The office chair I replaced last year. The sofa we have no place for. The box of pants too big for me. The bin of extra cast iron skillets we are never going to use. And lots more. At last count, over 200 boxes and 31 pieces of furniture occupy our two-car garage and our 400-square-foot outbuilding. Here is what they are costing me -- and what I should do about it.
I cannot set up my workshop. That is what one half of the garage is supposed to be. But there is just no room. My table saws and workbenches are jammed into a corner and inaccessible. There isn't one clear working surface in the whole place. All those pieces of unwanted and unneeded furniture have taken over.
We cannot put our outbuilding to good use. It is a spacious 20 x 20 foot metal building with an overhead door. It could become part pottery studio, part astronomy station, part hiking hangout, part something else. But not until and unless we stop using it as storage for those 200-plus boxes.
We cannot make ourselves throw the stuff away. That office chair might sell for 20 bucks. Some of those pants still have their tags. Cast iron skillets go for $10 and up each at second-hand stores. Almost all of it could be worth some money. And even though we do not need the money -- and could even say we might never use the money* -- we cannot make ourselves throw or give the stuff away. It would be unfrugal, I say. It would be a big waste, she says. And so the stuff remains -- and we do not get to use our spaces as we would prefer.
Sell, donate, discard. The solution is obvious. But neither of us is putting in the time or effort to make it happen. Yet it has to be done if we are ever to reclaim our spaces. So I am going to apply my time planning (obsessive) habit** to the problem and chip away at "the pile" one box at a time, one furniture item at a time.
I am going public to make myself accountable. I am going to set up a page on my blog sidebar where I will keep a countdown list of the stuff and document my decluttering progress -- or lack of it -- on a weekly basis. And I will do a weekly forum post where I will make sure I keep this out in the open for other people to cheer me on or slap me upside the head if need be.
One way or another, I am going to lick this. I have to.
* Making Sure I Spend That Money!:
** Making Time For Fun:
April 30th, 2014 at 05:31 pm 1398879094
April 30th, 2014 at 06:42 pm 1398883329
Clothes, even those with tags don't sell well here but likely area specific. I suggest taking a box of pants to a consignment store. You won't get much but better the taking up space and preventing enjoyment of otherwise useable space. You could hold a yard sale along with neighbours to bring more traffic. Be ready for people to offer disparaging remarks and offer a dollar or two for pricey items. You need a super sense of humor, lots of smiles and reparte. I just dished out compliments to get them to open their wallets.
Hope you carry out your plan and tack back useable space
April 30th, 2014 at 06:52 pm 1398883963
April 30th, 2014 at 07:44 pm 1398887041
You can do this and one box at a time sounds like a plan. If it takes all summer so bet it, but you won't regret one item you let go of it if it gets back your space for a useful purpose.
April 30th, 2014 at 10:31 pm 1398897104
May 21st, 2014 at 03:59 pm 1400687976
"... You can do this and one box at a time sounds like a plan. If it takes all summer so bet it, but you won't regret one item you let go of it if it gets back your space for a useful purpose."
The good news is that I emptied out 6 boxes yesterday. The bad news is that I have not finished the accumulation phase because I still have a boatload of stuff to move over from our now-vacant previous house. And that is also why I have not put up the "decluttering countdown page" on my sidebar: I do not have a final box number from which to start the countdown.