Out with the old and in with - NOTHING! Further adventures in minimalism.

(995 Posts)
MrsPennyapple Fri 12-Apr-13 21:34:59

Following on from the Minimalist Journey and Minimalist Quiche threads. The journey continues...

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 12-Apr-13 21:40:15

woo-hoo! Glad there's another one smile just scanned in c.250 old photos and have about 1000 to go, am planning to bin the hard copies but husband wants to look through them one last time, they will be out before the weekend is over though!

LemonBreeland Fri 12-Apr-13 22:23:37

Third thread amazing!

I took two black sacks to the dump today and a large ikea bag of clothes to cash for clothes. Still don't feel like I'm getting very far but I am trying to be happy about what is happening.

LimeLeaffLizard Fri 12-Apr-13 22:43:59

Hoping this thread will keep me on track in my mission to sort out the mountains of Stuff in our house. So far I have taken two bags of toddler shoes to the recycle point, given a bag of good quality toddler clothes for a friend's baby, and taken a bag of unwanted new-ish toys to oxfam.

Did you know that H&M are now giving a voucher for £5 off a spend of £30 if you bring in a bag of used old clothes? I'm planning to do that next time I'm in town.

MrsPennyapple Fri 12-Apr-13 22:48:49

Today, I did something so obvious that I'm stunned and ashamed that I hadn't thought of it before now. Like, proper beginner stuff. I went onto my online banking and changed my bank statements to online only. Why on earth I didn't do this years ago I have no idea. No more chucking unopened bank statements at the bottom of the stairs and then filing four or five at a time! I have two accounts of my own plus two joint ones with DP. That's a lot of statements.

BeCool Fri 12-Apr-13 23:06:01

Love the thread title! Hello.
Day out in London today. Big boat ride up to. O2, cable car, run around and handstands in turbine hall of the Tate. The kids had fun too grin. We dodged the showers and saw a rainbow - awwwe!

So no decluttering. Attacking clothes and bedroom on Sunday. It was lovely to come home to a relatively tidy flat, kitchen clean and clear and ready to cook dinner in <<preens>>.
Loving sorting all this crap in my life out.

BeCool Fri 12-Apr-13 23:06:57

MrsP I did that about 4 months ago. It's fab! Why not 4 years ago?

Ponderosa Fri 12-Apr-13 23:22:29

Marking place!

Today I've put a few more boxes and bags aside for the charity shop including some things I wasn't even considering chucking this morning. Toddler DS is off to DMIL's in the morning so hope to get some more stuff in bags and take it to the shop.

Teddimac Fri 12-Apr-13 23:45:40

Evening all - ooh, lovely new thread! Despite doing very little over the hols, I feel all the work so far is starting to show. I still need to do a big sort out of the kids' toys but now have the majority of them all neatly stacked in my room (it's the loft room, so they're tucked out of sight under the eaves for just now) ready to go through a bit at a time as soon as the DC are back at school.

I am also very proud to report that today I recycled ........ four white vests! Baby steps and all that grin. I did have six shock despite the fact that I really don't wear or suit white clothes and the majority were looking sad, grey and mis-shapen... I also reluctantly chucked a pair of Fitflop boots - they were flipping expensive and I loved them, but they were looking very sorry for themselves and starting to let in water after a good five years of use, so feels good to have put them out of their misery. Better be some bl**dy sunshine now!!!

Mum2Fergus Sat 13-Apr-13 08:20:28

Morning all! Now Im settled in new house, time to get through all the stuff that came with me unmecessarily!! Loft floored but have resisted temptation to throw everything up there lol clearing through Xmas/Halloween decorations today then they can go up. Bathroom will be finished today so storage boxes in there are next on the agenda!!

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sat 13-Apr-13 08:25:39

Hello - have just seen the title of this and felt inspired to wonder in <after tripping over everything on the floor> top tips please smile

MrsPennyapple Sat 13-Apr-13 09:00:27

Welcome Loves!

Top tips: little and often works well if you can't have a big decluttering session. I just have one carrier bag on the go at a time, and put items in as I come across them. It goes to the charity shop once it's full.

Some of us have had success just getting rid of one item a day, or setting targets for, say, ten items.

Most of us have found that once you get started, the sense of freedom from all this STUFF spurs you on, it's amazing.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sat 13-Apr-13 09:08:49

That's what I need. There is stuff everywhere. Old clothes I need to sell/get rid off, toys in every room and overflowing sad

MrsPennyapple Sat 13-Apr-13 09:18:43

Don't let it get you down. It's often overwhelming thinking about it all. If you can break it down into smaller tasks it might not seem so daunting. Just choose one pile or one corner and get started. You don't have to do it all today. Even if you can take one bag to the charity shop, that's a bag of stuff GONE. No longer taking up space and weighing you down.

ArtemisatBrauron Sat 13-Apr-13 17:53:42

7 items in bag for charity shop (never worn shoes blush, pestle and mortar (we have 2!), 2 lovely but huge and cluttery photo albums, a naice scarf, some more clothes). That's not from a clear-out but just from tidying up and cleaning today.
I actually downsized a HUGE amount when we moved here (15 bin bags of clothes, shoes, sold £500 worth of stuff on eBay, about 200 books to charity, giant suitcase of craft supplies to local scrap store etc) but there is still a LONG way to go!.

LemonBreeland Sat 13-Apr-13 20:17:05

I've had a lovely day out with friends today so no decluttering. However as my house is now tidier and less cluttered I can properly enjoy a day out rather than worrying about what I should be doing at home.

A friend of mine was joking with me the other day about whether I have anything left in my house as she sees all the stuff selling on fb. However after discussing my plans with her I cam to a realisation that there is stuff I'm keeping in cupboards just because we have the space. If we moved house I know ai wouldn't take it so why is it there. I fel a ruthless clearout coming on.

LemonBreeland Sat 13-Apr-13 20:18:22

And welcome loves you can start small and still see a difference.

Ponderosa Sat 13-Apr-13 21:44:21

Well I've taken most of my 'china' cabinet down the chazzer today along with some bags, books, clothes and toys. I even got helped to inload the car and carry it in by two lovely policemen - bonus!

I couldn't decide over one particular bag that I love but has a broken handle that I couldn't repair. Every time I opened the wardrobe I saw it and agonised over what to do. At the last minute I grabbed it and added it to the pile. Now it's gone I feel much better - like I've got rid of the heavy feelings around the decision as well as the bag. I know they might not even sell it as it's broken but I don't care. I don't normally give them broken stuff btw but it was leather and in otherwise great condition so I thought it might be ok.

I've also cleared the bathroom out and cleaned it and feel do much better about life for it. We have no storage at all except the bathroom cabinet so I've got bottles all along the windowsill and it drives me nuts and makes cleaning quickly impossible. Not sure what the solution to that is really.

wendybird77 Sat 13-Apr-13 22:10:40

Ponderosa do you have space for a narrow set of drawers or shelves hung on a wall or above the door frame? What about bottles in nice baskets on the window sill - easier to move and looks nicer and more contained? How many bottles do you have / need? Can any of them be decluttered? (saddo me loves a small space storage problem on a Saturday night)

I have decluttered nothing today. I did however show up for a child's birthday party a full 24 hours early. See? I told you decluttering would help you with time management! grin

BeCool Sat 13-Apr-13 22:18:30

Ponderosa. Have you seen these no fixing requirers. I've seen similar used very effectively at end of the bath.

Well done those selling on eBay. I had a huge stash to sell but never got going (though I've done it in the past). So it all went to charity shops. Gone on a flash - some things I'd held onto for years. Priceless!

wendybird77 Sat 13-Apr-13 22:34:17

Loves best tip is that ever popular quote about don't keep anything that you don't believe to be beautiful or know to be useful. Start with one room / category and be ruthless - the massive difference it will make to the room will inspire you to keep going. Don't keep stuff to sell / ebay / carboot unless 1) you will actually do it - give yourself a deadline and 2) it will earn an amount of money that is worth the effort. Generally you need to get stuff out of the house immediately or it finds its way back into circulation. If in doubt I chuck it, but I'm mean like that. Some people will tell you to put it in a box for 6 months, if you don't miss it just donate the box without opening it. Really though it is about changing your attitude about what is valuable. The money spent on an item is gone - so getting rid of something because it would be a waste is incorrect - the money was wasted at point of purchase. You don't have to keep stuff around that was given to you - the gift giver never wanted the item to cause you stress and anxiety by contributing to an over-full house. If it isn't useful to you let it go, someone will find it useful and you are being greedy by denying the item purposeful use - a bit of stretch, but you get the whole release it to it's destiny thing there? Don't keep all your DCs stuff for when they are older - houses are only getting smaller and more expensive and no one wants boxes and boxes of old papers / sculptures / baby clothes to have to store. Keep a few truly special things, photograph the less spectacular and chuck the rest of it. Lastly, you probably have far too many clothes - stuff you don't wear because it doesn't fit right, is uncomfortable in some way or doesn't fit with who you are now (either because you have moved out of that stage of life or because you have purchased aspirational clothes that don't fit with your lifestyle, say, ahem, several sweater poncho things that you don't wear because you can't wear a coat over it / use your arms to carry crying babies on your hip without the sleeve being up your armpit in a most uncomfortable manner, ahem). Anyway, you can get rid of them. Should you ever need such a poncho item, you can buy a new one at the shops or off ebay when the time is right. Life is much easier with fewer clothes that don't need washing / ironing / moving about the house / sorting through / refolding / hanging up / etc.

Those a few choice bits of wisdom from my journey / learning so far. Perhaps some of it will strike a chord. Disregard the rest grin.

AdoraBell Sat 13-Apr-13 22:41:05

Nothing else removed today, but OH and DDs did get rid if the recycling.
Don't know what I'll get done this weekend as both OH and I have obligatory cold that comes with Back To School season (we're Southern Hemisphere so it's all back to front). OH is currently asleep and I'm watching a pot of bolognaise simmer. CBA stirring it

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sat 13-Apr-13 22:51:45

Thank you all. wendybird77 your post has really spoken to me so much of that is true.

I have started small but not in the house (does it still count?) I've starting by clearing inside the car. Every time I get in it, every time I put the the kids in the back or get them out, I see it. The bits and bobs, the spare hat, the floor from out stupid Stoney drive.

sommewhereelse Sun 14-Apr-13 07:24:13

Car sounds like a good place to start. Now you can fill it up with stuff to take to the charity shop/recycling.
We rented a house with a gravel drive. It drove me crazy, the hallway was always full of the stuff.

Sokmonsta Sun 14-Apr-13 07:48:33

<wanders in, admires the space. Eyes up pile of clutter in corner>

mirpuppet Sun 14-Apr-13 07:50:43

As someof you probably know free listing weekend on Ebay. I wil list a few items of clothing.

Also plan to recycle some of my files/paper.

Doing fairly well with not buying new stuff. Tempted all the time but I find that delaying even over night really helps.

Next I want to declutter food stores -- empty the freezer and the pantry.

Cristiane Sun 14-Apr-13 08:28:11

Hello can I join? My volume of stuff just drives me nuts. It's so time consuming and mess making.... What you wrote wendy is very useful as it will change how I feel psychologically about getting rid of stuff.

Will try to make a start today, not brilliant at selling on eBay but I will try.

What do you with perfectly good stuff that you don't need < eyes lampshade that is sitting on my table in bedroom for no reason I can remember >

BeCool Sun 14-Apr-13 08:28:27

Free listing on eBay you say?
I've kept 3 items back. Ill do a lazy eBay mobile listing in them today.
Thank you thank you thank you!

BeCool Sun 14-Apr-13 08:31:17

Wendy - fab post above.

Loves - car is perfect place to start.
Get it empty and sparkling. It will give you a boost every time you use it and it's a manageable space.

MrsPennyapple Sun 14-Apr-13 09:03:04

I've got a few listings set up on ebay, which I will start later on. (I find it easiest to set up ebay listings in advance, and schedule the time for a Sunday at around 9pm. Theoretically this costs extra, but if you find out it's a free listing weekend, you can then go in and revise the listing to start immediately. It then qualifies for free listing. If you happen to forget, they will start at the scheduled time so you'd have to pay the schedule fee.)

Hello and welcome Cristiane. If I have good stuff to get rid of, I either use Freecycle or I send it to the charity shop. For random oddments of crockery etc, I take that to our local amenity site. It's like a recycling centre but there is a section where you can just leave things, and people can come along and look, and take what they need.

mirpuppet Sun 14-Apr-13 09:48:41

Note because Royal Mail postage has gone up there are new maximum postage charges on Ebay.


mirpuppet Sun 14-Apr-13 09:49:11
Sokmonsta Sun 14-Apr-13 10:25:56

Free eBay listing? <takes note for after elder dc have gone to nana and Grandad's for the night>

wendybird77 Sun 14-Apr-13 13:28:52

Cristiane if you are on a role I always take good stuff to the charity shop. Bag it up and stick it in the car / hall so you can take it there the next time you leave the house. Freecycle is great for bulky items, but there are so many time wasters on there who always delay coming over to get stuff and so many e-mails to answer that it is more hassle than it is worth (to me). I just get stuff out as quickly as possible so that I can get the reward (of less mess and more space) and keep the good minimising vibe going. Don't let unwanted stuff sit there. Wherever it is going, take it there now or ASAP. DH has a stack of DVDs sitting on our mantle that has been there for near 3 weeks now - he has PLANS to give them to friends - but none of it has left at all and he's now really forgotten about it. I'm going to spend the money to post them to the places they need to go to just get them off my mantle or it will never happen.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 14-Apr-13 17:07:19

added a few extra bits to the charity shop bag and left it in this afternoon on the way out for a nice walk around the local river/common, now making curried carrot soup from leftover veg for lunches this week. Almost an NSD today until I realised we were out of pasta and had to get a bag for dinner tonight. 95p isn't so bad though!

Ponderosa Sun 14-Apr-13 17:26:38

Thanks for the bathroom storage ideas everyone. It's too small for drawers and the sink overhangs the bath so we couldn't fit a unit in.

BeCool that unit looks great but wouldn't fit our bath I don't think.

I'm trying not to have four types of shampoo on the go but DH has his own as otherwise the shampoo gets finished before the conditioner, which he doesn't use.

MrsPennyapple Sun 14-Apr-13 21:32:46

It's true that you do get people messing you about on Freecycle sometimes, it can be more trouble than it's worth.

I've started my ebay listings, set to finish next Sunday, so will hopefully be able to send a few more things on their way next week. Still haven't taken to box of stuff to the charity shop, I'm definitely going to get that done tomorrow.

LemonBreeland Sun 14-Apr-13 21:47:31

Welcome Cristiane, I think with the perfectly good items sometimes it can ge hard to juet give them away as you can think about what they cost.

If you are already happy to let them go then charity shop is the easiest.

I listed a couple of items on Ebay today and tidied a large cupboard, didn't actually take much out of it but sorted some items to reuse.

Hoping to tackle more tomorrow.

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 00:51:56

8 bags in boot for dropping at charity shop tomorrow. 5 bags of rubbish. 2 bags of recycling. Wow! Most out of the bedroom which I thought I had sorted 3 months ago.

I had my amazing decluttering tidy cleaning loving friend to help. We done 3 out of 4 main living areas now over 3 Sundays. She is like a guru - energising and thought provoking.

I'm starting thinking about buying new furniture. Beautiful purposeful furniture we love and enjoy. Not the sad tat I got for free or picked up cheap that looks dreadful. It's all a big adventure.

Aesthetics aside I'm feeling personally awakened and energised by the whole process.

I PG yoga DVD (unused) listed on eBay. <why bother smile>

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Mon 15-Apr-13 06:00:10

So taks for this week is not to mess up my nice clean car grin

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 09:43:42

Brilliant Loves!

You've inspired me to do my car - I reckon I can get it done in a lunch hour as it's not too bad. But it's getting v dusty. But first I have to get rid of all the bin bags in boot full of charity shop stuff. That is todays mission.

Lying in the bath this morning, I'm looking around and thinking "I don't need that" and "Oooh that can go" etc - which is a huge turnaround from thinking about stuff I want!! Out is the new In!

wendybird77 Mon 15-Apr-13 09:51:53

YY BeCool to beautiful and purposeful furniture! You are making your home, creating a lovely and nurturing environment for yourself and your children. How amazing!

Loves Well done! You aren't going to want to get out of the car!

Ponderosa at the end of the day if you are using the items, then they aren't clutter. There is lots of nice bathroom storage available. If you don't have any floor space for drawers then you are going to need wall-hung storage of some sort. If you have a high enough ceiling then something like this over the door frame works well I think. There are loads of shelf options for in the shower. Loaf do some nice bathroom storage. Homebase has a good practical selection as well.

My FIL is visiting at the moment, so not much going on here. I have a couple more hotspots in the house to sort - mainly the upstairs hall which has become the dumping ground for items and furniture that don't have a home yet. We also need to get some things up in the loft which we don't use, but would be difficult to replace (TV stand, christmas tree stand, antique desk that we don't have space for now, but will when the DCs don't use the conservatory as a playroom anymore). I also have several boxes of photo frames which we had hung on a 'gallery' wall in our last house. I need to decide if / where I want them.

MinimalistMommi Mon 15-Apr-13 13:17:32

Here's some motivation!grin

Favourite minimalist quote:

Elise Boulding. “The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” (1920)

And this is my absolute favourite:

* Antoine de Saint-Exupery. “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”*(1900)

MinimalistMommi Mon 15-Apr-13 13:18:50

angry that second one should have been in bold, it's good enough to do again! grin

Antoine de Saint-Exupery. “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 13:29:46

Fantastic quotes thanks MM!

I've printed them out to put on fridge (just for a while mind you) - which is clear of all fridge magnets for now as I still can't bring myself to put them back on. (though DD2 is missing her phonics magnets!)

MinimalistMommi Mon 15-Apr-13 13:49:11

grin I absolutely love that second quote, it's my all time favourite BeCool I would live to get to that stage, where I could look around and think that here is nothing I could take away. I guess that would be seriously minimal.

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 16:25:04

I just wanted to say something about ebaying stuff & decluttering.

I have successfully ebayed unwanted possessions, clothing, bundles of clothes etc in the past. I've not made a fortune but I've done OK.

So when I started slowly decluttering I had a "to ebay" box. Which grew and grew, which took over the hallway and which became a huge physical and mental obstacle to me.

I felt a huge personal burden to 'ebay' this stuff, to claw some money back, to build up my PayPal account etc - and why not? I had lots of great stuff to sell, some of it new. I had at least £200 sitting there, probably more.

My point is it became another obstacle, another HUGE blockage in the route to decluttering, and to sorting out my flat.

So if you can just list it, sell it, post it - no problems. But if like me, the duty/obligation "to ebay" becomes an obstacle/burden on your decluttering journey, then I would recommend just taking it ALL to the charity shop.

I cannot describe to huge sense of relief and positivity that came from giving myself permission to let someone else sell it & earn money for charity. I don't think I'd be at the point I am today if I hadn't done that.

The most important point is if I hadn't given myself permission to NOT ebay and to simply give unwanted/unneeded possessions to charity shops, the 20 or more bin bags I've give to charity shops in the last 3 weeks would STILL be in my flat. Think of that.

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 16:28:32

I had years worth of Vanity Fair magazines I wouldn't throw into the recycling as I could "sell them on ebay" - FFS!!! They aren't even included in the charity shop bin bag tally as they all went into the recycling.

wendybird77 Mon 15-Apr-13 16:49:09

BeCool I had a similar experience, mostly with baby clothes / things. As I've already said on one of the previous threads MIL has a shopping problem and when I became pg with DS1 an avalanche of stuff started to arrive in the post. More clothes than at least 3 children could wear, baby gear, toys, books by the dozens. All of it new and all of with expensive shipping from abroad. I tried to ebay, NCT sell, storage systems, etc. It caused me no end of stress as I could not keep on top of the stuff and I spent a lot of time and money trying to sort it and store it. The local secondhand children's shop wouldn't take most of it as it was not UK brands. Ebay was earning me 99p or so per item and it just was not worth the hassle. I finally gave up and life has been so much easier since. Anything unwanted or unneeded just goes straight to the charity shop now with tags on. They are grateful as it sells well for them and I no longer have someone else's shopping compulsions taking over my life. Win win. I wish I had given myself permission much earlier - it would have made a difference to my quality of life the first year of DS1's life!

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 16:57:20

Wendy amazing how your MIL's shopping addiction becomes other peoples problems!!!

It is about giving yourself permission isn't it? And the 'permission' leads to these huge changes in our lives!

I struggled with baby clothes too - but for different reasons, mostly sentimental. Now I have kept about 4 baby bits from each DD, mainly handknits from my Mum.

Asinine Mon 15-Apr-13 17:10:32

Hi can i join?

I've been lurking on the old quiche for a while, and have been read minimalists blogs recently. I got into decluttering years ago through flylady and I love the whole anti consumerist/simple living philosophy.

Saying that, there are still corners of the house which are full of junk, particularly the study, as I am scared of paperwork, and our shredder has died (again).

We are a largish family in a big house so things do accumulate quickly, if I don't consciously chuck stuff. Dh is getting the idea, so when he buys something he always chucks at least one or two of that category of item.

What I do notice is that the rooms which are dejunked are easy to keep tidy, and cleaning is easy.

Anyway, looking forward to hearing about everyone's efforts.

ilovespongebob Mon 15-Apr-13 17:14:16

Been lurking for a long time but find this thread so inspiring and motivating that I have decided to join in. I love a tidy and organised house, open my kitchen cupboards (the favourite room in the house) and no-one would know about my deep and dark hoarding demons hiding in the attic! Things have gradually got worse, low mood, busy at work, demanding boys, PTA and other Committees, but no more excuses....... Yesterday I made the decision to declutter my much loved collection of cookery magazines, Good Food and Delicious year 2008 onwards. I pulled them all out the cupboard and was going to just recycle them, I knew I needed to take fast action, if I just left them in a pile, they would migrate upwards or go back in the cupboard. The magazines troubled me during the night, what a waste, all that money....... Then ta dah, light bulb moment, I contacted one of my local secondary schools to see if the Home Ec Dept would like them and yes they did and so they were delivered to them this morning, less than 24 hours after I decided to declutter them. I had a few doubts on the way but when the Home Ec tutor was so genuinely delighted to have them I felt very happy. Just a baby step but I have started.

Have just got back after a mammoth shoe shopping trip for my two boys, why do they grow out of shoes at the same time and all of them at once! In with the new straight out with the old.

Looking forward to my new slow but determined journey with you guys.

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 17:21:04

Welcome Asinine and ilovespongebob

bob I feel all that crap about magazines. Now I buy very few of them, though still the odd Vanity Fair. I've jut recycled my recent stash - new 'rule' for me is I can't buy another one until the previous one is out of the house! Good thinking re the school though. I've kept untold cookery mags in the past - but they are all gone now.

Regarding the cost, perhaps it would help to think of the cost at the point of purchase, and treat it as a disposable item (which essentially it is)? Really it is only as a collection that they seem to have 'value'.

Asinine Mon 15-Apr-13 17:37:57

I don't buy magazines, they are usually designed to make you want to buy stuff. Unless there is a minimalist magazine? confused

Reading declutter type blogs and hopefully this thread has the opposite effect.

ilovespongebob Mon 15-Apr-13 18:00:10

Books are another one of my problems areas. In my mind I am a keen reader, but the fact that I have maybe 100 unread fiction books because they were on offer or someone recommended it tells me that perhaps I am not. I am a very keen cook and do enjoy reading/browsing cookery books and my collection probably stands at 250, those I will not be parted!

I keep trying to get myself pysched up to tackle the attic of doom but I can always come up with an excuse, I just don't know how to deal with the stuff. There is kids stuff, clothes that don't fit, never fitted, are too good to recycle or just give away, sentimental things, outgrown toys and just plain old rubbish. I had a mania for buying presents for parties because it was always handy to have one in hand but now my boys are growing up parties are few and far between and I have lots of unwanted presents which aren't even age appropriate. I have been using some of them for raffle prizes etc but I just feel so angry for the waste of money now. It's not like we are loaded!

I had another idea about passing on some of the better quality children's books to my younger son's school - we have collections of horrible histories etc. Am going to send that email now!

Hope no-body minds my ramblings, it's going to help to focus my mind.

Am open to hints, tips and suggestions.

Asinine Mon 15-Apr-13 18:28:53

Sponge bob

250 cookery books-wow!Do you use them?

I have 12 and I thought that was overkill. When I cook something new I tend to look it up online, read a few recipes and comments then just do it using the ideas I like best.So I don't really need any, unless I declutter my iPad! If I could only save three I know which they'd be, easily. Which probably means the other nine could go?


ilovespongebob Mon 15-Apr-13 18:50:29

I know it does seem a bit excessive. I dip in and out of them, I have favourites which I use a lot. I could get rid of maybe a few, but then there are so many it wouldn't make much difference. And they are a feature of the kitchen, I have shelves running almost ceilng to floor in the kitchen with the larger books on and a smaller wall mounted pine antique cabinet with the smaller ones. They are in chef alphabetical order!

I live in a largish four storey Victorian house and it's easy to disguise the clutter. Some rooms are very clear and organised, these are the rooms the friends and family see. I am held in the highest regard by some friends (who have a hoarder problem on the scale of Secret Hoarder's programme). I feel such a fraud as they always ask me for help, it's easier to deal with other people's stuff though.

This evening I am going to write my long term action plan.

Asinine Mon 15-Apr-13 19:10:45


Sounds like you are a perfectionist, with all the books perfectly arranged. Also that you only show the perfect side of you to visitors, even though you know they have a worse clutter problem than you. It may be this sort of thinking that makes the attic seem overwhelming? Maybe if you just aim to make part of the attic better than it is now, rather than completely sorted,you'd find it more manageable and less stressful. Even ask a hoarder friend to help. Like you say it's easier to get rid of other people's stuff.

Now I've done the am psychologist on you, can you can tell me why I'm scared of paperwork? confused

MrsPennyapple Mon 15-Apr-13 19:29:34

Welcome Ilovespongebob and Asinine

I recently condensed my recipe book collection, it was only two shelves but even so there were books I never cooked anything out of. I went through the ones I'd never used, and had a really good look at the recipes. There were a couple of books that I just couldn't ever see myself cooking anything out of, so they went. I do like recipe books though, I find it much more inspiring than looking online for recipes.

LemonBreeland Mon 15-Apr-13 19:51:35

Evening all welcome newbies. I gave definitely got the understanding now that decluttered house is an easy house to keep clean and tidy.

I haven't done much today, as today was all about cleaning and tidying now the dc are back at school. I did manage to give the house a really good tidy and clean. I did get together one black sack of rubbish to the dump though, so there is constant work going on here.

I'm trying to keep a good momentum going and make sure that there is always something leaving the house.

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 15-Apr-13 20:38:51

Ok, wasn't going to post this in case it outed me but here goes!

One of the things I am struggling most with is the frequent large parcels from a hoarding relative (think house like those hoarding shows on C4). These parcels contain a massive amount of junk - one of them had around 40 old teaspoons from various UK seaside towns and other tourist attractions. Some still had tea on them. I've had more second hand scarves, clothes etc than one person could wear and all in random sizes, old tights (in packets) from the 60', 70's, 80's. Loads of old china, kitchen gadgets like novelty cheesegraters, milk savers, silicone baking trays etc.
By the time I have recycled, charity shopped and binned this stuff the next batch arrives. I feel so ungrateful but it is seriously all junk. I've had friends over when the parcels arrive and one was crying with laughter at the stuff in there but it is so not funny to me anymore.

What can I do? It would mortally offend my relative to say anything but it is so stressful dealing with this stuff on top of work, house work etc.

sommewhereelse Mon 15-Apr-13 21:07:45

Thanks for those quotes minimalistmommi.
Spongebob with your attic, I would do it box by box. Bring a box down where it's more pleasant to work and where you won't feel overwhelmed, and sort through it. Label it with whatever you decide to keep.
When you've finished, you can organise all your hopefully by now half-full boxes. You'll probably find when you go though it all a second time you find more stuff you get rid of. Set yourself a goal e.g. 1 box a day or whatever realistically fits in around the rest of life.
Artemisat I feel your pain. We had a relative who used to do that, for Christmas presents. We would each be given (face to face) a cardbox box full of odd things like your list. It was a challenge to come out with polite noises about the contents. One year my box included a size 24 jumper, but I'm a 12. I don't remember how I handled that one! Thank goodness it was only once a year. To be fair, about every three years there would be a useful item.

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 21:16:29

<trots off to count cook books>

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 21:19:27

27 and if I cook to a recipe, 70% of the time it's from an online recipe.

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 21:25:32

Art - could you tell your relative that you have become a minimalist, so as sweet as they are for thinking of you, there is now a ban on anything not absolutely essential coming into your house? smile
Worth a try? What they are doing ain't right.

ilovespongebob Mon 15-Apr-13 22:05:02

Asinine - I can't believe how quickly you have me sorted, a perfectionist I am indeed, I have not done so much because if I can't do it to the utmost perfection then I won't do it. I am a control freak and like routine. I can spend hours lining up my packets, cans, pants, t-shirts etc oblivious to the fact that the room upstairs looks like it has been hit by a tornando.

paperwork is something I don't struggle with, I have this awful fear that when I die someone will spend all their time going through all my personal paperwork and judge me (just like my granny did when my grandad died). I keep all my receipts for the month in a plastic popper wallet, when the statement or bill comes I check them off and shred them. School stuff I deal with as it comes in, make notes in diary, return slip. If I need to keep the letter/info then I have a ring binder which has clear plastic wallets in, each activity has its own wallet and paperwork is filed in it. Everything is in date order so if you open the binder the most recent piece of information is on the top. If it's an activity such as cubs or scouts which has lots of activities then the individual plastic wallet is moved around with the most recent info showing. Theatre tickets, important receipts etc are also stored in there.

Utility bills are kept for one year, so the electricity for Jan to March quarter 2012 is replaced with Jan to March quarter 2013.

I gave up keeping appliance manuals as most info can be found on the internet.

With regard to the attic, I think I may have created the impression that it's a crawl on your hands and knees space, not so, it's the whole top floor of our house, which until last October three of us ran a business from! As soon as we moved to new premises I gathered all the clutter up and stuffed it up there and its just been added to, I swear it breeds up there, boxes burst open and spew forth their contents.

It doesn't help that my two DS keep pulling the stuff out.

Asinine Mon 15-Apr-13 22:14:48

You have cheered me up, was descending into despair with watching the news from Boston. It's good to remember there are nice people around...
Will start by getting school paperwork under control, 4dcs, 3 schools and lots of trips, activities etc makes for lots of paper.

BeCool 27?I wonder what's average? I have no idea. I'm going to chuck at least two tomorrow. Someone might pay £2-£3 for them at charity shop and learn to cook.

ilovespongebob Mon 15-Apr-13 23:04:03

I have scanned my book shelves and I have identified one potential book to be removed, it takes up the space of two books. I will let you know how it goes........

Our school uses a ParentMail email system for sending out info so incoming paper is kept to a minimum, only a few things come home in a hard copy format.

Don't you find in what is supposed to be a paperless society we are still being bombarded with the stuff. Even if you buy a magazine you open it and more stuff falls out, why couldn't the advertisers take a page in the magazine, I think people are more likely to see it.

I think companies are learning, the TV licence is now available to print, if you want a hard copy, how often does someone need to have the hard copy of their TV licence?

BeCool Mon 15-Apr-13 23:14:12

It felt fantastic returning to the flat this evening. It's looking so nice - we've done so much. I'm indebted to the friend who helps me - she needs help setting up business blog/FB etc so I will help her with that once this is complete. It is a nice world really.

Ponderosa Tue 16-Apr-13 08:43:23

Art how about simply donating the boxes from your relative without feeling you need to sort through them first?

Spongebob I don't think there's anything 'too good to give away'. It does hurt to do it but it's a really nice thing to give stuff to charity shops that they can make a decent profit from and you'll feel good for it afterwards. Read Wendybird's excellent post from 13/04 for an inspiring way of thinking about it.

Wendybird you are right about things in use not being clutter. I'd just love a bathroom I could clean without moving so much stuff - sigh. I've put the bottles in a basket now and ordered a new perspex shaving mirror to replace the horrible flaking, rusty thing we have now.

Cristiane Tue 16-Apr-13 09:16:21

Thanks so much for the tips. I am just struggling being so short on time because of work and now I am travelling for two days. However - do you think this is mad? I might take 1 or 2 days off next week as holiday to start me off on my decluttering journey. I have a small house and two little girls and it is so hard to get rid of things as they always sabotage it!

Will start off at the weekend putting bags for charity shop in car and I agree with the poster who said that the 'must eBay' box can get too big... Might as well give it all away

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 09:43:16

Cristiane 2 days small child free and dedicated to decluttering is a great idea. You will get loads done. Try to tackle one 'project/area' at a time so as not to get too chaotic. Be prepared for a "WFT am I doing?" moment mid-point in the day as you survey the chaos. Then it all comes together and viola! You're in a better place.

Is there anyone you could rope in to help you for a day?

Ponderosa Tue 16-Apr-13 09:43:28

Spongebob your idea of yourself being a keen reader made me smile. I do too and have a dirty 1p books off amazon habit. Dirty habit that is not dirty books!

I do like to read and have a huge imposing bookcase full of books. I've got rid of a lot but worry about it looking empty and 'wrong' if I were too ruthless. I confess to keeping some books just because they have an attractive spine blush.

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 09:57:02

I love reading too, but I no longer keep hold of (adult) fiction books. I either buy from charity shop, read and return to charity shop or pass onto a friend, or a use my Kindle. Or I borrow books though I don't use library much. I'm always late returning them and get fined. Though maybe the new organised 'minimalist me' might be able to get them back on time???

I still have lots of non-fiction books, but they have been edited! They are my indulgence I guess - those and photos.

After picking the DD's up last night I did a fly by visit to our local Muji shop (with 2 small children - not ideal but the staff helped me) and brought 4 of those lovely big stackable drawers for the bottom of the wardrobe. I think that is what I'm going to go with for clothes and the wooden chest of drawers which drives me crazy, can go eventually.

Decluttering confession alert - my OCD decluttering genius is in my house today while I am at work. She is swapping some furniture around and goodness knows what else - she is very clever! I pay her - and she is worth every penny. So it will be really exciting going home tonight.

I have a bag of electrical bits to drop off in the specific electrical recycling bin today and 2 spring coats for the dry cleaners. Stuff is happening!

Cristiane Tue 16-Apr-13 11:09:08

Argh I just realised I have to travel for 3 days next week so no go, but perhaps the week after smile

My mum is home at mine today and just asked me if she could try to declutter all the small toys and stuff. Seems to me a fab idea as the girls are out of the way and she won't be so emotionally attached. I wish I didn't have to work so much!!

becool I love the idea of having less to look after. When I travel I feel so organised and just have what I need with me. I love hanging things up in hotel and seeing so few things. I must hold on to that thought

Cristiane Tue 16-Apr-13 11:10:00

Muji is a fab idea. I wonder if they sell online
I love their stuff

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 11:26:30

Muji do sell online & they are brilliant.

Now I have got so much stuff out of the flat, we are moving into phase 3 of this journey now.

Phase 1 was me having a mild declutter/clean/reorganise (inc ExP moving out) and grouping like with like.

Phase 2 was CleverOCDDeclutteringFriend coming to help - this is when the serious decluttering started, and rooms started to change shape. I began to feel like my flat is being transformed and can once again be a wonderful bijou home for us 3.

Phase 2 is slowly winding down after 3 intense weeks.

Phase 3 is about to start. Bringing in some new pieces, like the Muji drawers and stuff, to best organise what I have left in the available space.

I'll continue to enlist Minimalist principles to get rid of even more stuff.

Some pieces of crappy furniture will go and slowly be replace by stuff that I LOVE, NEED and will USE (which is a change from the old principles of is it CHEAP, and can I get it in the flat and How much CRAP will fit inside) smile

MinimalistMommi Tue 16-Apr-13 11:27:51

becool what did your decluttering friend do yesterday??? Tell us!!

Cookbooks: I own one, the Bero cooking book that my mum gave me, anything else I need I google it.

I'm struggling at the moment with my DC's spreading stuff around in the hour and a half before we leave for school and not picking up, then I open the door after the school to a mess. sad

Any suggestions?

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 11:27:54

Cristiane work interferes with my decluttering too!

But is is now really lovely coming home to an emptier cleaner, and less dusty flat.

MinimalistMommi Tue 16-Apr-13 11:28:34

after the school run that should have read

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 11:42:16

MM it's today - DOCDDF (Dear ODC Decluttering Friend) is busy working away now as I type.

She is taking huge (ie too big for room) wooden chest of drawers out of bedroom and putting it into front room. Eventually it will be replaced with wall cabinets/TV thingy. All bits and bobs from front room will go in here for now.

So smaller Habitat cupboards are going from front room into bedroom. She has the Muji boxes to use too. All remaining clothes (mine & 2 x DD's) will be gorgeously folded and put into new 'system'.

Habitat cupboards will also be released very soon - but for now I feel it's important to do this step by step. ie Stuff out, have a think about what I want and need, then replace furniture etc as the vision shapes up.

I don't often 'get' what DOCDDF is doing, but I have learnt to trust her and let her go for it - cause she is good!

Basically kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/hall have all be decluttered, with any remaining homeless 'bits' forced into the living room. Then I can really see what is left that I want to keep that needs a home. And then I can throw everything else out smile

I have filing system/paper work to finish off this week. We are taking a break this weekend - apparently there is more to do on a Sunday that clean and collect stuff for charity shops.

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 11:53:04

MM do your DC only get stuff out after they are ready for school? (DD1 can only do other stuff once she is 100% ready with coat/bag etc ready to go too).

Could you set a reminder/alarm for 10 minutes before you leave the house and then set them a 'tidy up' challenge so they can put everything away themselves and if anything is left out it goes in the bin - probably too harsh?

With DD1 (5) especially I've been getting her involved and I'm getting her putting her stuff away herself -which I always tried to do, but she was OBC (overwhelmed by crap) too. Now she can feel the difference I think it will be easier for her. Slowly slowly slowly.

sommewhereelse Tue 16-Apr-13 12:14:53

I'm in awe of anyone who could fit DC tidying up into the before school routine.
I don't know if I mentioned our house was empty for over a year before we moved in. So there is lots of stuff to get rid of in the garden: hideous pots full of weeds, ivy, nettles. We used to have a nettle corner in our old garden for biodiversity but this garden is too small for that.
I'm not attempting any sorting projects in the house while the weather is good but this weekend DH is going to sort out some hooks for storing the gardening tools so we'll get rid of anything for gardening that we don't use.

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 12:26:16

garden hooks Love these!

wendybird77 Tue 16-Apr-13 13:35:25

Ponderosa talk to me about your shaving mirror - I need one to go in the shower for DH so he'll stop moaning about how horrible it is for him that he has to shave and how long it takes so that he can get ready more efficiently.

BeCool - out of curiosity, if you don't mind sharing, how much does your friend charge? Excellent to get her in while you are at work. I also want a full report when you get home!

I'm still doing small bits while we have FIL here. They moved the playhouse and put it up on some pavers today - which is great. We really need to pay some attention to the garden - there are random bits of wood / pallets / and all sorts of toys and sticks randomly strewn about. I confess I haven't even peeked in the 4 (!) sheds left by the previous owners. I am absolutely certain they are filled with crap.

For now I have a bag ready for the charity shop tomorrow. I've also been looking for stacking coffee mugs that I like for the kitchen so I can get rid of the others. I also need glasses which will stack nicely.

TallulahTwinkle Tue 16-Apr-13 14:17:28

Just marking my place for later - I aim to do some serious decluttering on this thread smile

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 14:18:53

welcome TT!!

Inspiring How To - 15 great decluttering tips

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 14:23:14

Wendybird she charges between £150 - £300 per day, depending on the client & situation. But I am blessed in that she is charging me a lot less. I couldn't afford £150 per day!

Having said that if you CAN afford some help DO IT!! I have 2 young DC and I work FT. Having help has ment I can transform my place over a few Sundays when DC are with their Dad. She has vision, drive and works really hard. There is no way I could have achieved close to half of what we have on my own.

AdoraBell Tue 16-Apr-13 16:08:49

Slacking this week, but I will read your links BeCool, at least nothing is coming in while I'm taking a break.

I have decluttered the fridge of over-date half-used bottles of cooking sauces, glazes etc. The powers that be have reinstated the local recycling point so now we don't have an 80km round trip, I can include it in shopping trips when I get groceries.

MrsPennyapple Tue 16-Apr-13 16:11:29

Welcome Tallulah!

It's slow going here. Mostly my fault, as I just haven't been arsed really. It's hard to remain motivated when DP finds all sorts of reasons why we mustn't get rid of this or that item (that never gets used). The most recent item is a beautiful polished wooden box that contains two untouched packs of cards and a few dice. I had never even seen it before last week when I came across it in a box of DP's stuff that's tucked away in a cupboard. He says we should keep it as we might want to play cards one day, or DD might. <sigh>

I won't get rid of DP's things without asking him, but my god it's tempting sometimes.

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 16:16:17

MrsP would the dated box method help with your DP? Put these 'treasures' in a box, date it, put it in loft (if you have one) and make a diary note for one years time. If he needs to get something out of the box before the year is up, he can keep it. If the year passes without going into the box (he probably wouldn't even remember what is in there) then the whole unopened box goes to charity?

(I haven't played cards for a while, but I did keep one deck - threw 2 away)

MrsPennyapple Tue 16-Apr-13 17:22:28

Oh, I wish BeCool! DD is currently 20mo, I'm not sure exactly when kids start playing card games, but it's not going to be within the year! I think he thinks that if something isn't in the way, what's the harm in keeping it? If it was just a pack of cards, I'd keep them too, but it's the fact that it's an expensive looking gift set, a charity shop could get a decent bit of money for it.

We do need to start sorting out the spare bedroom though, as DD will be moving into there soon, and it needs insulating and decorating first, so it NEEDS to be clutter-free as soon as possible.

After my last post I went upstairs and collected all the charity shop stuff and sorted through it (just sorting the sale-able clothes from the rags), and have now put it at the bottom of the stairs, where it will be in the way, so I will definitely get it out fo the house tomorrow. I also added a few bits to it, without even having to look for things, really.

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 17:26:04

Ah MrsP that made me laugh - your card playing toddler smile

80sMum Tue 16-Apr-13 17:30:26

Thanks for all the inspiration on this thread! I have so much stuff to sort out I hardly know where to start. I love the idea of little and often! I think that's where I was going wrong before, kept seeing the whole big problem and it looks too big and daunting all at once.
I will start small and see if I can fill one bag at a time till it's done.
Got rid of some big stuff on freecycle a few weeks ago. Felt like a weight being lifted off!
I'm feeling quite positive after reading this. Feels like a may actually one day get my house sorted out!

Sokmonsta Tue 16-Apr-13 17:37:43

Out with the old... Today I removed several bags of outgrown clothes, two bikes, a ride on and 2 pushchairs to storage. Some to store for when dts are bigger. Most to carboot once I've got enough stuff organised/warmer weather.

In quite a positive decluttering mood now just seeing things out of the way. And I know where the storage unit is and how to access it so I can get rid of more stuff while dh is at work (and doesn't realise it's going missing).

MrsPennyapple Tue 16-Apr-13 18:25:26

Wow, I bet that's made a noticable difference, Sok!

takeaway2 Tue 16-Apr-13 18:30:39

Can I join you? I'll read the entire thread later but thought I'd join in anyway.

I've been doing a throw one thing away the last couple of weeks and its been great! I gave a h&m bag full of boys clothes mostly good quality to a friend whose son is same age but smaller. I have another bag for girls clothes for another friend which will go hopefully end of this week and I have a charity bag on the go.

I'm determined to get rid of one thing a day. Doesn't really matter what it is but it needs to go into one of those bags or the bin. It's been pretty good going! Need more inspiration! grin

Sunnywithshowers Tue 16-Apr-13 18:45:13

Hello all

I've been lurking and inspired - today I sorted out my wardrobe and have 8 carrier bags of clothes and gubbins to take down there tomorrow, which is a good start. I'm hoping to inspire DH to have a chuck out because he's a hoarder sad

Does anyone have any tips for getting rid of masses of tights? I've gone up a size, and have a drawer full of mainly opaque tights I can't seem to bear to chuck.

sommewhereelse Tue 16-Apr-13 19:59:16

Welcome to all the new people. There seems to have been a surge in interest recently. Perhaps it's the spring weather.

Sokmonsta Tue 16-Apr-13 20:24:37

Use your tights to store rolls of wrapping paper, cut them up to make ties - like elastic bands. Garden ties, storing bulbs/onions in. Put oats in the foot and tie the leg to your bath tap for a nice bath? Use them to make little potpourri sachets to make your drawers smell nice?

Maybe someone you know could use them for any of the above.

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 16-Apr-13 20:41:27

Thanks to all for their suggestions! I think throwing away the boxes without opening them would consume me with guilt - you never know what is in them so I am not sure a charity shop would welcome them unsorted! I may tell them I am on a zen minimalist journey though.. grin

SimoneDeBeaver Tue 16-Apr-13 21:01:55

I've been doing bits and pieces over the last few weeks and it feels great. smile

I've finally sorted through all our books. Took boot-load to 2nd hand bookshop and came away with a cheque, then the rest to Oxfam. Then I even alphabetised the remains. grin

Children's clothes to friends or charity.

My only block is DH, who is a hoarder extraordinaire. He has his special areas of the house that I don't want to know about, but is resisting me chucking chipped every-day china which I'm fed up of using. He wants to keep it for a fantasy seaside cottage that we will never might one day own hmm

Ponderosa Tue 16-Apr-13 21:13:53

Hello to all other newbies.

WendyBird I've ordered this one from amazon. This one has very good reviews but is a bit smaller and I fear DH would moan it wasn't big enough.

I've also ordered one of these to minimise the view of the ridiculous tangle of cables in the living room.

I am supposed to be staying away from amazon blush

ilovespongebob Tue 16-Apr-13 21:33:15

sommewhereelse It could be that you are a nice friendly and supportive bunch!

I emailed my younger DS school last night and had a reply from the Deputy Head to say they would love to have any books, audio books, Geomag etc. Result! I have a PTA meeting next week so will use the weekend to sort out as much stuff for the school and deliver to them next week.

AdoraBell Tue 16-Apr-13 23:09:05


Re the chipped crockery, when I get a cold I can be unbelievably clumsy, I can't count the times I've dropped/knocked a chipped cup/plate off the work surfacewink

BeCool Tue 16-Apr-13 23:52:21

sunny Chuck out the tights!!! Chuck out the tights. Yes it feels a waste. Yes it feels wrong. Yes it feels uncomfortable. They are useless to you, yet you keep them. This is hoarding. This is a blockage. Easily overcome with a single action.

I promise you, you will feel amazing when you stop clucking over the tights (my expression from personal experience) allow yourself to free up the space they take in your home and bin the tights. grin

And in the future you will buy less tights.

AdoraBell Wed 17-Apr-13 02:46:08

This arvo I've realised that I have OH's cold, so tomorrow I'm going to peruse all those helpful links from BeCool while doing not much at all.

Got a real boost this morning, a new - honest - estate agent came to do photos. She had waited for us to clear some crapula out and make the place look presentable. People, she was impressed grin

Disclaimer, that ^^ makes it look like I distrust estate agents, which I don't. Problem is in Chile people will send you the wrong way rather than admit they don't know the way and cannot help you. This extends to estate agents who will tell you the house looks great even when it's totally wrong for the market, so as not to cause offence.

Sokmonsta Wed 17-Apr-13 07:41:39

Morning! Feeling good for continuing decluttering today. Continuing with pruning the Dc's clothes after a trip to the drs. Jabs day for dts and if they're anything like the bigger two, this means they will sleep for the better part of the day so should get a reasonable amount done, if ds let's me. Then it will be another trip to storage Friday once the bigs are at school/preschool.

I actually need to tidy storage unit! Will be easier without dh as I can tidy it so our friend's stuff is one side and ours the other, rather than his being scattered everywhere! I sometimes wonder but I know he is exactly the same as me and space reflects how his mind feels. Except he refuses to get help for it.

LemonBreeland Wed 17-Apr-13 09:28:39

ponderosa I like that cable unit. I hate all of the cables at the back of the tv, and now that I have less furniture in the living room they are more visible.

The tights thing rings true for me, as much as I chucked out loads of old socks and pants, my drawer is still overflowing with too many tights as they are in good condition. I resolve to throw them out tonight when I get home.

I sold two more items on FB yesterday, so more money in my pot and more items out of my house.

Sokmonsta you seem to be making great progress atm, and when you have little ones it is particularly hard.

BeCool I feel like I should rope in a friend to help me be more ruthless. I used to do this as a child. I had a friend who would help me tidy my bedroom and I would help her, it made it so much easier, and less boring.

I sorted through some of DS2s clothes at the weekend and chucked anything that wasn't likely to be worn again. I need to do that with DS1 too. DD not so much as hers go immediately she outgrows them, although she is a rather teeny toddler so her stuff seems to last ages.

It is interesting to see how many of us have OHs who block the progress we would like to make.

Simone would you really want the chipped crockery in a fairytale beach cottage anyway? I have stopped asking DH unless it is something specifically belonging to him or he might use. He is getting more on board anyway though.

BeCool Wed 17-Apr-13 09:48:16

Huge cheers for Lemon the tight thrower!!!
Please can you tell me about selling stuff on FB? How does this work? I don't want to sell to my friends though I do have a few larger pieces I'd like to sell to locals - collection only stuff.

So I got home last night and DOCDCF had been working away like a mad woman all day. She had swapped furniture over (bedroom & living room), rearranged living room furniture, washed all the walls and floors etc. But actually she doesn't declutter while I'm not there - as it's my decision what goes. But still she did a great job & achieved loads.

But I got a huge shock on arriving home - she had taken down a large structure I had in the living room. It was designed as a CD holder (for 600 cd's), but we used it for 'nice things' and 'bits and bobs' - she had taken if off the wall, dismantled it and put all the crap that was in it in my 'pile to declutter'. This job had to be done - the wall it was on is needed for the new wall cabinets (eventually). I just got a huge shock. It took me a couple of hours to come right. I'm now glad it's gone and that I didn't have to do it - it would have been so hard for me.
It's amazing how emotional this can get.

I can see the front room shaping up well now - still has my crappy furniture in it, but everything is shaping up & we are testing the new layout at the moment. I can start to visualise how it will be. Half the room looks great, half the room has stuff for me to declutter and find homes for.

I have an entire FREE SHELF in set of shelves in hallway - unprecedented. And ATM I have nothing to shove there smile I just look at it and grin grin like a mad woman.

The Muji containers I brought to use in the bedroom for clothes are too big so I need to take them back on the weekend and get the slightly smaller size. But I can see how they will work and its going to be brilliant. I did dither about changing them - the smaller ones are only 10cm less in length but will mean they will fit perfectly, rather than just be OK. Then I realised if I'm putting all this time and money into sorting my flat out, I need to do it well, not half arsed & I will swap the drawers. DOCDCF jumped up and did a jig around the room when I made this declaration - "you are brilliant, you are changing, you are getting it".

It does feel bloody good to have a personal cheerleader at this stage of my life.

Happy decluttering everyone!

BeCool Wed 17-Apr-13 09:58:05

Todays inspiring link on minimalism: 10 Reasons Minimalism Might Be Right For You
I really like this blog - inspiring and thought provoking

LemonBreeland Wed 17-Apr-13 10:36:00

BeCool where I live there is a local selling page on Facebook. Just search for one in your area.

I started with a baby sales page for pushchair and baby stuff, but I am now on a general one for my local town. It is great.

MinimalistMommi Wed 17-Apr-13 10:39:25

I've just done a 20/10 UFYH. In that time I managed to vacuum downstairs, do breakfast dishes, and take a load from the washer and stick it on to dry. When I've finished my break, I'm going up to the DC's room to tidy but I will take a decluttering bag with me so any rubbish/decluttering bits can go straight in.

Had a little 'Win' this morning with regards to DC spreading stuff around before school. I gathered it all in a heap before I went up stairs to help younger DC get dressed and the popped the bits and pieces away while she was dressing. Also did similar thing last night after school, I presented older DC with a tray with bits that needed to be returned to their homes and she put them away for me grin

Sunnywithshowers Wed 17-Apr-13 10:40:08

I've yet to face down the tights... but I put another scarf in the charity shop bag this morning. smile

MinimalistMommi Wed 17-Apr-13 10:43:24

My breaks over, now off to run another load of laundry and start tidying/decluttering upstairs! grin Feeling motivated today!

BeCool Wed 17-Apr-13 10:51:03

MM what is "20/10 UFYH"?

Good work re getting DC to put stuff away! My DD1 is getting really great and cooperative with this - although places we keep some stuff is still changing at the moment. She is loving the new streamlines place.

MinimalistMommi Wed 17-Apr-13 11:12:22

BC I bought the app from this blog: unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com/

I find it really motivated me to tidy up/declutter. Basically it works on the simple principle off twenty minutes straight work and ten minutes break and you use blocks of time like this to get you house straight/decluttered etc. Before and after pictures on the blog are very motivating.

Just been working on the children bedroom, they have very minimal toys but its still though keeping a small space tidy! I'll need to do another 20/10 in there later as its not finished yet.

I was pleased I could get the DC's stuff away this morning but the dishes were still left (I popped it all on a tray so I didn't look so bad). I just can't do dishes as well as tidying before school!

MinimalistMommi Wed 17-Apr-13 11:13:22

though should have read tough blush

BeCool Wed 17-Apr-13 11:36:01

ooh my reply has disappeared!!!

the 20/10 is a great idea. I've used 15 min timer successfully (a la FlyLady).

I'm very proud that I now usually get the following done in the morning (that I didn't used to do):
Make bed - I have a duvet so this takes about 20 seconds.
Washing up - usually there isn't much there and its so nice to come home to clean kitchen.
These 2 simple acts make me feel fantastic!!! And they make me feel like I can make positive changes in my life without sacrifice.

I'm also working on incorporating FlyLady's Swish & Swipe into my regular routine.

MrsPennyapple Wed 17-Apr-13 11:52:56

Sounds like some amazing progress going on here. (Just not in my house.)

I spoke to DP about the loft last night, as I've never been up there. I asked him if it's in a fit state to store things, and he said it's not, it could be made suitable, it just will cost a bit of money we don't currently have. He did say there is an area under the floor that is bone dry and would be suitable.

We have loads of pictures lying around, that are unlikely to ever go up on the wall. I'd like to get rid of them but DP would like to have them valued, but he won't actually DO ANYTHING about it, so they are just sitting around, under our bed and the bed in the spare room. There is also a train set which I think was given to DP rather than being thrown away, it's not his hobby or anything. I asked about putting this stuff under the floor, and he said maybe, but it would probably never see the light of day again. I think he would rather it sit under the floor for the rest of eternity than get rid of it.

I think I'm fighting a losing battle here. He still has stuff stored in his parents' garage, he has no idea what's there, but now and again his mum mentions it, and he makes it clear (to me) that he has no intention of even looking at it.

Argh, this has turned into a completely unhelpful, pointless post. Sorry folks.

MinimalistMommi Wed 17-Apr-13 11:53:08

BC my DH makes our bed each morning and each DC makes their own beds so that's covered each day. I just struggle with doing breakfast dishes, slicing our homemade bread for toast/sandwiches/making packed lunches/dishing out cereal/eating my own breakfast/encouraging DC to get dressed etc etc. we wake at seven and leave house by 8.30/8.35 each day. There's no way I can do lunch boxes night before, only just manage to cook meal, put ingredients into bread maker etc.

MinimalistMommi Wed 17-Apr-13 11:54:39

Mrs I wish I could help in someway, it must be terribly frustrating. I wold make me feel very angry. I wish I could do something to help you.

BeCool Wed 17-Apr-13 12:08:08

Mrs that is tough. My ExP was so resistant to change I can't see that we would have got this happening as a team. There are certain advantages to being on my own in that I get to make all the decisions - for better or worse.

MM you make your own BREAD! wow! You don't have to wash up in the am grin

MinimalistMommi Wed 17-Apr-13 12:19:58

BeCool it's only because I'm really fussy about bread, I grew up with homemade bread, my mum used to make it by hand most days shock
I have a Panasonic bread asked and the bread that comes out is lovely grin I just wish it cold slice itself grin

MinimalistMommi Wed 17-Apr-13 12:20:23

could not cold blush

LemonBreeland Wed 17-Apr-13 12:27:26

Mrs that is so annoying and would really drive me crazy. I'm all for DH keeping items he has a reason to keep and really wants. But to have stuff that your DH won't even look at is incredibly frustrating.

MM I like the 20/10 thing. I do use flylady 15 min timers too.

MinimalistMommi Wed 17-Apr-13 12:30:52

Lemon I love the 20/10 thing. I've done three lots of 20/10 this morning and it has made me feel so positive. The house is clean plus I've got a bag of rubbish from around house to go into recycling. I think I'm going to make myself a tea and go and do another 20/10.

Shesparkles Wed 17-Apr-13 12:44:44

*So when I started slowly decluttering I had a "to ebay" box. Which grew and grew, which took over the hallway and which became a huge physical and mental obstacle to me.

I felt a huge personal burden to 'ebay' this stuff, to claw some money back, to build up my PayPal account etc - and why not? I had lots of great stuff to sell, some of it new. I had at least £200 sitting there, probably more.

My point is it became another obstacle, another HUGE blockage in the route to decluttering, and to sorting out my flat.

So if you can just list it, sell it, post it - no problems. But if like me, the duty/obligation "to ebay" becomes an obstacle/burden on your decluttering journey, then I would recommend just taking it ALL to the charity shop.

I cannot describe to huge sense of relief and positivity that came from giving myself permission to let someone else sell it & earn money for charity. I don't think I'd be at the point I am today if I hadn't done that. *

This. This is me. I'm bagging it all up and taking it to the charity shop this afternoon. I'm fed up of it looking at me

MrsPennyapple Wed 17-Apr-13 12:47:42

Yep, it drives me crazy. It's not as if there is loads of stuff, he's not a hoarder, I know others have a lot worse to deal with. It's just frustrating.

ArtemisatBrauron Wed 17-Apr-13 13:10:33

What is the 20/10 thing? Intrigued!

Sunnywithshowers Wed 17-Apr-13 13:12:34

YY another one with an Ebay 'obligation'. I now take it to the charity shop and am happy to think the money is going to their work (plus gift aid).

We took the bags we sorted out yesterday to the shop today. It's mainly clothing and mainly in good nick. DM is coming round to stay tonight so won't be doing any more today, but I'm already making plans... there are some presents I've been hanging on to for years which are on my hit list.

DH is a hoarder, which is very frustrating. Mmm....

BeCool Wed 17-Apr-13 13:21:27

Yay SheSparkles
Please report back after the (personal) revolution!!

BeCool Wed 17-Apr-13 13:23:37

Art re 20/10 see - MinimalistMommi Wed 17-Apr-13 11:12:22

BeCool Wed 17-Apr-13 13:25:30

Sunny - what's happening with those tights? Are they in the bin yet?

LemonBreeland Wed 17-Apr-13 13:42:44

BeCool I love that you are on here giving missions and keeping at people so they don't waver. Loving your style! grin

BeCool Wed 17-Apr-13 13:47:47

Lemon Cheers! I'm taking wee MN breaks as I work and wondering if there could possibly be a job where I get to wander around the www all day and get well paid?

I'm aware of the major advantage I have in having my own personal cheerleader on this "deep cleaning decluttering get home in order" mission I'm on - she makes me feel like I CAN DO IT! I get excited. I just want to pass some of that on. (I'm bossy by nature can't you tell?)

AdoraBell Wed 17-Apr-13 14:38:39

I also use the Flylady system, it's made a huge difference as I'm no longer looking at an entire house. Bite size chunks are sooo much more manageable. I understand the eBay blockage, I used to get that with recycling. Selling things here in Chile is much harder, so it all gets donated. Some people have said I could sell it when we move back, but that means hoarding, oops I meant storing, it and then paying to ship it back, and then get rid of it. If we sell the house here.

cappuccinodays Wed 17-Apr-13 14:40:28

I have been following this threat but havent posted on it.. until now :-)
I have been having BIG clearout. Monday, I went to the skip 5 times. Taken about 15 bags of clothes to charity.. just got rid of all of ds, now 5 baby clothes and all the other baby "stuff".. have also being ebaying.
getting rid of other stuff following divorce... I originally put it in the loft so i didnt have reminders and memories and now it is getting sorted through.. not so painful now, just a little sad...
My attic has been mamoth, stuff from 10 yrs ago.. after going to skip so many times, it hardly looked and different!
anyway i am keeping going.... imagining a clear loft bar xmas decorations!
good luck everyone.. i sorted another 5 bags of rubbish today and 2 bags of clothes for charity..:-)

dawntigga Wed 17-Apr-13 14:42:25

Waves to all, I've cleared out my work room and got rid of tons of stuff. Once my fabric stash is at a manageable size I shall only be buying fabric for projects and then doing them.


AdoraBell Wed 17-Apr-13 14:54:14

Well done both Tigga and Cappucino

BeCool Wed 17-Apr-13 14:54:43

hello all newbies!

<ignores DawnTigga as mention of fabric stash has me all twitchy. I just want to come over and see what you are clearing out and take it all back to my place>

Sigh! - some of these old habits are harder to break than others.

cappuccinodays you must really be starting to see a big difference!!

BeCool Wed 17-Apr-13 15:06:09

<waves softly to Tigga ignoring any mention of stash>

LemonBreeland Wed 17-Apr-13 15:36:51

BeCool I hesitated to use the word bossy, as didn't want to be rude, but sometimes that is what people need. Someone being a bit forthright with them and telling them to let go. grin

SimoneDeBeaver Wed 17-Apr-13 16:11:39

Oh yes, the ebay obligation thing grin

I have got over it very quickly really. I am Queen Charity Donator on our high street now.

Adora I am very clumsy anyway, especially at the end of holidays and catching up on work, but I think DH may smell a rat if 10 chipped plates suddenly had an accident grin But you're absolutely right about not wanting chipped things in our fantasy cottage.

wendybird77 Wed 17-Apr-13 16:47:06

I think we need a mini support thread for those of us trying to do this with DPs who hoard / get in the way. DH and I had a row yesterday about pans. It has been on-going and is so inane it is driving me to distraction. We bought an induction hob, after much debate as he didn't want to replace pans (despite my offer to buy him nice new pans). Long story short I bought new pans (with my money), he pitched a fit, and I've dug my heals in. The solution is to have his and hers pans. I kid you not. I have a drawer and he has a drawer. His are not dishwasher safe and don't work on our new hob without a plate thing to go under the pan. If he thinks I'm going to wash them he is insane. Also his don't all fit in his drawer which I don't think he's figured out yet. I've hit the end of my rope entertaining his stupid attachment to pans though. I think this is the first impasse we've had in our marriage and I am very curious to see how long he'll keep up with washing his own pans. <evil laugh> <unreasonable cow who isn't going to share her new pans to make a point>

Next up is the giant box of crap in a taped up box under the spare bed. I'm going to put it on the floor on his side of the bed where it is not visible to me, but will be in his way until he sorts it out. <had it up to my eyeballs trying to be diplomatic about the amount of crap he won't get rid of, but doesn't use or know he has>

Swanning off to make some tea with my new pans now...grin

Hello all. Just back after unexpected dash down to see dps. Dad is no longer critical ( thanks to mum and carers going in and actually feeding him and getting medication down him?) but is still quite poorly. Mum is exhausted but finding it hard to sleep and when she couldn't sleep spent time clearing out cupboards and finding random crap interesting things to give to me and my sister. I managed to only come back with one book so I didn't think that was too bad considering! ( Mum especially wanted me to have it as her mother had given it to her when I was born!!)
Guess what though - now "shunt consultant" is back off holiday, the consultant who is looking after my Dad's general hospital care and whom I spoke to last Friday is now ...on holiday!! Meanwhile the GP who manages the ward dad is on ( GP lead community hospital) is now back off holiday! Dad is currently in community hospital S, he needs a brain scan at hospital G ( 8 miles away) and then a possible trip to hospital F (30 miles away) to see shunt consultant if he thinks from the result of scan that if might be worth turning up his shunt! We are hoping the appointments will happen quickly!!

I'll be back to catch up properly on this thread when I'm less at sixes and sevens.

Shesparkles Wed 17-Apr-13 17:48:11

Is done!

And yes, I feel a LOT better for getting it out of the house! grin

ilovespongebob Wed 17-Apr-13 18:12:30

Sounds like some great progress is going on with everyone.

I can't manage to do much during the week as work and after school stuff etc takes up too much time.

I have however drawn up a hit list of the areas in the house that needs tackling and if it's a big job then broken it down into more manageable jobs. I love crossing things off lists. DH and I write a list on a Friday evening of all the jobs we want to get done over the weekend, even the small stuff like cleaning the shoes. It means that either of us can look at the list and pick a job suited to the amount of time we have. It's great to look at the list on a Sunday evening and see all that has been achieved.

I wish I had a surplus of tights! Struggled to find a matching pair of knee highs this morning smile

lolalotta Wed 17-Apr-13 20:25:02

Just saw an advert for a new series of "The hoarder next door" on channel 4 starting Monday at 9.00pm. I thought it could be quite motivational, lol!!!! grin

MrsPennyapple Wed 17-Apr-13 20:35:47

Glad your dad's improving Arti, hope your hospital appointments go smoothly and produce the results you need.

LimeLeaffLizard Wed 17-Apr-13 21:18:56

I haven't posted much but have been following this thread and found it really inspiring. Thanks so much to you all! BeCool you are great at keeping everyone going!

I also have small children and since their arrival have found it hard to keep the 'stuff' under control, despite being a tidy person by nature. Since reading this thread and a couple of the blogs that were linked, I have decluttered:

- the bathroom cabinet - chucked really old bottles stuck at the back
- the bath toys - chucked really old manky ones and donated a few newish ones (the remainder fit in their storage box now!)
- my wardrobe - huge bag of my old work clothes to go to charity
- DS3's drawer - bag of last summer's clothes given to a friend's toddler
- the toddler shoe pile - big bag taken to recycling point
- two coats hanging on side of wardrobe - not worn for years - gone to oxfam
- paperwork from a course I did - mostly chucked but a few key papers filed away

I thought I would join as we are having a sort out ready for the move to a new house. we are currently going through the loft sorting out the junk so we don't just transport it to the next house, anything we haven't used in this house is under consideration for moving out.

I am normally good at keeping things sorted but this is a big go and is fun.

some other things I'm also doing
- looking critically at pictures on the wall to decide if they are coming with
- de-ornamenting
- being ruthless with clothes.

a couple of other tips which make things feel better even if they are not a big deal
- unsubscribe from emails you don't really enjoy getting - its emptied my email box
- put a no junk mail sticker on the front door so you are not endlessly varying stuff to the recycling bin
- clear purse of things you don't need inc loyalty cards you rarely use
- empty crap off front of fridge it looks better!

think that's all I can think of!!

LimeLeaffLizard Wed 17-Apr-13 21:27:42

lolalotta - I saw 'the Hoarder next door' this week - it was great. I love the fact they try to support the Hoarder emotionally as well as physically sort the stuff out.

grin at Wendy and the pans! You write it in a funny way... but it is a serious hindrance to live with someone who doesn't take responsibility for their 'stuff'.
The only place in our house which is 100% organised by DH is the garage - it is a tip. Full of stuff that he keeps in case he needs it one day - especially DIY type stuff - but stored so chaotically that he can't find it when he does need it so goes and buys another one. I think I'll wait a bit before trying to persuade him to tackle it!

AdoraBell Wed 17-Apr-13 21:55:22

Simone baby steps, one plate at a timegrin

Arti really good To hear that DF is improving, fx for the appointments.

Sunnywithshowers Wed 17-Apr-13 22:26:47

spongebob I'd be happy to send you some if you pm me your address? They're medium-sized.

Arti best wishes for your DF.

becool am on it (^^see above smile)

ilovespongebob Wed 17-Apr-13 23:19:09

Thanks sunnywithshowers I think they might be a bit small for me!

I have a bag with all the knee highs in (my DM calls them pop socks), I tipped the bag out this morning to try and find a matching pair and in my rush didn't put them back, so this evening my DH very helpfully pulled back the bed covers and they all fell like confetti around the bedroom, so now tomorrow morning I will be scrabbling around the floor looking for a pair!

Hello limeleaf!!! Lovely to see you again! (apologies for slight tangent) when did you have your baby? Dd was born three weeks ago but unfortunately we had a bad time of it (crash section). Felt very down and teary since then, hence not posting much.

Ok, on track!

Well, even basics are hard at moment, I live rurally where I even have to drive two miles to put rubbish out, which is a bugger if you can't drive for six weeks!

Have had but if sea change with dvds and done declutterof all but extreme favourites, with about 5_6 left. It suddenly struck nw that it's so easy to stream/rent/buy very cheaply on amazon marketplace that theres not a lot of oint giving house space to them.

Burst into tears yesterday sad landlady came round as has ben doing some repairs on us and neighbouring cottage. The guttering had caved, plus we are countersunk into hillside so camp has been and issue upstairs. Anyway she is considering banning our pulley ceiling dry ing racks. Never mind mind the fact that damp is not a problem where they are located. She wants me to use a tumble dryer instead.

I can't afford to buy one.
I can't afford to run one.
I don't have space for one.

I do two to three loads a day and keeping on to of laundry is my biggest challenge (7 of us in family).

I sobbed for about ten minutes after she left.

Oh gosh, self obsessed post, apologies! blush

ItsAllTLAsToMe Thu 18-Apr-13 07:59:28

Silent mammoth - buy a good dehumidifier instead, or better still, get your landlady to buy one. You agreed to rent the house as it is presumably, not minus clothes drying facilities! I'd email her, as I don't like confrontation, and it will give her a chance to consider your proposal properly.

Yep, I loathe confrontation too , good idea. Hoping that dh will do most talking,!

Sokmonsta Thu 18-Apr-13 09:23:49

Oh mammoth! I had a crash section for dt2 last year so I know your emotions will be all over the place right now.

Definitely email or leave dh to do all the talking - did they leave white goods in the house? If they did would ll be prepared to swap washing machine for washer dryer? They aren't great but if you're doing that much washing it will help out. I wouldn't recommend if you have to buy yourself as they're a bugger when they go wrong voice of experience

Ponderosa Thu 18-Apr-13 09:47:28

Mammoth I'm sure if she wants you to use an alternative drying method she will have to supply and maintain it.

BeCool Thu 18-Apr-13 10:05:19

Sunny what are you going to do with those tights now? grin

Mammoth congrats on your baby. Just rest up best you can. Do what you want but also just what you need to do & don't put too much pressure on yourself ATM - you have enough on your plate.

I would have got upset re the washing/drying too. Landlord can't make you buy and run a dryer. Can your DP deal with her?

I have 10 minuted this morning and looked at the DD's hair tie collection. Got no where with it. Ridiculous!!! I think I'm an afternoon declutterer. I had a friend over last night so didn't do anything, but I will attack the living room collection this evening. I need to be ruthless now - heading into DC territory which I find harder.

I also need to release some DVD's - but I don't have a large collection, but I agree they are unnecessary dust collectors.

Welcome to all the newbies.

dawntigga Thu 18-Apr-13 12:29:30

I'm about to go and sort out my makeup, I'll keep all the eyeshadow as it's all shades I wear but, for the rest, 1 daytime lippy and one night one. 1 brown and 1 black mascara. That is all the rest is getting dumped. If I get through that without backing down I'll go through the jewellery. I've already done my wardrobe.

I will not be throwing anymore books away though. I need my cookery books and now have less than 25% of the books I had and they are all ones I read and read again or non-fiction ones that I use. I now have a Kindle, oh how I love my Kindle, so any books I buy now will be on that.


Sunnywithshowers Thu 18-Apr-13 13:51:39

grin Becool my mum is here, but when she leaves in an hour I'm going to sort out.

I'll keep what fits me, cut some tights up for me as improvised long things to stop my fat thighs rubbing together under skirts (need to declutter my legs too wink) and binning the rest.

I was really pleased last night - we went into town and I saw a bag I gave away in the window of the charity shop. I hope it's not there too long smile

cappuccinodays Thu 18-Apr-13 14:26:08

been in loft again!
Another 2 trips to skip today and charity shop...
I am absolutely knackered.. and come to a bit of a standstill, i really should factor in a break!
In tears as came across wedding stuff in loft, just so sad. I think in my mind i am preparing to move house at some point, hence the big clear out. Even though we separated 2009 and divorced last year, i kind of feel "stuck" living in the marital home still. Stuck in myself i mean...hmmm. no big decisions however i can prepare by doing this clear out!
I can now walk around the loft! there is actual floorspace..horray. However, STILL loads of stuff up there.. getting a bit fed up with it, but i am terrible for not praising myself for what i actually have done...

Asinine Thu 18-Apr-13 14:30:38


That must have been hard, going through the wedding stuff. But at least you've done it! Hopefully it will help you to feel less stuck now.

cappuccinodays Thu 18-Apr-13 14:36:32

I havent as such gone through it, I saw it... and closed the lid :-( 13 years together and all those memories :-( he has moved on with someone else now, but i think part of me will always love him. I cannot bring myself to throw anything away.. I wonder why? so that has been put aside for now and i am decluttering around it...!

BeCool Thu 18-Apr-13 14:59:41

ah cappuccino have a hug.
I find it can be quite emotional too - and I don't have a wedding dress in the loft smile
I guess emotionally we declutter too - declutter bad thoughts, or open old forgotten boxes of emotions that leap out and surprise us, or find we can't part with the strangest seemingly innocuous item.

Keep decluttering around it - you are working your way towards dealing with that box and that dress. Be kind to yourself.

BeCool Thu 18-Apr-13 15:00:56

Sunnywithshowers I just set off down the shops in the sun and got drenched in a hailstorm on the way back! Can you account for your whereabouts in the last hour???

Sunnywithshowers Thu 18-Apr-13 15:07:02

Arf... I have been sitting on the sofa putting off the tights of doom smile

wendybird77 Thu 18-Apr-13 15:10:40

Hello all! And well done to those plowing through it. One foot in front of the other (or one bag at a time) is the only way it gets done.

I was feeling really blah this morning and wasn't planning to do anything. However this thread inspired me and I got to it and have managed to shift some furniture around, sort out a filthy corner of my house, collect a bag of stuff for the tip and another bag for charity shop. I've also packed the car up with stuff already collected for the tip, so I'm off with the kids to get it out of the house / car.

Not taking my own advice I have started shifting stuff to sell out to a bookcase in the annex. I WILL sell it though as it is all high value stuff. I'm just planning to do it all at once when I am finished going through everything in the house.

BeCool Thu 18-Apr-13 15:15:04

Todays inspirational website - thinking of getting paid help?

MummyOfSunbeam Thu 18-Apr-13 16:58:14

A brilliant thread! I M yearning to do some decluttering and can justify t as urgent on the grounds it can make things safer for newly mobile baby too! - less chaos for her to grab and chew! Fingers crossed we make a start this weekend.

V difficult since only have five minutes a day but I like the mantra 'little and often'!

MummyOfSunbeam Thu 18-Apr-13 17:19:14

Becool and Wendy wow that sounds helpful! Dd is seven months and we have an EPIC heap of to-eBay things already and am worrying re when we will get a chance to do it. Helps to know one option is just to ... Not!

MinimalistMommi Thu 18-Apr-13 17:26:26

BeCool that's a great link, keep it up! :D

Hello all.

Latest catalogue of NHS disorganisation and incompetence!

Dad is in hospital S, waiting for a scan in hospital G before he can be seen by neurosurgeon consultant in hospital F. We have been waiting all week for scan appointment. Finally my sister chases up scan dept in hospital G who say they have been trying to contact hospital S to find out what kind of brain shunt Dad has as this might affect their ability to scan him. ( Hospital S seem blissfully unaware of this!). My sister tells scan dept in hospital G to forget about trying to contact hospital S but communicate directly with neurosurgeon's secretary in hospital F, which they do! Turns out that as Dad has a programmable shunt, hospital G are unwilling to scan him with out a neurosurgeon present. There are no neurosurgeons at hospital G, they are all at hospital F! So we have wasted a week, trying to get a totally unsuitable appointment for Dad at hospital G when he needs to go to hospital F for the scan! If my sister hadn't done all the phoning around, we'd still be waiting for appointment at hospital G which wouldn't be happening because they would still be querying the type of shunt!

If any of you pray - please would you do so. I am now feeling so totally stressed! My poor Dad needs better treatment than this -also some other problems that I've not detailed!

BeCool Thu 18-Apr-13 19:12:24

Arti thank goodness your sister called and your Dad has a supportive family. Hope this gets sorted PDQ.
I don't pray but I can send some warm fuzzies.

Arti, my womens bible study group meet on a friday abs we would love to pray for you.

Thanks to all who said nice things; seriously, after four vbs I was not expecting a cs and the flying down the corridor bit scared me silly. keep putting off writing it all down like they told me too.

On a decluttered note, a astoundingly successful day!.dh has amazingly irritating habit of picking ip free (read "rubbish") hovers and storing them "until I fix them". Landlady spotted them todsy and asked if she could have them abs I was delighted to oblige!

Also, looked around the room and decided to ditch four cushions. I have a rule of only buying washable covers for sofas and cushions, and accidentally bought cushions that weren't. Very predictably, they got dirty, I washed them and insides got lumpy. They annoy me every time I see them, so I chucked them.it felt surprisingly liberating!

Someone else commented upthread about sort of revisiting areas and going deeper each time. Anyone else noticing that?

Sokmonsta Thu 18-Apr-13 20:43:58

Oh loves! <waves to new people, apologises for not reading through thread thoroughly to see you all>

Arti - I feel so hurt for you! It's awful that they are so inconsiderate in their treatment of an elderly and sick gentlemen. So many stand up to say they don't believe in euthanasia, yet our nhs damn near condemns people to a half life due to their inadequacy. Actually, I'm angry. So I shall hold thoughts of you and your family close during this awful time.

Decluttering continues. Am weeding out all the twins' feeding things that we have far too many of/no longer use. So what feels like a million weaning pots have gone in a box to go and all but 4 bottles went in the recycle bin. Once I get them the cups I want, the rest will go.

The older dc seem to be collecting cups thanks to Easter. So I am redistributing them amongst the grandparents. My mum is terrible for having my nieces' things at my parents and letting them get all stroppy when one of my dc dares to use their cup/plate/fork etc. so since I have an abundance and it's getting in the way, I shall clutter up my mum's kitchen drawers instead. I know it's not quite in the spirit of Decluttering as I also know my mum is desperate to tidy their house. But I'm damned if my kids are going to be made to feel they aren't as important as their cousins.

However I have also promised mum that once I get on top of my home, I will help her sort theirs out. Since I still have some things there to move/sell/dump, it's not so bad. Although I think I am now just done to some records and a few non-sentimental items.

Question about the sentimental stuff; I have in the loft a box of various ornaments from before I met dh. They don't fit anywhere in our home as they are teeny things, like little wade ornaments. I don't just want to get rid of them as they each have a little story. But I'm just keeping them for no good reason.

I'm going to need to be a big girl and get rid of them aren't I?

Meh, how about a scrap book with picture and story behind it of how it's important? Would that work at all?

wendybird77 Thu 18-Apr-13 21:07:45

Socmonsta Photograph and get rid? At least you can look at the pictures more easily than the actual items in the loft.

Arti I'm so terribly sorry to hear about your dad and all the people who are letting him down. It is so hard, the NHS are so understaffed and too big an institution to be efficient and people really suffer for it.

Silent a big well done to you. I think your successes count for a bit more considering you have a newborn and are recovering from surgery and trauma!

Our new wardrobe arrived this evening. It doesn't fit, so they had to take a section back to make it smaller, but most of it is in now. I've just gone through all my clothes again and found another bag full for charity and some stuff to toss. I still have too much and too much I don't really like / feel good in. I really need to spend some time figuring out an intentional wardrobe and then spend some money putting it together. On the positive side all my clothes / bags / shoes fit in 3 drawers and a small double wardrobe. Progress!

BeCool Thu 18-Apr-13 23:28:04

Sok think not that you are getting rid of them, but you are releasing them into the world to be someone else's treasure!!

MrsPennyapple Thu 18-Apr-13 23:29:50

I managed to actually get down the chazzer with some bags today (can't remember whose phrase that is but I love it)! That's pretty much the sum of my progress today, but better than nothing.

SilentMammoth It seems to take me a few "passes" to get things cleared out. The more I get rid of, the less attached I seem to be to the remaining stuff. It seems like once I start cutting the emotional ties to objects, it has a snowball effect, and things I felt I couldn't get rid of at first suddenly seem less important. I know there have been items that I've kept, that I've later looked at and thought "actually, that can go".

Re: your laundry, I'm pretty sure your landlady can't insist you buy a tumble dryer. She should certainly supply one if she wants you to use one so badly. I'd be tempted to use it to get bulky things like jeans and towels partly dry, but still do the bulk of it on the racks. (A former landlady tried to blame me for dry rot, as her damp, mildewy basement flat was all down to me not having the windows open enough, apparently. I had mentioned the mildew and was told categorically that the flat did NOT have mildew and was NOT damp.)

Also, sorry to hear about your bad time having DD. I hope you feel better soon.

Arti it's no wonder you are stressed, I'm sending you all the positive thoughts I can muster. Your family shouldn't have to be fussing and fretting about all this stuff! You should be able to trust the hospitals in question to co-ordinate your dad's treatment properly!

Cappucino It's bound to be sad coming across your wedding things, under the circumstances. You don't have to sort them out right now. When you're ready to do it, you're ready to do it.

BeCool Thu 18-Apr-13 23:34:44

SM I certainly work in cycles and revisit certain areas again and again. It all depends on my state of mind. I'm stuck on my 30 cookbooks, at least 10 of which I've never used. I also get stuck on toys and need to be in top mental shape to throw away even the crap.
Paperwork has had 2 sorts so far. Needs one more ruthless serious cull and organisation into a state that is manageable moving forward.
I find it hard to have the mental capacity during the week after work.

notcitrus Thu 18-Apr-13 23:48:40

Does anyone else find it difficult rejecting all the advice dinned into by parents? Don't waste. You never know when you might need X. Be prepared. That was.expensive, you know.

The economy has totally changed from when my parents grew up fairly poor and unable to replace items. Now space is expensive and stuff is stupidly cheap. Lots of stuff might cost if I suddenly needed a replacement, but most likely I could find one within a week on Freecycle or social networks.

Trying to get rid of paperwork where the info exists on the internet. Can someone reassure me that printing off your own bank statements is accepted by mortgage companies nowadays? Special offers and coupons need to go in the bin faster, and receipts filed better. I know someone suggested one folder for the whole year, as it's not too hard to flip through, and then shred once a year, but I filled a magazine holder in a couple weeks! And that's with chucking receipts for anything under £20, too. Do I just need to relax about utility companies ripping me off if I can't prove what they've been up to?

Ds is getting really into decluttering, or rather giving loads of stuff to his sister so he has space. Shame she doesn't have her own room yet! We finally have council permission to rebuild our kitchen so should get a date to knock it down soon... Losing two and a half rooms for a few months ought to focus us on getting rid of as much as possible!

sommewhereelse Fri 19-Apr-13 07:23:35

I don't know about paperwork and like you, don't trust the big companies so I still haven't gone digital on bank statements, bills etc. I keep them in ring binders. But I have a lot less ring binders since I started archiving old ones into the kind of archive boxes we use at work (the ones you buy flatpacked). I used to do it by bank/utility provider etc but now I'm doing it by date so one archive box for each year. That way a box can be thrown away without needing to sort.

With card payment receipts, same thing only an envelope for each month of the year. Once the envelope is a year old, I shred and start a new one. Eg I just replaced April 2012 with April 2013. I use small envelopes and all 12 fit in a child's shoe box. When I buy anything of exception at the supermarket eg a microwave, I put it through the till separately so I can keep a small receipt not a long one full of groceries. We keep these in ring binder by theme (white goods, IT, expensive clothes) in case we need them. We don't buy much that isn't consumable so it doesn't take up as much space at is sounds.

It's not a very minimalist approach but it is organised. I'm not worried about space for this sort of thing as I work from home so having an office space I can close the door on is important. The ring binders are all on a special ring binder storage unit in there.

Arti My thoughts are with you.

Arti, hows it going with you and your famil?

BeCool Fri 19-Apr-13 08:17:56

somme. I'm trying to think of an instance when I might need an old bill, let alone one more than a year old? Can't think of one unless perhaps it was a receipt for a cash payment?

I read a great tip re keeping household bills and receipts. Just put them in a box or envelope together by year. No sorting, filing etc required. In the rare event you need to find something just flick through and find it. Takes much less time and space than filing with holes, in order, using tabs etc and you can easily find it when you need it. Receipts and bills can go straight from purse, or post into the system - job done! Maybe have an envelope per year?

Great idea re separate receipts when buying stuff from supermarkets. I'm always throwing them away by accident.

sommewhereelse Fri 19-Apr-13 08:24:30

We try to buy things built to last (not easy with planned obsolescence) so they often have 2 or 5 or even 10 year guarantees on them.

And even when the guarantee is up, we keep the receipts. We're in France and insurance companies here require proof of ownership for anything stolen during a burglary.

notcitrus Fri 19-Apr-13 09:48:51

I think the issue is the amount of computer parts and building materials we buy, all of which come with delivery note, invoice, page of how you paid, guarantee, etc. About 4 a week. And about 20% of orders are wrong or need to be returned.
I'm certainly not chucking out nursery invoices (4 sheets per child per month) as they tend to be random numbers and twice we have had to go back over a year to prove that we paid a certain month. We have a guy trying to reconcile MrNC's 15 pensions, which will cut down that paperwork!
Then there's all the paper relating to onging parking fine appeals, one of which has been going for a couple years, so need to prove where MrNC was, all the correspondence with the council about planning and bulding control for our loft conversion, none of which they seem to keep on file so we have to for the next time they write to us saying "You appear to have an illegal extension. Take it down immediately"...

All boils down to other people being incompetent, doesn't it?

BeCool Fri 19-Apr-13 10:42:07

Some musings on a Minimalist Kitchen

BeCool Fri 19-Apr-13 10:52:47

and 101 Minimalist Meals

I love the concept of minimalist cooking. I think this simple concept will help me get back on track re cooking regularly again, planning meals and buying fresh food as I'm going to use it so it doesn't clutter up my kitchen, or get unused and go off creating expensive rubbish. I really need to address this area of my life.

MrsPennyapple Fri 19-Apr-13 11:22:39

I love the minimalist cooking idea, and I often crave a quick, easy and tasty meal, but having looked through the first 15 or so recipes, so far the majority include no veg!

I do find it's often the veg preparation that takes the time, so I'd happily do without it sometimes, but in terms of providing a balanced diet for the family, perhaps not great for every day.

I am going to go and look at the rest though, as they might be good for lunchtimes (when I don't have to cater for fussy DP).

cappuccinodays Fri 19-Apr-13 12:01:12

thanks for your kind words, Mrs PennyA
Actually feeling a lot better about getting rid of the wedding stuff. It is still there at the moment, but i AM going to do it. I will keep a few things for my ds sake (if he is ever bothered?!) but at the mo i am sorting around it.
well, another load to the skip this morning and another bag sorted. I am exhausted now!
Wondering perhaps if ebay will have zero insertion fees around the May bank holidays to ebay some stuff....

BeCool Fri 19-Apr-13 12:33:27

MrsP- my fav quick and easy meal is - steam a large bowl of broccoli. Add spicy hot sauce. Yum!

dawntigga Fri 19-Apr-13 13:03:18

take 1 frying pan and one pan, 1 pack of sausages, 1 squash and 1 chilli. Peel skin from sos and make them into little meat balls, peel/chop squash into similar size pieces of the sos fry in with chopped chilli until sos and squash are cooked through. Cook pasta in pan and eat.

It's 3 ingredients and if you have pre-cooked noodles you can use them instead.


Thank you for all your prayers, and warm thoughts. It is helping me! I decided last night I just had to keep trying to hand stuff over to God as otherwise it is getting me way too stressed!

Latest on Dad is that the secretary of neurosurgeon in hospital F doesn't think that there are any free slots for scans next week! They apparently "didn't know what services were offered by hospital G" and thought it would be better as it is nearer for Dad to go to!!! - so why didn't they know? My sister is continuing to chase things with secretary and I am trying PALs and seeing if Dad's GP can help at all! This of course is the neurosurgeon who was on holiday for 2 weeks so we've already waited 2 weeks before he could even say he wanted Dad to have a scan ( and apparently no-one else on his team could consider Dad's case in his absence)!!!

Meanwhile I was supposed to have a hospital appointment this morning for a hip problem. When I turned up the clinic was cancelled because "the computer didn't know that Good Friday was a bank holiday so it booked a clinic when it was really Mr X's surgery day!" Of course it is all the computer's fault and there hasn't been any time since Good Friday to let us know about this!!

OK - so does anyone feel like helping me declutter the NHS?!!
I've a few ideas about non-useful and non-beautiful "items" we could get rid of!

I have a joke...

How do you spell "incompetence" and "inertia" ?

Answer ( of course) ... NHS

With apologies for anyone who works for them - there are of course some wonderful people in the organisation, but some not-so-wonderful ones and systems too!!

Sokmonsta Fri 19-Apr-13 14:44:11

Arti I'm so confused its unreal. And I can only imagine your head is spinning too. So the problem with there being a clinic held on Good Friday so mr x didn't do his surgery was what exactly? I doubt all his surgery patients would have been out back two weeks. Although as you've so often said, this is the nhs.

Righto. Today's decluttering has been the wardrobe. More specifically my side of the wardrobe and the clutter in front of said wardrobe.

I have a bag of play-doh to go to the inlaws, two of those pop up things, one for stuff to be returned to the Dc's room and one for items that should be elsewhere in the house - tape dispenser, stationery, medicine. All sorts! And I've not finished yet. However I do have to go and get the children from school soon so the eldest can help and put everything back in their room.

I also have a bin liner of clothes I no longer wear. Mostly because they are too small for me and while I am of the theory that I want to be smaller to fit in them, and not worry about the cost of replacing the stuff I've shrunk out of, at the moment I am having to buy bigger stuff so when the time comes, I'm just going to buy smaller and not put even more pressure on myself right now.

Oh, and there are several more pairs of shoes I've not worn in an age and am not sure if I'm going to wear again. So I have decided they can go too. Again, if I want that type of thing ill buy when I need them. Honestly, did I really need 2 pairs of brown wedges? I've lived in trainers for the best part of the last few years. And even those are gone now!

Sokmonsta - I think the situation was that Mr x always does surgery say every third Friday and clinics on the others but because of Good Friday, waht the computer thought was say a fourth Friday was actually a third one because Good Friday didn't count. Basically it means someone didn't take Good Friday into account when setting up the appointments!

wendybird77 Fri 19-Apr-13 17:26:25

Hi all. I've had productive day today tackling some of the outside mess. Also did a charity shop run and took a boot full of rubble to the tip. I'm hoping the weather holds over the weekend and DH and I can sort the big pile o'trash in our drive. I'm guessing we've got 3 trips to get just that pile cleared (nevermind the sheds of doom.) It would be nice to have the outside of the house looking less like a tip!

Last night after clearing out the wardrobe it really hit me how worn my clothes are and how difficult it is to put anything together to wear. Nearly everything in my wardrobe should probably go bar my little black shift dress and a couple of 3/4 length sleeve ts. Even my jeans are getting holes! I got online and started researching capsule wardrobes and then ordered few things online. I can't afford to do it all at once, but I'm hoping to replace a few things a month over the next few months and then just add as I need to. I hate clothes shopping, so at least on-line takes the stress out of it. I can always send it back if it doesn't fit! I'm feeling really excited about the prospect of having some new things that will actually mix and match as opposed the 4 outfits I currently wear over and over. I need to find some trousers or something besides skinny jeans that I like so that I can vary it a bit.

After I get my head around that, I'm going to gear up and sort out a meal plan / regular shopping list of some sort. We officially start home educating in the autumn, so I have that as a natural deadline for getting the house / home life decluttered and simplified!

Home educating? Oooh, I am sooo jealous! Can you recommend any gourd websites? Although we don't do it formally I do love doing semi formal home learning as an adjunct to our very good school

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Fri 19-Apr-13 20:43:33

Hello all, sorry I've not read through yet but just to say its the end of the week and my car is still clean and stuff free grin

BeCool Fri 19-Apr-13 23:16:15

Wendy - exciting re new wardrobe. Do check style and beauty as well as promotional code threads on mn for deals!!! (If not already)

MinimalistMommi Sat 20-Apr-13 09:33:12

If anyone is after minimalism and simplicity inspiration, they should check out tiny house images, the simplicity and minimalism that goes on is incredible.

wendybird77 Sat 20-Apr-13 10:51:58

Silent there is a thread for websites on the HE section on MN which is pretty good. I'm just a newbie, so am still reading books / getting my head around how I think we will probably work. I think we'll probably do 'unschooling' for the first couple of years - DS isn't even 4 yet, so far too young for formal learning over here! Mostly my plan is to go to HE groups locally and ensure that I'm surrounding them with quality resources and books.

Loves well done! It is the maintaining that is key.

My capsule wardrobe isn't going so well. I ordered several pairs of trousers to try on and have ordered them all in the wrong size. Good old Next though is quick with the delivery! I'll have to exchange them for the correct sizes.

On the positive side DH is upstairs going through his clothes and making a charity pile!

I have de-cluttered something - a candle I was given 3 years ago and have never burned. It's gone in the charity shop bag!

<excited smilie>

Here's to getting myself back on track!

MummyOfSunbeam Sat 20-Apr-13 12:01:38

Wow wow wow - I just tossed five massive archive boxes of old papers! I am a teacher so this stuff multiplies insanely. It took a while but wow! Am going back in again now! (Am only about a quarter through!)

MrsMaryCooper Sat 20-Apr-13 14:17:04

I am new on this thread. I have become concious of the house bursting at the scenes recently so have started decluttering. I put 3 bags to the clothes bank last week 1 bag to a charity shop and have tried to throw something out every day.

I can't see any difference. But I will.

MummyOfSunbeam Sat 20-Apr-13 14:40:07

12 boxes gone. This is addictive! Still in chaotic heap of clutter though smile

sommewhereelse Sat 20-Apr-13 15:15:43

Arti, I have some 10 year old unburned candles in my 'give away' pile.

The basement is a bit clearer but only because we have re-built the trampoline today. It takes up a lot of space in its boxes!

takeaway2 Sat 20-Apr-13 21:07:23

I have put a maternity top(not getting preg again!!) that I randomly found lying around in a drawer, and a pair of trousers I first bought post dc1 into the charity bag. Without much thought grin. And a couple of bits that kids have outgrown into the bag for friend. Found old sandals from my DS which won't fit him anymore but may fit friends son. So will hand them on.

LittleCatZ Sun 21-Apr-13 12:14:41

This is such an inspirational thread - has spurred me on to doing stuff I've meant to do for ages smile
I was contemplating buying a book about decluttering but honestly would that just be another book to find a home for and procrastinating while reading it?! hmm
I love the idea of doing the car as a starting point (today hopefully) and thank you all for sharing tips.
So far I've tackled several bags of rag/pass on that were lurking in front of my wardrobe, although still looking for something I promised to a friend blush
I too have moved and seem to have lots of stuff I need not have moved because I haven't needed much of it and I still have many unopened boxes 5 months in.
Have a friend coming on Friday to my shoes shop for her baby DS!
Most importantly I have resisted the urge to buy new stuff.
My reward will be buying new furniture for new house to store reduced stuff in and knowing if I actually need to buy anything for upcoming holiday or if I can manage it in re-discovered stuff!
Onwards and upwards.

LittleCatZ Sun 21-Apr-13 12:19:15

I too have found maternity stuff - youngest DC is 3.6 blush think I've held on to stuff that was actually comfortable as we all know that is difficult to find in pregnancy and I'm finally letting go of ever having more babies.

Cristiane Sun 21-Apr-13 19:14:28

Well I have done the bathroom... Not much but a start. Dying to take a couple of days off and do more... Hope everyone has had a lovely sunny Sunday

Does anyone have any ideas for bath toy storage?

mazzi2fly Sun 21-Apr-13 20:28:40

Cristiane I use a plastic wastebin for the bath toys.

Cristiane Sun 21-Apr-13 21:22:58

mazzi does it have holes in bottom to drain?

cappuccinodays Mon 22-Apr-13 09:31:20

Trying to get some motivation and energy together to make a start today! I am "decluttered out" after going at it for 2 weeks non stop! Made so much progress though, my main aim is to get the loft clear of all the c**p bar xmas decorations and to get rid of wedding stuff since i am now divorced! will keep updating, however for now, sitting with cuppa :-)

IamMummyhearmeROAR Mon 22-Apr-13 09:37:36

I had 2 of those net bags with suckers on it that attach to the wall tiles for bath toys

BeCool Mon 22-Apr-13 09:50:09

Cristiane I use a coloured woven basket for bath toys. I think designed as a waste paper basket - woven out of plastic strips to it can handle the water and drain and be easily cleaned. I had a bath toy cull and now only toys that fit in the smallish basket remain. They haven't missed a thing.

I put ONE thing on ebay. ONE BLOODY THING! and now it has been 'decluttered' - somewhere in the large pile in the corner of "stuff remaining to go through" (I hope) - its an unused Pregnancy Yoga DVD. I have to find it tonight to post - buyer has paid already!!

Yesterday I returned the too big Muji drawers and came home with a car full of right size drawers. They look fantastic, stack well, hold so much. For the first time DD2's clothes are in the bedroom (they used to be in living room - don't ask).

Put piece of furniture on local FB page to sell - need to get it onto Gumtree too. Once that is gone I will be able to get DD's low table from living room, into bedroom.

Goals this week are to declutter my way to the DVD I sold, and finish off the paperwork.

There is so much energy on this thread - it's amazing. I'm so happy to have such wonderful company on this journey.

Ha - decluttered an old fleece top. Decided it is a) slightly too tight, b)has been washed so often the fleece is no longer very soft and c) has some marks on it that don't come off in the wash! It can go into the "rag for charity" bag.

Still quite slow on the decluttering front but glad to have managed to do those 2 bits!

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Apr-13 12:00:54

So I bought myself a vegetable steamer today which I've been meaning to get for the last couple of years but haven't - I was sort of 'scared' of buying it because it would mean something else in my kitchen cupboard. I know that feeling isn't 'normal' blush

Anyone else felt like this about shopping since 'finding' minimalism?

I feel like I want to reject anything coming into my house! blush bc I find living with less so much easier.

hobnob57 Mon 22-Apr-13 12:04:50

I haven't been able to catch up properly after being away for a while but I'm glad to have found you all again. My mission this week is to rid the house of the bags and a bags of clothes I have decluttered. Easier said than done when I spend all day going back and forth to nursery and school and clubs or feeding various children. I'm going to look into collection companies today.

Our 3rd dc is in a bedroom which was previously a sibling's and an office prior to that. It has a sloped roof so when we girls moved in we covered a wall with shelves to maximise the storage space since there is little useable wall space for furniture. But now these shelves are a clutter magnet. The room is half the baby's and half a play room. My kids are appalling at tidying up despite my best efforts and I think the shelves add to the problem because more stuff is visible and that ends up on the floor, and when tidy up time comes it gets shoved in any old place and looks awful. I am loathed to replace functional furniture because it seems like a waste of money but I am coming round to the idea of beautiful being much better for the soul. Does anyone have any reasonably priced toy storage ideas? I'm thinking tubs or baskets, perhaps. Plastic tubs are cheap and practical but not beautiful!

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Apr-13 12:10:14

hobnob I'm not sure what to suggest bc I find visual clutter very difficult to deal with, so for me I wouldn't want open storage (like baskets) bc to me it still looks messy. We're living very small but I have avoided shelves for the very reasons you talk of so I think you're right to address it.

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Apr-13 12:12:18

hobnob would a low down cabinet similar to this but in cream or something fit which you could slide baskets/storage into?

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Apr-13 12:14:48

Found a baby comb on the sofa this morning and was about to sticvk it in the basket to take upstairs. ThenI realised that actually, in five dc I have used it maybe twice and it has certainly been tidied up a whole lot more than used. Simple. Slung it in the chazzer box (am loving this expression!)

The clutter issue is a total red herring isn't it? It's not about stuff, or space or finances or small houses. It's doing a 180 degree turn in your own head and thinking; is this relevant to the life I am/want to lead?

hobnob57 Mon 22-Apr-13 12:18:31

Thanks for the link. Because of the sloping roof furniture is difficult to put along there. I had thought of an expedit unit on its side, but I think the roof would push it too close to the door. Awkward space. And then what happens to the Big stuff that doesn't fit in the baskets like the elc garage,etc? At the moment they are on the floor under the lowest shelf. The shelves were custom made (by us!) to fit the space so they are useful in that respect.

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Apr-13 12:21:10

Found this great quote on Miss Minimalist just now:

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” Will Rogers. Organised Simplicity.

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Apr-13 12:24:25

Silent I know what you mean, for me it's looking at each object and seriously thinking, 'Do I actually, really, really need this?' I'm not into storing stuff. Really, what is the point?!!!!!!

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Apr-13 12:26:35

I think I'm going to look for something I don't use in the kitchen to make myself feel better about my new steamer blush

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Apr-13 12:41:34

Just found this blog via Miss Minimalist, it looks great! www.minimalstudent.com/about-3/

FreshWest Mon 22-Apr-13 12:48:33

hobnob I know plastic boxes are not pretty and I'm not sure of your budget but we used Really Useful Boxes to store dd toys, jigsaws etc. They come in a variety of sizes and stack as well. I link to their homepage but we got ours (pink!) in Homebase. I just looked and Amazon (amongst others) have some too.

For dd's dolls and teddies etc we used a plasterers tub from b&q, doesn't sound glamourous but you can get them in all different colours here and toys can just be flung in grin

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Apr-13 13:21:26

Just decluttered glass Pyrex tub with damaged lid which I don't use, couple of small plastic take away tub things and a lock and lock box which was missing a lid. I then went upstairs to bathroom and got rid of pot of bathroom paint from pervious owners here and some polystyrene coving stuff to go around ceiling which had been left in airing cupboard. I also found a foundation brush I have no intention of using so that's gone too.

BeCool Mon 22-Apr-13 14:37:38

SilentMammoth - yes yes yes, its that penny dropping, the world turning, the brain flipping over - the I GET IT NOW moment of bliss!!

We can talk decluttering tips till the cows come home, but I do believe it's that internal change, that for me is what it's all about. Which is why when you read about people trying to do this when their partners aren't "there" yet, I feel for them. It took me 45 years to have that moment. If I was still with exP it might not have happened, or it would be something else to argue about (he never threw anything away and had 30 checked shirts!).

I aspire to one day. be like MinimalistMommie smile Better to have internal wrangling over the steamer (something you need and will actually use) than to just start bringing random stuff in again without thinking.

BeCool Mon 22-Apr-13 14:42:36

great link thanks MM

sommewhereelse Mon 22-Apr-13 15:07:38

MinimalistMommi, I think your conscience can be clear now!

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Apr-13 15:56:27


somme I think your right!

MinimalistMommi Mon 22-Apr-13 15:59:00

BeCool blush about steamer. It's actually very tough for me to shop now which is sort of a blessing but can be quite difficult when there are things we actually need!

issimma Mon 22-Apr-13 16:05:27

Hello, I used to post more here, can I come back?!

I'm looking for storage boxes (colourful plastic for toys) that fit on ikea billy shelves. Any ideas? (Without going to ikea)

Made £25 from nct sale - it's spurred me on to rejoin y'all grin.

BeCool Mon 22-Apr-13 16:20:21

hiya issimma!

MM that is so where I want to be. I struggled last week (and still now) with my inner shopper pushing ALL my buttons. I don't want or need anything. In fact I want/need less and less. But the old inner shopper isn't giving up without a fight. It's like a constant scream for attention inside ATM. The 'new' me just strokes her hair and says "calm down dear" in funny way. Awareness is a huge help.

dawntigga Mon 22-Apr-13 16:27:22

You see, I think I could be truly minimalist if I had a house the size of our street.

The Cub's birthday has been and we managed to get him a big present and some really good quality smaller ones. However, the plastic tat seems to breed.


LittleCatZ Mon 22-Apr-13 19:46:30

Cristiane after a day at work I'd also love to take time off to make more progress sad especially as I'm away this weekend - will try to enjoy it instead of thinking of all the time that I could be de-cluttering!
I did manage the boot of the car yesterday still crap inside the car though so I'm counting that as progress and I found new homes for useful stuff in boxes.
Also cleared out a bag today as DH is babysitting for a friend with younger DC. This means I may spend my evening de-cluttering if I'm not too tired.

sommewhereelse Mon 22-Apr-13 20:05:07

LittleCatZ, set the timer for 15 minutes. If you are in the swing of things, you may do a little more.
I shall be doing that as soon as I've got the eldest in the bath. He is a reluctant bather so I have to run it and make sure he gets in (despite him going to secondary school in less than 6 months).

MrsPennyapple Mon 22-Apr-13 21:03:32

Cheery waves to Issimma and Hobnob smile

The pile of stuff on my dining table seems to have come back. <Sigh> I still seem to have this stuff that doesn't really have a home, but it's mostly stuff I use every day so just lurks around. Like my household diary, my wedding notebook, some post I need to deal with... Well, tomorrow is child-free (woo hoo!) so I shall sort it out then. It winds me up no end.

I can feel a trip down the chazzer coming on too, I have some junk a donation to drop off. I reckon I can find a few more bits to chuck in there before it goes though.

BeCool Mon 22-Apr-13 21:57:15

Two bowls no longer in kitchen! Hooray.


I need a quiet day. We've had a lot of visitors recently, ostensibly to meet baby mammoth but also dh has just admitted he got a lot of people round because hefelt I was so down. I know he meant out kindly, but I need my space without having to make small talk. Tomorrow we have workmen round and I'm going to shut myself in the kitchen and declutter a certain cupboard. Meh.

ISpyPlumPie Mon 22-Apr-13 22:23:18

Can I join in? I've just read this really inspirational thread and I think it could be what I need to spur me on with sorting out our clutter.

I have two boys aged three and four months, and am on ML atm. If you came to visit (and provided DS1 had been at nursery rather than using random household objects as part of a v important imaginary game grin) you'd think that my house was reasonably clean and tidy. If however you opened pretty much any drawer or cupboard, you'd be met with an avalanche.

The problem is that I only seem to get to do housework in short bursts so often stuff things out of sight to 'tidy' and so I can clean surfaces. Of course it's not really tidying as lots of things are not in any sort of order. I have good intentions about sorting a drawer or cupboard an evening, but while I'll get rid of any obvious crap, I don't have any free space to properly put away what's left. More crap than quickly finds it's way back into the space I've cleared. I know I just need to take the plunge and start sorting (loving the 20:10 idea) then once I know what's left I can start to allocate a proper place to everything.

I find parting with anything to do with the DC particularly difficult. This is partly practical (just in case we do have DC3) but also due to sentimental hoarding. I'm going to try and deal with it by only keeping a limited no. of special things for memory boxes, selling some stuff an nct sales so we can use the money on fun days out etc (better to do stuff than have stuff) and donating the rest to charity.

Managed to sort the coat cupboard in the porch yesterday which is a start - one bag for the charity shops and out of season coats back in wardrobes.

Sorry for the mamoth first post. Looking forward to continuing on the journey towards minimalism with you all.

LimeLeaffLizard Mon 22-Apr-13 22:54:22

I've not been keeping up with the thread very well, but want to check in to keep me motivated.

SilentMammoth Congratulations on your DD! But sorry to hear you had a difficult birth, take it easy on yourself for a while. My DD was born 9 weeks ago! She's lovely!

I haven't managed to do much myself in the last few days, but at the weekend I helped DH to sort through his clothes and so I now have 5 huge bags of clothes in the back of the car to recycle! Even better his remaining clothes now fit in his drawers /wardrobe, so he has no excuse for leaving them lying around the bedroom. wink

Arti how is it going with your Dad? I have been following your story even though I haven't posted much.

MrsPennyapple Mon 22-Apr-13 23:24:14

Welcome, ISpy! I'm a big fan of the little-and-often approach, I think when you've got very young DC it's hard to get much done in one go. I love your idea of "better to do stuff than have stuff", that's a good thing to keep in mind when you need to motivate yourself to ebay things. I know a lot of people here have given up on ebaying things, because let's face it, it is a right hassle, but money is tight for us, so I do try and get a bit of cash for things where I can.

BeCool Tue 23-Apr-13 09:51:30

Antoine de Saint-Exupery. “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

This is a quote posted by MinimalistMommie upthread. I have it on my kitchen wall. This morning (in a bit of a rush) slurping down last of my coffee I read the quote, looked at 2 items on the bench and knew they had to go. Not used, not needed and liked but not LOVED! They were hanging around, surely to be required for a "Useful purpose" (I know I know - old thinking) which never eventuated. They are gone. <punches air - yeah!>

Happy St Georges Day everyone!!!!

Hi everyone! dragon.

Meh, tricky time today. Cleared out chest of drawers full of baby clothes. These are clothes not in use, but people keep on giving me things and I find it so hard to say no, I just feel really rude. Also there often dropped off via nanny so can't not iyswim?

Also getting my head around dd being last baby; it's so automatic to put stuff away for next baby. Realising there won't be any more is tough. Have six week check next week and bed to sort out long term contraception, I havent used anything for eleven years sad. I know I need to count mt blessings, and I do. But I'm slowly shutting A door and it's hard.


Arti, how are you doing, and your dad? You were all prayed got on friday and sunday.

Lime, a dd how lovely!!

Welcome ispy, I totally understand where you are coming from!!!

MinimalistMommi Tue 23-Apr-13 10:33:36

I have workmen in today so can't really get on with anything sad
Sitting here twiddling my thumbs listening to the noise....

MinimalistMommi Tue 23-Apr-13 10:35:22

BeCool that's my favourite ever quote on minimalism

MinimalistMommi Tue 23-Apr-13 10:35:41

OMG the noise sad

BeCool Tue 23-Apr-13 10:59:19

Can't you get out of the house MM? its a gorgeous day.

MinimalistMommi Tue 23-Apr-13 11:13:04

I don't think so, the workmen are just here for the day and I don't feel like I can leav

MinimalistMommi Tue 23-Apr-13 11:13:18

Leave blush

Morning all
Thank you all so much for your thoughts (and especially your prayers silentmammoth )
We are still waiting for a date for Dad's MRI scan. Technically they are "booked up" for the next 2 weeks but are trying to fit my Dad in as an urgent case this week if they can. Dad is a bit up and down (to be expected) but I think he is basically on an upward trend. He started to feed himself last Friday and also walked across the ward using a zimmer frame. What makes me so furious is that certain nurses, just "assumed" he was end stages Parkinson's disease (and this is basically what the consultant was telling me a week last Friday). This means mostly loss of swallow reflex (and most other movement) because Parkinson's drugs are not working any longer. Also one of the nurses told my mum, even before he was so poorly that he was never going to walk again - and the physios hadn't even really assessed him then.

I think that was why they weren't so bothered about getting food and medication into him, because they thought he was basically terminal!

Well- he so obviously isn't at the end stages of Parkinson's (If he wasn't responding to drugs, he wouldn't be able to feed himself or walk etc) He was just poorly with a chest infection. This is what we instinctively felt (somehow bit's and pieces didn't just fit into the scenario they were painting) and why Mum and Dad's carer went in to feed him and get his medication into him the weekend before last!

As soon as he has had his scan, he can go home ( as long as he doesn't get any more chest infections) which will be so much better as Mum can monitor exactly how much fluid, medication and food he is getting into him and he will be so much happier too. I'm still on tenterhooks a bit as I don't really trust the hospital to look after him properly now, although as he has improved they are taking his care a bit more seriously.

The neurosurgeon has basically indicated he is willing to adjust Dad's shunt a bit, whatever the result of the brain scan but wants him to have the scan anyway to get a clearer picture of what is going on.

Mean while Dad is well enough to start teasing my Mum. Mum and his carer have the same name. Mum asked him who looked after him best, S (wife) or S (carer). He said "S (carer). Then she asked, "Well why do you say that?" and he replied "because it's the truth!" As it has been difficult to get him to say very much at all recently - even "yes" or "no", this is quite an achievement! (Though I'm not sure how much his life will be worth living if he continues with that type of comment!).

Thanks again for all your concern. Any continued prayers for Dad to get his scan quickly would be really valued!

In other (decluttering) news - I went to the dentist this morning and browsed in 3 nearby charity shops and didn't buy anything!

MrsPennyapple Tue 23-Apr-13 12:35:17

Glad your Dad is doing well arti, long may it continue! I hope they can get him scanned soon.

This morning I took the remaining bag of clothes and box of random bits and pieces to the charity shop, I even managed to grab another two or three items to chuck in before it left the house - including decluttering my jewellery box, although that was mostly decluttered into the bin. Formerly silver coloured studs so tarnished they are now pink? I think they can go. Ten year old bracelets from Claire's Acessories? Gone. Brooches bought for me when I still lived at home with my mum (so at least 18 years ago)? Yes, they can go too. Who wears brooches now anyway? Certainly not me. I'm sure they look nice with some things, but they don't do much for a hoody & jeans type outfit.

It never fails to amaze me how I can think I've got everything for the charity shop bag, and in the two or three days it takes me to actually get it out of the house, I still keep finding bits to add.

LubyLu2000 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:58:52

I've being reading through this thread over the last couple of days and found it very motivating so I'm going to join in too if that's okay. smile

I am similar to Ispyplumpie in that my house probably looks fairly neat on the surface but the cupboards are full to bursting, totally messy and everything just gets moved about from place to place. I'm always hunting for stuff and getting irritated at bowls falling out of kitchen cupboards and not finding a pair of matching socks!

I am currently on maternity leave (9 week old and 6yr old DCs) so really want to get this house sorted so that I've got a bit of time in the short term for hobbies (soooo much stuff I want to do grin) and so that when I go back to work life is just a bit calmer and I don't spend my whole time just working, cooking and cleaning.

So this morning instead of just reading about sorting things out I actually got moving and sorted out my underwear drawer. I am shamed at some of the knickers I threw out blush. It is now looking fab but I can see how it will get messed up again easily so am going to get those drawer divider thingies next time i'm at Ikea. I've also just tipped another couple of drawers of clothes onto the bed but that's a bit overwhelming so I'm trying to work out how to put everything back so that I can easily see it all (I don't know that the vertical folding technique will work for a lot of my clothes - they're too flimsy and just kind of collapse) and that it comes out still neatly ironed - everything I've pulled out is totally crushed so I have just given myself a load of ironing to do as well confused .

Can't wait to have a nice organised home!

Sokmonsta Tue 23-Apr-13 15:29:33

Today I shall be mostly in the loft.

I have finally got all the too small clothes out of drawers. So since I have several bags in the loft I thought I'd drag them down and put them ready to go too. So I now have 4 big (think size box a 50l bin comes in x 4) boxes of clothes to remove from the house and a bag to go to my youngest niece of things eldest dd has outgrown. I've also found a couple of small bags with things for my dds which fit now.

It's quite thrilling seeing the things out of the loft and knowing that come hell or high water they are not going back in there.

Happy decluttering everyone.

BeCool Tue 23-Apr-13 15:32:44

well done Sok - great effort and excellent results. You are rocking this loft clearance dragon

BeCool Tue 23-Apr-13 15:34:16

I need to say I am in awe of the ML'ers on this thread.

sommewhereelse Tue 23-Apr-13 15:50:35

Is that a typo or is it minimalism lovers?
I have sorted through the bags today. This is DH's biggest clutter area. So I will be confronting him tonight about his forgotten collection of manbags.
Apart from this, most of the cases/bags/rucksacks have been used in the past year for trips away and holidays so they can stay. I did find a leather attaché case which still contained a business card from an interview I went to in ...... 2001!

BeCool Tue 23-Apr-13 15:52:41

sorry ML'ers = Maternity Leavers
but I like Minimalism Lovers too.

sommewhereelse Tue 23-Apr-13 16:21:44

Ah! Me too.

sommewhereelse Tue 23-Apr-13 16:22:03

In awe I mean, not on ML.

ISpyPlumPie Tue 23-Apr-13 18:49:46

Thanks for the welcome everyone smile.

Loubylou - that's exactly how I feel. I want to get to the stage where everything has a place so the house just runs smoothly before I go back to work. I also want to make it easier to get everything straight again before DS2 is mobile and I have two small people leaving a trail of chaos in their wake! I am trying to train DS1 to tidy up after himself but it seems to be a long, drawn out process.

Not got much done today as no nursery for DS1 and we also had some errands. DM has v kindly offered to come round tomorrow afternoon to sit with DS2 (DS1 at nursery) while I do some sorting. Trying to decide whether to tackle the drawers of paperwork/stationary/detritus or the outgrown baby clothes.

Well, after mt self pitying post this morning I attacked dds room to great effect!

One ikea net bin thing if broken/outgrown toys gone! Was also ruthless with clothes and whittled down a lot. Upstairs feels calmer.

Tomorrow I plan to do spare room.

On another note, did harriet the spout come back from her lenten fast of all things digital? Maybe she decluttered to another level? If so, I raise a glass to her, Sport and the original garage if doom!

Umm, that should of course read harriet the spy blush

hobnob57 Tue 23-Apr-13 21:24:32

Aye, I was thinking about Harriet and Bluecarrot the other day.

Becool I am on ML and am in awe if others' progress. My particular minihobnob has ensured progress is painfully slow. Despite starting this journey over Christmas I am only now finally getting rid of baby clothes from my older 2 (van man comes tomorrow!!!). My house is so filthy from 6 months of neglect and the clutter so offputting that I don't know where to start! But I did do the car when we got back from Easter hols, that is a start. But my dream of an organised streamlined house by the time work starts seems like a pipe dream.

Little and often. Repeat.

On the upside, this week minihobnob has graduated from my lap to a cot so I can finally get off my backside in the evenings smile

MrsPennyapple Tue 23-Apr-13 22:23:51

I was thinking of Harriet too, and wondering how she'd got on. Maybe she loved being screen-free and decided to make it permanent. I have to admit I get loads more done if I just don't put the computer on.

Welcome LubyLu, sounds like you've got off to a cracking start! I threw away some pretty sorry-looking pants too, and some bras that could only be described as woefully inadequate.

MyPreciousRing Wed 24-Apr-13 06:51:58

Fab thread. I need some support and encouragement to part with some items.

Number 1 - a violin and all the sheet music and books that go with it. Hasn't been played since I was 15, taking up space under bed but I just can't seem to let it go! Help grin

MummaBubba123 Wed 24-Apr-13 07:29:09

I had a dream last night about the need to declutter my room and the corners of my garage.
Things certainly have changed!

Eek, id struggle with decluttering a violin too! Have you got any actual plans with it? If your unsure, could you try setting a date to either start playing it again or too re gift/ sell it?

sommewhereelse Wed 24-Apr-13 09:25:01

If I had a violin, and my children hadn't yet chosen musical instruments, I'd definitely wait until my DCs were at secondary school to see if they expressed an interest. I'd probably find a new home for the music.

Unless you really need the space under the bed for something else?

My aim is to have 'more space for the dust bunnies to run around in' under the bed (I read that on a site someone linked to on a previous thread) or at least for it to be a holding zone for those things you can't convince yourself to be without until they've been in a box for about 6 months.

miemohrs Wed 24-Apr-13 09:36:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LubyLu2000 Wed 24-Apr-13 09:43:37

Well the lesson I learned from yesterday was not to bite off more than I can chew. Underwear drawer looks great but i tipped loads of clothes out and didnt get a chance to finish so looks worse than ever. hmm

I'm busy for the next days so will have to stay there for a few days. aagh - my entusiasm got the better of me.

BeCool Wed 24-Apr-13 10:00:55

miemohrs - hello & welcome.
So where are you going to start? Where are you in your head - do you want to hold onto stuff, or are you ready to release stuff and just keep what you use/need/love?

Do you think those unopened boxes could just remain unopened and go somewhere intact? Or is that too hardcore smile

Might be a good idea to start with one room? I started with my kitchen - I had help. It changed me and really encouraged me to tackle whole flat. My tally is now at least 20 bin bags to charity, 20 of rubbish/recycling - out of a one bedroom flat. I'm not done - I'm in transition. I work FT and find it hard to summon up the energy at the end of the day so most of my success is on Sundays when ExP has DC. I'm quite good at decluttering now, but I try to take it a step further towards minimalism. I'll never be a sparse white minimalist, but I strive to learn the principles, I find them inspiring and I'm moving towards a less is more existence.

Here's my kitchen thread which might be inspiring.

If it all feels too much, many on here use timers to great effect - set your timer for 20 minutes of work, then reset/have a cuppa for 10 minutes. Repeat if you feel up for it. Have bags ready for rubbish/recycling/charity shop and go for it.

miemohrs Wed 24-Apr-13 11:04:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

miemohrs Wed 24-Apr-13 11:11:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeCool Wed 24-Apr-13 11:15:51

I understand why that is difficult for you.

Still, there are plenty of other much easier places to start! maybe a kitchen or bathroom would be a less emotional place to begin with. Books, magazines, clothes, paperwork (my own nemesis)?

You could set your timer for 20 minutes NOW, and then come back for 10 min on MN and report to us what you have done.

miemohrs Wed 24-Apr-13 11:22:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeCool Wed 24-Apr-13 11:23:48

Love it!
Get friend to help maybe??????

BeCool Wed 24-Apr-13 13:57:44

Here is a link to lots of motivational minimalism/decluttering blog posts with a focus on families - I posted it on the "DH doesn't want to declutter" thread, but it's worth posting here too.

hobnob57 Wed 24-Apr-13 14:37:59

41kg of clothes gone! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

BeCool Wed 24-Apr-13 14:40:09

Wow Hobnob - that's impressive!!!
<<claps and whoops enthusiastically >>

Sokmonsta Wed 24-Apr-13 16:47:42

<creeps in. Admits to getting lots of large plant pot/planters today> but they were free (i love freegle) and what we don't need are going to neighbours and inlaws as soon as we've had our pick.

Otherwise I've been getting rid of rubbish today. Haven't had a chance to get to storage locker as dd1 had a fiasco of a hospital appt (they told me wrong day) so am just organising stuff to go. One bag/box at a time. Am also putting stuff on freegle that I don't want to just take to the tip, but it is still useful to someone.

Miemohrs, I didn't see your post before was deleted. But there's nothing wrong with keeping things for emotional reasons. I've got a bag of baby clothes from each of the dc that I really want to keep, but I don't know what to do with it. I keep seeing people who make the clothes into little stuffed animals. But then I won't have them to see how teeny they were if that makes sense. I'm sure one day I will decide to pass them to a nicu or something. Or maybe find a baby doll which will fit them for the girls. Other baby stuff I don't hold onto so much.

41kg!!!! Seriosuly impressive! Well done!

I made another "pass" at my wardrobe today and ended up deciding against decluttering something. DD4 used to have bloodyawful episodes of collapsing when she would go completely unresponsive. Terrifying in a baby. As you can imagine, we ended up nee-nawing to hospital and being kept in a few times, and I developed a sort of OFRS; nappies, toothbrush, change of clothes and a book to grab and go with. Happily (thank God) DD hasn't done this for well over a year, but in view of the sheer number of DC I think I'll keep it ready packed. Please God we'll never need it.

Spare room decluttered grin

Sorry, I meant tp say hi to miemohrs. Miemohrs, I did read your post before it was deleted and really felt for you sad. Sod the clutter, decluttering brings up a hell of a lot of emotional baggage doesn't it?

hobnob57 Wed 24-Apr-13 20:29:49

I know, I would never have predicted that I had 41kg of outgrown children's clothes shock. Amongst those bags were all the newborn stuff from my dc. I found the pretty little dresses that hardly got worn hard to let go of but this thread has helped enormously with that. There is no practical use for them in my life, and keeping a few mementoes, for me, will just require the finding of a storage vessel and place to put it and I know I would never look at it, and then dc would someday have to decide what to do with it. So it went out.
Miemohrs I feel for you. It was the arrival of surprise dc3 that has allowed me to excavate the baby stuff at all. Otherwise the decision would be agonising.

Cristiane Wed 24-Apr-13 20:30:23

I recognise you... Were you on July 2009 maternity thread?

I'm travelling ATM so no more decluttering. But the bathroom is still looking fab and I am NOT missing or feeling guilty about all the stuff I chucked. Amazing how light you feel grin

MyPreciousRing Wed 24-Apr-13 20:36:53

Got a large bag of books for charity shop. Don't know when I'll get to go though. Maybe pass to mum and see if she can take.

Still haven't made a decision about the violin. Perhaps I will see if school want it.

takeaway2 Wed 24-Apr-13 21:04:27

41kg?! Amazing. Impressed!! grin

Didn't manage to read miemohrs post but decluttering is pretty emotional I think! I threw out some fertility thing we used 6 years ago to help conceive DS (Omg I still had it??). And tonight as I was putting underwear back in my drawer I picked out 2 bras (Pre kids!) and some unworn still with tags bodysuit which a friend posted me. Into charity bag it went. Feel good.

I know I'm not decluttering as fast as some of you are but working full time and no family around makes it quite intense! Still sticking to my resolution to dump at least one thing today so think I'm doing ok! smile

A friend just told me she did a car boot sale on the weekend and made £120!!! I can't believe it. She said she sold old clothes from dh, herself and her kid, plus some household stuff and unwanted gifts/toys and old toys.

How?! Have you guys done that? Should I try? Or is that the same as the eBay box that gets bigger and bigger and never makes it out of the house?!

ISpyPlumPie Wed 24-Apr-13 21:38:41

Hobnob - I'm another one in awe of your 41kg. Impressive stuff.

Takeaway - I've decided to try and sell some stuff at NCT nearly new sales. That way, there's a fixed date I know I need to have the stuff ready for rather than thinking I'll get round to ebaying it or find a car boot to go to someday. Anything I don't manage to sell at the nearly new will be charity shopped.

Had a fairly productive day. Managed to go through one set of drawers sorting paperwork etc. Got rid of an ikea-bag full of paper recycling and a bin bag of other rubbish. Still have one box of papers to go through to work out what needs to be kept and what can be shredded. Think I might also still be holding onto too much for sentimental reasons eg party invites for DS1, letters for appointments when DC were newborns etc

Also sent an old ironing board and two broken lamps to the dump.

MummaBubba123 Wed 24-Apr-13 22:02:06

Lol Sokmonsta!
Having nightmares about the corners,
... and the cupboards, wardrobes, double garage, etc.
Today's achievement: work boxes organised into sections. Phew!

LittleCatZ Wed 24-Apr-13 22:24:38

Decluttering is very emotional - trying to persevere to get to the fulfilling part. DF is a terrible hoarder and I have a need not to do that to my DC but also I hope DF will be inspired. I completely understand as he lost DM a long time ago and he as been an amazing Dad to a big family.

Big thanks to all those suggesting the timer, I've definitely found it a good motivator - helps me to do at least 20 mins a day and often more.
I can identify with LubyLu2000 though as I now have a few piles. I need to find a way to focus on 1 room at a time. Otherwise I get distracted and start 4 jobs in 4 rooms and finish none confused
I am unnecessarily excited about my garden incinerator but there was a bit missing and it's raining sad but paperwork (at least 8 boxes of cr*p) is my nemesis so I need the cathartic burning to begin. DF loves a good fire so may help him too smile

Takeaway2 I'm a bit scared of car boots, have heard reports of people crowding around cars before you've even parked - my inner agoraphobic couldn't cope. NCT sounds better but I'm ready to just donate and give away to make faster progress as I work long hours too.

sommewhereelse Thu 25-Apr-13 06:08:52

I'll be doing the French equivalent of a car boot sale in early June. Its actually a street sale so you have to put your wares on display and then remove your car before they close the roads to traffic about 7am. Luckily there is a pitch near SIL's PIL's house and I can drop my stuff off the day before.

I already have four large boxes reserved for this. We are lucky to have a basement so I can do this without tripping over the boxes all the time.

I have been to these street sales before (when kids were toddlers and we were looking for toys) and I know of people who bring out the same stuff that doesn't sell year on year. So I'm only keeping stuff that I think I would be prepared to buy in a different time in my life e.g. perfectly good bag that no one uses because there is a children's character on it and we are all too grown up now. Anything that doesn't sell is going to the charity shop straight away.

miemohrs and anyone else struggling with emotions, I believe something I read about not keeping anything that revives painful feelings as it prevents you fully letting go of those feelings. The idea is that if you keep something which you are not using or looking at daily, it's because it reminds you of a happy time and not of the the life you dreamed of but didn't end up having. So when you revisit the box, only happy memories are associated with it. I am yet to fully put this into practice on all the bits from the past I'm keeping but it has worked on what I have tackled. Obviously if you are still raw from a loss, even a photo of a really happy time with that person is going to bring you sad feelings but I know from experience that you've accepted the loss, the good time memories can be 99% happy memories with just a slight tinge of regret that there wasn't time for more of them.

takeaway2 Thu 25-Apr-13 07:15:12

Thanks for those tips re selling. I just missed the NCT sale round here. It's a really good sale. I used to organise it but it used to take up so much of my time even as a seller let alone an organiser so I don't know if I can be bothered. May try car boot if and when my friend does it again just to see what's it like. Otherwise I'm happy to just let them go to charity shop. If its good enough people will buy and the shop will benefit from the money it makes. All for a good cause and all that.

Found a puzzle from the kids that's just been retrieved. Few pieces missing. Guess where it's destined to be!!? grin Loving this.

BeCool Thu 25-Apr-13 09:37:21

somme that is a really useful insight re keeping things with memories.

I'm still resisting an almost overwhelming urge to BUY STUFF. I don't want or need anything & I know this is a reaction to the changes I've been making. The shopping demon inside me is not taking this lightly.

Anyone else experiencing an internal attempted coup/mutiny?

takeaway2 Thu 25-Apr-13 09:50:17

oh yes!! I have this internal fight with me whenever I get near shops. Was just at sainsburys to pick up a prescription for my dd and had to definitely get some feminine supplies, so fair enough. Walked past the clothes and shoes and had to put things down. I don't need another pair of linen trousers!! But it was very tempting. Saw some sale stuff for kids and was very tempted (boys trousers down to £6 and some dress up Goldilocks thing for my dd half priced too). Was very tempting as I thought, yes surely the boy needs another pair of trousers and the girl needs to dress up at parties... but walked very slowly away and just thought that having something like an extra £12 in my purse was better than frittering it away.

Perhaps it's a case of putting down on a shopping list things you really need and have two lists, an urgent and a good to have list. And if you walk past a sale and it has them things on sale, then you can have them. Otherwise, walk away?

So, if say the kids really need school shoes then fair enough go get them. If say they look like they'll need a new pair soon, then keep an eye out for sales??

argh - it's so difficult! smile

SilverSixpence Thu 25-Apr-13 09:50:47

I'd like to join in too! I'm a bit of a hoarder, but we've moved and now MIL lives with us and she is even worse hmm. We have two lots of most things - e.g. her ancient food processor and stick blender, my shiny new Prospero, tea towels, serveware etc. I've sneaked out some old tea towels and bath towels so that they can actually fit in the drawer now but there is still too much of everything!

I am also a hoarder of fabric and knitting yarn and DH has hundreds of books he won't get rid of. DS has turned into a hoarder of Thomas the tank engine trains and Disney Cars characters. Help!

BeCool Thu 25-Apr-13 09:59:03

welcome SilverSixpence

I understand completely takeaway.

I think the next step for me is to perhaps move to cash spending only for a while and leave all cards etc at home (though I know card details off by heart so will still have to restrain myself re www spending). Give myself £X to spend on everything for the week, and if it runs out so be it.

I'd also like to try NSD's but that would mean making my lunch which would mean getting REALLY organised.

Gee I'd love a couple of days off work to declutter. The half sorted living room with its piles of crap is really starting to bug me! And I'd like to feed my toddler inside a balloon (to reduce spread of mess - cereal everywhere). It that permissible smile

sommewhereelse Thu 25-Apr-13 09:59:38

You can satisfy that shopping urge by buying something in a bigger size for your DCs. Eg if DS has enough trousers that fit but if there are some nice one or some on offer, you can buy a size up. Mine have just started getting particular about what they wear so I can't do that now but that's ok because I don't have those urges any more. I'd rather pull up weeds than face the shops.

I am going to have to go shopping today. We need secateurs. We have shrubs in our garden and our last secateurs broke beyond repair.

BeCool Thu 25-Apr-13 10:04:40

I very rarely go to the shops apart from the few I see in my lunch hour enroute to buy lunch. And its a limited selection. WWW shopping has been an issue (I'm very good at it) but it's under control now.

It's not even that I'm buying stuff - I'm not really. It's just I am currently OBSESSED with thinking about buying stuff. And looking online (I work on pc all day). It's def a subconscious backlash against the changes I'm making. I need to ride it out, let the changes settle, change these old old old habits. I've unsubscribed from all shopping emails etc.

It's DD2's birthday next week - I'll focus on designing a cake for her instead - might distract me. No need to buy anything as I have a box of stuff to use at home.

wendybird77 Thu 25-Apr-13 10:27:23

BeCool are you on Pinterest? There is lots to do and make on there, particularly for kids, rather than things to buy. I found a great idea for DS1s cake last year - made it myself and lots of compliments.

Morning all and welcome to the newcomers!
Takeaway - I'm only just decluttering very slowly too because of work and traumas with the NHS not looking after Dad properly my Dad's recent illness.

I'm working on decluttering just one thing a day. Yesterday it was an old notebook that I'd been recording my spending in but hadn't used in over a year (recycling) and the day before it was a pair of boots (charity). I have a similar newer pair and despite determining I'd still get some more wear out of the older pair, I always wear the newer ones as they are more comfy so I've decided the old ones can go. Paper work is my nemesis. I also keep an awful lot of stuff for potential craft projects, but then I do actually end up using quite a bit of it eventually so I kind of justify that!!

Dilemma of the day - do I keep a really pretty engraved glass vinegar bottle that was my grandmother's but that I don't use and don't really have a place to display?

In news about Dad- he is home now thankfully (with a further nightmare on Tuesday when he was still in hospital because they decided not to try giving him his Parkinsons meds all day because he hadn't opened his mouth when they'd tried to give him his first lot in the morning! They didn't let my Mum know this and had stopped my mum or Dad's carer coming in to feed him of give him his meds because if he choked they'd "be liable". Mum and his carer can always get him to take his meds, even if it takes a bit of time!) He has an appointment for his MRI scan on Monday!!

BeCool Thu 25-Apr-13 10:38:46

oh yes I LOVE Pinterest! We do make lots of crap lovely stuff together. I have put off decluttering the 'making stuff' box of delights just yet. This weekend ........... Actually we have only scratched the surface of it for a year now, so it will be OK. I just want to get all stickers, glitter, paints, toilet rolls, paper, stones, shells etc etc etc to a one box limit. I'm not going to be toooo mean about it.

Thing is both DD's are out of the house all week and do loads of crafts and stuff in school & playgroups. Most Saturdays we go out on adventures. And on Sundays they are with their Dad. So we have all this make & do stuff and very little time to actually use it. So it can be stripped back.

DD1 keeps banging on about making paper pulp - oh the horror!!!!

BeCool Thu 25-Apr-13 10:39:42

and Craftgawker!

wendybird77 Thu 25-Apr-13 11:01:39

Well I've got 3 bags for the charity shop tomorrow. DH managed to clear a bag of his clothes - progress! I keep thinking I'm nearly there, I have no idea how I'm still managing to find so many things to go.

On the purchasing front we have had lots coming in as we're renovating the house. However it is starting to slow down quite a bit and I've tried to be very intentional about what I'm bringing in and ensuring other things are being repurposed or sent out. I have lots of little jobs to do now - like organising art supplies for the kids, so I know I'll be purchasing some organisational items like trays and jars, etc. I've also been purchasing clothes as part of my attempt to create a capsule wardrobe. Most of it has been sent back though as it doesn't fit / I don't love it. I think I'm going to have to go upmarket a bit and invest some decent money over time. I've also been sucked in by my first visits over to the Style and Beauty board and bought some cosmetics. This is not a problem area for me as I have literally 1 small bag of make-up and 1 face cream. I'm reaching a certain age though and think I could do with a bit more to, ahem, make the most of what I've got. <justifying emoticon>

BeCool Thu 25-Apr-13 11:18:46

S&B is a minefield / treasure trove to be avoided by me for the time being.

miemohrs Thu 25-Apr-13 11:25:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsPennyapple Thu 25-Apr-13 12:39:49

That must be really tough to deal with, Miemohrs. Lending things out is a good idea, you might find that after it's been out of the house for a while, and you haven't been seeing it around, it's easier to say goodbye to. And if your friend will deal with rehoming the stuff, that's less for you to do.

Yes, decluttering raises all sorts of issues you thought you'd dealt with, as well as some things you didn't even know were issues. Just do things when you can. If you don't feel ready to part with something, leave it and revisit it later. I think I can safely say that most of us have come across items and kept them, only to change our minds and get rid a few weeks later.

I had a rummage in my craft cupboard yesterday and identified a few bits to sell, and a few to throw away. I've been saving some containers, with the intention of cutting a slot in the lid and then decoupage-ing them, to make pretty money boxes. Well, I haven't got around to it yet, and my energy levels are not great at the moment, being 25 wks pg, and having a 21mo toddler running around, so by the time I can actually get any craft done (usually about 9pm) I just haven't got the capacity to get creative. That's not going to change in the next year or so, so I threw them away.

All my decluttering seems to be inside cupboards and hidden areas, so the house looks no different!

Sounds like you've found a really sensible way of dealing with it mie (may I call you that, I keep having to scroll up to check spellings otherwise smile)

Welsome SilverSixpence
Arti, so glad your father is home. My Bible group meets every Friday morning, so let me know if you would like anything specific prayed for again.
somewhereelse I soooo want to come to your street sale, sounds great!

I must check out Pinterest, reading everyone's comments.

Well today was a bit of a wash out decluttering wise; I treated myself after being sequestered in deepedst Shires for last five weeks owing to emCS, I walked 2 miles to village and caught bus to Nearest Big Town. Ooh the excitement of an HSBC! The glamour of a Post Office! The thrill of picking up overdue coat from dry cleaners! I did enjoy meeting a friend for lunch though, and will assuage my conscience by making a dining room shelf immaculate. Little and often!

Mammoth I think the further prayers are that Dad would continue to improve, Mum will be able to relax more, the Community OT will be in touch very soon and provide the aids they promised including special mattress to prevent bedsores, that Dad's medication will be reviewed soon by somebody sensible as I have a feeling it isn't quite right for him ( was changed drastically while he was in hospital), that arrangement for his scan and shunt adjustment will go smoothly.

I do so appreciate your prayers!

I'm glad you enjoyed "nearestbigtown" and you are recovering from cs. The shelf looks wonderful!!

sommewhereelse Thu 25-Apr-13 18:13:21

You can come as long as you have a stand and don't buy up other people's clutter smile

People do actually channel hop for the big street sale in Lille (braderie de Lille) in September, both to buy and sell.

Help, haven't located anything to get rid off today other than dandelions from the lawn. I have however found a new address that takes donations in my town.

I braved the hypermarket and got the secateurs and a cat litter tray. We will be offering a good home to two kittens soon. So now I have to admit that I have half a bag of cat litter in storage since we last had a cat (more than 8 years ago!).

Cristiane Thu 25-Apr-13 19:57:51

Hi everyone. In London so no chance to declutter and then to my mum's but hoping to make more of a start next week. Think my next focus will be kitchen stuff. Did someone say they had a useful link for that?

Also I have a dreadful cupboard to do which has coats and crap and wrapping paper and light bulbs etc.. Eugh. I am staying at my SIL and her house is beautiful and clutter free. She has 3DSs but buys carefully for them, everything good quality, lasts, stylish, beautiful. I am green with envy envy

BeCool Thu 25-Apr-13 20:52:01

somme I bet you thought you'd use it someday! smile

sommewhereelse Thu 25-Apr-13 21:19:03

We did! We alway intended getting another cat but I couldn't face it when the children were tiny. It felt like I had enough on my hands training them to not to climb on the kitchen worktop etc grin

Would you believe it, I just went into the basement to sort out gardening stuff (does anyone know if out of date flower seeds can grow?) and found our old litter tray blush. One of us must have it would be perfect for storing little pots, sometime in the last 8 years. On the very day I bought a new one! I could have spent the money on luxury ice-cream instead.

Let that be a lesson to you all!

hobnob57 Thu 25-Apr-13 21:42:37

Ah Cristiane, I was! How is your 3 year old? As threenagery as mine?!

I took down half of the shelves today, much to dd's dismay. But the space looks better. The remaining shelves are fuller, but hopefully, there are fewer places to misplace things. I finally came to terms with getting rid of a clock that I won a prize for making at school that DH has been on at me to bin for ages. I took a memorial photo and stupidly shared it on fb. There was a backlash from my family and school friends, so I think it stays for now blush

MyPreciousRing Fri 26-Apr-13 06:40:32

hobnob it's your clock. Bin it if you want to!

sommewhereelse Fri 26-Apr-13 08:54:17

Or if it means that much to your family, let them have it!

LubyLu2000 Fri 26-Apr-13 09:01:39

Sounds like everyones doing great smile

educatingarti - sorry about your dad, hope you get things sorted for him soon.

Well I've been out the house the last couple of days so my big pile of clothes is still in the corner of the bedroom. Got DS off school and he really needs some attention and quality time as his nose is a bit out of joint with the arrival of his new little brother, so not too sure if I'll get it done today but fingers crossed i can get him sorted with some activity for a little while.

But on a positive note I had 5 mins yesterday so cleared a ledge in our kitchen - it runs the length of one wall and is a collecting ground for all sorts of crap (i'm the worst offender). i was setting the table after and instead of moving my sunglasses to the ledge I put them away in my bag and then put the bag away. Progress smile

Somme - I'm jealous of your French car boot sale. I got all excited here once cos they seemed to be running the Italian equivalent nearby but because of stupid Italian bureaucracy and rules you can't actually just "sell" things yourself so the only thing you could do was swap your crap for someone else's crap! Would kind of defeat the point of me doing it hmm

LemonBreeland Fri 26-Apr-13 09:04:57

Hi all haven't been on mn for a while and haven't really caught up with the thread yet but posting so I don't lose it.

I had gynae surgery on Wed so can't do much for a few weeks. It is most frustrating as I am stuck at home for 2 weeks not driving. I will probably have a big list of things to do while I sit around looking at everything.

LemonBreeland Fri 26-Apr-13 09:05:21

Apologies first message wasn't meant to post.

BeCool Fri 26-Apr-13 10:03:13

Hey Lemon - you can catch up on loads of inspirational minimalist & decluttering blogs - nurture your mind as that is where the BIG change happens. Hope you are on the mend really soon.

Couple of nice articles for today:

article on Minimalist Parenting

Nice side effects of becoming minimalist

Clutter Busting Routines

cappuccinodays Fri 26-Apr-13 13:22:56

thanks for posting the links. I love the "nice side effects" one, it is so true. I tend to get myself wrapped up in buying stuff, or have in the past. I have nearly got there with the loft, sold loads of stuff on ebay. Another 2 bin bags done yesterday. Im going to have to be careful, i dont want to over do it and end up throwing things that could be useful in the future!
Ive parted with all of ds baby stuff and since Im now divorced got rid of a load of wedding stuff. getting there :-)
hope you are all having a good day..

Sokmonsta Fri 26-Apr-13 14:05:47

Hobnob - gift the clock to someone who admired it so much wink

I am lucky that my mum still wants to keep each and every one of our handmade ornaments. So she has a pig, alien, various pieces of fruit, an owl and a 'stick man' made from clay. They have pride of place on her dresser.

Today's joy has been removing crap from our bedroom. Or rather, putting stuff away. I'm amazed at how many odd socks have gathered there. So they now reside in my specially commissioned 'odd sock' bag awaiting their companion.

I've also gone through even more clothes and found some which escaped the too small to be worn cull. I can only assume they were with my ironing fairy.

This weekend we are staying with friends so very little will be done. But as it appears most of the house has been freed from things we don't need, or at least they are in tidy places for now, I shall continue with the loft efforts as I'm concerned we may have a wasp nest up there. A HUUUUUUGE one was flying around and made its way out. I've only just been able to capture and release it today as it was hanging round the hatch as if it wanted to get back in.

BeCool Fri 26-Apr-13 14:16:23

Sokmonsta I had a HUGE odd sock bag.

Last week I played a race with DD1 to see who could match up the most socks. She matched up 29 pairs!!! Go DD1 smile

I try to put socks into a zipped washing bag when they go into laundry basket, but usually this doesn't happen.

HobNob I agree with Sok re the clock, pass it on, tick tock!

BeCool Fri 26-Apr-13 14:42:19

I just looked at my RollaDeck on my desk at work and realised I haven't looked at it for AT LEAST 5.5 years. So I've just shredded 100's of those teeny cards. Very satisfying.

Now if only I could do the same with all the paper on my desk! One step at a time.

Svrider Fri 26-Apr-13 15:00:47

My mum saw my massive pile of clothes ready for cash for clothes
She had now brought round 5 massive bags. I'm pretty sure they won't take most of it (really old curtains, fabrics etc) so I'm going to have to go thru it all shock
Also dd is poorly, so I'm not going to have chance to go before next Friday

I'm considering putting the lot in the garage, but once there in there ill almost certainly forget about them

Oh hum....

Cristiane Fri 26-Apr-13 17:06:24

Hey hobnob DD2 is a threenager but she is brilliant. She is fab. She is obsessed with pirates so guess what the theme of her 4th birthday will be! Ahaargh me hearties! Unfortunately my DH left us last January so now I am FT single working mutha... God you never know what is round the corner do you? He also lives 4000 miles away so I NEVER get time off - so the house is getting messier and messier and my need to declutter more desperate... Also I travel with work a lot so it is really hard to find any time at all... Currently in the airport trying to chill and getting a chance to go on mumsnet!

I have a desperate odd sock bag!

svrider take it straight to cash for clothes if you can. D you have to go through it first?

BeCool Fri 26-Apr-13 17:15:28

svrider I agree totally with Cristiane - do not open the bags. take it all to cash for clothes. Not your problem and potential blockage in your own work.

cristiane ExP and I separated over Xmas (well I separated from him). He's not having DD's overnight even though he's sorted a flat etc. He doesn't want me to go out!!!! So single FT working mother of 2 here. DD's are 5.5 & 2 next week. DD2 thinks she is Captain Hook and is obsessed with cake!

<Raises glass>
Much respect!

clearsommespace Fri 26-Apr-13 17:19:03

SVrider, how about taking them back to hers next time you visit and saying 'I haven't had time to go through these yet so I thought I'd do it while DD's got you to keep her busy'.

I've namechanged in honour of minimalising, how do you like it? <twirls>

Cristiane Fri 26-Apr-13 17:23:15

Hey becool high five! DDs are 7 and nearly 4... Where did that pirate thing come from?!

svrider I think that's right, cash4clothes can sort it out. And they may accept more than you realise. I used to live in Africa and the markets there sold loads of stuff like curtains and bedspreads that were sold to places like cash for clothes and shipped out there. There is an African woman right now buying those bags of clothes/ curtains etc that she will wash and press and then sell at the market at a profit, and use the proceeds to pay for her children to go to school... Think on that for motivation!

Sokmonsta Fri 26-Apr-13 17:45:29

I used to have a huge odd sock bag - one of those big reusable shoppers. It was full of not so odd socks as we'd fling them in there to sort later.

Dh has made a brave suggestion today. Partly influenced by the 3rd breakdown in a year! He has wondered whether we could get rid of the microwave as it would free up a lot of space. This comes as he was trying to microwave some pasta sauce and the bloody thing won't heat up. We had this twice last year when the twins were teeny and we were microwave sterilising. Emergency dash to Tesco at 10pm one night to get Milton and a loan microwave from a friend a few days later. Weirdly all 3 have done the same. Anyway, I digress.

Since we're going to return this one as faulty, how naughty would it be to just say we'll have the money back and not bother replacing it (if they'll let us of course). I've worked out we cook baked beans, peas and heat/reheat food in it. But actually now the babies are weaned onto our food and aren't having their bottles sterilised, there's probably very little we need a microwave for, other than convenience. My parents manage perfectly well without theirs and thus we/the babies do when there.

It would give me a much better space to use when baking and we're unlikely to fill it with small appliances as everything else has a home in the kitchen.

takeaway2 Fri 26-Apr-13 19:03:01

I've dumped dh's holey jumper. smile Will try and clear out sock and underwear drawer later. Friend has given me a bag of clothes for DS which is great but that means I'll go through his and dump small clothes. All for a good cause.

I'm going to suggest a use for stained and outgrown clothing that can't be sent down the chazzer smile

Look away now, serious environmentalists blush. I pack them up until we go to centerparcs, wear, then bin them. Yes, I know they couldgo in the clothing bank but it feels sooo good to come back with an empty ish suitcase and no washing!
Didn't get much, well anything done today, after dc off to school my friends came round for bible study (arti, thanks for specifics, noted and prayed for), these were immediately followed by another group of friends who didn't leave til two then it was school pick up! Did manage to decree bath toys while dc in bath though. Found old rug dhs brought back from iraq tour, planned to declutter, but dh found it and it's now spread on bedroom floor!!!

Beautiful moon tonight.

silentmammoth Thank you! Special mattress arrived today!

hobnob57 Sat 27-Apr-13 10:03:07

Svrider my local cash for clothes came and collected my stuff from the doorstep - have a look online as yours may do similar.

Cristiane I've pmd you.

I have a recollection of someone talking about craft boxes last week. I organised ours after Christmas. I dismantled all the half used craft kits and organised the stuff into those re sealable sandwich bags - one for Pom poms, glitter pens, pipe cleaners, kit bits, sequiny stuff, etc. Then it all fitted nicely into a Really Useful box along with paints, brushes, glue and stampers.

Having done all that it has lain virtually unused since then... I imagine I'll get all tetchy when it doesn't get out back innthenorganised fashion I left it in!

Ok - I am in a mess! Everything is everywhere! ( Well not quite but it feels like it.) I need to do some serious 20:10 ing.

I started by not allowing myself to MN until I'd done 20 mins - so taken out rubbish, put more water in the car screen wash reservoir ( It seems to need topping up every 2-3 weeks at present so I hope it hasn't got a leak!!), emptied dishwasher and put dirties in, tidied up a houseplant that was staring at me ( got rid of dead leaves etc) and put a load of washing on.

Next 20 mins has to be for work as I have stuff all over my (very large) desk/table and 6 lessons still to write up plus general stuff everywhere.

I've been at sixes and sevens all week and now feel really rubbish - I think it is probably just reaction to all the stuff with my Dad. Yesterday I slept all afternoon! Housework has gone to pot even more than usual and I've not really been on top of work either!

Sokmonsta people managed without microwaves for centuries decades. Maybe try and calculate actually how much time ( if any) the microwave saves you in an average week and see if it is really worth it?

Sokmonsta Sat 27-Apr-13 18:58:51

It wouldn't make a huge difference in time saving. Just means putting a pan on the hob for most things. Food which would need to be reheated otherwise dh could take to work for lunch and reheat there. He's said about giving our George foreman to his parents too (currently housed on top of the microwave) as we've not used that in over a year. It's just gathering dust. So we've agreed to give it a go and if we do genuinely need it, we'll buy another. But if not its a lovely clear piece of worktop. Seems dh is taking this decluttering lark on board.

grin sockmonsta and yay for sockmonsta's DH!

Well I spent far more time than 10 mins on MN on my first break blush but have now done another 20 mins work and written up a lesson (including filing/putting away).

My next 20 mins will be housework (ish) related!

ISpyPlumPie Sat 27-Apr-13 20:30:28

Hi everyone.

Not done a vast amount since I last posted, but did have a useful 10 mins sorting out the condiment and baking cupboards. Got rid of a bin bag full blush of stuff that's past it's sell by date or I just never use. Left with a much pared down collection of ingredients I actually use. Have also put herbs and spices into alphabetical order to make it easier to check if we've got something rather than ending up with duplicates every time I try a new recipe.

Socks - definitely agree with getting rid of appliances you don't really use. As you say, they take up loads of space, gather dust and if you find you are really struggling without them (which sounds unlikely from what you say) they can be replaced.

Still spending too long between 20 mins sessions on internet!

Still, I have now put away/put in ironing basket every single bit of dried washing, put newly washed stuff on airer and put another load in machine! I've also decluttered a plant that was really nice but got a weird fungus/mould disease that I couldn't get rid of! Do you think this counts as an item on my decluttering "things out" list? even though I've kept the rather nice terracotta pot it was in? blush .
Ive now made myself a cup of tea and some sliced banana on toast (with honey). Once eaten I'm back on another 20 mins work. I'm slowly beginning to feel more in control but getting tired!!

BeCool Sat 27-Apr-13 21:04:08

clearsomme I love it!