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Thrifty hoarding vs clutter clearing- which tactic works for you

(90 Posts)
wheresmypaddle Thu 17-Sep-09 11:08:52

I don't like clutter but at the same time I hate throwing things away that might 'come in useful' one day or save me some money. As a result our (small) home is filling up all sorts of clutter (magazines I 'might' reread one day, clothes I might fit into, books I might lend to friends, old toys DS might regain interest in, CDs I might want to listen to..........).

I try to store these things neatly but that leaves little room to store the rest of our stuff. I have been considering doing some ebaying / charity shop runs but always seem to find an excuse to hold onto things in case they save us money or come in usefull.

A little voice in my head is telling me to get rid of it all this clutter, another voice is telling me not to be so wasteful- can anyone tell me which approach they take??

MrsKitty Thu 17-Sep-09 11:14:38

No advice, but am interested in responses - I'm drowning in stuff that 'might...'

wheresmypaddle Thu 17-Sep-09 11:32:25

any hoarders or clutter clearers have any advice for us?

staranise Thu 17-Sep-09 16:45:38

I'm a natural hoarder but our house is v small so I have discovered the joy of 'dejunking'. If you haven't used it or looked at it in the last six months, throw it away/recycle/charity. If it is clothing you haven't worn in the last year, recycle it. Cut out the bits of magazines you think you will read again (recipes? patterns?) and stick them in a scrapbook and throw the magazine away. If in doubt, stick it in a 'maybe' box, put it away for 6 monthsand see whether you missed it during that time.

I do hoard however: childrens' clothes/equipment that can be passed on (but it goes up in the attic), wool and knitting magazines/scraps of fabric (I knit and sew) - boxes under the bed, but they're getting out of control!

BonsoirAnna Thu 17-Sep-09 16:49:40

Some things are easier to get rid of than others.

Magazines and newspapers really ought to go to recycling at the end of every day/week/month. Just go round your house, pick them all up and take them to a recycling bin smile.

Clothes date dreadfully and if you cannot fit into them now, you are unlikely to want to wear them if you lost weight either as you would feel all enthusiastic about your new slim appearance and would want to buy new, fashionable stuff wink. So sell/donate/recycle now.

I have no problem getting rid of books that are out of date - you might want to take a look at them by category and, say, keep classic novels but recycle old cook books.

Holding onto rubbish is not thrifty as it is taking up useful space, and space is worth money! Often a lot of money!

PrincessToadstool Thu 17-Sep-09 16:55:04

Oh, get rid of it all. Don't listen to the little voice saying 'this might be useful one day'. It talks bollocks.

I am ruthless with clutter, and I can honestly say I have never gone 'damn! If only I had kept that XXX!' - not once. I have regretted one or two items of clothing, but it's easy to look back at things with rose-tinted glasses - if they had been that nice I'd have kept them in the first place!

If something has been in storage for 12 months, it GOES. I can't tolerate endless piles of 'stuff' that is useless and jumbled.

BlueKangerooWonders Thu 17-Sep-09 17:00:17

I got some advice from someone with a beautifully clutter-free house, in response to my I-Might-Need-It wailing. Someone else needs it NOW, get it to the charity shop ASAP.

Didn't follow the advice. House full of clutter still, and it's depressing !

BonsoirAnna Thu 17-Sep-09 17:06:34

Yes, when I give nice stuff to charity I hope that someone else is going to enjoy it now that my family doesn't anymore! It helps me get on with sticking it all in black bags for the recycling/charity people (who come and collect at the door a couple of times every year).

Horton Thu 17-Sep-09 17:35:20

Don't give away your loved trashy books! Give away the classics instead. You'll always be able to get a copy of Wuthering Heights or Bleak House but you might not ever find another copy of that complete tosh that you really like reading when you're poorly or fed up.

Speckledeggy Thu 17-Sep-09 21:56:41

I used to be a bit of a hoarder but had a bit of an epiphany a couple of years ago.

In my case, it was purely psychological. Although I grew up in a nice house in a nice area we didn't have a lot of money. I consequently grew up thinking I should hang onto things just in case they would come in useful later on. Most of the time they didn't!

Now I have regular clear outs. My 6 month wardrobe overhaul is due in the next few days. I just go through and take out anything that is knackered or I am fed up of and decide what would be really useful to go with everything else.

You need to be brave and let things go. Also remember that if you need that thing in the future you will get another one when you need it. When you let things go you no longer need it makes room for lots of nice things you do need!

This book is quite good... d=1253220941&sr=8-1

kittycatty Fri 18-Sep-09 11:31:05

oh i wish i could get rid of my clutter. even put it in the black sac, But then the voices start and convince me i might need it. hmm

Rebeccadiamond Fri 18-Sep-09 11:44:22

I have items in my wardrobe which I am keeping for "when I lose weight". This is a bit silly as I have been the same weight for about 4 years and never really managed to lose any! (I'm 12 stone by the way, so not huge but a bit bigger than I should be.)

We also have a cupboard under the stairs which we refer to as the cupboard monster as it is full of junk we can't quite get round to throwing out. I should be more disciplined.

mathanxiety Fri 18-Sep-09 18:51:20

How about imagining your friends and family having to go to all the work of chucking it if god forbid something might happen to you? What thoughts would be running through their heads as they filled bag after bag of paper clips, old mags. Try to see it as other people would if it was left to them to deal with it. Give that voice in your head a name and tell it Wheresmypaddle is in charge and has made a decision that she will not debate or discuss. Clean it out one area at a time in half hour increments, and dispose of it from your home the same day. Don't sit on it and mull over your decisions. You'll never remember 90% of it after a week.

bodeniites Fri 18-Sep-09 18:57:01

Rebeccadiamond we have a cupboard like that we call it "the cupboard of no return" as for charity shop items i work for Oxfam and you would be amazed what goes straight in the bin

crokky Fri 18-Sep-09 18:57:03

Get rid of all of it, seriously!

My house is clutter free and I get rid of stuff every week at least. As soon as something is finished with it goes on eBay/charity shop/to friend. I do not keep anything I am not currently using and it is never a problem. It is extremely liberating! It is also easy to keep the house tidy.

I like your post mathanxiety!

notcitrus Fri 18-Sep-09 19:39:03

I have an overcluttered house, with some excuse that our loft contents are all in the rest of the house atm and both sets of parents have downsized in the last few years and given us stuff...

Useful thoughts are how much space in your house 'costs' - if I'm paying about £150 per room per month, and I can't use that room because it's full of crap, I'm losing not saving money by having stuff in it that 'might come in useful'.

If a drawer is more than 3/4 full, then the time you waste trying to find anything costs a lot more than say buying new tights in a certain colour if you ever want them

Also with magazines, old course notes etc: is the info in them available on the internet? If so, out they go.

Now, all those magazines with irreplaceable content and all the baby stuff being saved because SIL wants it back, and the presents given in the last few years by people who will get mardy if I give them away...that's more tricky!

millenniumfoxtrot Fri 18-Sep-09 19:55:15

how can it be a waste if you're either donating it to a good cause or turning it into ready cash?

i'm guilty of keeping too much stuff, although i do my best to keep it moving out the door. i'm best with clothes (mainly cos i can't find the clothes i do wear if i hang onto the ones i don't) - i ebay at least twice a year (beginning of appopriate season) and because i've usually bought the stuff on ebay in the first place i often get back what i paid for things.

i'm baaaad at hoarding fabric etc. but tbh i know for sure i will use it one day, and to have a "stash" to work from is a complete joy, so i won't be giving that up.

i struggle with books/magazines because they don't really make a decent return on ebay/amazon so i feel they're worth more to me than the few pence i'm likely to clear and hang onto them. this will have to stop though, mostly cos i've sold pretty much all the clothes i can spare so i need another income stream pdq

i'm pretty ruthless with kids stuff - i keep everything to hand from dd1 to dd2 but i'm good at getting rid of it when dd2's done. we weed through books and cuddly toys at least twice a year to make space for new stuff and they're refreshingly good at letting them go.

cd's all go onto computer then get sold, no need for em at all these days. i really do have to investigate whether anyone still buys vinyl cos we've got a ton of the stuff.

be ruthless. enjoy the feeling of lightness it brings. so much more space, so much less dusting

ToAnswerYourQuestion Sat 19-Sep-09 14:30:12

For me it was just about switching my attitude somehow, but I can't really advise how! I used to be a bit of a hoarder, probably because my mum is terrible. I think it was partly my dp's influence, when dd was a baby he helped me clean out my room, and although he didn't throw anything away, he cleaned & tidied & it was so much nicer and made me realise how low my standards had been for so long! Ever since then, every now & then I have the desire to declutter.

I basically make piles initially, three, one for things I'm definitely keeping (ie things i use regularly or recently), one "maybe" pile, things I haven't used much but can't quite let go of yet, and one "definitely" pile for things i have no qualms about letting go. Once the piles are made, I look at them a second time, and usually much of the "maybe" pile ends up in the get rid of pile. I try to be really brutal - will I really ever use this again, really?? It is so therapeutic when you get rid of a bunch of stuff.

Once I'd done it a few times, I learnt that I'd forgotten about the things I got rid of, and so it wasn't so painful the next time. One thing you could do is put into a bag things you ought to get rid of but can't quite let go of, and hide it under the bed or something for a few months. When you go back to it you will go OH YEAH! and realise that you'd forgotten about them and therefore may as well have got rid of them! I do that with dd's toys actually, she wouldn't let me get rid of anything so I always go through her stuff on the sly, but keep hold of it a while in case she thinks of any of it. To this day she never has!

claudialyman Sat 19-Sep-09 15:35:56

find a good charity shop with a cause that motivates you personally to give. Think about the stuff you dont actually need/enjoy in terms of what its worth to the beneficiaries of that charity. That'll help you get over you fear-of-needing-something-that's-gone!

Othersideofthechannel Sat 19-Sep-09 18:48:14

I'm a hoarder but I must be a pretty good judge of what might come in useful because it usually does. Although I have to admit that some of the jumpers I have kept because they are really thick and keep me warm in winter come off if I have to answer the door!
When we went through my Mum's stuff when she died I kept her tin of paperclips and they are coming in useful regularly.
However we are very lucky in that we have a basement the size of our house so there is lots of room for hoarding stuff.

expatinscotland Sat 19-Sep-09 18:50:44

It will never come in useful.

Trust in the universe that if you need something, you will find it or it will find you.

And in that spirit, pass on what you do not love or use or find beautiful, to fill the needs of someone else.

movingnow Sat 19-Sep-09 20:58:34

Moving house regularly is a great way to de-junkgrin

expatinscotland Sat 19-Sep-09 21:02:07

I agree, move! As is caravan-living.

biffandchip Sat 19-Sep-09 21:09:06

I'm a bit of a hoarded, prob because I never really had much and I am still really aware that I have to work hard for what I have, however I still need to throw stuff out every now and again. I got in touch with the local women's aid and asked if they needed any boys clothes/toys/books/magazines etc and they did I felt so motivated to get down there with my stuff asap knowing it was going to people genuinely in need who had fled violence and possibly just a few bits of clothes and their children prob had to leave most of their toys.

We also have an intranet at work and Social Services often ask for bedding/towels/blankets and gen household stuff for either older people of young people leaving care and setting up home so I often give my extra stuff to them.

ravenAK Sat 19-Sep-09 21:12:11

I'm a Born Again De-Clutterer. I still accumulate other people's crap, though - dh calls me Madam Cholet as he reckons I'm a natural Womble.

Freecycle everything you don't need, first of all - then you know the stuff is going to someone who wants it. (Even if they want it to's out of your life).

Old toys - pass on to a friend with younger dc - what goes around comes around!

Don't hang on to too big/small clothes. As Bonsoir Anna says, if you lose weight you'll want lovely new clothes. & if you keep 'big' clothes, it's a way of telling yourself you'll regain the weight...

Give magazines to the local Dr's surgery or similar. There's never anything in magazines you need to re-read!

Books - there you have me...I really struggle to get rid. If it's something I don't think I'll read again & know I could easily re-acquire then I take it into work - we have a 'help yourself' bookshelf. Or look into Book Crossing?

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