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Help me throw it all away!!!!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
PLEASE!!!! Mamas, you've got to kick me in the butt!

I have a house full of sh*t and I canNOT get it gone! I have tried going through each room and filling a bag for Goodwill. Halfway through, I get sentimental or think I may use something someday. Or what if I have a girl one day and she might like it (when it comes to Austin's room)!!!!!

Another thing is, Heath (dh) doesn't want me to throw anything of his out without his permission. Fair enough, but he has clothes from 1988 that he DOES NOT WEAR and a lava lamp that has moved with us 3 times and never gets plugged in.

Also, I try to declutter, but he has an AWFUL habit of leaving "papers" around. Bills, taxes (he's a CPA), receipts, plans (we're redoig our kitchen) etc. I try to gather everything up and put it on his desk and then he gets mad when he doesn't see the mail for a week because *I* mixed it in with his papers. And there are stacks of papers EVERYWHERE!!! I've had it!!!!

I want to throw everything out and I feel like I am spinning in circles nogetting anyting acomplished. I posted on erlier threads about throwing out memorabilia and how to save the really important things and stuff so that's not a real problem, it's just that I need a PLAN, a METHOD. Can anyone help? I'm seriously losing my mind here!!!!


post #2 of 20
I get sentimental or think I may use something someday.

That' exactly my problem!

Only times it works for me is when I'm in a cr*ppy mood and then I move quickly.

Good luck!
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks Busymommy, you made me lol! :LOL

post #4 of 20
You have alot of stuff going on here.

First try not to get overwhelmed. I know it's easier to say then actually do. I just went through this in my home.

Ok about the stuff you start throwing here are the questions to ask yourself. And one tip.. you pick something up.. You find a place for it or you throw it. Do not set it down and think about it for long.

Have I used this item in the past year?
Has anyone else in my home used this item in the past year?
Do I have a definite use for this in the foreseeable future?
If it's broken, is it worth fixing?
Does this item serve a worthwhile purpose in my life?
Do I need to keep it for legal or tax purposes?
Is it more important for me to keep this item than to have the space it occupies?
Do I love it?
Does someone in my household love it?
Would it be difficult or expensive for me to get another one if needed?

There are no right or wrong anwers. Yes to any of the above questions provides a sound reason to keep that item.

No answer, gives you a good reason to toss it.

I have more to say....
post #5 of 20
You could start out by doing these small things:

Walk through your home with a trash bag. Throw out anything that is clearly garbage:

Wrappers (candy, gum, etc)
Expired coupons, mail etc.
Outdated flyers and calendars
Spoiled food
Expired Medications
Rusty utensils, tools etc
Socks with no mate
Broken items that are not with fixing

Once you start throwing things and get rid of your first big bag.. and it's in the trash I promise you It'll be easier.

Also, Every day pick one area of your home. Set a timer, on your stove or alarm clock for 15 mins later. And just start going through that area. Every day start working on areas just 15 mins a day. After a short time it'll be noticable and you'll be on your way to being clutter free!

I have more to say too!

Can you tell this is my passion.. Hahaha
post #6 of 20
About your hubbies stuff.. That's a hard one. You should never make him throw things that he's not ready to throw yet. However, You could talk with him about it and tell him how much this clutter around the house is stressing you out and him. He may be more willing to throw things if he realizes how much stress it's causing you or even him.

About the paper stuff...

I just did this recently...

Buy a couple 3 ring binders, and binder pockets.

for bills: buy enough binder pockets for 12 months (12 pockets)
write on each pocket which month, and put the bills in the proper month they are due. Once paid, you can toss them or save them in that month until the end of the year. It's up to you.

You can do the same thing for reciepts, medical bills, paystubs, etc. On the outside of the binder along the side just write what is in there and put them up on the shelf.

It works in my home and I never thought it would! My FH tends to throw everything on the kitchen table and leave it there. Now he's just grabbing the binder quickly putting it in the month pocket and he's on his way to do other things. It's actually worked! I love it!
post #7 of 20
I hope this helped! I know how stressful it can be to look around and see a bunch of stuff you have no idea what to do with!

If you have any other questions feel free to ask!
post #8 of 20
Well, I am a sentimental hoarder, but I hate clutter and I have not storage space so...

One thing that works for me is to pack stuff up "temporarily". Set a time frame (1 month, 3 months, whatever) and anything that you haven't needed or gone looking for in that amount of time gets pitched.

*Do Not* open the boxes again before pitching, or the whole process will go to hell..:LOL

I like the list of ? that simplicity posted.

But, in the interest of full disclosure: I have boxes that haven't been unpacked since I had to pack them up over 6 months ago to move out temporarily, and I have boxes holding things like: all my notes from college, clothes that I really like, paid too much for and never wear... and on and on.:LOL
post #9 of 20
I've done the pack-in-in-a-box-for-a-year-then-throw-it-away routine and it worked well.

I heard one of the professional advisors on the TV show "Clean Sweep" (on TLC) tell someone that if they don't love something, they should free the item to be loved by someone else (by selling at a garage sale or giving it to charity). Don't keep it just because it was a gift, but allow the item to go to someone who can use it.

Good luck.
post #10 of 20
Boy... if I didn't know better, I'd have to say Simplicity is a Fly Lady (an infectious wonderful system www.flylady.net a little overwhelming at first, but easy to get the hang of).

She said everything I was going to say....
post #11 of 20
I read the intro to the flylady and then took it from there. From the sounds of it I'm doing beasically the same thing.

The good thing for me was this last pregnancy. I was really in the mood to pitch things! I went through the boxes inmy attic and everything!

Sit down and think about some of the things in your house. Do you really LIKE them? I had a lot of things in my house I just had and didn't really like! So, I pitched them! I pitched a lot of decorating things that were only so-so.

If it is things that are sentimental....I would right it down. If I found an object that reminded me of a story about when Dh and I were dating instead of boxing it up I bought a journal and wrote it down. Then not only can I remember it but my kids have a written "history" of some sort. Then I pitched the item unless it fit in this really small keepsake box.

My dh is one that wants to keep everything but leaves it laying around in really annoying places. So, I went out and bought a rubbermaid container. When ever he told me he couldn't find something I popped out the box and made him look for it. One his box was full he had to clean it out. So far it is working.

Its gets easier to throw things out once you get started...in fact I'm in the mood to pitch stuff now but I've pretty much gotten rid of it all!!!
post #12 of 20
I forgot to add... an incentive for me to get rid of stuff was to sell it on e-bay. For some reason, knowing that I would be getting money for it was a lot easier than knowing it was just going to the charity pile (like the charity pile needed knick knacks).
post #13 of 20
Thats how I declutter Have I used it in a year method?

Except right now that wouldnt work for me as we have lived in this tiny cramped trailer for a year and only bare basics with us. All other items from our old house are in storage. There are so many thing I want/ need for cooking, sewing ect.

We will however throw out alot again when we empty our storage unit out in a month and a half.

I am such a sentamentalist that it make getting rid of some stuff very hard. When I look in a trunk of my great grandmothers I am so grateful she was not a de-clutter so that of course make me not want to prune out my memories to much.

Its-our-family has a good point to get rid of stuff you dont really love
post #14 of 20
The first time I did serious decluttering was very, very hard. I, too, am a sentimental person and choked on everything.

I can promise you TWO things though:

1) it gets easier with time, and I mean easier FASTER with time. I declutter now without giving it much thought. I know exactly what is important and worth keeping, and just how much of it is junk/stuff I never use. DH and I can pack all our belongings in 30 large tupperware bins. THAT'S SIMPLICITY! What's even better is I no longer even buy things that are clutter. I don't buy "knick knacks", for example. Put's my Pier One days in the dark ages, lol.

2) you will LOVE....I mean totally LOVE the way you feel when you are done. I don't know why, but it is absolutely true that you literally feel like a 40 lb weight has been lifted from your shoulders. you walk lighter!!

My advice would be to do your own decluttering and not your DH's. You can't really throw his things out. But put them somewhere that HE has to deal with them, not you. Like his side of the closet, his home office, etc.

Here's my suggestion to you. Do a "drastic" decluttering, but all the things you are going to get rid of - put them in a storage locker for a month or two. You'll be amazed that you never give them another thought. By then you'll be cool with ditching them. Might cost you a few bucks but you'll get it over with much faster than if you do it a bit at a time. Also, if you can sell the stuff it won't end up costing you anything, but it will buy you alot of peace of mind if you know that you aren't "really" throwing them away (yet!).
post #15 of 20
I only try to declutter and streamline my belongings when I'm really in the mood. Otherwise, it just feels like such a huge chore and I don't accomplish much (except maybe sitting for an hour looking through old pictures!)

My goal - in the far distant future - is to only have things in my house that are:

or meaningful.

Everything else goes!!

Those 3 little words cover a lot, but you'd be surprised at how much most people hold onto that doesn't fit either description! As you look at things in your house, decide if they are beautiful, meaningful or useful. If something doesn't fit, don't analyze it, just TOSS IT!

And if you do decide to try to make a little money on eBay or something, consider what your time is worth. Don't spend 5 hours setting up auctions that MIGHT only reap 8 or 10 bucks.

One more thing... (I'm just full of advice. Or full of something!!) Don't think about "decluttering the house". Think about decluttering the bathroom closet, or one wall of the garage, or just books and cd's, or 2 junk drawers, etc.
post #16 of 20
Regarding having trouble getting rid of sentimental items or items you may need one day (WHAT IF???) the thing that really helped me was reading the book

Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. This book is SO GOOD I want to give it to all my friends.

It's a very quick read and by the end of the first few chapters, I felt movitated to get up at 9pm, energized and start throwing stuff out. Her bottom line is that clutter stagnates energy in your house (and life) and if you start clearing the crap you don't
1) love
2) use
3) need,
you allow BETTER things into your life.

Really, if you haven't used item X in 2 years, you really don't need it.

There are stories in the book of how people cleared their clutter and got raises, new business opportunities, etc...

DH all on his own (doesn't like my new agey self-help books : ) got rid of 3 black garbage bags of old T-shirts. Neither of us had any idea of many T-shirts he had! We gave them away. Three weeks later he got a job promotion and a raise.

Anyway, I've tried method books (and they were UNinspiring and thus, useless to me).

1. Focus on your crap first.

2. Talk to DH and tell him he needs to put all his crap in ONE spot (one desk) rather than ALL OVER the house. I am the paper horder in my family. You sound like my DH. Poor you. Poor him. The clutter everywhere drives my DH insane. My "solution" is to have "my own" desk that he can't touch. That way I don't get mad at him. Of course, he still gets mad at me. Tough cookies. It's MY desk.

You also have to understand he will never change. Some people like piles... I learned this in some personality class. We say "well organize it" and we never do. So the best thing to do is control it/limit it. Let him have his piles, just not all over the house. That's not fair to you.

Feeling overwhelmed? Me too. (In fact, I'll be decluttering my office this afternoon.) I'm taking FlyLady's advice that says to start small, little every day and then it will get better!
post #17 of 20
Damn, I'm motivated! Thanks for all the great tips everyone. We're moving into our new house in 4 weeks and will unpack our boxes of stuff for the first time in 9 months. I will definitely be tossing and unpacking. what a concept- to try and *start* uncluttered!
post #18 of 20
Originally posted by gus'smama
One thing that works for me is to pack stuff up "temporarily". Set a time frame (1 month, 3 months, whatever) and anything that you haven't needed or gone looking for in that amount of time gets pitched.
This is what we do, but usually (because I am unorganized in the first place) I will forget to check the boxes for 6 months or more... I figure if I haven't even missed it in that amount of time, most things can GO!

The first time is HARD, but then it it becomes cleansing...it feels great! My DH used to do it and it was SO painful for me...sometimes it still is because we just value different things, but overall the house is happier when we are less cluttered.

I am in the process of weeding out and donating toys. It actually makes me feel better to think that some little kid who doesn't have much will enjoy them when my kids don't even notice them. Same with the clothes.

One more thing: I try not to donate to places that resell...unless it is me having a garage sale.
I feel like if I am DONATING, I want the stuff DONATED. Shelters are great for taking sheets, towels, clothes, some toys, etc.

Good luck!
post #19 of 20
Read "Clutter's Last Stand." It's funny and practical. Like piglet said, you will so much better you'll never go back to clutter.

Good luck. Don't look in the bag once you've got it in there.
post #20 of 20
Do you have a friend that would be willing to help you? Someone to say, geez, are you REALLY going to use that?? It can help to have another persons opinion about your clutter.
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