Why declutter? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 08-23-2011, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How does decluttering keep your home clean? I was trying to explain this to my husband; (that every website says to start with decluttering)... but I couldn't really come up with an explanation. How does clearing your closets help keep your home clean?


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#2 of 13 Old 08-23-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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It is so much easier to wipe counters and dust furniture if you don't have piles of clutter messing up your work. It also reduces dust catching in the first place and makes one calm to see clear surfaces instead of junked up ones.
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#3 of 13 Old 08-23-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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Well if the only clutter you have is organized in closets, it's not going to feel much different if you get rid of it!  But like the pp said, if the stuff is out in the open, covering floor space and counter space, you'll be able to have a cleaner house by getting rid of it.

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#4 of 13 Old 08-23-2011, 10:03 PM
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#5 of 13 Old 08-24-2011, 03:46 AM
 
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The way I see it is that old saying 'a place for everything and everything in its place'. When your closets are full to the brim but still there is stuff on the outside without a home, it is harder to keep a clean house because you have to move around so much stuff to clean. I don't know if this is your situation or not, but I find this to be true for myself. So it makes sense for me to get rid of some things in the closets we no longer need/love/use/can-do-without to make room for the homeless around the house. Our lives are ever evolving and new stuff comes in the door and some old stuff needs to leave to make room.

 

 

Or you might not have enough storage, even after clearing out the closets. That is the case with our living room at the moment. So we're installing an armoire to house all the loose stuff in the living room. I would rather use something in a non traditional way to keep the room clean and clear of stuff than  abide to some 'rules' of what furnishings go where. I am also not fond of little storage out in the open. I much rather have a piece of furniture with doors where everything is hidden than small baskets or containers of stuff out in the open on shelves, under beds, under tables, etc...Because dust collects around these containers and you still need to move them around to properly clean. For this reason I could never live with open shelves in a kitchen. But that it's me and my personal preferences.

Forgot to mention I am somewhat lazy and don't want to do a lot of work when cleaning, so I try to do things as easy as possible for me.The easiest for me to clean is our bedroom. I make the bed in maybe 10 seconds...We don't use flat sheets ever, just a fitted, pillows and a duvet in a duvet cover that I change weekly ( I have 3 different covers). Clothes I re-wear, on hooks on the back of my closet, dirty ones in the hamper at the bottom of said closet. Books I read on a nice looking pile on my night stand. A picture on DH's nightstand. A container for my jewlery on the dresser and some candles and that's it. Vacuum 10 minutes, dusting 2 minutes if that. And I'm done. If I feel fancy, I mop the floors (laminate flooring thoroughout the house)

 

 

 

Hope it makes sense.

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#6 of 13 Old 08-24-2011, 08:04 AM
 
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It makes it so much easier to see what needs to be done.  I feel overwhelmed by a room if there is a lot of clutter.  If I have to lift more than 5 things from a surface then I know it's going to take me too long to accomplish.  When you have a whole house to clean and a family of slobs... less is best!

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#7 of 13 Old 08-25-2011, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your replies. DH's mom managed to keep an incredible amount of stuff organized and out of sight, so I don't think he sees the value as much as I do (borderline hoarder!)

 

I think the main thing as pp mentioned is that if I clear out the closet of things that we use, say, once every 10 years, than I can put things that we use once a year in the closet neatly instead of kicking it around all over the house.

 

Also, I just don't think I"m the kind of person that can keep a great many number of things organized. it's exhausting!


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#8 of 13 Old 08-25-2011, 10:17 PM
 
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i think the best reason to declutter is that you get the great feeling of freedom that comes from being in wide open spaces and seeing blank surfaces. if, by contrast, it's all cluttered up, you get an "itchy," or "nervous" feeling -- you have the sense that you ALWAYS have work to do. wouldn't it be nice to just have your routine household chores, dishwasher, laundry, dump garbage cans, vacuum/sweep, etc. and not have the monumental tasks of always having to decide whether to keep or get rid of, or finding "homes" for things that are continually out of place. i sure think so!

 

AND this contributes to a cleaner house overall. because you CAN dust, you have both the time to do it, and the clear surfaces to get straight at it. you CAN sweep the floors, you don't have to move things out of the way first or "clean around them." you can take the time to do windows, and you can reach them all, too!


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#9 of 13 Old 08-26-2011, 02:55 PM
 
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I was thinking about this today, actually.

 

All of the above are really good reasons, I think, and I will only add this:  I have a pretty decluttered home - I don't care much for knickknacks unless they're super special to me .... the kids' toys all have a place & are usually there unless they're being played with at some point ... we make our beds and tidy rooms each day, etc., etc.

 

A lady asked if she could come over today to look at something we are selling, and I said "Sure!  How about a half hour?" ... because that was how long it takes me to do the "morning clean" with the kids before the place is sparkly and tidy.  I mean, don't look in the corners because I don't dust all that often (I'd rather hike with the kids!  shhh!), but our house is tidy and I feel good about having people come over to it on the spur of the moment.

 

That, to me, is my biggest benefit of decluttering.  :)


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#10 of 13 Old 08-28-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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- Because clear surfaces are easier to clean.
 
- Because surfaces are clear when stuff is put away where it belongs.
 
- Because it's easier to put stuff where it belongs when the cabinets and drawers and shelves where it belongs are not full. A 50% or 75% full space allows you to easily, one-handed, put an item in it. A 95% full or 110% full space generally requires a lot of rearranging to put anything away, which means that you're less likely to put it away at all.
 
I've more than once given the example of my mother's kitchen, where the saucers are stacked on top of the dessert plates which are stacked on top of the salad plates which are stacked on top of the dinner plate. Getting a dinner plate out or in requires that you lift fifteen pounds of china and find a place to set it on an already cluttered counter. This is in contrast with a simple stack of dinner plates and nothing but dinner plates, where you can get one out or in in a moment, with one hand.
 
- Because loosely filled spaces are less likely to conceal issues with dust or bugs or rodents or moisture leaks or other ick like that faintly sour mildewy-painty smell that the towels get when they're mashed too tightly together.
 
- Because loosely-filled spaces make it easy to take everything out, clean, and put everything back in.
 
- Because those clear surfaces in the first line give you somewhere to put the stuff that you temporarily took out of your loosely-filled storage space so that you could clean.
 
- Because the difficulty of vacuuming or sweeping or mopping is directly proportional to how many boxes and shoes and pieces of furniture you have to move.
 
- Because a vacuum that you can effortlessly roll out of a closet is a lot easier to use than one that you have to untangle from six years' worth of coats and sweaters and shoe boxes and boots.
 
- Because stuff that's stored on the kitchen counter because the cabinets are full usually gets greasy and icky. The same for that "moistened dust fur" coating on stuff stored on the bathroom counter because the bathroom cabinets are full.
 
- Because walking to a loosely-filled shelf and picking up a dust rag in one hand and a spray bottle in another hand is much more fun than digging through a ragbag and knocking over six bottles as you try to get the spray bottle disentangled.
 
- Because dishes are much easier to wash when the whole counter is clear.
 
- Because clothes are much easier to wash when they never overflow the hamper.
 
OK, I ran down. :) 
 
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#11 of 13 Old 08-31-2011, 05:06 AM
 
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crayfish... I have two overflowing hampers.  Though no one in my house uses a dresser, we hang everything up... isn't that what a closet is for?  Actually we do put work out clothes and under things in the dressers but that's it.  So all of us 4 can use two dressers and they're not really that big.  I found that hanging up clothes also reduces the clutter of clothes because you see them all the time.  It's easy to pull a few things off the hangers that you know you don't wear or can't fit into and then place them in a bag and phone someone who will pick them up. 

 

Also I take things directly out of the dryer or off the line with hangers in hand.  I put them on the hanger and a kid runs in the house and hangs it in the proper closet... the trick is getting them to come back without getting lost...

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#12 of 13 Old 08-31-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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In addition to what others have said, for me the biggest benefit of having a decluttered home and unstuffed closets is that everyone in the home, and guests, can easily find things and put them away.  I've found I can maintain a well organized clean home easily with way, way more stuff (clutter, if you will!) if it's just me... but once I added in a hubby and four kids and then the occasional house guest I found with so many people using everything, getting into everything and then either putting it away in the wrong spot or leaving it out because of how they had to dig out other stuff to get to that stuff they can no longer manage to fit it back in (even if they could figure out where exactly it went!) I was devoting way too much time and energy on inventory maintenance.  My dh once suggested photos, which actually worked alright for some situations, although I had things so carefully arranged like a complex puzzle that even with photos my family wasn't able to put them back... more work for me!  So rather than become more and more of a control freak and having less and less time during the day to do much more than put everything back in it's place (because if I didn't get it put back my dh might shove it all hodgepodge into a closet or drawer and then I'd have an even bigger disaster on my hand), I realized we had to seriously declutter and let go of a lot of our stuff.  At first my family wasn't too keen on this, but I tell you once it was all out and gone, my kids said to me they never wanted to have so much stuff ever again and I have to practically beg to have them let me get them stuff, heh!  They like being able to put stuff away easily and know where everything is themselves without having to constantly check with mom, it makes them not only feel more independent and responsible but more like this is their home.  And I like that too! In fact, that to me is the first signal it might be time to do another round of decluttering whenever one of my kids comes up to me and has to ask, "what should I do with this?" or "where can I find the...."  It goes beyond just everything having a place... everything can have a home and you can still have way too much clutter if not everyone feels comfortable knowing where to find stuff and where to put it away, I've found.   

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#13 of 13 Old 09-03-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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literally taking notes.  not that i don't already get this stuff, just helps to remind myself when i don't feel like doing anything (cause i'm overwhelmed with clutter!)


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Decluttering Challenge:  283/2014 items are gone!
$201 made from selling my "stuff"
(I've gotten rid of 3711 items over the last four years on this forum! Last years selling total: $456)
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