This is the new minimalist/decluttering thread! I hope everyone likes the minimal title!
hello! I have listed several more items on eBay today and we are clearing out the chests of drawers in spare room and bedroom so they can be picked up by a local charity. Feeling very much on a roll with this, although because we are trying to recycle things/give them to scrap stores etc there are still things in the house that need to go, but DH has promised to bring them all this Thursday after the charity come to take away the furniture.
Hi everyone and welcome bessie26, come and join us when you're ready!
I found a Freecycler for my pram and it is gone from my house! Yippee! I noticed the feeling of space immediately when I got home from work this evening. I would go so far as to say it gave me a thrill! I felt good about passing it on to someone who needed it, end of. No negotiating about price, guilt about the stained bit on the lining etc. Just someone getting a bit of use out of something we no longer need.
Good luck for the week ahead everyone, let's make it a clutter free zone!
I'm scared of minimalism, but did laugh at the title.
Love the thread title, and I was just thinking we needed a new thread, thanks for starting it arti
Now I need to declutter something, so that I can feel like a valid contibutor
I got rid of some random boxes, odd socks and old sheets yesterday.
Not a huge amount but in-keeping with 15minutes per day de-cluttering.
I have a pile of about 10 old towels. This seems excessive but we use them when people come to stay and on holiday so I am struggling to justify getting rid of them. Aahh! Why is it so hard?
Hello! I read all of the last thread, but thought I would wait for a shiny clean one to start posting. Today I am going to be decluttering two pairs of shoes that have sold on ebay.
Really want to get this place clutter free, but also need to make some money, so need to get scheduling listings ready. Going to plan in a car boot for later this month too. It's free listings this weekend coming for anyone else who ebays.
I don't really have a problem with the paperwork side of clutter, I'm quite good at regular filing, and throwing away of junk. Mines more the random piles, putting stuff where it shouldn't be, mugs are a downfall of mine too! But I want nice things now, not lots of things in my house, so time to get sorted.
Morning all! Welcome to Karaoke, Slattern and Bessie.
Well I think that sorting out two bags of clothes for the chazzer yesterday has really lifted my spirits. ( Or is it the fact that the sun is shining?) I'm hoping to find some time today to walk to the chazzer at the end of my road <convenient> and drop the stuff off.
Slattern I'm scared of minimalism too but I'm using this thread to focus on decluttering down to things I love or use - not on actually being minimalist. I felt quite shocked yesterday when I got most of my clothes out in piles onto my bed and saw just how much "stuff" I had got. I think decluttering and being on this thread is actually helping me to enjoy the stuff I have much more and realise that I just don't actually need some things. I don't want a home that "looks" minimalist though and I don't feel any pressure on this thread to go for that!
I have really got to work seriously
this week today. However as I seem to be on a bit of a decluttering roll (is that bit like a saussage roll?), I'm going to try and find some time to do at least a bit of this today too even if it is just tidying rather than proper decluttering
Off to make a start on my work desk!
Thanks for the new thread Arti!
Welcome Karaoke, Slattern and Bessie!
Feeling overwhelmed again today. Kids off school, absolutely beautiful day, but lost my rag before 10am and threatened to abandon all plans. A lot to do with ds going through separation anxiety and screeching if I turn my face away from him, so normal tidying and pottering around is at a minimum. So clutter has got the better of me and I feel like I am drowning. Kids destpatched to do some tidying whilst I calm down. I'm in awe of Sokmonsta who manages to be productive with so many kiddos. I feel paralysed by mine. Eldest is an attention seeker who is always asking a gazillion questions and trying to plan the day infinite detail to her advantage before your brain has had a chance to catch up. Middle is going through boundary pushing stage and doing naughty stuff deliberately and then lying about it. And youngest is discovering the power of screeching. It's ok if I stay on the sofa...
Hobnob - sorry things are so tough today! Hang on in there!
Inspired by the last thread I have taken 4 bags of stuff to Oxfam this morning. Including 2 of DS's outgrown Abercrombie things which I briefly considered Ebaying - and then remembered the wisdom on here and stuffed them in the bag.
Kids back at school now so can have a serious blitz of the linen cupboard today without having to pause for lunch/taxi/revision aid duties.
Sunshine definitely helps the clearing out mood
Jumping on new thread! Loving the m ......................
hobnob my 2 yo is louder that I would ever possibly have imagined when she feels the 'need'. I swear she was born with a built in microphone (but gee that would be from my side of the family )
Ha! " bags of clothes out of house and taken to chazzer. It feels soooo good to have got it actually out of the house!
Have also decluttered some paperwork from one of my student's files. ( I have a magazine style file for each student - most of them are bursting at the seams with stuff and need re-sorting to see how much is still relevant).
Fridge freezer has been taken for compressor to be replaced and the kitchen is therefore quite a tip full of fridge drawers and rather dead looking vegetables! I need to have the space where ff was, cleaned before it goes back in tomorrow ( how on earth does so much dust accumulate?) So currently also decluttering dust bunnies from kitchen!
Hope you are all having a good day with at least a bit of decluttering!
<snorts at hobnob and thinks hobs could have done with seeing us yesterday. I would have done a fish wife proud!>
I'm like a duck. Gliding along on top. Paddling furiously underneath.
..and the bloody child won't sleep and has just screeched through a physio appointment.
But I did go to the dump and empty the boot, and visit specsavers with my old specs so I can say I've done something today. But the kids are avoiding me. And ds still won't let me put any washing away. I must have 5-6 loads decorating the dining room.
Oh hobs. I can sympathise. Jen has been ill and only I am good enough, or uncle Chris, who adores her but alas does not live with us.
I have a king sized bed I think. I'm not sure with all the clothes to be out away on it (currently working way through to sort school kit for tomorrow).
Sounds like you managed loads hobnob! I have a Velcro 2 yr old. It can make it difficult to even get the basics done, never mind decluttering!
Just put 3 items on eBay, now selling 4 in total.
Earlier today I got a lovely email from the Freecycler who picked up my pram saying thanks so feeling good about that.
And that's about it for today. Am eyeing up my bridesmaid dress and shoes from my sister's wedding. She has given me permission to sell them but not sure eBay is the best bet?
The new thread title makes me smile when I see it - feel like I'm in a secret James Bond style club!
Fab title !!
Hoping to start sorting through 6 years of
-rubbish- family clutter
I have had to go HARD CORE.
I am currently sorting through 100 years, that's 100 years of clutter from DH's family.
I may be some time.
Sounds like there is a story there Boffin! Good luck!
Fab thread title!
Good luck Boffin
I have managed to quickly tidy our hovel and hoover through, this decluttering lark is amazing! I've for 5/6 bags destined to the chazza shop or chazza bin from the past week. The building works have finished thank goodness and our house just has the scaffold to come down to declutter our view and gardens. I've also sold a fleece soaker on a Fb selling page, so I'm thrilled someone else will have it and be able to use it.
I've found the minimalist challenge is thankfully helping my weight loss, 1stone in 6 weeks. Very happy.
DS1 is back to school tomorrow so hopefully DS2 will nap at a reasonable time so I can quickly sort through something- of which I'm unsure of at the moment.
Nothing cleared today - back at work after half term. Hopefully will be able to start packing and clearing again tomorrow evening. Thank god it's only 27 years of my own crap, not 100 years boffin
Tell us why 100 years, Boffin?
Brilliant weight loss NingNangNong, congratulations!
I too need to know boffin. It sounds intriguing.
Packed the big two off to school/preschool this morning. Twins have just had breakfast and going down for a nap. Then it's onwards and outwards with the clutter until its time to fetch ds from preschool. It's such a lovely day I aim to get as much done as possible in these 2 hours so I can spend the rest of the day enjoying the garden
clearing out shed. Again
Another joining the "need to know list" Boffin !
Hmmm - I have a busy work day today - plus houseworky things I need to do, so not too sure how much actual decluttering will take place. I kind of still want to capitalise on my weekend efforts while I still feel enthused but
earning a living other things keep getting in the way!
Ning - I need to join you on the wight decluttering. I have zero self-control with sweets and chocolates! Stopped at garage shop to buy milk last night and bought Minstrels - at least it was only a small packet!
My gold bag and jewellery recycling bag are off to the PO this afternoon. Excited. I haven't been as ruthless as I could have been since I have kept all the stuff my DH and gran gave me but I'll make more of an effort to wear what I have once ds is out of the yanking phase. I'm feeling a bit guilty about getting rid of silver rings that my girls might be interested in one day but I'll get over it.
A box of DVDs arrived for me today. Good in that they are for my course, bad in that I need to find space for them.
I've unearthed a baby swing from the shed that needs free cycled.
The good news is that ds is much less screechy today but still showing no signs of napping. Crawling is much too exciting. He never touches any of his baby toys but instead favours mobile phone charging cables and soil given half a chance. Aibu to chazzer his toys?
Well, FIL died unexpectedly in March, leaving two houses to purge of all the hoardings that had accumulated over the last century.
I found things like an antique trunk full of DH's grandmother's hand made trousseau, DH grandmother's wedding dress, shoes and veil, an unworn Masonic apron from the 1930s (long story), about 50 hats and about 100 drama costumes (another long story), plus an awful lot of things that had been kept on the grounds that they were supposed to be valuable (eg silver plate cutlery and tea set, Victorian dressing table set, random little ornaments) but when I took them to be valued at the auction house I was told they were practically worthless (which I can believe - the quality of the craftsmanship was generally poor and they were pretty clunky designs as well. This family were not known for their aesthetic sensibilities).
Then there was the household detritus, as little was ever thrown out. Cupboards full of posh jams and things that they had been given, squirrelled away, and forgotten about; a once-prized collection of old carrier bags; broken, dusty Christmas ornaments; old bottles of booze that had almost dried up or corked; old dresses and plastic handbags with stains or with bits chipped off them; hats that had been nice but put away badly and squashed so they were only fit for the bin; old plastic shoes; cheap, dusty nick nacks that they had forgotten existed; old bottles of toiletries and perfume faded from the sun; dusty dried flowers; macrame plant holders and decaying wicker shelves and chairs. Ironically both houses were so full of stuff there often wasn't anywhere for us to stay properly when we visited - we just sort of camped around all these worthless possessions, things people had completely forgotten they even had, never looked at, never enjoyed. I did manage to tackle parts of one of the houses before they both died, to make it a bit easier to visit, but the other one was tidy but neglected, so neglected.
I walk in there and a wave of despair always hits me as I see the scale of what they hung on to, and how little it counts for once you have died. It makes me want to give all my stuff away so my own children haven't got this to contend with. A selfishness of space, things used as a barrier so people don't intrude too much, a tendency to live an uncomfortable life rather than a comfortable one because the stuff has to come first. I spend my weekends ferrying it up to my own house so I can sort though it, then I negotiate painstakingly with DH about what we can give away, then the rest I try to incorporate into what we already own.
Ironically I have a storage unit of decent antiques that I inherited, that I cannot use because they need recovering, DH finds them uncomfortable to sit on, etc, and I pay £50 a month to keep them elsewhere while I have to make space in my home for a lot of old crap.
It's not easy at the moment.
Sorry, that was quite a miserable post, wasn't it?
In tribute to the thread title I will now sum it up in minimalist fashion.
Hello again! I was on the 1st & 2nd m thread and have flitted back and forth a bit ever since. Most impressed that it's still going. Love love love the new title and thought it must be you lot. Inspired.
(BoffinMum, that sounds utterly utterly overwhelming...)
Some of you may remember my dread at emptying the Garage of Doom back in Jan/Feb. Yes, we did hundreds of trips to the amenities site but the remnants of Doom are still filling the office - not good as there are 2 of us working from home. I tried to eBay something and didn't get any bids and frankly I've realised I'm not an eBayer, I know I won't do a car boot (because I want to be in the garden when the weather's nice, not selling stuff) so I've decided to freecycle or charity-shop all of it and the dc can do a little yard sale of their toys.
Good to be back.
glad you're back harriet! Some of your posts on the first thread were the thing that inspired me most to get going on this and it has been genuinely life-changing. I love the living room in our house now it's clear and I just feel lighter and more in control of everything.
Welcome back Harriet I always wondered how you had got on with the Garage of Doom.
Boffinmum - sounds like a lot of hard work! - would a costume museum be interested in some of the older clothes?
So far I've managed to declutter some old sprouting carrots from the fridge drawer - does that count? ( Fridge-freezer due back from repairers this afternoon) plus got rid of recycling from the flat (and notified council about unemptied recycling bins (again) )! Need to do more really but work is calling! Ug - what I really want to do is go outside and sit in the sunshine!
Ah well - having decided to get a bit more structured about things (like work, what time I go to bed, get up etc) I best get on!
boffin I feel your pain - my MIL is exactly like this (in a 7 bedroom house with 3 living rooms but there's no room for us to stay) and refuses point blank to throw ANYTHING away, the house is literally crammed to the ceilings with crap of every variety, dusty, broken, junk. Old dog medicine hoarded in the kitchen cabinets. It drives me crazy, as she phones up to whine about it and expects my DH to fly home to help her "clear" it, except her version of clearing is to move everything around while telling long stories about each piece of shit she picks up.
The house is far too big for her, expensive to heat etc but can't be sold to buy her a nice place she could manage in because she refuses to clear her stuff out.
I realise I sound like a controlling ass in the lats post - I should say that she keeps asking my DH and his siblings to help her sell the house, and whinging that she hates it etc, but then when they all book time off work and go home to help her she obstructs them, refuses to throw things away and then gets pissed and retires to bed leaving them all as to why they bothered
I would love to join the declutter please! We are moving in the next few months so i want to use the opportunity to wang
Where should I start then!?
I am about to take a bag of baby clothes to the rag bin...
Goofy welcome! I'm not too sure where you should start but other wiser individuals will be along shortly to advise I am sure!
Have you got a garage thet is dry and secure? <hopeful>
Why not start by de-cluttering that -then you might have some space to box up stuff you do want to keep ( but aren't going to use in next couple of months) and store it pending the move?
Hi Goofy - those baby clothes are a good start!
The ad ice I read on here somewhere (there's a moving tips thread) is to clear a place - be it a room or garage as arti says and then use it for storing stuff you have packed up.
Hi Harriet, nice to see you're still with us
Boffin Agree that a museum might be interested in the clothes, and if not, maybe any local theatre companies / amateur dramatics groups? What a mammoth task, sorting through all that stuff, and I can understand not wanting to leave the same mess for your own kids.
On the flip side though, my mum and I cleared out my Grandad's room when he died. It took about an hour. All his worldly possessions fit into four boxes. I couldn't help thinking "Is this what 93 years amounts to?" All the things he did in his life, all his achievements, and there was just nothing to show for it. Admittedly, he had moved into a small flat after my Grandma died, and then into a residential home, so he had got rid of things gradually as he downsized, and some things went to family members who wanted them.
This is where I feel a bit conflicted about decluttering. I remember going through my grandma's things when she died, my cousins and aunts were there too, and everyone kept picking up things and talking about the memories they brought back. It was a nice experience, although sad, but I do feel it helped the grieviong process. It makes me think that the things I am decluttering are my "now", but they are my DD's past. At the moment it's ok as she's still only tiny and won't remember any of the junk that has been offloaded, but I can see that as she gets bigger, I might find it more difficult. I suppose I don't want her to get to age 20 or whatever and say "oh my mum chucked out all my toys, she thought they were junk." That said, my mum didn't keep any of my things, and I don't have any negative feelings about that, so maybe I'm talking nonsense.
In fact, I think I gave away loads of toys myself when I had grown out of them. As far as I know it was my own idea, but who knows, my mum may have planted the seed and just let me think it was my own idea!
Sorry for the long, rambling post. Wow, I'm a really crap declutterer, aren't I? I really never anticipated the feelings that would be brought up by this.
Thanks for the kind words!
3 bags of clothes ready to go on the drive for MacMillan collection tomorrow. 2 bags of books delivered to charity shop en route to school earlier. Room of Gloom is now 1 huge box clearer.
One thing I did do is to buy each of us an old fashioned tuck box and we are making them into lovely memory boxes with all our really special personal memory things in there.
I think if you're going to keep things, they they need to be looked after and treasured, rather than hoarded and not looked at.
BTW I did actually manage to find a lovely home for the costumes and so on, and a museum has expressed an interest in the older stuff. So that's positive.
Thanks all, yes our garage is dry and secure, so that's where i will start!
Tomorrow i will have 2
terrible two year old helpers so maybe not tomorrow, thursday is the day!
Loving the new thread. I just made it onto the end of the last one. I continue to be inspired....
A few days ago I looked around my living room in despair, thinking why oh why does it feel like I am constantly tidying and decluttering this place but it never gets any easier to maintain? I suddenly realized that a huge part of the problem was that there were too many things that didn't have a designated space, so a lot of "tidying" was actually just moving things from one spot to another iyswim.
While my toddler napped I went into a decluttering frenzy. Everything that didn't have a place bit binned, put in the Freecycle box, or boxed and labeled in the garage. I also minimized the in-use items; for example, does ds' art station really need a massive box overflowing with scrap paper and 20 different kinds of drawing materials?? I put the extra stuff in a cupboard and left out only 1 small drawing pad, a box of crayons and a box of stickers.
In 2 hours the room looked like a different place!
The next couple of evenings, it only took 5 minutes to tidy the place up at the end of the day; ds loved his tidy little art station,dh very impressed also.....
Then,I went into labour....
It was so nice to be able to wander around having contractions in a clean, welcoming space. When my midwife arrived and saw there was some time to go she promptly lay down on the couch and took a nap; the couch that was no longer covered in piles of homeless items!
Now obviously I was not thinking,"oh lucky that stupid elephant isn't cluttering up that corner anymore" mid-contraction, but I do believe that the tidy space contributed to a feeling of calm.
Ds2 was born at home at 6 in the evening.... A healthy and relaxed little fellow!
We have been chilling here while dh took ds1 out... And again, so nice not to be surrounded by clutter. Just sitting in a pleasant space with my baby. I even loaded the dishwasher; it was literally the only clutter so I felt motivated to do it (and very proud of myself given that I currently have no core muscles).
Yay for late-pregnancy nesting instinct.
Ahhh wow! Huge congratulations on the new baby and the decluttering slightlyitchy
Marking my place despite not having done much
Congratulations everyone on any decluttering and babies!!
Slightlyitchy congratulations on the living room decluttering and mega congratulations on the results of the highly exhausting womb decluttering that followed - although I have some suspicions that the results of the second decluttering may mitigate against the the results of the first
especially in about 14 years time ah well!
I now have a very clean and decluttered (and fixed) fridge-freezer. Freezer is currently totally empty but I will collect my frozen stuff from neighbours' freezer later on today. The rest of the kitchen is a tip! I am feeling tired and headachy and backachy having a much slower start to work than is ideal!
Ah well - onwards and upwards(ish)!
Boffin sounds like you're doing really well sorting through all those things, I hope you and DH can clear through the rest easily.
I am feeling really unwell today, my husband took my eldest to school so I just have to control DS2 and pick up DS1. I'm fighting waves of tiredness and nausea and Im quite upset I haven't got the energy to tidy up.
Congrats to Itchy! Ds was an unexpected homebirth and it was fab. Sending you decluttered baby sleep vibes.
£35 for my decluttered jewellery!
I'm procrastinating when I should be working on one of 3 different pieces of work so the decluttering is going quite well... The perils of self employment...
Congratulations itchy. Ds1 was a planned home birth. We also planned on having the MW there...
New thread has been giving inspiration I see
Well so far I've put 3 boxes up in the loft of stuff that needs to be sorted, I have a box in the hall which is being filled and now the dc are back at school I am desperately clawing back some semblance of routine.
harriet You and me both on the procrastinating! Perils of self employment indeed! I'm not even doing anything very constructive!
<goes off muttering "must work!" "must work!">
I've had another busy spell recently so haven't been managing to tackle anything big like the boxes of photos etc. Also I'm a bit stuck because there are things we need to move around and shelves we need to put up etc but we can't because we are waiting on the electrician. One he's been, all those things can go into logical places and I will be able to more easily access the other stuff I need to sort through.
I did have a lightbulb moment reading through a thread on induction hobs. There is no point keeping ourwok: it doesn't work on our induction hob.
And I've revisited some of the things I've already done. It's surprising how much you can find to pass on second and third time round.
I just dropped off 2 large shopping bags of diet books at Scope. I've been diet and body obsessed for 30 years, despite not really being very overweight, or even losing any weight. Buying more and more books was part of it. And you know, getting rid wasn't half as hard as expected.
There are still a few on the shelf, throwing them out is, I think, a sign I'm letting go of this addiction / problem
De-lurking for for slightly had last 2 DCs at home - midwives were very relaxed too, eating sandwiches and napping!!
2 bin bags of DCs broken rubbish in bin today, can now see the top of their drawers
So, ds1 has decided to pass his playmobil on to another family. He was really happy to let it go but I feel really sad about it... My little boy's growing up! He's off to high school in Sept and basically doesn't play with toys any more... (He'd basically be happy with a football).
But I am feeling unequivocally happy about prospect of losing playmobil collosseum. What was I thinking?! It's enormous, stupidly expensive and has been played with about 4 times...
slightly wow how lovely! congratulations!
Does anyone else find that their eye for clutter changes from day to day? Some days I get so overwhelmed by it and don't know where to start and other days I just don't see it and don't know where to start. So I've just printed off some checklists off Slow Your Home to see if I can solve this problem.
On the up side, two big parcels of baby stuff are being collected tomorrow for my friend.
Well, I have the bug. Yesterday, my aim was the airing cupboard- I had already culled the towels and sheets, but had ended up with a load of junk. Ended up doing all the airing cupboard, and getting about three quarters of the way round my bedroom! Sorted my wardrobe, stored away winter clothes, got rid of loads of belts, handbags, pulled everything out, swept and mopped. Needs finishing today, got a DVD collection to go though, a bit more junk dotted around to clear up. Enjoying this! But it does mean I have roughly 3 binbags of clothes to get listed on Ebay this weekend
I love playmobil - a playmobil colloseum - Wow! I never had any as a child (slightly too old) but a friend's little brother had loads and we used to
play with it help him!
I'm very tired today. Woke at about 1.30am and then tossed and turned until about 5.30am when I put ibuprofen gel on aching back and leg and ate some weetabix. Of course I then fell asleep and did not want to wake at 8.00am!!
Work is still getting in the way of decluttering, but I am sorting out little bits of work decluttering as I go along!
hobnob - I know exactly how you feel!
Just reached into bedside drawer to find meds and came across my stash of DCs teeth
Have you kept yours? If so, do you plan to give them to them?
Keep or bin???
My mum kept ours and I am slightly to say that I chucked them when she gave them to me - I thought they were totally gross!
Oh yes, definitely chuck them. They are cute just after they come out but they don't age very well.
There are much nicer things to keep for your DCs. I remember being a tiny bit envious of a friend who had her baby teeth when she was 10ish but I don't care now. I still regret a little that all my childhood drawings 'got lost in a house move'.
I'm not on your thread but I clicked out of curiosity and had to come on and say thanks for the giggle. An inspired title.
Right I'll leave you all to it now. Sorry.
Hair - feel free to join us - the more the...err....err... well... the less minimal I suppose!
Struggling with tiredness. I decided this afternoon to sit and write down what I feel I have done well this week and what not so well (something I sometimes do with my students)
I was getting down on myself for stuff I hadn't yet done but actually, there is more on my "done well" list! Still haven't started on tidying the spare room though <weekend smilie?>
Hello everyone. I have recently downsized by one bedroom and one reception room. I had a bid de-clutter before I moved but I am now having a bigger de-clutter because i can't bear to fill my new house with too much stuff, it is a new build and so lovely and light.... I want it to stay that way!
I was so fed up of having to find a home for everything before I could begin cleaning. I hope when I FINALLY get through all the boxes that will no longer be an issue.
So far I have finished the kitchen, downstairs loo, linen cupboard and DD's bedroom (DD1 and 2 share).
Does anyone else seem to have lots of bathroom clutter?!?!?
arti I didn't have Playmobil as a kid and always wanted it. I suspect that's why I bought it...
Hello confusion. Sounds like you're doing really well.
On bathroom clutter: what sort of thing? I've got rid of masses, eg, bath pillow (never used), strange loofahs (never used), all the bath toys except stacking cups because they still seem to get played with by dc (7 and 10). I'm trying to use up all of the shampoo bottles over time so we can get a generic no-more-tears type for all of us to use. I keep my make-up in a shoe box lid in the top drawer in my bedroom and then I can just take the lot to the mirror and clear it away really easily afterwards. But I have so many bottles of body moisturiser and hand cream... I hardly ever bother using them (maybe once a month...) so I'll never get through them... Feels so wasteful to throw them out!
Hi Harriet, that is really what I mean, so many bottles of stuff that are hardly ever used but it would seem wasteful to throw them out. I always seem to throw them out before Christmas.... just in time for everyone to get more!
confusion, I was given some lovely L'Occitane shower gel for Christmas and I initially thought about saving it 'for best' then I thought how nice it would be to smell of that instead of Tesco Value Soap (although that's fine too), so I use it every day. But realistically I'm not going to use all the hand cream even though my hands could do with it... Most of it is unopened so maybe I could see if anyone wants it on Freecycle... What do you think?
If it's named stuff, stick it on eBay! I made about £40 on Soap and Glory stuff, most of it opened and smelt, then stuck in a cupboard. Old/ half used perfumes too- the Next perfume I had went surprisingly well. If you quickly list it now, take pictures on the mobile app maybe, you could put it on a 3 day listing, it could be sold and gone by Monday.
I use No7 body care daily as I have terrible skin and it is one of the few perfumed products I can use. I think I will pop all the unopened (7 I just checked) festive box sets on freecycle.
It has taken me long enough to ebay bigger items!
I'm going to be ruthless and chuck out all my paperback books, will charity shops take them?
Also does anyone have a solution for bloody dvds? We watch a lot of films, have a lot of dvds and they are so bloody ugly! Could i perhaps put all the discs into cd wallets and pack up the boxes and put them in the loft?
We have little plastic cases in different colours, got rid of the cases and file them in there- pink for kids stuff, green for films. Got them from Amazon I think. The only ones we kept cases for were Disney- don't know why, just seemed like we should!
Charity shops will usually take paperback books if they have room. We took loads to a local one, the man in there said he never refused books but we went back with more and a different person said they had no more room (we were clearing a relatives house so there were lots!).
If they are in good condition and not too old (or claims) your local library may take them too.
goofy I use these from muji for dvds www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=14&Sub=58&PID=421 and I chucked boxes. Also use separate folders for cds and wii games. Works brilliantly for us and takes up a fraction of the space. (hope link works - doing this on my phone and not sure how to make links clicky).
Thanks for the invite arti but I'm embracing the clutter right now.
Maybe in 15 or so years when dc3 has moved out?!?
I have until now avoided decluttering threads (apart from my own pre-xmas one last year which was actually quite successful) but I was intrigued by this title
Can I please join you?
We are massively cluttered and it is getting a lot worse now as I got ill last year and am juggling work/DCs/pacing myself (ha)... I think I have reached a tipping point with our clutter. I am realising how much more difficult it is making my life, and it is even starting to make DD sad too (she is nearly 6). She said the other day "There is too many things in our house and it is hard to play"
I have no idea how the hell we are going to manage this, DH's health hasn't been great either (had surgery last year for a back injury) and for both of us, doing too much in one go is risky and we will suffer for it for weeks so it's going to be interesting...
Haven't read whole thread yet so apologies if repeating but a couple of things I'm noticing from posts above - for DVDs (they are our weakness and do not count as clutter thank you very much ) we use CaseLogic cases which I buy on Amazon, they are pretty good quality, we have them in various sizes from 72 to 320 capacity!
Also - don't know about other charities but I previously volunteered in British Heart Foundation and they don't turn away books - any that aren't sellable get recycled and the charity gets money - it was around 50p a kilo, which adds up pretty fast with books. They do a similar thing with unsellable clothes.
Really must go to bed now, having a lot of trouble sleeping lately so I will try and think of decluttering plans while attempting to doze off...
Fuzzpig, you don't need big chunks of time (although that is useful for big projects like photos, sorting books etc). It's really about how you view your stuff. Reading some of the links on the previous threads could help. Then you'll find as you go about your daily life you'll see things and think 'I don't need that'.
It helps if you have a space to keep a charity box/clothing bag.
Can you set aside 15 mins each day to sort through a drawer, a shelf etc? Take out a piece of clothing from the back of the wardrobe every time you get dressed and make a decision about it.
If you don't need the money, take anything that could be sold to the charity shop so a good cause benefits and you clear things quicker.
Looking on the bright side, your DD is on board already!
Welcome fuzzpig just take it one box/cupboard/shelf at a time as clearsome suggests. I'd even recommend trying to completely clear each small space before you start the next one, because I have noticed that it can feel more stressful when you are tripping over 3 bin-liners of clothes in the hall as you try to de-clutter the bathroom.
At the moment I have 4 trays of papers in my living room which are being scanned and then binned, but it is a work in progress!
We are moving house on 8-10th August and I am DETERMINED not to haul the same boxes of
shit junk with us when we move as we did when we moved here. New life!
Thanks all for the advice about dvds, i will make that the job for the next few days!
Actually i think books and dvds are the biggest clutter culprit in this house so i think that will make me feel tons better!
fuzzpig i definitely agree, one shelf or drawer at a time, it soon adds up! Good luck
I'd echo what clearsommespace and artemis have said, fuzzpig. . Great advice!
For me there's a really helpful distinction between decluttering and minimalism and I find blogs like www.becomingminimalist.com/ really inspiring. Their motto is 'Own less. Live more.' The minimalist approach means I've started to re-evaluate how I live not just how I organise my things.
I think getting rid of things feels like incredibly hard work at first but it takes on a momentum of its own, especially when it's balanced by making space for what you really want in your life, even if that's just some clear space in the bathroom for a candle while you have a hot bubbly bath...
Argh, how hard is it to get rid of a double buggy? It's in great working order, just needs a clean. Have put it on a local fb page for free things, lots of people commenting to ask to see it then vanishing, I keep waiting to see if they come back and it's such a waste of time! One lady messaged me on Tuesday to ask to see it, I replied straight away with my address, haven't heard from her since. Have another lady asking for it so hopefully she'll still be interested.
How long do you usually let people dither for before you let someone else have it?
Nishi where are you? A girl I know from toddler group desperately needs a double buggy as her one got stolen.
Oh, and don't forget Women's Aid or Refuge.... call your local one and they will collect all SORTS of things from your place.
My mum recently unearthed some writing my sister did when she was five. It said something like " I am 5 and my sister is 9 and my Mummy is 35 and my Daddy is 35 and in our house we have got a clock and a sofa and a musical table (it had a lid that opened and was a musical box) and too much junk!
Actually my parents house wasn't too overcluttered (unless you were a 5 year old trying to take an inventory of your life!)
I can identify with the tiredness because of health problems thing too! I have fibromyalgia and that makes things difficult- especially when most energy I actually have needs to go on work!
Speaking of which... (the world of the self-employed is definitely not 9-5!)
I am struggling a bit right now. Not with decluttering per se but more with my spending habits. I think I really need to address them to have an hope of breaking the cycle and embracing the minimalist mindset fully. A perfect example is shopping for summer dresses for DD1 yesterday. I really wanted two t-shirt/tennis dresses so I don't have to worry about her shoulders getting burnt or bother ironing them, just a couple of easy care garments. She has a narrow waist so dresses always work better than separates. I tried M&S & Dunnes, nothing , then Mothercare (just the shops we have locally, I like to try to shop on the high street when I can). Mothercare had a nice one but with cut away shoulders and another one which is lined and will need ironed but had an attractive design. I justified them on the basis that she will need a slightly smarter dress for summer anyway, and the cut away shoulders one was at least better than the spaghetti strap ones I had been seeing elsewhere. So far, so good (well okay). Then later I was on t'internet and saw two lovely (reduced) t-shirt dresses from Boden. I ended up buying them both (never usually shop mini Boden as it would be quite expensive IMO) but they were exactly the sort I had hoped to get in the first place. It is easy enough to justify all these purchases - we're going away three separate weeks in the summer (2 staying with family) so it would be best to have enough clothes not to have to do laundry for a week. Dd2 will no doubt get some wear out of them. They are a good size and will hopefully do next summer. But I a still annoyed with myself. I bought more than I intended and probably more than I really needed. Just want to move on from this mindset of consumerism <confession and self flagellation over>. Anybody have any tips or comments?
Welcome Fuzzpig. It's pretty daunting getting started, but just take it in small chunks as others have said. I don't stock up loads to take to the charity shop, I just fill up and drop off one carrier bag at a time. It gets the stuff out of the house, but it's not piling up and getting in the way.
Re: body lotion and hand cream - I never, ever use body lotion, and yet you always get it in sets of smellies. I read on another thread this week that someone recommended using it instead of shaving gel / cream. Might be worth a go? I plan to try it, but shaving my legs is a bit of a mission at the moment (31wks pg).
Alark It sounds like the boden dresses were more what you were initially looking for, so if you think you have bought more than you needed, maybe take the mothercare ones back? But if you think they are needed and will be used, go with the "one in, one out" policy, and get rid of some older things. I don't think you should be annoyed with yourself, especially considering they will likely be used by your other DD too.
Nishi I'm a bit ruthless with freecycle collections, I tend to tell people things need to be gone urgently and make it clear that it will go to the first person who can collect it. I always put "collect from..." on my listings but get no end of people asking if I'm ever in X town, or saying they can't get over this way for a week or so. I normally apologise that I won't be able to hold the item for them but tell them to drop me a message nearer the time and if it's still available they can have it.
Thanks mrspennyapple, feel a bit bad returning the Mothercare ones so will just keep them and try and move some other stuff on as you say.
Forgot to say welcome to fuzzpig, too busy with my self-indulgent rant! Hope you are finding the thread helpful .
Hi, I'm new to the thread. Very inspired by the decluttering going on in here
I expect you've all seen this, but I can't recommend this blog enough (might inspire you Lark??)
Lady called Kerry buys nothing new for a whole year apart from "consumables" or second hand. She writes really well and with lots of humour. She did this for a year and has now passed the blog on to someone new (can't remember name ). The new lady is doing some brilliant decluttering - check out the before and after pictures of her dressing table! Anyway hope anyone who hasn't seen it enjoys it as much as I did.
The Simple Year
Should say you have to scroll down to the bottom to go through the days of each month after selecting a month. You probably know this but I am old and had to work it out!
Oh thanks so much everyone for the and well wishes. Milk has come in so obviously decluttering has not been a priority, but I have been following a tip that I think I got from one of the earlier threads: when you leave a room take something with you that doesn't belong there. I love this, I am just taking things like a dirty tissue or empty drink bottle, all I can manage really but it feels good to be doing something even if tiny.
boffin how's the 100 year project going?
Amiga well done on chucking the diet books.
Morning all! I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine. i have to work this morning, but I'm hoping to do a little bit of sorting/tidying/decluttering later!
For those who ebay it is a free listing weekend.
Need to catch up on the thread, so much to read! Congratulations Itchy - fab story!
100 year story is also fascinating Boffin
Haven't done any decluttering lately and need inspiration to get started again.
Newbie here .
Over half term managed 4 or 5 bags to the charity shop, one bag to the fabric bank, bag of hand me downs to a friend. Also filled a wheelie bin with junk.
Today black bag full after sorting out some kitchen cupboards.
I'm not even halfway through the thread yet but just wanted to respond to boffin's post about FIL. Very poignant and sad. I grew up with parents like that and it wasn't nice. In fact even as a teen I started dreading the fact that one day I would face the situation you are in now. So in a way I was pleased when my mum finally said enough is enough (there were other reasons too but the clutter is quite symptomatic of dad's other issues IYSWIM) - this year they finally sold my childhood home and bought separate flats.
My mum is getting on brilliantly, she is very proactive at getting her new place sorted and selling stuff. Dad is not. He hasn't touched a thing since he moved, he hasn't even found his computer yet, and just stays at my nan's all day (she lives in the same retirement building, and has just bees diagnosed with lymphoma). I am worried and glad my mum is going to help him (despite his apathy being the main reason they split) and a bit guilty that I am too ill to help too.
You know what else though, I feel CHEATED. I have lost my childhood home because Stuff was more important. I lived with a broken window in my room for 6 years FFS. I am jealous of the new family moving in who will be able to make it lovely again (it has a lot of potential that in the 30 years my parents lived there was never met).
I really want a normal relationship with Stuff - it shouldn't be as important to me as it is. I know I attached more to objects because I got no emotional support from my parents, I was abused (not by them) and Stuff made me feel safe. I don't know how to change that. But I need to - I don't want my DCs suffering because of my shit mental health.
Sorry for massive depressing brain dump there but boffin's post really brought it home! But it can only get better from here, right?
fuzzpig Things can only get better!
Forgot to say, thanks for the warm welcome
boring relaxing day at home with the DCs, DH is working (he does casual sales stuff on most weekends) and I am not up to taking the DCs out today. I have now read the whole thread (I'm not going to read the previous threads though, it'd take hours and just stop me actually getting on with stuff!)
Anyway. I am basically going to try and think of lots of really little things I can do to declutter. I had originally thought of writing them all down before starting but that's just another way of procrastinating isn't it
I am going to start by moving DCs' library books (I work in a library so bring home loads - but better than buying even more right?!) onto the shelf that they used to live on, and put the scattered books that are actually ours into a spare Ikea bucket (there are a couple of other full book buckets but they are on the cabin bed - DD is refusing to sleep on it so DH has moved the mattress onto the floor <sigh> and using the bed bit as a huge shelf! )
When I've done that I'll grab any stuff in the bathroom that's been hanging around unused.
I know those things are tiny but they'll be a start and when I'm done I can allow myself on Amazon (need to order DH's father's day gifts and a couple of bits for DD's birthday).
I'm not really sure what to do about selling/charity. We do need money but then I want space too. Also we don't have a car so taking big/numerous things to the dump/charity is a bit tricky. I may end up just binning some things!
Gosh sorry I do waffle on don't I - need to try decluttering my words too
Just checking in... feeling a bit fraudulent here but I have clutter-free aspirations!
Fuzz, onwards and upwards
Yesterday I unpacked my new bedroom and sent 3 bags to the charity shop and four to the dump! Next on the agenda is DS's bedroom [scared!].
just checking in.
fuzzpig understanding why you feel like you do is on the way to being able to overcome it
I am doing quite well at using things up and tidying so I know what I have
Thanks I'm hoping to get some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sometime soon - I'm on waiting lists both locally and at St Barts (I am with them for CFS/ME which is my main disability) so although the hoarding isn't the primary reason for needing it, I do hope to bring that up.
Anyway I have accomplished my two mini tasks DCs' library shelf looks all lovely and I tidied up/threw away a couple of bits from their room while I was sitting there (DCs were downstairs entertained by iPad!), then did the same from the bathroom - have now got rid of stuff like DS's first pants - he moved to boxers last year, why were they still there?! - and old opened medicines/creams (DS has eczema so we get through a lot, I kept the sealed ones). Yay
fuzzpig, hello and hugs. I recognise your relationship with Stuff.
Well done on your mini tasks.
I found a handbag that I don't want anymore, so that felt like a big step for me! I'm trying to just keep an attitude of 'anything I feel able to let go of here?' and that is helping me not feel overwhelmed.
I like the sound of that attitude, well done on finding the bag. I will definitely be taking it slowly and I will not be berating myself for not doing it all overnight. It will be worth the wait - and taking it slowly will make a health relapse much less likely.
A question for the thread if I may: TOYS!
How the actual Jeff do you declutter them? My DCs have too many. I know this. All decent stuff (bargain hunter/charity shopper here...) apart from the odd happy meal/party bag stuff which I am good at weeding out anyway... I don't like tat
Problem is they play with ALL of it. They are very good at playing - I don't recognise the oft-quoted situation of "they have so many toys they ask for and never play with" (though I daresay that will happen later when they start taking more notice of peers/adverts etc) so how on earth do you know what to get rid of?
They have recently started on playmobil, but they still play with their happyland... they have lots of 'grown up' type cars but DS still loves his toddler ones too. I need to be stricter don't I
Hello! I'm back. Fell off the wagon for a while as was v busy with work and travel etc. life is slightly less hectic now and so I'm back. Have got rid of a charity bag full of books for a local charity appeal (run by my neighbor so it was easy to get dh to get it across to him!). These were from my books to sell at car boot sale which didn't sell and frankly I rather they go to a local charity!
I managed to sell a big item on Gumtree which was great! And I've just popped a few items into a bag for charity (clothes that no longer cover my belly! ) and another bag for a baby who is littler than my daughter.
Have also tidied away the winter boots and clothes (well my snow coat anyway). Hallway less untidy!
Joining in, if I may. Moving to our forever home this winter and I am determined to be clutter free by moving day. I've done pretty well so far! I've thinned down all our clothes so I could probably fit the lot into two stuffbags, I've done the built in cupboards and have given away two bookcases full of books. But then there's...
The Back Bedroom...
So far I have found three working and unused Macs in boxes waiting to sell on ebay. One is from 2005. I don't even need them. I have an amazing laptop from work and a home intranet for processing. I do not need these computers! And I found a whole box of memory sticks, probably 36 gig, three iPods, a minidisk player, a ROCKET BOOK (1999!), a broken Kindle I keep meaning to repair and on and on. Feel a bit sick at how much they cost. I know there are more, too. Lurking.
I think it's harder for me to get rid of these things because I could technically fix the Kindle, I could sell those computers. All in all there must be at least a grand's worth of kit, even if it sold poorly. I really feel like I ought. But I just...don't. I feel weirdly inert about it. It's really strange. I'm usually very Getting Things Done. I open my post at the door, scan it and shred it immediately, etc. I've done my tax return already! I have charming glass containers in my larder, that all match and look like a bloody Pinterest board. But in the back room there must be three hundred different adaptors and cables for computers I no longer own and I just. Leave. Them. There.
Sudo- if you can't be bothered to sell them, is there a shop anywhere near that does it for you? We have a shop in the city centre that sells things on ebay for you, in return for ?% of the profit. Or you could put it all on Gumtree as a joblot, say £750 for the lot, needs to be picked up immediately.
Fuzzpig, do you really need to be stricter? What would be the reason for culling the toys? Do you feel all those toys are detrimental to you or your children?
There are a lot of toys in our house but likewise, they all get used and I feel that they stimulate rather than stifle the DCs creativity. Luckily they do all fit in their bedrooms and can be tidied away properly should the DCs decide they want to or the room needs vacuuming. So I just keep taking them back (and making them take them back) to their bedrooms at the end of those days where play spreads into the rest of the house.
When the DCs were younger we used to rotate the toys keeping some in the basement. It helped keep the rooms tidy and they would rediscover the old stuff like it was new. But now they are old enough to know exactly what they've got down to the tiniest Playmobil accessory it's no longer possible. But mostly I feel that it is their stuff, so they should get to decide when to part with it. I'll ask occasionally if there's anything they don't play with anymore that they want to sell or give to the children who don't have many toys.
Gosh, that's actually...what a good idea. I just googled and there are companies that will come and pick up all your stuff and sell it on ebay for you. I can't really believe this never occurred to me. I knew there were trading assistants but I've never, you know, applied this knowledge to my own problem. Was too busy feeling guilty!
Does anyone have a recommendation for a particular company? There's a woman who is fairly local, and then these two companies, which seem basically the same. Has anyone done this? Who did you go for?
I've not used one personally, but I like the look of the local woman- her site is friendly!
That sounds great sudo! It would be a shame not to get some money even if it's not the full value. I have a few old electrical items DH might list as 'spares' - it's surprising how well it goes. I sold an old DS (erm, nintendo, not a son ) that had a dodgy screen - which obviously I described and photographed accurately - for £20.
Clearsomespace, it's really just the amount that needs reducing, like you say it's not that the toys are detrimental - but it is utterly impossible to keep tidy. They are everywhere! The house is so tiny (officially tiny in fact, we are on the housing register at Band B because of overcrowding in their bedroom!) it's just drowning in toys. Not that I mind them being around the house - actually lots of health visitors, outreach workers etc who have visited have said how lovely it is to see toys in the living room! I just want - no, need it to be tidier. I can't keep tripping over stuff, and there is no room to play in their bedroom, or even read stories comfortably. And there are toys that they do really love but hardly get to play with because they are buried/scattered!
I can, trying hard, think of a few things they would do without. I have difficulty saying no to generous friends and have a couple of electric toys that they played with a couple of times, there are also a few cuddlies that aren't played with. But their favourite toys are generally large - train set, lego, marble run, playmobil etc. I could go through and weed out broken/tatty bits though.
This evening while DH was ironing I cleared out all 3 of my bags! (well I have 4 but DH is using my Muttley one for college ) Totally shocking how much crap - bus tickets, mostly - was in them! I've turned them inside out to air them and feel really good about having cleaned them. In doing so I found some shoe spray so I'm going to clean my work shoes too.
Fuzzy I've found with toys I can declutter by getting rid of duplicates - so I have one basket for cars, when there are more cars than fit in the basket some of the cars go. One basket for duplo, one basket for musical instruments, one box for soft toys, etc. It keeps the quantity down to a level that the kids and I can tidy away easily. Everything (mostly) has a home. It has meant that I've had to overcome my dislike of splitting up 'sets' of toys. I also have boxes of items for rotation - so sometimes the dinosaurs are out and sometimes the train set.
My own minimising process has stalled out a bit. I listed a bunch of stuff to sell on gumtree - but have only had one response, so I think I'm going to have to do the dreaded ebay. Sadly the guy who is supposed to collect the pallets keeps not turning up, so I'm just going to arrange for the council to collect them. In the meantime we've managed to acquire two more large ride-on items for the DCs, but cannot erect a shed for them due to above pallets. It will be lovely to have them out of the house when we do eventually get a shed though!
Hello all, I've not been around for a bit and am marking my place.
My mil has done really well ad cluttered two big bag for life bags of books. Sadly she has given them to us!!
I will read those that appeal and then pass on, but I have to keep them away from Dh - or they will be here forever!!
Oh lawks. Mil has de cluttered
No decluttering here today but due to a fortuitous set of circumstances we were dc free for 3 whole hours and I managed to get the house rug doctored. Having clear floors and clean carpets is amazingly good for the soul. It's just a shame that everything that used to be on them is piled high on every available surface. But an incentive to keep going with this journey if ever there was one. The kids were so excited about the space. But still only willing to part with one tiny toy each for the poor kids who don't have as much when there are 4 large Happyland items that don't see the light of day these days.
OK I see your dilemma fuzzpig.
I'm sure you're friends wouldn't mind if you were to say that you have more than enough toys, especially considering you have health problems and keeping on top of the house is a challenge.
Could you give some to the GPs? I gave the marble run to the GPs because they had carpet in the spare bedroom where all the grandchildren play and the noise of the marbles bouncing on our hard floors was driving me crazy. We only visited about every 6 weeks because of the distance and the DCs were happy to have something different there.
Oh sorry, just remembered your parents had/have their own 'stuff' problems? Paternal GPs?
Anyway, whatever solution you find, it sounds like you need to do something about it!
Brilliant day in the sun yesterday. We got rid of our paddling pool a while back and I had a moment of regret yesterday while the kids were wilting, then remembered the 4 big stacking plastic boxes, now empty after the last charity-shop collection. The kids spent hours filling them with water, sitting inside them, etc. Better than any paddling pool we've ever had!
fuzzpig sounds like you've made great progress! Even if your dc do play with everything, if you haven't got room & it's making it hard to move around, it sounds like you need to pass some of the toys on... Is there a friend who might have some of them on loan, like a personal toy library?
Back in the first thread we talked about "Simplicity Parenting" (the book). Have any of you read 'Last Child in the Woods'? I'm not happy with the amount of screen time in our house (and I include myself in that!) and want to get back to the principles in SP and LCW. I don't want to hijack the M thread but I'm wondering if any of you would be up for working through SP chapter-by-chapter in solidarity on a separate thread? There's also a new(ish) book on Minimalist Parenting I'm interested in... (Apols if you've been doing this already. I was on thread 1-3 but only came back recently).
Hope your day has space to move about in.
Back at work today so less decluttering although I will try and get back to my declutter one thing a day routine. On that note I got rid of 6-7 little pieces of plastic tat as school was organising little party bags to be sold at summer fete and I've decluttered some lollies, plastic Dino, random stickers, notepads etcetc.
Morning all. Welcome to all these new people!
Well I eid venture into my spare
doom room yesterday - and pretty much ventured straight out again! That's not quite true actually - I made my self find 10 things to put away, throw away or give away, so things are slightly clearer. The room has become a bit of a dumping ground and space for half-finished craft projects. I need to tidy it so that I can clutter it up again by getting out all my camping stuff before I go away at the end of July. (Explanation - It is 8 years since I last camped and I need to sort out equipment, make sure I know what I've got or still need to get, check things are still in working order etc!)
What I did do this week end, is use friends' garden to put up my tent and paint/spray it with re-proofing stuff. It needed 6 hours to dry so I did it late on Saturday (was working earlier) and left it overnight and took it down again yesterday. So I suppose you could say I decluttered the majority of a can of tent proofing stuff! <desperate smilie>
Hopefully our "bottles and cans" recycling bin will be emptied today so I can get rid of the stuff still in the flat!
Fuzzpig - if your dcs still play with pretty much all the toys, I don't think you should get rid of any yet. I think if I was a child and my mum got rid of something I still played with I'd be really upset!
Perhaps sorting into plastic storage containers and rotating which ones you have out would be the way to go for now?
I agree that if your dc still play with all the toys it doesn't make sense to get rid. I have been storing toys in the garage in plastic boxes and it's made a world of difference to our living space. If I didn't have a garage I would just store the boxes behind the couch, it would still look better than having everything out.
Simplicity Parenting is waiting for me at the library
Sadly we don't even have an accessible loft let alone a garage. Although come to think of it there is some hidden space at the back of DD's cabin bed which is about the size of a couple of Ikea buckets - I had planned to rotate books using that space but maybe we could do one of books and one of toys. Unfortunately that space is currently so cluttered that I can't even get to it! So maybe that should be the first area I attack.
As it is, many of their toys are in our room (we have 2 of the tall Ikea Trofast units) although half the buckets are spread round the house along with their contents. Maybe if I sort that it all won't seem so bad. This thread has been really helpful in encouraging me to just do SOMETHING, however tiny, rather than worrying about the bigger project.
We don't have any relatives that we visit really but I could ask my mum if we could keep one box of toys and one box of books perhaps. I know she would like to see us more often and really loved having us to stay so I may be able to work with that.
DD did ask me to put a
decapitated broken doll in the bin earlier so perhaps there's hope at least for getting rid of broken stuff!
I won't do a massive "you must throw out loads of toys" drive, I agree that might upset them, but I will start keeping an eye out for small things that I can ask them about and I think DD will be encouraged if it means we can have playdates etc (much as I dread such things). My mum runs a small library and has asked for any unwanted toys for stay and play sessions so perhaps I could ask if DCs would like to 'help Nanny' and find things for her.
I have read some of Last Child in the Woods, it really made sense to me and DH. We limit iPad time but at present DVDs are limitless. It is hard to not rely on them when we are both exhausted and in pain but I think if the house is less cluttered - particularly their toys being more organised - it will be easier for them to play without the risk of being buried under an avalanche of random stuff.
Not read Simplicity Parenting but will look it up at work today!
Hobnob I think I need some of this rug doctor stuff, our stair carpet is a right state, I tend not to vacuum it as it just makes the stains more obvious! Is it easily available? That said, we've got numerous bottles of carpet shampoo, as well as at least a couple of cans of Vanish carpet stuff, as DH keeps on buying it! S'pose I ought to declutter those first. I just don't fancy spending hours on my hands and knees scrubbing at the carpet. <Sigh> He recently suggested buying a Vax style carpet cleaner, I almost screamed "Noooooooooooooo! It's CLUTTER!" If we had a utility room or somewhere suitable to put it, it would be different, but we just don't.
Wendy I hate splitting sets of toys too. I hate the thought of bits of a set getting lost, and then the set being incomplete. Think I'm going to have to get over that.
De-lurking to say thanks for the inspiration and great tips I have read over the last few days while being ill.
I like to think my body was doing its own de-cluttering
Have downloaded The iBooks sample of Simplicity Parenting
Darn it's not available in my county according to the library website, but I'll have one more look on our system at work later and if not I'll get the kindle edition, it's under £6.
I did find a book called the idle parent (Tom Hodgkinson) though, which seems like my kind of thing
Fuzzi - toys are the bane of my life too. I thought I had it sussed, deuttered some and tidied them into storage boxes. Then ds1 broke two boxes and we're all in a piggle again. As the 4dc have not long had their birthdays I am going to cull again. Mine are young enough I think (5,4, 1&1) to not notice too much. Plus they spend time at both sets of grandparents so I'm planning on taking a box for each child to each house. Especially nana and Grandad's as they insist on getting the baby toys out for the older two.
The loft empty is not going well. I think I'm going to have to do it via charity shop for a little while. Time to get over to storage is limited and I'm getting too many boxes lined up in the hall. At least if I can get on top of some random things, the things I want to boot will be more easily accessible.
This morning however I have not decluttered as such. I have been gardening! The front lawn desperately needed mowing, I had three plants/bushes which were annoying me and some lavender which needed planting. So I have done that. And inspired my neighbour to get rid of the creepers which were starting to crawl across his parking space. All I need to do now is get some compost to tidy over where I dug up the front but its all good.
I was on the original few threads but got a little distracted! Most if the excess clutter is gone or on eBay and just some boxes of things I couldn't decide
Sounds like a successful morning sokmonsta!
I'm working this evening so am attempting a restful morning which hasn't really worked out that way for various reasons BUT I took note of the 'one thing per day' idea above so I threw out last year's boots catalogue which has been hanging around!
Argh. Sorry - posting via mobile and keep accidentally hitting post!
Anyway, we now have a baby on the way so glad the kids toys haven't gone yet but now I've set myself a 6 month target to clear the rest. Leaving me a month at the end to prep for baby.
All the money earned from eBay/Gumtree sales will help fund stuff like antenatal yoga classes etc.
My plan for rest of this month is to do a trawl around the "done" rooms for anything that has made its way in, cleaning thoroughly as I go-esp kitchen cupboards. Ill also be adding at least 10 items a week to eBay as I only have 53 on relist now.
Then in July/ August/September Ill go through what is effectively our loft space ( really a spare room as we have no loft) but its Christmas/easter/halloween decorations, paperwork, and all my craft stuff that I haven't touched in over a year.
October/November/December ill be sorting the final room which everything that I want to get rid of is dumped. It wasn't really sorted well at the time and now a huge mass of stuff, except for one organised corner that the currently listed eBay stuff is in. The kids toys are in that room somewhere.
Hopefully it won't take me that long in reality but not wanting to put too much pressure on as while its nice to get rid, I find it stressful to start, and happy life and pregnancy comes first.
hello bluecarrot I remember you! I've recently rejoined - I got so obsessed with minimising, yearning after Tiny Houses, houseboats, camper vans that I wasn't doing anything else, so I took a break. I was just obsessing about stuff in a different way!
Can't get rid of anything today - job app deadline so just checking in while I make cup of tea. Thank god for cBBC!
Good to see you again Bluecarrot and congratulations!
MrsP rug doctors can be hired from loads of places - tesco, Asda, homebase, Morrisons, etc. quite pricey but oh so worth it. The black gunge that they extract is both repulsive and satisfying at the same time. I think the website is something like rugdoctornow.
Old ikea chair on Facebook, as it it's footstool which for years has been my 'clothes pile' holder in my bedroom. I think it originally got out in there for lack of anywhere else to put it and has been there so long I barely even registered it was actually there. Maybe if it goes I'll be motivated not to keep my 'current' clothes on the floor!
I def recommend the rug doctor. Keep the cans of stuff for spot cleaning after the big clean with rug dr. I did my house about a month ago - but if you can rope someone else in to do it with you it will be so much faster. Just get them to make up the mix and have it sitting ready for you - I found I needed to empty the waste tank and refill with new detergent every 5 minutes or less. I did my house (3 bedrooms, 3 reception and an awkward, big hall/stairs and landing) in one day, but it was all cleared (furniture out etc) before I started. You need to leave it overnight to dry though if it was done on a super warm day then you might get away with less drying time.
I wish I had got the upholstery stuff and done my fabric sofas while I had the machine anyway, but Ill do that next time
Today I decluttered the weeds in my garden ;) plus sorted through the living room, playroom, and den. Den has an old hideous sofa in it and I dunno if it should go to skip or charity...so Ive decided offer it on freecycle / try to give it away on gumtree first and see what happens. Will do that this weekend when DP will be here. I didnt have anything else to get rid of but thats quite a nice feeling. The rooms have been so quick to polish and vacuum recently, and got a proper deep clean today when it was too hot to work outside.
Now Im going to try to read back a few pages of this thread
Tomorrow is utility and 2 bathrooms. Shouldnt take more than an hour as they are all tiny. One bathroom sink needs fixed though. Itll only take 5 mins but Ive been putting it off for ages!
Oh, so rug doctor is a piece of equipment, rather than a substance? I see... Is it horribly lazy of me to admit I'd rather pay someone else to do it?
its a carpet shampoo-er but theres also rug dr chemicals to use in it ;)
Its very easy, honestly. The large machine and bottle of shampoo cost £65. I still have some of the shampoo left. And I found it very theraputic. BUt I am a little weird.
I'd get some kind of grim satisfaction from seeing all the revolting black slime that came out of the carpet, but I'm not sure that (and the clean carpet) are sufficient reward for all the hard work...
It's times like this when being pregnant seems like an excuse not to be wasted. I'd be happy for DH to do it though! I'd obviously have to stay out of the way....
I got the simplicity parenting book so if anyone wants to start a specific thread I'll gladly come along!
SO tired after work today and DD is going through huge separation anxiety (never had it as a baby/toddler but it is a massive issue now at nearly 6!) so didn't sleep til 10. I am off tomorrow and will try to do a few little things again.
Congratulations on your pregnancy bluecarrot!
Work day so no decluttering here today. We are totally upside down and disorganised because ds is due in hospital for planned surgery - that has just been postponed for the third time. I have two half packed bags (from last time) and various piles of stuff waiting to be packed. Sigh.
Hope your ds surgery goes well starfishmummy
I had a break through with DH yesterday. I had cleared out some stuff from the kitchen, including a heavy cast iron pot with a huge chip in the enamel paint. He said he wanted to keep it, to keep flour in. I explained that I really thought we should give it to a local scrap store, and that to me it didn't seem a good storage container as it is really really heavy and takes up half of one of our kitchen cupboards. He agreed.
He still very much tends towards keeping things, even things we never use, in case we decide to use them in future. But he is willing to compromise!
What I have realised is that he will hang on for life to anything we bring in to the house, but that he is not a keen shopper or buyer of things. It's up to me to make sure only things we love/need come into the house, and then we will both be happy!
It seems to be the case that he thinks it is "fickle" to buy something, use it for a while, then decide actually you don't need it anymore or you can do without it. He often mentions how 'changeable' I am that I want to get rid of a skirt that I used to love etc. Anyone else have a partner like this or is it just me?!
My DH is exactly like this Artemis I will say that he has gotten much better recently though. It does mean i have to police what comes in - DH likes 'unusual' things, so I no longer go to vintage shops or flea markets with him as I know I'll be stuck with whatever crap he picks up for the rest of my life!
I am soooo tired today. I am going to attempt something very small though. I really love the idea of decluttering one thing every day so if I can manage that even on my worst days I will make progress and feel good about myself!
Don't know what I'm going to attempt yet but hopefully when I'm more awake I will think of something nice and easy. It needs to be done sitting down!
Hope surgery goes smoothly, starfish.
fuzzpig what about pants? (Having said that, if I threw out all the saggy pants with holes in I'd have no pantage left).
Interesting post on Leo Babuta's mnmst blog: mnmlist.com/subtraction/
That's a great post harriet. So true.
Good idea building/harriet - don't have an actual bedside table but the chest of drawers has loads of random crap in it (as well as underwear!)
Didn't do that in the end - went upstairs to put a couple more library books away in the DCs' room and ended up dragging a load of stuff out from the aforementioned under-the-cabin-bed space. Got about a binbag's worth so far including such delights as half a pack of nappies
Been very good though, and brave getting rid of stuff that has been hanging around purely in the hope of finding all the pieces etc... probably could sell stuff if I really made the effort but what's the point if it's going to take months of extra clutter to actually find all the bits (which may be broken/grubby anyway!)? Fuck it.
Thanks Harriet - it is probably going to be next week now.
fuzzpig, in general people advise only selling the stuff that will get a good price with. very little effort. So you are correct...get it gone! and well done.
Also, fuzzpig with eBay postage cost so high now, it is only worth selling smaller items that can go as a large letter at max - I posted off 3 jackets to 3 different sellers, had charged them 3.50 for postage (knowingly taking a 20p hit). 2 jackets were £3.70 but one was about a millimetre more than the stupid slot thing in the PO and was £6.70!! Even though it weighed the same.
Royal Mail is a joke.
Yes I'm pretty disillusioned by eBay now. It just seems too much hassle.
Like somebody said up thread about all the computer stuff and being dismayed at all the wasted money - that's what I feel about some of the DCs' stuff (games mostly as they can't be played with if it is scattered everywhere) which is what made me cling on to stuff for so long. Not any more though, I am cutting my losses and moving forward with the mindset of Less Is More!
Oh and I was very pleased with DD last night - she came upstairs while I was sorting out rubbish in her room, and said she didn't need some stuff because she is a big girl now
I am feeling more positive about sorting my house than I have in months. Thanks to this thread. I was looking at the problem as huge and insurmountable. Now I have broken it down and see every cupboard cleaned out, every bag in the rubbish, every bag to the charity shop as small steps that together will make a difference. It just suddenly feels like my house is still messy but I have taken back the control.
on all the decluttering taking place.
<whispers> I have been buying "stuff"
Disclaimer - 2 of the things are required for my forthcoming camping trip ( gaffer tape and wet wipes!)
I also bought some (inexpensive) walking sandals from Aldi. My old ones have never been comfortable and gave me blisters so these are now in the chazzer bag!
I have then bought a dress on ebay. This was strictly unnecessary, however as I decluttered 19 items from my wardrobe a week or so ago, I don't feel (quite) so bad!
Still - not exactly on the path to true minimalism!
I hear you hobnobs. I think this decluttering thing is as much about attitude as the chore of sorting the stuff.
A bit like staying a healthy weight. If you do a big clear out but don't change your mindset the clutter will find its way back.
It is better to do the job slowly but in such a way that it can be maintained. Thinking like this stops me getting disheartened when I don't have time to get much done.
I'm on my way to a lighter home!
So just sold a dress on eBay for 99p
That seemed like a fat waste of time.
Have Mini Boden stuff but if it just sells for 99p doesn't seem worth it...
fuzzpig have you read Simplicity Parenting? It has an amazing chapter on books and toys. If you feel there are too many toys in the house I would work on lowering the amount, and not feel guilty about it (get your daughter involved, pick out the stuff that hasn't been played with a lot) especially with your condition as it will make tidy up time so much quicker/easier.
MinimalistMommi - try selling it in bundles by age and you will likely do better. A lot of the time it's the postage costs that add up for people. Plus you get rid of a lot in one go! Look into couriers as well as Royal Mail.
As soon as an item is used, its value drops dramatically, but after that its really slow. So I buy stuff on eBay and then sell again later and all ill have lost is usually the postage and £1-2 unless item gets damaged. Sometimes I've sold stuff for MORE than I originally paid for it.
I decluttered my handbag and purse this morning so was nice to have that organised for my errands today.
Rest of day I'm picking at the kitchen and seeing what can go. Just doing short bursts as fatigue and nauseous feeling is back with a bang!
Since simplicity parenting has been recommended, I've downloaded it today. On the kindle app no less so no actual book - I love paper pages!
I have also got a box of books to go to our corner shop book swap (I won't be swapping any yet). I really wanted to keep them as they are ones I have enjoyed, but I've listed myself to a well thumbed copy of 'coming home' and some books I got for Christmas/birthday/mother's day that I've not yet read properly.
Hello all. I've shredded a binbag's worth of old papers today and dropped off another backpack of books at Oxfam. Massive box of defunct electronics now ready to go to amenities place at the w/e.
In part this is a displacement activity because dc's father and I are working out how to separate "properly" after 4 years of living separately under same roof... All been quite friendly so far but now it's getting sticky. still, I guess there are worse displacement activities...
Harriet sorry about the separating, that is rough. It is positive that you are sorting so much stuff out - it will help you make a fresh start.
Mommi I downloaded Simplicity Parenting on my kindle thanks to this thread! I am reading a novel ATM but I will read SP next. Sounds really helpful.
I haven't decluttered yet today as I had work but later I will go through a ridiculously big box of pens/pencils/crayons. Goodness knows where they all come from as only last year I took a toolbox of biros to work! I need to find a box for them, I'm sure there's a load of empty Really Useful Boxes (an obsession of mine) somewhere
fuzzpig the problem is we both want to stay under same roof as children but I want my own place because I need to split up properly and be independent... We're far from resolving this but letting go of physical stuff seems to be clearing space in my head as well as my house... Fantasising about a little house boat or a Tiny House to go when it's my weekend 'off'...
On an unequivocally chipper note, I cleared out my bedroom earlier this year and it's a lovely calm place to go. There's an old wooden table with a mirror and a white ikea lamp, a chair, a single bed with a heavy white cotton cover (hoping to upgrade to a double bed so I can get the kids in easily for cuddles), a single wardrobe, a tall narrow set of drawers with a few books on top. Oh, and a narrow ladder I rescued from a shed with my scarves and (3) necklaces on it. I've got the baby sheepskin as a rug next to the bed and I love it. 3 small handbags on back of door - I want to give away at least one of them because it was a Christmas present this year but I can't see when I'd use it. Nothing on the surfaces except the books and clock radio - make up all in a shoebox lid in top drawer so it comes out onto the table and goes back in easily.
Under the bed: spare bed linen, running clothes and 3 pairs of crazy shoes I cant decide what to do with.
I guess I'm completely in control of this space and didnt have to negotiate with anyone about it. It took a while to get it like this but it cost nothing and it's great.
That sounds lovely that's exactly what my mum loves about her new flat, it is HERS and she gets to decide what goes where, and what she buys/gets rid of, rather than always settling for dad's wishes! She will always have lots of books but she's organised it all really well.
I did bare minimum last night - just threw away a few papers that had been hanging around. I did virtually finish my DLA form though which obviously is a lot more urgent! Anyway, even throwing a few bits away is more than what I normally do since I got ill, so I'm still pleased.
I've also told DD we are going to work on getting her room nicer for her to get her on side!
My tasks for tonight, if I am still standing when I get in from work:
- Transfer all pens/pencils to one of the Really Useful Boxes (I found a few this morning although I'm sure that's not all of them ) and throw lots away while doing so - especially crappy felt tips as they have decent crayola/berol ones to use.
- Gather all paperwork from the ME support group course (we got about 20 pages to read at each of the 8 sessions), get them in order and put in ring binder I've been saving for this. Hopefully I can find the hole punch! I'm going to a catch up meeting tomorrow so it seems like the right time to do this!
Wishing you all a successful, spacious Thursday
another great blog post on minimalism: "buy less and live more". https://annamalhouse.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/must-be-the-feeling-a-romance-of-stuff/
Harriet you bedroom sounds beautiful.
Fuzz enjoy SP! It will really help with toys for you I think.
Harriet loved the article thank you for posting it.
Another free listing day on eBay for anyone with a few bits lying around. It's only for 10 day listings though.
I'm working on a little-and-often principle right now. Home for lunch and just sorted the bag of detachable bra and dress straps I have been hoarding, most of which were from dresses and bras I no longer even own.
Kept only 1 pair of straps which belongs to a dress I still have and the rest are in the pile for recycling.
harriet - I have a ladder in my bedroom too. I swapped it for a chair that I just used to dump clothes onto. I find the ladder much better. I have a few hangers to put clothes on when I take them off at night if I am going to wear them again. Then I hang these from the ladder rungs. clothes get nicely aired and remain relatively crease-free overnight and I'm far less likely to use it as a dumping ground than the chair!
My bedroom is my most organised space too and I do love it
though it would look much better if I found time to make the bed each morning !
Funny you mention dress straps, that was another thing I found in the cabin bed space the other night - the little straps from the ballgown I wore for my wedding. In a bag of random puzzle pieces and art stuff
Our bedroom is barely set foot in apart from sleep time! It is a tip
We also have a ladder which is useful for drying DCs clothes on (we have no garden for washing line) but it's the ladder from DD's cabin bed and I'd much rather it was on said bed I did point out that she'd have more space to play (she was complaining her room is too small) if she agreed to sleep in her bed and the mattress would be off the floor... <fume>
Great idea, arti,, about hanging not-yet-dirty clothes from the ladder!
at fuzzpig and the ballgown straps in the bag of puzzle pieces.
My bedroom hasn't always been like this. I've been working towards this for A Long Time, gradually paring down clothes and handbags I never used and broken suitcases and unread books and bracelets I wear for 2 minutes then take off and leave around the house.
Apologies if you already talked about this,*fuzzpig*, but why doesn't your daughter like the bed? (I'm not a bed judge, btw, just curious. My ds2 came into bed w/ me last night. He's 7. Single bed. He slept brilliantly. Me, not so much).
Have been reading SP, I can't remember who recommended it, but a big to you!!
It confirmed a few things I have thought about.
I'm not sure if I'm ready for a total clear out of the DCs rooms yet BUT I have been going in and dumping a bagful of toys <makes sure no one is reading over shoulder> they haven't noticed yet
Harriet your room sounds blissful.
Mine looks like B&Q at the mo. DH says it will be finished at the w/end, I'm not I optimistic
I love that image, fuzz. So typical of my house!
I sorted through clothes today but as I'm pregnant, they are just going into storage. Most of my clothes should see me another few months as I wore a lot of casual empire line dresses with leggings, plus I've a few maxi dresses from last summer. Just need new sandals and maybe spanx mama shorts later ill need more but hopefully not til autumn.
Feeling nauseous I took to bed and looked through some computer files and got rid of old stuff, inc iTunes songs I no longer like.
Tonight I'm tacking the ironing while catching up on Luther. I hadn't heard of it until it was mentioned on The Fall thread so now I'm watching first series on love film as a reward for ironing twice a week ( though only til dp gets home and we resume prison break- didn't have tv when that was aired either, so all new to me)
DD has just decided a few months ago that she doesn't like it anymore, and was battling bedtime every night. DH compromised by moving the mattress, I really wish he hadn't but desperate times/measures etc! She is going through separation anxiety (never had this issue as a baby/toddler!) and is generally really anxious. I think me being ill isn't helping. She wants to sleep in with us all the time. It's been a hell of a battle just to get her to sleep in her room at all. And they play up hugely when they go to bed at the same time - sometimes DD likes staying up later but other times she refuses saying she's tired but then messes around with DS for hours
It would be tempting to just get a new bed but we have no money and in any case the bed has loads of storage space (includes wardrobe/drawers/shelves as well as general space) there is no way we could manage with a normal bed in there. She seemed positive about tidying/organising the room more, so I think I'm going to make that the priority (toys in general but mainly their bedroom) and once all her toys are properly sorted we will have to insist on the bed issue.
Sorry for the rant, in a shitty mood today
I have decluttered the pens though... <mini Mexican wave>
Fuzzpig, someone on MN recommended 'what to do when you dread your bed', a book for kids with bedtime issues, BH y Dawn Huebner. Worked a treat with my daughter. Takes some effort but you do it together, workbook style. I recommend!
fuzzpig, my ds didn't want to sleep on his bed (top bunk) when we moved. He was very unsettled, in a new country with no friends & being bullied at a horrible school. He said it felt too open on the top bunk. Someone suggested we get one of those little Ikea tenty dome things specifically to fit on top bunks. It made sense to me - if you're feeling unsettled you want a cave to crawl into at night, I guess... Anyway, it might not be remotely helpful to your dd but I thought I'd share anyway...
While bluecarrot does the ironing I'm going to finish sewing patch on my jeans with the telly on.
IWill I'm glad you enjoyed the SP book, I think it is very helpful in terms of decluttering and the 'whys' around it in regards to DC's.
mini we have always tried to keep "the adult world" radio/tv away from DCs. But I hadn't really thought about their toys and books.
I have a problem with throwing / giving things away. An emotional attachment to things given to my DCs
Something to work on I guess...meanwhile another bag of odd bits and pieces in the bin this morning
Ah, the release! Baby mobile, door bouncer and big swing all gone out the door this morning
Enquiries underway for the ikea chair and freezer clogging up the garage.
I almost feel cleansed!
I took two bags of clothes to the clothing bank yesterday.
Next job is the dvds, I am going to get dvd wallets and store the boxes in the loft. That way i reckon our entire dvd collection will take up about a foot of space if that
i might even alphabetise them or is that a bit Monica Geller
I am wrestling with charity shopping all our paperbacks, the problem is then my shelves will be top heavy and obviously not safe with roaming 2 year olds, the books are an eyesore but providing balance
Today's small task (before weekend of mammoth tasks) list last remaining 'good' clothes in the chuck pile on eBay and pack rest up into bags & put into outside cupboard for taking to Charity Shop tomorrow.
This weekend we are starting to pack in earnest, and I am hoping the de-cluttering will follow naturally from that, as I am not putting a single thing in the boxes without scrutinising whether I need it or not.
Thanks for the book recommendation! I've previously looked at another title by Huebner (what to do when you worry too much) - somebody else had ordered it then but I've just reserved it myself too. And the tent idea - that sounds like a good idea (although the ladder is in the middle of the side rather than at the end IYSWIM so not sure that tent (if it's the one I've seen in Ikea before) would fit.
I'm tempted to offer a painted room as a reward long term, and landlord did give permission a while ago, but we are really hoping that we will get a council house in the next year or so (we are at band B - specifically because the second bedroom is too small!) and I'm not sure I want to fork out money we really can't afford if we aren't going to be here much longer.
I spoke about decluttering today - had my last group meeting with fellow CFS/ME sufferers and was saying that I am using that as a target every day and hopefully will gradually increase how much I do, and how proud I am for actually doing something about the clutter!
Haven't actually done any today - only just got back and DS got taken to hospital earlier to have his head glued <sigh> so it's going to be an interesting weekend...
Not much to add at the moment except I'm doing the street sale this weekend which I am excited about. I'm sharing a spot with SIL and a good friend has got the adjacent spot so it should be a good chance to chat as well as getting rid of stuff. It's a beautiful evening here too so I'm feeling very positive.
That sounds fun
I didn't declutter anything today. Well unless you count returning a heavy bag of beginner reader books to work (I'd taken leave today for my hospital appt but had to go in to photocopy stuff for my DLA form) that have been hanging around for ages. I will mostly be at home tomorrow though so I will try and do a few random bits.
I've got DS in my bed (he was sleeping horizontally - as is the law with small children - when I came up just now) so I'm going to read simplicity parenting on the iPad - won't manage much before falling asleep though!
I thought Simplicity Parenting was waiting for me at the library but I must have misremembered the alert they sent me.... It turned out to be Unconditional Parenting. I may just get SP on my eBook.
Freecycled some cloth nappies that didn't fit my boys' bums and organized the change table for more efficient workflow. Organized sheets onto 2 shelves by size rather than all jumbled up. This task took me less than 5 minutes and has been on my to do list for literally weeks.
It's amazing how little time some jobs take, Itchy! I have a little clock in the bathroom and the battery ran out about 4 months ago. Took me 2 mins to replace yesterday...
Since we've paid off our debts (hooray!!!) I'm reluctant to buy any new clothes for me because I want to start saving, but most of my clothes have got holes or stains. Mending again last night and I find I love it! DS1's new school uniform is going to cost £££ (state grammar with uniform you can get from asda except blazer but PE kit is made especially for the school and only comes from one shop...) so I want to avoid spending unnecessarily.
On dc and toys: ds2 has no interest in or attachment to soft toys whatsoever. Ds1 is 10. We have a jute bag full of em and they rarely get pulled out. But ds1 has taken all his toys from the bag and arranged them in a nest around the top and bottom of his bed while being careful to make sure none of them get squashed. It's really sweet. He also wants loads of hugs. I think it's something to do with the mixed feelings about the move to high school in Sept! It's only one bag of toys and I'm glad I didn't get rid of them in the last round of minimising. We also have a tub of dressing up clothes that gets raided every time kids come to play. Why is it that the 1st 3 years of a child's life seem so long (and it feels like 8 hours between 6am and 9am) and yet the next 7 years whips by?
I think Simplicity Parenting on toys is great and I wish I'd read it 10 years ago instead of 2.
harriet - regarding little jobs and clocks - My living room clock is still showing GMT! I have however eventually got round to adjusting the kitchen clock to BST and replacing the battery in the clock in my workroom!
I could really do with getting something concrete in the way of de-cluttering done today. I'm working this morning though!
I like mending too Harriet, but again it is one of those jobs I avoid sitting down to do, but then when I do eventually do it I enjoy it!
Loving the SP book so far! It's very accessible and I don't find it preachy (as some parenting guides can be IME). I found myself heaving a sigh of relief when I read the bit about filtering out the adult world. This is something DH and I feel quite strongly about and we never have the news on TV when the DCs are awake. I don't want my DCs growing up too fast. They don't watch commercial telly either (only DVDs - though way too many, screen time is somewhat out of control ATM...) and so far DCs don't seem remotely bothered about watching Ben 10 or whatever else their friends are into. Yet. <ulp>
I was about the little girl (Marie) having her accessible books whittled down to six, though. SIX?!? No can do, sorry BUT I will definitely go back to rotating the books they have - I think it'll be 3 buckets' worth, and I'll put 1 out at a time. Goodness knows what we will do about all the non-fiction though. They're all on a bookcase that is falling apart (that said, at least they do have a place for the moment, so not so high a priority really).
Should really get dressed now and get on with stuff! Plans for this weekend (hopefully mostly today as we are going to the MN screening of Despicable Me 2 tomorrow afternoon!):
Find lid for new pen box
Find hole punch
Clear rubbish from bathroom (again...)
Gather all my hospital group paperwork and put in folder
Sort through big bag of random crap (there are several around...)
Fill one bin bag to go outside with anything that we don't need (ie not just household rubbish)
OK... GO! <attempts to shift arse from sofa>
on SP and books, I haven't limited the dc's books at all. Sometimes I think they'd benefit from having fewer out at once but I'm not sure where I'd put the not-out ones... 6 is a bit hard core for me too!
hi again everyone!
fuzzpig - I felt horrified when you mentioned the little girl and her 6 books! I guess that's for 2 reasons. As an educator, I do feel that children need access to books, both easy reads and more substantial literature and I do think there is something to be gained from growing up in a book-infused atmosphere. Secondly, from a personal point of view, I probably had over 1000 books as a child mostly paperbacks and all neatly arranged on one floor to ceiling bookcase in my bedroom) and they were real friends to me. I loved being able to browse and choose just the right book for the way I was feeling at that time and to relax with "old friends" as well as discovering new ones. I knew what just about all the books were from a distance, just by the colour of the spine! I may be a bit biased but I'd never want to take books away from a child. If they have decided they have "grown out" of particular books and are willing to give then away, then that is another matter.
1 large box of kitchenalia, odd vases etc gone, 1 bag of folders, clothes, books gone and another large box of smaller boxes (old tea caddies, sewing boxes etc. Also an empty "vintage" suitcase.
Have already filled two large carrier bags with clothes and shoes since returning home, these will be donated now on my way to Sainsbury's Yes!
Ok - so I am feeling decidedly less than wonderful and started doing a 20:10 to at least get something done.
The good news: - I have managed to declutter 6 magazines from my bedroom and tidy and dust. Next thing is to vacuum, strip the bed and put on clean sheets.
The bad news- I think my timer is broken
it is a white one a bit like this
It fell off my bedhead where I had precariously balanced it while I dusted the bedside table. It has stopped ticking. When I bang it, it starts again for about 5 seconds! If I was truly minimal I would throw it out straight away wouldn't I?
As I am not so truly minimal I actually have another one ( digital this time) that I use sometimes for teaching!
Throw it away!!!!
Do you have a phone with a timer?
It is working again now! (Unlike me!!)
I haven't done very well today. Everything seems to be going wrong! We went to the school fete and it was exhausting, I feel ill now.
I did manage to fill most of a bin bag this morning though so it hasn't been completely unsuccessful.
Seeing that we were on the very, very cusp of needing two removal vans for a tiny two bed flat with only minimal furniture (i.e. no bed in second room, no white goods) has really galvanised me. I have been ruthlessly chucking today and will continue to do so tomorrow. Every box does make a difference - we were 2-3 boxes away from needing a 2nd van!
I agree every little bit helps! It can be disheartening when you throw a bin bag away and the room looks no different... but I remind myself that even though it looks no different, the house is still less cluttered!
It is good to remember that Artemis. Despite an old freezer in the garage having gone today, my other big items' leads have all dried up. And I've had to bring down from the loft a lot of old baby/toddler toys for the wee man because he is no longer interested in his very baby toys. It doesn't seem long enough that they have been out of the living room! And they are bigger and don't all fit into the trug that his other ones did . I'm feeling a bit resigned to another 2-3 years of tripping over stuff in the living room. It'll be the vehicles next!
On the up side, with the freezer and crib and baby bean bag and gym out of the garage, it is slightly less of an obstacle course to get to the tumble drier. Summer project is to get a totally clear run through in time for the winter.
I had a mum friend round for the first time the other day and she has had her garage converted. I remarked on how I admired her ability to live without the 'stuff' dumping space and she replied that some people are 'stuff' people and she just isn't. With 3 kids I need to see her house for inspiration!
Ok, on a bit of a roll! Listed 12 items on eBay, collected another 2-3 large bags of stuff for charity including two silly "designer" plastic waste paper bins which have never even been used. argh.
Hi all, I was on the first thread and thought I'd pop back in - so glad the 'm' quiche is still going strong! Since Christmas I have been distracted by major building work (we've had two walls demolished, and every room gutted and replastered...). Unfortunately, we've had to live here whilst it's been being done and the stress has been pretty horrendous at times. I was so glad I found these threads when I did, as I did manage to get rid of quite a bit of stuff just before the building work started.
However we still have boxes and boxes of stuff which we've been moving from room to room during all the building work. Some of the stuff has been in boxes for the past 9 months, and we haven't really missed it! So I've decided to be much more ruthless about what we keep in future.
I've had chance to go through some of our remaining boxes this week, and it's mostly books and board games (which take up so much space, and rarely get played with). I've managed to take a few bags to charity this week, and have just sold another box of books and DVDs to We Buy Books, so feeling like I'm getting a bit more on top of things again.
Right now we have no bookshelves, pictures or anything at all on the walls - just clean white freshly painted walls! It is lovely to have a blank canvas and it's making me thinking carefully before we put shelves up / buy furniture. I do love the feeling of space in our house, but we do desperately need some kind of storage as well... So I'll be following these threads for more inspiration! I've found it genuinely life-changing to question our relationship with 'stuff' and work out what's really important.
I did the street sale today. It was good fun but tiring!
I made some money but spent half of it on gifts for MIL and SIL who both have June birthdays. ( There was a craftsman selling very original hand made jewellery.)
I need to deliver the stuff that didn't sell to the charity shop asap so I get that 'it's all gone' feeling. Unfortunately the boxes have to come back in the house temporarily because I need to take DCs somewhere in the car before I can get to the charity shops during their opening hours.
Some really excellent progress going on here! I'm feeling really stuck. I haven't sold any of the items (all listed at very good prices!) I listed on gumtree last week. Am going to try my husbands for sale board at work and then charity shop them I think. I'd rather give things away for a good cause than sell (like new) items for pennies to the pound. I also have a sink that I was going to try to sell on that I think I'll just freecycle. It smarts as it is new and there is nothing wrong with it, but it won't work with the taps (which also don't work - which is another thread). I'm just at my wits end with the renovation, so I think I need to just get rid and move on with
all the little bits that need painting and touching up my life.
Eight items sold on eBay, mostly unappreciated gifts that I had been saving to re-gift, but tbh I am useless at that and prefer to give folk something I have chosen myself. I now recognise that so I can get rid of my stash. But I do want to regift a figurine to my brother at his wedding, which I know he and his wife will appreciate. The problem is I can't remember who bought it for us at our wedding - was it him and his first wife???
Is he likely to remember Hobnob, my DH doesn't generally know what we give as gifts for weddings
'moving on' is precisely what I want to do too, Wendy. I feel like kicking myself for all the money wasted on stuff for the DCs that hasn't been played with much - particularly because I know that they would play with it if it wasn't all over the house or buried in other clutter. (Don't think I explained what I meant very well earlier - it's not so much that they play regularly with absolutely everything they have, it's more that I know they would if they had it all organised and accessible, if that makes sense.)
I am making progress with the toys though, and I'm whittling it down without getting rid of anything they love. I feel much better having talked it through on this thread. Also with the money issue, it is annoying that we've wasted the money but I am looking at it as a life lesson that hopefully will be in the back of my mind whenever I am tempted to buy stuff.
It's kind of like attitude to food. I very much grew up as a "clear your plate no matter what" person but I have finally reached the mindset that if I am full/satisfied, then even if I eat the rest it is still wasted because it has made me feel too full. So it might just as well go in the bin rather than adding calories for no benefit.
I've finished chapter one of Simplicity Parenting now. I feel guilty about the ways we've messed up so far, but the book seems really positive about it never being too late, and while I am feeling daunted about how much there is to sort out, I am determined to do it!
I wish I could just go "fuck it" and sweep everything into bin bags
DH could happily do this but I know my anxiety would be through the roof due to not knowing exactly what had been thrown out. So, slow and steady it shall be
3 coats to my mums house, a bag of redundant/ broken electricals for the tip, baby toys to be ebayed (time limit imposed on self for end of week) toys downstairs to be played with, and 2 big bags for the Chazzer.
Just got to fill up the car and hoover up the aftermath
The one time I left my DH responsible for buying a wedding present (as the bride was a work colleague of his whom I barely knew at all) he forgot and we turned up on the day, I assumed he had bought something off the gift list but he hadn't, had no card etc. I was
My friend has asked me to help declutter her house in exchange for some free coaching. I am ludicrously excited about this!
My work room is now looking gorgeous but I need to actually do sone actual work...
Just a bag of clothes (big next bag!) to friends who have a younger daughter. So have gleefully put stuff in that bag. My daughter's drawers can now close. Gave a book to a Neighbour for his charity sale. Result!
Hello all ye minimalist goddesses
What is the secret?!! My clutter is drowning me and whenever I get rid of a load of stuff I am never able to be ruthless enough? Do I just chuck everything so I don't have to make decisions?
I've been reading this thread gearing up for my big clear out. We're moving house on Saturday so I'm trying to clear out as much as possible, theory being if I can't get to the tip/charity it's already packed in appropriate easy to shift boxes. I've got a stack of stuff to list online, we've said any money we raise from selling stuff will start our deposit for a house fund. I've been having some stern words with myself "no you don't need those boots you've never worn, yes they were a bargain and yes they are pretty but you've never worn them".
I just wish I had my mum, she was amazing at this stuff when I lived at home but she can't come over and help. I keep picturing her being here going "keep, bin, charity. Keep? Why? When did you use it? Are you going to use it? Is it any good? Are you sure you actually need it? So keep, bin, chairty?" The answer was never keep at the end of that!
madame Today I threw away a great big self portrait my DS did last summer (drew round him and he painted it). It was ace. But we have photos of him doing it, and pictures of it. I can't keep it just because. I am NEVER going to put it up on a wall and admire it, it's just been rolled up on top of the bookcase.
If you can't think of a use or display for the thing, chuck it.
If a charity bag comes through your door, fill it. Hide the stuff in a corner for a while if you want, and then realise that you are not using it, and chuck it.
Get pleasure from having less stuff. I feel relief much more acutely than the brief anxiety I get from thinking about throwing it away.
Daydream put the boots on
Called a local charity today on my lunch break to arrange pick up for three huge bookcases - we have built in shelves in the new house, and are allowed to fit more shelves if we like.
The charity shop were very picky ... demanded a photo of each item and full description before they would take them! I was a bit but they apparently passed the test so will be collected next week.
my top tip would be to start with one drawer, cupboard or corner and work from there. That way you see results fast and it won't overwhelm you.
My MIL is a hoarder of epic proportions (not that I am implying you are ) and she periodically gets bursts of trying to clear things, but does a little bit here, a little bit there, gets disheartened and then stops.
Yes, I second the earlier advice, madame: small bursts in well-defined spaces.
For me, it's been really helpful to focus on one room at a time (even if it's only ten minutes a week). I've also found it helps to have a halfway house for some things you're really not sure about getting rid of (like a suitcase - something out of sight anyway) and then you can come back to it 6 months on. I've only retrieved 2 or 3 things from purgatory, as it were. Good luck!
I don't even need to put the boots on, they're velvet boots. I call them my superhero boots but funnily enough have never had a need for some high heeled boots to fight crime in.
I went through a box of 'keepsakes' earlier and threw a load out of cards, letters from people I don't talk to anymore and photos. Why did I have a photo of my best friend from when I was 15s' shoes?
I'd put them on and go to Tescos looking AWESOME
Decluttering has pretty much ground to a halt here, and the house is feeling more cluttered than ever, due to DH doing some work in the spare room. Everything from the big cupboard in there has had to come into our bedroom, and it's all baby stuff that we need to keep as DC2 is due in 8 weeks or so. I'm now thinking we should have found out the sex, as then I'd know if I could get rid of all the girly stuff!
I did two areas in our bedroom at the weekend. Tops of two chests of drawers that had become dumping grounds. Not a huge amount of stuff thrown away but things put where they should be. Best bit is they took just a few minutes each and have made a big difference to the feel of the room.
Paperwork for me this evening - getting rid of this www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/40107872/?query=helmer and using folders in the bottom drawer of my desk - I realised having the cabinet was allowing me to hoard far more paperwork than is necessary.
Also FINALLY getting rid of a stupid, metal box file thing which is about the size of a cat-carrying box (only comparison I could think of) which is broken and useless, but which DH has stubbornly been hanging on to for years. It's supposed to be for files and he has stored.... unlabeled, old, rewritable cds in it.
I think my problem is that we have loads of stuff that just has no place. So when I'm picking up stuff we are keeping, I don't know where to put it, so it just gets moved around!
I really need to declutter clothes and kitchen stuff too. It is far too easy to get behind on the laundry and washing up when there is too much scope for it to build up. I need to be more ruthless.
I'm new..<<waves shyly>>
ArtemisatBrauron invited me
so do I need to My name is Willow & I'm a hoarder/stockpiler & trying to change ?
Currently driving DH by having every room a tip. My (perhaps OCD) is that I need to look & consider everything. There is an emotional attachment to tat..however, on the plus side I have been frantically ebaying (am not really quids in, but at least recouping some expenditure).
I'm sending the majority of items via myhermes who are around the £3 figure.
I'm struggling with receipts..I will confess that I keep them but don't look at them in case I can't find what I'm looking for (hello?), trying to get disconnect from the DC clothes (what is that all about?) & the sheer volume.
I hate to run out of things or not be prepared (obviously need many pairs of shoes/coats/hats/gloves for every eventuality). Does the dog need 3 beds ? do I need 30 tea towels...why have I got so many thongs when I haven't worn one in 15 years .
collect/gather/store needs to change to collect/gather/get rid of
<needs a kick up the arse>
I'm currently mning while staring at a pile of... Stuff? Junk? Things I need? I've no idea! It's all a muddle. Ds has been playing me up so I've had to forgo some tidying time, so house is wallowing in mess, ds plays up more because he has no space and so it goes on!
Homestart volunteer should be with me tomorrow morning so I promise I will get at least one box/bag of stuff ready for leaving the house.
I haven't decluttered anything today! Am totally worn out and felt ill at work so pretty much crashed after my shift finished at 7.
My homestart volunteer is coming on Thursday
Willow- it is easy to attach emotional security to things rather than relationships! Try and do it a little at a time. Could you start by spending a short time every day in one room/area but decide that everything you touch has to be either given away, thrown away or put away?
Fuzzpig - I can I identify with your exhaustion! I am currently feeling pretty stressed out having seen the fibromyalgia consultant yesterday. <ironic smilie> . He kept on about my need to do (more) exercise. I am sure that exercise is important but he didn't seem to understand that on a lot of days, the energy choice would be between exercise vs getting enough work done or doing the food shop or eating reasonably healthily! It has really really wound me up - so much so I found it difficult to sleep last night! <more ironic smilies>
However, today I may be able to get out a couple of things I know are in my big cupboard in the spare doom that can be thrown out or taken to the chazzer. I have a bath board that my dad used the last time he was awell enough to be able to come and visit - I'm fairly sure now he isn't going to be able to do that again
I do have an easier workload this week (GCSE aftermath) so it should be an opportunity to get outstanding work and household things done - on the other had being wound up really isn't helping!!
Hi all I've been lurking on this thread and was inspired to clear out our loft at the weekend. I sorted six boxes of books, 3 of CDs and numerous bags of rubbish, then promptly stacked it all in the hall, intending to ring a charity to come collect it at some point. Got home last night to discover that DH had loaded it all in the car and taken it to cancer research! Had huge panic that Id thrown out something essential but realised I hadn't actually looked at any of this stuff for 4 years so can't have been THAT essential....feel so much lighter today...such a lovely feeling!
Welcome Lucid and well done ( to you and your DH )!
Hi lucid I would've panicked too in that situation. That's why while DH does pretty much all the general housework due to my health, I am in charge of decluttering because I wouldn't be able to handle not
being in control of knowing what was thrown away.
DH is attacking the mountain of washing up today and we have gone through and decided what bits to throw away. A few tacky bits of plastic/kids' crockery, anything with a chip in it, all saucers as we never use them even when we use little teacups, and a few other bits too eg a teapot with a missing lid. Success!
Welcome Willow and Lucid! And a for fuzzpig to celebrate your crockery success!
Hope you don't mind, but I'm posting a link to a blog I've recently started which is, in part, about decluttering and moving towards minimalism.
yay, nice to see you willow!
I used to be exactly the same, I felt really sentimental about loads of things and found it really hard to get rid of anything, e.g. felt I always had to keep anything at all my mum gave me, even if I wouldn't use it/didn't like it. I started trying to get rid of things I didn't care about, like socks/pants and then tried to move on to stuff I felt was harder.
Every time you get rid of something that you feel sentimental about it will get easier - I quickly realised that I wasn't throwing away the affection I feel for those people, or weakening our relationship, and that in the end, having an old t shirt my mum gave me wouldn't make me feel better if she died, or replace her, so why was I hanging on to it...
Sorry that was meant to be helpful, not morbid!!
I didn't find it morbid Artemis - and I really agree with your idea of starting with things you don't feel emotional about, and not going straight for the really challenging stuff. If you can't get rid of a top you bought on holiday ten years ago, you won't be able to get rid of the ornament from a late grandparent, etc etc.
When I have successfully decluttered before (well I say successfully, obviously we never got completely clear but we certainly made a good dent IYSWIM) I've done 'sweeps' where I go through simply taking rubbish first, then really obvious clutter, etc - basically doing a slightly 'deeper' search each time, if that makes sense.
I always make myself start with things that are obviously rubbish and that I actively don't want. Even that makes a difference. Am a terrible keeper, so it is hard for me.
Just got rid of a book, a pair of sandals and a bath board to the chazzer at the end of the road. <convenient smilie>
Every little helps!
I am spending some quiet time reading the Simplicity Parenting book til the DCs get home with DH. I am now on chapter 3 which is about simplifying the environment, and wanted to share this quote from the bit about toys:
Nothing in the middle of a heap can be truly valued.
I need to reread it fuzzpig to strengthen my resolve! My dc hate me at the moment because I've re-instated the no-screen-time-till-5pm rule (and we don't have screen time after tea) but in between hating me, the dc have been reading comics, playing footie and making toast, so it's not all bad.
It occurs to me that I shouldn't be using a screen now either. Oops.
ArtemisatBrauron thanks I think this place is going to be the making of me. Yes, I too feel compelled to keep stuff from my mum - well I realise she's buying for her pleasure rather than mine & I've taken delighting rejecting junk. (although I have a large quantity of my tat from her house to go through She now doesn't 'pick up stuff for me'.
Trying to catch up all everyone's stories here - do you feel there is an element of emotional blackmail going on ?
Unfortunately & to the annoyance of DH, I'm unable to do a room at a time & so every room is a work in process, everyday I have a chat with myself & every day I become paralysed by stuff.
Still, on the bright side have taped up 1 jigsaw
2 games, a stack of coat hangers & some kids clothes..yay !
Will be taken to the charity shop on Thursday & hoping new owners enjoy my junk
Until these threads it had never even occurred to me that there was an alternative to keeping everything because if emotional attachments. I just blindly felt more and more swamped and helpless by it. Even just knowing that is liberating, despite me not having had the opportunity to do much about it. But I have started to get rid of wedding presents that no longer work in our lives 9 years later. If eBay people would hurry up and pay then I'd be rid of it forever!
DH is very resistant to getting rid of wedding presents. We have a toast rack that has literally never been used which he insists on keeping. It's stoneware and I broke it (accidentally, I swear) and he spent hours fixing it with glue.
It's madness - in fact we have a similar wedding present, also broken & repaired...I might just chuck it now because, what's the point of having something broken (I don't even like the people it came from...hee hee)
As William Morris says...fill you home with only beautiful or useful objects.
I think a cracked bowl fits neither criteria
Just checked the quote & it's this;
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
I am so exhausted this week. Arti I really sympathise with the extra pain/exhaustion after an appointment too! Especially when it is frustrating due to the doctors not valuing your opinions and experiences I can't remember if I said this already but if you haven't already then do come and join us on the spoons thread on general health.
I really wish I could take some time off but I get so little leave now I'm part time and I've had to use loads for appointments already.
I didn't get much done yesterday, cleared out a load more photos from festivals/concerts where I couldn't even tell you a venue, year or band because they're just the backs of people's heads. I'm doing books and the kitchen today. I have slow cookers, blenders, quiche and pie dishes and I don't cook. I do one pot dishes and rice or shove in the oven. The slow cooker got used three or four times five years ago and was only bought because my ex said he'd use it all the time.
What do you do when your DP has connections to things? We have a lot of birthday/Christmas cards that have been kept because I take them down, shove them somewhere and they just end up moved with a pile of other stuff. I've finally thrown them out, but DP was horrified and wanted to keep all his even though he doesn't actually care about cards at the time. So what's the tactful way of saying "stop being so stupid and throw it away."
Daydream can you ask him to scan them in and keep them digitally? Or take photos of them? Or alternatively tell him to stop being so stupid and throw it away?
Good news! Having taken stuff to the chazzer yesterday, I have already found sometning else to go in the next chazzer bag. A kind of wicker star affair sprayed gold as a Christmas decoration. I used it at one time for an alternative to a Christmas wreath with greenery and decs on it, but I don't need it now. Opening up the Cupboard of Infinite Junk in the Spare Doom was a brave step but I am finding stuff that can go!
Fuzzpig - thanks for the invite to the spoons thread. I read it a while ago but haven't joined in. I think I'm a bit scared of putting too much really personal stuff on here as I have been quite open about my work and where I live and wouldn't want to write anything that might be prejudicial to my business!
And then I go and write stuff on here anyway. Gah!!
Daydream. If your DH really want to keep the cards, can you make HIM responsible for storing them properly. (eg in storage boxes in his half of bedroom or in a study or whatever.) Dump all his by his side of the bed! He may find he doesn't have so much energy for keeping them if you are giving him an ultimatum of "sort and label and store them by x date or the go in the recycling.
Right Really must try and work!
Just caught up on your blog, harriet, it's great! I suppose you can't tell us what else you writ, or it will out you, but I would love to read more of your stuff.
I have been working hard on understanding where DH is coming from the past few days. In some ways I feel like I making all this progress and he is still where we were - I have sorted out two massive metal filing cabinet boxes of our paperwork and gotten it down to 2-3 box files worth in one desk drawer, but there is a huge pile of things HE needs to go through on the living room floor, next to a box file of "sentimental" things of his from last week which he still hasn't sorted. 90% of what has gone out of the house is mine, and I am not sure how much of his stuff will ever leave.
He is even reluctant to get rid of rags/dishcloths, stained tea towels, towels, sheets etc. Although to be fair to him he got on board with downsizing our bedlinen and that was great, we are down to just what we need now.
Great decluttering everyone! I had slipped off the wagon for a bit, but I'm back, ready for more!
I've been continuing to read the thread, which has spurred me on to do some more decluttering.
I tidied out the cupboard above my fridge -you know, the packed lunch boxes, biscuit cutters, water bottles, straws etc. I unearthed masses of these biscuit cutters, so put some in the bin and some into the playdough box. I chucked some ice cube trays (I had 4 -only need 1 really) and a huge plastic mixing bowl that I never use and a raggedy old packed lunch box.
I tidied out my utensil drawer and gave it a good clean. The BBQ tools had to go - I don't think we've had a bbq for at least 2 years.
Next I want to take everything out of our wardrobe and wipe down the rails and hoover it out. I've never actually done that since we got it 11 years ago!
I'm at work having lunch at my desk - but my recycling bin is full of paper! Paper that's been emptied from 3 folders, and a filing cabinet. It still looks messy, but the bin is full. yay!
Wow - so much clearing going on!
I took myself outside to work today, because I've been using decluttering as an excuse for not writing. Finally got a piece of work finished that I've been putting off for 3 weeks. Hoo bloomin ray. My head is more spacious now...
Off to get dc but with a backpack full of books to take to Oxfam on the way.
Thanks for your kind words about the blog, artemis. I am a novelist - well-reviewed & with a big publishing house - but I'm hardly a bestseller so you won't have heard of me!). You're right in thinking that I don't want to out myself. The blog is a good way to be honest without feeling exposed.
Onward and upward. I'm resolving to put away my devices (mac, phone) so that when the dc are home I'm not tempted to choose MN over them. 'Devices' sounds very Biblical. Or PD Jamesish.
Happy minimising everyone .
I might have heard of you Harriet, I work in a library
I went home for lunch and cleared out the towel cupboard. We had far too many towels for a household of two! Now have one large, one small each, one guest pair and two spares, also a couple of handtowels. Even that is a lot, I think!
Also counted 27 dishcloths. We now have none as they were all disgusting
I have finally done some decluttering! DH and I have got rid of 2 pieces of crap furniture from the living room and sorted out stuff for the tip and charity shop. Hurrah!
Lots of successes on this thread. It's so inspiring!
I've not been up to doing any major decluttering this week which is quite disappointing but I am doing well at just randomly spotting stuff to throw out. I keep finding tops I don't wear (or that don't fit) and random kitchen things or broken toys. I've been seeing these things for ages, but I hadn't bothered doing anything with them! This thread has been such a great motivator, I was always putting everything off until some future time when we could do a huge declutter, but that time never came! At least now I feel like I am achieving something every single day.
The adrenaline rush when I threw those towels out (to recycling bin for fabric, not bin) was a bit worrying
"I am a novelist - well-reviewed & with a big publishing house "
Harriet - this is exciting! Do feel free to PM anyone whom you think can keep your secret <me!me!me!>
Though don't worry I'll understand if you don't want to!!
yy fuzzpig - even just 1 item a day is good and makes you feel that you are making progress and inspires you to do a bit more!
<echoes fuzzpig and swears not to out Harriet. Thinking of playing name favourite authors game to see if she is one>
argh **educatingarti - was also reading your secon post where YOU echo fuzzpig.
Threw out a load of half-used children's workbooks/colouring books etc last night, as well as some beaten up old kids shoes that I definitely could not pass on.
I also decided to listen to some free decluttering hypnosis tracks on YouTube. I think my brain needs reprogramming so I'm going to search for a few different titles and see which ones work for me.
I did a 20 minute one today, called something like 'Clean and Tidy with Hypnosis' or something. It was good, although it didn't expressly deal with the idea of getting rid of things, more tidying and cleaning.
I found one to download for about £15 which I am so not doing.
I sort of want a Paul McKenna NLP style track which says things like 'You can easily let go of things you no longer need. You can pass on your excess to others.' I'll let you know if I find anything.
Spent time in the garden playing footie with ds1 (in the spirit of minimalism and trying to consciously add good stuff, not just get rid of things).
I like the idea of pretending to be a famous author, but seriously, I've seen my sales figures. Go ahead and imagine I'm your favourite author if you want, artemis. I fear the truth would only disappoint you. I'm v proud of my book and in usual circs press copies into the hands of everyone I meet but I've been v honest about my personal circumstances here so I shall remain elusive and keep writing the blog.
Have been hard at work minimising the weird fruit teas (ie drinking my way through 'em). Arm isn't working well enough to do any decluttering (old injury flaring up) so I think I'll treat myself to a quiet read (and ignore the pile of washing waiting to be put away).
DH watching the football - I'm going to carry on with the SP book. I've finished the toys section (got some great inspiration and ideas!) and am just about to start the bit on books...
Fuzzpig - I like the idea of the building of tents etc using cloth and pegs and packing away at the end of the day as written in SP but not the books, if I told my DD to pack up some of her books she would not be a happy bunny.
Building-you have inspired me to go through my DCs craft drawers. There are a lot of colouring/activity books in there that need to go.
Tomorrow I plan to blitz the playroom, any advice on how to store Lego??
I have to keep it as DS1and2 DH would sob if I gave it away
back to work this week so concentrating on decluttering my head at the end of the day is enough for me! But the good news is there was interest in my large items on gumtree but it was stowed away in my junk email folder. Getting optimistic again about gaining space!
With Lego I am just going to bung it all in a big ikea tub, they don't mind it all being mixed up.
Craft stuff is a good one. I've never been organised with arty stuff so they never really get to use it at home as I just find it too stressful (bad mummy). And then I just occasionally get those basically prepared kits which are really uninspiring and actually they DCs really don't enjoy them much. I'd like to just have a box/drawers they could go to with all manner of stuff like different types of paper and drawing materials, glue, collage stuff, scissors etc so they can just create whatever they want AND it would all be easily storable. There is no point doing something like that until the house is much calmer and less cluttered though - if I did it now it'd be carnage! Maybe if we are done by Xmas it would make a good joint present for them (they'll be 6.6 and 4.4).
Thanks for the reminder about workbooks, DD has loads and does like them although they are buried among other stuff so not very accessible. That'd be another area I could do easily. I'm sure there's some we can get rid of.
I'm not sure DH is particularly interested in the SP book, he looked tempted to roll his eyes though he did agree that a lot of its principles are ones we already share (like living life slowly rather than rushing around everywhere, not 'overparenting' etc) and he is definitely on board with decluttering gradually anyway.
On lego - this is the only thing ds2 plays with and we have sooooo much of it. He makes and remakes the models so we have some sets in their boxes, a box of mixed & some clear plastic boxes with single colours in (which sounds crazy but ds2 loves making mosaics and flags and pictures with his lego and separate colours is easier).
I still haven't worked out the best way to store it in a way that makes it really easy for ds2 to put bricks away himself (maybe that ikea storage unit with the drawers?) but I could get totally obsessed with this so I'm trying to let go... I want someone to invent a lego hoover that separates by colour. Lego is my crazy place.
My big Lego tip (probably so obvious that everyone already does it) is to put the Lego on a big cloth on the floor so when it comes to clearing up you can just gather up the cloth and tip the pieces back into the box...
I also relax about the Lego when I make things with it next to ds2. I love playing with it. I want to make a secret garden.
lego... when I was about 9 we got bunk beds and I once leapt out onto a lego bloody village that my little brother had built in the middle of the night. OUCH!
" I want someone to invent a lego hoover that separates by colour"
Me too! It would also have to separate out the dust!
As well as DS asking for Lego every birthday and Christmas for the last 5 years, we have all DH's Lego from 30 years ago too. We store it in a Trofast unit with medium buckets for some colours and shallow buckets for the others. And when it comes out, we get out several blankets so it's easier to put away.
Artemis I feel your pain
Harriet lego Hoover, I would buy one of those! The cloth for playing lego on is a brilliant idea, not obvious to me we have a lego table. My neighbour was throwing her table out so I asked if we could have it, this is another problem I have. So we have a mass of lego out all of the time, I'm not happy with this.
Fuzzpig we store in a plastic tub too, I want it sorted but the DCs seem to like it all mixed up for craft things I bought a plastic drawer set from argos, it's on castors so I can move it around. Before the summer hols I'll go to wilkinsons and the works and top up on what's been used up. I tried craft shops but everything was too expensive also eBay has been good for bits.
Clear I'll look into Trofast unit for Lego we also have ancient Lego, a family friend gave us all of his plus DH and birthday/Xmas presents [scream emoticon] !!!
The trouble with craft stuff is that it is by very nature messy but I love your idea of having an organised area/storage for doing it. I think your dc's would be a great age to implement this too.
I was really into making things a child
still am now when I get the time/energy. Doll's houses and pirate ships out of cardboard boxes, little people out of pipe-cleaners (got quite sophisticated at making these), all sorts of "toys" for my little cousins and goodness knows what else. I seem to remember a "stable" made out of an old tissue box and drinking straws for our nativity figures! In the end my mum gave me an old sheet to spread out on my bedroom floor for making things on. She had been remarkably tolerant of the patches of carpet that were stiff with glue before that point though! The sheet was great as I could just bunch it up (covered in bits) and shove it in the bottom of my wardrobe.
<Muses on creating her own properly organised craft area in the spare doom>
fuzz my DH always rolls his eyes about any SP stuff I talk about but then later on he admits it all works, we've been on an SP journey for six years now and it's really worked for our family.
IWill you can get play trays on eBay with a lip all around the edge to prevent stuff falling off which would be perfect for Lego and it can be moved around while a work is in progress
Just tried to look at Harriet's blog but it didn't come up?
fuzz , Harriet Educating
Just been catching up on thread and read about the books and SP, we've found rotating the books have really helped. We're lucky enough to have a loft space which I know not everyone had on here, so we have split the books into quarters and have one quarter out at one time and a few library books. The rest go in a box in the loft ready for rotating back in.
A drawer unit with castors is just the sort of thing I had in mind. I've seen a 'really useful box' one in hobbycraft but will have to resist buying it until much nearer Xmas obviously. It is just the right height to fit under our living room table, which is the only space they'd be able to do craft on anyway (well they will, once it is no longer covered in random shite!) so it'd be the ideal place to keep it. I wouldn't put it in their room, there's no space and can you imagine the chaos if DD decided to start a project in bed ! It's hard enough reminding her to put the lids back on pens when she draws or writes at night.
Anyway, I have good decluttering news! Our homestart volunteer visited today and when I mentioned we've started decluttering she offered to do a charity shop run with me next time so that's a great incentive to gather as much as I can in the next week. I wonder how much I can do
without keeling over by next Friday?!
I've also finally phoned the council to arrange for the old sofa to be collected. DH has dragged it out on the lawn (sorry neighbours!) as they will come early tomorrow. Living room looks quite big now!
Thanks MM that sounds positive I really liked the tips on choosing which toys/books/clothes to keep too. I'm now on the chapter about rhythm and predictability which is something I feel strongly about and I think we are doing reasonably well considering our circumstances, although there's certainly room for improvement
fuzz you and me sound very similar. I wish I could say more but I'm worried about 'outing' myself on here
MM - how old are your dcs? I can see how book rotation might work for toddlers and younger children, but from about 6, 7 up I'd have HATED to have been parted from my books even for a while because sometimes I knew exactly which book I wanted to re-read to help me settle/suit my mood and I'd have been very upset if that one wasn't in the current rotation! Glad it is working for you though!
I have work to do, having spent the best part of an hour trying to sort out email problems ( hopefully now fixed)! I'm also leading my church small group tonight <gulp> so I have to make sure I'm prepared for that (which actually I'm not very so they'll just have to cope!!)
mm it's firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't know how to do the clicky link from my phone but hopefully that should work if you cut and paste into your browser.
We don't have a loft, MM, but we do have spaces where I could store books out of circulation. I might do this at the weekend and put a note in my diary to swap over the books in 3 months or so...
Been reading this thread over the last couple of days & it has really inspired me, although 35 weeks pregnant & exhausted but returned books to library today & a load to charity shop AND cleared out the 'junk' drawer in the kitchen. Feeling pleased so far.
We're in the middle of getting work done tho & I'm waiting for the feckin plumber yet again-off to ring & rant at him now as really need him to do his bit as the rest of the house is in chaos until these 2 rooms get sorted. Grrrrrr, sorry for rant and thanks for all the helpful tips. Off to search for SP parenting too!
Sounds like there's lots of great work being done! I'm so glad I have joined this thread. I avoided the first few as I wasn't really ready to confront the clutter until recently, and I'm grateful you've all been so welcoming I really don't think most of my RL friends 'get' how much of a big deal it is - it is great to be able to talk about it among people who won't judge!
I'm just having a brief rest as I'm decluttering while DH collects the DCs - was all prepared to dash round collecting stuff to throw out, but we have run out of binbags! So I'm finding other bits to do instead. I've moved the Lego into a nice clean Trofast bucket (too big for current collection but I know they will be given more at Xmas...) and used the cardboard box it was in to collect random papers to recycle. I've also started finding some books to take to charity. Mostly character stuff where the stories aren't actually that good! And also some piano music that, as I hardly play piano any more (due to pain) and tend to stick to a few favourite composers/books, I am really unlikely to ever actually play. Most of those were ex library stock anyway that I got when I was young and first started playing. I need to find something to actually keep the chazzer stuff in for the next week though !
Haven't tackled the Lego yet BUT did go through craft drawers and colour/activity books and binned/recycled 2 bin bags of stuff I hadn't realised how much rubbish had accumulated since the last time
evelynj. Sounds like you have a lot going on at the moment. You have my sympathies as we've been having work done on our house for the last 6 years. Always seems like a lot of tools around... Good luck
On a more positive note, the DCs are enjoying the organised craft drawers, no one has asked to watch TV yet. Yay
educating my oldest DD is 8, but she doesn't re-read books (Famous Five etc) if there was something she wanted I would be able to lay my hands on it in five minutes just by popping up into the loft.
We get the majority of her books from the library now she's 8 to be honest. As keepers we've only bought The Little House books and I have Enid Blytons Secret Island I saved for her and also Gobbolino the Witches Cat and Milly Molly Mandy, all the rest come from the library.
Book rotation is brilliant for small space living so it is really working for us
Woo hoo! Bags out to charity and finally my mum has asked for some board books for the twins when we spend time with nanny and grandad. I've got two bookshelves of board books (stops them pulling paper ones apart so much). So glad I can share some of the board booky love at nanny and Grandad's.
<reads the Lego conversation and is grateful dc are happy with duplo for now>
Glad everyone is having a clear out...I was inspired yesterday & decided to make 2 difficult calls today - which I did (& afterwards though, what's all the fuss about?!? & today took several bags to charity shops...hurray & did that 25% tax thing too
I love Gobbolino! My 1978 pink covered copy is rather tattered through reading over and over as a child and doesn't look very inviting to the DCs. I did read it to them before they could read chapter books and they enjoyed it. I think I'll treat myself to the hardback and then
I my DCs can enjoy it again.
Of course I'll have to get rid of the falling to bits version which has so many memories. That'll be hard, will have to tell myself 'it's just paper' several times over. I still have my shabby Milly Molly Mandy's in a box even though DD was offered a new set a few years ago.
I feel that a new sweep of the books in boxes is in order!
Aargh rogue apostrophe, neither useful nor beautiful!
Hello everyone. Can I join you?
Have been reading your minimalist threads and found them very inspiring. I'm on a mission to sort myself/home/life out and since finding MN & reading your posts have actually been making progress, instead of just thinking about making progress!
I wondered if we would suck you in polka or not
Hi all, I love Gobbolino too - there is a beautiful 70th anniversary hardback edition which I've bought for DD. I haven't been able to throw out my old tatty pink paperback yet, though I really should!
I really treasured all my books as a child and carefully kept them for my kids - but after years of storage I was shocked by how yellowed and tatty they have become (makes me feel old!). I guess nothing lasts for ever - which is sad, but kind of a good realisation to stop me hoarding too much stuff for future generations!
* currer* it's one of my favourite children's books along with all the Milly Molly Mandy stories!
I am in bed already tired and sore from work so I'm curled up with the iPad to continue with SP! Hoping I get a second wind later to do a few bits.
I confess we rotate books about every 6 weeks or so. I have all the kids books in Muji files and there are 4 or 5 for each season, plus extras for holiday books . I have probably donated as many as I've kept, but we still have so so many. I have found that it doesn't add to clutter though as the kids are well trained to put them away when they are done. I also have a book case in each of their rooms and a 'book nook' downstairs, it means that even though there are loads of books available it isn't overload as they are spread out.
anyone remember a Milly Molly Mandy about the family going on a trip to have a picnic but when they get there the picnic spot has been littered and wrecked by "trippers" (ha!). I am sure I read this as a child but have never found it since.
I have a lot of my old books, but I got rid of 25 crates of them when I relocated after uni and my parents made it clear they weren't storing all my old crap any more.
Am actually thinking of de-cluttering some of them, they take up a whole book case and there are some I haven't read in 5 years since we moved here.
Art yes! I remember that story about the picnic spot being littered, it is upstairs in my book! My favourite story was where they make Milly Molly Mandy her own room up in the attic where the jam jars lived and they paint it apple green.
Hi all. Dropped two bags of children's clothes to a newly opened charity shop in town this morning. Thought the lady there was going to hug me apparently they're desperate for kids stuff to sell. Told her I'd be back again soon with more. Walked back to the car feeling really happy.
Hopefully some little person will get some nice new(ish) clothes now too and their Mum will be made up with finding them. Thought it'd feel rubbish and make me a bit sad giving them away, how wrong I was!
polka that's great! It's so nice to feel you've done someone a favour as well as cleared some space.
I need to get on with some tidying and de-cluttering today, haven't managed anything yet!
sokmonsta my DS's 6&7 have duplo upstairs and lego downstairs. Lego is your future
polka you sound like me. I have found this thread soooo helpful the advice re Lego is literally life changing. Sounds overly dramatic but the storage/play ideas have made at least 3 rooms in our house more accessible and the DCs are finding it easier to help tidy up. So for you and good luck and everyone who have advised/inspired me and THANK YOU
I went to the charity shop today to donate the bits that didn't sell at last weekend's street sale. Some other bits will be going to a charity for victims of domestic abuse but it's hard for me to get there during opening hours.
Would like to add flowers to Iwilldoit for all the great advice and reflections on this whole series of threads. Things are evolving in a positive way in this house and in my head.
Things are evolving in a positive way in this house and in my head.
That is a very good summary! I feel the same
Just checking in! Haven't been here in a while but great to read of all the progress we're making.
I've Freecycled a trike and baby bath/change station since I was last here. Also ebayed a few things.
I was away last week and my rucksack broke - the inner metal bits which support the back are now poking through the lining. They have been removed. Think the rucksack needs to go in the bin? I am going to try to get away without replacing it if I do chuck it out. Will free up a lot of room in my cupboard. I have a hold all with a shoulder strap which hopefully should be manageable now DCs are up a bit and we can get away without using the buggy at the airport.
Plan for the week: look into advertising my wedding dress on specialist websites, rotate books and rotate DCs pictures which are on display (plus sneak a few old ones into the bin!).
This is such a lovely thread.
My friends have come to stay this weekend and haven't been here for a while. They commented on how amazingly tidy and spacious everything is looking (and I hadn't told them about my attempts to move towards minimalism over the last six months).
In other news, an old injury has flared up and I can't use my arm, lift anything or get rid of the stuff piled in the hall... Oh well.
How lovely to have those compliments Harriet! I actually hardly have any visitors mostly because of the state of the house pretty much only family and my best friend ever come here. I hope that will change as the house gets sorted. DD's current yr1 teacher is going to be DS' reception teacher in September and they do home visits for reception! It would be really good if we were significantly more sorted by then.
I am really tired this morning after a busy day yesterday. DH is working again but I'm hoping the DCs will behave enough for me to collect some more stuff for the chazzer (you've all got me using that word now!) - that is the big priority as my homestart volunteer will be back on Friday to help with it
Sorry about the injury Harriet. It is frustrating not being able to do stuff! I am used to this due to my illness, and what I try to do on those occasions is to declutter in my mind instead! It sounds a bit daft but basically I go through things in my head, such as imagining DCs' toys or my clothes, and think of what else I can get rid of. It helps me feel more proactive and then when I am not so unwell I can go straight to those things and get rid of them - this also means I see results quicker and I'm not dithering when I finally get the chance to declutter because I know where to start.
I'm all for giving to charity shops & I'll buy my DS stuff from there if I can-it feels great to donate & buy also, such a buzz when you find something you need & no guilt whatsoever for me if I spend a few quid on something I'm not sure about.
I'm wondering tho about how I feel about kids books now, always thought we could never haven enough but they do get everywhere-may do the box rotation. Thinking of a small Sunday job now I could do......
Meant to say I love the decluttering of the mind idea-I guess this is what I do too when too exhausted for activity. Think I'll go & start a list now for when I can be bothered to sort!
I have got through a lot of decluttering. Eleven weeks to go until our first baby. I ordered a copy of Simply Parenting so I don't get into bad habits.
Have most rooms done now and shed installed in garden so DH toolboxes etc have gone in there.
Most of my teaching supplies are filed into slim back to back wallets and original books donated to school.
I have used most of my bathroom products up - decanted shower gels etc (pressies) into pretty soap dispensers. Towels - donated. Handbags - sorted. Booksheleves thinned out. Wedding cards/trinkets/honeymoon photos in storage boxes along with dress etc. Extra mugs - donated. Hotpress tidied. Magazines sorted (kept my favourite house décor ones in file). Jewellery and makeup organised. under stairs - declutters
Having a relaxing anniversary weekend but few things on the agenda -
today - collecting all tuberware/plastic containers and putting them into a white wicker basket for the dresser.
Yet to do -
Press items for maternity bag (washed)
Teatowel/kitchen press freshen up and sort.
Non maternity clothes sort/repairs (organise looser clothes for wear after baby)
Sort shoes - put away high heels/occasional shoes/ hats etc.
Childhood/University/21st trinkets - finally decide what to do with them
and declutter (my school uniform (I know!!!!!)
Recipes for magazines - write and file in little recipe folder.
Photobook creation x 4
Paint wicker chair in nursery.
Sort Christmas decorations - donate unwanted (DM wants them)
Wash/ display wedding crystal to free up wardrobe space in baby room.
In no rush with above though.
Decluttered our yard which was filled with stuff left by previous owners, we been meaning to do this since February DH grumbled a lot this morning but it only took him about a hour while I took DD's to the park
Also got DH to sit down and tackle some paperwork so he go a lot of shredding done while I've been baking bread
Amazing progress everyone! I am finding the house so so much easier to keep clean and tidy now I've gotten rid of so much excess. Each room only takes two min in the mornings to open blinds and put things back where they should be. I'm on top of the laundry & the washing up and it feels great!
I spent this morning cleaning out stuff from the annex which is being rented out from next week, so I've got a pile to sort out again. I'm going to bite the bullet and attempt to ebay some things which haven't sold elsewhere and will list a few bits on freecycle today. Also plan to load up DHs car so he can run to the tip before work tomorrow and I can FINALLY call the council about collecting the pallets. This is really the dregs of the house at this point.
I've also got a gardener coming on Tuesday to have a look at decluttering the weeds! I have inherited a lovely garden from the previous owners and have no idea how to take care of it - so will be asking her to do an initial weed / tidy and then I can attempt to maintain it myself.
That's sounds amazing Wendy well done!
I still feel like I can get rid of more, I'm not sure when I will stop feeling this?!
I'm sure you'll know when you reach the level that's right for you MM.
Well done on everyone's great progress!
I rifled through my wardrobe this morning while DSD was watching the DCs and have a bag for life full and a women's suit that no longer fits as well as loads of raggy/holey bits. I will ask DH to go through his older t shirts too - he's got loads of old boring ones but for the last few years he has been getting nice ones for gifts so he has enough lovely ones to get by!
Hello lovelies, I haven't done much sorting this week (apart from finding some more clothes for the chazzer). However, we got rid of 8 horrid Leylandii that were blighting our tiny garden - all we have left are stumps. And we and our neighbours have much more light
Got 2 bags of towels, old clothes etc off to the recycling unit yesterday but today is my birthday and I was running the race for life so nothing is going to happen now I think!
Unless I pack up the parcels for the 9 things I sold on eBay this weekend....
just saw this house in the observer - lovely in one way but SO cluttered. His shed looks a bit unsafe with all the "artisanal" cupboard piled up like that!
Beautiful clutter... I have desk envy - I wish I didn't have a whopping great PC on mine!
Happy birthday Artemis! I think a day off is deserved
I am on FIRE today. Buoyed by doing the bag of chazzer clothes earlier, after lunch I wandered around with a binbag aiming to fill it. I filled three! Just random broken toys, and I made the decision to get rid of all the play food too - it is all old, chewed (), chipped, manky, bits missing etc. I mean one lot I'd got used on ebay, I am pretty sure she had just scooped it out of the bath before posting, as when it arrived it had water in it why did I keep it in the first place?! I confess I am considering replacing it (maybe for DS' birthday or Xmas) with a small amount of decent play food stuff though. [please don't kick me off thread emoticon]
I also found a couple more bits for charity and sorted out all their little animal figures (well all the ones I can find anyway! Some of them I didn't even recognise!) into a nice clean drawer. I have stopped now though as I have a scarily busy week coming up (starting with DD's birthday tomorrow! I've gone for non-cluttery presents though...) and don't want to overdo things physically.
It is scary how easy and fast it was to fill those three bags (and the one I've done throughout the week) and yet it looks no different around here...
fuzz do you want me to throw a bucket of water over you?
fuzz on a more serious note, I find that when I decluttered and a space appears, I get used to that space really quickly and I want to make another clean, clear space...
Iwilldoit thank you for the flowers!
Here's a bunch back for you and everyone else on here who's doing their decluttering/minimalism thang
Very impressive and love reading what you're all getting accomplished.
It really does make such a difference doesn't it - totally understand the uncluttered environment/clearer head analogy clearsomme and fuzzpig.
It does wonders for the self-esteem too getting rid of stuff you didn't think you could, and makes you appreciate what is actually important.
My DH is pretty chuffed with me too.
So just need to keep going and keep on top of it, and with the help of you all on here I'm sure it'll be that bit easier.
Gush over! Now going to declutter a Crunchie into my mouth
Oh and Happy Birthday Artemis!!
Happy birthday artemis! Hello to the delurkers!
fuzzpig it sounds as if you really have your eye in!
Before my arm went, I put loads of books out of circulation and I've since seen the boys reading so much more! I think they can get the books off the shelves more easily because I've deliberately left space in each Expedit cube. I've put their comics in a trug/bucket thing (instead of a shelf on the Expedit) and again they've been reading them instead of using them as a lethal carpet.
Charity bag plopped through door yesterday so I'm going to do another sweep through the drawers.
That sounds encouraging about the books Harriet. DS has been the same with board/card games - he is finally able to understand stuff like Orchard Toys games and take turns etc, we have played loads today in between my decluttering efforts! What does "have your eye in" mean though?
Thanks MM, I think it isn't really a visible difference yet because I'm really just doing 'sweeps' rather than focusing on particular areas IYSWIM. But it is making an impact really because I have started amalgamating the non-sorted stuff into fewer boxes and cleaning out empty drawers/boxes for specific things, which will hopefully gradually make tidying easier!
fuzzpig, I meant that rather than seeing a generic muddle, you are seeing objects individually and it's easier to distinguish junk from stuff worth keeping.
Hullo all. I have been reading simplicity parenting thanks to recommendation on here. As a result have tried harder to have family meals and we have used the lighting of the candle and ten seconds quiet time at the start, as the book recommends, to set the tone. It had made a real difference. Have also got rid of masses of plastic tat the DCs had accumulated over the years that seemed wasteful to chuck. Love this thread.
Tougholdbird can you please elaborate on the candle moment for those of us who are don't have e-readers and don't want another parenting book.
clear it's an amazing book, can you check it out of your library?
clear The idea is that having 'pauses' built into your family routine just allows children to calm down and reduces stimulation, allowing them to de-stress(am paraphrasing madly, so forgive me if I put my own interpretation on it!). By lighting a candle at the start of the meal then just waiting for a minute in silence ( start with ten seconds and build up) the children can just gaze at the flame and settle. I guess it replaces prayers if you are in a non-religious household. At the end the children take turns to blow it out and the candle going out signifies the end of the meal stops them wandering off so easily as well.
Thanks Tougholdbird. It could be a good routine for me. My DCs are terrible about coming to the table when called. They are always so busy. So I sometimes start mealtimes feeling irate. Also the silence would help them adjust their voices when they have been playing noisily just before the meal.
MM They don't have it. It doesn't appear to have been translated into French yet and the English language books they have are mostly the sort of English literature the uni students study. Could it be read on a long weekend? I could get my Dad to reserve it in time for my next visit.
clear an added attraction if they are old enough is letting them light the candle, then the younger one gets to blow it out - although the novelty might wear off I suspect .
It's a very quick/easy read, so yes you probably could read it over a weekend. My county libraries didn't have it though otherwise I wouldn't have bought it on kindle.
I love the way it suggests a gradual approach, it feels attainable. I definitely need to do the clutter/mess first - as suggested in the book - as it is just chaos in our house right now. For example we don't currently all eat at the table, as we were before, as the table is the biggest clutter magnet and is just full of shite. If doing a quick tidy we usually start with the table but it's pointless as there's nowhere for it all to go, and it never lasts more than a day or so.
Thanks for explaining Harriet, that is definitely how I feel. Now I've started I am much more confident in my ability to decide what counts as clutter!
And it's already easier to tidy up, as I've been sifting through some random crap on aforementioned table (looking for something, not actually decluttering) I found more colouring stuff, Lego and animal figures and have put them ready to go up once DD is asleep as they finally have specific homes! <proud>
I'm so proud of all the progress being made on here. I have to confess to stalling for a while now, but I still have the declutterer's eye that fuzzpig has discovered. I have been ebaying, and another lot of stuff went on tonight. Ds has just outgrown another set of clothes so I want to out them on too but they are the wrong season - heaps and heaps of dungarees. I am so grateful that this thread has made me much better at dealing with hand me downs and volumes of clothes. I returned a lot of the original baby gifts and didn't feel guilt tripped into ds wearing them once just for a photo for the donor. With hand me downs, I went through them all and discarded duplicates and excesses when I did my big cash for clothes collection. Now, when I went to look out ds' next set of clothes, it is a manageable bundle instead of a heavy load on my mind. Love it. Now, if someone would get off their backside and buy my baby swing I'd love it even more!
I still need to deal with general levels of clutter in the house though as I am nowhere near Wendybird's easy to tidy up state. Although it is much easier than it was. I can sympathise with fuzzpig s table. Ours has an end that is a clutter magnet. It starts with the pot of water that I use for ds' nappy changes as the original centre of mass which attracts all manner of other things. DH just squeezes his plate in amongst it. Plus it is opposite the clothes drying racks so dry washing piles can outstay their welcome too. I need to be more disciplined with washing (or the putting away of). We will be packing up soon for 3.5 weeks away, so that will be an incentive to do a sweep of the house at the same time. If the nice weather returns, then the garage may get a seeing to as well!
And so dh's latest comment was 'how come when you tidy the bedroom, your side is tidied first' (I actually think he's said this before). I don't think he was impressed when I told him it was his stuff and he'd grumble if he couldn't find it, so I left it to him to put where he saw fit.
So the end result is I will put everything away according to my system. Which makes sense to me but not him. And tough if he can't find something
because I'll likely have decluttered it due to non use
He will just have to learn. I don't mind being a housewife. But he's got to realise if I tidy it, it goes back where I put it! 6 years of living together and recently he's started messing up the cutlery drawer system. So when I'm halfway through cooking, I can't find the bloody things I need.
Clear you could read SP in a weekend I reckon.
We do the candle from September through to march, it's sort of a special signal to us about the changing of the seasons. Its very beautiful when it is dark outside and we light it for breakfast too. We use beeswax candles and they smell beautiful. The candle light definitely calms the children. During the spring/summer as there is so much light, it doesn't seem to have so much significance for the children if that makes sense so we don't do it all year around.
For everyone talking about the table issues, I've found it being used as a dumping ground had to be banned completely. I was in that exact same place about five years ago. After the children have finished an activity on it, they HAVE to clear it away to make sure the table is clear for breakfast and tea time. I check the table before after the children have climbed into bed ready for breakfast too.
As an interim measure while you're still in the process of decluttering so you're not organised exactly how you want it, try placing an oblong wicker basket or plastic tub at one end of table so bits and bobs can be placed in there rather than scattered across table so you can still access it to eat.
Re-reading Hobnob post about the table, she describes one object as a magnet, I have read about this in decluttering books. It's like a room with a broken window, the window is a mess, so near that window more 'mess' gathers as people think, 'What's the point, the window looks a mess so it's pointless making everything else look nice' So, more and more 'mess' is drawn to that area.
We went through a lovely candle phase. . Every meal by candlelight. So funny and sweet.
Have ditched a load of paperwork this morning in an effort to find mislaid boiler papers. Urgh. And have started Christmas shopping so have to sort out our concerted loft/study so we have somewhere to store it all.
Am very wary of 'being on fire', fuzz. It never ends well, in our condition. Little and often. Pace yourself!
I've just been catching up on this thread and feeling a bit as I don't think I'm managing very much on the decluttering front. My spare doom is still pretty much a total tip even though I've sorted a few bits out. I never seem to get spare time and energy coinciding to do a lot!
My sum of jobs over the weekend seems to have been doing food shopping and batch cooking a casserole, mending my peg bag (I made it myself from an old embroidered pillow case <proud> but the hanger I used wore a hole in the fabric so I have patched it!) emptying bins and taking out recycling and doing a load of washing and putting it on the airer.
I have slept a lot! I have so many clutter magnets - especially in my workroom! Loads of stuff I don't know what to do with really!
Ok, my flat isn't a total tip but it never seems to get past a particular point of sorting!
building I've started getting things for the children's stocking presents when i see it with 50 % off, trying not to buy tat though, but stuff that will be used like pretty hair bands and clips, cute socks and knickers with pictures on they always love! I tend to get them an Usbourne sticker books each, the dolly dressing up ones but they're never as much as 50 % off, more like buy one, get one half price in WHSmiths. I get them handmade chocolates too in little cute designs!
educating can you get any dedicated time to it, like say over a week where a number of hours can be sent on it each day to get past the point if that makes sense? So you keep on ploughing on with it?
Having cleared the annex yesterday DH and I managed to cull another box of baby clothes leaving us with 1/2 box of sentimental items to save and another box to ebay. I've listed some cloth nappies, chandelier and posh paint for sale and some items on freecycle. Also culled some frames and books for the chazzer.
It feels great getting rid of storage boxes!
I'm am currently vacuuming and going around with a carrier bag at the same time picking up any paper that's been scribbled on etc from other the weekend and looking for stuff that needs to be binned
Completely agree with hobnob and MM on clutter magnets!
Interesting little post on apartment therapy website: www.apartmenttherapy.com/dirty-little-secrets-of-tidy-families-190889 (but don't bother with the comments - lots of people getting defensive, etc). The main thrust of the article (and the point of minimalism for me): less stuff, more fun.
It is difficult MM
Because I have fibro, I have to pace myself quite carefully. I get extremely tired and quite often spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons sleeping to "catch up". I work on Saturday mornigns and go to church on Sunday mornings.
My work has to come first. I have to average over 30 hours a week to be eligible for working tax credits. I am doing that that at the moment but only just!
Then I have to prioritise eating fairly well (I was diagnosed with insulin intolerance last year and have had to buck my ideas up about what constitutes a balanced meal!) I try and batch cook stuff and put in freezer. I don't find that cooking comes very easily to me and I have to psych myself up a bit to do it!
Then I am trying to actually get to bed for 9.30/10.00pm as I have discovered it does make a big difference to how I feel. As I am tutoring, I don't finish work till late (9.00pm one night).
Then there are the random things like hospital/doctor appointments, taking the car for an MOT that seem to crop up on a nearly weekly basis!
I do keep my living room fairly clean and tidy as parents use it to wait in when students come to me for tutoring.
I think I'm also at a stage where I'm not too sure what to do next with the decluttering so it's not easy to just keep dong 10 min bursts as I'm not so sure what I am going to do in the 10 mins!
My fibro consultant is nagging me about doing more exercise too. I don't think I'm too bad on that - I try and walk a mile or so a couple of times a week and I garden on Fridays when I have the energy and the weather is up to it! ( I get paid for this - kind of a 2nd job - I don't tutor on a Friday evening because I've discovered that there's not too much point!). I think I overdid the gardening last Friday - I did nearly 5 hours and really enjoyed it but paid for it in tiredness and aching over the weekend!
So that is where I am up to really!
After that essay, I need to get on with some work!!!!
Hello- may I join in - I need to work on my dh- he has so many clothes and will not throw away, also stuff from work that needs shredding ALL over the house!
He gets cross when I mention it but I am going to have to stand firm because I am not sure our marriage will cope any more
Oop - brought thread down now
Any tips on motivating other people.
Nishky - others on here have motivated their other halves by tidying and decluttering some areas they have control over and their own half of the bedroom, putting all dps stuff into his half for him to sort out. they then get to see the contrast!
educating I'm going to pm you quickly as I don't want to 'out' myself on this thread to anyone that knows me.
Thanks educating I have started to do that, will persevere with that,
Hello nishky. That sounds so difficult. Have you read any stuff online about it? If you google 'living with a packrat' you get some interesting stuff. This might be a place to start: zenhabits.net/how-to-find-peace-living-with-a-packrat/
Welcome Nish my DH got cross at first, I did all my own stuff and general house and then he admitted it was the right path a couple of years later and is fully on board now
I wish we could set up a working-towards-minimalism or decluttering network (depending on which camp you feel you fall into) with local connections so that we could help each other out physically in RL.
Just been reading the comments from the article Harriet linked to upthread, even though she said dont both reading the comments, I could help myself I found this that someone wrote interesting:
"Here's an idea for those of you with large families or lots of company. It's called "Beware of the Doubling Principle."
When my husband and I got together. He had three young girls, I had a one year old, we were in a four room apartment AND I did in-home daycare. Because of the daycare, I had labeled boxes and baskets and bins - everything DID have a place. But it got CRAZY MESSY in a minute and could have been dangerous for the little ones who were toddling around....
"The doubling principle" goes like this. If one thing is left where it doesn't belong, say a pair of shoes in the doorway, then another pair appears in no time, then two more pairs, than four more, etc. Same with a plate in the sink or a towel on the bathroom floor, a magazine, dirty clothes, you name it - it doubled, then grew exponentially into a pile. I think unconsciously everyone thought, "I guess it's okay to do this."
So, my goal was to stop that ONE thing from doubling by taking care of it right away. After I explained this to my husband and the older kids, they understood WHY putting things where they belonged after using them was so important. Piles of stuff were never as huge or overwhelming after that because I could warn them in a kind and silly way, "You know there will be 16 then 32 then 64 bowls on that counter in no time, right?"
A good cleaning each evening was a lot easier if everything was already in it's place.
jomamavt" Comment from Apartment therapy Dirty Little Secrets of Tidy Families.
I concede - that comment was worth reading. . I just got irritated by people saying that tidy people have no lives!
The doubling principle reminds me of the jinxed objects in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows where everything you touch duplicates!
Excellent ref Harriet re HP my kitchen is like that at the moment with library books. A pile has grown over the weekend and we were away hope your arm is feeling better.
fuzzpig completely understand re games. I went through the kids books on the shelves in the sitting room. The DCs have been taking the remaining books down and rediscovering them it's amazing how much more they are getting out of having LESS
Am v of all the great work that has happened. I managed to give a bag of pressies and outgrown items to relative. Had an embarrassing DC moment as my DS enquiried what I thought of his cousin having a TV in his room at age 3 when I am absolutely opposed to this
House in chaos as decorating DCs rooms. Feels like a huge task and DD really doesn't want to part with ANYTHING. Luckily she hasn't noticed I went through her room and relocated a few broken bits to the bin
Another interesting article on minimalism and dismantling the walls of stuff between us and the rest of the world. www.missminimalist.com/2012/07/walls-of-stuff/
20 questions to clear your clutter. I love this! www.missminimalist.com/2011/11/twenty-questions-to-clear-your-clutter/
Harriet people saying tidy people=people have no lives makes me too. What's wrong with wanting to live in a nice calm environment?
Super links harriet thank you
fuzzpig if you get the chance look at the first link, I thought of you as I read
Happy birthday Arte hope the run went well
MM nothing wrong at all. Some people don't understand and get frightened by something different. We are a consumer society and the majority of people think more, more, more will make them happy.
I have witnessed since starting to de clutter my home, we are happier as a family. Less for us = a happy home.
Run went really well, Iwill, thanks! I wanted to finish the 5k in under 30 mins and did it in 29.05 so was very pleased with that. It was quite crowded so had a slow start before I was able to shoot off and gather some speed, so I might even aim for 28 next time!
I am also pleased with our continued de-cluttering... finally said goodbye to 4 large carrier bags of books I realised I was keeping to prove how "smart" and "literary" I am. How awful.
However, having boxed up about half of the books we are keeping (manily academic ones we need for work, DH is an academic and I still publish academic articles even though I am a teacher now) I have a small but growing worry that even the keen de-cluttering I have done won't be enough to keep us down to one van when we move.
I keep thinking of all the boxes, bags and furniture that has gone (and the bits that will go, like the ikea chests of drawers we are not bringing and telling myself it will be fine but the pile of boxes to take with us in the spare room is ever growing...
Arti/building I totally agree about the pacing! DH gave me a stern look yesterday, despite being really pleased with how much I'd done, because he feared I'd done too much. I reassured him that I didn't do nearly as much as I'd wanted to, and had stopped way before I wore myself out or felt pain. Unlike the stereotypical ME sufferer, I am actually not the kind of person to be constantly on the go, so pacing comes quite naturally to me! I'm itching to get on with more decluttering now (just got in from work) but I'm not going to, as work was tiring and going out for dinner tonight (involving walking/waiting for buses/keeping madcap DS in check) will be hard too, and DH is working tomorrow so I'm on school run duty too - I need to save some energy for all that!
Don't get too despondent arti, after all the only reason you are now struggling to see what to do next is because you have already made progress and done the obvious stuff! I really like the idea of just throwing away one thing per day. You could just make yourself go into the spare doom once a day and come out with one thing to get rid of, no matter how tiny. I sympathise though, I think in the past when we've managed a huge declutter we've then plateaued and that's when the clutter has crept back in. I am determined to make it stick this time though - I think my mindset has changed due to my illness, and reassessing what really matters - not STUFF! I think I will always have to watch myself, though.
MM, your description of Xmas stockings made me ! I really hate 'stocking filler tat' and try to make sure I get stuff that will be used and cherished throughout the year rather than broken by Boxing Day. My DCs are still a bit that Father Christmas brings them underwear and socks but they love them really - mummy never buys character clothes throughout the year so it is a real treat! The main other thing they usually get is little figures (Disney, animals etc) as they play with that kind of thing every day, although they have oodles now so I may have to rethink that plan...
BTW the sticker dolly dressing books - DD got a world costume one for her birthday today from the Book People, it was £2.99.
Only just noticed the last page of posts! I think the whole point of the minimalist family idea is that because you have less stuff, you DO have more of a life, partly because less stuff means less housework!
Wll have a look at those links
Just been catching up with the last couple of days' posts. Our dining table is an ongoing battle, I manage to keep it clear for a while and then suddenly, junk starts accumulating there again. It's currently enjoying a clear phase, and I'm trying really, really hard to stick with it. The table is in the living room as there isn't room to eat in the kitchen, and the state of the table makes a massive difference to how the room feels. For a while the junk just moved to the top of the bookcase, and although that isn't totally clear yet, it's getting there.
I managed to declutter some more bits and pieces out of my jewellery box, but that's about as much as I've managed. I have found a few more bits that can go though, so they'll go in the next chazzer bag.
Those links are all great. I looked at another post on miss minimalist and loved this quote about her baby:
Ive noticed that if multiple toys are within her reach, she becomes easily distracted and distraught. Shell pick up one for a few seconds, then go to another, then go to anothernone seem to satisfy her for very long. If I give her only one toy at a time, shes more focused, and plays more quietly and contentedly. Its fascinating to see this reaction to too much stuff at such an early age, and makes me ever more determined to keep her play environment simple and uncluttered.
By coincidence, I actually just remembered yesterday that in our first place (where we lived from my first pregnancy until DD turned one), we actually had a Toy Box. Literally, one box - not even a big one, it was a Baby Duplo tub. All her toys fit in it.
And I thought - where did it all go wrong? And it didn't take me long to work it out. I was lonely when we moved to this area (couple of counties away from my hometown) around DD's first birthday (5 years ago now) - not that I'd made any firm mum friends in DD's first year, but I had my college mates, and one of their mums who I used to walk to often, and my family too. I had to start from scratch when we arrived here and as DH was working FT then, I was isolated - apart from seeing my DSDs after school some days (being closer to them was the reason we moved and obviously it was more than worth my personal struggle - we are a really close knit family and moving here was absolutely the right thing to do for all of us). It is all a blur really as depression was much worse then, but I guess I started spending a lot more time in town, buying stuff to try and inject some 'newness' into the drudgery. It got much worse when I had DS - I felt guilty for being so wrapped up in him that I overcompensated with lots of new stuff for DD.
Sorry for waffling. This thread is such great therapy!
On toys: fuzzpig, I recognise so much of what you said! I can map my buying directly onto my moods. I bought loads when I was lonely, depressed, exhausted in a new city with a new baby just because it took me out into the world. I would never spend oodles on myself but buying for my dc? A different story. My grandad was always horrified by how many toys the dc had and I used to rationalise it by saying that their friends had so many more... Despite only deliberately bringing a few toys when we went abroad for a year I bought new stuff for ds1 because I felt guilty that he was so unhappy and I was so lonely... We've also got into this nuclear profileration around dc and Christmas/birthdays and I don't know how to pull it back because I get accused of being parsimonious. I know I don't want more stuff in our lives and for the first time in years I have half a chance of getting my finances in order and I don't want to jeopardise that...
*fuzzpig" Thank you for your encouragement. You are right - one thing a day is the way to go! (Wasn't I saying that to you not so long ago?) It is hard though - even the one thing, when you have so much else that is a priority
and you keep getting distracted by mn
Oh yes the distraction of MN, was looking for a choc chip muffin recipe and that was 30 minutes ago
I can also map out the toy explosion in our lives. When DD was under 18 months we had an Ikea basket for toys in the sitting room and a book shelf in her nursery. Then we moved twice and didn't have space for toys so spent most of our time outdoors.
Then when we moved to our "forever" home we had space and we filled it!
I'm about to go into DCs room and empty tubs, label and put away properly.
Wish me luck...I might be some time
So proud of this I may even post a pic of it... I was wondering what to do with my race for life medal - it is the definition of junk and I've been so ruthless lately, but part of me wanted to keep it as it was the first race I ever ran.
So I made it into a key ring for my work keys! It's quite sturdy and a good size, and every time I use my keys I remember the feeling of crossing the finish line under my time.
There hasn't been a toy explosion here. Actually books and craft supplies aside, we don't buy things very often for our children. (but they get pocket money so probably buy themselves a toy every couple of months)
But DCs still have sooo much of stuff.
One child has lived through 8 Christmases and birthdays and the other 9. So that's 17 x the amount of people who give gifts.
My DCs have 7 lots of family members who send them gifts for each occasion.
So assuming one item per donor (and it's often more) that's 238 gifts and that's excluding:
-birthday/Christmas gifts from DH and I
-gifts when we hold a birthday party
-gifts from visitors (a fair amount of people drop in on us on their way to more exciting destinations for their hols and often bring a little something for the DCs)
When I was growing up I only had one set of GPs alive and two uncle/aunt couples sent a gift at Christmas but not birthdays. The other side of the family were in a developing country so didn't send anything. People visiting might bring a box of chocolates for the family to share but not things specifically for me and siblings. You didn't get toys with your food when you went to the chippy or for pub grub. Just lollipops at the Little Chef if you cleared your plate. (Are they allowed to do that still?)
They are lucky children and appreciate what they have but living like this just isn't necessary or durable.
Excellent idea Artemis, it's now doubly useful as a key ring and self-esteem booster!
Toy explosion at birth of second child. Birthdays right after Christmas do NOT help.
Have just ditched paperwork from before 2006. Am self-employed so have to keep lots but found lots that can go!
Arte what a fab idea!! Your first race time is the same as my DHs best time ever!! (He is very proud of that time and mentions it often when talking of running)
I'm not a runner so it just sounds impossible to me!
Muffins made, time to tackle the dinosaur habitat upstairs.
Wow! A revelation last night. I changed the dc's beds, put the books back on the shelf that they'd squirrelled under pillows and duvets. Removed a load of cushions which we got to give James a comfy space on his bed (bottom bunk/mattress on floor) and removed a lot of soft toys which had somehow managed to walk up the stairs... Properly tidied, hoovered and cleaned the room.
We actually had all 4 dc asleep no later than 8pm. In a tidy room with clean bedding. I even removed the dolls from Emily's bed that she had been playing with and reminded them all that at bedtime, the beds are for sleeping not playing. The Big two each have their most favourite toy plus one or two more. The twins have two toys each in their cots. They're not yet at the age where they want more than a moppy to snuggle up with. Just need to keep up with it.
Am fed up with looking at the piles at the bottom of our bed so bagged nearly everything up. Took out a pile of clean but unironed clothes. Put Washed blankets/bedding away. Still got 4 bags of stuff to sort through but an operating the 'put it out of sight and if I don't go to it, get rid of the whole bag'. Might have to look through a couple as I know they have the dc's first sleep suits in them. Am considering getting them made into those keepsakes as while I like looking at the size and getting all sentimental about how teeny they were, they're not doing anything else but I really cannot bear to part with them.
Taking bags and a box of stuff over to storage so I'm not shovelling more crap in the loft. My sister is also doing a major declutter and may be getting a skip (or 3) so has said I can drop things in it if I need to. She took 20 bags of rubbish out of my niece's bedroom this weekend. Mum said even I wasn't that bad as a teen. But it gives you an idea of how cluttered a life I have led.
I really need to break the cycle of keeping things just in case. Even on these threads I started off with the best of intentions. But have been seriously sidetracked along the way.
Oh, and 4 birthdays in an 8 week block don't help either. I dread to think what this Xmas will be like now the twins are older <prays people listen when they ask what the dc want and don't then ignore it and fill my house with tat>
Sokmonsta Would the sleep suits fit a doll or teddy bear? that way you could keep them but the dcs could get play value out of them too! I loved having "real" baby clothes for my dolls.
wow, Sok you've been busy! I love the name Emily, btw, one of my favourite girl's names. Have you ever read the book Emily of New Moon? I think that is why I like the name so much.
I will my DH is very proud of me and suggested I add the pink race for life ribbon to the keys as a lanyard. I pointed out that then I would basically be wearing my medal around my neck to work every day, except with my keys attached. Not a good look
Blimey it's a lot of presents when you put it like that. I often feel a bit sad about having a tiny family (I'm an only child and no aunts/uncles/cousins etc) especially at Xmas, but an advantage is that we don't get huge piles of stuff each year! And of the few relatives we do have, my PIL send a few clothes/jammies, and my parents and nan/grandma all hate choosing gifts so just give money and never put any conditions (you must spend it on x) on it, so we are free to choose whatever we think is best. So no tat!
Your medal keyring sounds fab Artemis!
I feel rough both physically and mentally today so I'm going to read SP a bit until it is time to collect DD. I am about to start the 'filtering out the adult world' chapter which I suspect will pretty much be preaching to the choir
It is isn't it. I hesitated about posting, it seemed a bit dull and show-offy at the same time. But that figure really struck me.
About 120 things per child, many of which are comprised of lots of pieces (Lego, playmobil...)
It's such a lot of stuff.
And that's just two of the many fortunate children in the world.
Victory with DD...she agreed to throw away a broken hula hoop! Said we would replace it and she just said, "Yep, okay." like it was no big deal.
Result! Normally, she hangs on to every tiny scrap of rubbish for dear life.
Just finished work. Really achy now!
I need to find my daily throw away/put away/give away item!
I only managed some paper recycling today (old workbooks etc) - I say 'only' but that's still more than what I was doing before this thread!
Congrats Building my DD is the same, she has hardly any toys, mostly books and craft things
-and a lot of small pieces of torn paper- let me know your secret!
I have suggested we box up the things she doesn't need
-hasn't read/used in years- and they can live in the loft. She has agreed to that, but it means more -tat- up there taunting me!!
2 bags of missing/broken bits out of DSs room. Haven't finished yet...
Just caught up with the thread. You are all making amazing progress! As for me, I think I'm suffering from a bit of decluttering burnout. When I look around my space, it still looks really cluttered to me. But when I look at individual items, I can't decide what to get rid of.... It seems like if I get rid of too much, it will actually make my life harder because I will end up having to replace things iyswim?
Example: my 2 year old's toys. He plays with all of it, but it takes up a large part of the living room.
Box of trucks & cars
Box of small miscellaneous toys
Box of Lego
Train set (yes, in a box )
4 wooden puzzles
1 shelf of books in the main bookcase
1 small foldout couch next to his bookshelf
Box of soft toys
Large stuffed horse
Small table with 2 chairs and a few pens/stickers etc
OK now that I've written it out, it seems like a lot! But as I said he really does use everything on a daily basis except for the soft toys which could go live in his bedroom I suppose. Currently he has no toys in his bedroom because he only uses it for sleeping.
Do you think that's a lot of things for a 2 year old??
I don't know really, although it sounds like a lot there's quite a wide variety. Could you store some in his room and just bring down what he chooses each day? That's the plan we have - which works to some extent although will be better once we have reduced the amount. I don't think I'll be doing much (though will still try to find one thing a day) this week, it is madly hectic and I have a cold
I was thinking about the whole culture of excess that SP talks about. DD was given a sticker album as a birthday present, in a set with over 100 stickers. I remember having a sticker album that was literally just a book, and then when we got given small sheets of stickers we would choose favourites to put in there, and swap with friends. But now stickers are even cheaper it seems like you can get hundreds in a pack, and if they are character based they all look virtually the same! And it just seems so much less special, and disposable because you can fill them up just from one pack instead of it taking years of careful collecting. Sticker overkill. I was looking forward to starting the whole sticker album thing with DD but it seems... different.
Please excuse my "when I were a lass" rant. I'm 26, btw
I've just started my second round of maternity leave with dd1 (nearly 2) and dd2 (nearly 6 weeks) and have decided the only way I'm going to keep sane is if we pare things down
a bit a lot. I had a bit of a go at the living room the other day just getting rid of / reorganizing enough stuff that all the toys can actually be put away and I'm totally loving how when dd1 is in the bath with dh I can get the living room cleaned up in just a min or two and I don't end up with half a dozen bits in my hand that I can't figure out what to do with. Now I just have to get going on the rest of the flat.
So here's a question for all you experienced minimalists. How come when I was pregnant I only needed two pairs of trousers and half a dozen tops and now that I'm not pregnant my drawers are bulging with clothes?? I want to pare things down a bit but it feels wasteful to get rid of clothes that I can still wear (or could if my boobs weren't so huge from breastfeeding). Do you just pack some away for when current outfits wear out or do you actually get rid of things and buy new when the time comes? Although getting dressed was easier when I had so many fewer choices my clothes did show wear more quickly since they were getting worn/washed just about every week.
Morning all! Itchy - I don't think that is loads of toys really - especially if he is playing with them all. I think the idea of moving the soft toys into his bedroom is great. Are there any of those that
you he is not too attached to that could "go down the chazzer"?
Cleverbit I wouldn't say I'm totally minimalist with clothes but I have got rid of quite a bit. I'd suggest getting rid of anything that you could wear but actually in your heart know you will probably avoid wearing because you don't like it or you don't think you look good in it. Then get rid of anything that is really worn/past its best (except perhaps a couple of outfits for gardening/extreme cleaning/decorating etc.)
Apart from that I do keep the rest because I'm on quite a low income and couldn't actually afford to buy a lot of new stuff. I think either making sure you rotate what you wear so it does all get worn or packing some away for later would both be fine.
Could you pack away the tops that are currently too small in the "boob" department for now? Once you have finished breast-feeding you can get them out again ( the tops I mean!) and see what fits etc.
Clever tricky situation...I'm not sure how helpful this is (there are far more qualified people on here) People I know
-more organised than me- have packed away clothes in groups
losing pregnancy weight/stopped bfing
Only keep out the clothes for the stage that you are at. Also go through your drawers and donate what you no longer need. Let another person have the pleasure of enjoying something you once did also your taste/style evolves.
If you donate it really isn't wasteful, good luck !
I was having the same thought about sticker books, fuzzpig, having just unearthed 3 or 4 that have been half used then discarded... We now have a plastic wallet FULL of stickers from magazines, etc. They sometimes get used in the creation of birthday cards or to fix wrapping paper but I honestly don't think the dc would miss them if I chucked the lot. But that seems really wasteful. Maybe someone on freecycle might want them?
!!!!! nostalgia alert!!!! I remember when we used to buy tiny strips of stickers from Paperchase as young teenagers and how careful I was about choosing where to use them... (I am a lot older than 26).
Ok I have a serious subject to
-rant- discuss. De cluttering/organising sabotage. I think DH is a saboteur
Yesterday I made HUGE progress in DS's room. Binned quite a bit and relabelled and sorted out what was left. Showed DS's they were really pleased. I didn't have time to finish yesterday, 2 tubs left to do today. This morning DS1 asked DH if he could have the duplo out because they didn't at the weekend. (Duplo not out on school days as DS's get too involved in it and won't get ready for school)
When I went into room this morning there is duplo everywhere and I'll have to pack that away before sorting out the tubs!
But the ironic thing is DH is the one who moans about the toys all over the floor
Rant over !!!
fuzzpig I had a sticker album like that too! I remember hoarding certain stickers - fuzzy animal ones and sparkly shiny ones..... (I am 35)
clever I am in exactly the same situation as you with clothing. I have been doing what I will describes, with things in various different boxes. It's working really well. Once my weight/shape stabilizes I'll declutter properly but it seems silly to get rid of clothes that might suit me in a few weeks.
I've moved the soft toys and stuffed horse into ds room... The living room looks less cluttered and ds was so happy, he started riding the horse and singing!
I'm 35 too - I had the Care Bears sticker album, you could get the little packets of stickers (about six or eight in a pack?), and filling up your album was at least a few months' work! Ah, them were the days.
I remember when it were all fields round 'ere...
I'm 35 too, had the Care Bears sticker album (didn't complete it though and The Care Bears movie was the first cinema trip I remember
I too remember when it were all fields round 'ere
Another 2 bags out if boys room...doesn't look any different but I know it's no longer in there !!!
Anyone got any thoughts on what to do with crappy biros that haven't run out but write horribly?
Ah. Just remembered that dc's school collect pens for recycling.
Why do we have so many pens? miss minimalist on her blog says she has one. I'd certainly take more care of my stuff if I only had one of everything!
Harriet please no, not one pen, I love pens!!
I limit myself to ten pens, it sounds a lot I know, but really it isn't (I had a lot more) <clutches at straws>
On another thread they had a link to an organised home on YT. Her house was immaculate and she had a whole huge drawer full of pens <clutches harder>
I just chucked out any pens that didn't write nicely. You wouldn't end up using them anyway if there were better alternatives! Didn't know they could be recycled.
Clever - if you have lots of storage space then keeping clothes would be a good idea, but TBH I wish I'd just donated a lot of stuff earlier because actually my boobs never did get smaller again!
I remember fuzzy stickers
Harrietspy - cant remember how old your DCs are but do you know any nursery or primary teachers? I often give bulk lots of stuff to my best friend who teaches reception (eg a huge amount of mixed Xmas cards that my parents had hoarded for years) - she is on such a limited budget - often she spends her own money on resources - that she really appreciates random crafty stuff she can use with her pupils.
I have loads of pens and "the biggest pencil case in the world" but I need them for teaching! they do all get used up eventually and the company I buy printer ink from (Stinkyink) send me a new pen each time I put in an order so I never have to buy biro type pens and the children like using something that says "stinkyink" on it!
at iwilldoit. My name's Harriet and I'm a stationery addict.
I don't think I'll be limiting myself to one pen just yet. I adore pens. I write, I draw, I doodle. I love Pilot V5 and Muji 0.5 in particular but I have a nice collection of drawing pens too and a whole set of Stabilo Fineliners and I love the white-ink Uniball... You can get refills for Muji pens now so maybe I could whittle my black writing pen collection down to 2 (one and a spare).
It's like notebooks. I have so many on the go and consequently I never know where anything is. I sometimes try having a work notebook, a writing notebook & a random notebook but then I forget the right one and the notes get jumbled... If I only had ONE notebook and ONE pen, at least I'd know where my notes are. Or would I? Is this just fantasy?
fuzzpig my dcs are 10 & 7 & my sister is a primary school teacher so there's plenty of scope for offloading craft stuff. Sadly none of it is particularly pristine. I might see if the stickers would be any good for her. Maybe Doctor Who stickers would go down well with year 5s.
I have serious pen envy Harriet and edu I agree fine liners are fantastic. We are also a notebook household. DH gave me a project book to try and rationalize my need for many smaller ones, bless him, it was a lovely idea, but I still need the others
On a de cluttering note, our dog has done a fantastic job of the shoe rack..3 pairs of flip flops, 2 pairs of crocs and DDs wellies !!
Ooh, I do love a nice pen. We don't have a muji here, I love their really fine ones. Actually, we have a pen shortage in this house. We've almost used up all the ones wot I robbed from work before I left two years ago. Should I buy some? I'm reluctant...
Iwilldoit I didn't complete my Care Bears sticker album either
YY sticker books! Mine was Hello Kitty and I treasured it. We used to trade stickers at school. Do they still do scratch and sniff stickers? I actually have to let go of my need to save
treasure them and just let the kids get on with sticking them all over themselves, me, pieces of random paper...
On a being M, I actually got around to sorting out the 'library' yesterday and all the boxes are now gone, books on the shelves and it looks lovely. I still have a shelf of doom to sort out in there, but much better overall. I have a box of stray cords for DH to sort though, but after that's done I'll be another box o' crap down. Amazingly it feels like I am really close to having a totally decluttered and organised home! <willfully ignoring the 4 sheds o' crap in the garden>
Another pen addict here. I periodically test them all and bung the rubbish ones.
I have 3 pens from when I was about 10. I'm now 41
I'm getting rid of lots and lots of things, but the pens and pads are staying <gavel>.
I feel better about ditching the crap pens now and just keeping the good uns.
This is completely off topic but I had a revelation today. If I hang up a blanket to make my bedroom darker, maybe I won't be awake from dawn. Genius.
I remember stickers! I used to cut them out individually and stick them in a photo album - the kind with the peal back clear plastic page covers because I didn't want to stick them to something and not be able to trade. I think I spent more time rearranging them in the book than anything else.
Ten pens is a lot? I clearly have much to learn.
Thanks for all your suggestions re clothes. I actually have very limited storage space in my tiny London flat so have tried to pare down to three drawers of current clothes and some under bed storage of winter/non current clothes. I'll stash away the maternity stuff somewhere. I'm not going to keep all the tiny baby clothes this time around as I paid hardly anything for it on eBay in the first place and it can be easily replaced so as dd2 grows more space is becoming available. I'm quite pleased with my 6 shopping bags of clothes to go to the charity shop but am nowhere near having only one of everything.
Just speaking for myself here, clever, but I don't have only one pen, etc. If you came to my house you wouldn't think an aspiring minimalist lived here. But the slow process of getting rid of the excess and simplifying is making a real difference.
I think it would be interesting to see how only having one writing pen and notebook or bag altered my behaviour. I live with excess and want to learn what enough feels like. eg I'm not a handbag person and have only once spent £25 on a nice bag for work, but I'm always losing my stuff because I actually have way too many options: small rucksack, bigger rucksack, small cotton bag, the cotton Cath Kidston my sister gave me, etc. And I have 3 little handbags that have been acquired over the years and hardly ever get used. Because I have so many bags, I duplicate lipsalve and tissues and lose my pens and can't find my notebook... I'm not into counting possessions (like the "100 things" minimalists around the internet) but I wonder if I'd treasure what I have if there was only one of it.
Lolling at inamunute's dog decluttering shoes. <reminder that I need to do dc's as we had them measured at the weekend and they needed new shoes.
Pens! I am a huge fan of fountain pens. I have 2. One with pink ink in (dh bought me pink/purple/aqua cartridges) and one with plain old blue ink in. I'm happy using those. But we still have a basket full of pens acquired from various places
work and I have one in a pocket on my kitchen calendar plus another in my organiser. They are all in one place though...
I culled the dc's crayons the other week - they breed worse than anything.
Harriet I duplicated lipsalve too, as I never seemed to have it with me when I needed it, I have at least three tins of vaseline around the place, plus one chapstick, but right at this moment I don't know where any of them are, and still found myself needing one and not having it, yesterday. My current bag is the changing bag, and I have one other which I use when DD isn't with me, the plan was to leave some vaseline in there so I'd always have it, but that doesn't seem to have happened.
I also have a few notebooks, but don't tend to lose track of those - one is in my craft room, specifically for craft purposes, so that never moves. The other notebook is for everything else, and loads of times I've been glad to have it with me, as it means I can easily access all sorts of information that I wouldn't ptherwise have had with me. In short, stick to one notebook!
harrietspy it is an interesting question - would I value something like a pen or a tube of chapstick (I also have at least one in every bag plus a few extra) more if I had only one or would I misplace it and think 'pens are cheep' and go buy another one. I supoose that's part of the crux of my problem - thinking 'pens are cheep and I will probably loose them' so I buy ten or twenty when I only need a few.
I love that everyone is now talking stickers I wonder if once we are more minimalist it will be easier to do an album because 'less' will be more appreciated. For DD, obviously. Not me. Ahem.
WRT pens, since I sorted out the DCs' stuff I am happy with what we now have. It's a Really Useful Box with all decent biros, crayons, pencils and felt tips in. Not very minimalist but basically all the writing/colouring implements are in one place so that's good. Except my decent art pencils, no way are my DCs
or DH getting their mitts on those! They are in a separate box.
I am pissed off today, the achiness I've felt for the last few days has culminated in a chest infection. Really not a great time to be ill with all that's going on for the next month. I don't think I'll be able to collect any more stuff for the chazzer by tomorrow either - although two fruit boxes full of books, a suit and a big bag of clothes is still an achievement.
I've noticed DS isn't really playing with his chunkier toddler cars etc anymore. He really sticks to the more grown up ones (some of which were mine as a child!). So maybe it is time to ditch the happyland. Will definitely be selling that (and duplo) as they do fetch a very good price on eBay. But, for the next week or so, I don't think I'll be making any progress on decluttering.
I also have multiple vaseline and chapsticks. And hand cream.
Morning all! just getting over a panic when I thought my computer might have been hacked - but re-booted and it now seems normal!
inaminute have you considered renting your dog out as a de-cluttering device ( he may as well earn his keep --and pay for the replacement shoes--) I think he would make short work of my spare doom ( If only because I would be forced to dash in there and remove anything I wanted to keep before he went in!)
"ahem" <clears throat> - a prolific user of stickers here - I use sticker charts to reward my younger students for working and concentrating hard. When they get 10, they can chose a
random piece of tat prize from my prize bag. Their parents must love me!! I do include Lego mini-figures though so some of it is quality stuff! If anyone felt like posting me unwanted stickers I'd make sure they got used!!!
I have ventured into the spare doom a couple of times this week and removed 2 items! I'm humming and hawing over a waterproof fitted sheet for a double bed. It has been used once (last time my DF was able to visit) but I'm not sure anyone would want a used (even if very clean) waterproof sheet from a chazzer. I also keep thinking "What if I ever need it again?" and "I hope I never need it again" and "but it cost about £8" etc Please help!! I suppose I could donate it to the chazzer and they could just chuck/recycle if they don't want it!
We have way too many pens and need a rationalising system. I have always subscribed to the 'multiples is more convenient in a hurry' school of thought until I found these threads. So pens everywhere means you can always find one when you need one. In theory. In reality there tends to be one I chase around the house, and a go- to place for finding another one if I fail to find it. So in theory, one could work if it had APlace. We also have a wee box of colourful fibre tips on the windowsill beside the calendar because they don't leave a trace on the next month's boxes.
I'm not a notebook person, but I do have one I use for lists for holidays. It is great because it covers my kids at all ages so I can refer back to what dc1 or 2 needed at a particular age/season and use that list for dc3. Love it.
arti, I think you're right about asking the chazzer if they want the sheet. If not, why not try Freecycle? Or a bin bag...
A big box of stuff and a bag of books to the chazzer today. Sold cosytoes sent off and it looks like the other is probably going to sell as well. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and freecycle some of the other things I've been trying to sell. They are big ticket items in excellent condition, so at least someone can get use. I think I've done my duty trying to shift them in a couple of places and now it is time to let them go to someone who can get use.
My kids want to do a car boot sale for charity. Why do I agree to these things? They are very excited and we have a slowly growing piles of bits.
arti I used to work in a charity shop when I was at school, as part of the service section of the duke of edinburgh's award and they would definitely have sold a second hand rubber sheet.
The underwear was our best seller
arti might you be able to use the sheet for anything else, eg to cover anything outside to keep the worst of the weather off? Or to put down on the floor when children are painting? Or if you're a crafty type, cut it up and use it as liners for toilet / make up / nappy bags?
building Just grit your teeth and think of all the items leaving your house. The more excited the DC are, the more they'll get rid of!
educating what a fab idea re dog de-cluttering rental. He is also a seasoned expert at garden de-cluttering too. Anything made of plastic left unattended out there is "gone in 60 seconds" which has saved me from having to make decisions about what toys to keep.
The most noticeable "multiples are convenient" eg here are reading glasses. DH has several pairs work/home upstairs/home downstairs but he can never find them when he needs them perhaps 1 pair would make them more valuable.
My major problem is I can't say no (don't worry it's not turning into one of those threads) when someone offers me furniture in particular I can't seem to say no. Have been offered a rug today and will need support to turn it down. I know we don't need it, but...
Harriet I love your blanket idea. DD has been put into the spare doom(thanks educating) and keeps complaining about the light, I'll try your blanket trick tonight
Iwilldoit, have you analysed why you have difficulty saying 'no' to furniture?
I know I would say yes if I thought they were going to chuck. I can't bear waste! But since these threads began, I would be able to pass it on to a good home straight away rather than hanging onto it for a few years until I was certain it wasn't going to be useful.
Ah building I share your dread of boot sales... I was considering one last attempt to try and shift a few things (though we have nothing big left anyway) but I would find it exhausting especially with all the haggling etc. - plus my dad (the one with the car ) is mostly looking after my nan now anyway. So I'm just going to get rid of stuff in other ways. It's good that your DCs want to do it though, as at least it will be easier to declutter toys with them on side!
Clear it's waste I don't like and I always think it could be useful so I'll say yes just incase. But it does mean the interior of my house is...eclectic
Anyone else noticed how smelly crayons get, or is that just me?!?!
IWill I know what you mean, pure beeswax crayons don't though, it's all we have here.
Celebrate with me! I have now passed item 100 in my challenge to have 365 things less (net) in my home by the end of the year (ish).
I remembered a small wooden set of drawers in a cupboard in the spare doom. It is full of random crap - orphan keys - no idea about some of them, piece of plastic broken off a crate I have now got rid of, leaflets I don't need to keep, bits of string, tin tacks and hooks. There are some useful things like torches and batteries, but also a load of rubbish. I haven't even counted each tack separately to get my total!!
That's brilliant! Tis a shame I didn't know about it earlier as I have a feeling 365 items would be done worryingly easily yes, my house really is that cluttered!
I've had to cancel the homestart visit today as I am too ill and DH and DS are poorly too so I won't be able to take the chazzer stuff. A bit frustrating but now the extra sofa is gone the boxes/bag don't take up much space as they are neatly tucked away in a corner. Hopefully I will be able to add some more stuff to it soon, though it won't be this week that's for sure.
I finished SP last night (getting a lot of reading done lately thanks to DH watching Confederations Cup matches, YAWN) - really lovely book that fills me with hope. I think the hardest part to achieve will be drastically reducing screen time. DH and I agreed that come the new school year in September, we will try our damnedest not to have DVDs on between Mondays and Thursdays (I refer only to afternoon/evening - we have not allowed screens before school since DD started Reception, the DCs have never questioned this and enjoy listening to Classic FM while they get ready ).
Friday will still be 'movie night' (complete with blanket and popcorn) as it has been for several months, but I think it will become much more cherished - more of an 'island' - if they haven't been watching stuff all week. Haven't discussed weekends yet but I'm thinking just one DVD each per day for the 2 DCs (although that's still around 3hrs each weekend day!).
That will be much much less than what they have now, they actually rarely sit down to watch things start to finish but have grown reliant on it for background. It is very hard for us not to rely on them/give in ATM though, given our health issues, but I am hopeful that once the whole house - especially their toys - is decluttered, organised and calm - they will be more able to play in their room, or bring down particular things to play with, and actually be more engrossed in play rather than sharing their attention between many things.
So I guess our medium term goal is: To have completed the physical decluttering of our home by the end of August. DS' 4th birthday is actually August 30th, so that is a nice end point - and we will be very careful thinking about what presents to give him! Christmas will be more of a challenge I think - but I do feel my mindset is already changing so hopefully by then I will be unwavering in my minimalist ways.
Although as I've just realised that the end of August is only 2 months away, that doesn't seem quite so realistic!
fuzz just wanted to say that although limiting screen time is laudable, there is a reason people use the TV as a babysitter. When you have serious health issues and no nanny, you want to keep the kids safe and not too frustrated. I understand and just don't want you to give yourself a hard time if the screen time thing isn't easy to implement. Your youngest is still v young too.
Also, I have recently started saying,' Shall we play with x toy you haven't seen months?' instead of doing toy rotation boxes. After 5 min they are settled into enjoying it and I can get on again (or rest).
Ha ha Fuzz - I was just thinking that. I originally gave myself 9 months (until September) to get the house finished and now that we're only weeks away from September I'm realising I've got to get a move on with all the little bits of painting, etc that are still left. There isn't too much left, but I am totally out of energy and enthusiasm for it! And I still have a giant stack of pallets to sort out - they are becoming my nemesis.
On a positive note I've got a wooden baby walker, a box of excess duplo and a floor polisher being picked up today from a freecycler. It will feel great to have them gone to good use and out from underfoot!
I think I still operate on 6 year old time as far as the summer months are concerned. Remember when the 6 week summer holiday seemed to stretch forever? I'm 41 now but in my head summer is still this unending flexible space that everything will fit into...
Thanks building I do know what you mean. That's why we pretty much gave the DCs free reign for so long, especially when DH had his operation etc.
It is just that now I think that TV is adding to our problems rather than easing them, if that makes sense? I know it has had an impact on their attention span for a start.
In terms of babysitting - we agreed that their iPad time will stay. My very generous friend gave us his old one and the DCs play on it, and are much more engrossed in that than any DVD. They will still be allowed 30 mins a day each during the week (but usually sit together and take turns so basically they both play/watch it for an hour) which is useful if we need to get stuff done.
I really hope we can at least make a big impact on the decluttering in two months. It is literally just getting rid of stuff, I'm not including any DIY etc (we rent anyway). Our house is tiny - two bedrooms, living room, tiny kitchen and tiny bathroom, two storage cupboards, so not loads of big rooms to declutter. <clutches at straws>
Forgot to say congratulations to arti on approaching your target! And fuzz it sounds like you've got sooooo much accomplished these past weeks.
I just wanted to post, even though my mum isn't an MNer, that she has made progress too. She phoned me earlier to ask if I wanted something she no longer uses. I said no and she just said "ok I'll get rid of it then" <falls over>
In the past she would've tried persuading me - not in a horrible way obviously but because she would hate to get rid of it. It's amazing how simply being in her new flat has helped her turn things around. I'm glad she's really happy there. I was actually supposed to be staying there this weekend
and enjoying the spaciousness but I am too ill so hopefully I'll get over there soon and get some more inspiration!
Hope you feel better soon Fuzz.
I binned a load of ancient plastic stuff today and moved the recycling boxes from the top of the tumble dryer so I can fold laundry there. Can't tell you how good that feels! Little things like that can make such a huge difference.
I was also (in slightly bigger news) floored by getting a job interview when I didn't expect to get shortlisted... If I get the job I'll need to fast-track the house stuff, because I'll have to actually go to work instead of being here fart-arsing around and then rushing madly to meet writing deadlines.
Well done Harriet, hope the interview goes well
I should clear the space above my dryer to fold laundry. There is a huge bag of chicken food up there. I need to put it somewhere where the dog can't eat it.
Cleared another bag of rubbish from playroom, mostly drawings that the DCs like to scatter. DH has agreed to take the spare sofa to the recycling place and a few other bits which should make a big difference, yay!!!
Well done Harriet!
Well freecycler collected the items yesterday - hurrah! Have just listed some cloth nappies on ebay and relisted some stuff on another local freecycle page. Now if I can get DH to sort / trash the random cords and wires I'll feel quite good about progress for today.
Tomorrow we are celebrating DS2's b-day and have another ride-on to add to the collection. I really really need a shed to store these things - they are taking over the house!
wendybird I've just bought a tidytent bike cave to keep our bikes in outside (as an alternative to spending £££ on a shed) but you can keep anything in them. It costs £35. I'm just about to tidy up outside so I can erect ours.
It seems really quiet on MN today! And yet I have still achieved nothing.
Well, I did manage about 90 mins outside with the DCs despite not feeling very well still (I think the antibiotics have kicked in fast, though, as I certainly am improving quite quickly) and met our new neighbours who are very nice and have DCs of similar ages.
I then unpacked the shopping delivery, and it's reminded me I've been meaning to ask you all about food. I am really disorganised and for months now we've been meaning to switch to a twice weekly (but obviously smaller) delivery, to avoid the weekly feast-famine cycle and wasted/gone-off food towards the end of the week. But I never seem to get around to actually switching over!
I think we need to declutter the kitchen more too. There is just too much stuff. Problem is we have only 4 of us here in the week but often 5 or 6 on weekends as my DSDs stay - so on those days we do need more crockery/cutlery, and therefore can't just pare it down quite so much.
Hi there fuzzpig. It has been quiet on here today! I have done some teaching, some sleeping, some work and <whispers> decluttering! Getting the little chest of drawers out of the cupboard has really provided easy pickings! I have whittled my torches down to 4(!). Binned one that didn't work and put one that is very similar to another one I have in the chazzer bag. I found this hard though! What is it with torches? I blame it on reading too much Famous Five when I was little. (Disclaimer - camping trip coming up so a torch ( or 4??!!) not unreasonable to keep! They are now all in a little fabric bag hanging in my hall cupboard next to the fuseboard! Also got rid of a charger/mains adaptor that I have not used in over 3 years and I'm not actually sure I can remember now what it was for!!
I have had a fabulous session decluttering children's outdoor toys today. My mum came over to help with the garden as I can' physically manage much anymore, and my husband did jobs while I emptied out the kids playhouse.
I chucked about a quarter of their toys, put a quarter towards their car boot sale, and the others stored in a new place.
Their playhouse now holds just a table and chairs, and I put up some bits of fabric as curtains and my daughter decided to decorate it 'romantically' with a vase and flowers. . Soooo cute.
I'm so delighted as their dad worked so hard on building it all from scrap wood last year, totally by hand and not to a plan or anything, and then it just became a toy storage unit.
No more! Hurrah!
Am shattered now though.
Well done fuzz and arti and everyone. We will get there.
We only have one torch. An awesome wind up one
(I share your childhood love of Famous Five - can't wait to
brainwash read them to my DCs!)
I too loved the Famous Five, particularly the bits when Anne made a home in a cave/boat/shed. I wanted to be George so badly.
Only a tiny bit of decluttering today because there was loads of other stuff going on - collecting up random bits of stuff from garden and clearing out some old packaging.
I love the sound of that play house!
Hi all. Just been catching up on your posts - great work!
I've been sorting the never-ending clothes hills (former mountains) and seem to be getting somewhere.
What does one do with a drawer full of pre-baby/pre-b/f good condition, mostly underwired bras?? Been holding onto them in the hope my bosoms may spring back to their former 32b'ers - but not looking likely. Plus I've got DD nursing & maternity bras that are now worn to death & not right either
I really need to get measured
I'm wading through a pile of paperwork too, which is quite nice to get shredded and no longer hanging around. Just need to set up a system now for organising it and keeping as little as possible.
Oh and ickle pairs of my little girl's outgrown tights and socks too - just recycle/charity shop? Some are ok, some a bit bobbly/well washed and a few pairs look like they haven't been worn. What do you do?
fuzzpig - I have been thinking the same thing but am not nearly organized enough. do you have weekly meal plans? I find myself searching for recipes every time I do a shop (aka every week) which was time consuming when I had one dc but is nearly impossible now that I have two
and can no longer do my online shopping at work
I know this won't work for everyone, but my husband offered to do the food shopping when I was very low and it is a brilliant solution.
It just isn't so emotional for him, and he just makes a plan, buys online for the plan, and I cook. Brilliant.
Hello everyone! Building - I love the sound of the play house. (Do they need a torch?!!) I would have soooo loved something like that. Just right for Famous Five/Secret Seven meetings etc. I used to try and convince my parents they wanted to buy a garden shed that I could use as a clubhouse. I saved up and bought a really cheap little cotton tent that I slept out in with a friend, but a play house would have been so much better
and would not have been so vulnerable when one of the boys next door shot at it with a homemade bow and arrow!
Harriet I think I wanted to be a mixture of George and Anne. I loved the "home-making" bits too but also wanted to do the real adventuring. I remember wandering round the garden (aged about 6 probably) with an old rucksack on my back ( had belonged to one of my grandparents so was 1930's steel frame and khaki canvas - just right for FF but also very heavy!!) and hoping an adventure would happen! I was so disappointed that it never did! I also started to write my own FF adventure (again aged 5 or 6) which I still have. It starts off:
Julian Anne gorge Dick and timmy were having Breakfast at Kirrin cotige Suddenly Julian said lets go on a biycling tore. Ante fanny wud not mind. you no thouse adventuers we'll get into wone of thorse and we'll enjoy it.
I was a fairly precocious reader but spelling and punctuation not so!
Oh no I was all George. I still have my grandfather's binoculars
I wrote an adventure story when I was about 9, and met EB's daughter at a local event (she lived in my hometown) - she asked me to send her my 'novel' (it was 7 chapters ) so I did and she wrote me a letter back. One day I really want to write an adventure book for children... One day never comes though
Building I'm afraid I don't like it when DH does the food shopping. He pretty much runs the house due to my health but I like choosing food myself. We don't really have a meal plan but at the moment we are just having really basic food anyway.
I have been thinking about having a standard list of things that are ordered on every shop (ie twice a week - stuff like fruit, salad stuff, milk), and then stuff that is weekly etc.