mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
A couple of months ago I built two Ikea bookshelves to put behind my husband's and my comfy chairs, so that we could get temporary control over the stacks of books on the floor.  After putting the shelves together, I didn't have the energy to clear a space to move them into.  They've stood just behind the chairs at the kitchen table for those two months.

Today we bravely moved one of the bookshelves into place, which required .... coping with the stacks of books on the floor.  Which stacks included magazines (do I want that copy of Threads?  Should I save it out of the recycling in case another GBACG member wants it?  ARGH DECISIONS) and random things that had gotten trapped amongst the stacks.  (Hey, THAT's what happened to that backup phone power cell.)

I am physically shaking.  But one bag of garbage and a respectable chunk of recycling are going OUT of the house, one bookshelf is in place and has shelves up so that I can put things away, and I can get to the kitchen table without eeling around a bookshelf.

I'm still shaking, though.

e: I installed Onepass before all this started and began the agonizing task of moving all my passwords from Chrome to 1pass, upping their security along the way.  I was a proper good geek and rolled physical dice to generate a passphrase from www.diceware.com.   Along the way, I changed my uncrackable but completely unrememberable Google password to a passphrase.  So that was another thing.

Date: 2017-06-11 08:48 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Ordnung)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
My one trick for decluttering is this: Most of my stuff falls into three categories: definitely toss, definitely keep, and <wibble>. The uncertain pile takes 80% of my time and 90% of spoons, so I just deal with the other two thirds and bundle those things up for a later date.

By the time I come around to it again, I'm either in a better mood or enough time has passed that I can repeat the split.

Permission to NOT tackle all of a pile/box/whatever was wonderfully liberating.

Date: 2017-06-11 09:45 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Konfuzius)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
By the time I get around to it, several months will have passed. (I have... a lot of boxes. And files. And bookshelves. And everything.) This means that I'll have had time to think about the stuff, and make decisions on what to keep or toss in the background. By the third round, there's usually only a handful of contended objects, and I can do _that_ many.

Adopting this strategy meant that I got a first draft done during my last move, and managed to toss a lot of things I no longer need or want. (In some cases, my life has changed - I now have easy online access to more articles than I can read, so keeping old magazines other than one particular series and a handful of nostalgic computer ones makes no sense etc. I also have a little more disposable income, a 24/7 supermarket AND an IKEA in walking distance - so 'something that will cost less than £10 and half an hour to replace' is, unless I use or love it, a 'toss' rather than a 'maybe I'll need it later'.

I've been trying to reduce my cognitive load - decisions are hard, and the more I can remove, defer, or solve as an abstraction ('I do not need this category of item') the better. I've also given myself permission to carry everything to the charity shop - I am not wondering about whether I could get money by selling it, or whether I should keep it for someone else to enjoy... someone else can find it there, not with me.

Date: 2017-06-11 10:58 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Never Enough)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
I'm going to steal some of this.

Please do. It took me a very long time to get to this point, and I haven't caught up with all of my stuff yet. Anything that helps is a good thing.


A friend gave me 'do I use it? Do I need it? Do I love it?' which has helped with the decision-making, but 'can I replace it' definitely needs to be on that list. (Poor people often keep stuff because they *know* they won't be able to replace it when they need it. That's a rational decision, too.)

The 'last six months' mantra is not one I find terribly useful - many of my interests come in waves, and depend on overall spoon supply, and other things going on in my life. Since I'm not anxious over throwing away everything, only _specific_ things, I'm happy to pamper the anxiety a bit; a couple of items really don't make much of a difference: not feeling anxious over chucking things before I'm ready trumps gaining a little space.

As for books, I've done three main purges: one for books I do not like (they were a good idea at the time, I was out of books and needed one while travelling, it sounded good and read meh, etc), one for overlap with my partner's library (duplicates and ditching not-very interesting books in favour of keeping really yummy ones from the other person's library). Academically, I'm trying to remove his-story from my shelves: the story of great men, told in a voice of authority by men who consider themselves learned. Since a lot of my library was acquired second-hand and in cheap reprints, I have a fair few of them, and I'm trying to replace them with more diverse, and better-researched resources.

Fiction I am coming to see as a one-off experience, like a cinema ticket: I spend the money, I consume the book (regardless of what I think of it), the book is considered disposable. If I _like_ it, I keep it, but I no longer keep bought 'because I bought it'. Getting rid of books hurt a lot at first, but I reached the point where I either had to get rid of books to make room for new ones, or stop buying books altogether. Seventeen shelves was too many. More would have eaten my life. It does become easier. I will never be Marie 'nobody needs more than 20 books' Kondo, but then... books DO give me joy, so there. I get to keep them.

Date: 2017-06-15 01:48 am (UTC)
castiron: cartoony sketch of owl (Default)
From: [personal profile] castiron
I also use a "go through one shelf/drawer/box; make the easy decisions, allow myself to keep the undecideds until the next time" method. I have a list of all the locations in the house, and over the year I gradually go through all of them; I might skip some places on one pass, but I don't go more than a couple years without looking at them at least once.

It's been a big help to be able to say "I don't know whether I want to keep this, so I'm going to kick that decision down the road." I know I'll look at it again in a year or two, and by then I may be able to decide.

Date: 2017-06-12 12:30 am (UTC)
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
Yup this.

My specific version is "definitely toss, definitely keep, goes in the storage locker downstairs." And then once in a while the storage locker gets too full and gets gone thru with the same idea and the secondary filter of "if I didn't think about it, I have no use for it, I didn't need it, it isn't One Of A Kind/Irreplaceable or cost more than #$ to get, it goes."

My books I purged pretty ruthlessly on the basis of "have I reread this, am I GOING to reread this, can it be obtained as an ebook if I want to reread it later, is it likely to be useful for future research if it's non-fiction." At this point I own less than a hundred favourite fiction books, and everything else is non-fiction research stuff that I can't easily replace. Our condo is just over 900 square feet for two people (siblings) and two cats, so.
Edited Date: 2017-06-12 12:41 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-06-12 09:26 am (UTC)
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
From: [personal profile] nineveh_uk
I also find the keep, get rid of, decide later trio very helpful. The very act of putting in the decide later pile tends to make me come back to it with a clearer mind, whether "You know what, I don't need this but I feel sentimentally about it in a strong way, I'll keep it" or "Yeah, I like it but realistically this should go."

Date: 2017-06-12 12:47 am (UTC)
sabotabby: (doom doom doom)
From: [personal profile] sabotabby
I know this feel. Good luck.

Date: 2017-06-12 02:51 am (UTC)
executrix: (andguns)
From: [personal profile] executrix
When Hurricane Sandy hit, there was a cubic metric fuckton of stuff in the basement. The high-water mark was five feet, and it cost $670 to have someone haul the bags of what instantly became junk out of the basement. Out of those things I miss:
1. ridiculous Cookie Lyon-style winter coat (black fake fur with gigantic leopard portrait collar)
2. flannel sheets.

I still haven't bought a winter coat I like as much, and the current flannel sheets aren't as nice as the old ones, but they'll do.

So now the test is, would I miss it if it were in a hurricane?

Date: 2017-06-12 08:52 am (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
When my boat started sinking at its moorings in Brunisse in 2008 or thereabouts, the only thing I really missed from the stuff that couldn't be saved was a copy of Salonika: City of Ghosts which I was half-way through, and I only missed that because it had been such a slog to get that far through it.

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