Skip to comments.This is what happens when you get rid of 75% of your stuff
Posted on 09/27/2016 10:13:41 PM PDT by aquila48
The way Cait Flanders got her financial house in order should probably come with a Try this at your own risk warning.
First, the Canadian blogger paid off $30,000 in student and credit card debt. A year later, Flanders threw out 75% of her belongings and put herself on a strict two-year shopping ban.
Since then, shes learned a lot about money, budgeting, and why we spend she even lost 30 pounds. Now she has some tips to share.
After becoming financially free, Flanders still didnt feel satisfied with the way she was handling her money, so in 2014, she gave herself a short list of approved items she could buy outside of food, experiences and personal items, only allowing herself to replace necessities, such as a pair of ripped pants or worn out shoes. After her first year was a success, she went for a second year, this time keeping track of everything she purchased. She finished up her ban this past July.
Now Flanders, who is traveling the U.S. on a two-month road trip, is writing a book, to be published by Hay House, about her experiences and how to help others with their money. She is no longer adhering to the shopping ban, but is always aware of the lessons she learned from the past five years of debt repayment.
Heres what she has to say about it all.
(Excerpt) Read more at marketwatch.com ...
Have the gubmint cut 75%. It won’t happen but it should happen.
I recently won the biggest battle of my life. I thought I was bad with money, and I was, but I finally overcame it through necessity and the wisdom of age. But my wife is 10 times worse. Now finally after years of discussions, I will be the sole manager of our money starting November.
I will be the wallet. Nothing gets spent except through me. This is a good thing.
its Amazing how frugal One can become By Practicing old Fashioned Habits. Our household spends less than $50k a year, and Most People think We spend at least 5 Times As much.
My Brother and my Father are collectors of “stuff”.
Not valuable stuff, just stuff.
There comes a point in Life where you no longer control your stuff, your stuff controls you. Watching my Brother and my Father my entire Life, I understand completely.
“Golux you are so impeccably dressed!” I have zero interest in buying anything new - as if the quality I demand can even be found at the local mall. Nope - a wardrobe of Ralph Lauren, J. Press, Bass, Woolrich, Lacoste comes from the thrift store and always has. Snob? Maybe. Frugal? Naturally! Debt? Only the house. Credit score? The best.
I would have thought she would have gone on the shopping ban first so she could pay off the debt.
It was a lot easier for me to quit decades of heavy drinking than it is for me to quite buying stuff. Especially now that I am not spending so much on booze.
I have a box in the kitchen labeled, ‘Used twist-its, rubber bands and pieces of string too short to save’.
More for the ladies: if you need to do a serious declutter, Google the Kon Mari method. The girl herself sounds super silly but the basics of her idea are sound and they work. It feels great. Moving again helped motivate us to lose a ton of belongings, but keeping our clothing in her storage style has made my life better. I used cheap plastic bins (with the lids stored elsewhere) and the clothing all on open shelves (except what actually needs to be hung like dresses), folded and in the various sized bins (cheap at Big Lots). You can see everything and nothing is on top of anything. Great for kids’ stuff too. Ignore her PCD silliness. Her plan is good.
And it can be worse than that. Your stuff can control your adult children and others.
My wife's mom started suffering from dementia and could no longer care for herself, so we took her in sometime early 2012. We began cleaning out her house and doing repairs. Four years later, we're still working out getting rid of her stuff while remodeling her house preparing it for sale. I'll mention just a few things.
Tens of thousands of plastic bags. How many can one use in a lifetime? I bundled many into large garbage bags, vacuum sucked them into large balls and brought them to plastic recyclers. Thousands of rags, neatly folded into bundles tied with string, everywhere in the house. Hundreds of bars of soap, many stuffed in drawers in bedroom chests. Many hundreds of articles of clothing, more than a dozen people could use in a lifetime. Then there's bolts of cloth, spools of thread, sewing machines, knitting accessories,etc. Many hundreds of books, magazines, vinyl records, VHS tapes, figurines, and so on. Lots of expired foodstuff, oils, spices, etc. None of her stuff is valuable.
Well, except for the crates of liquor and cigars. They were her husbands' stuff, he died several decades ago. We gave away hundreds of cigar boxes, the recipients said the cigars were still good despite the age. Same with the liquor, we made a bunch of people happy giving away brandy, rum and other aged liquor.
All this cleaning up made my wife and I take a hard look at ourselves, and we've begun clearing out much of our useless stuff. It does tend to tie you down and control you.
Great for garages, too. I actually came up with the same idea all by my lonely self and am using it to disorganize my garage. Use clear, open containers, no containers on top of each other, use shelves for separation (wire shelves for visibility) everything visible and easy to pull out and put back in. So far it’s working great.
My Father is 93 and lives by himself in a Condo we own.
He has stuff everywhere, but it was much worse when my Father was still driving and coming home with even more stuff.
When we had some Home Owners Association people in to do some work, they reported my Father to Administration as being a Hoarder. At that point we got rid of a bunch of stuff, but there is still a long way to go.
When he Passes, we will have our hands full and most of his stuff will probably just get hauled away to the Dump.
The person I feel for is my Brother’s Wife. My Brother makes my Father look like a Piker. LOL
“...food, experiences and personal items...”
That’s pretty much how we live, except for the occasional bottle of booze, my cigars, and a new game of Risk, although all those can be fit into her “experiences” category.
I did the same after cleaning out my MIL’s house. I had a 55 gallon burn barrel and it was burning or smoldering 24/7 for 2 weeks and that was just the paper.
I still have a 20X30 room full of stuff I’d give to charity if it was up to me but my SIL’s want it all but it’s been sitting there 3 years now.
My son and DIL are worse than my MIL. They just moved into a Doublewide and it is only 2100 sf after living in a 3100 sf house, most of their stuff is in the old house and that’s after purging 2 PU loads.
I made rules for my stuff:
1. Is it replaceable
2. Is it useful
3. Is it breakable/fragile
4. Is it demanding of special upkeep
5. Is it awkward, heavy
When we moved a lot I got to hating fragile and heavy items. I also mentally charge items “rent” for the space taken up because empty space is a real thing as well. I started a number of years ago giving away those precious “heirlooms” and I am glad I did that. Each well-placed item was a burden removed and I was able to share the story behind why it was meaningful.
Having lost my Dad in Dec. 2011, my cousin in Jan. 2012, my niece in May of 2014, my Mom in Dec. 2014 and my son last November, I have begun a process of leaving “breadcrumbs”... stories that my other sons don’t care about now, but one day I know they will find these stories of great value. When we lose people we tend to cling to objects connected to them. So many things need to go that feel wrong to get rid of. Instead of keeping so many things I am keeping a few and writing about them in a meaningful way, leaving breadcrumbs about what mattered and why.
You’ll want to learn to sleep with one eye open ... ;-)
Stuff Collectors have not learned the art of loss and it’s sadness. It’s that simple.
In general, if you haven’t used it in the last year, it is just a waste and should be disposed of. This includes everything from food, clothing, toys, games, electronics, and brick-a-brack.
The exceptions are “personal treasures” or articles of sentimental value. Other exceptions include investments, or heirlooms.
It is fine to stockpile food, and necessities in the case of preparedness. As well as items which might eventually have worth or value.
Most people only need a mere handful of things. Cutting out the clutter in your life will greatly improve the quality of your life.