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Need to know the secret to having a clutter free house!

(38 Posts)
KaySamuels Sun 30-Sep-07 20:04:35

I need to tidy up and everywhere I look there are piles of letters and paperwork, magazines, toys, text books, aaargh! I don't know where to start! My house is always clean, but never feels tidy! Also I am resigned to having toys everywhere I look as I childmind and have a 2yr old! grin

If you have a home where you aren't slowly drowning in clutter the please tell me your secret! grin

clutteredup Sun 30-Sep-07 20:05:45

Can't help in the least, thus name, but will watch this for tips.

lomondgal Sun 30-Sep-07 20:05:46

Sorry i am drowning in clutter too, no matter how much I throw out it still looks a mess!

scattyspice Sun 30-Sep-07 20:06:33

A place for every thing and everything in its place.
wink

escape Sun 30-Sep-07 20:09:12

I find it amazing how the clutter piles up.
I hate it, but am not anaturally very organised person, so i am really having to change my habits, everything thats used, every piece of paper that comes through the door, I think about if I really need it, and i bin it is neccessary and have made appropriate files for things like bank statements. I used to put things down, to deal with 'later' and of course that never happens, or think 'I might need that' of course I never do.
I've now got an 'in' file which is for bills etc that need dealing with throughout the day week wtc, that I dip into when I have the time to pay them, respond etc. theres a pen and stamps etc in here as well.
Toys all go in baskets at the end of the day and out of my sight. I regularly sort thm too and any 'bits' etc get binned
Tiny baby steps , but making areal difference

NotAnOtter Sun 30-Sep-07 20:10:08

just filter all the time filter
i have 5 kids and clutter free house
idont buy gubbins and filter all the time
we do have 'a pile' but it is just 'a' pile and goes up and down
dont let kids rooms get messy that is a start
i dont do 10000 fluffy toys
lego/playmobile in underbed storage
go through kids rooms every few months 1 bag bin/ 1charity

i am a bit ruthless but keeps me sane

NotAnOtter Sun 30-Sep-07 20:11:23

stops me arguing with teens too

boys are generally much cleaner and tidier imo and i have a lot of boys so that helps

UCM Sun 30-Sep-07 20:12:09

NotanOtter, you have just reminded me NOT to buy loads of plastic shit for DS stocking this year.

KindMum Sun 30-Sep-07 20:12:31

- Book cases
- File away bills, payslips, letters, bank statements etc in labelled files on a regular basis
- Big plastic boxes - throw toys in them at the end of the day - don´t keep too many out at any one time, just swap around which boxes kids have access to
- Ruthlessly throw out things you don´t need

Ikea is a good inexpensive source of things to help organise clutter. Pick up packs of 10 files when they´re going cheap from supermarket.

eandh Sun 30-Sep-07 20:12:51

I have wooden storage system with wicker baskets in the playroom (have pics of toys on labels so dd's can help at tidy up time) and then one huge pine blanketbox for bigger toys. If they can't fit in basket/box (except for the playkitchen) we either sort out some oler toys and loft them or the move a few toys in their room (they have coloured storage boxes in the bottom of the wardrobes)

2 Files upstairs one for houseold things ie bills etc and other for personal/school info. Receive bill, pay online and file immeaditely! School trip/childminder letters etc etc either diarise or have a plastic wallet/folder to put them in and keep in kitchen

Magazines/newspaper read and go in recycle bin otherwise maybe a magazine rack or small box in lounge?

Textbooks why do you need them are you studying, if so collect them all together and either put on a shelf or again in a box and near to the place where you normally work

I am ruthles though and throw lots away weekly especially the 'bits' that accumulate if we havent used it for 3 months more than likely we don't need it out so it can go in loft/shed or bin. Also not really into knick nacks/stuf out have nice photos framed on walls but most of the surfaces are free or have a specific use ie fish tank/laptop/skybox on etc

haychee Sun 30-Sep-07 20:15:02

Handle paper once, ie letters bills etc. Open them and deal with them and file immediately. Do not allow piles of papers to accumulate (my pet hate)

KaySamuels Sun 30-Sep-07 20:15:05

We have files for bills and things, I just seem to be fighting a losing battle! I try and sort it everyday and I'm getting nowhere fast! hmm
I like the idea of an in tray. smile

mintcake Sun 30-Sep-07 20:20:23

i seem to be fighting a losing battle too! I feel like i am constantly tidying all day long and the house still looks like a pile of rubbish when the kids have gone to bed. I seem to spend most of my evenings cleaning and tidying. I wish i had the answer for you.

KaySamuels Sun 30-Sep-07 20:21:29

Thanks there are some great tips on here, we have toy boxes, but they could be more organised, will look into more storage ideas, and am in the middle of a clear out anyway so will continue!

I don't do ornaments either, have 3 pictures on mantel piece and that's it. Hmm lots to think about on this thread. smile

admylin Sun 30-Sep-07 20:23:31

I tried to help my sister tidy up last time I went to stay there and it took us all morning to tidy one corner of her living room. We threw alot of stuff out especially papers, magazines, old drawings etc. Trouble is the tidy corner had been re-filled by the next day and you couldn't tell that we had spent a whole morning on our hands and knees sorting it out.
She gave up in the end after we'd done a few corners more and you couldn't tell, but she did want to get a load of boxes to stack and to start taking the upstairs stuff upstairs straight away which would help the overall look of things.

Another good tip is to try and get one of those Feng shui books, as before you can do Feng shui you have to de-clutter and some books have good sections on doing that first. You don't have to believe or go on to do any of the Feng shui but that helped me to get my place sorted and it's now quite minimalistic and I can get rid of stuff we don't need alot easier than I used to. One of the rules in the book was that you should never have piles of things behind doors or in corners as it blocks energy (or something along those lines) and that's where I started.

Anna8888 Sun 30-Sep-07 20:23:36

I don't have much clutter.

I throw away a lot. I don't buy things I don't need.

Try to identify areas that you could deal with one by one, for example:

- books - sort through and give away everything you won't read again
- clothes - ditto
- kitchen cupboards - ditto, and reorganise to make your kitchen as efficient/rational as possible
- sheets and towels - have one set per bed/person and one set for guests and get rid of the rest. That forces you to wash and put back on the bed on the same day so you don't have to fold/store

etc

LadyVictoriaOfCake Sun 30-Sep-07 20:24:18

dont have a dh who buys old footy programmes hmm

i am trying to clear 3years+ of clutter and dh is buying more of it hmm

scattyspice Sun 30-Sep-07 20:28:21

Good tip Anna re towels and sheets. hmm

LucyJones Sun 30-Sep-07 20:28:22

the secret for me would be to live on my own grin
I am quite minimalist really but dh is such a hoarder.
He was clearign out the shed today and found a piece of wood his dad had left a message on from 1994 - he wanted to keep it and eventually I persuaded him to take a photo of it and dump the bit of wood!!

LucyJones Sun 30-Sep-07 20:29:18

Anna - what happens if someone throws up in the night?

geekgirl Sun 30-Sep-07 20:38:22

I read 'no more clutter' as recommended by someone on here, and that really helped me (absolute godsend really).
It tackles clutter and how to deal with it from all angles really, unlike the other books I've read on it which don't actually focus on the 'why' so much.
My main weakness was a lack of ruthlessness - e.g. I still had clothes I 'outgrew'[ahem]blush 7 years ago, and I finally faced up to the fact that I just not going to fit into them in the near future, and if/when I do lose the weight I can buy new ones. Also the issue of not wanting to throw something away even if it was never used because it had cost money in the first place - the book pointed out that the money was wasted when the item was bought years ago, not when it is finally thrown out/given away.

Anyway, I've got rid of so much crap in the past few weeks - it's very liberating.grin

geekgirl Sun 30-Sep-07 20:40:53

oh, and don't buy more storage until you've done some serious decluttering! You won't know what you need, and even if it's shoved into a box out of sight it'll still be clutter.

Flibbertyjibbet Sun 30-Sep-07 20:58:28

I have just done my twice yearly loft expedition. I sort clothes that are too big for either boy, or stuff that I am savign from biggun to littleun seasonally, bag up in clear bin liners with A4 sheets of papers clearly displayed inside saying whats what. Same for shoes and wellies. I buy a lot of 'bigger sizes' in the sales, and get given lots of bigger stuff by friends.
We hardly have any toys out as I rotate them every wednesday night (kids at nursery mon tue wed)with others under the stairs. That way they never get bored with just a small selection.
We both are self employed and have a small area in the chimney alcove for desk and office. The only way we keep this tidy is tons of opaque plastic sort of A4 box things lined up on shelf after shelf - DP tax, mum Receipts, mum customers, dp brochures etc etc. Shredder in constant use. Lego, train set and all the small toy cars in large plastic boxes under their beds to come out on request. Kids are in a box room so no space for toys.
I am not naturally tidy but 4 of us in 2 up 2 down with no shed/garage etc means we have to be ruthless about throwing out, and always put things back when we have finished with them.

Trinityrhino Sun 30-Sep-07 21:01:51

try it, you might like it
grin

mammyofET Sun 30-Sep-07 21:06:24

I don't do clutter - can't bear it (but oddly find other peoples clutter houses interesting!) Anyways:

Charity shops - for all things that no longer have a place in your home. Be ruthless and its for a good cause.

The loft _ for suitcases and old baby things etc. that you will definintely use again. (No maybes allowed).

Deal with things as you see / find them. Don't put it off until you have the time as you'll never find the time. If the cupboard looks untidy and you have 5mins - tidy it. If you need to rsvp something do it that day.

Have an in-tray for post and a notice board for urgents (and vouchers that you always forget to use).

Have clean surfaces. (Kitchen, bathroom, coffee tables).

Have just re-read my post and I sound like a no clutter maniac - but I'm being honest grin

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