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Thread: How to declutter? Help

  1. #19

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    I am in the process of decluttering, I find it pointless to try and do while I have DS on my own as I barely get going. Now I have started doing one section of a room a night (when I can) and I am managing to get DH to help.



    I am hoping to be finished by end of the month so I can enjoy summer with the boys without constantly feeling like I need to be sorting things. Then I am sure by March it will need another decluttering

  2. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mildez View Post
    I was recently reading an article about clutter causing stress and it definitely is in our place for both DH and I.

    How do I learn to be ruthless and throw out stuff that has meaning to us? The thought of Christmas is already stressing me out about how to store the gifts the girls get and telling people not to buy them s--t that we simply can't fit into our home and keep it orderly also. Arrr I already have 5 garbage bags for Vinnies just from today but it feels like it has not even dinted the stuff we have. We have a very large home and every where I look there is just more stuff to go through. I want a place for everything and right now I don't have that.
    I think there has been alot of good advice about getting rid of stuff - but the not wanting it in the first place is also a valid strategy.

    We live in a two bed flat, the four of us plus occasional UK visitors for weeks at a time - space is at an absolute premium, but I wouldn't change my stance if I had a bigger place (although I do think people maybe respect my wishes because of where we live). I have no qualms about telling people not to buy us things - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't (birthday parties have a 50% success rate - but that is 50% less stuff). The world is full of stuff, I do not want people buying stuff for us just for the sake of giving us something, that I then either have to store or donate - I really think it is unfair when people say "but you are taking away my joy of giving" - for one if the receiver doesn't want it, how can that give you joy, two you can give gifts that are not things (experiences, memberships, days out, etc. food) things that don't take up any space at all, and three the joy that some people get from shopping is not the same as the joy of giving.

    Anyway what I have found works, is making sure give people suggestions on the alternatives, experiences etc - also make sure give feedback about how much enjoyed things, photos etc. Talking about how much DD enjoyed special cinema trip with her uncle, all the stuff we do with zoo pass, museum pass etc etc. Just being honest about why you don't want more stuff (space issues, and environmental reasons in my case). Thinking about how can add something to another thing already have or getting, e.g. a bell or basket to add to a bike already getting. Not buying other people presents (birthday parties we do buy gifts unless invite states no gifts, as that seems to be the default position) but getting them 'experiences' etc. or money if that is what they want.

  3. #21

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    Absolutely, wysiwyg.

    This Christmas, we have actively told family that for the DSs, we would prefer they did not get gifts. They have too much stuff already - and yes, that includes craft supplies, a variety of indoor and outdoor toys, clothes, movies, books, etc. Of course there's things that they don't have which they would like. But they don't need it.

    So what we have suggested proactively is that from immediate family (as we don't expect prezzies from anyone much else, other than KK!) is that they take the DSs on an excursion. Either the DSs together or separately - totally up to the giver.

    We've made suggestions, and said dates that the boys will be available (based on other activities DH and have planned) and we are completely open to other ideas.

    From my parents, the DSs are getting a friends of the zoo pass, and they will be coming for the first trip and bringing a picnic.

    Other activities we've suggested range in cost from basically free (a day at the beach) to pricier (Pollywoodside) and inbetween (Scienceworks or the farm).

    DS2 may not remember the trip - but he also won't remember the 3D chalk and new truck. DS1 will I suspect remember the trip, and am much more interested in him having an enormous storehouse of wonderful and happy memories with people who love him, and invest time into him when they can. Not just stuff.

    My sister was a bit upset at the thought of my DSs not having anything to open, when the nephews are opening their gifts - so I offered (and she happily accepted) to hand over some toys in a tub not out right now, for her to wrap. I don't think the DSs will cotton on (or mind) - and everyone is happy. I'm not against stuff - just excess, and clutter.

    I am under the impression that the PIL aren't taken by the idea - but we're not going to press the point further - my 3 siblings and parents are a good start!!

    But if it works well, wee might do it again next year!

    DH and my Christmas prezzies from parents have for the past several years gone towards a nice dinner out (JOY!!!) or an expensive specialist book or a trip to Gold Class ... this year, I'm tempted to spend it on a cleaner from the ASRC ... That will help to get rid of some clutter, and to not get more!!

    This isn't something I think everyone should do.

    But consider it, if you're feeling overwhelmed at another Christmas of stuff and clutter.

  4. #22

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    I have decluttered the clothes, half way through the clothes, the photos, and my earrings!

    Getting there

  5. #23

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    Im still getting there, but I tend to define the space first, and then only put what fits. So I have a huge bookcase, and I fill it, then pass on what doesnt fit. I put aside x boxes of each size of kids clothes. I have a 'must try' box of clothes and I will keep them, try them on and then toss some when the box gets full

  6. #24

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    We have cleaned out the garage, including the storage space. It took 2 days! Now it's time to donate all the books etc and decide what's next.

  7. #25

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    I have finished my papers!!!

    Spent about 3 hours on it last night... all in folders now, with covers and spines done. About 15 folders, in the end.

    And they're away

    The study is almost finished!!

    And I've finished the DSs clothes, so I'm almost up to the toys.

    I've checked with my little bro #2 and his wife about whether they want us to hang on to stuff we've finished with for when they have bebbies - and they say yes - so we'll attic them until then.



    The house is slowly being brought into order

  8. #26

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    I've started cleaning out our place. My folks are moving and starting to sort through their house, and they have ALOT...they had to hire a storage shed to store stuff between houses, and they have take 4 trailer loads of stuff and have only done the 'library' (a room off the garage that was full of books and photo albums). they havent even reached the living areas or anything. my dad is a collector and has collections of EVERYTHING! just thinking of what they have to do stresses me out and scared me into keeping on top of our place. (esp seen as every week they say they have a box for me to go through at theres).
    ive been really ruthless. its th sentimental thing that gets me, i have stuff i havent looked at in years but i still kept cause it was my high school shirt (12 years old) or a plaster cast of my arm when i broke it when i was 4 (26 years ago). but this time im throwing it all (except when dad found out im throwing the cast he wanted it, so i have to keep it for him).
    ive put a bunch of stuff on the buy sell swap group, but not much is selling. im not sure how long to give it before i just put it all on the curb and throw it out. our council does a large pickup in july...but that is too long for me to wait!
    how long would people give stuff to sell before just getting rid of it?

  9. #27

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    I've discovered recently that moving is a great way to declutter. Because I have to pack, unpack and move all those boxes on my own. A lot of stuff is being culled. My filing system is up to date for the first time in... years

  10. #28

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    Quote Originally Posted by ~TT40~ View Post
    ive put a bunch of stuff on the buy sell swap group, but not much is selling. im not sure how long to give it before i just put it all on the curb and throw it out. our council does a large pickup in july...but that is too long for me to wait!
    how long would people give stuff to sell before just getting rid of it?
    I had my cot & change table for sale for months and it wasn't selling. So I decided I would reduce the price by $10 each week until it either sold or 2 months had passed. If not sold, it was going to charity. It ended up selling for much less than I originally wanted, just two weekds before donation date . I have decided to set a limit of 2 months for selling items (reducing price along the way to maximise chance of selling) and if not sold, donate. I just think that if it takes longer than 2 months, with reduced prices, then clearly no-one wants it.

  11. #29

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    We did the filing cabinets about 2 months ago ... we have been *ok* since then. Ok, but not super.

    With buying/swapping/selling - we're yet to actually sell anything much. Quite a bit of stuff has been freecycled or given away to people we know. If no one picks it up from freecycle within a reasonably short space of time (a week or two) we donate it to charity if it's something they can realistically sell.

    If it's something the Salvos can't realistically sell (offcuts of wood, something which needs repairing, etc) and no one from freecycle nabs it, we bin it.

  12. #30

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    I am currently going through clothes (having a coffee break, lol) 2 big bin bags of Dh's clothes, 2 bags of kids clothes so far (still not finished theirs) and I'm yet to do mine and Will be going towels and sheets etc too. Dh is going through the toys today too. We have a gigantic 5br house, so it's not cluttered, but we will be moving to (likely) a much smaller 3 br house. Plus I'm not a fan of stuff for the sake of having it. This house WILL be put into ship shape order or else!!!!
    Last edited by MrsFabuloso; January 1st, 2014 at 04:45 PM.

  13. #31

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    Yes moving is a fab way to declutter. I think we will be in our current house for a very very long time.

  14. #32

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    Great to hear the news of progress, big and small.

    We still have a way to go, but when I think back to how things were at the start of 2013 I realise that we've actually come a long way. Interestingly, there have been relationship tweaks needed in order for the clearing to occur.

    TT40 - for the very sentimental stuff, take a photo. Absolutely do not give your father the plaster cast of your arm!! My approach to selling stuff is that it has to be worth a decent wad of $$$ to be worth the time of listing it, etc. In order for things to be worth $$$ they really need to be something that someone is really going to want. So it's safe to assume if it hasn't sold readily after a couple of weeks, people aren't interested in it, so get rid of it. If it's in good condition, send it to charity, and if it's not, bin it. If you've got a lot to bin, ring the council to find out what other services they have or get a skip. Really. You pay more in the blockage to your energy by keeping it than you would getting rid of it.

  15. #33

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    Subbing because I need to declutter and have a penchant for collecting and nostalgia.

  16. #34

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    We've also got stuff in the garage. Volleyball nets (no posts, just nets) football bladders, bent old second hand golf clubs (and perfectly good ones we use) etc.

    I've told DH that if they aren't used, and he hasn't come up with an idea of how specifically we might use them by hard rubbish day (March) I will be strongly suggesting we piff them.

  17. #35

    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    Well I get somewhere and we seem to have more and more stuff appear. I have managed to declutter our wardrobe, DS's entire room and the loungeroom. Next on the agenda are the bathroom and then the kitchen.

    My parents have decided to have a garage sale soon so I have to have it all sorted before then so hopefully I can sell a few things.

  18. #36

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    Default Re: How to declutter? Help

    I think the Buy, Swap, Sell stuff depends on how big your community is too. We have a reasonably small community and our BSS board is awesome. I've made $70 in the last few days. Hoping to make $103 for the money saving challenge this fortnight

    The Organised Housewife has a 52 week decluttering challenge starting this week. I get her emails, and really love them.
    The first one is reasonably simple - declutter your notice/mood/inspiration board.

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