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Moving house and starting again - please share your housekeeping tips for organisation and clutter-free living! (aka how do you keep the crap out of your house?)

(21 Posts)
TheMightyToosh Mon 02-Nov-09 17:09:55

New house and new baby both on the way, I need to stay clutter free and breezy for the forseable. I'm really bad at keeping surfaces clear, shoes out the way, coats off the back of chairs, etc etc. The place looks grrreat now as we have cleared it all ready to move, but it won't last and I would love your tips on how to stay like it for life.

Do you have any tips for not ending up with piles of crap all over your house?

Also, how can I limit the amount of stuff that comes into the house via Christmas presents? Can I actually ask people to please not buy us any kitchen gadgets or ornaments this year? I feel that would be really rude and presumptuous, but how else do I stop it? I don't need a doughnut maker!

Any clutter-free ninja tips very much appreciated!

TheArmadillo Mon 02-Nov-09 17:18:07

Clear it all out before you move.

Then you need to be ruthless and clear out crap from one room a week. It won't take long if you keep on top of it.

Also if people give you crap, smile, nod and then donate to a charity shop almost immediately. Don't keep it.

neverknowinglyundercatered Mon 02-Nov-09 21:16:50

bumping for you, mumsnetters have so many ingenious suggestions on these kinds of thread... (and I too need help in this department!)

Fizzylemonade Mon 02-Nov-09 22:33:13

Everything needs a home.

In our house, we remove shoes in the hall and we have shoe storage, coats get taken off and hung up on hooks.

Post is dealt with in the kitchen so any crap can go straight into recycling, anything with our name on goes into the shredder, it is plugged in next to our kitchen bin and I just have to switch the socket on (it's high up on the wall) anything to keep goes into a file.

My house is on the market and people who have viewed my house all remark on how organised it is anal I have a cupboard with tubs in all labelled, eg I have tubs of extension leads, lightbulbs, medicines, cleaning stuff, handwash and kandoo wipes etc

As long as you aren't fudging how tidy your house is by ramming everything into wardrobes or the like then everything in your house already fits somewhere.

I did flylady about 1 year ago, my house was a midden before that. I don't shine my sink daily but I do try to keep it tidy.

My children have trofast storage from Ikea again labelled so everything can be found if it has been returned, a nice lesson for them if the can't find something.

In my defence, my house is a fun house, if they are in the middle of building some epic lego thing they can leave it out in the conservatory playroom, we play with playdoh, shaving foam, paint and I make gloop.

So no, it doesn't look like a show home, I usually have to pick my way across the floor and avoid toys in the day but like to have a clear lounge at night.

If you get a big toy chest everything just gets chucked in, it is better to separate things out.

Rant over, as you were blush grin

TheMightyToosh Tue 03-Nov-09 09:51:00

Thanks all!

I know it is really just a case of being ruthless and organised. I just get so tired of having over stuffed cupboards and still only ever using the stuff at the front.

Fizzy - I think you hit on my problem. I do have to stuff things in wardrobes to make the place look tidy, so there isn't already a home for everything. Most places that should house clothes and shoes are taken over with crap or toys!

My mission is a) clearing the crap before we leave, and b) when we get there, a place for everything and everything in its place.

And then c) not letting stuff I don't want take up valuable space in my house. That is the hardest one, I think, because I am a bit too sentimental when it comes to presents!

wastingaway Tue 03-Nov-09 10:56:22

Don't be too sentimental. I have got rid of so much crap I'd been hanging onto for years. We still don't have enough room, or a place for everything yet, but we are getting there.

I have been known to put things still in their box into the charity pile on Boxing Day before.

I aim to have lots of Trofast in years to come!

mogs0 Tue 03-Nov-09 18:37:01

I am aiming for a less cluttered house/life but still have a very long way to go!

When I moved into my current home, 2 years ago, my stuff arrived 2 days before ds and I did so my Mum and sister very kindly filled my cupboards with unpacked boxes. 2 years later, they're still there blush. I move, on average, every 2 years (I get itchy feet!) and each time I say I'll sort everything out as I'm unpacking instead of when I'm packing it up but for one reason or another because I'm lazy it never gets done.

It's so bad now that I'm embarrassed when people come round and see all the crap everywhere and get into a right state if they go upstairs blush. I am working on it though.

One bit of advice I have is that if you're donating things to the charity shop take it straight away. I have filled bags for the charity shop but can't get to one easily so I wait until I can get a lift there. In the meantime the contents get re-absorbed back into the general clutter and I'm back to square one. I have found 3 charity shop bags in my bedroom today but will have to go through them again because I started filling them ages ago and can't remember exactly what's in them!

Bonsoir Tue 03-Nov-09 18:39:59

Buy appropriate storage. You will find that new categories that need storing will appear pretty often - I am currently planning a trip to Ikea to buy storage for "entertaining" eg decorations, table wear.

wastingaway Wed 04-Nov-09 08:34:22

I bought a bath toy tidy net that suckers to the tiles yesterday and already am feeling better.
The foam letters and rubber duckies were spreading through the whole of upstairs, but that's one bit of clutter instantly sorted. grin

dreamteamgirl Wed 04-Nov-09 10:42:25

mogs "I have found 3 charity shop bags in my bedroom today but will have to go through them again because I started filling them ages ago and can't remember exactly what's in them!"

Nooooooo if you dont know whats in them you dont need them. Dont look in just get them out of house grin

It is so about everything having a home. Trofast has changed my life LOL. It is so easy ot tidy up when things have a place to go

Good luck Toosh

blueywhite Wed 04-Nov-09 11:44:45

My advice would be to be ruthless!

If I'm clearing out a room I take EVERYTHING out. At that point it becomes a tidy, sorted room. Then I only put back things I'm genuinely going to use, into whatever storage there is. Everything has to justify its existence.

Decent storage is a must, but there's only so much you storage space you can have. The only way IMO to have a tidy house is to have less stuff.

It's a simple equation - you cannot have more stuff than you have space to store it neatly in. It's an attitude of mind as well as a search for practical solutions.

Good luck!

<slopes off to take own advice about having too many clothes>

TheMightyToosh Wed 04-Nov-09 20:18:33

Thank you everyone! I know, I need to be ruthless and not sentimental. Easier said than done when I have yet to discard of so much as a scribble that has come home from DD's nursery grin

Abubu Thu 05-Nov-09 15:39:48

Watching with interest as I have the most messy cluttered house in the world, worse since children and it's getting me down!

sdr Thu 05-Nov-09 16:10:31

I divide my cleaning up over 5 days and find that gives me time to do a proper tidy in a room as I'm not rushing the job.

blithedance Thu 05-Nov-09 16:16:50

Shelves everywhere. Go upward. DH is pretty nifty at attaching things to walls so we have a good set of shelves in every room that take books, toys, kitchen stuff, sewing stuff, etc right up off the floor.

The first part of the battle is creating a place for everything (not just a pile), the second is putting it away. I struggle with the second but without the first there would be no hope!

rosiejoy Sun 08-Nov-09 12:16:56

kids artstuff is actually quite easy to store i think, i have bought one of these

(although mine is smaller and cheaper). i keep maybe 2 or 3 paitings etc on the fridge at a time, when a new one comes home i take 1 down, then decide whether or not to keep it. the folder is for the kids to look at when theyre older, so i try to think what will be worth them looking at again when they are adults. keeping that in mind makes it a lot easier to be objective about what is worth keeping.

sushistar Sun 08-Nov-09 15:00:11

The best things I have learnt are:

1. Keep ONE of everything. This is useful with toys - one garage, one trike, one set of paints - and it works in the kitchen too. It's hard to do but I always think I'd love, one day, to have one each of a really lovely beautiful good quality thing than 4 or 5 of that thing but less nice ones iyswim. For instance, I have a lovely cast iron emnamel casserole dish, that will last for EVER. That's it - I don't need more than that one casserole dish. (I have a bigger one for when we have family to stay, but for just us this dish is IT).

2. For things where just one is not practicable (eg kids books, pairs of jeans) decide how much space you have for those things and then chuck away anything that does not fit into that space. DS has a shelf in his room and a shelf in the living room for books. That is the maximum kids books we can accomodate. If we get more, we have to go through the bookshelves and weed out the least nice ones to make room for the new ones.

3. Keep like together. Decide where in the house sports equipment, or art materials, or whatever goes. Then make sure ALL the things in that category are TOGETHER. It makes it a lot easier to see when you have got 'doubles' of things, and also where a particular type of clutter is getting out of hand.

sushistar Sun 08-Nov-09 15:03:58

Oh, and another one...
When you get a toy with lots of bits, straight away get a plastic storage box of an appropriate size (I like the ones with clip on lids - I think they're called the really useful box) and put ALL the bits, plus instructions etc, in the box, and throw away the packaging the toy came in. And FORCE the DCs to return the bits to the box when they are finished - we are allowed 3/4 toys out at a time, and then we have to put one away before another one can be got out.

smugmumofboys Sun 08-Nov-09 15:06:46

Can't comment on how to achieve a tidy house as mine is something of a midden.

I can comment on Christmas presents! Unless there's something specific we would like or need money towards, we ask for posh edibles and family seem to enjoy putting together little hampers of goodies from their corner of the UK! We've rarely not used anything and it's all gone in a few months' time.

FifiOK Mon 09-Nov-09 23:49:33

My Tips for Household paperwork

One File for Appliance instructions - staple receipts & guarantees together at time of purchase.

One Envelope for current receipts which everything goes in & gets cleared out once a quarter.

A-Z file for passports, driving licences, insurance docs, utility bills, car stuff etc,

Separate folder for House / Mortgage

Kids stuff: I am careful with what I put in the loft but the kids all have a couple of boxes up there. I chuck stuff in a box downstairs until it's full then unload it into the loft box a couple of times a year when the box is full.

As other posters have said, deal with post etc straightaway - either recycle immediately or file. Have a "to do" section in your A-Z file but make sure it's only got genuine items to action in it.

Good luck !!

cheesesarnie Mon 09-Nov-09 23:57:28

this old thread keeps me in line!
and becomming a tad ruthless.ive found moving to a smaller house helps as it gets messy quicker so i have to tidy moregrin

also not letting the dc in helps keep my house tidy,although they do look cold sometimes.grin

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