so how do you keep a clean clutter free home? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 39 Old 04-20-2005, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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seriosuly! :LOL ill admit it im a major pack rat. im getting better but still : and cleaning, while i dont mind it i get annoyed doing the same thigh over and over i.e. picking up toys. and yet if i leave it till the end of the day when the boys are asleep it over whelms me.
ugh. i need advise.
and maybe a hug
and maybe a your not alone :LOL
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#2 of 39 Old 04-21-2005, 12:00 AM
 
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Sorry, no you're not alone but
a very big hug to you.

I'm a very major non packrat. Everything is up for being tossed. Its made my life so much easier and its not as overwelming to clean everything up.

I do a declutter a lot so I am of no help for support but I'd be happy to help you get to a better position.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#3 of 39 Old 04-21-2005, 12:06 AM
 
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I don't!!!!!!!! I have never even visited this forum before! I do throw away all the time, and we are having a huge garage sale this weekend. If it's not tied down, it's in danger. Try Don Aslett's books like Clean in a Minute. I have bought copies of his books for 1.00 and 2.00 on used book websites.
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#4 of 39 Old 04-21-2005, 09:33 AM
 
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I like that- anything not tied down! That could descibe me as well.

Good luck w your yard sale this weekend.

Another rule to follow which works wonder. When you bring any new item into the house, throw away the old one. For example- I bought a new pair of sandels. I threw away the old pair right away.

DD is getting a new doll stroller/high chair set from my parents. I hid the old ones that she is too tall for in my trunk to give away to another family this week.
Do this and you can get some control over your house being taken over by stuff that turns into clutter.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#5 of 39 Old 04-21-2005, 09:43 AM
 
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Please don't throw things in the trash! Somebody somewhere can use your old stuff. Even half-used shampoo bottles and old underwear. What may be trash to us is perfectly usable by someone in need. That how I keep my house clutter-free, although you can't tell by looking. It's a disaster right now. I take a carload of stuff to the local Outreach center as often as I can. I don't know how we accumulate so much stuff. I don't shop that much. Honest.
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#6 of 39 Old 04-21-2005, 11:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boobs
Please don't throw things in the trash! Somebody somewhere can use your old stuff. Even half-used shampoo bottles and old underwear. What may be trash to us is perfectly usable by someone in need. That how I keep my house clutter-free, although you can't tell by looking. It's a disaster right now. I take a carload of stuff to the local Outreach center as often as I can. I don't know how we accumulate so much stuff. I don't shop that much. Honest.
Love that name btw boobs thats awesome!! :LOL

But, Most charities will not take stuff that should be thrown away. Old underwear should be tossed if its "old underwear" Kwim?? But if its outgrown and not used go ahead. I would not wish my dh's old underwear on anyone since guys are known to let underwear shrivil down to paper thin stuff before they even get new underwear after their woman said I'm buying it. But those little panties we buy for dd that she outgrows, by all means.

When I said throw out the old one, I meant it unless it can be used again.
But most stuff cannot be used agin like that. But half used shampoo - I think its a good idea to bring it to the outreach center. That they can use.

I also do not shop much and I have no idea how stuff just accomulates in my house either. I declutter a lot too so I cannot imagine how pack rats live w stuff.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#7 of 39 Old 04-21-2005, 05:30 PM
 
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We keep a pretty clutter-free home by not owning a lot of stuff (especially "decorative" clutter. Our living room doesn't have any shelves except the fireplace mantle...so no place to store clutter in the living area. In the kitchen I keep the countertops free of anything but a fruit basket, coffee-maker, salt + pepper shaker, 1 plant, and a couple of bottles of sparkling water. Everything else is stored in cabinets or the pantry...this way the kitchen looks mostly clean and organized (as long as you aren't bothered by the huge amount of breadcrumbs etc. that DD distributes everywhere ) We also have only a minimal amount of furniture in all the other rooms. We try to max out the storage space of walk-in closets and such...that way things are neatly hidden from view which makes everything look tidier.


Alex
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#8 of 39 Old 04-21-2005, 06:24 PM
 
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I have very little storage upstairs, so most of the things we are not currently using,but might need later go to the basement. As for the throw away vs. donate, I try to donate things I think others can use. You can call the Salvation Army, and I think they will pick your stuff up from you (household stuff you dont want to move yourself). I am really bad about keeping something that someone might possibly be able to use, so I am trying to feel better about tossing it. Sometimes finding someone who can use it makes too much storage of things you are needing to get rid of : You need to weigh it out in your mind
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#9 of 39 Old 04-21-2005, 06:34 PM
 
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I'm not clutter-free, but i at least confine it to certain areas (like my desk is usually under a mound). So that helps with the house staying pretty clutter-free. Also, with the daily stuff that gets tedious like picking up toys - i force myself to do it, b/c if not, it gets easily out of hand.
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#10 of 39 Old 04-22-2005, 05:00 PM
 
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I dunno. I need help. I think it's a psychological problem. We have a lot of clutter. I don't know how to (mentally) get rid of things.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#11 of 39 Old 04-22-2005, 05:37 PM
 
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I was a "collector" as a child. My mother would periodically claim that the fire department was going to condemn my room.

However, I suspect my reasons for holding on to things were partly a desire not to waste anything (..."I know I'll find a use for this someday....") and partly a territorial thing.

Then I went to boarding school.

And I had to move rooms every year.

And then I travelled abroad for a long time.

And then I worked on a boat. And I had a locker about 3' x 2' x 2' to keep ALL my worldly private possessions. For 2.5 years.

And did I mention I travelled?

And I realized how I really didn't need anything. Everything that defined me was in my head and in my history.

So, I tend not to collect stuff.

Except books do somehow stay in my (very small) apartment.

So, the answer to keeping a clutter-free home is, wait for it...........don't acquire anything.

:LOL
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#12 of 39 Old 04-22-2005, 07:44 PM
 
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I also struggle with clutter on a continual basis....but I manage to keep it all in check somewhat.
What helps me is to make sure that everything that enters our home either.....
- has a specific, needed purpose
- is irreplaceable. There is NO way I would part with my deceased fav grandmother's artwork....even though it has no practical purpose.

As for old undies....they make great rags!

Shannon & Paul...married since 2000. Parents to Alexander Paul Martin - 30 October, 2003 Grace Elizabeth Maile - 12 June, 2009
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#13 of 39 Old 04-25-2005, 04:26 PM
 
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I am not at all a rat packer! At all!
I am so far the other way that it makes me sad! My sister taught me at a VERY young age to throw things out (sorry Tracie!)! Her and I shared a room and if I hadn't touched it in six months (and she would know) it was in danger of disappearing! I knew better then to get too attached to anything. This is both a good and bad trait.
I am so UNSENTIMENTAL it sucks!
When I had my son DH asked if I was keeping all the baby cards...they had long been burnt in the fire place by that point...but HE keeps all his cards! I was shocked I had never heard of this before! Which explains why I view cards as a waste of money (when accompaning a gift, not just a card in the mail!) and some people don't!
I go through all my closets and drawers on a monthly basis to make sure any build up is dealt with. Clothes I bag up and give away, or use as rags....mine usually go to the Sally Ann and my son's get passed on to other boy's I know.

Clutter makes me crazy though. I am one cranky person when every where I look there is stuff.

Here are some points my sister taught me....

Everything has to have a HOME! - When there is not enough space in your home for everything to belong somewhere...time to start sorting.

Everything is replaceable - That means just about everything. Heirlooms different story but don't hold onto a duotang because your son might use it in five years when he goes to school.

Attach little meaning to possessions--much easier to part with then

If it has to be kept organize it!

These things help....but it also makes me sad when I see my sil holding onto a gift bag because it was given to her by her grandmother...if it was me it would be ashes ten minutes after I got it. I envy the meaning she puts into everything she keeps....however....I would be nuts living in her house!
So I guess I will remain heartless!



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#14 of 39 Old 04-25-2005, 11:44 PM
 
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Carson's mama: you are not heartless, you're realitstic. You are also my kind of lady.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#15 of 39 Old 04-26-2005, 01:13 AM
 
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I hate clutter. My mom is a packrat and I typically cleaned the house growing up for extra cash above my allowance. The crap in the house drove me nuts. As a result, our house is relatively clutter free. I hate lots of garish decoration - I keep things simple and elegant.

Ds's toys rotate and he is *required* to put them all away as the day moves. Everything must be in its place before bedtime. Nothing new comes out until the last thing is put away. This has been a rule since he was a toddler. He does a great job...when he's not doing so hot we have a toy purge and it helps sooo much!

Actually that's the house rule for everyone...nothing new comes out until the last thing is put away. Picking up here and there as the day goes on eleviates big time cleaning when the last thing we want to do is clean.

I'm a total psycho about having a clean house, I'll admit. Its just one of those things that I won't waiver on. I can't relax if I'm sitting amidst a mess and if I can't relax, ain't nobody gonna relax :LOL Our house is clean/tidy but it still has a cozy lived-in feel.
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#16 of 39 Old 04-29-2005, 06:09 AM
 
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I attack it on a continual basis - and I just dont own or keep lots of stuff in the first place. I wouldnt say my house is always clean or tidy but if I had heaps of clutter and ornaments and just "stuff" it would be a nightmare. I need to have it so that if I need to clean, I'm not clearing piles of stuff away first.

Our house is seriously getting too small for us though, it is definitely time to move. However we've spent lots of money in this house doing things like having extra wardrobes built in, so we have a walk in robe and a built in in our bedroom, our pantry cupboard is all fitted out with baskets and shelves and drawers, that type of thing. But my boys share a bedroom and it's getting beyond tolerable now. They need king single beds as they're both long tall boys and they hardly fit on their bunk anymore.

In the laundry I have a mobile robe with hanging space and I can stack the baskets on top, it has shelves down the side where each family member has a basket for socks and underwear, the dryer is wall mounted, all those little things add up to keep a house more liveable. And if I'm not using it, out it goes - although always to someone who can use it or it's sold on ebay.

We also have a carport not a garage, as is very common in Australia, so we dont have that outside junk space. It keeps you on your toes that's for sure.
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#17 of 39 Old 04-29-2005, 06:12 AM
 
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Oh, and I border on heartless too, but you cant keep everything! I'm very selective in what I do keep and birthday cards dont cut it. Mothers day or Easter artworks from the kids do.
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#18 of 39 Old 04-29-2005, 05:03 PM
 
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With cards, I keep them on display for a few weeks or months, then toss them.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#19 of 39 Old 04-29-2005, 05:24 PM
 
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My house is pretty cluttered, but I am getting better. I came to a realization a few months ago and it has really helped. I asked myself, "If our house burned down (of course without us in it), what things would I really miss?" (I mean miss really, truly in my heart)

I realized that there were few, few things on that list. Some photos, maybe. Some journals and scrapbooks. But other than that, really, I wouldn't be too heartbroken about the loss of our stuff.

That made me really start thinking about what we have and what we "need" and how we can simplify our lives and donate stuff to others.

Like I said, I'm not there yet, but I'm making progress.
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#20 of 39 Old 04-30-2005, 12:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
With cards, I keep them on display for a few weeks or months, then toss them.

There have been times when I open a card, read it, say "oh, how thoughtful" and toss it right away! I feel kinda bad, but I just don't want it sitting around (of course occasionally I will get something sentimental.. but mostly I am talking about thank you cards and such).

Christmas cards get displayed then disappear on the 26th.

However, I guess that is about the only clutter I have control over... (looking around my room as I type...)
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#21 of 39 Old 04-30-2005, 01:50 AM
 
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I go through phases... we start to drown in clutter, then I finally get enough of it and go crazy sorting and bagging up stuff to donate.

One good rule that I go by is that everything in your house should be either:
Useful
Meaningful or
Beautiful


This covers everything. If you see something in your house that doesn't qualify as at least one of those, get it out.

I usually have a few bags/boxes in various places in the house that are labelled as "donate" so as I come across something I can just toss it immediately. I find that if I hold something in my hand long enough to find a bag to put it in, I often end up changing my mind, or getting sidetracked and putting it in a different clutter-pile!
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#22 of 39 Old 04-30-2005, 08:32 AM
 
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I'm awful at keeping my house up. I'm trying to get rid of all the extra stuff we have lying around, but it's hard. DH is also a packrat and doesn't see the problem!

I've been able to get rid a lot of our clothing (there were boxes that were full of clothes and hadn't been unpacked since our move in 2001!!!) : I just have the rest of the house to go!
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#23 of 39 Old 05-04-2005, 12:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C
I dunno. I need help. I think it's a psychological problem. We have a lot of clutter. I don't know how to (mentally) get rid of things.

Yeah, me, too.

Am wondering about that, too. My folks are pretty pared-down people, and both me and bro are a total disorganized mess. (Our oldest bro is much more together ... real type-A and organized and all that ... standard first-born stuff, I guess :LOL)

We're trying to do that "if it's not tied down" thing now. Thanks for posting that, it's a good kick in the behind.

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#24 of 39 Old 05-04-2005, 12:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamilla626
One good rule that I go by is that everything in your house should be either:
Useful
Meaningful or
Beautiful


"If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." William Morris, 1882.
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#25 of 39 Old 05-04-2005, 06:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
With cards, I keep them on display for a few weeks or months, then toss them.

Cards are lucky if they live in my house for 12 hours. I happen to own lots of clutter right now b/c we are putting on an addition and I know I won't have money fo new stuff when its done so I am planning to use what I can and then have a yard sale. It lives in my moms basement though. I couldn't take it here! :LOL
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#26 of 39 Old 05-04-2005, 10:57 PM
 
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Cards- after the event has passed, the next round of cleaning is when they come down from display. They could last anywhere from 24 hours to 1 week depending on the next cleaning. We do have one that DH has kept though from his first fathers day. Its in the cabinet in the living room.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#27 of 39 Old 05-04-2005, 11:44 PM
 
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I don't understand people with clean clutter free homes. I'm not one of them. :LOL
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#28 of 39 Old 05-10-2005, 12:10 AM
 
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Last summer I had to clean out and sell the home where my parents lived for over 25 years. My mom was a collector of dolls, antiques, etc. She had a home full of beautiful clutter, not trashy clutter, but the whole experience made me think that it would be more meaningful if I had one or two favorite dolls from my childhood, rather than a trunk full. I'm trying to keep this in mind with my own kids. But we still have way too much stuff!

My weakness is that I like to go to used book sales, rummage sales, etc. and I always end up finding and buying way too many wonderful toys and books for the kids. I'm trying to follow the "one in, one out" rule that seems to work for a lot of the other posters. I also have a lot of too-small clothes in my closet; it's not that I couldn't replace them or would even want to wear most of them again, but I feel like if I get rid of them I'm giving up on ever getting back to my size before kids! Ugh!
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#29 of 39 Old 05-10-2005, 10:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2GR8KIDS
I also have a lot of too-small clothes in my closet; it's not that I couldn't replace them or would even want to wear most of them again, but I feel like if I get rid of them I'm giving up on ever getting back to my size before kids! Ugh!
That I can understand. I finally pitched them because if when I get back into those sizes I would want to reward myself w something new and more up to date.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#30 of 39 Old 05-10-2005, 02:18 PM
 
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Yeah, maybe I should just save one item of too-small clothing and when/if I ever manage to fit in it, I can reward myself with a shopping spree!
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