The stuff we Collect!!!
I am continually shocked at the stuff we accumulate and collect. Putting the house on the market has required us to do three or four turns at cleaning, tossing, and making decisions on what we want to keep. Twenty five years of work materials gets old after awhile (not to say anything of outdated), clothes stored for three years are all of a sudden gruesome, and how many towels do you actually need?
I've now come to the conclusion that it takes a good 6 months to a year to get ready to sell a house or move if you want to do it right. And by that I mean clean, toss, and reorganize everything so it can be easily found and used. I now have a rule --if I can't easily find it in the space I live in, then I have too much. If you can't fit it in the house (and need a storage unit), get rid of it, sell it, loan it out. Okay, maybe you have to have one temporarily, but longer than 6 months --- clean baby clean. The amount of money you say is minimally $50-$300 a month.
Since we have moved back I have had three "good" cleans. We have whittled down our work files to a minimum and probably will throw away more boxes in the next week. Articles that are ten years old are worthless. Old papers, workshops, and documents (besides being a little mildew) can be easily replace from new articles on the internet or in a used book I buy on Amazon. Okay, I've held onto a few things, but each time I look at them, I am willing to let go of more.
My photo albums-- now that was my big problem. After asking my sister what she does, I decided to follow suit. I bought 3 containers with little dividers at the container store and tore apart most of my 60 photo albums and kept only the best photos of each event. Out with the scenery and in with the few pictures that made me smile. I put together two books for my daughter (for her to keep) and two for us on her baby years. A few old albums of when Jean and I were sans enfant stayed in tact and and I condensed 10 years of visiting France to three albums from ten. I know am the rpoud owner of 4 plastic boxes of photo albums of my life instead of 18. The benefit is I might actually look at them and when we move I can carry them with me instead of putting them in storage.
I know I can even do better given a little more time. The irony is it felt so good. So many of the photos were old and well basically stupid or duplicates. I pulled those out and put them in envelopes ready to send to a friends I've know throughout the years. -- A great laugh for them!
I'm now on this rampage of truly getting rid of everything that is outdated, old, ugly, isn't used very often, or redundant. It feels so good. I can actually open the linen closet and nothing falls out. I can look in my bookshelf and find the few books I've kept (lots of donations and library time)! My kitchen actually has one cupboard that isn't used and our bedroom looks well--- huge!
I'm feeling so much more free. Try it.. Just throw away a box or two or three.