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purging... how to start

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
i am ready ready ready to get rid of half of our house. we have a big house, but we want to move and get a smaller one and i am just so sick of all the crap!!

how should i start?

post #2 of 14
Good for you! The best motivation for decluttering is moving, iMo! A couple good things to do are to do some motivational reading (see if you library has 'Confessions of an Organized Homemaker'), and get a box! make a goal for yourself of a certain number of items you'll put in the give-away box each day. 3, 5, 10? It might also be quite motivational to rummage through your give-away box and see if any of it is worth anything on ebay!
post #3 of 14
I'm someone who started with one room. I picked through everything in this one room, our rule was to evaluate EVERYTHING that was in there. A lot of things got given to friends, neighbors, donated to the Salvation Army (one man's trash is another man's treasure...). Only once both my DH and I were satisfied with the room would we move on to a different one.

The kitchen and basement were definatley the hardest
post #4 of 14
I just decluttered my bedroom and it has been a liberating experience.

Debra Baker
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
we are starting with setting a date for a garage sale. and then i will start in the pantry and work from there.
post #6 of 14
I am decluttering clothes and papers/pictures here. My closet looks so much better! I actually threw away some blurry pictures last night (that is big for me ) I am a packrat, but I cannot stand the clutter any more
Good luck!!
post #7 of 14

i like to start with something i hate

i start purging disliked gifts and other random things i hate, then things i'm iffy on, then things i like but will never use/won't use again. i get a on a roll and it makes the things i like but don't use easier to get rid of; i also make an iffy pile that i have to go through after i'm done with the room. i find working faster and dealing with the iffy pile before i can move on (to another room, to lunch, before i get on the 'puter or anything else) makes me less likely to hesitate keeps me purging and not stacking

also if you can find a good friend to help who isn't judgemental but just lounges around & asks questions like--i have never seen you wear that--did you know that? are you going to keep that when you hate it & dh hates it--just because MIL gave it to you when she lives in another state and will never remember she gave it to you anyway? even someone to chat with about nothing in particular makes the work go faster and keeps me from dwelling on memories
post #8 of 14
My favorite purging trick is to identify a "buddy" - someone who needs stuff, that you can pull things together for and take to them. Find a struggling mom to befriend at your church, in your child's class at school, on the Tribal areas for your state, another mom you meet at the playground who has younger kids. Then go through toys, books, clothes, gear, all that stuff with your "friend" in mind. Think how much she'd appreciate your things that are really JUST COLLECTING DUST.

Things that have sentimental value.... if it is covered in a layer of dust... if it is stored in a box under your bed.... if you have gone a year without really noticing it... then it really doesn't have the sentimental value you think it has. Get rid of a LOT of stuff. Then, the few things you have will be more prominently displayed and looked at more often. One baby outfit framed in a shadowbox on the wall, or one children's toy displayed up high on a sheld (not tons in a rubbermaid bin in the basement!). Fewer sentimetal things cared for a displayed better.

If you need the money (you want to buy a digital camera, let's say), then cut out a photo of what you want and tape it to a piece of paper. And then do a "yard sale" price list and go through a room totaling up how much you could make if you let this and that go for sale. Pretty quickly you will see how worthwhile it is to sell the rarely used treadmill, the outgrown clothes, etc. Dollars add up quickly when you purge a lot.

I agree with Heather, doing this with a friend makes a huge difference.
post #9 of 14
I just pick a room and then pick a corner and start from there.

I second the friend suggestion as well. It is easier to part with something when an unbiased observer is with you. I'm fantastic at getting rid of other peoples stuff.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by natrowmum

also if you can find a good friend to help who isn't judgemental but just lounges around & asks questions like--i have never seen you wear that--did you know that?
how cool would that be if one of my friends actually had time to help me with something like that!
post #11 of 14
Wow, this thread is so helpful to me. We just rented a real HOME vs the breadbox I'm in now (I'm grateful for the roof over our head but there is no room). We'll be moving within the next few weeks.

Since I've been PG I've had NO energy to do anything and the clutter is driving me absolutely nuts. We have to start packing and I figured this would be a good opportunity to purge the 'stuff' I've held onto for whatever reason.

Thank you HBD for starting this thread...you are in my thoughts

And thank you ladies for your great suggestions.
post #12 of 14
I actually found a website helpful with housecleaning and general dejunking.


You get reminders in your email box (if you choose) or you can just go to the website for tips. The emails do take up a lot of space and time, so I delete most of them. The testimonials are sometimes encouraging.
post #13 of 14
I start by going through our clothes. Give away things that don't fit or are woefully uncomfortable. For a long time I kept everything "just in case" it decided to look good or I changed size or because I might be able to wear it when [enter random occasion that rarely to never happens].

My kitchen is a big source of clutter and angst for me. I keep giving away things that we don't use or rarely use. When neither of us drinks hot beverages on a regular basis... do we need 49 mugs? What are the chances of major catastrophe and needing 97 cans of beans (and are we realistically *ever* going to eat that many beans??).

My craft supplies- how can I come up with an efficiant storage mechanism for 2000 different types of yran (divide them up into types wool/decorative/nonwool, then by color family. Buy clear containers and labels.) Same for fabrics, needles, threads.... I made DH, the electronic parts collector, do the same with all his wires and gadgets.

In general, I'm constnatly trying to get rid of things that don't serve multiple purposes or are worn out or underused. Whats left I try to streamline so things are easy to find and I can see what we have (because there is only one place where red wool yarn lives, not 10....).
post #14 of 14
There are some great tips here!
We also have planned a yard sale, which helps tremendously. It's a lot easier to part with something if you might be able to get some of your money back

We are also planning a move sometime this year (hopefully) and that is my motivation. I don't want our new home to be cluttered.. I want it to be peaceful & serene.. not a place where I'm constantly tripping over things and missing items
I'm also starting to take some things to the consignment store, so I can get some store credit.

Good luck!
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