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#1 of 15 Old 06-03-2014, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Trying to unclutter but...

I am trying to unclutter my home but I'm stuck. I have gotten rid of a bunch of things but not really seeing any results. Any ideas on how to stay motivated or move past frustrating times? I've heard that saying "you didn't get all the stuff overnight so you can't expect results to happen that fast either". All of the blogs I've come across talk about how nice it is when it's all done but not much on the whole process. Did anyone else have a difficult journey?

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#2 of 15 Old 06-03-2014, 05:04 PM
 
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I am trying to unclutter my home but I'm stuck. I have gotten rid of a bunch of things but not really seeing any results. Any ideas on how to stay motivated or move past frustrating times? I've heard that saying "you didn't get all the stuff overnight so you can't expect results to happen that fast either". All of the blogs I've come across talk about how nice it is when it's all done but not much on the whole process. Did anyone else have a difficult journey?

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I'm starting too! I enjoy thrift shopping as a sort of odd form of hobby/entertainment. I also am on friend/family's lists of people who love to take other people's stuff. So, I accumulate a lot of stuff. When I was less busy I used to be good about passing things on or making donations. I haven't done that in a while but I am still being given lots of stuff so it's really taking its toll.

One thing that's holding me back from a big purge is that I sometimes worry that I'll have a great use for something I give away... I suppose I need to get over that, ha?

I'm donating a bunch of stuff this week. I sure hope I notice.

Can you share some of the blogs you like? I'd like to know what people like artist and eccentrics do with all their stuff.
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#3 of 15 Old 06-03-2014, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am always the go to person when people have donations to give, I think it's because we have 7 kids. I am slowly learning that a "no thank you" is an ok answer! I also worry about getting rid of things that I might need later on and maybe won't have the money to buy it.

I just googled minimalism and read everything that popped up! Lol. There is a page on fb called nourishing minimalism, she also has a blog and I find her encouraging.

I suppose it is a good way to learn patience...waiting for the results to start showing. I think once I toss the larger furniture items it will really open up the rooms. Although sometimes with the kids making new messes it seems like I will never get to it!

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#4 of 15 Old 06-04-2014, 01:08 PM
 
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I am always the go to person when people have donations to give, I think it's because we have 7 kids. I am slowly learning that a "no thank you" is an ok answer! I also worry about getting rid of things that I might need later on and maybe won't have the money to buy it.

I just googled minimalism and read everything that popped up! Lol. There is a page on fb called nourishing minimalism, she also has a blog and I find her encouraging.

I suppose it is a good way to learn patience...waiting for the results to start showing. I think once I toss the larger furniture items it will really open up the rooms. Although sometimes with the kids making new messes it seems like I will never get to it!

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I really love the site unclutterer.com - the editor, Erin Doland, has also written a book (Unclutter your life in a week, I think) that specifically looks at the process...

Lucky (?!) for me, my uncluttering adventures have always revolved around a trans-atlantic move, so I've had no choice but to throw things out!

Good luck to both of you!
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#5 of 15 Old 06-19-2014, 01:30 PM
 
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Not a decluttering site per se, but I like http://unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com/ a lot! She is foul-mouthed (obviously . . . ) but really compassionate. You're already doing a lot by starting to say "no thank you." As far as progress goes, I'm in the same situation. I'm the one doing it and looking at it every day so don't notice, whereas DH says there's a big difference. A couple of things that have helped me are:

- Making one spot in the room an oasis -- a bookcase, a corner of a room, an end table -- and working on keeping it clear. Sometimes it's just a window sill. :P

- Doing a quick pass to find obvious discards. Most of the time I'm going through things very deliberately, but when I'm sick of how long that's taking, I step back and look for large things (like the furniture you mentioned) whose departure is really noticeable.

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#6 of 15 Old 06-19-2014, 03:11 PM
 
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We are about to move and I'm in kind of a panic because we have too much stuff. Something that has helped - pick a space you can do in a few hours and then admire your work. I chose my daughter's closet first because it was easy to donate or find homes for all the outgrown clothes. Instant gratification. Next I did a few cabinets in the kitchen that I know I haven't touched - so now I can look at a half empty closet and several empty cabinets!
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#7 of 15 Old 06-28-2014, 07:46 AM
 
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pick a space you can do in a few hours and then admire your work.
I like that!!

I too get overwhelmed and give up and feel unproductive after a session of cleaning. Then I remembered a saying someone once told be "When eating an elephant take one bite at a time". So now I have a 20 minute timer that I run once a day and clean. After 20 minutes I am DONE! It took about 3 weeks but all the small bites added up and I am all caught up.
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#8 of 15 Old 07-10-2014, 11:17 PM
 
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I am in the same boat as some of you posters. I get given A LOT of donations as I have a large family and somehow I have kind of become the local distributor of various items...lol. I enjoy giving to others....but sometimes it has been really hard to stay on top of it! My sis in law used to work for an upscale thrift store so she would give me all of the items they didn't want ...as well as get stuff for my kids. She would constantly give me trash bags FULL of clothes and such. It was a blessing but also a burden to go through it all and find a new home for it...as I didn't feel the need to keep it all. Thankfully after a few years, the store closed....so now I don't have to deal with that.....but I still get stuff from our church members relatively frequently. I find too often it gets piled up in a closet or left in my car for months. So with all of the going through of donations, it has been hard to do any purging of the stuff we have had for a while. =S
And to top it all off I am sentimental and environmentally cautious......as well as see the creative potential in about anything......so with all of that sometimes I have felt like I can barely keep my head above water with it all! I married a minimalist.....so umm....yeah. o~o
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#9 of 15 Old 07-11-2014, 02:39 PM
 
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It is hard. We have a lot of serious decluttering to get done also. One thing about the environmentally conscious - I've had trouble with that myself and also the fact that I'd spent money on some stuff that no longer serves a purpose so it felt like a waste. I try to remember two things to help - the stuff I spent money on and felt like it was wasted if I gave it away I remember that I'm donating it so essentially it was money donated to charity not wasted. For the eco friendly stance I try to remember it's REDUCE, recycle, reuse. I have to finish reducing before I can worry with the rest of it!

The quick passes to get rid of something and short sessions are a big help as is picking one drawer, room, etc to do and get done. It really helps me to have *something* finished to inspire me to do the rest of the house. Another thing I had trouble with was the thought that if I could just start over fresh... of course I can't spend money replacing everything or move just to do that so I found another way. Now to "start fresh" I make a list of everything that I need/want in that one room/area then I go in and leave just that. If it's a room I take everything out of the room then put back only what is on the list. If it's an area of stuff like clothing I pile all of it together in one big pile then take out only stuff on the list. Whatever's left I bag up without going through it. That's been a big help with not hanging on to extra items that I don't really need.

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#10 of 15 Old 07-11-2014, 04:35 PM
 
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A closet tip

I definitely agree with tackling one area at a time.

If you are stuck with clothing, there was a tip featured on Oprah a couple years back that I've found super helpful. It's the "hanger trick." At the beginning of the month (or week), turn all your hangers the other way (flip them). Every time you wear an item, put the hanger back the right way. At the end of the month/months/weeks, you'll see exactly what you wear and don't wear. This makes it easier to get rid of something -- it's all logic and no emotion
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#11 of 15 Old 07-11-2014, 06:43 PM
 
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It sure does sneak up on you when your not looking doesnt it?? I havent read the other replies but This is what I do to hold back clutter..

I live in a (tiny) 1 bedroom walkup apartment with my 6 year old and Two very old lazy laidback cats...Being So small the clutter can take over fast around here...Everything has its place around here...So we try to keep it there when not in use...when I feel like it is closing in on me no matter what I do I purge..This happens generally 2xs a year...maybe 3...I put a Tote on my table and start in one corner of my apartment and get rid of anything thats broken,gathering dust or outgrown..It is amazing what I find...then a couple weeks later I make a 2nd sweep just in case...things that seen important end up loosing their estatus when I realize it has been Sitting in a cabinet for months or its a toy she hasnt played with for months...If a Yard sale isnt soon I drop Off to a local family...I get it out of my house asap...

Good luck...I am far from being ocd but when it comes to the clutter talking over This tiny apartment I tend to get depressed...So This is how I deal....
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#12 of 15 Old 07-17-2014, 07:12 AM
 
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I just helped my Mom move from a large 4-bedroom house to a 2-bedroom apartment. Naturally she got rid of a lot of stuff, and some of it came to me. But she also donated a ton.

That effort inspired me to do a big purge at home - partly because it felt good to help her get rid of her old, unwanted stuff, and partly because I had to make room for the things she gave me (like an artificial Christmas tree - lots of space required).

I've had a list for years of areas in the house that needed work, and I never got to them. As others suggested, I did one room - or one part of a room - at a time. The most satisfying (and embarrassing) were areas that I rarely see - like my sons' bathroom linen closet. That went from packed to almost empty, but I was able to move things there from other places (so like things were together).

It helps a LOT that our church has a rummage sale every spring, and there is a room at the church to store things. I can purge any time of year, and have a ready place for donations, without even making an extra trip anywhere (we just bring things to church on Sunday). It would be a lot harder if every time I wanted to give something away, I had to make a special trip to Goodwill (or wherever).

I've read tips from folks who say that as soon as they get a box to donate, they put it right in the car. Then it can be dropped off whenever - and the hardest part seems to be getting things out of the house. Another tip is to pack things away in a box (like unused kitchen items), date it, and if you haven't needed anything in the box for a year, get rid of it.

So here's what I did over the winter:
- Got my sons to purge their clothes (too small/don't wear any more)
- Donated FIL's dress hats to the local community theater (he died 18 years ago)
- Had my wedding gown made into an American Girl doll dress, plus christening gowns
- donated decades of National Geographic magazines to our middle school science teacher
- donated a ton of paperback books to our library's used book sale
- donated a bunch of jigsaw puzzles and board games
- cleaned out cabinets in the laundry room - they were black holes, where crap went in and never came out. The contents were embarrassing (bathroom paint - two colors ago!)
- Organized things in my newly freed-up space - beach towels in a tub (instead of jammed on a shelf); computer components in one place; painting supplies in the laundry cabinets
- emptied the storage space under the stairs and reorganized (tossed/donated a lot).

It really does feel wonderful - especially when I open a door and see how nice it looks now! And once you get started, it is easier to continue, especially if you are able to let go of things that don't have as much sentimental value as you thought they did.
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#13 of 15 Old 07-17-2014, 10:10 AM
 
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Getting rid of some furniture may help. Fewer drawers & cabinets = fewer places to accumulate stuff. We used to have a table in the family room that was good for my daughter to do her homework & projects in elementary school but it was a magnet for *stuff* so we got a small desk for her room and got rid of the table. Now that she doesn't live with us any more we got rid of everything but the best furniture and the place feels much more uncluttered.
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#14 of 15 Old 07-18-2014, 05:26 PM
 
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I love this thread! I've been feeling the same way about my home office. I've been cleaning and cleaning and still I feel like I haven't made any progress. That's simply not true. I have made a lot. I'm just not finished yet.

Hear are a couple of things I do. I start our family on a 7 things plan. Every day we each get rid of 7 things. It really helped to get our DS involved. Now he gets rid of his own stuff rather than me trying to do it for or with him! I also just got a suggestion to take pictures of the "before" and the "after." This way I can actually see my progress! Since I wasn't feeling motivated in my office, I just took on a short easy project. I decided to clean my sock drawer. It was super quick and I felt like I accomplished something. That gave me the motivation to get back in my office again. And now that I'm in there, I'm breaking that space into smaller areas like taking on one shelf and enjoying that success.

Good luck!!

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#15 of 15 Old 07-19-2014, 03:54 AM
 
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I am in the midst of a total house declutter too. It is daunting, I am loosely moving round the house from one room to the next, but some jobs are less appealing than others so after tackling something hard like paperwork or photos I alternate with something easier like holey underwear. It's slowly working but yeah, hard to make myself keep going. I sure wish I hadn't left so many decisions to be made later. The only way out is through so that's what I'm doing for now.
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