I can't declutter my spare room!(44 Posts)
Ok, I heard about Marie Kondo on here before I had my first baby and thanks to her/you all I got rid of so much stuff from my house (I'm talking bags and bags plus a few big items ) I've now got a newborn and a toddler so two under 2. I'm managing to keep on top of tidying general areas, washing, making meals etc but I desperately need to get rid of loads from my spare room as that will be a bedroom for my eldest.
The problem is its full of stuff - my stuff. I'm a massive hoarder and hate throwing things away e.g. That book might come in useful for one of the children...in about five years etc. I feel I've done so well to get rid of so much but still have a massive mountain to climb and I don't know how I'll ever do it!
A massive motivation is making it a nice bedroom and we also want to sell our house in the next year. Please help!
Can you invite someone to stay in the near(ish) future - that could be a great motivator to get the room sorted!
(my house is never so clean and tidy as when I'm expecting guests)
Thank you for your reply. The room actually needs redecorating before we could let anyone stay in it. I feel really overwhelmed to even start. How do I get rid of books, for example, when they might come in useful and then I'll really regret throwing them away?
What sort of books are they? Why might the be useful? I have recently got ride of tons of cookery books. I was holding onto them for the same reasons as you but realised that any recipe I might need or inspiration for a meal can be found in seconds online now the really was no need to keep them all. So if the books you have are more reference than story then chances are any useful info you might need from them can be found online
Academic books that I can't just take to a charity shop as they're too specialised but are now 15 years old so not sure who would want them. Seems a shame to chuck them.
Reference books that I've been given by various people ir have said I'll have that might be useful for my children but in years to come. It's like you said cuntycow, I could get the info online.
Other stuff is just random bits from my wedding, from my childhood, stuff I don't want to chuck but I want to in order to make way for my future life (if that's not too corny) as I feel the clutter is stopping me having the house I want. I know all this but it's so hard to get rid of it!
I'm currently at uni we are not allowed to use texts over 10 years old unless they are considered seminal works. So chances are the books would be considered out of date. As it is I rarely use text books much and tend to get info from journal articles.
I would honestly put the academic books in a recycling bin! They will be so out of date!
I am trying to stick to a strict rule for emotional stuff. I have one (biggish) box, I can fill it. But if I then want to keep more stuff, I have to fillet through to make space, as time passes things loose their significance (or don't) so it works.
Okay... Here is what I did (& I had an epic guest room with over 900 books in )
1 empty car boot out
2 got to supermarket & get those flat cardboard food trays they give away by the tills
3 many bin bags
4 get a free cycle account
Now start sorting. All the books that you want to desperately desperately keep go in one tray. One tray only. All out of date academic texts go in other trays. Freecycle them & trust me, SOMEONE will want them.
Everything else goes to charity/Freecycle/tip & you stop once you've got a room your son deserves.
I got our household books down from just under 2,000 titles to about 300. I Freecycled the lot to one bloke who sold them all and probs made a bomb. But I don't care. I needed my house back.
Wow Agatha! That's a lot of books! Well done to you!
Thanks everyone for your advice. Stupidly, the academic books being out of date never occurred to me but (amazingly!) it's made me think about how books I'm saving for my children will be out of date/I'll just want to buy them a nice, new book. That's a way of thinking that's never occurred to me before!
I used to be like that about 'stuff'. What if I need it one day?
Then I realised it made me feel guilty just sitting there coz I never used it so I actually got more bad feeling from keeping it than giving it away and potentially needing to replace it one day.
It's so freeing just getting rid of things.
If you or anyone has books relating to Latin and Greek, I know a good home for them. Classics teaching is underfunded and teachers will bite your hands off for textbooks, however old.
The sentimental stuff - keep the absolute nicest things (I've got my veil and tiara, that's it.) everything else, photograph. If you're at all crafty make a scrapbook with the photos. Let go of the items, keep your memories and photographs.
Special subject - wish I was that clever!
Think looking at my mum really makes me think. She's got a nice house but shelves and some areas with so much clutter. I just want to bin it all (wish I'd feel like that about my things!) so I suppose I've grown up also living like that. If you'd seen my house two years ago the amount of stuff I've got rid of is massive but I've just got this one room left. We don't use our loft so everything extra is in there. This thread is helping me so much as I've really struggled to start the room and so far this week I've probably got rid of 30 items (I'm keeping count to motivate me!) unfortunately , they have barely scratched the surface but I suppose it's a start
Try Zapper for academic books. We sold loads that way.
It's a process that takes time. It's something I started almost a year ago. Tons of stuff has gone but it's ongoing even when you're done you need to do a regular sweep of unused clothes, toys etc. My garage and garden is my final area to work on
Thanks for the tip about Zapper.
Good to hear that Cuntycow. I really have got rid of so much but perhaps I underestimated just how much I had to start with. I'm so determined now. Just hard as baby is 5 weeks and other baby (well, not a baby now) is not yet 2. In some ways I think having less time is making me more focused than when I had loads of time to do it, if that makes sense!
Oxfam books are a good starting off point if you have decent / specialist stuff that feels like a waste to simply stick in the recycling.
I did the random bits stuff recently and got two ikea stackable plastic boxes with lids on that I could find a spot for in the house and limited to that. You will get much more ruthless if you have to contain it.
My tip - take it all out of the room and stick it somewhere where it will really drive you mad, dining room table if you have one, sat beside the sofa where you will see it every time you collapse into the chair. Get on with the redecoration and perhaps look at a decent storage solution if there is room for your oldest DC and a couple of boxes for you up high.
If it all piled up in a room, you can't be using any of it regularly.
How about asking yourself: when exactly am I going to use this? For memento stuff: when /how will I look at this and remember happily?
Tread - If I took it out of the room, I don't think we could move at all as we live in a small house. It's a great idea so perhaps I need to take a box of things out and leave in my living room so I have to sort it.
Run - I know what you mean about using things as its ridiculous and I don't even know what I've got. This thread has really motivated me and yesterday I took 3 bin bags to the tip. Still hasn't made much of a difference but I know it will. I read on another thread that someone said trying to organise things I go recycling, charity shop etc is great but can really hinder the process and that's definitely me! With this in mind I managed to get rid of things that I'd been meaning to sort through. I even got rid of 20 books to the book part at the tip!
Angelic - if your mum was the same its part ingrained. My brother keeps everything, we grew up with very little and my mum would keep everything "just in case". Now I have my own house I have phases of it but am getting much better.
As previously stated old text books are out of date quickly so either offer them somewhere where you may get a bit back or recycle.
I have started on sorting clothes etc. my dd has some lovely stuff with tags on, it seems a waste to
Charity shop but I can hold it forever, my rule is 1 week sell it page/gumtree then 1 week eBay, if not gone it goes to the charity shop.
Do you have a loft? I've recently been getting rid of stuff and decluttering, but if I look at something and I feel like it would actually upset me to give it away, I put it in a loft box to review in six months... I've got about 20 boxes to get rid of, and about three to go in the loft.
Just as a short term solution for your spare room?
Similar situation here. I have had a week off work, and could have blitzed it - now Friday and minimal improvement...
Trouble is, on sunny days seems madness to be indoors tidying. In rainy days too depressing to start on it...
My DC are teenagers, so my problem is their old toys which I find it so hard to get rid of (and also thinking will be good for the grandkids
I have got to the stage where I now can be more ruthless (ish) with clothes, as I realise I have so many flimsy strappy tops there are not enough summer days left in my life for me t wear them all.. ( As long as I don't think about a grad-daughter using them for dressing up)
My god-daughter lives abroad and has asked if she can visit in May, so my target is t get the room habitable by then....
I think the key thing is if you don't have the space, and can't borrow space or afford offsite storage, then get rid. It's amazingly cathartic too.
Plus offsite storage gets really expensive after a while.
Does anyone need a Balance Bike. I've left it where I'll fall over the thing constantly and it's driving me mad now
Funny you should mention balance bike as we're getting one for my eldest but it's been bought already.
I know what you're saying is right but I find it so hard to do. Since I've started this thread I have got rid of more but still a long way to go. I just can't stop going 'What if this comes in useful in a few years?!'
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