My Cluttered Life – Part 2

I can’t tell you the number of items I find around the house that were purchased and either weren’t what I was looking for, didn’t fit just right, or just decided I really didn’t want anymore. They get put down with the intention to return.

Sometime attempts get made to do the return but where is the receipt? If I can’t find the receipt you get store credit and, well, I really want my money back. So it sits, in a pile, until its too late to return. Now what do I do with it? Sigh….

If it really can’t be used it either needs to go to the trash or in a container to be donated. It can be given to a friend or family member, as long as it goes out of your home. A big rule: No holding or storing items for others who do not live with you.

Lots of money is waited this way. I wonder if you took one popular store and added all the sales of product from that store that were never used and had had intention to be returned but ended up in a death pile in someones home would tally up to. Shivers…

So not much can be done for these items once they have been in your possession for a period of time but to donate, five away or trash. But, what can I do to prevent this from happening again in the future. Here is an approach I have developed to keep this from happening.

Get a zippered pouch and keep it in your car and get in habit of putting receipts in the zippered pouch so returns are easy. If you find you need to return something put the item back in the store bag with the receipt taped to the item so it does not get lost and put it in your car. Next time you go to that store or drive by that store do the return.

Make sure you regularly purge your zippered pouch of receipts after a certain time goes by when you can’t usually return, like 90 days, unless you need the receipt for a warranty.

Since I have got this habit it makers returns easy, it keeps a pile from developing and I have not once had to dig through the trash to find a receipt.

My Cluttered Life – Part 1

It has come to a time in my life that I have had an epiphany to the fact I hate clutter. I hate to move it around, to look for certain items and I certainly hate it to move from one place to another. I have started a quest to rid my life of excess. Don’t get me wrong I do like my stuff, but there has to be a line drawn in the sand.

So I am going to start writing a series of articles about clutter and for some of us hoarding. I will also talk about purging and cleaning and freeing yourself of the burdens ‘stuff’ brings to your life. You can follow these articles under the category ‘My Cluttered Life’ on the side panel of this blog. I will write every now and then. Some will be short and sweet with tips and tricks. Some will be an accounting of my goals and I want you to use them to help make your life a bit more free.

So, I just moved. Not far away but we moved from a temporary townhouse into a house so everything is now in one place. We moved from Rio Rancho, NM to West Jordan, UT (think Albuquerque to Salt Lake City areas). We moved from a house to a townhouse until we got established and figured out exactly where we wanted to live and where work would be. It took us two years. Yes, that temporary housing didn’t end up being so temporary. That caused a problem.

When I moved up here thinking it was a temporary move I packed accordingly. I packed stuff for a storage unit and packed stuff to live with for a few months. I figured I would keep things to a minimum that we were living with and I would handle it. So, most of everything went into storage. But when you live in a home for two years you need stuff (Yes, that temporary thin ended up to be two years). So, instead of digging through a three car garage packed very tight we just bought new. Now everything is in one place we have duplicates and lots of them.

This was the first step to make in my series of articles I am writing. I do not need two of most items. So out went ten good sized boxes that were just literally picked up by Big Brothers Big Sisters. It feels good to pass on items that were perfectly good to someone who could use it while it benefiting a worthwhile charity and in turn freeing up space in my home. I am sure I will find more duplicates as I move through the house but that is alright. I can make another large load to donate or take a box at a time to a local thrift store.

My strategy now is to go to one tote to another. Discard things that are no longer in working condition, broken or just not wanted anymore. I am also using labeled totes to put things that are ‘I don’t knows’. When I am done going through the house I will take one of these totes at a time and everything in the tote will find a home in my home or it will go to the trash or donate. Will write another article on the flip side of doing this. See you all then.