The "Bag A Week" Club

@HiToWaMom I couldn’t find a “my mouth is hanging open” button!

@VeryHappy oh how we tried to donate them. I’ve been on phone, emailing, and going places in person. Genealogical societies, two kinds of libraries, historical society . . . nothing. :frowning:

@HouseChatte: Try selling them on eBay??

Our Goodwill has a drop off area. No one inspects the stuff!

Ours too. They have no idea what’s in there until I’m a mile down the road!

I had to take them for recycling. There were just too many of them, the only place for them in the house was in the dining area and in our entry. I was tempted to do a drop and run at Goodwill, but they told me they couldn’t take them when I asked, and almost all the magazines had MIL’s address label on them. We’re still swamped with books, papers, and personal effects from MIL and I just can’t midwife the disposition of everything beyond a few good-faith attempts. It’s so crushing being surrounded by all the things she decided to amass and keep.

@HiToWaMom, is there a church or agency in your area that works directly with immigrant families? They might be able to facilitate your donation.

Husbands and magazines - oh, the humanity. My husband thinks he has every issue of Consumer Reports and Golf Magazine published in the past 40 years. I’ve thinned them out considerably, but there are still so many. Really - who cares what dishwasher CR recommended in 1981?

@HouseChatte I am breathing easier just picturing how much you’re getting rid of - well done!

I envy you guys whose go-to Goodwill don’t have staff waiting to inspect your offerings.

Trying to reduce the number of CDs. I’ve been listening to the maybe-pile CDs during my commute instead of listening to the radio. It’s rather daunting. (and what do I do if I love only one or two songs of the CD? Keep? Pitch?)

For the books, we go to Half Price Books. They sort the books you bring in into “toss”, “donate to library” and “sellable”.
They pay you cash for the “selllable” books. With that money, my husband and I visit Trader Joe’s next door and buy cheap wines to celebrate the purging!!

Looking for an update from @swimcatsmom. Wasn’t she getting a dumpster delivered?

Also waiting for her report

I have avoided even reading this thread, if that gives you any idea of my finely-honed procrastination skills and the vast amount of crap (ours plus both sets of parents who moved into memory care in crisis mode without ever having downsized) we’ve accumulated! I would love to send the entire contents of the garage off in a dumpster; we haven’t been able to park a car there since DD was in third grade (she’s 26 now). Over the Memorial Day weekend, both DH and I spent some time going through piles in the master bedroom and study, resulting in a trunk load to Goodwill and a couple of large black trash bags by the curb.

I have calendared daily smallish jobs for myself for the next two weeks. Today’s was the cabinet under the master bathroom sink and my makeup drawer (yesterday’s was the kitchen junk drawer). So my progress is not dazzling, but if I can keep going (not to mention if DH continues his efforts), it will start to make a big difference. I feel encouraged - had really underestimated the degree to which clutter exhausts us psychologically.

^^ sounds like a great start, @yauponredux! Good luck!

One step at a time is all you can do!! It sounds like you’ve made a great start.

I would so like a dumpster delivered…but my marriage would end.

@yauponredux - you’re off to a terrific start! I love to make lists and small daily goals. It feels so satisfying to make progress, even small amounts.Welcome and happy decluttering.

I weeded through the drawers in my bedroom earlier in the week and tossed some stuff, while setting other things aside for donation. I need to tackle my closet before I take the donations. However, this afternoon the spirit moved me to tackle books (and I have many) since I will be near the library when I got for Wednesday’s hair appointment. I pulled out about a sixth of my books to donate to the library for their semi-annual book sale. I’m sure I could shed more books and I will before I retire and move in about 2 years, but progress!

I didn’t even get an entire bag, but I cleaned my side of the closet, and put many clothes I won’t wear until fall in a big bin. I am culling, slowly but surely. I’ve found it makes me feel better to try and find some things a new home before donating. My step daughter is much shorter than I am, so shirts that are short on me fit her well, for example.

@2VU0609 way to make the most of the spirit having moved you! I know that there are many occasions when I am not doing the most urgent thing, but sometimes doing ANYTHING at all is a victory!

If you have a bunch of stuff RENT A DUMPSTER - it’s a game changer!

I’m exhausted. I had the 30 cubic yard dumpster delivered Friday 17th and it’s almost full! I started work on the garage the weekend after the dumpster was delivered then took 3 days off work mid week. My daughter came and helped those days. I went to work Friday then worked more over the weekend and she came back with her husband on the Sunday so he could help with heavier stuff. I continued the Monday of memorial day weekend but was so tired I didn’t drag myself out of bed till almost noon. We got a lot done despite the terrible weather and rain and flooding that plagued our area that week. We are lucky our house is fine - just a lot of rain on a couple of the days I had taken off. My road to work is washed out (several feet deep in one place) and I will have a longer drive to work for several months but that is nothing compared to people who have lost or incurred serious damage to businesses and homes - most won’t have flood insurance).

The dumpster is about 7/8 full. We have it till Friday 14th (here you can keep it 29 days for the $355 charge them if you don’t empty it twice a month at $355 per empty they charge rent of about $200 a month) so we need to finish filling it up in the next 12 days. If I feel we need it again (H does not think we need it again but we will see) I’ll wait till the fall - it’s getting hot and humid (I think the flood waters are increasing the humidity) plus I will be going to England for a couple of weeks in late June to see my brother so nothing would be done for 2 1/2 weeks.

Most of the stuff in the dumpster is the accumulated mountains of junk from our 3 car garage. The garage still has a ways to go but the back of the work is broken. What a difference! it really is a huge garage - I had forgotten how big It is. the car area is sort of an L shape - space for one car in the back part and generous space for 2 in the front, and then a storage room next to the one car part. I thought the one car area in the back wasn’t as full (couldn’t see it) but as the mountains of junk were removed from the front I realized it was just as bad in the back. H had been bringing things in through the back single garage door - mostly probably from when his parents died. Most of it is awful ugly furniture in really bad condition. We probably have 3-4 large old and ugly pieces of furniture, 3 chests (not pretty ones) and a hideous hutch his grandpa made that is literally falling apart and looks like it was painted with lead paint (my daughter unsuccessfully tried to convince him it should go - it’s really hard to put in words how dreadful it is - he insists he will repair it and we know he won’t). Some huge commercial tools (would have been his Dad’s from one of his businesses - I guess I should be thankful there are no coffins from another business!) - that I can’t imagine will ever get used. I’m not pushing the issue of getting rid of the furniture and huge tools - but they have to stay in the one car section. That is also where the good tools he could use will be so will restrict the space he has available there. I may sound harsh - I’m all for keeping some a few things for sentimental reasons but nice stuff and not half a house worth!

The rest of the stuff I was mostly pretty ruthless about. I think he realized I had reached breaking point so didn’t complain as much as I thought he would and I just ignored him when he did. Honestly, so much stuff that might have have been donatable was ruined by being out there. Having my daughter was a huge help both physically and for moral support. There were some funny moments - me asking about a bucket of heavy stick things “what are these?” “Welding rods” “why do we have welding rods?” " For the welder" “we have a welder?” . Apparently so - huge thing. And rocks. Apparently H has been collecting rocks all his life. We have a lot of boxes of rocks. The phrase “more F ’ ing rocks” was said more than once!

I had hoped to get more of the porch and some outside junk into the dumpster. There was so much in the garage plus H wanted an old couch and recliner from the den to go ? and there is not much room left so that that won’t happen this round. I have 4 things I would really like to fit in it cause they are heavy so will be hard to dispose of otherwise - an old large microwave that has been on a shelf for 30 years - we got in England and took it to Egypt. Their rules required us to take it with us when we left and it could not be used in the US. An old small above ground pool (the type you get at walmart) - though that could be cut in pieces and go in the trash over time. An old heavy synthetic Christmas tree. And an old piano that can’t be tuned any more (would have to break it up). Not sure they’ll all fit but will do what we can.

Huge progress. Long way to go but it begins to feel doable now. I’ll make one more report when the dumpster is full then will be back to bags at a time for a while.

Oh and daughter and her husband ripped out the old tub that needs to be replaced.

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