Home Forums Challenges What is your clutter vice? Why?

This topic contains 62 replies, has 44 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of happymonkey happymonkey 3 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #158775

    Today I decided to sort through boxes from my old storage unit. I closed it years ago and the boxes have been sitting taking up space. I emptied everything onto the floor and began rummaging/sorting. That’s when I noticed it.

    My clutter vice: cookie tins, cute little metal tins, plastic bead organizers, all kinds of compact storage systems

    I think I like storage items because I like to organize things in pretty containers. Yes, I’m an “organized clutterbug” LOL. Everything fits in a tiny home and the cookie tins are nice to look at & serve a purpose. As for the plastic bead organizers, I prefer the flat rectangular boxes with hinged lids (usually $2-$3). Ohhh how the little compartments are great for storing small items (more clutter, ha!) and you can neatly stack the organizers. Looking back on it, I’ve always been drawn to these items whether I was at a yardsale, church sale, thrift shop or retail holiday aisles. Now that I’ve realized my vice I think the clutter will greatly reduce.

    Anyway, my vice/realization is probably strange but I thought this would be an interesting discussion. :)

    So what is your clutter vice?
    And why?

    ~Gypsy

  • #170584
    Profile photo of HelofaMess
    HelofaMess
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    My husband’s vice is PENS! I picks them up from every hotel, airline, office… anywhere you can imagine! It drives me MAAAAAAD. I’m looking at 3 pots full of usable pens right now in our office.

    My vices that cause clutter are probably laziness and procrastination. I don’t collect things, I don’t have lots of little bits and bobs, I don’t go shopping and I really don’t often buy stuff as I tend to only by things that I LOVE and are great quality but I’m lazy, lazy, lazy about getting things done. This is what I need to work on over anything else.

  • #170585
    Profile photo of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    ooh, this will be a good discussion! I was going to say laziness and procrastination too, but that is an unneccesarily harsh and fundamentally unhelpful way to view yourself :) I think my ultimate problem is distractibility, I get easily distracted by stuff so end up never finishing a job off. That is why I like ATAD so much, even I can chuck a thing a day and get it done. I went to the park with a friend with smaller kids than mine yesterday and I realised why I have such a bad habit of not concentrating on stuff: it’s lack of habit! I swear, my friend and I did not have one single thread of conversation which we were able to finish, the kids spent the whole time interrupting us and we had to keep getting up and doing stuff for them or telling them off or warning them of dangers etc. My kids are actually getting past that stage now, but at home there are still constant distractions all the time when they’re around. However, I am naturally that way inclined, I like to have lots of different things on the go and get bored easily! So, now I’m more aware of this tendency, maybe I can think of ways round it. I still think ATAD suits this tendency really well though!

  • #170590

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Target. Need I say more?

    Seriously, I’m not very good at shopping from a list and only buying what I need, particularly in those “super-discount” stores like Target. I do great when I’m shopping for clothes, I only buy things I really love and I know will work. But when I’m at Target I’ll buy basically anything that catches my fancy (and that isn’t outrageously expensive).

    I’ve started asking: “Is this going to end up in my ATAD pile?” and that helps. I also think I’m an aspirational shopper (gee, if I only had this wonderful muffin tin I would bake my own muffins instead of buying them!) and I need to start asking whether an object can really change my habits or personality. If the object is bought after reflection and a commitment to change, then maybe…if it’s bought on a whim, I can practically guarantee it won’t. Also, maybe in the long run, my habits aren’t so bad. As long as you buy decent muffins (not full of corn syrup and chemicals), buying is not much worse than baking–particularly if you’re a terrible baker like me. :)

  • #170591
    Profile photo of EraserGirl
    EraserGirl
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    bags. i love bags. if i start a new project i have to find the perfect bag to contain it. for example just hanging inside the closet door: i have an northface backpack, a camera waistpack, a old ems daypack, a strapless ‘waistpack’ for cycling, an everyday camera bag, a big camera bag, a binocular case, a mesh backpack for boating, a big duffle bag for all the boating crap including the backpack, a book bag for outgoing library books, a tote bag for the rail trail meetings, and a victorinox carryon. that’s just one room.

  • #170596
    Profile photo of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I love bags too, EraserGirl. I love just grabbing the gym/camping/knitting/going out bag and knowing everything I need for that activity is in there. I have an outgoing library books bag too :)

    It leads to stuff not getting washed or dried like it should, though – my partner Does Not take his stinky climbing shorts or wet swimsuit out of the gym bag when he gets home and I’m only now learning to look through them regularly.

    My big thing is just overcommitting – it’s taken me 5 years to learn that, just because I don’t have to work on Saturday doesn’t mean i don’t have to cook meals, host family members, do the shopping, entertain the kiddo – I think “ooh i have 8 free hours I’ll totally get the garage cleaned out!” and then a million little things take up the time and nothing’s done.

  • #170597
    Profile photo of Honore
    Honore
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Glass jars with nice lids are my weakness. I re-use them constantly for leftovers and other foods (instead of using plastic containers). When my jar shelf in the cupboard gets too crowded, I have to harden my heart and recycle a few.

  • #170610
    Profile photo of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I have a plethora of canvas tote bags, and also baskets. I had to absolutely cut myself off from buying baskets – though I did allow myself a basketmaking class about a year ago, which resulted in a huge basket that at the moment stores my collection of bears – another clutter issue. I love both baskets and bears(stuffed, and includes rabbits), and I’m finding it hard to part with any of them. The tote bags, most of which came as gifts or give-aways from various conferences, etc., we have repurposed. Many of them now hold frozen fruit, veggies and fish in our chest freezer. They keep like things together and make is much easier to move stuff around in there and to see what we have. THey’re sturdy and hold a lot. The nicer ones I use for my “stuff needed to go swimming,” and “my stuff needed to go biking,” and usual things like knitting. I still have a surplus, but I store it neatly and in little space in – yes – one of the bags. :) Now if I could solve the bears and baskets problem as easily.

  • #170615
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    i feel very much on top of my personal clutter.
    the shoes, clothes, bags, books, kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, office stuff…..it all feels/looks pared down and streamlined.
    i have truly worked the whole house over in the last 12 months.
    (i do have a bunch of framed paintings and prints to go trough, but i have been storing those on a shelf, waiting for the renovation to be finished).
    so, you might look in my house and say here is someone on the way to minimalism and definitely decluttered.

    however
    i have a workshop just thirty metres across the drive and it is considerably larger than my house.
    and it is packed with work stuff.
    and if i am completely honest, some of it is expired materials that need to go out out out.
    and some of it is equipment that has been replaced with better stuff.
    i seem to have hung onto every.single. thing over there, which is very odd….i don’t have an emotional attachment to any of it.
    i think the VALUE thing is what is holding me up.
    i estimate that there is about 200 kilos of stuff i need to move out of there.
    i was working last night and mentally ticking off things that should go….so i am already there mentally.

    my husband is going back to paris tomorrow (he is taking his mum for a holiday because she has never been to europe, how sweet is that?) and i’ve got a friend coming to work with me for a couple of weeks.
    the different energy around the place might be just what i need to get moving on this.

  • #170617
    Profile photo of Claycat
    Claycat
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I guess I would have to say baskets and tins. The baskets are really better for me, because I can see what’s in them. I have had to label the tins.

  • #170618
    Profile photo of Claycat
    Claycat
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Wow, bandicoot! You have quite a job ahead of you!

  • #170623
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    In terms of objects – scarves and jackets which take up about 3/4 of my wardrobe space.

    um. Technology. I already have half a dozen USB sticks but I bought another one yesterday cos it was tiny and cute. (And don’t ‘affordable’ indulgences suck you in? Wouldn’t it have been better to save that $14 towards a really useful $80 external hard drive?)

    Technology. DH is giving me heaps about the old Mac that lives under my desk.

    But I’ll put my hand up to ‘laziness and procrastination’. It’s not harsh, lottielot, it’s just facing reality. I’m not making value judgments about it – hey, it’s human nature not to want to work too hard. Why waste energy that’s hard to replace when food is scarce, my lizard-brain tells me.

    Maybe there’s a dash of perfectionism in there too – “If something can’t be done perfectly, don’t do it at all….’

  • #170625
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    i am learning to harness my natural tendencies to laziness and procrastination….. to avoid shopping.
    it’s one of the most useful skills i have learned all year.
    first, i put off going to the shops.
    then, if i do get there, i decide i am too lazy to choose anything, to cart the stuff home, or post it home, or worry about it at all. and i am probably to lazy to earn the money to afford any stuff to begin with.
    solved.

  • #170626
    Profile photo of HelofaMess
    HelofaMess
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    For me there is ZERO perfectionism involved! Simply down to laziness. I think for me it comes from my very regimented teenage years at boarding school. We were told where to be and what to do for the whole day from 7:30 wake up to 9:30 lights out and I, as a minor rebel, always pushed against that by not doing homework even though it was prep hour and I was sitting in the study room and had everything at my finger tips. I guess I’ve never gotten over that inner brat! I find now that the “regiment” of things like the Pomodoro method have really helped me. I can cope with 25 minutes and I don’t burn out with a 5 minute break… I’m on one now! Fingers crossed I can keep at it until I unlearn lazy habits. The 2 minute GTD rule has helped me a lot too. Ok… there goes the bell. 25 minutes more in the spare room here we come!

  • #170628

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Hehe, it’s ironic how many clutterbugs like storage-related items: baskets, tins, pretty boxes. :D

    I’m filling a box full of tins/tubs I find as I go through the boxes. Tins are difficult for me so I’ll declutter that box when I finish the rest.

  • #170634
    Profile photo of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    clutterpounds: it is funny, isn’t it?!
    klutzgrrl and Helofamess, it is harsh, I bet there are aspects of your lives where you work really hard, no? So it just doesn’t accomplish anything to say ‘I’m lazy’, it makes you feel guilty and worthless and while it might motivate you for a short time to change, in the long run if you see yourself as lazy then you’re likely to slide back towards laziness. It’s much more interesting and helpful to pinpoint some reasons and habits (like perfectionism) which you might be able to train yourself out of. Good luck with your method Helofamess :)

  • #170639

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Abandoned and deferred project detritus. I plan things with enthusiasm and good intentions and then . . well, like the project to wallpaper the soffit in the kitchen a few years ago. Today . . .
    Maybe I’ll leave it like it is
    Maybe I’ll just paint it
    Where did I put that $50 roll of wallpaper?
    Why did I buy that ugly $50 roll of wallpaper?
    Drat — the mice got into the $50 roll of wallpaper.

  • #170652
    Profile photo of mdfloyd
    mdfloyd
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    My downfalls are office accessories and organizing accessories. But I’m slowly learning to keep better control over myself . . . sigh . . . .

  • #170663
    Profile photo of Ann
    Ann
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I have been pretty successful in recent decluttering, but I have to say that I have a weakness for “pretty boxes”…cool boxes that are part of packaging, artsy type boxes, wooden cigar boxes…it is a curse. Right now I have a whole drawer full of them, and I have to stop there. I usually let my niece go thru and pick out whatever ones she likes when she visits…but she is getting older now and doesn’t have much use for them. I guess I will need to pare them down to just a few and impose a “one in and one out” methodology in the future.

  • #170666
    Profile photo of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I have to second, third or fourth procrastination as my vice. It’s easy to do!

  • #170678

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Ann, are we related?? LOL I have the exact same problem too. I always keep the boxes because they’re “useful” and “too pretty to toss”. :P Needless to say, I have one too many PLUS cookie tins. I started decluttering this month and I’m putting aside items to give to friends as little surprises. My boyfriend suggested putting the items inside the boxes to make them look more special. He’s got a good idea! I get rid of more clutter this way. :)

  • #170687

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    @ Ann – those boxes would probably be nice to use a gift boxes. I used to have a major stash and then one Christmas used those for presents. I declutered my stash pretty quick.

  • #170692
    Profile photo of Nithy
    Nithy
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Containers! Boxes and bags of all shapes and sizes. To be fair, I do use most of them. I like big canvas bags for grocery shopping. Altoids tins and others that size are very versatile. I have half a dozen metal lunchboxes and almost all of them are in use.

    But I also have a big laundry basket full of bags and purses. Some are special occasion purses, some are bags that I really like, but I currently use a bag that better serves my purpose, Some are things I may use occasionally, some are bags I’ve found that I really like that I haven’t found a use for yet.

  • #170729
    Profile photo of Another Deb
    Another Deb
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Lots of clutter vices here. Ungraded papers, unfinished projects, unread books, unwearable clothing, unscanned photos, unpaid bills.

    I have been working on family history and people have been sending me interesting things, Yesterday I received four metal printing plates from a family business. I think they were used in creating newspaper ads. I also received 24 slide trays full of 1950’s Kodachrome slides, mostly of hula girls and ocean views, so I can purge a lot of it.

  • #170730
    Profile photo of Trish
    Trish
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Makeup. ESPECIALLY eyeshadows. *sigh*

  • #170741
    Profile photo of djk
    djk
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I love containers of all shapes and sizes! Baskets and boxes especially. With them, like stays with like and things aren’t strewn everywhere. So not really a vice, more of a useful tool I guess. In my (much bigger) last place I had way too many though–especially baskets.

    but then I also have different bags/totes for different activities, from the laptop/swim/book/tennis to the work files bags. And then the small cosmetic bags which get tossed into my work bag in the morning depending on what’s happening that day work-wise.

    Awfully fond of bowls too, and mugs. Love handmade ceramics (to use, not display) Have to remember to remove the generic when I have upgraded to handmade.

  • #170771

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Music and books… Everytime I think I am “decluttered” I find more items that I don’t want. CDs seem to multiply in my home. And books just appear as if out of nowhere…

  • #170775
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    +1 to canvas and other reusable bags. I try to be eco-conscious, reduce my plastic consumption etc. But a lot of times I either forget to bring a canvas bag, or I was just not planning on shopping that day but my plans changed. Then I get to check-out and decide that, rather than get 2 more plastic bags, I’ll just get a canvas one I can reuse. Except now I have WAY TOO MANY!

    Ditto for IKEA bags, which should just not happen. I don’t have a car, and the IKEA in my city is far enough that a trip there needs to be planned, I can’t just wander in on a whim. So why in the world would I forget to bring one of my old IKEA bags?!

    At least I could use plastic grocery bags as garbage bags. And IKEA bags become my donation bags, so they go out with the rest of the stuff. But what in the world to do with the extra canvas ones? I’m never going to buy enough groceries in one go to require 8 of them…

  • #170791
    Profile photo of beks37
    beks37
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Shoes and home fragrance products are my worst vices. I have a whole closet full of shoes…maybe 20 pairs and I only wear 3 on a regular basis. I have a whole drawer full of candles, candle holders and Scentsy products.

    Also, I have saved a whole ton of stuff from our wedding 5 years ago…they are in the shed and I haven’t looked at them in 5 years.

    I have to agree also with the bag thing. Everytime I go to Victoria’s Secret, they give you these nice pink bags and I can’t throw them away. I have a whole bag full of more bags!

  • #170799

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    beks37 – Don’t feel too badly about the shoes… I used to have 30 pairs… I am finally down to 14 and I could still cut out at least 6 or 7 more. You will get there!

    The bags are also an issue with me. I try super hard to refuse them when I go into a store (I usually have a canvas bag with me) but husband isn’t quite so “green” yet so they still accumulate!

  • #170805
    Profile photo of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    My clutter vice is my project list. Specifically, adding new things to my project list before I’ve finished something that was already there.

    It’s a double-edged problem. If I don’t write down a new project idea, I’m apt to forget it; but if I do write it down I often am tempted to work on the new thing instead of one of the old things.

    Something that DH and I really went overboard on when we were first married is stemware. Wineglasses, champagne flutes, water goblets, martini glasses! It’s insanity. And all stored neatly away so I can’t bring myself to just get rid of the excess. At least we haven’t bought any MORE.

  • #170818
    Profile photo of beks37
    beks37
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    @chacha1-Funny you should mention that. I over-registered for kitchen items and have slowly been letting them go. I still have 5-9×13 glass pans, 4-8×8 glass pans, 4-9×13 metal cake pans, and countless cookie sheets….the kitchen is one area that I have not wanted to declutter yet.

  • #170822
    Profile photo of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I love getting those VS bags – and I have to take a plane trip to go to an actual store :) All those bags with handles, including excess gift bags, make great lunch bags if you take your lunch to work/school. Easily identifiable in the fridge, and when they die, you don’t feel bad tossing them.

  • #170867
    Profile photo of trillie
    trillie
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    LOL @ susanintexas! Oh, the unfinished projects… :o)

    I’m also in the procrastination camp… I have been trying to improve my time management for years now, and I feel I still suck at it. It’s just that now I’ve read so much about it, I know the precise reasons WHY I fail often, and I also know — in theory — how to not fail. That’s where the procrastination kicks in. I know what to do and still I succumb to the resistance pretty often ;o)

    As for stuff, I have forbidden myself to buy any more shoes, scarves and bags, and especially pretty bowls and cups, unless there is a really good reason (and “but look, it is so PRETTY *girlish squeal*” is not one). It has never gotten really overboard, but one could say that before starting to declutter, I had an unreasonably large amount of each of these items. I’ve gotten much better in admiring stuff from a distance without having to buy it, though :o)

  • #170894

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I also have problems with bags, glass jars, and pretty boxes.

    I have found a home for the bags though. There is a women’s shelter near my house and they have a “store” where women can get donated clothing for free. It’s a great place to take clothes that are in good condition, and since they need bags for people to take the clothes home in, they will take a big pile of bags off my hands all at once. I try to keep them nice and to sort them according to size before taking them in.

    The glass jars are great for freezing soups, but it is important to toss some every once in awhile as they can really start breeding in the cupboards if you’re not careful.

    The boxes though, this is my nemesis. I rarely find good uses for these. They can, of course, be recycled, but sometimes they are just too beautiful. Some I keep though- for example, shoe boxes I keep and store the shoes in them.

    My ultimate clutter problem though is sentimental items- old teddy bears, dresses from when I was little, old dolls, etc. They can’t be replaced, which is my argument for not getting rid of them. I know there are a lot of great arguments for getting rid of this stuff. But…anyone else have sentimental stuff as your roadblock to uncluttering? Where do you draw the line?

  • #170942
    Profile photo of djk
    djk
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Camellia Tree, there are some great threads on here that talk about sentimental clutter. What it comes down to in the end is if you truly love something, and you have room to display it beautifully, then, well, it isn’t clutter. But sentimental clutter, (in fact, most things,) is usually not so meaningful that we would love to give them prime real estate in our homes. That alone tells us they need to leave our homes. If you are not willing to honour those items, but are just holding on to them for the sake of history or what others would think, well, then, my instinct would be to release them.

    the big trick is deciding what is truly worth real estate room in your inner sanctum.
    My mother used to tell us that we had to do our chores in such a way that we wouldn’t be ashamed if the Queen popped by for tea and saw what we had done.

    Would you want the queen/world seeing that collection of junk? or would you proudly say, this item, bedraggled or not, has great meaning to me because…
    keep what is really meaningful, ditch the rest.

  • #170949

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    My husband’s clutter vice is free stuff — he cannot say no. He must have more than 100 “gimme caps” stored in a closet and an equal number of t-shirts (which he does not ever wear — the hats at least have a chance of landing on his head! He cannot stop himself from picking up extra packets of ketchup, mustard and mayo in the take out line (which we use rarely, and always to bring home, where we have jars of this stuff to use.) He always claims that”someone can use it” but I haven’t met that person yet . . . what is there about free stuff that makes a generally prudent man go bonkers?

  • #170953
    Profile photo of sky2evan
    sky2evan
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    @ djk – great comment!

  • #170956
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    djk that is a wonderful comment and very thought-provoking.

  • #171003
    Profile photo of margaret
    margaret
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Everything is my clutter vice. I’m a natural born packrat descended from a long line of natural born packrats, but somehow I missed the cleaning gene that makes it tolerable.

    One problem I have, especially with paperwork, is that I get behind, and then instead of just putting away the new stuff as it comes in, I add it to the pile because I SHOULD go through the old stuff first. Kind of silly. Actually, I used to wash dishes by stacking everything into piles first — bowls, glasses, cutlery, etc, so it would take me half an hour before I could even start. Then I had a revelation that I didn’t have to wash things in categories — now, sometimes I even just add water to the sink with a mish mash of dishes in there (not usually, though, because there’s often a layer of crud under the dishes). Anyway, the point is that they all get washed just the same, and it takes less time! So I think my “go through the old stuff first” rule is not really necessary.

    Second vice — parts and pieces. So many things have parts and pieces, and I have a really hard time bringing myself to throw them out, because what if I find all the rest of the parts and want to use whatever? I’m getting a little better, but it’s hard. There is one kids game that I finally decided to get rid of and I am still finding pieces here and there. I’m also better about getting rid of puzzles, because once they are spread around enough that stray pieces are turning up, the chances of finding all the pieces together is slim, and usually at least a couple will end up getting wet or destroyed.

    Procrastination — I am a master procrastinator. The problem is that so often it pays off. My mom just had a big leak in her house and a whole wall got soaked. Several pictures got wet and one was completely destroyed. It was important to her, but fortunately her siblings also have copies of the picture so it is easily replaced. HOWEVER, her plan had been to put all her ancient photos (grandparents, great granparents — photos 50 to more than 100 years old) on that wall, but she hadn’t gotten around to it. Procrastination, baby.

  • #178070
    Profile photo of snosie
    snosie
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Once I was reading a money saving tips website (favourite next to decluttering ones!) and they said ‘never buy a paper product again’. Which is a shame as I love the pretty stationary stores we have in Australia – like Kikki K and Smiggle and so on. But they are right – I don’t need a pad of ‘to do lists’- i can use my diary (which this year I did away with – I just have a notebook, and I drew up a two month calendar that I always look for in diaries, and this year the company didn’t produce one with it in it, so I made do). I could also use envelopes, or the back of paper printed one side. And it’s TRUE. So that’s no longer my vice (but I have a stack of a few to get through).

    Related to this is storage folders – plastic or paper, manilla folders etc. I just like to protect paper which is often in my handbag. I think it’s unprofessional to have damaged papers. And back when i went to university, I’d need one per subject (easier than a binder). But now I have a stock pile.

    As far as buying goes, I think I need to stop buying ornamental bird cages. The hardest thing will be kindly telling my mum, who relishes FINALLY having something she can give to me (I’m hard to buy for). Likewise, she gives me an ‘egg’ every year (decoative). I just dont know where to store them. They are, however, displayed, as are the birdcages.

    And I certainly don’t need any more scarves! Or shoes – I have at least 25 since the cull, and even still, a lot are infrequently worn. For example, i have 3x heeled boots, 1 x flat boots, 1 x crocs boots (never really worn, but just purchased – hurt my feet :( ), and a pair of steel capped boots for work.

  • #178076

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    As far as pure clutter goes – meaning something I don’t use that is taking up space that I can’t quite get rid of – for me that’s vintage clothing items and accessories. I used to live somewhere more fashion forward than my present location (where going out wearing a vintage hat at a jaunty angle would be seen as a cry for help and not a fashion statement) and so these lovely hats, gloves, handbags, scarves, jewelry have been sitting unused in my closet for years. I need to either EBay them individually or take them with me to a larger city and sell them to a vintage store.

    My other big clutter item is craft supplies. That seems to be a pretty common vice. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I appear to be more of a collector-of-craft-supplies than a crafter and declutter accordingly.

  • #178083
    Profile photo of Sesberry
    Sesberry
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Yarn. Urgh, so much yarn. Not so much the full skeins, that’s under control, rather the leftovers. I have 2 full plastic crates of little balls of yarn and it grows with every project.

    My husband is buying this for our study and that’s going to be my yarn storage. I’m not allowing myself to overflow from it.

    And I got some warp cotton at the weekend so I can weave a couple of stripy blankets with all the leftovers and get them out of the house! Hoping to warp up the loom this evening and get going!

    However, when this is done, I worry about future leftovers. I guess I could save them up in the drawers until I have a blanket-full and weave another one! If it was cheapy acrylic then I maybe I could chuck it, but most of my yarn is nice stuff that I wouldn’t want to throw away.

  • #178115
    Profile photo of jsights
    jsights
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I think I’ve done a pretty good job of decluttering, but there are 2 areas that plague me – clothes and makeup. The makeup isn’t too bad, I have it all confined to 1 smallish train case. Also, I went through a fire in November and had to throw it all out, so I’m trying very hard to not buy as much. I don’t wear makeup daily, but when I go out I love bold eyeshadow.

    Clothes – I wish I could stick to jeans and Tshirt, and on a daily basis I can, but again, when I go out, I like to dress up a bit, so I have maybe a half dozen dressy shirts, and I love love love armwarmers and fingerless gloves. I have an over-the-closet shoe rack where I store these and my tights. And crazy socks. I tried doing the one style white and one style black socks for a while, but I love crazy socks too much.

    I do make sure to go through my closet every few month and get rid of things I don’t wear anymore. It’s not out of control, but I would like to have less. Oh well, maybe one of these days I’ll get there. But if clothes and accessories are my worst clutter, I’ll live with it for now.

  • #178116
    Profile photo of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Hi, Sesberry. I like your craft storage idea. Maybe you could put the future leftovers in a clear plastic bag and place that inside one of the drawers. That way you could see what/where the leftovers are, then use them to make something instead of throwing them away.

    And, jsights, you had a fire? I am so sorry. Are you ok now? Did you lose anything that was irreplaceable?

  • #178118
    Profile photo of shebolt
    shebolt
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I’ve got two: “incoming” and paper. Incoming is anything that I bring with me into the house – my bag, groceries, mail, and so on. I just dump the items by the door and sometimes ignore them for weeks. Groceries get taken care of immediately, but my reusable bags sometimes sit on the floor of the kitchen until the next time I go shopping. New items, like cleaning products or clothes, sometimes sit in their bags for weeks. Or sometimes the bags sit around. Mail often gets dumped on a table and ignored until it’s a huge pile (but I guess that’s not really clutter, according to one person on this forum.).

    Paper is an offshoot of this. It starts with the pile of mail. Then, I grab the pile, recycle what I can, and sort the rest into various piles on the dining room table. And those piles sit there, rather than making their way to their real homes. My desk is a similar mess, with the “to file” bin overflowing all of the time, and the “to do” bin filled with stuff I meant to do months ago. This is why the piles stay on the dining room table -there’s no room in my office for more. Ugh.

  • #178119
    Profile photo of jsights
    jsights
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    SunshineR, thanks for the sentiment. Yes, I’m ok. The fire was actually in the apartment unit next to mine, so thankfully we just had smoke and water damage, but any kind of toiletry, food item, anything like that had to be thrown away to be safe. We (my fiance and I) didn’t lose much, maybe only 5% of what we owned. It could have been a lot worse.

    And a point of pride for me, when the restoration company my insurance paid for came to pack up all our stuff to clean and evaluate it, they said we were by far the best, most organized job they’d ever had. Thank you, Unclutterer! :)

  • #178124
    Profile photo of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    jsights: wow, glad to hear you are ok. What a happy ending to a bad event.

  • #178143
    Profile photo of Nikki
    Nikki
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I attempted to unclutter my study yesterday and was surprised to find out what my clutter vices are. My three biggest ones:

    1. Notebooks. I have big, three-ring-binder notebooks, A4 notebooks, tiny notepads, unlined notebooks, 7 extra notebooks only for use with my digital pen, travel notebooks, and Moleskine journals. I have no idea why or when I collected all this stuff, as most of the time I store things I need to write down on my smartphone.

    2. Pens. Yup, I’m one of THOSE. Except I don’t collect just any pens; I use a very specific pen which I have imported from overseas. I have about 5 unused ones and two dozen refills. Not to mention the markers! Sharpies make my heart go all aflutter. I have about three of the plain black ones with dual tips (one which can double as a pen in case I run out of pens!), a set of the colored ones, and worst of all, the tiny ones that fit into your palm. I cannot stop buying these tiny little things. I have never used them and probably will never use them. But they’re so cute!

    3. The boxes that electronics come in. All right, this might be a strange one but it’s probably my biggest clutter vice. I’m a huge, HUGE fan of technology and have lots of them strewn around my home. For some reason, though, I can’t bring myself to throw out the boxes they come in. It’s not because I’m saving them in case I want to resell them later; if I get tired of a gadget I usually pass it to my partner or one of his children. I just love that freshly opened, brand new from the store smell. I keep all the manuals, tape, plastic, etc. in place. I really have no idea why, as I will NEVER use them again. Yesterday I bit the bullet, ignored the screaming crazy person in my head, and threw out all the documentation and paper and plastic inside all the Apple boxes I’ve accumulated. They’re clear plastic and quite beautiful to my technology-addled brain, so I’ve repurposed them into containers for knicknacks on my desk. I have about 7 of them, and the iPod Nano ones are particularly good for holding those twisty wires that are handy for keeping cables together or staples. Okay, so I haven’t actually thrown them out, but at least now they’re providing SOME use.

  • #178149
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    it is hard to get rid of apple packaging! it’s all so beautifully presented….it really is part of my apple fangurl problem!
    i recycle it… reluctantly.

  • #178151
    Profile photo of Rosa
    Rosa
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    sesberry, ideas for using up little bits of good yarn:

    *stripey scarf, mittens, neckwarmer, etc – smaller than a blanket.
    *small felted flowers and other decorations for other projects
    *little stuffed animals & doll clothing

    I actually got a gorgeous “crochet & felt” flower pattern for a friend for Christmas – it included purse & hat patterns to put the flowers on, but you could put them on anything really.

  • #178161
    Profile photo of Astreja
    Astreja
    Participant

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    My clutter vice is musical instruments and associated gadgets.

    In the room where I’m sitting (a tiny little office that’s perhaps 6′ x 12′), I can see a steel string guitar, two keyboards and a clarinet. There’s a bass amplifier under this desk.

    There are 4 more guitars, a violin, an alto recorder, a soprano recorder, a bodhran (Irish drum) and a third keyboard, a 19-year-old synthesizer, in or atop the closet behind me. In addition, there’s a plastic bin full of assorted cables and a couple of guitar effects pedals (fuzz and wah-wah).

    When I was teaching guitar about five years ago, I went through a phase where I wanted one of every possible type of guitar. Now only the electric guitar and the bass get used, and not nearly as often as I would like.

    I’m still fond of that old synthesizer but have no floor space to set it up. If I thought I had a halfway reasonable chance of *not* completely destroying it in the attempt, I’d take out the sound module and mount it in a rack (It can be controlled from the computer or from one of the smaller keyboards).

    The clarinet stays, because that’s my main instrument and I play it almost every day. The violin stays, at least for now. (I intend to resume lessons eventually.) Two of the guitars and the amp are staying for sure, along with the effects pedals. I’m hoping to find new homes for the other instruments, some place where they can be played regularly by someone who appreciates them.

    As for the ‘why’ of it all, I think this started back in 1964 or so, when I got a toy drum kit and then my first guitar. The piano showed up next, then a better piano (but my parents kept the first one, setting a bad precedent). By the time I was out of college I was working at a musical instrument wholesaler and things had gotten completely out of hand… :-D

  • #178166
    Profile photo of Sesberry
    Sesberry
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    SunshineR – yeah that’s a good idea – I’m doing it already with sock yarn leftovers but for some reason the thicker yarns get strewn around. However, last night I warped up my loom with a warp long enough for 2 medium-sized blankets so I can get started on turning those boxes of random balls into something cosy and lovely! Going to have one pink/white/brown (neapolitan!) one for the spare room and a crazy rainbow one for the car.

    Rosa – I love the felted flowers idea, I saw a few crochet patterns recently actually, I’ll have to try them :) I was watching Music and Lyrics over christmas and saw a gorgeous headband Drew Barrymore was wearing,

    So cute and a great use for small amounts of yarn I think!

    One month’s time, when the study is redecorated and I’ve bought the drawers, is when I’m going to have to be brutal and freecycle any remaining tiny balls of stuff. So I’d better get cracking and turn them into something useful!

  • #178198
    Profile photo of Joless
    Joless
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I suddenly realised just yesterday that one of my biggest problems is ‘keeping the old one’. I’m getting good at 1-in-1-out for smaller or worn out things – buy new shoes = get rid of the old ones, because I wouldn’t have bought new ones if the old were still fine.

    But now we have lots of things we don’t use after we bought upgraded versions (mostly necessary after a house move to a larger plot). This has happened with the mower, the strimmer, dog training stuff, my bicycle, the printer, and even a car!

    None of it is really worth any actual money (except the car I hope!), although all of it is working fine, so I need to get on and give it away, or freecycle it or something.

  • #178240
    Profile photo of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Wire bail/Kilmer jars. I keep finding them at thrift stores and “rescuing” them. They do get used — for dry goods in the pantry — but I don’t need to keep buying them, especially now that we’re starting to downsize.

  • #178242

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Put me down for bags and tools.

  • #178244
    Profile photo of Parsifal
    Parsifal
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Books, definitely. I’m working on learning to like audio books and just buying a handful of nice hard-backed books every year, but I have to get rid of 20 years worth of crumbling paperbacks first.

  • #178249
    Profile photo of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I’m a lifelong magazine addict… got my first subscription at age 5, in a family where we all had multiple magazine and newspaper subscriptions, vast numbers of books, and we were all voracious readers.

    But now I’m trying to reform my habit with some new self-imposed rules. When I downsized from a 1400-sq-ft flat to a 200-sq-ft studio, I had to clear out hundreds of magazines. Beloved magazines, I should add… I adore Italian Vogue, Gastronomica, and shelter magazines such as Architectural Digest and my favorite, The World of Interiors. These are as beautiful as hardcover books to me, and I saved them in pristine condition on designated shelves. But the move forced me to let almost all of them go, sold on eBay, often for as much as $30 an issue since many were collectors items.

    Then I went for six months without buying or subscribing to any new magazines, but I suffered, oh how I suffered. I tried reading magazines from the library but I don’t like handling grungy mags with dirty crumpled pages. So I cautiously subscribed to three new magazines. I am being very strict with myself in enforcing my new rule: When the new issue arrives, I must immediately move last month’s issue down to the free box in the basement laundry room. So at any given time I have no more than three magazines in my studio. (Though now I am considering renewing my subscription to The New Yorker…)

  • #178254
    Profile photo of sdevjkt
    sdevjkt
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Free books. People leave them at work – I pick em up. The free bin at the library – I have to stop and look. But the past couple of months I have been resisting the temptation (or trying to). At least I have been getting rid of some books.

  • #178256

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    Oh Ella — life would be SO diminished without a New Yorker subscription!
    Books are my main vice, but I started a library at work and siphon off a lot of the book lust into that. (We now have more than 4,000 volumes there.) We also started a publishing venture, though, so now I have books I’ve written, edited or designed. I have been giving a lot away, though!

  • #178267
    Profile photo of suzjazz
    suzjazz
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    I was just thinking about this today–I am re-reading “It’s All Too Much.” I realized that about six months ago I went through my collection of recordings of my band on cassette tapes (I have at least 100 of them, plus about 100 tapes of other music that I never listen to.) I could not bring myself to part with very many of them. I have decided that I am going to narrow the collection down to 20 tapes. That will fill a small box instead of the several large plastic bins I have now collecting dust in my basement.
    I also have lots of artwork by my brother, my mom, and myself (all of us have artistic talent) that is filling up the back of a closet. I am going to go through it and be merciless. Artwork (when it is really good) is so hard to get rid of. These are my clutter vices (or maybe I should call them a clutter black hole!) There are many other clutter vices that I finally got control of, like collecting handbags,totes, and shoes. I have gotten rid of tons of the latter plus clothing. It’s not as hard to throw stuff in the trash as it used to be. I try to recycle anything made of plastic or paper, but a lot of stuff just has to go straight into a landfill.
    <sigh> I’m just as bad as hoarders who save junk because they want to recycle it and there is no place to take it.

  • #178411
    Profile photo of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    @sujazz- is there some way you could digitize the music on the tapes? So much easier to store….

  • #178426
    Profile photo of happymonkey
    happymonkey
    Member

    What is your clutter vice? Why?

    As weird as it sounds, my clutter vice is … weeknights! My husband works out of town during the week and flies home Friday nights, and I find every week that I’ve let things pile up around the house throughout the week. Virtually every Thursday night finds me running around catching up on laundry, dishes, cleaning off my nightstand and the area around my bed. Why, why, why??? I tell myself to spend a few minutes every night picking up and maintaining things, and every night I end up feeling exhausted and telling myself I’ll do it the following night. I’m hoping that one day soon my purging and organizing will finally catch up with things, and that I won’t have anything left to clutter things up!

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