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Anyone decluttering or need to declutter out?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Okay, the wrapping paper is thrown out, you have eaten that last mint, the leftovers are so over. Take down those lights and put the holiday stuff on the lawn away.

Happy New Year!

Okay, the stores are all clearence and look like the end of a day at the garage sale. Its cold outside and you have a list of things you need to organize.
When you start to look at what needs to be done, how many are looking at closets full of stuff or worse- rooms, a basement, or a garage full of stuff??

I am decluttering. I did the first declutter 18 months ago and now we do it as a habit. Once you start its so easy. DH decluttered the garage. It took 4 different time periods over about 6 weeks but WOW! I now declutter everything. I would love to talk to declutterers or anyone who wants to be one for ideas on how you live in your space and keep it clutter free.
post #2 of 36
Oh Amy, you should see my bedroom closet. We live in a 2 bdr. apartment so no garages or basements to speak of but all our old baby clothes for 2 kids, shoes, bags, clothes and jackets, toys, Christmas decorations, a tent, etc. are housed in our walk-in closet area. The list could go on and on.

I would also love to hear any tips on decluttering. The hardest part is that I feel it won't ever be *really* clean unless I take everything out and sort through it before putting it back in. With 2 kids under 4, that's a little hard to do, as anyone here can tell us.

So, I'll be watching this thread :

Btw...I'm still eating Christmas candy. Hershey's Kisses to be exact.
post #3 of 36
I'm decluttering our clothes. I have a ton of women's clothing, including maternity clothes, that doesn't fit. I have baby clothes that my kids have both grown out of. I am putting all the FSOT items in one large box and keeping a detailed list, including colors, sizes, and season for wear, of everything I put in the box.

I put a bunch of baby clothes in the attic to use for the next child we have. Again, I made a detailed list of everything I put in the box. I entered the list into an Excel worksheet and saved it as BOXA1. I labeled the box on all sides with a thick black marker - A1. Eventually I want to put all my lists into FileMaker so I can have more search options. Down the road when I want to find my white newborn onesies, I can search for "onesie" in FileMaker and come up with a list of boxes. Does that make sense? I got the idea from Sidetracked Home Executives (the precurser to FLY-lady). I've been going through a lot of old attic boxes and sorting them in the same way, so I don't have to dig through tons of boxes before I find something. I've also pruned my sock drawer and thrown away anything that is holey or has weak elastic. If I have t-shirts that don't fit or are faded, and aren't nice enough to thrift or sell, I cut them into strips and use them to make rag rugs or dishcloths.
post #4 of 36
This was my New Years resolution but after spending 4 hours cleaning out toys on Monday and not even getting through half of them I am ready to throw in the towel. The kids thought it was fun. We found lots of missing pieces and I threw out every rotten Happy Meal toy. So- some advice. I tend to be all or nothing. I should try to do 30 minutes a day but once I get started, after 30 minutes I just have a huge mess. Dh hates that.
post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
Take small steps. Go thru one box a day or one tray or bin a day. You got a good start on the toys- I also threw out those stupid happy meal things. 4 hours sounds overwhelming. Instead of 30 minutes, try an hour. Then you will know what amount of time works for you.

I went thru dd's old clothes. We are going to start trying again soon, but this time we are looking for a late fall/winter baby. All of DD's stuff is summer when she came. I got rid of anything seasonal and pink. I kept all the 0-3 sleepers etc. I also have onesies in every size in white which can be used again. As well as a billion socks.
I also threw out a baby comforter-why they came with the infant set is beyond me. We have two big bags of clothes to give away. Also a perfect good stroller that was never used. We stuck that in the attic a long time ago since we usually slung her or carried her. We intend to sling/baby bjorn the next one as well. So much easier.
I have been giving away her out grown clothes for about 3 seasons now. Otherwise we would have to have another house for all that stuff.

Since we are detoxing this week for the new year, I have a lot more energy to do this. Next week we will live out of the pantry to declutter that as well. Even though we went thru the canned soups and tuna this week! I did the spices last week-didn't take long since we use those a lot.
post #6 of 36
I just read a great book called "Clutter's Last Stand." It was pretty inspiring. This past year, dh got rid of nine (!) vehicles at his shop, I took a few cars loads to the Salvation Army, and several bags of books and CDs to our library. At least we'll have a decent tac deduction this year. I think the deal with decluttering is to approach it a little at a time, so that you don't get burned out and quit. I've got to deal with my studio next - it's terrifying!
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by nova22
I'm decluttering our clothes. I have a ton of women's clothing, including maternity clothes, that doesn't fit. I have baby clothes that my kids have both grown out of. I am putting all the FSOT items in one large box and keeping a detailed list, including colors, sizes, and season for wear, of everything I put in the box.

I put a bunch of baby clothes in the attic to use for the next child we have. Again, I made a detailed list of everything I put in the box. I entered the list into an Excel worksheet and saved it as BOXA1. I labeled the box on all sides with a thick black marker - A1. Eventually I want to put all my lists into FileMaker so I can have more search options. Down the road when I want to find my white newborn onesies, I can search for "onesie" in FileMaker and come up with a list of boxes. Does that make sense? I got the idea from Sidetracked Home Executives (the precurser to FLY-lady). I've been going through a lot of old attic boxes and sorting them in the same way, so I don't have to dig through tons of boxes before I find something. I've also pruned my sock drawer and thrown away anything that is holey or has weak elastic. If I have t-shirts that don't fit or are faded, and aren't nice enough to thrift or sell, I cut them into strips and use them to make rag rugs or dishcloths.
WOW! I'm amazed at people who can make something like this work. It would be a direct road for failure for me. The trouble with advice like this (not the poster, just the advice) is that it is CLEARLY written by someone who is organized. I'm not something we pathological keepers could make work. That sounds like a lot of work. And we pathological keepers are kind of perfectionists, so if we can't do it right, can't do it for a long time, well, best just SAVE the stuff in the closet, drawers, etc until we have time to do a proper inventory and labeling. And therein is my problem. I NEED to let go and box the stuff up any way I can. Yet because I don't have time to properly organize and sort it - well, you know where it sits.

I'll give you another example. I once read some advice that suggested one-way to organization was to ONLY write in Pencil in your address book. This will keep it neat and you can easily update for new cell phone numbers etc. Well, I realized that this advice was CLEARLY written by someone who could find a pencil in their house within 5 seconds. In short, it was written for someone already organized. I realized that I was actually trying to follow that advice. Since I couldn't always find a pencil, I would jot down numbers with whatever I could find on whatever I could find (big black markers on napkins, highlighters on the backs of envelopes, crayon on post-it notes) and then stick these near my address book with the intention of later transferring once a proper pencil could be found. So the address book was out of control with little slips of paper falling out of it. God forbid I should write in it with the WRONG pen. I realized that organizational tip was absolutely NO HELP to someone disorganized. I just needed to get the number into the address book AT ANY cost, with any pen.

For me, the box thing with excel spreadsheets would completely backfire. There would NEVER be time to do it right, so it would never get done. For myself I'm trying to get things boxed up and moved out, ANY WAY I can. I need to let go of the perfectionism. Good luck though - I'm continually impressed by people who can do that. But I need to admit that I'm not one of them.

Has anyone read Spiritual Housecleaning?
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...=IA43FXPLC9SGE

I'm flirting with it as a way of approaching my house, but haven't bought yet.
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C
WOW! I'm amazed at people who can make something like this work. It would be a direct road for failure for me. The trouble with advice like this (not the poster, just the advice) is that it is CLEARLY written by someone who is organized. I'm not we pathological keepers could make something like that work. That's like a lot of work. And we pathological keepers are kind of perfectionists, so if we can't do it right, can't do it for a long time, well, best just SAVE the stuff in the closet, drawers, etc until we have time to do a proper inventory and labeling. And therein is my problem. I NEED to let go and box the stuff up any way I can. Yet because I don't have time to properly organize and sort it - well, you know where it sits.
I think it is so funny that you have posted this, because I am the same way. I have been storing these clothes "to give away someday" for years. Yes, years. There, I said it. :LOL I am such an anal retentive perfectionist, and such a packrat. Why do those two things always go hand-in-hand, anyway? That makes no sense. I finally kicked my own butt and made myself *just do it* even if I didn't make it look perfect.

I totally understand your address book thing, too - there is only black ink in my address book. If I can't find a black pen I don't write it down. I didn't even realize I did that until you posted this! lol
post #9 of 36
I got motivated and got out three boxes already of clothing. One for the kid's consignment store. One for my consignment store and one for charity.

I'm also looking over the garage and managed to get some broken stuff out the curb. I mean, if I can't fix it in year's time, did I need it in the first place?

Got stumped on the old calendar pile. The old pages make nice wrapping paper in a pinch and beautiful collages for the kids. Is it okay to re-stash them? I think so.
post #10 of 36
see, I don't think I have an "organizational problem." I have some kind of psychology problem. So until I address my underlying "Stuff keeping" issue no amount of organizational tips will help.

But addressing this issue means acknowledging some good stuff about myself too. Highly intelligent, very creative people are often packrats and stuff keepers. Part of this is perfectionism and part of this is just a heightened ability to see the usefulness and potential of an object. All those old clothes are potential mops, or quilts or any number of things. So what can I do to make it OK to let go?

I don't really think I'm pathological or anything, but readings on the psychology of hoarding have helped. I'm sort of holding some intention that I will focus on the house in 2005. To make it a place of order (for me) and a place of relaxation for DH. I just want to move my energy and vision into the house, without setting very sepcific goals.
post #11 of 36
I've been slowly decluttering, but I'm still so irritated at the state of my house! I'm such a packrat, and I'm married to a packrat, ugh!

I've already gone through baby clothes and adult chothes, but I need to go through my clothes once again, because I've gotten new ones.

We live in a one bedroom, with not much closet space, so everything is out and about, not stored, so it seems like more than it really is, you know? And our house is not very well insulated, so things get damp in the winter, very gross!

I just feel like I'll feel healthier in a cleaner, decluttered house.

I have a question, also. For those of you who are still having children, what do you do with baby things? I'm not sure when/if we'll have another child, so I'm not sure if I want to get rid of all baby clothes and toys. How do I decide what to keep and what to give away?
post #12 of 36
i'm the decluttering queen right now! we're moving, and i've been going through everything. 10 trashbags have gone to goodwill and 10 other trashbags have gone to the trash. we live in 900 sq ft so this is quite a bit! at least, you'd think so...i still feel like there's so much more to be done. but it's a good start. i guess it doesn't help that there are boxes and trashbags that haven't been taken someone all over the place...
post #13 of 36
I am tackling our bedroom and closet right now. The purge is ON!

And at some point this year, our garage needs an overhaul. For real.
post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jadegirl553
I've been slowly decluttering, but I'm still so irritated at the state of my house! I'm such a packrat, and I'm married to a packrat, ugh!

I've already gone through baby clothes and adult chothes, but I need to go through my clothes once again, because I've gotten new ones.

We live in a one bedroom, with not much closet space, so everything is out and about, not stored, so it seems like more than it really is, you know? And our house is not very well insulated, so things get damp in the winter, very gross!

I just feel like I'll feel healthier in a cleaner, decluttered house.

I have a question, also. For those of you who are still having children, what do you do with baby things? I'm not sure when/if we'll have another child, so I'm not sure if I want to get rid of all baby clothes and toys. How do I decide what to keep and what to give away?

Two packrats YIKES! no space double YIKES!

As far as baby clothes- We have a 2 1/2 year old daughter. We are planning on starting to try again this spring. That could bring a baby as early as next winter. DD was born in May. What would I do with all her clothes that do not go with the seasons? I got rid of those but kept the oneis and sleepers and such. We stored in our crawl baby clothes maternity clothes and baby stuff. The crib is now a tot bed and its going in the attic next month to make way for the "big girl bed" Some things we realized we never used- that stuff went too. But we now give away her grown out clothes since e would have no where to put it. I have been giving to friends who always ask if we want it back. Let them store it!

Also if you're unhappy w the state of your house, something needs to give. Food for thought
post #15 of 36
I believe our homes are a reflection of our emotional state. I have read enough on this. I prefer an uncluttered home and have worked hard to get ours that way, though keeping on top of it is still a challenge for me.

There are a couple of great books written by poeple who are NOT naturally organized. "Get Your Act Together" by Pam Young and Peggy Jones (aka The Slob Sisters). They celebrate the great qualities of the disorganized and help you develop a system that will work for your family. Another is "The Messies Manual" by Sandra Felton.

For the more spiritual side I found "Spiritual Housecleaning" (dunno the author, got it from the library) to be good and 'Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston is a favorite of mine.

As far as the perfectionism thing goes-- I keep chanting "Done now is better than perfect later". At first, I would just have to white knuckle it and tackle something. Flylady suggests starting with your kitchen sink and keepping it clear, but you can pick anything. Just commit to one small space and work on keeping it clear. As it gets incorporated into your life progress to another area. Your energy will build as you progress and it will get easier.

I have found that the more I declutter, the easier it becomes and the less tolerance I have for smaller amounts of clutter. I LOVE the empty space in my closet!

And remember--even well organized clutter is still clutter.
post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thistle
I believe our homes are a reflection of our emotional state. I have read enough on this. I prefer an uncluttered home and have worked hard to get ours that way, though keeping on top of it is still a challenge for me.
I have found that the more I declutter, the easier it becomes and the less tolerance I have for smaller amounts of clutter. I LOVE the empty space in my closet!

And remember--even well organized clutter is still clutter.
I also could have written this. The more you do, the easier it is. Also, we seem a lot healthier now. After I started, a few months later I hosted playgroup. One mom asked when we got an addition on our house. Now I find clutter- well cluttered. It makes me feel groggy and claustiphobic. When I am in a cluttered house, this happens. DH is getting that way as well.
post #17 of 36
Here I am I was following Mamaley's decluttering thread as well. That is the best time for me to clean out...when we move. That is not happening, so I need to get a move on. i started over the summer...dragging bins out the back door, into the backyard and sorting. We also did some in the garage. Well, I am not done! I am a perfectionist packrat! I have a very hard time letting go of things...last weekend, a part of our basement flooded We got a start on some organizing down there...what a mess. We homeschool and are ttcing...so, I find it hard to think straight about what I need to keep. I have some diapers to let go of and more toys. I also save holiday (fall, winter, spring) decorations. I would love to see pictures of your homes, after the decluttering....if that isn't too forward??
post #18 of 36
Thread Starter 
I'd be happy to do that. But there are no befores! Its gets better and better because DH is reformed as well. We have both noticed that when we made our bedroom, a bedroom- no stacks of anything, clear off the dresser to have just a very small item or two, we feel so much more clear minded and healthy. We are both also getting better sleep. Granted we did not have stuff running over like on that show clean sweep but it helped us see what COULD happen if stuff took over our lives.

Also, a house burned down in our town. The firemen said their stuff in the house allowed the fire to burn for a long long time and it was almost impossible to fight because of all the stuff in the place. It was mainly boxes of papers and books and clothes- all great fuel for a fire.

Besides, all this stuff- if there was a fire in your house what would you take- your children, your partner and yourself and get out of there. The rest can all be replaced
post #19 of 36
I'm decluttering! I started right after Christmas and I've been working off and on in different parts of the house. My big thing so far is I've given 83 books to the friends of the library. I can easily carry 15 a week (in addition to our library returns) so my goal is to continue gradually purging our book collection (which is out of control). We move often because of my DH's job and I dread dealing with the endless boxes of books.

My DH and I worked together to declutter our clothes.

I hate clutter. I feel like it just sucks the life out of me!
post #20 of 36
Thread Starter 
One way to get going is do a bit at a time. Our garbage day is Friday when they come thru so I sometimes go thru something on thursday so it gos right out and no time to change our mind.

We are also going to start ttc in the spring but I am getting rid of a bunch of seasonal girl baby clothes. How am I going to know if I use them again? If I saved all of dd's clothes, I would have to buy another house to store it all.

We went thru our clothes about 6 mos ago. I got rid of many suits (from working before child) since they would be out of date when I return anyway. Also anything that has not fit in a while or I had not worn for a while.
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