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Finally both DCs in school - please help me declutter my house on my days off!

(18 Posts)
MamOfTwo Fri 28-Aug-15 17:02:18

Right, soon DD2 will start school and that means I will two days a week (at work for the other three) to declutter my house and catch up on years of housework. Any tips or can you direct me to a helpful thread? I did try to read the Kondo book, but she lost me when she said you should lay your socks flat in the drawer rather than ball them up and thank them for their hard work that day... The whole task seems overwhelming. I just want to make our house a better living space for us all (budget is very limited though). Any advice appreciated!

TheAussieProject Sat 29-Aug-15 06:02:17

Marking my place. I need space but I am so attached to things so I need help too.

MamOfTwo Sun 30-Aug-15 11:30:07

Shameful bump to see if anyone has any help or can point us in right direction?!

Thebookswereherfriends Sun 30-Aug-15 11:35:59

You shouldn't dismiss Kondo so quickly. The socks thing is a bit weird, but they do fit better in a drawer if they are flat together rather than in balls. I ignore the odd thanking your clothes and stuff, but have used the ideas in the book. My house is not perfect, but it feels less cluttered and more peaceful since doing some kondoing.

SavoyCabbage Sun 30-Aug-15 11:37:20

Try not to relate how much you paid for things to whether you should throw,them away.

Have things for now. Rather than holding on for things for memories or keeping things that you might what in the future. It's no good having toys that your dc have grown out of if everywhere is too messy for them to play in now.

Don't keep things that might be a burden on other people. My friend has collected and is keeping a dinner service for her son (8) for when he gets married.

jeee Sun 30-Aug-15 11:38:23

I try to declutter every two or three years (four children and a large house... which should make things easier, but leaves more room for junk).

Most important point is, be realistic. Yes, of course you should sort things into charity shop, rags, ebay, and then land fill. But that's a massive job. If you've got time and energy to do this, fine. Otherwise just forget about it. We went through the dcs bedrooms this summer. Ds (who is 13 not 8, btw) kept muttering that he'd seen Toy Story and knows what happens to toys at land fill. But we managed to throw out 50 black sacks worth of junk outgrown toys. And the children all agree their rooms look better for it.

lunar1 Sun 30-Aug-15 11:46:22

I need to do the same, I'm determined that my house will be clutter free by Christmas!

yomellamoHelly Sun 30-Aug-15 12:04:35

I bought this when my youngest started school. []

Motivated me to go through the house room by room and it is a lot better than it was. I didn't do it in the order prescribed, but picked out the worst area and started with that (and so on).
But life goes on, so am about to revisit it come this September. Know it'll be a lot easier this time!

There is more to do as we slowly fix this place up though and it's helped give me a framework to think more logically about how I go about that. (What storage, shelves, boxes.... I need to plan in to what I do. What ought to live where.....)

Can see an overlap with the Kondo book approach too.

clearsommespace Sun 30-Aug-15 19:15:40

Address your spending habits so you aren't bringing in as much as you clear out.
I thought the sock thing was crazy too but they do take up less space. Plus in DH's case it was easy to see that he has more than enough.
You may not need to spend any money. You probably have all the storage you need. Some of ours wasn't the right kind after decluttering so I have sold it and bought alternatives via local selling sites.

NewLife4Me Sun 30-Aug-15 19:22:22

My problem is dds room, she's a right mess but lso because her room is big we store quite a lot of stuff in her room.
Have recently bought vac bags to store the duvets in smaller space but even these haven't worked and are all faulty. sad
I've been trying to do this one room all summer but it was pointless.
So when sh goes to school next week I'll tackle it full on.

elQuintoConyo Sun 30-Aug-15 19:47:37

I haven't read the Kondo book, but have read all the threads - surely better wink

I can't wean myself off balling up my socks! However, for over 13 years now, I've had three open shoeboxes in my top drawer: bras-pants-socks, and they take up no room whatsoever. I'm sure I could buy nicer drawer dividers from, say, Ikea, but shoeboxes are fine still in their original paper covers I glued on

Every now and then I'll fill a box with DS' toys, have a cuppa and just sort through that one box at the dining table. Another day I'll do one drawer, another day I'll do one shelf, eg tupperware.

Don't bite off more than you can chew, but do it bit by bit and be ruthless: favourite cup chipped? It's just a cup, chuck it! Umpteenth crafty thing DCs have made? Photograph them before chucking, or ask the DC themselves if they'd like to keep it.

DS is only 3, but we have bought a clipboard (like tv people would carry around the halls of the Beeb to loom important!) and it hangs on his wall. When he does a lovelylpicture, we clip it up. When the next one comes home from nursery, the old one goes in the bin, thehnew one clips up. So, his artwork is displayed and he is very proud, but iit doesn't take up much space. We have kept a few Picassos pics we particularly like, but we aren't drowning under stuff.

Little, but often. And be ruthless.

Stuff ypu aren't sure about, put in a box. If you haven't touched that box in6 months, get rid (obvcharity shop some).

Oh, and I've been able to give a lot away to friends - cow stuff to a cow collector, an extra coffee cup set to a friend now living alone, silly picture of owls to owl-mad niece, etc.

Have a cup of tea and empty the spice cupboard - then have a lie down grin

MisForMumNotMaid Sun 30-Aug-15 20:00:03

My advice is when out of the house think what you'd take if you had to temporarily relocate your family for two weeks/ a month and keep going to school/ work/ evenings out etc.

Think kitchen stuff, towels and bathroom basics, toys, clothes, shoes, coats. Also think photos, pictures, ornaments and special bits that feel like home.

Write a bit of a mental list for each category of stuff.

Now at home sit in your lounge and look around yourself. What didn't make the list? Which things are surplus to your immediate needs and comfort, what purpose are they serving? Likewise your other spaces.

In the kitchen have you got pans that you only use at Christmas or even every third Christmas? Could they go labeled in the loft/ a shed/ get charity shopped and then buy/ borrow when you need one.

We've been lucky and had a couple of self catering holidays this year. Living out of a bag, most recently five of us in a wet Wales caravan, makes you think about what you actually need. The children, aged 4, 9 and 11, need a few toys (are six drawers of lego really more fun than one?) and books but do they need a bookshelf/ case each or just a handful that you naturally replace every six months or so anyway with gifts at Christmas and birthdays?

We downsized from a house of 2500sqft to one under 1000sqft. It was a challenge esecially as we previously also had four sheds and a double garage. I had to think hard about what was played with and storage.

For DD, my youngest, we went through all the Peppa pig and playmobile sets and kept the stuff which would comfortably store in ikea Expedit storage drawers. Having a home for everything helps keep things tidy. Likewise with lego, the elder two have a lego shelf each of assembled models and hooks in their bedroom ceilings with fishing line supporting hanging models. We then have a large carefully selected box of lego bits for creative play. Its maybe 1/5 of what we had before but played with much more because they can zip down the box sides sitting at the table and all play. Before we had miscelaneous boxes, bags, a drawstring play bag, and the zip down box. It ended up everywhere when they got it out.

We have a messy play cupboard with a few nice paints, a paint pot and brushes, a box of stickers, foam, shiny things, balls etc for collages, a couple of tubs of playdough and cutters, a box of scissors, glue and tape, cut up dot to dot and colouring in sheets. Small tray boxes or crayons, pencils, pens etc. It also has a big oilcloth for throwing over the table.

I live in a cheaper area of the country but to upsize we'd be talking £60k for an extra room. That helps focus the mind when donating on unused stuff. The odd replacement if you do ever realise you needed it costs far less than buying extra storage space for your growing clutter.

Don't stress about it, just make a start. One drawer/ cupboard/ space at a time.

MamOfTwo Sun 30-Aug-15 22:23:09

Lots of great advice here, thank you all for taking the time to respond. I do agree with the main message of Ms Kondo which is, I think, only keep things that bring you joy so I haven't dismissed her completely. Yes, taking it one area at a time is key, I think. I guess some weeks I will achieve more than others. Feel quite excited. Just need to get going! And ban myself from Mumsnet on my days off!

ohhelpohnoitsa Sun 30-Aug-15 22:58:53

I am in a similar place though still have 1 dc wuth me 2 days a week. I bought in to kondo this time last year and made such great progress until I went on holiday in October and by the time we got back it seemed as though christmas was imminent. Looking back I dont know how I found time to do what I did . It didnt get finished and if course doesnt stay perfectly kondoed with 5 of us living here. I will join you if I may.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Mon 31-Aug-15 00:39:52

I always lay my socks flat. Rolled over at the top of course to keep them together. confused

I seriously need to declutter. We have two whole rooms that we hardly use because they're just somewhere to store stuff. Dh won't let me put any more stuff in the attic because it's not all boarded out properly. He said last year he had a mate who could do it. That's as far as it got.

We also have a half dug over front garden, a peeling chimney, a house that desperately needs painting and we also need to replace some windows. The whole house needs help. Sigh.

ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 31-Aug-15 20:45:19

missadorabelle your post REALLY sounds like the opening credits of a housey programme on ch4 / sky hiusey channels. Why havent an6 if the producers cottoned on to the Kondo thing yet? SURELY there's at least a series worth if programmes. I would be glued to it. If there are any tv producers on here, missadorabelle has a shiw for fact I am going to start a new thread........

elQuintoConyo Mon 31-Aug-15 20:55:37

If you have plans to do some decluttering, a free afternoon or couple of hours, and something comes up meaning you lose that time - don't be too hard on yourself flowers

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Mon 31-Aug-15 23:22:32

Oh my god ohhelpohnoitsa yes please if they come and give me a house makeover. I can supply them with tea and coffee and lots of cake? <hopeful>

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