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Decluttering - tips and how far is too far?

(19 Posts)
PippaFawcett Mon 30-May-16 16:06:45

We are moving house soon and we are trying to tackle our accumulated junk.

I am trying to work on the 'useful/joy' rule but some things are hard to know.

Eg, I have just chuck a pile of the DC's old birthday cards out to be recycled - I kept their new baby ones and a couple of 1st birthday ones but got rid of a full box of other ones. DH thinks it was a bit far, I figure we are keeping enough other stuff such as pictures/craft stuff etc for them to look at in future.

Also, I have some HUGE framed professional childhood family photographs that my DM gave me after she and DF got divorced. I will never display them as they would dominate any room we put them in and DH sorted jpegs of them for me so I don't need them but it feels wrong to get rid of them. Even if I did, would I just take them to the tip?

So I need more tips please and has anyone regretted decluttering too much?

mnpeasantry Mon 30-May-16 16:18:43

Never looked back personally.

I don't think you went too far at all with the cards.

Those framed pictures sound like a pain. Can you take pictures of them and include in a photo book? Or remove them from the frames and store in less space?

mnpeasantry Mon 30-May-16 16:19:29

You could free cycle the frames and you would just have to chuck the photos

poocatcherchampion Mon 30-May-16 16:42:30

Less us more for sure. How about a read of Marie kondo to get the juices flowing?

PippaFawcett Mon 30-May-16 16:54:36

I've got jpegs of the photos in the frames already so I have no need for them and they certainly give me no joy being stored in the loft. I could free cycle the frames, I hadn't thought of that.

I have read a few decluttering threads, I probably need to do a bit of a search. I read one a couple of weeks ago about extreme decluttering and I liked it! It made me realise how much we all waste money on 'stuff' that sits in drawers/boxes or causes us stress on work surfaces.

lljkk Mon 30-May-16 17:03:03

I am a natural hoarder. I do regret some stuff I got rid of, but my logic is that if I only regretted 1/3 (not close to that much in reality) that would still means 2/3 of my life delightfully decluttered which is brilliant. I agree about the huge photos & ditching all cards. Also, Craft stuff kids made: one small box (16x16x16 inch size) each MAXIMUM.

HappyNevertheless Mon 30-May-16 17:10:10

Nope, I never regretted de culturing too much.
There are times when you say 'oh yes I had xx before. Where is it? Oh yes, I've thrown it away' but there are very very far in between and usually are about things that 1- aren't that expensive to replace and 2- woud have been 'stored' for years and years before getting used again.
I'm refusing to keep stuff for 30~40 years 'just in case' as my FIL is doing (and yes he does find ways to reuse stuff after 30 years) hmm

Stuff like b'day cards are thrown away straight away in this house, incl the 1st b'day ones. We have very few of the 'art work' from the dcs too.
But I am very sentimental about photos and that would be something I keep.
Btw, I know yoou have said you have the jpeg of the photos but have you saved a copy of them somewhere else too?

LillianGish Mon 30-May-16 17:20:57

Kids craft stuff - display for a fixed period (on fridge, in their room) renew and replace when new stuff comes in. Send stuff to grandparents, relatives and Godparents (as thank you notes, birthday greetings etc) if it's a decent standard so you feel better about getting rid of it. Only allow yourself to keep a very occasional item of superb quality. Craft stuff is something which grows and grows and is constantly renewing itself - you don't need to keep it all. If you have jpegs of the photos and you don't want to display them, chuck them out and recycle the frames (your mum has effectively done to you what I am suggesting you do with your kids' craft stuff - chucked it out to you! Get rid of it if you don't want it). Sentimentality is fine, but keep a handle on it. Be selective, you can't keep everything and if you do it defeats the object anyway because there is too much stuff to trawl through. Sounds like you are doing well and moving house is a great opportunity. As someone who moves frequently I would say the last thing you want when you move is boxes full of stuff you can't be bothered to/never get round to unpacking. Chuck it out before you you move - it will save you a job of packing it and unpacking it and I can guarantee you won't miss it.

phoolani Mon 30-May-16 17:21:38

I don't follow the kondo method really, but I do the basic 'does it give me joy' thing and I find it really works for me. I have stuff for example that I don't really wear, or wear very, very rarely, but which I love so I get to keep it. My wardrobe and house are fuller than they were when I was being 'stricter' but I love everything I've got so I'm happier. Personally, I'd get rid of the photos but get smaller versions printed to look at occasionally - only if they made me happy of course.

PippaFawcett Mon 30-May-16 18:57:05

Thanks all. I do have smaller printed versions of the photos, but we weren't exactly a happy family so I don't really want a reminder of them either IYSWIM.

your mum has effectively done to you what I am suggesting you do with your kids' craft stuff - chucked it out to you - Lillian, this is so true and I wish I had spotted it at the time but I probably felt sentimental then. I have offered them to my DBRO but he doesn't want them either so I think we all feel the same.

It is great to hear peoples positive stories, we only have a small house now but there is still so much that we don't need that we keep 'just in case'. Drawers full of random wires/phone chargers anyone?

LillianGish Mon 30-May-16 19:02:52

If the phone chargers don't charge any of the phones in your house then chuck them out. I can picture the random drawer you are talking about - everyone has one. Go through the drawer - don't keep anything 'just in case', chuck it out. You'll soon enough start accumulating a drawer full of things 'just in case' in your new house, but at least start with an empty drawer!

PippaFawcett Mon 30-May-16 20:02:43

An empty drawer would be lovely! A lot of that stuff in the kitchen drawers is DH's so I need to give him a nudge. We have made the error of starting in too many places and now the house is a tip. Such a novice mistake.

HappyNevertheless Mon 30-May-16 20:57:20

Oh you forget the cables that you aren't quite sure what they are for' so you keep them just in case...

I've had a full box of them that we send to the bin never to be seen again. Interestingly enough, we've never missed any of them

annandale Mon 30-May-16 21:03:09

ChuCk the bIg PhOtOs. Imo chuck all the cards. You're not likely to forget that your dc had birthdays. Take pics of the craft and artwork, keep a very very occasional piece, like six per child, and every time you keep one, chuck another.

wobblywonderwoman Mon 30-May-16 21:06:08

get rid get rid get rid

I have never felt better with a clearer house

I kept the hand written parts of cards from wedding. baby's christening and scrap booked them. took up very little room and enjoyed reading them again.

I have two boxes for the dc and keep very special things only.

PippaFawcett Mon 30-May-16 21:08:44

I got rid of the engagement and wedding cards too - none of them said much other than the usual sentiments and well wishes.

The DC stuff is harder but I must get better, I like the only very special stuff - I did manage to get rid of stuff today I had thought was special at the time but that I realised today it really wasn't.

EnidButton Tue 31-May-16 19:42:50

If it makes it easier, what about having one smallish box per dc for sentimental stuff? Or just one medium sized box for them both/all? Having a few carefully chosen, organised together and cared for bits is far better than keeping everything and having it scattered around. Then in a year, go back and decide whether you really do want to keep and store each item that's in the boxes.

But you still have to be ruthless initially. Personal items that seem to represent an emotion or a capture a moment in time are the hardest but they are only things. The feelings and memories will still be in your head when you want them even when the objects aren't there.

If the photographs stir up bad feelings and memories then I say get rid of them. They're not your responsibility.

poocatcherchampion Tue 31-May-16 19:44:22

I had a lovely day today sorting out and tidying up. I only managed two carrier bags off stuff because there is very little left.
But there are a few things in a pile to sell - children have grown, I have shrunk and winter things are all packed away.

Kids had a good romp through their toys too so everyone is happy

Thatrabbittrickedme Tue 31-May-16 19:49:52

I've just finished decluttering and it feels fantastic! I've kept a few favourite crafty things by the kids but not much. My flat looks fab and I almost regret that we are selling it. Why couldn't I have kept it this nice while living here?

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