As spring creeps in and the sound of Angels' games act as background noise in my house, the spring cleaning as escalated. I am literally overwhelmed in what I am finding. As many people in my life know, I routinely donate to Goodwill and Salvation Army and I am always cleaning. I live in a small place in LA and we are still dealing with the aftermath of downsizing. We buy, sell and collect certain toys. Sometimes, things just pile up or we have to step away from a project we are working on. This is because we have day jobs and have our normal day to day things we do. The clutter gets stressful at times, so every day, I take a moment to de-clutter a drawer, organize my craft items or clean out a cabinet. This is a never ending cycle. On top of that I have four cats. Two of them I inherited from my mom and step-dad, because they did not get along with their dogs. Cleaning up after cats is a part-time job in itself.
There are things that we do not buy anymore. We do not shop in bulk and only buy what we need due to lack of space. I find that this saves money and time. In addition, we are changing our eating habits and eating cleaner. Thus, we have to go buy groceries every couple of days, because we eat fresh food. All the packaged food has too many additives and takes up too much space in the pantry.
I have gone through my book collection and donate to my library on a regular basis. Some books I have to keep because I refer to them a lot. Others? Well, I do not have a need to keep something I am not going to re-read so why let it collect dust? I work in a library and live within walking distance of one, I can request a copy and borrow it. Even libraries weed their book collections. I tend to pass along my music/entertainment biographies, because those should be passed around. I do not buy a Blu-Ray or DVD unless I absolutely know I am going to watch it over and over. We have gotten a lot of TV shows on DVD as gifts and some I will keep. Others? They can be sold and/or donated. If something has been replaced on Blu-Ray, the DVD needs to go. If not, I will not buy the Blu-Ray if it doesn't have the same extras the DVD has. It's pointless.
My fiance is a collector and we are both album hoarders. I recently read an article about a DJ that sold and unloaded his complete record collection to Amoeba! The article is right here: http://www.amoeba.com/blog/2013/04/los-angeles-me/cut-chemist-sells-his-entire-record-collection-to-amoeba-hollywood.html At first, I was thinking wow, I could never do that. But then I thought about it and I get it. It's nice to have the actual back up and be old school with the turn table and the Cd player, because computers are not always reliable and you can lose files at any time. But it's nice to travel light as well. With all music and just about everything else going digital, it is a smart way to go. I can imagine how much space he has now in his home! People always think "Well what if I lose stuff? Or need it? ". Well, it can be replaced. Especially if it's an object or material good. What we cannot get back is time.
Finding a balance between space, stuff and organization for some of us is more challenging than we think. We are sentimental and stuff gives you a sense of having something. Even though you can be completely broke, you have a storage unit and/or a house full of objects that will begin to have no value unless you use it. I am working towards only having things around that I love and use.