Help how do you declutter.......(39 Posts)
I am fed up of moving junk and clutter from once place to another.
But what do we do with...
Kids work old school books
all the paperwork from the last ten years in no discernible order
toys that they all want to keep and shit loads of them
clothes everywhere, dont even know what I have and its not all clean
bit and pieces like pens, batteries
theres just stuff everywhere how do I get rid of any of it?
we all seem to want all of it
how do we choose?
where do you start
its all a mess
Old school books and kids paintings - If prolly choose 1or 2 for sentimental value and bin others.
Paperwork - I've arranged mine in nearly labelled folders and chuck out bits over a certain age (depending on whether it's tax return or a warranty etc).
Excess clothes, toys and books would go to he charity shop.
I'd also have look at storage in your house to make sure you have enough + everything has its place, e.g. A box for batteries or light bulbs, another one for stationary etc.
We are struggling also but have found paperwork an easier target. We got all the piles and boxes etc out into the sitting room and sorted and sifted over and over. There were so many school letters that were no longer relevant, raffle tickets long since useless, junk mail and catalogues - all went into recycling. Then we filed by person and subject all statements etc and then opted for paperless as much as we could.
Clothes - I did the easiest stiff first. Anything too small for all DC went straight to DC. All mat clothes and clothes that don't fit or are stained or ripped or that we haven't worn this year went to charity and recycling. Then I made myself choose half of each drawer, even if it fitted, was in good nick and I'd wear it - I cannot keep everything I have and never will get round to wearing all of it.
I hide things from DH in the back of the car and after a month if he hasn't said anything I bin it or donate it. He hasn't figured it out yet! I plan to do the same with the kids when they are older.
Everything has a place. I live in the US and use the container store for my storage solutions. Take a look at them online. You can normally get something similar at IKEA or on Amazon.
Kids work old school books - primary school ones are unlikely to be of any use or much sentiment in the future. Secondary ones some may prove handy if continuing study in the subject ditto more likely to prove the thing you wish you hadn't got rid of. Plastic boxes in attic/cupboard under stairs.
kids paintings? Photograph and create an online album, keep the memories but not the clutter.
all the paperwork from the last ten years in no discernible order -
Ouch! depends what it's for
Warranties etc for products you no longer own or are over 5 years old - bin!
Banking/financials you dont generally need to keep more than 5 years unless you're self-employed and it relates to the business (I'm a little out of touch here check with hmrc website). Shred properly before bin or incinerate.
Birth certs, wedding certs, divorce docs, passports and similar - really should be in a locked metal box by front door.
Contracts - for phones, insurance etc in same able as above but review regularly and get rid when superceded by new contract
toys that they all want to keep and shit loads of them - I have a clear out twice a year and been doing so since my daughter was little. 3 options - keep (and here not allowed to keep anything that irreparable, not been used in past 6 months), charity or bin. Ruthlessness is key - oh and it applies to YOUR toys too
shameful serial hobby uptake who then quits here
clothes everywhere, dont even know what I have and its not all clean - 1 year rule applies to everyone, if you've not worn it in a year you're not gonna. So - bin or charity.
dvdsbooks - aforementioned 6 month rule applies to adults too, only difference with these is you can probably make money out of them - various online companies you can sell to either individually or in bulk, plus high Street places like cash converters.
Pens etc soon as not working bin.
Batteries - most supermarkets, wilkos, Argos, pound shops have recycling boxes for these please do this as theyre a real hazard.
....when you have to pay to move boxes of crap you soon realise it can be chucked/ chairity shop etc
Look up the Marie Kondo threads - basically for every category of stuff decide where it should be, how many items you need in that category, keep the best ones and chuck the rest. And say thank you to the items being binned or passed to new homes.
I won't pretend I don't have a cluttered house still, but I can always find a pen (in the pen drawe), batteries (in the battery drawer), hats and gloves (guess), and the kids are often putting things in the right places.
Paperwork is tough but apart from P60s and certificates, anything over 7 years can be binned. I'd get all the paper together and see what you can chuck - half of it is usually binnable after 6 months or a year but I know there's still loads left...
Wow I've just filled a whole bin bag full of paperwork and still going!! Thankyou for all the tips.
Good effort ;) and yeah, it will take a while to get on top of it.
Placemarking as I'm just starting a big declutter myself.
I've done a major declutter a few years back, so I am in keep-it-up mode.
I sometimes "throw away the worst one/two/three". Chuck out the worst pan, book, tights, towel, shoes, jacket, cup and make up item you own. This is entirely pain free, because it was the horrible or broken one you always hated.
I read the Marie Kondo book, I laughed at some of it but it was so true for me, I turned the house upside down for a couple of weeks while I was de-cluttering, it was like living in a different house afterwards. I don't fold all of my clothes or 'rest' my socks though!
I like that approach Pax - choosing the worst one is a great, non-overwhelming approach. Going to use that one.
I use it a lot, Jammie. Works for the initial declutter, too, but it is slower than deciding on the best two and only keeping those. But I find it easier to pick the worst.
I also set myself mini-challenges sometimes. Walk into every room and throw 3 things away. Makes a big difference if done regularly.
My mum makes sure she uses things she's not sure about. After a full day wearing a dress you weren't sure about you really know if it is time to chuck it or not.
I'm having a declutter (slowly!).
I have a total spending ban at the moment. I've stopped going shopping unless it is something I need. I'm even doing this with food. I look in the cupboard and cook something based around what we already have. I only buy ingredients if they're needed for that recipe.
As I see things I no longer use or like I stick them on eBay. It's amazing how the pennies add up. I only list items as buy it now though.
flopsy Shpock or however you spell it is good for getting things gone quickly too!
I've sorted & rearranged the lounge. 2 full bags of rubbish! Most of it was in the bloody toy boxes! Next up is our bedroom <apprehensive face rather than confused.
I've been finding the kondo approach helpful too - the focus is on deciding what you love and want to keep rather than what you want to get rid of. So basically, keep things that bring you joy, and get rid of the rest. That shift in focus has been working well for me.
Still far to go though, as I got a bit stalled on paperwork, and trying to figure out how long I need to keep things like bank statements, payslips, utility bills and so on.
Kids paintings, letter, cards, photos etc can be scanned and stored digitally. Toys and clothes - cull and donate, car boot or recycle.
Stuff - cull and donate, recycle or sell.
Books, cds and dvds - cull and donate, car boot or sell.
Focus on what you want to keep is the way to go. It doesn't really matter if you paid good money for something if you never use it or it just pisses you off, pass it on to someone who'll use it.
Go through cupboards (e.g. cupboard under the sink) and sort things into groups. Buy only things that you use and need. Don't stockpile. Don't buy special products like different cleaning stuff if there's a decent multipurpose one.
Don't buy things just because it is cheap/a bargain unless you can return it.
Totally misread Want2bsupermum's post and for a secons thought she meant she planned to hide the kids in the car for a month before getting rid
Sorry I have no useful decluttering tips, am in need of some myself!
Declutter your kitchen, bathroom, office and household supplies by actually using the stuff.
Make a stew with the weird purple lentils you've bought ages ago. And make it using ingredients you have, don't buy more stuff! That carpet shampoo you've bought 12 bottles of in a fit of madness- it will clean loos and wash towels perfectly well. Wrap your sandwiches in Christmas paper for a month if you have 4 rolls with Winnie the Poo Santa and your youngest is 12.
Myself and my mum have both started a one thing a day approach. Have a charity box or bag sitting and pick 1 thing a day to go. It feels quite good to go 'you're today's thing - bye!' Like a mini achievement. Agree with the worst of items idea - make up getting the treatment this weekend.
Going to try and do the wearing of things I'm unsure about- a good way to decide !
With unused toiletries and makeup take them to a shelter (homeless, womens, mother and baby) or send them to one, addresses for central collection points are online.
Ive spent the year decluttering and cleaning is getting easier, have a one in one out policy for clothing and toys.
Tackled paperwork again this weekend and really need to go through everything and be ruthless, just doing half, took 5 hours over 2 days and id had enough. Its mostly filed but i need to chuck the old stuff now (if get bothered enough to get it out from the deepest darkest cupboard).
Ive got my children to be ruthless but having a monthly outgoing bag has helped and the maybes get a reprieve but if still unworn, unused, unloved at end of the month, they can go or be sold.
Ive always sold on ebay but now selling things i was keeping before.
Still got to get better on cleaning products but i do use them all up but dont need to stockpile in the first place.
Unless you want to constantly declutter you need to spend less in the first place and make it an ongoing thing.
Clothes are my hardest as need to lose weight (can wear 4 different sizes in any given year) and have already gotten rid of my maybes, so a strict one in, one out policy means that i have to really love the new item as keeping it means something has to go.
Also kept my smaller stuff that is loved as will wear it when it fits. But ive reminded myself that if and when they fit and i discover i no longer love them, then they definitely go.
The tip above of getting rid of the worst one is great, im going to use that in my kitchen and junk drawer.
Also start a present drawer or cupboard with new items, outgrown but unused clothes, mulitiples, etc and shop your house, youll be amazed at what you find and will save money not having to go out and buy some presents.
My next hurdle is craft stuff and baby items.
I'm usually quite good at keeping organised but the one thing I can't do is get rid of any of my ds school work, paintings birthday cards he's been given etc. So now my loft is full. I'm quite ruthless with everything else
Place marking as I have very similar issues
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