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?

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 26-Dec-13 23:40:14

You Are Not Alone.

I Have No Ideas.

TheNightIsDark Thu 26-Dec-13 23:42:06

Watching with hope confused

theeternalstudent Thu 26-Dec-13 23:43:00

same, same. My bedroom is a dumping ground yet again for the over spill from DD's room. I'll wait until she's back at school and take it all to a charity shop.

My house is just full of junk. Pisses me right off.

AnythingNotEverything Thu 26-Dec-13 23:43:45

If you look at the issue from the other side, maybe you have too much stuff? Would a big declutter make it easier?

BananaNotPeelingWell Thu 26-Dec-13 23:44:33

Vacuum storage bags are very good. I've even put soft toys in them.

MellowMarshmallow Thu 26-Dec-13 23:45:43

some days I seem to spend hours just shuttling between rooms (only a 3bed house) moving stuff back to the appropriate rooms.

WorraLiberty Thu 26-Dec-13 23:46:47

My house is fairly in it's bigger than the house I grew up in and bigger than the first property I bought.

But I've come to realise that the more storage space we have, the more shit we store so it's a never ending battle confused

Having 3 kids and a DH who wants to keep everything 'just in case' doesn't help either fangry

pixiepotter Thu 26-Dec-13 23:48:06

It is a relentless wat against clutter.I always think I should only bring something new into the house if I am going to throw something else out.

Ruprekt Thu 26-Dec-13 23:49:25

Buy less stuff? Am about to cull the boys books but keep special ones in the loft.

Magazines need to go.

Ornaments and tat need to go.

Only ornaments I possess are photos and candles....less dusting. Pile all papers up and sit and sort it.

Set a challenge that in January you will only buy food. smilesmilebrew

tethersend Thu 26-Dec-13 23:49:59

My house is like one of those slidy square puzzles where you just move the space around. If I tidy one room, the others are trashed grin

I've given up.

PosyNarker Thu 26-Dec-13 23:53:24

Nope, I have a 4 bed detached. There are two of us. We are still constantly fighting the war against stuff. It doesn't help that DP has an almost genetic predisposition to hoard, along with a bunch of rich ancestors who have passed on lots of useless shit stuff that's not worth as much as it once was and is therefore worth holding on to. I reckon this stuff takes up 6ft by 8ft and 4ft high and won't earn what I take home tax free in a month btw...

Catrin Thu 26-Dec-13 23:56:39

At the risk of stating the obvious…you have too much stuff!

Everyone's 'stuff' limit is variable, but if it affects your quality of living and winds you up, it is too much.
I found this out the hard way, by moving somewhere with no loft or garage, despite having 5 bedrooms. So no matter how big the house, 'stuff' cannot be hidden. I decluttered - a lot - and it made my life SO much easier. Other than Dc room, I rarely need to tidy, as I just don;t have things to tidy. I do not live in a minimalist house by any stretch, but I don;t have excess things. It is a Good Feeling.

Notcontent Thu 26-Dec-13 23:57:12

Glad it's not just me!
I started thinking that perhaps there is something wrong with me - because surely spending so much time trying to keep control of it all is not normal!! grin

I think my dd got very few Xmas presents compared to many children (going by some of the threads in mumsnet!!) but it's still too much stuff.

sykadelic15 Thu 26-Dec-13 23:58:09

I know some people who do that rule "If I haven't used/thought about it in X months I don't need it". Of course there are some exceptions (christmas/seasonal decorations etc).

My husband does the "just in case we need it" thing and i've found in many cases we can't find it/forgot we had it and ended up buying another one anyway.

I say go through one of the worst rooms soon to get an idea of what your situation really is. Kids clothes and toy's is a good example. Kitchenware is another great one (my mum has SO much cutlery it's insane really. You don't need that much, it just becomes habit). It's great to HAVE so many toys but some may be too old and selling some of the better items could be a nice little earner.

Caitlin17 Thu 26-Dec-13 23:58:17

Why are you buying presents for the nieces ?

Seabright Thu 26-Dec-13 23:58:34

Oh yes, me too. I have decided my New Year Challenge (don't like resolutions) is to use stuff up & not replace it & generally have less stuff.

I will try not to buy more wool, fabric or buttons. I will try not to buy more stationery. I will try not to pinch any more post-it's from work.

Caitlin17 Thu 26-Dec-13 23:58:39

Sorry wrong thread.

AHardDaysWrite Thu 26-Dec-13 23:58:40

Two words: ikea expedit. I would like a whole wall made of it...

ARealPickle Fri 27-Dec-13 00:01:04

Much much less stuff. We've gone through puzzles and given perfectly good puzzles away in order to make a bit more space in the cupboard (and just kept a few). We've put out a brio set, made a circuit that fits well in our sitting room (small) and given away the other box full, similar with books. Far too many books so halved them. Cut down the plastic cars/pull along toys to just a few rather than lots.

It "hurt" to give away perfectly good, useful, useable toys/things but honestly each time, each bit of shelf space or cupboard space was worth it as it created so much space and order.

It needs doing again though.

I've done similar with clothes - they have lots of lovely clothes (hand me downs mainly) but as there was so much choice they weren't wearing half of them, so again we've given away perfectly lovely clothes in the name of decluttering.

It's hard. I have had periods of not much at all and the instinct is to keep "just in case",and if we had a larger house I definitely would keep some more toys/books/clothes, but being that we are in a tiny house, I don't like feeling cramped, we have had to ruthlessly cull toys/things.

It's worth it though. When we chose Christmas presents we also limited with space in mind...

ARealPickle Fri 27-Dec-13 00:02:30

We did nearly a whole wall of "billy". We did the thinner bookcases (rather than the "double" ones) so we could put lots of shelves in, some cupboard fronts, vary it a bit. But yes. Storage.

ARealPickle Fri 27-Dec-13 00:02:54

Oh and the other wall has the trofast trays on it with labels...

Longdistance Fri 27-Dec-13 00:05:37

I feel your pain.

We have a 4 bed detached, and we're constantly tripping over stuff.

Our loft has been fully boarded, so we can keep crap stuff up there. It still looks a mess. My dd's are 2.6 and 4, and are always making such a mess.

I think a trip to the tip/charity shop is required. Had enough if this mess.

I'm forever de-cluttering. Luckily there's a charity shop just around the corner.

I have friends who live in a mansion but even they get bogged down with 'stuff'. The DW is on decluttering at the moment so it's not just us in normal size houses.

I'm finding as dss are getting older their 'stuff' is getting smaller. I'm forever handing down their clothes too.

Notcontent Fri 27-Dec-13 00:08:49

I agree that good storage from ikea and decluttering helps.

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!

RenterNomad Fri 27-Dec-13 08:36:51

A lot of our clutter is from havin g moved house so many times, and I daren't get rid of things we might need in a future house move (e.g. last house had a microwave, but we weren't about to get rid of it!).

NinjaBunny Fri 27-Dec-13 09:05:02


DP tends to 'hoard'. His mum is the same (begs me to come round and help her have a clear out but will only throw away one thing).

He's better now we have good storage (around 20 Billys) and can see how nice a house looks when it's tidy and 'stuff' is in neatly labelled storage boxes rather than in a selection of bags and old jars.

He's still awkward about stuff though. We recently left a rental property. I discussed with the landlord leaving our cooker (new house has one built in), lawn mower (new house has no lawn), hoover (works well but was bought for the laminated floors whereas the new place has carpet so we bought a hoover with more 'oomph'), some shelving that had been made to fit various cupboards/cubby-holes and we wouldn't need and the curtain poles and curtains (vendors were leaving naice curtain poles and I splashed out on some thicker curtains).

We didn't need the stuff and the next tenant may well be grateful for it. Good thinking, right?

Nope. It's all in the garage at our new place. DP was moaning only yesterday that he 'couldn't get in there'. I pointed out that he should've left XXXXX behind as we didn't fucking need it and he just responded with XXXXX only takes up 2 foot of space.

Yes, it does. He's right. But multiply that by the items of crap he brought and you can see how a good sized garage quickly filled up..!


Sixtiesqueen Fri 27-Dec-13 09:21:54

For me the stuff is actually stuff that has a place and nobody (but me) bothers to put it back. At the moment I can see:

Bike helmet on the hall table instead of the garage
Calpol left out of the medicine cabinet
Torch left out of the garage

And various other things.

My point is, even if you have perfectly good storage, it seems to be only me that bothers putting anything away.

Lovebargains Fri 27-Dec-13 09:25:02

I really feel for you OP. Having the same struggle. Fed up of rearranging things all the time. We have had half the house decorated so have used this an opportunity to get rid of lots of clutter. House is done now but still there is lots of clutter confused

I filled up 3 bags last night. I have quite a few Christmas presents cluttering up the place that I don't want. Going to give the endless boxes of biscuits and chocolates to the food bank.

I found this website quite helpful

I keep going back and reading it and it helps to keep me motivated

Rhubarbgarden Fri 27-Dec-13 09:34:57

I hate hate hate clutter. When I lived on my own, in a small one bed flat, everything had its place and there was never a problem with stuff. I simply didn't buy anything none essential and keeping the place tidy was easy.

Now I live in a 'huge house with masses of storage', and the stuff problem is driving me insane. It's kids. They acquire crap, take it apart and spread things around from room to room. It is a never ending battle to transfer things back to where they should be. Dh doesn't help - he doesn't have a large amount of stuff but he's inherently untidy and incapable of putting things away after use.

Sometimes I pine for my tiny, orderly flat.

Squitten Fri 27-Dec-13 09:52:52

Ugh, sounds familiar here too.

I find the worst culprits are all the things we have but only use once a year. Kitchen cupboards full of absurd serving plates, tea sets, extra linen and towels. I'm constantly tripping over all this stuff that rarely sees the light of day

pinkdelight Fri 27-Dec-13 09:55:05

"Kipple drives out non-kipple"

pinkdelight Fri 27-Dec-13 09:55:56

Never know why I need to tick a box to convert a link. Who wouldn't want a link converted?

Notcontent Fri 27-Dec-13 10:25:39

Well, at least if feel better now!!!

Golddigger Fri 27-Dec-13 10:41:13

I always like living near people like you!
You have just reminded me that the charity shops are likely to have some lovely stuff in them soon!
[and yes I have a lovely large attic that has stuff in it. Not too much though[well I dont think so anyway!]]

CelticPromise Fri 27-Dec-13 10:59:32

I feel like this. I have hoarding tendencies. I have got much better though, but still we have mountains of stuff. I need to get stricter. We are moving house and I just know I will end up transporting crap to the new place.

didireallysaythat Fri 27-Dec-13 11:11:36

We moved twice in 6 months. I can't recommend it as a way of decluttering (quite expensive) but it helps. My current strategy: one room tidy - the room I'm in the most. A box by the front door with the Oxfam tag my bag sticker on it already (if you don't do this it's good - they make more money and you get nectar points). When its 3/4 full, seal it and take it in. Replace with the next box. Every now and then a big push to get rid of more (ebay, gum tree and free cycle).

But the real trick is not to buy or acquire more stuff. Tough with kids but it has to be done !

You've inspired me to declutter my large billy bookcase in the dining room. I've got rid of a wheelie bin size bag of recycling and 2 large bags of charity shop stuff. Am off there now to see if it's open?

We have friends coming for dinner tomorrow night and the dining room will look much nicer smile

Just ordered this and am off to collect it now. fgrin

missedmebythatmuch Fri 27-Dec-13 12:39:51

We live in a small place and utter ruthlessness is the only way.

There are three Christmas presents already in the charity shop bag - I know DS won't play with them, and I don't want to give them house room until a polite amount of time has elapsed to get rid of them. It sounds mean but I have trained ILs and my own family not to give them excessive amounts of stuff. I had to be REALLY blunt, but my view is that it's not the GPs' prerogative to shower gifts on children unless they're going to pay for the space required to store it, so as no-one is volunteering to swap their giant baby boomer family house for our flat, it's really too bad. This did cause hurt feelings at the start, but better a grandparent's nose slightly out of joint for a week or two than me not being able to cope with the constant stress of giant noisy toys all over the place.

All our Christmas presents for four people fitted into two carrier bags this year, and I've got four bin liners ready for the charity shop so we're ahead this year.

I agree that not holding on to stuff until you get around to selling it or giving it to so-and-so is key. If it's high-value stuff, get it on eBay now, and otherwise just get rid of it.

lljkk Fri 27-Dec-13 12:45:45

We buy relatively little but still have heaps of stuff. Arrgggh.

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Fri 27-Dec-13 13:19:05

Have been out buying plastic storage boxes. So the clutter will still be there, but will look a lot neater. I hope.

So, I went to Argos instead of the charity shop. I'm now in possession of my tall boy for the bathroom. Argos man asked me 3 times if I was sure I could manage to carry it myself fhmm He looked aghast when I just stuck it under my arm and sauntered out fgrin Mind you the wind was really bad, still is. Could barely open the car door.

Am going to the charity shop now then will build tall boy hopefully after that off to bed as am night shift tonight.

3asAbird Fri 27-Dec-13 14:01:45

3bed new build semi here tiny shit kitchen no storage, no garage, 1 reception open plan lounge diner with patio doors no back door hate it.

shed full, loft possibly bulging under weight.

1 man child-claims be tidy hes as messy as kids.

small boy in box room-hardly bedroom.
me and hubby in 2nd small double room for bed, tv wardrobe nothing esle
share double wardrobe hubby and hate it,

small pokey bathroom the new sheves made no difference.

2girls in master bedroom no bunks 2single beds not much room.

got so bad xmas day husband was life we have to move.

I actually dont think we have a stupid amount its just

kids messy
not big enough house no where to hide.
not enough storage or room to put more potential furniture storage.

i delclutter regular.
lounge is tigght with tree in,

i cant seee us ever being minialist with kids.

shoom Fri 27-Dec-13 15:08:56

missedmebythatmuch I like your point about swapping houses!

Same here, my toddler got piles of stuff that he won't play with (including duplicates and toys that are too young for him) which are going straight to the charity shop.

I told my side of the family that he didn't need anything and being 2, would have been happy to receive one toy, but I still have acquired lots of stuff from purple who would not take it well if I was honest and asked them to return or swap stuff for something else.

I have my flat on the market and have spent so much time decluttering that I have no interest in keeping stuff that we wont use.

Cheesy123 Fri 27-Dec-13 15:17:36

I have just put up my expedit large storage unit it's fab but I have now lost the will and the room still
Looks like a bomb site. I need to be ruthless and charity shop loads of stuff

Southeastdweller Fri 27-Dec-13 15:31:27

I've just spent four days at my Dad's house and had a lot of stuff in storage there (I was in between digs for a while), just way too much for one person. I'm bringing some of it back to sort out to take to charity shops and will go back there again soon to do more. Just looking at all that crap was quite shocking but I'm feeling very motivated after reading this thread to tackle the mountain next year.

I agree with a poster up thread - being ruthless is important.

YuleNeverKnow Fri 27-Dec-13 15:37:10

1. Declutter
2. Declutter some more
Now check and see if you need more furniture in which to store stuff.

Do not do this in reverse or you will never get rid of the clutter.

<speaks from experience>

scattyspice Fri 27-Dec-13 15:41:06

Pinkdelight I love that there was an option to buy kipple mug at the end of that page! grin

OctopusWrangler Fri 27-Dec-13 15:42:53

I'm carrying on the declutter when I'm over my bug. Kitchen next as it is a tipsad

our house is a very small "3" bed terrace.
when my shop closed, most of the stock (which I was assured would be bought in swathes hmm) ended up comjng home with me.
and all the crockery and all of dd's shop toys.
dd no longsr has a bedroom (thank god for co-sleeping, cos our room isn't big enough for another bed) because all my stock's in tere.

I can't just get rid of the stock so we're stuffed until I sell it all.

for the rest of the house - this morning I decided to clear the dining area (half of the living room) and had to barricade dd into the other half with chairs. which didn't work because she worked out how to climb over them hmm

it's totally depressing knowing something needs to be done but being incapable of doing it sad

purrforamincepie Fri 27-Dec-13 15:47:18

But don't you feel guilty? I have some sort of stuff-guilt, in that if I try to get rid of it I just feel awful.

My DH keeps things just in case, which really doesn't help. We also disagree quietly on where things should live, and neither of us caves, we just persistently keep putting things back where we think they should live. We have a baby, we're heading towards utter chaos sad

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Fri 27-Dec-13 15:51:50

I am going to do some work this afternoon on decluttering the kitchen, by eating the biscuits and chocolates therein. Will clear a lot of space.
And yes, I will be ruthless fwink

ilovesmurfs Fri 27-Dec-13 15:54:02

Ours is just seven people in one house, and lots of lwgo etc, paperwork is a killer...

I now have £200+ worth of IKEA storage in my basket to help organize the new toys and am going to have a clear out once kids at school. I will never have a minimalist house, esp as dp has hoarding tendencies like his mother and sister but I do just declutter and take stuff to charity etc. Our house is just lived in, the one thing that really annoys me is how the top of the piano, fronts of bookcases end up with 'stuff' on them!

But most things have a home, could do with sorting out some of our wardrobes so the stuff in them is tidier.,,my youngest starts preschool in jan so I can blitz when I have some child free time for the first time in 14yrs!

silverten Fri 27-Dec-13 16:29:27

Oh god I constantly have the sliding puzzle problem. this year on mat. leave is the year I kill the piles stone dead. The solution is not more space, it's less stuff. So don't bother buying more and more fancy storage thinking it will solve all your woes- it will just hide the evidence of your problem and you'll keep on accumulating stuff until you run out of space.

You need to decide what furniture you want to have in your house. Then decide what is going in each piece. Some things are a given: you need decent storage for bedding and towels, cleaning materials, kitchen equipment, etc. After you've dealt with essentials you can decide whether you have room for anything else!

Sort those categories out first: only keep what you need, and arrange your storage so that it is only 80% full by either selecting a large enough cupboard, or getting rid of things until it all fits in. You need that spare 20% empty so that when you need to put something away, you can do it easily, because if you have to take five minutes to re-stack your towels to fit another one in I guarantee you won't bother.

Then move onto more frivolous stuff. How much makeup do you realty need? How many pairs of shoes? If they are shoved in the back of a cupboard you've probably forgotten you even own them...


I have a loose rule that if DD wants to keep it, it has to fit in her existing storage. She has a good sized room to herself, so I think this is fair. I hope that I will be able to teach her not to hang onto things she's finished with.

I decided last year that I don't have the space for paper books. So I'm waging a war on my shelves to replace the dead trees with electronic versions.

I also decided to get real about a couple of hobbies and collections I have. I'm never going to use up all the materials I have, so I've got rid of loads. I don't have the space or inclination to display my red glass collection, so that's going soon- it simply isn't earning its space. I have too many cookbooks- the ones I have never used and don't even flick through for inspiration are on the hit list.

I read quite a few de cluttering blogs. These helped me realise that the value of my living space was, in the main, much higher than the value of boxes of stuff I never looked at (because there was no space to be able to enjoy it!) Things I'd hung onto for sentiment's sake were meaningless in that owning the object didn't mean I kept the memory any fresher- but shoving cards from my wedding in a damp loft meant that they got spoiled (so weren't a nice reminder) AND took up useful space.

On getting rid of things: the shops are a wonderful storage facility. For hard-to-find 'vintage' things: we now have the Internet. Almost nothing is irreplaceable.

SoloXantiaClaws Fri 27-Dec-13 16:35:40

"The solution is not more space, it's less stuff. So don't bother buying more and more fancy storage thinking it will solve all your woes- it will just hide the evidence of your problem and you'll keep on accumulating stuff until you run out of space."

So true!!

silverten Fri 27-Dec-13 16:47:14

The only thing to bear in mind is that you do need some furniture to keep things in....

It's just ever so tempting to go and spunk a load of cash on trofast without actually binning any tat. The volume is still there: you've just re-arranged it- which when you think about it, is just playing the slidey squares game, albeit with slightly nicer looking squares...

rumbleinthrjungle Fri 27-Dec-13 16:49:47

Try this

I found it quite liberating! Stuff everywhere stresses me out, I have a cupboard which houses clothes and items I haven't used in a while but don't feel I should get rid of (guilt plays a large part) and if I haven't taken it out in six months it's donated.

My mother, sister and I were all struggling with this and we've made a family rule for adults at Christmas and birthdays the last two years: consumables or e versions only! Flowers, plants, food, drink, toiletries, candles, downloadables like kindle books or music...... things that take up no space or are used and then go. Actually we've enjoyed each others gifts a lot more since we've been doing it, there isn't the stress of 'oh heck where is that going'. The children's toys - get rotated a lot. One box in the house, several boxes in the garage.

rumbleinthrjungle Fri 27-Dec-13 16:50:07
silverten Fri 27-Dec-13 16:52:58

Ironically I have just got rid of that book in the latest charity shop run... smile

It wasn't earning its place on my shelf!

clearsommespace Fri 27-Dec-13 16:53:58

Purrforamincepie I used to hang onto stuff out of guilt but some thoughts that helped me change:

if it's a badly designed article or an bad impulse buy: the wasted money is not going to come back just because I keep it in my cupboard. To the contrary, storing stuff costs money as you need a larger living space or a storage unit

we might need that duplicate/spare item in the future but someone else needs it now. If you're a naturally guilty person, you end up feeling guilty holding onto stuff rather than getting rid of it but at least you have a tidy living space

Of course if someone else has a stake you should check with them first. Ask your siblings before you get rid of things you inherited from grandparents or parents!!

pianodoodle Fri 27-Dec-13 16:54:24


As soon as I have a clear out someone comes over with another bin bag full of tat that their child no longer wants. All very kind but...too much!!

I'm the only one in the house that enjoys keeping things to a minimum though so I have to sneak stuff out bit by bit... grin

ilovesmurfs Fri 27-Dec-13 16:58:52

I need thetrofast for lego! Not tat! We already have ten under bed storage boxes full of lego and a few stackable tubs, the trofast will hold their xmaslego, a unit for each room and there will be space leftover.

I regularly go through toys a regift, charity shop but with kids ages from 14-3 lotsstillgeys played with ie wooden train track and duplo, tbh we don't have tat, we have good quality toys, schleich figures, lego, some playmobil etc.

NiceTabard Fri 27-Dec-13 17:00:16

I am a superb declutterer and utterly ruthless with "stuff".

Unfortunately I live with 1 adult hoarder and 2 small children who give me terrible <sadface> en masse whenever I so much as try to throw away a broken plastic kazoo that came free from cbeebies magazine a year ago...

What I need is time in the house when none of them are here and a skip. That aint gonna happen any time soon though.... And so that gives me <sadface>

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Fri 27-Dec-13 17:14:32

I do think children bring with them particular storage needs that even messy adult couples just don't have. I also need storage for toys that ds1 has that really need to be kept away from the toddler - I started with one trofast that somehow multiplied into five. If there was any more wall, there'd be more!

silverten Fri 27-Dec-13 17:16:39

I don't generally count Lego as tat either smurf, if it's being played with.

If you have so much Lego you have to store it in the loft and consequently never get it out of the box (my DB does this) then as far as I am concerned it is just volume.

therunnawaybride Fri 27-Dec-13 17:26:02

We have a whole wall of our dining room covered in expedit from ikea; best thing we ever did!

DrCoconut Fri 27-Dec-13 17:37:37

My DH keeps everything he's ever touched, or so it feels. Same with DS1. He has ASD and finds changing his room/things very hard. We need to make more space.

ilovesmurfs Fri 27-Dec-13 17:45:45

God my boys would never let it go in the loft! They play with it all the time, we got a laptop and a Samsung tab3 for Xmas, both still in theor boxes, ignored in favour of lego!

Rhubarbgarden Fri 27-Dec-13 17:50:40

Inspired by this thread I had a big tidy and clear out. Two bin bags dropped off at the charity shop and a big box of toys ready to go the preschool jumble. Feel SO much better for it. smile

I'm itching to get rid of the Christmas tree now.

bebbeau Fri 27-Dec-13 17:51:07


am the same <sigh>

and have a tiny flippin house with no storage

am ruthless about throwing stuff away and decluttering though, thats half the battle

Pixel Fri 27-Dec-13 18:01:50

I often bemoan the fact that we don't have a loft but actually I think it would be a very dangerous thing as it would be groaning under the weight by now!
I'm constantly looking for places to put things so the house doesn't look like a tip but it is difficult when there is no storage and limited scope for providing it (small rented house). Tbh dh is the worst culprit. Ok I do have hobbies, but my stuff fits in a small space and I don't have a lot of excess 'just in case' stuff. I have a shelf in the understairs cupboard for my knitting/sewing stuff and I have my tack on a rack behind a door as there really is nowhere else to put it (shed too damp, will get stolen if left at field), but that's it apart from some books and photos. The rest of the space is filled with his hobbies which appears to be all big stuff. Massive telescope, umpteen guitars, amps etc, computer stuff, bags full of mysterious cables that he apparently 'needs'. The dcs have a fair amount of toys etc but it is in their rooms so not something I have to feel bad about when people drop in.
It's all very well saying declutter but what if it is stuff you do actually use?

Pixel Fri 27-Dec-13 18:03:20

I'm itching to get rid of the Christmas tree now.

Oh no, the one thing that I'd let stay if I could is the Christmas tree, even if we are sidling around it to get to the door. It's so pretty!

CremeEggThief Fri 27-Dec-13 18:11:22

Two rules I go by are: do I use it? Do I love it? If it doesn't fit either criteria, it goes.

rumbleinthrjungle Fri 27-Dec-13 18:13:48

grin @ Silverten

silverten Fri 27-Dec-13 18:46:53

Do you know the worst thing about it, rumble?

It was absolutely pristine.... I'd bought it, tidied my bookshelf in a fit of enthusiasm, and there it sat, untouched, for several years, until I realised that the biggest contribution it could make to my de cluttering efforts was to join the pile of stuff marked 'get rid'...

ARealPickle Fri 27-Dec-13 19:08:11

We're about to go through toys. It's not "tat" as someone up thread expressed. They're good toys., but we don't have space. So brio, lego, etc is going to have to go.

The children share a small room so all toys ate in the sitting room, which is small. Its so hard to choose.

Similarly if you have whole trofasts full of lego but you have space for it, that's fine. If there isn't space and it's cluttered you need to cull! We have all the toys they own in a couple of trofasrs so Lego space is limited!

elQuintoConyo Fri 27-Dec-13 19:33:18

We have an expedit 4x4 and a curious, climbing very 'handsy' 2yo, so only the top shelf and top of it us being used. Got a couple of pretty expedit boxes to hold essentials and a small hadful if (very pretty-looking and well-read/will read again) books and photographs.

However, the lower 3 shelves hold baby-related stuff (emergency nappies, wipes, changing mat), some stuffed toys etc, nothing he ca break. I actually brought down to empty napoy boxes for Christmas: one to hold his alreadyvastcollection if cars/vehicles, the other for tge Ikea train set we bought him. Now, at the end of the day/when he goes for a nap, veything is scooped up into these fugly boxes and put on the expedut where he can get at them and tip them out later, which is fine.

I realise buying pretty wicker boxes would help the decor of the house - DS would easily break them. Not in a position to 'just buy a trofast' at the moment, plus we live abroad and the cost of the petrol and bloody toll roads just to get there are a joke.

I sometimes just pull out a box and go through it, bin stuff, recycle stuff, put stuff in its proper place etc, or a drawer or a shelf. I have days where I can't part with anything and days when I'm ruthless - I like those days grin

elQuintoConyo Fri 27-Dec-13 19:35:47

Jeez Louise, I hope you can struggle through my dull badly typed post!

ISpyNotAnotherMincePie Fri 27-Dec-13 19:55:01

I'm a hoarder in recovery who seems to be waging a constant war against stuff. I used to be terrible for keeping things for sentimental reasons especially toys or clothes that had been gifts for the DC. I have now had a complete shift in mindset and am desperately trying to declutter. The problem now is finding time. It's almost impossible when the DC are around, especially DC2 (12 months) who's favourite pass time is randomly transporting things from one room to the next. DS1 (4) is increasingly starting to play with lego and playmobil resulting in yet more bits.

I have had a good go at it today and sorted a pile if stuff to donate to a local refuge. I've also been ruthless and binned anything broken "awaiting repair", crap from comics/party bags etc

I dream of properly decluttering the spare room, fitting it out with trofast/expedit/billy and making it into a proper playroom. When I'm feeling optimistic I tell myself that this will be the year it happens. When I inevitably don't find time I'll beat myself up about how the DC have so much stuff due to the generosity of others yet nowhere near a good enough system for finding things easily and therefore getting the most out og their toys sad

sicily1921 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:58:38

Notcontent a visit to my house will be guaranteed to make you feel better and that you have minimal clutter (see my Dinosaur thread on AIBU too)!

I can still recall with a shiver Christmas approx. 2003/4 when Great Grandma, God rest her soul, sent the two DCs about 6 GIANT Christmas bags of STUFF. And, like all the best GGs was a dab hand at buying stuff that broke all health and safety regulations (like the doll whose head came off as soon as it was touched to revealed a dangerous looking sharp spike). That year I recall weeping on the bedroom floor and incoherently muttering something like 'I give up, I succumb to shed loads of crap....'

I had a mini nervous breakdown when I surveyed the living room on Boxing Day. There was just so much stuff, piled up, and I'm supposed to find room for it amidst all the other stuff that I had just about managed to get organised after DS's birthday.

If I had the money I would turn our spare room (which will be DS's room when he quits cosleeping) into a kind of library of shelving and plastic boxes, but then I would need to find somewhere else to put DH's guitars (they breed too, it's not just junk which breeds).

I am really very grateful for all the (expensive, high quality) toys DS has been given this Christmas but the thing is we live in a terrace with an open plan ground floor and I don't want to see it all the damn time sad

Aaaaaaaagh! I'm going to end up with an Expedit in every room.

Utterly Fri 27-Dec-13 20:46:38

Even the charity shops groan when they see me coming!

ARealPickle Fri 27-Dec-13 20:52:50

I've given up with the not seeing it problem. Our sitting room has billy across one side (with our books we want downstairs on top and toys/jigsaw/games on the bottom. Other side of the room has trofast across it. Not pretty but tidy. And what can you do?! The toys get played with down here, there isn't space upstairs so we've just decided its "for a season" and I bet we miss them when they're not there!

I'm procrastinating. I need to get package up some plastic cars/animals...

Charity shop
E bay
Worst case scenario....skip
Seriously, I have lots of ikea storage systems like trofast aNd expedit and it does help.
I also have a toy cull before each b day and Xmas and so it doesn't get too bad.

Pixel Fri 27-Dec-13 21:04:48

I have to keep googling all these references to Ikea stuff to see what you are all talking about grin.
I only went there once, I thought I would never get out alive, and all I bought were some of those little plastic clips you put on opened bags of veg so you can put them back in the freezer. The thought of buying furniture and then discovering it won't fit in the car is far too terrifying ha ha (plus it was miles away and on a terrifying industrial estate that I'll never face again as long as I live).

Anywhere else apart form Ikea that does good cheap storage and preferably delivers ?

ARealPickle Fri 27-Dec-13 21:10:46

There's people near us that do "Ikea runs" advertised locally. Ie you pay them and they come back with the goods.... very very tempting for next time.

Or what we have done is pretty much decide what it is we want in advance (usually a bit of Billy or Trofast, so pretty generic/easy etc) - just get the number in the packing/picking/loading/shed/whatever its called bit on the computer there and just make a quick entrance and exit without going in the store!

The stuff is just so good for the price, and so practical with children... and so generic you can always replace bits/add bits.

Pixel Fri 27-Dec-13 21:34:37

Mmm, might have to see if there is anyone near us who does that or bribe my stepdad who has an estate car.

Lovebargains Fri 27-Dec-13 23:52:28

This thread is really helping me, don't know about anyone else.

I have filled 5 carrier bags full of stuff for the charity shop. My friend said even if you remove one item a day, in a month you will have removed about 30 items. This is useful for when it gets overwhelming.

ARealPickle Sat 28-Dec-13 00:07:20

2 boxes removed here.

I have to keep resisting the urge to 'save to ebay.' And actually part with stuff.

There really isn't enough room for children's bit s but I don't want to end up shelving every wall in the house!

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Sat 28-Dec-13 00:13:30

I've just been measuring up a corner of the living room to see if I could fit in yet more trofast! (I can't sad )

TheFirstToel Sat 28-Dec-13 00:21:38

It drives me insane. It's extra frustrating because I'm actually quite good at getting organised and decluttering, but we have 2 DC (young so I can't really expect them to pull their weight) and my DP is a messy sod who is terrible at throwing anything away or putting anything away in a sensible place. If he's finished with it, he shoves it onto the nearest table/shelf/any flat surface - especially fecking paperwork. letters from bank etc that I'm not sure if I can throw away. Empty boxes/envelopes that stuff has arrived in. Oh and cables, bloody CABLES and random bits of tech that may or may not be no longer needed. I spend my life decluttering his and the DC's ever-burgeoning clutter (pictures... party bag stuff...magazine tat...), asking what has to be kept and finding places to put it/making decisions about what to bin/oxfam. Our house is a smallish 3-bed with no loft, no garage, no spare room, just 1 decent storage cupboard so I have to be ruthless.

I have also been "saving to ebay" but today I faced up to the fact that I will never have the time (or at least not for about 15 years), so gave a big bag to a charity shop. It felt good to do that not just to get shot of it but as an act of charity - to give it away because a lot of people must ebay instead now (not judging them for that at all, but it helped me make my decision).

However my endless efforts do mean that we don't have that much stored tat. The incoming tide of clutter is constantly in my face, but I do deal with it. Friends I know who do have a garage/cellar/spare room/loft have terrifying amounts of STUFF stored in boxes, which puts the amount we have in the shade.

Chelvis Sat 28-Dec-13 11:19:10

What really helped me was having the loft boarded - yes, it helped with extra space, but most of all, it helped me put a cost on storage space in my home. Looking at the loft floor thinking 'this space costs X per square foot' made me very precious about what we put on it, in the loft and in the whole house.

With the Christmas presents, we left everything from the extended family in the hall until the kids were in bed and then unpacked + sorted it ourselves into 'keep', 'bin' and 'charity' piles. It stopped the emotional responses to toys that they really won't play with for more than five mins.

sicily1921 Sat 28-Dec-13 17:29:43

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

Can I second that MInty?

Utterly Sat 28-Dec-13 18:10:43

Have battled stuff all afternoon. Have loads of boxes of toys, piles of book - but where is the best place to taken them? The charity shop are always ungrateful when we turn up with things in bulk. I'm wondering about hospitals or homes that lost presents in floods this year?

[[ we


[[ we'

we've resurrected the Hoarders' Support thread
bloody toddler climbing all over me!

ARealPickle Sat 28-Dec-13 21:58:47

Nickel - you sold the shop?!!? I used to follow your updates. How are you? What happened to the shop? What are you doing now? Have you moved...

AdmiralData Sat 28-Dec-13 22:40:51

Oh hello, this is MY kinda thread.

If it hasn't been used in a week - chuck it. Toys, books, clothes, ornaments, furniture, electrical equipment etc DONATE IT. Be utterly ruthless and try not to be sentimental.

I luffs nothing better than a good sort out. Did one today. Marvellous. The charity shops will appreciate it>smile

pickle I had to close the shop because it was haemorrhaging money all over the place. the lease ended in october, so I just cut and ran.

actually, even the process of closing down and clearing out the stuff made me realize how much stuff I never got rid of! we practically filled the scouts' lorry (not van, lorry!) with paper and cardboard that I never got round to sorting.

I'm being a WAHM travelling bookshop now. or trying to be. it's less ztressful and I just don't have to do anything!

TheDoctrineOfSanta Sat 28-Dec-13 23:40:08

A week, Data?

Glad you are doing OK Nickel.

winkywinkola Sat 28-Dec-13 23:47:13

Size of house makes no difference. Still filled with shit.

My kitchen is not great but I am precious about my workspace.

Everyone dumps toys, tools, batteries, sunglasses etc on my space. And they still expect meg to work effectively.

I have a box I fill with the crap. On the 1st of every month the box's contents are tipped into the bin. Everyone is given one week's notice before this happens.

As a result, I have one, clear functional room.

There is no hope for the rest of the house.

Solo Sun 29-Dec-13 01:26:44

MintyChops and Sicily Me too!!! and it is the utter chaos at home that does it! I'm convinced!

AdmiralData Sun 29-Dec-13 01:38:24

Yes, a week. TheDoctrine - I am utterly ruthless >smile

ARealPickle Sun 29-Dec-13 05:48:26

Wow a week is ruthless! There's quite a lot we don't use every week, but do use - craft, toys, clothes. Quite like the idea though, and we are further decluttering. I think there's a danger my children will be left with very little at this rate (tiny house!)

ARealPickle Sun 29-Dec-13 05:49:26

Nickel -Thanks did the update, lovely to hear how you are doing. Hope it all works out really well for you.

BalloonSlayer Sun 29-Dec-13 07:35:27

My new years "resolutions" are to:

- have a good wardrobe clear out. No, those jeggings that only go on as far as my knees turned out NOT to be DD's. shock You will NEVER be thin enough. Get rid!

- think about the kitchen cupboards I never seem to open and get rid of the stuff inside (slow cooker anyone?). Move our overflow of tins/packets/DH's beer into these kitchen cupboards.

- Buy less tin/packet/jar food over January and live on our overflow collection instead. We have a good size kitchen - we SHOULD be able to keep all our food in it FGS!

- Sort out some old DVDs for friend at work's DS who is a couple of years younger than our DS.

- Get some vacuum bags and remove all spare/summer duvets to the loft apart from one to be kept in the house in case of rows vomit emergencies.

- Put sentimental baby clothes and toys in box in loft marked "Baby clothes & toys keeping for sentimental reasons" thus freeing up space in DS2's cupboard

- Find somewhere else for chargers to live other than in kitchen cupboard

insomniarules Sun 29-Dec-13 07:40:58

Same here, however some of stems from DH being rubbish at decluttering whereas I'm all for getting rid of things we no longer need but I don't like to give things away without checking he's ok with it.
So things don't get chucked unless I make him do a sort out with me and it's very hard work.
Our garage is impenetrable, the living room is awash with plastic toys and all bedrooms have little carpet showing.
I've given up trying to keep on top of it, I will instead start training the DC to put things away themselves. They need to learn very soon.

myrubberduck Sun 29-Dec-13 07:43:07

I have fantasies about getting rid of my hoarder dh and 2ds for the day and secretly hiring a skip.... I would tell them we had been burgled by the crap and tat burglars

RedHelenB Sun 29-Dec-13 08:18:37

Embrace the stuff!! DS really enjoyed watching his Thomas dvds after I thought he'd outgrown them (meant to get rid before Christmas but never got round to it!)

BalloonSlayer Sun 29-Dec-13 08:43:46

I have made a start!

I have emptied a half-bottle of white wine (used as an ingredient LAST CHRISTMAS) an unopened bottle of ginger drink best before 2010, and an opened bottle of Baileys (bb 2011) down the sink.

There is an opened bottle of Baileys bb 2014 still in the cupboard. Wonder if it will be OK? May test it tonight. And "declutter" it one way or another.

Lovebargains Sun 29-Dec-13 18:19:27

I read a good tip. Sometimes we hold onto things because we have spent a lot of money on them. It is not going to bring our wasted money back by holding onto them. I have tried to follow this and given to the charity shop today several unworn items of brand new clothing and bags. I did feel a twinge when I had done it but I know it is for the best

Oh, I love chucking stuff away.

And buying.

am on a self imposed amazon ban until my loan comes in tho

ooooh does anyone want to hire the starving student that is Quirrel to come and help them declutter? I would be ruthless!!
to be honest it would be such a pleasure I could probs be persuaded to pay you grin

carlywurly Sun 29-Dec-13 18:48:21

Ooh I love a declutterer. I schlep at least a big bag a week to the charity shop. I used to be a major shopaholic until one day I looked around at all the stuff I couldn't fit in my wardrobe and felt physically sick at the excess. Toiletries and books were other problem areas.

Since then , I've sold enough on ebay to fund 3 holidays and now only buy things if I both need and love them.

I think one of the key things is not to acquire more stuff. My credit card bill is about half what it once was and I have savings for the first time ever.

balloonslayer shock chucking away wine!! shock

it doesn't go off, no, the alcohol preserves it. alcohol is a preservative

cherrypez Sun 29-Dec-13 21:41:56

Nickel, I think I used to be a customer in your shop. Was it in a town beginning with S and close to Iceland? And had Gruffalo soft toys?

yes, that's me smile

ARealPickle Sun 29-Dec-13 21:59:51

I keep feeling guilty I'm not ebaying. I've got some more to pass on but I just don't have time energy or space. ..

MrsPear Sun 29-Dec-13 22:04:49

We moved in March from a 2 bed to 3 bed flat. It came with 3 hallway cupboards and a shed. The house looks quite normal and not overcrowded but the shed. Oh my god that needs a big sort out.

MrsPear Sun 29-Dec-13 22:07:40

Ballon sayer - my chargers are on top of a tall bookcase in little plastic baskets - stops ds2 eating them!

Hi can I join in?

I've been trying to sort out my fabric stash today. Sorted some stuff into the ragbag (will go out in recycling box on Tues) and have freecycled some bundles.

Have also removed some excess mugs from kitchen cupboards, which will be going to a mate who's been smashing crockery recently grin

Feels like a neverending struggle tho, and haven't even started on the DC's tat.

TalkieToaster Sun 29-Dec-13 22:13:51

Where do you live, QuirrelQuarrel? Are you prepared to come to Liverpool? I have a room we don't even use because it's that full of clutter.

Liverpool, home of the Beatles museum, you say?.....hmmmm grin
I could be v. easily persuaded, in all this huge pool of holiday I have....if you're serious PM me!

TalkieToaster Mon 30-Dec-13 01:22:40

Hah, I wish, but I think my DP would kill me. 'Oh yes, dear, I invited a complete stranger off the internet to sort through our crap. You don't mind?'

I'm actually using my CBT time to address my inability to keep on top of housework. It's supposed to be for fatigue issues, but they don't bother me so much anymore since I found the physical cause.

I've never been to the Beatles museum, although I did take a friend past a sweet shop that had a portrait of Paul O'Grady made out of jelly beans. #completelyandutterlyoutedmyselfnow

Not4turning Mon 30-Dec-13 01:49:28

I read some stuff about de cluttering yesterday as I have heaps of clutter.

Apparently, you start small. My quest was the paperwork that I jam next to a heavy vase on the kitchen shelf.

I got my old extending box file out and started. This stuff was about 7 inches thick and I needed less than an inch of it. Next was our corkboard, again loads of stuff for the wood burner.

My next spots will be my cookery books on the kitchen shelf and the following;

Utensils - have doubles just in case
Kitchenware - just have loads that has been used once
All drawers in kitchen, not used in the last year, ta ta

As I said, I am starting small.

I've just sorted through some kitchenware Not4turning. There were several things that I'd been hanging onto because they were still 'good' and I might use them - e.g. a ceramic flan dish that I've maybe used once to make a quiche, but of course I needed to hang onto it because then it will encourage me to make quiches hmm

The feeling of liberation to pass on stuff like that to the charity shop is wonderful!

Lovebargains Mon 30-Dec-13 10:04:10

I had a look in my filing cabinet and it is literally stuffed with papers. Last night I threw out about 50-60 papers and manuals for products I got rid of years ago! Shocking. I need a brew

BraveMerida Mon 30-Dec-13 11:42:36

But why do we keep on shopping and buying more STUFF though?!

Now I'm getting all conflicted over whether I need that powder blue kitchen aid or not.....Has anyone regretted buying a kitchen aid and have it sit on their work top looking annoying or beautiful but pretty useless?

winkywinkola Mon 30-Dec-13 12:41:20

I'd get the kitchenaid food processor rather than the mixer. Far more useful.

ARealPickle Mon 30-Dec-13 13:44:41

We have a magi mix my husband loves that sits on the side, but isn't big enough for dough.

We have my food processor with all the cutty blades but we tend bit to use it.

And a ginormous kenwood which I avoids using as I hate lifting it up and out. ....

I don't need 3

We have a magi mix which is fairly utilitarian looking, but we do use it regularly.

ARealPickle Mon 30-Dec-13 14:18:46

We use it for all sorts, so it's not going, it's just not enough for baking. ...

Might have to be the food processor that goes!

clearsommespace Mon 30-Dec-13 14:28:08

Can you get your appliances into the cupboards?
When I was given my Magimix (over 15 years ago) I was told to keep it out otherwise I wouldn't use it. But I use it just as much now it is usually kept in the cupboard.
I'd like to keep the toaster in the cupboard but everyone else disagrees. Instead I have made space in the cupboard so when I am doing the kind of cooking that requires a lot of available workspace, I can put it away.

ARealPickle Mon 30-Dec-13 14:32:07

We don't have enough cupboard space so I'm trying b to clear some things out. Magi mix is out but kenwood and processor away.

Housemum Mon 30-Dec-13 14:57:11

My Magimix is in the cupboard and I forget to use it - Kitchen Aid is on worktop but we do make a cake at least once a week.

Toys are a big problem - doesn't help that there is a big age gap with the youngest 2 so we have toys for 10yo and 5yo around. 10yo is particularly bad at attaching sentimentality to stuff - every toy/game/piece of crappy plastic stuff has a meaning. Drives me mad. I could halve her stuff easily given free reign. Have tried the "donate to charity/help those without" route and the "sell it at the NCT sale and you can have the cash" route to no avail.

Have for the past year only taken books out from library rather than buy, has helped. Have a "read and get rid" pile in the spare room of accumulated books - have given one box so far to charity shop.

Have stopped keeping clothes for "when I have slimmed down" or "in case I get fatter" - unless they are vintage-designer-fabulous (not in my case, my budget is Primark/Tu/M & S!) you can get new more fashionable stuff if/when you need it.

Paperwork - have one filing tray maximum, deal with everything as it comes in the house as nuch as possible. Junk mail straight in recycing bin, anything to pay gets done straight away or set to pay on right date in online banking. School letters about future activities/concert tickets/stuff for relevant dates go on shelf under kitchen notice board in date order. (Have the IKEA magnetic chalkboard with shelf underneath). Keep a set of ring binders for all stuff that you need, I filled it with punched pockets and keep everything in roughly alphabetical order - House insurance, car insurance, mortgage details, driving licence paper copies, all that stuff. Have another folder for receipts/guarantees stapled to the relevant instruction booklet. I also cut down paper by ripping out just the English pages from the instructions and filing those. go through folder once a year chucking out booklets for broken/given away stuff.

Should be decluttering now but am on MN blush

we keep the kenwood chef on the worktop and use it all the time.
the trick with equipment is that if you have it out and ready to use, you'll use it. if it's in the cupboard it'll just sit there ignored

ARealPickle Mon 30-Dec-13 22:11:33

We have too dinky a kitchen to keep it out so its in a cupboard. Might be able to find a space near the table though. ...

Do I need all 3??

we hae a very tiny kitchen so everything has to be out!

you don't need all 3. work out what you need from a food processor and keep the one that does that. or chuck them all and get one that fits your requirements.

like, our kenwood chef is ideal for us because we make ssoups, use the jug for chopping and pro essing, we makecakes and mixstuff, wee make pastry, and we've got a grater /shredder attachment which is good for grating/chopping large amounts

ARealPickle Tue 31-Dec-13 07:06:00

I'm not sure which Ken wood we've got. Mil bought it. We use it for cake mixing mainly - it doesn't have a jug or chopping attachments. It's got a k mixer and a dough hook.

I wonder if I need to buy atachmemts. ..

Lovebargains Tue 31-Dec-13 12:19:50

I have filled 5 bags today with hangers, dressing gown which I wear once a year, clothes that clearly don't fit and other stuff

It does feel good and I really want to keep it up. I am finally starting to see space!

clearsommespace Tue 31-Dec-13 15:17:01

Lovebargains, you may have to name change if you're to keep your wardrobe decluttered!

you definitely need the jug.

get rid of the other 2 and buy a jug. grin

Lovebargains Tue 31-Dec-13 15:31:10

clearsomespace - that is my problem, you have hit the nail on the head. I love bargains too much. I can't buy just one, I have to clear the shelf shock

RenterNomad Tue 31-Dec-13 16:03:34

I can't buy just one, I have to clear the shelf.

DH does this, too. We have shitloads of flippin' washing up sponges from a recent fritz of his (particularly useless multiplication, given we have a dishwasher!)

AHardDaysWrite Tue 31-Dec-13 17:14:59

Inspired by this thread I filled three binbags of old clothes and toys for the charity shop. Took them down today and they're closed until 3rd Jan! At least I've done it though. What I really need is DH the hoarder to go out for the day, then I can bin loads of stuff. He'll never notice it's gone.

Lovebargains Tue 31-Dec-13 17:30:07

Way to go AHardDaysWrite, you deserve a cake

Lovebargains Tue 31-Dec-13 18:47:00

RenterNomad - I am like your DH, I bought 10 bottles of washing up liquid despite having a dishwasher blush

Cataline Tue 31-Dec-13 19:26:44

I found the book Banish Clutter Forever by Sheila Chandra really helpful.

Lovebargains Tue 31-Dec-13 20:40:45

Thank you Cataline. I just ordered it from the library smile

Cataline Tue 31-Dec-13 20:44:52

Excellent LoveBargains! I'm going to reread it. Currently about a quarter of the way in to the mother of all wardrobe clearouts and could do with some extra motivation!

skyblue11 Tue 31-Dec-13 20:55:56

Oh, I was just thinking this today, it's a constant battle just keeping the house looking tidy, and it's always me that tidies everything up, drives me mad, like someone else said it's like a slidey puzzle I can associate with that 100%

wetaugust Tue 31-Dec-13 21:47:46

I've given all my cups and saucers and tea pots to the charity shop. They were never used as we just bung a teabag into a mug.

ARealPickle Wed 01-Jan-14 18:16:45

I am now back in my house after several days away. I've taken the christmas decorations down (but will need to leave them in the study for a few days before going up in the loft as we always find one or two later..)

I have 4 days before the children go back to school. They have already had some amazing experiences so I'm planning to see how much of the house I can declutter/completely organise in 4 days. CAn I do it all or is that a bit optimistic?

It needs a good tidy. However there are "hotspots" in each room, in particular (I'll use this as a checklist and come back each day!)

* Tupperware drawer in the kitchen. Hardly closes. I need to remove lots and just keep the ones I use regularly. WAs it this thread where someone said cupboards/drawers ought to be 80% full so there's easy access?
* Shelves in kitchen - will be childrens craft shelves so need reorganising
* toys in Living room
*books in living room
*clothes/toys in childrens bedroom
* random gloops in bathroom/ make up
* hallway cupboard...

And paperwork. And general mess. ANd washing clothes/ house...

Completely doable?...

Lovebargains Wed 01-Jan-14 19:02:23

Yes that is doable, can your children help?

ARealPickle Wed 01-Jan-14 19:07:15

2 and 4 - so more likely to get in the way at times, especially the youngest who "moves" things if I make piles. My husband is home though, and I'm trying to convince him to take them out for at least a bit each day!

Some of the tasks have been on my to do list since last year I'm sure...

Pitmountainpony Wed 01-Jan-14 19:19:45

Totally inspired by staying in a Friend,s house over well as this thread.....she works in a very high powered job and has two young children and her house was organized...I looked around and she had less stuff. I was a bit in awe actually. Starting with our toys. Have a big Box...and just recycling crappy small plastic things.
It is crazy that stuff makes life unlivable but it really can drag you down.

Lovebargains Wed 01-Jan-14 19:21:40

If you make a list ARealPickle and know exactly what you want to do, you can get it done when the children are out of the house, it is too easy to get distracted when clearing clutter!

Lovebargains Wed 01-Jan-14 19:24:06

Less stuff is definitely the answer, for years I thought I needed more storage and spent silly money on fancy storage shelves and cupboards. They filled up in no time. Now I am removing items completely. My wardrobe is no longer stuffed smile

Pixel Wed 01-Jan-14 19:36:15

I'm too ill to start decluttering and I'm certainly not taking down my lovely decs until I have to, they are cheering the place up no end what with the raging storm outside an' all. BUT, I am sort of planning in my head for the day it stops pounding (It is NOT a hangover do you hear!) . For a start we have a cupboard full of video tapes that we had to keep because it was one of ds's 'things' to lay them all out across the floor when he was stressed, but have just realised he hasn't done that for ages so they can go. Then there is the shelf piled with mugs from past easter eggs that we never ever use as they are massive. Used one once to draw round as it was the size I wanted for a pom pom but that was it hmm. I started having a clear out of clothes before Christmas but can easily be a lot more ruthless. There's also a suitcase under the bed with clothes in that can go. There are maternity clothes in there that I kept 'just in case' because I had trouble getting trousers in shortarse petite sizing, but my youngest is almost 14 now blush. Will admit it was partly insurance against accidental pregnancy as I just knew as soon as I gave them away the pill would fail or something, but will have to face the fact that I'm an old biddy now.<violins>

Sadly I don't think it's going to make all that much difference. Most of the clutter is dh's after all. How do you cope with the disappointment when you realise it is a losing battle? Is that in a book eh?

I love threads like this. we've made lot of progress decluttering in spite of moving into a bigger house and having our second baby.

my thoughts are this:
- you need to change your mindset. you dont need loads of stuff. most of us are just fine on holiday with a suitcase of stuff so why do we need a million more summer clothes for home?
- we get given lots of bags of stuff for the DDS and I always "bounce" it. it doesn't come past the hallway unless I really need it. I pass it on to someone else who might need it. same with xmas presents. plenty will be being returned and charity shopped.
- we dont have that many specific toys and lots of generic ones. so they can be multi purpose. also means fewer lights and flashing bits which is always nice.
- go digital as far as possible.
- Ive stopped buying clothes almost completely and have way more space in my cupboard from previous declutters. means I am wearing things I have.
- same in the kitchen - I go shopping every Friday so only need about 5 meals a week and 2 come from leftovers. and some of the original five can be from the freezer. I will never use 6 cans of tomatoes in a week so 2 is fine and I can cook something else if I run out.

oh, and I am realising how everyone around me is obsessed with stuff. I'm my family everyone is happy to just get more more more all the time. they don't understand why do dont have more than 2 bras on the go at once or why I dont need 2 swimsuits if I dont use one often. they just think it is nice to have nice things. which it is, but I'd rather pay down the mortgage, go on holiday and have nice meals and days out from time to time.

slightlyglitterstained Wed 01-Jan-14 20:34:29

Agreed - nice experiences are better than another box of crap on the top of the wardrobe.

RedHelenB Wed 01-Jan-14 20:45:30

The best trick with decluttering I've found is to pull everything out so you HAVE to sort it out and find a place/get rid of it!

Ledkr Wed 01-Jan-14 20:47:14

I'm going to mark my place.
I have stuff issues too.

ARealPickle Wed 01-Jan-14 20:50:04

Poocatcher - I think that's where we need to declutter with the childrens clothes. We get given bags of handmedowns sometimes - so I now have 14 pairs of dungarees for the toddler and numerous t shirts.

I get anxxious about not being able to afford things in the future (we're low income so not unfounded anxiety) but this fuels the "just in case" but at the end of the day I do not need 14 pairs of dungareees...

It takes time to sift through them but hten its more likely that the favourite pair will be to hand more easily isn't it..

ARealPickle Wed 01-Jan-14 20:51:35

Oh and yes tto the tins in the cupboard - this is a new one on me recenlty (and I need a BIG declutter in the cupboard on my list).

If I meal plan and shop weekly I really don't need all the store cupboard stuff.

I used to have a big kitchen, and yes it was nice to always have tins in stock. BUt now I have a small cupboard I really can't!

lyrasdaemo Wed 01-Jan-14 20:55:09

Can anyone recommend decent vacuum storage bags please?

Quangle Wed 01-Jan-14 21:14:04

Good thread. I have a smallish three-bed and am not a natural minimalist but my grandma was borderline a hoarder so I have a healthy fear of clutter. My approach is:

Ruthless pre Xmas and birthday toy clear out plus I literally tip the toy buckets into the bin every few months to rid us of lucky bag/comic book/kinder egg plastic shrapnel

Got rid of 70pc of books and CDs. The books, particularly, felt like sacrilege but then I decided it was just a form of showing off really and no one cared how many books I'd read so they went. I kept the ones I would read again and the ones that felt important to me but I got rid of everything else. Was keeping loads of cookery books on the grounds that I might use them one day but realised that was nonsense and kept the 5 or so regularly used ones and use the Internet for anything else.

Have less than I would like in my small kitchen but do not have room for best china or a kenwood or a pretty tea set so make do with everyday plates, a hand mixer etc

I used to long for more storage and a playroom but I think it just gives an excuse for more stuff to accumulate.

Final tip - never ever get a storage unit. Two sets of friends got one thinking it seemed like a good idea. More than ten years later they've both spent over 10k and just unpacked some so-so furniture and the rest was tat. Both now think they should have got rid and spent a tenth of the money buying a couple of new bits when needed.

Reading the thread has inspired me to do clothes (again ) tomorrow. Wasted a lot of money pre Xmas in TK Maxx because I got lured in by brand names and low prices but actually it all looks shit so am going to get rid now even though it's only a month old. Shameful blush but it's not going to magically look better in March so will get rid now.

I agree re Childrens clothes. it is good to have some everyday basics but really I always want to put dd in my favourite dungarees, trousers or dress. all 3 I have bought myself. that will almost carry us through the week with the frequency of washing (although the less clothes you have the less washing you have in piles everywhere and fewer baskets of clothes to put away as you need to wear it again).
things you dont reach for or wear because you should should just goooooo!

I'm no expert on this but making steps.

ARealPickle Wed 01-Jan-14 23:34:44

I've spent the evening doing jigsaws (very therapeutic) - Binned a few games and put aside a few that only have one piece missing in case they turn up over the next few days. All to go by saturday night if not.

I really need to do that with the clothes poocatcher (adds to monumental list for the next 3 days). How many t shirts do you keep? How many outfits?

Robfordscrack Thu 02-Jan-14 04:45:00

Where do all the lids go for the plastic containers that clutter up the kitchen cupboard? I've tried so hard not to lose any but still I do.

MadIsTheNewNormal Thu 02-Jan-14 04:54:32

I once went to view a house for sale where the woman had a lined and insulated garden shed just to the right of the front door, dedicated to shoes. grin

Can you get a proper loft ladder fitted and have the loft lined properly, with a light put up there, and fit some sort of basic shelving system like you get in garages etc?

Can you convert your garage for the same?

Do you have room at the end of your garden to have a nice insulated garden room with power, heating, proper flooring etc, that can act as a playroom/games room, study or general storage Glory Hole? If it's a playroom there's no immediate need to tidy it relentlessly every day.

Bakingnovice Thu 02-Jan-14 08:12:08

I moved house a few months ago and in the buildup to move I got rid if loads. I started slowly, holding on to everything. But by the third week literally everything that needed binning/sellings/charity was going in the bin bag. I felt completely liberated. What I could be bothered to eBay got me over £100.

My new house is bigger and I still have 1.5 black bags to eBay eBay but have told myself if they are still there by Easter they will be sent to charity shop. I culled hundreds of books and loads of plates/cups etc. I am planning on going through every wardrobe this month and getting rid of those clothes that slipped through the net the first time. In my new house I have made sure that every wardrobe and cupboard has at least 30% spare storage. You just have to be utterly ruthless and never ever ever replace items you bin with similar items.

bragmatic Thu 02-Jan-14 10:39:58

I have committed to getting rid of 10 things every day until I feel de-cluttered. No other criteria. Just 'things'. Big or small.

ARealPickle Thu 02-Jan-14 12:40:49

Just made a mega train track so we can pass on the excess that doesn't fit in one box.

Tree away in loft last night.

On a roll!

maparole Thu 02-Jan-14 13:34:02

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
― William Morris


ARealPickle Thu 02-Jan-14 19:05:30

Sorted a box of books, the pj drawer, dress ups. ...

Why does the house look like a tornado had hit it???

BeaWheesht Thu 02-Jan-14 19:24:44

We've just come back from holiday and all the Christmas stuff is just so overwhelming. I'm not well today but am hoping over the weekend I can get going....

Twoandtwohalves Thu 02-Jan-14 20:53:53

I love this thread. We've taken out a storage unit for 6 months to decant the loft into while it gets properly wired, insulated and boarded. I think psychologically DH & I can deal better with spending £1000 pretending we want the stuff before it goes than just chucking it straight from the loft into a skip.

We're also in a 3 bed and I'd really like my two DSs to have their own rooms. One bedroom is a shrine to dh's useless old shit collections and I am slowly convincing him the stuff worth having can go in the loft when complete. But it's such a slow process. In the meantime I am inspired to haver a go at the tea service, drinks cabinet, kitchen drawers full of stuff we don't use.

ARealPickle Thu 02-Jan-14 22:02:20

Starting to clean the fridge and tin cupboard at 10 is completely normal isn't it. ....

I'm wondering if there's time to do the tupperware drawer too. ..

Just got rid of a bag of old curtains thanks to Freecycle. Also a bag of DD's old clothes is going to a friend tomorrow.

No matter how many books I remove from the shelves, we still seem to have hundreds confused. I blame bookworm DS (7) who seems to have received the contents of a small library for Christmas...

ARealPickle Thu 02-Jan-14 22:10:14

I'm really trying to work on the books. We've similar expanded over Christmas but they can't read all of them all the time, and librarys and Amazon exist. And it's good to pass them on so they get read more. ...

I keep reminding myself!

ARealPickle Thu 02-Jan-14 23:46:26

Fridge properly cleaned. Under sink cleaned for first time on forever. Cutlery drawer and tupperware now have to wait for tomorrow zzz

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Fri 03-Jan-14 16:02:41

We have a small storage room. I'd agree to be careful what you keep in it to be sure it's worth while, but we view the cost as an extension on our mortgage - not all flats come with gardens for sheds or lofts or cellars or even decent cupboards! Paying for a 3 bed house and then using one room as a glory hole isn't any different really. <Convincing myself>

silverten Fri 03-Jan-14 16:11:45

I think that is probably the best way of thinking of your storage, tbh.

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Fri 03-Jan-14 16:17:58

It was a great place to store Santa presents in! But, a short term solution compared to actually getting rid of the stuff.. I couldn't get rid of ds1's clothes for example as was still hoping for a dc2 (who thankfully - eventually! - arrived) but I am cheerfully getting rid of all ds2's clothes as he grows out of them. My own wardrobe otoh..

Letitsnow9 Fri 03-Jan-14 18:04:43

Look up 365 things less, it's a good way to declutter without feeling overwhelmed. I agree to a point that you need good storage but don't fall into the trap of always needing more storage rather than tackling the clutter

CremeEggThief Fri 03-Jan-14 20:28:29

Concur with letitsnow.

skyblue11 Fri 03-Jan-14 22:08:52

Every time I look in out loft I have a mini panic attack, overwhelming.
I try not to put anything up there unless is absolutely has to, out of sight and all that.
What I have particular difficulty with is my sentimentality. Like the old suitcase that was Dads how can I get over this?

Losthearts Fri 03-Jan-14 23:46:43
Housemum Sat 04-Jan-14 21:15:50

I struggle with the sentimental, but am beginning to come round to the idea of taking pictures of important things. I had only one item of my baby stuff, a cotton nightgown, which I was too PFB with DD1 o put her in it, didn't do it for DD2 either and before I had DD3 a mouse had got into the box - the only thing left to identify it were a few threads of the embroidered bunnies. I now wish I had just shoved one of the girls in it and taken some pics before taking it off and letting them use it as dolls' clothing.

If your Dad's suitcase is attractive can it be used ornamentally in a room? Or as storage? If it isn't then take pics and get rid. Easy for me to say not knowing you or him or what it means to you.

CheshirePanda Mon 06-Jan-14 19:41:40

Don't make the mistake of asking your DP if he needs or wants useless item X. Horders always say yes and get cross when you bin it anyway! Much better to quietly disappear it....he will probably never realise with the small items.

regular and ruthless culls of socks / pants / t-shirts etc, twice a year. Anything threadbare or holey gets the chop.

Group together like items to prove the point you have duplicates....faced with 6 mid sized suitcases (or whatever) you are in a stronger position to get rid of several.

A friend cunningly removes one old magazine from the bottom of the pile when the new one arrives. No arguments with DH and everyone is happy.

ARealPickle Tue 07-Jan-14 23:06:14

I'm still going. Haven't managed to do it "all" in 4days BUT

Have managed to make a new "system" for bills, store old bills in a box file in the loft, all documents now sorted, in a plastic wallet and in a magazine file thing. That took most of a day. We've moved house lots and it took a while...

I've also made a start on the study. We have a 2.5 bedroom house and the .5 is the study (we work from home between us). However, its also the place where "things" have ended up and there was SO MUCH.

I've made a HUGE decision to bin all the "craft" stuff. I used to collect pretty paper, buy scrapbooking supplies etc but honestly in the last 7 years I've not done a thing with it. I've kept one shoebox worth for the DC to play with and a few stampers and been quite ruthless with the other bits. We just don't have the space.

I'm toying with a knitting magazine collection I thought I'd "return" to... but keeping that for now.

I really don't have any hobbies post DC.... I need some but I'll face that when I come to it.

I have a job interview this week and I need some inportant documents (hence the document sort) although now I should be planning rather than decluttering the rest of the study...

It is truly amazing how much space I'm freeing up (we have a tiny tiny home, so every small drawer or bit of shelf space is precious) and also how freeing it feels, and how lovely it is to have less clutter.

I guess it just starts post uni... and doesn't stop? But who I am now is not who I was then and I don't need the same things.

Whatnamenext Wed 08-Jan-14 13:54:18

Yep. Same here.

Just brutal. Passed loads on to someone for fundraising.

Love how much better I feel.

remotecontrols Mon 03-Feb-14 20:42:12

Thought I would bump this to see how everyone is getting on. I was quite inspired by this post and have got rid of a lot of clutter. I always felt my house was too small, but the reality I had filled my house with too much stuff and not stuff I really wanted. I still have more to do but it is encouraging to start to see space appear and finally get stuff of the floor!

rabbitlady Mon 03-Feb-14 21:12:26

stuff. oh yes.

missymayhemsmum Mon 03-Feb-14 21:19:46

oh goodness, me too.
Two grown up kids who left me all their 'precious' stuff and all their useless shit when they went to Uni, (and then complain the house is cluttered when they come home!!) small one who creates trailes of pinks sparkly tat, gets given too much stuff at Xmas and won't get rid of anything, all my stuff too. yearsworth of hobbies, projects, folders, and general stuff!
I only cope with it by ebaying, freecycling, charity shop trips and dump trips.

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