Decrease, delete, declutter…

We’re moving to California!  Which means….we need to downsize – a LOT!  In fact, we’ve put a deposit down on a….wait for it…1 bedroom, 600 square foot apartment.  Yes, we are moving from a 4 bedroom, 1900 square foot house with a garage to a 1 bedroom, 600 square foot apartment with no garage and no real storage (more on that in another post).  I know, I know – it is certifiably crazy, that’s for sure!  Regardless, there’s a lot of this going on lately:

…in other words, we are trying to clear out the clutter.  So far we’ve already paid one junk hauler to come through and take away half of our garage worth of stuff and have taken one Mazda3 car load worth of clothes to send to Goodwill and to Powell’s Books to get rid of a laundry basket filled with old paperbacks that we never read.  Seriously, I got rid of some of my summer reading requirements from my high school AP English classes and even the dress that I wore under my gown to my High School graduation!  We won’t discuss how many hairstyles ago that was…

So this brings up a good point.  How do you decide what to give away, donate, re-furb, etc.  I’m a MASTER de-clutterer.  It’s probably because I’m not really a very sentimental person except in rare cases and my Mom taught me from a very young age to go through the crap and keep only what is super meaningful/useful to you.  So I thought it would be good to kind of detail here a couple categories of things here – maybe it’ll be helpful, maybe it won’t?  And maybe we’ll be getting to more stuff later on!

Clothes – Ahhh….yes, clothing.  Here is where we ladies tend to go overboard.  But I have a few simple rules for controlling clutter.  First off, you need to go through your closet every season change (well, fall and spring essentially).  And you should also go through it whenever heavy items fall on you whenever you open the door – it’s always a good rule of thumb.  But here is how I determine what to keep/throw away:

  1. Have I worn it in the past 6-12 months OR have I worn it in the previous season?  If the answer is no for both of those, then it’s probably time to say hasta la vista, baby!  Just to be safe, try it on to be sure it fits….
  2. Does it fit?  This probably seems pretty obvious, but I can’t tell ya how many people I know who keep those “skinny” jeans just in case they might fit again.  Lemme tell ya somethin’, honey.  Get rid of them!  Once you do lose that weight, treat yourself to a non-calorie item and go out and buy NEW clothes!  Also, remember this saying always – “You should wear your clothes.  Your clothes should NEVER wear you!”  If you don’t feel absolutely sexy/beautiful/insert miscellaneous compliment here, then it’s time to get rid of those clothes.
  3. Stains?  Missing buttons?  Repair work that’s outside your scope?  Again, pitch it.  Especially if you’ve attempted repair and it’s just not taking.
  4. If you need more space, then click here to learn how to fold your clothes the “right” way – Seriously, I have so much space in my drawers now because of learning how to fold shirts this way.  And it sounds silly, but both Dr. J and I used to have our own “methods” for folding shirts and now we both fold this way because it saves us *so* much room!  It may just change your life – you never know!
  5. Lastly, understand your climate – Everybody said when we moved to Oregon that we wouldn’t need our warm winter coats and (for the most part), they’re absolutely right.  There are also a lot of “climate” issues that I’ve noticed about living in Oregon versus living in Ohio – anything that’s suede and/or water penetrable in my closet absolutely *cannot* be worn.  That means shoes, coats, blazers – you’ll rarely see an Oregonian strutting their stuff in a pair of Uggs – it’s the most colossal waste of money!  So eliminating these items from my wardrobe is pretty important.   Now that we’re moving to California, we’ll no doubt be going through a whole other set of wardrobe changes….gotta make room for it!
Books – I’m finding out as I get rid of books and try to offer them to people that so few people are reading these days!  Ugh!  It’s such a crime!  I can’t sleep at night if I don’t read a few pages of *something* before I go to bed.  But I think books are kind of clutter-catchers, especially light summer reading paperbacks.  Dr. J can read a 500 page novel in about 36 hours on a vacation so we have amassed quite the collection of books.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this snap below:

I know a lot of people feel somewhat sacrilegious in throwing away books, so here are a few tips that might help you out when it comes to decluttering books and also some thoughts on how to purchase books in the first place:

  1. Buy yourself an e-reader - Are you a Nook-er or a Kindle-er?  In our household, we’re both.  And honestly, I don’t think it matters very much anymore what kind of e-reader you should buy.  If you like to read, they are VERY affordable nowadays (an entry-level e-reader will only set you back about $100 these days).  And if you’re looking to declutter, this is an absolute no-brainer!  We purchased an e-reader about a year ago and honestly it is just about the best thing we’ve ever done.  When we went to Hawaii last year, we took our Nook and Dr. J read about 2000 pages in a matter of a week.  Not sure how many books that was but it doesn’t really matter.  An e-reader is a declutterer’s best friend!
  2. Go to the library – This is one I’m always trying to get Dr. J to use – I mean, 2000 pages in a week is easily 3-4 novels – possibly more!  And since his tastes in reading tend towards fiction, it’s very “disposable” light reading that he can easily check out of the library and return with no need to store it!
  3. If you must buy, then leave the paper, take the hardback - Here’s a tip – hardback books are pretty and they really give a bookcase a nice “distinguished” look (minus the dust covers).  Paperbacks, however, are ugly.  Their spines never retain their shape, the artwork is very often ugly and super market-y/loud and they just DO NOT look good – i.e., they are very disposable.  I realize books aren’t all about looks, but if it’s something that I feel “obligated” to keep because I’ve read it, then YES, it IS about looks once the passage of reading enjoyment has gone.  And, no, I don’t believe in keeping books as “conquests” or as a brag sheet.  That’s what the public library is for!  If it’s paperback and it’s a “disposable” title, then I say pitch it – unless it’s something you read often.  And if you read it often, you may want to consider forking over a few extra bucks for a hardback version because a paperback is not good for repeated reading – or see about buying it on your e-reader!
  4. Now I have the book, how do I decide to keep/pitch? - This is a very personal question – and it really depends in your level of interest in the book.  I have a few books that I re-read every few years or so and make it a point to keep them handy for those times.  For example, I re-read the Harry Potter series probably every couple of years from 1-7, so those books will always be on my bookcase (and some are paperback just to give you an idea).  However (and I will probably get a lot of crap for admitting this publicly), I had to pull teeth to get through the Twilight series  so I ended up sending those books to the toss pile even though it was a high quality hardback set.  If it’s a book that I will likely never touch again and it’s a paperback (see paperback note above), then I have no qualms in giving it the boot.  So ask yourself these questions – Do I love it?  Will I read it again?  Does it have a memorable inscription/meaning?  Do I need this book for work/class?  If the answer is ‘no’ to any of those questions, then it’s time to retire the book.
  5. Where do I send my old books?  - As unsentimental as I may be about “stuff”, I do still think that books should be given proper burial.  I.e. – send them to a used bookstore, a library, or see if some of the titles you have are appropriate for your local school and call to see if they would accept donation?  There are so many options for getting rid of books.  Don’t ever feel like you have to throw it in the garbage – that IS actually a crime!

So that’s all I’ve got for now.  I’m sure there will be repeats of tips above on other sites, other places.  We still have a long way to go – namely the kitchens and the bathrooms will need a serious down scaling.  But we’ll get to those in time.

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122 thoughts on “Decrease, delete, declutter…

  1. Is that my air conditioner in the first picture?? Too funny!! So are you saying that I should get rid of my cassettes and VHS tapes?? I keep waiting for those to become classics just like 8-tracks did(not)!!!

    • Haha! Nope, that was a purchase we made when we first moved to Oregon four years ago. Umm….YES, get rid of VHS! I only keep the VHS that are personal (home movies, etc) and everything else gets the boot. I’m relentless!

  2. Wow, thanks for this! I’m currently between two houses (I go to university in a different town but come home quite often) and yet I’ve somehow managed to fill both up with…well…crap. I think I’ll jump in this week with these tips haha. Good luck with your move!

  3. My husband and I are moving from one bedroom in my parents’ basement to a two bedroom apartment and I still feel the need to de-clutter as much as possible! Enjoyed the article and feel inspired to get rid of some “classics” I didn’t even read when I was supposed to for class!

  4. I inherited a house from my parents who were massive collectors of personal items and trinkets. My sister is the same way. So 3 years later we are still trying to knock down the clutter! I just work around the sentimental things and get rid of the things that obviously can be sold, donated, or tossed out.

    Congratulations on being “Freshly Pressed!”

  5. As a former English major, I have hung onto most of novels from my days in the classroom. For some reason i can’t seem to get rid of them. Must be the dream that someday I will return to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in preparation for the literature category on Jeopardy. Love the e-reader suggestion good stuff.

  6. Thanks so much for these tips! I’m not moving, but am in the process of de-cluttering my room, especially those book shelves! One of the places I’m looking to donate to is Housing Works in NYC (http://housingworks.org/). It’s always nice to donate my barely used books to charity :)

    Clothes are certainly a different beast. And don’t even get me started on craft supplies, haha!

    One tip that I would add to your list of suggestions for books is to use the pages for some sort of craft or art project. I think I will be using some of my book pages as decorations for decoupage bangles…should be fun!

    • Michelle –

      That is such a great idea as well! I’ve actually seen people use old book pages to wallpaper rooms as well. But using them for craft ideas is also a great idea!!

      Thanks for stopping by!
      L-blogger

      • I hadn’t thought of wallpaper! I never cease to be amazed at the many ways people think to recycle “junk.”

        A friend of mine used pages from a Stephen King novel (her favorite author) to make mailing envelopes.

    • Mikalee -

      Haha!! Maybe you should force yourself to move, then? Haha! Now I have a move date breathing down my back and that’s all the Jillian Michaels I can take!

      Thanks for stopping by!
      L-blogger

  7. Moving is never fun, but there is something uplifting about cleaning out your belongings. My boyfriend and I rent and we end up moving every couple years. Every time we move we end up purging and in the long run I love it. The less the better : ). Good luck with your move.

  8. Congratulations on getting rid of the Twilight books. That would have been my first step. I’m moving in a couple months as well and, while I will be upgrading, not downgrading, I do have two small storage units of crap that needs to be sorted through for the third time before piling it in the truck. Thanks for the tips.

  9. Good luck on the move! I felt the same way, going from a lot of space to a little space, when I moved from Kansas to Chicago. It will end up feeling liberating (even though it may be overwhelming now). I promise!

  10. Good luck with your move! I know what you mean about books, I have a ton myself. I have a Kindle and I use the library often, but I still have a collection that’s too big to fit on my bookshelves.

      • Exactly! I’ve been looking my stacks over recently, but I don’t feel ready to part with any even though I’m well aware they don’t have a place in my apartment.

  11. People don’t want your books?! Oh that’s a shame! I would take them all if not for the fact that as a moving student, I’ve switched to eReaders and libraries a while ago. Great organizing, though!

  12. I can totally relate to this post. I am also in the process of moving to a 1 bedroom apartment with my fiance. Books are definitely the hardest thing for me to get rid of. I have a few books I haven’t read in years, but for some reason I can’t part with them in fear that I might want to read it again some day.

    And then there’s my beauty supplies. I love drawers upon drawers of shampoos, conditioners, special lotions, sugar scrubs, eyeliners, make up brushes, etc. I have no idea what I will do with of them. There’s no way I can fit it all in the itty bitty bathroom we will have…

  13. I came across your site and found it so very useful:) we are moving from Europe to America. Not even be able to carry 1 bed room stuff with us, we are literally declutter everyday for a month now! Still so much to go through, but I find this exercise is very good to our mind. We should all declutter often and think twice before we pay for something;) thank you for this useful post and best of luck with your move :)

  14. From 1900 sq. ft. to 600 sq. ft. is a serious downscale. Good luck! I’ve always lived in smaller places and it comes from growing up in family of 6 children in a 3 bedroom house. Books can be donated for fundraising sales.

    However I am not going to be switching over to any e-reader: I spend hours in front of my computer for my full-time job and outside of workd. My eyes need to rest.

  15. Wow this is so helpful! I’m moving to another apartment and it is my final year in college so I’m trying to purge my massive pile of “stuff”. I will have to keep the book info in mind because I love love LOVE my books.

  16. I remember 600 sqft! I now live in 1700sqft with a shed and two storages in town, so I understand the concept of declutter. Threw so much paper away this year of files on my profession and articles I collected. Am going to reduce the clutter in the storages when the heat index goes down in the area. Good luck in California, it was home to me before moving to Evansridge. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  17. Future post: Organizing the golf clubs/bags/accessories that fall out of the closet each time you open it. What? Just a suggestion–I certainly don’t need that kind of advice. Not me. Nope.

    Great post! Thanks for the video link–I always wanted to know how people fold t-shirts like that so perfectly.

  18. Thanks for the great tips. I’ve been thinking of un-stuffing my closet ;) this’ll be a great help. Another fun option for donating books ~~> http://www.bookcrossing.com I’ts like a world-wide scavenger hunt. You leave a book somwehere (Starbucks) then post on the website where/what it is. Others looking for a new book to read can go find it and pass it on when done. :)

  19. There are some organizations in the US that ship books to troops, too.

    I don’t like e-readers. Give me a good, paper in my hands book any day. I say that now, but I have one, single shelf left of space…

  20. guys! im in the same boat as you! ive been working just over a year in the uk, and you wouldn’t believe how much stuff ive managed to accumulate in that time…books, newspapers, mags..all kinds of odds and ends! and yep, i know how difficult it is when it comes to moving….im moving very soon back to vancouver, bc…and problem is i cant decide what to keep or what to throw….heeelp!

  21. Another great way to get rid of books is to use the website BookCrossing (www.bookcrossing.com). You have to sign up for an account, but it allows you to leave your books places for people to find, then track them! You can also send books to specific people, or become involved in bookboxes and such that travel all over the place. It’s pretty addicting!

    http://www.thetravellingsock.wordpress.com

  22. Your 6-12 month rule is pretty much what I apply to anything: If I’ve not used or worn something in 12 months then it is generally outed. Books are also a difficult one for me, but I have always had a thing for hardbacks so that is what my collection consists of (if I must buy, otherwise I make use of my local library). I am sure you will begin life a fresh from your new smaller home with less clutter. I live out of a small room and when I moved in I had so little: I strive to continue my decluttering and return to that state of minimalism! I used to be a compulsive hoarder, my mother is the same, but it frustrates me these days!

  23. i am having such a hard time getting rid of books. we have two full bookcases, two full large bins and a couple of boxes of books. that’s a lot of weight.

    good luck on the move and downsizing!

  24. Great Tips and I can’t wait to see how the move goes and what else you declutter! I’m systematically organizing and decluttering my whole house and it makes every space seem bigger, cleaner, and happier! I’ll be following!
    ~Erin
    Neaten Your Nest

  25. Just finished talking to my mom about getting rid of some things (books, movies, etc) we’ve been holding onto. This “Freshly Pressed” post was timely. :) Happy moving!

  26. I often leave my books in airports, coffee houses, hostels and this week I gave four away to an English speaking couple in search of beach reads. They asked if there’s a bookstore that sells English books, I told them yes, my house! They were very pleased.

    Great post!

  27. great post :) I love the decluttering process, and I’ve moved overseas a few times so I’m getting quite expert at it!

    Just a thought about the books. We recently started a “swap library” at our office on a small bookcase. No charge for the books, just bring one if you want to take one.

    Good luck on the move, and congrats on Freshly Pressed !

  28. I’ve lived in Spain for the past 2 years and English books are hard to come by. There are bookstores in Madrid that sell English books but they tend to be on the expensive side. Finally, I caved and asked for an e-reader for my birthday. I was anti-e-reader for the longest time because I love curling up with an actual book. I like reading in Spanish but sometimes it’s just nice to read in my native language. Hands down the best decision I’ve ever made, I’m in love with my Kindle.

    Now that I’m moving back to the States after 2 years in Spain, I have a pile of books I need to somehow get rid of. Transatlantic moves are quite the conundrum!!

    Good luck decluttering!

  29. Another idea for downsizing is to Freecycle. When I went from a 7 room house to 3 room apartment, I freecycled loads of my stuff. Just check them out on Google–they’re everywhere. It will make you feel like Santa Claus when you give things you know have worth to people who really need and want them. No money, no trading, no dumpsters, no waste. Put it up on the computer, say yes to the emails and put your stuff on the porch or whatever. Great folks, freecyclers–and good for the environment. Good luck with your move and thanks for the article.

  30. I moved from Washington to Arizona not too long ago, and I managed to fit clothes, art supplies, bedding, dishes, and miscellanious stuff into seven boxes and a small chest of drawers. I had cleared out half my closet and donated it all to goodwill. It was pretty relieving to get rid of it all, although I will admit to hoarding my books.
    For larger stuff, craigslist is usually a good place to start. So many college kids need basic furniture (I’m one of them)!

  31. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! Good luck with your new adventure! I love living in a small space, it’s amazing how it can feel much more spacious than a bigger home.

    Personally, I love de-cluttering and getting rid of things I don’t need. I generally put myself through 2 culling sessions a year- there are things I know I won’t keep but aside from those, I have an “on notice” list. Those are the items I haven’t used in the last 6 months. If I don’t use them by the time the next cull rolls around, they’re gone.

    If after a year I can’t remember who gave me the item, it’s gone. My favourite tactic is paring down to to the point I need to replace something int he near future. It’s perfect because my taste in decorating is evolving and it’s time to add something new to my home.

    I currently have a studio apartment packed into my tiny bedroom and while it’s full and cluttered, it won’t take me long to move.

    It’s a huge challenge but it’s liberating. Be ruthless because the items you keep will be extra special.

  32. Very often local libraries will accept used paper backs for their used book sales. Donate them! Good luck in paring down. It actually sounds exciting, kind of like going camping.

  33. Your post makes me think about so many things!

    I have moved A LOT over the years. Last month was the most recent in fact. I wrote a little about it recently. We are still purging even after the move.

    I’m also reminded of moving to California with my parents at age 13. We sold nearly everything we owned. All our possessions fit into the back of a pickup truck. Good times.

    Enjoy CA! It’s a beautiful state – and one of my favorite places I’ve lived.

  34. I’m the kind of person that gets irritated if things start to clutter up around me so on occasion I have to purge things from the house. So I love this post!

    Congrats on the move and being freshly pressed!

  35. Great post – thanks for the tips! I could have used some of these a few months ago when I was going through my own downsize dilemmas. I started a new chapter in my life and began it with going from a full apartment of stuff down to one bag that I am now carrying around with me on my new adventure. It sure was difficult going through the de-clutter process, but oh so liberating as well! Good luck with the move.
    -Rene

  36. That is always our situation here as expats in UAE because we will eventually leave the country for good. Anyway, we had experienced similar situation last April when we moved from 2 bedroom apartment to a studio room. It took us weeks to sort out, pack and throw. Unfortunately we cannot let go of our collection of books. That’s heartbreaking.. I tried ebooks but still the hardcover books are the best..

    Anyway, all the best!

  37. The decluttering also gets rid of old energy and gives room for the new. Very often we hang on to the old and that stagnates our life.
    According to Feng shui… Decluttering unclogs stagnant energy.

    After decluttering it’s advisable to burn some frankincense or sandalwood incense. And have a salt bath before ur actual shower.

  38. Very very few people read lately, and it does suck i read a lot myself and i can never let go of my books, i have to move from Malaysia( where i have been studying for 4 years) back to my home country and i just cant seem to let go of anything.. :-(.. great post though..

  39. Here in Tbilisi we can sell second-hand books at low price but worth it, to the local English-language bookstore…you might find a second-hand book seller that buys them off you!

  40. I’m planning (with my fingers crossed) to build and move into a 130 sq. ft. Tumbleweed Fencl in the near future and I can’t wait to start de-cluttering and getting rid of possessions that have weighed down my life. Life has so much more to offer than just STUFF.

    I was recently told that “Put Your Life on a Diet: Lessons Learned from Living in 140 sq. ft” was a great book to read for this type of lifestyle change and downsizing (and it’s really cheap on Amazon!).

  41. It’s a pain I share all too well. I went from an apartment with over 2000sqft to about 600sqft and it’s been quite an adjustment. I have tons of stuff I don’t want to part with and that’s been the biggest problem. I place a value on most of it and I just can’t toss it or give it away. I’m working to overcome that and accept that I have too much junk and decrease it. I think I want to get to the point that if I did decide to move, that I could in short notice and with little preparation – right now that would be impossible. Just keep in mind, it’s all material and doesn’t matter.

  42. Great decluttering tips! It’s lucky that you are not sentimental, which makes getting rid of things so much easier! I moved to a different country, so I know what it’s like to stick to the essentials! I sort my clothes every season and I now only keep books that I love or need (which reduces them to a very low number!). I only buy things for the house that are useful for everyday, rather than just ‘pretty’! Good luck with the move!

  43. I need to do this. I’ll be moving back in with my boyfriend after a year living away for studies. I’ve accumulated a lot, and we’re not sure it will all fit in the car! Books and clothes are the majority, so these tips are very helpful!

  44. I read a lot and resist e-readers, but still I have no clutter. When I have finished a book, I pass it on as a present to somebody else. If I happen to be on a train when I finish it, I just leave it there, for somebody else to find.

  45. Hahaha what a post for me to find today. For this Independence day I have decided to become independent from my clutter, I will definately be using these tips in the coming weeks.

  46. Super! Once heard that decluttering saved a person from severe depression. We are all connected with our stuff, so we should make sure we are surrounded by the right things!

  47. Great info in posts & comments. Lighten the load, portable wealth only. Moving & storage is really expensive. You can always pick up what you need when you get there via Freecycle, thrift & consignment shops, or rent furnishings till you are able to replace. Best Wishes on your new adventure!

  48. I just recently moved across Canada and to completely de-clutter my possessions. I’ve been doing this for so many weeks now that I don’t even need to stop and think about the decision to throw something out. I can now recognize the need to get rid of an item by the feeling.
    If I open up the box and am light, energized, and happy to see something I brought back, its a keeper. If I see an item and feel heavy, irritated, and burdened by it (usually accompanied by the though, “Why did I keep this?!”) then I pitch it.
    Its scary at the time, but I feel so much better afterwards!

  49. yes, i also stick to the 6-month rule on clothes, unless they’re the only kind left then i’ll keep ‘em. i’m not so much a clothes-shopper. books on the other hand are quite different! i’m a bargain hunter, so sometimes i can only tell if a book’s a keeper after buying them. but i get into a habit of giving my old books as a gift to friends come birthdays and Christmases.

  50. I can a complete obsession with buying books. I really do need to consider buying an e-reader and clearing out some of the old stuff that I’ll never touch again. Thanks for this post, and congrats on being FD’d. :)

  51. I’m a book lover, but I have to agree with your assessment on the paperback books. If I absolutely love a book and will read it again and again, it has to be a hardcover, although it is difficult to find hardcovers for poetry.
    That being said, I want to sing the praises of Paperback Swap, where I have got rid of a lot of my books and got others (hardbacks that I want) in return. And I can only beg people to donate to their local library…I can’t bear to see books thrown in the trash…

  52. Shoot, everyone! The comments section on this post is just as useful as the article itself! Thanks for all of the great tips!!!

  53. I’m a master de-clutterer too. I moved from a very large house with detached garage to a much smaller house with no garage. I gave away most of my books. I have a kid who won’t throw away anything, she’s a big reader and collects books. Bought her behind a Kindle and that has really helped. Once I paid them to give me their books, like a reverse garage sale. It worked. We did keep The Harry Potter Series, though. She rereads them often. Twilight too, but the hard cover Harry Potter books mean more to her, I think. There was a great book that helped, “It’s All Too Much” or something. Anyway, I found we need less stuff. Plus in smaller digs you just can’t keep useless things.

  54. Great post, Congratulations on being “Prressed”. I’ve always lived in small spaces and I aquire lots of stuff, so decluttering is a constant need. I got my Kindle a year and a half ago and it is the best investment I ever made. I currently have 300 books in it, and I’ve archived over 100 that I read since I got it. No clutter and all those books at my fingertips.My challenge now is kitchen equipment. Theres no Kindle for that clutter!

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  56. i can so relate to this article right now! i just did a “de-cluttering” myself just this week. the easiest part was to get rid of some of the clothes. it only took me less than 10minutes to sort them out. one rule: have i worn it at least once this year? if not, then they ended up for donation. easy, breezy.

    also, i love this part: “I re-read the Harry Potter series probably every couple of years from 1-7, so those books will always be on my bookcase (and some are paperback just to give you an idea).” I’m such a big HP fan too!!

    Congrats on being FP’ed!

  57. I love portland. I grew up in beaverton, and I to might be moving in like six months. So i have started doing the same sort of things.
    For me the hardest part is getting all my cd’s ripped, and old tapes copied to the computer .)
    I have like 27 8mm video tapes, and they are slowly being copied to my computer .

    I so need an e reader .

  58. Decluttering is amazing!!!! it is sometimes great to put behind all the treasures you have had and give them to someone else who will enjoy them more. As my dad always says, ‘another man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’

  59. Great blog, only when you move you notice how much has accummulated in the years. Still sometimes you should declutter even if you do not move. I live in a small flat and if I buy something new, something old has to go as there is no space…..clothes included. That is a great way to not have too much. Still I do hve an attic which need attention again, too many boxes go up there. :-)

  60. Nothin wrong with a little(a lot) downsizing, decluttering, and reorganizing. As a book worm I congratulate you on your acquired books and I feel your pain for possibly having to get rid of some of them. I did get a little angry when I saw the Twilight book, but its OK because I saw the Harry Potter book :)

  61. Although we aren’t making a move like yourself, my family has been doing a serious decluttering ourselves…going through boxes still packed from when we moved into our house about 7 years ago. I think we finally came to the concluson that if we can’t even remember what was stored in those boxes, and we haven’t used what was in them since we’ve moved in, then it’s probably time to get rid of them. With a new living room remodel underway, it’s a perfect time for us to have a yard sale and make a few extra bucks to treat us to some new items for our new living room….although this time around, we’re keeping it simple!

    Happy decluttering!! Thanks for sharing some of your tips:)

  62. Found your blog on Freshly Pressed. Loved this post- I actually just made the exact opposite move you’re about to- from California to Oregon… definitely a need to adjust to the “climate” change aspect and take a fresh look at my wardrobe.
    Also, I know it might sound crazy to move from a spacious home to a crowded apartment, but I lived in LA for 7 years and absolutely loved it. I miss it like crazy. I hope you enjoy the change!

  63. Pingback: Day 190 – Neat and Tidy « The Neophyte Photographer

  64. This post came along at just the right time. I’m feeling suffocated by our stuff, and I’ve got a husband who hangs on to everything. I’m guilty on the book front, and so have decided to make a serious effort in decluttering.

  65. Pingback: Dresser Reorganization at its Finest « I am Perfectly Imperfect

  66. Absolutely agree about the books. The e-readers make traveling so much easier/better, but the library is definitely the way to go. You can still read the books you love over and over (but may have to wait a bit longer if other people feel the same way about them).

  67. I’m a shameless free pile rumager and thrift store shopper. I just picked up some clothes last night! Whenever I buy (or otherwise acquire clothing), I make a point of going through my wardrobe and pitching some things. I think I need to do it again. The 6-12 month criteria will be super useful in keeping my wardrobe from getting unmanageable.

  68. I’m very wondering that what kind of camera do you use ? Because that all the pictures in your blog are pretty good and look like it was taken from professioner. So please let me know the camera you use.

    • @Jenny – we have two cameras actually – one is a Nikon DSLR and we also have a Panasonic Lumix. Thanks for the compliment on the pics! We do try!!

  69. I have one comment about you seeming to contradict yourself. You are giving tips on how to declutter, then you suggest hardcovers which are always large (thus making more clutter) and more expensive. :P I personally prefer paperbacks because they travel easily. Plus I love the look of an awesome, well-used paperback. We have at least five copies of LOTR and the Hobbit.
    One odd thing is that I’m against E-Reader. Yes, I have the Kindle app on my phone, but I have never paid for a book (my father kindly allows me the use his account and I love the free books they post up that make work breaks much more tolerable). I just love the feel and smell of a book. Plus, you never run out of battery with a book, which I always like. :) But overall these are awesome suggestions. (^~^)

    • Good point! I think the biggest takeaway is that you don’t need a large volume of books to keep. And if you must keep them, then they may as well look pretty!

      • I MUST HAVE ALL THE BOOKS!!!!
        Lol.
        I can’t let go of my books. It’s too hard for me. I intend to have a library room one day, and I need to have stock for it! :P

  70. I usually get rid of my clothes in seconds much to my mother’s dismay but I find it so hard to get rid of books.Everytime I pile up a set of books for discarding, one by one they creep back into my shelf. I need to gain the strength to give some of them away. These are some great tips and I’m sure it will come handy for me. :)

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