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(71 Posts)
Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 21:40:07

My house has become so full of piles of 'stuff' in every corner that I can no longer cope with it. Equally, however, it's seriously got so bad that I have no idea where to start. I'm in several catch 22s (or excuses?):
I don't want to chuck, sell or charity-shop things in case I might regret it.
I haven't energy or time - seriously feels overwhelming!
I don't want to have wasted my money but haven't time to ebay it.
I haven't a room or garage to 'keep stuff there' til I Ebay or tip it.
I'm actually unable to use my dining room or utility room because of clutter. I'm embarrassed.

Jan49 Sat 06-Apr-13 23:45:15

It sounds like the dining room would be a good place to start as you are unable to use it. How about setting an alarm for 15 minutes and picking up stuff in that time - charity bag, rubbish bag, stuff to keep. Or deciding to do a pile a day. You could do it by going to bed 15 minutes later than usual or setting the morning alarm 15 minutes earlier. Forget about Ebay, just concentrate on getting a tidier home. It's a waste of money that you pay/paid to buy or rent your house if you can't use some of the rooms. You're not wasting money by giving it away instead of selling it because you won't get round to selling it, you're just making yourself a more comfortable home by getting rid of it.

My house got very cluttered. I had lots of stuff that couldn't fit in cupboards. I spent a year clearing it. I don't have a car and I wanted to get rid of stuff as soon as possible once I'd sorted it out, so anything that was suitable got put in a bag in the hall and taken to a charity shop asap, other stuff got put in the bin or recycling. I must have got rid of 100's of items and I've probably only twice given away something and wished I hadn't, so I consider it a risk worth taking. I see decluttering as an ongoing task. I've got rid of tons more stuff since my major declutter and I still have a bag or two of stuff for a charity shop every month.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Sat 06-Apr-13 23:50:05

You aren't alone and you don't need to be embarrassed - there are other lovely hoarders on MN.

There have been other threads.

I considered starting up a business helping people who hoard as I would genuinely love to help - but in the end decided I am not made of stern enough stuff and wouldn't be able to make them part with enough stuff.

How is your kitchen?

How is your bathroom?

What do you hoard?

I hope you come back - we can help!

Mummyoftheyear Sun 07-Apr-13 06:31:36

I will start with the dining room today as its sad that I can't use Ot and I tutor children in it every day- squished into one corner at the end of the table. I'm forever excusing and apologising to pupils' parents.
Every single room is the.same including my double garage. Makes me want to go to bed n eat chocolate just to look at it.

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 08:32:55

I know of a great blog that could help you with this, you can even get an app for it if you have an iPhone or iPad which has a timer on it (obviously you can just look at your watch but the app will have an alarm going off which is motivating in itself. You can pause it too if you need to answer phone etc) it works on the twenty minute decluttering/ten minute rest idea so you don't feel so overwhelmed. It will motivate you as if shows real before and after photos of people houses and the difference that can be made in short periods of time.

When rooms get into this situation I don't really 'believe' in eBay because I think it makes the whole decluttering process slower and more painful. You need to get stuff out of the house quickly so you can see immediate differences which will spur you on. I worry that if you try to eBay you might give up.

About the worry that you will miss it/need it? Chances are you won't if you haven't used it in last six months and you do need it again in a few years the worst thing that can happen is you re-buy it, that is not the end of the world. Stuff is just stuff, its not like ill health or something after all. In the mean time the item that has been sent to charity has hopefully been used by someone else. (sorry if I sound harsh, just trying to motivate you)

About wasting the money, the money has already gone, it's in the past now, look to the future and the main thing to remember is to stop shopping NOW aside from food.

Think of the positives, how the children will learn better in uncluttered environment and you don't have to apologise to parents. You can do this!

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 08:40:58

With the make sure you click on the tile of the post you want to read to see the before and after pictures!
Like I have done with the most recent post otherwise you not see entire post!

TeaOneSugar Sun 07-Apr-13 08:47:52

I've found the key is to get one room straight and then make a plan to maintain it, before you start the next one.

Otherwise you can spend loads of time doing what fly lady calls a "crisis clean" and then before you know it every room needs doing again.

So for example sort out your dining room, declutter and clean it and then plan to spend a couple of minutes everyday checking it, moving anything thats out of place - post, magazines, dirty cups etc. literally the time it takes the kettle to boil no longer and plan to spend another few minutes once a week giving it a dust/vac etc. Add any bigger jobs like sorting out a cupboard to a "to do list" and you try to tick one or two jobs off the list each week. Things like oven cleaning and carpet cleaning go on the "to do" list.

The idea (based on flylady) is to get to the point where you're actually spending very little time on general cleaning because it all gets regular maintainance and doesn't need a big clean up

Much easier said than done, my downstairs (and bathroom) is basically like that at the moment, there are still some jobs on my to do list, but my MIL or cleaning obsessed SIL can call anytime and I'd be comfortable inviting them in - bedrooms are next on my list.

Have you looked at flylady?

You don't have to do the whole thing, just pick the bits that work for you, the basic principle is little and often so it never gets really bad.

Mummyoftheyear Sun 07-Apr-13 09:13:07

Flylady? Please explain! There is hope, then!
I don't feel so alone, either.
But I DO just feel like hibernating rather than fling it.

Mummyoftheyear Sun 07-Apr-13 09:13:57

I absolutely loved that 'unfuckyourhabit' link.
Love it!!!! But can't seem to install it.
If you can tell me how to, you may even see pics of my own house on there today! Lol

Mummyoftheyear Sun 07-Apr-13 09:19:00

Done it. Now I need to work out which section to go into first.

EffieTheDuck Sun 07-Apr-13 09:23:56

This site is quite good for motivation and where to begin.

Mummyoftheyear Sun 07-Apr-13 09:25:09

How do I start a thready thing with before n after pics on there, MinimalistMommi? That'd motivate me.

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 09:34:21

If you go to the app shop, there is just an app that you can install with a timer and an alarm on it, I'm not sure it's worth the £1.69 or whatever it is but it's quite good fun to see the time ticking down! I think the app is known as 'unfilth your habit' because they couldn't use a swear word in the App Store. I think for pics that go on the actual blog, they have to be submitted to the person who writes the blog grin

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 09:35:15

Mummy I'm not sure you can sad I imagine the pictures have to be submitted to blog owner but you could e.mail her and ask!

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 09:36:00

Take a pic just in case and keep note of how many 20/10's you do!

Mummyoftheyear Sun 07-Apr-13 09:40:10

I'm rubbish at blogs n Internet
I'm proud of myself for working out Mumsnet (sort of)! Lol
How can I see who to email?

SilveryMoon Sun 07-Apr-13 09:42:39

here is the FLylady thread.
Those of us on there are all at different stages of clean up. Some of us are on de cluttering, others onto small missions etc. All the links to FLYlady are in the first post. Have a look and feel free to come and join us grin

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 09:51:13

OP, when the DC are back at school next week I will try and see how it works.
Take those pics just in case! And get decluttering! Make sure the stuff leaves the house though,otherwise you get in situation of just shifting full boxes of stuff around house. It must leave front or back door!

PigletJohn Sun 07-Apr-13 11:33:51

I think I will keep an eye on this just in case I should ever have more stuff in the shed than will fit I have an immediate use for.

Mummyoftheyear Sun 07-Apr-13 11:37:02

New to Mumsnet and need a list of acronym definitions! Lol

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 11:58:35

Original Poster grin

Mummyoftheyear Sun 07-Apr-13 12:09:12

Starting now!
Just finished work - ish
Will use timer.
Old birthday cards of young chasten from grandparents: keep / chuck?
First nursery drawings? Etc.?

SlatternismyMiddlename Sun 07-Apr-13 12:12:26

I have nothing further to add to the suggestions made above but wanted to reinforce what has been said - you are definitely not alone and get the stuff OUT of your house. A friend gave me the best advice - what is of more value to you, a couple of pounds (or pence) on eBay or the feeling you have when it is gone and you have space?

The good housekeeping section on here is great. Have a poke around (during your 10 minute break!) and you will find lots of ideas and motivation.

Good luck.

Viviennemary Sun 07-Apr-13 12:13:07

I've the same problem. There was no more storage. I'd been shuffling things round for years and still no better. So I knew I either had to get rid of stuff or put up with the situation. I got rid of quite a bit of stuff but I've a long way to go. I got rid of 200 books but over a period of about 6 weeks. I had boxes of books under the bed, the loft had lots of books not to mention books that were actually in a book case.

Going room by room didn't work for me so much. But taking one specific item such as books and concentrate on that did work a lot better. Then I did coats. Got rid of about 12 coats altogether. Mostly DH's.

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 12:33:34

Chuck old Birthday cards for sure!
First Nursery drawings- two options either -

Choose a select few and put in clear folder so it's they get damaged and recycle rest. How old are children/child now?

Or scan ones you love and then recycle.

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