54 Comments

  1. Ron Cameron

    My wife and I have donated about 1000 things (literally) in 2017. That includes everything from hundreds of CDS to a stove. I have about $1200 of unused furniture that Goodwill is coming to get this week. Once you start it can be a bit addicting! There’s so much we don’t need/want that gets in the way of us enjoying the things we -do- need/want.

    I was shocked to see you don’t use your sunroom. It’s where we spend 95% of our awake time in our house. Here in VT it’s nice to be surrounded by glass when it’s snowing, or just screens when it’s summer. Is yours more porch-like, or is there a specific reason you don’t use it? I don’t think I’ll ever have another house that doesn’t have one.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Excellent point about the sunroom. The only problem is that our sunroom has a very mundane view. One neighbor’s deck and another neighbor’s fence. Meh. Sadly, the homes in our development are right on top of each other. No bucolic or post-card views to be found.

  2. My clutter audit would be horrifying. We have dog toys Grace doesn’t play with anymore and we still have it. I’m thinking…you know…puppy memories. There’s always an excuse when we’re trying to declutter 😩

    If you guys have a metal detector vlog I’ll watch that show too!! Happy (early) 4th!!!

    • Mr. Groovy

      I think pets get a special dispensation from de-cluttering. Mrs. Groovy always had a ton of cat toys around even though none of our cats were interested in them anymore. And I didn’t have the heart to force the issue with Mrs. Groovy.

    • Mr. Groovy

      “[I]if I had to pack up and move today, what stuff would annoy me to pack?”

      I like that, Toyna. What a great way to distinguish between clutter and value.

  3. Apologies for being SOOO slow in responding (tho, must admit, the fly fishing in Northern Quebec was AWESOME! The internet connection, not so much!).

    I can’t tell you how much your kind words meant to me. I really enjoy our friendship, and both Jackie and I are grateful beyond words that you made the trip out to spend the weekend with us.

    Great friends, a great weekend, and a Trash Talk! Does life get any better? Thanks again! I’m sincerely honored to have both of you as friends!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Sorry for my slow reply, my friend. And the feeling’s mutual. You and Jackie are truly fabulous people. Can’t wait to hear your FinCon stories, and I can’t wait to get you guys over to Charlotte. Cheers, my friend.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Great point, Claudia. I’m definitely a convert to recessed lighting. We’ll make a point of including those bad boys when we build.

  4. Nice article and an important point. I often tell folks who are younger (nieces/nephews, students, etc.) that you spend the first 40 years of your life accumulating stuff, and then the next 40 trying to “deal that stuff off” to relatives, friends, junk pile, etc.

    We have an entire bedroom that is nothing but shelves for old stuff (boxes of books, craft stuff, decorations, etc.) – drives me crazy (but its mostly Mrs. 39 months stuff, so I don’t argue).

    Stay ahead of the game and don’t accumulate as much “stuff” from the get go – and put that money into savings!

    • Mr. Groovy

      You’re a wise man, Kevin. Thanks for the insights. If I had known that a good portion of my stuff would end up going to the landfill or going to someone else, I would have bought less and saved more. Sigh. Hopefully the young people in your life will take your sage observation to heart. Have a Happy Independence Day, my friend. Cheers.

  5. We are amazed at how much crap we have – and our house wasn’t all that crowded. We are getting rid of things (selling, donating, trashing) everyday as we get ready to put our house on the market. Loved the video – and both of you having a focus on common interests with your spouses. Our common interests are travel and exercise. We have to get through the next couple of months of crazy hours of house renovations, but we have plenty to look forward too!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Kudos on the decluttering. Nothing like downsizing to energize the decluttering-muscles. And I love your common interests. Travel and exercise are not only food for the soul, they’re food for the bonds of marriage. Oh, and speaking of travel, when is your next trip to Florida? Any chance you’ll be driving through North Carolina? I got to get you on an episode of Talking Trash. Thanks for stopping by, Vicki. Have a happy Fourth.

  6. I decluttered two years ago and thought I did a deep purge, but it was really just the tip of the iceberg. Once you get rid of the first layer, it’s easier to analyze the second layer and so on.
    We’ve rediscovered and used many things that we’d forgotten about because they were buried under all of our other junk.
    We have plenty of space for everything now, but every time we get rid of something else we breathe a little easier.

    • Mr. Groovy

      So true! For years, my closet and dresser drawers were stuff with clothes I never wore. And when I finally discarded them, breathing was a little easier. What causes that? Why do we keep stuff we don’t use or need? And why does letting go lift a big psychological burden off your shoulders? We are a very strange species. Thanks for stopping by, Julie. Hope you guys have a wonderful Fourth. Cheers.

  7. I am jealous of your lack of clutter. My home is crying out for a good old fashioned cleanse. Any day now I’m going to suck it up and move decluttering to the top of the to-do list. Any. Day. Now.

    But please don’t hold your breath. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for depriving the world of one of the Groovys.

    • Mr. Groovy

      LOL! Made my weekend, Mrs. BITA. But I have faith in you. Once you turn your steely determination on clutter, clutter will be quickly vanquished from your life. Keep me posted. And have a terrific Fourth. Cheers.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Aw, Laurie, you’re much too kind! And, yes, Fritz and I definitely lucked out when it comes to marriage. Jackie and Mrs. G got their hands full. Keeping us in line isn’t easy. Have a great Fourth. Talk to you soon.

  8. I just looked in my closet this morning and realized that there are still things I can get rid of, even though all of my clothes fit in the closet. I think I’ll take your lead and make a list.
    Some of my family and friends insist on calling Mrs. Grumby and I minimalists just because we don’t live up our ears in clutter and waste money on useless crap. It’s fascinating that living simply is so challenging for people.
    Also, you are wise to defer to Mrs. Groovy’s litter box guidence.

    Happy 4th to you and Mrs. G!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! I used to be one of those people. I didn’t consider my home lived in until it was overflowing with crap. But thankfully something switched in my brain. Now I can’t stand stuffed closets, electronics everywhere, and chotskies galore. I’m more than happy with a simple life. Thanks for stopping by, Mr. G. It’s always a pleasure. And Happy Independence Day to you too.

  9. Ah decluttering! I’m totally on board with the need to do it at my house, but somehow the motivation wavers and it doesn’t seem to get done. We did get rid of a bit for our yard sale, but there’s still lots more to do.

    I definitely agree about the need for a common interest in retirement, and blogging is a good one. Needing something to do is one of the reasons I got into it in the first place. Meanwhile Suzanne does the proofing and some editing for me, as well as the handling the technical stuff. It’s been a learning experience for us both.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Amen, for blogging! Who knew that it could also make the bond between married people stronger? And I hear ya about decluttering. It’s a daunting battle that is probably best waged when moving. That’s when you really have an incentive to pare down your belongings. Thanks for stopping by, Gary. And I can’t wait to give you control of the golden picker the next time I’m passing through NJ. That is, of course, assuming that NJ has any litter that needs to be picked up.

  10. Tiffany

    There’s something to be said about revolutionary process of eliminating clutter – one thing on your list is the “pictures” – we girls tend to love pictures of our lives and proud to display them. In my uhm, younger years, I have pictures of my children all of my 500sf sunroom and the time and effort I spent to put them up, shape them into certain pre-framed triangles, octagon cutouts was lost to me. Today, I use the digital screen that can be projected into a big screen during family gathering. Most of my framed photos have been removed because the time I spent cleaning and wiping them down (especially when holidays are approaching and I becoming a bit panicky that all my guests will see the dust bunnies on my pictures).

    Most of my children are grown and left the house except two – one of these two treats the house as bus stop where she comes in to eat and washes, then I don’t see her for days. I notice that while many things I hold sentimental value, I am just adding more work for myself so my de-cluttering tactic is to make sure I don’t spend endless hours keeping something that exhaust my time.

    When my children are small, I did practice hiding their toys and recycling them so they rejoiced when the old toys reappeared for their short-lived new-found pleasure. I was able to save money that way.

    Thanks for the post, I am in the process of giving things away to charity on the monthly basis. I have thought about having garage sales, but the prospect of organizing such event make it a cringe city for me to dwell in. After all, my goal is really to save “time” for me.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Oh, wow, nailed it, Tiffany. What you discovered with family pictures, I discovered with books. At one time, I had close to 500 books. And keeping them dust free was a major chore. Before we moved down to Charlotte, I donated at least half of them to the library. I’ve since donated close to 200 more books to the library. My kindle, much like your digital screen, is a lot easier to keep clear of dust bunnies. As you so aptly put it, de-cluttering is a great way to “make sure [you] don’t spend endless hours [doing] something that exhausts [you].” Thanks for stopping by, Tiffany. I really appreciate your thoughts.

  11. Love the Fritz guest spot! You guys filled that bag up quickly. Picking up trash is better with a friend!

    I’ve talked about decluttering before but never considered structural clutter. Interesting. I need to get rid of some other crap first before we could even consider downsizing our structure.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Fritz and I did strike some litter gold. Yeah, and I hear ya about the structural clutter. That never dawned on me either until I realized rather recently that I never use the sunroom and the dining room. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a happy Fourth!

  12. Cynhuz

    Freedom is Groovy and Retirement Manifesto: a perfect combination! I really enjoyed “Talking Trash” with Fritz!
    Thanks so much.
    We are downsizing, and I’m making eBay a side hustle these days.
    Happy Independence Day–what it’s all about!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Cynhuz. Fritz was awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better first guest picker. Good luck on the downsizing. And happy Independence Day to you too.

    • Trust me, Cynhuz, there’s NO WAY you enjoyed it more than I did! Both Jackie and I will treasure that weekend with Mr & Mrs G for years to come!

      Great folks, and I’m honored to have been his first “Trashy Guest”!

  13. I’m going to burst Mr. Groovy’s bubble, here. Groovy Cat and I sit in the sunroom and love watching the hummingbirds on my feeders outside. As for the dining room — it makes me happy just seeing it when I come down our staircase. I grew up in a small apartment where 4 of us ate at a cramped kitchen table — and one of us was stuck against a wall and couldn’t get out unless another stood up. (That was usually my father – he didn’t mind being stuck since he worked 6 days a week and we waited on him.)

  14. Great idea! I actually have it on my to-do list to declutter this weekend. I love your approach of focusing on big-ticket items like square footage and furniture. I’m also not a minimalist, but there’s absolutely value in knowing what to let go and what to keep.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Purge, purge, purge. Less is more. You are so right, Mrs. PP. It’s absolutely liberating knowing that your happiness doesn’t depend on stuff.

  15. I like the clutter audit idea! I’ve gotten rid of many things but I’d like to remove even more. Working on it a bit at a time.

    The Great Fritz and Mr. Groovy together how awesome! I concur that Fritz and Jackie are fabulous people and I’m so glad I was fortunate to them both also.

    Maybe you can start a map in the sidebar of all the states you hit picking up trash as you get some more done.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Aw, thank you, Amy. Fritz and Jackie are such wonderful people. I’m so glad I roped Fritz into an episode of Talking Trash. He’s such a character. Oh, and by the way, I can’t wait to rope you in either. Whether it’s in Michigan or North Carolina, we got to make it happen. Trash waits for no man (or woman, of course)! Have a great Fourth. Cheers.

  16. “There was obviously a party here.” Ha! Thanks for my daily chuckle. 🙂

    We try to keep our possessions pared down by a lot. It’s an interesting idea, to do a clutter audit with those criteria. I need to get my husband on board with this. He’s a recovering collector of DVDs, video games, and video game memorabilia and that just doesn’t fly very well now that we’re living in a tiny 700 sq-ft apartment. If only I could convince him to give those things up. I’d even be willing to get rid of my knitting yarn stash as a show of good faith!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Yarn stash for video games. Sounds like a fair compromise to me. I really lucked out. For some reason, I wasn’t born with the video game gene. Nor was I born with the electronics gene either. And those two things can really clutter a home or apartment if you’re not careful. Are people treated for video game addictions? I’m not saying Zach’s addicted, mind you. I’m just thinking out loud. Thanks for stopping by, Lindsay. You always manage to make me use my brain.

  17. Decluttering can make a world of difference. Now that we are empty nesters, I can keep our house the way I like, which is pretty minimal. Yes, I’m the kind of weirdo that even a newspaper left lying on the kitchen table for a few days drives me nuts. (Guess that explains my husband’s man cave! Lol) I just find it peaceful & calming not to be surrounded by clutter. We have a small house too, so its easy to fill it up with crap.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Totally agree, Holly. When I was younger, I equated stuff with living. So I had knick-knacks, papers, and gadgets all over the place. But now, like you, that amount of clutter would drive me nuts. Spartan living is true living in my book. Thanks for stopping by, Holly. There’s a lot of wisdom in your comment.

  18. When we moved last year, I was amazed how much “clutter” (useless junk) we had accumulated in less than 3 years of marriage in a 600 sq. ft. place. Most of it was wedding gifts (some of which we registered for!). Definitely a wake up call and it felt good to get rid of a lot of the unnecessary items.

    And I love the Trash Talk. I look forward to this every week!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Mrs. AR. I really enjoyed this episode. Fritz is a great sport. Oh, and here’s one for you. One of the gifts we put on our wedding registry was a pizza stone. Yeah, we really needed that. Never used it once in fourteen years of marriage. Finally donated to Goodwill last year.

  19. This is awesome. I define clutter the same as you:

    1)Mrs. Groovy and I haven’t used in six months or longer, and 2) wouldn’t negatively affect our happiness or quality of life if it somehow vanished.

    I basically do a “cleanse” or sorts every 6 months or so and get rid of everything that fit this criteria. I find this helps me manage the stuff I won, reduce clutter, increase donations and tax write-offs and helps manage my stress. Nothing stresses me out like clutter!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Lance. A bi-annual “cleanse” is key to quality living. On my last cleanse I donated over 100 books to our local library. Now, because I have less objects to dust, I have less stress. It’s amazing how that works. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  20. My wife and I have so far avoided excessive clutter by living in a one bedroom apartment. There just isn’t room for clutter. Anything that we buy needs to replace something else. It wasn’t the reason that we got such a small place, but it is a nice little side effect.

    • Mr. Groovy

      A “nice little side effect,” indeed. Mrs. Groovy and I are looking to downsize to a 1200-1400 sf home when we relocate to the Wake Forest area. That’s a small home by today’s standards, but immense by world and historical standards. Thanks for stopping by, Matt. Somehow I knew you wouldn’t have a home stuffed to the gills with stuff. An exquisite mind can’t tolerate clutter.

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