Here is a wonderful article worth the few moments it will take to read it: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/clutter-clearing-your-housemates-may-hate-me.html?page=1http://www.care2.com/greenliving/clutter-clearing-your-housemates-may-hate-me.html?page=1 It is all about unloading all of that "stuff" that you have, but no longer use, yet continue to store, stare at, and, occasionally - curse - when you have to clean around it or it falls out of the closet for the millionth seeming time or you realize once more that it is broken - has been for some time - and yet, it is, still, unbelievably, still sitting there taking up much needed space.
A few years ago, my father-in-law and my husband and I were having a conversation about "stuff" vs. "crap." It occurred to me at that moment that "'Crap' is what you call it when it is no longer 'stuff.'" That is, when you no longer have a need for it, that once beloved item turns immediately into "crap." This article, written by Christy Diane Farr on www.care2.com, agrees.
Having moved TWICE in one year, April 2011 and March 2012, my husband and I have become somewhat skilled (still work to do on my part) at parting with, donating, throwing away - eegads! - and regifting, with insight and care (books mostly fall into this category, as my family can tell you). This skill has developed for 2 important reasons: 1) we have moved into smaller spaces than we once occupied, with less storage space and less floor space (Yes, for those who know me, our Charlestown, MA apartment was the smallest place we've inhabited in 8 years of marriage, but the dirty little secret is that we had "stuff" stored at 3 different places in NH to make that happen, including a car! Much thanks to our wonderful and forgiving friends - you know who you are - for helping to make that happen.)
When we moved to MI in April 2011 we collected all those lovely stored items from NH and had to make some hard decisions to fit what we most desired into the moving truck. Fortunately, Charlestown, MA is a wonderful place to put what we had deemed "crap" for FREE and passersby looked at it with glee and as they reached down to pick it up and carry it home it instantaneously turned right back into "stuff." Amazing!
After 6 moves in 9 years of marriage, my husband and I believe strongly in the concept of "circulation." If we are not using X - whatever X may be at the moment - then it is not fulfilling its purpose on Earth and must go out into the world to circulate once more. This philosophy, of course, is a work in progress. I still have a guest room with too many boxes in it for my liking and no home for all those items. This article is inspiring and helpful while I continue to contemplate whether the items in those boxes are still "stuff" or have fermented from non-use into "crap." Who wants to visit so I am forced to decide??