

Costumes she wore in movies, furniture from her home, and her piano are some of the things she is putting up for auction. You can find the entire collection on Juliens Auctions.

Purging your life of more than 500 items is a significant decluttering endeavor and I’m impressed to read about it. Uncluttering kudos to Barbra Streisand.

(Image from Juliens Auctions, and a hat tip to reader Katie for directing us to the story.)

14 Comments for “Celebrity decluttering: Barbra Streisand”

  1. posted by Katie Alender on

    I think what really got me is this phrase: “even though it belonged to you for a long time and you loved it”. How many things do we keep around out of plain old habit? Even if something has a place and isn’t causing clutter, is it something you need? Is it taking up space something else could use? Or keeping you from being able to downsize?

    Glad you liked the article!

  2. posted by Karen on

    Maybe now she can downsize to one house? I know all these celebrities have more than one home, usually, which seems like the ultimate in clutter.

  3. posted by Dawn F. on

    I was thinking EXACTLY what Karen mentioned. Celebrities have so many homes and cars…

  4. posted by Cathy on

    Hasn’t she done this before? I thought a few years ago she had purged herself of many of her belongings (e.g., her extensive Tiffany lamp collection?). Did she end up cluttering up her life again after the last major decluttering? Isn’t that (unfortunately) the typical pattern – clutter to declutter to clutter again?

  5. posted by Lose That Girl on

    I couldn’t be a celeb because the thought of having to keep up different residences gives me hives. One is more than enough.

  6. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Lose That Girl — My guess is that if you have many homes, you have “staffs” to manage them. Oh how I would love a staff to manage my home ;)

  7. posted by Karen on

    Cathy, I think that was Oprah. Or maybe they both did it. In any case, if these are things she didn’t declutter during the last big purge, it just makes one realize how much unneccessary stuff these celebs have. Oprah annoys me because yes, she gives a lot to charity, I’m sure, but at the same time her lifestyle is so lavish and her magazine promotes buying her favorite expensive goods…it just feeds our culture’s consumeristic groove. And when they do something like this, which is basically a garage sale, we’re supposed to think they’re being really amazing and wonderful.

    They’re just doing what most people do when they have too much junk, the only difference is their junk was way more expensive to begin with.

    I will say kudos to Ms. Streisand for giving all proceeds from the auction to charity. Maybe more celebs will follow her lead.

  8. posted by Karyn on

    I’m not a celebrity, but I can assure everyone that my own decluttering has taken place in a number of “waves” over the years. ;-)

  9. posted by Anita on

    I suppose when you have 3 houses AND 3 complete and separate wardrobes, by the looks of it, it’s not quite as hard to find 500 items you no longer need.

    I was a little taken aback by how many black dresses she has. But… 9 fur coats? Really? How many more would you need to have before you can say “yeah, I think I can spare 9 of them” ?!

  10. posted by Gabe on

    Wow – $12k-18k for a table lamp on (p57 of the catalog)…
    $15-18k for a copper sheet metal chandelier (p88)
    Oh my! – $100k painting! (p104)

    Wish I could make money like that when I unclutter!

    Regardless of wealth, I’m unable to understand how one gets to the point where you can be comfortable spending several thousands of dollars for something as trivial as a table lamp. :-)

  11. posted by Gina on

    I read a lot of jealousy/envy between the lines in some of these comments.

    When you have the sort of money Barbra has, I think it becomes difficult to spend it. Maybe she could have made different choices. I bet if I were in her shoes I’d have been a bit spendy on myself too.

  12. posted by Battra92 on

    Karen: I agree with you. No praise is needed for Babs or Oprah. People do this every day, the only difference is she has more crap to clean up. An elephant and a dog still need to be cleaned up after. The only difference is the amount.

  13. posted by Anita on

    @Gina — I agree, a bit of envy is definitely there; but I think it’s also a difference in taste. If I had that kind of money, I would be spendy as well, just on different things. Whether or not that entitles us to berate her spending/cluttering habits is another matter :)

    @Gabe — well, she did have a collection of lamps, so maybe to her it’s not as trivial as it seems to you and me. I spend thousands of dollars on photographic equipment, which to me is important yet others would probably find trivial since photography is my hobby rather than a full-time job (at least for now).

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