Anyone decluttered a horder's home? Need help planning and organizing. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 10-22-2011, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Fortunately it's not a whole house, it's just my dd's bedroom. But it's still really, really overwhelming, not just for her but for me.  The floor is covered knee high with stuff.  It got this way because 1, she has too much stuff,  2, I gave up requiring her to keep her room clean, 2A, almost nothing has been purged in probably eight years and 3, she does not put anything away, ever.  

 

I don't want to get into #2 and #2A right now, but I recently asked her if she would like me to clean out her room for her.  She took a deep breath and said yes.  So I'm ready to start sorting:  keep, toss, give away. 

 

Number three up there is what makes this such an overwhelming task.  When she was little and didn't have as much stuff it didn't matter so much if I stopped to organize all the separate things scattered across the floor.  Groovy Girl's stuff, American Girl's stuff, stuffed animals, Build a Bears and their clothes, other stuffed animals, crayons, pencil, clothes: clean, dirty, give away, books, books and more books.  It might take all day but it was done. 

 

But now there is SO MUCH STUFF that not only can it not be done in one day but it cannot be done in her room.  Or, at least I don't think so.  I think it makes sense to take piles and boxes and bins out into the dining room/entry (wide open and not used much) and sort them there.  But because I can't finish it in one day we end up with piles, boxes and bins to get back to, and of course something comes up, I have to shove it all back into her room and there it stops. 

 

Am I doing this inefficiently?  Is there a process I can follow step by step that I can sustain? I'm sure I've got more questions but I've got to dash now.  Any help you can provide I would very much appreciate!


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#2 of 23 Old 10-22-2011, 01:47 PM
 
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I'm going to assume she's not a hoarder in the true sense of the word.  If she is, then I have no idea!  lol

 

But I would throw away tons and tons of it.  Like, maybe clear her bed off (push it all onto the floor if it's covered) and then stuff everything on the floor into garbage bags, not being careful to make sure I wasn't throwing away treasures, but when treasures made themselves obvious throw them on the bed.  I'd do it all when she wasn't around, of course.  If you try to save everything or even most of the stuff she'd like, it'll probably be too much for her to keep the room up, kwim?  I would also do it with the understanding that you'll be replacing some of it over time.  But I bet it will only be a very small fraction.  And maybe in the future as you replace or buy new things you guys can talk about whether they'll enhance her life or end up on her floor and make her crazy.  I think I need someone to come shopping with me to have that conversation.  shy.gif


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#3 of 23 Old 10-22-2011, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So expand my definition of what gets tossed and narrow my definition of what stays.  That will certainly help.  I have to admit, making decisions is not my strong point. 

 

She's not a horder.  She doesn't collect things.  She just doesn't throw things away and doesn't put things away.  She doesn't for example, collect pens. But if pens fall out of a can and scatter,  she doesn't pick them up.  It's like that with everything.  I don't really get it. 

 

Argh. I need to get back to it.  Thank you, I'm going to be more ruthless with stuff. 

 

 

 


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#4 of 23 Old 10-22-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

But now there is SO MUCH STUFF that not only can it not be done in one day but it cannot be done in her room.  Or, at least I don't think so.  I think it makes sense to take piles and boxes and bins out into the dining room/entry (wide open and not used much) and sort them there.  But because I can't finish it in one day we end up with piles, boxes and bins to get back to, and of course something comes up, I have to shove it all back into her room and there it stops. 

 

Am I doing this inefficiently?  Is there a process I can follow step by step that I can sustain? I'm sure I've got more questions but I've got to dash now.  Any help you can provide I would very much appreciate!


I am the opposite...more of a compulsive purger.  I think you have a good idea with taking everything to the dining room.  At the end of the day, I would put the "give away" stuff in bags in the car and go get rid of it right away.  I would also throw out everything in the toss pile right away too.  If you can keep the stuff in the dining room that she wants to keep until tomorrow or whenever you can finish it, I would do that.  Otherwise I'd throw that stuff into garbage bags and label it "keep and sort" to sort through when you have time. 

 

I have always found that getting stuff out...giving or throwing away...helps me continue on with the process and makes me feel like I've accomplished something. 
 

 

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#5 of 23 Old 10-22-2011, 03:14 PM
 
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I just came back to say that I if I had a job like that, I wouldn't separate stuff out to give away.  I gave up on that long ago because in the end, I end up with a bunch of bags and boxes instead of a clean uncluttered space.  I used to feel guilty about it, but then I met someone who I think could be classified as a true hoarder, who's house was filled with tons of stuff she could never let go of, but then also tons of stuff that she was meaning to give to particular people or even just to the salvation army or something.  Her intentions were so nice and kind, but then she just lived with this stuff piled up on top of her.  I feel a little guilty that I just throw stuff away, but the reality is that if I didn't it wouldn't get to who it was intended for anyway, it would just be filling up my space.  So, if you're the type who will really get it to it's recipient asap, then that's fine, but try not to feel guilty about throwing stuff away if you know that's just not very likely.

 

APToddlerMama, I'm a compulsive purger, too!  I feel so over-burdened by stuff because I am a lot like OP's dd (I'll knock over the caddy and leave the pens lying there, too, and worse I'm sure).  It's so liberating to get rid of stuff!  So, journeymom, take my advice with a grain of salt!  :)


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#6 of 23 Old 10-22-2011, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh my.  A full third of the knee-high mess was bath towels and blankets.  The other third was large plastic storage bins from last time she attempted to clean it herself.  So clearing that out helped quite a bit.  The floor is still covered with stuff. 

 

Quote:
If you can keep the stuff in the dining room that she wants to keep until tomorrow or whenever you can finish it, I would do that. 

 

She's gone for the day.  I don't know necessarily what she wants to keep.

 

This is one more aspect of why I stopped cleaning her room or requiring her to do it herself.  When she was 4 I cleaned out her room a couple of times and there were some tears, I mean hysterical tears, when she learned I'd tossed some things.  I realized there were some intense emotions involved when I tried to throw away torn paper scraps and used tissues and she still got upset.

 

Anyway, in my head I'm sorting things into different piles like, things I know need to be kept, things that can obviously be tossed, and iffy things I'm leaving for her to decide on but that I hope she'll toss. 

 

I think I'll go at the 'hope she tosses it' pile a few times before I let her see it.


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#7 of 23 Old 10-22-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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Oh, I have a daughter who is very similar.  She would pull trash out of the trash can and take it back to her room.  It has taken years of being firm that she cannot have even potentially re-usable trash because she just couldn't tell the difference between outright trash and something worth saving for another use.  "No, that is trash and we do not keep trash!"  Can't count how many times I've said that one!  I've warned her that I think she has hoarder potential, and she's seen the show and I think it has helped.  But, like you, I try to avoid going in her room if I can help it.  She is instructed to clean it at least once every few weeks, and usually I ask my dh to check it because I get too frustrated and am prone to losing my temper.  I decided that she couldn't handle having toys in her room.  I also don't like her taking books to her room, especially library books.  These days, the mess is largely clothing.  She ends up with a lot of hand-me-downs, and I really need to stick to a system that doesn't allow her to keep more than she really needs.

 

It sounds like your daughter's room is in a terrible state.  I would do what you are doing, and move it all out.  If you have to collect extra storage bins for the meantime, I would do it.  You can either find another use for them later or give them to someone else.  I would completely clean the room out, and then go through the stuff at my own pace, but I would not put it back in the room.  Possibly, I would just sort through quickly and anything useful that she doesn't need right now would get donated.  Trash needs to be weeded out and thrown out.  She may be attached to stuff, but she has more than she can handle on her own.  Perhaps you could decide that she can keep all that she can go through in one day, and then the rest is either tossed or donated.  You may need to find some other location in the home for her toys, homework supplies, and anything else that isn't absolutely essential in her room.  I have found that sometimes this process is hard on me to let go, because I know that some of it is valuable!  But it doesn't do anyone any good sitting at the bottom of a pile on the floor.  It doesn't teach the child how to take care of her property, either.  Good luck!  


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#8 of 23 Old 10-22-2011, 05:27 PM
 
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I wouldn't show her the box to sort. I would box it and let her know that you have it and if she wants something specific she can ask you to get it and you will. That way only the items she cares enough about to ask for specifically will go back into the space. Honestly I would do that with most of the "keep pile". I would put back one set of bedding, a light, and the clothes you see her wear weekly and that's it. I would put the absolute basics in her room, let her know that the rest is still in the house and available if she asks for specific items. That way only the loved and used items will come back.

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#9 of 23 Old 10-22-2011, 05:38 PM
 
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I don't know how far you are into the process, but for anyone else reading, I would take a trash bag first thing and gather all trash. Then, I would gather dirty laundry. Hopefully that would free up some space. I think I'd be careful about throwing stuff out without asking her. If I were you, I'd hide the "hope she tosses" stuff and finish her room. Let her see how great it feels to be in a clean room for a bit. Then decide together with her how much room she has to add stuff. Think of a number of items that she can rescue from the maybe items. That's what I do. My dd is OK if I give her a number of things to rescue from my declutter pile. I also have found that putting up a certain number of toys and rotating them helps her. If the mess gets to be more than a few categories, she gets overwhelmed. However, I can tell her pick up all of the ____ and then the ____. Then I can give her another category and by the end, I she just needs help with the misc. stuff on the floor.

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#10 of 23 Old 10-22-2011, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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By the way, there were 21 towels in that pile.  I think we have too many towels!

Quote:
 I have found that sometimes this process is hard on me to let go, because I know that some of it is valuable!

 

Yes, same problem here. 

 

What do I do about the nice cd/radio we got her when she was 12? She's outgrown it, doesn't use it, won't miss it, I actually found the remote that came with it. But I can't find the power cord so it's useless. I'm pretty sure the power cord is in Pandora's Box  our office, but that would mean stopping to look for it.  OR, I can toss it.  It's a perfectly good stereo, except I don't know where the electrical cord is.  

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I would take a trash bag first thing and gather all trash. Then, I would gather dirty laundry. Hopefully that would free up some space. I think I'd be careful about throwing stuff out without asking her.

 

The clothes were on top of the garbage, so I did it the other way around  eyesroll.gif, but yes, that's what I concentrated on.  Tossed a whole kitchen garbage bag in the recycle bin, and a whole bag in the garbage.  There are three large piles of clothes in the entry way now.  My hunch is that they're mostly clean.  Some things I had no problem tossing in the back of the car (soft ball gear from 4 years ago), but I kept a couple things to ask her about.

 

Quote:
I would put the absolute basics in her room, let her know that the rest is still in the house and available if she asks for specific items.

 

I've thought of this myself, it makes sense.  I'll probably do something like it.

 

Well, I cleared a huge swath across the floor, but didn't get all of it.  But it was enough that I could walk across the room and actually vacuum. faint.gif  So I took the broken bed-side lamp to dh and he fixed it, which will be a happy surprise for dd.  And I changed the sheets on her bed and the comforter is in the wash. 

 

I'm probably only half way done but it's a huge improvement.  That poor girl, it's been so depressing in there. 

 

 


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#11 of 23 Old 10-23-2011, 12:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

Am I doing this inefficiently?  Is there a process I can follow step by step that I can sustain? I'm sure I've got more questions but I've got to dash now.  Any help you can provide I would very much appreciate!

 


Long, long ago we had a spare bedrooom that was so filled with random junk that I couldn't just clean it the normal way.  I started to type up what I did, and I realized that I remembered typing it before. It's here:
 
 
A somewhat briefer description of the strategy, customized to your situation, is:
 
- Get a bunch of identical boxes. I would use U-Haul "medium" boxes.
- Stuff everything willy-nilly into the boxes, essentially emptying the room. No sorting yet.
- Stack these boxes of stuff somewhere.
- Create an area where you can work for at least a couple of hours at a time.
- Get two empty boxes and a trashcan and put them at your work area.
- Get exactly one box of stuff and put it at your work area.
- Go through the box of stuff. Put trash in the trash. Put items that have a defined place in the room into the room. Put donate in one of the empty boxes. Put everything else into the other empty box _without further sorting it_. We'll call this the "repack" box.
- Go get another filled box. Continue to fill trash, donate, repack. As donate boxes fill up, put them in the car. As repack boxes fill up, mark them as repack and put them back with the original boxes of stuff.
- Repeat until you've gone through every original box.
 
You'll end this first "cycle" with your daughter's room refilled with the things that she actually uses, and a bunch of stuff donated and trashed. And, yes, a smaller stack of "repack" boxes of unsorted stuff. But throughout the process, you _always_ had only three boxes and a trashcan in active use. Whenever you were ready to stop for a while, you could close those boxes and stack them, bag the trash, and thus compress your work into a relatively small and neat package, ready for you to return to it whenever you're ready.
 
At this point, you attack the "repack" boxes. How you attack them depends on what is in them, but I would advise that you once again have a very limited number of categories - trash, repack, possibly donate, and one other category, such as "papers" or "keepsakes" or whatever you want to sort out of the boxes. This may mean that you see some things several times, as you go through the boxes - always a decreasing number of boxes - in several cycles. But you always have the simplified work area of three boxes plus trash.
 
Crayfish
 
I should add: You may find when filling the "donate" box that you're saying, "The grade school might like this half box of crayons, and I could give that trowel to the high school gardening club, and there might be some denstist's offices that would like these magazines..." 
 
I would strongly advise against working that hard. I'd instead suggest that you pick _one_ donation recipient, and you put stuff that they will take into the donate box. The rest? Close your eyes and put it in the trash.
 
And if you find that donating is hampering the effort? Forget the donating and put that stuff in the trash. Cleaning up is the first and highest priority goal. Other goals are optional.

 

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#12 of 23 Old 10-23-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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Oh geez, the donation pile is unreal at my house.  UNREAL!  If you can't get it there toss.  I'm with everyone on this.  I just can't toss more than one bag at a time in our trash.  We get pick up for trash and recycling once a week.  Recycling is usually the first to fill then I use my trash can because I have no room left in recycling.  Ugly cycle!!

 

Good luck mama!

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#13 of 23 Old 10-23-2011, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This may mean that you see some things several times, as you go through the boxes -

 

Thanks for acknowledging this.  I've read in more than one place you should 'touch something only once'.  I appreciate the concept but I think it's not always possible. 
 

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Oh geez, the donation pile is unreal at my house.  UNREAL!  If you can't get it there toss.  I'm with everyone on this.  I just can't toss more than one bag at a time in our trash.  We get pick up for trash and recycling once a week.  Recycling is usually the first to fill then I use my trash can because I have no room left in recycling.  Ugly cycle!!

 

Good luck mama!



Thanks! 


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#14 of 23 Old 10-23-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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My mother didn't have a lot growing up, so she's got an attachment to "things." She isn't a hoarder, but she does cling on to things that are really worthless. Old study notes and text books that are from the late 80's when she went to college, receipts and budget notes from 15 years ago, old prescription medication, etc. It's just stuff. For us, helping her has been slow. We have to work gently to get her to toss the stuff, or to donate it. That may not be the case with your daughter, though. If she just needs the push or help purging, things are a little easier.

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#15 of 23 Old 10-26-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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I bow to your wisdom Crayfish. You're so good at this stuff. Not just the organizing but the emotional component as well.

 

And I think my DD IS the OPs DD. Have a mentioned that I find gum wrappers stuffed in all of her purses? And like NOTHING can leave every. And a few months ago she found me throwing out cut bits of paper and it was screaming tantrum (she is 8) for over an hour? We had to call her friends parents and cancel the sleepover. And there's a lot of anxiety thrown in there as well (thank you DH).

 

My house is definitley showing improvements. I haven't been posting much. But I have been working on things.


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#16 of 23 Old 10-26-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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Ellen, my dd was/is very similar.  I really put my foot down and refused to let her keep trash of any sort.  If she had papers (artwork, school work, whatever) she wanted to keep, it needed to stay intact, preferably in her sketchbook, or it would be thrown out.  I stayed firm on this, and it is getting much better at 12yo.  I have also outlawed gum in my home, but that's really beside the point.  I'm tired of scraping it off the floor, out of the laundry, wrappers, etc. etc.  Gum is my nemesis. LOL


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#17 of 23 Old 10-26-2011, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh! Gum in the carpet, not good. 

 

I also scooped up about $5 in coins from the floor.  dizzy.gif  Her dad used to do this with pennies.  I'd find pennies all over the floor on his side of the bedroom and wonder what the heck was going on.  He explained that he hates when pennies collect in his pockets, he thinks pennies should be discontinued, etc. So when they fall on the bedroom floor it's OK to just leave them there?? Seriously?  I said he's essentially littering in the house.  I put a jar on the dresser and suggested he put his unwanted pennies in there.  Married 19 years, he's finally stopped leaving pennies on the floor.  Now if he could just get the new clothes tags from the bed to the garbage can before they end up on the floor. 

 

I guess it's genetic? I dunno.  I remember my dad scolding me one time when I was little for ignoring a piece of garbage on the floor.  But only once.

 

I haven't gotten back to the project since the week started. That's OK. 
 


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#18 of 23 Old 10-27-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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I should add: You may find when filling the "donate" box that you're saying, "The grade school might like this half box of crayons, and I could give that trowel to the high school gardening club, and there might be some denstist's offices that would like these magazines..." 
 
I would strongly advise against working that hard. I'd instead suggest that you pick _one_ donation recipient, and you put stuff that they will take into the donate box. The rest? Close your eyes and put it in the trash.
 
And if you find that donating is hampering the effort? Forget the donating and put that stuff in the trash. Cleaning up is the first and highest priority goal. Other goals are optional.

 

 

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#19 of 23 Old 11-06-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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Yes, I moved in with a friend of mine at 19 and she had been such a hoarder that her room was unlivable and she'd spent most of high school sleeping on the couch. First step to make room for me was to literally make room for me. Luckily the vast majority of her room was all trash since she hadn't lived there in years.

 

Judging on the time frame you're talking about, I'm guessing your daughter is in her teens. In that case, I would absolutely involve her in the decision making. It'll be hard, but she's old enough that she needs both responsibility and autonomy in her space. Perhaps motivate her by giving her some money to decorate after you're done?

 

Step 1: toss out obvious trash. I see pens are a problem, that's pretty obvious to get rid of. Broken plastic stuff, definitely toss. Too small clothing? Get rid of. If it's been sitting on the ground for years it's unlikely to be donateable*

 

Step 2: Organize and box up. My friend hated dressers with a passion (apparently piles of clothes aren't "boxy") so we bought a ridiculous amount of hangers and hung ALL of her clothes. Her unhangeable items, like underwear and socks, were stored in a plastic drawer set in the closet.

 

Good luck, this stuff isn't easy!

 

*I hear one of the biggest problems for Goodwill etc. is that they are given a lot of trash and it takes way more time to sift through the trash vs. the salvageable items than should be reasonable. Accordingly, I only donate nice things. Sure DD's pants that have one tiny hole are wearable, but that doesn't mean they'll sell, and I'm only hurting Goodwill (or whoever) by "donating" them.


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#20 of 23 Old 11-07-2011, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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*I hear one of the biggest problems for Goodwill etc. is that they are given a lot of trash and it takes way more time to sift through the trash vs. the salvageable items than should be reasonable. Accordingly, I only donate nice things. Sure DD's pants that have one tiny hole are wearable, but that doesn't mean they'll sell, and I'm only hurting Goodwill (or whoever) by "donating" them.


That's a really great point.  My sister did something like this to me, gave me a big garbage bag full of her kids' baby clothes when I had my first baby.  A lot of that stuff was stained and ugly.  I may have kept a couple of pieces but some I just tossed.  My sister hadn't really done me any favors, she simply passed off to me a big pile of decision-making. 

 

You're right, my daughter is 16 y.o., almost 17.  I think she's gone through a big change and that's why she was willing to allow me to do go in and do this for her.  And like your roommate, it got so bad she didn't like to sleep in there. She's always been a night owl but it got to where she was pushing and pushing us to let her stay up and watch TV, she didn't even want to read in bed at night. 

 

It's interesting the different preferences people have for storing their clothes.  Dd is absolutely not interested using clothes hangers.  She'll use dresser drawers for socks and underwear and maybe seasonal clothes.  But I finally got her a hanging shelf system. Haven't set it up yet...

 

http://www.target.com/p/Joy-Mangano-6-Shelf-Organizer-with-2-Hangers/-/A-12444196#?lnk=sc_qi_detailbutton

 

Yikes! Looking at the product reviews maybe this was a bad choice of hanging shelves. 

 

Regardless, I'm trying to accommodate dd's natural inclinations -don't hang anything up, don't put it in drawers where you can't see it, just stuff clothes on open shelves where you can see everything.   So we'll see. 

 

Forgot to mention, she spent about an hour in her room this weekend cleaning out under her bed.  She brought out a big bag of clothes to donate and a smaller bag she's hoping to sell at Crossroads Trading Company (she recently discovered the thrill of thrift store shopping).  I'm really pleased, this was her own initiative.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

Forgot to mention, she spent about an hour in her room this weekend cleaning out under her bed.  She brought out a big bag of clothes to donate and a smaller bag she's hoping to sell at Crossroads Trading Company (she recently discovered the thrill of thrift store shopping).  I'm really pleased, this was her own initiative.


Awesome progress!!

 


Mom to eight!!  Our twin girls arrived 3-3-2011.

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#22 of 23 Old 11-08-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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There is/was a show on TLC where an expert would go into a cluttered house and help clean up a few rooms, and then redecorate it for the family. I think the show was called CleanSweep.

 

The declutter would go like this:

 

Empty out the room, into the yard and divide everything into 3 piles: Keep, Donate/Sell, Trash. For the Keep stuff, he would only allow enough stuff back into the room that fit on a certain sized tarp, including the furniture. But just seeing the amount of stuff these folks had accumulated into their yard was shocking enough for most!

 

Then he would work with the family to go through their personal items. If it was 30 pairs of shoes, he wouldn’t say pick out the ones you want to keep. They would’ve kept 25 and tossed 5. Instead he’ll say you get to keep 8 pairs… which ones do you like best? He did the same with clothing, pictures, momentos, craft items, collections….

 

Giving yourself a limit works better than keeping “what you want”.

 

Also when choosing what goes back in. Decide what is wanted on each shelf and in each drawer, then toss what is leftover. Do not start with a bunch of items trying to figure out how to fit them back in. I do this a lot when I’ve accumulated too many knick knacks on a shelf.

 

The team would then have a yard sale and sell all the extra stuff. The family would keep the money. This was also some incentive to get rid of things. We do this with our DS when we have a summer yard sale. It helps him to let go of more toys if he gets to keep some of the money to buy future items.

 

And then of course have a redecorated room gives the family a fresh start. Is there a way you could paint her room or re arrange the furniture for a new look?

 

To help this not happen again (and not that I should talk, my DS’s room is a cluttered mess) is to decide where everything goes and label stuff. If kids do not know where something lives, they won’t even know how to clean it up when asked “clean up their room”.

 

Maybe you can reward her in a month of clean room with a friend to come over for a sleepover?

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#23 of 23 Old 11-09-2011, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I remember that show.  I've watched it a few times, liked it. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhianna813 View Post

There is/was a show on TLC where an expert would go into a cluttered house and help clean up a few rooms, and then redecorate it for the family. I think the show was called CleanSweep.

 

The declutter would go like this:

 

Empty out the room, into the yard and divide everything into 3 piles: Keep, Donate/Sell, Trash. For the Keep stuff, he would only allow enough stuff back into the room that fit on a certain sized tarp, including the furniture. But just seeing the amount of stuff these folks had accumulated into their yard was shocking enough for most!

 

That's a great point. We've done the first part before: empty the room and sort.  But we haven't then looked at the enormous pile of what's left to wonder if there is too much.  We just try to find places to put it all back.  And if it doesn't all fit it's because we haven't stored it correctly. Not that there's simply too much. 

 

Then he would work with the family to go through their personal items. If it was 30 pairs of shoes, he wouldn’t say pick out the ones you want to keep. They would’ve kept 25 and tossed 5. Instead he’ll say you get to keep 8 pairs… which ones do you like best? He did the same with clothing, pictures, momentos, craft items, collections….

 

Giving yourself a limit works better than keeping “what you want”.

 

Also when choosing what goes back in. Decide what is wanted on each shelf and in each drawer, then toss what is leftover. Do not start with a bunch of items trying to figure out how to fit them back in. I do this a lot when I’ve accumulated too many knick knacks on a shelf.

 

Exactly. 

 

The team would then have a yard sale and sell all the extra stuff. The family would keep the money. This was also some incentive to get rid of things. We do this with our DS when we have a summer yard sale. It helps him to let go of more toys if he gets to keep some of the money to buy future items.

 

And then of course have a redecorated room gives the family a fresh start. Is there a way you could paint her room or re arrange the furniture for a new look?

 

We did exactly that maybe 3 years ago. Painted and re-arranged the furniture to make much more room.  It was lovely, but it doesn't account for the fact that she just has too much stuff, so every surface was eventually covered with stuff (combined with the fact that she does not put anything away).  I'd be very happy to repaint. In fact I think she doesn't actually like the 3 y.o. paint job, but she hasn't wanted to say anything. 

 

To help this not happen again (and not that I should talk, my DS’s room is a cluttered mess) is to decide where everything goes and label stuff. If kids do not know where something lives, they won’t even know how to clean it up when asked “clean up their room”.

 

Maybe you can reward her in a month of clean room with a friend to come over for a sleepover?



Yup, she'd love to feel free to let her friends come right into her room, no hesitation, no avoiding it altogether.  I'm all for it.


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