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Clutter, minimalism, eBay and my state of mind!

(65 Posts)
Elemontary Thu 29-Dec-16 11:35:48

Not an AIBU but I am posting here for traffic.

Christmas is over and I feel shattered and down, and this isn't helped by the house being full of lots of new clutter and presents. Some wanted, some that need to go to the charity shop (far too many toys for the children, and quite a few things that I don't think will be played with).

I am going to attempt to clear the house but feel completely overwhelmed! We have just moved so the house was not very organised in the first place. Where do I start? I just want to start filling bin bags but what isstopping me is the fact it feels SO wasteful to give away so much. Especially when we are saving for work on the house (it's in need of a lot of work).

Should I be selling our unwanted things on eBay to contribute towards the renovation costs? I can't find the motivation to do this!

It seems such a drawn out process, photographing, loading pictures, writing descriptions, answering questions, packaging and taking to the post office. I have 3 young DC and probably only have an hour a day to myself which is taken up with the day to day housework.

Candlelight123 Thu 29-Dec-16 11:38:06

I completely get you on this, a local face book selling page might be easier ?

Elemontary Thu 29-Dec-16 11:38:47

When decluttering what are your rules? I am thinking along the lines of "will I use this/want this/wear this in the next 12 months?"

Obviously excluding sentimental items

opinionatedfreak Thu 29-Dec-16 11:38:59

If you have time and energy to sell stuff do so.

However the returns you make for your time are very poor with eBay. I worked out that I would earn a lot more going into work to do an extra half day than by eBaying my massive box of accumulated stuff so I took it all to the charity shop.

I don't have a car so I have freecycled bigger furniture items. Not been messed around by free cyclers at all with this batch of stuff (although have been extensively in the past).

timeforabrewnow Thu 29-Dec-16 11:39:17

Store until car boot weather??

SerialReJoiner Thu 29-Dec-16 11:41:08

I've had more success with selling on local fb pages than eBay. No fees! No postage costs! There are time wasters, but I didn't find it too bad.

opinionatedfreak Thu 29-Dec-16 11:41:57

I'm a bit of a Marie Kondo devotee - does it spark joy?

I've moved 5 times in 6 years. It focuses the mind on what you actually need! There is very little that I've cleared out that I've missed.

If you really want to try to access some cash what about using a consignment seller eg. stuffyousell?

Flowersonthewall Thu 29-Dec-16 11:42:19

I feel your pain and in exactly the same position....ever so overwhelmed with stuff in the house but feel like no time to sort it especially with 3 young children.

I did eBay a couple of months ago and although I did make some money it was such a faff and with the cost of postage it wasn't a lot of money think about £12....not much to help replace windows or do an extension!!
Sorry no answers but you're not alone! Once the older 2 are back in school next week I'm going to try and get organised!

SwedishEdith Thu 29-Dec-16 11:45:59

I've got some clothes that are "too good" to go to a charity shop so "I'll ebay them." They've been draped over the bannister for 12 months. Madness. Can you donate to a children's ward or similar instead if you don't need the money? Less hassle and you'll feel better they've gone somewhere worthwhile

Elemontary Thu 29-Dec-16 11:47:21

Agree flowers - I can't actually wait for them to be back to school just so that I can sort out the house! It's difficult to declutter their rooms as they veto whatever goes in my bin bag! When they're not around and come back to a decluttered room however they don't notice or miss the things that have gone.

What are your best pieces of advice from Marie Kondo, opinionated?

How do I get past the feelings of wastefulness? !! I struggle with this especially as we didn't have much money growing up and my parents are hoarders to this day.

Cirrusly Thu 29-Dec-16 11:49:23

How did you get to the point that your dcs have presents that need to go straight to the charity shop?

PNGirl Thu 29-Dec-16 12:05:55

General Kondo-ism is that if something in your house is not going to be used and taking up space, the money is already wasted. Keeping it to stare it will not "unwaste". Get rid!

zoemaguire Thu 29-Dec-16 12:14:01

Cirrusly, at a guess, if op is like my family: grandparents! My parents especially will ask what the kids want, but then buy all of it, plus a load more thrown in. I sympathise hugely. I'm another one waiting for school before swooping in with the bin liners!

Elemontary Thu 29-Dec-16 12:18:01

Cirrusly, we have a large family with a lot of cousins and aunts/uncles. Close family know what DC would like and often ask me for ideas but the extended family just buy something (usually a large toy) and if I kept it all my house would be overrun. So I take a lot of it to the charity shop.

I would prefer they gave money (a few pounds) that can be put into their piggy banks, or bought something small - a book? But that's another conversation. I don't bring it up with them because I don't think it's worth offending or upsetting people over.

Cirrusly Thu 29-Dec-16 12:40:20

I would ask for books directly or start an Amazon wishlist. I don't see how it's offensive to suggest things you might actually keep!

Pumperthepumper Thu 29-Dec-16 12:41:23

I feel exactly the same OP, coupled with all our bins being totally, completely rammed full and our horrible council moving to four-weekly collections. I honestly think we'll still have stuff to go in them by next Christmas.

I've put a pile of things in the loft to bring out in the summer but mine are little (3 and 1) so won't notice or care. I'm also going to charity shop some older stuff. I struggle with the guilt too, even though every year I tell everyone not to go mad, and I'm ignored. I worry that my kids get so much that they'll just never appreciate how lucky they are. I'm very greatful for everything they get but it's all just so over the top.

Elemontary Thu 29-Dec-16 12:49:13

I think an awful lot of DC's presents from the extended family are recycled ones and even things they have used and no longer want (original packaging missing!) Asking people for something specific will definitely upset the apple cart in my family and I'm sure I'll be thought of as ungrateful.

They do all tend to get offended very easily so it's a case of keeping the peace.

I just need some motivation to get started on removing all the junk from the house. And then need to tackle all paperwork in a similar fashion!!

Flowersonthewall Thu 29-Dec-16 13:43:06

I get tears elemontary from my daughter the moment I suggest donating one toy to charity!

OhCobblers Thu 29-Dec-16 14:13:10

My daughter was watching a Save the Children ad on TV and I noticed that she looked a little upset at the little girl featured. I jumped on that moment to suggest that this is why I suggest they donate a few old toys to the charity shop - to help children like her (trying to put it as simply as possible). DC said it wasn't very kind to give that little girl her "old, dirty toys" (they aren't!) and that I should buy her a new one???!!!!! hmm
Can't win!!

SheldonCRules Thu 29-Dec-16 14:24:10

I'm very minimal as can't abide clutter or mess.

However when it comes to the children's things they decide for themselves what they have outgrown etc. I only throw away broken things or used craft sets, colouring books etc.

If beating duplicates, they would get the money as the gift was given to them not me. I'd not charity shop new items given to them, it's rude to the person buying and a waste of money. We pop them in the loft and rotate.

Laiste Thu 29-Dec-16 14:29:13

I bought Marie Kondo's book last summer.

I got rid of bags and bags and BAGS of stuff. At the time there were moments of hesitation, but 6 months later i couldn't tell you what was in the bags! Loads more room in my wardrobes and some real lasting changes to the way we store stuff now.

Give it a read OP. You can check out the 'used' on Amazon? I read it all but was chucking out by chapter 3!

Cagliostro Thu 29-Dec-16 14:35:01

We are lucky to not have the heaps of new toys at Christmas (my parents and grandma prefer to give money for me to choose so I use that for things I had already planned to buy, and towards their club fees)

But total sympathies on the clutter.

I definitely agree with the kondo principle - it's hard to put into practice when you have kids and all the related paraphernalia (I also have a chronic illness that means an all-at-once decluttering session just can't happen - slow and steady is less risky for my health) but the idea of being able to say goodbye to something because it's fulfilled its purpose has been incredibly useful for me.

I have just dragged out a load of stuff that I was meaning to sell on FB in the lead up to Christmas and I'm kicking myself that I didn't manage to but a lot of other stressful circumstances got in the way. I'm just annoyed that I may find it harder to sell now than if people were looking for xmas gifts (it's mostly old toys). But I'll give it a go anyway. If other parents don't want them my friend may buy some for her classroom (I do give her a lot anyway which she always appreciates and she is understanding that the bigger stuff needs to earn me some cash). Not bothering with eBay as I've read too many horror stories of nightmare buyers and I just don't want the hassle or the anxiety.

CaraAspen Thu 29-Dec-16 14:35:17

I'm afraid that I find it unbelievable that you are thinking of giving away gifts you received or that your children received. People went to the trouble of spending money to buy gifts and wrapped them and posted them or delivered them - yet you clearly do not appreciate that.

Laiste Thu 29-Dec-16 14:40:44

She can appreciate the thought and give thanks without having to ultimately keep the items. If she doesn't want/need them why keep them? Who's it hurting to declutter? What an odd thing to say.

Elphame Thu 29-Dec-16 14:41:51

I was given the Marie Kondo book a few months ago. From complete scepticism to total convert! It's as if she gives you permission to get rid of things you thought you felt obliged to keep or have kept "just in case".

So much stuff has gone, housework takes much less time and I can even find things. No one would have said my house was cluttered but I was amazed at how much stuff I had accumulated that I didn't need.

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