Divestment

Fact: I own waaaaaay too much stuff.

Stuff I don’t even use.

Stuff I don’t even need.

Stuff my kids outgrew, stopped playing with or never liked in the first place.

And I’m sick of it.

It’s been building for a while, but over the weekend I reached a point where I was ready to divest of significant property.

The major obstacles:

  • It’s overwhelming. It’s hard to find a decent starting point, and there is no space in Fancy Pants Ranch that doesn’t require major decluttering.
  • It’s exhausting. I worked for a few hours on Saturday and accumulated a significant pile (see below), which was rewarding but left me with a migraine.
  • It’s hard to figure out what to do with the excess. I’m still trying to figure this out. Charity Navigator is helpful to try to find a group with low administration overhead (less than 25-30% is supposedly reasonable) and thus more direct giving to recipients. What I really want is for my stuff to go to a good home. While I don’t want any compensation, I do want to know that anyone I give it to (friends included) is happy to have it.
  • I have to get beyond the guilt that a lot of the stuff is still perfectly good. Or even new. This is a hard one. I feel guilty about the excess and waste but am trying to focus on how great it feels to simplify and get organized.

I started with my own closet and posted some of the things online that I wanted to give away. Several of my friends responded within a few hours. Score!

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I moved on to some storage cabinets in our family room that house (read: are totally stuffed with) kids’ toys. Here I had to be brutal, tossing away freebie plastic figurines and random game pieces and piling up gently used toys that they have simply outgrown.

Tip: strongly consider whether you want your kids involved in this! I chose not to, which is a good thing since they tried to pick through the discard pile later on. No take backs!

But all of this is just the tip of the iceberg. The guest room closet is so overstuffed that it may explode (and it’s a walk-in. Argh). Both kids’ rooms are overflowing. The coat closet where I can’t hang more coats. The basement. OMG. The Basement. 

This is going to be quite the project, but I know I’ll be thrilled with the results.

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P.S. I am seriously considering hiring a professional organizer to jump start this project. I’ll keep posting about the progress. Wish me luck.

 

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