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decluttering a whole house?

(9 Posts)
smedrock Wed 25-May-16 11:37:16

we're thinking of moving and i need to do some serious clearing -- anyone ever decluttered a whole house before?
is it worth trying to ebay stuff (i'm not the most organised person!) or better and quicker just trying to charity shop / recycle.....

any tips on where to begin? it's a loft to ground floor project. HELP!!

thanks, m

cozietoesie Wed 25-May-16 13:29:20

What sort of situation are you in at the moment? Eg is everything currently put away neatly (even if there's a great deal of it) or do you have piles and boxes of stuff around the place?

Do you know of things that you just don't use on a regular basis?

SqueegyBeckinheim Wed 25-May-16 13:37:34

This is how I house cleared my grandparents place after they died.

Get a good supply of strong black plastic sacks and storage bags, the ikea blue bags are excellent for this, and some post it notes.

Set out several bags and label them with the post its, you'll need a bag each for rubbish, keeping, charity shop and recycling, and another if you're planning on eBay.

Then pick a room and start. You need to be ruthless, the "either useful or gives me joy" mantra is a good thing to keep in mind, and reward yourself with tea and a biscuit after every couple of hours.

Good luck.

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 25-May-16 16:50:53

I would choose to work by category - so , get every book in the house together, choose what you want to keep, any worth selling and charity shop the rest. Then, glasses, cups, plates etc. same thing. Then clothes per person. Similar to the KM method.
Before this I would get rid of any obvious rubbish in one big sweep - broken toys, chipped mugs, that kind of thing.

BiddyPop Wed 25-May-16 16:57:29

Methodical .

Room by room - even cupboard by cupboard.
Only pull out what you will sort in an hour (MAX) - preferably shelf by shelf rather than a whole cupboard. Take 10 minutes rest (have a drink of water/cup of tea). Go back in again if you have time to continue, otherwise leave that room neat until next opportunity.

Yes, agree the range of bags/boxes. If you won't use items before moving, perhaps wrapping and putting into boxes for the move as you go would be useful, especially if you have any space you can stack up boxes as they get filled. CLEARLY LABEL all boxes - contents and where they belong in new house (you may have boxes from all rooms ending up in that stack).

If it's broken - unless you KNOW you will fix it and use it again - THROW it out/recycle.

Clothes you haven't worn for 5 years or more - recycle, charity shop, consignment shop if they might be worth something.

Linen cupboard with 17 sets of multicoloured (non-matching) sheets, 14 duvet sets, 52 bath towels (varying colours and states of repair) and 41 hand towels. THink of your family size and normal needs. Pick the best sets, put together in sets (sheets, pillowcases, duvet cover) and keep 3 for each bed (1 to wear, 1 in wash, 1 for cupboard). Maybe 1 more if you really want. A few more towels is probably useful but throw out/recycle/charity shop any that are threadbare, colours you no longer use, single towels that don't have a full matching set....keep the ones that are in good condition, particularly ones that match, but keep enough for your general needs.

Also have a look at the odd socks pile while in the linen cupboard, and other things like table cloths, doilies and other sundries.

Book cases. Do you still love everything on there? Would schools use some, or old folks homes, as well as charity shops? The same for music, dvds, videos etc.

Crockery cupboards - Great Aunt Julia's (*name changed to protect poor innocent Great Aunt Meg) antique teaset is lovely, but does it ever come out and used? How often do you use the snail eating forks? Do you need 2 sets of candlesticks or all 15 sets lurking there? What pots do you use every single day, and what pots lurk in the cupboard never used (although, if you use the fish kettle once every single summer for the massive family get-together, and there is a big garden for the same in the new house, maybe that's worth keeping!!).

eBay always seems a hassle to me. Maybe its worth it. But I'd be more inclined to offer things on freecycle, gumtree and similar locally, or put an ad in the "buy and sell" for people to collect (whether for free or buying it from you).

Definitely start early though, as it will result in a lot of rubbish, a good few trips to charity shops and other places that will take useful donations (old folks homes, shelters for homeless or abused women, playschemes for old toys in good nick....all sorts). And probably a need for lots of boxes as you get ahead on actually packing up for the move.

smedrock Wed 25-May-16 20:14:18

thank you, you guys rule! seemto know a lot about my linen cupboard! i'm so busted .....

i think i may just have a plan!

BiddyPop Thu 26-May-16 12:20:55

Smedrock - I just know what my own is like!! (I am great at planning such matters, but less good at execution).

That said - I did actually get rid of 5 old sets of sheets, 2 matching duvet sets and 2 old sets of curtains at the weekend. The last time I reviewed the towels, I chickened out and put the odd colours that were still good down in the storage unit rather than getting rid altogether....must do better. But I'm working on the house before I tackle the storage...eating the elephant 1 bite at a time is slowly, slowly paying off.....

00100001 Thu 26-May-16 12:25:27

I did this a year ago.

You have to be ruthless.

Chuck it away!

AugustRose Thu 26-May-16 12:43:28

We are planning on doing this over the next few months. I think you really do have to be ruthless, DH is a bit of a hoarder (especially books) and keeps things that haven't been used in years.

We are lucky in that we rent a big farmhouse with rooms for each of our 4 DC and a large attic - unfortunately it means we have kept things that many other families have no choice but to pass on/throw out.

DH has finally agreed as we are thinking of moving in the next 2 years and we really need to get rid of lots of stuff. Our plan is to reduce our household belongings by at least 1/3 this year.

We too have a linen cupboard problem - my DM has a bit of a linen buying habit so when her cupboard is full she passes them on or buys for us grin I currently have 19 single bed sets with only two DC in single beds! I haven't counted the double/kingsize yet.

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