Home Forums Challenges Sentimental Clutter Forced decluttering

This topic contains 21 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  Zora 6 years ago.

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  • #160312

    Parsifal
    Member

    Yesterday, I had an interesting experience: my soon-to-be ex moved out and left me the task of dealing with 75% of our joint stuff. The difficult items consisted of a full bedroom set and queen-size bed frame, a large entertainment center and several over-sized couches.

    I’ve moved to a small 1-bedroom apartment and couldn’t fit half this stuff even if I wanted it. To make matters worse, pets had damaged the couches to the point charities wouldn’t take them. The best offer I could get was to have Salvation Army come out in a few weeks and pick through what they wanted.

    Instead, I called 1-800-GOT-JUNK and just said ‘everything goes’. It was somewhat painful to pay $500 to have perfectly good furniture hauled away (probably to the same Salvation Army center). My thought was that I would have to miss work to wait on a charity, then pay to have some of what was left moved, then pay again to have the real junk that was left hauled off. Plus, if I didn’t manage to move it all by my move-out date, I would get charged AGAIN by the landlord.

    Anyway, I’m just curious whether this seems reasonable or crazy. I did cringe when they scraped giant gouges in the like-new dressers loading them onto a bent dolly, but I guess that’s why they call it ‘junk’. Anyone else ever choose to give up $1000s worth of furniture you could have moved because it just doesn’t fit your current lifestyle?

    P.S. I thought about posting the stuff on Craigslist (it was NICE furniture, not particle-board type stuff), but in my experience people get pickier the LOWER the price goes. How crazy is that?

  • #231752

    liag
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    I say kudos to you for the courage to unclutter. You did it, you are rid of the items; now just allow yourself to be rid of mind-cluttering bad back-thoughts. Moving on with a much cleaner slate will be a good trip. Just say “Done!” and pen chapter next.

  • #231759

    Swede
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    I would feel bad about the environment and trashing perfectly good stuff… πŸ™ But good on ya for doing what suited you at this time and getting it DONE.

  • #231762

    sleepykitten
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    I don’t really know what the GOT JUNK people *do* with furniture and such, but if they are donating/selling it to the Salvation Army or similar, then I think that was a reasonable solution to your problem. Like @Swede, I hope they don’t just trash the stuff, but since I don’t know what they do, I’m going to assume the best. Financially, I’d say it is a reasonable choice – basically, you paid $500 to solve a fairly big logistical problem quickly. You have enough going on with the move and breakup – both of which are emotionally difficult enough without having to spend a month dealing with stuff!

  • #231791

    chacha1
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    I agree. That was money well spent – it bought you time and space and peace of mind.

    I let about 75% of my stuff move out when an ex left. He even took the digital piano – which he couldn’t play. To me it was worth it, at that point (after a very miserable six months), to get him out of the house.

  • #231808

    Hansi
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    When I broke up with my ex wife I took a backpack and let her keep the rest. She needed the stuff better than me and I didn’t want to keep the stuff if she needed it more. It would feel selfish and i’m not that kind.

    Happy new starting day !

  • #231813

    bandicoot
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    i agree…for $500, you are DONE with the stuff and it requires no more energy from you.
    sounds like a bargain to me!

  • #231820

    Ella
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    Definitely a bargain! Although breakups and divorces are often difficult, prolonged, and painful, it sounds like both of you benefited by quickly decluttering the detritus.

  • #231822

    Forced decluttering

    Parsifal, that was a simple solution and cheap at the price. 1-800-GOT-JUNK does sort things before hauling the useless things to a landfill (at least in my area) so don’t feel bad about re-use and re-cycling, it’s all taken care of. Don’t dwell on the past and the break-up, turn your attention to your future.

  • #231826

    lucy1965
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    When I left my ex-husband, it was with the clothes on my back and my son. There’s nothing I miss from that life aside from the two cats, and they’ve passed from old age after being gloriously spoiled.

  • #231846

    luxcat
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    Parsifal I think you certainly made the right decision given the circumstances and the available options.

    You now can move forward with the confidence that you are a person who can make solid decisions in very difficult circumstances and get the job done. That’s HUGE!

    I saw in the other thread that you were able to salvage some of your own stuff and now have the task of sorting through it, but it sounds like you have a plan for that in place and at least the emergency is over with the big items and potential hassle and costs.

    Good work!

    oh, and in curiosity I looked it up they do donate and recycle as much as they can

    http://www.1800gotjunk.com/us_en/Environment/Environment_FAQ.aspx

  • #231859

    Rosa
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    Parsifal, that’s my experience too – people value more expensive stuff, instead of looking more closely at it.

    And I think what you did was not just reasonable, but decisive and sane. Picking over the stuff is just painful and pointless, once a relationship is broken. A friend of mine still has porch furniture that was once nice dining room furniture that her ex made a really big angry deal about how it was his and he was going to come pick it up…15 years ago. Every time I go by her house I want to set that table on fire.

  • #232108

    adragon
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    I think you made a good decision – as others have said, you don’t have to dwell on it or take time out of your life to deal with it, it’s GONE and you can continue on with your life.

  • #232115

    lucy1965
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    Rosa, what???

  • #232117

    Rosa
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    I KNOW RIGHT??

    I mean, she does use it, I’ve sat at that table on the porch and played card games at parties. But still. 15 years and he hasn’t come to get the last of his crap.

    Actually thinking about it I have an even better story: after my dad moved out, during my parents interminable divorce, my dad would call my mom on the regular to shout at her for keeping “his” boat. But he would never come and get the dumb thing (he had moved to another state). Finally after the divorce went through (I think it was 2 years? I had moved out myself by then so I’m not quite sure) her lawyer told her to send him a letter saying she was going to start charging him storage fees on it. Then he came and got it. Or at least gave her permission to sell it.

  • #232118

    Meglet
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    Sometimes you just have to get the dealing-with over in one big swoop – even if it costs money and has maybe-questionable endpoints, there are times that is completely worth it. It sounds like this was one of those times.

    I’ve never used the 1-800-Got-Junk people (although I’ve thought about it a few times) but it sounds like SA and Craigslist were really not good options here, especially with the time involved.

    So good for you in going ahead and just getting it done, now you can move on and not have to keep dealing with it over and over.

  • #232124

    lucy1965
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    I’m thinking an ax, maybe some marshmallows . . . .

  • #232125

    Parsifal
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    So far I’ve managed to find good homes for everything, particularly a Cuisinart food processor, although I’m behind on my goal of getting rid of 5 things every day. The GOT-JUNK people were prompt and professional, assuring me that the stuff would most likely be recycled at a thrift shop. I’ve had worse luck with CraigsList, selling a few high-dollar items at a BIG markdown, but mostly it has been a waste of time. I no longer sell anything worth less than $50 because people miss appointments, ask all kinds of crazy questions and generally act like cheapskates.

    I haven’t found anything worthy of burning yet, but it’s a thought…

  • #232132

    fields_of_green
    Participant

    Forced decluttering

    Parsifal, given your time and space constraints, I think you made an excellent move.

    A few years ago, I replaced my twin bed with a queen bed. The bed came from a house that was intended to be a second home for my parents. The second home idea never really materialized because it was too difficult. One parent passed away, and circumstances changed. In a sense, that home became very large scale clutter, and eventually the decision was made to rent it out.

    There was a matched set of a queen bed, two night stands, and a dresser at that house that needed to be brought home when it was rented out. The dresser was put to good use in a hallway, and the nightstands found a home. But bringing in the bed involved getting rid of my twin bed.

    Although it’s a nice piece of furniture, nicer than what it replaced in terms of quality, it’s a decision that I quickly came to regret. It’s too large for my room and I’ve never been able to adjust to it. It’s hard to vacuum around it, it’s impossible to vacuum under it effectively, because it’s too low to the ground and because it’s too heavy for me to move. (Two details I failed to realize until it was set up.) I also miss the floor space I previously had. I miss it more than I thought it would. I know that the general consensus is that a twin bed is only for children, but I am not a tall person, and I never had a problem with it. And on a housekeeping level, I miss the smaller sheets when I’m doing laundry and it’s hard to make up the bed.

    Now I’m seriously considering getting rid of this bed and buying a new twin bed (the old one is gone.) I want to go back to a bed that doesn’t dominate the whole room, something light enough for me to move myself so that I can vaccuum underneath. This would not be an easy step, because I’d have to buy a new bed and have it delivered. I’d also have to enlist help to get rid of the queen which really bothers me because I prefer to take care of things myself whenever possible. I’m kicking myself that it’s coming down to this. I wish I realized a few years ago that the bed simply didn’t fit my room or my lifestyle.

    Uncluttering things that I can load into my passenger car is nice, as I can do that myself. This is going to be hard and also embarrassing. I’d be repurchasing something I let go of. I would also be letting go of something that has a lot of life left in it, but that I cannot donate (charities would probably take the frame, but not the mattress due to public concerns about bed bugs. It would have to go directly to the recycling center.) I feel guilty that I was wasteful letting go of the old bed, and I will be wasteful again, if/when I let go one this one. I am struggling with this, because it would be more economical to continue to use the bed until the mattress goes bad, but I might have to wait 15-20 years for that to happen.

    I’ve heard the mantra that no matter how nice something is, if it doesn’t fit in your living space, it won’t work. Now when I hear that, I think of this bed.

    But I won’t set fire to it.

    …I’m sorry Rosa, I couldn’t resist. πŸ˜‰

  • #232133

    Rosa
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    No problem. Just because I daydream about it doesn’t mean I actually encourage arson.

  • #232134

    lucy1965
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    But . . . s’mores!

    (Oh, man, I do not know how many years it has been since I’ve had those. “Too many” is obviously the correct answer.)

  • #232135

    Zora
    Member

    Forced decluttering

    I recently switched beds with Mike and Jeff, my gay roomies. They had been sleeping on a twin bed and I had the queen, left over from my marriage. I don’t know how they stood it for so long. I kept suggesting that we switch bedrooms, but they balked. Finally they agreed to switching beds. Boy oh boy was that a production! But I digress.

    Mike and Jeff are happier, even if their bedroom is more crowded. I’m having trouble adjusting to a twin after more than thirty years sleeping on a queen. I rolled off the bed the second night πŸ™‚ It wouldn’t be so bad were it not that three of my cats insist on sleeping with me. If I turn over carelessly, I roll onto a cat. Had I the money, I think I would get another queen bed πŸ™‚

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