I've just had the kitchen professionally decluttered & cleaned.

(132 Posts)
BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 11:25:50

Well semi-professionally. A friend came to help me. She has been paid lots of money to do this for the rich & famous & she offered to help me.

I took a big breath, stepped back and let her go for it.

She emptied and cleaned every kitchen cupboard, chucked everything out of date (2005!!!!), reorganised the cupboards, got my entire bench area cleared, and the entire place sparkles. She worked for 9 hours full on, like a dynamo.

I am in awe & I could not have done this on my own. I needed help esp after breaking up with exP at Xmas - I was feeling swamped and stressed (work FT, 2 young DC, overcluttered messy small flat).

I gave the bathroom the same treatment so now 2 rooms are declutterd, deep cleaned and lovely.

Over the weekend I took out 7 large bin bags of rubbish, 2 of recycling, and 1 for charity shop.

I clucked and fretted over throwing away some items - which was ridiculous as I'd forgotten they every existed and haven't used them for years. I guess it's to be expected - after all my very DNA was under attack. I'm relearning retraining reprogramming my thought processes re buying stuff and keeping stuff and giving emotional meaning to stuff. I'm getting emancipated and it's wonderful.

I'm at work today but I want to be at home going through the other rooms smile
I'm finally feeling like stuff can just go.

I feel like life is changing for the better - all because a wonderful kind very energetic dynamic slightly OCD person stepped in & threw stuff out for me! WOW! She want's to take on the rest of the flat with me now.

(so happy I just had to share - the DC's stuff and our clothes are next to be done)

DuchessFanny Tue 02-Apr-13 11:40:26

Excellent !! My dream job !
In fact I'm taking my cleaning kit and OCD tendencies to a friends after Easter to help her get organised ( she has asked, I won't be randomly turning up !)
Nothing feels as good as a good declutter ( IMO) did you find it cathartic ?!

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 11:44:30

extremely cathartic!!!!! I feel amazing actually in so many ways - and very inspired to tackle more myself.

I think a slightly OCD cleaning obsessive works really really well with a hoarder who is ready to see the light!!

I've been smiling constantly since Sunday - I even fell better about myself as a person - lighter, cleaner, more empowered, more accepting of and prepared for change.

KittiesInsane Tue 02-Apr-13 11:44:54

Umm, where does she live and how much does she usually charge??

Can't really throw out the guinea pigs though. Or the fishtank. Or the homework, recycling boxes and GCSE art project which are hard to distinguish from each other...

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 11:45:07

I'm excited for your friend Fanny

DuchessFanny Tue 02-Apr-13 11:47:10

I'm excited !! Lol !

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 11:47:31

Kitties she says to me "the living room is next" and I chortle and say "Oh I've done it, there isn't any more that possibly can be done with this space without spending £££ on new furniture etc" and only NOW do I start to understand her knowing nodding smile in reply. She must be thinking "I'll get you there lady, you aren't seeing the light yet".

And I'm starting to believe her.

She's not in Surrey is she? The kitchen is next on my agenda including chucking out all my shitey cookware and replacing with one decent thing. I am queen of the pound shop baking tray x 100 blush

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 11:50:32

My friend offered - I was scared and also thought no one could really want to come over and do this, nothing would really change etc. I didn't want to impose. She persisted gently though and then snap! I went for it.

She lives in London.

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 11:53:56

One decent thing that is it!! Good mantra.
I've brought stuff because it cheap, it's pretty, it's on sale, I like it etc etc etc.

I need one good thing only. One grater, once garlic device etc. My cupboards have actual space in them - between the stuff there is SPACE! Even around all the baking stuff there is space. I want to shout to the rooftops how good this feels. I am not going to fill the space with crap.

grin nice idea badly phrased! I mean one decent roasting tin, one baking tray, one loaf tin etc. At the moment I can't close my cupboards due to the crap piled up inside.

I'm terrible. If I walk past the pizza tray things n remember that my current one is at home in the oven because I haven't cleaned it yet then I'll buy another one. God I'm hopeless.

MrsTwgtwf Tue 02-Apr-13 12:10:12

Sounds like heaven, OP. Links to people who do this would be much appreciated. Especially people who will put in 9 hours working like a dynamo rather than wanky people who just want your money. grin

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 12:19:01

I understood Gwen - it's my new mantra. "One Decent Thing".

And now I can see everything in the cupboards I can use it. I never used stuff tucked away out of sight. I had forgotten it existed.

And I know what i need and what I don't. I need a toaster (I've been buying cheap ones for £6 from Tesco and last one just broke) and some nice measuring cups. I have a JL voucher so I will spend it on these items.

Flisspaps Tue 02-Apr-13 12:37:37

Me and my sister did my Dad's kitchen and dining room on Friday.

An industrial sized bin full of rubbish and out of date food (I see your 2005 and raise you a 2002, we moved into that house in 1997 when I was 15 and there were teabags there that we'd moved in with), a car load of stuff for a car boot sale and three Freegle collections later, we were able to take our kids round for dinner for the first time ever on Sunday.

Now there's just two bedrooms (think Hoarders without the cat shit and food) and a bathroom to go before we can get an estate agent so we can get it on the market and him into a bungalow - a maisonettes and arthritic knees are not a good mix sad

MinimalistMommi Tue 02-Apr-13 12:47:03

BeCool that is amazing! Now you have seen the light ( which from your post you obviously have about less being more etc) you won't be able to stop decluttering! It feels so good to basically not have stuff in your house taking up space that you simply don't use! We're quite minimalist here, and even now I still see stuff and think 'I don't use that, it needs to go!'

MN216 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:53:59

I have wanted to declutter as a business venture for ages but need some guinea pigs to practise on and build up my skills/experience/testamonials. Am not pushy enough to get friends/family to let me do it (and could be a minefield) so if anyone out there is within half an hour of Watford, PM me and i would be happy to come and do a day's decluttering for free.

KittiesInsane Tue 02-Apr-13 12:56:55

i have guinea pigs but you're not practising on them (hides hutch behind back. Or behind other junk.)

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 12:58:17

Minimilist love your speciality name!

Do you have any tips re de cluttering the DC's stuff. I know that they will feel better from less is more re their toys, but I know I have to make the decisions. I have a sizeable percentage of the living room given over to large plastic tubs containing stuff for making crap with, paints, glitter etc.

And then the toys - I've gone through them twice now, but I'm not ruthless enough.

Tonight I will look at the hallway. I have all the "Stuff the ebay" there. Blocking up my life. It needs to go to the charity shop doesn't it?

MerryMessiahWhingesAgain Tue 02-Apr-13 12:58:49

I cleaned out my main kitchen cupboard last week and found tins that expired in 2006 blush I so need to do much more housework.

MN216 Tue 02-Apr-13 12:59:28

Kitties - as I wrote that, I knew some bright spark would make a guinea pig joke. But are you sure they don't have hutchloads of cheap baking trays and jars of spices going back to 1887 they need help getting rid of?? smile

MN216 Tue 02-Apr-13 13:00:26

Ooops, meant 1987, obviously.... 1887 would just be weird....

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 13:01:11

"Stuff FOR ebay"

But I now think "Stuff the ebay" is more pertinent grin

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 13:06:53

Flisspaps what you have done for your Dad is amazing!!

MinimalistMommi Tue 02-Apr-13 13:17:16

Thank you BeCool grin I'm obsessed with decluttering/minimalism!

Do it in stages, get DC involved (this is age dependent though)

First, grab a bin bag look for rubbish (old DC mags, sticker books, empty glitter gel pens etc) and bin/recycle.

Next look for anything broken/missing pieces and again get rid of, straight out of house, into outdoor bin, or tip or recycling centre.

Next look for outgrown stuff. And be real! Really check stuff out! Take it to charity, next time you leave house so it doesn't end up in big pile in your house. If you simply shift stuff into piles, you aren't decluttering, simply moving stuff around your house. It needs to go.

Next, look for multiples of toys. Does a DC need 20 toy cars or 15 barbies? Probably not. Get the children involved if they're the right age, ask them to choose their favourites. Explain what you're doing. And say you'll deal with the rest (ie charity shop) say they will be able to play easily without so much stuff.

That should be a start anyway.

BIGGEST THING IS YOU NEED THE STUFF TO STOP COMING IN. You're the gatekeeper to your home. Look at Christmas/Birthdays etc. How much does a child really need to be happy? Address this with family. Birthday gifts can be experiences like a day out etc etc or ask for things children have grown out of, like a new pair of nice wellies or something or a new dressing gown. And get rid of the out grown items immediately.

MinimalistMommi Tue 02-Apr-13 13:26:38

BeCool you mentioned the making stuff - I make sure I have only one set of colouring pens, good quality colouring pencils (Lyra brand) and crayons opened. When the colouring pens start to run out, those twelve will get thrown away at same time, and a new box will be opened for DC. This stops the situation of having tons of felt tip pens all slowly running out for example. I have a pair of scissors per DC, one roll of sticky take, one thing of a glue. We have one set of poster paints and one good quality water colour paint box. All our paper is kept in one place. If your DC like to do junk modelling, just jeep one box for cereal boxes etc and when that is full don't keep anything else ready for making projects unless the stuff has been used.

I'm ruthless with their creations (only keeping the really special ones) and the rest get recycled at least once a week (Not in front of DC obviously) I have read a tip about scanning very DC's pics but I don't own a scanner.

MinimalistMommi Tue 02-Apr-13 13:27:22

When I wrote creations I meant their drawings. Junk modelling stuff doesn't last long around here blush

MinimalistMommi Tue 02-Apr-13 13:30:00

Oh and BeCool I also think 'Stuff The EBay' I learnt the hard way a few years ago, building up an entire massive cupboard with good intentions to eBay, never did, so wasted all that space for about three years which all ended up finally going to charity. It should have gone on day one when I realised we no longer used said stuff!

Flisspaps Tue 02-Apr-13 14:01:19

BeCool grin thanks

It was nice to all sit together in his house and not worry about piles of stuff falling on the kids, or them rooting through a bin bag.

I'm desperate to get going on my house now; I keep all sorts of rubbish and I think it's a learnt behaviour - KEEP ALL THE THINGS!

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 14:04:25

Yeah I have all this rubbish thinking still in my head - "ooooh I'll ebay this & ebay that", but I've not got around to it.

There are 3 items I will ebay - they should get about £100 between them so worthwhile. But all the box & large bag of naice clothes etc will go to the charity shop tomorrow, along with all the kitchen stuff.

Thanks for the tips re artwork etc. I am down to one tub of colouring stuff plus one pencil case (for on the move) - this is a vast improvement from exP's system which involved around 7 different containers of colours.

ExP has just moved into a flat so I can get rid of some toys etc to his place - just thought of that! Hooray!

Love the children's experiences as birthday gifts etc - oldest is 5 so that is really becoming relevant now. Not so much for DD2 who is 2 next month, but she has inherited toys etc anyway.

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 14:09:27

I think it's a learnt behaviour - KEEP ALL THE THINGS!
Oh for sure it is learnt behaviour. My Mum has moved 10 times in last 20 years and still has random shite in boxes from 40 years ago.

One of the reasons I really want to tackle this in myself is I'm aware of passing on the traits to my young DC.

I walked around the flat on Sunday holding onto something I've owned for 20 years, forgot existed, and haven't used for over 7 years. It is no longer relevant to my life - though it will be great if I had a garden. I DO NOT HAVE A GARDEN!!

I'm looking at this item as symbolic - it's got to go I know. Why am I clucking over it and holding on??????

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 14:11:35

Minimalist loving your advice.

When you have a moment could you please talk to me about towels:

How many per person is enough? I've got rid of all old towels - think I could go further though.

MinimalistMommi Tue 02-Apr-13 14:52:54

No more than two towels per person (One being used, one in the wash is the way I see it. (In my minimalist mind, I have been thinking about one bath towel per person as I can easily turn washing/drying around in one day bc of tumble dryer but I haven't done it yet!) Less towels you have, less space they take up storing them and it means they won't simply mount up in your laundry baskets)

We simply take towel DC is currently using at bathtime and then it gets flung in washing basket when we get in and the clean one gets out out for bath time. If you want separate swimming towels though you could look at a large one of these: www.lifeventure.co.uk/products/washgear/compact-trek-towels.html
We have them for camping and they fold up super small and dry very quickly, ideal if DC go swimming a lot in summer for example. Don't wash them with fabric conditioner as it spoils absorbency.

Hand Towels:
We have four hand towels, we only have one bathroom though. They get changed over regularly.

Guest Towels:
We have no guest towels. When my DP come and stay, I tell them to bring there own towels grin

Face Cloths:
I gave up on face cloths along time ago as I didn't like them looking messy in the bathroom (Yes, I know I'm mad) The DC use their hands to wash their faces, arms etc grin and they're sitting in a bubble bath so I figure they're getting pretty clean splashing about without the need for face cloths blush
My mother swears by those puff ball things you can buy in the body shop, they're small and wash very well apparently and dry quickly left hanging on a tap. You cold get a different colour per DC.

I may as well mention sheets while I'm at it. We quite minimalist 'extreme' in that there is only one set of bedding per person as I can get it in the machine and through the dryer in a day. Maybe not wise as our DC's are 5 and 7 but bed wetting has not been an issue here. I don't think most parents would consider that though! So, one set of bedding on the bed, and one as back up and no more!

BeCool Tue 02-Apr-13 16:12:36

I can do that & I'm not toooo far off actually (after previous edits).
Great point re swimming towels.
I can't lose the facecloths just yet as I have a very messy toddler - but over the weekend I got them all edited and into drawer in bathroom so they are under control.

I've done the different colour puff balls, but the DD's don't really use them. I use exP's one to clean the bathroom with - great for cleaning they are!

MN216 I'm in Eastcote and have a 4 bedroom house full of shite if you are looking for Guinea pigs.

MsUrsa Tue 02-Apr-13 17:36:37

If you're drowning under junk mail, by the by, the people to register with (for free, no ads, and they've never contacted me since) are the Mailing Preference Service:


You register, tell them your address, and they stop most of the 'to the owner' stuff, though it can take a couple of weeks to filter through.

The quote from the website, though: hilarious.

"UK consumers generate millions of pounds of postal sales per year, the
majority welcome the information and special offers they receive by post.

However, some people might take a different view.
The MPS is here to make your choice known

- so you get the mail you want and need." (emphasis mine)

Yes, I'm sure there are many people who LOVE receiving 5 credit card offers a day. Suuuuure. hmm

Anything with your name on it probably requires a call/email to the company to get it to stop.

MsUrsa Tue 02-Apr-13 17:38:47

Sigh. Links. Oops. Here:


Bonsoir Tue 02-Apr-13 17:44:01

One set of bed linen and one set of towels per person living in the home is the way to go - zero storage. The only bed linen and towels that need to be stored are for visitors.

Bed linen and towels refresh the decorative scheme anyway, so it is great to change them regularly - I reckon one set of bed linen and towels used intensively/exclusively lasts for two years. Which is great, because then you can have new ones that make your room look fresh and new.

BackforGood Tue 02-Apr-13 17:44:30

Ooh. I want a friend like this envy
I watch the OCD programme and think I would LOVE to have someone like that come and help me tackle my house - just without the TV cameras showing the world my house as it is now blush

MinimalistMommi Tue 02-Apr-13 18:11:14

Bonsoir totally agree!

Bonsoir Tue 02-Apr-13 18:27:37

I don't like having lots of out-of-date decorative consumables in my home: plates, glasses, tablecloths etc all need to be used constantly and replaced (with entirely new ranges) when tired. It is so much nicer to have a few pretty things that you actually use and then replace them when they are tired than to have loads of sets of stuff that you rarely use and that are out of date sitting around in cupboards.

iZombie Tue 02-Apr-13 19:11:12

Oh wow BeCool that is truly fabulous. I would have to leave the house to have that done. I love the idea of just ordering a skip place to come and then throwing pretty much everything away and starting fresh.

iZombie Tue 02-Apr-13 19:14:16

I think I am also going to adopt GwendolineMary's 'one decent thing' mantra.

Bessie123 Tue 02-Apr-13 21:30:32

But what if you are cooking for a few people and need more than one roasting tray? What if your grandmother handed stuff down for you to keep for your children? What if you want to hand things down to your grandchildren?

KittiesInsane Tue 02-Apr-13 21:47:02

...and what do you do when they have norovirus and are sick on more than one sheet?

SquidgyMummy Tue 02-Apr-13 22:17:59

This thread is a revelation, especially regarding bed linen and towels. I am not organised enough to turn around bed linen in the same day, and also not keen on using the tumble dryer - i have one in the garage for emergencies, only gets used about 5 times a year.

I did however clear out my parents garage for them - my mum is the hoarder queen supreme and i filled a skip with all the junk they had managed to accumulate.

I am now going to try and summon up the courage to apply the same ruthlessness to my own house!!

Ducklings45 Wed 03-Apr-13 07:37:50

This thread is inspiring me, though how I can persuade my
Mother that no she doesn't need 20 towels for 4 people and 20 duvet covers is baffling me at the moment. She insists she needs them and the thought of getting rid doesn't go down well when I suggest it to her!!

I can't wait to get home and do mine now. But how do I get rid of bedding that I have from when I was a child? I have the cover from my first ever 'continental quilt' fgs.

Flisspaps Wed 03-Apr-13 09:17:27

The MPS won't stop all junk mail - Royal Mail have a separate service you need to opt out of every 2 years or so hmm

I have a sign on my door so get very little junk mail, charity bags etc.

BeCool Wed 03-Apr-13 09:29:14

I don't like having lots of out-of-date decorative consumables in my home: plates, glasses, tablecloths etc all need to be used constantly and replaced (with entirely new ranges) when tired. It is so much nicer to have a few pretty things that you actually use and then replace them when they are tired than to have loads of sets of stuff that you rarely use and that are out of date sitting around in cupboards.

Bonsoir is how my thinking is changing. I totally agree. You make perfect sense.

I channel you and MinnimilistMommie now smile

BeCool Wed 03-Apr-13 09:54:52

* What if your grandmother handed stuff down for you to keep for your children? What if you want to hand things down to your grandchildren?*

See I think that ^ this is simply a way of handing down clutter. Hand down one or two precious items yes. Handing down bed linen?? Surely it's a burden rather than a gift? If you are going to use it, great, if you are just going to have to find a permanent place to store the 'precious old bedlinen from GM' then it's a burden of clutter handed down from one generation to the next.

As for handing down stuff to GC, will they really want your sheets? How about giving them your (small) jewellery or some other tiny, easy to keep memento?

Gwen maybe think about it like this - are you going to keep all you bedding all your life? Or make some space to actually enjoy your life more? Getting rid of your first quilt cover might feel difficult, but weigh it up against the alternative (keeping it forever) then it has to go if you have no use for it!! Take a photo, file it digitally!!

I spent most of last night in the kitchen, sighing and opening cupboards to admire how much space there is in between stuff. This is a revelation to me. I'm not thinking - oooh I've got room to put more stuff in (old me), I'm thinking, I can see all my lovely things & I can use them with ease and put them away easily too.

I imagine some people might read this and thing I am bonkers cherishing the space between my cups - but this is a huge, fundamental and important change for me!!!

BeCool Wed 03-Apr-13 09:57:57

iZombie - I had to occupy myself elsewhere. I did pace a little, but I did really very well.

I asked for all my out of date spices (which I agreed could go) be put in a separate bag so I would know what was going/needed replacing. They filled to the brim a large supermarket bag!! I started to go though them and then realised I'd be better looking at what I kept and start from there.

Out. They. Go!

BeCool Wed 03-Apr-13 10:00:59

apologies I got confused re the sheets above! No one is leaving sheets for their GC are they? grin

notcitrus Wed 03-Apr-13 11:16:45

Having inherited a bunch of sheets from my granny and MrNC's gran, admired the linen thread count and bits of handmade lace, and then realised they all had stains or holes and I didn't want flat sheets anyway, and given them to the charity shop (MrNC thinks for sale. I suspect the rag man may get them in his pile), no, not passing sheets to the kids.

We're about to knock the whole kitchen down, so am having to declutter it - lots of extra plates and glasses will go.

BeCool Wed 03-Apr-13 11:22:53

big WHOOP for NotCitrus grin

MinimalistMommi Wed 03-Apr-13 12:43:58

BeCool I know this sounds a little sad, but I get excited about decluttering and minimalism, I love the idea of having only what I use in my home and having space. It is lovely to read about your revelation.

Are you reading any minimalist blogs? Great for inspiration! grin

I have to have my house deep cleaned by Monday, it is in no way a mess but there is some clutter that could go, sadly 2 kids on half term and 1 Velcro baby who sees no reason to sleep ever, it's proving impossible, where are all these de cluttering people?! I'm in West Sussex if anyone has a fairy to send my way! smile

<looks in linen cupboard, cries>

I have a few maybe 15-20 minute slots during the day where the baby will sleep or play, can I do anything useful in them?

BeCool Wed 03-Apr-13 12:54:30

I find the word 'minimalist' rather terrifying WRT my life!! There are minimalist BLOGS??? I'll take a look - I can dip my toe.
I'm feeling more excited about this than I have for a long time about anything. Amazing!!!!

Titsa it's hard with young DC around I agree. Mine were with their F for the day on Sunday. I can't imagine doing what we did with a 5yo & 1yo in the house.

BeCool Wed 03-Apr-13 13:27:47

Tits FlyLady is all about the power of the 15 minutes.
One shelf at a time?
One cupboard at a time?

Can only do short bursts here too <hard stare at dd2>. I'm going to aim for one shelf per day. If I've completed that by bedtime I shall consider the day a success. Will take longer but much better than to want to but thinking I have never got the time.

Flisspaps Wed 03-Apr-13 14:03:05

Give us some links minimalistmommi grin

Flisspaps Wed 03-Apr-13 14:04:13

Or is it your own blog that I've just found (IoW?)

I think I'll have to do a shelf at a time too! Unless I hand DS3 over to DP when he gets in and go mad for an hour.
The dusting is a task in itself, but someone <<gives evils to DP>> wanted shiny black cabinets. We're getting an air purifier which I hope will help with dust. I have Brian the Roomba on daily patrol upstairs and down so at least the hoovering is done.!

magimedi Wed 03-Apr-13 14:26:32

I follow the mantra of:

"If in doubt, chuck it out".

(I have had 14 moves in 25 years.)

I had to get rid of everything from my parents' house after they died. They had lived there for 39 years & the amount of stuff that went was amazing. But in the end it was only things - not them, not the people I loved.

I know of an elderly lady who lived in her own flat, independently, until she went into hospital & died within a week at the age of 94.

When she reached her 80s she got rid of nearly everything she owned. She had 2 plates, 2 forks etc etc & a few spare glasses & mugs for visitors. She was certain that having less clutter helped her to be able to be independent for so long.

BeCool Wed 03-Apr-13 14:39:04

I'm loving how this tread is evolving into a gentle toe-dipping intro into minimalism.

I'd always been to terrified of the minimalist threads to even take a peak at them, and LOOK, now I've started one of my very own!! smile

MoreBeta Wed 03-Apr-13 14:54:17

People actually charge the rich and famous to do this and it took 9 hours?!!! shock

I could get a skip lorry round there and clear the whole lot in an hour.

<wiggles hairy digits in anticipation at new career> grin

That said, I am planning a totally minimalist kitchen. One flat wall solid wall of built in cupboards, freezers, fridges and ovens. The other a spartan granite surface with pull out drawers, larder shelves and cupboards underneath with nothing on it except an embedded induction hob and a one iconic beautiful tap over a hidden yet voluminous sink.

Everything will be white and sparkling except the granite which will be black and austere. It will be like the flight deck of the Starship Enterprise with computers screens embedded in walls for me to look up recipes.

There will be nothing and I mean NOTHING to blemish the beautiful minimalism of it. It will be my domain. No one will sully it with clutter.

Now I just have to actually finish buying the house it is going in.


MoreBeta Wed 03-Apr-13 15:10:45

"One set of bed linen and one set of towels per person living in the home is the way to go - zero storage. The only bed linen and towels that need to be stored are for visitors."

Agreed but these should be white - not decorative. Makes washing simple and aids speed of turn round in washer and dryer.

BeCool Wed 03-Apr-13 15:15:18

MoreBeta there was a lot of cleaning involved too! It wasn't just throwing stuff out - rearranging, putting stuff back etc.

I could never have white towels! Ecover could never cope & I NEED colour

Bonsoir Wed 03-Apr-13 15:49:21

I hate white linens! So boring!

Bessie123 Wed 03-Apr-13 16:18:35

becool I suppose I was thinking more of, eg glassware or furniture or kitchenware or maybe quilts/bedcovers handed down through the family. Or baby clothes. I couldn't throw away stuff people had kept and handed down to me because I would feel like it wasn't really mine to dispose of - like it would be a bit selfish to get rid of it when I should be keeping it for other family members or my children, or my siblings' (as yet not conceived) children That is probably why I have a very cluttered house though.

HappyAsEyeAm Wed 03-Apr-13 16:34:30

How inspirational! I am going to do this very thing this Sunday. M really looking forward to it! My mm has a mantra 'buy once, buy well' so, in theory, she doesnt have a million baking trays, stainless steel dishes, glass ramekins etc. I am going to repeat this to myself ad nauseum on Sunday.

TheRealFellatio Wed 03-Apr-13 16:42:20

I would love to do this for someone else, but I just don't understand why anyone would need or want someone else to do it for them! I do this to my own kitchen a couple of times a year, without fail. I'd go mad if it was constantly cluttered and disorganised, and I could not lay my hands to things I needed quickly and easily. Honestly it would do my head in. And I have a big kitchen with a ton of cupboards and a ton of stuff. But it HAS to be organized, and it HAS to be clean, with uncluttered surfaces.

Bonsoir Wed 03-Apr-13 17:41:43

I de-clutter for my family a lot! I am one of life's great disposers of useless stuff and think most people have more things hanging around than they can actually manage. I like to be surrounded by clear thinkers and find that decluttering helps!

Flisspaps Wed 03-Apr-13 20:22:49

I couldn't throw away stuff people had kept and handed down to me because I would feel like it wasn't really mine to dispose of - like it would be a bit selfish to get rid of it when I should be keeping it for other family members or my children, or my siblings' (as yet not conceived) children

Bessie You're not only passing on these 'treasures' though - you're also passing on the burden of that feeling - the people you give the stuff to are most likely going to feel the same way, despite never actually using or enjoying the stuff. Instead of being loved and used, it just becomes more clutter to feel guilty about.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 03-Apr-13 20:40:42

I have a constant battle with DH about this. I ONCE threw something out and then had to buy a new one and he has never forgotten it. Obviously the years of clutter free existence is worth one slip up.

I can't think in a clutter. I am like this in the classroom too, my room is always empty looking compared to most teacher's rooms, but it works so well to only have out exactly what you need. When I teach in rooms other than my own and it is all messy I can't concentrate properly blush

Flossbert Wed 03-Apr-13 20:45:21

The towels and bedding thing is a great idea - totally logical. I wish I could get DH on board with decluttering: he's got soooo many clothes he doesn't wear, and lots of them are in a plastic crate outside and have been for absolutely yonks.

Sunnywithshowers Wed 03-Apr-13 20:57:52

My DH is a bit of a hoarder. I used to live in a tiny wee house so got used to chucking things away.

The house is pretty damn full at the moment - time for a purge... smile

HollaAtMeBaby Wed 03-Apr-13 22:15:52

I would go for 2 towels per person, enough facecloths for everyone to have a fresh one every day between loads of laundry, and a couple of sets of naice towels for guests. I am fairly minimal but I think not having guest towels is stingy and rude, sorry!

Jan49 Thu 04-Apr-13 00:14:57

I have 2 sets of bedding per person and enough towels per person for one set to be in use and one set in the wash, plus some spares for guests or if anyone is ill. When we've had to buy new beds, we've bought beds with drawers and all the sheets and pillow cases go in the drawers.

I have a blanket box and I use that to store towels and keep spare blankets in a storage bag in it too. I used to have lots more towels and nowhere to store blankets until I got rid of lots of towels that weren't actually being used (some were huge sheet bath towels that my teenage sister used to wrap herself in to spend hours on the phone post-bath in the 1970s - did somebody really post that towels last only 2 years???). Nowadays, instead of trying to find enough storage space to fit what I own, I try to cut down what I own to fit the storage space I already have.

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 08:10:19

It is wrong to burden future generations with the detritus of the past. Make sure that anything you pass on (material things or ideas) are meaningful!

Personally, I like having a few bits and pieces of family furniture but I also love recipes as mementos of my forebears.

BeCool Thu 04-Apr-13 09:55:47

I have a pair of linen/cotton bath sheets I brought in a sale from JL in 1998. Have used them constantly and they are still in fantastic condition, though the colour (pale pink) is a little faded. They are amazing.

Edited my towels last night. I have 2 pp, plus 2 'spares', plus DD's hooded Dora towel I just couldn't toss. I have 3 hand towels. I edited facecloths on the weekend but now realise I still have too many so more of those will be going too.

All my "clothes/toys to ebay" that have been clogging up the hallway are in the boot of my car to be dropped to charity shop at lunchtime.


Yay yay yay! I cleared out two kitchen cupboards. The most problematic ones full of baking trays and crap. The doors wouldn't even shut! Two binbags full of crap going to the dump tomorrow unless any of you want 274 fairy cake tins?

Now just persuade me that I don't need 3 colanders... blush

BeCool Fri 05-Apr-13 00:09:59

Go Gwen!!!
Can baking stuff go to charity shop?
You know you can only use one colander!! Pick the best one and charity shop the other two! Free yourself from the burden and clutter of excess wink

My new toaster arrived. I spent £50 on it and it is a beauty (gift vouchers). Previous toasters ugly and £6 from tesco. This one is lovely and functional. I hope it lasts longer than the tesco ones.

I had friends over tonight but I still sorted facecloths (5 more out) and a stack of papers (more to do there).

Bessie123 Fri 05-Apr-13 09:53:27

I would quite like 274 fairy cake tins blush

I may have some work to do on my attitude...

Sorry yes, baking stuff is going to charity shop. That's not actually crap, just surplus to requirements. I mean, no one makes those flat little fairy cakes any more <sad>

Bessie, you're welcome to them. As long as you have the other two binbags full of shite too grin

And which colander. I have two clear and one red. And do I need a wok, a flat pancake frying pan and three normal frying pans?

Oh and a sandwich toaster and a spare sandwich toaster blush. Oh God I have issues.

BeCool Fri 05-Apr-13 10:43:49

re colander, perhaps think function and storage? Which will work best? If they are all equal, which is prettiest? Which do you like the most?

Oh the horror of a spare sandwich maker - you are going to feel so good when that is gone. Do you use the non spare one?

I've just put two colanders, two frying pans and the non spare but on its way out sandwich toaster in a bin bag and dropped a used tea bag on them grin

Yes DD1 loves Brevilles so need to keep one.

BeCool Fri 05-Apr-13 11:02:06


BeCool Fri 05-Apr-13 11:03:15

I need a WOK!
I'm making a list of things I need. If I still need them after 30 days I can think about buying them.
This is a brave new world!

Bessie123 Fri 05-Apr-13 22:43:33

Fairy cake tins are good for making Yorkshire puddings. I also find 2 tins are useful because fairy cake mixture often makes more than 12 cakes and it saves the time and faff of doing one batch then another after. I also keep2 colanders so I have one for eg washing shellfish when preparing a meal and one for draining veg without needing to wash up. I have a few cake tins so I can make a triple layer cake in one go.

Someone help me, I am never going to get rid of all the clutter <wails>

Now you tell me grin

Well it's too late, they're gone! And so is the George Foreman and the 16 squillion jars of dried herbs that expired in 2003. My food cupboard looks like Mother Hubbard's a show home smile

Bessie123 Fri 05-Apr-13 23:55:13

Go Gwen <gets pompoms out>

It's actually very satisfying <saddo> Two kitchen cupboards a night, empty, clean, purge and refill neatly. Little enough to not feel bogged down by it but enough to make a difference.

Baking cupboard tomorrow. <excited>

Bessie123 Sat 06-Apr-13 00:02:44

You're almost inspiring me to get started.



Go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on go on grin

Bessie123 Sat 06-Apr-13 00:37:06


Has everyone given up on their kitchens then? <lonely>

No cupboards tonight because...I scrubbed the kitchen window sill! That might not sound much but I had to remove 4 years of cleaning products, old wine bottles, bars of soap etc etc that had become superglued to it. Fecked them all into the bin. Kept one bottle of Mr Muscle and some washing up liquid and that's it.

I am going to buy flowers tomorrow to put in a vase on my beautiful new window sill.

BeCool Sun 07-Apr-13 00:05:21

Tomorrow I'm doing the fridge (didn't have time last weekend) and some living room decluttering, and OCDF is tackling the hall shelves (thousands of kids books & misc shit) and hall cupboard - eeeek!

Window sill sounds beautiful - what a difference for your eyes and mind Gwen

Murtette Sun 07-Apr-13 22:38:49

BeCool - for Christmas & birthday gifts for your DC, bear in mind that the experiences don't have to be one offs like a panto. DP lost his job just before Xmas which really focussd our minds on what we did & didn't want and I realised DD (3) did not need a doll's pram (she already has a pushchair) which was what one set of grandparents was going to get her and so they renewed her membership at the local farm which we tend to go to on a fortnightly basis and the other grandparents (who were thinking of getting her yet more play food & jigsaws) are paying for her ballet lessons this year. If something particularly interesting happens on one of our trips to the farm or at a ballet lesson, then DD calls the relevant grandparents that evening to tell them all about it which they really enjoy so I feel that both parties are benefitting from it.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Sun 07-Apr-13 22:59:53

Oh I do love a good decluttering thread grin

BeCool - you are doing really, really well!! You too Gwen!

weloveourfamily Mon 08-Apr-13 10:26:08

i am now inspired to declutter. We just moved into a new house so previous tenants have left alot of shit. I dont know where to start x

I've got tulips on my kitchen windowsill! I'm pathetically pleased!

BeCool Tue 09-Apr-13 02:17:35

welove. It's really easy to feel overwhelmed. Is stuff still in boxes? Could you just go one box at a time as you unpack? get the essentials out then so methodically through the rest? Getting rid of stuff that's not yours would be an easy place to start and make a big impact. Would your landlord help with that?

I started by getting things grouped together. Then I can make keep/chuck decisions. As for the proper decluttering and deep cleaning my friend was amazing and showed me what was possible. Is there anyone who could come and help for a day? I work ok alone when I get going, but working alongside someone is so motivating and helpful.

BeCool Tue 09-Apr-13 10:31:04

So on Sunday (DC with exP) OCD friend and I started round 2.

Three bags of recycling, 3 of rubbish, 4 for charity shop. Things are starting to shape up. Oh and of course as ExP now has is flat sorted I can lose a bunch of toys to his place - hooray!

weloveourfamily Tue 09-Apr-13 13:49:01

everything is out of boxes now and has found a place but i foolishly left the previous owners stuff in cupboards rather than throwing out and i really dont know why. So today i shall tackle the kitchen cupboards. i had already thrown out old food and all thats left is blue moulded glasses and chipped plates. aghhh my nightmare.

BeCool Tue 09-Apr-13 14:16:12

I've been planning a folder for all my recipe cards & printouts etc - I organised the folder, the plastic pockets etc. Now I'm thinking I'll just Evernote the lot!!! I hardly use them anyway, but I find it sooo hard to give them up. Also I have oodles of cookbooks too.

Right that's decided then - no recipe folder in my flat. Evernote all the way.

MyPreciousRing Sun 14-Apr-13 20:27:51

This thread is great! Definitely going to thin out our towel and bedding collection this week after reading this!

Well done everybody, very inspirational. Keep it up.

MyPreciousRing Sun 14-Apr-13 20:54:35

Towels done

Don't hang about, me!

Down to three blue towels and three white towels. All fairly new and in excellent condition. Cupboard looks ace now grin

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 00:53:32

I'm talking with everyone about the towel thing. It's contagious.

notcitrus Tue 16-Apr-13 14:21:36

Been ill or working, but just sold the sewing machine that in 5 years I've never used, and given away all the outgrown baby clothes, including ones I once intended to sell on eBay and decided I couldn't be bothered. And possibly making inroads into the baby toys.

Thinking what non-clutter presents the GPs can buy is a really good idea, especially as any requests to pay into child trust funds get ignored. I know Sea Life centres do an annual pass...

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 14:25:09

Great work notcitrus !!!! How do you feel re letting sewing machine and baby clothes go?

I'd love DD to see the Lion King show - wonder if you can get Theatre vouchers????

notcitrus Tue 16-Apr-13 15:12:58

I was happy to get rid of sewing machine but MrNC didn't want to as it was his mum's. Until I told him someone was paying for it and I could have my mum's any time. There were a couple babygros Knowing his mum she's probably got a spare! I wanted to keep that got mixed in, but I'm not really sad to have them go. There are many photos.

Ds age 4 is embracing the idea of getting rid of a toy in order to get a comic each week - all comics have toys on now but it makes him happy and helps keep the clutter down. Unfortunately after years of refusing to do drawing or sticking he is now bringing home wads of craft work. I'm sneaking most of it into the bin within a fortnight and only keeping one every few months.
The collection of pieces of toys in my room is yielding results, getting some full sets, and less to tread on. Eventually dd will be trained out of pulling open drawers and throwing contents everywhere, which I can't easily pick up. I'm supposed to ne sleeping while the cleaner is here so better do that...

notcitrus Tue 16-Apr-13 15:14:18

Ds would like Lion King too - will see when the next subtitled matinee is. Yes, you can get Theatre Tokens...

Britchic Thu 18-Apr-13 14:56:28

Thanks so much for this thread OP. We are moving country this summer, so I've been thinking about decluttering before the move. Thanks to this thread I've realised that my ideas were a bit tame (few toys,few clothes) I'm now really excited now about my future manic clear outs!!!

BeCool Thu 18-Apr-13 15:05:17

Nice one Britchic - come and join us in the Minimalist Quiche for ongoing adventures in chucking sorting cleaning and clearing stuff here

mum2jakie Thu 18-Apr-13 17:43:42

A really inspiring thread. I'm going to tackle a kitchen cupboard once the kids are in bed. I managed a drawer a few weeks ago. (Small steps...!)

UterusUterusGhali Sat 20-Apr-13 20:31:45

Making place.

I have gone through the bookcase. Tbh I mostly cleaned and rearranged them. I may need more help!

MummaBubba123 Sun 21-Apr-13 21:58:30

I desperately need your help and am in Shenley (near Radlett). 20 mins from you!
I've no idea how to PM you so I hope you get this message, MN216

MummaBubba123 Sun 21-Apr-13 22:08:19

I'm strangely excited about finding this thread. Strange - because I'd been depressed and cluttered (latter still applies) for about 4 years!
I'm thinking of starting a Facebook group where we could encourage each other with 'before and after' photos of windowsills, cupboards, rooms, etc. that we need (even) virtual company to tackle. I've been soooo lucky to be found on a MN thread by a kind MNer who I'm doing this with by phone. I've made a start on my dining room. Thanks to her, we can just about sit on the chairs (huge deal) and there's nothing in the table (even bigger deal)! Anyway, I tackled the garage today. We can now walk into it. My bra drawer now opens and closes, thanks to a clear out. I'm wearing my lovely new undies - not the cruddy old things now in the bin.

Trumpton Sun 21-Apr-13 22:13:14

Mumma go to MN216 post and to the right , on the same line as her name , is a "message poster " icon. click on that and away you go.

MummaBubba123 Mon 22-Apr-13 06:05:09

Trumpton, thank you! I will try that now!

gremlindolphin Tue 23-Apr-13 11:14:45

I totally agree with only hand down really meaningful things!

I have completely cleared my Mum's house and she is a proper hoarder. I have kept so many things as it seemed wasteful to get rid of them but now can never buy another t-towel as she had 250 brand new ones!

I am determined not to leave my dcs with boxes of things to sort out and have had to learn how to get rid of things as no one had ever taught me.


BeCool Tue 23-Apr-13 11:22:08

I am determined not to leave my dcs with boxes of things to sort out and have had to learn how to get rid of things as no one had ever taught me. - brilliant!!!! We can learn these important life skills at whatever age.

DD2 has the most gorgeous teddy bear made out of a tea towel!
Tea towels are colelctables and they would be quite quick and easy to ebaY

Just to say my kitchen and I had a visit from MN216 today.
She spent hours with us and made such a difference smile
I liked her because she's not a raving minimilist and wasn't urging me to throw everything out; I've had declutterers in before but they tended to be childless and live in tiny flats in central London!
I will definitely be seeing her again smile

Bessie123 Thu 09-May-13 13:33:03

Ooh yes, MN201 was great, helped me get rid of loads of clutter.

Bessie123 Thu 09-May-13 13:33:24

Gah, MN216

I am joining in to say I've done my clothes cupboard and have about 20 items to sell, 10 of which I've already put on ebay, and three whole bagfuls have gone to charity/recycling.
It is a joy to open my clothes cupboard now and gaze upon its lack of mess and crap - and I completely appreciate the spaces between!

Did the kitchen about 2 months ago, it was wonderful!

YAY to decluttering!

Now just need to get on top of the paperwork/junk mail etc....

BeCool Thu 09-May-13 14:51:16

Yes yes yes re celebrating the spaces in our wardrobes, drawers, cupboards etc. A joy previously unknown to me!

Y'all come and join us on the minimalist thread - "out with the old in with the NOTHING"!

MN216 Thu 09-May-13 15:56:27

Hi there thanks to Bessie123 and FiveHoursSleep for the positive feedback. Have had a good response to my message upthread offering free decluttering sessions as I develop my planned business but would like to keep the momentum going, so if you live within and hour of Watford and would like a few hours help decluttering in return for some honest feedback, please PM me.

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