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I love hearing from readers who have experienced real change and improvement in their homes. This story was especially good because it hits on the exact hangups I personally experienced and that I hear about from so many other readers.
Pay attention to the price tag she mentions . . .
I have mentally started this email so many times, mostly while decluttering.
Here is the biggest thing. I USED TO LIVE IN A LANDFILL. Fortunately, I did not realize that I was living in a landfill at the time, but it was a landfill because there is no other word for being surrounded by trash.
I grew up with 2 ideas that created my landfill situation. First of all was the 80s mantra: The guy who dies with the most toys wins the game. This thought created a love to just get stuff for the sake of having stuff. The second idea was instilled by my father: If something has potential purpose, you hold on to it because throwing it out is wasteful.
The result was we lived in a landfill, a pretty organized landfill but basically a landfill. I, as administrator, became very proficient at organizational solutions, but always felt like a failure because I did not see these items as just trash. Thank you for opening up my eyes.
I could go on and on but in the middle of my decluttering journey, and being able to recognize trash for the first time in my life, I ended up having to take care of the estates of both my parents and in-laws – 2 at once. I appreciate that I read your first book and was part way through your second book or everything would have ended up in my house.
My parents are lovely, caring people but held on to everything!! 50 plus years of stuff! My Dad kept the materials from their house renovations and happily collected other peoples. We actually tossed out full used vacuum cleaner bags.
The price tag on this clean up was $15,000 to have everything hauled away.
I now know that having to repurchase an item here or there is not the end of the world and it is OK if it does happen because keeping it all is expensive, too.
You have helped me so much because I finally understand why I struggled so much, and really have improved my life. I couldn’t figure out why I was constantly failing at this house thing, now I can appreciate and enjoy my home. I look forward to implementing your other steps in the process but I am still on tossing trash!
When an area is overwhelming and I tell myself that all I need to do is toss the trash (no organizing, no decisions, no figuring out how to re-purpose and no more guilt), it is actually such a fun and rewarding activity for me.