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Does the decluttering & organizing ever end?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I actually enjoy decluttering and organizing things, but lately I've been wondering if the cycle will ever end? Has anyone here actually reached a point where they really don't have anything to declutter and organize?
post #2 of 18
I'm not to the point where I feel like I can stop decluttering and organizing but I would imagine that it never ends. The cycle continues because things continue to come into your house -- whether it is bills, mail, papers, or toys, gifts, clothes. I think having children makes it inevitable that you will be in a constant state of clearing out and organizing; children grow so quickly that they are constantly growing out of clothes, changing tastes/developments in toys/books, etc.
post #3 of 18
What she said.... essentially, no.

However, I have found it slows down to a crawl and only needs minor maintenance once you reach a certain level. In my signature you can see I joined the 2010 declutter challenge. We're more than halfway through August and I am less than halfway to the magic number. Our house simply doesn't have much clutter anymore. Walking through our house, friends/family/guests/strangers/whomever would not see any clutter unless they were extreme minimalists. I've had to dig out stuff to go through and we don't have an attic nor basement nor garage and very few closets. Our main sources of clutter are kid stuff and hobby stuff...both of which are constrained by living in a small house.
post #4 of 18
moving to NZ was the biggest declutter i've ever done in my life. seriously, got rid of just about everything except: 1 chair, about 5 artworks (fine, gifts from students or made by my mother), 25 boxes, and 8 bags that we brought with us to NZ (the other things are in storage in the US until we decide to either move them here, or keep them there or what.

so, we don't have much to declutter.

but, on Tuesday, we decluttered our papers that had crept into the house over the last 5 months, reorganized what we need to keep (filed, etc). I reorganized the cupboard because DH doesn't get the organization and just crams stuff in there (so i had to reorganize it and show him how it works--eg, how not to just cram things in). and then DS got new clothes, and so i went through his old stuff to pass along to friends with younger kids, and put away his things.

i have a lot of card board. i have a lot of card board because i keep saving it. i keep saving ti because i want to use it to line my planters (that i'm going to make). I also want to use it to make shapes/"stencils" to use in needle felting. I will go through and cull that on Monday, though, because card board recycling is on Tuesday. So, there's another declutter project for me!

I am also going to reorganize my business files on the other computer and do another back up, so that things are more accessible to us at a moment's notice. i suppose that's not technically a decluttering, but it is something on my list.

so, i don't think it ever stops. I really do not own much at all, but i still have to declutter or reorganize on a regular basis. it just is what it is, i guess.
post #5 of 18
No! It never ends, not in my house at least!
post #6 of 18
I seriously think it will take me years to declutter this place.

I joined the 2010 challenge and have had to double it to 4020, and I think I could easily do the same next year, because I have got overflowing cupboards I haven't even started on.

It took me twenty years to fill this place up, so I am sure it will take me a good five years to unfill it.
post #7 of 18


YMMV, depending on how many boys you have in the house.
post #8 of 18
No! (to answer your question...)
post #9 of 18
Nope! But it does get to a much more manageable level.

It took me a few years to get here, but I am at the point of just needing to maintain.
post #10 of 18
I've been there many times, but as new people come into the house, careers change, health and financial issues come up, or just people acquire different hobbies and interests we find we need to reorganize and what was once considered useful suddenly becomes clutter, so I guess while it never ends entirely forever, it does temporarily quite often.
post #11 of 18
No, but you reach a point of balance where you only have to declutter as much as you allow clutter in.

You *don't* have to keep digging yourself out from clutter that has accumulated over the years or decades that you didn't keep up with it.
post #12 of 18
that is true. it becomes more of an ongoing process.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Darn! I was hoping it would come to a halt where I'd barely have to do anything and our home would be free of excess stuff. Decluttering and organizing might as well be my hobby. Just when I think I've donated everything that we could live without, I always think of something else to tear apart and go through. I can definitely see this being a lifelong endeavor, however I feel we are almost to the maintenance level, and I hope I can manage to keep us there.
post #14 of 18
I really have decided that organizing is a hobby of mine. I think it's possible in theory, but we haven't gotten there. As someone else said, with kids, I think it's tough. My DC are 3 and 5, so every season (at least!) we have outgrown clothes, shoes, etc. I try to buy toys that will last ages, but we still end up with things to get rid of.
post #15 of 18
No, I don't think it ever ends but it does slow down. I think it gets easier as you have established your home and your routines. Once you declutter an area or organize something you are less likely to let it get back to the point it started. I know we've gotten rid of tons of stuff and still feel like we have plenty. We no longer have massive loads of things to bring to goodwill, just a few items here and there. Or I list things on freecycle because I am not as overwhelmed by them and the feeling that I just need them out of the house.

I've gotten better about what I bring into our house. When we first got married my ILs used it as an excuse to dump their stuff on us, now we are much better at not taking stuff if we don't want it or won't use it.

I agree that organizing is sort of a hobby, I enjoy making things neat and clean. I love boxes. I love coming home to my home because it feels so comfortable to me because it isn't so cluttered.
post #16 of 18
No and Yes.

I dont think I will have to purge a whole room of stuff, not that I was like that, since I tend towards minimal standards, but since this is a parenting website, most of us have children who grow and change like the seasons.

I find we have to declutter at least twice a year but usually three times. Mainly after a season fully changes. Such as between Halloween and Thanksgiving when in the midwest, the weather is closer to winter than summer, I pile all the outgrown clothing, toys, equipement, shoes etc from my youngest and either give away or donate or freecycle. I also bring out the oldest's outgrown stuff and see what will work for my youngest. Since both are girls, its easier. OTH, there are things that fit my dd1 that wont fit dd2 because of different shapes and tastes of clothing etc.

If you follow a few rules, you should not have to do a giant purge..

Such as:

When you buy an item, remove the similar one in the home. Such as you have a pair of black fashion boots. They are worn out. So you buy a new pair. When you buy and bring in the new pair, dig out the old pair and either give away or toss since they are worn out. Make sense?

You buy a new coat you see on sale to replace the old one you either feel is out of style or you lost/gain weight etc. When you put the new one away, put it on the hanger of the old one. Take the old one, freecycle donate.

When you child brings home papers etc everyday, unpack it, go thru papers each and everyday. Sign things, have child do homeowrk, etc. Then recycle the discarded stuff or do as DH does with the one sided stuff coming home. He cuts them into 4s and uses it for his notes or lists he is making.

Your child has a birthday coming up, holiday whatever. Go thru their stuff, do a purge, make room for the new stuff coming in.

Most of the stuff mentioned, it takes minutes or seconds to take care of.
post #17 of 18
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post
I really have decided that organizing is a hobby of mine.
Certainly seems to be my hobby at the moment. I used to spend heaps of time scrapbooking, but lately I spend a lot more of my time decluttering and organizing, and I find it a very satisfying hobby...certainly a lot less expensive than scrapbooking!
post #18 of 18
I was just thinking this myself. There was a point about a month ago and I looked around and thought, "wow I can see the difference, easer to maintain" now after summer fun, a few overnight trips and fun day activites the clutter has pilled up again...UGH!

I did however, bring a truck load of baby thing to a local consignment sale. That was awesome. But continue to struggle with the rotation of childrens clothing and getting rid of out grown baby stuff.

So what has been working for me is a almost constant sorting method, durring the day placing things in a bin to keep or one to give/donate/rehome/other pepoles belongings ect.. then once a week sort it out and drop off at Goodwill~
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