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Thread: The “fuss factor” in decluttering

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    The “fuss factor” in decluttering

    One of my rules for decluttering is if I find myself fussing with something again and again and it is taking up my time, either pitch it or spend big money to fix it.


    Last week I had Fuss Factor issues and all of it went into the garbage. One was a handheld vacuum that never seem to work right and I don’t know why it doesn’t hold a charge, but it doesn’t. So I threw it in the garbage because I was tired of trying to figure out why the stupid thing didn’t work.

    Another time I was fussing around with lids for food containets, trying to find ones that fit the current container I had and occurred to me that if I had to spend as much time finding a lid that fit this container, there probably wasn’t one. I threw away all containers like that. I do regularly clean out food storage containers because we get many from the store in deli food so it’s not like I buy expensive Tupperware.

    Last year I had a Fuss Factor that cost me a lot of money because I decided to fix the thing. It was a an old ornate silver plate tray from my mom, so that was a sentimental thing. I don’t keep a lot of sentimental things. But the silver had worn off this tray and I spent too much time polishing it and I thought at the time: Iris it is time to either pitch this thing or have it re-plated. So I had it re-plated at a ridiculous price, so much more than the thing is worth, But that is OK because it’s a sentimental piece and I can afford it.

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    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    Yes! I know exactly what you mean, but was never able to put a good name to it. Fuss Factor perfectly explains it. Thank you.
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

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    This made me laugh. Perfect name for the problem.

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I had my own epiphany with this about a year ago, when I tired of moving (for the umpteenth time) stuff we no longer needed/wanted but which I felt "deserved" a home with someone who could use it or which at least could be recycled to minimize its impact. After numerous dead ends in giving away the items and finding who no longer accepts what for recycling these days, I finally realized how much emotional energy went into tracking it all, finding another potential home for it all, and going without the happiness that accompanied not having so much stuff (because, really, I still had it). I realized that if we were moving out of the house on a deadline I wouldn't have infinite opportunities to find these things a home and I certainly would not (have been able to) take it along with us.

    So I gave myself permission for a deep purge. It would have been nice to recycle the carpet, but driving across town to do it (or, worse, paying to ship it) didn't make lots of sense. The legal-size folders that sat, available, on the Facebook "free" group and Freecycle? No one wanted them (not even a nibble); into the recycling bin they went. I'm not proud of it, but I probably still could be trying to get rid of some of those items today had I not taken the bull by the horns then. "Fuss factor" is a great term for this! And I have become much better about tossing stuff that almost certainly would be tough to get rid of and -- better -- reducing the amount of stuff that comes in so I face that problem less in the future.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I love the name, Fuss Factor!I bought a single-use coffee maker on sale a couple of years ago and it stopped working, and it sat around for another year for "when I got around to fixing it."

    Well, I pitched it this week, so this thread is timely.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    I actually keep a running Fuss Factor list in order of bothered-ness. The most bothersome thing right now is crown molding that never got installed over new kitchen cabinets. Every time I see that one inch gap at the top of the cabinets or the pile of molding in the closet, it irks me. DH won't touch it and trim carpenters want way too much to install it so it just sits there.

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    PT, I would pay for it because if you decide to sell you will have to and then never got to enjoy it.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    PT, I would pay for it because if you decide to sell you will have to and then never got to enjoy it.
    Agree, this is one of those instances of just pay the big bucks and get it out-of-the-way.

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    My husband and I ended up in a stupid disagreement and 7 years later our bathtub is not enclosed. It started with him wanting a jacuzzi tub that cost 1k and I didn’t. We got it and he decides that the huge tub doesn’t stay warm enough with one heater and I say no second heater boot costs 500. So for 7 years I am looking at the pipes. A couple friend of ours were over and pointed out that I didn’t really win. It doesn’t bother him to look at it. Don’t be like me)

  10. #10
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Agree, this is one of those instances of just pay the big bucks and get it out-of-the-way.
    Yup, one of the beautiful things about getting older is you are wiling to accept your physical and emotional limits. I do a better job at weighing factors like "Will I REALLY paint the house, or should I hire someone?" "Will I REALLY figure out how to professionally miter the moulding or should I hire someone?"
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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