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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.

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 12:34:44

Slattern totally agree, OP needs to get herself out if a mess (literally!) quickest way to do this is to get it straight out of house and not mess around on eBay. Just not worth it.

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 12:38:42

Keep in mind recycling centres which you can access 24 hrs! They're often outside supermarkets and take shoes/bags of clothes etc.

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 12:42:50

Viv idea about selecting a category is great too. Can you identify something in your house that you have multiple items of? Shoes for example?

TeaOneSugar Sun 07-Apr-13 12:46:04

DD has a folder with selected nursery pictures etc. and a folder with certificates in.

The certificate folder it has everything in from swimming certificates to ones for winning competitions on holiday and merit awards from school and a few tickets/programmes/newspaper cuttings and photos, it's a good record of things she's done and special moments, to be honest pretty much everything else gets recycled. You can't keep everything they bring home from nursery and school.

I'm afraid you have to curb sentimentality if you want to really declutter, if your dc are still small maybe you could start a memory box.

SilveryMoon Sun 07-Apr-13 12:46:51

My ds's are 5yo and 4yo now. I have a big storage box in the bottom of my closet. It is called 'the keeping box' so when the biys bring home drawings etc from school (ds2 is the worst for it, piles of paper with random scribbles) they show them to me, I display the really special ones on my kitchen wall, and the rest go in the keeping box which I then de-clutter once a monthish when they are in bed so they don't see me throwing it away. I keep nice things in there that I have dated but the crap goes in the bin.

NorksAreMessy Sun 07-Apr-13 12:53:26

It might be helpful to get to the bottom of the 'I might regret chucking this out' conundrum.

Yes you might regret it, but you are suffering more living in clutter.
There are lots of things in life we regret, but life goes on.
Regretting never feeling comfortable in your own home is something you can have control over right now.

What is the root of this worry about letting go of the past?
I have a box and a case full of souvenirs, babies' first shoes, school reports and have happily let other things go.

It helps tremendously that we have moved house three times in three years, you learn to pare down to the important stuff. Not suggesting this as an option, though smile

Mummyoftheyear Sun 07-Apr-13 14:00:26

Right. I've attempted to reorganise one room. It's not the one most on need and we still can't use even thus one (conservatory) as have to put Xmas stuff in lift n empty boxes in garage now. Sitting down to prepare myself for dining room.

Mummyoftheyear Sun 07-Apr-13 14:01:39

Not having a great day of it as hubby angry with me cos HIS parents have both died over the last 5 years. Today is anniversary of his father's death so I'm getting cross phone calls about how hard life is for him.

MinimalistMommi Sun 07-Apr-13 15:44:50

Mummy sorry about the phone calls sad

Right, what have you got rid of ( gone in bin, gone outside in recycling bin?)

It will make it easier for you if you note down what has actually left house so you know you're chipping away at hoard.

Mummyoftheyear Sun 07-Apr-13 19:24:35

Lots went into my already loaded garage BUT I did make a date with an ebay lady (end of June was earliest she could do).
Christmas tree and decorations all finally in garage - I know, embarrassing, right?
Empty boxes in garage ready for storing stiff... if I've ever room to put them anywhere ;(
Tomorrow - dining room.
WHY does it scare me to tackle that room so much?
Found it hard to chuck toys. Sooo much stuff!

MinimalistMommi Mon 08-Apr-13 07:47:55

What's the eBay lady doing? Selling stuff on your behalf?

Let me know today what is taken to charity/recycled/broken rubbish that leaves? A list! Remember organising stuff is just shuffling stuff around and doesn't make actual difference grin

Mummyoftheyear Mon 08-Apr-13 08:27:39

Yes she only takes about 10 percent
I made over £100 last time on old things I hadn't used for yonks!

Mummyoftheyear Mon 08-Apr-13 08:31:19

Nothing today ;(
I've my 2 yr old and 5 yr old and work.
But I am going to use her nap time to clear my dining room a bit.
I'm having a hard time getting rid of vs shifting.
I DID give toys away to our visitor yesterday ;)
I have a few other things I can do today/ tomorrow: send amazon books back.

MinimalistMommi Mon 08-Apr-13 11:20:53

Mummy that is great about passing those toys onto the neighbour. See that as a triumph! You will never have those items cluttering up your space again, you won't have to see them, lift them up clean around etc.

Try and see decluttering as chipping away, every little item that goes out of your house is another bit chipped away from the clutter 'mountain' ! grin

Note down here the things that leave you house and congratulate yourself.

And please remember shifting stuff will not make that clutter mountain any smaller, shifting is simply re-shaping it!

NorksAreMessy Mon 08-Apr-13 17:30:59

Incremental Improvements...that's how we won all those cycling medals (bear with me, I am going somewhere with this)

If you make small changes every day, in action and in attitude, you will win an Olympic gold medal and get to wear those Lycra shorts OR get a clear dining room.

In less obtuse language, if you do SOMETHING every day, you will keep the momentum going.
There is a 'for free' section on MN where you could offer stuff to people who really need it

Mummyoftheyear Mon 08-Apr-13 22:22:47

Sounds good
I will look it up!

Mummyoftheyear Mon 08-Apr-13 22:26:12

Thank you for keeping on my case! Need it!!!!

buildingmycorestrength Mon 08-Apr-13 22:32:37

I really recommend starting with easier things than baby cards and first nursery drawings. I find getting rid very hard and find it easier to tell myself to find the rubbish and obviously unnecessary stuff first. Then I get on a roll.

Mummyoftheyear Tue 09-Apr-13 06:07:03

Good advice, thank you.

NorksAreMessy Tue 09-Apr-13 07:30:15

for free
But it does look a bit empty.

If you don't let trills see, you might be better starting a thread in chat "I am decluttering, who would like a...." then you will know it is going to a welcome home.

Good luck today, MOTY, just a little improvement every day smile

Bonsoir Tue 09-Apr-13 08:15:48

One way of decluttering when hoarding has started to overwhelm your life is to do it by product category rather than by room. Some product categories are much easier to let go of than others. For example, tell yourself that you are going to throw away every single old newspaper and magazine (and any articles you have pulled out of magazines etc) in your house. Then go round your house collecting them all up, and take them to the recycling bin.

MorrisZapp Tue 09-Apr-13 08:27:38

Do you know any teenage girls? I've found they're great at stuff like this. Also, they take half the crap away with them. I always rope my niece in for decluttering jobs.

Camwombat Tue 09-Apr-13 08:56:48

OP, we have framed DS very first 'masterpiece' and have shipped some off to relatives, otherwise I don't bring them home.

I have his 1st birthday cards in a memory box but scanning them sounds a good idea.

Don't have any boxes for eBay or car boot sale, you will never do them. my parents have had a pile of car boot boxes for about 10years.... some charities will come with a van to collect things, when we moved I had 12 boxes of stuff and they came to collect.

leeloo1 Tue 09-Apr-13 08:57:46

This might not help with the immediate decluttering, but...

With old birthday cards. Its hard not to be sentimental and I used to keep all my DS', then thought 'what on earth is he going to do with 18 years worth of birthday cards when he's 18?' I'm sure he wouldn't thank me for them.

So this year I arranged all the cards for the current birthday and photographed them in a block. Then opened them and took another bulk shot of them all open, so (if you enlarge the photo enough) you can see the messages.

Then, with all digital photos I try to download them all at the end of each month (I usually fail, but sort them out by month after downloading).
So I have a folders for 20111, 2012, 2013 and Jan, Feb, March... within each.

Then, each year I make an A4 photobook (photobox do codes to make it cheaper, but other places will too). So month by month I go through and choose the nicest photos to go into it and we have a nice record of the year (and a gift for doting grandparents!).

Anyway, this year the photos of the cards got added to the pics of DS' birthday party. I put the cards in the art box to cut up... then 6 months later when we hadn't cut them up I put them in the recycling!

I also take pics of any of his major artworks, junk modelling projects etc and put them in the photobooks too, then I can recycle the objects themselves without feeling guilty, as there's a record of them thats more likely to be looked at than if they were stuck in a drawer somewhere getting crushed and manky. smile

BeCool Tue 09-Apr-13 14:41:15

Hi Mummyoftheyear - I've not long started a process of decluttering our tiny flat with the help of a friend. I was raised by a hoarder & although I have "worked"on my own hoarding over the years I need to take it further now I have DC & live in a small flat. It was totally overwhelming & depressing.

Link to my thread which you might find useful. There is a Minamalist Quiche thread too.

As for your opening issues:
"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 understand. The main thing that needs to change is the way you think about stuff. Just like an eater who will eat the kids leftovers so it doesn't go to 'waste' needs to learn and accept that they are treating their body as a human dustbin, so you need to accept that these issues of regret, overwhelmed by it all, wasted money, keep to eBay etc are all keeping you where you are.

Isn't it a waste of your SPACE, your HOME etc to keep this clutter? Set it free, let it go - you will save ££ because in the future you will spend less, you will buy less. Your values will change - I can't believe how deeply getting the kitchen done has changed the way I think about this.

I've taken 4 bags of "stuff to ebay" to the charity shop. I've kept back 3 items which I still intend to ebay. But if they aren't listed within the week (I just set that deadline cheers - its on my phone) they will go to the charity shop too.

The reward of a decluttered home is priceless!!! You deserve it.

you might like to take a google of some minimalist or decluttering website and blogs - lots out there & they are motivating and inspiring as well as full of techniques and ideas.

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