Home Forums Before and After Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

This topic contains 40 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  Denise 11 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #158358

    AJ
    Member

    I always thought I wasn’t very sentimental about things, but after decluttering I realise I have zero sentimentality about things. It rather shocks me how little stuff means to me.

    My OH claimed to not be sentimental about things, but in the process of decluttering he’s found himself to be more sentimental than he would like to be.

    I’ve also been a “straightener” but it used to be straightening piles of stuff so they “looked” a bit tidier! But now the place is decluttered, everything has to be straightening. Books, furniture, etc. My OH said “Enough” when I got out the spirit level to check whether the tv was straight. The perfectionist in me that originally stopped me from decluttering (everything had to be decluttered perfectly and precisely) has come to the fore. And that I do find disconcerting.

    So what have you found out about yourself, good or bad, during decluttering?

  • #162635

    toberead
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    One thing I’ve noticed is that your uncluttering strategy depends a lot on your circumstances. Six months ago I moved into an apartment that has a washing machine, the first time in 18 years that I’ve had my own. And it has made me rethink my wardrobe. When I had to spend 3-4 hours in a noisy laundromat every time I wanted to wash a load of clothes, it made sense to have at least 3 weeks worth of clothes, and I made that work in the most uncluttered way possible. But now I can see much more clearly which clothes I really love, and which ones I wore just because it was better than going to the laundromat. I’ve run into other issues like this – what I need and use and what I can discard depends a lot on where I’m living, what I’m doing, what my job is like, etc. There’s more than one way to be uncluttered – if I ever move out of my apartment into a house, I’m sure my uncluttering strategy will have to change again.

    I have also discovered that I’m more influenced by the way I was raised than I might have thought. My Mom was very organized, and I definitely got that from her, but she grew up on a farm during the Depression, and she was very much a “save every piece of string because you might use it later” person. She saved everything. That worked for her because she lived in a huge house out in the country, and she had room for her collections of empty margarine tubs and scraps of fabric. But I live a very different lifestyle, and I have to force myself to let go of things that I don’t need today – and not hear my Mom’s voice in my head, saying “you should really save that, you might use it someday.” (Or if I hear it, I have to tell myself to ignore it most of the time.)

    • #313172

      Denise
      Participant

      Loved summer – lots and lots of beauty to capture right in your own backyard or pretty close by… But oh do I procrastinate organizing my photos and seems to become a cluttered disaster every time I come back from a vacation! So, I just had to share this with everyone… Add organizing to my calendar items! How smart! Always looking for more tips and tricks out there?\nhttp://www.adoramapix.com/blog/2016/09/13/how-to-choose-photos-for-your-own-travel-photo-book/#.V9kcoLUlzGL\n#photoorganizing

  • #162637

    Sky
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Decluttering my home has made me look at “things” differently. The more I get rid of, the more I want less and less. I love having space in drawers and closets. I even have some empty drawers!

    I’ve realized how few things I really want beyond whats necessary. No more collecting, storing and shopping. It is freeing beyond belief.

  • #162639

    badkitti
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    I too am less sentimental now – time to go through my overflowing memories box I think!

    I think I take more care in buying clothes – this year’s resolution is to only get clothes that look good on me and fit properly.

  • #162640

    AJ
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Yes, as Sky said, the process of decluttering makes us look at things differently. We have sentimental stuff, never look at it, but still give it meaning.

    badkitti, have you ever had your colours done,e.g. Color Me Beautiful? I found that I could shop within my colour palette and get rid of the clothes which didn’t suit me. One colour palette means things go well together. I don’t need the one-pair-of-shoes-which-only-go-with-one-outfit anymore.

  • #162642

    Zora
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    I start things and don’t finish them. That’s why I had such a lot of sewing clutter. I am pushing myself to give away, throw away, or finish.

    Watched the latest Hoarders episode while mending a beautiful antique woolen shawl that I had stored away for years. It’s going to take a LOT of work, but will be gorgeous when done … and I can give it to my daughter.

  • #162647

    bandicoot
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    what a thought-provoking topic…thanks for starting it.
    i have enjoyed reading all the replies.

    i have found out that my clutter is chiefly caused by travel and inertia.
    travel; because i pick up foreign gewgaws all the time.
    because then it’s CULTURE, it isn’t just rubbish, lol.
    inertia; stuff comes into this house and has nowhere to live, so it just sorta stagnates and piles up.

    now that i have identified these two trouble spots, i am right on top of them.
    i’ve just got back from two weeks in hong kong and korea and i bought: seaweed of various kinds (edible), korean chilli powder and korean chilli paste.
    gifts? korean chilli paste in tubes. so i am not cluttering anyone else either.

    as for the inertia, i am working hard on that.
    i consciously maintain my cleared-out hotspots on a daily basis.
    you all know those areas where stuff collects and then snowballs? yeah, those!
    i am not letting them get a toehold to begin with.

  • #162652

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    I am choosing new clothes carefully (focusing on items that look good on me, as well as quality). I don’t mind having less if it means I can have nicer items!

    Secondly, I really find, like Sky mentioned, that I want less as I get rid of more things. I have a bookshelf that used to be so crammed with books, magazines, photo albums and the like; now it is half empty and there are still more things that I feel I can get rid of without being upset about it.

    I also discovered that I never really like having a lot of items – I was always going through things I had to try and find what I could get rid of. But now I am able to stop these items from entering my home in the first place!

  • #162656

    BarbaraTako
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Decluttering has helped me become less attached to “stuff” and it has freed up time for me to focus on real priorities (faith, friends, family, interests). Getting rid of clutter helps me make better choices and manage my time/life better.

  • #162668

    Sky
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    AJ….What an excellent subject. I, too am a perfectionist and have always been organized, or so I thought. Now, with less stuff, everything has to be lined up just so. There is no hiding crookedness!
    I may be moving from perfectionist to OCD….

  • #162698

    AJ
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Barbara, that sounds great! We think we need stuff to improve our lives and then find out that the stuff actually eats into our lives, and that we are better off without a lot of it!

    Along the way, I have also realised that I dislike knick-knacks. I didn’t truly realise how much I dislike the things till I received one for Christmas.

  • #162699

    nellieb
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    I am realizing how little most things mean to me. I also realize I had a lot of things that were not that exciting to me, I kept them around from habit.

    It’s very freeing to get rid of stuff!

    Yet I still have too much! Can’t wait to sell my bedroom furniture, I bought it 28 years ago and am ready to let go! My tastes have changed and I can visualize how my bedroom will look with furniture I love.

    I want space, open, uncluttered space, all around me! And fantastic art on my walls! I continue to reduce my shoes and clothes, love not having a huge selection and items sitting around that never looked that great on me.

    And the lessons I am learning…to stop spending money on things that are not that important to me. I have bought almost nothing (other than consumables) since mid December. Another lesson is to stop giving people things they might consider clutter and find out what is really important to that person so I can gift them with meaningful memories.

    Many of you have checked out my personal blog (prior to my realizing I could have used this forum!) about my desire to eliminate 50% of my items during 2010. So far, I’ve released 295 items from my life and don’t miss any of them! I photographed the items so I can always look back and remember what I once thought was important to me.

  • #162701

    AJ
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    nellieb – And you help other people to do the same. That must be quite satisfying, and probably very frustrating at times.

  • #162702

    charmed2482
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    I have found I don’t really care as much about stuff as I used to. I was always keeping things because they were useful even though I was more than likely never going to use them, like a pile of empty notebooks I didn’t need. I got rid of all the extra paper I had sitting around and my boyfriend did the same thing, I can always get more paper if I really need it. I also hate nick knacks too. I dislike things that don’t serve a purpose. I don’t mind having some arty things but they can’t be in my way at all.

    I also despise paper, I’m talking, receipts, pay stubs, bills, and all the random pieces of paper that manage to find their way into my apartment. Including instruction manuals(scanned or found them online and got rid of the paper copy). I hate organizing paper and looking through it when I need something(which is rarely), so I have one binder with a few important things and that’s. Mostly tax papers, car title, and Birth certificate. I keep two or three pay stubs and that’s. I’ve only needed pay stubs to get loans and I won’t be getting any loans any time soon so it can’t be that important to keep them. Plus my job offers to let us stop getting the paper all together and I can view them online if I set it up, so it can’t be that important to keep those.

    I learned that I can let go of all the things that are not important to me and focus on the things that are and I don’t have to listen to my mom when she things I should keep something. If I wasted money on something, its better to just chuck it(or donate or whatever) than holding onto it wishing I had not wasted money on it in the first place.

    No amount of stuff will ever make me happy!

  • #162706

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Colour palettes – keep in mind that this may need to be done again as you age – most people’s skin changes hue as they age and commonly lighter colours look better on old skin, particularly for Caucasians.

    I am SO hearing things from my childhood in these responses – my father was born in 1930 so he very much has had “(but) I might need that one day” as a mantra. There was a time when my mum used part of his stash for a temporary repair and he said that; we all turned around and said, “Yes, that day is TODAY.”

    What have I been learning? I really can live without all those things that I thought I HAD to have / couldn’t do without.

  • #162719

    sakeenah
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    I think I have found out the I really do have ADD or close to it, was very hyper as a child, etc, and have done a lot of reflection on why disorganization has been such a huge issue for me. I understand when people on Hoarders say this room looks the inside of my head. I have discovered that clutter and mental chaos is a vicious cycle. I can’t wait for one to be in order to work on the other. Cleaning makes me feel better mentally and taking some time out for me mentally to focus on something other then the way the mess makes me feel relaxes me enough to want to keep trying

  • #162720

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    sakeenah – I agree with you! When I get rid of things I feel like it clears my mind, like it’s one less thing to think about.

  • #162749

    charmed2482
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    It will be much easier to keep from losing things, if you don’t have so many things in the first place!

    just found a disk i have been trying to find for several days now

  • #162776

    vjb
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Oh boy, charmed2482, I’ve discovered I despise paper too. Unclutterer has inspired me to go as paperless as I can. I’m currently putting all my recipes into a recipe program. After that, I’m going to cull/scan my financial papers.

    It’s funny, I’ve never been a hoarder, but just recently I’ve started getting rid of ‘perfectly good’ things I ‘might need’, ‘like to look at but don’t use’, ‘other people gave me’. It’s been a revelation. It’s like when I look at the areas I’ve decluttered, I no longer have a whole bunch of mental reservations floating through my head. I love it! And I enjoy the stuff I’ve kept so much more. From now on I’m just going to be utterly ruthless.

  • #162811

    elledee
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    What I think has been the most apparent to me is that I had NO idea who I was when I was younger. I’m still fairly young that I have random boxes from high school and college, and no doubt I’ll change again, but the things I was interested in and thought “defined” me then are seriously worthless now. I have changed so much since then.

    My shopping habits have changed…I wander through a store looking at things, and I do look at many things, but I end up walking out with one thing. Prime example, the other day I found myself near a overstock retailer, lots of cool paintings, housewares, etc. I walked through and looked at lots of stuff, and ended up walking out with just one thing (a flower pot for a new plant at work).

    Of course, the backlog from when I was a different person still has its way of following me around…

  • #162819

    Claycat
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    It’s interesting to read this. I wonder if any of us knew who we really were when we were very young. I look back now and wonder what I was thinking!

    Yes, we bring a lot of stuff forward and later wonder why. I think it takes awhile to become self-aware. Maybe some people never get there.

  • #167037

    jbeany
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    I’m slowly learning to really look at my things. I think I stop seeing things because they have been in place for so long. They become background noise, and I don’t realize that they are there. For example, I did a massive decluttering in my kitchen this spring. I emptied out several cupboards of things that haven’t been used in a decade, including many wedding gifts that were never used at all. (I’ve no longer got the husband, surely I don’t still need the gifts…) My kitchen counters then got cleared of clutter because there was room for the things on the counter to get put in the cupboards. I was down to a fire extinguisher, a handful of spices that live on the ledge by the stove, the toaster oven, the stand mixer, and a bowl of utensils and the knife block. I really, really loved the way it looked. Two weeks after the clear out, I was sitting at my computer desk in the kitchen admiring it. That’s when it finally dawned on me that the knife block that has been with me since college contained 10 knives, and I only use 2 of them. I pulled the 2 knives out, put them in an empty slot in the silverware drawer, and added the knife block to the donate pile, knives and all.
    Since then, I’ve been trying to eyeball everything that I own, making sure it’s not just something that’s “always been there”.

  • #167041

    suzjazz
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    I have discovered that
    1) I have more objects of sentimental value than I thought (mostly things that belonged to my mother or that she gave me, like my two antique dolls and her exquisite water color and pen drawings)
    2) it’s a lot easier to get rid of non-sentimental clutter than I thought it would be, especially books that I know I will never read again.
    3) I have accumulated SO MUCH STUFF. I always thought I didn’t own much, since I am a musician and have had to live paycheck to paycheck my entire adult life, but that has not prevented me from accumulating enough stuff to spill over into my living space. We don’t have an attic (good thing we don’t) and we have a very damp basement in which you can’t store anything of value unless it won’t rust or get mildewed. For years, we rented a storage room which we finally emptied a few months ago. I was chagrined to discover that most of the stuff in the room was mine, not my BF’s as I had assumed (he moved in with me almost 4 years ago and brought a lot of stuff with him) I am now tackling the seemingly endless task of getting rid of this stuff which I was obviously able to live without for several years.
    4) I have cured myself of habitual shopping. (Well, almost.) I have come to detest shopping malls, and I am constantly amazed by how much ugly and tasteless junk masquerading as clothing and home decor is being pushed on an already debt-ridden public. I am proud of the fact that for years (with only a few exceptions) I have not carried a balance on my credit card–I now use it only for necessary purchases and pay it off in full each month. When I periodically weed out my closet, I realize that I can live with so much less clothing. I realized recently that BF has at least 5 outdoor parka-type jackets, and I am trying to gently bring this to his attention. Of course, I also have a large collection of coats which I am still trying to wean myself away from.
    It’s a very long, but very satisfying process.

  • #167049

    lucy1965
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    In the last month, while my son has been on holiday with his partner, I’ve had space to realize a lot of things:

    I don’t want a big house and a yard: the upkeep and repairs we’ve had to do over the last 10 years have convinced me that I never want to do this again. We don’t entertain more than once a year (more on that later), so we have no need for a formal sitting room or dining room; we never actually DO anything in the yard, and I’m tired of shoveling walks in the winter and desperately fighting watering restrictions in the summer — the original owner planted many fruit trees and grape vines, and all of the fruit is something I either dislike or am allergic to, but in this neighborhood it adds a tremendous amount to the character of the place — it was terrific when our son was small and our house was the one every kid in the neighborhood came to, but he’s a senior at university and will probably be moving out soon. Which brings us to —

    I don’t want to live in the US any more. I’ll always respect the country of my birth, but our friends and a good job offer are waiting for us overseas. I’ve been a very responsible person since the age of 11 (family medical issues meant I shouldered caretaking early in my life), and I’m grateful for all I’ve learned from it, but now it’s time for me to do what I want — and what I want is time to explore the world with my husband, with enough work to keep us fed and sheltered. I’m looking at everything in the house with the thought of “Are you willing to pay to ship this across the pond?” and if the answer is “Nope”, in many cases I’ve decided to get rid of it now rather than waiting another year.

    I’ve learned (with help from several people on this forum! *grin*) that it is okay to have one or two hobbies I love, and let all the rest of it go, “sunk costs” be damned. The second hobby may turn into a career if my teachers think it would be a good fit, and the first doesn’t require as much space as I’d previously thought.

    Two or three beautiful things mean more to me than shelves full of tat: when I look at the blue matcha bowl my SIL brought me from Osaka, I remember her telling me how she had gone with friends to pick out the one that would be perfect for her “elder sister”, and the day we spent in a local teahouse trying different blends until we found just the right one . . . there aren’t many things I own that are that significant, and why would I put heaps of lesser things on the shelf with it?

  • #167053

    Ann
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    As I read these posts I realize that so many of us were influenced by our depression era parents…my MIL was a hoarder of the very organized sort and was a saver of things because “you never know when you might need a part”. One of my favorite stories about her is the time my husband and I stopped by her house to visit on the way to do errands. She asked where we were going and when we told her we were off to the hardware store to get a new showerhead, she ran to the garage and brought back a box with – I kid you not – over a dozen broken showerheads. It was surreal! So, I understand why so many of us have heard that mantra about “you never know when you might need XYZ”… LOL. And, now, since we have all grown up with so much more STUFF, it just gets ridiculous. I have discovered that I used the large closets and big storage areas in my house to avoid facing my poor purchasing decisions, to avoid dealing with loved ones’ passing (I got their STUFF), to deny the reality of my son “leaving home” to go to college.

  • #167058

    suzjazz
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Lucy, your post really resonated with me.
    While I do enjoy my yard (not so much my house: it is very old, inconvenient, and we don’t have the money for upkeep, repairs, or remodeling) I also would like to leave the U.S., country of my birth. I have lived in France and Italy and would move to either country in a heartbeat if there was a job for me. A year ago I was in Paris (I am a jazz pianist, not famous so they didn’t pay my airfare) performing, and I hoped that a trip would materialize this year, but it didn’t. Now I am putting any extra money I earn in my savings account which I have re-named “my move to Europe” account. I don’t know if I will be able to save enough money to do this–usually I end up having to spend at least part of my savings when I have no work–I teach part-time at a college and get no paycheck during breaks and holidays which can be for a month at a time. BF is on disability and ill, which is another impediment. If I were in my 20s or 30s I would go to Europe without a job and trust in my luck and sense of adventure. In my 50s, that isn’t an option. My best hope is getting a teaching position in the abroad program, but it seems that things are on hold for $ reasons at my college.

    I hope you realize your dream. There are some great things in the U.S., but the quality of life is vastly better in Europe, especially if you are frugal.

  • #167060

    SunshineR
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    So true…I am the daughter of Depression-era children. Several people on Unclutterer have given excellent advice which inspires and encourages me.
    It is past time for me to lighten my load of clutter baggage because my parents passed away in 1986 and 1991; my first marriage ended in 1998 and I am still :(( emotionally buried in the leftovers.
    I am clearing out my house, selling it, moving in with BF and getting remarried (of course, to BF). πŸ™‚ A fresh start.
    Travel/moving overseas? I’d do it in a heartbeat if we weren’t tied to BF’s self-employment. He is not internet savvy and has no interest in learning e-commerce or leaving his repeat customer base.

  • #167077

    chacha1
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Can’t believe I didn’t find this thread before. I’m like a lot of previous commenters, have become less sentimental and clingy about Stuff, more interested in having Space, and less inclined to Shop!

    That’s not to say that I am a minimalist. I like to think I’ve found a happy medium between my hoarding grandmother and my biennial-turnover-of-decor mom. Boy, can that woman throw stuff out! I am aiming to slowly replace every not-optimal thing in our home with things that are perfect for us – and to achieve Net Loss of Stuff continuously until we are down to the things we truly need, use, and love.

    Thanks to the digital media revolution, I no longer feel compelled to keep physical media on the same scale. I have given away masses of stuff in the past eighteen months. I will feel I have really achieved something when I give away my last three pairs of non-dancing dress-up shoes. πŸ™‚

  • #167086

    Rosa
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    I’ve learned that I’m way better at starting things – books, projects, stories, letters – than finishing them.

    The other thing I’ve learned is that the layers of stuff never really end – at one point, I moved more than 10 times in 10 years, once by mail, twice with everything I “owned” in my car – but little did I realize, there was a bunch of my stuff stored at my mom’s house. And now that I’ve been in this house for seven years, with various people using it as a homebase for their nomadism, it’s astounding the amount of stuff they’ve forgotten about that I unearth and get rid of.

  • #167091

    djk
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    I don’t hoard or have clutter as defined as not-useful-space-takers, but my increasingly smaller living spaces mean that I rethink everything we have, and demand more function out of everything we have.
    What I have learned about myself: I was afraid I would be punished by the gods of Nice People who say that One Must Keep Things From The Past. I somehow envision gentle shock and so feel guilted into keeping things because other people would. So I have become aware that it is MY stuff and therefore I have full rights over what I get rid of, and the earth doesn’t break apart in horror.

    I held on to things that other people consider important (yearbook, for example) and thought that I wasn’t “allowed” to throw it away. Well, I had one small box with sentimental items held onto because somewhere in my head I thought I had to, or lightening would strike (or that I was a bad person for not caring. Now that is tosseed out and I feel pretty good about that. And I wonder whose permission I was waiting for to get rid of those things. My own, I guess.
    I have one fat (2″ thick) file of letters from 3 different friends from over the years. They are all three gifted letter-writers and I simply cannot bring myself to throw these letters away, for the sheer joy and helpless laughter they have brought me over the years. So I guess that is my sentimental thing. And I will be buying a scanner this summer sometime so those letters can be scanned eventually. Then the binders of work documents can mostly be scanned as well, then the seasonally-assessed closet will be the last thing to winnow again and there will be no extra bits at all.

  • #167095

    djk
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    I also realize that it is more difficult for me to be orderly when I am relaxed and happy. If I am at all stressed I clean like a madwoman and develop a fierce policy to anything out of place or crooked, or crumbs in the sink (hate that)etc. In university I lived in a gleam of polish. My first marriage–spotless.

    However, the happier and more relaxed my life gets the messier my home gets. I am very happy right now–and I have to learn to clean when I am happy, I guess!
    On the plus side, being a control freak my whole life has taught me many techniques that are long-time habits so there isn’t too much to do in the grand scheme of things I guess. Damn that happy life. Damn!

  • #167097

    bandicoot
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    that is hilarious and weird.
    i am the opposite.
    the happier i am, the cleaner and more orderly things are.
    or perhaps, the more order and cleanliness i am surrounded by, the happier i am?
    hard to say, really.

    right now, i am staying in a little cottage in france.
    it is stuffed full of tchotchkes!
    it is waaaaaaaaaaaay waaaaaaaaay waaaaaaaaaaaaaay over my clutter limit!
    i have tidied things to one side and i feel like there is more space…..but it has put me off checking out any brocantes (flea markets) and soldes (the sales)! and i have been surrounded by brocantes and soldes for days and days.
    we spent two days in troyes, which is where the whole of france comes for clearance shopping, seriously they have these enormous factory outlet stores……and i bought an apron.
    one apron, which will take the place of one of my ruined ten year old aprons at home.

  • #167113

    Gil
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Quality over quantity. I am enjoying the few things I have elected to keep and they are actually being used or worn instead of being buried under other things. As an example, I sold about 80-90% of my video game collection which consisted of 10 consoles and countless games. I am now down to one console and 15 games. I jokingly stated on a gaming forum that they would have to bury me with my collection, lol. I was that obsessed.

    Like some others have stated, I have also broken with being sentimental about everything. My decluttering has been a gradual process. Things I swore I would never give up are gone and I don’t miss them. There are items I will never part with, but if a storm or other calamity damaged my home and took them, I wouldn’t be upset as I would have even a year ago. Plus, letting go of stuff has opened up my spirt of giving. I feel happy that someone else can use and enjoy what I no longer want. Plus, I could care less if I ever get another material gift again. Seriously.

    I am also much more punctual by being orderly, having less and not as stressed.

    Letting go of possessions has not only forced me to focus on my priorities, but personally, I have matured a lot during the process. Many of the things I held onto actually held me back in many ways.

    In closing, I have ultimately learned that more stuff does NOT mean more happiness and there is SO much more to life than things. In reality, I have found new freedom and purpose in life.

  • #167114

    Gil
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Anita wrote:

    ” It’s also making me less tolerant of other people’s messes, especially the messes that others make in my home.”
    ___________________________________________________

    Ha Ha..Truer words couldn’t have been spoken. I never thought my own mother would hound me about being a neat freak, lol.

  • #167182

    lucy1965
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    @suzjazz

    I’ve found that I’m willing to give up a tremendous amount in the way of convenience and living space to have my friends in my life on a daily basis; I really like the phrase I’ve read here: “When you look at anything, ask yourself what it adds to your life as it is now.” There’s nothing inanimate here I wouldn’t give up to spend the day with A. walking on the beach near Brighton Pier, or poking through Cambridge bookshops with M., or getting magnificently tipsy with O. while our husbands look on in wonder and fear . . . .

    Thank you for what you’ve written, and I hope that you also find a way back.

  • #167226

    LilyX
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Hello everybody!

    What did I learn from my decluttering? I’d say: that I have good taste and I want the best for me. πŸ™‚
    I’m not into expensive designer s*it but I like nice, quality clothes. Years ago I tended to buy rarely but spend more carelessly (I was in University so I had no financial concerns). Well, guess what – the clothes I bought back then are among the best in my closet and I still keep them dear. I had a period when I used to buy lots of clothes without being ever satisfied, cheap clothes especially. I wanted more variety and I thought I had to find my own style, not realising I already had one to work on. I have parted with most of the cheap stuff from my “overbuyer” period and nowadays, even if I have to be more careful with spending, I try to buy good quality. I know it repays me, not only with clothes.

    Suzjazz, don’t move to Italy please. It’s a very bad moment now, economically speaking – especially if you work (or want to work) in the art/culture field. If you manage to find paid work, you’ll be still terribly underpaid ’cause intellectual work is not regarded as “real”, productive work (unless you’re on TV). I guess it’s different in France where the culture scene seems to be livelier and valued more.

  • #167451

    suzjazz
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    Thanks for the info Lily!
    The sad truth appears to be that unless you are a famous concert artist you will make next to no money performing, no matter where you live. Even though Europeans appreciate free jazz (and art in general) more than Americans do, they aren’t willing to pay artists higher wages than in the U.S. If I moved to Europe, I would need a day job which would probably involve teaching music since that is the only thing I am really qualified to do. Teaching doesn’t pay well either, even on the college level. So I have resigned myself to a frugal life of near-poverty (which would be no different from what I have now here in the U.S.) if I move to Europe.
    At least I would have single payer health care and long vacations–at least once I live there long enough to establish residency. And people in Europe know what socialism is, don’t believe it is evil, and know that Obama is no socialist! They insist on no hormones in their meat and dairy products and do not rely on processed foods. They take their time cooking and enjoying their meals. They ride their bicycles! All of these things appeal to me.

    Getting rid of most of my stuff will make the eventual move easier. The two big impediments to a permanent move are my BF (has cancer and needs to be near his doctors unless they can refer him to some good ones in Europe) and my cat, who would have to come with us, which would be very traumatic for him.

    But obstacles can be overcome!

  • #167464

    djk
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    @suzjazz,
    I am so sorry to hear about your BF. I wish him recovery to good health!
    and btw, there are wonderful doctors in Europe, often with far more openness to holistic medicine and TCM, and prevention as a way of life is highly important (e.g. in Austria, doctors prescribe spa cures regularly) My S-in-L is a medical doctor as well as a doctor of TCM (went to China to qualify after her European studies) The facilities are older and uglier than what I am used to in Canada, but if you can get past that, the quality of care is high.
    as for the 4-footed family members, they can be shipped with minimum of trauma–
    my kitty got sent to me as a surprise; there are good companies that specialize in pet transport.

    So who knows? Some day we could meet here–I will come to your gigs!

  • #167468

    LilyX
    Member

    Through decluttering, what have you found out about yourself?

    So sorry about your BF! Hope he’ll recover soon.

    You are quite right in your view of Europe – every country has its own traditional cuisine and people prepare their own meals, at least when there’s time.

    Oh, I can understand your worries about your cat… I was worried about mine when I moved within the same town. πŸ™‚

  • #313173

    Denise
    Participant

    Loved summer – lots and lots of beauty to capture right in your own backyard or pretty close by… But oh do I procrastinate organizing my photos! So, I just had to share this with everyone… Add organizing to my calendar items! How smart! Always looking for more tips and tricks out there?

    Adorama

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