To feel I am constantly fighting a battle against "stuff"

(225 Posts)
Notcontent Thu 26-Dec-13 23:39:07

I should preface this by saying that i don't have a big house. Just a standard 3 bedroom.

But I feel like I am constantly putting things away, rearranging stuff to find new inventive ways to fit things in and in general trying to keep clutter to a minimum. Of course my dd is a huge contributor to the problem. I sometimes feel like things breed and multiply in her room!! grin

I did a quick post Christmas Day tidy up today and already have a bag of stuff to take to the charity shop (to make room for new things).

If you don't have a huge house with masses of storage, how do you cope?

ARealPickle Fri 27-Dec-13 00:18:00

I think its a mindset thing with me that had to change too. There's "decluttering" in terms of getting rid of things that are out of date/not used much/ rubbish, but in order for us to fit in my (very tiny) house we actually needed to move onto reducing the good stuff too.

That wouldn't quite be the case if we were in a normal/bigger sized house I don't htink.

Beavie Fri 27-Dec-13 00:19:18

I've recently had to have a good sort out as I've moved. I bought a loft ladder and boarded the loft out so I can put all the stock for my business and anything that I do still want/need but don't use very often in the loft. I have a plastic storage container that I put anything I don't want anymore but might be worth selling in there to ebay. Anything not worth ebaying I have taken to the charity shop or the tip. Was looking OK until Christmas happened <cries>. Plastic storage boxes are your friend. Buy smaller ones for each type of toy (e.g. lego, polly pockets etc), and things are much easier to tidy away when they have a specific home to go to. It is a never ending battle though.

MitMopse Fri 27-Dec-13 00:40:42

Feel the same op, I live in the same kind of house (it sounds like) as you. This year we convinced all family to keep to small token gifts (all adults except 6 month old dd) my main reason secretly being due to the war on stuff! It pretty much worked. The more space I have the more I seem to accumulate possessions though.

Mellowandfruitful Fri 27-Dec-13 01:03:50

Also in desperate need of help with this. I do wonder how those people on Grand Designs etc in the minimalist houses do it. Maybe the cupboards are all full to bursting. I have hoarding issues though and have resolved to tackle these in the new year.

ARealPickle Fri 27-Dec-13 01:09:21

I dont stick to flylady but I did for a bit. One of the most helpful things I read was to not bother with ebay/saving for someone x I'll see next year/the car boot I might do in a few months.

If there is a LOT to be done and you have clutter issues, it just creates another box of clutter sitting there until you (if you) get around to sorting it. So we do straight to charity shop/bin and it really has worked. You get instant space and results.

So much of it is a mindset thing.

ChristmasCareeristBitchNigel Fri 27-Dec-13 01:17:29

New year cull. We moved from a tiny house into a 5 bed victorian job this year, we've filled it already. I'm booking two days off to do it and am going to be really tough

Devora Fri 27-Dec-13 01:21:46

We moved from a two bed flat to a five bed house. Filled it within a week. Do not ask me how.

I spend my life ferrying stuff to the charity shops. It seems to breed.

SoloXantiaClaws Fri 27-Dec-13 01:29:39

Tethersend I play that game with the squares too. Except, I don't have the empty square...I tried an empty square by installing a new, larger shed, but it only helped until I spread out further! sad

This is the year I really declutter she says I have reserved a small storage place 'box' and will be boxing up books and ornamental stuff which I can't bear to part with and taking it short term to storage and I'll be trying to get shot of more clothing and toys. I have to get my house rewired and new double glazing this coming year, so I must make space!
I need Hoarders Anonymous! sad

CambridgeBlue Fri 27-Dec-13 01:36:48

I'm in exactly the same boat OP and I hate it. I can't bear being surrounded by clutter and to the outside world our house probably looks very tidy and minimal but that's only because I am ruthless about chucking out or at least storing anything that doesn't fit the 'either beautiful or useful' rule.

Even so we don't have enough space, so the smallest job like unpacking the shopping or emptying the dishwasher takes twice as long. And don't get me started on Christmas! DD's room is bursting even with stuff she doesn't use regularly stored in the garage - God only knows where all the new things are supposed to go.

I find the older I get the more I dislike 'stuff' for the sake of it. I feel ungrateful but even presents are just something to find room for a lot of the time though of course some are genuinely useful or nice to receive. I'm planning my big post Christmas clear out for the next few days and I know I'll feel better when it's done but sadly it won't last sad

daisychain01 Fri 27-Dec-13 03:33:29

Not so Stealth boast We got a letter from our local British Heart Foundation to say we were "donators of the month".

Was glowing and felt worthy

Plus we have a minimal house now. Worth doing on many levels, including wellbeing

annieorangutan Fri 27-Dec-13 03:42:15

We are a family of four in 2 bed flat and we have things in either storage or we get rid.

slightlyglitterstained Fri 27-Dec-13 05:13:42

We have an entire fucking room jammed to the ceiling. It's not even like I can get in there to sort stuff, the heaps are taller than I am. sad angry

I've been taking a bag of unneeded clothes to the clothesbank every now & then, which is the only reason we had enough space in an upstairs cupboard to clear the living room for Christmas. I have my folks primed now to understand we can't accept lots of big gifts for DS (and he's not going to play with more than a few anyway) and to be fair, they've been pretty good.

I think the only way we're going to fix it is by moving all the shit into storage, and then only bringing back in what we need.

Or maybe we can move house again & I can force DP to pack. This seems to suddenly make lots of stuff seem considerably less crucial grin

DS has been a huge motivator to get rid of stuff. It's just not fair for him to have no space to explore safely. We've clawed back bedroom and living room now (tho DP keeps shitting in the living room - hobby shit rather than actual faeces but my reaction is similar) so I feel a bit under siege all the time.

MinesAPintOfTea Fri 27-Dec-13 05:27:22

I don't even buy the stuff. DH has a large generous family and going home from Christmas tomorrow the car will be overfull with more to be picked up on poor next visit. It seems mad to be getting rid of stiff so people can buy similar things to give as presents.

slightlyglitterstained Fri 27-Dec-13 05:28:16

Got me googling storage now, except most of the bastards won't even give you a rough idea of costs without you giving them personal details for a quote (i.e. hard sell).

Those of you who've gone the storage route, does 21 quid a week plus VAT for 80 square foot sound reasonable? Do you have to seal stuff up to avoid vermin exploring it?

MintyChops Fri 27-Dec-13 05:42:26

Some days I catch myself in a foul mood for no apparent reason then I realise it's because of the mess and crap everywhere. It's just bloody never-ending, tidying and endlessly trying to get rid of stuff. I wish the Declutter Fairies would come and save me.

Me too - and it really gets me down. Also have a DH inclined to keep everything "just in case". I declutter constantly but I have a sleepless baby, work shifts, am always shattered and DH works very long hours. We have a morning every six weeks or so where maybe three bin liners goes to the tip, and DH is then really positive we're "making progress". But it comes in faster than it goes out. At my sisters today and don't really want to go home sad

raisah Fri 27-Dec-13 07:10:42

Mine is an absolute dumping ground and I can't get into my garage anymore as it is top full. My sister is here & I am getting her to take pictures of things to put up for sale on e bay. My dh is a hoarder and is the main cause of the problem rather than our dc!

Bakerof3pudsxx Fri 27-Dec-13 07:16:18

I feel your pain

Five of us live in this 3 bed terraced house, that's 3 dc and me and oh

My worst bit is the kitchen

It's not overly small but is deffently the dumping ground

Lifeisaboxofchocs Fri 27-Dec-13 07:26:06

my house is clutter free. The way we achieve this is...

We don't collect anything nor do we have any porcelain crap and ornaments like that around the place.

The children have no tat for toys. For example, if i buy DS a little kinder egg as a treat, he plays with toy whilst we are out, and then bin it before we get home. I never buy tat. And we have very limited family, so it is never a case of third cousin twice removed buying tat. Instead it is my brother or sister buying one very good long lasting toy.

we keep precious pictures ds really seems to care about and be proud of, we bin the rest.

we don't keep the boxes that items came in i.e. kettle and toaster boxes.

When something isn't working, unless it is fixed promptly, it is taken to the dump and a new item purchased if required.

My DH scans our papers on to the computer, so no piles of paper lying about the place.

We regularly do charity runs or ebay sales when the children outgrow clothes or toys.

it works, our house looks good.

noisytoys Fri 27-Dec-13 07:30:18

DH used to be a massive hoarder. We live in a 2 bed flat (and one of those is a tiny box room). 3/4 of everything in the flat was his and I got so sick of it I ended up de cluttering him. It's great now no compromises just lovely clean and tidy space smile

DawnOfTheDee Fri 27-Dec-13 07:34:49

We are currently in a small 2 bed house with no loft or garage and have this problem. But we had the same problem when we lived in a very spacious 2 bed apartement (on 2 floors with huge rooms).

I think it's a sort of Parkinson's Law type thing.

Stuff expands to fill the space available

Best way to get on top of it is to do the sort of thing that LifeIsLike suggests. I haven't got there yet but I'm definitely trying...

clearsommespace Fri 27-Dec-13 07:44:00

Previously I used to play that square game too.

I've been clearing out gradually over the last year thanks to the 'minimalism' threads in Good Housekeeping. We still have a long way to go but I haven't missed anything I've removed from the house and now have some spare cupboard space so it is easier to keep the cupboards tidy.

The minimalism threads and reading minimalism blogs as really helped me address why I kept things. Eg I never questioned keeping a book I'd bought even if I hadn't particularly enjoyed it. Now I am only keeping books I know I want to reread or that I want to lend to my friends or DCs when they are older.

It helps not to bring stuff in or to have a one in-one out rule.

Lifeisaboxofchocs Fri 27-Dec-13 07:44:38

i imagine that it is the kind of thing that once you get going with it, you will not revert. Why would you want to go back to a messy clutter filled house, when you have a lovely tidy home. Mine and DH philosophy is that we like our home to always be in a state that if someone dropped in unexpectedly, we would not feel embarrassed at the mess or clutter.

Bakerof3pudsxx Fri 27-Dec-13 07:49:24

I would love my house to always be ready for visitors but I feel it is impossible!

popperdoodles Fri 27-Dec-13 08:34:11

another. one here with a dh who keeps things. I am of the mind that if you don't use it you don't need it so really. can't understand why he needs to keep years worth of magazines. and such. I have to say now he reads magazines on ipad and downloads music rather than buying cds the accumulation is slowing. I have accepted. the house will always look lived in and use storage boxes under beds and in the loft to try and hide some of his crap. Getting him to sort. it is painful. to watch and invariably creates more mess. I can't think straight in a house which is too messy.
I try and make use of any dead space any where to hide things. there are things slid down behind things and tucked under things.
dcs are quite happy to get rid of things, I just try not to do it when dh is around!

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