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Ruthless, hard hearted, take no prisoners decluttering! Has anyone done it?

(58 Posts)
Fontella Tue 10-May-16 20:11:58

Long and ranty - apologies in advance!!

Every year, I get rid of a load of junk, several tip runs etc. I also do car boots quite often, aand donate to charity shops and I'm always getting rid of stuff, or at least I think I am. If you came into my house you would think it neat and tidy and uncluttered because that's how it looks.

However, I'm thinking of redecorating the whole house this year, starting with my bedroom, so I was sitting here on my bed, looking around thinking of colours and where I could move furniture etc, and I noticed my bedside cabinet could do with a paint job, so I absent-mindedly leaned over and started to have a poke around in it. confused

I then moved onto a jewellery box, and one drawer of my dressing table and now, in just a few minutes ... I've got a mountain of useless shit on the floor to throw out.

Bedside cabinet produced a moth eaten puppy dog soft toy bought for me by my first boyfriend decades ago which I've carted around for years (no idea why, sentimental value I suppose). A large hard back Collins English Dictionary with torn cover with 'to Fontella with love' written on the flap, bought for me
pre-internet by another boyfriend. A load of paperbacks and other books that I will never read, even some newspaper cuttings that I am completely bemused as to why I cut out in the first place and reading them now, gives no clue?! The jewellery box wielded up (some broken) earrings, beads and bangles, old watches and all sorts, some of them nice admittedly, but things I haven't worn in years and am never likely to. The drawer has produced several make up bags (some used some not) a couple of purses, plus soaps. lotions and potions going back years, that I will never use either.

How do we accumulate all this stuff? Why do we hang onto it for so long? Just because it's hidden from view in drawers and cupboards it's still useless clutter that we don't need and now I've started, I just want to get rid of the whole fucking lot!!

Just sitting here thinking about it, I feel hemmed in, surrounded by it - and it's the most horrible feeling. Even the airing cupboard is full of (neatly folded admittedly) piles of duvet covers and pillow cases and blankets and throws and dozens of towels, lots of which I've had for years and probably use about 10% of. It all looks very organised and tidy when you open the door, but the fact is, the same bedding gets washed and re-used while 9/10ths of the pile sits there untouched. Likewise the towels.

So why have I got enough bedding and towels for an army dormitory? Why? Why do I keep all this shit? I've got drawers and book cases and CD racks, and bathroom cabinets and cupboards in various rooms that I know are full of more things I never use, plus stuff in the loft that never sees the light of day from one year to the next.

I can see now that my previous decluttering has always been cosmetic, just skimming the surface, and that hidden away in my 'neat and tidy' house/life, is a whole load of crap that does nothing other than fill space. I want to order a skip and just hurl the whole lot in.

I want to get rid of it all, even the 'sentimental' stuff. It's just all shit, that when I die (as we all must some day) my kids are going to have to go through it all. I used to volunteer in a charity shop and people were always coming in with bin bags and boxes of stuff when a parent or relative had passed away - whole CD collections, pots, pans, ornaments, clothes - the whole paraphernalia of someone's life.

I want it all gone, the whole bloody lot of it, and in its place - just empty space and neatness and knowing my dressing table and airing cupboard and bathroom cabinet only have things in them I actually use, not a whole load of other shit that just lurks there doing nothing. I don't know what has brought this on, or why I feel like it, but I want to do it, so bad.

Has anyone else felt like this and if so, did you do it - a really, ruthless clear out of even sentimental and nostalgic items that you've kept for years?

ElBandito Tue 10-May-16 22:10:25

You need to Kondo. There is a thread somewhere in this topic where lots of mners Kondo together.

RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 10-May-16 22:14:46

I'm getting there, but I do live with others who are more on the hoarding end of the spectrum (DH and DD I'm looking at you!)

Yesterday I got rid of a whole pile of blankets that I was keeping 'in case', that haven't been out of the chest they were in for well over a year.

LizzieMacQueen Tue 10-May-16 22:19:12

Take photos of the sentimental stuff and then throw it all away.

I don't practise that myself much though I used to photo the kids' artwork because I couldn't keep the mountains of stuff they made.

storybrooke Wed 11-May-16 06:39:58

Kondo would be great with your mindset. It breaks everything down into categories and the focus is what to keep. If it doesn't bring you joy, it goes, simples.

poocatcherchampion Wed 11-May-16 06:43:52

Read kondo and get happy. I am 100% with you and I've done it.

There are no drawers in my bedside table. Just my kindle and a light on it. smile

Fontella Wed 11-May-16 08:54:55

Thanks all. Never heard of 'kondo' but I'm going to go and research it now.

The hemmed in feeling has subsided a bit this morning, but I've decided, that until I'm in a position to do a major clear out I am going to throw away 10 things a day in the meantime. They may only be little things - a broken pen, an old lipstick, some of the crap in my desk drawer that I never use (I work from home) but at least it's a start. LIttle by little, bit by bit, I am going to start getting rid.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 11-May-16 09:01:36

I do this regularly and I am ruthless. I cannot be bothered to do car boot sales nor do I have the patience to sell on EBay.

Simply get a bin liner then open the nearest cupboard to you then start filling that bin liner. Don't stop until you have filled it up and then just keep on going.

Be ruthless, you only need two sets of bedding, one to use and one to change over.

Kids clothes - take up a bag and open their drawers, start filling does it still fit? Nope, chuck it then, have you always hated that top from granny so avoid DC wearing it, just bin it and so on...........

The feeling is great. I try to bin stuff in a regular basis too.

Another tip is if you but something new chuck something out

Happy cleansing!!!

frenchfancy Wed 11-May-16 10:17:25

Kondo refers to Marie Kondo the author of the book The life changing magic of tidying . The premise is that you keep in your house only the things that bring you joy. Read the book - it is kooky and I was sceptical, but it really is life changing.

Cakescakescakes Wed 11-May-16 10:22:05

I am totally ruthless too. I just got to the point where I couldn't cope with 'stuff' - and our house looks superficially neat and tidy too. I now do it on an ongoing basis. Each week I take an area of the house eg this week is DS2's clothes, next week might be the kids craft cupboard, week after that might be the garden shed. I'm a big believer in the William Morris philosophy that you should have nothing in your home that isn't useful or beautiful. I bin rubbish, charity shop anything that someone else could use, and I eBay or gumtree high value things. Once you get on top of it once over a number of months then it's easy to maintain. And I feel so relaxed knowing j don't have loads of 'stuff' everywhere that we don't use.

Sonnet Wed 11-May-16 10:30:11

Read the Life Changing magic of Tidying - it will change your life, promise.

I was a little like you - de-cluttered regularly, had a very tidy house on the surface and very tidy cupboards and drawers that were used regularly but oh my, open up drawers and cupboards not in daily uses and they were jammed to the rafters. I had 5 child free days all to my self and I "Kondoed" ruthlessly.

Someone mentioned thei bedside table. Mine has two drawers in it. The top has my bedside lamp only on it. The top drawer contains my kindle and my night cream my face. The bottom drawer is empty! - I love it smile

Riddo Wed 11-May-16 10:34:04

You have inspired me, I'm going to declutter my bedside cabinet right now. smile

friggingnora Wed 11-May-16 10:43:36

Marie Kondo! Perfect for the type of clear out you want to do.

CiderwithBuda Wed 11-May-16 10:55:49

My bedroom doesn't even look tidy. It's cluttered and messy. I start and then stop again and again. My bedside drawers are full of crap. My wardrobe is full of stuff I don't wear. I started Kondoing but stopped. Need to get going again.

Was planning on getting going again this week. Am about to change all the duvets to summer ones so will do airing cupboard while I am at it. It's currently over stuffed with far too many sets of bedding and extra duvets and blankets and towels.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Wed 11-May-16 11:24:33

I can be ruthkess and hard-hearted (and have been in the past), but DH still hasn't forgiven me for chucking Buzz (original and solver versions) and Woody about a decade ago.
I once got rid of a whole floor-to-ceiling bookcase of paperbacks, but now we have another F-to-c case and ot's stuffed full of mostly shite. DH is planning on extending it hmm.
We also still possess a collection of cds, dvds, ds games, wii games, and disused littke kids' xbox games. These all 'cost a lot of money' so they have to stay.
Maybe I should set an wxample and start with my own groaning bedside table and the spare room cupboards full of unused art equipment.

Trickymoments Wed 11-May-16 13:43:33

Fontella I could have written this thread, it is exactly how I feel. I live in constant mess & clutter despite constantly trying to tidy up! As soon as I've sorted one thing the dc's or dh come along and drop something else on the floor or leave another cup, wrapper lying about.
I find it relentless and on top of working as well I feel like I'm just on a hamster wheel!! I can never ever catch up, I am surrounded by crap!!

I have bought the Kondo book & started applying it. I have chucked alot of my clothes out but there are still piles & piles of mine &'everyone else's everywhere.

The book didn't help me tackle dc's rooms or their stuff. My ds is 8 and is more into xbox & ipad games now and yet he won't let me get rid of any of his 'toys' which he never plays with. His bedroom is a disgrace & I am ashamed of it. DH's wardrobe is in ds's room too so his clothes spill out everywhere.
What do other people do about toys etc?

A big problem i find is finding time to actually tackle this house. I'm either at work, looking after very demanding dd 4 & breaking up squabbles with ds 8, or doing all the other things, washing, shopping, cooking etc.
When do other people do their decluttering, sorting?

It gets me down living like this. I spend ages at the weekend trying to sort it but it never lasts and then another weekend has gone by when I've not had fun with my family as I think I'll just sort the house at first!!

BoboChic Wed 11-May-16 14:56:19

I'm ruthless about clutter and throw stuff away all the time but I am moving at the moment and have had to do quite a bit more sorting/editing than usual. I hate having "stuff" I don't like and don't want to use (outdated sheets, slightly limp? A vase that was a present from a long gone boyfriend that has a small chip?). But it isn't easy to get rid of a lot of stuff at once.

frocksnogandbusters Wed 11-May-16 23:53:22

Bloody hell Fontella love this thread and I'm with you, although I do struggle a bit with the sentimental stuff, I'm well up for ditching the crap. I've been decluttering steadily over the last month or two and making great progress but feel like I've come to a bit of a stand still again. I've been a bit under par but germ free now and back on it!! Tomorrow I'm planning to do my 3 bedside drawers. Yesterday I did my wardrobe again....not sure I was thorough enough 3 weeks ago. I ended up with about 3 bags for charity and a bag for friend plus some proper tat that went straight in the bin. Sooooo liberating just get stuck in but don't do too's hard work. Think that's what I did then felt a bit exhausted but as I said raring to go again. So much so that I've got a bin bag in my bedroom, next to drawers all ready for the morning. I'm timing myself too. I give myself 10-15 mins and GO like the clappers. Sort it all for bin/charity/recycle quick brewand do another session. That way everything is tidied away in case you need break off for something else (kids/food/work). I then go straight to charity shop or tip and get storing it otherwise it just sits there.
Get stuck in and feel the stress go as you ditch the crap grin.

AgathaMystery Thu 12-May-16 10:03:45

Another ruthless one here. I have been going for about 7 months now & am so glad I did it.

DH has been zero support. Openly mocking in fact (he hoards anything he can). But last month he cleared out his bedside drawers. A tesco bag had actually bio degraded.

I shit you not hmm

So yes. Ruthless here.

Trickymoments Thu 12-May-16 10:43:51

To all ruthless ones - How do you stop the mountain of crap building up again? No sooner have I cleared an area, there's more stuff!!

Fontella Thu 12-May-16 11:12:28

A tesco bag had actually bio degraded


BoboChic Thu 12-May-16 11:20:29

I've just had the council round to pick up unwanted large items - suitcases, a sofa, a bathroom cabinet and lots of old baby stuff. Feels so good!

CremeEggThief Thu 12-May-16 11:30:30

I was like you years ago- extremely tidy, but still too much stuff. I have got rid of LOADS over the past 4 years, since splitting up with my XH, who was the main source of a lot of the carefully stored junk, but I have come to realise decluttering is an on-going journey. Some of the stuff you still need or that brings you joy now, won't in a few years, so that's why even if you're very careful about bringing new stuff into the house, you will always find stuff to get rid of, no matter how careful you are!

pickledsiblings Thu 12-May-16 18:41:09

How come you are moving Bobo? <nosy>

BoboChic Thu 12-May-16 18:54:04

We'd always planned to move when DSS2 left for university (which he did last September) and the constraint of living near the DSSs' mother had gone for good. It always coincided with DD moving up to secondary school, with the increased independence that entails for her. Those two factors added huge amounts of flexibility into the equation. It took a bit of time to bring it off (as these things do). We are moving to the 7th - it's extremely nice!

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