Home Forums Living Spaces Bedrooms Out with the old – and then make do?

This topic contains 22 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  needtocleanhouse 8 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #159338


    Hello! 2011 has been an incredible year for me on the uncluttering front – I have literally gotten rid of hundreds of bags of bags representing thousands of items, including not only surface clutter, but excess items from my cabinets, closets, and drawers. Even in my storage area, I’m down to five boxes (three of which contain seasonal/holiday items and two of which contain photo albums and other keepsakes). When I started, I had over 50 boxes.

    For the most part, uncluttering has been very freeing. I love seeing the floors of my closets, and opening drawers knowing all the items in there are neatly folded or placed and readily available. I have been discarding without replacing anything but perishables, and even then, I have scaled back my food purchases to items I’m sure I will actually use in a given week or before the expiration date, rather than cramming my pantry cabinets, fridge, and freezer full of unnecessary items just so that I’ll have “choices.”

    However, now that I’m just about done, I’m struggling with the decision regarding whether or not to replace a few worn-out items. First, I would absolutely love to replace all of my bedding. My pillows are stained and lumpy, both of my comforters are faded and ripped in places, and I think all my sheets have just absorbed too much body oil over the years, as they feel grimy within a day or two of washing. I’ve had this bedding for 5+ years, and used it with my now-ex-husband before we split a couple years ago (another reason I don’t love it)! That being said, my bed is, overall, pretty comfortable, and after my typical 14+ hour workdays I’m exhausted enough to sleep just fine.

    As I said, I’d love a bedding overhauls, including pillows, a couple new sets of sheets, and a pretty comforter set. I’d enjoy my bedroom much more – it’s a small 8′ x 10′ alcove in my jr. one-bedroom basement apartment, so my queen bed takes up the majority of the space in the room. But, as I said, I don’t really “need” these things, and I’m wondering if I’m just engaging in the rampant consumerism that plagued me in the past. Thoughts? If I got new bedding I’d definitely pitch the old bedding immediately, so no worries about clutter building up again.

    My other question is regarding whether I should replace my five-year-old laptop. The DVD drive no longer works reliably, and a couple of the key covers are coming off, making it difficult to type (which is annoying because I need to work from home for a good number of hours each weekend). The hard drive is pretty small. That being said, it has a nice 17″ screen and decent sound, so it’s fine for listening to music, watching Netflix, and using the Internet. Given its age, I don’t think it’s worth repairing the keys and DVD drive. But again, I’m wondering if I should make do with it for a while longer and just deal with the keyboard annoyances.

    Money isn’t the issue with either of these things – just trying to balance my new uncluttered philosophy with the feeling that I ought to be able to have a few quality things that I will use daily and enjoy. Also, on a related note, I’m wondering if the bad feelings/annoyances about things that don’t make me feel good or work well are also “clutter” that I should toss.

    So, out with the old, and in with the new? Or out with the old, and for now, make do?

  • #187559


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    Neither of those replacements sound like consumer indulgences. Both the bedding and the laptop are old, worn, and less than completely functional. If you’ve got the money, get crisp new bedding and a modern laptop. That’s your reward for decluttering!

    The old bedding could go to a veterinary clinic, where it could be used for the patients, and the laptop might be given away to a techie who might want it for parts. Sometimes two old, non-functional computers can be made into one functional computer.

  • #187561

    Out with the old – and then make do?

    Uncluttering isn’t (necessarily) about martyrdom. If things no longer serve you, replacing is fine.

    We like to replace our stuff before it dies so that we have some breathing space to search for what we want and do some research to get the best product at the best price. It’s easier to do this before it becomes a crisis and you need something right away.

    No need to feel guilty!

    Some of the questions I ask myself:
    * Am I responding to my own need or reacting to advertising or other external cues?
    * Can we afford it?
    * How long does the product typically last? We try to make our things last longer than typical. The average laptop last 3-5 years, so you have got your money’s worth out of it. Oily sheets and lumpy pillow need replacing.

  • #187562


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    I agree with Zora – neither of those things are frivolous indulgences. So toss the mental clutter of not enjoying your bed to the fullest, or getting the most out of your laptop, and get new ones!

    (Caveat: Recovering bedding-aholic here. In a perfect world, I’d have new bedding every month! Just for the visual change.)

  • #187564


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    Edieemme, I wouldn’t bother getting the laptop computer fixed. You could, however, buy or borrow a cheap USB keyboard (probably less than $20) and use that instead of the keyboard on the laptop.

  • #187567

    Out with the old – and then make do?

    My vote: If money is not an issue: BUY NOW and pitch the bed stuff and give the computer away. Comfort and utility and beauty and enjoyment enhance life, not clutter it. Rampant consumerism does not seem to apply here. Sounds like you need replacement bed stuff and laptop (especially since it is used for work and the loose keys make it inefficient). I might even go a step further and say it might be a form of deprivation not to replace the things. So yes, it might be a form of clutter to keep the things that bring you discomfort. You work hard for the money so may as well enjoy it or enjoy the comfort it can bring.

    Congratulations on your decluttering as well. What an accomplishment!

  • #187569


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    Wow Edieemme! 45 boxes of stuff gone from your life. That is really fantastic!

    All good advice from the posters above. Here is another “Yes” vote. Absolutely buy new bedding and a laptop. The laptop can be given away for parts, or recycled for the raw elements. Nice comfortable bedding is one of the small pleasures in life and the old fabric can be used by dog shelters.

  • #187570


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    What are the questions you ask before uncluttering: do I use it, do I need it, do I love it? Seems like the first 2 answers are yes and the 3rd one no. So go and treat yourself to something high quality which will last and you will enjoy using. Little things which are a pleasure to use improve the quality of life, and well made things last longer even if they can be more expensive.

  • #187572


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    i think you already made your choice, especially for the bedding. your heart knows that you deserve new beddings πŸ˜‰ so buy new one, donate the old ones and feel good. you did an amazing job on the 45 boxes and many bags! new bedding seem to be a good reward as they are no re-cluttering.
    concerning the laptop: you note the nice screen and decent sound. so iΒ΄d say: if it still works “ok”: keep it. if you have serious limitations, replace it. i mean, if you work from home, a laptop is one of the the basic needs!

  • #187577


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    After reading all of your responses, I think it’s definitely time to let go of the old bedding and laptop. They don’t bring me joy or contribute to my remarkable life, and having uncluttered excess items, I have room in my life for a few high-quality things that I will be able to use and love.

    So, thanks for all your encouragement! Looks like I have some shopping to do. πŸ™‚ As well as some emotional uncluttering!

  • #187589


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    edieemme, just in case you need one more vote- I think you deserve new bedding and a new computer.

  • #187590


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    There was a really nice article on replacing things on Get Rich Slowly this morning – she was talking about money issues, but I think it hits clutter issues too. Eventually you have to wean yourself back into the “real world” as a decluttered person.

    One of the suggestions in the article was to give yourself permission to spend a certain amount of fun money and increase it regularly til you hit a sustainable level – I wonder if the issue you’re having is fear of sliding back into overbuying, and practicing one-in one-out with the bedding & computer would help?

  • #187592


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    What an inspiring post! Congratulations on all your hard work.

    I also vote for investing in some easy to wash, memory-free, comfy and cheery bedding that will make you happy. Make sure you don’t cheap out… buy stuff that will wash well and that you think you’ll like for the long term. It’s an investment in your health and happiness, and those are two things that are worth it.

    Ditto to the laptop. You might however get a quote to get it repaired and the memory upgraded before making a final decision to buy a new one…

  • #187614


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    Very inspiring. I love a clean closet floor, myself. πŸ™‚

    Not that my “yes” vote is needed, but I certainly agree. Stuff you USE almost always has a shelf life, and it sounds as though the bedding and laptop passed their expiration date quite some time ago.

    I am holding out for holiday sales to replace our towels … they are having their ten-year anniversary along with me and DH this fall, and in the case of towels, ten years is PLENTY of service!

    Note on sheets. I used to think there couldn’t be much of a difference with higher thread counts. Until I slept on some. Going up from budget sheets to at least mid-range, next time.

  • #187617

    Out with the old – and then make do?

    edieemme – I vote for replacing the bedding and the computer. For things you use all the time having quality stuff will make all the difference. I slept for years on a 20+ year old mattress and when I got a new one I couldn’t believe the difference. Last year I finally bought some nice pillows and I notice I sleep better and have FAR fewer headaches then I used to. As long they are replacements not extras I think it is save to say you are still uncluttered.

    Though you could probable keep the old lap top and use it to watch Netflix while you work.

  • #187621


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    Add another vote for lovely comfy new bedding and sweet dreams! After all it is, as they say, one third of your life.

    And if your computer usage is anything like mine, that might account for another third of your life! πŸ˜€

    I have a hunch that those two new purchases will do wonders to help chase away the stale old feelings.

  • #187623


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    and another vote for replacing the worn out stuff in your life.
    if you have used things up, you definitely get to replace them!
    one in, one out….no excess, no clutter, no fuss.

  • #187624


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    Well, one out of two down!

    I shopped carefully today (online) for my bedding items and am really happy with what I ended up selecting. At first I was in love with one of those all-out comforter sets – you know, the type with several interestingly-shaped decorative pillows and multiple shams and all the frills. But when I thought about it – piling on so many pieces just seemed like overkill for my rather petite bedroom.

    So I decided on a scaled-back look, but with a bit of flair – I didn’t want to be entirely utilitarian either. My favorite decor colors at the moment are brown and blue, so I ended up choosing a rich chocolate comforter, paired with a mid-range 400 TC ivory sheet set, along with four new pillows. I skipped the shams and bedskirt, but for a bit of color, I added a pair of pretty blue throw pillows. Can’t wait to get all the pieces, put my new decor together – and, of course, unclutter the items that are well past their prime!

    Next up – computer shopping!

  • #187651


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    Your laptop is 100 years old in computer years (like dog years except 1 people year = 20 laptop years).

  • #187652

    Out with the old – and then make do?

    Just wondering – would a regular computer work better for you at home? Mine is easier to work from than my laptop. Just throwing in a thought.

    I’ve been looking at laptops and looking at that new google chrome (cloud) too. Would you mind sharing the information that you find? I’m looking for one too. I’m especially interested in LONG battery life! πŸ™‚

  • #187869


    Out with the old – and then make do?

    Okay, my new laptop has been ordered as well! I chose a mid-range Dell with a 17″ screen, which should serve as a desktop replacement but be portable enough for the occasional business trip or other out-of-home work session (the reason I went with a laptop rather than a desktop – I don’t think I would have wanted aything smaller, though). I’m not sure about battery life – given that it’s on the larger side I suspect battery life won’t be more than a couple hours, but I don’t think I’ll be working too often in places where I wouldn’t be able to plug it in, so that wasn’t really a top concern for me.

    I’ve decided the old laptop won’t be “uncluttered,” but will be given to my children (ages 7 and 3) to use on the days they are with me instead of their father. They are both very interested in computers and can have fun banging around on it as long as it’s still basically functional, and I can store it out of sight in an empty drawer (something I have plenty of after uncluttering my whole apartment!) when it’s not in use so it doesn’t take up surface space. And if they spill something on it or pop off the keys – not a huge deal. (The new laptop will be off-limits, though!)

    All in all, a good solution, I think. Thanks again for everyone’s support in allowing myself to enjoy my new life!

  • #187875

    Out with the old – and then make do?


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