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AIBU? have hoped the clutter would have abated by now

77 replies

Apackoflips · 16/11/2019 19:50

I am an avid follower of Marie Kondo . I have read lots of the declutter books ( and sent them to the charity shop) and have watched declutter videos on your tube etc etcetc.
So why on earth do I still have drawers that I cant put one more pen into?Boxes in the dining room that hold things to be sorted. Why have I got several random bags that are full of crap sitting on the utility room floor ?These bags were filled on a panic rush round before guests were imminent. There are some things in the bags I need to keep so I can't just chuck the lot unfortunately.
What do other people do? Surely other people have drawers that arent full to bursting in every room in the house.

OP posts:

PookieDo · 16/11/2019 19:55

I was already doing this before she came along but I like some of her ways of folding up

You are keeping more than you have room to. You need to allocate time to go through them not just put them to one side to sort later - you have not followed it through. You have just put it into bags 😂

I put everything I do not want into my shed and then every few months have a massive clear out over a weekend and recycle/sell/throw it. I don’t have anything inside my house I don’t want or need. The key is actually doing the final part of sorting and parting with things, and what you don’t part with finding a home. If I bring home something new I find it a home straight away


Dotty1970 · 16/11/2019 20:00

Omg is this real.
You sort the rubbish, chuck it, tidy up


Apackoflips · 16/11/2019 20:01

Oh I fold. I fold like theres no tomorrow.
Its the rest of the theory Ive not got to grips with .

I dont seem to be able to part with the small things. I can easily charity shop clothes that Ive paid ££s for but a pen I got free from a rep? No way - its got a stylus on the end.

OP posts:

PookieDo · 16/11/2019 20:09

But it is all probably junk. I don’t hold any sentimental value to most of my belongings - they are either useful, nice or not useful or nice anymore. So for pens I would have 1 pen pot and the best pens in that and any extra has to go. If you keep all the pens, and keep accumulating more, you just end up with junk

This works for everything. You allocate X space for something and keep the best items. The rest goes


PookieDo · 16/11/2019 20:11

So I have 1 drawer for towels, 1 for sheets, 1 cupboard for cleaning stuff, 1 drawer for cutlery etc. What does not fit I do not keep


lljkk · 16/11/2019 20:12

Reading this has reminded me that I was going to go thru a lot of our 'Art' supplies & donate them to the high school.

The short answer I think, OP, is you have to extend your categories of 'does it spark joy'. I must have 200 pens at home. Yet I can only use one at a time... (and I actually prefer to use pencils!)


DDIJ · 16/11/2019 20:13

This reply has been withdrawn

Message from MNHQ: This post has been withdrawn

Apackoflips · 16/11/2019 20:21

Hmmm . See its the spark joy thing. I grew up with nothing so yes unfortunately pens ( that work) do spark joy . As do purses, screwdrivers, batteries, photo frames, packs of cards , combs, lipsticks.....
And paper.

God - just writing it down is helping me see how ridiculous this is. Yes I did grow up with nothing . It gave me great resilience and I can make do and mend with the best. I dont have to though as I have a good job as does my DH so I can afford to buy whole boxes of pens,batteries etc at the drop of a hat.I live in the city so these things are available nigh on 24/7 so I will rarely have a purse or battery emergency .

OP posts:

Countrylifeornot · 16/11/2019 20:27

Oh love, stop reading, stop folding, start throwing.
I would just go drawer by drawer, room by room, getting rid. A bag for the tip, a bag for the charity shop, get rid of both at the days end so you're not tempted to rifle through and keep things.
There is no easy way, no alternative, just get it done. We'll cheer lead you Grin


CastleCrasher · 16/11/2019 20:28

I understand where you're coming from op, I came from a similar background and have had similar problems with placing more value on things than I really should do. I'd suggest you look at things in relative terms... So yes, accept that all pens spark joy (they do for me too!).. but some will spark more than others. Those are the ones you keep. And be brutal too... All pens spark joy, but having eleventy billion of them cluttering up your home spoils that joy. Having fewer, really lovely pens would enable you to have the joy without the negativity


Ilovelala · 16/11/2019 20:36

Do one bag a day or set aside a few hours to do it and dont stop. Go on a mission.


CSIblonde · 16/11/2019 20:39

If you aren't naturally tidy you need to allocate a set 15mins daily for decluttering one thing, like the utility, or a bedroom etc. You also need to be ruthless, if you haven't used or worn something in a year, you really don't 'need' it. You'll never get round to art projects etc if you've already put it off for a year, so donate or pass it to someone else.


DeeCeeCherry · 16/11/2019 20:46

What you do is

(a) stop being lazy
(b) one step at a time.

It took me years to clear my clutter. I despaired of it. I was always 'going to' sort it out.

Nothing happened till I got off my backside and made a start.

I just had way too much stuff. Likely same with you, & all the Kondo books in the world won't help until you face up to that and get rid.

Its a nice feeling when it's cleared. Clutter is depressing. I will never let it build up again.


Harp1977 · 16/11/2019 20:46

I bought a shed and put shelves in there. House is tidy and the shed door is kept closed. It will give the Children - - a taste of what I go though when I tidy their rooms-- something to do when I am dead.


PookieDo · 16/11/2019 20:52

I also grew up with nothing but for some reason it has made me the other way 😂

I really appreciate what I do have, but I don’t feel the need to have excess amounts of it. I really care for and look after what I have got, probably more than other people do! In my mind, having too much stuff would be doing all the stuff I do like/care for a disservice 😂

You do need to mentally and physically have 1 pen pot. For your whole life. And just cherish the ones you keep!


BananaPeach · 16/11/2019 22:42

I believe that decluttering takes years and lots of waves/rounds to go through to perfect it.


Apackoflips · 16/11/2019 23:00

Yes it does take years. Well,it has been years so far anyway!

My house is clean and tidy with mostly clear areas. Its just these remnants of tidying that never seem to have homes to go to.Hundreds of little bits that are often without any real value .

I will try to set a target each day to clear one room of the excess. I have the time to do this next week so no excuse really.

OP posts:

MitziK · 16/11/2019 23:10

(Not directed 'at' you, this is 'at' anybody who is still stuck in the 'but it gives me joy' argument).

Stop fucking attaching emotional value onto bits of crap and shove it in the fucking bin.

When you see something (or more likely, trip over it or have to fight past it and ten thousand others things in search of the thing you actually need), think of your house being on fire and everyone else, human or animal, is outside, safe. It's now your turn to leave. You are guaranteed safe passage if you make your decision right now.

What will you try to get back through flames to take with you?

What will you pick up on your way out - if it's in easy reach - to take with you?

What will you replace within a week if you don't take it with you?

What will you need to get something vaguely similar to in a year?

If you wouldn't refuse to leave a burning building for it, it can't be that important after all, can it?

Get rid of things that would obstruct your exit or provide extra fuel for the hypothetical fire. The things that would get in your way by either just being there or by being aflame - they're getting in your way already, after all, it's just at present they're in the way mentally as much as physically.

Lock and Lock containers give my mother joy, so much so, they have their own armchair at the expense of human beings. And they still take over one corner of the living room and every cupboard in the kitchen. They don't actually have anything in them, though. Rolls of aluminium foil give my mother joy especially when piled up on the sofa, behind the sofa, on the washing machine, on the totally obscured kitchen table and on the living room windowsill. Bottles of soy sauce with different coloured plastic lids bring my mother joy when she doesn't even eat the stuff because she hates salt. Rusty trays that used to have pictures on them bring my mother joy. Videos she has never watched and can't ever watch because a) she doesn't have a working video player and b) they all got destroyed by a roof leak where she wouldn't let anybody in to fix it in case they stole her videos or got buried under the eight foot high piles fell over on them so wouldn't work even if she had a working video player. A fridge from 1982 brings her joy. A fridge from 1984 brings her joy. The ones from 1994 and 2001 bring her joy, too. Seeing the stairs impassable through three foot high piles of clothes she will never wear on each step apparently brings her joy. Seeing her bath unusable because there's a clothes rail in it and towels from 1975 are still piled up on a board at the end of the bath where nobody has ever been allowed to use them brings her joy.

It's simpering, anthropomorphic bollocks. It's just Stuff. Stop buying the books, stop looking for emotional excuses, it doesn't work like that.

You get a place clean and tidy by Not Having So Much Shit In It.


MamaWeasel · 16/11/2019 23:26

@MitziK Flowers and [applause]


squee123 · 16/11/2019 23:32

I highly recommend listening to the podcast A Slob
Comes Clean. Start at the beginning and work through the early episodes. After Kondo and all the decluttering books failed me it was truly life changing for me. She explains that the problem with most of these books is that they are written by naturally organised people and gives strategies for those of us that it doesn't come naturally to and I've found they actually work.


Howaboutnoooo · 16/11/2019 23:35

I find it helpful to empty the cupboard or drawer I want to tidy, and slowly put back the things I want to keep. Leftover stuff is thrown out/donated/relocated to a better place around the house. Anything that I’m having doubts about goes into a ‘limbo’ place- a box under the cupboard, the attic, wherever. Coming back to the box after a few weeks or months usually gives me a little more perspective and it’s easier to make a decision.
But more importantly, remember to admire your tidy cupboard and marvel in being able to open it and retrieve exactly what you want without the need to shuffle through the crap! Yes I know, bit weird but tidiness brings me joy, specifically because I’m such a natural hoarder.


Scribblescribbles · 16/11/2019 23:35

MitziK loving your advice. Best I've seen on Mn ever.


DontCallMeShitley · 16/11/2019 23:36

I find if I get rid of something I will find I need it a few days later.

I ensure that I get rid of at least one thing a day and if I buy something, another thing has to go.


FusionChefGeoff · 16/11/2019 23:42

Agree to the 'empty it all out and only put back the good stuff'

I quite often (and very randomly - DH despairs of my timing!) drag everything out of a cupboard / drawer and have a mad chucking session.


OnTheFenceWithMostViews · 16/11/2019 23:56

My ex sil was like this.. A massive hoarder.
I always wanted to help.. But it took me a while to understand that buying things made her happy if only for a short time.

At first I looked and was like bin the lot.. Get a skip for the stuff that can't be given away to charity.

In 7 yrs she only cleared 1 room that she made a a guest room.

I would love to know if she finally did the rest.
I'm. On her SM and only once did she say something about clearing and she'd found jars 10 plus Yr out of date in cupboards.. She used to use her shopping out of the bags as couldn't fit in the cupboard now I know why..

Could you start by tidying out a cupboard or drawer 1 a day.. Loading into car for charity. Or bin etc
Then all the boxed stuff sort before putting away.

Things like pens and stuff. It's near Xmas many places want donations for the 3rd world shoe box appeal.. That's ideal.
Clothes to womens refuges etc..

Just do a little at a time.

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