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Thread: Decluttering - Baby Steps versus Giant Leap

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    Decluttering - Baby Steps versus Giant Leap

    I'm in the process of reading "Minimalism: Essential Essays" by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus (love them!). Anyways, Joshua says when he gives advice, he typically suggests two options. 1. "...the giant leap option, the dive-in-head-first option (get rid of everything, smash your TV, throw out all your stuff....).'' 2. "...second option is to take baby steps, and it works because it helps you build momentum by taking action."

    When I started this decluttering process a year or so ago, I took baby steps. I think it was essential for me to start with baby steps because it allowed me to figure out the why, the how and work through the guilt and emotions of it all. But now I feel I'm ready to take the "giant leap" option since I'm on the tail-end of the decluttering process.

    Are you doing the baby step approach or the giant leap approach? What is working for you?
    Last edited by Minz; 8-26-12 at 12:00pm. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
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    I haven't done a lot of decluttering. Just recently decluttered my clothing but generally I don't have THAT much stuff and I rarely buy anything that isn't clothing so I don't need to do that much decluttering--although I could go through everything in my life and probably easily purge 25% of it all. And I do feel a lot better for having done my clothing. There's actually room to put it all away now.

    But I did throw my TV's away 2 years ago when I cancelled cable to offset a salary cut and I'm glad I did that. I have saved so much money for not having cable these past 2 years. Plus, I don't mindlessly sit in front of my TV for hours at a time. Now I sit in front of my computer for hours at at time...

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions as they say.

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    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    When we moved house 7 years ago it was time for the giant leap for me. It was a great motivator!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardenarian View Post
    When we moved house 7 years ago it was time for the giant leap for me. It was a great motivator!
    I feel like I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff over the last year, but every time I declutter...I find more stuff to get rid of...that's kind of why I want to take a giant leap...really get rid of it once and for all!!

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    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    I go through stages. Sometimes it's just the little stuff and other times it's big batches of whatever. Like I did when I had to move out of my apartment for three weeks last December due to the internal work because of foundation issues. I count digital clutter, too. Today I deleted several thousand pictures from my two laptops, as well as my Flickr and Picasa online albums.

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    Low Tech grunt iris lily's Avatar
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    I am old and have accumulated a lot of stuff. I started baby steps in 2010 (or was it 2009? time goes so fast when you are old!) and am still working the program. Am happy with what I've gotten rid of. I will say that at this point, the "hard" stuff such as family heirlooms and old crap from my childhood, is gone and those hard decisions are over. I still have lots of family stuff, believe me! But I don't have to wrestle with those things because I've decided to keep them.

    DH has mountains of stuff, but that is not "hard" to get rid of it is "impossible" and so, I'm calm about it. I can't affect it so I don't worry about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iris lily View Post
    I am old and have accumulated a lot of stuff. I started baby steps in 2010 (or was it 2009? time goes so fast when you are old!) and am still working the program. Am happy with what I've gotten rid of. I will say that at this point, the "hard" stuff such as family heirlooms and old crap from my childhood, is gone and those hard decisions are over. I still have lots of family stuff, believe me! But I don't have to wrestle with those things because I've decided to keep them.

    DH has mountains of stuff, but that is not "hard" to get rid of it is "impossible" and so, I'm calm about it. I can't affect it so I don't worry about it.

    Iris Lily, Sounds like you have made some great progress on your own. You should own that and be proud of yourself!! I bet you have felt a weight lifted off your shoulders when you got rid of some things. As for DH, I think setting an example and living your life the way you want to is a great way to influence someone. I don't think we can change someone but yet we can be an example. It's like the old saying...''the teacher will appear when the student is ready.'' Minimalism was around a while before I knew about it, but it was only recently that I was ready to let the concept come into my life. I needed to learn about it in my own ways and on my own terms.

    All the best to you.

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    I don't know that I can say I do big leaps or baby steps. However, I know that I declutter in spurts. When the mood hits - watch out - giant leaps all the way! However, when I'm busy with other things, I'm very happy putting an item or two into the goodwill box - baby steps. I agree with what other posters have said... the more I get rid of, the more I find to get rid of!

    I'm also reaching a point where I'm not only decluttering, but I'm being SUPER careful with purchases and bringing items INTO the house! I can tell I've changed as I never used to turn down a free item - no matter what it was! Now I'm super conscious of what I buy and why. It's continuing to be an interesting transformation!
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
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    I've done both, depending on the situation. I try baby steps on a continuing basis. Moving is the time of big leaps in getting rid of stuff. I'm heading into that soon, as I go back to the States for 2 weeks and I'll be clearing and rearranging my 2 storage units there, combining the stuff and making room for whatever I end up shipping back from Honduras whenever it is I end up coming back. At this point everything there has gone through at least 3 major purges, so decisions will be less obvious, although most of it I haven't really seen in almost 4 years so the attachment part is pretty much gone. I'm a different person than I was when I put the stuff in storage, and my needs and wants have changed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmoss View Post
    I've done both, depending on the situation. I try baby steps on a continuing basis. Moving is the time of big leaps in getting rid of stuff. I'm heading into that soon, as I go back to the States for 2 weeks and I'll be clearing and rearranging my 2 storage units there, combining the stuff and making room for whatever I end up shipping back from Honduras whenever it is I end up coming back. At this point everything there has gone through at least 3 major purges, so decisions will be less obvious, although most of it I haven't really seen in almost 4 years so the attachment part is pretty much gone. I'm a different person than I was when I put the stuff in storage, and my needs and wants have changed.
    I bet you end up purging most of your storage units. I know what you mean...I'm a different person than even 1 year ago. It feels good to grow and find out new things about myself.

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