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HOW DOES ONE DECLUTTER? <screams the fishwife> help me ffs

(25 Posts)
TrinityRhino Sun 03-Feb-13 14:00:39

everyone keeps saying that it is the answer to being able not to drown in keeping the house liveable but HOW

kids paintings?
all the paperwork from the last ten years in no discernible order
toys that they all want to keep and shit loads of them
clothes everywhere, dont even know what I have and its not all clean
bit and pieces

theres just stuff everywhere how do I get rid of any of it?

we all seem to want all of it
how do we choose?
where do you start
its all a mess

DeepRedBetty Sun 03-Feb-13 14:04:40

Find a kitchen timer or set it on your phone, for (say) 15 minutes.

Take a binbag in one hand and a cardboard box in the other.

RUTHLESSLY put 9/10ths of a pile of crap in the binbag and keep the 1/10 in the cardboard box.

When the 15 mins are up, stop, breath and admire the hole.

Then do it again.

Take no arguments from the rest of the household. If they want it they need to find an appropriate long term home for the item.

LadyMargolotta Sun 03-Feb-13 14:06:21

Take photos of all the artwork. Then chuck the lot.

(ok, apart from one or two special pictures for each child which you are allowed to keep).

TrinityRhino Sun 03-Feb-13 14:07:00

I like that

'if you want it, find an APPROPRIATE long term home for it!!'

<practises firm voice>

TrinityRhino Sun 03-Feb-13 14:07:32

<sniff> really margolotta...

DeathMetalMum Sun 03-Feb-13 14:07:38

I think people use the rule if you havn't used it for 6 months then get rid. I am 'trying' to declutter too sometimes it is hard to be ruthless. I only have one dc so don't have piles of artwork etc to decide over.

LadyMargolotta Sun 03-Feb-13 14:08:31

With toys, if it's big, ugly and plastic, chuck it (ie give it away/sell).

If it's not so big or ugly, but you doubt that your children play with it, put it in a bag, hide it for a month, and if the dc haven't asked for it in that time, then get rid of it.

TrinityRhino Sun 03-Feb-13 14:09:47

thats doable with the toys I think

hmm 6 month rule is good
but I'll be able to convince myself I have used it blush

DeepRedBetty Sun 03-Feb-13 14:10:53

Disclaimer:- downstairs looks ok, but I'd die of embarrassment if anyone looked round the bend of the staircase. As I have broken my kitchen timer and my Shiney New Phone doesn't seem to have a simple stopwatch/timer function blush. That's my excuse anyway...

DeepRedBetty Sun 03-Feb-13 14:14:30

The clothing rule. If it's got any sign of wear, get rid. If it's the wrong size, get rid. If you've got five virtually identical tops (Like I discovered I did), pick your favourite, and get rid of the other four.

If holey/stained, textile bank. If not, charity shop. If Designer Label in Good Nick, eBay.

I did this to my wardrobe about a year ago, it worked, although it's about time I did it again.

IDreamedADreamOfSausageRolls Sun 03-Feb-13 14:52:41

kids paintings? Buy one A3 display book per child, put the very best pics in there (no more than 2 per year of age), bin the rest
all the paperwork from the last ten years in no discernible order 8 box files, one for each of the last 7 years and the 8th for anything older. File by year.
toys that they all want to keep and shit loads of them remove/hide for a month then bin if not missed in that time
clothes everywhere, dont even know what I have and its not all clean start by washing everything. Then pile it all on spare bed and start a separate thread for this.
dvds/books sell or charity shop

HandbagCrab Sun 03-Feb-13 15:00:41

DVDs/ CDs music magpie. You don't get much money but they'll arrange a courier to pick it up.

Find a local charity shop that picks up, book an appointment and pile it up for them.

Bin/ shred paperwork. Unless its mortgage, p60s or your self employed. Most of it will be old bank statements and ancient warranties if it's anything like ours. Go electronic with all your current providers so it doesnt build up again.

It's harder with toys/ artwork as they have emotional attachment too. Maybe focus on the things you don't care about first and then have a think about the other stuff. Good luck smile

SilentMammoth Sun 03-Feb-13 16:43:18

Come and join us minimalist quichelets.

educatingarti Sun 03-Feb-13 17:29:46

I agree - the minimalist quiche is a source of great inspiration!

Jezabelle Sun 03-Feb-13 17:30:53

I know exactly how you feel Trinity. You've had some great advice here and I know it's still difficult when it seems so overwhelming and you don't know where to start. The thing to do is just start anywhere. Just 15 minutes is a great tip. When you are ruthless and actually start getting rid of stuff it'll feel like a weight lifting.

The thing is, when you get to the situation you are in, it effects you in so many ways. You have less time and patience with the DCs and spend the whole time being exasperated by the state of the place. You feel embarrassed to have people round and spend hours on end blitzing the place and shoving things in random places! You even feel embarrassed of DCs friends seeing the chaos! I have been there and am just feeling like I am emerging from that place. IT CAN BE DONE!

Be ruthless. If it helps, bag toys up and stick them in the loft/shed/garage. That way you can kid yourself it's not for ever and if anything is desperately missed, you can dig it out. If you can do this whilst DCs are out, then when they come back, just tell them you tidied their room,. They'll probably be pleased to have a tidy room and not even notice the missing stuff.

Nishky Sun 03-Feb-13 17:54:32

Following thread with interest!

Also searching out minimalist quiche thingy

educatingarti Sun 03-Feb-13 18:19:34

minimalist quiche

BoffinMum Sun 03-Feb-13 21:46:26

Make one room at a time how you want it. Take a day for each room to achieve this.

montage Sun 03-Feb-13 22:29:49

its easier if you think "what do i want to keep" instead of "what can I let go"

So you tip out a drawer, and select what you want to keep.

You then sort the rest into charity shop bag /bin/give away/ebay box.

And you have a "don't know what to do with it box" for things that you don't know what to do with grin So that you don't land up bunging things back in the drawer purely because you can't figure how to dispose of them/are undecided/ feel you should keep them etc.

You only keep what you want.

educatingarti Mon 04-Feb-13 10:44:13

On the minimalist quiche thread, one poster is doing a car boot sale for stuff she wants to get rid of. She has told her dc that he can sell any of his toys he doesn't want any more and any money he makes he can keep. Sometimes making a game of it - "Who can be the first to collect 10 things they don't want any more to go to the charity shop" can work too!

TrinityRhino Mon 04-Feb-13 12:44:15

that sounds like something that could work, the little two are very competitive grin

where is the minimalist thread?

LemonBreeland Mon 04-Feb-13 13:03:38

Definitely join us on the minimalist quiche. There are many of us on there that aren't minimalist, merely trying to declutter for an easier life.

With clothes can you sort out what fits and what is ougrown, so you can just get rid of what won't be worn.

Agree with hiding toys and if they aren't missed then donate. Make sure that everything broken just goes. Also if dc see you happily removing some of your stuff they may follow suit.

One thing that helped me on the minimalism thread was the idea that something should be useful or beautiful, ideally both. It can make you look at items in a different light.

educatingarti Mon 04-Feb-13 13:07:36

I linked to the minimalist quiche thread just above Trinity - I'd be good to see you there!

TrinityRhino Mon 04-Feb-13 19:53:48

thanks educating smile

Lookslikerain Wed 06-Feb-13 21:38:33

I was chatting to mil about decluttering/hoarding etc today. I live by "if I haven't used it in 6 months and I don't like looking at it, bin it ". I find clutter in the house clutters my brain. Mil is quite the opposite, and she admits it. She was telling me about the stuff they've started clearing out their attic. Old family heirlooms and the like. One lovely box, that she's been told is worth a few thousand, had been up there for 70 years!!! I was shock! 70 years!!

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