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I hate my house!! Need help what to keep what to toss!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey Mamas

I am down in the dumps. I told DH that I wanted to get rid of a ton of clothes today after I went grocery shopping and run errands. HE said that was fine cause he had stuff to do first. I got home and he was in a bad mood. I guess I took longer than he thought, but he was busy so I guess it didn't matter anyways I think he just wanted to bale out again.
I started to show him some of his t shirts and he kept saying keep, the only ones he gave up were horrible, he kept a lot for working around the house.
that was the end of our clothing declutter today, the baby woke up.

I have a hard time knowing what to keep or how many to keep and how many to get rid of, clothes especially. How many of each thing, shirts etc do you all have and keep, shoes and sneakers too?
How many sets of sheets should I keep?
I have 2 crockpots a bigger one and a smaller one, should I get rid of one? I am drowning in clutter and I need to get rid of stuff. We live in a small place a mobile home with 750 sq ft. I hate it here, it is old and has problems and is FULL of crap...tons and tons of stuff! Please give me your advice. DS naps for like 10-20min at a time so I do not have much time to get things done. I hate putting him in front of a tv. What should I do?
post #2 of 18
I keep the clothes that fit into my dresser and closet. However, I do rotate out summer and winter clothes. I use a large suitcase to store the off season clothes. (Basic difference is in summer I have a drawer of skirts, in winter it's a drawer of sweaters).

Start by getting rid of anything you don't have to think about. This seems obvious, but I've gone several times where I look in my sock drawer and think "nah, I hate that pair, they're so uncomfortable" and only think to put it in the give away pile after I've done that 3 or 4 times.

Next, consider your lifestyle. Are you ever going to have a need for that suit? Those high heels? (That said, I am keeping one suit that doesn't fit me at all because I want to give it to a special person not just a random person. But it's the only thing in my wardrobe that doesn't fit.)

What do you use regularly in your kitchen? Do you use and like all of your appliances? For instance, does the small crock pot have a feature that your large one doesn't? If not, get rid of the small one. (Or if the small one makes enough for your family, get rid of the large one and save some more room.)

As far as husbands, I find it easiest to give dh a specific pile to go through. For instance, when I switched out the winter clothes this time, I had him first go through the suitcase of sweaters and set aside any that he didn't feel like wearing anymore. (He, darling man, got so into the project that he ended up going through all of his clothes and organizing his dresser drawers. I was so surprised!)

So things you can do in 10-20 minutes. Evaluate one drawer/laundry basket worth of clothes. Consider your cupboards. Evaluate a bookcase. Set aside a pile of things for your dh to look at when he has a chance. A lot of decluttering can actually be done while doing other things, as you fold your laundry think about an area of your apartment that bugs you and you might come up with a solution (which you can begin implementing as soon as you're done with the laundry). It'll take awhile, but I've found that homes go very quickly from disasters to "needs work" very quickly even with only a few minutes a day.
post #3 of 18
ITA with the PP!

Have you checked out the book 'Confessions of an Organized Homemaker'? If your library doesn't have it, ask if they will do an inter-library loan for it. It's a free service, and then you have access to books from libraries across the country GO GET IT RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

The only way I can get DH motivated to sort through clothes is a process:

1) I have to sort through my clothes. For this part to be effective, put your "donatation/yardsale/etc." box in plain view in your bedroom, preferably close to eye level, maybe on the bed.

2) Give DH a goal. Something as simple as "your drawer needs to close ... easily". Or "you have so many work shirts that you don't even wear the ones at the bottom of the drawer". Or "I need more rags, will you find some work shirts you are tired of?" Don't give a specific goal ("get rid of 10 shirts"), because you don't want to seem picky/anal.


As far as the other stuff you mentioned, I just keep my clothing down to what can easily fit in my drawers, and make sure to have enough to keep me clothed between each wash load I expect the same from the other members of my family.

hmm... what did PP not mention? sheets? We have only 2 sets per season. 2 flannel sets, 2 regular sets. You really don't need more, do you? You just need a set to use while the other set is in the wash.

Also, if you don't have one already, you need a big box/bag, whatever that is specifically for give-away items. Have it in an easily accessible place (not the attic or somewhere like that). Make a personal goal (don't get crackin on your DH until you can give away lots of things yourself first), like 5 things a day. It can be something as little as a spoon that doesn't match your set, or a bib that is one too many. Just meet your quota each day, and you'll find that the decluttering becomes almost a fun game (one that you'll like the results of at the end of the day).

Also, put that baby in a backpack or sling, darn it! Having an infant is no excuse for not decluttering!
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. I filled one regular sized grocery sack last night, and a much larger plastic store bag this morning. I still have not lost all of the baby weight, but I am almost there. I am only keeping the pants that were in excellent condition that I loved to wear. I decided to go through them in another month, and if there are some that still do not fit, then I will weed through some more. I usually sling him in my mei tai, but I hurt my shoulder the other day, so it has been hurting to wear him for any amount of time greater than 5 minutes. I have to go to the post office and my aunts house today. I am going to drop off the bags into the clothing drop box, and get them out of here! I am gonna go get some more done now. Any more advice, I'll be happy to take it! thanks again, DS is cranky he has had a cold for the past few days!

Kellie
post #5 of 18
I really like the idea of setting a goal daily. I have always done that and it works better than getting knee deep into a project and having to ditch it to tend to a cranky tot or something.

Do 10 minute assignments and you will see results within a week.
For example-

You put ds down and you have 15 minutes. Go thru that sock drawer. Anything not worn in a year- get rid of. Also throw out holey ones or darkend on bottom etc. Try to get rid of 4-5 pairs. Wow you can see you socks now and close the drawer!! You can do the same for undies drawer- throw out that pink bra that was cute on the clearance rack and you never wore etc.

Another day= go thru the bathroom drawers. Dust out hairs etc, throw out that old dental floss, old makeup, expired meds etc. Arrange nicely. Done

Another- go thru the kitchen gadget/utensil drawer- do the same.

Once you get on a roll, you will see a difference and find things to organize. You will have more space and feel healthy.
post #6 of 18
My favorite organizing book is "Organizing from the Inside Out" and the author also wrote a similar one for teens. It's my favorite book because it gives you tools for creating "homes" for your stuff. But NOT in a random "pack-what-you-own-in-big-plastic-boxes-and-shove-them-under-every-piece-of-furniture-you-own" way.

Oh, no. She makes SENSE of your home! If you craft, have a home business, have children, love to cook, whatever you do in your home, she has a way of helping you isolate those things and then creating working spaces including storage where those concepts "live". You also determine how thing are kept by how you need to use them. (your motivation)

If you are sorting through your own clothes, give them some socks and let them entertain each other with sock "puppets" while you sort. The stuff you want to get rid of can be used for dress-up when they tire of the socks and until you're done. One thing I did was get rid of my dresser and hang everything up (except jammies, shorts, and undies which I use a small plastic drawer unit for). I took an idea from a thrift store which hangs up everything by type and also by color. I went through my clothes by hanging everything up in this order - sleeveless pullover, sleeveless blouse, short sleeve t-shirt, SSleeve blouse, longsleeve...blah,blah...I think you get it. Each of those sections also got hung in color order. My motivation was to be able to see easily what I had to wear and match up clothes quickly. I was able to see what I had so I could really pull what I didn't need or wear.

When you do the kitchen, you can let the kids be drummers with pots and pans while you sort the dishes, plastic storage, etc. I usually just take a section at a time in the kitchen, like baking pans, or plastic storage. One thing I did was to get rid of the thousands of random plastic containers I had saved. I recycled all of them and bought inexpensive Ziploc containers. Now I have two short stacks of plastic storage; 1 large and 1 medium, and there are only two size lids to choose from. They don't fall out when I open the cabinet and that alone is totally worth the $5 I spent when they were on sale. My motivation was to save space in the cabinet, not have things falling out, AND keep myself from having lots of OLD FOOD in the fridge.

The main thing is to have it make sense for how you live. If you use one crockpot more than the other, keep the one. If you really use both often, keep both, but maybe get rid of some other appliance you don't use. If you must have a toaster AND a toaster oven, for example, don't beat yourself up and think you're weird! Save two dollars a week from the grocery budget and in three months go out and buy one of those toaster ovens with slots as well. You've traded two items for one that meets both needs. Figure out a motivation and then arrange it to meet those needs.
post #7 of 18
This is great reading, because with an active DD, I don't have time to sort much either. I think it is important to do a little at a time. If you get frustrated, gaze at the shelf or the drawer that you did complete. My rule of thumb is basically if you haven't used it for several months and it is not an annually used item, like the canning stuff, for instance-get rid of it. Just to put things in perspective, I had a mom that would make soft sculptures of the piles of junk in our house. She just threw an afgan over it if company was coming. I don't ever want to be like that. I was too young to be embarrassed, but my thoughts of my childhood recall the vicious clutter! lol!
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well today we got things really started in here. We got 5 grocery bags, 1 larger bag, and one comforter bag full of clothes for the goodwill bin and one large sack the size of a kitchen trash bag, full some of dh's clothes that will fit my real father to go to him, only if we see him soon. I also got a ton of paper goods to recycle, and some trash. We moved the furniture in our bedroom around, Dh's idea, but now I have a ton more laundry, thanks to DH cleaning out his closet, lol, and I still feel overwhelmed. One of the bureau drawers was broken, so his tshirts are on top of the bureau, while the drawer is drying in the middle of my tiny kitchen. Grrr! My bureau is still stacked with stuff. Now my hamper is overflowing with clothes too. I know I made progress, so I should be happy...it is such a slow process. Tomorrow I will try to tackle my bureau and finish up our bedroom and the laundry. DH has been promising to bring some totes out to the shed for a few weeks now, and he also has to put up a light in the living room that we bought a few months ago! Men, lol my dh is such a procrastinator. I have to get some more town trash bags, so I can throw some more stuff out. I got rid of a few things on freecycle also! That was nice! I feel a little better that I got that out! Time to change DS dipe and try to get him to sleep and maybe fold the load of laundry in the dryer. DH should be home any minute from hockey practicE!
post #9 of 18


Sounds like you are making some headway! Keep up the good work!

Which crock pot do you use most often? I would get rid of the one that you use least often.

Bed sheets. I only use one set consistently. I throw it in the wash in the morning and put it back on my bed at night. I do have two sets though, just in case the one set that I like to use gets peed/vomitted on by a wee one in the middle of the night.

For clothing, I've heard that you keep only what you love! Why have a closet full of stuff when you only wear 1/4 of it? Only have 3-4 shirts that you love? So be it! Only have 2 pairs of pants that you love? You can definetely make do with that! Give away the rest!

Make your house into a home! You'll love it.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Only have 3-4 shirts that you love? So be it! Only have 2 pairs of pants that you love? You can definetely make do with that! Give away the rest!
Wha?!? Can you actually live with only 3 or 4 shirts and 2 pairs of pants?? I don't like most of my clothes - but it is necessary to have enough to clothe you for an entire week (or at least between laundry cycles)!
post #11 of 18
Your supposed to keep how many clothes you need between your wash days plus a few. You need to pack of whatever season of clothes you dont need, put in storage.

Get rid of the smallest crockpot.

I only have one sheet set which really isnt to wise, as I need a spare.

Each time you hang clothes in your closet put them in one side only. After a month or 2 the clothes you dont wear will end up on the opposite end of where you put clean clothes in. Those you can no doubt get rid of as they must not be favorite clothes. When you bring in new clothes out goes some other peice of clothing.

Underwear and socks, enough to get you from wash day to wash day plus a few extras.

I am reading an organizing book All of tips above are from it.

Shoes, I have no clue, as many as you have room for I have many shoes but they all are for differant activities.

I lived in a small old mobile home for over a year, 4 people and 2 dogs. I could only have the stuff we used everyday, nothing pretty, only practical stuff. Twas the most depressing time of my life. It was dark and dreary which of course didnt help at ALL!!






post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey Mamas!

I am so happy I started this thread~! My day got side tracked today, but i guess you could say it was a good thing! We decided to go to Lowell, MA, an hr drive to see my real father. I haven't seen him for 3 years or so, and I just recently called him after almost as long. Long story short, he was an alcoholic, drug user who was married 5 times and had 5 known children with 4 different women, one of whom he wasn't married to, none of whom he ever supported. My brother and I are the two by the same mom, so it was hard to get close to him growing up, when he was in and out of our lives. But I started feeling bad that if he were to die I would feel awful. I called a few months ago and told him I got married and had a baby. We were going to bring him my neighbors dog, she doesn't have time for. He doesn't drive and is disabled, so he is home all the time and lonely. He loves dogs. He is all alone : ( No one to talk to. I know alot of it is his own doing, but I figured it would be nice to try to build a relationship. At least for Aidan's sake. So he likes the dog, and was thrilled to meet his Son-in-law, and grandson. He appreciated the clothes. We did nothing around here, but we did take out a big bag of clothes. I did add a few things to my donation bag when I came home. I added a shirt and some pjs, and tomorrow we are staying home, except to get some Chinese food! DH Promised Tomorrow is the day lol.

I am going to get rid of the smaller crock pot. I am trying to get through one room at a time. The rest of it can wait, but I have a tendency to plow through trying to get sooo much done, yesterday that I sometimes end up in a worse situation than before. In the morning I will finish up our bureau tops, and our room will be pretty much done. Unless I can pare down more on the clothes, I can't see getting down to 3 or 4 though lol! Dh fixed his bureau drawer and I counted the tshirts he kept and there were 24. He is wearing one now and has a few in the hamper lol!

Yes my mobile home depresses me. I don't think it is so much that it is 750 sq ft, but how it was designed, horribly. It has paneling, but we did paint, but it is narrow and has a long long hallway which is such a waste of valuable space and it is soo narrow and dark stupid hallway, lol! Tomorrow Ben can haul off the other donation bag and that will be more clutter gone! I was surprised at how much those small bags of clothes weighed. It was like tons of weight was coming off my shoulders...ahhhh...relief is in site, or somewhere down the road anyways...I'm wiped...g'night!
post #13 of 18
Kellie - that is AWESOME! Congrats on putting the past behind you and building a relationship with your father. The forgiveness in your message is just so healthy - and I am inspired by your generosity to this man.

I'm so very happy for you - and keep up the amazing work! You're a great mommy, wife and daughter!
post #14 of 18
Your trailer sounds like the one we lived in. Dh had to turn sideways to get down the hallway. The 2 bedrooms had pop out closets with a built in drawers. No room for dressers if you had a queen bed in the one room. And no room for dressers in the other if you had a toy box.

My grandmas trailer was a '64 and how in the world she ever lived in it for 30+ years is beyond me.


Sounds like you are really getting stuff taken care of
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellBelle76
Kellie - that is AWESOME! Congrats on putting the past behind you and building a relationship with your father. The forgiveness in your message is just so healthy - and I am inspired by your generosity to this man.

I'm so very happy for you - and keep up the amazing work! You're a great mommy, wife and daughter!
Shell,

Thank you for your kind words. I think it is helping me too. You see my Mom & Dad (step-dad) have been going down hill for the past few years, Dad not working, borrowing a few thousand dollars off of us to fix their car and never paying back, etc.. and it's on a credit card : ( and much more. Both are addicted to Pain pills, so over the past few years it has been really hard and depressing b/c my family has been dissolving. I try to stay away from that environment, but they try to keep me in it. It is hard. I used to take zoloft to help cope. I think on some level the whole clutter and pack rat thing has to do with what I have gone through. I will need to work on that. I thought maybe, just maybe if My real father has changed himself for the better, maybe what is going on with my mom won't bother me as much. I am having a really tough time getting over that one. My DH hates my mom & dad (step dad) and that hurts, but i know he only feels that way b/c of what they have done to me, and what they put me through. My dad is threatening to sue us, long story...and to burn our house down.

There I go blabing again lol. Today I took Aidan to my Aunt Lynne's house ( Our big house) so he could play and crawl (or try to). He is soo cute, He was crawling backwards. Then I ordered Chinese food for DH to pick up for supper. When we got home DH finally changed the litter box, and brought the totes to the shed, I did some more laundry and we both tackled a bunch of junk in the kitchen. My father called and said he loves the dog we brought him, Cowboy and he is soo happy to have us back in his life : ). All in all it was a good day. We watched a movie and now we are relaxing watching another one, Tomorrow it is more decluttering! I am going to post on freecycle now some stuff! Happy New Years, Everyone!
post #16 of 18
Kellie, I'm so glad you're doing well! And congrats on the decluttering. You've seen how we live and how I struggle with the same things. It's hard for me to get rid of stuff too. Clothes were pretty easy. Since I don't have a daughter who'll want my retro fashions, they were easy to get rid of, and anything that is a size 8 or smaller (um, I'm not a size 8 anymore lol) is now gone too. Really now, even if I did lose that much weight, would I really want to wear clothes that are 10 yrs out of fashion?

The turning pt for me was getting rid of furniture, namely my huge couch and chair that don't fit well into our LR. We have our old futon and rocker in there now and there's so much more space. That was hard for me since the set wasn't cheap, kwim?

My boys liked being in an exersaucer at Aiden's age. I'd drag that thing from room to room and keep giving him new toys to play with (like a spatula or other things they didn't get to see often), and that would keep them busy so I could do whatever. Now that they're older, it's much harder I find. They want to 'help', which frankly sucks when you just want to get it done.

I'm glad to hear you're doing well! Your babe is just the cutest and you're a fantastic mama!
post #17 of 18
I just want to add that this a wonderful, inspiring thread..............
post #18 of 18
Kellie ~ it sounds like you are doing great!

I am so sorry that you are having such troubles with your mom and step-dad. Family issues are so stressful, even when you try to stay out of it. I haven't yet learned how to not let my dh's family get to me. Even though we moved 1500 miles away a year ago.

Yup, 3-4 shirts. That's what I had for the longest time. But mostly because we couldn't afford much more. My point is, keep what you love! I now have about 7 shirts because I found a shirt that I liked and ended up getting it in 5 colors. But if you have room for more, and you love more, keep them!

It sounds like your relationship with your dad is headed down a healthy path. Congratulations! I bet it was difficult for you to call him after so long. I'm proud of you. Part of decluttering, is decluttering your mind. I'm sure it sounds silly, but sometimes it just feels like our heads are so cluttered because there's so much going on! And when you are at peace with something (like your relationship with your dad), then it helps with cleansing your soul.

Thank you so much for keeping us updated with what is going on in your life. It is very inspiring and heart warming!
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