August 4, 2017

Decluttering Distractions

Feeling the lack of space is hindering my ability to add to my emergency supplies, I restarted my decluttering efforts.  I went to the garage and found two large boxes of files and miscellaneous items that have been sitting there for two years.  Why haven’t I gone through them before?  Procrastination, that’s why!  I dread going through these boxes because I don’t want to deal with what’s inside.

I finally made myself open them and deal with the contents.

Old resumes and pay history from past employers This information comes in handy when you apply for a job and you are asked for a work and pay history so long ago you don’t even remember it yourself.

Old tax returns.  I researched how long to hang on to tax returns and the advice varies from 6 years to indefinitely.  I will keep them until I find a good way to back them up in a digital file.

Other items that have turned up:

Owners manuals for items I no longer own.   I sold the actual items years ago without the manuals, and now the manuals turned up.   Believe it or not there is actually a market for old instruction manuals in Ebay.  If the item is not obsolete, someone will want the manual. I was able to sell the owners’ manuals for an HP calculator and an old digital camera. 

Kids’ old artwork.  For sentimental reasons, these are hard for me to part with.  While I would like to keep them, many of them are over-sized pages and take up a lot of room.  I think I will take a photo of each one and make a digital scrapbook.

Old receiptsWhile it is interesting to see how much was spent on what, the folly of overspending in lives past can haunt us to this day.  Why oh why did I spend $$ on such and such…  Best move on; if you have learned your lesson there is no point in repeatedly flogging yourself over past financial indiscretions.

Hobbies that never were.  What do you do with craft items that were bought with intent to take them up as hobbies?  The candle making, cross stitch kit from 10 years ago-they went in the Goodwill donation pile.  Maybe someone else can benefit from my misplaced good intentions.

I think the main reason I never got around to opening these boxes is de-cluttering can send you on an unintended trip down memory lane.  Opening these long forgotten files makes you face your memories, both good and bad, in essence parts of yourself.   Don’t get stalled!   I almost felt like closing them back up for another year, but I persevered.  I relentlessly weeded and shredded.  In the end, the reward…  more space for emergency supplies we need now, and the feeling of security that it brings.

10 Comments on Decluttering Distractions

    • Millenniumfly, AptPrepper husband and I disagree about stuff like this as well. His philosophy– if you bring one item in, then one has to go, is too tough for me. I tend to hang on to stuff longer.

  1. We are in a small space like your family and withe prepping, we are always re-organizing to make room as our cache grows. We try to always keep organized and get rid of things each season that someone grew out of or no longer uses and try to make some money if we can for supplies and others we donate. We have a small car and even with our garage, it gets filled fast. Thanks goodness we are not pack rats or we really would be in trouble. 🙂

    • Hey Clarissa, we are in the same boat! Making some extra money from junk is a plus and makes the trouble worth it.

  2. I very rarely throw things away, but every 9 months or so , we go through the different buildings and look for anything that absolutely will never be useful. Mostly it is old teaching paraphernalia my wife has stashed here or there. Then I haul a truck load to the dump.

    • Hey AtH, it’s a good thing you declutter on a regular basis. You do have a lot more room, I probably would not be as fanatical about getting rid of stuff if I had more room to store stuff 🙂

  3. We got lucky with getting rid of a hobby that never was as you called it! My husband bought a kayak, but ended up not enjoying it and never using it, so we sold/traded it to make room in our apartment. We not only made cash, but the buyer also traded us a bar of silver that I was so excited about!

    • I am sure the kayak is now benefiting someone else somewhere, but just did not work out for you. You came out ahead for sure. Nice trade, Marie!

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