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Decluttering -please talk me down.

(16 Posts)
KillmeNow Sun 17-Aug-14 14:47:22

Im quite good at getting rid of the big stuff -furniture etc. Toys and clothes are a bit harder but can be done if i leave them long enough. But what is tripping me up ,each and every time I try to have a good clear out, is the small stuff.

Ive just cleaned the kitchen cupboards and although everything is nice and clean it has mostly gone back. I have eleventy million little bottles of specialist cleaner for fats or felt pen for instance. I have all manner of cleaners for all sorts of applications, I have loads of sauces in packets,sachets and jars.I have too many saucepans and cookware and I cant close the doors properly on most of the cupboards .

But it is all useful . I havent used any of them for a long time

How can I bite the bullet and get rid without a load of anxiety about my dwindling stocks ? Has anyone a way of talking themselves into letting go?

Is there perhaps a site that suggests a minimum/maximum amount of stuff you need?

soupmaker Sun 17-Aug-14 16:10:54

If you've not used it in over a year it goes out. If you've used it in the last 12 month but not the last 6, it goes in the loft.

tassisssss Sun 17-Aug-14 16:18:30

I sometimes put things I can't quite get rid of into a box in the loft and if it's still there in 1 year we can chuck it.

You only need about 5 cleaning products though, ditch the ones you never use. What's the worst that can happen - you'll have to re-buy one?!

KillmeNow Sun 17-Aug-14 16:23:38

Hmmm. You see thats what i would say to anyone else asking me the question. But -what about things that are only needed on a rare basis? I seem to have lots of those. Like bun tins .I am not a baker but every so often I decide to do a batch of cakes .I cant do that without a bun tin which i might well not have used for a year or more. This is of course only an example. I have lots of things that will definitely come in useful.They are not worn out ,past their sell by date or damaged so cant be put in the bin. They are not really useful to someone else as they are .I mean where would you go to buy a part used bottle of fat remover?

You see?

And its not just the kitchen.That was just todays conundrum.

I have similar cupboards ,drawers and boxes of stuff all over the house. It all looks tidy but my God -the mess behind the doors.

Has anyone just emptied the whole shebang into the bin and lived to tell the tale? Tell me how you did it. Pretty please grin

tassisssss Sun 17-Aug-14 16:33:52

What the heck's fat remover and how come I've managed all my life without one??!!

(says the girl with about 4 flan dishes who hasn't made a quiche or similar for about 12 years!!)

GobblersKnob Sun 17-Aug-14 16:41:37

Ha, I have been doing the kitchen today too, and I am exactly the same. I wish there were rules, or someone to tell me what to throw and what to keep.

I think being surrounded by stuff makes me feel safe. The only thing that spurs me on is that my Mum is a hoarder on a frightening level and I couldn't bear to end up like that sad

morethanpotatoprints Sun 17-Aug-14 16:41:58

Kitchen stuff is easy, its the other stuff I find hard.

Use some of your fantastic cleaners to clean your pans. Take all you don't use to the charity shop where somebody will be pleased with them.
If you haven't used it in a year throw it away or take to charity shop.
Be just as meticulous as you are with other rooms.
My problem is always stuff that I'm not sure about or want to keep and have nowhere in its relevant room to store it grin

Put all your little packets in a plastic box, then you can store it anywhere and keep them together.

strawberryshoes Sun 17-Aug-14 16:43:14

There is a fine line with decluttering. Bun tins keep, the great British bake off is on so you will be inspired! The ten million different sized ramekins, ceramic baking dishes and other unused but potentially useful (if we ever have 4.5 people over who want paella, that would be perfect) things, bin.

Also, learn to stack well!

Cleaning crap, bin it, I did and have not looked back.

Check use by dates on tins, packets and jars, and then do not allow yourself to buy ANYthing other than fresh produce until your cupboards are more reasonable.

Or, let your husband / sister / mother at it and see what they leave you with

KillmeNow Sun 17-Aug-14 17:23:48

Or, let your husband / sister / mother at it and see what they leave you with

This made me laugh. I darent let them near the place or I really would have nothing left.

My husbands ideal place would be a narrowboat with only the bare minimum of everything in it . Possibly cup,plate etc one per person and no loft or cellar/shed to store things. What do people who live on boats or in Caravans DO with their stuff?

But . I wonder if you have a bit of an idea there. Would it be possible to put myself in the position of defending certain items and HAVE to throw them if I cant remember using them or when I would use them and not one of the other several thats lurking about the place.

Right - I will go back to the kitchen and chuck away everything that I havent used for some time. Thats the first step anyway.Wish me luck -Im going in .confused

Mosling Tue 19-Aug-14 19:00:50

You wouldn't believe what you can get rid of on Freegle. Put the half used things into a box and list it on Freegle. People will bite yr hand off to come to yr house and collect smile

ICantFindAFreeNickName Tue 19-Aug-14 22:13:30

Do you have room to box up most of the kitchen stuff and store it somewhere quite accessible. Only get out and put away stuff in the kitchen that you have used, then after a few months you can see how much you need of most items. That should help you get rid of all the excess stuff like too many mugs etc. More importantly you will have got used to having a uncluttered kitchen, which should help you let go of the other stuff that is used less frequently.
The other thing I sometimes do, is pretend I'm moving and think would I want to pay removal men to pack, move and unpack all the stuff.

BranchingOut Tue 19-Aug-14 22:16:43

I don't know if this helps, but I did meet a fellow teacher who sold her house, got rid of almost all her stuff and went to live on a narrowboat on the Thames.

She said it was very liberating, but it did involve a huge declutter first!

Bluebell79 Wed 20-Aug-14 09:42:55

When we were moving house and unsure of dates I packed up most of the kitchen, clothes, toiletries, just left a few outfits, enough plates, bowls, cutlery so everyone had one set, a couple of baking trays and Saucepans, we managed fine for 3 weeks, found it much easier having less things. When we unpacked I got rid of a lot more. I realised we didn't need so many towels and bedding sets either. It's been 2 years since we moved am continuously decluttering and have charity shop bag on the go all the time. Really need to do toy decluttering again but that's easier once Kids back in school. Surely all the cleaning things you need are kitchen, bathroom sprays, window cleaner, polish and bleach?

minkah Sat 23-Aug-14 16:46:00

The issue is doing too much shopping. Buying things of peripheral import.

Pull it out at the root and consider a possible neurotic shopping habit.

We all have them. Try to recognise the moment of impulse where you are about to buy something peripheral to your daily needs...and STOP.

Start seeing space as liberating, more than seeing accumulation as safety.

YoungBritishPissArtist Sat 23-Aug-14 23:44:51

If you've got unopened, still in date, food stuff and you know you're probably not going to use it, can you take it to a food bank?

How to let it go - know that it'll be passed on to people in need and you can, presumably, buy more as and when you need it. You'll be able to close your cupboard doors as well grin

PeoniesforMissAnnersley Sun 24-Aug-14 07:21:37

I second the food bank idea. They'd jump at the chance for packets, jars and tins as long as they're in date.

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