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#1 of 9 Old 10-30-2012, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I have almost completed the 2012 in 2012 challenge, and I still feel just overwhelmed by the "stuff" in my house.  Anyone else feel this way?

 

I think part of the challenge is we have a smaller house, and it is older, so there is not a ton of storage.  But I think a major issue is holding onto baby items: clothes, bouncy chairs, car seat, etc.  I am currently expecting #2 and have gotten rid of some clothes, toys, accessories that I felt were not needed but all the gear is still taking up a ton of room.  We may want a #3 but I don't relish the prospect of holding onto even more if this DC is a girl (we have a DS) and knowing a 3rd child could need clothes for either gender.

 

I just have this overwhelming urge to simplify my life and I feel like all the clutter and all the stuff is making me stressed. 

 

This is almost more of a rant I guess, but I am looking for advice or resources from those who have BTDT or some commiseration from others who are feeling the same way!

 

I guess 2013 in 2013 will be a good start! eyesroll.gif


N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

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#2 of 9 Old 10-30-2012, 08:22 PM
 
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commisserating here.  no advice, as im in the same boat. destashing a lot, but still sitting on a LOT of unneeded stuff... and i'm moving soon so feeling the strain of stuff right now especially!


Katie, mommy to Oliver (2007) and brand new Ava Estelle (2014)! heartbeat.gif

Decluttering Challenge:  214/2014 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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#3 of 9 Old 10-30-2012, 09:36 PM
 
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I had this problem with clothes and solved it by simply not having so many clothes to begin with.  My boys have about 10 tops and 5 bottoms each, and maybe 4 pairs of pjs. It's plenty to get us through a week, though I do laundry more frequently, so it's never an issue to have clean clothes available.  With few clothes, I spend less money, they take up less closet space, and the clothes get fully used and worn by the time they're outgrown, so there's no need to save. (I found whenever I saved clothes, the stains would worsen over time and many had to be trashed when unpacked anyways.)  I keep just a handful of nice items to pass on.

For baby gear, I'm expecting #3 now and this baby wasn't planned, so i had gotten rid of most baby gear after baby 2 grew out of it.  And honestly, it hasn't been a big deal.  I really don't need much of what I got rid of anyways, and what I do need I've been able to replace via craigslist for about the same price that I sold my stuff for, so it's fairly wash, financially, and in the mean time, I didn't have to store things, and more use has been gotten from the gear. (my fave baby bouncer- I sold for $25, but found one for $10 for this baby, so I actually made money while not having to store a bouncer between kids)

Another option if you have baby gear that you want to hang onto for a potential future child but don't need currently, see if you have a friend or relative with a new baby that you can lend the stuff too. My sister and I have traded baby gear back and forth between 4, and soon to be 5, babies. It's free storage, and others are happy to have free baby gear that they don't have the responsibilty to store when they're done with it.

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Katie,  sahm to two wild and crazy guys banana.gif (8/07) and  bouncy.gif (3/10) and their sweet new baby sister baby.gif (4-1-13) 

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#4 of 9 Old 10-31-2012, 07:25 AM
 
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I agree that whether or not you ever have baby #3 you don't need to store things up.  A few clothes or mementos, sure, but not everything.

 

I held onto stuff for way too long because my first two were born back to back and I couldn't bear to think that my childbearing years were over.  But then we had a huge gap during which time I held onto everything... and then spent money and headaches moving house several times with all the stuff in tow.  Just not sensible.  We did get rid of most things before this last move, and it was wonderful to let the stuff go.

 

I kept my favorite carriers both for sentimental value and because they can be used again.  Kept a few clothes in both genders - and I know we're only going to have this last kiddo so at least half of the stuff will have to be gotten rid of (if it's even the right season/size to fit this one!).  And I kept a small box of treasured toys and books that are good as hand-me-downs.  That's really about it.

 

We are expecting baby #3 around New Year's, actually, and this is what I ended up buying:

 

- car seats - $200

- a new cloth diaper set - $400

- a few baby clothes from the thrift store - $50 - and that includes outfits in bigger sizes as well

- a baby bouncey thing from the thrift store - $5

 

Umm, I'm trying hard to think here.  I think that's about it so far...  I'm going to get a new labor ball as I lost the plug thing to my old one.  My mom is going to send up a crib she bought for DS#1 that's still at her house.  It's never once been used - we co-slept until he got older.  But she's moving anyway and it was an expensive crib AND it matches our new bedroom set... so she'll send it up. Otherwise I'd get a bassinet and then a Montessori style infant mattress when he/she gets older.  And we might get a pack-n-play although I'm not sure - and I think we'll get it used anyway.  We don't have a stroller and aren't getting one until baby is older.

 

So while that's our situation and obviously YMMV... the lesson here is that baby stuff is pretty easy to come by and there's no reason to store stuff beyond the immediate child.

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#5 of 9 Old 10-31-2012, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses!  At this point, it probably doesn't make sense to get rid of stuff and start re-purchasing it again in 4 or 5 mos since I am already expecting DC#2.  I will keep this in mind after DC#2 however, especially since we are not 100% sure about #3.  I've tried to share/lend out stuff as possible, but with my SIL and I having babies only 4 mos apart (and only due 4 weeks apart this time!), it hasn't been very feasible.  Where it works, though, it is great!

 

And honestly, knowing what we used last time I could get rid of some gear, like the baby swing my mom bought that DS NEVER liked.  Who knows, this babe may love it?


N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

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#6 of 9 Old 10-31-2012, 11:41 AM
 
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I agree, I was talking about for after this baby outgrows his/her stuff.  :)

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#7 of 9 Old 11-01-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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SOmetimes just getting some control of the stuff you already have can make you feel better. Storing out of season stuff in well-marked boxes. Paring down whats in the drawers so they can open and close easily. I also am a total proponent of taking a hard look at what you have and getting rid of the stuff you don't "love". I held on to an outfit someone gave me for baby #1 and long after baby #3 had outgrown it I realized I hadn't even taken off the tags because I didn't like it. Most of us have way more than we need "just in case".

 

And if you aren't ready to part with baby gear, maybe there's other stuff you can get rid of to lighten your load. It's a pain to pack stuff up and haul it to goodwill or ship it on ebay. I LOVE giving stuff away on freecycle.org. People come and take it! I've given away stuff like "a huge box of broken crayons". I'd been saving it to melt down, but realized that was never going to happen. As soon as I posted it, I had five people who wanted it. You'd be amazed at the things you can give away. It's a great place for all the things that don't make sense for goodwill, but you can't bring yourself to throwaway. Plus, you can get free stuff yourself.

 

Hope that helps. I look back now and wish I'd lived and traveled more lightly when the kiddos were small.

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#8 of 9 Old 11-01-2012, 11:57 AM
 
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SOmetimes just getting some control of the stuff you already have can make you feel better. Storing out of season stuff in well-marked boxes. Paring down whats in the drawers so they can open and close easily. I also am a total proponent of taking a hard look at what you have and getting rid of the stuff you don't "love". I held on to an outfit someone gave me for baby #1 and long after baby #3 had outgrown it I realized I hadn't even taken off the tags because I didn't like it. Most of us have way more than we need "just in case".

 

And if you aren't ready to part with baby gear, maybe there's other stuff you can get rid of to lighten your load. It's a pain to pack stuff up and haul it to goodwill or ship it on ebay. I LOVE giving stuff away on freecycle.org. People come and take it! I've given away stuff like "a huge box of broken crayons". I'd been saving it to melt down, but realized that was never going to happen. As soon as I posted it, I had five people who wanted it. You'd be amazed at the things you can give away. It's a great place for all the things that don't make sense for goodwill, but you can't bring yourself to throwaway. Plus, you can get free stuff yourself.

 

Hope that helps. I look back now and wish I'd lived and traveled more lightly when the kiddos were small.

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#9 of 9 Old 12-01-2012, 06:04 PM
 
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When I started this whole journey, I was overwhelmed, so say the least. I was college full time, had a brand new baby boy and my husband was deploying for 6 months. YEAH ME!!! Not.

 

I wanted and I needed to simplify things for my sanity. I would get up everyday and spend time with my son, feeding, changing, playing, cuddling and napping. Around 10, we would take a walk and come back for a nap. I would spend only 15 minutes at a time and clean 1 spot. In even a small house, this seemed daunting but after about 2 weeks, the place was looking good. I placed everything I was getting rid of immediatley in my vehicle, dropping it off the day I would go food shopping. 


 I also sat down and had to really think about what I wanted out of life. I wanted life experience, not things. I stuck with this plan and by the time hubby came home from deployment, the house looked great, organized, and clean. I was not stressed out and I was quite calm for dealing with the 100's of other things that go on during that time.

 

Step by step. You will get to a point where it will work for you and find your stride. Good luck!!!

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