How does decluttering work exactly?

(26 Posts)
TessTing123 Tue 08-Jan-13 09:29:04

Serious question.

My children have too much stuff. How do I decide what to get rid of? They range in age between 5 months and 8 years. The older ones insist we keep everything for the baby.

surely we don't need an ELC farm and two wooden farms?

And millions of soft toys, each of which have a name and a personality and are "much loved".

And 2 shelves of activity books which never get looked at.

I feel like I'm drowning in it all.

thats why you have to throw things away when they are not there to see them getting put into the bin bag! If they havent played with it for years then there's no point in keeping it. I remember dd finding an old Barney toy on a bin bag I was going to get rid of and suddenly it was her most favourite toy in the whole world. Took a few more weeks before I could get rid of it and she never even noticed it was gone.

noisytoys Tue 08-Jan-13 11:00:59

Keep the best of everything and get rid of the rest. Keep what you need, use and love. Then you own your possessions instead of them owning you

Nanny0gg Tue 08-Jan-13 11:44:07

And if you plan on giving it away (school fetes can use clean labelled soft toys for tombolas) and playgroups/toddler groups/refuges may like the other stuff, talk to your children and explain where you want it to go and why and then get them to help.
They may well be really happy to help for a good cause.

The longer you have something, the more difficult it is to get rid of it. So, for that reason, start hiding the most recent 'no longer played with' toys now, and work back to the things you have had a while. If you get into the habit, it gets easier.
The activity books I would charity shop / jumble sale.
Keep one of the wooden farms and put all the animals in it, sell the others.
Soft toys it's easier to just not bring them in (I am cruel Mummy when it comes to this).

Definitely do it when the children aren't around!
Which farm is the most played with? That's the one to keep smile
Is everything else in good condition? I would start by throwing away anything that is broken. Is anything sellable? There are lots of places to sell now, eBay, Facebook etc. Then the rest can be charity shopped/refuge/preschool.

I am a bit ruthless, I have already got stuff in the charity shop pile that they got this Christmas blush

Me too whispers, and the night before the NCT label I am usually scouting around for other things that haven't been played with for a while. grin

TessTing123 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:57:15

Right. have put together a box for a little girl I know - doll, pram, doctor set and some other nice stuff. have thrown every broken car and plane away. Have a big bag of baby things for charity. if I can find the animals that go with it I'll get rid of the elc farm. am going to smuggle the big crane out under cover of darkness. craft and activity books tomorrow.

Two months ago I got rid of every single play cooking thing, food, tea set and 2 toy cookers and they have yet to notice.

They've spent today playing with a cardboard box hmm

madasa Tue 08-Jan-13 20:18:43

I had a boot fair when my daughter was about 2 yrs old in a bid to declutter.

Her dad brought her to see me mid morning.

She promptly picked a cuddly duck off the stall and said 'I've got one like this at home'

Felt so guilty he came back home with us...

whenwilltherebegoodnews Tue 08-Jan-13 20:38:20

Harder with kids things, but I have just read this: Banish Clutter Forever which gives you the principles behind decluttering, which I am finding useful.

Travel, I do NCT sales too, so do the same thing!!
Well done OP, sounds like you are getting there smile

buildingmycorestrength Thu 10-Jan-13 18:59:37

How do you all deal with children who REMEMBER EVERY TINY LITTLE THING AND ASK YOU WHERE IT IS 6 MONTHS LATER??!!!! Aaaaargh!!confused

I tell DS straight that it has gone to another child for them to play with, and then I change the subject.

noisytoys Thu 10-Jan-13 19:40:41

DD buys a lot of toys in the charity shop. I tell her they will run out of toys for everyone if she buys toys without giving any

SingingSands Thu 10-Jan-13 19:42:31

I find that the "little and often" approach works best for me with regard to decluttering the kids stuff. We have a big box in the garage, which DH and I sneak stuff into on a daily frequent basis. Once the box is full, I take it to the local hospice shop.

TessTing123 Fri 11-Jan-13 05:18:39

We're doing well.

Next up... I'm going to try and get rid of some soft toys. Gulp.

betterwhenthesunshines Fri 11-Jan-13 17:13:19

Watch out though - if mine can't find anything they come to me first and ask "Have you given it to the charity shop?" with a glinting look in their eye...

1996timeforchange Fri 11-Jan-13 18:54:11

OMG Dont you feel guilty???

SingingSands Fri 11-Jan-13 19:41:28

Good luck with the soft toys! I have to admit, I am bad at parting with the softies... I put them on top of the wardrobes to gather dust instead...

buildingmycorestrength Fri 11-Jan-13 22:23:17

It's the guilt, or even the prospect of guilt, that I cannot stand. ugh.

I think I have a problem!

SizzleSazz Fri 11-Jan-13 22:27:24

I went through a stage of having to take 5 items a week to the charity shop or to be thrown away. It definitely helped keeping on top of stuff.

SlatternismyMiddlename Sat 12-Jan-13 09:59:20

I am no help whatsoever - I still have all my soft toys from my childhood because I couldn't face getting rid. They are in the attic - having a party.

I would feel more guilty if the house was so cluttered DS didn't have any space to play in.

1996timeforchange Sat 12-Jan-13 11:41:04

But i'm sorry i don't get it.. Surely if they grow out of them then they're happy for them to go to other places for children who don't have much / anything nice!!?? How do they learn to make decisions on de-cluttering in their future lives???

FreakoidOrganisoid Sat 12-Jan-13 12:53:06

I clear out while they aren't there. They have never noticed hmm

Every birthday and xmas the children go through their toys and choose things to get rid of to make room for new things.

Books are harder.

TessTing123 Sat 12-Jan-13 13:18:42

Oh god I couldn't get rid of books.

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