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Decluttering once you have tipped over into being a hoarder

(82 Posts)
2boysnamedR Sat 18-Jul-15 19:20:44

I have always been untidy. Dad was a child in wartime so he washed and kept bread bags etc. waste not want not and all that.

I have four kids. Two with special needs. I have taken a career break from a corporate job to easy my toddler into a sen nursery.

I am moving the kids rooms around so my eldest has his own room for starting secondary.

It's killing me. People saying "just throw it out". If I hear the " if it's not beautiful, sentimental or useful, throw it out" I'm going to scream. Everything is sentimental.

Worried I'm going end up on hoarding buried alive one day.

I don't keep empty food containers or poo on the floor - but they started somewhere? I watch them and want to round and shake some sense into these people yet I still have baby clothes from my 11 year old. Some days I don't care, some days I despair at myself.

cozietoesie Sat 18-Jul-15 19:23:04

How cluttered is the house? (You mentioned baby clothes from one child but is there a lot more?}

RandomMess Sat 18-Jul-15 19:26:13

How about buying a memory crate (we have a small box but start somewhere easier?) for each child. you can only keep enough stuff to go in that crate...

Works for me and the dc!

mistlethrush Sat 18-Jul-15 19:27:32

2 boys - I had quite a bit of DS's baby clothes (I had wanted a 2nd child but that wasn't to be, then it was just 'difficult' to get rid of it.

The only way I managed to do it was to find a friend who was expecting and needed lots of things and was happy to have pre-loved clothes and equipment, and ask her to come and get some and simply load her up with bags and boxes.

I'm sure I could have sold stuff - but that would have made it more difficult to cope with and would have taken too much time, so this was definitely the best option for us.

HelloNewman Sat 18-Jul-15 19:36:56

I don't have any useful advise as I am the complete opposite of a hoarder.

But I do have a hoarding mil and I see how miserable it makes her and how she logs to break the habit.

frenchsticksatdawn Sat 18-Jul-15 19:49:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2boysnamedR Sat 18-Jul-15 20:11:49

Yes I have all of my first boy (11) clothes but as soon as my youngest (3) is done with it, it goes to a friend with a younger boy or to a nct sale. So from 3-11 all the clothes are kept.

I giving away stuff for free on local FB pages this week. Some has gone into the bin. About 150 things thrown out but it's so painful. Plus even if throw out 500 things you'd never know. The house isn't like you walk over things. You could quite happily break dance in my living room floor, but it's piled up on the sides.

My dream is to get a digger and just throw it away, but I know I'd regret it afterwards ( well it hurt to start with)

RandomMess Sat 18-Jul-15 20:21:53

Perhaps focus on one corner, just clearing that so you can visibly see what you've achieved?

unaddfwyn Sat 18-Jul-15 20:28:17

Why don't you have a clear-out and put the stuff into a storage unit for a few months? Then if you find you have never missed the stuff or have forgotten what's in there, you can just chuck it away.

BertieBotts Sat 18-Jul-15 20:30:00

Marie Kondo's book has been helpful to me. There is a lot of sorting through to see if you want it or not but it actually tells you to say thank you and goodbye to the items you don't want and acknowledge their role in your life. Sounds a bit bonkers but it does seem to make it easier to let stuff go.

However - second point may be good or bad depending on situation. It's done by category rather than by room or area. This is good because it means once it's done it really seems to stay done. But it does require that you have enough space to be able to move things around and get to everything even if you can't get to things immediately - but if they are so hoarded that you genuinely can't get to things at all, it's difficult to do this. Sounds like your house isn't that bad, though. Worth a look? smile

2boysnamedR Sat 18-Jul-15 20:40:20

I cleared the table, but a few days later it was full up, ditto the lean too and boys bedroom. I think I tend to move things around. The kids also like to make things messy.

My sister and friend ( who is very minimalist ) offered to come round for a day. I dread even thinking about that but maybe it could work well.

I cope better with targets like " throw out 200 things" than clear this room. But clearing areas also works well ( when I don't simply move things to another area).

I keep thinking all my friends are minimalist, but in reality they just have normal homes.

I did think of storage. I think that would be good as well as you would take tat over, pay to keep it then bring it home. Plus storage isn't cheep so that's a added insentive

RandomMess Sat 18-Jul-15 20:46:18

Try the boxes idea:
Keep
Charity
Chuck

You have to put one item in each box at a time. Have a limited number of boxes a third has to go into each.

Once you done it all then go through the keep stuff again and half it.

Is it really wroth keeping all the boys age 3-11 stuff or just go through and half it now? I used to just keep the stuff I liked the most and would fit the youngest the best. Certainly as they get older what is in "fashion" becomes more of an issue.

cozietoesie Sat 18-Jul-15 20:53:29

I've lived with hoarders by the way so I know your problems - and your concern that you might have an issue is half of them overtaken I think. Many people won't even start with that level of awareness.

In my own experience, much is to do with how satisfied people are with the richness or otherwise of their lives. (I'm not talking about money here but about being stimulated, fulfilled, having your individual needs met - all those good sort of things.) If their lives are impoverished in some way(s), they can rely on extra 'stuff' to provide colour and meet needs.

What is your own life like?

On the specifics - a few points to start. Do you have any items which are damaged eg chipped or with stains on? What are your kitchen cupboards and management like with regard to tinned etc food? And how is the stuff coming into the house - eg by being bought, given to you by friends or relatives, picked up from free places etc etc?

(Sorry for the number of questions.)

madwomanbackintheattic Sat 18-Jul-15 20:54:52

Dd1 is 15 and I still keep all her stuff for dd2 - are there really people who can afford to throw out or charity box kids' clothes when there are other kids following on who can wear them?

I second kondo for adult and household stuff though.

cozietoesie Sat 18-Jul-15 20:55:30

x posts.

No - no storage! That avoids the basic problem and can even exacerbate acquiring tendencies.

cozietoesie Sat 18-Jul-15 20:56:56

Yours is a very different situation from the sound of it, madwoman.

RandomMess Sat 18-Jul-15 21:02:15

madwoman my dcs only ever had 2nd hand stuff but I found they had far more than they needed (4 dc means lots of washing) so I reduced their wardrobes and was ruthless in what I kept otherwise the youngest ended up with lots!!!!

Stuff that was tatty got sold/donated to charity.

Seriously at our local car boots most clothes were 50p or £1. I found keeping lots of stuff made me overwhelmed etc. It has taken me over a decade to realise that my mental health is worth not keeping stuff etc.

FellOffMyUnicorn Sat 18-Jul-15 21:08:36

there's a song by Passenger called Holes and the first verse is

know a man with nothing in his hands, nothing but a rolling stone
He told me about when his house burnt down, and he lost everything he owned
He lay asleep for six whole weeks, they were gonna ask his mother to choose
When he woke up with nothing he said I'll tell you something
When you've got nothing, you've got nothing to lose

I sometimes wish my house would burn down and then i would not have to clear or make decisions about what to through out

2boysnamedR Sat 18-Jul-15 21:09:20

Things is the eldest had far too much clothes. I then buy them all a fair few new things ( which I'm trying to cut down). The littlest one is a girl so she's got a tonne of her own things. I just gave everything she had in one size away. I need to be stricter with what I keep. I have lots of summer things that are too small but I just tell myself that charity will not want it this late in the year so I can tackle it next May ( or never!)

puddingisgood Sat 18-Jul-15 21:10:32

I'm not quite into the realms of hoarding yet, but I definitely have far too much stuff. And it is a problem. I wish I could have some input from a counsellor to help me work through why I do it. Maybe then I could get on with letting stuff go.
As it is, I plod on trying to whittle it down bit by bit. It will probably take more time than I realistically have, ever. But for now it's the only way I can face it. The whole Kondo thing is not inspiring me either.

BertieBotts Sat 18-Jul-15 21:12:49

No, don't do storage. That just takes the problem out of sight, out of mind AND it costs you money to boot.

But it might be a useful motivator. "Would I pay to keep this item out of my house?" Well why not throw it out, for free grin

Clothes for a child for one year new cost around £200 by my estimates. (Minimal amount of clothes and not going overboard with spending) But pepper that with hand me downs from other parents, a few bits you kept because you loved them (not taking up too much room!), second hand bits for 50p-£2 each, promotional t-shirts, presents, buying things on offer in advance, and it goes way down.

RandomMess Sat 18-Jul-15 21:13:31

Okay it's too small. It doesn't matter what the charity shop does with it. They may sell it by the kilo and the clothes sent abroad.

Eldest had far too many clothes. Go through each box of stuff of his and donate half now (minimum)

These are easy hits to do. Even if you keep your favourite outfit in each age group and put it in their memory crate think how much "stuff" will have been removed from your house.

Ideally you need some childcare and a helper to stop you procrastinating and set aside 8 hours straight to tackle some of it much will be accomplished.

BertieBotts Sat 18-Jul-15 21:14:39

Summer things are fine now. It's still summer smile Don't hold onto them until May because you're worried about how the charity will deal with them - the whole point about donating is that somebody else worries about that, not you.

2boysnamedR Sat 18-Jul-15 21:18:54

I have thought about CBT as I know that it's just stuff, it's my urge to aquire. Nearly everything is second hand, nothing was full price anyway. I am given things ( but close people wouldn't let me have more stuff). I can't say no. I'm on eBay for clothes, I browse the sale rails ( feel like a freak writing that).

My life is ok really. I have a good if not for filling job to go back to one day. The kind of job I dreamed and did a post grad to get ( but I don't find it for filling any more. I make stakeholders rich). I haven't had a pay rise in ten years but the company is a household name.

It's the kids with sen that's the problem. I can't control what happens to them. I fight for them all the time and they have a better life for it, but realistically it's very hard all round. I can control my stuff. It's a caous that reflects my mind. Messy house, messy mind

2boysnamedR Sat 18-Jul-15 21:22:00

I bought my dd not one but ten dresses for her birthday. How bonkers is that??

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