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cityrat
for my not-really-but-kinda hoarder BF I find an "intermediate zone" works well for stuff of his that I want to get rid of (and am about 99% sure he'd be fine with it leaving) but also want to be respectful and not just chuck it. For example I do a weekly purge of all (other than obviously important items) paper (newspapers, fliers etc) in the kitchen; I get a huge paper bag and throw all the stuff I'm getting rid of in there and tell him he has 24 hours to go through it and take out anything that he wants to keep. Then it goes. Most times nothing comes back out of that bag.
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connieay
This article has stayed in my mind since it first appeared, and I think it is quite possibly the most useful advice I've ever read!
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Ardene Shapiro
Alison, I love your voice. I have read and am reading all the content I can that you've written, I find it soothing, and believe it or not, your house fire gives you a gravitas no one can muster. It proves that within great loss there is great gain. I deeply appreciate your insights. I have been struggling with a mass of clutter for a long time and my question is about collectibles (ie. your friend Jane's glass wear, though I am a songwriter/media person ~ meaning lots of paper/workbooks; I collect vintage clothing, hats and jewellery and have a hobby of making/rescuing/repurposing). Your love of collecting books is a great example of not purging to the bone, but this applies to everything: on one hand, the minimalists say lose it if there's no joy, be ruthless in paring down. Isn't allowing a collection to breathe, vs. keeping a piece or two (or 33 in total each if we're talking books, clothes, crockery, etc., a new 'trend') counter-intuitive to the whole enterprise of purging? If you 'allow' more than just the one or two that give you 'joy' (Marie Kondo's rule) isn't that enabling clutter to grow? That is, if clutter by definition means that which isn't the one piece that gives the greatest joy. Lastly, I get that all this is unique to each person. I'm not about to toss everything just because the experts say I need to, but I do require a new way of life. I collect a lot of stuff, and if I give myself an inch...reading about your book collection/library gave me the room to think I can keep more than the minimal and now I'm a bit confused about how much/what is essential to keep. Not that I knew before but I was doing the 'grab 12 things from a room and ditch' as a start quite effectively. That means one gets rid of some stuff they love, just not stuff they love the most. Help! There. I wrote it down.
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