Sunday, March 30, 2014

Still de-cluttering.

Working on the notion that a less cluttered house is easier to sell, I went against my long-standing anti-storage unit stance and ponied up the first month's rent on a unit. I just do not like the idea of rental storage - why pay to house things you don't even want to be using? But in transitional situations they can make sense, so I am temporarily packing away things I won't need for the short-term. As you can see, a couple of boxes of books that I didn't get rid of headed to storage.
The first load I took on Thursday looked a little forlorn in the cavernous space.  Given our proximity to a temperate rain forest, I went with a climate-controlled unit so I won't come back to find it mouldering away. That means that I have to park outside and lug things in through a hallway.
For reasons that aren't clear to me, the hallways have doors every few units. They are kept propped open and I have to close the one next to mine to be able to get at the lock. I accidentally let it slam shut behind me and then no amount of pulling on the handle would budge it. I had to crawl through this little opening in the door and then kick it right under the handle to open it.  t was one of those ninja moments.
It's remarkable what you can fit in the back of a Prius. I thought it would be halpful to have the basement also look as spacious and clean as possible. It's huge, actually - almost 2000 SF, including the garage and bomb shelter. In fact, the space under the house is bigger than the living space of the house above it, because it extends under the screened in porch. I concentrated on moving stuff that I normally keep there. Tools, gardening equipment, sawhorses, and the boxes of Christmas stuff.

A complete aside - in my cleaning, I found a little notebook that I think belonged to my younger son years ago when I was still married. He'd only written on the first three pages and was obviously figuring things out:
page 1 - "8 1/2 weeks till Chrismas"
page 2 - "Mom and Dad's closet"
page 3 - "won't let us in closet"
The storage unit at the end of the weekend, after four loads. I plan to take another load in the morning before work and then just take things whenever I'm going into town anyway. In the meantime, I continue to take loads in to the Goodwill-like agency run by the college in my town. I'm finding that one of the tricky things about de-cluttering when you don't know where you are going to live next is that, well, you don't know where you are going to live next. For instance, will I have a fireplace? If not, I don't need the fireplace tools. But if so, no sense in getting rid of them and having to buy a new set.  I'm now viewing the de-cluttering as a two-part process. I'll get rid of what I don't need under any circumstances now and then do another wave after I've moved and furnished the new place. And then I will happily go back to not renting a storage unit.

39 comments:

  1. Good luck with that. I wound up paying for 3 years, absolute insanity when I look back, nearly $10,000 I could have used in other areas of my life. Madness. On stupid replaceable stuff.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. Wow, that was some expensive storage you had! This is definitely short-term - just until I move.

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  2. I like your idea of using a storage space because you're right, in transitional situations I think it makes perfect and wise sense.

    " I had to crawl through this little opening in the door and then kick it right under the handle to open it. It was one of those ninja moments."

    You GO, girl! When I first looked at that photo, I though the little square opening was a doggie door.

    And WOW...that basement of yours sounds HUGE.

    The best to you with your continued de-cluttering and preping your house for sale. And by the looks of it, you're doing a faaaaabulous job!

    Cheers!

    X

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    1. It reminded me of a doggie door, too! Fortunately it was big enough for me to get through.

      The basement is crazy big. I'll miss that when I move.

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  3. it all makes sense to me and it sounds like you have a good plan with your 2 or 3 step process.

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    1. I hope so - now I just need to sell the place.

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  4. Were I to move, I'd be going through that too. My excess can always be put into what I call the 'kids rooms'.
    The bit about you easing under the door......remind you of a move? Silence of the Lambs?
    Be careful out there, it's a jungle.

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    1. I never saw that movie - I shy away from horror films because I don't need any more nightmare imagery.

      I'll have "kids' rooms" but my goal is to not have them filled with excess.

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  5. Good to hear of your continued victories. Hearing a door lock behind me is an awful feeling (glad you were able to use your ninja skills). I can remember being at a 10 pm meeting with others in a downtown bank office, and going through a wrong door--hearing the lock behind us. We lucked out that the person with the key had not left yet.

    Surprise snow on the ground up here. Yuck.

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    1. I don't know what I'd have done if it hadn't had the opening. I always bring my phone in with me now, just in case!

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  6. makes sense to use during the transition...smiles...glad you had that hole at least to get through...way to go ninja....smiles...ha, funny on the journal entries as well...lets you know what was on their minds....

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    1. There is so much going on in a kids' head that you rarely get access to.

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  7. I had to put my mother's furniture and belongings in storage for almost a year. The rates kept being raised--almost $200 a month for a small unit. I think it's a business that benefits from no other great options :-)

    You are so damn competent!

    cs, thanks for your comment at my place. Made me warmly smile xo

    Love
    kj

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    1. That's high. But it's a booming business to be sure.

      And you're welcome - it's truth. :-)

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  8. Makes total sense in your thought a less cluttered house could be easily to sell. Because I bought a house that didn't have much storage space, but things looked not cluttered, I assumed it had a lot of storage only to quickly fill up what space we had before we ran out of boxes to unpack, so when we were thinking of selling the house, actually 2 years before we actually did, I went with your thought to get a storage unit and move things over to make things look less cluttered in the house. It worked great and was less clutter filled until I realized six months later we weren't going to sell the house right then (it wasn't on the market, we were just thinking of doing so) so I cancelled the storage unit and brought everything back to home. Surprisingly, the house sold 2 days after we put it on the market 2 years later a cluttered mess, but that was when real estate was at its prime and things were going quickly with multiple offers and even offers above the selling price.

    You and I share the same thought on avoiding storage spaces. It is amazing that people will fill up storage spaces and pay for them for years.

    My theory when we moved from Montana back to Southern California (when we literally dumped half of what we had) was that if I had two of something, I only needed one. So we had two couch sets (we did have a finished basement that one of the couch sets was in the den down there, the kids' hang out) so I got rid of one of them, same with everything else. Only thing that it was a problem with was we had 2 whisks, a large one and a small one. I got rid of the small one and hubby wished I had kept the small one (actually wished I kept both but he's the hoarder, I'm not). Seven years later we still have the large one and haven't replaced it with a smaller one.

    Cute journal you found from your son :)

    betty

    betty

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    1. I wish the housing market was that good now. But loads of storage space is one thing I have going for this house. A hoarder would love my basement!

      I am also getting rid of things that are duplicates. That especially makes sense for things you can buy inexpensively when yu break or lose the single copy. And I only want as much furniture as I absolutely need. I plan to get rid of almost all the furniture in the den and just keep what's in the living room.

      And thanks - that journal made me giggle and also tear up a little.

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  9. You're making much better progress than I am. I just took another load to the storage unit today.

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    1. Everyone has a different tolerance for "stuff." It just happens that mine is a little low, but I don't insist it should be that way for everyone!

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    2. My neighbor is that way. Except that I feel bad for her when she comes over because she flinches.

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  10. I looked into the storage unit before our move, but then decided to just store the stuff at my inlaws because it really wasn't that much. The door closing would have made me panic!

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    1. The other reason I wanted a storage unit was to make the move itself easier - once I get a buyer, I can start packing away anything that can be transported by car and only have big furniture to move on moving day.

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  11. "little opening in the door" - I'm thinking your situation is the reason they put the opening in the door. Very odd.
    You'll need massage time after all this moving and lifting. Good luck

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    1. Maybe so. I can't figure out another reason.

      My plan is to schedule a massage when the house sells.

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  12. I think this is the actual purpose of a storage unit, though it is common for people who've had to downgrade to use stoarage units to make up for the lack of space.

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    1. But if you can store it long-term, why do you need it?

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  13. We don't have a lot of clutter. In fact people sometimes remark on how clutter-free our house is. I think we must be natural minimalists.

    I wonder if potential buyers are really put off by a bit of clutter? After all, they know you'll be moving out and taking all the clutter with you, leaving them an empty house.

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    1. I think having kids alters things. There is only so much minimalism you can have with kids in the picture.

      Everything I've read says buyers want to see space and to imagine their own things in it. I am sure some don't care at all, but why turn off the ones who do?

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  14. Across the road from a new development of townhomes, by the railway tracks is what I thought was another development, but turns out to be a huge new storage space! That could be handy for the new homeowners who have downsized ;)
    your unit looks huge compared to most of the ones I've been in.

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    1. It's 10 X 15 feet. There wasn't a big price increase from 10 X 10, so I thought I might as well get all the space I need since it's meant to be short-term.

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  15. If you ever decide to leave the psychology gig, you should become one of those geniuses that help idiots like me get their lives organized. Yesterday I took my suitcase down into the basement and felt like crying when I saw how messy it is down there. I can't stand it, and I don't know where to begin, so I just came back upstairs and closed the door and tried not to think about it. I need someone who understands organization the way you obviously do.

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    1. I have become convinced that the key to "organizing" is to get rid of as much stuff as you can tolerate. And the older I get, the more I am able to do that.

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  16. The only thing I am not looking forward to when we eventually downsize is decluttering!

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  17. I agree that storage units make no sense for long term storage but while you are selling your home I think it is a great idea to store things there that you will want to take with you when you move.

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