FED UP...need to simplify :( - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 02-01-2013, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all, I have been away from mdc for a while so I had to start again...fitting because that is what I really need to do!

 

I am smothered, overwhelmed and mdc used to be my go to...I need to simplify my home...it clouds my mind :(

 

I have 3 kiddos btwn 1 and 6 just getting time to start homeschooling, but I can't even keep the kitchen table clear...ugh.

 

What I have done so far:

 

1. For starter I got rid of the kids dressers, lowered the closet racks and hung their clothes...helps me see what we have and do not need!!! doing the same for myself and dh.

 

2. bagged a ton for donation

 

What I want to do:

 

throw everything out on the lawn!!!

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#2 of 22 Old 02-01-2013, 02:53 PM
 
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What is next? It all gets done one project at a time.

Kitchen drawer? Buffet top?

What spots bother you the most?

What needs a home most badly?

 

One thing that has helped me is to have an Outbox (idea from Apartment Therapy) anything that is not working for me goes in the outbox. When full I go through it, donate, plain throw out, or put away in deep storage. Occasionally I go dig something out that I need. I like living without something for a while before I make the forever choice. I also have a donate box for stuff I know I want gone.


Mama to Monkey (Jan '09), Bee (May '11), and Cat (August, '13)

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#3 of 22 Old 02-03-2013, 07:32 PM
 
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I know how you feel! I have four girls ages 3, 6, 8 and 13. We have enough clothes for 6 families, I swear. I have streamlined the toy situation to all o our wooden an natural toys, with the exception of the 'stuffie bin' that I REALLY want to send to good will. My 13 year old and my 6 year old are home schooling and our table is never clean either. Good luck with your de-cluttering! I am planning to remove 2/3 of their clothes for a start!

Goddess loving, natural living, peace keeping mama to four beautiful girls

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#4 of 22 Old 02-03-2013, 08:01 PM
 
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I practice ongoing de-cluttering as an exercise in simple living. It helps a ton to look across the house and not see piles everywhere. And cleaning is so much easier if you don't have to re-arrange everything just to sweep, vacuum, dust and mop. Also, I like having a home that is "drop by" ready. If you stopped by my home tonight at 8 p.m unannounced, my home only has the dirty dishes in the sink from dinner. It feels so calming to have a place for everything.

On bad days, I start small... a drawer in the bathroom or bedroom or kitchen. On good days, I tackle the garage or the linen closet or the craft room. Mantra for de-cluttering.... "beautiful or useful?" If it doesn't fit one or the other, it should leave my home.
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#5 of 22 Old 02-08-2013, 08:41 PM
 
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I am a decluttering maniac. I declutter something every day. I don't like haveing items just to have them. If there is no use or they are sitting around getting dusty or "just in case" then it gets donated or sold on Ebay.


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" --Leonardo Da Vinci
 blogging.jpg  780/2014 decluttered

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#6 of 22 Old 02-10-2013, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Still bogged down..

I keep worrying that I am getting rid of something I need...and the constant interruptions

I keep Everyscrap of clothing to repurpose...I need to take it all back to the thrift store...what a waste...can't see if I can't make room to set up the machine.

Got a bag full today...should ha e been 10!

I am going to get rid of a ton of ancient cloth diapers. I keep going through stuff to separate kids clothes that I could resell, or sort to def if anyone can use them.
I think I need to axe that because I am getting no where. Just bag and donate!

....or suffocate
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#7 of 22 Old 02-11-2013, 05:53 PM
 
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I tend to be a donator instead of a reseller, for two reasons. I have gotten most of my kids clothes given to me secondhand or bought from thrift stores through the years, and I love that. So I give back. I donate to thrift stores so others can do the same, or I find a friend or aquaintance or someone in need (single mom starting over, etc) and give stuff to them . The other reason is that, especially if I am feeling overwhelmed by clutter, it feels so good to just have it gone that it isnt worth the time of having sitting in my space waiting to be sold on kijiji or some such when it could just be dropped off and out of my life forever. 

 

I've saved some kids clothes that werent great for rethrifting due to stains etc, or that were absolute favorites made tehem into a patchwork picnic blanket and a patchwork bathmat. Thrifty, funky, creative, and a thousand memories all rolled into one. 

 

But honestly, if you are completely feeling overwhelmed by clutter, it can be so absolutely freeing and motivating to set a goal (100 pounds of stuff, three black garbage bags, one room, etc) that is easily and quickly attainable and go hard to get that one thing done. It will help you know that you are in control of the clutter and have the capacity to limit it :)  Good luck. Once you start, you might not want to stop.

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#8 of 22 Old 02-12-2013, 07:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by canadiangranola View Post

I tend to be a donator instead of a reseller, for two reasons. I have gotten most of my kids clothes given to me secondhand or bought from thrift stores through the years, and I love that. So I give back. I donate to thrift stores so others can do the same, or I find a friend or aquaintance or someone in need (single mom starting over, etc) and give stuff to them . The other reason is that, especially if I am feeling overwhelmed by clutter, it feels so good to just have it gone that it isnt worth the time of having sitting in my space waiting to be sold on kijiji or some such when it could just be dropped off and out of my life forever. 

 

 

I have also become a donator instead of a reseller, mainly because I'm lazy and paranoid. ;)

The one time I tried to sell a piece of furniture, I got so many calls from wackaloons that I gave up. Even giving it away on Freecycle proved to be a hassle! (The number of people who wanted the piece, but didn't have a big enough vehicle to pick it up... or who couldn't commit to a three-hour time window OF THEIR CHOICE to come and get it... oh, don't get me started.)

Now that I have a child, I've decided that these are not the type of people I want to give my home address to. Instead, I usually have one of the donation pickup services, like Lupus Foundation or Vietnam Vets of America, come to my house and pick up donations en masse (the "three black garbage bags" you mentioned would be perfectly fine, as long as you tagged them appropriately).

I should mention that these pickup services might not be available in Canada, or in some parts of the US, but it's worth checking! Also, they do not always accept baby equipment, but this varies from chapter to chapter - frex, while VVA's website SAYS they don't take strollers, they were only too happy to pick up a brand name pram from us.

If you're willing to put in a *little* more effort, a lot of areas also have those "donation bins" where you can dump in bags of clothing, etc. (These bins are NOT always run by nonprofits, but hey, it gets the stuff out of your house...)

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#9 of 22 Old 02-12-2013, 09:17 AM
 
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I am a rabid de-clutterer. I do like things tidy. 

 

My local food bank has a drop-off center for any kinds of items (food or household goods like clothing or furniture) that is manned for certain hours, so I don't even need to get out of my car.  I see them regularly.  They receive the contents of my "out-box". 

 

For re-sale, I do intend to re-sell the majority of my children's clothing.  I bought a great deal of it second-hand, and the store I buy from will buy it back, provided it's in like new to good condition.  I can re-coup some of the costs of clothing her in this way.  You might check for a local consignment shop.  Older children's clothing is in great demand here.

 

I know what you mean about a cluttered home cluttering the mind.  Keep it up!  You can be clutter-free. 
 


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#10 of 22 Old 02-14-2013, 08:49 PM
 
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OP I could have written this today...  :(  I must start the purge of stuff...  tears will be shed.


Iowaorganic- mama to DD (1/5/06), DS1 (4/9/07), DS2 (1/22/09), DS3 (12/10/10), DD2 (7/6/12) and a new kid due in early 2014

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#11 of 22 Old 02-21-2013, 09:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilee View Post

Still bogged down..

I keep worrying that I am getting rid of something I need...and the constant interruptions

I keep Everyscrap of clothing to repurpose...I need to take it all back to the thrift store...what a waste...can't see if I can't make room to set up the machine.

Got a bag full today...should ha e been 10!

I am going to get rid of a ton of ancient cloth diapers. I keep going through stuff to separate kids clothes that I could resell, or sort to def if anyone can use them.
I think I need to axe that because I am getting no where. Just bag and donate!

....or suffocate

I know this is 2 weeks old but I want to add my perspective from 20 years of house keeping. Don't waist a moment of your life beating yourself up because you don't intuitively know how to handle and organize a perpetual stream of stuff. You are learning! That's exactly how it should be. :-)

Don't *worry* about getting rid of something you need. Can you give an example of something you're unsure about? I mean, someday you might use that ice cream maker you received when you got married. But right now it's taking space -physical, visual, mental, emotional- and your higher priority is your good health and a smooth running home.

Good luck, and always give yourself a break. You're doing the best you can, and that's awesome!!!
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#12 of 22 Old 02-21-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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I just skimmed so if I'm repeating, so sorry.

 

You mentioned you wanted to throw everything out on the lawn.  Well, if the weather is okay, do it!  We did this in our home a room at a time.  Everything found it's way outside and then we "re-moved" back in, but only essentials.

 

It was amazing.  It stemmed from a desire to want to move-in the correct way, but it always seems when we move we don't declutter first/along the way.  So we pretended we were moving again, but just back into our current home.

 

PS:  A good book The Hubby and I enjoyed was "Banish Clutter Forever".  The author uses what she's calls the Toothbrush Principle.  It's basically you keep everything where you use it.  You don't keep your toothbrush in your kitchen, it's next to the bathroom sink.  Likewise don't keep heavily used objects in out-of-the-way areas.  It was a simplistic book but extremely helpful.

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#13 of 22 Old 03-05-2013, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I got rid of 9 huge bags...does not look like a dent made...

 

I am really heartened by your reponses..It helps me feel not so alone in this bog...

 

I am in the frozen north so nothing on the lawn, but I love that idea of "moving"...I will also think more about things being in the place they are used...

 

I am also starting to get rid of things that are valuable and that i would love to use if I had space. thank you all for helping me to see things from different angles <3

 

what good is great stuff if i cant move to use it!

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#14 of 22 Old 03-05-2013, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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the mental cloudiness feels caused by the physical burden...empty my house...clear my mind :)

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#15 of 22 Old 03-05-2013, 10:04 PM
 
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Right on!


Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#16 of 22 Old 04-16-2013, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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going well here! sold some things, donated and gave a ton more! once the snow and ice are gone i will get the last bit done! 

 

i feel so much better, even pulled my sewing machine out of the basement!

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#17 of 22 Old 04-16-2013, 11:25 AM
 
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Yay!  I know my house is going well when I pull my sewing out, so I'll take that as a good sign.


SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

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#18 of 22 Old 04-18-2013, 08:52 AM
 
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For me, de-cluttering my schedule (my life, really) had to come before de-cluttering the stuff would "take". Uncounted times, I went through and did the throw away/donate thing, and it just built up again. But even when my house was simplified, my brain felt cluttered.

 

Finally, I realized the clutter was more a reflection of my mood than the cause. In the last year, I have dropped several scheduled weekly activities, cut back on gardening, lost several pets (died of natural causes and were not replaced), closed one home business, and lowered my expectations of myself in general. I still work full time out of the home, volunteer teaching ESL 2-3 hours a week, serve on a couple citizen's advisory boards, give my teens rides all over town, visit my elderly Mom at least a couple times a week, grow herbs and tomatoes in pots, knit when I can, and read a LOT. I am still busy by anyone's standards. But I have cut back enough that I don't feel rushed and frazzeled all the time.

 

I love cooking all day Sunday to have dinners ready for most of the coming week. I have simplified grocery shopping to once a month, supplemented by trips to the produce market in between (never crowded like the big supermarket, and fewer, or at least healthier, impulse purchases). My kids and I love antique/junk shops, but we have learned to consider them as museums, rather than shopping venues. We often spend a day shopping, but never buying. Same with the local outdoor craft market - we love the county fair ambiance, live music, artists at work, but only bring enough money for lunch. Since the Dumplings are full-size teens, we rarely have to buy new clothes (no one outgrows anything any more). I use my Kindle, so I rarely buy physical books. So maybe we really are bringing less in. But it hasn't been a conscious effort to change.

 

These days, my home seems less cluttered, or at least it bothers me less. There is still some extra junk around. I would like clear countertops in the kitchen, and the laundry room to be tidy. Ain't gonna happen! It feels like my mind has more space, so a pile or two of books and papers on the dining table is less intrusive. I hope the tone of this post isn't preachy - I didn't mean it that way at all. My take on the whole de-cluttering issue is that our lives have gotten so cluttered that the visual, physical clutter is a symptom, not the cause, of our over-stressed, over-cluttered lives. I hope I can be forgiven for veering from the direction this thread was taking. Feel free to ignore my philosophical musings.
 

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#19 of 22 Old 04-18-2013, 01:02 PM
 
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... a symptom, not the cause ....

thanks for mentionning that perspective ....

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#20 of 22 Old 04-24-2013, 08:34 PM
 
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This post has been encouraging to me.  I am at the same point that the OP started.  mamarhu- that was very helpful.  I don't have nearly so many activities- but what I do have I am setting new lower limits.  I am going through my house though- room by room.  Yesterday was my boy's room and today was my store room.  In total 9 garbage bags of kids clothes/blankets/coats out. The amazing thing is is the kid clothes I went through today I didn't even remember most of them!  Why was I keeping it????  I saved enough to clothe more kids- but got rid of everything remotely used and everything I didn't love.  My bins are half full :)  Anyway- I loaded them all up and donated them immediately.  If I can get this kind of results out of the rest of my house I think things will be just that much better....  I am tired of having to take care of all this "stuff".


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#21 of 22 Old 07-07-2013, 01:30 PM
 
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subbing to come back and read as I am also overwhelmed and not in a good place
 

ETA - read this thread now and have to say Wow! so much inspiration here. Just bagged up 3 garbage bags full of stuff and know there's plenty more. Thank you mamas for being so inspiring.


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#22 of 22 Old 07-17-2013, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yay! 

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