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what are your best tips for decluttering?

(28 Posts)
Rizzledizzle Fri 12-May-17 13:41:05

I need a major declutter and don't know where to start. Can anyone give me any pearls of wisdom?

peenakholahda Fri 12-May-17 13:56:04

Good storage solutions.

I often ask myself whether the financial cost of buying something again is worth the 'cost' of it taking up space / cluttering the house, in the context of how likely it is I'll want it in the future. So sometimes (a spare Le Cruset dish) I decide to keep the thing; but sometimes (outgrown supermarket babygros that I may or may not have another baby to put in) I don't.

CocoLoco87 Fri 12-May-17 15:13:27

Take a trip to Ikea, Wilkos or somewhere with nice storage boxes. Buying boxes or trunks always helps motivate me! See through boxes are good so you can see what you've stored inside. I also like Ottoman's. I tend to declutter one room at a time.

Mymouthgetsmeintrouble Fri 12-May-17 15:19:38

Get a skip then fill it with crap

JohnLapsleyParlabane Fri 12-May-17 15:23:48

I started by taking 2 carrier bags and a timer set for 5mins. Crammed as much as would fit for charity into one and bin into the other then binned the rubbish one and put the charity one into the buggy and went straight out to donate it. The trick is to do it all within the 5mins. Then once the surface cap is moving I felt more motivated to do bigger sorts and culls room by room.

TheBitterBoy Fri 12-May-17 15:27:27

This is more of an ongoing maintenance tip. I keep an 'outbox' in my garage (big cardboard box) and whenever I come across something I no longer use, need or want, it goes in the outbox. Once a month anything in the outbox goes to the charity shop.

petitdonkey Fri 12-May-17 15:30:23

Sounds daft but every time I think 'I don't know where to start' I then have to say, out loud, 'JUST START.'

Pick one small area - a drawer, a messy pile in the kitchen, a bathroom cupboard and sort it. Chuck anything you know you won't use again and clean and tidy the area. DO NOT start a new pile somewhere else!! If you can't think of a proper home for any item, then it gets binned!

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Fri 12-May-17 15:30:34

Prevention rather than cure.
Don't get married
Don't have dc
=tidy home. grin

HerOtherHalf Fri 12-May-17 15:31:31

Divorce, radical but extremely effective.

PippaFawcett Fri 12-May-17 15:34:20

JustMade has it right. But if it is too late and you are already married with DC I find not being sentimental helps - we simply cannot keep every piece of 'art' the DC produce, I tell them they can keep some of the money if we sell their old toys which helps them relinquish things. We have a one in, one out policy for books/DVDs. I always look for things to donate for school fairs etc. I think I manage to strike a good balance between decluttering and not getting rid of useful stuff cos I'm also quite thrifty and hate paying for things twice.

EnidButton Sat 13-May-17 13:42:00

Don't buy more storage until you've finished and you know what you have left to store.

If you buy it first, it's easy to just fill it up with stuff you aren't sure about so you'll "keep it for now."

When you've decided what's going to a charity shop, local recycling bins etc, get it into your car ready to take it take it straight away. Don't leave it in the house. It needs to go asap so there's no risk of it getring forgotten about and assimilating back into your home.

Give everything a home, group things together.

EnidButton Sat 13-May-17 13:43:14

And yes, be ruthless. You do not need 3 whisks and that popcorn maker someone gave you for Christmas 11 years ago.

PolarBearGoingSomewhere Sat 13-May-17 13:51:43

Agree with what PP said about the value of the space vs financial cost to replace. Anything large or bulky - the Jumperoo, bouncy chair etc - have been sold on and I will buy good condition second hand if and when they're needed again.

Sort through artwork once a week and get rid of all but the very best pieces. They can always be photographed and the physical copies placed in longer term homes in the garage or loft.

Get kids involved with a pre-birthday and pre-Christmas declutter.

Change bank and credit card accounts to online statements.

Think about how many of each thing you actually need. We can't physically use more than two double duvet sets at a time (one on the bed and one being washed). If a sickness bug strikes we can muddle through. Stop the "just in case" mindset.

paxillin Sun 14-May-17 02:38:28

Start by throwing away the worst of any type of item. 20 pairs of socks? Chuck the worst five. Three cork screws? Chuck the worst one or two. Continue, you'll painlessly lose a quarter of your stuff.

Yakari Sun 14-May-17 04:31:03

I just did 15 minutes in DS (10yrs) room. We go in with a black bin liner and a box, set an alarm for 15 minutes and blitz it together. DS is a bit like me - he'll be quite decisive especially on books and old toys. Rubbish in the bin liner, recycling in the box. There's a school fair with a jumble sale coming up so he's a little motivated to have things to donate. And 15 minutes is super quick no time to mess about.

I'm going to do DD's (8yr) later. She is much more emotional about it, hates getting rid of anything. School fair is giving us a reason but with her we have two boxes and a small bag. Scrappy bits of paper, broken things in the bag for rubbish, definitely recycling in one box, maybe / not sure in the second box which is then put in a cupboard and recycled in one month if she hasn't asked for it back. She needs this buffer or it gets all too difficult for her. We'll take about 45 mins to do her room while I count to ten and pray for patience

So lesson set a time and a system that works for you, don't rush it if that's going to make it more stressful.

justkeeponsmiling Sun 14-May-17 04:49:41

petitdonkey I came on here to say exactly the same! Sometimes a job is so overwhelming I know I put it off because I just don't know how I will ever be able to do it all. I too tell myself to "Just start"! It definitely works.

DisorderedAllsorts Sun 14-May-17 05:03:02

Start in the least messiest room and put on some good music first, gather bin bags or boxes & cleaning equipment.

- designate one bin bag/box each for rubbish, recycling and charity

- go through each room filling the appropriate bags/boxes with stuff

- anything for to give away, try putting out in your drive/garden with a notice for people to help themselves. Then whatever is left for charity put straight in your boot ready for drop off.

Have a brew cake

Then think about adequate storage solutions.

chloechloe Sun 14-May-17 08:13:32

I was going to say the same as enidbutton - get rid of all your crap and then decide what storage you need if any, otherwise youll just be tidying stuff away at you should be getting rid of.

Snap8TheCat Sun 14-May-17 08:19:13

How are you getting on op?

QuiteLikely5 Sun 14-May-17 08:22:28

Don't even think about it just get a bin liner and go for it

lljkk Sun 14-May-17 08:23:14

Agree with whoever said it's about "JUST START".
Block out time to have a go.
Get off MN & get to it, even if you will only have half an hour.
I can really only do this in a chip away strategy.
I sell as much as possible so if I had to buy something back, I've probably covered the replacement costs as a whole.

allegretto Sun 14-May-17 08:29:25

Don't buy more storage until you've finished and you know what you have left to store.


Also, I find a programme I want to listen to on Radio 4 and tell myself I will declutter only while the programme is on - makes it more do-able.

NotHotDogMum Sun 14-May-17 09:05:27

Try to get rid of a bag of crap a day.

Once your house is sorted don't allow more stuff into your home than you dispose of.
E.g if you buy a bag of clothes, put them away in your wardrobe and at the same time remove the same amount of old clothes.

A pile of toys under the Christmas tree needs to have a place to go (so clear out roughly the same amount of unused and broken toys)

I always try to think of '1 bag in' and '1 bag out' and I am constantly throwing stuff out. My home is very uncluttered and (I feel) only filled with stuff I love and use. If you are making daily decisions it becomes a lot easier.

Good luck getting started.

Zoflorabore Sun 14-May-17 09:08:43

Watch "clutter bug" on YouTube, she's Canadian, brilliant with organising etc and had massively motivated me lately smile

NuzzleandScratch Sun 14-May-17 09:12:23

Read Marie Kondo's book, it's brilliant.

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