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Anyone up for being my minimalism buddy?! Overwhelmed by commitments and stuff...

(76 Posts)
Bitzer Wed 07-Sep-16 13:23:08

I am feeling absolutely overwhelmed by stuff. About a month ago I began a decluttering, and I've made a lot of progress but have sort of hit a wall now and don't know where to go next so to speak. We're due to be moving in Jan and I need to get rid of a lot of stuff. Also, I want to spend more proper time with my kids - I'm so sick of spending half my life moving things from one place to another. The areas that I have managed to declutter are now so much easier to keep clean and tidy so I want to create more of them.

Is anyone else doing a similar thing? Keen to find someone for some mutual encouragement/inspiration so I don't give up. Also, thought it'd be useful to share tips/thoughts on the stuff that it is especially hard to get rid of.

Any takers?

WellTidy Wed 07-Sep-16 14:35:59

I will join you! I've been making attempts at getting rid of things and organizing myself better for almost a year now. I've gone through periods where I've made huge progress, but I've reached a bit of an impasse. School holidays, childcare difficulties etc have made it hard to keep up the momentum.

I've bought an A3 folder this morning to put some of the best bits of DS1's schoolwork in from last year. I've done this every year since he started primary, so that I don't keep every piece of paper that he brings home! But not having a folder to hand was creating a lot of clutter, so that will help.

I'm also dreadful for picking up what I think are bargains in supermarkets and TK Maxx as I know 'that will come for X's birthday'. As such, our present stash is enormous. I've now been through it and allocated presents for birthday and Christmas for all the kids that we give to (not including my own).

Priority for the remainder of this week is to declutter the kitchen drawers and utility room.

I 've had a lot of success over the last year in organizing my own make up and body products and all that type of thing. I get given a lot of products as gifts, and cannot resist a 3 for 2 offer, or Gift With Purchase when you buy two items. So my beauty product stash was obscene. I made a very long list of everything I had and then slowly made my way through it all and I've used up a lot of my products. The bathroom cupboards look much neater and streamlined, and I've saved so much by not buying things I don't need.

Keep going!!

Bitzer Wed 07-Sep-16 14:46:54

Yay! Thanks for joining me.

toiletries etc - I've done a similar thing, have had a lot success with this by just putting any spares in a box, and working through what we have then being quite hardcore about not buying anything unless it's an absolute necessity.

The present box thing is interesting, I have a fair few things put aside that we've been given/don't need. Might do as you suggest and start allocating them.

Oh man, the school stuff. I have boxes of school books etc. A friend made the point the other day that you can probably just bin all the maths stuff i.e. you might want to read stories they've written when they were 6 but not sums. Other than that, how do you decide what to keep/get rid of?

We're having our carpets taken up this week so it's kind of difficult to do very much but I thought I'd try to find time outside work and doing stuff with the kids to do the following:
- go through towels - I seem to have a lot of these. How many does a family of four need in your view?! Have been keeping extras in case of visitors and washing machine floods but really I probably don't need that many...
- get rid of aforementioned maths books
- papers - there are boxes and boxes of stuff in the loft - any tips on where the hell to start with them?

LondonCharlady Wed 07-Sep-16 17:33:42

I want to clear out my kitchen as loads of stuff has built up in the cupboards, so I'll join you two! I joined a thread like this before and it really motivated me, so maybe we can spur each other on.

Regarding your papers, I would take down a box at a time, go through the papers and have a shredder next to you. You'll probably find there are lots of papers you don't need any more. Shred as you go, by the time you've done all them, you'll be able to fit the remainder into just one or two boxes. Have a roll of bin liners by your side as well, for emptying the shredder!

LondonCharlady Wed 07-Sep-16 17:35:41

* all of them

WigelsPigels Wed 07-Sep-16 17:39:18

We're getting a skip to declutter from loft to downstairs. Can't actually wait. Far too much shite in this house. Going to be brutal on what I'm chucking out. Also love bargains far too much.

Bitzer Wed 07-Sep-16 18:00:26

London had an unexpected hour this afternoon because kids went to park with a friend so I began the epic paper mountain. Great tips thank you. There's some stuff I recycled that I should possibly have shredded actually blush

Any thoughts on DC's school work. I've ditched the maths book but I have absurd quantities of literacy books, story books, art books etc no bloomin' idea what to chuck and what to keep. Feel terrible throwing away stuff they've spent time on

Bitzer Wed 07-Sep-16 18:34:02

Soz the thing about DC's school work was meant to be a question!

Also, London I need to clean out kitchen cupboards too. Struggling with the idea of letting go of a few of the big ornamental plates that people have given us but that we never use.

wigels a skip eh?! Sounds like you mean business...

LondonCharlady Wed 07-Sep-16 20:22:21

I have the same problem with the school books, I haven't got the heart to throw them out! The children's things are definitely my problem areas, I find it so hard to discard anything.

Wigles, I can't wait to read how you got on with the skip, do report back. I think it will give me a lot of inspiration!

WellTidy Thu 08-Sep-16 14:46:58

Did the kitchen drawers today. Threw out loads of tat, and organised what was left, so elastic bands have their own little tub, same for drawing pins etc. They were all loose in a drawer and it was driving me nuts. A small jib, but I'm fitting everything into the school run, homework, caring for Ds2 etc. I can't be too ambitious otherwise I won't ever start! Good luck all.

Bitzer Fri 09-Sep-16 00:39:34

Well done welltidy keep up the good work. It really is a question of little and often.

I did a condiments clear-out and gave some bedding and towels to a local shelter.

WellTidy Fri 09-Sep-16 10:02:59

Good work Blitzer. I'm in work today and out tonight, so no opportunities to sort out today. Plan for the coming week is to sort out the sideboard, cupboard under the stairs and then blitz the amount of cardboard and boxes and whatnot that I am keeping so that I can get them out on recycling day. If I can make a start on the photos (putting them into albums, discarding poor photos or duplicates etc) from the last couple of years, that would be great.

What does everyone do with CDs? DH and I are at least 10 years behind technology and haven't put our CDs onto digital. We have about 300 on a bookcase in the living room, stacked up and falling over.

Bitzer Fri 09-Sep-16 14:07:58

Oh, the CDs - can't bring myself to get rid of them (though I think most are on the computer now). Just feels weird giving them away. Particularly when I think of all the money spent on them over the years.

Years behind on my photos, album etc. That is on the list too.

Heading to my DM's tomorrow to help clear her flat. She's a terrible hoarder! Need to help her make the place liveable again.

Going to take bin bags and packing boxes. Anything else I should take?!

spiderbabymum Fri 09-Sep-16 20:51:43

Was just thinking about this today

Really gets me down too

Two kids 3, and 9

Tried to do this a few years back

My main problem is with paperwork

It's everywhere

Thoughts on doing it over 8 weeks ??too long ?? Achievable ??thoughts on this

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Fri 09-Sep-16 21:28:13

Hi all, happy to join in, although I am already on two other tidying threads blush. Am aiming for a generally more organised, less cluttered life with the new school year starting. I am on a constant attempt at decluttering, sometimes more successful than others! Two kids 3 and 5 here. Spiderbaby just looked at that. It is ambitious for sure!! I think it depends how much time you have to achieve it. I know I would crash and burn trying to do that and don't have anywhere near enough time but it would be be amazing if you could do all that!

spiderbabymum Fri 09-Sep-16 21:34:38

Thanks TooStressy
Think you are right
In retro I was prob off on mat leave the last time I started it
Just feel if I could get Himself on board
And did 45 mins every day 5 days a week
We could attempt it

whirlygirly Sat 10-Sep-16 19:21:09

I have a cd solution! Buy one of those cases from wh smith or similar which holds 300 CDs. Bung them in, in alphabetical order. Recycle insert and case. I wish I'd done it years ago - freed up so much space.
Only kept special editions or doubles where the insert was useful.

Did the same with the dcs DVDs a week later and that was a beautiful moment too smile

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Sat 10-Sep-16 20:59:28

Whirlygirly we have a couple of CD cases although one that holds 300 would be amazing! My problem is we have the CDs in there but DH refuses to bin the case and insert as 'they cost a lot of money and might come in useful one day' angry. Will try to persuade him otherwise!

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Sat 10-Sep-16 21:00:25

Oooh just thought though he might be less bothered about the DCs DVDs! Adding one of those cases to a shopping list smile

whirlygirly Sun 11-Sep-16 15:15:46

I got rid of hundreds of cases that way. We no longer have a cabinet that needs a run up to close.
Unless they're signed or collectors items, they really aren't going to be worth anything. Most of my old ones crop up in pound land alarmingly regularly!

Coldhandscoldheart Sun 11-Sep-16 20:52:29

Can I join? Although I should warn you that I kill threads with death. Omg, DH just 'checked the baby' and woke her up!
Struggling with paper of all sorts & how to store (also just discipline of filing), books, and clothes.
I think I might try to do clothes tomorrow. I need to convince myself that if I lose weight, I will not want to wear the old things I have stashed that don't fit.
I unearthed pre pregnancy bras the other day & some of them were in such a dreadful state I don't even know if I can put them into the recycling. I was wearing those blush
I did things today, but mostly moving things around rather than getting things Out.

Bitzer Sun 11-Sep-16 20:58:58

Great tips on the CD box front folks.

Have spent about 20 hrs (no exaggeration) cleaning this weekend. Sadly not my place but DM's. Kind of depressing and kind of satisfying to get the place semi cleared for her. It did strengthen my resolve to not just keep holding on to stuff for years and years until it just becomes a burden.

Thanks again for joining the thread, all of you, great to have some support

Bitzer Sun 11-Sep-16 21:00:03

And welcome coldhands be ruthless with those clothes tomorrow!! You won't regret it smile

divafever99 Sun 11-Sep-16 21:06:46

I will join you! I've managed to do the kitchen and the lounge over the summer, still got bedrooms and the loft to tackle. Need to sort out cds/dvds too. The places I have done are so much easier to clean and I am saving so much time and money by being able to find stuff. I would previously buy new things I already had just because I didn't know were things were.

Bitzer Mon 12-Sep-16 06:49:21

Hi diva, that's so true about saving money because you can't find things and end up getting doubles

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