Ummm, ‘scuse me? I know it was my husband’s grandmother’s and all, but IT’S BROKEN!!!!

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Yes I am throwing it out. No, I do not have the missing piece. Not, I do not give two shits if I might later find it. Right, because no matter how campy tacky-adorable it is and no matter how cool it looks in my new blue back porch, I do not want someone’s glued or broken tchatchke in my life. If I need a hideous campy vase I’ll go to the so-called antique store and buy one from the other delusional hoarders – oops I mean dealers.

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You were cute. NO, IT CANNOT GO IN THE HENHOUSE! Goodbye.

PreTax Decluttering

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I actually filed for an extension on my taxes because the clutter was so bad. This tub holds a pile of stuff that had been on my kitchen counter for years. I swept it into the tub about a year ago. That was a good move: I was able to start baking again because I could get to my mixer and bread machine. But there was a spindle with receipts and a bunch of tax papers in here and I never got to them. Today, my goals are to 1)toss any trash in this box 2) Extract any tax papers that are in here and put them in the tax folder. I only have about an hour so let’s see how I do. The challenge will be to not get distracted by folders and a box of photos I know are in there.

Here’s how I did:

Desk, September 21, 2012: Lessons About Paper Handling.

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Before

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After 2 hours

OK, it doesn’t look like a lot for 2 hours of work, but if you look carefully to the right of the chair you can see a whole big pile of papers is gone. That’s the problem with papers – it takes a while to go through them, and the results don’t look like much. This is where patience and dedication come into play.
If put important and unimportant papers into the same pile “for now” then the risk that I’ll toss something important is real, and I will be sentencing myself to the drudgery of having to go through them carefully in the future.
Lesson: DON’T mix unimportant and important papers together. Get rid of the unimportant papers daily. File the important ones. Make a list if I’m afraid I’ll forget but for God’s sake don’t pile them together as a way of “remembering.”
In hoarding, “someday” and “when I get a chance” never come!

Day 2: Computer Box and the Downward Arrow

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Yeh, I did it. I got rid of the hoarder fetish item, the computer box.  How did I talk myself into it? I used a technique from Buried in Treasures called “the Downward Arrow.”  Basically you or someone else helps you to explore the logic of your thinking about your possessions so you can make a mindful decision about keeping or tossing.
Here’s how I did it, with the help of my husband:
Me:  My computer is four years old, but I’m afraid to get rid of the box. What if it breaks and I need to ship it for repairs, and I have no box?
Dearly Beloved: What would happen if you had to ship it and you had no box?
Me:  Well, I could take it to the Apple Store for repairs.  But what if they needed to send it out?
DB:  Well, what would happen?
Me:  I guess they have ways of wrapping them.  Im sure it wouldnt be the first time a customer brought in a machine without a box.  Maybe they would only need to send a part.  But what if I needed to sell it? What if we had to move?
DB: You know we’re not moving.
Me: Yeh, that’s unlikely.
DB: When have you ever sold a computer?
Me:  Umm, never.
DB: What would be so bad about that, if you had to sell it without a box?
Me:  Well, I guess I could find other materials to wrap it in. I’m pretty resourceful. But it would be more desirable if it had its original box. And what if I had to ship it?
DB: What if you did?
Me:  Well, I guess I’d just have to sell it locally.  We do live in a well-populated area, so I’m sure I could find a buyer nearby.
DB:  If you ever really did need a box there are shipping places that will even do it for you.
Me: OK, I made up my mind: I’m tossing it.

Guess what?  It feels really good to not have to walk around that giant box.

Update, Sept. 16:  It’s still outside and I’m SO not tempted to take it back in.  It still feels great!