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(950 Posts)
educatingarti Sun 02-Jun-13 15:47:55

This is the new minimalist/decluttering thread! I hope everyone likes the minimal title!

alarkthatcouldpray Mon 03-Jun-13 21:13:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OnTheNingNangNong Mon 03-Jun-13 21:24:50

Fab thread title! grin

Good luck Boffin

I have managed to quickly tidy our hovel and hoover through, this decluttering lark is amazing! I've for 5/6 bags destined to the chazza shop or chazza bin from the past week. The building works have finished thank goodness and our house just has the scaffold to come down to declutter our view and gardens. I've also sold a fleece soaker on a Fb selling page, so I'm thrilled someone else will have it and be able to use it.

I've found the minimalist challenge is thankfully helping my weight loss, 1stone in 6 weeks. Very happy.

DS1 is back to school tomorrow so hopefully DS2 will nap at a reasonable time so I can quickly sort through something- of which I'm unsure of at the moment.

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 03-Jun-13 21:53:01

Nothing cleared today - back at work after half term. Hopefully will be able to start packing and clearing again tomorrow evening. Thank god it's only 27 years of my own crap, not 100 years shock boffin

LimeLeaffLizard Mon 03-Jun-13 23:01:30

Tell us why 100 years, Boffin?

Brilliant weight loss NingNangNong, congratulations!

Sokmonsta Tue 04-Jun-13 09:40:04

I too need to know boffin. It sounds intriguing.

Packed the big two off to school/preschool this morning. Twins have just had breakfast and going down for a nap. Then it's onwards and outwards with the clutter until its time to fetch ds from preschool. It's such a lovely day I aim to get as much done as possible in these 2 hours so I can spend the rest of the day enjoying the garden clearing out shed. Again

educatingarti Tue 04-Jun-13 10:25:02

Morning all!

Another joining the "need to know list" Boffin !

Hmmm - I have a busy work day today - plus houseworky things I need to do, so not too sure how much actual decluttering will take place. I kind of still want to capitalise on my weekend efforts while I still feel enthused but earning a living other things keep getting in the way!

Ning - I need to join you on the wight decluttering. I have zero self-control with sweets and chocolates! Stopped at garage shop to buy milk last night and bought Minstrels - at least it was only a small packet!

hobnob57 Tue 04-Jun-13 13:22:43

My gold bag and jewellery recycling bag are off to the PO this afternoon. Excited. I haven't been as ruthless as I could have been since I have kept all the stuff my DH and gran gave me but I'll make more of an effort to wear what I have once ds is out of the yanking phase. I'm feeling a bit guilty about getting rid of silver rings that my girls might be interested in one day but I'll get over it.

A box of DVDs arrived for me today. Good in that they are for my course, bad in that I need to find space for them.

I've unearthed a baby swing from the shed that needs free cycled.

The good news is that ds is much less screechy today but still showing no signs of napping. Crawling is much too exciting. He never touches any of his baby toys but instead favours mobile phone charging cables and soil given half a chance. Aibu to chazzer his toys? wink

BoffinMum Tue 04-Jun-13 13:35:14

Well, FIL died unexpectedly in March, leaving two houses to purge of all the hoardings that had accumulated over the last century.

I found things like an antique trunk full of DH's grandmother's hand made trousseau, DH grandmother's wedding dress, shoes and veil, an unworn Masonic apron from the 1930s (long story), about 50 hats and about 100 drama costumes (another long story), plus an awful lot of things that had been kept on the grounds that they were supposed to be valuable (eg silver plate cutlery and tea set, Victorian dressing table set, random little ornaments) but when I took them to be valued at the auction house I was told they were practically worthless (which I can believe - the quality of the craftsmanship was generally poor and they were pretty clunky designs as well. This family were not known for their aesthetic sensibilities).

Then there was the household detritus, as little was ever thrown out. Cupboards full of posh jams and things that they had been given, squirrelled away, and forgotten about; a once-prized collection of old carrier bags; broken, dusty Christmas ornaments; old bottles of booze that had almost dried up or corked; old dresses and plastic handbags with stains or with bits chipped off them; hats that had been nice but put away badly and squashed so they were only fit for the bin; old plastic shoes; cheap, dusty nick nacks that they had forgotten existed; old bottles of toiletries and perfume faded from the sun; dusty dried flowers; macrame plant holders and decaying wicker shelves and chairs. Ironically both houses were so full of stuff there often wasn't anywhere for us to stay properly when we visited - we just sort of camped around all these worthless possessions, things people had completely forgotten they even had, never looked at, never enjoyed. I did manage to tackle parts of one of the houses before they both died, to make it a bit easier to visit, but the other one was tidy but neglected, so neglected.

I walk in there and a wave of despair always hits me as I see the scale of what they hung on to, and how little it counts for once you have died. It makes me want to give all my stuff away so my own children haven't got this to contend with. A selfishness of space, things used as a barrier so people don't intrude too much, a tendency to live an uncomfortable life rather than a comfortable one because the stuff has to come first. I spend my weekends ferrying it up to my own house so I can sort though it, then I negotiate painstakingly with DH about what we can give away, then the rest I try to incorporate into what we already own.

Ironically I have a storage unit of decent antiques that I inherited, that I cannot use because they need recovering, DH finds them uncomfortable to sit on, etc, and I pay £50 a month to keep them elsewhere while I have to make space in my home for a lot of old crap.

It's not easy at the moment. sad

BoffinMum Tue 04-Jun-13 13:37:14

Sorry, that was quite a miserable post, wasn't it?

BoffinMum Tue 04-Jun-13 13:38:03

In tribute to the thread title I will now sum it up in minimalist fashion.


harrietspy Tue 04-Jun-13 13:53:41

Hello again! I was on the 1st & 2nd m thread and have flitted back and forth a bit ever since. Most impressed that it's still going. Love love love the new title and thought it must be you lot. Inspired.

(BoffinMum, that sounds utterly utterly overwhelming...)

Some of you may remember my dread at emptying the Garage of Doom back in Jan/Feb. Yes, we did hundreds of trips to the amenities site but the remnants of Doom are still filling the office - not good as there are 2 of us working from home. I tried to eBay something and didn't get any bids and frankly I've realised I'm not an eBayer, I know I won't do a car boot (because I want to be in the garden when the weather's nice, not selling stuff) so I've decided to freecycle or charity-shop all of it and the dc can do a little yard sale of their toys.

Good to be back.

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 04-Jun-13 14:45:40

glad you're back harriet! Some of your posts on the first thread were the thing that inspired me most to get going on this and it has been genuinely life-changing. I love the living room in our house now it's clear and I just feel lighter and more in control of everything.

educatingarti Tue 04-Jun-13 14:46:38

Welcome back Harriet I always wondered how you had got on with the Garage of Doom.

Boffinmum - sounds like a lot of hard work! - would a costume museum be interested in some of the older clothes?

So far I've managed to declutter some old sprouting carrots from the fridge drawer grin - does that count? ( Fridge-freezer due back from repairers this afternoon) plus got rid of recycling from the flat (and notified council about unemptied recycling bins (again) )! Need to do more really but work is calling! Ug - what I really want to do is go outside and sit in the sunshine!

Ah well - having decided to get a bit more structured about things (like work, what time I go to bed, get up etc) I best get on!

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 04-Jun-13 14:50:32

boffin I feel your pain - my MIL is exactly like this (in a 7 bedroom house with 3 living rooms but there's no room for us to stay) and refuses point blank to throw ANYTHING away, the house is literally crammed to the ceilings with crap of every variety, dusty, broken, junk. Old dog medicine hoarded in the kitchen cabinets. It drives me crazy, as she phones up to whine about it and expects my DH to fly home to help her "clear" it, except her version of clearing is to move everything around while telling long stories about each piece of shit she picks up.
The house is far too big for her, expensive to heat etc but can't be sold to buy her a nice place she could manage in because she refuses to clear her stuff out.

ArtemisatBrauron Tue 04-Jun-13 14:52:44

I realise I sound like a controlling ass in the lats post - I should say that she keeps asking my DH and his siblings to help her sell the house, and whinging that she hates it etc, but then when they all book time off work and go home to help her she obstructs them, refuses to throw things away and then gets pissed and retires to bed leaving them all hmm as to why they bothered

GoofyIsACow Tue 04-Jun-13 14:54:32

I would love to join the declutter please! We are moving in the next few months so i want to use the opportunity to wang everything loads!

Where should I start then!?

I am about to take a bag of baby clothes to the rag bin...

educatingarti Tue 04-Jun-13 15:12:46

Goofy welcome! I'm not too sure where you should start but other wiser individuals will be along shortly to advise I am sure!

Have you got a garage thet is dry and secure? <hopeful>
Why not start by de-cluttering that -then you might have some space to box up stuff you do want to keep ( but aren't going to use in next couple of months) and store it pending the move?

starfishmummy Tue 04-Jun-13 15:26:58

Hi Goofy - those baby clothes are a good start!

The ad ice I read on here somewhere (there's a moving tips thread) is to clear a place - be it a room or garage as arti says and then use it for storing stuff you have packed up.

starfishmummy Tue 04-Jun-13 15:33:57

That would be advice. blush

MrsPennyapple Tue 04-Jun-13 16:19:09

Hi Harriet, nice to see you're still with us smile

Boffin Agree that a museum might be interested in the clothes, and if not, maybe any local theatre companies / amateur dramatics groups? What a mammoth task, sorting through all that stuff, and I can understand not wanting to leave the same mess for your own kids.

On the flip side though, my mum and I cleared out my Grandad's room when he died. It took about an hour. All his worldly possessions fit into four boxes. I couldn't help thinking "Is this what 93 years amounts to?" All the things he did in his life, all his achievements, and there was just nothing to show for it. Admittedly, he had moved into a small flat after my Grandma died, and then into a residential home, so he had got rid of things gradually as he downsized, and some things went to family members who wanted them.

This is where I feel a bit conflicted about decluttering. I remember going through my grandma's things when she died, my cousins and aunts were there too, and everyone kept picking up things and talking about the memories they brought back. It was a nice experience, although sad, but I do feel it helped the grieviong process. It makes me think that the things I am decluttering are my "now", but they are my DD's past. At the moment it's ok as she's still only tiny and won't remember any of the junk that has been offloaded, but I can see that as she gets bigger, I might find it more difficult. I suppose I don't want her to get to age 20 or whatever and say "oh my mum chucked out all my toys, she thought they were junk." That said, my mum didn't keep any of my things, and I don't have any negative feelings about that, so maybe I'm talking nonsense.

In fact, I think I gave away loads of toys myself when I had grown out of them. As far as I know it was my own idea, but who knows, my mum may have planted the seed and just let me think it was my own idea!

Sorry for the long, rambling post. Wow, I'm a really crap declutterer, aren't I? I really never anticipated the feelings that would be brought up by this.

buildingmycorestrength Tue 04-Jun-13 18:52:04


harrietspy Tue 04-Jun-13 21:07:23

Thanks for the kind words!

3 bags of clothes ready to go on the drive for MacMillan collection tomorrow. 2 bags of books delivered to charity shop en route to school earlier. Room of Gloom is now 1 huge box clearer. smile

BoffinMum Tue 04-Jun-13 21:27:04


One thing I did do is to buy each of us an old fashioned tuck box and we are making them into lovely memory boxes with all our really special personal memory things in there.

I think if you're going to keep things, they they need to be looked after and treasured, rather than hoarded and not looked at.

BoffinMum Tue 04-Jun-13 21:28:04

BTW I did actually manage to find a lovely home for the costumes and so on, and a museum has expressed an interest in the older stuff. So that's positive.

GoofyIsACow Tue 04-Jun-13 23:14:18

Thanks all, yes our garage is dry and secure, so that's where i will start!

Tomorrow i will have 2 terrible two year old helpers so maybe not tomorrow, thursday is the day!

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