So, I'm starting over with my four kids. I took only clothing, a few toys, books, and toilettries/meds. when I left. I hope to be moving into a new apartment soon and I don't want to end up with clutter again. For most of my life I have lived with a pack rat/horder- childhood included and I need to retrain myself and my kids. To keep from falling back into old patterns I'd like to develop a comprehensive list of things to have and try to stick to it.
I'm thinking the categories should be: Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom, Entertainment/Play, Maintenance/Cleaning. Any help you can offer on developing the list would be appreciated. Thanks.
First, I wish you the best. That is very brave of you.
Second, I would sit down and figure out where you are going from here. Are you working? Kids in school? Working from home, children activities, etc...this has helped me determine the function of my home and what I needed to meet those needs. Make a list...and keep modifying it until it feels right. I wouldn't race out just to buy stuff because, think about each purchase. I like double duty items, whether for storage to clothing or toys. Good luck!!!
Thank you that is a good suggestion. I'm hoping to be going to school and working from home. My kids are all in school. I'm not rushing out to buy anything. I honestly don't want anything. I'll post the list once I've done some more work on it.
I would also suggest cutting out pics of spaces you love and writing down why you do...this can help you visualize a space for your fuctions. We are kinda in the same boat right now, starting fresh and all we are taking is our bed, dressers, 2 lamps, a couch, coffee table dining table with 4 chairs, clothes, toys, a few garage and kitchen items and about 3 bins of personal items.
You know, in a decluttering sense, it would be so awesome to start from scratch again! (I'm sure it's hard in many other ways though ) What I would do is just live with what you have, for as long as you can. Then as you need items, add them to your list... anything that comes into the house (gifts, freebies, things left behind, whatever) goes right back out unless you previously felt a need for it. In other words, don't do what I do -- "Oh this could be useful for ____" but instead, "Well this wasn't something I missed, I've lived without it just fine so far!"
I can't make a list like that lol. It seems like an overwhelming task to me... I will try to list what I think are most essential though...
2-4 pots & pans
2 baking sheets
spatula, serving spoon, ladle, wisk
scrub brush, dish soap
plates, bowls, cups, forks, spoons - 'd probably do a dozen of each given your family size, but if you seldom have guests, you could probably get away with 6-8... get things that could work for everything from breakfast at home to a nice dinner with guests & wine
2-4 dish towels
[Things I WOULDN'T get: fancy serving dishes or fine china, teapot, gadgets that serve only one purpose]
[Things I WOULDN'T get: I can't even really think of anything else you'd put in a bathroom!]
Bed or just mattress
Something to hold jewelry/makeup if you wear either
Closet or dresser
Alarm clock if you need one
[Things I WOULDN'T get: nightstands, lamps, knicknacks]
Hard to say since I don't know how old your kids are, maybe 1 big box of toys/games for each?
A few family board games
Couch/comfy chairs/pillows on the floor/whatever seating it is that you like!
[Things I WOULDN'T get: books (can borrow from library), video games/DVDs/CDs (can borrow/rent unless you really would use them frequently)]
1 spray bottle with vinegar/water or whatever all-purpose cleaner you use
box of baking soda
scrub brush, mop, broom, vacuum
stack of washcloths
[Things I WOULDN'T get: single-purpose cleaners, gadgets]
OK that's the best I can do right now lol, it's hard to think this way for me for some reason!
I would gather basic essentials, but wait to make any purchases until you're living in your actual space.
Then you can evaluate what you actually need and can use...
Something I do with kitchen stuff.... I get baking dishes that are pretty so I can also serve food in them (instead of just a plain pyrex clear glass pan)
and my mixing bowls are pretty white bowls, so again, can be a serving dish.
I've been working on something similar here. We've gotten rid of a lot but I still think some things can go. We're getting a new place though so I'm trying to plan out the space and how/where everything will fit so a list of what we can have helps. I agree starting with the essentials and only adding as you need it is best. I've also tried to cut out having multiples of items if we don't really need it. I found the bathroom to be the easiest, quickest room to make a list of. We have: one towel and washcloth each, 2 hand towels, shampoo/conditioner, soap, and each person has a small zippered bag to hold their personal items like toothbrush, razor, etc. This keeps those things from being on the counter and cluttering things up. We do have a hair dryer for winter time though. I like the personal bags for stuff and it's really been helping here to keep things picked up and the space clear. Bedding/linens are the next thing I'm working on (the kids will be getting new bedding soon) and I've decided on a sheet set, pillow, and cotton blanket for each bed. Each child will also have a flannel sheet set and wool blanket for winter time and a quilt for added warmth. We'll do the same thing with our beds when we replace our bedding. I don't have extra sheet sets and such since we have the winterset we can use if we reallly needed to for some reason. Other than that bedding gets washed and replaced the same day (I usually just do one bed at a time to make sure that happens). Toys are minimal too. Each kid has a bookbag that can hold all their toys except the large doll/lovie they each have. I'll be putting in a little shelf/storage area for each of them in the new place but for now it's all in their bookbags. We also have a large rubbermaid container outside to hold outdoor toys (one or two larger ones are next to the bin though). I think that is the majority of our list. I'm still working on our clothes and kitchen stuff. We also have my craft stuff and the homeschool stuff that still needs a little work too. This stuff mostly needs better organization though that will hopefully be solved in the new place.
Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD and spending my days
I think the list above is a great place to start! I would love to empty our home and just keep the basics. I have felt a super strong need to simplify everything around me since my son was born. Its hard to do though! I also think that everybody has to have one indulgence, that you will never give up. For me, its books--I have two tall bookcases full and cherish them! I probably wont add too much to that now that I have an ereader, but I like having them. And, we get lots of books for the little guy too! My hubby's special thing is music, so we have a lot of instruments around the house. But I am trying to weed out the clutter in the other areas, and all this advice is great!
Rockstar, hippie, pirate mama to W (3-2-10), wifey to S for 2 years and going strong
Something I read recently was "Aim for less in the bedroom; bedrooms are for sleeping." so you wouldn't want to clutter it up with a TV, too many clothes, lots of rugs, lamps etc.
Perhaps a nightstand if you need one, a bed, a colorful bedspread and 1 nice rug to brighten things up.