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House depressingly cluttered and Christmas has only added to it...

(33 Posts)
misspollysdolly Sat 01-Jan-11 17:12:57


Somebody tell me, how on earth do you start with the de-cluttering, organising and sorting of all the stuff...?!

We have laundry everywhere and too much stuff in a too small house...coupled with an ability to be ruthless if necessary but a natural inclination to hang on to stuff 'just in case' and 'because it's a shame to get rid'...

Where do I start? How do you work out what (mostly kids') stuff to chuck/rehome/store and what to keep...?? confused

Help me! TIA MPD

onepieceoflollipop Sat 01-Jan-11 17:17:47

I am quite a keen declutterer but even I struggle a bit at this time of year.

I start off in November and try to clear out toys to leave one toybox empty per child ready for Christmas toys.

re your laundry, do you have a routine. e.g. if you have dcs you probably need to do one load per day if you have a standard sized machine. Do you have a routine for drying it?

In terms of general decluttering, definitely get rid of anything broken, too small, stuff you don't like etc. Set yourself a target, e.g. you will clear out one bag each day for a week, once you get started you may feel more motivated to do more.

If you are planning on having more dcs, then only save the toys/clothes that are in really good condition. Anything you didn't like get rid of (unless you are on a really really tight budget)

I did a general declutter of the kitchen earlier. It involved eating a lot of chocolate that was cluttering the place up. wink

Northernlebkuchen Sat 01-Jan-11 17:18:43

Anything played with or worn in the last month is a keeper. Put everything else in a pile and then see what you can't bear to throw out.

onepieceoflollipop Sat 01-Jan-11 17:23:42

Also get rid of any duplicates or multiples of similar items. We have just got rid of baby books as dd2 is 3 now and they are too "young" for her. Be tough. If you attach a lot of sentimental value to items then just keep a select few (e.g. one baby book, one babygrow etc)

mommmmyof2 Sat 01-Jan-11 17:25:25

I hate de cluttering, it takes ages and when i finaly have a pile of things to get rid of i decide that there are things i should keep or my dh,ds or dd come in and start moaning at me.
And then when all the hard work is done is it me or does it look the same within a week! One of my problems are my dd loves drawing and has loads of paper, i don't want to get rid of her drawings but on the other hand i can't keep all of them.
I just hate the whole thing and two kids a messy dh and a dog all in a small house, i sypmathise confused

WilfShelf Sat 01-Jan-11 17:26:02

Put the clean laundry AWAY before you do anything else.
Put the dirty laundry into bin bags (assuming your laundry baskets are full wink) by colour/type, and put them next to your washing machine, even if that means in the middle of the kitchen - it will incentivise you to have a blitz.
Start by moving all the kids toys into their bedrooms, unless they are under 3. If under three, put them ALL in one pile/corner for now.
Then you need to tackle the general clutter - I'd suggest one area/room at a time.

If your kids are old enough, get them to make a start on their bedrooms.

Set a aside a day for each room, and get lots of bin bags and make sure you factor in enough time to take stuff away (decide where: tip, charity shop, local women's refuge/ hospital; and ring first to check when they're open and what they'll accept).

Try to make at least one room (your living room?) clutter-free, and keep it that way. This will keep you sane enough to tackle the rest of the house.

Kindle Sat 01-Jan-11 17:27:05

I am so glad is is not only me. I am so fed up of tripping over things sad

chivers1977 Sat 01-Jan-11 17:33:46

I have just gone round with a bin bag putting in all the random things like old phone chargers and costume jewellry that i don't like anymore. I then listed it straight onto freegle as "carboot items" and it is being collected tomorrow at 10.30. That gives e enough time to find more stuff to add to it but also means that I can't change my mind again!

Laundry is a nightmare for me. If I can see my bedroom floor past the clean clothes I am doing well. grin

NorbertDentressangelOnTheTree Sat 01-Jan-11 17:33:59

Can you rope the DC in to help?

I've just spent the best part of 3 hours de-cluttering the DC's bedrooms with their help (they are 6 and 11).

I basically said that they had to make room for their new things and get rid of stuff they hoard that is unlikely to be used or toys they haven't played with for ages.

Result = 3 huge bags for charity (giving stuff to charity appeals to 6yo DS for some reason whereas he hates the idea of something being binned), 2 bin bags of rubbish/recycling and even some unopened craft kits for "regifting"

ANTagony Sat 01-Jan-11 17:35:08

If everything has got a bid mad, I'm a hoarder by nature so I sympathise, don't try to tackle everything at once.

List all the things you need to sort and break it down into small sections i.e. Chest of draws: pants and socks draw, t-shirts, jumpers, trousers.

Tackle things one area a week and one item a day (10/ 20mins).

The way I go about it is to empty everything out of the space so its clear then put back what I will use in the next few days, what I really like and would like to use, then bin anything old, sell anything I wont use thats saleable and bag anything left that I can't bring myself to chuck. After a month or three it then either gets binned or goes to charity.

I've been seriously de cluttering for about six months on and off and its getting better.

Same with the toys - decide how much space you have for storage and that you're happy with what you have allocated. There will be some absolute keeps, so allocate those a location first, anything broken chuck, anything not played with recycle (sell give/ away). Anything that falls into not sure box and label then store bringing it out in rotation to see if it becomes desirable or falls into one of the other categories.

WilfShelf Sat 01-Jan-11 17:37:11

And fecking jigsaws: every one that either doesn't have a box, or has one or more piece missing: IN THE BIN!

onepieceoflollipop Sat 01-Jan-11 17:39:33

Wilf but could I just add that it is advisable to pull out sofas etc before deciding jigsaw bits are "properly" lost.

One day I waved the binmen off with 3 "missing piece" jigsaws...then went in to hoover under the sofas. grin

HaveAHappyNewJung Sat 01-Jan-11 17:41:23

Frustrating isn't it! I sympathise.

I hate the way all the everyday stuff builds up SO fast - so you can't get to the proper decluttering easily.

We managed a fair bit before Xmas. I have been motivated by clearing out loads of old toys - I'm being really ruthless and throwing out anything broken. I've also started donating stuff - loads of books went to local preschools and doctors surgeries. Toys and clothes (baby clothes and my old stuff) will be going to women's aid refuge which has really inspired me to actually bother sorting stuff out.

biglips Sat 01-Jan-11 17:41:42

ive been doing this one all afternoon and my house is getting better as i just needed a guidance to help me to tidy up properly!!

Make tmrw as a new start smile

HaveAHappyNewJung Sat 01-Jan-11 17:42:06

Btw there is a 'new year new start' thread on this board, worth a look!

Clary Sat 01-Jan-11 17:48:21

I would start with the laundry.

Wash a couple of loads and get them on racks. Dry in front of radiators and then asap fold and put away (don't bother ironing if it's all too much) then repeat - that should reduce laundry problem which always gets me down.

Then do it room by room. Pick the tidiest room (here it's our front room) and take out all the things which don't live there, put them away or bin them (be ruthless!). Chuck "creations" unless v precious; recycle outgrown toys; chuck anything broken or with bits missing (games etc); ask the kids if they still want it (mine are less sentimental than me!)

Just achieving that in one room will make you feel a lot better. Later (or tomorrow) you can do the next worst room.

Decide what you can live with - I am well aware that many of my friends woul dbe horrified at the state of eg the room DD and DS2 share - toys and stuff everywhere - but as long as I can hoover it twice a week I am happy for them to have their complex pretend games going on the rest of the time. I don't have to sit there and look at it grin

Loving ANTagony's catogories btw!

WilfShelf Sat 01-Jan-11 17:51:01

Also, when we really need a sort out and people are off work/school, it helps us to have everyone doing one room, with some loud music on and make it a bit of an event. Then no-one feels like they're tackling a nightmare on their own and it gets done more quickly and is motivating...

Clary Sat 01-Jan-11 17:57:53

Wilfshelf you are a woman after my own heart!

Are you a Christmas incarnation of the other people with a similar name?

Summersoon Sat 01-Jan-11 18:34:42

I decided to have a go at two cluttered corners of our kitchen this afternoon. I am religious about not throwing out credit or debit card receipts without shredding them first and so had accumulated a huge pile of them on top of the microwave - I didn't realize quite how much until I started shredding: I have receipts for 2 salmon fillets, one bottle of wine and a packet of biscuits from Waitrose going back to 2007! blush
I have been doing this all afternoon because the shredder needs to take a rest break from time to time but, boy, does it feel good! [smug, virtuous emoticon]

mommmmyof2 Sat 01-Jan-11 18:49:29

Reading these posts has given me a tidy up bug, starting with my kitchen cupboards, wish me luck grin

LostArt Sat 01-Jan-11 19:19:00

I was intending to hire a skip, chuck everything in and buy new stuff as and when I needed it. grin

This thread has given me some cheaper ideas.

mommmmyof2 Sat 01-Jan-11 23:15:04

I de cluttered my kitchen draws and cupboards thanks to this thread was meaning to do it for ages, tomorrow i think i will start on my bedroom grin

b1uebells Sun 02-Jan-11 13:59:14

Glad I saw this thread, I need to have a major declutter and I'm sure my washing pile is as big if not bigger than yours op so don't feel too bad about it

I would guess i prob have about 50 loads, I have dirty washing everywhere, some I have been meaning to wash since nov blush

JarethTheGoblinKing Sun 02-Jan-11 14:04:28

We've just spent the last 3 days having a serious de-clutter. DP was in charge of admin/paperwork and shredding, and I did everything else hmm wink

I found what helped was picking ONE area at a time and just spending 10 mins sorting it (one drawer in the kitchen, one shelf in the lounge etc) and just doing that, rather than tackling it as one huge job, and it's just got done!!

Everything looks so much better, it's definitely been worth it. Now... how to keep it like this grin

tessieb Sun 02-Jan-11 15:54:40

So glad I've found this thread as I'm just having a break from tidying/decluttering and feel completely overwhelmed! Christmas has really added to the clutter here, though there was plenty before too that I've been meaning to sort out for ages. As I've not been well this last week jobs have built up.

Anyway, today I've been moving the toys from (all over) the living room and putting them upstairs. Problem is, there's a lot of sorting needed upstairs too and it's hard finding room so will need to do a charity shop visit soon. I keep seeing so many jobs that need doing. I dream of a tidy, decluttered, organised house......

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