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Old 04-10-2010, 06:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Things you cannot throw away

I'm in the process of cleaning the apartment and I've come to a couple of conclusions about purging things from one's life.

There are a number of things I cannot throw away. I just feel down right uncomfortable with irreversible anxiety if I do throw them away.

I cannot throw away keys. Keys to old houses, lockers, etc. I for some reasons feel that I will somewhere some how need them again even if I will no longer or ever encounter that lock or door.

I cannot throw away remote controls. For the same reasons, so long as I have the item that is to be controlled, I figured I'd keep them, but once I've disposed of the unit and the remote becomes separated somehow. I still hold onto the remote. I think it is an extension of the key thing.

I cannot throw away plugs. I'm not talking about the normal
3 prong universal power cord 3 prong universal power cord
or
 2 prong figure 8 power cord 2 prong figure 8 power cord
but the small little cords that have the black block and odd AC adapter. I have tons of them but cannot locate what they actually plug into. I cannot seem to throw them away either, I also believe it is something related to the key situation.

Anyone have difficulty throwing things away?
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My mother and my husband (and his entire family, really) are all packrats and it drives me crazy. I am quite the opposite and routinely go through things and get rid of them if they a) are broken b) haven't been used/worn in the past year or c) are no longer needed (like my son's baby stuff he outgrew). I always have a box set aside somewhere for donatable goods and take it to the local church-run thrift shop once it's full. I don't like clutter and I don't feel the need to acquire "stuff". Except for things that have sentimental value (and I don't get attached to things often), I really have no problem throwing or giving things away.

That said, I keep boxes. Not just any box - but boxes that small electronics come in, jewelry type boxes (the white ones, not the fuzzy ones), small mailing boxes that are in good shape, etc. I always have a stash of boxes somewhere, but I do use them. I like to organize things, so I put things in boxes. I pull them out at Christmas or other holidays and use them to put gifts in. I rarely need to buy boxes to mail things because I usually have a suitable one. My husband teases me about my boxes. Perhaps I'm weird.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have enough little artsy craftsy things my 3 children made to fill a museum. Every time I pick one up and think about it, I can't throw it away. They'll have to do that some day.

Parts off of my "fun" car. Not routine maintenance parts like old oil filters and spark plugs, but every single original factory part ever removed during various upgrades and modifications over the years are all in my garage and basement. I'll never use them but there they are.

Those plugs Cynth mentioned, I have way too many of those, too.

School books. Not every single one, but for some reason I still have a large box full of certain text and note books from over 40 years ago that I can't throw away.

Certain magazines, mostly car and astronomy related. I have several large boxes full that I'll only look at again if I have to move the boxes; then I browse through them and wonder why I'm keeping them, then put that back in storage.

Certain pieces of wood. Like leftover hunks of 2X4's, pieces of boards, etc. I have so many I could almost build a house from scraps. But I can't throw away a good hunk of wood.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Same here, I don't throw away keys, remotes or any cords. I could probably benefit from tossing the remotes and keys but my box of cords has saved me a lot. I don't throw away old CDs or Cassettes either. I don't care if it's scratched to hell, unplayable and something I would never listen to, I just toss it on a spool and it sets there for years. I don't thow away boxes to the expensive items I buy like DVD players(they used to be expensive) or game consoles. Actually I don't really throw away many boxes at all. I do actually use most sturdy boxes though. Game console boxes just stay empty on the top shelf until well after the console has become obsolete.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm in a bit of a panic right now. I come from a family of packrats. At the moment Red and I are living in my parent's home (who are both deceased) but it is still full of stuff they had when they were living. My brothers don't want to deal with it. Red and I will be moving in about 2 months which means I only have 2 months remaining to deal with it since this home will be sold at that point. All of this has resulted in a huge increase of stress for me in having to deal with this. My parents built this home when I was 5, so there are things in this house that have been here almost my entire life. This is not what the OP had in mind with this thread, but this is where I am. Any one else ever deal with this? I would love to just give it all away, but how? Right now I am staring at my father's collection of Life Magazines, AU Glomerata's from 1897 that belonged to my grandfather, and a collection of dated empty beer cans that were my fathers. He drank a beer every year on the anniversary date of his wounding in Korea. Do I just toss them? What about my parent's souveniers from their trip to Haiti? What about my father's uniform from when he was at the Citadel? Sorry for the hijack. I'll go get a chai and recoup.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This thread reminds me that I should do some spring cleaning.

I tend to have a running collection of something that I can't get rid of for a few years. Books are my greatest weakness. The local library seemed to appreciate the donation of two bookshelves-worth of books two years ago. They're starting to pile up again...

I will periodically go through my things and pass along a bunch of stuff. Sometimes I purposefully throw in something that I really love, just to make sure that I can let go of it.

I would like to give away more of my clothes, but I allow my family to influence me on this account - my mother always begs me to keep them, in case I don't have money for new clothes later. Growing up, we would box up any clothes and pass them around among the cousins until they were completely worn out. Between this tradition and my mother's recent begging on the matter, I have developed the habit of mailing boxes of clothing home to my family when I'm sick of them, for them to deal with as they see fit.

I know I could live in a much smaller space, if I were only willing take the time to discard things more frequently.
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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OMFG, I just forgot about technology stuff, computer parts and cables, and software to run them.

I have IDE cables, AGP video cards, IDE CDROM drives, screws, brackets, SCSI boards, parallel printer cables, laplink cables (fuckin A laplink cables, like 4 of them!!!!)

---------- Post added at 01:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:08 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grancey View Post
I'm in a bit of a panic right now. I come from a family of packrats. At the moment Red and I are living in my parent's home (who are both deceased) but it is still full of stuff they had when they were living. My brothers don't want to deal with it. Red and I will be moving in about 2 months which means I only have 2 months remaining to deal with it since this home will be sold at that point. All of this has resulted in a huge increase of stress for me in having to deal with this. My parents built this home when I was 5, so there are things in this house that have been here almost my entire life. This is not what the OP had in mind with this thread, but this is where I am. Any one else ever deal with this? I would love to just give it all away, but how? Right now I am staring at my father's collection of Life Magazines, AU Glomerata's from 1897 that belonged to my grandfather, and a collection of dated empty beer cans that were my fathers. He drank a beer every year on the anniversary date of his wounding in Korea. Do I just toss them? What about my parent's souveniers from their trip to Haiti? What about my father's uniform from when he was at the Citadel? Sorry for the hijack. I'll go get a chai and recoup.
You may need to hire someone just to ask them to get rid of things that you have some sort of irrational or unexplainable emotional attachment to. I have asked Skogafoss in the past, to put things into a box and give me a dead line to go through them to take out a couple of things from the box but otherwise it will be disposed at the deadline.
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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maybe we should have a TFP Trading Post forum where we can trade our useless treasures for somebody else's really cool stuff


I also have some cool old computer parts ...they still worked when I stored them but probably impossible to find a computer that is compatible with this stuff. My favorite is a 10MB hardrive that's about 6" thick and 24" diameter with about four large magnetic disks inside of the cool clear plastic case.

Last edited by BadNick; 04-10-2010 at 12:42 PM..
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a LOT of trouble tossing out clothes. I don't know why. Maybe it makes me feel rich to see a ton of clothes in my closet, even if I only wear a handful of them.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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For whatever reason, I've noticed that I don't throw books away and fasteners of all kinds - like the extra screw that comes with your ready-to-assemble bookshelf. I have a ton of various little screws, nuts and bolts.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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i dont throw away t-shirts..or hats. they have sentimental value and i cant force myself to throw any of them away.

i also cant throw away books..i can give them away, but throwing away a book that someone else can possibly benefit from is a grave sin.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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My weaknesses have been clothing, books, and photographs.
And kitchen gadgets.
I got mad when I moved and dumped a ton of mostly useless items.
I've only had to replace two things from the kitchen... why I threw out a
great glass pitcher, I'm still not sure.
I've been forcing myself to pare down. The high-end resale place is
selling my clothes... I've made about $60 just on winter stuff.
I took a lot of my books to the used book dealer awhile back,
then put many I didn't read in the bin at work for the old people at the
residential facility at Hospice.
I actually threw out over 2000 photographs just after I moved.
Blurry things, doubles, negatives, etc.
I pulled out some for family members and kept two photo boxes.
But the rest went into the trash. I was actually kinda proud of myself.

And art supplies. Holy crap, I hoard art supplies. I still have my
orignial Prang watercolors from 8 years ago. They're awesome and the
formula changed, so I'll never be able to replace them.
The color is still so vibrant. Love.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Oh! I forgot. Baby clothes. I just can't throw away Mia's baby clothes. I feel that if I do that, I'll be cursed for seven years.
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
Life's short, gotta hurry...
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq View Post
.... things that you have some sort of irrational or unexplainable emotional attachment to...
Thanks. Outsiders can see things more clearly and can be very blunt about it.
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Last edited by Grancey; 04-11-2010 at 05:55 PM..
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlish View Post
i also cant throw away books..i can give them away, but throwing away a book that someone else can possibly benefit from is a grave sin.
I can't say I believe in sin. But I think the horrific act of throwing away a book---no matter how "trashy"---is an attack on civilization as we know it.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post
...fasteners of all kinds - like the extra screw that comes with your ready-to-assemble bookshelf. I have a ton of various little screws, nuts and bolts.
Well, I'm not alone.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:41 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Recently I had to move and sort out stuff I had owned since my childhood, until most of it fit into 4 large suitcases. It took me quite a few days, spread out over a couple months, and it was painful, but it's probably much better now.
I kept a lot of useless stuff when you look at it: I can't throw out my old ID cards, old class pictures, yearbooks, a couple of action figures from childhood.
Had to get rid of my old consoles; I set the throwaway limit at when it stops being possible to emulate it. So my NES, SNES and N64 were given away, and I play the ROMs on PC, but I had to keep my PS2.
If it's technology, and works, I either have to keep it or give it to someone. I've given out a couple small mp3 players.
But stuff like cables and adapters is where I have trouble. I must have 6 mini-B USB cables, and tons of other stuff that's there 'just in case'.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Grancey, my mother and sister and I are going through a similar trial right now, but luckily we don't have a very strict deadline on finishing the job. We are having an estate sale in late May, so we have about 2 months to decide what furniture/antiques we're selling and get them ready to go. We WERE going to put the house in the auction, but it's just too soon for all three of us working and putting off the job of going through everything.

My dad didn't really keep useless stuff, except for tools. Fortunately, the garage was his own little world, and we don't really know what was sentimental and what wasn't, so most of the tools are going to go.

We've gone through a ton of stuff in the lower level of the house, including ending a lot of items to Goodwill and giving away some things that friends/neighbors expressed interest in. Bedrooms aren't really full of stuff.. however, the attic hasn't even been touched yet. It's full of boxes of stuff that my parents didn't want to get rid of before we moved to this house in 1996, so that has to be faced as well.

After this experience, I'm going to be packing a lot lighter. It's hard for me to get rid of books or DVDs, but I've tossed all kinds of things that 5 years ago I thought I'd hold onto forever. Turns out that when you move and a box remains closed for over 6 months because there's nothing in there that you actually use or want.. you can just get rid of the whole box and you're most likely not going to care too much.
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:20 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I have 2 priority mail sized boxes of momentos and inherited things that I absolutely hang onto. I've moved frequently in the last several years, and was limited to hauling what could fit in my truck. Even books, as much as I love them, for the most part are becoming something I am able separate with.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PonyPotato View Post
... I've tossed all kinds of things that 5 years ago I thought I'd hold onto forever. Turns out that when you move and a box remains closed for over 6 months because there's nothing in there that you actually use or want.. you can just get rid of the whole box and you're most likely not going to care too much.
This is so true. Though you don't need to move to experience this. Packing things in a box, then coming back to them in a year offers a new perspective.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:26 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Old chargers for cellphones I've thrown away. Blank Zip disks (I haven't had a Zip drive since '03). Phone cables. Assorted hardware from old appliances. I keep various receipts from small purchases, as though someday I'll have to prove that I bought a large pretzel at Auntie Anne's ten years ago.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:37 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Photographs. Real and digital. I just recently went through my external HDDs and a dusty old TuffBox from 2006 and found like a squillion photographs I didn't think I still had. Army buddies, exgirlfriends, my truck, childhood antics, old apartments, etc. Some of people and places I don't remember. It's tough to toss 'em. Those faces are so far in the rear view yet the lessons learned from interacting with them remain important. I think I hold onto photographs because they help me remember. Without them, I worry that I'm going to wake up some day and have no past between my ears.

That idea really scares me.

...

In the end I'll just round file 'em like everything else. For 2010... my new philosophy has been "whatever you can carry."
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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heh. Yeah. I'm a packrat. I keep things almost purely for sentimental value, although "but I might NEED it someday" also factors in pretty heavily.

I recently cleaned out my closets, and the storage room in my house, where I've had boxes since I moved out the first time. Wow. I somehow managed to get rid of about 11 industrial garbage bags full of stuff (half of those bags were clothes I donated), but I STILL have too much stuff. With the clothes, I used the rule of "if you can't remember the last time you wore it, get rid of it." Worked fairly well.

I have a box of stuff from high school. Signed play posters, a couple scrapbooks, pictures, plaques, awards...I don't have any need for these things, but I can't bring myself to throw them out.

I also used to keep notes and letters, but I MADE myself throw them away in the last cleaning purge. I had shoeboxes of notes from high school, letters from boyfriends, postcards from vacations. I read a few of them, but then chucked the rest without opening.

Hmmm. What else? I can't throw away keys, or jewelry, or interesting coins. I have a small box with these things, plus discarded guitar picks I've picked up at shows or open mic nights.

Which reminds me...I need to start cleaning again. It's time to get hardcore about some of this stuff-- I'm leaving in a month or so, and I really don't need some of this stuff still following me around. (yeah...I'm definitely keeping the scrapbooks, though.)
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:29 PM   #24 (permalink)
Here
 
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I'm a hoarder. So...


I collect things. Lots of things.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:45 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I collect things. Lots of things.
Dead hookers don't count.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:15 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Location: Rand McNally's friendliest small town in America. They must have strayed from the dodgy parts...
Old random keys: Check.
Power Adapters I've forgotten what the hell they go to, but...yeah: check.
Miscellaneous computer hardware/peripherals/cables: check. I have all the USB cables one could ever need. Except for the one I currently need.
Books: yes. I've read it 20+ times and probably will read it at least a dozen times more.
Clothes I haven't worn in a long time: working on it. Have a bag or two sitting, ready to go to the thrift store.
Old hard drives. Old computers. Pictures, documents, errata on said old hard drives and computers. Better off just wiping it clean and reusing/donating it to a good cause.

Ammunition for firearms I no longer have, in case I buy another one or have a friend/coworker/whatever who needs some random shit that they can't find anywhere else.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to get rid of everything except my computer, my bed, the basic kitchen essentials, a few (i.e. things that go bang and sharp/shiny objects,) a few sets of clothes for the majority of occasions, and about 1/4 of my books.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:05 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
I have IDE cables, AGP video cards, IDE CDROM drives, screws, brackets, SCSI boards, parallel printer cables, laplink cables (fuckin A laplink cables, like 4 of them!!!!)
Same, add PATA hard drives, tons and tons of video cables (composite, component, headphone to headphone, headphone to rca, etc. A few dead power supplies, motherboards, CPUs.. I LOL'd for real at laplink cables.
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:19 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I tend to hang onto silly things that hold sentimental value, though I periodically purge. I just got rid of a Coors Light 30 pack cooler that my brother in law and I bought (full of beer of course) just before he was diagnosed with cancer. I had that thing for 4 years and never once used it. Just the uncertainty of the time and the good memories we had before all hell broke loose.

Wires is another thing I tend to "collect". You never know when you're going to need a good wire. All kinds, phone wire, cat5, electrical of various gauges, bailing wire...damn....sounds weird when i write it out...
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:42 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlish View Post

i also cant throw away books..i can give them away, but throwing away a book that someone else can possibly benefit from is a grave sin.
there's just something about the feel of a book in your hands...
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:42 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Oh another thread I totally apply to! I have issues throwing anything sentimental away. I have a pair of socks in my "Memory Box" from when I stepped in a puddle of wax during one of the best nights ever. That was... 11 years ago. Gross. True. I have a slip of paper that my very first boss wrote my very first work shifts on. I also don't throw away books or DVD's, I'll give them away or sell them, but NEVER throw them away!! Hmm let's see what else I have that is crap that I should have thrown away. I have a home-made beanie baby my best friend made me when we were like.. 10. It's supposed to be a turtle, she made it out of an old dish towel, filled him with rice, he's leaked ever since. But I can't throw it away. Nor can I throw away the dice to some Mickey Mouse game that I stole from her house, pointlessly. And a wish-bracelet my sister broke before I ever got a chance to make a wish on it, Ohhhh was I mad.

I keep a lot of shit. If it's got a memory attatched to it, I've kept it. I have a torn piece of garbage bag from when I tried to drag a HUGE black garbage bag full of magazines to my neighbors. Didn't work. But I sure tried.
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Old 04-24-2010, 05:37 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Location: Oside
I can throw away the majority of what I have, but getting to that point is always the kicker for me. I come from a family of hoarders dating back to the great depression, the habits of my grandparents having to make do with anything they had and keeping what they did til it was beyond useless ingrained in my head. I'm of the throw it in a box and get to it later mindset. It takes the oddest things, like topics in a forum I lurk in or something randomly pissing me off to go into a cleaning frenzy, trashing stuff I couldn't get rid of a month ago. It's hard for me to do, but as long as I make progress and throw away something and the boxes get smaller and fewer in number I'm ok with it. It's one of my habits I can only slowly change but having been in my current abode for so long and getting ready to leave it has got me in the trashing mood more often then not.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:45 PM   #32 (permalink)
Junkie
 
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Location: Midwest
I keep a shoebox in my closet full of things I would never part with - mostly small, cheesy items that have meaning to me. Otherwise, I try very hard to follow a simple rule - 'if you haven't thought about it or used it in the past couple of years, you don't need it'.

My mother has begun clearing things out of her home as her health has faded. That has added additional perspective when I consider whether or not to hold onto an item.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:24 PM   #33 (permalink)
I Confess a Shiver
 
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Personal hygiene items. In my mind, they never expire.
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"You should not drink... and bake."
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