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Need help with cleaning and decluttering...

(321 Posts)
withaspongeandarustyspanner Wed 17-Feb-16 09:53:07

DH is unhappy in our relationship and wants to leaveand has cited my housekeeping/lack of ability to get rid of stuff as a factor. I'm overwhelmed. Don't know where to start.

Any tips?

SoftKittyWarmKitty Wed 17-Feb-16 10:12:31

My first instinct is to say that this isn't a housekeeping issue, it's a relationship issue. If he's so unhappy with your house, why doesn't he do some tidying and cleaning?

However you say you have an inability to get rid of stuff. Can you explain a bit more, please? Without knowing the details, it's hard to help. Is your house just a bit untidy or is there floor to ceiling clutter and hoarding?

withaspongeandarustyspanner Wed 17-Feb-16 10:18:15

A bit untidy with clusters and piles of stuff and clothes. Not floor to ceiling. But I feel overwhelmed. I have a post in relationships too but not about decluttering!

emsyj Wed 17-Feb-16 10:20:06

Marie Kondo - lots of threads on Kondo-ing/the Konmari Method on here.

I actually disagree that he should sort it out if he is unhappy. Living with someone who is messy and a hoarder is exhausting. My DH is terrible for not tidying up or throwing anything away and the state of my house is overwhelming. I am at crisis point now. Fundamental disagreement about housekeeping is just as serious as disagreement about money and budgeting IMO. The state of your home environment has a huge impact on your state of mind. I think also people tend to assume that the woman in a straight relationship is usually the cleaner/tidier person and the man isnt bothered - but actually my experience is that tidiness/messiness is fairly evenly distributed between the sexes.

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 17-Feb-16 10:20:07

Does your husband pitch in or does he work while you stay home? Do you have hoarding tendencies or just generally untidy. Mess from a partner is a very valid reason to end a relationship if one party is making all the mess and not clearing up after themselves.
The very beginning is the place to start - bin bags, get rid of any obvious rubbish, start with the bathroom. all empty shampoo bottles, old flannels, empty toothpaste tubes, bin.

go through the house and bin anything that is rubbish before you think of anything else. including old food from the fridge.

Can you afford to pay someone to do a deep clean? as your starting point.

emsyj Wed 17-Feb-16 10:22:04

I feel overwhelmed too sponge - it's a horrible feeling. Love the name by the way - that tune is going round in my head now! grin

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 17-Feb-16 10:22:59

Ah, clothes, bin bags again, anything holey, bobbled, torn bin it. anything you haven't worn a while - charity shop. Yes it is overwhelming but once you start it will become addictive. Yes to the Kondo and decluttering threads. The only way to start is to start, even if you begin with your make-up bag and bin anything old and messy.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Wed 17-Feb-16 10:23:25

DH is great and he's tried so hard it it's really got to him. I tend to hoard but not until they reach ceiling heights. I can't bear to throw things away. My kids are the same (they've copied my example) it is driving him mad and is apart. It may be too late to fix our marriage but I have to start somewhere.

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 17-Feb-16 10:24:52

I am here most of the day, do you want to go fill the first bag and check backin, maybe in an hour? I am happy to cheer you on or kick your bum!

emsyj Wed 17-Feb-16 10:35:36

Seriously, Marie Kondo 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying' is what you need. If you feel unable to get rid of things, this book will help you to give yourself permission to let them go.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Wed 17-Feb-16 11:12:43

I am here with my mum and some bin bags! I will fill a bag and check in. Thank you. I am sentimental and hang on to the silliest things.

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 17-Feb-16 11:16:59

Ok, Go you!!

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 17-Feb-16 12:08:02

How's it going OP? Are you getting in 'the zone'? I am off myself to fill another bag and run it up to the charity shop, I am expecting positive results from you!

withaspongeandarustyspanner Wed 17-Feb-16 12:14:34

2 bin bags so far!

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 17-Feb-16 12:16:15

Excellent result, keep going, it will get easier as the day goes on. Come on, chop chop, out it goes!

MartinRohdesBellybuttonFluff Wed 17-Feb-16 12:17:36

Well done! Keep going, you will feel much better afterwards.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Wed 17-Feb-16 12:22:19

5 double duvet sets, 17 bottom sheets, 5 single duvet sets. Blankets and baby stuff (my baby is 5!)

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 17-Feb-16 12:24:11

Crikey, no one needs that amount, one on the bed, one in the cupboard is ample. You will feel so much lighter when you have broken the back of this. Keep on keeping on!

NancyDroop Wed 17-Feb-16 12:30:17

For sentimental things I find they become more precious and lovely if you keep 1 prime example of the category, not a huge pile.

For example I have thrown out most of my old school notebooks, leaving 1-2 that are particularly sweet or funny.

Same with DC artwork and... everything really.

If you have less of these things, better organised, you are much more likely to look at them and get joy from them.

Too much of this stuff and it a huge burden.

Good luck flowers

ijustwannadance Wed 17-Feb-16 12:36:24

Let him leave.
Untidyness/clutter/hoarding etc are often to do with a persons state of mind.
Would you be happier without him? Seems like he is making an excuse to leave and if not the house would find something else.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Wed 17-Feb-16 13:07:04

I definitely wouldn't be happier without him.

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 17-Feb-16 13:12:47

Hi Op, I have just taken my nex tbag up to the charity shop - how are you doing?

ijustwannadance Wed 17-Feb-16 13:18:41

Something is going on that is causing you to hoard/be untidy. Have you always been this way? Do you suffer from depression?
Perhaps counselling may help too.

withaspongeandarustyspanner Wed 17-Feb-16 13:21:08

3 bags. And a bag of clothes. About to go to charity shop.

I think I have been depressed, yes. But it is also learnt behaviour (from a long line of depressives).

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 17-Feb-16 13:23:54

Excellent progress! Really, well done, I will stick with talking about the practicalities of your clutter busting here, I think you said you have a thread in relationships so I won't muddle the two here. You have had a very good morning, keep on.

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