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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Frugal Zeitgeist: Decluttering and Closets

As usual, I'm right in the zeitgeist, along with everyone else. I spent a hard day reorganizing a closet (Mr. FS's, still not done). Like everyone else, we have too much stuff. We live in an old house with very paltry storage space. Even so, we have too much stuff. Thank HEavens for tiny closets, I say. Big closets would just attract more stuff.

Anyway, I seem to be in synch with everyone else. According to the Wall Street Journal, Baby Boomers are trying to unload their household goods and there aren't too many takers. The couple profiled has more and fancier stuff than I do. It's good to know that we can upgrade if we so desire, but I confess I love my scruffy stuff.

One motivator to declutter all by yourself comes from contemplating what it would cost to hire someone to help you. Similarly, fantasies of closet renovation are dashed when you consider the likely price tag. Once again, the Wall Street Journal has just the article you need.

I save the cost of a professional organizer by consulting my hero, Don Aslett.

What's your best motivator?


SewingLibrarian said...

My best motivator is seeing my mother struggling to deal with the mess that my father left her. He was a compulsive shopper and collector, and it took several auctions and years to get rid of it all. In fact, just last week she consigned the last big collection to auctioneers. My dad died in December, 2004. Mother has moved to a two-bedroom condo, and she is determined not to leave a similar mess for her children to deal with. As for me, I try to keep my closets under control, but I'm running behind on my own clothes closet at the moment. Must set aside some time for it.

Marcela said...

I have two motivators: I have what I call a Bree Van de Camp syndrome ;): I like to open a closet and see everything organized beautifully (even in shades of colors). That is easy to achieve when one doesn´t have too many things. My second big motivator is that we move countries fairly often and we prefer to do so lightly. We generally sell all furniture, etc and pack a maximum of 200 kilos to take with us. We rarely know with more than 30 days in advance when it's going to happen, so decluttering periodically helps the move go smoothly.
Also, we live in an apartment which doesn´t allow for that much clutter anyway. But still, every 6 months, we sort out what stays and what goes.

Shelley said...

I'm not good at this, not even with paltry closet space: I'm blessed/cursed with a large attic. Looking forward to reading more about what motivates your readers in case some of it will inspire me! There are definitely things of value in this house, but not amongst my clothing. My heirs would be very safe in taking all textiles past Ebay and straight to the charity shop.

Duchesse said...

We are moving and literally cannot give away stuff. What I find is that young parents do not want to buy used furniture even if custom built and still current looking. I blame the TV design/remodel shows.

Id say do not buy anything you expect to resell,ever unless you can afford the most exquisite antiques.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Sewing--We have that image (from Mr FS's parents who moved rather unexpectedly after a 40-year accumulation); nevertheless, we struggle with the issue.

@Marcela--Lucky you to move to so many interesting places. Had to look up Bree Van Camp--am I the only person who has never watched Desperate Housewives????

@Shelley--I'm in need of more inspiration myself.

@Duchesse--As a lover of the old/worn/loved, I find that dispiriting. New furniture is generally junk. I guess your sons aren't ready for any of your things...???

SewingLibrarian said...

@Duchesse, I guess times have changed. Most of our living and dining room furniture came from my husband's family. It's way better stuff than what we could afford in new furniture.