Getting to know you wrap up

Over the course of the last week, I’ve been reading all of your wonderful comments to our Getting to Know You post. Wow! I never imagined such a robust response!! Thank you, thank you.

One of the things that impressed me was the positive attitude present in almost every single one of the comments. When you talked about the organization challenges that you face in your homes and offices it wasn’t with a sense of defeat, but with the attitude that you just haven’t found the solution. It was truly inspiring.

We took notes on your topic suggestions and have a lot of great ideas for future posts. The list is long, and here are a few excerpts from the list:

  • Eco-friendly solutions
  • How to help parents transition to retirement communities
  • Inherited clutter
  • Kid-related clutter
  • Non-permanent options for people who rent
  • Options for our non-US readers
  • Organizing digital data
  • Paper clutter
  • Photograph and video organization
  • Productivity and time management

Another thing worth mentioning is that many people said that they enjoy reading post comments. I agree. Almost every day I learn another technique or strategy for organizing my home and office from reading the comments. Every now and again we get a bad apple comment, but for the most part they are helpful and informed. If a particular post speaks to you, then be sure to watch and contribute to the comments.

I also want to thank everyone for the compliments you gave to Matt, Teri, Brian, and me. We appreciate your kind words.

If you didn’t make suggestions for future post topics in the comments section of the Getting to Know You post, feel welcome to leave your ideas in the comments to this post. We want to help you, so voice your opinions! And, stay tuned for future reader inspired posts.

29 Comments for “Getting to know you wrap up”

  1. posted by Bethany on

    I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days, and I think it’d be great if unclutterer had a forum. Unclutterer already has a great community of helpful people, and it’d nice if we all had a place to talk. I’d personally love it because it’d give me a chance to get input on a couple of organizational challenges I have. I’m not sure how much people could possibly talk about decluttering, but with the big community here already, perhaps it could work.

  2. posted by Sarah on

    If we go with Bethany’s idea, we could all verbally abuse those “bad apples” for you. We’d be your muscle.
    I’m kidding, of course, but I do like her idea.

    I just cleaned my fridge. Now I want to move into it.

  3. posted by Claudia on

    Love your site. I just wanted to add that, after reading the comments from the “getting to know you” post, I noticed a recurring theme about people in relationships having to get their significant other (not just parents) into the decluttering mindset. So I’d suggest that as an additional topic we’d like to see posts about. Or, maybe just broaden the topic related to the parents moving to a retirement home and talk about how to get families/friends/significant others motivated to declutter.

  4. posted by Rae on

    I meant to respond to the “getting to know you” post, but forgot :). One thing I would really love to see is super-budget-friendly ideas. A lot of the specific products that you’ve recommended are fantastic, but I would never be able to afford them on my tight budget. The homemade or from-the-hardware-store ideas are what I really need!

    I come from a long line of clutterers. In the last few months, I have made de-stressing a top priority in my life. This site is really helping – as one of your posts says, clutter can be stressful! I am slowly incorporating many of your great ideas, and the results have been great so far.

  5. posted by Springpeeper on

    Here’s an idea for the site that may be of interest:
    along the lines of the Unitasker, what about presenting “Multitaskers”, that is, innovative uses for some of the objects we own. For example, the back of my iPod is so shiny and mirrorlike that I don’t need to carry a small mirror in my bag… the iPod serves! It’s a multitasker!

    I’d prefer to see more ideas about ways to unclutter and fewer suggestions about products we could buy (especially software). In my experience, adding more “stuff” seldom helps to unclutter, no matter how useful these objects appear to be.

  6. posted by Lise on

    Hear hear on the inherited clutter topic. I have a real problem that my mother loads me down with all kinds of things I don’t need or want. I know she means well and just wants to provide for me, but she misses more than hits, and my house just keeps filling up with all this stuff.

    Also I would love to see a forum as well!

  7. posted by Lori on

    I was a terrible clutter queen as a teen. I’ve made a lot of progress, but still fight the urge in certain areas of my life (paper, keepsakes, my studio and workspace). Beyond clutter management, I’m always looking for great ideas for organizing workspaces (both real and virtual) and being greener in my everyday life. I, too, almost always learn something from reading the comments.

  8. posted by PrairieGal on

    I could talk about decluttering everyday – I love organizing and I read Unclutterer everyday. So if there was a forum, I would definitely use it, but I also like being able to respond to specific topics.

    Lise – Here’s a tip. My grandma does this to me too. You can say “thank you” then drop it off at goodwill. Or do what I do and say “No, I don’t need Auntie Elsie’s old tupperware and homemade dresses, and if you give it to me, I’m going to donate it to goodwill.”

    I need help with digital photos too. I don’t know how to organize them so I can find them later, and I would like to put together digital photo albulms (or slideshows), but I’m not sure the best way to do this.

  9. posted by Emily on

    I’m with Rae on needing budget-friendly solutions. Plus, if you can reuse something you already have on hand instead of buying new, then it’s also a greener solution! (Our favorite salad greens come in clear plastic containers with lids. We use ’em to store cat toys, colored pencils, etc.)

    More non-permanent ideas for renters would be great! Recently a “workbench in a closet” idea was posted, which is perfect for my husband who needs to tinker but has no garage. We love ideas that can be rearranged to fit in our next place, and won’t put 20 holes in a wall that eat up our security deposit later on. 🙂

  10. posted by el on

    I’m an avid lurker of your site, but I just wanted to post a comment to say that I love it… and hello.

  11. posted by Meg from FruWiki and All About Appearances on

    Yeah, most of the topics there really apply to my husband and I — though we’re in the U.S and have cats instead of kids.

    A forum is a neat idea, but I admit, I read comments more than forums these days. There’s room for both, though.

    I agree about the multitaskers idea! It’s nice to know when shopping which items will really be more useful in the long run. I also love repurposing things I already have. (Along those lines, I’ve been gathering a lot of repurposing ideas for, the site I launched to collect, organize, and share all the frugal tips out there.)

    BTW, my husband and I started tackling our office last night. Aside from the back room full of yard sale stuff, it’s the last room for us to declutter. We’re working on it again tonight. We’re hoping to yard sale a lot of things Saturday so wish us luck. We’ve always been big about donating to Goodwill or Freecycling stuff, so we’re both astounded about how much stuff we managed to still find to declutter — especially books.

    In related news, on three of the book cases we have, I’ve now organized by color, and then by height on each shelf. It looks great — but my friends think I’m more nuts than ever.

  12. posted by Ms. Superiority on

    After reading the suggested post ideas, something about inherited clutter clicked with me. Sadly, a beloved cousin passed away a few weeks ago after a lengthy battle with liver disease. She was only 20 years old.

    This weekend my aunt asked me about organizing ideas for the piles of cards, prayer cards, and religious tokens that have been sent from all over the place in my cousin’s memory.

    I made a few suggestions as far as burying religious tokens in meaningful spots, like a garden or beneath a tree (of course, holding on to those with special meaning). But maybe because it’s family I was at a loss for how to deal with clutter that is so personal, and at least at this stage quite painful and important at the same time.

    I would love suggestions that would honor and simplify the storing of these items – or any other ideas you may have…

  13. posted by Camilla on

    Some excellent ideas there, nice to see the UK getting a little mention too. I’m impressed and pleased that you took the time to read through all those comments! 😀

  14. posted by Harris on

    Good list but I need help with my ATTIC…..PLEASE!!!!

  15. posted by Dee on

    I don’t know – I love the idea of a unclutterer forum just because I love to hear others ideas and mostly like to talk about how to improve my own stuff – buuuut – I love that this site is controlled through posting and by all of the great folks at Unclutterer, for some reason forums eventually can attract negative posters and more often than not the initial purpose for the forum becomes somewhat buried in all of the back and forths. As demonstrated in some previous posts on cook books and even on just plain reporting where unclutterer is mentioned in the press there has been some strangely heated responses.. .no control over your clutter + advice said clearly and nicely = a need to attack – who knows lol??!?

    I like this blogs writing “feel,” the great ideas, and the controlled content why mess with a good thing?

  16. posted by tay on

    @ Ms. Superiority
    I’m sorry for your loss. I don’t really have any great suggestions…but I thought maybe she could get a really huge frame or 2-3 frames of decent size and frame the cards and other items. I wouldn’t use every card and I would definately be particular about what items I use. And then she can choose where to hang it. She might even choose to put the frames in different locations if she goes with more than one frame.

  17. posted by tay on

    @ Ms. Superiority
    Also, I saw on a program (Goodness I can’t think of the name of it…the one that comes on television where they build these fantastic homes for well deserving people) where there was a family that lost their father/husband…and the decorators decided to pick one room and pick the most meaningful items, pictures, even phrases that the father used to say and they did a small shrine. The space included wall area and a table..It was really beautiful… I believe they actually did some writing on the wall itself.

  18. posted by Carolyn on

    (I, too, meant to post on the original topic and forgot.)

    Must second what Claudia mentioned above, as I have a husband who was raised to save EVERYTHING because he might need it someday. I can’t get rid of anything, except on the sly. Add to this the bad habits of accumulating things as memories (emotional clutter) as well as not following household Golden Rules (if you get it out, put it away, etc.), I don’t know where to start. No matter how much I clean or declutter or systemize, it just keeps coming, and nothing I do or say changes his mind about this situation.

    I love this site; it makes me feel like I’m not the crazy one.

  19. posted by Leslie on

    I love Unclutterer. I haven’t really implemented any of the ideas specifically yet, but I have seen some that I’ve already come up with and used on my own (like taking pictures of things that hold special memories and then getting rid of the thing) and that makes me feel so validated!

    I am a lifelong packrat who has finally recognized that I’m much happier when I can see the surfaces in my house and the things I choose to display and also find things that I want to use. I still have a long way to go, but I’m working on it. My husband is a packrat, too, so I would also love to see more on how to get the people you live with into the “unclutter” mindset.

    @PrairieGal: HP offers free online classes, many of which have to do with organizing your digital photos. They have different classes every month, so keep checking back. Here’s the link:

  20. posted by Katie on

    I check your RSS feed every day. I’m retired and struggling to shed stuff that I can no longer keep up with, and make room to enjoy things that are real priorities.

    I would be really grateful for a new tip or new link every day, even if it seems nearly trivial to you. Your writing style is very gentle and positive. It is like having a personal coach for this stuff which is very encouraging.

    I especially love your Minimalist Monday. And I love the inventory of your brother’s long haul trucking kit and that discussion.

    Thanks for doing this blog. It is a big help!

  21. posted by Susan K. Perry on

    Speaking of getting one’s mate to declutter, I found in my research for a book on long-term happy relationships (Loving in Flow) that this is a widespread quandary, but that it can be resolved. Imperfectly, of course. It’s a problem fraught with individual psychological issues. But here are a couple of tips: The clutterer is left free to pile things up in his own turf (one room, hopefully) and no one fusses at him. If your partner is someone who fears loss more than anticipating the joy of a clutter-free home, compromise. Help him or her figure out ways to organize all the “stuff” so it doesn’t interfere with daily life.

  22. posted by Sarah on

    @Susan K. Perry
    You sound so kind. I just nag.

  23. posted by Karyn on

    A couple of ideas come to mind:

    1. I’ve been “doing” the process for a number of years, now, digging my way out of the ingrained cluttering mindset and habits. What I’d like to know is how to help others struggling with the same issues. How do I articulate what I’ve lived and learned, in a way that will help others who admire the end result and would like to do the same for themselves?

    There is so much shame built around being cluttered, and a lot of underlying emotional “stuff” that has to be brought to the surface and processed by the person seeking to unclutter. Even when they WANT to break free of the mess, they find themselves meeting emotional blocks, not to mention the pragmatic “I just don’t know HOW to do it” obstacles.

    2. Following from your recent post about work-life priorities, I’d like to see more posts about work-life balance and issues related to that. For example, one way I’ve simplified is to get rid of my car and arrange my life so that I now live where public transportation is good, many things are within walking distance of my home, and my job is directly on a bus line with an average commute of about 15 minutes. And it appears that a lot of people are interested in discussing HOW to go about creating work and a life that they would love.

  24. posted by Dana on

    I’m fairly new to this site but very happy to have found it. I’ve found great help and inspiration here, so applause and thanks.

    Inherited clutter is definitely my primary issue – in my case it’s from the death of my spouse a couple of years ago. I’ve made it through the easy stuff, but there’s still a lot of more meaningful things – books, framed diplomas and awards from his university office – that it’s difficult to know what to do with, especially since they’re meaningful not only to me but to our son. And it can be difficult to know how to maintain physical reminders of his memory and his place in our family without creating a shrine.

    I’m also interested in the spiritual discipline of simplicity and especially in passing along to kids resistance to a culture of acquisition and consumption. In spite of this, I’m fiercely pro-gadget and love reviews and articles that help in separating the truly useful from the junk.

  25. posted by H20 on

    Yeah…it’s nice reading ’bout multitaskers, not necessarily to own it, just getting info, then some readers would comment (in the unclutter way)

  26. posted by Andamom on

    Another thing to focus on is the psychological nature of clutter. While I preach about it to family, friends, and whoever will listen — I think that you’re probably more tactful with certain people – say my mother-in-law. I could show her your article and she might walk away with more of a realization that change is needed… Of course, I might just like to read about your take on it…

  27. posted by el on

    Do you have any ideas for yearbooks? I have a yearbook for every year from 5th grade to my senior year in high school. I never look at them, and I want digitize them, but I haven’t been able to find a place that will do that for me. I thought about digitizing myself, but it’s too time consuming.

  28. posted by i’ll save you! : infomusings on

    […] On the wrap-up short-list: Photograph and video organization. […]

  29. posted by George on

    I’d like a forum too. I already read uncluttering type threads on (a UK site) where people cheer each other on with decluttering and count things in and out every day/week and even publish before and after photos. Be also nice for us Non-US to share ideas.

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